Toowoomba mum of 16 meets American mum of 16
DESPITE living on opposite sides of the world, mothers Jeni Bonell and Wendy Jeub have 32 reasons to be life-long friends.
They each have 16 children.
Jeni and Ray Bonell have nine sons and seven daughters between the ages of nine months and 25. Wendy and Chris Jeub have nine daughters and seven sons between the ages of three and 31.
The two couples met face-to-face for the first time this week, after the mums forged an international bond through email and Facebook for many years.
On their first visit to Australia from their hometown in Monument, Colorado, Mr and Mrs Jeub were given a family welcome from their Aussie counterparts.
"I actually saw a TV show they made years ago and I've watched as they've gone from 12, 13, 14, 15... children and thought, wow, we're kind of doing the same thing and we've only just recently caught up," Mrs Bonell said.
The women described it as being like sisters.
"We talk about anything and everything. She understands where I come from and I get where she's coming from," Mrs Bonell said.
"We've had a full generation of children, so when you're dealing with kids in nappies and bottles and going into your early teenage years and adults, it's a whole different journey.
"Very few people are in all the stages at the same time," Mrs Jeub added.
On their first meeting, Ray and Chris were surprised by how much they had in common, like having to renovate their homes as the family grew and fix a mechanic's garage worth of cars.
They had a chance to compare notes as the Bonell's car broke down on the way from the airport.
"Never a boring moment is a popular saying of mine. There is never a lack of joy in a large family," Mr Jeub said.