TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Imagine taking three strange boys into your home, and three teenage boys at that!
Well, that's exactly what one local family did.
Hillary and Ryan Shepard are biological parents to five children and they are foster parents to three more.
The oldest kids in the Shepard household are Hannah and Todd who are 18 years old. Heavin and Larry are the next oldest and they are both 15. Chase is next at 12, Henry is 9, Hadlie is 6, and Rollie is the youngest at 4 years old.
"Everyone talks about Kate plus 8," said Hillary Shepard, "but they're all the same age and they can be active in all the same things. But when you have eight kids, and they're all different ages, then you have eight different places you have to get them to."
It may sound like mayhem to you and me but the busy Shepard house is full of nothing but love and generosity and it all started with a desire to help children in need.
"I feel like I fit right in," says Larry.
Larry, 15, was the Shepard's first foster child two years ago. Now, he's anxiously waiting on their adoption to be final.
A troubled teen bouncing from house to house is now in a place he calls home.
"I'm now not getting in trouble at school, making good grades, and staying out of trouble," said Larry.
Chase, 12, has lived with the Shepards for a year and he too is awaiting adoption.
Eighteen year old Todd is their newest foster son.
The Shepards are helping Todd become a responsible adult with his sights on college and a career in his greatest love, music.
"It's a blessing to have people around helping kids out when there are not many willing to do that," said Todd.
Hillary and Ryan Shepard have been more than willing to help young kids in need in their community.
To them, life wouldn't be normal without lots of kids in their lives.
Hillary works at Sarah Scott Middle School in Terre Haute and coaches four dance and cheer teams there.
And when Ryan's not at work, you'll find him mentoring the drum line at Terre Haute South High School.
It's a mind-boggling schedule that they call "controlled chaos!"
Even with all the responsibilities and costs that come with ten people in a household, the Shepards say they'd rescue even more foster kids.
"The need is great and it's not that hard of a thing to open up your family and share your experiences with them and just offer a little bit of help," said Ryan.
To three teenage foster boys, the Shepards helped a great deal.
A loving family that opened up their home and their hearts to give hope.
The warmer weather is a thing of the past, and it's expected to get worse.
Local Marines helped spread some holiday cheer today.
Terre Haute Police filed citations against one Terre Haute towing business earlier this year. Andrews Towing and investigators were in city court Friday morning for the first time.
Seven new Indiana Conservation Officers officially joined the DNR Division of Law Enforcement during graduation ceremonies Friday at the Indiana Government Center South.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Martin County Deputies are requesting travelers to avoid U.S. 231 north of Loogootee. Due to many slide off accidents, traffic is backed up over a mile in several places
Right on cue, Thursday’s early winter storm dumped snow and ice on the Wabash Valley but county highway crews were a step ahead of the weather’s arrival pre-treating the 897 miles of pavement in the county.