When Mother’s Day is celebrated at Annell Barlow’s Burbank home, it’s
a big family affair.
Not all of her brood -- 10 children ranging from 8 to 29 -- will
be home to celebrate with her Sunday, but Barlow, 53, will get plenty
of long-distance love from her children in the form of phone calls,
cards and flowers.
“My husband will be bringing me flowers as well,” Barlow said.
“He’s good at that.”
Instead of taking his wife out to dinner on her special day,
Barlow’s husband, Burbank City Atty. Dennis Barlow, prepares the
Mother’s Day meal for Annell and their five children who still live
Annell, one of seven children, and Dennis, one of five, decided
they also wanted a large family.
“It was fun growing up in a large family,” Annell Barlow said. “I
had four older brothers, so I went to a lot of baseball and
basketball games. But my mother made sure that I had piano lessons so
that I wouldn’t be too much of a tomboy.”
Daughter Amber Dahl, 26, who now lives in Boise, Idaho, said her
mother has always maintained a sense of humor while working harder
than anyone she knows.
“She has driven 10 children to school, practices, rehearsals,
recitals, athletic games and church activities and services,” Dahl
said. “She’s done 10 children’s laundry, cooked 10 children’s meals,
made sure 10 children were bathed, had their homework done, said
their prayers, read their Scriptures and were nice to their
When all of her kids lived at home, Barlow said she went through
two gallons of milk a day.
“I think the main thing for me was I’d shop in the evening when my
husband was home,” Barlow said. “If I took them with me, my [grocery]
bill would double with things I didn’t want.”
Despite the sibling feuds, Barlow said children in large families
learn to cooperate and appreciate the differences in others.
“I think you always have a friend,” she said. “You never lack for
company, and it’s a great support system.”