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Perry sextuplets: 7 years old and prepared for Christmas
archived from: 2010-12-20
by: Patricia Bartos

They’re growing and looking ahead to first Communion in May

If the children of Joe and Erin Perry get their wish, Santa will be heading to their Ohio Township house next Friday night laden with Lego sets and sports equipment, plus clothes and boots for the girls.

And he will bring gifts in quantity — enough to cover the family’s seven children.

The children are son Parker, now 11, and the six-pack, the sextuplets born to the family March 19, 2003, and now 7. The three boys and three girls are: Ian, Josh, Simon, Zoe, Olivia and Madison.

All are students at Avonworth Elementary, Parker in the fifth grade and the younger children in second grade.

The first sextuplets born in Pittsburgh, the children arrived at Magee-Women’s Hospital in Erin’s 28th week of pregnancy. Bishop David Zubik, a family friend, baptized them in the hospital.

Madison, the last born and the last to leave the hospital, is still the smallest of the six and the only one wearing glasses. Josh is now the tallest. “He’s tall for his age and Madison is short for her age,” Erin Perry said.

Last year the Perry family added a new member — an adopted white springer spaniel-boxer they named Geno, in honor of Pittsburgh Penguin Evgeni “Geno” Malkin.

On a recent weekend afternoon, as snow covered their backyard swing set and trampoline and a blue sled sat outside the patio window, the children played quietly inside, some of the boys with their Lego sets and the girls enjoying their Santa teddy bear singing Christmas music.

Their father spent the afternoon shopping on his own. “He had a list,” Erin said.

Usually the children are all playing outside and love being physically active, she said. All of them competed in this year’s children’s race prior to the Pittsburgh Marathon — Parker came in first in his division.

Each has their own special loves and qualities. Parker is into ice hockey, Josh into sports, Simon loves computers, Zoe is a mommy’s girl, Olivia is quiet and Madison a playful girly girl who loves her friends.

And, though it constantly changes — as do their Christmas lists — they have ideas of what they want to become. Parker will play hockey in the NHL, Simon will become a scientist and also own a restaurant, Olivia and Zoe will become teachers, Madison a hair stylist and Ian will become a Lego builder.

He was in heaven when the family visited Lego Land at Walt Disney World this past October, his mother said with a laugh.

Anticipating a visit to Santa before Christmas, they added other possible gifts — a new electric guitar, helicopters, “anything remote-controlled.” And Parker would also like X-Box games.

They will spend Christmas as they do every year, first enjoying Christmas Eve with Joe’s extended family, where they share a big dinner and open presents.

On Christmas Day, it’s noon Mass at Assumption in Bellevue, before heading off to Erin’s extended family for the day.

“Both of us came from families,” Erin said, “so there are always lots of people.”

The next big event in the family’s life will come in May, when the six children receive their first holy Communion at Assumption Church, with Bishop Zubik officiating.




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