The Arkansas family was surprised with mom's announcement on Today

By Brian Orloff
Updated May 09, 2008 01:55 PM

The Duggar family is growing – again.

Having welcomed their 17th child only last August, Michelle Duggar, 41, is now pregnant with her 18th, she announced on Friday’s Today show with her family sitting around her. Some of the older kids looked shocked, but delighted.

Joshua, the eldest (he is 20), noted that the time seemed right. “I wasn’t expecting that,” he said. “But it’s been nine months [since the birth of the last one], so yeah.”

Before that, the 16th child arrived in October 2005.

The Tontitown, Ark., family already have seven girls and 10 boys (including two sets of twins). In addition to Joshua, they are, in descending order of ages: John David, Janna, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson and Johannah.

With her next one due on New Year’s Day, Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for more than 11 years of her life.

TV series in the works

Followers of the evangelical Christian movement called Quiverful, the Duggars were featured on a Discovery Health channel special last September, and they are currently at work on a series examining life in their home. All the children are home-schooled and participate in domestic chores, which the family call “jurisdictions.”

Duggar, who is six weeks into her pregnancy, plans to continue expanding her family with husband, Jim Bob.

“The success in a family is first off, a love for God, and secondly, treating each other like you want to be treated,” he told the Associated Press. (Both adult Duggars are real-estate agents.) “Our goal is for each one of our children to be best friends, and everybody working together to serve each other makes that happen.”