Carol Devine is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa and her husband Jonathan Devine is Head of Retail, UK and Ireland, at Mission Foods. Married for 15 years, the couple met in Germany while studying for degrees. They live in Boston Spa and have three daughters - Freya, age 13, Francesca, 11, and Imogen, 7.
What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask?
Our eldest daughter is 13 and loves to earn pocket money. We’re still working on the others.
What family task takes you the longest?
Packing to go away for the weekend. We try for five small bags then find that the boot and back of the car is full of cuddly toys, extra pairs of shoes and things the girls can’t do without for two nights.
What’s the weirdest thing your children have done/brought home/done to your house?
With very inquisitive and adventurous kids, we have been regular visitors to A&E. Two separate incidents involving swallowing a wood screw and a magnetix ball were fraught but passed through.
Have your children ever really, really surprised you?
We’re always surprised by the way that they throw themselves into things with great energy and enthusiasm. They give 100 per cent, whether it’s negotiating extra sweets or building a den or seeing who can talk the longest or loudest.
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever done?
The three of them recently put on a show. This involved very well-rehearsed dancing and singing, with each girl playing a part. The aim was to convince us that we should let them have a hamster and that they would look after it. The hamster arrived a few days later.
What’s your favourite family day out?
Trip to the seaside as a family, walk along the beach, play games, look for crabs and fish and chips. The girls also like to come to the Martin House Open Day (October 4).
What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately?
Jonathan enjoys cycling, I like to run and the girls love all sports. They all dance and ride horses regularly.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?
Trying to be in two places at once. Juggling parties and activities.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?
Our girls love curry which is great as we do too!
What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?
This summer Jonathan and I have been gardening, just for an hour or two while the weather has been nice. We enjoy watching television during the week, music and seeing friends at the weekend.
What’s the best thing about weekends and why?
It is lovely to take the girls to their sporting activities and then, once everyone is back home, enjoy a nice takeaway or meal altogether.
What is your most treasured memory?
We like to travel to Italy, Germany and France and have stayed in Eurocamp tents and static caravans.
What’s your top penny-pinching tip?
I am a big fan of the Stray FM savers. Great days out for half the normal entry price.
Family members’ proudest achievement?
Last weekend Jonathan and I watched all three daughters in their annual dance show with Danceology. The routines were fantastic and they smiled all the way through. What one item can you not live without?
To share a nice bottle of red wine.
What can your children not live without?
In our family we would be distraught if we couldn’t find Imogen’s bear. He has been with her every night since she was born and she can’t sleep without him.
What is your child’s favourite book and author.
They all like Michael Morpurgo books. A family favourite is War Horse.