What better way to show off a big family than with an epic portrait like this one, featuring 17 cousins wearing shirts to represent the six families they come from.


When six siblings grow up and have kids, you can bet the family size is going to grow quickly. And that it did for mom Chrissy Roussel and her three brothers and two sisters. Roussel and her husband have a "six-pack" of kids of their own—all girls, including a set of spontaneous triplets!—while her siblings combined have offspring that total 11. Now that's a lot of kiddos for Grandma to host for the holidays!

The 17 cousins, their parents, and their grandma recently went to the beach where the cousins posed for a genius photo. Wearing color-coded T-shirts that identify their sibling set and count off their birth order, the kids are also lined up from oldest to youngest with the picturesque ocean behind them.

Roussel's sister Maryellen gets credit for the photo concept, but Roussel is the one who shared the photo, first on her own blog page, Roussel Six Pack, and then on Love What Really Matters' Facebook page in celebration and memory of her dad, who died three years ago. Shortly after he passed away, she found out she was expecting her triplets (kids 13, 14, and 15 in the photo; her daughters are all wearing the hot pink T-shirts) when her two sisters-in-law were also expecting babies (kids 16 and 17 in the photo).

"When I look at this picture of my parents' 17 grandkids, I notice in particular those five rainbow babies who brought so much joy in the months and years after my Dad passed away," she wrote in the photo caption. "I also reflect on how those 17 kind, thoughtful, funny kids are my Dad's greatest legacy. A beautiful legacy of love, indeed. We miss him so much, but we feel his presence every day through the love and joy of all these kids."

Roussel told Parents.com that capturing all the cousins together was no small feat, but definitely worth it. "The kids really enjoy spending time together, and being able to capture that on film is quite special," she said. "They have so much fun together, and they wore their numbered shirts with pride. When we were lining them up for the picture, we shouted out each number and each child proudly marched down to his or her spot, smiling ear-to-ear!"

Roussel also posted a follow-up on her own Facebook page on Father's Day, celebrating all the great lessons her dad taught her.

It's no surprise some of the lessons include "a day at the beach is good for your soul," "there's nothing more precious than family," and "celebrate birthdays, Christmas, and everything else BIG." Based on their amazing photo, this family has got beaches, family, and big celebrations down pat.

What creative family portraits have you taken?