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SPRINGVILLE — A Utah County mother of six is documenting her family's life on a popular YouTube channel so her children can see the power of a mother.
Realizing there are just five years before her oldest turns 18, Ruby Franke said her "8 Passengers" YouTube channel is her way of slowing time down and living in the moment.
"I have a tendency to worry about the future and try to plan for the future, and I get so caught up in it that I forget to live in the now, in the present and just enjoy the kids," Franke said. "And so when I pull out the camera, it's just a reminder to let my heart rate come down and to just enjoy being with the kids as they are right now."
Franke started the channel a year ago. At first, only about five people were subscribing to her channel each day. Now, an average of 350 daily subscribers join the nearly 32,000 people tuning into her life.
Monday through Friday at 6 a.m., Franke posts videos that focus on the ups and downs of being a mother, homeschooling her fifth-grade son, cooking basic meals and parenting tips.
The videos show daily interactions between siblings, husband and wife, and parents and children. Multiple young viewers' comments have admitted that she makes being a wife and mother of a big family look fun, despite their previous disinterest in doing the same.
The Franke family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Though they are not very "loud and in your face" about that fact on their channel, they also don't hide it. Franke said she thinks it has been a missionary experience for them.
On their trip to Sydney, Australia, Franke and her husband ran into the LDS missionaries and included footage of them in their video. After that post, several commenters explained they didn't know the men in the badges were LDS missionaries and one said they were going to stop and say "hi" next time they saw them. She said "8 Passengers" has also given Franke's children a chance to share their faith "in a way that they normally wouldn't in Springville, Utah." Several people have asked Franke's 12-year-old daughter, Shari, what she likes to do when she dates. Sheri then explains she has chosen not to date until she is 16 years old.
Franke feels she is at a stage of mothering where she is starting to pull herself out of a trench. Now that her kids are getting a little older, she is starting to feel more energy and breathe fresh air.
"I just want women who are still nursing babies, women who are still trying to get their families, women who are not sleeping through the night to see what it looks like at the finish line, to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's beautiful and it's powerful and it's worth it, it's worth all the effort that families put into their family," Franke said.