Survivor, Season 27: Lone Mommy Island

I am proud and a little relieved to report that I and all four of my children survived our two-week stint without Daddy. I didn't even dread it so much this year, though it was my first time to do it with four kids, because I remembered that it usually doesn't turn out to be as bad as I fear it will be.

We spent the first week doing Vacation Bible School. I will not rehash the whole topic of how exhausting three and a half hours a day can make you, since I think I covered that last year. But, seriously, how can telling kids a Bible story and then escorting them to different rotation sites make me want to do nothing but lie in a lump of exhaustion for the rest of the day? I am going to blame the stress of giant ball time for a lot of that. Unfortunately, my prayers were not answered and giant ball time made a comeback this year. I am trusting the Lord that somehow He is working it all for good, though, for the life of me, I cannot see how. If you'd like to know of what I speak, you can read about it here. I don't think I can describe it again for fear of post traumatic stress disorder, or at the very least, nightmares tonight. In a stroke of luck, or shall we say God's grace, we invited our neighbor to come with us to VBS a couple of days. As it happened, she was as horrified by the giant flying balls and uncontrolled children scrambling for them as I was. Being the concerned caretaker of this precious child, I could not allow her to remain in such horrifying circumstances and had to find ways to otherwise occupy us until we could safely return to the worship room without the fear of being pummeled in the head with flying objects. I'm just nice like that.

We did survive the exhausting days of VBS and even survived a few trips to the pool with mom vs. four kids. Can I say that having a nine-year-old daughter is like having my own personal assistant? I'm afraid there were days in the past two weeks when every time I addressed her, it started with the words, "Maddie, can you...?" Her lot in life seems to be to help me keep her three brothers from a)killing each other and b)suffering the wrath of an insane mom. I really can't describe VBS or the stress of taking four kids to the pool any better than my friend MamaHen did here. Between sunscreening everyone and constantly counting to four, our trips to the pool were anything but relaxing. However, it kept the kids from uttering the dreaded, "I'm bored," so it was all worth it. Even the peeing in our friends' floor. I didn't pee in their floor, but someone who arrived with me just might have. And by pee, I mean like an elephant. Thank you, Lord, for hardwood floors.

At the beginning of week 2, just when I was starting to feel like Supermom or at least Super Christian who can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, we decided to go to Chick-fil-A. Seeing as how this is something we do on an embarrassingly regular basis and we had tons of free kids meal coupons, I thought it was a stroke of genius. or at the least a reasonable decision. Kids are happy and fed and I do not have to clean up the kitchen or try to fix dinner with people hanging from my belt loops and screaming my name. It all went behaved, Chick-fil-A lady was super helpful, food was yummy, and I only paid $3 for all of us to eat. Can I get a cheer for Chick-fil-A?

Then I noticed that Jack wasn't enjoying his super-tall free ice cream cone as much as I'd expected. He was sneezing uncontrollably and his eyes were starting to look a little funny. When he plopped the almost full cone down on the tray, declaring himself to be done, I knew something wasn't right. I'll spare the details, which might bore you and might dredge up memories I really don't want to relive, and say that it wasn't too long before I had ditched my other kids at Chick-fil-A with a friend who God sent to eat there that night and was driving 90+ mph down I-59 to the nearest hospital. The coupon Jack had received from VBS for his free kids' meal didn't tell us that also included would be a severe allergic reaction and a trip to the emergency room. Not really a selling point for the restaurant, I guess. The scary night ended with Jack doped up on antihistamines and me suffering the after effects of a serious adrenaline rush. I've got to give God a serious Thank You for giving us at least 6-7 green lights between Chick-fil-A and the hospital. Green is now my new favorite color.

We tried to make the rest of last week less suspensful, so we went to the ATL and hung out with my friend Nicole and her son, Daniel. As Maddie put it, "This is just like staying in a hotel," to which I added, "Yes, except without the fear of bodily secretions, germs, or bedbugs." Nicole was an incredibly gracious hostess. You pretty much have to be to allow four kids to invade your beautiful home without covering everything in bubble wrap and relegating them to the backyard. They did spend a lot of time in the backyard, but it was purely by choice. Emily went along for the ride, too, and I don't think we drove her crazy. That's pretty much my goal when my kids and I spend an extended period of time with anyone else...for them to leave with their sanity intact. Mission accomplished.

So when I say we all survived, I mean it. Some of us just by the iv in our arm. What made tv executives think it was a brilliant idea to spend millions of dollars sending people to exotic and supposedly dangerous locations to see who could survive the experience and come out on top? They could save a lot of money by sending some cameras to a few homes with lots of kids vs. one parent and just letting it all play out. It would have it all...danger, suspense, bickering, life-threatening moments, whining, dangerous flying objects, people covered in dirt and insect bites, women in bikinis. Okay, they'd only want to show that last one if they were going for the shock factor, but still. Maybe I'm onto something...or maybe Jon and Kate already cashed in on that one.


  1. Oh my, I am so glad Jack is okay. I would have been scared half to death.

    You made it through though! You are a super-mommy and the last paragraph-exactly!

  2. I love this! I am not a fan of thise giant balls either. What if next year we wear a hat with knives sticking out of the top? We'd be the baddest teachers at VBS and those balls would stear clear of us. I'll make the hats. If anyone else wants one, just raise your hand.

  3. Please tell Maddie that the staff at Hotel Berry thoroughly enjoyed her visit and that she and the rest of her party are welcome anytime! Sincerely, Hotel Management


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