Jon and Kate Plus Eight move over

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Learning Channel has a weekly show titled, “Jon and Kate Plus Eight.”

It is the daily life stories of Jon and Kate who had one set of twins followed by sextuplets.

Shelby County’s Justice Patti Mungenast Smith had a family that definitely rivals that of Jon and Kate. The Mungenast family had 14 children with no multiple births. I know Jon and Kate had six children at one time, but still, 14? It took 14 years instead of one. Think about that.

Since Justice Smith was one of the 14 children, many of us have heard stories of her family.

Picture this — her father, an Air Force Colonel bought one of the first 15-passenger vans ever made, long before they were popular. They were originally intended for church youth or senior citizens.

On one specific family trip, the colonel saw watermelons on the side of the road that were ten for ten dollars. Patti said each one of them held a watermelon all the way home. She said there was even one instance of one of the children holding another child who was holding a watermelon.

Patti’s mother Mrs. Norma Mungenast is a gracefully aged woman. I don’t know how, but she is. She told me she once had seven children with chicken pox at the same time. That made me feel rather wimpy with my one child who was once home for a week with them, and boy did I bellyache about it.

Each of the older Mungenast children had a younger sibling to take care of every day before they could leave for school. I would imagine it was like an assembly line. Patti said she went to school many days after feeding a child and changing its diapers. Obviously it wasn’t too traumatic. It might well have prepared her for a life in the political arena to tell you the truth.

Jon and Kate have eight children from two births and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes by any means. However, let’s give credit where credit is due – Mrs. Norma and Colonel Andy Mungenast had 14. Now you tell me, who deserves the television show.