Inquiring minds often ask what a day in the life of a traveling music missionary family looks like. To give you a glimpse, we took a picture every hour-ish (heavy on the ish) throughout the day on January 29. We did this last year also, and, I must say, the days are quite different.
No day is typical for us, but this one is about as close as it gets. And…go!
In any group of nine people, you will find morning people and night owls. In a trailer, that offers a bit more of a challenge, as neither wants to affect the sweet zzzzzzzzzs of the others.
Christy is usually up around five, and today was no exception. While the family sleeps she works on The Travel Bags or The Simple Homemaker out in the main area of the trailer on one of the little one’s beds.
They sleep through anything, and it’s not like she types like an elephant…usually.
At six, Hannah wakes up and begins her studies or writing in bed on her Chromebook. Around seven, Elijah pops up and grabs his Legos or whatever he set out the night before to play with quietly while the rest of trailer sleeps on and on and ooooonnnnnnn…
except this little one, who is usually up around 7:30 snuggling Mama or impeding Elijah’s progress.
By eight the non-morning people are either awake or being woken.
Some of them jump right into their studies.
Others wake up more slowly.
Inevitably, Elijah gives up on his Legos—particularly because Eliana stole all the heads—and switches to something a little more toddler-friendly.
By nine Bibles are read, children are dressed, beds are made back into tables and couches if applicable, and we are outside. In this case, we are camped at Fort De Soto State Park in Florida. We have our own little private beach at our camp site—hello, Awesome! Combing the beach is a favorite morning activity among The Travel Bags.
Checkout is at 11, and we’re heading down the road today, so it’s time to get busy-er…busier. We start a load of laundry at 9 in the camp machine…
and grab the dog for his walk. He’s on a get-fit program. We add a minute a day to his walk time. We know it’s only another minute, but it adds up. Besides, he’s old, and it’s a get-fit program, not a get-dead program.
Yes, the baby is wearing her pajamas and a winter coat in Florida. Between the beaches and the rain, all her pants are wet and in the wash. Plus, Florida gets cold too, ya know. It doesn’t, you say? Well, it does when we’re there.
Today’s walk takes longer. We stop the timer whenever the baby walks, because, really, is that exercise? Also, we stop to take pictures of strange signs…
and to test out the crunch table on a nearby fitness trail.
Back at the ranch, we amazingly remember to switch the laundry and Jedi enjoys some TLC—brushing, food, supplements, eye drops, and perpetual trims from our future stylist in turquoise.
On a side note, he is the only dog we know who will eat his vitamins if we toss them in the bowl like this—no peanut butter, no hiding it, nothing! Good boy.
It’s 10 and time for second breakfast. First breakfast is usually a piece of fruit for early risers. The cooking waits until everyone is up and dressed and PUB protocol (pick-up-bedding) has been executed. Hannah makes her own because we’re eating something that she can’t have—crockpot grits. Hey, when in the South…! Hers is usually better, anyway.
Dishes and trailer clean-up are launched, including clean laundry retrieval and folding. Our checkout deadline is 11. Go, go, go, Troops!
The trailer is stowed for travel by 11:12-so close!
While Steve is busy with the outdoor work, we bid farewell to Harry the Horseshoe Crab next door. Harry’s a bit of a deceiver, since he’s not actually a crab, but rather an arachnid like spiders. We’re full of useless information.
Speaking of useless information, you all know that we roadschoolers can’t have a post without throwing in something funducational!
According to our park neighbor, horseshoe crabs lay their eggs on the beach just above high tide on a full moon. The eggs cannot be fully covered by water, or the little crablettes will die. The water doesn’t (normally) rise higher than high tide…thus the name high tide. Ah, smart, that.
The eggs take exactly 28 days to hatch, which, as you all know, is a lunar month, meaning it is high tide and a full moon when they hatch. Big deal? Yes! Very big deal.
That means the water is right there for the little fellas to slip into, thus lessening their chances of being eaten by the many varied and amazing waterfowl in the area. Pretty incredible, eh? We can’t completely verify all of this information, but it sounds good, and we verified most of it, so we’ll go with it.
Don’t mess with Harry.
Actually, that tail is used for righting himself if he accidentally is flipped wrong side up. It’s also a rudder and a mud plow. The not-crabs are harmless. They’re beneficial as bird food and their blue blood is etracted and used in the medical community. You learn something new every…week or so.
I see you. Horseshoe crabs have two compound eyes on their “heads,” as well as an eye on the tail and several on its underbelly.
Enough about Harry.
We bid farewell to the beautiful beach…
and the strange rock.
Look, the baby has clothes and is wearing them! It must be cold.
Steve finished the hitching and breaking down camp…
and we’re off by 11…plus half an hour.
We have a fake lunch in the van.
Our destination is far enough away to allow for a little schoolwork in the Bagabus. We finish a lesson in The Thinking Toolbox, (That’s an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase anything through that site after clicking on our link, we will receive a small percentage at no cost to you. We use it to buy schoolbooks.)
Mama and Eliana fall asleep, and then we’re there!
“There” is the next church where Steve has a concert.
We reverse everything we just did…
and explore our new digs.
Time for some ball with Jedi…
while the rest of the team sets up the trailer, unstows, and cleans up—a perpetual task.
At 1:54 by the tower clock–okay, by the microwave clock–some of us make lunch…
while others make new friends.
The younger four play until lunch. (Playing is also known as watching the baby, but when we call it playing, it sounds like less work.)
Then it’s back to the books…
and screens, which, thankfully, serve us well as dictionaries, Bibles, and encyclopedias.
It’s a concert night, so by 4 the roadies are called up for duty—never mind the rain!
We carry the equipment into the sanctuary,
set it up,
and set up the CD table.
We sold out of one CD, Abandon. It’s on order, which is why there is only one on the table tonight. That means more work, as we have to take orders and ship the CDs instead of hand them out. We certainly don’t mind a little extra work!
Not counting the sound check and warm up, this doesn’t usually take much more than 20 minutes.
We head back, change clothes, and hit the books again. It’s 5-ish now, if you’re keeping track, which obviously, this writer is not.
This church throws a 5:30 lasagna dinner, so we don’t cook tonight, with the exception of the three of us who can’t eat lasagna. Sad face.
Concert time is 6:30 tonight. Marissa joins Steve for a duet.
Instead of sitting in on the concert, many of the kids will sit in the entry of the church and forge ahead with their studies.
Others spend the concert buttering up Mama…which always works.
The concert lasts until nearly 8. We spend the next hour and a half selling CDs, talking to people, breaking down the equipment, and loading it into the van in the rain.
By this point, we forget all about our photo documentation, but the break down and load up pretty much look like this, only the roadies were headed in the other direction, they were wearing concert clothes, it was dark, and it was raining quite a bit harder. Oh, and the happy toddler wasn’t happy anymore. She was very, very…not happy.
Steve, who doesn’t eat before a concert, chows down on his lasagna while the family unwinds with a couple episodes of Gilligan’s Island. Christy and Ellie are snoring and drooling by now, but the rest of them are still wound up.
Yes, that’s a space heater down there. It’s Florida, yes, but it’s chilly and wet in our little home.
By 11, it’s sweet dreams for everyone.
Nose kisses from a Care Bear–what a way to end a day! I hope that bear’s not hungry.
No day is typical for us, but this is a common day—different backyards, different campgrounds, different churches, different people, different roads—same mission, same family, same God we serve.
It’s a beautiful life!
This post is linked to Simply Rebekah’s A Day in the Life project.