I don’t consider myself to be experienced at this missionary or deputation thing. Maybe I should…we’ve been doing it for two years now. I am always looking for a way to improve our packing or reduce what we take inside a church or streamline the process. But I still feel like we have so much to learn!
Yesterday we left our temporary home for most of the next six months. We will pop back in for a day or two here and there as we have a couple of meetings in Upstate NY or New England. It was definitely not the smoothest day of getting out of the house, but it was probably one of the more peaceful days!
Just to give you a glimpse into life as a missionary, or maybe I should just say life as a mom of five little people – on the road!
We intended to leave at 5:00 a.m. We had a 15 hour drive to get to Georgia. While we were splitting it between two days, our conference starts on the second day. We wanted to leave as little driving as possible for that second day so we could arrive fresh and on time. At 4:30 a.m. a little person (who shall remain anonymous) came in to say that another little person had wet the bed. So we were up and running, now with a load of wash to get done before departure. Problem: water pressure difficulties in our temp house mean you can’t shower and run the washer at the same time!
The kids have been sick or getting sick for a week. The day before departure both Ben and I felt the sore throat coming on. We awoke yesterday with an even worse sore throat, and no voice.
I tried to begin potty training the twins when we came home in August so that they might be done before deputation resumed. It was an epic fail. However, two days before departure Nehemiah decided to begin potty training. He has done great – no accidents except night time. BUT…I didn’t intend to travel with a potty chair in the van!
While we were cleaning up the night before departure, Liberty was teasing Daddy while he was vacuuming. It was all fun and games, until she got too close, too fast and Daddy vacuumed over her foot. She has a stripe down the top of her foot that is missing a layer of skin. Too big for a bandaid, and she is having trouble leaving the tape and gauze and sock in place.
We got everyone loaded and out the door by 6 a.m. The van battery was dead so Ben had to jump it from the Camry (which is usually the one with the bad battery). This all took some extra time. The kids were supposed to sleep the first couple of hours, but we were too close to normal wake-up time, and they had been awake too long due to the bed incident. (I slept, though!)
Henry is four weeks old now. He is an amazing sleeper. It’s not a habit yet, but he has already slept through the night several times. He sleeps most of the day. BUT…he hates his car seat. He doesn’t seem to sleep well in it, and he doesn’t like being buckled down. So he cried a lot while we were driving yesterday.
We had a lovely breakfast. Ben stopped for cheap gas in NJ and there was a Chick-fil-A! We were the only ones in the restaurant, and the kids got to play a bit in the playplace. Breakfast stop took us about an hour.
We had a picnic lunch at a rest stop. I had packed sandwiches and the kids enjoyed eating outside, catching ladybugs, and ripping legs off of spiders. It was all great until Nehemiah got to his applesauce cup and helped himself. Applesauce, all over his pants. Cleanup left wet pants, which he cried about until supper time (off and on).
For supper we stopped at a Subway to try and let the traffic approaching Charlotte subside a little bit. Liberty bent over to inspect the good old NC red dirt, and stuck her hands right in it. Cleanup ensued.
Once inside the restaurant, Ben had Nolan in the potty, I was holding a fussy Henry, and Nehemiah was trying to kiss Henry. He was standing in his chair, but reached to grab the baby (I had told him not to), leaned too far, and knocked over the chair backwards. A heavy metal chair. Scratched all the way down Mommy’s legs. Nehemiah also did not want a sandwich for supper and boycotted the meal until we were almost ready to leave.
We finally made it to our hotel around 10:30 p.m. We came in the side door and let the kids walk the steps to expend a little bit of energy. Nolan ran ahead, but I asked him to stop at #5. I got to the fifth level, and there was no Nolan. I called, and he let out very loud war whoops from the sixth floor. So much for a quiet entry!
There were fights and disagreements (too loud for a hotel room late at night) over who got the couch bed and who got the regular bed. Henry sprawled out on the bed and went to sleep in all of this! He was just glad to be out of his carseat!
We fell into bed very tired. BUT, Liberty had slept in the car and she was not ready to sleep. I recall that I heard her touching the phone and I got up, half asleep, to take it from her. That was not to be the end. A few minutes later there was knocking on our door. We weren’t sure it was our door, until the third knock. It was a hotel staff member, asking if we were okay because our room had called 9-1-1!
Just after falling asleep again, the alarm clock beeped. It was midnight and probably one of my kids had set it to go off. But being mostly asleep, I couldn’t find the off button!
During the day we watched three movies, Ben listened to part of an audiobook by G.A. Henty. I listened to three podcasts during my driving time. We filled two bags with trash, stopped for gas three times, and changed multiple diapers. Thankfully though, we only sat in one traffic jam! (That’s a miracle!)
The rest of the night did go without incident. But that is just a glimpse into life on the road. Hopefully you were able to laugh at my expense. Nothing too tragic happened, and I’m still learning to learning to roll with the punches. It’s definitely never dull around here!