Josh (my husband) and I have been doing what we do since December of '06. You can check out our web page to find out exactly what that is. Basically, we are travel worship leaders that go to different churches and youth events and lead people into worship. Most of the time we can find a place for the kids to go so they don't have to come with us on week-long or weekend-long conferences or retreats, but occasionally we ALL pack up in our Trooper and head out. Our sleeping quarters can get pretty tight to say the least, meaning we all sleep in one room staring each other in the face while we try to fall asleep, and sometimes right next door to 3 rooms full of dozens of giggling, hyper and not-so-kid-aware teens. Not a huge deal, but it does makes for some funny stories. When we first started traveling I learned very quickly that I needed to make some changes in order for this ministry to work with a family. Both my kids had their own rooms at the time and were GREAT sleepers, but were taught (from birth basically) to fall asleep on their own. "On their own", meaning no one else in the room. Don't get me wrong, I def. recommend this parenting style and will start off any other kids that the Lord may bless us with on this same routine (I was getting a full nights sleep by 8 weeks with both of them, Praise The Lord!). BUT, the first night all 4 of us slept in a room the size of an X-SMALL dorm room and Zeke decided he'd rather cry uncontrollably, oh, about every hour or so throughout the night because he was sleeping right next to me in the pack-n-play and the only thing that would get this little 6-month old bundle of "joy" to relax was for Josh to take him on a little joy ride so as not to wake up the WHOLE house, I decided I needed a new strategy. The very day I got home I began rearranging the house (not that uncommon, but this time I had a PURPOSE, an AGENDA). Both of our kids were going to learn to sleep together in the same room! There was just no other way our ministry was going to work. It took some time and some trial and error periods on my part, learning the best way to get this accomplished, but it was well worth it when I could put both the kids down in the next hotel room at the same time and a good night's sleep was had by ALL! Now I have another dilemma, though. I mean, we are in dozens of NEW churches a year and both Areyna and Zeke are very used to new places and environments. One day, though, Zeke decides he cannot be without his Big Sister. I went to go pick him up after church one Sunday and he was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!! I started going up and down the hallway searching in each classroom until I found him happily playing with Areyna in her classroom. He is known for crying sometimes when I drop him off but by the time I close the door he's stopped crying and is diving into a pile of legos. But, apparently he got so upset this one Sunday that they decided they'd try to put him in with Areyna. This is a very common occurrence now and so I warn the teachers ahead of time or even drop them off in the same class to start off with. Not only that, but he can no longer even sleep in a room without Areyna. What have I gotten myself into! I just can't win. I guess I'd rather have this problem, Zeke loving his sister so much he can't get enough of her, than the other. It does make traveling over night so much easier and at this stage in our lives we gotta do what we gotta do=)
*Holly S., I promise a post on "room time" soon!