In my mind, our week should be full of excitement and amazing life change and incredible acts of selflessness and service....but, in all honesty, it's not. Our normal, everyday life isn't all that exciting...probably far less exciting than your normal, everyday life!
Here's a typical/normal week at a glance:
- Communications Meeting at 7:45 (nick goes, i watch it on our tv while simultaneously getting the kids ready to go to school).
- Eli and Caroline go to school at 8:30 (late start because of the meeting); Nick goes to work
- Emma goes to school at 9:00
- I go to work in the Hospital Administration Office
- About 11:45 I go to the Dining Room to hunt & gather lunch
- We all meet in the cabin at noon and share lunch/have our family devotions
- Eli & Caroline go back to school and Nick goes back to work at 1:00
- Emma lays down for her nap
- I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 hours of lovely bliss to read and rest and respond to emails and such. Some days I have coffee with friends in our cabin while emma naps (on Mondays I usually get to enjoy the company of the lovely Krissy Close!)
- Eli and Caroline + 3 Bullock Boys (the children of a friend who has a meeting on Mondays after school) come home from school around 3:20. homework gets done...forts get made (sometimes)...we go play on deck 8 (sometimes). it's generally a loud and intense hour and a forty mintues (having 6 kids in a small space gets "interesting"!)
- Dinner at 5 (who knew that eating between 5 and 6 would become "normal") -most days we eat in the dining room...sometimes we bring the food up to our cabin or eat on deck 7
- On to running club for the kids on the dock at 5:30
- Come in from running club, take showers...
- Some Monday nights we head to Mid-Ships and eli gets to play the computer, caroline works in the cafe & emma has a "block party" with our friend 'chelle
- Sometimes we go check on the boutique on Deck 2 to see if anything "new" came in
- Head back up to the cabin and get ready for bed
- Eli & Caroline & Nick head to work/school at 8:00
- Emma has "creative movement" class at 9:00 (i get 45 minutes to do WHATEVER i want!)
- 9:45 = TREAT TUESDAY! (some of the moms with younger children meet in the cafe to have a snack and share some fellowship)
- After Treat Tuesday emma and I usually play on deck 7 or have one of the other children over to play until lunch time
- Noon -have lunch/family devotions together...eli and caroline go back to school, nick goes back to work, emma lays down....similar to mondays....eli and caroline come home from school at 3:20...we eat snacks and play and read and work on homework and such until dinner time
- Tuesday night is always "African Night" in the dining room - rice, plantains, chicken or fish with some type of sauce...
- Most Tuesday nights after dinner Miss Catharine comes and keeps the kiddos while Nick and I go on a date. Date night often looks like us going running and then coming back and sitting somewhere on the ship - talking/sharing a coke/watching something silly
- Eli, Caroline & Nick head to work/school at 8:00
- Emma & I head to school/work at 9:00
- Lunch at Noon
- Same afternoon schedule as Tuesday....
- We usually go down to dinner sometime around 5:30
- Nick goes and plays football most Wednesdays
- Eli has karate at 6:00
- We usually go up to deck 8 to play after we eat
- Come in...clean up...go to bed
- Pretty much the same as the other days of the week
- I have bible study at 9:15...emma goes to a friend's house to play
- Caroline has ballet at 5:00
- We have community meeting at 7:30 (I usually go, nick watches it on the tv) - there's always icecream after the community meeting (the kids get to eat their's for breakfast on Friday mornings...) - sometimes I have my icecream/coffee with Stephanie & Remy
- Same as Wednesday's schedule....(minus eli having karate and ADD in waffles from the cafe in the morning!!! one of the best parts of the whole week!)
- Nick and I are both teaching "student life classes" this 9 weeks - those happen on Fridays from 1:45 - 3:20. Maybe i'll blog about those classes sometime...
- normal day...kids come home from school...play...go to dinner...
- After dinner we usually play on deck 8 for a bit...then come inside and have family movie night.
- we try to balance "screen time" with playing outside/doing creative things inside
- one of the highlights of most Saturdays is having Josie's cinnamon rolls delivered to our door around noon. so delicious.
- probably about 1 Saturday out of every 4 we'll actually "do" something - go to the island, go to the riviera, take a walk to the store....but, in general, we stay pretty close to home and don't actually do much of anything
- sometimes we go to the pool...sometimes we make french toast....sometimes we make amazing forts...
- some Sunday Mornings emma and i go down to ward worship
- Sunday evenings we go to church as a family
In general, it all feels pretty normal....but then I think about the fact that we are living on a ship off the Coast of West Africa in close proximity to about 400 other people and that there's a fully functioning hospital 4 decks below us...and it doesn't feel so normal anymore. But it IS normal...it's not crazy drastic. It's not ridiculous and unheard of (or at least it doesn't seem that way to us!)
So is our life normal or abnormal?
Here's a fun comparison of the 2 words:
NormalUsual, Standard, Regular, Ordinary, Typical, Customary, Common, Average, Natural, Habitual, Routine, Conventional
Irregular, Nonstandard, Uncharacteristic, Atypical, Anomalous, Unusal, Strange, Odd, Peculiar, Deviant, Aberrant
Most of the normal words describe us....but so do the abnnormal words. So which is it - normal or abnormal? Yes. I suppose it's both. 2 opposing things at the same time. Funny how that happens.
Surely there will be more to come.