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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What do You do all Day?

I knew exactly how to answer the question when I was homeschooling our four kids.  But now that I think about it, no one ever asked me!  It was understood that being a "teacher, mom, wife, part time charter school teacher, pastor's wife" was enough to fill up the hours in a week leaving a few remaining ones for sleep. 

But after quitting my dream jobs, (clarification: I'm still a wife & mom - I mean the other dream jobs of homeschool & charter school teacher), and enrolling all four kids in a "drop off" school as my youngest calls it, I got hit with the "What do you do all day?" question.  I was speechless.  "Are you still there?" came the voice on the other end of the line.

I'm a missionary, right?  That explains it all, right?  I guess if I lived in a more remote part of the world you would just assume I spent half the morning chasing a chicken to prepare it for dinner.  And then walking to the nearest well to pump water for the day would have required the other half of the morning.

So what do I do, anyways?  First, any of you who have helped start a church or business know that the amount of work required at the beginning is an endless freight train of work.  The activities that are scheduled each week at church are staffed by just a handful of people as one week chugs into the next: Bible Study, youth group, kid's club, church cleaning, evangelism, shopping for supplies, Sunday morning worship, Sunday School.  Because it's all in Spanish, we need even more concentrated preparation time.

But seriously, we need to eat and sleep, too.  So here's a typical Wednesday, from my perspective.  I included a sample of what Mark is doing, too, but didn't go into much detail.

6am alarm: Mark and I pray together

I make meat empanadas for lunch
6:15:  I turn on propane heaters in kitchen & dining room, electric one in bathroom
Mark wakes up the kids and makes breakfast
Feed puppy
Jeni gives bus money to kids, makes lunches, helps locate a missing uniform piece or school book, signs papers.

7am We all eat breakfast together and coordinate the kids' activities for the day.

7:30 Mark drives the four kids to school
Jeni locks up the garage and house, washes dishes, and starts a load of laundry.
9:00 shower; Mark & I plan trip to Rivera church / bus? 5 in car & Jeni takes bus?

A white load dries on the roof
9:45 Mark goes to church to meet w Pastor Mauricio - planning & praying.
Jeni hangs a load of laundry on the roof, walks to weekly fruit market

12:30 lunch

1:30 Jeni walks & takes bus to pick up two youngest from school.
Mark works on correspondence, pays bills by taking out cash and going to different locations, and then pays our US bills, prepares a Bible study & power point for Thursday night.

3:30 Jeni meets two oldest kids & friends at a bus stop to walk them to the house

4:30 Jeni walks to grocery store with a kid volunteer, carries home food for 3 meals.
Takes laundry off line.

5:30-6:30 Jeni meets with a Spanish tutor. 

7pm Make & eat dinner
A favorite meal: Milanesa (breaded chicken filets) with mayonnaise, rice, tomatoes and lettuce, Coke.

Isaiah checks out a new journal that Julia gave him
7:30 Mark leads family devotions.  Tonight he checks on the kids' progress in memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism

8pm homework help for kids
Mark listens to Spanish interviews on topics relevant to Uruguay and takes notes while I work on Sunday school planning.

10:30 Turn off heaters, say goodnight to any kids finally crawling into bed, put puppy in crate. I read a chapter of the Bible in Spanish and then lose myself in an English book until I get sleepy

11:00pm ¡Buenas Noches!

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