Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Typical Day Before Leaving On Tour

This post title is somewhat deceiving, because absolutely no two "day-before-leaving-on-tour" days are the same. It is quite crazy, the different things that come up every time and leave us shaking our heads wondering "and WHY did this have to happen today of ALL days?"

So no two days of these are alike. But I thought I'd still share with you what that "day before leaving" CAN look like. Since this is our last tour of the year and I was thinking about how it is also the last big packing day of the year, I thought it would be an appropriate time to do a post like this.
 I didn't include pictures of all of us gathered in the kitchen at lunchtime packing and eating simultaneously. 
Or each of us taking load after load after load to the bus.
Or making the bus bunks, loading the freezer/refridgerator, filling the water bay, cleaning out and restocking the front bays, cleaning the house, finishing the laundry, etc etc etc.

And now, I take you back to last Thursday...(we left on Friday)
Thursday started out with a messy bedroom, a messy ponytail, comfort clothes, and no makeup. 
(except for mascara. always mascara) 
When I went to apply my makeup I discovered that I had left some of it in the truck the night before (don't even ask why it was with me in the truck in the first place!) and since my dad and brother had taken the truck early that morning to deliver cattle, that makeup wasn't going to be an option. I was short on time anyways so I decided to just nix the whole process except of course for aforementioned mascara. Because KEEP CALM AND WEAR MASCARA.
Moving on....
 The bedroom. On packing days it always gets worse before it gets better. This picture was taken at some point in the process.
I love packing. Absolutely ADORE it. Even though at heart I am ultimately a homebody, still I have always had the love of travel in my bones.
Because traveling is adventure---heading out into the wide wide world. And I love adventure.

Packing can take anywhere from a certain number of hours to another certain number of hours.
No, I am not going to divulge the time it takes to pack. It varies quite a bit from time to time.
And besides. Certain information should stay personal, I think. =)
Packing for oneself is one thing. Packing five different coordinating outfits for a family of twelve is another. Whilest in the midst of the piles of dress clothes EVERYWHERE, I suddenly had a revelation.
"Why can't everyone pack THEIR OWN?"
It's not like we are back in the days when half of us were babies and couldn't pack for ourselves.
No. We have twelve responsible, law abiding citizens (ahem-most of the time!) that are all over eight years of age and SHOULD be able to pack their own concert clothes.
So I switched from plan a to plan B, which involved going to the computer and printing off the above chart.
I added certain stipulations with relish. =)
A) I think God placed me as the oldest to help the siblings learn to keep deadlines (ha!)
B) Something really needed to be done to change the system (or lack thereof)
C) I can always use more coffee $$ (yes please!)
Y'all. I just have the sweetest siblings ever. These gems had their clothes packed early but left some love for me anyway. 
Shipshewana Davis Mercantile Coffee Shop, coming right up this week! =)
Along with packing, and packing, and more packing...the day before leaving on tour is, as was previously mentioned, always filled with all sorts of extra projects that just "happen" to have to come up on that busiest of all days.
To name a few...
*The basil was beginning to go into seed, and there was a very good chance it might get hit with frost while we were gone. So I headed up my own personal pesto campaign, making pesto and drying additional basil in extremely large increments.
*The brotherhood went hunting. Which was probably not the wisest thing to do, since past studies have PROVEN time and time again that they can hunt for WEEKS before a tour and not get a thing, BUT if they go out on the day before leaving...they honestly get a deer every.single.time. It is positively uncanny how that works.
So sure enough, Denver got a deer. Which meant that now there was a deer to be butchered, and jerky to be made.
*The apple trees were producing in abundance, but unfortunately quite a few of the apples were spotty which meant they had to be frozen or canned immediately. Also the four cases of pears which had just arrived from our coop were not in good condition, which meant that they had to be put in the freezer immediately too!

And then there were all those little things like the fact that my washer wasn't working properly, which means that washing a load of laundry takes longer than the normal 55minutes. And several things in the bus were left unattended after our last tour so now the whole place smelled much less than desirable so there was extra cleaning and attention required to get everything back in the preferred state of livableness.

And that's a little inside peek of the craziness of "day before leaving". Hope you enjoyed! Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment box!


  1. Chels, thank you so much for this sneak-peak! It made me smile! :) True, things do seem to happen at the last minute when you're super busy! #hadthatexperience I loved the packing list...I think I'll hafta try that next time on my sibs... ;) haha! Hope to see y'all soon!
    Much love,
    Olivia T.

    1. Definitely do try the packing list. Its amazing how energized it makes the siblings to know that there is $$ involved if they don't finish in time. =)

  2. Girl. I don't think I could love this more. And I MISS YOU. That is all. ;)

  3. Chels, this post was hilarious!! That was a great packing idea too ;) I totally know the laundry deal #bigfamlaundryprobs Our family can relate to a lot of these things - large families are so awesome :)
    Have a great tour!
    ~ Lydia Mieczkowski

  4. I absolutely adore this post because it reminds me of what some days look like in our family. Those messy, crazy, busy days are sometimes the most exciting to look back on - lots of fun challenges and memories made. And working together as a team is always a blast and a half! Thanks for sharing a little glimpse of your craziness. I love the part about the mascara {totally relate} ! ;-) Love, Sarah

    1. So true!
      Glad you enjoyed-thanks for the comment!

  5. you are so great -- KEEP CALM AND WEAR MASCARA. dude, let's get t-shirts made. I love you and how you live life and share it. never stop blogging, please :)

    1. AMEN. Lets do this. =)
      And your encouragement to keep blogging...thank you.

  6. Hey Chels! Love your post!!
    I can totally relate about Everything coming up last minute. LOL
    (also I absolutely love "Keep Calm and wear mascara" Its so true)
    I hope ya'll have an awesome tour and safe travels ya'll will be in my prayers=)
    About the hunting last minute I can also relate.. It has happened before.
    Thanks so much for sharing what you do.. It's a great Great blessing in my life=)
    Keep in touch<3
    Love n prayers,

    1. Thanks so much, girl..you are so sweet! Hope y'all are doing well!

  7. Can't wait to see your family in Harlan, IN! Praying for God's protection and blessings while you travel!

    1. Yay! Not sure if we've met before? But either way looking forward to seeing you in a few days!

  8. This made me smile! So true, keep calm and wear mascara!! I LOVED your idea on the packing thing! as the secod oldest in the family it is always nice to have some kind of way to make packing easier! We will definitly have to try that!{except for the twins of course} And I love the coffe money idea! No one can live with out coffee, RIGHT!! :) ;) thanks for posting!
    Mackenzie Werner
    Did you and alli get the letters I sent to you guys? I just wanted to say thankyou for being so nice at family camp! Thanks!

    1. Yes we did! Thanks so much! I actually just dropped a response letter to you in the mailbox this morning! =)

    2. Your so sweet. Never stop blogging it has been such a blessing in my life! #youramazing Thanks so much for sharing
      Mackenzie werner

  9. Oh my graciousness. I read every word of that in your voice with your tones and inflections, and it made it 105% funnier. #ihavesuchadorableandgorgeousfriends. STAHP. Just kidding. #keeponbeingadorable

  10. Chels, this was so funny! Loved your original "keep calm" phrase:) And the packing list/penalty/siblings who are sweet?!? #loveit
    I totally hear you on last minute projects! We had about 3 extra projects(read: really BIG canning projects) to do in the 3 days before we had to leave for camp last month=) #keepcalmandmakesalsa #andapplesauce. #andallthingstomato =))

    Totally unrelated...I SO meant to ask you(or Alli) this at camp...do you have any fun ways to wear the lace headbands? Cause you two ladies are just *amazing* at all things hair-and-makeup-related=) Just curious<3

    1. I'm still working on the lace headband styles + finding ones that look right on me. I wear skinny headbands boho-style a lot but for my head it just doesn't seem to look right to do it that way with thicker headbands. So I'm still experimenting. Sometimes I do a ponytail and a lace headband with that, more of a "pulled back" look. But mostly I like my hair down + around my face so I don't do that style a lot.

    2. And thank-you..that is so sweet of you to say that. =) I'm definitely a work in progress on these things though! =)

    3. UMMMMM, I think you nailed it down! You and alli always have THE CUTEST hairstyles! I always look for hair styles from you because you aallwwaayyss have such amaaazing hair!
      love ya,

    4. chels,
      Would you consider doing a hair tutorial on your blog, maybe of your and alli's favorite DIY hair styles? I have been searching for some more hairstyles because I dont like wearing my hair the same way every day... Maybe Im just wierd about that, But anyways, so would you consider doing that??!! I always love getting ideas from you guys! You guys always have such great ideas! Do you mostly find them on pintrest, I tried but I didnt know excactly what to search for, do you have any recomenndations?

    5. Thank-you for the hair advice! I'm sure we could all always learn more=) I enjoy wearing my hair down as well, but don't do it that often because of the length=) I was actually thinking, one of the styles that I do like to wear down with the lace headband(the one I made) might work on you! {Maybe you remember how I did my hair on Sunday at the retreat? Loose curls, with the lace headband almost boho-style? I know you curl your hair often so it might work? Also as a loose side braid with the headband overtop...I did that at camp one day...#allisoninspiredhairstyle}
      What are some ways that Allison wears the lace headband, by the way? I think her hair "texture" is more similar to mine, so maybe some of her styles would work=)
      Miss y'all! Blessings<3

    6. Y'all are way too sweet. =)
      I would love to do a hair tutorial sometime. Hopefully in the near future! Remind me if I forget. =) Actually, I will do my best NOT to forget-I'm going to put it on my "to post" list! =)
      Susanne, we do get a lot of ideas from pinterest. =) You can check out our boards! Alli's name is RufflesGirl, and mine is ChelsyRenee91.
      Yes Rachael-I do remember that style! It was adorable!
      Alli wears it mostly with updos or occasionally a size braid.

    7. Oooh, yes, a hair tutorial would be #thebomb :) With lots of pictures! You ladies are the sweetest<3
      {and btw, I laugh every time I put my makeup on now...thinking "keep calm and wear mascara":}

  11. This was the best Chels! Thanks for sharing a glimpse into the "day before leaving." :-)
    Every time I've put on makeup since reading this I think: "Just keep calm and wear mascara!" Makes me smile :-)
    Praying for y'all on your tour!

    1. Aww, thanks!
      Hope you're having a fabulous time on your trip!

  12. When you said that you wear your hair down most of the time , do you straighten it w/ a flat iron?
    #chelshairisalwaysamazing #youramazing #justcurious

    1. Yes, I do! When I wear my hair down, I nearly always either have it straightened (with a flat iron) or curled (with a wand). I also occasionally style it with mousse, giving it more of a natural/wavy look.

    2. Thank you for replying! I love your hair! Keep being a light of god!

  13. THIS POST. I don't even need to tell you the memories that went through my mind, and the secret smiles I smiled. ;) Because you already know!
    The tips for coffee is a truly sweet gesture, and I'll be the first to say that you deserve it. Obviously your sibs know that already.
    Thanks for the smiles today. :) I heart you!

    1. Oh goodness. Yes..you are pretty much the only soul out there other than us twelve that knows the ins and outs of this life. =) Ah, the memories!!! What days those were....=)
      Love you + baby dear to the moon + back!!

  14. I love reading your blog! I love being able to see how other big families following the word of god do things! I have enjoyed reading your families blog too! Always love it! I was wondering, does allison have a blog? I saw that you and mitchel do so I was just wondering? I t would be a joy to read hers too if she had one! Thank you for posting! Also, I know you guys love coffee , do you guys have a starbucks down in Iowa nearyou? It has always been my favorite place too get coffee! Do have any certain places you get yours? Do you have any preferences that you would recomend? One more thing, Would you consider doing a post on fall fashion, specifically things like fall scarves, tops, and shoes? ANd maybe a couple favorite hair styles that you like to do that are easy , quick, and pretty. Ilove all of the boho syle headbands you and allison do, so maybe things like that, or what kind of curling wand you guys use?... cause you two ladies are great at all things hair, make up ,and modest dressing! I love to dress for the lord and you guys have been a huge inspiration for me, so thank you, and have a great week!

    1. Question #1: =)
      No, Alli does not have a blog. yet. I've been encouraging her to start one. =)
      #2: Yes, we have a Starbucks in Coralville, just 30minutes away! My favorite Iowa coffee hangout is our local shop (ten minutes away) called the Kalona Coffee House. Second favorite is Caribou coffee, also in Coralville.
      #3: Yes, I will try to do some posts like that soon! =)

    2. Thank you for reaing and anserering my questions!Tell alli that every one wants her to get a blog! That would be so fun! Is caribou coffee just in Iowa or is in different states too? Than you for posting!

  15. Chels, I thought that you look just fine the way you were yesterday.


Comments containing profanity and/or hateful language will not be published. I will not be posting comments with questions regarding either John's or my extended family. If you have questions about them, please go ask them on their blogs. =)
Also, anyone with a question related to a post must provide their full name. Feel free to email me with questions on topics not pertinent to the post. Thanks y'all!