So last week my husband and in-laws took the week off and we all stayed at the property so we could work, work, work! We were going to just head out Monday morning, but since we already had our game plan, we just started packing up the van on Sunday. It's probably hard to imagine what a family of five (plus 2 in-laws) would take to stay out at a trailer that has practically NOTHING in it, but I'll give you a "short" list:
1 dorm size refrigerator - which was taken the day before, or else we would have been strapping even MORE things to the top. This held the most perishable things like meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, leftovers and any produce we could squeeze in. Probiotics and Bentonite in case anyone got sick because Wal-Mart doesn't stock these things. Faith ended up with diarrhea, so it was a good thing we brought them.
1 very large cooler, along with a smaller one - these were refilled almost daily; the bigger one held the least perishables, like eggs, some produce, bottled water, etc. And the small one held only ice for drinking purposes.
Linens galore: kitchen towels, sponges, washcloths, bath towels, shop rags, sheets for 3 beds (including extras for the little ones), and pillows.
Cleaning: soap, shampoo, dishwasher detergent, and everything to hand wash dishes as well, including a dish drainer.
Food, Prep Utensils, and pots/pans: I had to think through every meal we would have and what would I need to prepare it: a can opener? knife & cutting board? Spoons to serve it with? We ate out SOO much at the beginning of this pregnancy because of morning sickness, so now I'm trying to stick with eating healthy. I feel much better and have more energy when I eat like I should. Of course it would have been easier to just bring cereal and sandwiches, but we've been down this road before, and this just isn't the kind of food that satisfies working men and a pregnant mom! I don't regret the time I spent cooking, though it does mean I accomplish less around the property. It is a way to bless my family, esp. my growing baby.
A weeks worth of clothing for five people
Some vinyl flooring strapped to the roof, and some tools that weren't already at the property
All of this adds up to one VERY full van! We couldn't open the back door when we arrived, we had to carefully unload, piece by piece, from the side doors. We arrived somewhat late, so we had to air up the inflatable beds and set up the baby's playpen while trying to unload the van. The children were already asleep! Then we had to load all the food into the refrigerator, and try to find places for the kitchen stuff amidst dirty cabinets. Yuck. Eventually all the beds were made, and most things put away, and the kitchen counters cleared of most of the tools. And then we finally settled in to sleep. But neither of us slept well. Unfamiliar noises, plus a night-potty-trained 3-year-old who awoke us early in the morning because he wet the bed! So we had to take down the extra sheet we were using as a curtain to put on their bed. And Faith woke up with diarrhea, and of course we were using disposables, that of course leaked (people think cloth diapers leak, but it is very rare that we have even diarrhea leak out of our cloth diapers). So we immediately had lots of laundry to do. I brought supplies to hand wash, and we have a clothes line, but of course it would be cold and rain in the forecast! Thank God for nice neighbors who lent us their washer/dryer. I'll continue with my next post to let you know how the rest of this second day went....