After a week of juggling digestive issues, we lost any groove. Blew it to smithereens. We didn't sleep well for a few days until she was on the mend, and during the day we played Wii, watched movies, and basically distracted her. After that we had to deal with weening her off the excessive mind-junk so she could entertain herself again, and that created it's own bit of bus drama, which I'm sure most moms know what I am talking about.
She's fully on the mend now, thank the Lord, and is back to her bright, bouncy self with a stricter diet. Yesterday we went shopping and she bought herself the outfit she's wearing in the picture above, she's sleeping well, and I have my cute-stuff back.
No more eggs, no corn, closer look at all products with additives that may be gluten related, and minimal cheese with some high-fat yogurt only. We may tweak this as I read more about digestive health and children. I'm of the mind that you find out WHY, not that you simply chase it down when it gets bad enough to shut down life for a few days and rush to the doctor's office. Crazy me.
With a healthy Miss Mary and a beautiful new state and RV park, we headed off to the Caesar Creek Pioneer Village for a little gospel festival, north of Cincinnati. The kids loved the beautiful area and the old buildings, most built around the early 1800s. They have people that occasionally live there, just like the pioneers did, and they will sit and tell you a bit about life during that era.
There we met a man who used to be a professional photographer for many big names, but who is now a minister, working with "the least of these", and is fully sold-out for Jesus. He has offered to give us a quality photo shoot this week, and we are planning to take him up on it. Hopefully we can make that happen because we could really use some updated pictures for promotion, but it was fairly low on the "things we have to pay for" list. God has hopefully decided we need this more than we think and is providing it anyway.
Perhaps it's the lovely weather, but everyone seems energized once again. The kids have decided that we want to work towards a couple of major purchases and changes in the band. I mentioned earlier that the twins really want to move to an overall folk music style, which is the style where our sound started, but our influences moved us more to bluegrass. We do love bluegrass, but we have always had a greater love for the tonalities you hear in a lot of historical music, prior to the more commercialized sound that came about as the genres became solidified into "bluegrass", "country", or even "blues" and "jazz". We love the mish-mash you hear when you look at music from the colonial and pioneer era, when different cultures collided. The twins particularly love some of the sounds from Celtic and Irish influences, but we've found some gems in old Appalachian music and other areas.
So, we have a plan to get started on that and see where it takes us. It's already sparked some neat ideas. One song at a time, keeping all of our old best songs, and simply occasionally changing one out, depending on the audience.
We're hopefully going to get wifi too. This one is actually huge. We assumed we couldn't afford it but then realized how much we probably lose in productivity per month when we cannot research booking locations, make email contacts, as well as the money we spend driving around, trying to find a free hotspot.
So, the plan this weekend is to find a place to busk to earn the start-up money we need for the equipment we'll need for the plan we've chosen.
The kids are also dreaming big dreams about a new rig. They sat around today planning how they will decorate it and who gets what area. First, the ground rules are that the twins MUST somehow have their own room. They want to enter the world of adults and they have business ideas they cannot manage in a bunk bed. (My rule is that Mom and Dad get one first, then they get one!) Second, Benny stays. No idea where Benny will stay, but the bus is not to be sold to make way for a new rig. That is a big rule and the twins are downright firm on that one.
Of course, we are far, far, far from being able to afford a new rig. I estimated that we'd need to bring in up to $1000 more per month - minimum, before we could even justify trying to finance or whatever. That didn't discourage anyone.
Katie is making plans to do a NAWRIMO rebel challenge and get her cartoons started, with the idea of increasing business and eventually selling cartoon books. (Hey, she's a banjo player. She doesn't quite fit into the box on "how to make money" plans. Ha!)
Someone put a been into Alex's bonnet this week (see above where I mentioned a certain photographer), and she is trying to figure out where we'd store a t-shirt press and some t-shirts she can sell with her own custom designs. She figures it's a good way to make some money with her budding graphic artist skills because she can design t-shirts to go with the region or target audiences and print inventory as she needs it.
Sean and Mary will increase attendance at our shows by handing out flyers and talking to people more. Michael is working harder for more shows that pay better, and I am supposed to write a book and design a web site on family music... someday. First I have to arrange the new music and get us going on that with the wild hope that God will land a recording studio in our lap like He did a photographer.
Time to dream big, but be ready for the various detours we sometimes make every time we dare thing we have some "groove" back. Let's face it, this family doesn't "groove". We sort of stumble around the country and get little bursts of movement between long moments of distractions. We just have to make the little bursts count.