There are two things that keep me sane on the road: Ashley and Prava. They are the two young women who are chaperones on the team, who are my "right hand men," if you will. But even more than that, they are the only two adult females I really get to talk to! Since they stay with host families each night, we really savor the time we get to spend together. I don't know what I would do without them! They are always there to help (and there are definitely times they don't want to!) and I know I can count on them for anything when it comes to the well-being of the kids. I depend on them each and every day, and am sooo thankful that they put up with me!
Here we are in Albuquerque a couple of weeks ago:Now to preface this next picture, I have to explain some things. Before and after each concert, there is a lot of time we spend in the costume room with the kids either waiting for the concert to start, waiting for a meal, waiting to load up equipment, waiting on host families...I think you get the idea...WAITING. Anyway, at the beginning of the tour, the kids would play UNO for hours on end. Prava, Ashley, and I would read books and talk and join in with the kids. Then the kids learned to play Speed (which is still a favorite). But then came the ultimate... Phase 10. Have you all played this game? I originally just bought it for the "Aunties" to play, thinking it was too complicated for the kids, but after watching us for a little while, they started stealing my cards and playing on their own! Well, I bought enough decks to go around and now everyone is happy.
Prava, Ashley, and I have a running tally going of who wins the most games. Each game takes about an hour and we each have six tally marks right now (that is, of course, until I pull ahead again!), so you do the math. We have taken this game to a whole new level and created our own rules and levels. The kids are competitive too...I think this one is going to be their favorite for a while longer!