Friday, August 29, 2008

Time Keeps on Slipppin, Slippin, Slippin

So this morning, I woke up in Birmingham, AL. Yesterday I woke up in Indiana. You get used to, magically, waking up in different states every morning. We spent a good bit of the day at the galleria in Birmingham, Mom loves a good mall when she can get one. We usually go to grab a bite to eat before setting up, but we just went straight to the church today. 

Whenever we arrive, we will go inside and check out the particular building, see what type of sound we will be dealing with. We start setting up, Shawn and I are in charge of speakers, my guitar rig, product, Dad's mixer and keyboard. Once we have set up, about 30 min. after we have gotten there, we do a sound check. By this time, it's about time to shower, you may have a few minutes, on a lucky day, to grab a sandwich and watch an episode of The Office. 

The shows over the past couple of days have gone really well. We have started staging a new song for Morgan. She is doing very well on it, we, as a band, are still working out a couple of kinks, mainly just deciding on a particular intro. Morgan is doing it really well though, she is really growing as a singer. 

We have a concert tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, we will be home Wednesday, then we leave Wednesday night and will be gone until the 15th. So we are in the middle of a busy cycle, to say the least. But I'm pretty excited because after we get back from this little run, my favorite television seasons start. I'm particularly excited for Heroes, The Office, and Dexter, but I'm going to have to wait until January for Lost.  As you can tell, I'm a nerd when it comes to my TV, unfortunately, I still don't have satellite. Kyle and I moved into a home that we renovated back in March. The house was one of Pop Lewis' first homes, he used to say that it was an old house when he moved into it in 1905, so needless to say it was a bit of a task to restore. I'll post pictures soon.

Well, I can't think of much more to catch you up on. I did have an idea for a new weekly blog, I'll introduce you to different members of our group that some of you may not know yet, but they are without a doubt just as important, if not more, to our ministry. I'll basically just tell you all about them, their favorite things about being on the road, being at home, and a few other tidbits about themselves.

Again, thank you all for your comments. 

Hope to see you at one of our shows soon.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just in Time to Get on the Bus

I want to start off by thanking everyone that commented here and on the post I created on sogospelnews. Like I said in the last post, you'll never realize how much words of encouragement help. 

We leave tonight, which usually means that I'll do absolutely nothing productive until the hour before we pull out of the driveway. I never pack, I will honestly just grab a handful of clothes that I washed this week and get on the bus. I realize this won't be the most interesting blog that I will write but it is something that happens once a week, so in order to get the full Jeff and Sheri experience, you have to go through the preparation.We normally leave the night prior to a concert, it just gives us a full day wherever our destination may be. The night that we leave, for me, normally goes like this: 

About 2 hours prior to leaving, I go to get the groceries for the bus. Basically, I just buy the same stuff every week. Fruits, vegetables, chips, soups, sodas, waters, Ramen noodles, and Chef Boy R Dee ravioli, all key ingredients to a wonderful "road" diet. 

By the time I get back from the grocery run, we are about 30 to 45 minutes away from pulling out. I'll put all of the groceries on the bus and then load up my clothes and any equipment I took off of the bus during the week.

Once that is finished, it is just a matter of parking my truck and getting on the bus and waiting on everyone else, or vice versa. 

After everyone has made it onto the bus we have prayer.

Then it is time to start a weekend.

Keep in mind, I have one of the easiest lists of anyone else getting on the bus. Mom normally has it pretty bad because she is packing the briefcase, suitcases for her and Maura, and making sure that she has all of her casual and dress clothes along with a weekend supply of diapers, ahh the surprises God can bless us with. Mom had her first chemo treatment on Monday, she is doing pretty well. Other than a couple of bouts with nausea and headaches, chills and fever she's been her usual self with lots of energy.

Well, that's about how it goes on the nights that we leave. Not extremely interesting, but it's just another part of traveling. It's pretty hectic but once we all get on the bus and get settled Mr. Michael Scott and other Dunder Mifflinites of The Office, or Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe help keep us entertained during the long hours of just riding from state to state.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Time Blogger

So, this is my first time writing a blog. It'll probably take me a while to get used to this kind of thing, but I'm sure after a while, I'll get the hang of it.

I'm mainly writing this blog for fans of Jeff & Sheri, just to give an idea of what it's like to travel on our bus and live the way we do. This blog will really help occupy my time for the next few months, we leave out Wed. and won't be home until the end of September. Then in November the Gaither tour has its west coast run, and that will take about two full weeks. It's a hectic time for us right now, Mom started chemo this morning and it's going to be a rough three months. She is definitely the strongest woman I've ever known in my life. The way she has gone through this entire ordeal without the tiniest shake in her faith has literally astounded me.

Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. We were performing at a Fourth of July concert in South Carolina when the call came in, the bus was silent, and then the news came. I had a tough time that weekend, I didn't fully understand how you can get that news and within a few short hours go on stage and sing to people, "Life is Great, and Gettin' Better". I won't lie, I was in a terrible mood for about a week, I felt as if I had been beaten with a sledgehammer. I didn't want to talk to anyone, even though that would have helped. I didn't want to eat, sleep, perform, or even acknowledge what was going on. I almost thought that if I ignored it, the cancer and all of the pain would just go away.

Since that time, we've received hundreds of letters from people just like us. That is what's helping our family through this the most, hearing from fans that we are not alone. I have found out in the past few months that every single one of my friends has battled cancer at some point in their lives, whether the carrier was a parent, family member, or even themselves. These stories have been my biggest source of encouragement. Knowing, that we are in good company seems to subside the pain.

Even though I was in a dark place, and was hurting every second of the day, Mom never once let me down. She is a fighter, she will beat this thing to a pulp. She has only missed one weekend, due to her mastectomy, and since then she has gotten on stage every night and meant every word she has sang. Her faith is, without a doubt, the strongest of anyone that I have ever met. When she gets on stage, she means it when she says that, "Life is Great, and Gettin' Better". We all have a new perspective on every single one of our songs, "Praise His Name" is a new personal favorite.

Mom had a scan a few weeks back that checked the rest of her body for cancer, all of the tests came back negative. We are going through the chemo as a precaution, just to make sure that we fight it with all we can.

Reading back, my post seems very heavy, I'm honestly not that big of a downer, I just needed to vent that little bit, to let everyone know exactly what has been going on. Now that I have caught everyone up on the prefatory matters, I can take it day by day explaining fun and interesting things to all of our fans.

I'll try to keep everything as up to date as possible.

Take care,