Life is an adventure.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Menu Planning

Almost daily I obsess over what to make for dinner. Now that I have two kids in school that means I now have two lunches to obsess over every day. I came up with a system that, three days in, I absolutely love! Every month the school sends home a menu for the entire month. I had both kids pick out the lunches they wanted to eat from the school. Then I made a chart to keep track of lunches and suppers. (See my lovely chart above)
I took a loose leaf piece of paper, put the dates 1 - 30 down the left side and then made two columns. The first column is lunch and the second is supper. I wrote HOT on the days both kids wanted hot lunch. If Bryce wanted it and Hannah didn't I wrote HOT/whatever I wanted Hannah to have for lunch...PB&J with yogurt, for example. I reversed the order if Hannah wanted hot lunch and Bryce didn't.
I made a separate list of all of the dinners I know we all like and that I don't need to a recipe to make. Things like tuna and noodles, tacos, spaghetti, etc. I came up with something like 25 dinner ideas. I decided I wanted to try and incorporate about 10 new recipes a month, more or less depending on the month. So, I plugged the dinners I know how to make into my schedule on the right side of the sheet. I tried to put dinners like spaghetti on the menu the night before one of the kids wanted cold lunch. This way they can take left overs to school instead of ham and cheese or PB&J.
I also added in notes for nights when I won't be home. Luckily September is not as busy of a month during the evenings. The kids have swimming but we're home early enough to get dinner on the table. Hockey starts in October so I'll have more crock pot dinners listed then. I also made sure I added some things from the freezer that I already have set up.
Speaking of food in the freezer, I'd like to get some breakfast items in the freezer. I'm thinking of having a pancake, muffin and waffle day. I'll make huge batches and put them in the freezer for school mornings. Homemade is so much healthier than the alternative!
So that's my meal planning idea for this year. Hopefully I can stick to it. I would much rather take one hour in the beginning of the month to plan rather than taking several hours every week, which what I've done previously. It's not rocket science but meal planning can be a major decision making venture, at least it is for me.
I'm always looking for new tried and true, family friendly recipes. If you have any please share!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of School

Well it's official, my days as a stay at home mom have changed. Both of my kids are now full time students. Where does that leave me? I'm not sure. The day was a roller coaster of emotions for me. I woke up excited and happy for my kids. Within the house I was crying and lonely. I have to admit, I spent two hours doing nothing...just enjoying the quiet that had been vacant from my house for the last three months. It was nice. Then I submerged myself into planning for my MOPS group. Didn't I say I would not leave things to the last minute anymore? So much for that!! I spent two hours finalizing notes and agendas and announcements. Things that should've been done weeks ago. Maybe it was a good thing. It helped to take my mind off of missing my babies. I showered, ate lunch and out the door I went to setup for MOPS. Two hours later I was booking it through the grocery store to pick up last minute things and then I drove 75 mph back home so I wouldn't miss the kids getting off the bus on the first day.

Luckily I made it in time. I even had a minute to sit back and enjoy the last few minutes of quiet. Then I heard the stop and start of the bus and I stood in the middle of the yard waiting for the bus to drop off my bundles of joy. They hopped off the bus and acted like getting home was the last thing they wanted to do. I stood in the front yard with my arms open waiting for my babes to come running and jumping into my arms. Yeah, so didn't happen. Hannah did hug me and tell me she missed me, but Bryce barely acknowledged my existence.

So, we made it through the first day. Hannah later told me she had a great day and was so glad I signed her up for if I had a choice! Hannah is home now until Friday so the next couple of days will almost feel normal. My husband is scheduled for knee surgery on Friday so I will be too busy and worried for him to worry about my babies at school. Then no school on Monday. So, I'm guessing it will be next Tuesday before I'm able to fully enjoy the quiet house and my new place in this crazy life as stay at home mom to two full time students! Wonder what I'll find to do?