Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Been Quiet

It's been rather quiet over here lately.  We've been keeping fairly busy with life but I just have not found much to write about lately.  There is simply so much that I prefer not to talk about that it's hard to find something to share.  Nope, not really a fan of sharing pregnancy info.  I get kind of irritated when asked about due dates.  Just not my thing anymore since we learned early on that when you share too much people start to try to take ownership of your pregnancy in a way.  And that gets annoying.  The older 2 go to scout camp soon.  Everyone is still taking karate.  Kids are still plugging along at school.  In general, life is just going on.  I am attempting to turn a bit of my focus a tad more inward for a while and take care of me for a bit.  So nothing much to report.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meal Plan

I'm almost ready to just toss the idea of meal plans for a few weeks because it seems like we rarely follow them lately.  It seems like something is always getting in the way or plans change at the last minute.  Maybe we'll do better this week. 

Tonight I am taking dinner to a family that just welcomed a new baby.  Thursday night we will celebrate Liam's birthday.  Friday night the older 4 boys are hosting a Boys' Club campout in the backyard.  Saturday night Alan will take the 6 older kids to a Rhinos soccer game.  So the week is a bit busy.

Monday: cereal (B), sandwiches (L), taco soup (D)
Tuesday: cranberry bread and sausage (B), macaroni and cheese (L), spaghetti and salad (D)
Wednesday: pancakes (B), picnic at the park (L), bean and rice burritos (D)
Thursday: cereal (B), leftovers (L), Liam's birthday dinner so whatever he picks (D)
Friday: eggs (B), sandwiches (L), hot dogs, watermelon (D)
Saturday: I had something written out for this day but that was before our schedule changed so I'm thinking it's up in the air or whatever you fix for yourself
Sunday: cereal (B), FFY (L), swiss steak (D)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

That Summer Question

I was out with the younger 4 today while the other kids were at their karate class and I got asked that infamous question that pops up this time of the year: how are you handling having all the kids out of school for the summer?  And it was said with that normal tone of voice. The one that oh so many adults use. The one full of dread and anguish and "oh my gosh, I just can't stand having my kids home all the time, why on earth doesn't school run all year long so I don't have to have them in my hair for so long every stinking day."  In other words, a tone that pretty much instantly causes me to lose all respect for the person uttering such an idiotic question.

Ok, I get it.  Having kids home all day is hard.  Even harder when the kids are not used to such a change in their routine or not comfortable relating to their siblings in a nice, respectful manner.  But for goodness sake folks.  Why have children if you are going to constantly farm them out to other people and complain about your few chances for uninterrupted time to get to know these wonderful people that God has blessed you with?

My normal answer for the above question is "Well, they are homeschooled so nothing has changed since it is business as usual" but I am really thinking I need to change it to "I feel so incredibly lucky to have to this chance to spend some extra time enjoying my children and getting to know them again after a long year of school."  I doubt it will change anyone's opinion of the horrors of having to deal with their children all day but maybe, just maybe, it will make at least one person stop and consider how their children must feel hearing them complain about how awful it is to have their kids home all day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Meal Plan

A day early but it's done and tomorrow is shaping up to be a very busy day so here's the meal plan while I am thinking about it.

Monday: yogurt and granola (B), grilled cheese and fruit (L), barbequed hamburgers (D)
Tuesday: eggs, toast (B), pbj, carrots (L), pulled pork, coleslaw (D)
Wednesday: cereal (B), sandwiches, grapes (L), chicken divan, salad (D)
Thursday: oatmeal (B), tuna sandwiches (L), meatloaf (D)
Friday: pancake sausage muffins, fruit (B), mac and cheese (L), fish, roasted potatoes (D)
Saturday: pancakes (B), leftovers (L), pizza (D)
Sunday: muffins (B), leftovers (L), BBQ chicken (D)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Water Park

I took the older two boys and two of their friends to an indoor water park on Thursday to celebrate their birthdays.  I will admit that when we first walked in, I was a bit worried that the boys would end up getting bored.  The park was very much on the smaller side.  I was able to sit and see the entire place quite easily.  It seems to have been planned mostly with the slightly younger kids in mind but the boys still had a blast.  It probably helped that the park was not at all crowded.  We were just about the first ones in the door and the last ones out.  I don't think they really ever stopped moving.  And the boys who went with us were incredibly polite and thanked me about 10 times for bringing them.  Definitely the kind of kids you enjoy having around your children. 

Since I only had the older children, I did not follow them around taking pictures. Figured I would just let them enjoy themselves. I do have one shot of them eating dinner but it is still on the camera. 

I am definitely planning on heading back once the tickets drop in price again when school starts back up.  Next time we will take the younger kids with us as well because not only will they enjoy it, I'll be able to relax and not worry about the place being so large that they run off on me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Meal Plan

Ok, it has been a while since I have made a real meal plan.  I have been nursing a killer cold that the kids were so kind as to share with me which has left me with almost zero appetite and the wonderful feeling that I am going to throw up anytime I eat anything.  Or maybe that is just the pregnancy talking. Either way, I've been decidedly unmotivated when it comes to meal planning or cooking as of late. And it  has been too darn hot to want to cook in the house.  Next week I see a lot of grilling and no cook meals in store for us. This week, we'll use up what we have in the house.  Right now, Katie is throwing dinner into the crockpot for me.  Yup, I believe in getting the kids started early because cooking is a necessary life skill that simply should not wait until high school or later to learn.  Hm, do I say that enough?  :)

Monday: pancakes (B), chicken salad sandwiches (L), chicken azteca, rice (D)
Tuesday: eggs (B), macaroni and cheese (L), meatballs, egg noodles (not Italian meatballs) (D)
Wednesday: oatmeal (B), peanut butter and fluff sandwiches (yes, every so often you must spoil your kids a bit and totally shock the whole foods moms at the park) (L), baked chicken (D)
Thursday: cereal (B), grilled cheese (L), spaghetti (D)
Friday: breakfast burritos or hashbrown casserole (B), peanut butter and jelly (L), BBQ hamburgers (think I'll introduce the children to Aunt Rose's recipe) (D)
Saturday: French toast, sausage (B), FFY(L), pizza and movie night (D)
Sunday: donut muffins or Nutella muffins, yogurt (B), FFY (L), hot dogs, bratwurst (D)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Strawberry Picking

We made our annual trip out to the strawberry fields on Friday.  Ellie quickly learned that the best part of going strawberry picking is getting to taste a few dozen berries.  Robert was happily filling his bucket until he was told he could try one himself.  After that, every one he picked went directly into his mouth.  Everyone had a blast, the weather was nice and cool, and now the kids are trying to eat all the strawberries before I can turn them into jam and syrup.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meal Plan or Not

Well, it's Monday so I should have a meal plan.  But I'm having a hard time coming up with one.  We have guests in town which always throws things off a bit, Alan is home for a few days, lots of extra appointments and such this week.  All I can promise is that everyone will be fed.  A plan, well, we'll be winging it this week.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Going Out to Dinner

On Saturday night the family went out to dinner.  While sitting in the restaurant, I was struck by several things.  First, we are very different parents now than we were with our first child.  We don't pack a bunch of stuff to keep the little folks occupied or work on actively engaging the littlest folks during dinner so they don't annoy other diners.  Instead we just bring a cup, a snack, and expect that everyone will behave.  Most times, we are not disappointed.

On this evening, I was truly struck by another issue as I looked around the restaurant.  It's what I call the zombie effect.  The restaurant was wall to wall televisions.  This means at almost every table, most of the patrons were all watching tv.  Most tables had guests watching different tv's than their companions.  Those who were not watching tv most often had their phones and hand-held devices out and were plugged into cyberspace.  I looked around the restaurant and saw maybe one table where the folks were actually talking to each other.  Everyone else was glued to a screen somewhere. 

I'll admit this really bothers me.  I'll also admit my own internet addiction needs work but thankfully we have not succumbed to the need to phones with internet attached. 

The kids behaved, the meal was enjoyed, we tried to talk a bit but between the loudness of the various televisions and music and sitting at a super long table, conversations were a bit challenging.  The zombie effect impacted our table a time or two as well.  It seems race cars are hard to resist when you are a guy or a guy in training.

But in general, why go out to a meal with your spouse or your family or friends if you intend to spend the entire meal staring at different screens and never interacting with each other?  I am truly baffled by this latest trend.

Friday, June 1, 2012


We have had two butterflies emerge today.  I am hoping that a few more might appear in another day or so but don't think we will see all 10.  No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get the kids to keep their paws off the cups while the chrysalis' were forming.  My children are apparently rough on insects.  Kind of a shame because the times we have managed to get 9 or 10 to hatch, it's been a beautiful sight.