I have decided that May is a much busier month than December! I haven’t posted a menu plan in a few weeks but that doesn’t mean we I haven’t had a plan. It does mean the plans haven’t been very good and that we probably haven’t followed them much. It seems I do better when I write them down in a blog post. This is another busy week so my plan is subject to change. A lot. Also, I just want to put it out there that it must look like we eat pork chops every week and somehow every Monday. We don’t. Of course, this Monday–we are having them. Here’s what I *think* we’ll be eating this final week of school but I reserve the right to put frozen fish sticks in place of any meal listed except the birthday dinner.
pork chops and baked potato fans
G’s birthday! His choice. He is currently undecided but I did hear mention of BBQ. I’m not even sure if we are having family over this night or another night. I don’t have it together very well so far this week–SIGH.
Chicken strips and french fries
Ribs in the slowcooker
This will be G’s birthday party with friends. 5 tween boys plus his younger brother for a sleepover. On the last day of school, on the first night of a full moon. He wants pizza. Ordering pizza is easy. I’m not sure about the rest of the night being easy.
I have the idea that the boys will be more involved with planning the weekly menu over the summer so our menus may get interesting. At least, I hope they will. I’m linking up with Menu Plan Monday over I’m An Organizing Junkie. Go check it out for ideas and menus that are a lot more exciting than mine!
This is the last week of school for us! I’m wondering how the school year that just a few short months ago seemed never-ending could possibly be over after Friday. This week is all about figuring out the next 3 months of summer so that we don’t whittle it away and wonder where it went when mid-August rolls around. There are things I really enjoy about having my days while the boys are at school like having complete control of all electronic devices in the house. Nothing quite compares with the peacefulness of a quiet Monday morning after a busy weekend (or a not so busy weekend spent attempting to resolve bickering over video games.). However, I am willing to forego my Monday morning quiet for the summer if I also get to give up dealing with the following five items:
Packing School Lunches Every Day
It’s the end of the year and my creativity is gone. I’m sick of having that Sunday night worry–do I have lunch stuff? I’m sick of hiding drinks when friends come over so that I can assure I have something for the boys’ lunches without making YET another grocery store trip. Little Debbie and I have become fast friends these last weeks of school–no more homemade goodness in the lunch boxes as the school year ends. It is all about convenience and getting through the final busy days. Peanut butter sandwich, a drink, chips, maybe a fruit or veggie (hopefully), and a brownie. Done.
Bath-time and Bedtime Battles
“I just took a shower yesterday morning!” “Yes, I know but you had soccer practice in 85 degree weather last night and got all sweaty–you HAVE to take a shower.” SIGH. My older son is better about it but for my younger son, taking a shower is still considered a crime against humanity at times. My boys will still have to go bed and bathe, of course but it won’t be as crucial if we miss a bath or shower and I’ve already started letting bedtime slide.
I’m not sure which was worse: Making sure the homework happened or the times my help was needed and I didn’t understand it–a humbling thing that happened more than once with my 6th grader. Thankfully, I was still (mostly) capable of 2nd grade work. It will also be nice not having homework worries on nights we have activities. No more fights over doing it and no more tears because we waited until too close to bedtime to start.
Automated Reminder Calls
Our district uses telephone calls to share important information such as snow days. I also get calls for upcoming events, reminders that grade cards were sent home, and anything else either of the boys’ schools deems important enough to warrant an “all call” . I do find these calls mostly helpful but 3 calls from 2 schools in one week tends to get a bit tedious.
Making Sure I am Home Every Weekday Afternoon
Of course, I probably will be home almost every afternoon but it won’t be because I have to be here to wait for a school bus. I am excited that I’ll be able to make my grocery store or Target run whenever I like although I will have to bring a kid or two along with me.
What school year routine are you most excited to send into a summer hiatus?
If I can just make it through the next 7 days, I’m hoping to arrive at my destination of summer vacation where I can start tackling my “want-to” list as opposed to simply crossing items off that never-ending “have-to” list. Since last Sunday (the one before Mother’s Day), we’ve had some sort of activity every single day. I took photos last Monday and Tuesday as I ran around preparing for my very last PTA meeting as President thinking I’d be writing a blog post about it. I forgot to factor in things like the 2nd grade field trip I attended the very next day or that I would be volunteering a few days at the very last elementary school book fair of the year. Wait, I have a son in middle school with an upcoming band concert and he has nothing to wear! Throw in soccer and a husband working very long hours to round it all out. Today is the first time I’ve been home without a “have-to” of the need to be somewhere or do something for someone else variety in 10 days.
Here are a few photos of my kitchen during the past week:
I’ll allow your imaginations to work wonders with what the rest of the house looks like during this busy time. Here are my strategies for coping when I find myself aboard the busy bus wanting to shout: Jane! Get me off this crazy thing! (It’s a reference to The Jetsons cartoons for any of you out there who might be a couple of years younger than me If you can do these 3 simple things, then hopefully you’ll arrive at your busy bus destination on time without taking a detour into Crazytown (I’ve taken that detour a time or two and it’s really not that pleasant a stop):
Remember to do some laundry! What you were looking for something more philosophical? It doesn’t have to be nicely folded and put away but if your family is on the busy train with you, trust me when I say they’ll be much nicer passengers if they have clean socks and underwear available to change into each day. Planning a simple menu also helps as it turns out my family still wants to eat dinner even during the busy times.
Give some grace not only to others who are probably traveling a different route on their very own busy buses but especially to yourself. Ask for help if you need it–such a simple thing but it does make a huge difference.
Know the bus will stop eventually and have something fun planned for the end of the busy time but also remember take a few minutes to each day to relax.
I could probably write more but I have to go tackle a few more items on the “have-to” list now. Please tell me how do you cope when you find yourself a passenger on the busy bus?
I’d let you inside and sheepishly admit:
Yes, I am still wearing pajamas even though I have on my tennis shoes without socks. You know just in case I had to run out and talk to the school bus driver instead of wave to her like I do every day.
I’d be secretly hoping you had allergies (or a cold) not because I want you to be sick but because I don’t want you to be able to smell the fact that I’ve been rather neglectful of the kitty boxes this week. Springtime scented kitty litter, by the way, stinks even before the kitties “play” in it. I’d probably go ahead and sheepishly admit my neglect to you while apologizing about the smell in the house and lighting a candle.
I’d direct you to one of the two seats in the house that offered you the best chance to rise after sitting without having a cat hair fashion statement on your behind.
I’d sneak off to quickly shut a couple of bedroom doors and try to do a quick wipe down and pick up of the main bathroom in case you needed to wander that way. I’d hope you wouldn’t notice the overflowing laundry in the hallway.
Would you like some coffee? It’s pretty much Folgers or forget it around here. There are a couple of hot tea options though. If you said, you’d simply like a glass of water, I’d pray the glass I grabbed out of the cabinet didn’t have the weird film on it. We think it is residue from my Emergen-C drinks but are not entirely sure. There’s really not anything exciting to offer in the food department. Some Trader Joe’s Oreo like cookies, perhaps? Hopefully, the tween didn’t return the empty box to the pantry and it still contains cookies.
How have you been? Me? I’ve been busy getting ready to hand over my PTA president duties. I have surprised myself by having mixed feelings about letting go but over all my feelings are of the WOOHOO! variety. We’ve tried to be outside a lot with the wonderfully, warm weather that started on Sunday but sadly, is supposed to end today. Snow flurries in May? Surely, they are kidding! The boys and I bought (too many) plants for the garden on Sunday. We all went fishing on Tuesday night after I came back from one of my final PTA meetings. We caught nothing but I did spy a brown bat in one of the trees and snapped a decent picture of it.
Yesterday, I went to Bath and Body Works and purchased 25 foam soaps as end of the year PTA gifts. The cashier said someone bought 65 soaps the day before. I certainly hope that was also for some sort of organization and not a stockpile! Personally, I won’t use their soap because it is all Anti-Bacterial. I wish they would make some “normal” soap. We also planted all our plants in the garden.
Today is going to be all about laundry and PTA paperwork as I’m still tying up loose ends and finish out my year.
Unless, you’d like to stay for lunch and give me an excuse to put it all off for another day? I’d love that!
I’ve hit the point in the school year where I am counting down and not just the days until my boys are done for the summer (23!!) but until I can let go of some responsibilities of my own! If you’ve ever served in any type of organization, you know that near the end of your term, the great handoff occurs. Notebooks to new homes! Hooray! While I am stepping away from being PTA president next year (two years is plenty long enough!), I am assuming a new duty as a board member at the council level by serving as corresponding secretary. The outgoing secretary presented me with her notebook at the last meeting (I think maybe she was counting down her time as well). This is what she gave me:
Here is what the inside looked like:
Honestly, there aren’t a huge number of responsibilities with the position but I needed something a bit more put together. I also know myself well enough to know the approximate number of times I’d likely lose folder or the contents would spill out during the course of my term. I won’t tell you the number but just know it’s a larger number than you are thinking right now. I saw no choice but to visit the office supply store and pick up a few items.
The first thing I did was to think of what information I would need to successfully serve in my position and start listing categories. My categories for this position were: Opening Thoughts (the corresponding secretary provides the opening thought at each meeting), Meeting Agendas and Minutes (always a good idea to have these for reference), Calendar, Budgets, Letters Received (the corresponding secretary keeps track of incoming letters so I thought it would be nice to have a records of it), Contacts (sometimes an old fashioned paper sheet of contact names comes in very handy!), and Miscellaneous. I made little piles of all the papers in the folder putting them in their proper “categories”.
Next, I wrote all the categories on the tabs and pulled out my second-favorite office supply (label maker is #1): my three-hole punch! Everything went into the new notebook in the proper category.
Finally all the papers were properly sorted and in a nice notebook that I could easily locate and add in my own work. It just needed one more minor detail, a cover page! Here is my completed notebook:
I know it probably won’t stay quite as nice and neat during the course of next year (oh, the cleanup I must do on my President’s notebooks!) but it does give me a clean, fresh start as well as something that will hopefully be helpful to the next in line for the job. I also want to point out that I don’t fault my predecesor over what she gave me as it was what she received. I just saw some room for improvements and so I made them. I’m curious; would you have been able to work out of a folder?