Thursday, December 11, 2014

When You Just Want To Scream At Your Crazy Life, Part 2

Trouble shoot and problem solve.
That's the name of the game. Seriously. Did you read Part 1? We're talking about taking the crazy out of your life and figuring out how to get things more calm and in control!
Want more Jesus in your home? Add Him to your lessons.
Need more character training? Search for ways to add more to your day.
Tired of workbooks after workbooks? Brainstorm and search Pinterest for science experiments, hands on math, educational games, and more!
I know this might seem like a "duh", but I was seriously so overwhelmed that I just couldn't think straight. It wasn't until I took some time off before these things started coming together.
One more area that I think a lot of moms- especially homeschooling moms- struggle with is the house.
I use to be quite the homemaker. At least I thought so. Okay, at least I tried. But over the years I became lazy. I used my kids as an excuse. You know, because they should know how to do this stuff. And YES, they should, but I should probably help more.... and do other areas that they aren't doing.
For this, I sat down and came up with a Daily Responsibility List. And the hubby and I even added our names to the list. Each day there are daily responsibilities that are needed to be taken care of- unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the bathroom, doing the trash, kitchen cleanup, etc.... Now, instead of it being "chore related", it is now considered a responsibility of whoever claimed that particular responsibility on that particular day. One day Faith might be in charge of the dishwasher unloading, another day I might be, and so on... Now, it use to be a "chore" and the kids would get paid an "allowance or commission", now, however, we've changed even that (a future post, maybe?). What this does, though, is that there is actually MORE things that aren't "claimed as a chore" for me to make sure gets done- rather it's assigning it to a child or taking care of it myself. Laundry is no longer a "chore" or a responsibility, but it has to be done... daily. Dusting is no longer a chore.... FlyLady may become a really good friend of mine as I take my house back.
Grocery shopping and nutrition was an area of stress, too, so once again I turned to Pinterest and the web for frugal meals... crockpot meals... and realized that I wanted to bless my family with better breakfast options than what had (sadly) became the norm. Yes, it would require a little more prep work- baking biscuits, bread, muffins, assembling breakfast burritos, etc... as well as making myself more available in the mornings for French toast or pancakes. But it's an area that I felt was important and had neglected.
It's time to get my priorities back in line and have my actions reflect them!
In effort to be more time efficient, I've been working at a master meal plan list. A list of breakfast, lunch, and dinners that I can turn to when it's time to work on the weekly meal plan. I'm focusing on cost and nutrition. What is the cheapest I can get my grocery bill to and how can I keep it 80% healthy? We're pretty busy folks, so it has to be simple, too! Thank goodness there is this wonderful kitchen appliance called a CROCKPOT!!!!
Here lately some of our lunches have been macaroni and cheese (Annie's is a good brand if you don't want to make it your own) with frozen sweet peas. Baked potatoes are cost effective and can be paired with a can of chili beans, leftover chili, cheese and sour cream, a side salad, or whatever. Leftovers are good. Bean and cheese burritos, homemade lunchables, sandwiches on homemade bread are excellent options as well. Pair them with some fruit or some veggies and you have a pretty decent lunch.
Breakfast can be made cheap and simple with eggs and oatmeal. Eggs and toast. Eggs and bacon. Eggs and fruit. Oatmeal and yogurt. Oatmeal and fruit. Throw in some make ahead breakfast burritos or biscuits into the freezer (for those crazy days!) and you've got a healthy breakfast you can feel good feeding your people about! French toast or pancakes can be a special treat for when you have a little extra time in the mornings- or you want to teach a homemaking skill to a child! Seriously, with Pinterest out there, there is no reason we need to feed our kids a cold breakfast when you can find breakfast casseroles and freezer goods for ANYTHING! Bless your family with healthy, nutritious, warm start to their day.
Dinners can be simple with beans and rice- add a veggie.  Drumsticks are cheap. Again, check CROCKPOT RECIPES because there are a TON out there and will help with your insanity level. Put dinner on at the start of the day and then turn your focus over to teaching your children and being present in the moment! Wa-la! Dinner done!
With a little pre-planning, you can also utilize ingredients to stretch them. Normally, we buy a family pack of chicken breasts for ONE meal, but check this out.
Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings, Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Black bean and corn quesadillas for example are great.... I don't even add brown sugar to the quesadillas and they are a huge hit at my house. Make your own tortilla shells and use dried black beans. Use part of cooked black beans for the quesadillas and then part for the soup. Plus, one family package of chicken breasts can be used for the dumplings and the soup! SAVINGS!!! 
So, again, when life feels out of control, don't be afraid to sit back and figure things out! A little time out and a little problem solving can save you time and heartache! It can renew your spirit and make you eager to embrace the changes!

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