Monday, March 20, 2017

Keepers at Home & Menu Monday: Catching Up

I had this post almost ready to go live last week and then - wham - Migraine.  Ugh.  The symptoms lasted 2 whole days, no joking.  Then, posting "Menu Monday" on a Wednesday just seemed weird! 

I had promised on the Friday before to share my household-in-my-absence plan.  I have to admit, I am relieved that not only is dad doing well as he waits for surgery, but this also allows me more time to prep the family and household.  I'm fully aware prep time is not always a luxury.

How I am preparing

I feel blessed to at least know.  To have time to prepare, make lists and give pep-talks.  Brooke is 14, Ashley is 18 and both have shadowed me many times over the years.  Brenden, 16, will help but he works part-time and hubby will be at work during the days.  Yet, shadowing vs. doing it on your own are two very different things.  So I am gearing up to make it as easy on them as possible:
  • Homeschooling plans are situated and, with the extra wait time, we should actually finish most of our studies for the year early.  What little they will have left can be managed well in my absence.
  • I am updating my grocery list outline to show which items I get at Costco each month so the kids know where to go for those things.  They can watch ads to determine grocery store buys.  I will be sure they know how to do this as well.  There dad will go with them, but the girls will be in charge of the list (hubby's request!).
  • I am updating my chore check-list to show frequency of the various household duties so they can be sure to stay on top of those.
  • Since they are new at managing meals on their own I think I am going to try this great idea I found on Pinterest for a Recipe Bank.  It will boost their confidence in meal planning with something so easy to follow.  I will load it with easy recipes they are familiar with and leave room for them to experiment some as well.
  • I will throw together a basic daily over-view of routines to give them an idea of the order of business I usually operate... but I will encourage them to re-order where it works better for them to do so.

What happens when mom can't even advise?

Thankfully, I will be a phone call away.  However, I have experienced surgeries and situations of my own in the past where I was not able to even advise and the biggest piece of advice I can offer:  LET GO!  As long as they don't burn the house down or hurt each other or themselves, all is OK.  Household running will NOT be done the way you usually do it, and that is OK.  It will be done the way they can do it and that is plenty good enough!  Remember to compliment their efforts regularly when you get a chance. 

Words are worth so much...

Don't forget, when mom can't be in charge: They will be struggling too.  Kids, dad, all of them - they are use to you being the rudder which turns the mighty ship of Home.  Everyone will struggle in their own way in your absence and the best way to help them? Encouragement.  Even if you hear that Billy vacuumed without moving furniture or Sally used your potato masher to stir ground beef... see what they ARE doing and compliment and encourage them in it.  This will give them confidence and peace of mind as they learn to make do without your help for a season.

There may be bickering at times.  Hubby may be irritable.  When you are miles away, you may be the source of unloading all of the at-home troubles through the muffled extension of a telephone.  Close your eyes, say a prayer, and remember: they are struggling and emotions will often feed their sentiments.  Be the calm they need.  Reassure (even when you want to cry or scream!).  Point them heavenward.  No matter how bad it seems through that telephone extension, I promise, it will all settle down and everyone will become stronger through it.

This isn't my first rodeo, but it may be my longest without any of my little family unit around me.  Peace in Jesus will get us all through and even though I am going to miss my kiddos and hubby for the time I am gone, and even though I will be back east under less-then-desirable circumstances... I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve and care for the man that cared for and raised me.

Food from last 2 weeks...

Not garden food!  Remember those pictures a few weeks ago of us having lunch on the deck?  Not the week before last... and now it is raining!  The snow was beautiful though.  Spring will be here soon enough.

Hamburger salad.  I threw avocados on mine because I LOVE avocado!  It is a quick, easy fix: lettuce, hamburger fried and crumbled, tomato, shredded cheese, cucumber and ranch dressing.  Delishish!

 Dressing up a quick meal of Chicken and Cheese Chimichangas from Costco.


Mexi-Chicken Salad (I cooked in a pan instead of a slow-cooker as per link).

A special St. Patrick's Day breakfast!

Menu for this week...

- cereal and blueberries
- eggs
- fresh bread with butter and jam

hubby: sausage and rice
me and kids: leftovers, grilled sandwiches, grilled tuna sandwiches, mac-n-cheese


Thin-cut Steak with Sauteed Garlic and Onion, Beef and Onion Boiled Red Potatoes and Side Salad
Happy 1st Day of Spring!


Roast Sage Chicken Breast, Mashed Potato, Green Beans
Butter a baking pan, throw in boneless skinless chicken breast, put a small pad of butter/margarine on top of each breast, sprinkle with powders: onion, garlic, sage and a dash of celery salt.  Roast in oven on 375 for 45-75 minutes.  You can even add washed whole potatoes to the pan to roast along with the chicken!  Crazy easy.  

Avocado Burgers and Sun Chips
Once burger is cooked, melt some cheddar cheese, add sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato and miracle whip.  It's my husband's new favorite way to have a burger!

Pot Pie


In thought!
It's is grocery shopping day.  I will probably grab something quick.
What are you doing and cooking this week?



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