Thursday, July 30, 2009

Swiss Chard

I made Swiss Chard edible tonight. I cut it up, added it to some homemade marinara sauce. I boiled it to the point that I am sure all nutrients were lost. I then poured the sauce over polenta and baked it for 20 minutes with Parmesan on top. It tasted great!

What a great week!!

Tonight will be the last night of having one child. Tomorrow we make the 2 hour trip to Green Bay to pick up her siblings and resume with life as usual.

I had a great time with my daughter this week. One on one time with her has been priceless. Monday I had to work, so Maeghan spent the day with a friend. Tuesday we played mini golf together, went to the park, went to vet (she loved it) and had lunch together. Wednesday was spent at home. We played in the pool together, decorated the patio with sidewalk chalk and played several games of SORRY. Thursday, she accompanied me to meet a friend for coffee, she helped me deliver Meals on Wheels, we had lunch with her dad and went to the Milwaukee Public Museum. Tomorrow we are going to leave early for Green Bay and spend the day at Bay Beach. Bay Beach is an amusement park that has kiddie rides for .25 cents per ride. The place is a frugal moms heaven! Whew! What a week. We did not go to a movie as planned, for 3 reasons. One, the day we had planned on going was beautiful, nobody should have been allowed to sit inside all day on that particular day. Two, my other kids want to go to both movies that were being considered. Finally, going to a movie is not very frugal, especially when you consider that I had no interest in the movies that were in the running.

A couple of updates. We received a postcard from Germany today. Our total is now 75. I hope we get some more next week. We had started out so strong this summer, things have really slowed down in recent weeks.

I tried my household chore schedule this week. If I can stick to it, my life will be easier. One load of laundry a day took very little time to fold and put away. I didn't feel helpless while cleaning in my designated areas (I even had time to do yard work because I was organized). I went to the grocery store on Wednesday with a list and coupons and only had to spend $50.00 because I had a meal plan. I am not going to get to excited about all this though, it is not like this is the first time I have tried to do something like this. The difference this time is I have a written schedule. That could make all the difference.

One final thought. Please keep a very special child in your thoughts. For those of you who pray, your prayers. I recently found out that a childhood friend of mine has a daughter with a rare cancer. Her mother told me that she feels comfort knowing that people all over the world are praying for her. I keep her in my thoughts often.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Very grateful

My blog this evening is going to be brief. I just want to take a moment to say how truly grateful I am to have 3 healthy, happy and wonderful children. Recent events have forced me to take a close look at how lucky I really am. First of all, 2 of my kids being gone, has made me realize how much I love my crazy, loud and unpredictable life. I wouldn't have things any other way.

Second, in recent months I have had several friends and acquaintances being forced to deal with the untimely illness of a child. It has made me appreciate my own children more and the fact that we have been so lucky for so many years. I am truly grateful.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time to organize my household chores!

I have a confession to make. I am unable to get my household chores organized. This is a life long inadequacy of mine. I try to get it together, but something always distracts me and I inevitably leave a chore 50% done only to start another one. I have been trying to come up with a way to get organized before my kids go back to school. I am choosing September 1st as my New Year because the start of the school year has always felt like a better time to start resolutions.

Because laundry is forever piling up in my house, this is the first thing I am going to tackle. Instead of trying to do all the laundry once or twice a week, I am going to do one load a day.

Monday - Whites
Wednesday - Darks
Thursday - Towels
Friday - Sheets
Saturday and Sunday- No Laundry Days!!

Next thing to tackle, cleaning the house. I have a 2000 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house. I think it is time that I deep clean one room a day, while doing a quick clean up of the other rooms everyday. Three of the bedrooms belong to the kids. These rooms are not my responsibility, my kids need to keep their rooms clean. I like them to keep them presentable. I try not to expect perfection, after all, these rooms are their personal space. I do insist they make the beds every day, I can't stand an unmade bed. One of the bathrooms also belong to them. It is their responsibility to clean their bathroom. So, that leaves me with 4 rooms in the house that I do not have to worry about.

Monday - Master Bedroom and Bath
Tuesday - Kitchen and Laundry Room
Wednesday - Living Room and Dining Room
Thursday - Family Room and Half Bath
Friday - Quick Clean Up of Entire House
Saturday and Sunday - Maintain

Bill payment will take place on the 15th and last day of each month. These are the days that my husband gets paid. It makes sense that I pay bills only twice a month with his pay schedule. This is a routine that I have been consistent with for many years.

Grocery shopping. Oh, this is a problem for me. I really hate grocery shopping. I don't exactly have a problem with going to the store and picking out the food. It is the unloading of the groceries that gets to me. I have a tendency to put off this errand for days, even weeks to avoid the inevitable unloading that I loath. Which of course only means that I have more to unload when I finally give in. My plan with this resolution of mine is to go to the store once a week, Wednesdays. I am choosing Wednesday because that day is double coupons at our local grocery store. Since Wednesday will be grocery day, Tuesday will become my meal planning day.

I will not have a specific errand day. I usually have errands to run daily, to try to set a day aside for that is unrealistic. It would be nice if that was possible of course, better for environment and better for our wallet. Maybe, next year.

Finally, I am going to plan on not doing chores on Sunday. I am not a religious person, so I am not setting Sunday aside for religious reasons. But, I do like the religious concept of a day of rest, it is a great idea which has been forgotten about in this fast paced society that we live in. Is it really so bad to have one day set aside for family, a big meal and relaxation? I don't think so and I think my family will be stronger for it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We dropped the kids off at camp today. Yesterday I talked about my fear of something happening to one of my kids. Well, something happened while I was there.

My son saw something in the pond, he walked over to the pond and unknowingly stirred up a wasp nest. He of course walked away without a sting. His 7 year old sister was the first to walk over the angry wasps and got stung twice. My 10 year old daughter who was actually no where near the nest got stung 6 times!! My husband got stung 3 times and I got stung 2 times. My second sting occurred while trying to wrangle a dead wasp out of my daughter's hair. That's right, I got stung by a dead wasp.

It was chaos, screaming children, angry wasps, confused parents and a nurse station busy checking in medications for this week's campers. I wanted to take my children and go home at that point. But, when my daughter calmed down, she was rational. She asked me to take her to her cabin and requested that her father, sister and I go home. Which is what we did.

We left camp at 4:00 pm and at 7:15 I got a call from the nurse at camp. She told me that Hannah is having a fantastic time and that she wanted me to know her stings were much better. I love that kid!! She is forever the optimist. I looked online at the photos the camp is posting daily and it does in fact appear that my kids are having a great time at camp.

One last thing to mention. Ironically, when my son took the Camp Director to the location of the wasp nest he upset, he found a four leaf clover. He has all the luck!