This weeks meal plan is a little heartier because my husband will be home more. He ended up not being home as much last week as expected so I have some roll-over meals. The meals I made last week and enjoyed were put into a board on Pinterest so you can always go check those out. I am leaving a link to each meal so just click on the name, they are also on Pinterest.
I have really been trying to make healthier meals that the family will eat. I have succeeded in making healthier meals but now I need to try to make the meals more budget friendly. I used to make real simple or not so healthy meals. Why does healthy food have to cost so much?! I told my family we need to either stop eating fresh produce or stop eating meat. I'm thinking I will try to cut down on the meats and find less expensive protein sources. As you will notice, we also don't like eating the same meal without quite a bit of time in between, other than left overs anyway.
-Chicken & rice soup*
-Gnocchi, corn, and arugula in a cream sauce along with diced ham
-Mexican cornbread casserole
-Pork chops marinated in pickle juice(a friend said it was awesome), roasted potatoes, roasted carrots
-Cheesy broccoli, chicken, and rice
-Soft pretzels with cheese sauce*
*meals that are rolled over from last week
Today I am going to give some encouragement to those that homeschool mostly on their own. I do homeschooling and most of the parenting on my own in our house. I am totally not complaining because it is mostly my choice and that is what works for our family. My husband works long hours sometimes and does quite a bit of traveling so we see him the most on the weekends. Then on the weekends we need to make sure he gets time for him so work doesn’t burn him out, I mean, we play all week long while he is at work, it’s only fair. My husband loves our kids but he doesn’t really interact with them much until they can pretty much hold a small conversation or play a physical game. He will spend a few minutes with the little ones at a time but then moves on to something else, he doesn’t have the patience to sit and watch a little one play. My husband has gotten better with each kid though, but I still have trouble getting out of the house without the little one. Whenever I see the pictures saying that dads are another parent not a babysitter I have to giggle a little. In our house dad would be considered a babysitter since he is hardly ever home alone with the kids. Our system may not work for a lot of other families, but it’s what works for us. I can homeschool and spend my day how I want at the moment and he can do what he wants with most of his free time.
It can be hard, draining, tiresome, and lonely sometimes being the parent that does most of the interaction with your kids. Yet on the flip side it is very rewarding to be able to spend everyday with these little people and watching them grow. Parker and I just the other day were sitting in Ayden’s room watching him play and you could just see his mind working, I love those moments. It is those moments we need to cherish when we are having exhausting days when it seems like nothing is going right. When those tough and exhausting times come I take a step back, forget about the chores that need to be done and find something fun to do. If something is driving me crazy then it means I am doing too much or expecting too much from myself or the kids. There are times where I start getting aggravated at the kids and I step away and figure out what I need to change to make things go smoother.
You also need to take time for yourself, no matter how much you have on your plate. Time for yourself could be as little as 5 minutes or as long as you want. Sometimes you just need to ignore the kids and the noise and stare at Facebook on your phone for a little while. Don’t make yourself feel bad if it happens. Get your littles in a secure and safe area, get your bigger kids on something that will keep them busy, and do something that you enjoy doing. We are always doing something that someone else enjoys, take a little time to do something you enjoy. My me time is usually spent writing a blog, playing a game on my phone or iPad, or watching an adult show. Don’t forget, your chores can always be done another time, your sanity is more important!
I’m writing this today because my husband has been gone for a week. He was only supposed to be gone 5 days then it just kept getting pushed further a day at time. He should be home tomorrow for a night then gone again for what should only be one night. If I relied on him to take care of the kids on the weekends or after a normal work day this travel stuff would drive me crazy. Yet instead it is sort of like a mini vacation because I don’t have to make sure the house is as clean or cook as many dinners. There is more time for me and more time to play with the kids.
This week has been a pretty busy week for us. We usually don’t have much going on out of the norm, but we had some fun activities this week.
Sunday was Parker’s birthday. My oldest is now 10, hard to believe. Saturday night we had movie night and watched Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You. Sunday morning Delilah and I set up balloons at Parker’s door and set up a camera to capture the excitement. We had to wait quite some time because Parker loves to sleep. While we waited we made green velvet cupcakes and tried to put Ayden down for a nap about 3 times. Ayden did not want to nap that day I guess, but ended up falling asleep, snuggling mommy, just in time for us to finish up the orange flavored frosting for the cupcakes. We finally convinced Parker to come out of his room but he slowly opened his door and was behind the door so we didn’t get to see his reaction to the balloons. Per Parker’s request I made coconut shrimp and chicken along with fried rice for dinner. Parker loves shrimp but not all the family members can have it or like it.
Very early Monday morning my husband went out of town on a business trip for the whole week. My husband travels often for work. When he is gone it is like a mini vacation for the kids and I because I don’t have to cook as often, or clean, but the house is usually tidy when he gets back. I usually spend a lot more time playing with the kids when he is gone, but we usually end up staying up too late because we have fun after Ayden goes to bed so the kids have my attention better. This week there has been a lot of playing ROBLOX Pokémon: Brick Bronze and watching the Pokémon show. Monday was also Martin Luther King Jr Day. We talked a little about who he was and what he stood for, which the kids already know a lot on the slave and segregation topics. I printed off some Martin Luther King Jr word searches and put them on the dining table where everyone can see them. At their leisure the kids will look at the sheets and work on them if interested. I forgot to save the link to the word searches so if I figure it out then I will put them on Pinterest for you.
Tuesday was a very fun and exciting day. For the afternoon we went to an arcade and pizza place to celebrate Parker’s birthday. Parker invited a couple of friends to go along with us to make it his birthday party. We ate pizza and cupcakes and played lots of arcade games. Ayden even had so much fun he fell asleep. After spending about 3.5 hrs there we left and ended up taking the friends back to our house. There the kids played video games together on the WiiU. It ended up being a very fun day for all.
Wednesday I tried something different with my grocery pick up. I usually go pick up the groceries in the late afternoon, it worked best for naps and different times people wake up. This day I wanted to try something new. I got up early, before Ayden, showered and was ready for the day. We picked up the groceries before Ayden’s typical snack and nap time. Since we don’t have to get out of the car I don’t have to make sure the kids are ready for the day, they just have to have some sort of clothing on and jump in the car. The getting everyone out of bed and making sure Ayden isn’t ready for a nap before my scheduled pick up time can be tricky.
Thursday we spent some of the day cleaning up the first level of the house a little because I was hosting our homeschool groups Mom’s Night. I also made some yummy banana peanut butter oatmeal muffins. I have been meaning to make those for the longest time but finally did it so I would have a snack for the meeting, now we have a yummy snack for the week. In the evening some moms from our homeschool group came over and talked about whatever came up. My older kids stayed upstairs and played on their computers while Ayden played downstairs with the moms. Roxy, our energetic chocolate lab, loved having company. She kept trying to get the ladies to pet her constantly. There were also a couple of new babies here and I think Roxy was jealous they were getting all the attention.
This morning, Friday, I got up and ready because we were supposed to go to our homeschool group. Neither kid really wanted to go so we are just staying home today. It becomes no fun for any of us if the kids aren't having fun and don’t want to be there. The kids don’t really enjoy the structured homeschool group days. When they are with their friends they would much rather play games and chat. Our old homeschool group in Michigan met up for game days and park days so lesson days aren’t what they are used to or enjoy. Since I’m up and ready for the day I may get something done today, we shall see. So far I am just getting this typed out on my iPad so I can set up the post on my computer when Ayden goes for a nap.
Throughout the week I have been slowly organizing our new living room shelf unit. It will have all of the learning materials, crafty stuff, card games, puzzles, writing stuff, coloring stuff, etc. I can’t wait to unpack more and see what I can find. We have been looking for the paints and brushes since we moved into the house, but can’t seem to find them. Delilah really wants to paint again, my little artist.
Well, there is a glimpse of the fun out of the norm that we had this past week. Stay tuned for next weeks fun happenings!
Take a step into the life of Auer (pronounced like our) homeschool. We are a family that likes to learn through life experiences, pretty much unschooling. We would like to share our experiences so maybe we can make a difference in the lives of others.