Changing of the Holiday plans

This has been a rough month around the house.  Just about everyone has had a cold for the past a month.  Last week included an ER trip with Abby for a severe case of croup.  According to the ER doctor, croup has been really bad this year.  They are seeing 10 and 11 year olds coming into the ER.  My neighbor told me one of his friends, an adult doctor, even was in the ER with croup.  So we aren’t the only ones dealing with illness.

I can only guess my two at the community college brought it into the house.  I just wish it would leave!  Unfortunately, it has boomeranged back to me.  I thought I had dodged the bullet about week ago, but last night at 2 AM it hit me full force: sore throat, stuffy head and cough.  I have yet to figure out why illnesses most often hit in the middle of the night, at least for my family.

Today was spent mostly hunkered down at home.  Richard took the boys up to church to deliver the Boy Scout popcorn that had been ordered last month.  Everyone else was too sick to go.  I refuse to bring people that are hacking up lungs to church, myself included.  Once Richard was home, I headed back to bed.  Six hours later I was up and still feeling horrible, just not as horrible.

This illness has also forced a change in our Thanksgiving plans.  We were going to Virginia to spend the day with my mom.  However, she has severe COPD and I don’t want to risk her getting this cold.  I am afraid that we could lose her if she was to come down with it, as bad is has been for our family.

I have tracked a pattern for my family, at least for at least the past 5 years. The week of Thanksgiving seems to be peak time for the family to be ill.  We often have had to change plans because one or more of the children have been ill. I won’t subject anyone to sick children, although I have been told to bring them anyway a few times. I feel that no one enjoys the day.  The sick child because they aren’t home, Richard and I because we will be dealing with sick, cranky children that just want to be home, or the others at the dinner worried about becoming ill.  So we choose to stay home and it frustrates some people.

Since I keep a stocked pantry, it won’t be an issue to pull together a Thanksgiving dinner.  I have already bought three turkeys were sale (39 cents a pound!!). I can’t beat a 24 pound turkey for under $10.  Tomorrow we will take a bird out and start the defrost process.  Come Thursday morning it will be defrosted and ready to go into the oven.  I already have the rest of the fixings for the dinner, all we will have to do is put together the side dishes.

We will miss visiting with my mom and brother, but we still have a lot for which we are thankful. Hopefully everyone will be well by Christmas so we can spend some time with her then.

A little of this and a little of that

The Big Fall Clean, is just about done. We only have the garage to get done.  And honestly unless we have a warm day, it will probably wait until the Big SPRING Clean.  I don’t like to spend a lot of time in the cold. 

I have been keeping on the children to make sure the rooms stay organized.  I am happy to say that they are doing great and are at the point where a once a walk through is all I need to do.  My youngest three right now are the best cleaners.  They hop right up when I tell them their room needs to be straightened up and they get it done.  They will do what ever I tell them needs to be done, when I tell them.  I started a reward system  and they love it.  They get to pick a coin out of the spare change jar for each job they do.  Right now they are looking for things to do to get “paid,”  I often have to tell them the work is done.

With the house and children basically under control, it is time for me to take a look inward and get MYSELF back under control.  I need to make sure I am getting enough rest and eating better.  Over the past 5 years I began going to bed at 2 AM and getting up 6 AM, which is leaving me very tired.  My plan for the next month is to make sure I am in bed by midnight each night.  My goal for January 1st is to be in bed by 11PM every night.

I also fell off the menu planning bandwagon about a year ago because our family life was so unpredictable.  I began to wing it for dinners.  We started to rely on the “quick” things in the freezer or a quick trip to pick up a couple of pizzas.  The rest of the meals were hit or miss too.  Whatever we had in the house was up for grabs.  Shopping was does haphazardly so we often ran out of things like cereal or waffles.

I decided to restart menu planning.  I have decided that breakfasts and lunches will be quick and easy to prepare.  Breakfasts will consist of cereals, waffles and occasionally eggs. Lunches will be dinner leftovers, sandwiches, and sometimes a “treat” like Spaghetti O’s.

Today my goal was get the dinner menus planned for the rest of the year.  I searched the web and found an Excel template by Vertex.  Two hours later the menus are complete!  A load has been removed from my shoulders and I know what we will be having for dinner for the next six weeks. 

If I am not at home, then Richard can check the menu plan and won’t have to figure out what is for dinner.  Plus he will know we have the food in the pantry and freezer for these meals.  In addition to Richard, I have at least three children who are trained in the kitchen, so they could jump in and take over so it won’t all fall on Richard.

I also am going to make sure we keep enough fresh fruit and vegetables in the house.  When I was checking the produce drawers I saw we had 10 apples, a head of lettuce and two cucumbers.  My children can go through all of that in one day.  I prefer fruits snacks over cookies any day.

I have my shopping done so we are ready to go!   Here is link to my menu plan for rest of November and the link to menu plan for December.