Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Menu Planning for After-School Sports

Baseball/softball season starts April 1, and with it comes a very rigid and simplified dinner schedule. I am fortunate to be home during the day, so if I am making a new dinner I start preparing it between 2:00 and 3:00. The kids get home at 3:00 and have to do their homework right away and then get dressed for the ball field. During the rest of the year, I make them go outside right away and do their homework later. But now they will have a few hours of fresh air and exercise to look forward to after dinner.

We eat at 4:00. My husband’s dish gets wrapped up for later. Those who are done with their homework can practice the piano in shifts. Practices and games are always at 6:00, but we have to be there at 5:30, and there usually is no bathroom available – which means we have to have thoroughly digested everything by 5:00!

Today I did my food shopping and planned out the rest of the week’s meals in my head. I got several packages of chicken legs, and will make as many today as I can fit in my oven! That means we can have leftovers on Wed. I also got a family pack of sausages, which are an easy entrĂ©e to make for Thurs., leaving enough leftovers for Sat. For Friday I got flounder fillets for the kids and stuffed flounder for me and Kevin.

We generally don’t get home until after 8:00, which during the rest of the year is the children’s official bedtime. They have a quick dessert and make the next day’s lunches while everyone takes turns in the showers – luckily I have two of those. I have everyone in bed by 9:00.

Even though there might be housework, such as a dirty floor and laundry, to do after 9:00, I leave it until the morning. Otherwise I will get all revved up and be unable to sleep. Evening hours are mine for writing, reading, and watching television with my husband.

Other self-imposed rules that keep me sane during this season:
* Big school projects MUST be completed on the weekend – I have no patience for last-minute rushes to meet deadlines.
* Social commitments are kept to a minimum.
* I try to get all errands done in the morning so the baby can get a good nap in.
* Sunday is an absolute day of rest and relaxation. After Church, the only plans we make are with extended family for afternoon dinners.


Lisa@UnexpectedJourney said...

Your life sounds just like mine during softball/baseball season! :)
One must be organized and plan ahead!

Barb, sfo said...

Great idea on the planning-ahead. I have to do that myself; baseball starts for Little Brother in 2 weeks, and softball for Middle Sister has already begun (but I don't yet have her game schedule). I need to sit down and come up with some easy meals for game/practice days.