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 entrée 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.