Dec 152013
 

snow on trees

Yesterday I got a day of relaxing, for the most part.  It was the first day in 2 weeks that I felt like I had nothing to do.  That was mainly due to the snow we got.  Early last week they were calling for a 30%-40% chance of snow.  Thursday of last week they said, “1 inch on Saturday”. Saturday morning I woke up to what was obviously more than 1 inch.

Our plans for they day involved two things, both in Big Town about 40 minutes away, once you factor in traffic to reach our destinations.  The first was a visit with our foster kids’ sibling at 10 a.m.  Then a 2 p.m. our church was having a function for kids and adults – the adult were able to drop off their kids for a few hours to go shopping or on a date, then come back later for a meal the kids had prepared.  Knowing driving was going to be slower than normal I started shoveling out the driveway at 7 a.m.  (Why me and not my husband?  Well, he was already making breakfast and I was NOT going to interrupt him doing that.  It involved fresh baked croissants.)  Though I didn’t take the time to actually measure it, I’m sure it was in the 6-12 inch range.  Maybe more like 8 or 10 inches.  About 1.5 hours later I had finished the driveway and most of the sidewalks when my husband came to relieve me.  It was my turn for breakfast.

snow on rose bushes and bird bathThe photo above was from last winter.  The snow we had this time was not quite as deep, though close to it.

My sweet husband had make breakfast, dressed the kids and allowed me 1.5 hours of mainly quiet thinking.  It was a pretty good start to the day.  When I came inside I called the other foster mom to make sure we were still on.  She obviously had a different level of comfort with driving in the snow than I did.  Besides that, they  hadn’t plowed the streets where she was and she hadn’t shoveled out her drive yet.  Okay, so that was to be rescheduled.  While on the phone with her a call from church came in, the activity was being reschedule for possibly Sunday, though “more details will be available during morning services.”  Now, my day away from home had turned into a day at home with no where we had to be.  I pulled out a book and sat down to eat my eggs, croissant, and hot tea with no rush to be anywhere or do anything.  After two weeks of this or that needing to be done right now, it was great.

In the end, the kids watched more t.v. than I normally allow, the sidewalks were shoveled a second time (it was still snowing when we did it the first time) while the kids played in the snow, I read some of a book and played a game on my new phone.  Lunch and supper plans were put together as I hadn’t planned anything at all except “Eat out” and “Eat at church” which were no longer valid options.  Well, we could have eaten out, but that seemed silly as we were going to be at home all day. Homemade tomato soup and corn bread made up a very delicious lunch, followed by homemade pizza for supper.  Having some staples in the house made what could have been a source of stress into a non-issue.

Carrot Bread and Winter Spice tea

So, what have I been doing these past few weeks to make things so busy?

  • Took advantage of the 2 days with temperatures above 50 degrees to paint the porch, with a day at the beginning to scrap off some loose paint.  I didn’t get all of the painting done, but made significant progress.  When spring comes I have just over half of the railing, the edges where the wall meets the floor and a second coat on the floor to finish.  Now that I know what I’m doing, it should just take a few hours.  My main goal was to get a coat of paint on the floor to cover exposed wood before it snowed.  It snowed the day after I finished.  🙂
  • Because of the Thanksgiving holiday I had a planning meeting rescheduled for the first week of Decemeber.  This meeting alone took up most of a morning.
  • I cleaned the house up from being gone for Thanksgiving and so we could have a last minute birthday party.  Several cakes were baked, furniture moved and a strategic survey and selection of toys for the playroom made.  What may work for a few kids won’t necessarily work when you add 10 more.
  • We had a last minute birthday party with kids from school.  The kids’ whole families were invited, which most accepted.  This made for 20-30 people coming over.  In years past I haven’t made quiet enough cake for everyone.  This year, I didn’t make that mistake.  After sending cake home with a few people, we were still eating leftover cake as dessert for a week.
  • Monday of last week was a snow day.  The change in schedule really threw one of my kids off, behavior wise, making it a not-so-fun day here at home.  It wasn’t as productive as I had hoped.
  • On Tuesday of this past week I invited several ladies, and their kids, over for breakfast of muffins and biscotti.  It turned out to be a nice morning – the kids played well together while the adults got to socialize.  Those I invited mostly didn’t know each other, so it was fun to see conversations taking place.  I want to do this again next month, focusing just on muffins as the food though.  It is easy to plan for, as muffins can be frozen then taken back out the night before.
  • Wednesday of last week we then had a morning of set up, followed by a morning of the actual event on Thursday. This is what the planning meeting the week before had been for.
  • Friday I took my car to the mechanic.  I’ll get it back the middle of next week.

Once I had the house picked up, I decided to take time each day to get it back to that state. A good habit to get into, don’t you thing?  At first this was easy.  After several days though, I started to notice little things slipping.  Sometimes it is a decision between sitting an listening to fun music with a kid in your lap and getting up to sweep the floors. Other times it was just because a bad habit showed itself (putting dishes on the counter instead of in the dishwasher, sitting an item down instead of putting it away immediately, etc.) My most productive part of the day is the mornings, which is when all the kids are at home wanting attention.  I think I need to work on the little thing called self-discipline to get up and do the housework in the afternoon.  Otherwise I’m just whining.  Hm.  Don’t I tell the kids to, “Stop whining and just do it.  You’ve wasted more time whining about it than it would have taken to do it.”  No, surely I don’t ever say anything like that.

DSCN8601

My meal plan, which I didn’t post, reflected all of this.  Pre-made meals in the freezer which were warmed up in the crock pot were the plan those days.  The day of the actual event I unashamedly told my husband we were eating out for lunch.  Subway has a good deal on $2 subs right now which I planned to take advantage of.  At first I felt guilty, then remembered that my husband has said in the past that he would rather do that than come home to a crazy household and a stressed wife.  We don’t order out often, so this hasn’t been a habit, I’ve tried instead to plan our meals ahead (pre-made meals in the freezer, using the crock pot, etc.), or else he may have a different opinion of this.

This week is a bit different than week’s past, for which I am thankful.  Without a car, or at least one to myself, I will not be able to go out as easily.  Yippee!  For this I really am thankful.  There are two things this week for which it may be nice to have had a car, but for which I can easily make other arrangements.  The meal plan for the week is already made and contains mainly ingredients we have here at home.  Stuff for salads can be picked up today after church, otherwise I don’t need anything.

Here are the items I plan to work on:

  1. Pick up the house – declutter by filling another box with items to get rid of, put misplaced items away, sweep several times
  2. Put out the rest of the Christmas decorations – right now we have stocking out and a holder for Christmas cards we receive.
  3. Finish Christmas shopping (after all Christmas is next week).
  4. Go through photos I’ve taken for the blog and see what I haven’t shared. (This is low on the list, and something I’ll be working on till it gets completed.)

That’s it.  I’m pretty sure other things will pop up, so I’m going to keep my “must do” list pretty short.  I’m very tempted to look through seeds I have and begin planning the garden for next year, but am trying to hold off on this till after Christmas.  February will find me seed starting, so it isn’t too far off.  Seems as though we just ended the season.  So much to do and so little time.  For now, I’m going to have some muffins (from the freezer) and coffee, admire the snow covered landscape outside and leave on time (i.e. early due to snow) for church.

Have a great day everyone.

DSCN8257

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