I am relearning the value of meal planning and organizing my grocery list.
After a few hectic weeks, lots of frustration and a constantly disorganized home, I had to face reality and get back to the basics. I got myself a new inspiring cook book called Eating Forward by local Albertan Sandi Richard and pulled out my grocery list and meal planner. in this book Sandi explains how planning your meals is in fact a way to serenity in ones life. I agree. She advocates that eating together as a family can restore good health, financial balance and happiness.
What I am loving about this book, is it has easy to follow recipes, shopping lists and a well rounded philosophy.
In the back of the book, it has a shopping list for the evening dinners that is easy to put on my grocery list. I fill in the rest for lunches, snacks and household cleaners as needed. After a much simplified grocery shop, we are set for the week. I enter the week with a plan knowing that each day will not be faced with the dreaded, "what am I going to make tonight?"
Each night we pull out the cook book and get busy together as a family.
The meals include not only the main course, but a nutritious compliment of sides, so you can prepare a whole meal. The kids pick one part each to prepare and are happy to be part of the project. They chop, mix and measure and enjoy the time to create. As we get familiar with the recipes and the individual needs of each one, I think we will become better at pulling these meals together. So far we have had some home runs and a few that are borderline. My kids still are at the phase where they prefer their foods separate rather than mixed up.
We are two weeks in, and I am already feeling the tides shifting.
The order in my home is restored and I am feeling like captain of this ship. I have had the brilliant opportunity once again to witness how wonderful the Meal Planning and Grocery List pad I created years ago really does work at any level you are at. This time I needed some new inspiration and have found it in Sandi's cookbook. I needed someone else to take the reigns for a while as my creativity for meals was stuck on repeat.
Now I am finding that as this area of my life has been relieved, my creativity is returning for other areas.
For example, this morning for Halloween, I made some ghoulish Zombie fingers. Made with cheesy biscuits and pumpkin seeds for fingernails, I rolled the dough into long ghoulish fingers. I felt happy knowing I could engage once again at this funny level and bring joy to my family first thing in the morning.
We protect Sunday's for time withfamily. It is so easy to say "yes" to outside requests on Sunday. Saying "no" became a necessity when my husband was working six days a week to run our own business and we were down to one income. It took me years to get out of my old working routine, with the weekend starting on Friday, and going until the end of Sunday.
I continued to plan my time the same way I did well into our marriage, and long after it was working.
I resented my husband working so much and wanted to retain the patterns that had long suited me.
It turned out that having my husband's schedule being what it was, was a great teacher. It forced me to realize we only had a small amount of time together as a whole family and to make the most of it. This soon rose to the top of my priority list and I was starting to make decisions that supported it.
I was learning how to say"no" in the interest of my family's health and my well being as well.
Some may look in on my life and say "poor Kim, has so little family time." On the contrary, we have learned to make the most of the time we do have together. It is valued time and not easily squandered on other activities and commitments. We think twice when making commitments and have learned to put a high value on our time together.
We have become aware that connection as a family is very important, something to be protected and thus do not easily take it for granted.
We chose the life of owning our own business, living on one income and having one parent home to raise our children and this is how we have made the best of a demanding schedule, with our peace of mind in tact. We protect Sunday's to make the most of our time together. It feels like a return to the biblical day of rest in times gone by.
Our home becomes our oasis and the place we choose to connect. Then as the week approaches we are confident knowing our spirits, hearts and bodies are ready for another full week ahead.
Protecting Sunday's has been one more lesson on the journey to being unbusy on purpose.
Getting unbusy on purpose has been a process. I'm here to share some of what I have learned and the tales of its making.
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