Friday, July 14, 2006

Dinner is Served

Wow, two posts in one day.

I was looking back over my old posts and remembered my first one. I was bemoaning the frequent chore of putting food on my family's table. Don't get me wrong. I love my family and want to provide well for them. I also enjoy cooking and I love good fresh food. I just get tired of the work involved in getting to the "fixing it" part. I have found a solution to the most detestable parts of that process which is even better than the book previously mentioned. It's called Thyme for Dinner. A wonderful new concept in providing dinner for your family. I went with a friend the other night to create 12 large dishes to serve my family this month. I can't remember when an hour and half of my time has saved so much time and headache!!

According to the description on their website Thyme for Dinner has prepped 13 meals (of which you can choose 8 or 12) ready for you to show up and prepare in their commercial kitchen.

We arrived at 7:30 to 6 stations already prepped with everything I needed to make 12 main dishes. Such wonderful food as BBQ pork, Salmon with spinach, feta, and sundried tomatoes, Bourbon Chicken, and Pesto Artichoke Chicken Pizza. Enough to feed my family with plenty of leftovers. I didn't have to plan for, shop for, measure or chop a thing. And, best of all, they did all the clean up. I got to go home with a cooler full of wonderful things to keep in my freezer, ready for a delicious meal. I'm a complete convert and I haven't even eaten any of it yet!

Now I just wish I had thought of this idea first. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to try this. This particular company has 6 or 7 locations and I know there are similar concepts out there. I'd highly recommend finding and trying one near you. I'll let you know later how delicious it really turns out to be. Until then, feel free to call me at about 5:30 because now I'll have the time to talk!


Oh help us all!! Leggings are now back according to the store ads I am seeing for fall. I also noticed that "skinny leg" jeans are "in style". Is there anything new in the fashion world? Why, oh why, are we recycling 80's Madonna looks in 2006? Slouchy shirts with belts, tunic tops, granny boots, the list goes on. Next thing you know they'll be touting that we all need to wear jelly bracelets from wrist to elbow and tying our hair up with bandanas again. Do you think sky high bangs with a can of hairspray will make a reappearance?

I gave up trying to find any new shorts this year. They all seemed to be the long Bermuda style. I'm not sure who those look good on but its definitely not me. Maybe next year fashion will morph back to something reasonable. Not all the way back up to peek-a-boo cracks or cheeks but somewhere halfway isn't too much to ask is it?

I like to look stylish and "put together". I try to look my age. You know, not like my mother and not like the high school/college set. However, as I look back at my old pictures, those styles weren't so great on me when they were first popular in the 80's so I feel pretty certain they won't look great 20 years and 3 kids later. What is a girl in desperate need of a wardrobe to do?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm not a clean freak, REALLY!

I'm going to share one of my frequent complaints. How in the world do you impress into your children the joy of a clean living space? You see, when the youngest in the family is a 17-month old who is constantly looking for new ways to get into trouble, the mess is a major hazard!
I've tried so many different techniques. Dire punishment for a room that is not made tidy within x amount of time. A reward for a room made tidy in x amount of time. Loss of toys/priviledges/timely dinner if room is not tidy. "Don't you know that it is much easier if you put things away when you are done with them instead of waiting until the piles are so big that you have to hurdle over them to get from one side of the room to the other?!". Each day I probably clean up half of their mess for them out of sheer exhaustion over trying to get them to do it. At least twice weekly I am tempted to empty out half of what they have and give it away. Bi-monthly I am already getting in there and purging what hasn't been played with in six months.
What is left is played with but maybe they don't need enough dishes and plates for our whole neighborhood. Maybe they don't need 20 animals and baby dolls. Quite possibly 10 is enough. I've put a moratorium on any new toys. 90% of their artwork is admired for a day and then sent to decorate the recycle bin. Polly Pocket is EVIL and must be destroyed - -ha ha ha (said in a sinister voice). No really. Whoever thought a tiny doll with parts you could accidentally inhale and choke on has a sick sense of humor. Any Polly parts left on the floor are fair game for the broom and the vacuum cleaner. I've invested in lots of storage containers and rearranged for the best flow and play space.
Seriously though. When your girls happily (or mostly happily) play together, using their imaginations, and don't whine every ten minutes saying "I'm bored", it is hard to get super upset about the mess. The problem is the mess still has to be cleaned up and they'd rather do anything but clean. So, how to motivate? That is my question today (and almost everyday!).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Rain and Ramblings

It is so weird to have huge downpours of rain in July. Since living in Florida I've experienced more rain in this month of the year than any other (apart from hurricanes). We've logged at least 1 1/2 inches in the last 24 hours. That doesn't include the most recent rainshower that just left. The rain is precisely the reason we planned our new landscaping installation to take place a few weeks ago. We love free water!

We just returned from our annual "Tour of the Southeast US" on Wednesday. We logged 4038 miles on our mini-van, bringing the grand total of mileage on our '98 Sienna to 145,000! Our girls were unbelievably good on the road. The biggest difficulty was poor Emily popping 3 new molars while we were gone. (Imagine lots of ibuprofen, teething tablets, a pint-sized middle-of-t he-night bed companion, and a few good cries.) I miss our friends and family already but I am loving being in my own house and not driving anywhere that isn't necessary. I'm perusing summer sales via the internet so I can avoid going anywhere. I am desperate for a new swim suit now that I've got a hot summer and lots of time.

Speaking of swimsuits, one of the beautiful things about our Florida house is that I get to swim in my own pool. I can cool off with the girls, get a teeny bit of a tan, and never worry about who may view me (or parts of me) in my suit. I don't worry about beachwear. I've seen the suits that people of all sizes wear at the beach. I look better than some and worse than some and that is just fine with me. No reason to worry when I've already got my man and my girls are more interested in covering themselves with sand than parading up and down the beach!