Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Works for Me Wednesday - Interruptions

One of the things I shared in our Relief Society meeting in January was another "A-ha" moment that I had many years ago, when our first three sons were little.
Weston - 5, David - 3, Brad - 4 days old
Although I thoroughly enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, there were still plenty of challenges. Here's the evidence in the stress-rash that bothered me for a few months after Brad was born. (I only allowed that picture to be taken because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't have a picture of us together on his blessing day.)

About that time I was reading a book on time management. Although it was geared to a business setting, when I read a description for a secretary the light bulb went off. It's a secretary's job to handle interruptions so her boss can work effectively. All of a sudden I realized that my job description included being interrupted. I chose to stay home so that I would be available to my children, to be there when they needed me, not necessarily just when it was convenient. That change of perspective made interruptions much less disagreeable. It also probably helped the rash to disappear!
later that summer, with the monkey at Hogle Zoo
We also made a plan to minimize the more annoying interruptions. For example, it seemed that whenever I sat down to nurse Brad, David would want a drink. He wasn't big enough to pour his own juice, but he was big enough to open the fridge. So, every morning we'd prepare a supply of pre-filled sippy cups and keep them in the fridge for him. A week after I shared this story in our Relief Society meeting, a friend with a current three-year-old and two babies told me this piece of advice was a lifesaver for her. Maybe it will help one of you too!

As always, feel free to share something that works for you. What do you do to minimize unnecessary, annoying interruptions?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Robyn's Baby Blessing

This past weekend we took a quick trip to meet our newest granddaughter. I'm trying to do better at going through the pictures more promptly. Maybe I shouldn't take so many; that might make it easier.
Not enough vacation time, so instead of driving we got on a plane.
Part of the Atlanta skyline
Brooke had a lot to show us. She likes washing the kitchen floor, standing on Great-Grandpa's foot, teasing Grandpa, reading with Boppa (her other grandpa), and telling us "I'm 3, and I'm 3 feet tall!"
First on the itinerary was a picnic in the park. Although it was overcast when we arrived, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day. A lot of other people had the same idea, but Piedmont Park was large enough for all of us.

Robyn was content to meet her great-granddad, but she wasn't too happy about getting a 4-generation picture.
The two grandmas took Brooke to feed the ducks; unfortunately, they weren't very hungry. Some of those other park visitors must have had the same idea.
Brad said this is the Spinning Rock; it's just sitting on a street corner in Atlanta.


All cleaned up and ready for bed!
Sunday was the baby blessing day. It was rainy so we took a few pictures inside instead of outside.
The happy family
Mom and Dad and Robyn
Brad and Robyn
So grateful for priesthood power!
Grandpa C, Great-granddad B, Daddy, Robyn and Grandpa W
Brooke loves her little sister and is learning how to be gentle!

We'll keep her!

Think there might be a family resemblance?
Robyn
Brad
Brooke

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Works for Me Wednesday - "Use It Up"

I imagine you're all familiar with the little couplet attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

Use it up, wear it out,
Make it do, or do without.

We definitely try to live this principle, and it's something that "works for us." Here's just one example that we put into practice this week. Hopefully, it will give you ideas for ways you can follow this advice yourself. I may even turn this into a series at some points, because there's definitely more than one way to use up items around the house.

Last December I purchased some red and green "holiday" baking M&M's, but then never used them before Christmas. I could put the bag in the freezer and wait for next December, but instead I decided to use them in some cookies for St. Patrick's Day.

I didn't want the red M&M's in my green cookies, but it only took a few minutes to separate the two colors. That few minutes saved me a trip to the store to buy a bag of "green only" M&M's!

We've done this in the past, usually in time for Valentine's Day. I didn't make Valentine cookies this year, either, but the red will work for an Independence Day treat, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Works for Me Wednesday - Shopping for Food

Yesterday was "Errand Day" which meant I did some grocery shopping. One of the stops on my list was the Zaycon truck. That gave me the idea to remind you of an old post:
I don't know if you have Zaycon available where you live, but I've been happy every time I've used their service. Basically you order and pay online, and then go to some parking lot at a particular time to get your food. These are large quantities - the minimum order for the chicken I picked up yesterday was 40 pounds - but you can always share an order with someone else. Check out their website at zayconfoods.com to see if it's something that might work for your family.

Now that we're down to just two people at home, our cooking and shopping habits have changed, but another thing that worked for us when the kids were at home was a Farmer's Market co-op. You can read a post about that here. When I think about it, I do try to find new fruits and vegetables to try at our ordinary grocery store. 

One of the latest ones was chayote squash, but that was a while ago. I have purchased salted cod fish and whole dates recently, but those were requests from Wayne for a recipe he wanted to try. I need to try new things more often, all on my own. It's easy to get in a rut with our menu planning and grocery shopping. While routines and habits are important and even desirable, sometimes it's a good idea to try something new. We might just find that it makes life even better!

What are some hints and ideas you have for making shopping and cooking fun?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Works for Me Wednesday - Planning Ahead

While there's something to be said for spontaneity, overall I've found that if I want something to happen, I need to plan for it. Just as one example, the year we actually had a fun Christmas Countdown was the year I created the little garland with activity suggestions while staying up with ten 10-year-olds for a Halloween sleepover. (That may not be factually correct, but it's what I remember!)

Anyway, in honor of preparing ahead, I'm reminding you all of our Great St. Patrick's Day Experiment from a couple of years ago. You can read all the details here. Basically, though, we compared packaged corned beef brisket with making it ourselves and decided we liked the home-prepared version better. However, it takes several days of "brining" time, so it's not something that can be last minute. If you want to have it this year, put "beef brisket" on your shopping list this week!
Other than serving Corned Beef and maybe a green dessert, we won't do too much to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year. However, some of you may feel inclined to do a bit more. If you plan now, it won't be stressful in a couple of weeks! Here's the link to my Pinterest page if you're looking for some ideas. I think we'll go with this one (no mint involved!):
Best Saint Patricks Food and Crafts 22
What fun holiday traditions are you planning for March?