March 4, 2008
First I’ll address the practical side of this chapter. In talking about running a smooth household, Debi says that planning is a must. Planning ahead has never been a problem for me. I am a plan aheader. So much that I have to be careful not to get upset when my plan doesn’t work out. But one thing that I know I need to work on is meal time timing. Not that I don’t have meals planned and ready on time. We have a 6 week menu plan that helps us to be well prepared for meal times. But my problem is the flexibility with meals. Being on the farm you have to sometimes have a meal ready 2 minutes ago J. So me and my big plans and perfect schedule don’t always work here. I need to work on my attitude when Mark wants lunch at 11:00 or 11:30 or supper at 4:00. I need to be prepared to be able to make a quick meal if need be. She also talks about using a crock pot. I haven’t used one much except when on Sunday’s when we were expecting company for lunch. Mostly because it is too small for us to cook most things in. I was wondering if anyone out there uses a crock pot and what you make in it. One of the thing I have learned in regards to food. ‘If your going to make it, you might as well make it big’. So if I make a meal, I will often double it (for us that sometimes means 6x a normal recipe) and throw the extra in the freezer for those times when I need a quick meal for one reason or another. It comes in handy when sickness hits, you want to bring a meal to someone, or things are just real busy. As I mentioned we have a 6 week meal plan. The plan is for breakfast & supper Monday-Friday. Lunch is always sandwiches. Wednesday is soup day. Leftovers are on Saturday and we have a list of meals to choose from on Sundays, depending on if we are having company ect. A meal plan helps us to get the meat defrosted, it helps us to eat a well balanced and healthy diet, and we know what groceries to buy for the week. We buy our groceries 50 minutes from home so we can’t just run uptown to get an ingredient. I strongly recommend making a meal plan. It has helped us out a lot. Having done all this I rarely have an excuse not to have a meal ready for my husband. If there is a time that I don’t have a meal ready, it is usually because I was more concerned about my own time than his or just got plain lazy. What about having a clean house? For me this has always been important. I feel I can function better when my house is clean and so can everyone else. I find if the dishes are not done and the floor is not swept, I have a harder time being motivated for the rest of my daily duties. ‘A place for everything.’ That’s what I have found is needed if I expect other people to help put keep things clean. If I have a specified place for things it helps everyone know where things belong. Our house is full of labeled shelves and rubbermaid/plastic containers. Sometimes housework can feel so unrewarding. It seems as soon as you clean it, it gets messed up again. Even though our house isn’t always perfectly clean, we do try to keep it tidy. Like I said, we feel more motivated and if we have unexpected company, it says to them, “We honor you enough to have a tidy house to greet you.” I have been in some homes where dishes are undone, the floor is dirty and it just feels dirty. Some of these places I don’t even want to let my baby crawl on the floor. I don’t want to be one of these homes that our company feels uncomfortable in. On the flip side, I used to be a clean freak. We hardly had company over because the house was rarely ‘clean enough’. Years of experience and ten children later has kind of cured me of this. I have realized it is not about a perfect home, I have many children and my house is going to reflect this. So I have had to find the balance between cleanliness and perfectionism. So I think that covers the practical side. Part 2 will be tomorrow.