Monday, September 08, 2014

Prepping (for pool closures, school schedules, and food)

 The pool closes at the end of this month.  We didn't get the key for the pool until the Saturday before Labor Day so we have been trying to go as many times as we can before it closes.  The kids love it.  The boys have become such great swimmers and Piper is so much more brave than I ever was.  She is still a little scared but she is getting more courage each time we go.  Her favorite thing to do is jump from the side of the pool in the deep end into my arms.  She loves that.  The boys want to grab her and swim her around the pool but that scares her so she mostly just lets me or Mike hold her.  She also does not like the floaty but realizes that if she is going in the deep end I will make her wear it.  While at the pool, I saw this butterfly near a puddle of water and amazingly caught it in flight.  The picture isn't in focus but I'm just happy I was able to get it at all.

As predicted, Mike's schedule got much busier.  His teachers finally gave him homework.  He spent almost every waking hour on Saturday in the bedroom studying.  He doesn't do homework on Sundays so we were happy to see him yesterday.  The boys were a little irritated when they discovered that Mike's new calling would require him to stay after church.  He wasn't gone long however, and as soon as he got home he sat down with them and gave them each their piano lesson and then played computer with each of them.  Today he was back to studying.  He was home to help get kids off to school then came home and ran (he still has to take his normal PT test next month), showered, and then sat at the desk in the room to study.  He stayed there until he grabbed a quick lunch and headed to school.  Piper and I had some things to do so we did our own things and came home to find him still here but leaning over the hood of his car.  He said, "Come here.  I have a problem I don't know what to do about."  I went over to see what he was looking at and couldn't see anything.  He said that he was about to leave when he saw a little snake and he thought, "The boys will be so happy if I catch this snake for them" so he went to catch it and it darted away and climbed right up into his car!  He tried to find it and get it out but it wouldn't come out until he started the engine and backed out.  There it was chillin' on the driveway again.  He got out of his car and caught the little guy and put it in the bucket.  He was a feisty thing and tried biting Mike.  The boys were thrilled when they got home.  They tried to find crickets and gave it water but because it was so aggressive towards Mike I don't really feel comfortable with them getting near it.  Anyway, back to Mike's schedule.  He went to school and was there until 7, caught the end of FHE, listened to Eli read his book, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and is now sitting on the couch doing his homework, where he will most likely stay until we go to bed.  I am still trying to get used to the new schedule where he doesn't leave at 6:30 and get home at 5:30 as he did in Colorado when he was teaching.  I think it will become normal soon and we will all be used to not seeing him as much as we once did.  I'm very grateful he is so helpful and involved when he is home though.  I appreciate how he balances all his responsibilities and I am trying to do the same on my end.

I am not good with the after school chaos.  It makes me all crazy.  Helping the kids with homework, getting them a snack, making Piper happy, getting them to read for 20 minutes (as part of homework each night), making sure they practice their piano and having them clean their rooms, as well as making dinner, just makes me feel so crazy!  I have tried to stagger the homework so that I am only helping one person at a time and thankfully, Will is pretty much able to do his own work now without much involvement from me, but it is still a lot of different things to juggle.  I'm sure every mom understands this, but also, I am probably worse at the after school chaos than a lot of moms.  I've been trying to come up with a plan and this is my best one so far:  yoga.  Silly, right?  I just thought, "Maybe if I do Yoga right before I pick up the kids I'll be calm and focused."  Ha, ha.  Also, I have started to say a prayer before they all get home.

After dinner I still have the clean up and bedtime routine to take care of.  Mike gets home just about when we are starting scripture reading unless it's a Tuesday and then he gets home after the kids are in bed.  It makes for a long day for all of us but it could easily get worse--in fact, it probably will around when he needs to take a test and such.  Anyway, things haven't been bad but we are still learning to adjust.

Finally, Mike and I have been thinking about our year supply of food lately.  We have a lot of cans of rice, beans, and wheat.  We also had a lot of canned foods like canned corn, diced tomatoes, refried beans, etc. but we made sure we ate all that before we moved because our food storage takes up a large chuck of our weight for moving, and also, they aren't supposed to move liquids.  In addition, we have some freeze dried meals that we figure will taste fine if we have to use them.  They can be pricey so we only buy them when they go on sale.  We also bought 5 gallon water jugs (11).  Anyway, we haven't bought food storage for awhile because of the move and now that we are here we have been thinking about working on getting our rotating supply back up.  We have been buying grass fed beef for a few years but only 1/4 a cow.  We don't eat a lot of beef so it has taken us over a year to eat the 1/4 a cow.  Mike decided to buy a 1/2 cow this time, and I am not sure why we need that much since it takes so long to eat 1/4.  This month there is a message in the Ensign from President Monson about preparedness and we both feel like we should focus on that a bit more.  Yesterday I was told about some bread that a woman in the ward gets from Panera Bread and then gives out on Fast Sunday after church.  I didn't go get any because I didn't want to take bread from someone else that needed it.  It turns out, she first distributes the bread to those that need it and then takes the extra to church for those that want it.  Whatever is left gets thrown away.  So today my friend showed up with two huge boxes of bread that weren't claimed after church.  We don't eat a lot of bread in our house--a loaf for the boy's sandwiches is sufficient--but we do like the occasional bagel, french toast, garlic bread, etc.  Anyway, the box was filled with bagels and baguettes.  All this bread will go bad pretty quickly so I bagged them up and wrapped them in foil to freeze.  I figure we can use the bagels for french toast if it's dredged in egg, use the baguettes for bruschetta (since you eat that on crispy bread anyway), and for other random things like that.  I think this bread will get pretty dry and will last us a really long time but at least it can be an addition to our food storage and I think I can find some uses for it.  I had all this bread, plus four gallon size bags of bagels (half cinnamon, half whole wheat), and then a few other random loafs of bread.  

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