Sunday, September 26

Volleyball & Stuff

So, after only about 5 hours of practices, my varsity volleyball girls took the court for their first game. Thankfully, our JV team went first. It was a great chance for the girls to see a game in action and learn the rules and how things "move" on the court.

We didn't win any of our three matches, but the girls did an AMAZING job with attitude, positivity and effort. I can't wait to see them tomorrow at practice to tell them (again) how unbelievably proud of them I am. It may not be a winning season, but it's going to be a GREAT season. ♥

And...everything else is going well. I'm enjoying my job a lot again this year. Matt and Maxwell are falling into a great routine of "school", chores and errands. Payton is loving Mr. Asper. And we STILL have our foster dog MaxTheDog. Know anyone who wants a MinPin???

School Lunches: Week 3 Review

We're finally falling into a routine with our lunches.  Most days they only take me 5-10 minutes to pack.  Having a menu filled out in advance has been really helpful.  I filled out three weeks when I started them, just to make sure I wasn't repeating things too often.  I check it every weekend to make sure we have the grocery items we need to make everything.  After that, it's as simple as referencing the lists to see what I need to pack.  I also find that I don't serve "too much" of the same thing when I can see it written out. 

I have been using for a lot of fun ideas.  And has a lot of useful tips and images that have been helpful too.  Payton has enjoyed most of what I have sent, but he's sure to tell me when he doesn't like things too.  I've crossed a few items off our "go-to" list and added a few as well.  The pizza pockets are still a big hit...I really should make those again this week.

Thank you to everyone who's made supportive comments on Facebook or sent me "fun facts" for P's white board.  He's loving them all!  And the teachers at Reach are asking him what the "fun fact of the day" was.  :)

Monday, September 20

Time with My Best Friend

Amazing. That's what summarizes this past weekend.

My wonderful inlaws went out of their way (twice) to assist Matt and I in having a "grown up" weekend. It seems it's been a long time, and it was well overdue.

We didn't run away for a romantic getaway. We didn't go to fancy restaurants and stare deep into each others eyes. We didn't walk hand-in-hand down the beach at sunset. We just spent time together.

Time. It seems that there isn't as much of it as anyone needs. I am involved in so many great things that sometimes I forget my family, especially my husband, deserves the best of me. I don't always give him the time he deserves. Or even the time he needs.

Those of you that are friends with me on Facebook saw my post on Sunday: 2 years ago today Matt & I decided not to walk away from our marriage. We've never been happier than we are today. God did amazing things for us!

Before that time, life had just gotten busy. Busy in our heads. Busy in our hearts. That made things complicated. I realized I didn't want to have to tell my kids I'd walked away without trying everything. God told me, "Give it time.". We did. And I'm so very very very glad we did.

Through everything we've made it through, I still forget that my husband deserves my time. And I deserve his. Not just family time. Not just eating time. Not just TV time. Real time. Focused time.

This weekend we found time. Time together. Time talking. Time cuddling. Just time. Quality, much needed time.

I love you, Husband. More and more each day. Thank you for giving me your time.

Saturday, September 18

School Lunches: Week 2 Review

We had another successful week of school lunches!

Two more boxes came in and they work much better.  I will be sending the one we've been using up to this weekend back to the GoGreenLunchbox company.

The food all went really well too.  I did have one little issue though...I made this banana hotdog thing.  It was a hotdog bun, spread with peanut butter, jelly and sprinkled with sunflower seeds.  Then I laid half a banana on the bun.  It would have been PERFECT for an eat at home meal, but traveling in the box to school it didn't fare so well.

Payton has been really happy with his notes too.  I've had a few friends who have even sent me a list of new fun facts for the white board.  His teacher has started asking him what the fact of the day was and he's sharing it with the class after lunch each day.

If you are on facebook, you can see our lunch pictures each day.  Thanks for all the support and encouragement!!

Saturday, September 11

School Lunches: Week 1 Review

We survived our first week of eating all "cold" lunches.  It went rather well and Payton enjoyed them.  I had a lot of smiles from him when I asked about lunch and some of the lunch aides said the wanted to know where I got that box he was using.  :)

He had pizza pockets twice this week and that was fine with me.  I know what's in them!  He also had peanut butter rollups.  He really liked those.  I cut a lot of fruit and veggies into shapes and it's just what he'd normally eat, but it looked like more fun I guess because it was all gone when he came home.   He is still really diggin' the ABC Grahams and the chocolate chip granola bites.  It's Saturday, but I'm still experimenting with lunch ideas, so today we had peanut butter and jelly burritos.  The kids loved them!

I've found the making of the lunch isn't so hard, it's the deciding what to pack that's difficult.  I've decided this week I will make a menu for the week.  Then when it's time to pack, I don't wonder...and I remember what he's already had! 

Overall, the GoGreen Lunchbox is a success.  He loves using it, but we have a lot of trouble closing just one of the sides.  I have tried it repeatedly at home and it's very difficult even for me.  I assume it's a defect of some kind.  We have two more trays on order and they should be here mid-week.  If those are easier and don't have any issues, I'll be contacting the owner of GoGreen to trade in my not so good one.  But even with this one issue, it's still amazing.  I love the size.  I love how much I can fit in a box and I love that it's easy to clean!

This weekend, we'll be trying two new recipes for our school lunches.  We'll be making these healthy and tasty looking Balls of Energy and Peanut Butter-Cinnamon Hummus.   Payton has also decided he wants me to make him a "banana hotdog" for lunch.  Hopefully he actually eats it instead of just thinking it looks funny.

I'll keep you posted!  Thanks for following along on our journey to healthy, happy lunches.

Wednesday, September 8

Did ya hear?

I'm co-coaching middle school girls volleyball starting tomorrow.  I'm crazy nervous and excited.  And part of me is wondering what in the WORLD was I THINKING???!!!  I hope it's as fun in real life as I dreamed it to be. (P.S. I know close to nothing about volleyball.)

Back to School

After only two days, it seems we are all falling into our school year routines.  I'm in charge of laying out clothes for me and the boys and packing lunches and bags.  I wake and get out of the house before anyone else is awake.  Matt wakes the boys, feeds them, dresses them and gets them to school and our babysitter's house.  It all seems to be coming together.

Payton really likes his new teacher, Mr. Asper (Az-purr).  He is making friends and really likes his table mates.  He was upset today when Mr. Asper announced again that they do not have homework this week.  Payton loves homework.

Maxwell is really excited about being homeschooled by our friend Liz.  She's full on creative ideas and a great curriculum, so I'm sure he'll do well and learn a lot there.  He gets along great with her 4 kids and it should be an easy fit for them all.

It all seems to be going well here.  But it is only day two.

Monday, September 6

A cool end to summer

This Labor Day Weekend, the official end to summer vacation, was a cool one.  I don't believe the temperature ever got out of the 70s even.  We had planned to take the boys to Matt's family cottage for a great last dip in the lake and to enjoy the beach.  We went, but no one got in the water. 

The boys enjoyed playing on the beach in their jeans and sweatshirts while Matt fished shells out of the water.  MaxTheDog and I enjoyed just laying on the beach. 


Baking Day

Tomorrow is the end of summer - the first day back to school here in the great state of Michigan. With all my obsessing over school lunches and making them fun, yet healthy, we spent our day baking and prepping for the week.

We made some great dishes including pizza pockets and chocolate chip granola bites. I also made a breakfast dish that was so-so. But the boys had a BLAST making ABC Grahams. The cookie recipe comes from Parents magazine. I've never used any of their recipes before, but these were good, so maybe we'll try some more sometime. The boys worked together to measure and pour and took turns pushing the "on" and "off" buttons on the food processor. The dough was really forgiving in the making process. Making the letters or shapes in the cookies went pretty well too. There were only a few that I had to go over again once they came out of the oven.

Through our multi-recipe baking day I learned two things. 1) I need more storage containers (all the same so there is less lid confusion!) - and 2) my kids are pretty darn good helpers!