Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time to Eat!

It's 6:00, Tom just got home....quick, I must think of something to fix for supper.
Hmmmmm....what will I fix?
I know what I'll make...Oh, it's 6:30 already? 
Gosh, where did the time go?
Dang, it's going to be another late nite.

It's 7:30
I yell, "Time to eat!"
Everyone comes, we pray, we eat, then it starts.
and yelling
Yelling to get all that needs to get done before bed
you know
Pick up toys!
Brush your teeth
Get your jammies on
Pick up toys!
Get back here and wipe the counter and rinse the sink
Did you sweep?
Who's the sweeper?
Hurry up
Pick up toys!
It's 9:00
Pick up toys!
Time for bed!!!

The kids are not ready for the day to be over immediately after we eat
I'm not either.
maybe I am
and that's why I'm crabby and can't wait for them all to go to bed

I got tired of it
This was becoming the normal for us.

The past few weeks,
I decided to make a conscience effort to
eat supper at 6pm
(OK 6:30 at the latest)

In order for this to happen,
I must know what I'm making for supper in the morning,
like while I'm getting breakfast,
so I can thaw any meat out I'll need
and to keep it in the back of my head all day
so at 4:30pm, I'm ready to start getting ready to make supper.

In order for that to happen,
I need a master list of what meals we are having
with the food I've purchased for this particular 2 week period,
until next grocery day...

When, I'll need to think of and write the said master list of meals
while making my grocery list.

Things just go better when we eat at a reasonable time.
The kids feel like they have time after supper, more time in their day.
Things are not rushed for bedtime.
We can have a happy mommy bedtime
(most nights)

It's been a few weeks now of eating earlier
(normal time for most folks)
and we are all seeming much happier.
It sure is worth the effort.

Oh, gotta run!!
It's time to eat!!

What about you?
You probably have this all figured out already...


  1. You are so right- the planning, which can take a bit to get used to, makes all the difference. Happy mealtimes are ahead for you all!

    1. Yes...planning, planning, need sims to cooperate!! :)

  2. I wish we had it figured out. It'll only get more hectic once school starts up again. sigh ...

    1. I know, all change makes it tough, that's for sure!! Need to get in the habit again of Muffin Monday, Toast Tuesday, Whatever Wednesday, Smoothie Thursdays, and French Toast Tuesdays....The baby has taken over!

  3. I will get my act together when school starts again. Summer is always go with the flow.

    But I do plan for every night. I make my list Sunday night and Monday...every Monday...I buy the food for the week.

    We eat every night...TOGETHER..around 530pm. All homework and chores are done right after school so the evening is open.

    Bed by 830 for the little kids...older 930.

    I love your table. Looks so pretty and the house so clean!

    1. Dont' all families eat TOGETHER? How do you do jobs after school? (dishes, sweeping, etc...) The kid that has emptying the dishwasher does get that done during the day, but dishes and sweeping, and clearing the table happen after supper and my kids are slooooooowwwwww......except Jedi--he's speedy!

    2. I do try to keep the kitchen and living room clean...but it's a constant "try"!!!

  4. I wish I had it figured out. What you describe is our house exactly. I'm sure I'll be better organized once the kids go back to school. (at least that's what I tell myself every year.)

    1. Once school starts, I need to be even more organized, with breakfasts and lunches, because this summer whatever stuff just will take too long...

  5. Gosh, I can identify. It seems like we get in a good groove for an amount of time, fall out of it and it all falls apart. A bit more tweaking and we're in a good stretch again.

    These days supper is very early due to little girls being ready to eat, but that's ok since it allows for more family time in the evening.

    I definitely know that when I meal plan/make a menu for a couple of weeks and grocery shop for those ingredients every 2-3 weeks that it also helps the budget. And my time and energy. If I've got the list handy with menu ideas I can pick one and know I've got the ingredients. It also helps narrow down the choices, unlike when I'm scrambling at 4:00 to figure out what's for supper :)

    1. Oh, Sarah, yes, once in the habit, it seems easy, but it only takes a couple days of late suppers and we are back in the rut again. it is a constant work in progress....and I agree, with getting everything, saving money and choices...also less eating out. I love reading books in the evening and more relaxed prayer time, instead of a quick "Angel of God". There's no time when it's rushed.

  6. Ok... You are all SO organized. I'm such a new mom/wife! BUT our house is so "fly by the seat of your pants". Shaun's job is such that I NEVER know when he's going to be home at "supper time" (except Mondays and that's date night, so we usually go out and share the same meal every time "Chicken Broccoli and Ziti" from Riccardi's)

    He's working nights now, so he's never home at night. Out by 5pm latest (but noon if he goes up to Boston to visit his daughter there for a few hours) and home around 3am. On NON-night working nights he's out by 4am and home sometimes around 5pm (or 9:30/10pm on nights he visits his daughter) I only know for SURE he's home on Mondays.

    I love having him home and getting to cook dinner, but he's SO laid back that if I say "What do you want for dinner" he'll say, "Anything baby" or just want a bowl of cereal and a couch buddy for a movie.

    I think in a few years when Ava's a little older and there are more little ones running around it'll be different, but for now it's so sporadic.

    Being pregnant, I never feel like making anything for myself by dinner time.

    Luckily if I need to pull together a full dinner I've always been able to do it last minute. He always says, "Whoa... did you just cook all this? WHEN? You always make that look so easy!"

    I admire all of you who have the hustle and bustle of family home together for dinner. I'm grateful for what and who I have, but I love hearing your stories.

    Gives me something to look forward to.

    And Jamie, as far as I'm concerned, you're amazing. Such a great mom!

    1. Marijanna-Gosh, I feel so bad for you, is there any way you could cook for you hubby at lunch time? Have that be your big meal together? when my hubby and I were first married, for probably the first 5 years or so, he worked nights and weekends, and sometimes overnights, so hard....

      Believe me, there is no reason to think I am amazing, I am so far from that.....

  7. Great plan. Hope you can stick with it, but be forgiving of yourself when the plan goes awry. I believe that God looks on our heart and blesses us for our efforts to follow him, especially with regard to our families. I h have also been trying to have dinner earlier and find that the evening goes smoother, but some nights (like tonight), all I can do is say "I'll try to do better tomorrow."

    1. Jones fam--you are so right, learning to forgive ourselves and not feel so guilty, tomorrow is another day....

  8. Planning definitely helps, but I agree that sometimes the best plans fail when life happens. Like when we have a rainy season and school soccer games are switched with 2 hours notice. Or a music teacher calls and asks if we could pretty please come an hour earlier due to cancellations. When my sons were younger, dinner was easier. But they are involved - not over involved, but three kids' activities add up to a good piece of time - and dinner plans have to change.

    Keep up the planning efforts, because even if it doesn't always go as planned, just knowing that you are trying does make a difference.

    What doesn't change is my continued efforts to plan ahead for home cooked dinners whenever possible. And even if we cannot sit together every night, no one ever eats alone, even if that means me preparing a plate for my teenager and sitting down with him at 8 pm after a game while the youngest gets ready for bed.

    1. Oh, mary you are so sweet, love the image of you sitting down with a teen late for his dinner after a game. Those are the things your kids will remember. The love you have in your heart.

      Yes, to keep trying and to always keep the reason in our sights, our families.

  9. Meal planning is one of the sections in my book "A Plan for Joy in the Home". I realized early on how important this is! If anyone's interested, you can check out my book on how to organize your day at Thanks and God Bless

    1. laura--I so want your book!!!!! How exciting!!!! I'll have to link you soon, my computer is out, our screen died the other day, I'm on my hubby's laptop!!! I'm also on a freeze on spending money, always am around school time--curriculum is spendy!!!

      God bless you too!!

  10. I grab my calendar on the weekend and plan my meals according to our schedule (what days will need crock pots meals due to activities, etc) and schedule out my BLS's for a week (Breakfast, Lunch, Supper).
    Lately, I've been doing 2 weeks of menus at a time, and that has seemed to REALLY help keep cost and stress down. It's a lot of work, but then I don't have to do it again for 2 weeks! Then, I'm at Sam's for paper products once a month. Never like that total! ;)
    Trying to get in the swing of things before school starts on Monday. Now to get the lessons plans/planning DONE! ;)

    1. OH, I so need to plan lunches!!!!!! I need to get back into the muffin mondays, toast tuesdays, whatever weds, and french toast fridays....Thurs was pancakes, but it doesnt' rhyme or sound cool....I always shop every 2 weeks too, busy weekends every other, but on the opposite one, easy and carefree....

  11. Jamie, can you share some your meals you have planned?

    1. Carrie--I make a list of 14 meals, for 2 weeks worth of groceries...we in that 2 weeks, always have crepes, with fresh fruit and whipped cream from a can, tacos, and egg bake (hashbrowns, eggs, cheese, and some kind of meat, ham, bacon or sausage) then the other meals are chosen from my master list of meals, of maybe 30 to 40 choices...rotating...I know the ingredients and make my grocery list from that. I can do a post listing those if you'd like...but now our computer screen is dead, I'm on hubby 's laptop....hope that helps?

    2. Oh, I was just looking at this post and I'd love to see how you do your meal planning. I'm just not sure how to do it and our freezer is so tiny, I'm not sure if I could put much in it. I'd love to hear how you do it!

  12. We eat at a consistent time...7:30a, Noon, and 6pm (sometimes this goes to 6:30pm). I do plan our menu at least one week in advance and usually on Wed or Thurs (or before grocery shopping). We have the kids do the cleaning up, but I'll admit that part needs work as I'm not as organized. I've tried different 'schedules', just haven't found what fits our family, yet. Maybe this year?

    1. Suzie!!!!! You just had a baby, you are amazing!!!!!!

      (and he's a cutie)

      We switched last winter to a rotating weekly schedule, it's working for now, but have found that each child needs to do their jobs with no other kids in the kitchen in order for it to be done timely. so one week one child has sweeping and clearing table, one has washing dishes and filling dishwasher, and one has emptying dishwasher, putting dishes away and setting table. That rotates with the 3 oldest....Oh, and the sweeper mops at the end of the week, by hand.

  13. Our computer screen died yesterday....I'm on my hubby's laptop, I'll try to answer you all when I get a chance, promise!!

    I'll list some of our favorite meals, on my list every time--gotta go though!!!

  14. Jamie... nope, I think you ARE amazing! ;) ...and real. It's ok to be both.

    As for Shaun, his schedule is so sporadic, we try to do what we can when we can. I'm not a morning person (never was), but get up to make him his lunch at 3 or 4am (depending on the day) and we spend a few minutes together then. I knew I loved him when I'd give up sleep for him. He works over an hour away so when he's gone... he's gone (no stopping in for lunch) We chat as much as we can by phone during the day to touch base and Ava's so used to it that she grabs my phone and I'll watch her play with it and pretend she's talking "Da-da? DA-DA! Daddadadddaddadd..." SO cute. We love each other so much that we just try to make due.

    I was chatting with him about this post afterwards and discussing how SO many would probably have a really hard time with our "schedule", but God helps us to handle anything together.

    Someday a few years from now, his older daughter will be in college and he hopefully won't have to work so hard and such long hours, so he'll be home more... and THEN, we'll have family dinners to make up for the ones we missed out on.

    Until then... I keep the home fires burning.

  15. Just discovered your wonderful blog... your family is beautiful, and all I can think is that these little ones are your 'saint makers!' What blessings they are!

  16. Hello!!! You have been in our home haven't you!! I want to read this to my family because this is exactly what happens here. It is overwhelming! I hope you can keep it up and thank you for the inspiration to do a better job with mealtime!

  17. This post hit home for me! When I made my decision to take off the excess weight...I didn't realize at first what a huge role meal planning and list making/grocery shopping would play! Not only has it helped me to continue to take of the unwanted pounds and get that troublesome blood sugar under control, but mealtimes became much calmer, happier, events.

    Now we can walk the talk...meaning we say Grace...and actually enjoy "these gifts we are about to receive". We are kinder, gentler with each other!

    Live others doesn't happen every night...sometimes activities or a life circumstance (flat tire, late doctor appt., etc.) get in the way, but most nights meal time is good.

    And I might add, as the wife of a fire fighter, I was totally guilty of eating on the fly and informally b/c Daddy wasn't home. I no longer allow Chris' absence as an excuse for poor mealtime behavior. I have become a stickler for teaching and displaying good manners...and hopefully I am modeling that to my kiddos!

    Blessings, Jamie!!!!



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