Five for Friday

1. We made it through our first full week of Kindergarten. Annelise loves her class, her teacher, the routine, her homework, all of it. I'm so thankful. She goes into class with a smile on her face and is bursting with stories to tell when I pick her up in the afternoon. Again, I am thankful. Yesterday though she got her clothespin moved to yellow (a warning) for talking, and was quick to tell me as soon as she got in the car (along with a report on the boy and girl that got moved to orange). We talked about it and she said she's going to try really hard not to do it again. Fingers crossed.

2. We are settling into a semblance of a routine in the mornings and evenings. Mornings still seem rushed, some are better than others, but we haven't been late to school so that is progress. Annelise and I have been finishing up her scripture loops, reading one each morning before school. She's learning to look them up in the Bible with some help, which is good, and even said she'd like to make some more loops to keep this little routine going. That made me happy! It's not quite the devotional I had imagined in my mind, but it works for now. In the evenings before bed we've been reading from the Bible and the devotional book we bought a couple of weeks ago so that's been really nice as well.

3. One thing (among many) I've felt guilty about is not planning and preparing more (okay, any) meals at home. For the last several weeks we ate out almost every night. Not only was it expensive, it made for later bed times, so I knew that could not continue once school started. Over the weekend I got myself together, planned meals and wrote out a grocery list. I know. Monday after I dropped Annelise off at school I went straight to HEB so I couldn't/wouldn't talk myself out of it. I felt so much more at peace having a stocked refrigerator and pantry, and felt much more purposeful preparing meals for my family. Or letting my Crock Pot prepare meals for my family, whatever. Thanks to a tweet on Twitter, I discovered a month's worth of Crock Pot recipes. I made slow cooked pork chops Monday (from that site) along with Paula's Mashed Potatoes, green peas and Paula's Peach Cobbler. Annelise thought it was Thanksgiving. We've also had this tasty chicken stroganoff and comforting chili. We even had leftovers one night without complaining. Good thing I've started exercising again, right?

I hope this newly rediscovered trend of mine, you know, cooking, continues and we limit our eating out to only once a week or on the weekends. Now that time together seems so much more segmented by school, it's been so nice to have intentional evenings at home, supper around our table, with a little free time left for playing or bike rides before bedtime.

4. I seem to have found myself in a bit of a reading slump. I know! I started Here Be Dragons earlier this week and have barely gotten myself into it. I haven't gotten hooked yet, but I can tell I will like it, especially once I get used to all the Welsh dialogue and characters. It's 700+ pages, which is rather daunting and quite a time commitment, so wish me luck.

5. I am torn between being scared and excited about Annelise's upcoming birthday party. She decided she wants a Star Wars themed party so we are going to try and pull off a Jedi Training Academy. In two weeks. Should I run for the hills now? Thanks to Tip Junkie and Makes & Takes and this overwhelming site, I came up with a list almost three pages long of possible ideas. I then proceeded to drive Scott crazy by talking about the ideas, the games, the favors, the guest list, and the invitations until he begged for mercy. Or silence. What can I say? I tend to obsess about certain things. We have managed to come up with a rough timeline/agenda for the party and have started to gather supplies. How about a pat on the back for two deeply ingrained fly by the seat of our pants procrastinators? Thank you.

Now I'm stressed by the fact that once I finish the invitations and mail them out, then it's a sealed deal. Set in stone. No turning back. (Well, unless a hurricane hits again, which I don't think Annelise will tolerate two years in a row.) A large number of children will be descending upon our home, ready to be trained as Jedi Knights and entertained for two hours. I am also stressed about our game/activity timeline. The way it is now, after all the games and training tasks, we have the last fifteen minutes to open presents, ooh & ahh over each one in a calm, appreciative manner, record the gift and giver, sing Happy Birthday and dive into cake and ice cream. I don't think that's gonna fly.

Are you sure I can't run for the hills?

How is your school routine coming together? Do you love your Crock Pot as much as I love mine? Do you think we can pull off a successful Jedi Training Academy in two weeks and within 2 hours?


  1. I ran across your blog a while back and have enjoyed reading it. You mentioned all those great recipes, so I thought I could share some as well. http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.com/ Good luck with the birthday party!

  2. I need to see what this Here Be Dragons is all about. I know Jill posted about it too. I love my crockpot!

  3. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

    i use this site all. the. time.


  4. ahh in trouble for talking, that's the stuff little girls are made of

    good luck with cooking more, i think it's hard for me with no kiddies

  5. Thanks for more Crock-Pot links, will definitely check them out.

    I can't fully describe Here Be Dragons but it seems to be historical fiction set in 13th century Wales/England. I do think I am going to like it a lot once I get further along into it.

    Annelise stayed on green today!

    Any party tips/advice? :)

  6. We do the color system at our school too. So far all green for all of my kids. My oldest went to yellow one day last year and was crying telling me about it! I made her feel better by telling her I got my name on the board the first day of first grade for talking.

    As for the party, go ahead and plan to not do as many activities as you think you will. Kids will be late, they'll be excited and easily distracted, you'll have to explain things more than once, etc. Be flexible!

    I just made a delicious crockpot lasagna last night. I got the recipe from Pillsbury.


  7. I'm glad she's loving kindergarten! I think talking too much in class is a problem A LOT of kids have.

    Kudos to you for planning and preparing meals this week. I've been doing better about that too, but still think it takes a lot of effort on my part. I love having leftovers from the dinners though, because then I have lunch for the next day or another dinner for Randy (the kids are picky eaters). I need to get good about planning ahead though.

    Good luck with the Star Wars party!

  8. A Jedi training camp! WOW. Sounds so fun! I have no ideas for you only admiration for your never ending creativity.

    The peach cobbler sounds yummy. I tried your asian slaw a week or two ago and, like you said, I coul eat bowls of it. I added chicken to mine. Truly wonderful! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. Okay, the Star Wars party idea is awesome. I don't think you need to go overboard with games, though, at six. Kids are still there for the cake, presents, ice-cream and treat bags. Just whacking a pinata with a lightsaber would be good and they'll have a blast pretending to be jedis. Or you could dress each one in a robe type thing and take their picture. Since it's costume time in the stores, I'm sure there's a cheapy Jedi one you could find. I know it's going to be so much fun!

    That's so funny that A. thought all your cooking meant it was Thanksgiving. Max said the exact same thing to me this week. I made mashed potatoes and we had a rotisserie chicken from the store. How's that for a peek into my cooking habits :)

  10. Thanks for advice about scaling back some of the games/activities. I hate to cut some of them out because they would be really fun, but the schedule is too tight. Sigh. Plus I hope to finish with my hair intact.

    I know, it's sad when Annelise thinks home cooking is a treat instead of the norm, here's to doing better!

  11. When the kids leave for school, I leave for work and don't get home until after I've picked them up so I am very stringent about our dinnertime meals. (and it is not easy for me....after all these years I still sometimes loathe the ole "what's for dinner" quandry). I grocery shop once a week for the coming week...too much mental strain for me to think 2 weeks ahead! ha! My husband just does not believe in eating out - thinks it's a waste of money and time - and so unfortunately that's not an option for me. Those I sometimes DESPERATELY wish it were. And yes, I do use the crockpot quite often. Don't you love walking into your house when something's been cooking and how good it smells?!

  12. I am so glad that A. is enjoying kindergarten - is it a full or half day for her? I know my girls found it hard to transition from a few days preschool to all day kindergarten - it was pretty tough for several months.

    I love that she doesn't want the traditional girl party - I think you can absolutely do it HollY! No hilss!

    Congrats on your new effort at cooking. I've felt the same way and got out the crockpot last week planning several meals for this week - I'm really excited about it!

    Take care and hope you are well :)

  13. Oh yes! I LOVE coming in and smelling supper cooking merrily away in the crock pot. You can't beat it!

    I'm not a good planner, so one week at a time seems to work best for us.

    Annelise goes to Kinder all day this year. She is adjusting pretty well, but she does seem tired and ready for bed without much fuss.

    Thanks for the party cheers!

  14. May the Force Be With You.....You could for sure cut back a game or two...You are outside right? Surely, the training is an outdoor activity....NO RAIN for that day, please. It sounds like loads of fun and what a memory for A.

    Crock Pots rock....I still love it because it doesn't heat up the whole house like the oven. I'm checking out the pork chop thing you made. YUM.

  15. love my crock pot! using it more now that volleyball season is underway and we have to drive to all our games! love having it ready when we walk in. will be checking out some of those links!!

    wow! the star wars party sounds great! will have to check it out. bet my nephews would love that party idea!! very very cool. my kids had jedi robes my mom made them. I think one is still around at my nephew's house if you want to check....


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