Band Parents

Band Parents

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday - Fast Meals

Hi Folks,
We are a busy family at this time of the year. Ok, not just this time, but right now things are quite a challenge. With DS12 being in Junior High, his wrestling practices are the three nights during the week when the 8yo does not practice. We are running to practice five nights a week.
Last year, before we moved, the school where practice was held was 4 miles away from home. Even suring rush hour it was not difficult to get there. Now in our new city, to get to the High School 13 miles away, we need to fight rush hour traffic. It can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Of course it take Hubby and I longer to get home from work also.
So my tip is about how to have a meal at home early enough so that the boys are not practicing on a full stomach. I fix a casserole and leave instructions for it to go into the oven usually about 4:30. The 12 Yo can do this. (Although one time the new-to-us gas oven did not fire up.) Which every parent has been more victorious in overcoming rush hour traffic then puts dinner on the table.
Casseroles - it's what's for dinner. This works better for me than the crockpot. With the crockpot the meal stays in it for over 10 hours, so I have to be selective as to which recipes can tolerate that long of a time. Of course it's only worked since my 12 yo has been old enough to be a latchkey kid.
For more great ideas, see Shannon's blog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Business Travel

Once upon a time, I traveled for business. This was back before Hubby went back to school and got his degree, back when I was bringing in 2/3 rds of the family income. I felt guilty (usually). While it was nice being away, I worried abotu stuff at home. Especially when DS-now-8 was an infant. Yes, I left him at home. I always believed that my family handled my traveling better than I did. I have to admit I wondered why Hubby had his Mom over a lot more to help him out.

So now, with Hubby's new job is coming travel. (And it is getting more frequent). Now i am on the other end. I understand why he saw his Mom more often. Especially since the boys were quite little. (Like 0 & 5 all the way to 3 & 8). So while now the kids are older and able to do a lot for themselves, in a way it is easier, but in a way it is more difficult because i do become the shuttle bus driver. With somebody having wrestling practice every night M-F, it is rush home from work, shovel in some dinner, hop in the car for the 13 mile drive to the high school in rush hour traffic, finding something to occupy me and a non-wrestler for 2 hours, back home for shower, snack and bed. Whew!

Yesterday Hubby got asked to make a quick trip for a survey on Friday. He'll leave Thursday afternoon and come home Friday night. So what's the problem? I had agreed (with Hubby's blssing) to participate with a focus group of the Alumni associatation Thursday evening and then go for a girl's night out on Friday. I had to cancel both. We discussed asking my brother to help, but I felt guilty asking him to do the Thursday shuffle*.

But you know what, even the Thursday shuffle* is better than the 10 hour workdays and impersonal hotel rooms and wondering what is happening at home.

*Thursday shuffle:
  • Meet the 8 yo's bus at 3:30 at home
  • Pick up the 12 Yo from band practice at 4:30
  • Feed us all (not enough time to go home, eat and get to practice in rush hour)
  • Drop DS12 off at Wrestlign practice at 6:00.
  • Entertain the 8 Yo for 2 hours
  • 8:00 practice ends
  • 8:25 at home for showers and snacks
  • 9:00 bedtime

Monday, November 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Sloppy Joes

Tuesday - Turkey pot pie

Wednesday - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Thursday - Beef stew

Friday - Homemade pizza
HAve a great week. And Check out Laura's blog for more great meal plans.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


My boys are off school today as the Thanksgiving break is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I did wake the 12 Yo to put on his ADHD patch at the usual 6:00 AM so I could buzz out to work early (so I can get home early). I turn to leave the room and the sleep boy say' Wait a minute." He stumbles out of bed and gives me a big hug. Awww!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Organizing Challenge Progress report.

I am pretty happy with where things are going with putting away thing in my new basement. I have Holiday desorations stored under the stairs, I emptied many boxes. Toys are on shelves, videos and DVD's are on Shelves. I unearthed the train table. Even though my boys have outgrown their Thomas Trains. they still find used for the table Hubby made for them. There are still some boxes of books and office supplies lying around. I do need to neaten them up.

Hubby did promise he start to work on organizing his workbench area. So I am at the point where I can go down and empty one box and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Having Monday off when the rest of the family had work/school was an immense help. I moved shelves, piled boxes, etc. I need to make arrangements to take the boxes back to the co-worker who loaned them to me.

Here are some before pictures. Boy some of these are small. I think because I uploaded them to facebook at home and downloaded them the display here. I am unable to make them bigger. The other ones were taken directly from the camera to my machine.

Here are some in progress pictures:

I purchased these shelving systems from Home Depot. They are by Closet maid. I love shelves. I want to install more, but that will have to wait until next month when I have an influx of more spendable cash.

My Original Post about participating is here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Halloween Pictures

I love the intensity on his face when he is carving.
This morning was something else. It was cold here. the 8 YO could not find his coat. He was going to go out with 2 sweatshirts until I found his coat hanging up in the coat closet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas Cheer

So I love Christmas music. Today I have finally given in to the urge and am playing my ripped Christmas CD's on my computer. So then I went into my archives to see when I broke them out last year. Guess what, It was Nov 13th.

Now if I could just find my collection of Christmas CD's. They are probably in the same box that is hiding my MP3 player. I have not seen that since we moved in July.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Windy City

I'm on a mini-vacation in the Windy City. Hubby is attending a conference and I cam along for the ride. I did bring my laptop and am keeping in touch with work. We are trying to hire someone and I am doing thisgs related to that.

We are staying with a family that are good frineds of ours. G&L actually introduced us. Hubby and G went to High school together and L & I met at our first job att eh big oil Company here in Chigaco when we were both fresh out of college. They have a nice house in he city and it's always an adventure. Especially for peopl ewho live in the suburbs.

Yesterday L took the day off to spend with me. My goal is to do much of my Christmas shopping. But yesterday we started out walking their kids to school. then we went to the gym. L's trainer put me through exercises. I am a bit sore today. We came back tot he house, both did some remote email work. and about 11 am we were off again. We went to a store for workout clotheing her trainer has been bugging her about. Then we went to Wriglyville where I got a few Cub-themed items for gifts. We ate lunch. Then we went down to the loop so i could go to the DePaul Bookstore there. I got my MBA at DepAul and wanted some stugg that had the Grad College on it. L circled the block in her car while I shopped. I got a diploma frame that I have been wanteing along with 2 shirts, a pair of sweat pants and a coffee cup.

Today I am going to meet my brother. His wife just got a job in Chicago and he's looking for one. They are staying out in the burbs. He wil ride the train in and I am going to meet him at the station. We'll bum around together for a bit.

the boys are having a good ole time at home. Grandma (my Mom) is staying with them. Unfortunately for her, this is the first week of Wrestling practice and she has to run one of them somewhere every night.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fall Organizational Challenge 2007

So I'm trying Org Junkie's Fall Organizational Challenge again. Last year I did not make it. But I am trying again. We moved in July and my basement is a sea of packed boxes.
I am a crafter. So I have lots of stuff. This is an unfinished basement. I have been buying shelving units. The type where you have tracks and adjustable brackets. I love them. I took before pictures, but I do not have them to post right now.
I purged a lot this spring when we put the old house on the market. As of this past weekend, I had all of my paper crafting stuff put away, My Husband had installed a piece of countertop for my craft workspace. He still needs to run electricty, hang a light and some peg board.
One big obstacle I have is that the basement is L-shaped. The short part is the mechanical area. It has large workbench that my Hubby had claimed and his stuff is still where it was set when it was moved in. I need to carve my space out of this area.
The Challenge I currently face is that I have 2 shelving units up and full already. One has all of my paper crafing and general crafting stuff. The other set has those household items You keep for special occasions. I still have three boxes of sewing supplies that I do not know where to put. I also do not know where to put my sewing machine cabinet.
Another challege is the lack of electrical outlets in the basement. My Dad promised to help Hubby run some outlets Thanksgiving weekend. Right now to get electricity to the main part of the basement. We have an extension cord run across the unfinished ceiling to the middle ofthe room where two desks are pushed together. This is powering the TV, XBOX, Computer and Monitor. I cannot rearrange that part of the basement until we can plug stuff in at reasonsalbe places.
But I am going to give it a try.
We moved from a house twice the size of our current one, but the old house had lots of storage. When I think about how much I purged, I am amazed at how I am having difficulties putting away the stuff I still have left.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday - No menu plan

So I really have no menu plan for this week. Tuesday about Noon Hubby and I are driving to Chicago. He is attending a conference and I will window shop and people watch on Michigan Ave. We'll come back home Saturday. My Mom was nice enough to agree to come and stay with the kids.

Halloween recap.

So I had been planning to post some Halloween Pictures. I have some good ones of the 8 YO carving his pumpkin. The pictures are still on the camera.

The above-mentioned 8 YO did a good job carving his pumpkin, once Mom gutted it. He did want to do that part. The 12 Yo was too busy finishing up homework to carve a pumpkin.

Hubby went out of town on Halloween. Lucky me. The 8 Yo had to wear his costume to school for hte Halloween parade. He laid out a baseball uniform on Tuesday night and then Wednesday morning decided that he did not like that costume. Sigh. I think he ended up changing out the baseball jersey for a football jersey and took in his mask without a face.

Both boys went trick-r-treating with the neighbors while I stayed home and passed out treats. I had a big bag of smarties candy and a bunch of bouncy balls. My neighbor said i could expect up to 125 kids. I don't think we got that many. And it was a really nice night. There was quite a number of teenagers. That surprised me.