When something’s not working, don’t keep doing it

On a near daily basis I am reminded of two things about my day that are not working. The degrees to which they do not work vary, but just about every day I’m reminded of the problems, which are:

1. If I don’t get up early, bad things happen.
Ideally I get up at 5am so I can do my Biblestudy, exercise and get a shower before the kids wake up. However, when I stay up too late reading or blogging or if one or more children wakes up during the night because they have to go to the bathroom or throw up or their sock feels funny or the ladybugs are going to get them (all real life examples) it’s tough.

When I don’t get up early, I miss starting the day with quiet time for prayer, I either don’t exercise or have to work out with the kids (Hannah and Jack can do traveling push-ups like you would not believe, but it’s hectic), and I have to take a turbo shower and hope for the best. Today during my 2 minute shower, Jack climbed up on a chair to reach an economy sized bottle of rubbing alcohol then doused the kids’ bathroom with it. Y’all, the fumes in there would be sufficient to mummify a linebacker. I asked Jack if he drank any. He looked at me like with disbelief and said, “No, it smells spicy, I not drink it.” Well that’s a relief.

Action point: I am joining the GirlTalk bloggers in their 5am Club challenge for February.

2. I can’t keep spending all afternoon making dinner.
I have already mentioned being the world’s slowest food chopper and that I make most things from scratch, so you won’t be surprised to learn that it takes me most of the afternoon to make dinner. Many days I feel like all I do after the kids wake up from naps is feed them a snack and make dinner. With three small kids who need attention, being in the kitchen all afternoon is not working. Especially on days when we’re gone in the morning, we need to read books and play together and learn things, not have me in the kitchen trying to dice onions while the kids run around chasing each other with umbrellas and screaming like banshees.

Action point: I am joining Money Saving Mom and FishMama for their freezer cooking challenge. I planned a month’s worth of dinners (not all of which involve things that can be frozen) and this is what I’m planning to make in advance:

Cassoulet (frugal version: don’t use duck confit, use bacon or ham instead) x2
Curried lentils and brown rice (not sure how this will do in the freezer) x1
Chicken potato black bean soup (from Family Feasts for $75 a Week) x2
Spiced chicken and rice with yogurt sauce (I’ll freeze the chicken and rice and make the yogurt sauce the day of) x1
Spanish Rice Bake (from Family Feasts for $75 a Week) x1
Beef Vegetable Soup x2
Taco baked potatoes (just making the taco stuff, not freezing the potatoes) x2
Taco beans and rice x2
Baked bean casserole x2
Spaghetti (just freezing the sauce I make from my Grandmother’s recipe) x3
Pizza (just freezing dough for the crust, we have homemade pizza every Friday) x4

I plan to cook all the meat and use the food processor to chop a huge batch of onions and things, then assemble everything and freeze it. I cooked a gigantic pot of beans yesterday, so those are all ready to go. Hopefully doing the work all at once and up front will free up our afternoons in February!

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