Tuesday, April 27, 2010

time savers

when i was homeschooling my five little rugrats, i was always
looking for time saving tools.

the easiest one was to dress them in t-shirts and soft cotton shorts
after their evening baths.  when they awoke the next morning, they
were already dressed and there was not an additional load of night
clothes to wash.

the next idea exacted a toll on the front end but paid a healthy
dividend throughout the month.  i planned my meals by the
month.  it sounds difficult, but after a couple of practice months,
it became a snap.

as you might imagine, the hardest part was the grocery shopping.
one of my friends recently told me that she will never forget the
time she saw me at the check out counter with five kids and two
completely full grocery carts.  we must have looked like an act
from the circus.  i have no doubt that juggling was involved.

after a week of cooking, hans treated me to a date every friday
or saturday evening.  the kids stayed home with pizza, a movie,
and a sitter, while we enjoyed each other's company at a quiet
restaurant with a fine bottle of wine.

"for the worker is worthy of his wages."  luke 10:7

love,
lea

41 comments:

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I thought I was the only mom who let her kids wear regular clothes to bed so they would be dressed for the next day! lol!

I also did the once-a-month shopping/cooking and actually still do a modified version of it even though it is just me, hubby and dear son (age 16). We have less people in the house now but we aren't necessarily less busy.

Southern Lady said...

You and your husband know the secret to surviving homeschooling and raising a happy family. Now, if I could just learn how to plan monthly meals....... Carla

Jemm said...

I tried this once, planning meals a month at a time, but I ended up moving things around and then getting off the menu. I'd make the easier things and then be left with the harder meals on nights I needed something quick. I should try it again though, it did feel good to have it all planned.

Melanie said...

What wonderful and practical ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I often feel guilty about 'date night' but it's so nice to hear from someone else that it is important. I really enjoy your blog.

Have a great day!
Melanie

Brittany Ann said...

I love that you had a date night! When we have our babies, I know that will be so important!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I loved catching up with you today.
On my lunch break from mowing so thought I would catch up on some of my friends.
Sorry I don't get to visit you as much as I would like too. This thing with Verizon has me really limited on my blogging and I hate it.
Love reading this story. You were totally together as a mom but with five children you had to be right!
Your date night with your hubby was the best idea of all...everyone should take note of that
Take care
Maggie

Rosie said...

ahhhh...you must have read my mind sweet girl. My babies are grown, but days are still so jammed packed...I often wonder what I can do to simplify. Will definitely try the meal planning...I am spoiled in that my dear husband enjoys the kitchen as much as I do...so we share this duty...thank you for such an inspirational...and timely post ...smile on Rosie

Darcie said...

We all need the tips and time savers that allow us to be productive with our time. I love the idea of a once a week date with your husband. I tell my close girlfriend that we have to cultivate a relationship with our husbands too, because one day our kids will have lives of their own and we don't want to be married to a stranger at that point.

Thanks for sharing.

Sonja said...

I think you were an excellent planner. I especially like the 'date night'... the romance in marriage needs constant tending, and a special date night is one of our favorite ways too.

It can't be all work and no play...

jamjar said...

Great tips...especially date night...we used that one also. My best time saving tip was to set the table and put out breakfast tools before I went to bed. I moved faster and was more awake at 10 in the evening than at 6:30 in the morning!

Rosie said...

yup, you are correct...I love heavenly humor {especially the poetry...ahhh} thanks for your wise words...you may add match making to your resume...love Rosie

P.S...I loved it so much, I burned the potatoes...must run and get more, or have "potato salad"...without the potatoes ?????? Ya,I know, I'm out the door :)

Debbie said...

It sounds like a great plan to me. I also love that you and your husband have a date night. I think that's so important to a marriage and a good thing for children to see.

I can't imagine two grocery carts of food. It must take forever to get the grocery bags emptied and put away the food. Yikes! But I have to say ...I'm impressed.

Blessings,
Debbie

Together We Save said...

Meal planning for a month... that is awesome. I might could have done it when mine were young but now we run around like crazy it would be tough.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh, you sound so organized. I always have admired people who can teach their children from home. What a cut tip about dressing the kids at night.

Homeschooling and date night, sounds like a plan. I would imagine you have to really be a great at orchestrating the balance in life.

Karen

His Song To Sing said...

Lea, you continually impress me with your wisdom in all areas of your life. What great ideas for moms and dads who are in the still in "thick of it." I'm so glad to have "met" you through this avenue.

Vee said...

Oh yes! And I do wish that more hubbies realized how much a gal needs to get out of the house. I recall with fondness the dates when all we could afford was a cup of coffee and a piece of pie.

You must've been one incredible planner and organizer. I imagine that you still are!

Beth Priest said...

oh those are great ideas! I would LOVE to homeschool my girls. If I do hopefully we will still be blog friends and you can share some tips

Mountain Mama said...

Glad to know there is another mom out there that lets their children wear clothes to bed. Is it ok that I let them wear them all day and all night for about 3 days. Yikes! Bad mom.

My monthly meal planning is the only way I can survive around here. Well, that and a little glass of wine at night. :-)
blessings,
ashley

Anonymous said...

taking notes :)

love,
kate

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Raising five children is both a blessing and a lot of work! I'd say whatever you could do to make it easier was the right way to do it!

My husband and I always have "date night" on Fridays. It gives us something to look forward to on Monday!

Alicia said...

I never planned a monthly menu, let alone a weekly one. That is one area I would like to improve on.

Susan B said...

Date nights are a great idea for parents with young families. I wish my husband and I done that more often when our girls were young. Meal planning is so important. I still plan for three weeks at a time. Have a wonderful week!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest, thank you for coming to my blog and leaving me with some inspiration! I remember your visit a while back and was impressed that you have homeschooled all your children; I have two marvelous friends who have done the same with 5 and 7 children!

May you continue on this wonderful path and enjoy your grandchildren one day with such love!

Do visit anytime.....Anita

Housewife Bliss said...

Great tips! Hats off to you for homeschooling 5 children, you certainly have the knack and grace for it. I falls short of planning my meals, I used to do it regularly, but lately I opt for the last minute rush...never a good thing.

prashant said...

it's so nice to hear from someone else that it is important. I really enjoy your blog.
home based data entry

Joan Elizabeth said...

Goodness me ... I've never been that organised! When I had so many visitors recently I did buy up for a month but it is rare occurence for me to be that organised.

Andrea said...

What a great idea about the pj's! My little one and I don't get dressed until afternoon a couple of times a week! She is still in her pj's now.

I thought I was doing well with the once a week shopping/food planning. A lot of folks I know go to the store a few times a week! I may have to give it a try!

Rosie said...

Hey girlfriend,
just wanted to wish you a happy day...love Rosie

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

i love ideas like this! you are such a wise woman. i wish i knew you in real life! thank you! i'm definitely going to be all about time savers in the next month when our baby girl is here and i'll be tending to her and our 15 month old. i pictured you with all your kiddies and two full carts - oh man!

Shannon said...

aw your a super woman for taking 5 kiddos shopping I don't take my TWO with me if I dont have to!

Just Breathe said...

I am very impressed.

christy rose said...

I am so glad that I am not the only mom who does not bother with pajamas on some nights. Life is so much easier when a few members of the family can start the day already clothed. LOL

A Refocused Life said...

Lea,
What a clever idea. I would never have thought of it, but then I didn't homeschool, cook, clean, or do laundry for five children.

Thanks for the note you left on my last post. It's always great to hear from you. Rita

Shelby Rice said...

what she failed to mention was that we all looked a tad ridiculous in our matching t-shirts and shorts...

myletterstoemily said...

i never said that we were fashionistas! :)

Sidney said...

I won't be a home-schooling mom, but to be as organized as you are would be a dream!

Sidney said...

I won't be a home-schooling mom, but to be as organized as you are would be an absolute dream!

Liz Sarno said...

oI well remember babysitting for those date nights! You were such a wonderful example of what a great marriage should be! (And you still are)

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I admired women who had the presence of mind to declare each night of the week to have a food theme: Monday was always italian, Tuesday was meatless, Wednesday was Mexican, Thursday was casserole etc. Even when the kids had left the nest they knew when to drop by for their favorite kinds of food.

Our date "night" was usually a date breakfast; long leisurely meals on a Friday morning at a beautiful restaurant when we were both still wide awake, and the kids were at school. Breakfast was cheaper than a dinner and best of all, no one was home when we came home afterwards either (wink!)

Bree said...

love this :) I'm working on it, but again I say how the Lord is growing me up into a "big person" :) It seems to be a season I am finally entering into to "getting it." The further I seek Him, oh how wonderful it is that it is less of me and more of Him. Seems I can do so much more for others when I'm focused on Him. Thank you for checking in-we've been busy, busy! Hubby is a full time student and just finished up for summer-yay!!!! I'll be back to writing soon, so much to say!
Hugs!
Bree

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well you help me go back down memory lane...I was know as the mother ducklin in our neighborhood...no one else had five kids and my grocery shopping with teen boys was unreal.

Your tips are great...when I become a grandmother I will send my daughter-in-law over here to read.