Saturday, January 26, 2013

Its all about timing...

As you read this post, you will understand the title has to do as much with my kids involvements as how I to put a decent meal on the table for the family to eat on a regular basis.  Sarge and I work really hard to make sure that as often as possible we sit down together as a family for dinner.  Sometimes it gets difficult with the chaos that is our lives, but we try.

Photo from Crockin' Girls site.
Tonight, while it is not cold her in Texas, it is 54 degrees today (not bad for the end of January), I am making Chicken & Dumplings in the crock pot.  Thing One has a mini retreat for the day to prep for their big ACTS retreat in a couple of weeks, and the Sarge is directing tonight's choir at church.  So I needed to fix something that would be ready when the kids (who have all opted to go to Mass tomorrow) can eat when they are ready, but will still be warm when Sarge and I get back from Mass.

I have found that my crock pot has started becoming a integral part of my weekly routine.  There are days when I am gone for the majority of the day running errands with my Mom (we'll call her Ms. Daisy) or driving her to Seguin so she can volunteer at the Family History Center there helping others with their genealogy.  And while Thing One drives, he may not always have a vehicle at his disposal, or be able to help with Thing Two pick ups (he does when I ask him to, though).  Yes, along with all those extra activities comes me driving for pick up.  It should be no wonder then how I put about 20K on my car every year.  

My family is a little overextended at times.  Okay, so maybe it is a lot over extended.  I look back at my childhood and growing up, my parents allowed my brother and I to be involved in activities as long as we maintained passing grades.  I remember trying out and participating in various activities growing up - softball, volleyball, tried gymnastics for maybe a month, tap dance until my instructor had a stroke, swim trips, ski trips, cross country, track and scouting.  And of course, music.  Sarge was the same way, to an extent.  He did participate in band and cross country in high school, and his family was big into hunting, so he learned how to fish and hunt with a bow at a young age.

So it was no surprise that we would allow our kids to become involved in extra curricular activities as they were getting bigger.  It started while we were in Germany with Thing One.  He started playing soccer in the fall and baseball in the spring, and became a cub scout.  Then Thing two started with t-ball shortly before we moved back to the states.

In Kentucky, we allowed them be become involved in sports and scouting again and as they got older they added alter serving to their routines.  This slowly creeped up on us, and soon we had three kids in sports and scouts and one serving, as well as Thing One adding the equivalent of academic bowl to his activities.

Upon moving to Texas, we went back to soccer, added scouting and then added band with Thing One.  Thing Two found that while she was to young for band, that she could add show choir and Orff ensemble.  You can see the snowball starting, right?

As they got older, Thing Three was the first to break away from soccer (which she had been doing since she before was 4 both fall and spring) at age 7 started  gymnastics.  Then she went back to soccer and kept gymnastics.  That lasted for a season or two before soccer was done for her.  I think there was actually a spring where she was doing soccer, gymnastics and swimming for a month.

Things Two and Three added district honor choir for two years, and while they loved the performances (they got to be munchkins in the HS performance of Wizard of Oz), when Thing Two aged out of it, Thing Three decided not to continue.  Thing Two also added band during this time, and Thing One had added Academic Bowl again.  Snowball rolling....

Now, we have Thing One in Band, involved in the youth group and teen ACTS at Church as well as alter serving, still in Boy Scouts (come on Eagle!!!) and Academic bowl.  Thing Two is also in Band and Jazz Band, Girl Scouts, Academic bowl, and is involved in the Church (helps with children's liturgy, as well as the pre-k class, JH youth group, and singing with the choir when she is not alter serving).  And Thing Three is in Band, Girl Scouts, Gymnastics and alter serves at Church.   Individually it would not be too much, but together it becomes a bit overwhelming at times.  Snowball has now slammed me into a cement wall!!!

If you are looking for a great crock pot cooking site, you should check out  I have been using recipes from there for over a year, and while you can definitely see a Texas theme with some of them they do have a variety.  Sorry, just a little plug..  Happy cooking!!!

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