Back to School Organization

Back to school organization

Back to school pensIt’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

Not Christmas.

Back to school!

Actually, I love summer with the kids. But, this year, the last couple weeks have been tough. Arguments galore between the kids! So, I’m ready to send them back.

Sorry teachers.

This year, I am determined to be organized and dedicate equal time to each kid.

When you’ve finished laughing, come back and read how I’m going to do that.

I’ve realized that when they get home, they are starving. My middle schooler gets on the bus at 7am and isn’t home unti

Back to school snacksl close to 4pm. Rather than tell them to wait a couple hours while I cook dinner, I have a snack ready for them as soon as they get off the bus.

Just like June Cleaver. Ready on a plate. What have we had so far?

  • Bagel Bites
  • PB&J cut into cute little squares
  • Cheese, lettuce and mayo hoagies cut into fourths
  • Cheese and pepperoni crackers

Anything that is bite sized works great.

Today I cut up donuts and my middle schooler ate every last one…even after I told him “Save some for your brother and sister!” So, maybe dividing them up among the kids works better.

Back to school boardWhile they are chowing down, I grab my home made dry erase board, dry erase marker and all 3 backpacks.

I go through each backpack, throwing out old papers and saving important ones. I write all 3 kids’ names on the board and record any homework, or papers that I need to sign, under their name. This includes reading time. That makes it more concrete…it’s easy to say, oh you have to read for 20 minutes, and then forget…but, if it’s written on the board, it’s a visual reminder and more often is complete.

I am sure to call each child over and say “Here is your homework for the night. Do you understand?”

Then they can play a little. We start homework right before dinner and finish it after, if needed.

I’ve also been using my color coded markers to record spelling words, test dates and other important class information in my etsy Purple Plum Planner.

So far, barring any giant projects, this system has worked.

Fingers crossed and check back with me in November!

What systems work for you?

The Grocery Trip

My original plan was to leave for the grocery right after the second grader got on the school bus at 8:35am.  Well, let’s back up.  My original original plan was to leave for the grocery at 7:00am and be in and out so fast I’d be home by 8:35 to get him on the bus.  Yes, I could do it.  I have my grocery list catagorized by aisle and my coupons grouped together…..thanks to my superb kaizen abilities and organizational skills perfected at my previous employer.  Joanna, stop laughing.

Anyway, that didn’t happen.

Here’s what did happen.  Baby girl got up at 7:00am.  So, she went to the bus stop with us.  In her pjs. 

Then we got back home and I messed around with my list (still organizing!).  Put together coupons.  Calculated the exact number of items I needed to buy to get my $5 off at Kroger.  Talked on the phone.  Fixed baby girl’s hair.  We hit the road about 10:00-ish.  Then we went to the coffee shop.  Hey, momma’s gotta have her chai!

Finally, Kroger! 

One thing’s for sure, I love love love the ginormous car carts!  Who’s with me?!  Yeah, I really don’t like them either.  I do like them when they keep my younger two strapped in and entertained like monkeys at the zoo……  But, I don’t like them when I am trying to turn the corner without knocking down the entire Cheetos display.  Of course, even though I just have one kid with me, we have have have to have the ginormous car cart. 

Here’s the car cart.

Hey, where’s the kid??

Half way through the shopping experience, here’s what happened.

THERE she is!!

Now I am steering the ginormous cart with one hand and holding a peanut butter cracker eatin’ kid with the other.  Yes, I guess I could have just strapped her in and listened to the screams as I raced down the aisles.  But, she’s quite a little Houdini and ends up with the seatbelt around her shoulders or her knees while her head and arms are sweeping the floor right outside the cart.  So, believe it or not, this way was faster. 

At least I only had to bring one kid….right?

Saucy Meatloaf

My grandma made the best meatloaf.  Really, she did.  She kept all of her recipes in a little blue photo album and after she passed away, my mom and I made copies of the recipes.  I love these recipes.  Whenever I make her Saucy Meatloaf, I become 10 years old and am sitting at my grandma’s table.  It brings back so many memories.  We (middle child and I) made it tonight.  Here is the recipe!

The main ingredients are:

1 cup of bread soaked in 1 cup of milk
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
1 egg
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp minced onion

Another important ingredient….a happy little assistant!

Notice the Chippendale’s style apron. 

Mix all of these together.  I usually let the bread soak while I am combining the other ingredients.  Mix, mix and mix!  Form two loaves.

Now for the sauce….

1/2 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.  Stir well.  Pour sauce over each loaf. 

Ready for the oven baby! Could he have his own show or what?

Cook at 375 for 45 minutes or until done.  Was the Naked Chef happy with the results?  You be the judge…..

 Considering he shirted up, I guess so!


Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer

While they were lining up kids at the pool last week to take swim team pictures, a few moms kept yelling to one of the little girls to stand up straight and be still.  She was jumping around shaking her goggles and acting silly.  I heard another mom say “Oh, that’s Suzy.  She marches to the beat of a different drummer.”  Wait a minute…..that’s my kid!  Well, not Suzy, but, in general, that’s my kid.  Marcus marches to the beat of a different drummer.  Sometimes I’m not even sure what band. 
He’s not your average kid.  He’s quirky.  He’s sometimes kooky.  Sometimes I have to explain his thought process.  I see the other boys running around the baseball field trying to hit each other with balls or playing chicken in the pool.  Marcus is more likely pretending to look like a frog jumping off the high dive while plugging his nose.  He likes to watch the History channel and can’t read enough books on extreme weather.  I wouldn’t buy him a cell phone or a wii, so he made a phone and a wii remote out of Legos…..just to practice for when he gets one.  He’ll be practicing a while.
He can tell you all of the vegetables growing in my garden….and eats most of them.  Swiss chard is his favorite. 
For Halloween he sported an old white butcher coat and wore big round brown glasses fashioned out of pipe cleaners.  Can you guess who he was?  No, he was not Harry Potter.  That’s what everyone thought.  Then they thought he was a mad scientist.  Well, that guess did make him mad, but no, he was just a plain old scientist. 
Maybe he will be a ninja this year.  How do you like his costume? 
That’s underwear on his head.  Design by Marcus.  He outfitted his younger brother and sister in the same attire.  Some how I don’t think a ninja with one green moose sock and one red crab sock is very threatening.  I’m guessing the little girl ninja with Minnie Mouse panties on her head is not too scary either.
Anyway, that’s my kid.  Ok, I guess I should just give it up and say kidsssss.  They are silly and creative.  They are free spirited and don’t always color in the lines.  They don’t always want to stand still in lines either.  When the other kids are signing up for t-ball and soccer, they will probably be gearing up for Lego League or drawing homemade comics to sell to unsuspecting family members.  They are marching to the beat of a different drummer.  But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.