Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On meals and attitudes

I have some pictures to post, but I'm having trouble uploading them. It seems I'm having trouble with most everything nowadays. I'm SO TIRED.

The tile guys stayed so long this weekend that they are now part of the family. By the time Isidro and Luis left at nine-thirty (see, the three on my laptop is having trouble, too!) Sunday night, they had finished the counters in the kitchen and bathroom, and I had a sink again for the first time in three days. It wasn't until yesterday that we discovered they'd cut the hole too small for the cooktop, so it languishes there, cockeyed, on my beautiful counters. I thought about hooking it up, but figured the angle of it was probably a safety violation.

So we're going on a week without being able to cook. My old standby (pasta of any kind) is out, and we've OD'd on pizza and sandwiches. Dennis grilled burgers the other night, and we've had frozen, microwaved and toasted you-name-it. But when it boils down to it (I'm so good at puns, aren't I??), it's not so much about not being ABLE to cook as not having energy to find alternatives to cooking.

Perhaps not coincidentally, everyone's nerves are pretty much shot. I've been on the snippety side, and so has Dennis (yes, he admits it). It was a beautiful yesterday, which is a good thing, because I sent each and every kid (in turn) outside at some point to separate them.

Which is not what I was hoping for when I was dreaming about moving our family to the country.

(And at which, I suppose, God is having a good chuckle.).

The other day, Allie (14, and never one to keep her opinions to herself) said, "Mom, all you do is work on the house." She was right. I've let the overwhelming job that it is take over every moment of my day, and I need to find balance somehow. Libby (10) is seriously struggling right now with attitudes, and Annie (6) has had hives TWICE in the last few days.

So I am praying. The last thing I want to do is make my kids hate the idea of moving because Mom has turned into some kind of crazed maniac. You want me to move out to the country with HER?? NO WAY!

Right now, I think the most spiritual thing I can do to improve things is to plan meals. We have been grazing for two weeks now, and for us, this means more than the fact that we've been living on junk. Our family is used to sitting down together, most every night, and I think that is a huge reason we are out of sync with each other.

So tonight it's baked potatoes. Tomorrow night, I will force myself to face raw meat and will grill some chicken (I have to assume I won't have a stove). So that even though it is chaotic around here, and everything is changing around us, some things will always be the same.


Elise @A Path Made Straight said...

Oh, friend, I'm praying for you!

Do you use the crockpot for anything? Cause you can stick a whole chicken in there for the day with a bottle of Italian dressing poured over it and you've got yummy pull-apart chicken! Also, dump a couple of big cans of chili in there for a few hours and there you go. There are lots of other things you can do in a crockpot, too, and that's all the help I can be since I'm not close enough to invite y'all over for dinner at my place! :(

My love and sympathy. (((Katherine)))

mholgate said...

Katherine, When I read your post today I immediately started praying for you.

Coincidently, I had the same thought as Elise. My crock pot is my saving grace when it comes to dinner. I schedule it into my menu at least once a week, and then use it in an emergency bind when I don't have time to make what's on the menu that day. I've never used a whole chicken in mine, but I often dump chicken breasts in with any number of other ingredients to make dinner. Two of my family's favorites are shredded bbq chicken (just dump in a bottle of bbq sauce and simmer on low all day, then shred and eat like sloppy joes) and cheesy chicken (4-6 chicken breasts, 2 cans of cream of chicken, 1 can mexican cheddar soup. Again, cook on low all day, shred. Then serve with corn chips to scoop it out of bowls.)

Keep your chin up, sweety, you're doing great! You're in my prayers.


Anonymous said...

If your BBQ has a burner, you can brown burger and have some tacos or nachos or something of that sort. Planning is the key for meals and no, I am not the queen of planned meals. I just know that when I plan all is well. Hmmm, I think we have basketball practice in 15 minutes and no dinner planned here either. Gotta go!! :-) Melanie in OR

Mommahen said...

Do you have an oven? If not you can also cook this meal on the grill I just know how to tell you to time it. It's called packet stew. For my family of five I need:
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
5 medium potatoes cut up into chuncks
5 handfuls of carrots
5 slices of onion
Season Salt
Tear five sheets of foil off the roll (I make an envelope so they need to be rather long sheets)Divide the hb meat into equal portioned patties
Place one patty on each sheet of foil.
Place the onion slice on top of the meat (you can omit this if your kids don't like onions. My hubby and I simply eat our kids onions.)
Sprinkle the potatoes with seasoned salt (I am sure you could use other flavorings if you didn't like season salt). Place the potatoes around the meat and onions.
Place the carrots on top of the meat and onions.
Bring the long sides together and fold down leaving a small pocket for air to circulate.
Seal up by folding the small sides in.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until meat reaches a temp of 160
For each additional serving just make an extra patty and add an extra potato and handful of carrots. When they are done I serve it with bread and my guys love A1 with the meat.
My little famly loves this meal and it took me longer to type the receipe that it does to prep it.
Praying order is restored soon.

Beck said...

The crockpot is your friend right now. My mother-in-law has a whole stoveless routine for camp - a flottila of crockpots and microwave recipes.
This time is just a short one, right?

Julie said...

Another crock pot recipe for you:

1 lb hamburger - just break it up no need to pre-cook
1 can kidney beans
1 can northern beans
1 can black beans
1 pkg mild chili seasoning

Cook on hi about 4 hours, occasionally breaking up meat. Great with some bread.

Anonymous said...

Vegetable soup is good in the crockpot as well!

Anonymous said...

Oh Katherine! I am going to pray oodles over you tonight! You and your precious family!

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His Glory and Grace."

Many, many hugs to you....

Chris in Canada

The Roaming Southerner said...

Your commentors had the same suggestions as me!
I thought of grilled meat tacos and crockpot right off...
I'll agree, foilies what Mommahen called stew is great! each kid can make up their own and all you need is frozen veggies (or fresh if you are fancy) and seasoning.

I'm sure you have thought of these things...but I'll be sending some prayers and air hugs to ya!

Peapod Four said...

I was going to suggest pretty much the same thing Mommahen did. We used to do that when we were camping with my grandparents. Everybody got a piece of foil and a hamburger. Then we added whatever vegetables we wanted and wrote our name on the outside. Then my grandpa would put them on the grill. Easy and fun!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! Remodeling is such a trying, tiring, frustrating and seemingly unending event!!

We went through one phase of a kitchen remodel while I was very pregnant with twins! No way to cook dust and who knows what else being kicked up all over. Barely done in time for them to be born!

Meanwhile trying to come up with any kind of normalcy for our (then) 4 boys was . . . well . . . argh!

In other words, I'm feeling for you! I hope things are going better today!

Janice said...

My oh my! I will just come to your comments here if I get a lull for a dinner menu!

Great friends you have!

Wish I was anywhere near you like Elise, I would love to make a meal or two for you!

God Bless, and this too shall pass!

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

I'm with ya, sister. We have been reduced to eating on a picnic blanket inside until our move date. We are 1/2 in one place and 1/2 in the other. I am ready for some routine!

Dimple Queen said...

Oh, dear friend, I am so praying for you right now! I will just lift you up!

Father, please lift up Katherine and her fam. Please allow this precious family have their dinner time back! Be with Katherine and Dennis as they try to put some "normal" back into their routine. Be with the kids and show them that this is just a season, and it will be over soon. Give Katherine the time she needs to plan menus conducive to what is going on at her home. Thank you Father for loving this family!

Jen said...

Here is an idea...crock pot...take some chicken and add salsa to it and cook on low all day and make fajitas...let it be fun and let the kiddos make their own....heat some corn up in the microwave and or grill veggies on the grill....they will love it....just an idea....I do a killer Italian Beef with little ingredients if your interested.....its crock pot style.

Keri said...

Wow, it must be a REALLY rough week - you haven't posted since Tuesday! I hope I'm wrong, though, and that you've simply been having too much FUN to bother with the blog! :-)

Praying for normalcy to return to your household very, very soon, and for the Lord to give you abundant patience and good humor in the meantime...