Sorry, I'm in Princess & the Frog mode over here. How was your week? I had a great one and I'm glad it's over. I finished a big work project, which I enjoyed, but it exhausted me. This week is half-days (to ease us in to spring break, I guess), so I can work from home, which will also allow me to work at home. Which needs it. My husband almost broke his toe when a dam of books broke on top of his foot; we purged a ton, consolidated Legos (they don't look like a lot, but dang, they are), cleared under my asthmatic son's bed (woohoo!), packed clothes and toys for donation and consignment, and finished getting rid of our 40 bags in 40 days early. You'd think that would make our house look better. You'd be wrong. Like a fist from a bucket--anyone sane still looks at our house and thinks, geez, they have a lot of purging to do. I can see some improvement but it is deflating to see ... not that much different after that many things are gone. Humbling.
Meanwhile, summer broke out, which was odd. Everything bloomed. My town was a riot of blossoms, and I loved it. The kids played outside for hours every day, and they loved it. It was very hard to stay focused on dinner. But I stuck with the plan, for the most part.
I had to address a comment from last week: "not eating out" during Lent does not totally encompass "not taking out." I've tried to avoid it as much as possible (and my credit card has shown it!) but there were nights when I was just not able to pull it together either. (And there was our fabulous walk-to-town dinner, but that was when I thought the spring couldn't possibly stay that nice for long. And--I didn't get anything for myself that night and went back to eat what was in the house after the kids had something. (Because really--I could cook for myself and my husband with no problem. But the kids! They eat nothing easy.) I am looking forward to a week of detox soup and baked potatoes for lunch. I also want to try this chick pea salad. For me. As for the kids? I'll figure out something.
And I might be the only person on the east coast grateful that the weather is returning to seasonal temperatures. But I'm not ready for summer cooking yet, so a few more cool-weather meals will suit me fine...
Monday: slow cooker curry chicken, rice, creamed spinach
Tuesday: Empanadas. Hah! I kid. Tacos, of course.
Wednesday: ravioli for 3/4 of us, leftover tacos for another
Thursday: leftover chicken curry, some veggie that looks good
Friday: Frozen falafel for grownups, frozen flatbread for boys.
Last but not least, and a total departure from meal planning, but I have to tell you: one of the best moments of our week came with inspiration from these posts at 71 Toes. As I commented on one--we were having a tough night at home, and I called over my older son to talk to him. I had a pen in my hand and remembered that darling picture from the first link and started putting letters on his fingers, talking to him about what he was good at. We hadn't even gotten to finger #3 before his younger brother was over with us, asking if he could have letters on his fingers for things he was good at, too. It really turned a cranky night around and ended with the older one throwing his arms around my neck for a huge hug that I drank in like a nomad in the desert. They both just spent the night smiling at those fingers and in a much better place. I highly, highly recommend this technique. Even if it never works for us again--that night, it was like magic, and I'm totally grateful for the amazing idea.
Wishing you a wonderful week full of whatever makes you feel wonderful! Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for more great meal ideas.