March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A New Love

Last spring, I joked that Stephen had his first love.  That was, of course, baseball, and his affinity hasn't waned one bit in the last 12 months.  He has simply added a couple of new interests to the things he adores.
Once school began in August, Stephen was hit with the football bug, and it hasn't let up.  He loves everything about it.  He loves to play it.  He plays at school, in our yard, with friends.  He loves to watch it.  Some love to just watch "their" team.  Not Stephen, he loves to watch it all.  He doesn't really care who is playing or at what level.  It can be high school, college, or the NFL, and he wants to sit and watch.  Actually, this has been a good way to learn about the game.  He has picked up the language and definitely understands the nuances of how it is played.  On occasion, he is even known to sleep with his football.
So for Christmas, Mary Frances received a chess set, and that is Stephen's new love.  We have had a long, dreary, cold, and wet winter, so there has been ample time for inside activity.  Stephen is always looking for someone to play in chess.  Unfortunately, I don't really know how to play.   He has taught me the rules, but quite honestly I don't really want to devote the time to truly understanding them.  Mary Frances knows the gist of how to play but most of the time she can't be bothered with her little brother and Walker has know desire to learn.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Triple Lutz in Meal Planning

I am forever trying new recipes that none of the younger set in this house like.  That isn't entirely true!  Stephen will eat most anything that is put in front of him, and Mary Frances is willing to try most anything.  However, that doesn't mean they really like it!  I know if I have hit a home run because one or more of them will say, "ding, ding, birthday dinner!"  You know, as I write that I realize Walker has even made some progress in the variety of foods he will eat.  He is more willing to try new things.  That is, unless they are green.

I've told you before that I am a meal planner.  I have to be!  I probably spend way too much time thinking about and preparing the food that we consume.  It is my non-negotiable.  My potties might be dirty, but we will eat well.
Some weeks as I plan my menu, I have tried and true dishes.  When I say "tried and true," it means things that Frank and I like or things that can be created with items that I always have in my house.  I have never been one to plan my meals around my children's tastes and preferences.  If it sounds good to me, then I am willing to fix it.

On other weeks, the menu is full of new ideas.  Most people abhor change, but some people love it.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I've realized that meal planning is where I am able to incorporate low risk change in our life.  I have an ongoing list of vegetables and whole grains that I want to incorporate into our meal planning and another of foods that I want to try to make from scratch.  We spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

This was one of those weeks where the menu was full of new items.  Mardi Gras was Tuesday, but we honored New Orleans on Monday because we had a birthday to celebrate on Tuesday.  In that vein, I fixed "Quick Chicken Jambalaya."  You know I as able to complicate that "quick" recipe, but it received favorable ratings from everyone in the house.  Mary Frances even said, "Mama, you need to add this to the rotation."  Those are some of my favorite words to hear.
On Tuesday we celebrated Frank's birthday and had one of his favorite meals, Blackberry Pork Tender.  On Wednesday, Frank was going to be out of town and Mary Frances had softball practice until 7:00.  I decided we would have breakfast for supper, however I decided to try something new - breakfast cupcakes!  Again, this was eaten by everyone!  We are on a roll or maybe they are just growing up.  With a name like that, everyone was willing to try it, and I suggested, they add it to their breakfast rotation.  
That brings us to Thursday…As I was planning our weekly menu, I knew I would be gone all day Thursday and Friday.  Each March, I attend a two-day conference to receive my CEUs needed to keep my speech license current.  I also knew that Walker and Stephen had baseball practice at 5:30.  Therefore, I knew I needed something that could cook itself.  While I don't use my slow cooker often, I am attempting to become its friend.  On Thursday, we dined on Asian Glazed Chicken and 3/4 of the kiddos liked it.  Seventy-five percent is excellent in my eyes when it comes to dinner consumption!
And now you also have an idea of why I can't find the time and energy to chronicle our lives on this little blog!