on the list

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I’ve got two lists I’m working off of right now, both having to do with getting ready for school. One is the grocery and meal plan list, where I’m making 2-3 weeks worth of meal plans and lists that can easily be rotated and repeated in the fall. My supper favorites tend to come from the paleo crockpot cookbook. Because it’s too expensive to buy all the meat needed to make those recipes feed everyone to full, I’m making rice a staple around here, where the crockpot meat dish can be placed on the top of the rice. I tried the meat+rice out for supper last night and ended up getting compliments several from the boys. It never ceases to amuse me when someone compliments my cooking, this thing that fills so much of my life.

The other list is the housecleaning list, with the rooms I want decluttered and deeper cleaned before school. It’s not the schoolwork itself that I find the most challenging, but the steady food needs and house work that is an absolute necessity when everyone is always home. There really is no magic formula to bypassing the general upkeep of homes. While I have more free time and time for myself than I did when the kids were super little, most of my time is still spent on the working things of raising a family. The messes are different. Not as many baby and toddler table messes, but a gradual increase toward making more and more food. It’s no longer the evening living room clean up of scattered books and preschool toys, but random piles of other people’s stuff, books I don’t buy a bookshelf for because I don’t know where I’d put it, and a growing collection of now adult-sized coats.

I’ve been battling “stuff” for years and years now it seems. The more years there are, the more stuff that makes its way into your life to get attached to. At least several trips to the dumpster are in order as well as a trip to the local Goodwill. For our anniversary this year I wanted to get our room to a place of clean and calm, which is the way I like it best. I took out every single homeless item and put it in the mudroom where it’s been much more mentally manageable to deal with. There are remnants of our furniture that still have that falling apart and making-due dorm room appearance, so I painted the wobbly little TV stand white and decorated it with a picture and plant. I hope to get into town this week for a fresh comforter and curtain set. The mudroom is now a mess, but in the meantime, our room is clean.

So my room was on the list, the mudroom, the big boys’ room , and then the schoolroom. The big boys’ room they can work on themselves, though every six months or so I’ll go in there and help them. I’ve gotten and kept the schoolroom down to one bookshelf of school and resource books, and all of the kids’ school stuff must live in their desks. Nevertheless, the room is one of the most used and messier rooms in the house, unless we’re cleaning it every day which we don’t. To this day it still remains one of my favorites.

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