This is a little peek into a typical crazy Wednesday.
5:00am - Alarm. Mike is a morning person. It's crazy how he just stretches, yawns and cheerfully asks if I want coffee. I have always admired/hated that about him. Why the animosity, you may wonder? Because I don't want to get up! I'm grumpy and sleepy in the morning. But, I am glad if I HAVE to get up, I get to wake up with a pleasant person. It makes a difference. This hour is the only time of day Mike and I get to spend alone together. Remember, we are exhausted at the end of Wednesdays. We have coffee, catch up on e-mail, read the news and just hang out. I jump in the shower some time between 5-6. Sometimes Mike runs.
6:00am - Time to wake up the kids, make lunches, let the dog out, feed the dog and cats, make sure all papers are signed and in folders, comb out hair, fix little girl hair and repeat these phrases again and again: Have you brushed your teeth? Hurry out of the shower! Your sister needs to get in there! Are you 100% ready to go? Put down the cat and get ready for school! Let's go! Let's go! Say goodbye to your dad. Let's go!
6:50 - Stephen has to be at work by 7:00, so either Mike or I will take him. This week, we added scraping windows to the time crunch.
7:10 - Time to load the van and take everyone to school. If we leave before 7:20, we will be in good shape traffic wise. If we are out the door after 7:20, we will be in traffic hell, and that makes momma grumpy and anxious. Oh, my gosh. We pass about 5 Starbucks on the way to school. Want!!
7:30 - Drop off the St Pius kids. Anna, Dominic and Maggie. Usually, we drop the high school girls, Mary and Clare, off first, but Bishop Kelley has "late start day" on Wednesday, so they don't have to be to school until 9:00. Traffic is a nightmare on the highway and home is too far to go back and forth, so on Wednesday mornings, I spend a little time with Mary and Clare. Sometimes, we get coffee and a donut from the little donut shop that is by St Pius. Every once in a while, we splurge and go to IHOP. It's pretty special since we rarely have individual time with these bigger kids. I love chatting with them with no distractions. They are funny and interesting and really good kids. I cherish this hour. Occasionally, I will have scheduled a dentist or dermatologist appointment in this hour, but I try to keep it open for girl time.
9:00 - Once everyone has been dropped off at school, I head over to St Benedict church in Broken Arrow. My friend, Carla, invited me to attend a weekly women's bible study with her. Though I have missed a couple of sessions recently because of schedule conflicts, I really enjoy this time. More coffee! Fruit and sweetbreads! (unless I've had pancakes, then I just have coffee. Honest!) We have been studying Mary, the mother of God. It's good for my heart and I love seeing Carla on a regular basis. Win/win.
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2:30 - Time to roll. First stop, St Pius X to pick up Anna, Dominic and Clare. Then we head over to the high school to get Clare and Mary. Sometimes one or two of their friends come home with us to get a ride to later activities. This is the time of day I get whiplash. (At least)Five people waiting their turn to tell me something about their day. Ping. Pong. The subject changes twenty times in the next thirty minutes. If a good song comes on the radio, everyone gets lost in the moment. Belting out a top 40 hit is a good way to release the stress of a long school day! Also, I usually clear my throat, ask for everyone's undivided attention and spell out the rest of the day's events.
3:30 - HOME! Now, I put the finishing touches on dinner and start barking at everyone. Get you homework going! Remember, we are eating early, so put the chips away! Change your clothes! Put your uniform away!!!! I think what they hear, is, Blah, blah, blah....
3:50 - This is new...Stephen gets off work at 4:00, so I have to run and pick him up. Can I tell you something? This kid needs a car. STAT.
4:00 - Time to eat. It's like herding cats getting everyone to the table. With homework started, clothes being changed, kids trying to chill, nobody seems in a hurry to sit at the table and eat. I'm a little nutty about wanting to have a family prayer and dinner together. It's something I feel we need to make time for. We are so scattered every day and evening and it is the one time we can all be together. Sometimes Mike makes it home in time. Those are the best Wednesdays.
4:50 - After everyone has eaten and the table has been cleared, I run Maggie up to the dance studio. She has dance from 5:00-8:30 on Wednesdays. Back at home, whoever has dish duty for the week is cleaning up the kitchen. Everyone else is finishing their homework. This is when I sit at the table with Anna while she does her homework. She also needs to read for a bit. Most nights, we read a chapter book. We take turns reading pages to each other, but on Wednesday, she reads a couple of books of her choice. Usually she has something from the school library to read. I also have to check Dominic's work at this time. If he isn't finished, I may not get back to it, but I try to remember.
5:20 - Time to head to St Pius. Mary and Clare (and sometimes a friend or two) have Youth Group every Wednesday It is well worth the travel and inconvenience. Mr Nance is an awesome youth director and we love having our kids attend this group in which the heart to serve is cultivated. They are excited about service to others! On alternating Wednesdays, Clare is also a youth leader for the diocesan Challenge group. Luckily, it also takes place at St Pius.
**If Mike is at home, I will have left Anna and Dominic with him. Otherwise, they are with me. So, if Mike is at home and it is my turn to drive the kids home after youth group, and the moon is in the 7th house and all of the planets are aligned, I will stay on this side of town until they are finished. There is a Target and a grocery store, so I can do some shopping if need be. I have also sat in the car with a book. This is rare. What usually happens is, I run back home because Dom needs to finish his homework and Anna has a musical theater class at the dance studio at 7:00. Now she and Maggie are in the same building at one end of town and Mary and Clare are in the same building in another part of town. Dominic is with me and Stephen is doing whatever 18 year old college students who have no cars do. We will go home where I barely have time to return a text or two, message a friend or two and log on to facebook and click the like button on a few pictures and snappy comments.
7:40 - Now, if it is my turn to car pool home, I run back over to St Pius. Youth group is out at 8:00. I will drive the car pooled kids to their house and then get over to the dance studio to pick up Anna and Maggie at 8:30. If it is my friend's turn to drive home, I will chill. Usually I fix mike a plate and tidy up the kitchen, check over Dominic's work, listen to some music, read some news, then head over to the dance studio to pick up the girls. Then back home to wait on everyone to be back under one roof.
8:40 - Everyone is usually home by now. I don't know about everyone else, but I am exhausted by this time. I am free to open a bottle of wine if I want to. Anna is finally old enough to get her own shower, so all I have to do now is repeat Get in the shower. Get on your pajamas. Take care of your stuff. about 10 times.
9:something - Everyone is in bed. Tired, yet content, I crash.
So, that is a typical Wednesday. Somehow, we were lucky and none of the basketball practices landed on a Wednesday night. I don't know how I would have managed that!
Yesterday morning, I put 2 roasts in the crock pot. One was a chuck roast and one was eye of round. They both can be cooked the same and have similar texture and flavor. I usually make two of the same kind of roast, but this is what we had. I put them in the pot, salted and garlic-ed them. Then I shook some Grill Masters pepper mix over both. Before putting the lid on, I liberally doused them with Worcestershire Sauce and added about a cup of water. Done. Then I checked the fridge to see what we could have with the roast. There was still a huge amount of mashed potatoes left over from the precious night's dinner (meat loaf), so I decided we would reheat those. As I looked through the vegetable drawers to see what else I would make, an idea struck. Rather than just reheating the potatoes, I made a twice baked potato casserole. I stirred into the mashed potatoes, a pint of sour cream (fat free!), a cup of cheddar cheese and a bunch of chopped green onions. Then all I had to do was bake it when we got home from school. I also served steamed broccoli and Brussel sprouts. The girls brought home a friend and one of Mike's graduate students ended up being here for dinner and there was plenty for everyone. With the left over roast, I plan to make a minestrone dish that Mike's dad showed me how to make many years ago. I hope I can remember how to make it!