Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{Not} Wordless {At All} Wednesday

The kids and I have been really struggling in the evenings (you know, getting through them... ahem) on school nights. The kids are tired. I'm tired. They have an afternoon chart to follow to help guide them through the transition from "school mode" to "home mode" but as soon as they're done with the chart, more often than not it becomes melt-down central around here.

Yesterday I decided that something needs to change. Before Jack and I left to go get the kids from the bus stop, I made a list (it's what I do. I make lists...). I wrote down what the kids were going to make for dinner. Yes, they were going to make dinner. All of it. I assigned each kid a food group and made a list of what they would be doing (including every detail so they felt like each task was a HUGE deal to accomplish). Then I set out everything on the counter that they would need to set the table so that they could keep busy doing that while I was prepping for them to get started with their cooking.

Can I just say TOTAL SUCCESS?! The evening went great! They were so excited to cook (they usually only help with baking) and they were each even more excited to taste what the others made - they even wanted to take the leftovers to school today in their lunches (WIN!)!

Carter cleared the table after dinner and Natalie loaded the dishwasher while Jack, uh... supervised. No attitudes, no whining, no melt downs and no time-outs the whole evening. It was amazing! However, since I'm really good at procrastinating and generally not planning ahead, I'm going to have to make a few a lot of changes if I want to keep this up (which I do!).

So, there you have it. I officially have my kids making dinner and cleaning up afterwards. HOLLA!

{Jack's job was the green beans. He claimed it was the best part of the meal.}

{Carter was on "baked potato duty." I'm pretty sure our water bill will be doubled this month, but the potatoes were definitely clean...}

{Natalie did the lightly breaded baked chicken breasts. She LOVED it!}

{If you could kindly look past my disastrous kitchen to simply take in how adorable these kids are working together it would be much appreciated, mmkay? Thanks.} ;)


  1. SO awesome! What a good idea! I'm a compulsive list maker and I plan out the entire week's worth of dinners and do all the grocery shopping on the weekend so this could work for us when Ry gets older/we have more kid(s). She already loves to "help" make dinner.

  2. Oh also...yes...adorable wee always! :)

  3. Katherine: You're WAY ahead of me with the entire week's worth of dinners, etc... I'm currently more of a "put make-list-for-groceries-for-dinners-for-the-week on a to-do list" kind of person. But I'll get there (right after I start enjoying running, doing laundry and cleaning out the car) so obviously it's going to happen soon... ;)

  4. That's so awesome! They are adorable helping each other out like that - and you got to supervise? Lucky! ;)

  5. Have I told you lately how much I love you as a Mom and a wife and oh yes, a daughter!
    Mom Eastburn

  6. Awww, my heart... it's melting! I love (love, LOVE) being your grandkids' Mommy, your son's wife, and oh yes, your daughter! Really, really!

  7. Oh, by golly, I sure needed that laugh just now!!! As my Aunt Flo is visiting and I'm sitting here writhing in pain from those "cramps" she brought along with her that are making me want to die...I am sitting here in tears after getting to the "bottom" of the blog and the part about the "disastrous kitchen"!!

    Truly a wonderful experience...guess you must have had "clean up" after "clean up" duty?? ;) Just great! Thanks for sharing, don't know how I missed this before! Saw it after reading your "sugar tooth" blog...I'm so sorry, what a terrible thing...thanks for the warning! NO Jelly Bellies of that "type" for me!!!

  8. Thanks, Rita - I hope you feel better soon. I hate that Aunt. She never brings cookies when she visits - just cramps. YUCK. ;)