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Archive for the ‘school’ Category

Basketball practice times aren’t ideal, but we’ve got good carpool situations to make them easier to handle.

Early morning practices have me getting out of bed at 5:00, leaving at 5:15 with Caleb, meeting his ride at 5:30, then coming home to get ready for the day.

Since Mondays aren’t school days, practices are mid-afternoon: 2:00-4:00. It’s a little tough for working parents, but we figured out a system. Lori brings Jackson to the church and takes Jacob with her so he can hang out with Aidan. Stephanie takes Jackson and Caleb with her, picks up Andy, and takes them all to school for practice. Billy picks up Caleb, Jackson, and sometimes Andy, then takes Jackson home and picks up Jacob. If he has Andy, he brings him by the church before heading home with the boys. We call it the Teenage Shuffle. It’s crazy and confusing, but it works.

Well, all except for Jacob and Aidan doing their homework. They’re in the same class (except for math), so you’d think they’d get a little studying done or work on their writing assignments together. No. Jacob keeps insisting on taking some work with him to Aidan’s, but it never gets done. Then it makes us have a late night – especially since Monday nights are cooking nights for me. Tonight, after much frustration, I told him he wouldn’t be able to go to Aidan’s if he doesn’t have ALL his work done beforehand. That wasn’t met well, but he’s got motivation now. We’ll see…

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It’s been 11 days since I last posted. I only made it 1/3 of the way through the 31 Day Challenge. Busyness won. But I am succeeding in finding our new “normal”. I’m getting my ducks in a row.

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Evenings have been the best indicator. Jacob was finished with his homework before 8:30 three nights this week, including Wednesday night. I was tired of coming home after youth activities and having to urge him through more homework when he should have been in bed. This time I told him if it wasn’t finished before youth group started, he and I would just be late – if we went at all. That worked! He got right to it and finished with enough time to go out and play basketball for half an hour before things got started.

Next week, we start basketball games. The first two or three weeks, we just have one a week, but we’ll go to two a week after that. Until early February. With a 3-day double elimination tournament our school is hosting at the end of December. Basketball season also means those insanely early morning practices will be reduced to one or two days a week. Hallelujah! Driving Caleb to 7-Eleven at 5:30 a.m. to meet his ride is excruciating. I’ve learned to not hit the snooze button…

At least I remembered to check my calendar and plan our menu accordingly before I went grocery shopping today. (And speaking of that, I drove by ALDI yesterday morning. From the looks of things, they should be opening any day now!) We’ll only be eating at home two nights next week, three if you count Saturday night. That’ll be one big pot of chicken & dumplings and two nights of leftovers. Yes, a big pot. Really big. And if no one wants the third night of chicken & dumplings, there are frozen corn dogs, waffles, or sandwiches. And that will leave more chicken & dumplings for another night… It’s a good thing I like them so well!

In spite of all the busyness, I have managed to carve out a little time for myself. I walked around the pond three days this week. 2 1/2 miles over the course of the week. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start and I feel good about it. Even though I didn’t have to take Jacob in at all this week, I chose to go in to work early and get some walking in. Once were no longer in the upper 80’s and 90’s, I’m considering walking during my lunch break. I take my lunch three days a week. It would be so easy to eat in the park, then walk a mile or so before going back to the office. I finally remembered to put a spare pair of earbuds in my car so I don’t have to share my Pandora “Journey” station with everyone. Now I need to remember to take my tennis shoes. The flip flops are okay, but not my best choice.

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Finally Friday

I’m a homebody. I used to not mind getting out on Friday evenings after being home most of the week. Now that I’m working, I’m exhausted on Friday evenings, and I like nothing better than coming home (after the grocery store, of course) and relaxing. Last night, I did just that. Well, after I put on a load of laundry and fixed a quick supper. I got so relaxed I fell asleep in my recliner – and forgot to post to my blog.

Basketball season will soon be bringing these wonderful Friday evenings to a close, so for now I’ll enjoy every one I get.

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Today was day one of Caleb’s team’s early morning basketball practices. He and Billy were up at 5:00 and out the door at 5:20. The team practiced from 6:00-7:15, then they all headed to the YMCA down the street to shower before school. Meanwhile I took Jacob to school at the regular time so he wouldn’t have to hang out for two additional hours in the morning. I got to work 45 minutes early

Billy and Caleb both said it worked out great. Things ran smoothly this morning, and Caleb was glad to have practice out of the way for the rest of the day. The only thing no one likes much is the early hour. I imagine it’s going to be really difficult to get up on time by the end of the week… Fridays are already hard; coming on top of early practices and long, tiring days, it’s going to be even more difficult.

So this is what our Tuesdays through Fridays will look like until the games start. Then they’ll just have afternoon practices on Mondays and two early morning practices during the week.

My next step is to get some carpool schedule worked out with another nearby parent so we can swap out with the early days and not both have to do them all.

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I think I’ve got this one figured out. Well, until basketball season starts…

I started out going grocery shopping on Mondays since I wouldn’t have the boys with me. Going alone is so much easier! But since I get off work at 5:00 most days, I wasn’t getting home until nearly 6:30. Then I’d have to put the groceries away before even thinking about making supper (which was either sandwiches or leftovers). It was exhausting! Mondays aren’t the best grocery days anyway. After the weekend the shelves are pretty bare, and most restocking days are Tuesdays since the weekly sales start on Wednesdays. I couldn’t always find what I was looking for, and some of the boys’ special requests had to be skipped sometimes.

I had enough to get us through this week, so I decided to wait until today (Friday) to do my shopping. One reason it’s a better choice is that I get off work an hour earlier. After shopping, I get home around my usual time. Another reason it works better is that I’m too tired to cook on Fridays. It’s so easy to pick up something from the store to have for supper – or to make do with a bowl of cereal or a sandwich or leftovers. Billy takes the boys out for lunch after school on Fridays, and it’s one of my two eating-out days, so we’re not that hungry for supper anyway. Also, the store shelves aren’t too picked over because the weekend shoppers haven’t been in yet. Today I was able to find everything I needed – and then some!

Once basketball season starts in a few weeks, I may have to switch back to Mondays or go on Thursdays. Games are typically on Tuesdays and Fridays, and I’ll be going straight to the games from work. At least I have a workable plan for the bigger part of the year!

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I don’t like the boys waiting until Monday to do the homework they need help with. I told them over weekend that any homework needing my assistance should be done on Saturday when I would be home and have plenty of time to help them. Did they listen? No.

“I can’t concentrate on it now.”

“It’s not that much. It won’t take long.”

“I don’t mind doing math corrections in the morning.”

And of course, things didn’t get started until I was at work. And as soon as I got home at 6:15, after a day of work and a trip to the grocery store, still needing to make cornbread and heat up leftover vegetable soup after I unload the groceries, Jacob tells me from across the street, “I need some help on a few of my math problems. Oh, and I have a paragraph to write that’s due tomorrow. It’s just one paragraph.” A paragraph for Jacob is like writing a dissertation. It takes forever, and it’s not a fun process. For anyone.

I walked in the door and Caleb greeted me with, “After supper, can you help me with my bibliography? Oh, and I have to write an outline for my research paper, too. I have to print them out so I can turn them in tomorrow.”

So I unloaded the groceries, made cornbread, heated the soup, ate, cleaned the kitchen, and then split myself down the middle so half of me could help each needy child because they didn’t listen to my warnings over the weekend. Well, I wished I could split myself down the middle… Thankfully Billy took the reins with Caleb and helped him do searches on sources for his bibliography. I was able to help Jacob with his summary, which turned out to be a page long, and to check his math. Corrections will be done in the morning… sigh

Jacob went to bed sometime after 9:30, and Caleb crawled into bed at 10:10. I’m sitting in the quiet, taking a few minutes for myself – otherwise I won’t get any today. Now I need to go to bed so I can get up when my alarm goes off at 5:00 tomorrow morning. We have got to find a better routine.

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