Sunday, June 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


So, I've seen on different blogs about planning out the meals by the week. I used to do this when I was in major Dave Ramsey mode. Since we adopted Kimmie and Quan last summer, I mainly do dinners flying by the seat of my pants. While we were at the beach the last two weeks, Shalita and I put the husbands in charge of all dinners. It was MAH-VE-LOUS. They planned, cooked, cleaned and we had nothing to do with any of it! What a nice mental break from thinking about supper.
So I decided at the end of our trip to have a "talk" with our four older children about planning our menus at home. My friend Charlotte A. has done this with her two children and talked about how much they love planning, cooking, writing the grocery list, and then they eat so much better because they had such a huge part in it. I explained to Katie Lyn (age 11), Colby (age 10), Clay (age 8) and Carlie (age 7) my idea for them to each take a night, plan the meal, write down what they need to prepare it, and they would be responsible that particular night for our dinner. I explained that we would have some trial runs this summer since most of our activities have ended, and maybe we could get a good groove on so that by the time school starts back we'll be in the swing of this new meal planning technique. They LOVED it. They TOTALLY jumped on board and are all gung-ho. They decided they would cook on the night that is already assigned to them to be the prayer leader for that day (this has been well established for years). So Sunday afternoon the planning began, paper in hand, everyone on the couches, and I stayed well out of the way.
It took all of five minutes and they were ready with the menu for this week (which also happens to be VBS week):
Monday: Katie Lyn will fix popcorn chicken, mac-n-cheese, green beans, buttered bread (not too bad, at least there is a green vegetable)
Tuesday: Colby will fix hot dogs (all beef), carrots, and baked beans (okay, I can live with that)
Wednesday: They designated this my day since the prayer leader this day is Kimmie and she can't plan a meal. Well, she COULD but we're not letting her. I'm doing a chicken fettuccine boxed dinner-hey, it's VBS week, give me a break! ;)
Thursday: Clay will fix Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (this is cracking me up!)
Friday: Carlie will fix peanut butter and sugar sandwiches, and ham sandwiches
Saturday: This is Quan's prayer leader day but again, he's not planning the meal yet, so they gave this day to Rob. He picked Domino's. Go figure.
Sunday: This day has ALWAYS been our FFY night. Fend For Yourself. So maybe when we get Candace she can take this night. OR I'll be so generous and give up my night! ;)

38 comments:

Aunt Pearl said...

That's hilarious! I tried to implement that meal planning with our girls, and it was "NO GO!". However, I'm sure if I told them about Clay and Carlie's planned dinners, they would change their minds - or invite themselves to your house for dinner! Good luck!

Stefanie said...

YUM!! Sounds like a DELICIOUS week :)

The Young's said...

How funny!!! Your meals sounds like ours lately!!! What a great idea though. I have thrown around the idea of doing that...but ours aren't quite old enough yet!!! Sophie is...but Silas and Sadie would have a FIT if Sophie got to and they didn't!! :) You'll have to let me know how it goes!!! I DESPERATELY need help in the meal dept!!!

Have a great week!
Love ya,
Buffi

Kristy said...

I'll be over for dinner on Thursday.......
LOVE IT!

Sherri said...

Have you ever tried Once A Month Cooking? I used to faithfully do that....and more recently, I bought a book called The Freezer Cooking Manual from the 30 day gourmet by Nanci Slagle. The recipes in there are VERY good. You don't have to do a whole month at a time, but when you do cook, you double or triple the recipe and freeze the rest.

I'm just trying to rest up some this summer. Maybe I'll have energy again....

Sherri

Barbie said...

What a great idea to get the kids involved! Sounds like you have quite the spread ahead of you this week.

Anonymous said...

What a fun idea! I kinda missed out on a lot of cooking growing up. I was in charge of keeping the other kids out of Mom's way so she could cook in peace. Can't wait to hear how this week goes.

Julie Hand

Jonathan S. said...

Laine,

Love the blog! Would love to hear more about your "prayer leader" roles for the kids - what it is and how it works.

DeEtte said...

I love that!! Clay's menu is making me laugh! But you know, when I was a kid, we used to have cereal for supper every once in a while - my brother and I thought it was such a special treat!
I love the beach pictures too and it looks like y'all had a great time!

DeEtte said...

by the way - I think you should let Kimmie and Quan plan a meal too..not every week, just once for fun - I'd LOVE to hear what they come up with!

The Ferrill's said...

Hi Johnathan S.!
Each day someone takes the role of praying over our meals and being the prayer leader in family prayer times. This person always opens our prayer time on their particular day. (We begin our homeschool day with group "popcorn" prayer where we just pray out loud as we fee led, and the prayer leader opens us up in prayer) Really it's simple, but it helps keep down the "I wanna pray" or "I DONT wanna pray" because if it's their assigned day, they know it and there's just no discussing the matter! Hope that explains it a little better! ;)
Thanks for the comment!

Sherri said...

By the way--Peanut butter and SUGAR sandwiches??????

I have never heard such a thing!!!!!

I've heard of peanut butter and marshmallow creme, peanut butter and dill pickles, but I have never heard of peanut butter and sugar.

You learn something new every day.

I'll have to try it.

And cereal night is always so much fun!

Sherri

MichelleQ said...

Love the idea of having assigned prayer leaders! Might have to swipe that one!

Hope you're able to stick to the meal planning better than we were. I'm great at the planning (have to be...budget and all) and love to cook...but so does Kayti and most of the time she takes over. But that's good--no one else particularly likes to (unless it's grilling and then Jeff will...) and then when activities start back....we all do good just to eat! LOL

Tell Clay I'm coming over for dinner on his night!

Anonymous said...

Laine,
You are too funny. And this is amazing!!!
Kylie

Anonymous said...

What a great idea. Just not sure what night I can make it over for dinner, They all sound so delicious. Guess I will just have to come over every night, wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Oh, yeah, guess I can't come this week, I'm going cruising. Let's see, Fruit Loops, peanut butter and "Sugar"? sandwiches or cruising? Tough decision. Love y'all Ethel

The Blaszczynski Family said...

So glad you made it back safe and sound. Zoey missed you Saturday (we did too)! That's a great idea, we have our own system too for meal fixing. Would love to get together and catch up.
Love,
Amanda

Tina said...

How awesome. I am going to have to try your idea. Tyler likes to cook and he usually helps us prepare dinner, but I love the idea of them taking over. Maybe we will give it a trial run too. Are summer is just FLYING by!! I am not ready for school to start back yet!

Tina said...

I said Are instead of OUR!! I sooo need school to start back so I can freshen up on my grammar skills. lol

Walker said...

Lol!! How funny is that menu! I love it!
I put one up on my blog too.. Great minds think alike! ;) I love the way you involved the kiddo's! Way to go MOM!!
Looks like yall had a great trip at the beach. Little Kimmie is so Brown! Too cute!
Glad your back!
Love,
Keisha

living4him5 said...

I love the meal plan idea and WOW!!! You have some future chefs on your hands!!! Tuesday sounds yummy to me ;-)

What precious memories they'll have to pass on to their kids one day.

=) Amy

Amy said...

I love your idea to get the kids involved. I usually ask the family for one meal each that they would like...always meat and potatoes for the guys, salad for the girl and the little one...pizza...oh, well I tried!

Dollar General said...

First of all, this is a GREAT idea! Now I know why we have Candice coming...my next thought was if I did that we would have cereal on Noah's night and hot dogs on Anna's night! Well, looks like you have a cereal lover too! I hate coming up with meals everyday so this would really help spread it out. I can come up with one meal...that's it!! I've got to have 5 kids - 2 more to go...ha!

Family4Liv said...

I love the dinner plans! Your kids already know the short cuts!!I always love supper in the south, my faves are peanut butter and sugar sandwiches, and of course ceral dinners thats the bomb!!

Funny stuff...

Greg & Cheri said...

Hey, we are swiping the prayer leader idea too! Yeah no more "I want to, I don't want to, or me first"!! Keep us posted on your menu plan success, this is one part of the day I don't usually look forward to although we have been working at having a "kid" dinner helper each evening. They all love to help and tell Daddy what they made.
Cheri :)

Robyn said...

I'm coming over for Clay's night because Lucky Charms are my very favorite!! Hot dogs aren't bad either. If Annabelle had to pick or help fix something we would have spaghetti every night. The peanut butter and pickles that someone mentioned sounds very yummy as well may have to try that!! Hope ya'll are having fun at VBS.
Love you guys!!
Robyn :)

Carlton and Aimee Weathers said...

Love this idea. Kids love making grown-up desicions. I am cracking up at the menu. I love the cereal night. Hey...arent they fortified with 9 vitamins and minerals???? You could always add a vitamin for dessert?

I enjoyed the post. I started planning our meals a couple years back and it has really cut down on our grocery bill and the amount of trips to Wal-mart each week!

Leighboe said...

What fun, Laine! We did that at our house for awhile. Pete was "Hamburger Man" until he almost caught the house on fire with the grill! Ryan was "SubMan" or "Spaghetti Boy"; those were his 2 specialties. Mabry would always do something with chicken, but right now I can't remember what. Now that they're older and never home for dinner, meal planning's fallen back on me. :(

Trace Car Driver said...

at our house it's FFY EVERY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LoL.
loved the post and hearing what each one wanted to make for their night. there's nothing wrong with their choices, 1/2 of them are probably healthier than what i would eat. ha. and as for dominos - i just don't have the patience to deal with them, so we go to fox's :)

Amie said...

We do this at our house too. I will have to show the kiddos your menu plan they can steal some ideas!!! WE haven't done the menu writing and making a shopping list though.. very clever. Can I steal this idea??

Love the prayer leader idea. Sounds like another good idea I would like to steal. Wish I could offer you a good idea in exchange... ummm... can I get back to you. I got nothin'.

:)
Amie

Anonymous said...

After having only positive reinforcement posted here,this will come as quite a shock I'm sure,but this sounds like pure unadulterated laziness on the mother's part.

Waitingfaithfully said...

I think Clay's got something going -- Cereal Night! That's what I'm talking about!

Good job mama, sounds like a great plan all around! Even if you do end up having to surrender your night to Candace!

Blessings from Texas!

Tina

Amie said...

No disrespect to Anonymous, but anyone who has children and has allowed them to take some responsibility helping out in the kitchen knows that it is ALWAYS easier to just do it yourself. Kudos to you for taking the time to encourage your children to be a part of the process and teaching them the art of meal planning, and grocery list making, and shopping and cooking. If you teach a man to fish, right? You ROCK SUPER MOM!!!

Love you girl!

;)
Amie

Anonymous said...

We met you guys in the Starbucks last summer in China(the Hatchers from Georgia?) and are thrilled to hear you are adopting again! I would love to also. Your faith is just so inspiring-thanks for being such a light to others!If you get a moment, I would love to hear which agency you recommend for special needs and more about that process, we did NSN last time. Thanks and God Bless to you all- Amy Hatcher- hatcher123@comcast.net

Leighboe said...

Ooh, excellent post, Anonymous! This will be a wonderful example Laine can use to teach her kids about "Ignorance"!
The job of a parent is to put yourself out of job. What that means, in case you have difficulty understanding, is that as parents our job is to teach our kids to be independent, self-sufficient, PRODUCTIVE citizens. I realize I used big words, but if you'll so kindly give your name and address I'll be happy to send you a dictionary!
Based on your comment, I'm going to guess that you either have or will produce children who are still relying on you in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Have fun with that!
Laine, I don't say it often enough (shoot, I don't think I've EVER said it!), but I'm proud of you and Rob, and I'm so proud of your kids!!!

Alyssa said...

Heard about your blog from your sister and your idea is brilliant!

Way to raise competent kids!

Anonymous said...

"After having only positive reinforcement posted here,this will come as quite a shock I'm sure,but this sounds like pure unadulterated laziness on the mother's part."

ummm, no mention of the father I see, only the mother is lazy.

Actually teaching children how to cook, clean, and balance a checkbook is not laziness, it's more work than just doing it yourself. I know, because I am also a lazy mother.

Good job on teaching your kids how to take care of themselves.

Anonymous said...

My,my, MY ! So MANY little Christian knickers in a twist!!! How dare I not fully adore this woman the way you do!!One need read no further to see just what a cult all this evangelical,home-schooling ,Bible thumping really is.
1.I assumed that the poor,whipped husband was out working himself silly to support the obviously expensive, frivolous lifestyle of this family.She hates to cook,doesn’t clean her own house,and the attempts at home-schooling-in her words”fit in between errands”
2.Leighboe,.your attempts at sarcasm were cute ,and I sure do feel chastised.
3.I had enjoyed reading this blog,just because it was so totally out there,what with all the direct communication with God and all,and I ‘ll try to keep my opinions to myself from now on.
Bummer.

Anonymous said...

My,my, MY ! So MANY little Christian knickers in a twist!!! How dare I not fully adore this woman the way you do!!One need read no further to see just what a cult all this evangelical,home-schooling ,Bible thumping really is.
1.I assumed that the poor,whipped husband was out working himself silly to support the obviously expensive, frivolous lifestyle of this family.She hates to cook,doesn’t clean her own house,and the attempts at home-schooling-in her words”fit in between errands”
2.Leighboe,.your attempts at sarcasm were cute ,and I sure do feel chastised.
3.I had enjoyed reading this blog,just because it was so totally out there,what with all the direct communication with God and all,and I ‘ll try to keep my opinions to myself from now on.
Bummer.