I’m glad you are here to celebrate!
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We’ve been cooking this week.
1 bushel tomatoes
30 green peppers
20 lbs of onions
30 lbs of ground beef
12 lbs of roast
22 lbs of whole chicken
28 chicken breasts
We made 22 quarts of spaghetti sauce and over 50 meals for the freezer.
It’s been a family ordeal.
Usually when I cook like this, I clear the schedule and call in the big guns (my mom). I shop one day and we cook the next…and Sauce Days never overlaps. We stay focused, let the kids help a little and then shoo them out of the kitchen.
I never knew allowing them to help a little would turn into big kids that help a lot.
It’s not easy letting little kids help in the kitchen. The messes are inevitable and the efficiency plummets. It’s worth it, though.
Today, each of our big kids has specialties.
Sam makes killer lasagnas.
Jay and Steph brown and chop hamburger like nobody’s business.
Hannah plows through assemblies.
All of them are willing to help me with the work. This is not a slight thing.
And they’ve taught me to be willing to take a break. We went to lunch and the library and swimming. We played board games, jumped on the trampoline, and ran. (We’ve made it to two miles now!) The girls scraped wallpaper in their bedroom, Sam put together more train tracks, Steph played softball, Hannah read 7 books and Jay conquered a video game. I was there, alongside of them, learning to take a break. This is not a slight thing.
So I celebrate the rhythm of our family life this week. Work and play and play and work all wrapped together each day, making a week that at first didn’t seem efficient, but upon reflection, was full of much more than work.
“I’m really glad we make the meals,” one of the kids said. The others agreed.
Hannah said, “This way we get to eat good stuff without being stuck in the kitchen when Marching Band starts.” (She giggles, like she always does, at the thought of Marching Band.)
“And football,” Jay adds.
“And soccer,” Steph says.
“And Boy Scouts and bowling,” Sam says.
“And when Martha arrives,” I say.
“And homework!” Andy adds.
There is a collective groan. Sam yells, “That’s blasphemy, Dad! No talking about school in the middle of summer. You should be more careful!”
We laugh, and suddenly my dirty kitchen doesn’t seem so terrible. This is the family life I never knew I wanted, but am so thankful to have.