On My Mind Monday

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November 14, 2016 by thebolinbunch

There is a lot on my mind this Monday but my main concern right now is how frustrated I am with family dinners.  Ever since the girls were born and up until a few years ago, I was the dinner Nazi.  I cooked supper every night, I only cooked one meal, and always had dinner ready on the supper table at 5:30.  Because of this, my girls ate pretty good and liked a variety of meals.

Not sure what happened but for the past few years, we have been HORRIBLE with family dinners.  I blame it on just the busyness of life, but that shouldn’t be an excuse!  Chris started coaching 3 different sports within the school year so it felt like he was constantly gone and Liz started doing competitive cheer that kept her away from the house a few evenings.  Whatever caused it, I quickly got in the habit of fixing “quick” meals (spaghetti, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, etc.) and letting my girls eat supper in front of the TV.  I would also get in the habit of making me and Chris something and  then fix whatever the girls like for them to eat.  If I didn’t fix anything quick we would pick up something from town, which lead to the convenience of eating out and not making a mess cooking, which lead to us eating out more and more…it was a vicious downward spiral.

It’s honestly been a year of this and let me tell you- I am SICK of eating out.  Dexter doesn’t have a lot of choices, so it’s the same ole same ole rotated through the weeknights.  I am also tired of my girls not eating very good and not trying new foods.  {Emily is especially the worst and will only eat PB/J, chicken nuggets, pizza, or spaghetti for dinner.}  (SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!)  Elizabeth will eat a little bit better but still doesn’t like to try new things.

Well, this momma has finally had enough and am going to try my best to put an end to it!

I made my menu and kept at least one thing on the menu each night that the girls will eat.  Then, I went and got groceries to cook dinner 6 nights this week.  {After spending almost $253 for a week’s worth of meals, I now see why eating out might be cheaper?? HOLY COW, stuff is expensive!}

Anyways, I am determined that I’m going to cook 6 nights a week from now on.  I will allow us to eat out 1 night a week (preferably Saturdays), but for every other night I want to go back to family dinners around the table and dinner ready at 5:30.  I have fond memories of growing up and sharing stories from the day around the dinner table and want my girls to have the same.  I think it’s just a good bonding time and that kids need that consistency in their life.

To help with the girls trying new things, I “think” I have come up with a good system and actually pulled an old trick out of my magician mom hat.  If you’ve read my blog at all, you know Emily Grace is addicted to Littlest Pet Shop (LPS) figurines.  I have made her a sticker chart and it’s very simple for her to earn a trip to Wal-Mart to get a new LPS.  For every time she tries a new food (at least 3 bites), she gets a sticker on her sticker chart.  If she tries a new food and eats all of that helping, she can earn 2 stickers on her sticker chart.  For every 5 stickers on her sticker chart, she can get a new LPS (they are $2 each at Wal-Mart).  At this point I am desperate and willing to pay this for her to try new foods and eat better.

For Elizabeth’s sticker chart, it’s a little different.  Like I said earlier, her diet is a lot better than Emily’s.  She eats a variety of things and actually likes fruits and vegetables!  However, she still doesn’t try a lot of new foods.  So she gets 1 sticker for every new food she tries as well.  In addition, she can earn 1 sticker for remembering to pick up the bathroom after taking a shower without being told.  (She is a SLOB and I swear I wonder how she is my child sometimes!)  She can also earn 1 sticker if me or Chris notice her being kind, especially towards her sister.  Elizabeth is starting the “tween” attitude and has really been trying to back talk and being really critical towards Emily.  It’s not a huge issue, but I want my kind, sweet Liz back so this is something to help her be aware of being kind to everyone around her and not showing attitude!

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We used to do sticker charts all the time when the girls were younger and they loved them, so I’m excited to try it again.  I don’t think you are ever too old to like stickers!    I am hopeful the stickers will help us become better eaters in my house.  I know the sticker charts will probably lose their cool and I will constantly need to be mixing it up, but right now my girls are on board.  Wish me luck this week!

Here are a few of the meals I plan to cook.  Click on the link and it will take you to the recipe.  I have cooked each thing before and am excited to get back into the cooking groove!

Sunday- Baked Spaghetti 

The Ultimate Baked Spaghetti - cheesy spaghetti topped with Italian seasoned cream cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese - SOOOO good! Makes a great freezer meal too! We ate this two days in a row!

Monday- Mississippi Roast

This Mississippi Roast involves a slow cooker, five simple ingredients, zero effort, 100% dinner & leftover satisfaction!

Tuesday- Chicken Bacon Ranch

Easy + Delicious = My favorite kind of dinner! Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake by thepinningmama.com

Wednesday- Oven Tacos

Thursday- Chicken, Green Beans, and Potatoes Casserole

Green Beans, Chicken & Potatoes ~ One pot wonder supper that will be hit with your family!

Friday- Baked Ravioli 

 

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