Monday, October 19, 2015

Trading Spaces

This is my last week in Missouri, taking care of my grandkids. My daughter is coming home tomorrow, so we'll get a couple of days to visit before I leave to go back to Florida. I've been living her life for the past two weeks, getting kids up and ready for school, doing laundry and dishes for four, doing homework after school and refereeing the inevitable spats between sisters who share a room. 

I've loved every minute of my time with the kids and I've had a great visit with my son-in-law. We've talked about everything there is to talk about and we've pretty much figured out how to save the world should anyone ever put us in charge. But I'm exhausted. 

I don't know if my daughter would feel equally worn-out if she were to take over my life for two weeks, what with the writing, the blogging and the demands of social media. I like to think she might find it somewhat challenging, but I could be deluding myself. All I know is, after living her life for a couple of weeks, I have a deeper respect for her. 

Today was probably my most challenging morning yet. The kids and I went to a party hosted by the local Baptist Church last night. The invitation said from 6:00 to 7:00, and in the interest of being supportive and a team-player in this small-town atmosphere, I thought it might be fun. 

The event was supposed to include a "weinie roast" and games. Turned out to be cooking hot dogs and S'mores over a bonfire and a kitchen filled with great food and a bunch of kids racing around and squealing -- all great fun. 

About the time I was getting ready to go home, I learned that the evening's festivities also included a hayride from town to the lake and back again. It was crisp and cold and a perfect October night, and I loved being out in the fresh air and experiencing autumn at its best -- but it meant that we were all out later than I'd expected and that gave this morning a rough start. 

I wasn't careful about what, how, and when I ate yesterday, so I started the day off not feeling well. A crew of men showed up this morning without warning to fix some damage to the drive leading to the house just as I was taking the kids to school. By the time I got back and got the message that my son-in-law needed me to bring him something to him in town, I was completely blocked in by half a dozen trucks, a back-hoe and several mounds of dirt.

The crew eventually finished, and off to town I went, but whatever schedule I had in my head when I woke up was completely shot. 

Luckily, we'd planned a crockpot meal for dinner tonight -- a meal my daughter had pinned on Pinterest that looked quick and easy. She's made it several times and her family always enjoys it, and it's my turn today. 

Photo from The Larson Lingo
You can find the recipe and more about it on The Larson Lingo blog, and it really does seem to qualify as one of the easiest dinners ever. Ingredients include a frozen bag of chicken tenders, a block of cream cheese, a can each of black beans, corn and Rotel. Dump it all in the crockpot and cook it for 8-10 hours on low. You can find the pin here

Give it a try some day when the world is falling down around your ears. It's certainly made my day a lot easier! 

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