Wednesday, 24 August 2016

When peppers prepare you for back to school

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I'm in go-mode right now. Back to school is just around the corner and I'm at that point where I start to look at the calendar and then I look at our house and I start to MOVE.

So cupboards are being organized, labeled and beautified. Muffin recipes are being pinned on Pinterest for wildly huge batches of these things that I'll bake and freeze for school lunches. Clothes closets are being purged and organized, fall clothes are being bought and all of the to-do-list things that I meant to do during my mat leave are constantly on my mind.  

And food? Well, I feel like I'm preparing for an apocalypse.

But before I get into that...let's just take a second to breathe and remember that it's still summer time...

and when I start to run through my to-do lists and feel like the time crunch is on...

I just take myself back to summer time fun, and it brings back some perspective.

Because breakfast tables with a view...

sm'Oreos early in the morning (because, well it's summer time, so we can)...

walks along the dock before bedtime...

and kayak rides with Grandma at the cottage mean that we can forget about reality for a second, and stay stuck in summer time mode for just a little bit longer. 

But when I let my eyes stare at the calendar again, and then picture my kindergarten classroom without floors yet since it's currently under construction just a couple weeks before school starts (eek!)...and I think about dropping off Sophia at daycare and both of us crying, and then prepping Carter for his first day of kindergarten and getting Mya ready for her first day of big girl grade 1--then oh ya, getting myself, our classroom and everything ready for my students while going back to work after being on mat leave for over a year...I start to realize that I'll control what I can control. And I'll understand that everything else will happen as it is supposed to and as it will. Everything will come together in the end and everything will work out for good. But in the meantime, I'll scurry around pretending like I can get all of these millions of things done in the 2 weeks before the real craziness begins.

So kitchen cupboards are being organized, because sure, I can't organize and prep my classroom right now--but noone is telling me that I can't organize my tupperware cupboard. So I shall. 

And dinner time? Well the rush of getting dinner on the table after a long day of work means that I want to prep for that too--and what we've done for years now is prep tons of veggies ahead of time and freeze them.

So I bought ginormous bags of peppers from the market (for only $10 a bag!) and we put Sophia down for a nap and spent some time chopping up these millions of peppers and bagging them (then freezing them) so that we will have prepared peppers for meals all winter long. Terry and I have done this many times before with both peppers and onions and it is a LIFE SAVER when it comes to meal prep and it saves us a ton of money since veggies become super expensive during the winter months.

And the great thing about kids growing up right before your eyes? ...well, they can pitch in and help with the whole process..

and they actually think that using our beloved chopper is FUN! So go for it kids...thanks for the help.

And other veggies that we washed, blanched {boil for 3mins, then quickly transfer to a bowl of ice water}, and froze?


and tons of beans.

So with tons of bagged, frozen veggies now filling my freezer, I feel a slight sense of I can actually possibly pull this whole teaching/mom thing off in a couple of weeks. Just maybe.

And until then, I'll keep scurrying around my house cleaning out closets, organizing cupboards, buying cute little organizational things that give our clutter an actual home (like this fabulous little caddie for our kitchen counter that now holds all of the mail, paper etc that used to pile up in this corner)--*from Homesense.  

Because when my house is clean and organized I always have a sense of calm about everything else going on--even when my classroom doesn't even have floors yet.

Power on teacher friends. Power on.

Erica xo

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