It's a fast day today, so what else is there to talk about besides food? Nothing, that's what.
And so in that spirit, the kids and I sat down and made a list of meal and snack ideas that are summer-appropriate. Because really, the goal this summer, besides for all the packing and whatnot, is to avoid turning on the oven as much as possible. And when we do turn it on, it's because we are baking a truckload of zucchini muffins to freeze, freeze, freeze.
At first I was going to make two lists, one for snacks and one for meals, but then I decided that when it's this hot (its actually not that hot here at all just yet, but for list purposes we're pretending that we already moved to Florida), all these food ideas are interchangeable. I mean, who said watermelon and string cheese is not a meal? Exactly.
After some explaining on my part (sorry, ice cream in a cone is the same as having ice cream in a cup), we came up with this list of Top Twenty Summer Snacks and Meals:
Can you think of any other ideas?
These balloons are from the first grade Author's Tea, a delicious play about reading and literature by the first grade.
When we left the play last night, my kids stood in the school's parking lot and let the balloons go. They each made a secret wish about school for next year and let the balloons fly away. It was all kind of sentimental, as this was our last school function in this school.
This school year went super fast; I can't quite believe it's over - and not only the school year but our time at the JEC, a most wonderful school where our kids were loved everyday.
Thank you JEC for the past four years, it's been a wild ride.
And now, after we get last-day-of-school ice cream after, it'll be on to to packing, moving and getting acclimated to a new school and new community.
I still kind of think change is not good. But that's a step up from being bad, right?
Do you know what happens when you clean up the attic so you can show the house to potential renters?
You have this:
That's right, shopping bags. All packed up for the weekend, each kid's clothing and toys in their own personalized Shoprite bags.
Because you can't find any of your luggage, suitcases, overnight bags, valises, whatever you want to call them, you can't find them.
In the spirit of my Bobby Toby and Zeidy, who never showed up at our house with their clothes packed in anything other than a Shoprite bag (okay, maybe sometimes she used Pathmark bags), here we go away for the weekend!
So here's the thing: we're moving. To Florida. From NJ.
It's a big move, making me so panicky that I have physically been unable to blog, I just could not sit at the computer for anything other than looking for a mover (we still don't have one), looking for a house (still don't have one of those either), or looking for a renter (you got it, don't have one of those either).
This was all somewhat unexpected this late in the school year, but Josh recently took a principal position in a school down south and so ready, set, go! We have six weeks, max seven, to rent out our house, find one to rent down there and pack up our house. Numbers 1 and 2 are proving to be somewhat harder than I thought.
Number three though, for me, is the worst, and yet I had no illusions about it. I've moved with kids before. But before there were only two of them and they were babies and spent a lot of time in their cribs when I put them there. Now they're bigger and don't stay anywhere and so whenever I turn around, there they are. I love hanging out with my kids, but when I'm trying to pack a box, I'd rather not trip on them. I've taken to packing at night, after they're in bed,
So so far, I've packed 19 boxes. And I am done, so done. I told Josh the other day that I'd rather rent our house out furnished than pack another box. And not just furnished, but with everything you need - toilet paper, forks, underwear. Whatever. We're a full service rental.
When we get to Florida, we can just buy new things. That sounds so much simpler. And really, who doesn't need new underwear? Exactly.
But every article I read about moving with kids seems to indicate that consistency, routine and blah blah blah are the proper way to do this. So that means that even though your four-year-old has seven thousand stuffed animals, many of which have seen better days, you pack 'em up. Anything to make their transition easier. And I'm all about that - if you know me, you know that I take my kids' emotional temperatures many many times a day and if one of them is off-kilter, I become off-kilter too. It's not so much helicopter parenting for me because helicopters are on top of their kids' homework - or possibly even do their kids' homework. Not me. I haven't looked in their backpacks in weeks. I'm not sure if the second grader started signing his own tests himself or if the teacher stopped giving any, but I haven't seen a test in ages.
It's not the school work or test grades for me, it's their happiness. Contentedness. Their ability to deal with ups and downs and a life that goes sideways.
They were not, to say the least, thrilled with the idea of moving to Florida and leaving the school they know and the friends they love. And I totally get that the Florida keychains Josh bought them in the airport didn't make up for the news, even though the keychains were awesome and they carry them around all day long. But we did explain that we're going to live near where Mickey and Minnie and the Princesses live, which kind of took the edge off.
Change, in my book, is bad. People keep giving me these huge smiles while telling me that change is good. I hope so. I really hope those people are right.
Change is a lot of things; it's exciting, it's different, it's hard. But at the end of the day - and it is the end of the day now and I'm exhausted, so I'll end with this - change is not something that I normally seek out, but deep down I know that it really can be good. And I hope and pray every morning, noon and night these days that this change will be a positive one for Josh, for the kids, for all of us together as a family.
Unless we have to live in the van because we can't find a house.
That kind of change would just be eh.
Tales of the Adventures In Packing are sure to follow.
And maybe even a yard sale with a lemonade stand and a cookie table.
I know. Things are about to get crazy.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)