What an amazing reception I've had regarding the shopping. Thanks so much for sharing all your great ideas! They are all so different and varied but all helpful in varying ways.
I've been thinking lots about it, have spoken to Stu about what he thinks will best suit our family at this time, and I've decided to stick with Woolies and the markets. I'll be shopping on Monday evenings, straight after dinner- and taking Saraya with me. Today was the test drive. The children and I sat down this afternoon and they helped me plan the meals for the coming week. We then looked at a few recipes and put together a shopping list. And my sweet helper tonight was in her element- all Mama's attention, out at night time, chatting her little heart out. :) It was good, good time with her. We talked about many things, naturally and incidentally covering such topics as buying in bulk, comparing products in dollars per kilogram, aisle contents, brand comparison, organic foods, what brand of yoghurt we buy and why (Janla, by the way), etc. etc. AND she wanted to help me bring it all in and unpack it when we got home. Which was by 7:30pm. She was in bed and asleep by 8pm. And Stu put the boys to bed (a nice time for them too, apparently), and cleaned up from dinner. All in all? I think it's going to work beautifullly! The shops were quiet, the children were involved (though the littler ones didn't have to come), it didn't eat into our daytime routine or William's nap time, and I had help with the unpacking.
This past weekend was great. Friday had been a long, emotional and tiring day for me- I sang at a funeral for a man from our church who we were quite close to; Stu was unable to come so I was there with all 3 children on my own which had some challenges. Thankfully my beautiful friend Desiree (my dance teacher extraordinaire) cared for Will while I sang and generally just helped me out when I needed it. A sad morning.
So when Stuart took the children out for 4 hours on Saturday, doing wonderfully fun things including shopping for new shoes for Will (that boy is growing fast!), pine-cone collecting for the fireplace, lunch in town, a big run and some "fun maths" at Woocoo (the wildlife reserve just out of town)... I was SO happy. :) I cleaned the house from top to bottom (now a Saturday job, just trialing that change), did a few loads of washing, had a nap, read, planned, gardened and pondered. Wonderful.
I am grateful to have such a dedicated husband and father to our children. He has also been getting more involved in the homeschooling which I really appreciate..... hence the "fun maths" after some tears from Saraya during the week over her math work! He's stepping in more which is good for all of us. So good.
Today we have launched into a new week, and with it some basic changes to our routines. I can't believe how much I learnt during last week about what works and what doesn't! When we're a bit more settled into it, I'll post more about that. Day one Week two went smoothly. :)
Yesterday Stuart did a few things in the yard, including weeding what we affectionately term our "roof garden" (in other words, cleaning out the gutters.....) and cutting back the offending trees overhanging them. This pile of branches was the result, and Stu hauled them all into the middle of the yard for a temporary tree cubby for the children. They had a great time in it today!
I hope everyone's had a nice Monday.
Thanks again for your responses to my last post, I really appreciate it.