Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cotton Pickin' Dinner Plans

This week we have been studying Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin.  My parents had recently gotten the girls some cotton and I have saved it several months in anticipation.  The teachers manual suggested using cotton balls and gluing green bits of paper then rolling the cotton so that the green paper is inside.  Then have them pick those out but fortunately we had the real thing.  Well, the teachers manual also says that this is tiring and the children will probably not want to do this for very long.  Well, not my children.  They were begging after school to do the REST of the branch we had.  Far be it from me to keep them from it.  (Perler beads comes to mind here - they'll stay busy with those things for HOURS).

I never realized how many things cotton seeds are used for, either.  They were bigger than I expected too.  Now, Ms. Priss wants me to find something so that she can card the cotton.  She mentioned something about spinning it on a wheel.  I guess she's got big plans for her Daddy to make her one.  Hmmm...somehow I don't see that happening any time in the near future.

On an unrelated note, I have been trying hard to get myself organized.  I have fallen in love with Sandra Felton these days.  If you don't get Free Daily Coaching from the Organizer Lady you are missin' the boat!!!   I will try to post more about my schedules, etc. later but I wanted to share with you one of my organizational tools.  Laurie at Tip Junkie has asked us to post organizing ideas. 

So, I thought I would share with you my meal planning system.  When used it is a beautiful thing.  But apparently that is paramount with any organizing scheme...that is, the follow through.

I use a sheet protector that photographer's use for slides.  The nice thing about these page protectors is that they are configured in a 5 x 4 grid so that you can plan for 5 days a week and up to 4 weeks at a time.  I cut card stock in 2" squares.  On the front of the card I write the main dish or title.  On the back side I have listed ingredients, side dishes or "suggested servings".  So, when you flip it over it can be used as a handy little checklist/shopping list for the week and/or month.  Notice I also put notes on the fronts of my cards such as Kids eat Free on Tuesdays at Atlanta Bread and Footlongs are $4 on Fridays at Harris Teeter.

I don't plan for the weekends assuming that there will (a) be some slippage during the week and (#2) that we will eat leftovers and (III) that my dear husband will suggest that his darling wife has had such a laborious week that he should treat her to lovely meals out.

I usually hang it on the side of my refrigerator out of view just to reference.  But the nice thing about it is that you could put it in a 3 ring binder or just slip it in your pocket book if need be.  I haven't quite perfected storage of the extra cards but for now the little ziploc will have to do.   Now, I've gotta go figure out what's for dinner tonight!


Confessions Of A Homeschooler said...

Oh, I LOVE the recipe idea! I just downloaded a free menu plan from http://www.dinnerplanner.com/ They include meals and a grocery list! But this would be an easy way too!

We must be thinking alike, our dinner's have been pretty lame since school started, so I figured I'd better put some planning into that too! LOL!

Lynne said...

Super cute idea! I love that you have 2 sides going... I love to meal plan...it helps me stay focused after work and I'm not staring into the fridge asking IT what's for dinner!!
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

The cotton pickin' looks like fun :)

I also just love that menu planning idea. I have tons of scrapbooking ideas that ran through my head when I saw that. Hmm...got my brain waves in a whirl...or at least what I have left of them...hehe!


Isabel said...

Brilliant! Dinner has really suffered since we started homeschooling. I have yet to get a good system in place. This could work for me. Thanks for the inspiration. It's just the gathering of recipes that I keep putting off. :)

The Fishman said...

I am a big fan of this recipe idea, and I love your suggestion of using 3 Ring Binders for organizing!

HeartofWisdom said...

Super idea. Lots of time saved planning menus. I like this one, similar to mine.

Thanks for visiting. Ya'll come back now, ya' hear?

Sunflowermommie said...

I absolutely love this idea for menu planning.

I always like the flexibility to change things around when life happens.

Bree said...

love this idea for meals-thank you! I hope you don't mind if I link to it on my blog. I clicked on your blog from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Looking forward to reading more! God bless :)

myletterstoemily said...

that is brilliant! i love a plan that is simple
to use like that!

when i homeschooled i planned meals for
a month, too, and it made my life so much


HeartofWisdom said...

I did something similar but we put them on the fridge with magnets.

Tracy said...

The cotton pickin activity looks like cotton pickin fun! :) Love your organization with the meal planning! You have inspired me to get better organized with meals! Meal organization is always on my "to do" list, thanks for sharing your wonderful idea :)

Ginger said...

Tracy - I IMAGINE you probably have a pretty good "source" for some extra photo-slide sleeves! Huh? Haha!

Terria said...

I love this idea I am just curious what about the weekend? Do you plan those days out?