I think we are normal...until I talk to other people and hear about their lives. Then, I think we are weird. And, it isn't necessarily US that I consider to be weird, it is is more the life we live. For instance, whenever I go to Aja's house, she has this cool ceramic dry erase easel that has her weekly meal plan. You can look there and see seven days worth of dinner plans. Sometimes those plans include dinner at the church or a night out but most of the time, 6 of the 7 meals are prepared at home.
Can I just tell you that in our almost 15 years of marriage, I don't think we have ever had a whole week of meals prepared at home? Well, let me take that back. Seminary was different. I think we ate at home every night for those two years but many times the meals weren't planned because we cooked based on what we got from the local food giveaways that a few churches did for underprivileged families and seminary students. And, once we both had second jobs at night, we splurged every Friday night and shared a meal at Ihop. Our total was less than $8 but we felt rich on those nights. Oh, and as I type this, I can't forget to mention $4.32 pizza night at Domino's Pizza. They sold 1 topping Medium Pizzas on the first Wednesday of every month and we always got one. With tax, the total was $4.32. We still talk about $4.32 pizza night. It was a highlight, I tell ya! (Are you catching on to how poor we were during Seminary?)
Anyway, back to life as it is now. Whenever I meal plan, there is rarely a week that I can plan for cooking more than 2 nights a week. When I cook 3 times, I feel like we've barely left the house. We always eat at church on Wednesday night. I never meal plan for Saturday. That is always our fly by the seat of our pants night. But, honestly, most Saturday nights we have a church related dinner/fellowship/outing anyway.
This week, I planned to cook Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Then, I remembered we had a dinner invitation to the home of some members of our church who wanted to share with us about their new ministry idea. (Which we left their house totally encouraged!!) I had already thawed a brisket and it had to be cooked so I kept my plans to cook Tuesday night even though Dan had a meeting and would not be home. Jon and Jessica came over and ate with us. Dan fixed a plate when he got home. Church was tonight. I had a new recipe planned for tomorrow but Dan sent me a text at 9:00 tonight from the meeting he was in asking if he could host a meeting at our house on Thursday night. So, that group will be arriving here about the time we would normally eat dinner. So, that won't work. Especially when you consider Jonah has a tutoring session at 3 and Martial Arts from 4-6. Oh, and something has also come up for Friday which means I won't be cooking.
Does that sound as bizarre to you as it seems to me? How often do you cook? I know Amanda and Aja are every night cookers. What about the rest of you? Does your schedule interrupt family meal times? I always hear family/marriage speakers talk about the importance of consistent time around the table. If the well being of our children comes solely from that, we are up a creek!