This is the first year that I have had 2 kids in 2 or more sports at once. It’s been really busy! I realize as a mom of three little kids that this is just the beginning of why moms joke about being a taxi driver. With my son in baseball with about 4 events a week and my 5-year-old in both gymnastics and cheer leading, we have an activity every day of the week, except Sunday. I have to be either totally prepared in the morning for dinner by sticking meal after meal in the crock-pot so that when dinner time comes around, we’re golden…or we have dinner picnic style with sandwiches and fruit. And I’ll be honest…I’m not on top of crock-pot meals 6 days a week! It’s not my favorite. I do love watching my kids at practice and performing…it’s probably my favorite thing ever. They are having so much fun, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world, but I have started to feel like a lazy/non-homemaker (?) mom because our ‘at-home’ life is starting to slip away. I’m beginning to crave summer where we all hang out at the beach, all together, all the time! I do really like these kids of mine! Well, I know you’ve heard of Stouffer’s. Who hasn’t? Stouffer’s encouraged us to go on a family activity for the afternoon, forget about having to prepare a meal before we go and enjoy a healthy meal on them. So we grabbed Ivy’s newly acquired birthday kite and decided to make an afternoon of test-driving it at the beach. The best part was that even though it’s the middle of the baseball season (he works in Major League Baseball), my husband was able to be home for our kite-flying adventure! It was a beautiful afternoon at the beach, the kids loved playing in the sand especially with the anticipation of being able to fly a kite looming just ahead! The salty breeze seemed to be just perfect, especially since there were about a dozen other kites and wind surfers hanging out down there at the same time. We each got to take a couple of turns flying our kite. My husband was ticked because we couldn’t figure out how to make it go super high. (You know, when you picture in your head what it looks like to fly a kite, and your kite is so high up there, you can’t make out the details and it looks about as big as a quarter? Yep, that didn’t happen.) I guess we need a lesson on kite-flying. Max and Ivy were thrilled to be able to fly it all by themselves (don’t get me wrong, it was flying, just not high-flyin’!) and while one person was manning the line, the rest of us were playing in the sand, or just relaxing. I didn’t think about how dinner was fast approaching, I didn’t worry about how were going to have bean burritos or pancakes yet again because we just weren’t home to make something awesome. Dinner was ready to pop in the oven when we got home, and I could enjoy the time with my family. Loved it! We headed home that evening with the resolve to google “kite-flying strategies.” I threw our Stouffer’s Family size Lasagna with Meat and Sauce in the oven to cook (which, by the way happened to come with a free box of garlic Texas toast when purchased at Target on this particular day). I probably could have whipped up a quick salad while it was baking, but instead, I felt really good about hanging with my guy while our kids played, and I figured that because Stouffers meals are made with quality ingredients like freshly made pasta, laid by hand, real mozzarella cheese and vine-ripened tomatoes, we were going to have a complete meal. Our lasagna could have been cooked in the microwave for about half an hour had I been in a pinch, but we had the 70 minutes for it to cook on this particular day and I was thrilled that the “family-size” box was actually the perfect amount of food for my whole family (5 people)! My somewhat picky kids (who don’t like spaghetti sauce, nor hamburger meat) gobbled up their lasagna, and I was thrilled that with little effort, we had had a fun afternoon together, AND a good meal. In addition to their Lasagna with Meat and Sauce, Stouffers also has a new Meat Lovers Lasagna that looks pretty dang good to me, too. It actually takes less time to cook, but still includes the same quality ingredients as the lasagna we tried. To be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card from Stouffer’s, I want to know how all you busy mom’s do it! Like I said, this is the first year I’ve had more than one kids involved in sports and other activities. I want to know, from the experts, the tricks of the trade. How do you get a healthy meal on the table when you’re gone all afternoon and evening? What are your go-to recipes? Make me an expert, too! Each comment will be entered to win the $100 gift card
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