Monday, August 8, 2011

The Boy is Back

One week ago today, I picked Alex up from the airport. He had just spent a month with his mom out in North Dakota and was coming to Washington for the first time. It just so happens that his father was gone when he arrived. Nick is TDY for three weeks so it's me and the kid.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about how we would spend our time and what in the world we would talk about.
This last week has been interesting and busy. I got him registered for school, he's attended his first few football training sessions, shopped for all the football equipment we'd need, and we've had a good look around the area. He's even met a couple of guys in the neighborhood to hang out with.
The challenge is getting him out more. He surely does love to sit in front of any kind of screen and play a game. Computer, Xbox, etc. My goal was to let him work on the balance needed between real life and the imaginary games he's involved in. Turns out he's not ready for that challenge. Yesterday, we had to set a few boundaries. It seems this boy works better with a more structured schedule. Left on his own, he will sit for the whole day and play. He proved this to me on Saturday.
Yesterday was spent washing a car, doing his laundry, going to the commissary to inquire about a job, and reading. No computer games at all yesterday.
Today he gets back into his workout routine..and he's making dinner for me. I decided to get him involved in the everyday chores of running a household. I told him to pick out two meals he'd like to make for dinner, make a list of ingredients and we'd pick them up.(surprisingly, he was excited about this and really got into it)
So, tonight it's a chicken dish he says he made up back with his mom. Chicken breasts, a jar of Alfredo sauce, so many little containers of dried herbs and seasonings it makes my head spin, and pasta. Hmmm... we'll see how it goes. I think I will have to help a bit on his technique or I'll be having rubbery pan fried chicken with over-seasoned jarred sauce.
Thursday night he's making a stir fry. He was so funny picking his ingredients.
Mandarin oranges
Baby Corn
Sugar Snap Peas
This is going to be a rich stir fry. He is serving it over rice for me.
His last culinary decision was what dessert he wants to make. He chose brownies and they are coming from a box.
My goal, when we started this, was to have him choose a dish he loves, research a recipe, and follow the recipe. So far, we've failed. He chose one dish he "made up"  and one dish that requires throwing stuff in a pan and stir frying it. Once again, we'll need to learn technique and some knife skills. Pray for me.

Last night I grilled rib-eye steaks, fresh corn on the cob and asparagus...all on the grill. It was DELICIOUS!
I stopped at the farm stand on Saturday and picked up the fresh corn, some beautiful tomatoes, blueberries and peaches. That evening I made two peach and blueberry cobblers. YUM. I took one next door to my neighbors who have a son the same age as Alex and I'm the diggety bomb with that kid now.
Wednesday, I'm meeting some old friends from Hawaii for lunch.  Nick's battalion Chaplain back in Hawaii is here and will be our Brigade chaplain again. We are thrilled. So, I'm having lunch with them and looking forward to catching up.
Have a fabulous Monday everyone. I'm off to the gym to see if I can burn off some peach and blueberry cobbler.


Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Whatever he makes, praise it to the skies and choke down seconds. You want to encourage this habit.

That being said, you're braver than I. I don't let my kids cook and I should. Once you get past the bad dishes, it would be great to have someone else around here who cooks.

Loopy said...

I can't believe you're totally settled in your new place. I'm looking to hear more about your adventures in the Northwest. Good job getting "the boy" off electronics.

USMCWIFE said...

Sounds like you have it all under control. We had a strict rule in our house even through video games during the week. It worked well and he focused on getting outside, school work and after school activities. It actually worked out well since not playing during the week made him less and less interested on the weekends. Now he is in college, starting sophomore (where did the time go) he just doesn't have time. I commend you for caring so much about the outcome of this young mans life...that is because your a mom!

Quiltingranny said...

None of the chefs I see on television need to research a recipe, sounds like this might be his niche! We don't do video games during school M-F and during the summer only 45 minutes a day. Take him to the gym with you or have him walk with you. You are really teaching him how to be a man!

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