It’s an unusual time in the GreenHouse because we have all three sons with us right now. I’m loving it, but I’ve got some work to do before they all disperse as the fall semester begins.Empty nest checklist

Especially because Lucas, our youngest, moves into the dorms next week. I need to work on my checklist. Not his. He was ready after we bought a set of twin sheets and a garbage can.

It’s my checklist. Because although his move marks the beginning of a new season for him, it marks the end of an era in the GreenHouse. There are some items that I need to sort out so I’ll be ready for our new season.

Here’s my empty nest checklist….

  1. Restore a new line item in the budget called “savings” since I won’t be buying 6 gallons of milk every week.
  2. Explore what kind of movies I want to watch. I lost my personal movie preference somewhere between Finding Nemo and Braveheart. Is there still a romance genre? This is the first time that I won’t be out-voted by testosterone.
  3. Find out whether there is anything else offered on Netflix besides Malcolm in the Middle. And while I’m at it, I’ll check out the channel listings because I’ve heard that there is more than sports on cable channels after all.
  4. Lucas needs to give me some tutorials about the remote control and speakers–or Gary can teach me once they are gone.The GreenHouse
  5. Find those old recipes that I eliminated through the years because my kids didn’t like them and welcome them back to the table. I’ll do my own eliminating now, beginning with breads, rice and pasta (and whatever else I cooked to fill up hungry boys that filled me out instead). Now salads will become the main dish instead of the forgotten side dish.
  6. Warn the sock monster that he’s about to go on a serious diet because we’ll be cutting back on the laundry days.
  7. Reggie, our dog, needs to work out a new meal plan. When we brought him home 7 years ago the deal was that the kids would take care of him. Now he needs to do some negotiating. His best luck will be to appeal to Gary.
  8. Research what to do for fun in Abilene because there’ll be no more dates to soccer games, football games or homemade pizza and movie nights with the kids. Maybe pizza and movie nights will take on a whole new meaning.
  9. Reassign the chores since there will be no more free child labor. Now Gary will have to vacuum, take out the garbage and unload the dishwasher. Not to mention mow and weed-eat. And feed Reggie. No wonder he’s sad to see the boys go. But our new movie nights will help him adjust.
  10. Get my boys to share their playlists with me. I rarely play my own music because they always do. I think they took over when they outgrew Psalty the Singing Songbook. I love their music—most of it, so hopefully they’ll share with me so the house isn’t too quiet.

I doubt I get all these sorted out before the boys leave. But that’s okay. I’ll get started then Gary and I can work out the rest once they’re gone.

empty nestIn the meantime, I’m going to buy four gallons of milk today, bake some chocolate chip cookies and most likely watch a movie this weekend with a body count.

And I’ll enjoy it, just like I’ve enjoyed the past 24 years of this season.

Do any of you experienced empty-nesters have some advice for me? Leave a comment to add another item to my checklist? One friend suggested we take up the house key (or change the locks).

Linking up with Grace and Truth.

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