Lunch Lady

Hello Blogland!

I'm back, and I've missed this place.  I don't really know why I've been absent for so long, but I chalk it up to a crazy-busy life.

Months ago, I posted about how I'm finally back in the working world, and how much I love my job.  After the euphoria of being "back at it", reality and the bitter cold winter set in.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my work, it just came with a few challenges that I wasn't expecting.

Did you know, that as the head cook, I have to do a LOT of math? (I'm really not a math person.  At all.  Just ask my math genius husband). When I applied for this job, I stupidly assumed that I would just create nutritious, yummy lunches for a lot of great kids.

Not so much.

For instance, federal school lunch guidelines have me counting calories for each age group.  That means that if I want to include ketchup as a condiment on hot dog  turkey frank day, I have to figure out portion sizes and make sure I'm within the calorie range for each age group.  I have to serve a certain amount of meat/meat alternative each week, and veggies from several different categories.  Not only that, but there's inspection guidelines to follow, figuring out how much food to cook, and ordering from Food Services of America and making sure I'm not over budget.

I'm not complaining.  It's just been a huge learning curve that I have to admit, I wasn't quite prepared for.

The best part about my job?  Seeing the kids learn and grow through Christ.  We have some of the most prayerful, respectful, and kind students that I've ever met.  I love the days when I can leave the kitchen and sit with them while they eat the lunch that I've prepared and get to know them.  Yesterday, for example, four seventh grade girls taught me a "cup" game and serenaded me.  Then, there was the random hug from my kindergarten buddy, Jett, and the sixth grader who told me I was so "nice and cool".  Every day, when the pre-schoolers come for lunch, I get greetings of "Hi, Mrs. B.!" or "Hi, Murray's Mom!"

I've been blessed to get to know parents, teachers and the amazing faculty and staff.  I've made new friends, and feel lucky to be able to visit the St. Joseph's School environment daily.  Tonight we have our annual school fundraiser, the St Joseph Dinner, Dance, and Auction, which I'm a member of two of the committees.  It's sure to be an evening of camaraderie, laughter and making new memories.

I know I've been gone for a while, but I hope you'll keep checking back.  Stay tuned for more from Murray's Momma.

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