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School has started again for us in Vermont. No more long, lazy afternoons enjoying the nice weather outside. No more sleeping late or enjoying an extra cup of coffee while the kids sleep in. Mornings are now a very busy time in our home. I have to get both kids up and out of bed on time to get to school. This isn't always as easy as you would think with two kids. I think they would stay in bed until noon if I let them. Now, it seems as though every day is hectic.  There are extra errands to run when the kids need to get to school or after school activities.  There are meetings with teachers, concerts to watch and after school sports games to attend.

Tips to make the work and school week run smoothly

These tips help make the work and school week run  more smoothly for the family:

  • Set out your clothes and supplies the night before.  That way you will know if you have the right pants, shirts, and shoes they need for school. If you need to do a quick load of laundry at 10pm, it's much easier than doing laundry at 6am and having it done in time.
  • Go through your child's backpack with them every day after school.  It's not fun finding out you need to bring snacks for 35 children on the morning they are due.  Clear out papers and record important dates on the calendar.
  • Create a message center for each child.  Record important sports games, which child gym on which days, and when that important homework project is due. Color code each message center with your child's favorite color.
  • Menu planning is something I cannot do without during the school year. Once a week, I create a menu plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. From that menu plan, I create the grocery list.  No more wondering what you are going to make for dinner at 6pm.
  • Keep healthy snacks pre-packaged and always available for the kids when they're hungry.  Put finger food like grapes, baby carrots, raisins or cheese sticks in snack sized baggies in the refrigerator. Your child is more likely to grab a healthy snack if they can choose something bit size and ready when they want it.
  • Make lunches fun.  School lunches can get boring and the good for you food is often traded for less healthy options.  By making lunches fun, your child is more likely to eat what you pack them. KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian DinnerRolls are the perfect choice for a "kid size" lunch.
  • Have easy recipes on hand.  Find a few easy recipes that your whole family loves for your busiest nights like this Ham and Broccoli Oven Casserole.

Ham and Broccoli Oven Casserole


  • 1 package of KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Dinner Rolls, 12 Pack
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups (8 ounces shredded Colby Jack cheese)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups of cubed ham
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of whole milk


Tear the rolls into pieces.

Pour the melted butter over the top and mix.

Place half in a casserole dish.

Top with half of the cheese, half of the broccoli, and half of the ham.

Add another layer of rolls, broccoli, cheese and ham.

Mix the eggs and milk and pour over the top.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 5 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.

What is your favorite meal on busy nights? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter.