Wordless Wednesday- Camping Fun

Campus visit for Lily at UNC-W was the reason for this trip

Golf carts are always fun!

Carolina Pines has an awesome mini golf course! We all enjoyed getting to play!

Water park and Lazy river are also part of Carolina Pines.

My favorite part was the hour I spent sitting on the beach. Kendall was the only one to play in the water.

Matt’s favorite part of the trip was ‘Smores”

Our form of camping was fun!

Tuesday Thoughts

  • As you have probably realized, we were out of town this weekend. Lily, Matt and I went on a campus tour of UNC-W on Friday. We drove down on Thursday and stayed until Sunday.
  • I spent an hour on the beach, we all enjoyed the lazy river, kids played in the pool. Putt Putt was enjoyed as well as a campfire and a couple of card games.
  • We also went to the outlets and enjoyed several hours of shopping
  • We have cleaned and winterized the camper. This includes using it as storage for coolers and plastic totes.
  • I started a batch of pear sauce and have plans to use the new electric canner this week.
  • We are staying very busy. I am still overwhelmed at work. Hopefully this will improve in October.
  • My health is improving, and I am hopeful to avoid a second surgery this year.
  • We have finally turned off the air conditioning which is very late for us. I would love to go any entire month with needing heat or air but the chances are very slim at this point.
  • After returning we have opened the rest of the chicken coop. The chickens are enjoying the extra space and practice flying from one end of the other. We have a automatic door to install but that is down the list.
  • My goal for the remaining three month include reducing the grocery budget and working our way through the freezer and pantry. I would love to do a no shopping challenge but not sure I am ready for that additional stress.
  • The garden is changing as well. We have added the rotating bottoms to the green stocks, we need to dig out sweet potatoes and plant that with carrots. The green beans are finishing and I need to purchase worms to add for the end of summer as well.

Monday Menu Planning

This week is going to be significantly busier than last week. The weather is starting to change. I need to get our pears preserved along with several other things. So you will notice alot of pre-prepared foods.  We did camp from Friday to Sunday so we used the Blackstone for most meals during this time!

Breakfast- Saturday- Big breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast or English muffins Sunday- sausage and pancakes Monday- Find your own. Tuesday- Pear Baked Oatmeal Wednesday- Homemade Everything Bagels Thursday and Friday- find it oatmeal, cereal and milk, French toast sticks, bagels, breakfast burritos and pancakes.

Lunch- Saturday-Cheese Quesadillas Sunday-Chicken nuggets and green beans.   Monday-I had chicken salad Tuesday- left-overs Wednesday-eat out   Thursday- salad   Friday-not sure what it will be at this point.

Dinner- Saturday-Ate at the outlets Sunday- Cowboy beans   Monday-Chicken pot pie and pear sauce.   Tuesday Million Dollar Spaghetti Pie.  Wednesday-Pulled pork sandwiches   Thursday- Chicken and Broccoli Casserole Friday-Kielbasa and rice.

Monday Menu Post

Planning and prepping are working well. This week, I have alot of things already prepped so it is heat and eat!

Breakfast- Saturday- Big breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs and toast. Sunday- bagels with choice of toppings. Monday- Find your own. Tuesday- Homemade everything bagels.  Wednesday Thursday and Friday- find it oatmeal, cereal and milk, French toast sticks, bagels, breakfast burritos and pancakes.

Lunch- Saturday-Cheese Quesadillas Sunday-Little Italy.   Monday-I had a salad Tuesday- salad.  Wednesday-eat out   Thursday- left-overs, Friday-chicken bacon ranch pasta salad

Dinner- Saturday-homemade pizza Sunday- Salsa chicken soup (new recipe)  Monday-Spaghetti and Garlic Bread   Tuesday Hamburger Helper.  Wednesday- Chicken nuggets   Thursday- Taco Bell   Friday-Hot Dogs.

5 Things Friday

  1. We are still running our a/c with no end in sight. In fact next week, we are supposed to see temperatures reach 90*. I love summer and this warm weather is still extremely nice.  I know all good things must come to an end, but I am all about enjoying the last few weeks of warmth!
  2. We are starting to clean out the garden. I have been pulling a lot of dead plants and plan to go ahead and pull out the watermelon this weekend. I also have some lettuce cabbage and broccoli starting to grow as well.  I have been able to harvest green beans FINALLY!  Matt harvested 53 pears today as well. It appears that most have some bad spots, but I am hopefully to enjoy a couple and maybe even freeze a few.
  3. Lily has scheduled a couple of college visits over the next couple of months. I am excited but nervous as the expense of college is overwhelming for at least 3 more kids. I am currently encouraging her to stay at home and commute to college, but we shall see.
  4. Zach is enjoying playing football and all the kids have decided that high school football is a cool event. I am thankful that Zach is being allowed to play each game and so far a broken bracket is all the damage.
  5. After lots of research and debate, I have decided to purchase an electric/ digital canner. I am hopefully that this will take the scary part of canning away and allow me to preserve summer items for use all year long.  I also considered a dehydrator and freeze dryer but decided to try this first as it is a significantly less of an investment than the freeze dryer. Dehydrating is another option but I am currently using the green house to complete this on a small scale so purchasing equipment does not seem like the best thing to do right now!

Monday Menu Planning

This week has us on a more normal schedule. Zach has a ball game on Wednesday but we should be home the other evenings.  We do have a lot of things that need to be caught up on especially outside. The garden is on it’s last leg for the summer, so we need to clean out the beds and lots of weeds.  I did a bunch of meal prep on Saturday since we were stuck inside.

Breakfast- Saturday-Gravy and biscuits. Sunday-Cheddar Bay Sausage balls   Monday- Biscuits (steak for Matt and Zach).  Tuesday- Omelets Wednesday Thursday and Friday- find it oatmeal, cereal and milk, French toast sticks, bagels, breakfast burritos and pancakes.
Lunch- Saturday-leftovers Sunday-Kimonos   Monday-Salad Tuesday- left-pvers Wednesday- lunch out for me Thursday- salad Friday-leftovers

Dinner- Saturday-finishing up left-overs Sunday-Sausage Potato soup (decided we could start soup Sunday). Monday-Cheddar and Bacon burgers and fries. Tuesday- Stuffed green peppers.  Wednesday- Eating out after game. Thursday- Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes corn and green beans.  Friday- Grilled chicken and pasta salad.

Saving On Saturday

Today was a very rainy and dreary day.  The perfect time to catch up on some meal preparation and food preservation.

  • Matt and I took 2 packages of cube steak from our previous cow purchase, breaded and deep fried them. They will be used for steak biscuits for breakfast for the next 6 months or so.
  • I went ahead and meal prepped for the week. Stuffed green peppers, grilled chicken and bacon cheddar burgers are all ready to go.
  • Sorted through and combined items in the freezers in the house as well as the chest freezer. The plan is to purchase as little as possible over the next 8 months and use the food we have in our freezers and pantry.
  • Soaked and cooked a bag of black beans that Matt can use in his chill. (We have 2 cans of beans so this should last awhile.
  • Packaged up gravy from breakfast into can size bags for use with breakfast pizza. I purchased a single can of gravy to use and it was $2.09…. our breakfast left-overs saved us $5.

We debated but decided against turning off the a/c. The humidity is still really high, and it feels sticky outside.  I will continue to watch the weather and as soon as we are below 80 degrees consistently, we will open the windows.

The kids all caught up on laundry, which means less stress for me.

Remember it is the small things that add up!

5 Things Friday- Labor Day Fun

  1. We spent last weekend (Labor Day) in Florida!  We left at midnight on Friday night and returned Tuesday at around 8:30pm.
  2. We spent around 3 hours Saturday at Melbourne Beach.  This was very different from what we are used to but it was awesome. I did manage to get out and jump a few waves myself.
  3. This trip could have centered around food. Saturday night- David (Haley’s husband) made some of the best steaks I have ever eaten. Sunday morning, we enjoyed breakfast at a local breakfast place in their new hometown. Sunday night we ate at “Hoop De Do Review” amazing does not begin to cover the food and entertainment. Monday- breakfast at Ohana’s.  We also eat alot at the “Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween party.”
  4. We attended “Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween party.”  It was fun but not something I would recommend or even plan to do again.  We did collect enough candy to get us to Halloween!
  5. The weather was extremely hot!   I don’t think I can remember when I sweated so much. I did manage to burn my feet in the sand on Saturday. Sunday night was as storm that left the camper sounded like a tin can.