Menu planning has been a life saver the past couple of hectic weeks. I have enjoyed pulling items from the freezer to bake and eat. This week we have added soup back to the menu. I enjoy the variety it brings!
Breakfast– Saturday-Breakfast bowls. Sunday- Danish from Costco Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. My goal is to add a day of baked oatmeal back in but we shall see.
Lunch- Saturday–Left-overs Sunday- Gregg’s . Matt made chill to take this week. I am planning to take a couple of days of soup and hopefully some left-overs.
Dinner- Saturday-Broccoli and cheese soup from Costco . Sunday-Taco Soup Monday- Chill Tuesday- Grilled Chicken and pasta salad . Wednesday- Walking Tacos in a bowl Thursday- Pulled pork and corn on the cob Friday-Left-overs or egg drop soup if I get adventurous.
October has historically been one of the two busiest months of the year for us. This year has been no different. I did make the decision last June that we would not continue piano lessons after the summer. This has freed up one evening a week but I honestly miss hearing the kids practice. Hopefully maybe even next summer they will be interested in resuming but time will tell. I am the only one who is missing it. The kids all had a teacher work day last week so they feel like they have gotten caught up on sleep which is great for them.
Zach has been playing baseball. Last week due to rain we had three games Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Each game started around 7:30 which gave us time to eat as a family but most night we got home around 9:45pm. This week we have games only on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Lily chose not to participate in the Youth Theater but she is going to youth group on Sundays and also helping with the nursery on Wednesday night. She has complete her first 9 weeks of both high school and college. I know she has been spending alot more time on school work than in the past . I am also very proud and excited to say that currently she has a 4.0 average!
We continue to sneak in an hour or so each Saturday to work on the green house. I am disappointed in how long it is taking to actually get plants started in there but once we get everything working properly it should be well worth the trouble.
Last weekend we purchased a travel trailer/ camper. We have spent several hours getting it all cleaned up and also trying to get it set up the way we want. Currently we are expecting to take ownership of the Tahoe toward the end of the month. We are starting to plan a couple of small trips to make sure we have everything we need. First we plan a 3 day trip to Asheville to visit the Biltmore house right before Christmas. In January we hare headed to Myrtle Beach to shop and go to a show. This will be a longer 4 day trip as well as a longer drive pulling the camper as well.
I have been working in Guam several nights a week. My goal is to reduce my hours again to around 7 hours a week and a maximum of 2 nights. I actually have only 1 night this week but it is a VERY long night!
Hopefully more updates and picture will be posted this week! I am looking forward to slowing down and having more time at home in the next several weeks.
It was a very sad day in January when we learned that Matt’s father had passed away. The week that followed which included a trip to Florida was honestly probably one of the hardest weeks we have ever faced. We left all the kids here and it was a struggle as none of us are used to being separated that long or being that responsible for that long.
We are very fortunate that Matt’s dad had done lots of planning for not only his retirement but for his children’s and grandchildren’s future as well. He left all three kids with a small college fund that continues to grow each year. In addition to that we will receive 3 payments over the next year. We received our first check in August and should receive a second check this month.
I have been really hesitant to share about this as it is a very private and sensitive matter but it also has some financial benefit and changes for us as a family. I am going to share how we are planning to share the money without the exact amounts.
The first 10% of these check will be given to charity. We have chosen to make the donations to Envision Atlanta. This is the organization that we have volunteered as a family with and also one that we feel is doing the most to further the Kingdom.
Next we decided that we should make a couple of adult choices: paying off debt and medical bills. As part of this we paid off the car we purchased in November.
Last but not least for this round of checks fun! We purchased a camper to use as a family. We ended up buying 2018 Grey Wolf camper home. We have spent the afternoon cleaning and re-arrange items inside. And in turn “If you give a mouse a cookie” fashion.. we needed a place to park the camper so a driveway extension is already scheduled and we needed something to pull the camper so we are in the process of buying a new Tahoe.
Hopefully I can share some of our adventures soon!
Today is Monday so I normally plan to post a menu plan for the week but Life Happens.
Last Monday night we began to smell something burning in the house. Lily around 10:30 heard a pop sound. I woke up around 4 and knew immediately that the air was not working.
Just for the record highs last week have been above 90 each day. Tuesday night and Wednesday night the kids all stayed with Amanda. On Thursday, we were blessed with the ability to borrow a portable air conditioner which we are using in our bedroom. On Saturday and Sunday nights we have been blessed by storms that have cooled not only the air but made sleeping in girl’s room possible.
We have not been following a menu plan- it is simply too hot to cook and add anything in the air. We are eating out most meals. We have done minimal laundry as again it is too hot to add any more heat in the house. We have spent time at the pool.
It has also been too hot for me to concentrate on working , I did manage 2 hours in Guam last week but have an uphill battle ahead.
Sleeping is hard when you are hot. Functioning as a normal human being is hard when you are hot.
Other small things are going wrong that just add to the stress. But it only takes a minute to realize that we are facing only very small problems compared to others.
I have mentioned before that I feel like we have a well stocked freezers. So now I am trying to stock up the freezers with easy to prepare meals in addition to adding some needed items to the pantry.
I have been doing ALOT of shopping on Amazon this summer, in addition to it being the most convenient option for me, I have been able to find some great deals. I am using scribe and save- the subscription service. I am finding that some deals offer some additional amounts off for your first shipment. I am setting reminders all over the place to go back and check prices to make sure that the second and future shipment are still at the great deal. If not it is not difficult to cancel but the trick waiting till around a week before your shipment closes and then doing the math. I have purchased snacks (30 cent or less per pack), hand soap, school supplies, rice and all vitamins. This week I have found soup for around 80 cent a cup this is a HUGE convivence item for us!
Today I ventured out to Harris Teeter. I have not shopped this grocery store in over 18 months. I LOVE their sales but with COVID and the distance to get to the store I just have not had a chance. Today I was getting some work on the van so I was within a mile of a store. I spent $33.45 and saved 53% according to the receipt! There was only one small catch, none of the items purchased were a need. They all were to add to the pantry. I grabbed 4 boxes of pasta at $0.79 cent each. Canned beans, green beans and corn at thirty seven cent each and Hamburger helper at ninety-eight cent each. I admit that we use 2 boxes of Hamburger helper to one pound of ground beef but this is a quick and easy meal.
I am actually thinking that I have stocked up on most pantry items as well. My plan is to only shop sales for the rest of the summer! This months groceries will be a regular month but hopefully I will be able to reduce the grocery budget by half for the rest of the year! $300 a month sounds very doable starting in August.
We spent the last week on Oak Island NC. This was a new spot for us and I am really impressed. So impressed in fact that we have already reserved a condo in the same building for next year. Our only complaint this year was the mattress in the condo we had were HORRIBLE! But on the bright side for the first time in several years, both Amanda and Haley joined us at the beach. Braxton stayed 4 days, Amanda 2 days and Haley 1 day.
We turned the air conditioning up to 80 degrees while we were gone and unplugged all the computers and electronics. We are hopeful that this saved us some on the electric bill.
We did spend more of vacation. I don’t like to cook or clean on vacation. We did do at least one load of laundry per day. We purchased heat and eat breakfast items and ate at a restaurant at least one time a day!
Matt, Zach and Tim went deep sea fishing on Wednesday while us girls shopped. We did not expect any benefit from this trip but we are very pleasantly surprised to have brought home lots of mackerel (King and spotted) for our freezer. I also stopped on the way home to purchase 3 pounds of freshly caught shrimp to add to our freezer as well.
We arrived home to 20 pounds of tomatoes which is a great surprise considering this will be most if not all of what we harvest this year. I made 5 batches of spaghetti sauce. On Sunday, I decided to spread out the sauce, making a baked ziti, 2 baked spaghettis and 2 bags of meatballs along with 5 containers of spaghetti sauce. We also enjoyed the sauce for lunch!
Vacation is the time when all the money saving stops and we enjoyed what we have worked and saved for all year!