1. The garden is not producing as much as I had anticipated but it is producing just enough for us to eat! For example on Wednesday, I picked 2 cucumbers, a squash, a zucchini and couple of tomatoes. For dinner on Thursday, I combined the zucchini, squash and grilled chicken packs from the school for dinner. For lunch on Friday, four of us ate tomato sandwich! I think this is the right size garden for the future as well!
  2. We are heading to the beach in one week! I am so excited to have some really downtime with minimal expectation of effort from me! The ocean is my favorite place so there is no bad time there.
  3. We have washed 10 loads of clothes today. This includes everyone sheets and comforters! I am most excited because everything but Lily’s was hung out to dry so that we did not waste money! Bonus the sunshine smell should last a few days.
  4. Zach has had 4 baseball games this week and three are scheduled for next week. This makes for some very busy evenings! So far we have tolerated the heat ok!
  5. Sad news- I have exactly 4 weeks or one month left of my summer break! I am really enjoying sleeping late, reading books and keeping ahead of my task! I do look forward to going back to work and getting a normal routine in place if this is even possible.

Friday Update

  1. The Garden- Because of our strange weather here, the garden has been all over the place. We are still finding 5-10 ripe strawberries a day. We seem to be on the last of our snap peas but have been able to enjoy on a very regular basis. This week, we are enjoying zucchini and squash. It appears that my cucumber plants are actually alive! They have started to produce blooms and I am hopeful for some in a couple of weeks. We have tomatoes growing and I am really excited that it appears that all the plants have survived and are starting to produce. I was able to purchase a peach tree that if lives will finish up the eatable border in the back yard.
  2. The weather- CRAZY! For the first time ever in June, we turned off the air conditioning for 4 days this past week. Our average high is 85 but we had 3 days in the 60’s. Unfortunately the humidity got us on the the four day and it is back to the air.
  3. Food- I am very excited and pleased that our school lunch deliveries have improved significantly for the summer. I am thankful for any and all food but this past week, we received lots of raw fruits and vegetables that the kids love. Breakfast food switched from donuts to cereal and pop tarts. My kids are big breakfast eaters so a single donut or muffin is a snack but a bowl of cereal will last several hours. I am now very comfortable with our food storage. My plan for the summer is to continue to replace what we use and what I can find on sale but I am no longer afraid of running out even if I stopped shopping completely.
  4. Summer Break- I am officially on summer break until August 10th! The weather has limited my ability to enjoy but I have been able to read 4 additional books this week.
  5. Budget- We are continuing to save money on gas! I am going to do a budget rearranging in July due to the changes in health care cost. I am most excited to see our debt numbers decrease! I am planning a post this week with lots of details!

5 Things Friday

  1. Next week should be the most normal week since March. Monday is my last day of work for the school year!!!!!! The kids have swim practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Piano is scheduled for Wednesday. Zach has baseball games on Tuesday and Friday. And finally on Tuesday, Kendall finishes her oral surgery! Never thought a crazy busy week would cause this much excitement!
  2. The square foot garden is awesome! We are currently harvesting zucchini and snap peas. I have small tomatoes and green peppers! The cucumbers are flowering finally so I am so thankful and excited!
  3. The school system benefits reset in July of each year. Because of the ability to place even more in my flex spending account this year which is pre-tax. I was able to move our braces payments from the regular account back to the medical flex account which gives us an extra $267 a month. I will need to use at least $100 of this each month for other medical expenses but it is still a huge savings.
  4. This past weekend, we decided to have a yard sale. We have been slowly cleaning out different parts of the house during COVID-19 so I was anxious to finally get rid of the excess. I am very pleased that we made a profit of over $200! Even better is I had a lady come and purchase all the remaining clothes at the end of the day. This was huge and saved us a trip to Goodwill.
  5. I was very excited to find Suddenly Salad marked at $1 during my last trip to Walmart Express. I was able to stock up ! We will have these at least once a week for most of the summer! I am also excited to try several new salad recipes that I found on line! I have decided to try and complete the 52 recipe challenge over the summer! I am afraid that once we go back to school, we need to stick to easy and recipes we are comfortable with!

5 Things Friday

  1. My garden has survived. I am very surprised and excited to see that the majority of my plants have decided to grow this week. I did lose about half my cucumbers and have replaced 6 green pepper plants but my tomatoes are looking awesome!
  2. Today is the last business day of May which means I received my final paycheck of the school year. I have an account set up that I do receive a check at the end of June and July. I was able to pay monthly bills for June and get a good picture of our debit and spending.
  3. Disney World announced several changes that are going to affect our upcoming trips. We did learn that we will most likely be required to wear mask in August. This is the change that I am most unhappy about. I am going to remain optimistic that lower attendance and the chance to enjoy more variety will still make our trip special and unique. We are also currently hearing that both the Halloween party and the Christmas party may be cancelled. I am again trying to remain optimistic as this is the whole reason for the two short trips!
  4. Today, all the kids unofficially finish up the school year. I am still working until June 15th. The sad part is next Monday and Tuesday are definitely the busiest two days of the last several months for me.
  5. Our plans for a yard sale have been postponed due to the weather. I am really doubtful at this point that we have a yard sale until the fall. I don’t do well in the heat and I am afraid that once the rain stops the heat and humility will be unbearable.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Kendall is finally almost done with cleaning out her room. She was able to reduce the amount of clothing down to the point of everything fitting in her closet!!! This allowed her to move a huge dresser out of her room! Lily decided to take the larger dresser and was able to empty out not only her smaller dresser but also a bigger standing shelf. Lily does want to replace the shelf with a mirror and three shelves but we shall see. I moved the standing shelf to my room and laid it on it side under my jewelry box. This is currently a place to keep all of Braxton’s toys, clothes and diapers! Finally Zach did not want to be outdone so he exchanged 3 small dressers for one from Lily’s room. I am pleased with the extra space that everyone was able to find and we have moved at least five garbage bags of clothing to the building for a future yard sale or something.

I have been able to sell between ebay and Facebook market place 4 American girl dolls and a ton (50) build a bear outfits. We used this money to cover our tickets to the Disney Halloween party in August.

Our August Disney trip is completely paid for including air fare. The only item left to purchase is a gift card to cover food on the trip. Matt receives 3 paychecks in July so we plan to use the extra check to purchase a gift card to use on the trip! Next, we are going to work on paying for our December trip! At this point, we will have the plane tickets covered between credit card miles and airline vouchers.

I will be working in Guam through the end of June due to the school closure. My goal is to take the entire month of July off of work and resume both Davie County and Guam in August! I am so ready for a normal schedule!

I am focusing on controlling the grocery budget this month to under $550. So far we have been way over budget each month!

Matt and I have decided to tackle our master bedroom sink area. We are going to repaint the walls, change out the cabinet and sink for a double sink vanity! I am hoping we are able to complete this project in two weekends but it may take a little longer.

I am starting to quickly lose hope in our garden this year. The weather has not cooperated at all. We should be having warm spring/summer like days but for the past 2 weeks the temperatures have been stuck in the 60’s. I have covered everything I could on the couple of nights of freezing but things are just not growing well. In addition, we are having to water every other day. We have had little to no rain since mid April. I was so hopeful for the garden especially using all the seed packets but now if we harvest one each from our vegetables that will be the break even point!

5 Things Friday

  • I have worked 5 days at Davie County Schools and 5 nights in Guam. I am tired! But the really good news is that I have 6 weeks and 1 day until summer break.
  • The weather continues to be almost as strange as COVID-19. Today was a high of 64*. I always remember as a child that May 1st was the day that you could wear shorts and go barefooted outside! Not today! The good news from this is that we have been the entire month of April without heating or air. This saved us around $70 last month.
  • My goal for the next six weeks is to get our freezers fully stocked for the fall. This will allow me to really have the summer off. I am going to need to make a large meat purchase so that we can begin the process next week.
  • The square foot garden is continue to grow with all the seeds that we have planted. We used the lettuce that I have harvested over the past several weeks to make salads on Wednesday.
  • We have reduced our credit card debit by over $1000 since January. In addition to purchasing and install our new floor in the kitchen/dinning room and paying for our August Disney trip!

Wordless Wednesday- Square Foot Garden

Saving on Saturday

  • Instead of buying plants from the big store< Lowes, I decided to venture out and try and find a local greenhouse. After a little bit of searching on Facebook. I found one. I head out early Saturday because I heard they have sold out of plants very quickly. Let me tell you this was by far the best decision I have made. Plants were 3 for $1. I purchased 33 plants for $11 or the cost of one mosquito plant at Lowes.
  • Over the past year, I have been collecting different seeds. The reason, I just could not pass up a good deal. I paid as much as twenty-five cent for all the packets. Since we have some extra time with no extra activities, I decided to go ahead and see what I could start from seed. I have been able to successfully start, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, snap peas, peas and watermelon. I have also planted some green beans, dill and basil from seed as well. The only expenses so far has been dirt which I buy anyway.
  • Matt saw on-line that you could start tomato plants from slices of tomato. I was very skeptical because of the way I hear most vegetables are treated. However, we tried it with two slices of tomato and we have tiny tomato plants growing from them!
  • I have been listing items on Ebay for the past month. Originally, you could list up to 50 items a month without a listing fee. Now they have actually changed that to 200 items a month. This past week, I sold 7 out of 10 items! I also received the highest bid for one item. We are still responsible for a fee at the end but for March it was $12.45 so I am still making a small profit on most items and we are cleaning things out as they go.
  • I talk a lot about food and food waste. We have spent a total of $212 so far from our grocery budget. I expect to keep this number under $250 for the month! We are definitely trying to use what we have an still do some adventures eating and cooking this month!

4/10/2020

  1. This week at home has been more of a struggle for me. I am not sure if it was the fact, I was stressing about some work issues or just this is the fourth week of Covid-19 or my Humira shot. But most likely a combination of all of the above. The good news is that I survived and am hopeful the work stress is behind me as well.
  2. I decided to go out shopping on Wednesday this week in order to avoid the crowds over Easter weekend. Again good and bad news. The good news is that we did avoid the crowds and used pick up for both Lowes and Walmart. The bad news is that it was insane at Lowes. I can’t believe how many people were there. We have spent a total of $77.42 on groceries so far this month. I fully expect to keep this number low this month.
  3. Yesterday, Thursday, the windshield of the van was replaced. It developed a crack from a rock in January and finally reached the point it definitely needed to be replaced. I also will need to get the car inspected and tag renewed this month. I know this will exceed my gas budget even with only filling up once or twice. My plan will be to use some of the gas money from May to help cover the expense as well. I will be at home until at least May 15th so between the two months we should have all the repairs and tags covered.
  4. The weather this week has been beautiful and we have spent a good chunk of time outside preparing the garden. We are expected to have another frost this weekend so if all goes as plan we will be doing a lot of planting next weekend. This also works out with the recommendations by the Farmer’s Almanac.
  5. Speaking of next week it should be a real test of patience and parenting skills. All three kids are out of school for Spring Break. I am off on Monday but have to work the rest of the week. In addition, there is a strong possibility that Guam schools will resume which means I am going to be working both jobs from home. A test of patience is the best description I can give.