5 Things Friday

  1. Wow how things change yet they remain the same.  Last Thanksgiving, Matt and I both had COVID-19. At least we were on the recovery side but still it was not fun.  We missed Thanksgiving almost completely.  This year we celebrated at my brothers for a big family lunch. Haley and her crew spent the night at our house.  Today, we find out that Braxton’s father has COVID so Amanda and Braxton will be spending the next 7 days with us.
  2. I wanted to decorate outside this year. Zach has complained for the past two years that we leave his window dark.  We spent a couple hours on Wednesday and finished up yesterday. I saw or heard the idea of using tomato cages for Christmas trees so we now have 4 small trees on our front yard as well. I  am planning to get some pictures to post this week.
  3. Lily really enjoys decorating especially trees. So I let her do most of the tree decorating and fluffing. We have 2 large trees along with each kid has a smaller tree in their room.
  4. I really did not do any Black Friday shopping this year. I did order from Bath and Body Works on Thanksgiving and a white shirt for Zach from Amazon today.
  5. Lily turns 16 in a week.

5 Things Friday

  1. We have been slowly working on the greenhouse since we got the plastic roof on!  Today we have finished the watering path. We ended up purchasing a pump to place in a old trash can that will be used as a rain barrel.  I wanted to have 4 separate watering zones. One is specific for the shelf that will hold tomato plants in the spring.  Matt needs to construct the platform for the final zone. He has plans to add electricity to the greenhouse tomorrow!
  2. I am struggling with work life balance yet again. I ended up working 30 hours in Guam after decreasing my caseload to 4 schools approximately 20 students.  I am going to have to learn to say no and stick to it!   October should be slightly less around 20 hours is where I want to end up.
  3. The girls and I are headed to Durham tomorrow to go wedding dress shopping. Haley has already started her count down.
  4. Food prices are on the rise!  I am working very diligently to keep us on budget. I do have plans to stock up on a  diet coke sale this weekend but the goal for October is the keep the budget under $300.
  5. We have final turned off the air. We are still having days in the low 80’s but between working and baseball games, we have managed to survive a full 2 weeks without air conditioning. I would love to go the entire month of October without heat or air but I seriously doubt that is possible!  My current goal is October 20th!

Vacation Catch Up

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!

Christmas Day

I have spent a good hour this morning reading over past Christmas post.  I am so grateful to have this blog to help recall our crazy life. Interesting things I re-discovered by reading that I had forgotten was Kendall got her glass at 14 months. She did not walk until 18 months and was not potty trained until 2 and 1/2. Next is that Zach has always had stomach issues.  He would randomly throw up. I am beginning to realize that this is most likely due to food intolerance/ allergies.

Now back to where I started Christmas Day. Haley is still in Florida with her boyfriend and his family. She did call last night while we were eating at Mom’s and again this morning. Amanda is working today, so we will open gifts with her on Saturday. I prepared sausage crescent rolls, cream cheese crescent rolls and a Cracker Barrel hash brown casserole on Christmas Eve. They went straight in the oven between Santa presents and opening parent presents.  We added scramble eggs, 2 kinds of link sausage, orange cinnamon rolls and bacon to complete the breakfast. For lunch, we had left-overs and added a yogurt bar. Dinner was left-overs and bagel bar.

We all stayed in jammies and enjoyed a quiet day. Lily even said she likes a smaller number of gifts but better items! Santa brought a echo dot and smart plug for each. Kendall got a fit bit watch. Zach a remote control Lego set and Lily 2 pair of Nike shorts. Each received a Disney pin for trading.

Braxton at Disney!

Another Picture heavy post but I definitely don’t want to ever forget this time!

Zach loved matching Braxton and they looked too cute together. Everyone pitched in to help with a 2 year old in the lines. Our wait time range from basically walk on for Haunted Mansion (17 actual minutes) to an hour wait for The Jingle Cruise

Braxton wanted to wear Kendall’s ears so on Tuesday while Matt, Lily and Zach were getting Starbucks we found this that fit perfectly. Braxton had thrown a hat the day before but he left these ears on the whole day and even wore them home on the plane.

Braxton was awesome about wearing his mask. We would tell him to fix it and he would cover his nose. When he was tired, he would often get his drink and pretend to drink from it, even filling his cheeks just to keep his mask down.

If you had food Braxton would help you!