Tuesday Thoughts

  • We all (even Lily) enjoyed our 4 day camping trip to Conway SC this past weekend.  We arrived home on Monday (Martin Luther King Day_) to about 6 inches of snow in our driveway. The kids were super excited to “play in the snow.”
  • Today (Tuesday) was an official snow day for the kids. The community college even cancelled class!  I however worked remotely with a two-hour delay. I am grateful to be able to stay nice and warm and earn a paycheck. The same thing will happen again tomorrow.  We are actually supposed to receive more bad weather Thursday night and Friday morning, so this is turning into an interesting week.
  • We have our first official harvest from the greenhouse. Matt was able to harvest a bag of mesclun lettuce today. We will use this as part of our salad with Lasagna for dinner tomorrow. Matt was also pleasantly surprised to find that our greenhouse roof of plastic did not break or tear in the sleet, snow and wind. We are now strongly considering getting a lemon tree this summer to keep outside in the summer and in the greenhouse next winter!
  • So far this month for groceries we have spent $90.72. Which means I currently have over $100 sitting in the grocery fund. I have trade and left a $100 bill in the envelope to encourage me not to spend it. I am also on track to spend less than $200 on groceries this month. I do have a subscribe and save delivery that should arrive on January 28th but that still should not throw me over the $200 budget. My next decision is to keep saving the excess in the grocery fund until June or use this money to pay for some other items.  Right now I want to build an emergency grocery fund of $200 to start with.
  • Braxton has been staying with us this week so that both of his parents can work.  I will be the first to admit, I am glad daycare is open tomorrow because it is difficult to work with a toddler in the house!

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.

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!

Sunday Thoughts

  • We have 22 days of school left. 20 for the kids. I have an additional 2 workdays (Monday June 7th and Tuesday June 8th).
  • Today is Mother’s Day.  My gift was being woken up at 12 am with Zach throwing up.  Lily started getting sick at 2am. I have been up and down with them most of the day. Hopefully no one else will get this lovely bug.
  • On Thursday, Kendall had seizure like activity and was rushed to the Emergency Room. We currently have no answers and lot of questions. She has an appointment on May 19th.
  • I am trying something new and some different recipes this week. I made 2 casseroles that just need to be cooked. I will make a third one on Tuesday so each day will be heat and eat.  I am hopeful that we can add these into the rotation as we are getting bored again of the same food. I am also trying to use up things in my freezers to make room for summer produce.
  •  We have purchased a batting cage for Zach.  The old swing set was taken down and we are currently waiting on rubber mulch to begin installing the cage. He is continuing t make improvements with his skills and really enjoying the game.
  • Matt and I added grids to the garden beds today. We currently have lots of things growing. I am also planning another planting at the end of May to extend the growing session.
  • I decided just this week that I will continue to work in Guam on Sunday nights all during the summer. This will allow me to keep some contacts and also supply the extra money needed for the outside projects we have been working on.

ICY Thursday Thoughts

We woke up to ice this morning. The weather prediction is that we will continue to have freezing rain all day.  Because the state was placed under a State of Emergency, Kendall, Zach and I all have a true snow day. NO work or remote learning!  I do have to work in Guam but this really gives me a chance to catch up!

  • How the kids are spending most of the day…. Braxton spent last night with us because both of his parents had to work today.
  • I am planning to spend part of the day cooking!  This morning I made French Toast. We all enjoyed for breakfast and I quickly froze the remaining 4 slices for another easy breakfast.  Because of my crazy busy work schedule this week, we have been eating out of the refrigerator. With this nasty cold wet weather, I decided to add in a pot of soup a day until at least Sunday. This is a huge benefit to being at home. First it is a hot meal that everyone usually likes! Next, it is easy storage and can be used as dinners for next week. We try to package in single serving containers to make it much easier to heat and eat! And I am definitely using all the items in my pantry and freezers.
  • A no work day also let’s me continue to go through and organize both pantry and freezers. I have been determined since the first of the year to first reduce our grocery budget as it had gotten totally out of control in 2020.  I also needed to figure out what food we have and what we actually need. I am continuing to use Alexa to store both my regular grocery list and my Costco list on. I will likely get to Costco this weekend.
  • We were able to get our washer repaired on Monday.  Total cost was $130!   I am hopeful we can get at least another 10 years out of it now! I am also focusing on getting caught up on laundry. We were without a washer for 3 weeks which means lots of extra loads.  We were able to keep up with our regular clothes by washing at Amanda’s, my mom’s and a friend but nothing extra.  This morning, I have already washed 3 loads for Zach including his sheets and comforter.   Kendall will hopefully get her sheet done today as well. My goal is to wash our sheets tomorrow as I will be working remotely.

Making the best our of a really desired snow day!

5 Things Friday

  1. Lily got her permit today! 
  2. Amanda was able to get a new to her car without any assistance or co-signer. She returned the van she has been using since she no longer needs it. We sold the van for $1000!
  3. I am exhausted, this week has been extremely busy with both my regular job and Guam. I am scheduled to work Sunday through Thursday every night for the next month.
  4. Lily and Zachary are grounded.  The reason is politics.
  5. The kids have decided to attempt to start a small business of there own, making Christmas ornaments and pot holders out of wood.  Matt and I will be assisting in the sell but first they need an inventory.