November in Review

I have been debating even writing this post for several days.  November was a month that was busy, frightening and unforgettable but I also want to stay true to myself and have documented some of the reasons that things happen. First we decided to take a trip to Michigan to visit over Thanksgiving.  I am a planner and two weeks is never enough time to plan a 7 day trip. But this Amanda was sick and the two weeks turned into 3 days. I spent 5 solid days at the hospital with her and ended up eating several meals just to make the days go faster. I don’t regret spending the time at the hospital and would do it again if needed but it made the month really short.  I don’t even think I have actual numbers this month but best guess has to work for now.

Financial- I did fairly well for our trip expenses and I still plan to write a blog post about that.  I did end up spending money on more new clothes and shoes. The good news is that we paid all our bills and we have no real needs. 


Grocery budget $500- I did end up staying under this amount I am positive.  However I am going to guess that I spent around $200 this month on groceries. I am going to plan a HUGE grocery trip at the end of December but the goal is to stay well under $100 prior to that. 


Gas-  Our trip to Michigan cost us 7 tanks of gas for around $250. I have absolutely no idea what else was spent in gas for the month except $15 on parking for the hospital. 


Kid/Summer expenses: Kendall gymnastics $60 was the only required spending for the month but I am thinking I also paid $20 on a fieldtrip.
Earned $100- I have gift cards left for Christmas and we used $70 for trip expenses .
Personal-
Blogging-5 for the month. I had many things to think about an little time to blog this month. 
Exercise- Zero… no explanation.

What happened?

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and changes that I could had no way to prepare and plan for.

First, Matt’s stepmother, fell and broke her hip.  After some discussion and thought, we decided that we needed to travel to Michigan over Thanksgiving. In fact, we are currently in a hotel in Claire Michigan. My goal is to get a post over the next day or so that gives some ideas on ways to save on last minute traveling.

Next, Amanda, my oldest daughter, has spent 5 days in Cardiac ICU and 5 days in an regular hospital room. She developed a complication from pregnancy that caused her heart to fail, which in turned caused several blood clots in both lungs and one in her heart. The first days of this episode, were the most scary thing I have ever experienced.  I stayed with her for almost a solid week. We are all thankful and blessed that she is home, and expected to make  a full recovery.  The recovery will be slow but still is expected to be full. It was a tough decision for us to leave her and come to Michigan but it was the right one for us. Amanda was very supportive of this.

Luckily, I have purchased most of our Christmas gift, and did not plan to spend much time shopping over Thanksgiving.  We had a menu plan in place and Matt was able to stick to it and keep things functioning at home, while I focused on Amanda.  This trip although short planned and much debated, has given me some time to sit, relax and catch up on some sleep, which I would not have completed at home.

This is the short explanation of the last couple of weeks.  I am praising God for walking beside me and carrying me!

5 Things Friday

  1. This is the first night we have been home this week with no practice or events. I think this should occur at least 2 more times during the month of October 2018.
  2. My job in Guam is “suppose” to be starting in the next 2 weeks.   I also have received notice that I need to “reapply” for licensure by the end of October. I am so reluctant to even think about this but am leaving an open mind. I do have a call schedule to speak with someone on Tuesday and I am very hopeful that I can get an idea of the scope of the time commitment including when it will start on this call.
  3. My favorite sale of the year is the Food Lion “quarter back” sale. Last week, I even took my mother shopping. We ended up shopping two different Food Lion stores and realized that each store has different prices and sales. The stores are less than a 10 minute drive apart. My favorite deal of the week was free yogurt. The Food Lion brand yogurt was on sale at 4 for $1. Each still qualified for $0.25 back so free yogurt. I still have approximately $40 in my grocery budget remaining but may honestly skip shopping the rest of the month.
  4. Gas and other auto related expenses are continuing to be above the budget amount. My initial plan was that all “mileage expense” money would be “fun money” may have to be rethought.
  5. We are celebrating Amanda’s birthday this weekend!

Monday Musing 9/24/2018

  • I am sick, not the need to go to the doctor sick but the I feel miserable and need to take medicine sick. I do feel much better today than on Saturday but we have something every night this week so I can’t be too sick. Uggh did I say I am sick.
  • Amanda’s baby shower was Sunday. It was a huge success but did I mention I am sick. I will try and post pictures one day this week.
  • Zach has his first baseball game this week. We are moving up to Kid pitch so it should be interesting to say the least.
  • We were able to get my building moved last week and also purchased a new lawn mower. We mowed the yard on Friday night and I spent several hours in the building on Saturday but I was so miserable that I called it a day with about 50% done.
  • I will receive my second paycheck this week and I am actually really pleased with how our budget is working. I also received the news that I should start my second job in Guam in October.
  • I have started buying Christmas presents and actually am over half way finished!

Did I mention I am sick? So it is off to bed I go!

Inexpensive Saturday Fun!

Fair Warning- Picture or Kid overload depending on how you want to look at it!

The kids start back to school on Monday, so we wanted to make today fun and relaxing! One of the ways to have fun that is usually not crazy expensive is community days. Our community day was “Big Toy Day”. This event was held at the small county airport. Cost was $5 for everyone over 10. Matt was working so it was $10 for Lily and I. Amanda and David met us but they covered their own cost!

The highlight of the day for everyone was the airplane ride. This was free for children between the ages of 8-17. All three of the kids got to ride in the same small plane.

Also present was a variety of different trucks, airplanes, equipment and race cars.

Everything was free except for food. Kendall and Zach enjoyed a turn in the bouncy a house.

I ended up purchasing 3 waters, 1 diet coke, two hot dogs and chips for a total of $7.  The kids had taken their own chore money. Kendall bought a soda with caffeine, and a small shaved ice ($4), Lily a large shaved ice ($5) and Zach a soda with caffeine.

After eating, we headed home to meet Matt and head to the pool for a relaxing couple of hours. I packed a cooler and our pool dues are paid yearly so total cost for the afternoon was $0.

In some ways, I wish that summer would not end!

Cooking Ahead

One of the biggest changes or should I say most difficult change for me, is going to be that I am responsible for dinner most days of the week. Both Matt and I will be working until around 4:30pm each day.  I know myself and realize that if I don’t have something that is already complete in the crockpot or can be placed in the oven with five minutes or less of prep than I will want to eat out. But really after working all day who does want to cook?  With this in mind, I spent most of my day today working on meal preparation. I know there are a couple of people who wander what and how so I am going to provide probably too many details.

First up was left-over chicken and pasta from the beach.  This was an excellent meal made by Amanda but we had leftovers especially chicken breast.  I shredded  1/4 of the chicken breast, mixed in about half a block of cream cheese together with the left-over pasta and this was our lunch today. I shredded the rest of the chicken breast, added a bag of frozen vegetables, cut up a potato, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup mixed with a cup of chicken broth and pour on top. Kendall wrote a index card with the directions for the topping and in the freezer it went.

I purchased a 10 pound bag of chicken breast from Costco that I pulled out next. I used my insta pot to cook approximately 4 pounds, really as full as it would go. Next, the kitchen aid shredded the chicken. I was able to make 2 containers of Chicken Broccoli Casserole .    I have learned that I needed to chop up the broccoli in order to make everyone happy.  I also made 2 batches of Chicken Enchiladas-  I don’t add the salsa or cheese on top before freezing. Finally made a regular Chicken Pie. Kendall added a card with instructions. I also labeled both the top and side with what each thing was.  I added about another 3 pounds of chicken breast to the instapot and cut this is cubes for Chicken Fried Rice. ( I will try and add the recipe for this soon). I left 6 breast in the bag and added a bottle of Italian dressing. This will marinate for 3 or 4 days and become awesome grilled chicken. That is a total of 8 meals from one bag of chicken and 9 meals prepped for the day.

We, Matt and I did an inventory last night and we have 2 meals of cowboy beans, a meal of taco soup, several meals of Salisbury steak, taco meat and sloopy joes all prepared.   Matt is also excited to find 10 more frozen burritos.

Taco meat is easy, brown 5 pounds of hamburger dump in crock pot along with water and seasoning, cook on low for 3-4 hours. We divide ours into 1# bags for either tacos or nachos.

Sloppy joes are similar with 5 pounds of browned hamburger, this also cooks in the crook pot for several hours. These are also packed in 1# bags, which feeds the 6 or 7 of us easily.

We also have lots of beef from the cow we purchased. I do want to make some easy breakfast this week but am starting to feel more comfortable with our meals. The last stage will be writing out a meal plan for the month some time this week.

Five Things Friday 8/10/2018

1. We are currently on vacation in Cherry Grove South Carolina.  Our vacation started last Sunday and we will head back home this Sunday, the August 12th. Haley came down on Sunday and stayed to Wednesday.  My mother came on Monday and will be leaving on Saturday. Amanda and her significant other arrived late Wednesday night and will stay till Sunday.  We have had the perfect beach weather with lots of time on the beach!

2. On Tuesday, I was offered a position at Davie County Schools.  I accepted it the same day. This is a different school district than the kids are in, but the schedule should be similar enough to allow us the flexibility we need.  I will get off two months in the summer in addition to a couple of weeks at Christmas, a week in the Spring and all major holidays.!

3. After accepting the new position, I realized that I have been wearing scrubs  for the past 7 or more years. I have purchased some jeans and shorts but did not have but one pair of pants other than jeans.   We have also spent some time shopping at the outlets near by.  I was able to purchase 3 pair of pants, 2 shirts and a long sleeve dress for $125.00

4. Today is my 46th birthday!  We spent the morning on the beach. We shopped at the Nike outlet this afternoon, prior to going to eat real fresh seafood.  We also spent time shopping at a Christmas store. Both LIly and Amanda purchased new items for my birthday at the store. This has been an awesome birthday.

5.On Saturday our lawn mower, started an untimely death. We will have to replace it during this next week.

5 Things Friday- 6/29/2018

Matt and I enjoyed two days off together this week! Wednesday and Thursday!

We spent Wednesday at Wet and Wild with the kids. I can honestly say it was one of the best days ever!

Amanda is having my second grandson in November. I think I am the least excited because everyone else is OVER the moon! I am really just as excited don’t tell them!

I get to enjoy a 5 day break starting next Wednesday! I can’t wait!

Kendall is celebrating her 10th birthday this Sunday. July 1st, how can this be?

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Some pictures of the book box that Matt’s has made for Amanda’s Gender Reveal party on Sunday. The box was rescued from my parents house several years ago. We “think” it may have been my father’s tool box at work. Matt use all paint that we already had so total cost $0 but priceless after the paint job!