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!
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!
Making the best our of a really desired snow day!
Things change very quickly, as has been proven yet again. Matt’s father passed away on Sunday January 10th. We made the very difficult decision to leave all the kids here and head to Florida to help make arrangements and for the memorial service. This trip was total unplanned but fortunately we were able to cover the cost without causing significant hardship. The emotional toil was significantly higher than any money spent. Amanda was able to spend Monday- Thursday night at our house. Haley stayed Friday and Saturday night. My mother was the bus driver and made sure that Kendall and Zach got to school every day and to piano. A friend stepped in to make sure the kids got to church on Wednesday night. I had already written our meal plan so no additional food or groceries were needed at home, although the kids ate out several times as a sister treat.
One thing we learned very quickly was that the small town in Florida that we were heading to was hosting a dog show. The price of a room jumped from $72 a night to $114 after our first two nights. Total cost for hotel was $546.71
We chose to drive with both of us going. We did consider flying but would have needed to rent a car for the week so we could not justify this expense. Total spent in gas was $112.25
We did go to Disney Springs on Wednesday night for dinner. On Thursday, we used a remaining day ticket from our December trip to spend the day at Magic Kingdom. I was able to redeem point to cover the parking and several snacks. Although this increased our trip cost by $150, this was a much needed break from the stress of the week and I would not change a thing. Our photo pass from December also was active so I will share some pictures on Wednesday.
Our total cost of the trip was $1471. We placed most of the expenses on our gas credit card that we planned to pay off this month. During our trip Amanda who has been driving our older van decided to obtain a car loan and get a new to her car. She returned the older van which we will sell to recovery $1000. This is very unexpected but will enable us to cover the trip with little to no financial strain!
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.