This year was the most relax and uneventful holiday in a long time. However, it was not without illness as Lily caught a stomach bug! Hopefully she does not share with the rest of us.
We were very happy and surprised that Haley and David ended up spending the holiday with us. Unplanned but fun!
Thursday, we have lunch at my brothers with all the family and lots of food. We were in charge of the turkey, stuffing and 3 deserts. I was very glad to have leftovers and even planned on snacking most of the evening!
Friday, we worked on getting our Christmas decorations up for most of the day and took things a little bit slower paced. I decided to treat everyone, and we ended up going out to eat at a Japanese steak house. The food was awesome, and we all enjoyed it!
After dropping Braxton off, most of us decided to head out for some Black Friday shopping. Our biggest purchase of the evening? pillows!
Noone is surprised or can argue the fact that groceries price has risen significantly this year. I am now also feeding 3 teenagers! So it is a struggle to feed us without breaking the bank. Here is how I am working to keep our budget intact.
- Costco chicken…. I picked up a chicken yesterday while getting the tires rotated on the Equinox. We had just the plain roasted chicken with sides for dinner yesterday. It easily fed six of us. I stripped the remaining chicken meat put it in the refrigerator and placed the bones and skins in the crockpot to make chicken stock. We used one package of the chicken for dinner tonight and will have another full meal if not two from the remaining chicken. That means we had enough meat for 3 meals for $4.99. I also made approximately 6 quarts of chicken stock.
- Thanksgiving Turkey- I am in charge of providing the turkey for my families Thanksgiving this year. I was watching for sales as the normal price of $1.29 a pound was just too much. Food Lion had a sale this week, that if you spent $35 you could purchase turkey for twenty-nine cent a pound. Although I really did not “need” any items. I ended up get a 26-pound turkey for $6 and change. The original cost of the turkey was $64.67, and my final total was $51.64.
- Aldi has for the past two years has “rolled back” prices on many items needed for Thanksgiving. There is a 12 can limit per item. I purchased both a case (12 cans) of green peas and corn. I may return and purchase other items later in the month.
- Minimizing food waste. We have had several vegetables that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks now. I also purchased by accident 2 10# bags of potato, each bag was purchased a week apart. The first bag I opened to make baked potatoes last week had already started to spout. I decided to make these items shelf stable before they needed to be tossed. I ended up canning 10 quarts of chicken pot pie base and 9 pints of cream of potato soup. This should actually last over a year but used items that would have otherwise been thrown out!
- Eating from the pantry and only buying items that are either on a signficant sale or items that we have ran out of. For example the green peas, I used the last can last weekend for a 7 layer salad. The cans of corn were 50 cent cheaper than what I am currently getting with Subscribe and Save. I am using the ALEXA app to keep up with items we run out of and am trying not to shop unless absolutely necessary!
Yes, it has been an entire week since I have blogged. I have been very busy and stressed over the past week. The good news is that I am finally caught up at work. I am so very thankful for this!!!!
I am also thankful this week for my family! We have all been together these past two days. We have been enjoying food and fellowship. Last night we had a Mexican night with lots of good food! We ended the night on the deck with a small fire pit.
I am also very thankful that we have the means to run out to the store and grab last minute things like marshmallows without it stressing us out!
I am thankful that the kids are all enjoying just being together and enjoying reasonable conversation!
Today I am thankful a supportive and helpful family. This has been one of the busiest weeks at work for me with after school meeting on three days. Everyone has stepped up to help. Lily, Kendall and Zach all agreed to be in charge of diner one evening. The did an excellent job. Matt has been helping with orthodontist appointments, and other errands that I simply do not have time for!
I am also thankful for my co-workers who have stepped up and helped with covering my caseload and getting my testing scored. It is so nice to work with people who respect and support you even in the midst of their own chaos!
November is one of my favorite months of the year and it is definitely not the weather. I absolutely LOVE Christmas, but Thanksgiving is a close second. I need the reminder to be grateful for what I have!! This year I am going to try something different. I want to take some time each Thursday to express specific thanks. I am going to add my normal disclaimer that I am always very thankful and appreciative of my husband and kids, but I want to be more than superficial with these post.
First, I am thankful for our garden this year. We are continuing to see small (2 cherry tomatoes and 2 carrots) harvest, and this is November. We are still enjoying tomatoes as they ripen on the kitchen cabinet! I honestly can’t think of a better harvest than this year.
Next, I am thankful for steady jobs for both Matt and myself. At this time last year, Matt was expectedly unemployed. This was a huge hit for us and lasted much longer than expected. Thankful we were able to survive and even enjoy his extra time!
Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
Today I am thankful for some extra time off from work. When I worked at the hospital, Veteran’s Day was not considered a holiday of any shape or fashion. At the school system today is definitely a holiday. I had some extra time today to spend at church preparing for the fundraiser this weekend. We all enjoyed a special treat with a lunch out. Matt and I made a grocery store trip. Finally haircuts for all of us!
I so enjoy the month of November. It is uplifting and inspiring to hear and express gratitude. I have tried and failed in the past with posting a thought each day of thankfulness both on line and on the blog. This year, I am going to keep it simple. Of course I am very thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful to see and spend time with my Mom on a regular basis. I really enjoy modern conveniences such as central air and heat. But this year, my goal is to post a thankful thought each Thursday of the month. And it can not be the simple things already listed above!
Today, I am thankful for the financial blessing that we have received and enjoyed over the past year. They have help us pay of debit expand our lifestyle a bit and find ways to spend quality time together. But today, I am thankful for these financial blessing because they have allowed us to face and work around an expected job loss with minimal changes to our lifestyle.
Matt’s last day of employment will be next Friday November 12th. The current plan is for him to start tackling a long list of task and repairs that need to be completed. He will also be looking for another job but he is not forced to accept anything and we fully anticipate his unemployment to last around a year. But of course our prayer is that God will direct our paths and present a job either today or a year from now that will be the perfect fit.
Thanksgiving is a very fluid holiday around our house. Many of our Thanksgivings have been spent travelling. We have travel to Michigan and Georgia to visit with family on most of these trips. We also have discovered that Thanksgiving is an awesome time to visit Disney World.
This year we are quarantined. Technically, Matt has been released but the kids and I are officially quarantined through Monday November 30th. The good news is that Matt is definitely better. I am starting to feel human again. I am positive that I have experienced COVID twice now but did not chose to test on either occasion. The kids all have not had any symptoms. I chose not to test this time because the kids would end up needing to quarantine another 14 days after my test. They have been really troopers and this really would benefit no one. We did end up cooking both the turkey and ham along with multiple side dishes. We have been enjoying and even packed some lunches for next week. Thanksgiving was not cancelled just quarantined.
Zach has been experiencing some stomach issues. After multiple discussion with his pediatrician’s office, we don’t feel they are COVID related. Instead, a food intolerance. We are going to watch his diet as well as complete some testing to try and get a handle on what is causing this.
The goals for the rest of the holiday are to get the Christmas decorations complete!