5 Things Friday

  1. Zach starts his fall baseball season tomorrow with a pre-season tournament. This is a new team for him and lots of opportunity for growth.
  2. My personal saving challenge for the month is to save/find $369 to add one day to each of the kids tickets for December. So far I have $146 toward this goal.
  3. I am exhausted. I managed to work both of my jobs this week and I am starting to feel it. I am trying to keep my schedule a little bit flexible for Guam until getting a baseball schedule which means that I have schedule only 2 kids most night starting at 9pm.
  4. Zach and Kendall will start in person school next week on Monday and Tuesday. This will be an adventure for all. I am hopefully it will be easier to adjust than anticipated.
  5. The garden is continuing to produce just enough. We are harvesting basil, tomatoes, pimentos and peppers. I am excited to see more pepper flowers so maybe we can actually freeze some this year!

Saving on Saturday

    • We spent around 3 hours outside today working in both our flower beds and our garden!  The saving part comes in that we did not pay someone to come and do this. A second way we are saving is that by cleaning up the garden we are able to extend the growing season and continue to save on our grocery bill.  I had to take pictures just so that I could remember the differences.

Before

  • Mom and I made a trip to the Dollar Tree today. I was able to purchase new items for my sign for a total of $5.  I am so happy with the way they turned out!
  • Zach wanted Taco Bell for his birthday.  I decide to download the app in order to save time and headache for me placing such a large order. It actually worked the way it was suppose to and we have already earned two extra tacos for Free!
  • We had decided several month ago to have a much less than usual Christmas this year in order to be able to afford our trips to Disney.  I have started working on purchasing gift for the kids and I have decided that I am going to limit it to 3 gifts from Matt and I. The little ones at home will also get a Santa Claus gift but that is all!   Now to stick to this!

Five Things Friday

1. Disney was awesome!  We really enjoyed the family time together and it was a nice escape from the reality right now. It did confirm that we will be going again in both December and April regardless of the mask requirements or what is open or not.  We did miss some of the food but I think that knowing what we know now it will be better in December without any changes.

2. A  rock flew up and hit our new windshield in the van! This is the 4th different windshield in the van and the third that I have specifically paid for.  I am a lot frustrated but at least it is a relatively easy fix. The new windshield is installed in the driveway so it does not mean a trip anywhere.

3. The goal for the weekend is to tame and reclaim the garden. Between the heat and trips to Disney and the beach, the weeds are winning. I am planning to break the work in separate sessions one or two a day and hopefully by Monday it will resemble a garden again. 

4. Remote or online learning continues to be a huge challenge and struggle for us.  Matt is able to work from home a couple of days a week but it is super stressful. I am hopefully that at least soon the kids can return to school a couple of days a week for now., ANYTHING has got to be better than what we are doing now! 5. I am looking forward to the long weekend and a more normal schedule starting next week.   I don’t have another break until November so we need to get the garden and house under control.  I think I am more excited about starting a more normal routine next week with my job. It is something that has not happened since March and will provide stability!  The kids will be going to school starting in two weeks at least on Monday and Tuesday so again this will provide stability. 

5. I am looking forward to the long weekend and a more normal schedule starting next week.   I don’t have another break until November so we need to get the garden and house under control.  I think I am more excited about starting a more normal routine next week with my job. It is something that has not happened since March and will provide stability!  The kids will be going to school starting in two weeks at least on Monday and Tuesday so again this will provide stability. 

August in Review

August really went out with a bang…. 4 day trip to Disney! It was awesome and hopefully I can share some pictures this week.

Gardening- 1 watermelon from the garden and I thought we were pretty much done with extreme heat and lack of rain for the two weeks of August but I ended up with fresh salsa, a cup of green peppers frozen, along with several salads made from cucumbers. I even have another pot of spaghetti sauce going! I will probably let the sweet potatoes go until the end of September. The goal this month is to clean up and preserve anything that is left.

Goal #1 Grocery Budget of $550- The total for the month is $250. I was able to continue to fill some small holes in the pantry but am just buying things as we need them. I do need to restock on quick easy lunches during September as the kids will likely be home 2-3 days a week the entire month. I am going to anticipate another low month but if that changes then we are still ok.

Goal #2 – Record and keep up with gas/ auto purchase- $174.65 the total for the month. Another low month on gas. The price has been all over the place but I have been driving to and from work for the last three weeks so gas around $200 a month should be the normal until the end of the year. I am most excited that this should allow us to pay off the gas credit car which has a set of tires on it as well!

Goal #3-Use a cash envelope system for everything possible. We are getting better at this. I am going to continue working on this. One issue I am having is that Aldi, one of the stores I shop almost weekly is only excepting exact change or debit cards. This makes it harder for me to remember to keep extra change on my at all time.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 14 for the month! I am actually proud of this goal especially going back to work on both of my jobs. I hope to continue in September.

Goal # 5- Fitness- Goal is to walk 3 times a week. Did not come close but did manage a 7 mile day at Disney!

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal- 3x a week –Yikes!

Goal #7-Attempt at least 52 new recipes this year.-  I only need 2 more recipes to mark this goal off of my list.

Earnings_ $65. This is a small improvement so we will continue to hope for the best. This covered our breakfast at Magic Kingdom on Saturday and even some cold drinks at the airport.

Things are slowly returning back to normal. We survived and enjoyed August so now to settle in to a new school year and continue to focus on enjoying each moment!

5 Things Friday

  1. Today is a happy and sad day. I return to work full time onsite starting Monday. I worked from home from March 13th until June 15th. Since June 15th, I have been on summer break. I am definitely ready for a normal routine to began but I really like my 5 minute commute from the dinning room to the office. I also have enjoyed not being dressed prior to work each day! The kids and I have stay busy this summer but all good things must come to an end.
  2. I have debated how much information to share during our COVID-19 but decided that hopefully ten years from now I will want to remember what we decided and how we coupe.
  3. School is going to look alot different this year especially to start with. Lily officially starts on August 17th with her online charter school NCVA. This will be her last year in high school as the plan is for dual enrollment starting next fall. Kendall and Zach both will attend an orientation day on August 17th. The rest of the week they will not have much work. Starting August 24th, they will complete 3 weeks of total remote learning. Then September 14th, they will begin attending school Monday and Tuesdays each week. This may or may not change depending on any decisions made by our state governor. Because I will be working onsite 5 days a week in my school system, the current plan is for Matt work from home 2.5 days a week until the kid return full-time to school.
  4. Our garden is dying. We are still getting a few tomato each day but otherwise I need to spend a good couple of hours out getting rid of anything dead. We had a garden of just enough this year. I am pleased with the extra tomatoes but everything else has just been enough to eat.
  5. I was saving money for our August Disney trip via gift cards. I had been storing the gift card numbers and combining so I would only need to carry one card. Unfortunately, the day after vacation July 27th, someone access my account, changed by password and moved $1140 to another gift card they have. I have spent several hours on the phone and multiple email later, it does not appear we will be able to recover that money. We are blessed that with some budget changes and cut backs we should still enjoy our trip but it just sucks!

5 Things Friday

  1. My garden has survived. I am very surprised and excited to see that the majority of my plants have decided to grow this week. I did lose about half my cucumbers and have replaced 6 green pepper plants but my tomatoes are looking awesome!
  2. Today is the last business day of May which means I received my final paycheck of the school year. I have an account set up that I do receive a check at the end of June and July. I was able to pay monthly bills for June and get a good picture of our debit and spending.
  3. Disney World announced several changes that are going to affect our upcoming trips. We did learn that we will most likely be required to wear mask in August. This is the change that I am most unhappy about. I am going to remain optimistic that lower attendance and the chance to enjoy more variety will still make our trip special and unique. We are also currently hearing that both the Halloween party and the Christmas party may be cancelled. I am again trying to remain optimistic as this is the whole reason for the two short trips!
  4. Today, all the kids unofficially finish up the school year. I am still working until June 15th. The sad part is next Monday and Tuesday are definitely the busiest two days of the last several months for me.
  5. Our plans for a yard sale have been postponed due to the weather. I am really doubtful at this point that we have a yard sale until the fall. I don’t do well in the heat and I am afraid that once the rain stops the heat and humility will be unbearable.

Disney Plans

I have not had the opportunity to blog about our very big adventure as a family of five this year.  As you can probably tell, we as a family love Disney. We were fortunate enough in the past to make a trip every 18 months to 2 years. However we have not been to Disney World since 2017, almost three full years.  Matt andI had some conversations and then present an idea to Lily, Kendall and Zach. They were immediately on board. Today, I am going to share with you the plan and the process. 


The plan!!! Instead of birthday parties, large Easter baskets and a huge Christmas celebration, we are planning 3 separate and unique trips to Disney World over the next year. The kids also suggested that we not do our annual beach trip in order to use that money toward Disney as well.

In August, we will fly in on a Saturday, spend Saturday evening in a park, probably Hollywood Studios, Spend all day Sunday at Magic Kingdom and enjoy breakfast at Ohana’s with Stitch on Monday morning before flying home.  We are planning to use a gift card to purchase food on this trip with only one character meal. Originally, we had wanted to attend a Halloween party during this trip but I was able to book flights at a very low rate prior to the Halloween party dates so we thought just make the best of it. It is always fun at Disney!

In December, we will again fly out on a Saturday. This trip should include the Christmas party, Christmas around the World via Epcot and the Christmas tree trail at Disney springs and at least one additional fun day at a park.  We are planning to return on Wednesday but I have not booked flights yet in order to make sure we get to attend a Christmas party.   We have purchased the Dinning plan that includes two meals per day. So I am sure we will have at least 4 character meal if not more!

Our final and biggest trip will be in April 2021. We are going to drive to Disney on Thursday and spend 10 days enjoying all that Disney has to offer. We are considering a split stay which would mean 2 seperate hotels. We are also looking at which dinning plan will be the most beneficial to us.  

The process- 

Currently, we have purchased and paid for airline tickets, hotel and tickets for the kids in August. Matt and I are considering annual passes so this will be purchased separately.   A gift card with $780 will be purchased with Matt’s third paycheck in July. This is the amount that the  Disney Dinning Plan would cost. I am anxious to see if we have any money left. This will include $210 for our meal at Ohana’s. If we have any left from this gift card it will be used to help pay for the December trip or will be used in April for the food or sounievers. 

We have paid the deposit for our December trip. Birthday money and Christmas money will be used to pay for this trip along with extra work for me in Guam. The goal is to use airline miles to cover our flights as well. 

April Trip-  We are currently working on selling items that are no longer being used in our house.  The goal is to also have a yard sale in May that will cover the deposit and also apply any remaining amount to this balance. We will be using our Tax return for this trip as well. Matt’s third check in December will also be directed to this trip. 

We are all so excited. We currently have two separate count downs going on. One for the August trip and a second for the April trip.  Stay tuned and help use on the journey!