I am not really sure if this is a staycation or not. The reason, this is my second week of Christmas break. Most years I get two weeks at Christmas from the school system, so it is really not unusual. The difference is that currently Matt is unemployed, so he is also at home during the break. So, is it a staycation? Still not sure but anyway, here is what we are up to during our staycation or second week of Christmas break.
Put away all the Christmas decorations- We are 50% finished with this. Yesterday, Monday, we took down and put away the outside decorations.
Clean out and organize my building- This is actually part of putting away the decorations. Matt made a trip to Goodwill two weeks ago with the first load of stuff from my building. I found 3 large totes of clothes that he has missed as well as several other items. We ended up taking another car full of items to Goodwill to donate. Even with getting rid of a ton of stuff, we still did not have room to store several large decorations. We decided to try and find some unused space under the house… JACKPOT. We used a cinder block and huge sheets of cardboard (previously stored in my building). This made an awesome shelf for holding large outside decoration that just needed to be protected from the elements.
New rain barrel for Greenhouse. Under the house we discovered a 55 gallon plastic barrel, neither Matt nor I remembered it. It is actually the perfect size for using as a water supply for the greenhouse. We switched out the trashcan and it worked perfectly.
Install a new monitor for Matt. This is in anticipation of him beginning a new job and also some additional project work. You know that it can’t be as simple as just hanging a monitor on the wall. We had to move the cabinets above his desk by 4 inches. This meant that the notorious junk cabinets that have been a catch all for many (7ish) years needed to clean out and organized. In the process we ended up re-arranging the storage shelves in my office as well. Because we are use to doing the one touch method (if you touch it put it where it goes and not just move it to clean) both of our office areas ended up being straighten and cleaned!
Kendall and Zach are spending Monday and Tuesday in Durham. Lily will meet them for Ice Skating on Tuesday.
As you can see, we are extremely busy with some not so fun stuff! My goal is to get all this done and organized so we can continue our camping adventure this spring and have some much-needed rest time on the weekends!
Food is always a huge part of any celebration for us! This year did not disappoint! We started on Wednesday morning with a trip to Cracker Barrel for breakfast! Lunch/ Dinner was a really cool burger bar in Asheville called Juicy Lucy!
We enjoyed microwave breakfast meals in our camper both Thursday and Friday mornings! These are a huge treat for us and at $27 for both mornings way cheaper than eating out! On Thursday, we enjoyed lunch at the Stable Cafe at Biltmore.
Christmas Eve, Friday, was our usual Pork BBQ with the addition of baked beans and mac and cheese! This is definitely a repeat.
For Christmas morning/ lunch I made cheddar bay sausage balls, cream cheese cresant rolls and a hashbrown casserole. For dinner we simply ate from the fridge with the healthy addition of deviled eggs, fruit and a veggie tray.
Sunday or the day after Christmas continued our food celebration, my Sunday school class had a pot luck breakfast, lunch was at La Caretta (Mexican) and dinner is appetizers at a gathering of friends.
After all this, I am sure a food coma is going to occur soon!
I have also had a chance to view out grocery spending for the year. I am very excited to announce that we spent $6,312.75 on groceries this year which is an average of $526.06 a month!!! This is actually a decrease in the overall average from last year. I have been doing some thinking and planning. I want to challenge myself to keep grocery spending to $50 a week for the months of January, February, March and May. We are travelling to Disney in April so I am not sure if that is realistic to even attempt to keep this same budget in April. This will allow us to hopefully use up the majority of the food that is in our freezers so I can spend some time next summer, restocking with items that we currently are enjoying and make a bunch of prepared meals. It will also allow me to get a realistic idea of what we need to spend on a weekly basis for fresh food and diary items.
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.
I have been missing in action for the past two weeks. More details to follow (hopefully) but we just returned from a Disney trip so pictures are a must!