5 Things Friday

  1. Things have not slowed down the first week of July. I ended up attending 3 additional medical appointments with my mother.  But I have started to catch up and feel like although I don’t have alot of free time, I am making progress on my summer goals and projects.
  2. The floor has been finished and I will have everything back in place by Saturday.  I am still in negotiation with Home Depot, so I am reserving the story and pictures until everything is settled.
  3. I was able to make progress on preparing meals ahead.  I made a chicken spinach lasagna and 2 million Dollar Spaghetti Pies in those are in the freezer.
  4. Garden update- My garden has been struggling. The squash bug won their battle and I ended up pulling up, spraying with bug spray, adding a couple new bags of soil and replanted both the squash and zucchini. We attempted to go organic but that was not successful. We are starting to get some tomatoes but they are not the prettiest. I also feel like I am throwing out just as many as we pick.  I did make my first full batch of spaghetti. My goal is to can 52 quarts of spaghetti sauce so still a long way to go.
  5. The weather has been so hot!  We reached 100 degrees today!

5 Things Friday

  1. The past two weeks have been stressful and exhausting.  Exhausting both mentally and physically exhausting.  I am looking forward to a slower pace next week.
  2. We have been working on doing some remodeling in preparation for new flooring to be installed this week. The install is still not complete!   I will be so happy and pleased once this process has finished but currently it is one of my main stressors.
  3.  We have painted the hall, hall bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and laundry room.   The doors are the last on the list to be painted. Hopefully that occurs tomorrow.
  4.  Today we had the septic tank pumped. This should help with drying up our yard!
  5.  We have been eating out ALOT over these last two week just to survive. I am hopeful that staring today, we can get back on track for eating and I can get back to sticking to a budget!

Thursday Thoughts

One of the big things happening this summer is home repair and renovation. Because I am available during the day to watch and move things, it makes sense for most of this to occur in the summer. We started a line of credit this Spring to help make this easier and more efficient.   So far we have painted the hall bathroom and hallway and installed a new shower rod. We have purchased a new cabinet and faucet with a plan to install this week.  A new toilet will be installed when the floor is replaced.  The floor in the hall, dining room, kitchen and laundry room is scheduled to be replaced on June 18th.  The goal is to repaint the kitchen and dining room prior to the flooring just for convenience sake.  We already have the paint for this but I don’t think it will happen this weekend. We also have received a quote to have our shower room fixed and expanded. This is likely going to occur in June as well. We will be having our old deck replaced as well.   We have scheduled to have the septic tank pumped on June 20th.  The next item on the list is to replace the front door.   I am not sure if there is anything else we will tackle as this is most of our “dream” items.  Except for a “garage” on the front.

I have been focused on slowly starting to build back up our freezers and pantries. I am trying to complete one item a day.  Sunday- frozen bananas (another 3#), Monday- beef broth (15 quarts and 3 pints), Tuesday and Wednesday- survived life.  My goal is to get a gallon or more of strawberries frozen tonight.
We are starting to get some squash from the garden as well. It is always a good side dish but I would also like to get some bags of squash casserole in the freezer or better, yet I will have to see if I can them!
The summer count down is officially 11 days but I have 9 workdays left!

5 Things Friday- Summer is Coming

  1. I officially have 5 weeks left to finish out the school year!  I will have one holiday and two other days that I will be off during that time.  I can do it. Lily is starting her new summer semester next week.  Kendall has three weeks and a week of exams. Zach has 4 weeks.  Kendall and Zach will both be heading to camp during my last week of work.
  2. I have alot of things I want to get accomplished during the summer including re-stocking our freezer and pantries if needed. I purchased 50# of flour today to get the process started. I am hoping that by spreading out the expense we can maintain and even lower our grocery budget for the year.
  3. We plan to purchase and receive a whole cow in two weeks. This means that I have been spending some time trying to clean out and re-arrange our freezers.  Currently our chest freezer is unplugged. I am working on the freezers in the house as well as continuing to eat food from the freezer in the building. We wil be having steaks for dinner tomorrow just for that reason.
  4. I brought out a whole chicken last week. I cooked it on Thursday and even Lily said it was some of the best she has eaten.  I decided to start our stock up this weekend. I cooked chicken stock in my roaster oven Thursday night. I have been working on pressure canning it this evening. We will end up with 5 quarts and 25 pints of chicken stock!
  5. We will be having the floor measured in the kitchen and dining room this weekend. This has led to us cleaning the canning closet, kitchen pantry and most of the laundry room!   Organized stuff makes me happy!

Saving on Saturday

Sometime you save money by doing the big things.  This past week Matt painted our living room.   This room has been this color for at least 19 years. The total cost was less than $50 for paint and supplies.



I love the new color and it make the space brighter and bigger!


Other times it is the small things that help you save money. For example. I purchased cans of Diced tomatoes on sale for 75 cent.  This week we turned those into pizza sauce and marinara sauce which was delicious and easy!

Del Monte Diced Tomatoes Basil, Garlic And Oregano, 14.5-Ounce (Pack Of 8) - image 1 of 3



5 Things Friday

  1. Today is County Swim meet for the older (11 and above).  This is Lily’s last year as a swimmer. It is also the first time ever that all three kids have swam in the older day.  Several times we have been on vacation or the girls were at Life (a youth conference).
  2. Summer Goals- I have 40 prepared dinners in the freezer. At least 50 individual breakfast meals and 4 individual lunches.  This makes me happy. Especially since our tomatoes have not came in as expected.
  3. We, especially Matt have spent alot of time cleaning and organizing this week. He was able to complete the top of his building which is a huge effort.  Yesterday, he spent most of the day, removing all items and building new shelves in the dining room closet. This made a huge difference. I am waiting on a couple of basket but will plan to insert a picture of the final project later.
  4. I have four more weeks before returning to work.  We are planning on a weekend trip to Atlanta for a baseball game but I hope to also enjoy lots of pool and nothing time!
  5. We are doing really well in the area of budgeting!   I am so proud that we have been able to stock up but stay on budget!

Tuesday Project

This building was here when I first purchased the house in 1992. It already was insulated and had electricity with it’s own breaker box.  Matt has re stained it once.

It contains both freezers and our riding lawn.  The only problem is that is collects things. For example, left-over work items from Matt losing his job in 2010 and everything we brought home when we cleaned out the buildings at my parent’s house after my Dad died in 2017.  It has become rather full and dirty!

With barely room to walk and there is no way we know what is actually in here! So the first big family project was to clean out and organize this building.

2 large trash cans
4 hours
2 showers later we discovered enough nails to build a house and we now can locate most items we need.

We will need to pull out and toss alot of items from the ceiling of the building but decided to wait for another empty trash can before attempting that task.

But man Happy 4th of July!

5 Things Friday- Final Friday in 2022

  1. The extreme cold last week caused a little bit of panic for us. The automatic closing house vents that we purchased 18 months ago have started to fail. Meaning that we had 3 or so that did not close at all and another 3 that did not close completely.  Fortunately for us, our pipes did not freeze under the house, but we could feel a significant difference in the floor temperature. We decided to go ahead and replace these. The cost is not the issue as finding daylight hours to complete the project is.
  2. We have never been entirely happy with the very expensive sink faucet that we purchased and installed when we moved the kitchen sink.  It has started to become difficult to use, setting off our breaker on several occasions and requiring some engineering in order to continue to use.  Another decision was made to go ahead and replace it as well. We did decide to go with the low-tech option. Matt was able to install this in one evening.
  3. Positive news from the blast of cold air, although both of our water barrels frozen neither cracked so we did not need to replace either of these.
  4. Our chickens also survived the cold. We ended up adding some additional bedding and a separate water bucket which needed to be emptied and filled every day but otherwise they appear to be doing great!  The price of eggs has jumped to 4.49 a dozen so I am very hopeful that come March we will not need to purchase eggs!
  5.  After testing positive for the flu a week ago, my goal for this weekend is to get Christmas decorations put away, finish up some canning projects and make a couple of meals for the weeks to come!

Saving on Saturday

This week we are saving by building a cabinet.  We needed some more cabinet space!  I sold an older decorative corner cabinet on Facebook Market place in order to make more room in our dining room.  I attempting to find a new cabinet online with no success within my $500 budget.  So, Matt agreed to build one for me. The total out of pocket expense was $250!

Blank wall

He first built the structure outside and then attached it to the wall

Added sides

Then shelves

Finally doors

And I added all the things!

Project Catch Up with Financial Implications.

We are currently about halfway through the summer. I start back to work on August 17th with the kids all going back to school on August 29th.  We had a list of projects that we wanted to tackle this summer.  Some of the items on the list have been postpone due to financial implication and or time constraints.  We have been working hard on some of the projects, so this is a mid-summer update.

Kitchen Floor– This was our second project with the first being having the shower room floor replaced and repaired. The kitchen was last replaced in March of 2020. At that time, we chose a laminate floor that we had hoped would last 20 plus years.  This floor was not what it promised. The floor started to pull apart and pop up in different areas almost immediately.  It has gotten progressively worse to the point that we could not go barefooted in the kitchen due because it was snagging and tearing clothes and cutting feet.   We have decided to postpone having the shower room floor completed until next summer due to time and money. The kitchen floor did not give us the option. After some discussion regarding our options, we chose to remove the top layer of flooring and return to the previous floor.  The good news is that removal of the floor was fairly simple. We did need to do some minor repair work including screwing some of the floor in place to prevent gaps.  I am happy to report that we were able to complete this task last week. I have ordered a couple of rugs to cover the area that was previously a wall.  The total expense for the project is $120.

Chickens- After much debate and pleading on the kids parts, we have decided to get chickens as our next pet.  The ultimate goal is to have enough eggs that we stop buying but they will also be an additional pet. We knew up front that this would be a rather expensive project.  We are moving very close to getting the chickens which will likely be before the end of July.
Expenses so far:  Clearing of land- $1000
Purchase of chicken coop- $630
Wire for additional chicken run- $20 found next door!
Wood for additional chicken run and landscaping- $372
I will be adding to this and changing as we finish up but I am expecting around $2500

Bike Rake for Trailer- We actually broken even on this as we ended up selling both our luggage box and hitch rake for $100. The bike rake was $50 and we had to spend another $25 to update the wiring on the trailer.

My other goal for the summer is food preparation for the coming school year. This will be an ongoing project so stick around for the rest of the summer!