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!
Life is busy, difficult, busy, and overwhelming this month. Hopefully I can get catch up and spend a little bit more time with blogging. I also really want to be consistent but at during this season I will just do what I can and give myself some grace!
Financially, I feel like we have recovered from Matt’s short period of unemployment this summer. I am working on finishing the year strong but also starting to look at some changes and plans I want to make for next year. Credit card debit has really creeped up on me, so trying to balance paying that off and saving and enjoying the few short years of kids at home is a balance that takes a lot of mental energy. Groceries have always been one of the biggest expenses for us. My plan and goal for November and December is to pay for what we get and then use any remaining money to pay down the credit card debit. Starting in January, I would like to start saving to purchase another whole cow in the summer. Ideally, I would put $500 a month in a saving account for six months to make this happen. We have a ton of food in multiple locations and I am really working on keeping it organized and to work through the food that is here before buying new things. I have found a couple of “guidelines” that are helping with making plan a little bit easier. First we are having a “breakfast casserole” every Sunday morning. This makes getting ready for church much easier and quicker. Soup for Sunday dinner is also going well with occasional leftovers for the week. I am finding that I must cook 3 meals on Saturday or we end up eating out. Freezer meal are awesome and I already know that I need to have many more in the freezer during the summer.
Kids- Lily is currently in Florida spending two weeks with Haley and David. She has finished her first eight weeks of college classes and is struggling to balance work and school. She also will need a loan to fully pay for her second semester of college. Zach is playing football which means practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with games on Wednesday. Braxton is playing baseball which is one game a week. Kendall is anticipating swim season and has started swimming at least 3 days a week. We are also currently struggling to get her permit. Kendall decided very quickly that she did not want to and could not handle working along with school
Chickens- We are getting between 2 and 6 eggs a day. I don’t understand but we have not had to buy any eggs so that is a plus. We have switched the bedding from paper to wood shaving. It is more expensive but the eggs are cleaner. We have purchased another automatic door which is working perfectly. We also still have at least one possum and one racoon who visit once a week. This is a significant decrease from daily so something is working.
Garden- I have probably 3 galloons of tomatoes currently in the freezer. I actually have still been collecting tomatoes this week. We are attempting to keep peppers alive int eh green house. We planted onions and asparagus but that is all for the fall. A couple of beds have paper mulch on them but I would like to move some planters and mulch a couple more beds but again just am struggling with the time.
The word for my job is intense. I really enjoy both the kids and my co-workers but my mental capacities are being exhausted regularly. I am also struggling with some health issues. Nothing major buy annoying.
We do have several trips planned more details to come!
This is my first full week of summer break. Unfortunately we have spent more time than usual inside due to the weather. Kendall said it best today after we spent some time at the pool. “It finally feels like summer.”
I don’t know if I mentioned it recently, but I really LOVE my Electric Pressure Canner. This is so simple and easy to use. Canning was not something I would have considered even two years ago but this summer, I want to can at least once a week. I love the convivence of just opening a jar for broth and soups. I can’t wait to can spaghetti sauce and salsa! This week I used it to put away 4 quarts, 7 pints and 9 half pints of chicken broth.
The rain, along with worm casting and blood meal have a HUGE difference in the garden. I can’t wait to post pictures of the changes this week!!
The swim meet that was supposed to occur on Tuesday will be bright and early tomorrow morning. I am excited to watch all three kids compete. In other swimming news, this afternoon Braxton was able to swim without a float!
In not so great news, I have overspent the grocery budget!
This has been one of the busiest weeks this year! Monday was Zach’s ballgame, Tuesday a long dentist appointment, Wednesday- church, Thursday- Hair cuts and Braxton ballgame. Today we are trying to get ahead on some outside chores as it is suppose to rain in the morning!
The weather has decided to try again. It was 45* on Wednesday and 73* yesterday. I am hopeful that we stay at least in the sixties for highs from here on out.
We have eaten out twice this week, Monday I picked up roast beef sandwiches and Tuesday we ate at Cracker Barrel. Wednesday- we ate $5 meals from Cracker Barrel so that really is three days of meal out!
This evening, I knew we needed to use up most of the produce and I wanted to try and get some breakfast meals in the freezers. For dinner, we had breakfast bowls with onions, green peppers, sausage, tomatoes, hash browns and homemade gravy. I used the remaining mixture to make 16 breakfast burritos and then cooked some potatoes and made 16 “add a egg bowls as well.”
We are in the single digits until our Disney trip!