First Day of School

First day of daycare for Braxton

Zach is in 6th grade and Kendall is in 8th.

First day of 11th grade and first day at Davidson Davie Community College.

 

5 Things Friday

  1. Today starts our last full week of summer break. Next week will be filled with last minute appointments and some extra fun if we can arrange it.  Braxton will also be with us for the entire week.  Today is a pool day so we plan to spend most of the day at the pool.
  2. I had a huge food waste fail this week- We had an entire watermelon that had not been cut go back and spilled on the floor. I have definitely become a little bit more aware of our food following the clean up.  I did manage to make half a squash casserole with the remaining squash.  I am also beginning to use dill and basil that has been previously frozen in dishes.  I had forgotten about these treasures until we attempted to organize the freezer. Since I was unable to grow either this year, I am thankful to find them.  I did cook our first official meal this summer that include several items.
  3. Tomatoes are continuing to produce.  I had hoped for much more but I do realize that this summer has not been the best for tomato growing.  We have been able to freeze enough spaghetti sauce for the year in addition to eating several times. I should be able to continue to make a batch a week which means at least 4# of tomatoes.
  4. I talked with the neighbor and will start using goat manure to improve the dirt in my square foot garden. I am hoping that with this and more worm casting next year it will support and grow a garden full.
  5. We received our school supply list. I am excited that we need only to purchase a couple of notebooks and clear water bottles. I have been trying to stock up on items as they have been on sale. I anticipate less than $50 for all supplies for all 3 kids!

Vacation Catch Up

We spent the last week on Oak Island NC. This was a new spot for us and  I am really impressed. So impressed in fact that we have already reserved  a condo in the same building for next year.  Our only complaint this year was the mattress in the condo we had were HORRIBLE!  But on the bright side for the first time in several years, both Amanda and Haley joined us at the beach. Braxton stayed 4 days, Amanda 2 days and Haley 1 day.

We turned the air conditioning up to 80 degrees while we were gone and unplugged all the computers and electronics.   We are hopeful that this saved us some on the electric bill.

We did spend more of vacation. I don’t like to cook or clean on vacation. We did do at least one load of laundry per day.  We purchased heat and eat breakfast items and ate at a restaurant at least one time a day!

Matt, Zach and Tim went deep sea fishing on Wednesday while us girls shopped. We did not expect any benefit from this trip but  we are very pleasantly surprised to have brought home lots of mackerel (King and spotted) for our freezer.  I also stopped on the way home to purchase 3 pounds of freshly caught shrimp to add to our freezer as well.

We arrived home to 20 pounds of tomatoes which is a great surprise considering this will be most if not all of what we harvest this year.   I made 5 batches of spaghetti sauce.  On Sunday, I decided to spread out the sauce, making a baked ziti, 2 baked spaghettis and 2 bags of meatballs along with 5 containers of spaghetti sauce. We also enjoyed the sauce for lunch!

Vacation is the time when all the money saving stops and we enjoyed what we have worked and saved for all year!

Kendall Turns 13!

How do you celebrate a 13 year old girl…. glad you asked! Of course you get dressed and take lots of pictures!

These are called bubble curls and Lily did her hair and took the pictures!

Of course only a couple of special people get to join the fun!

June in Review

June has come and gone!  I am enjoying my summer off but to be honest, we are staying extremely busy it seems. We did not receive our new stove in June so that has added a little bit of  expense and stress. Braxton is staying with us lots which is always fun. We have enjoyed a family shopping day and several days in the pool. I am hoping for a less expensive and less stressful  July.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   We spent a total of $1346.80 this month which included $800 for 1/4 of a cow. I am happy to say that our pantry and freezers are stocked up. The focus of July will be making some easy to prepare either just cook or throw in the crock pot.  The budget should also be alot less so it will help even out our spending.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $428.50. Gas prices are rising and we have made several trips to Durham to visit with Haley.   I may need to increase this due to cost but will wait and see,

Cash Envelope system-  I am going to say No to this.  We ended up shopping at the outlets.  I am happy to say that I was able to cover all expenses without incurring interest!

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  Post 15!   Success at last!

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  At least there is improvement this month. I managed 5 days of 30 minutes of exercise this month!

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. I have finished the bible podcast. Need to get back on track with this

Earnings– $45 in gift cards. I had my oldest spam email account hacked this month so I doubt that I will be able to continue this but it has been an awesome source of extra income.  Matt and I have discussed that my job in Guam is alot more profitable and I will continue to work this second job but at a much more limited amount!

No Spend Days- One is an improvement but I don’t count that as successful.  I will likely not stress over these until school starts in August. Summer is fun and spending~

July our full month of summer and fun- Here we come!

Sunday Thoughts

  • We have 22 days of school left. 20 for the kids. I have an additional 2 workdays (Monday June 7th and Tuesday June 8th).
  • Today is Mother’s Day.  My gift was being woken up at 12 am with Zach throwing up.  Lily started getting sick at 2am. I have been up and down with them most of the day. Hopefully no one else will get this lovely bug.
  • On Thursday, Kendall had seizure like activity and was rushed to the Emergency Room. We currently have no answers and lot of questions. She has an appointment on May 19th.
  • I am trying something new and some different recipes this week. I made 2 casseroles that just need to be cooked. I will make a third one on Tuesday so each day will be heat and eat.  I am hopeful that we can add these into the rotation as we are getting bored again of the same food. I am also trying to use up things in my freezers to make room for summer produce.
  •  We have purchased a batting cage for Zach.  The old swing set was taken down and we are currently waiting on rubber mulch to begin installing the cage. He is continuing t make improvements with his skills and really enjoying the game.
  • Matt and I added grids to the garden beds today. We currently have lots of things growing. I am also planning another planting at the end of May to extend the growing session.
  • I decided just this week that I will continue to work in Guam on Sunday nights all during the summer. This will allow me to keep some contacts and also supply the extra money needed for the outside projects we have been working on.

ICY Thursday Thoughts

We woke up to ice this morning. The weather prediction is that we will continue to have freezing rain all day.  Because the state was placed under a State of Emergency, Kendall, Zach and I all have a true snow day. NO work or remote learning!  I do have to work in Guam but this really gives me a chance to catch up!

  • How the kids are spending most of the day…. Braxton spent last night with us because both of his parents had to work today.
  • I am planning to spend part of the day cooking!  This morning I made French Toast. We all enjoyed for breakfast and I quickly froze the remaining 4 slices for another easy breakfast.  Because of my crazy busy work schedule this week, we have been eating out of the refrigerator. With this nasty cold wet weather, I decided to add in a pot of soup a day until at least Sunday. This is a huge benefit to being at home. First it is a hot meal that everyone usually likes! Next, it is easy storage and can be used as dinners for next week. We try to package in single serving containers to make it much easier to heat and eat! And I am definitely using all the items in my pantry and freezers.
  • A no work day also let’s me continue to go through and organize both pantry and freezers. I have been determined since the first of the year to first reduce our grocery budget as it had gotten totally out of control in 2020.  I also needed to figure out what food we have and what we actually need. I am continuing to use Alexa to store both my regular grocery list and my Costco list on. I will likely get to Costco this weekend.
  • We were able to get our washer repaired on Monday.  Total cost was $130!   I am hopeful we can get at least another 10 years out of it now! I am also focusing on getting caught up on laundry. We were without a washer for 3 weeks which means lots of extra loads.  We were able to keep up with our regular clothes by washing at Amanda’s, my mom’s and a friend but nothing extra.  This morning, I have already washed 3 loads for Zach including his sheets and comforter.   Kendall will hopefully get her sheet done today as well. My goal is to wash our sheets tomorrow as I will be working remotely.

Making the best our of a really desired snow day!