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!

5 Things Friday

  1. The goal for this weekend is to rest and prepare. We are looking at 3 of the busiest weeks starting on Monday!  I need to get a game plan for food and make sure nothing is missing.  Kendall and Zach have a youth group activity next Friday night and a parent meeting for summer swim next Sunday.
  2. Lily is currently at Disney with her friend Izzy!  She will spend the weekend with Haley and fly home late on Monday.
  3. Zach has his first official baseball game on Monday night.  He has practice Tuesday through Friday nights. Next Saturday is a all day school fieldtrip. With his MPA band performance on the following Tuesday.
  4. Kendall started with year round swimming this week. She has practice Monday thru Thursday evenings form 5:00pm to 6:00pm. She also is preparing and planning to start community college classes next fall.
  5. I am planning to make a complete garden update on Sunday. But we have been seed starting for the past three weeks!

Saving on Saturday!

This winter has been extremely mild and wet.  Last weekend, the temperature was around 60 degrees. We took the opportunity to get outside and started working on some areas to grow foods.  I am hoping to be able to can more than I have in the past and I also want to grow more than I have in the past.  I decided that I needed to make a couple of changes for this year.

We removed the large and tall, wire that was on the back of the building. Last year, I attempted to grow cucumbers and had limited success, even with using starts that I had purchased. I decided that I would try something different. We decreased the size to just about my height and moved the wire to a 12 foot bed. The ideas is that I should be able to grow at least 24 cucumber plants along this trellis!   I am going to try to plant one side and then about four weeks later plant along the other side. My goal is to can a years supply of cucumbers and make cucumber relish as well.  Time will tell.

I want to try and grow lufas this year and needed a space so we attached another section of wire to both of the beds. The lufas should grow down and feel the space.

Today 2/17/2024, I planted 50 seeds for spinach. It would be nice to start getting some fresh spinach but also grow enough to freeze for use next winter.  I started 12 broccoli plants inside as well.   I have attempted to overwinter some green pepper plants in the greenhouse but decided to go ahead and order seeds as well. I would love to grow enough peppers not only for fresh eating but to stock the freezer as well. We will be attempting to grow bell peppers, wax peppers (these worked really really well in salsa and some lunchbox peppers as well.

This is totally Matt’s idea but it is a great idea so I wanted to share. This is the bike rake that fits in the Tahoe trailer hitch.  Matt drilled a couple of precise holes in the frame of the trailer and put the hitch in the side. This way it keeps everything off the ground and also prevents the straps from getting broken off.

This week we also headed to Goodwill to try and find some clothes that were needed. We ended up with 7 shirts for $22.   Next stop was Belk’s by shopping the clearance racks we found 4 shirts for Zach for $42.00.

Remember every little bit counts!

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I am starting to feel better again!   I started with a new and much more fun cold last Thursday. I came home from work on Friday and literally stay in the house spending most of the time in bed until Monday morning.  Today, I have lots of congestion, but no headache and less coughing!

I am going to continue the pantry challenge into both February and March.   The rules are that we only purchase items we are out of.   So far the lack of fresh fruit has been the problem so we did purchase some last week. We are planning a trip to Costco this weekend. I am going to work hard to only purchase our drinks for a month which is 2 cases of water, 1 case of diet cokes and 1 case of Dr. Peppers. Matt is getting his tea on subscribe and save so I am going to omit the case of regular cokes.  We also need flour and rice, bacon and sour cream.   This will not be a cheap trip but my hope is this will help us hold the course.  I have also reviewed and decreased our Subscribe and Save for February as well, I know that this will be $200.  I also need to order more laundry detergent for Lily which is $70.   Along with the Costco Trip I will be doing well to keep the budget at $500 for the month.   I will also be purchasing some fruits and veggies for our Junk Food Sunday.  Again I may end up around $700 for February.   I am going to be ok with it because I am still saving money and rotating the pantry.  I am starting to see a difference in our pantry and freezers so this is all a good thing.

On a positive note, we are currently getting an average of 4 eggs a day which definitely helps with protein intake and grocery expenses

We have started with our busy Spring Season of sports. This week we have both swim and baseball practice. Which means that Friday is the only evening that we will not be running somewhere.  I have been enjoying my easier, cook or heat meals so we will continue with those which will also help with our grocery budget.

It has reached our 60 day mark for our spring Disney Trip!   I was able to get up super early and got all the reservations that I wanted!   I can’t wait!


5 Things Friday- Travel Edition

  1. My mom, Granny, Amanda, Braxton, Lily, Izzy (Lily best friend), Kendall, Zach, Matt and I headed to Haley’s in Florida with the camper on Thursday December 28th.  The trip down started at 4;45 and we arrived around 6:30pm so a 14 hour trip including stops for gas, breakfast and lunch. We headed home on January 2nd.  Lily and Izzy were in the car with Granny as Amanda had flown home on Sunday. We started the trip around 8:15 am. and arrived home at 11:30, a 16 hour trip. It took us 6 hours to get out of Florida instead of 4.   This was I felt like our longest and slowest trip ever.  After much discussion, we are not exactly sure what we could have done differently to make the trip shorter.
  2. Everyone included David and Haley headed to Disney Springs on Friday December 29th, which was Granny’s birthday.  Braxton got his face painted as well!
  3. Saturday was our Christmas celebration. I spent a couple of hours at Urgent Care.  After dinner, Kendall, Izzy, Lily and I headed to the camper. I went to sleep, and the girls enjoyed a girls game which included lots of giggles. Matt and Zach stayed and watched a football game at Haley and David’s. Zach ended up staying at Haley’s for Saturday, Sunday and Monday night. He and Ryder played lots of video games.
  4. Sunday, New Year’s Eve was spent eating and laughing and just hanging out! The girls headed to do a little bit of shopping at Target and Ross. Lots of football was watched as well. I ended up back at the camper early. But everyone else set off fireworks and played with sparkers! It is always nice to spend time with family.
  5. Monday s adventure included a cold trip to the beach! I put my toes in the water, it was cold. Zach and Braxton played in the water. Everyone else watched them as the water was too cold. We all enjoyed just being on a beach the first day of 2024!

Wordless Wednesday- Trip

One of our favorite things to do when we travel is EAT!  Our recent trip to Florida was even better because some of the time David cooked some of the best food I have ever eaten!

Cracker Barrel is our first traditional stop on a trip!

We celebrated Granny’s birthday at Disney Springs at Earl of Sandwich-one of our absolute favorites!


We also ate at Texas Roadhouse for dinner!

Our Best place that we ate is also our newest favorite place!  This will be a definite stop each trip to see Haley! These are called Bento boxes!


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!