December in Review

I spent a good chuck of time yesterday, paying bills, looking at the budget and see where we are and how we move forward. I want to share this December in Review post separately so that it makes it easier for me to comply the information. December was a busy month with a 5 day trip to Disney.  I have been using the last week to catch up and stock up for the months ahead.

Gardening-   We killed the last basil plant. I do have big plants for the garden in the spring including redoing all of the beds.

Goal #1 Grocery Budget of $550- The total for the month is $683.  This does include my stock up trip for soda. Definitely some changes coming next year.

Goal #2 – Record and keep up with gas/ auto purchase- $176.50 .  I ended up filing two insurance claims for damage on the van. The deer caused the door to need immediate repair but the insurance only wanted to cover half because of the damage when I hit the pole. I filed a separate claim for the pole damage in 2018 and now all repairs will be covered for $500 deductible.

Goal #3-Use a cash envelope system for everything possible!. This is finally starting to work and make sense to me.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 10 for the month!  Working both jobs and life make mean I need to reduce this goal for next year.

Goal # 5- Fitness- Goal is to walk 3 times a week.  We walked at least 5 miles a day at Disney does that count?

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal- 3x a week –Yikes! Actually downloaded a pod cast to start listening to on my way to work.

Goal #7-Attempt at least 52 new recipes this year.-  Currently on #59

Earnings_ $30.   Extra money is extra money!

Recipe Challenge #59

We are in a sort of weird place this week.  After eating at Disney for a week, I did not have a plan for meals this week and really am just trying to keep thing real and finish up things.  Yesterday, Monday 28th was not a good day and hitting the deer added to my lack of time.  I really did not know what was for dinner and had not even pulled anything out of the freezer.  My mom decided to hang out from the time she picked up Lily until dinner and was scrolling Facebook when she found this recipe and shared with me .  Cowboy Casserole aka Tator Tot casserole. In fact she did not share the site just the recipe.  Since I definitely did not want chicken for dinner. I rummaged through the freezer and found our last pack of raw hamburger meat.  This is a definite maybe as Kendall and Zach and Granny all liked and the rest of us were like ok.  I am also going to try one more recipe this year in order to make it an even 60.

The official count is
Repeating 30
Maybe 10
No 19

Budget Busting Day Almost

I am currently enjoying my two week Christmas break. Today, I had plans to spend most of the day shopping the after Christmas sales with my Mom.

On the way to pick up Mom a deer decided to come out of a field and ended up hitting the side of the van very hard.  I watched the deer run off so last I know it is still alive. Luckily the passengers side of the van already has several dents and scratches so I was at least thankful that we can now get the whole side repaired. I contacted my insurance and I should only need to pay the $500 deductible for collision. I am estimating that the total repair will be close to $4000 based on the sounds of the door and the damage I see. I was even able to schedule a repair for in the morning at 9:20am. I was able to look at the budget and cover this expense fairly easily but it does remind me that we need to make an emergency fund a priority!

Yesterday, we had our close friends over for lunch and I fixed  Taco Soup in the crockpot. A couple of weeks ago, I dropped the lid of the crockpot and it broken off. It was definitely still useable but not ideal.  The crock pot got really hot and has been cooking foods really fast really too fast so I decided that when my soup was overcooked it needed to be replaced.  I was able to find a basic replacement for $30 and decided to use my Christmas money for this purchase.

Finally tonight I was going to try a new recipe for “Cowboy Casserole” it needed 2 lbs. of ground beef. I found a package in the freezer and decided to use the insta pot to speed things along.  It appeared to be going well until I went to release the pressure and there was none.  I opened the lid and after 40 minutes the meat was still frozen and the inside of the pot was black at varies points.  Even 2 hours later the entire pot was warm to the touch.  Another item in the trash can! I am still debating if I want to replace this or not. It is not an item that I use frequently and can only think of 2 real items that I “need” it to produce.


Christmas Day

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.

Braxton at Disney!

Another Picture heavy post but I definitely don’t want to ever forget this time!

Zach loved matching Braxton and they looked too cute together. Everyone pitched in to help with a 2 year old in the lines. Our wait time range from basically walk on for Haunted Mansion (17 actual minutes) to an hour wait for The Jingle Cruise

Braxton wanted to wear Kendall’s ears so on Tuesday while Matt, Lily and Zach were getting Starbucks we found this that fit perfectly. Braxton had thrown a hat the day before but he left these ears on the whole day and even wore them home on the plane.

Braxton was awesome about wearing his mask. We would tell him to fix it and he would cover his nose. When he was tired, he would often get his drink and pretend to drink from it, even filling his cheeks just to keep his mask down.

If you had food Braxton would help you!

Monday Menu Plan

I can already tell you that the menu plan is not going as planned. I like the eat with the weather. The last couple of days I want hearty warm meals. I am trying to stick with easy fast meal but also work on cleaning out the fridge and freezer. My goal is not to go to Costco till the week after Christmas.

Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King Sunday- Left-overs or breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, bagels or omelets, French toast.  .   Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, bagels or omelets.

Lunch-  Saturday–Whatever burger (while shopping)   Sunday-Red Robin  Eating from fridge and salads sounds like a plan for me .

Dinner-  Saturday-  Dinner with Haley Sunday-Left overs  Monday-Ham(left-over)  and macaroni and cheese  Tuesday-Million Dollar Spaghetti Pie . Wednesday- Turkey pot Pie Thursday-  Depending on left over situation or honestly I have no clue.   Friday- Time Square Pizza