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

November in Review

November it was very different and I could have NEVER predicted the outcome either.  Big changes did occur this month, we traded for a newer better suited to us car and then then COVID-19 happened. But as today is the last day of the month, I can say it was not all bad and I am really ready to enjoy the holiday season.

Gardening-   We still have our small basil plant that is living on the kitchen sink.  I am debating how much work I want to put in the Garden for the next year.  Not exactly sure where this will land.

Goal #1 Grocery Budget of $550- The total for the month is $676.  This included the Honey baked ham I purchased for Thanksgiving and a trip to Costco. Looking back over the year, based on averages this is an area that will need to be re-budgeted next year. The kids are all growing and so this is an area that will need to be adjusted annually for the future.

Goal #2 – Record and keep up with gas/ auto purchase- $184.44 . This is actually less than I had anticipate, which is likely due to being at home two additional weeks this month. However the goal and plan is to pay off the Sheetz credit card in December and then will will begin paying any excess from this category into other credit cards.

Goal #3-Use a cash envelope system for everything possible!. I was able to find the money for the memory maker. We also have purchased a portable garage and a new Christmas tree this month. I would like to spend as little as possible for the first three weeks of December and use any excess for Disney.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 11 for the month! I am impressed with this accomplishment!

Goal # 5- Fitness- Goal is to walk 3 times a week. Covid

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal- 3x a week –Yikes!

Goal #7-Attempt at least 52 new recipes this year.-  Currently on #58

Earnings_ $90. This is actually a huge improvement over most months of the year. I did cash out Ibotta which only occurs once a year. We will continue to monitor and determine if this time is well spent in the future.

We are on a solid foot financially. I am breathing a sigh of relief that has been years in the making. I want to spend some time in December taking a hard look at numbers and already have a huge goal in mind just not sure if I want to put it on paper yet.