Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for some extra time off from work.   When I worked at the hospital, Veteran’s Day was not considered a holiday of any shape or fashion.  At the school system today is definitely a holiday.  I had some extra time today to spend at church preparing for the fundraiser this weekend. We all enjoyed a special treat with a lunch out.   Matt and I made a grocery store trip.  Finally haircuts for all of us!


Monday Menu Post

The next few weeks are filled with lots of late meeting for me.  In addition to the time change, I am not a happy camper. Thankfully, both Lily and Matt have stepped up to help with dinners. Menu planning save time, money and my sanity on weeks like this. We are very fortunate to have a completely stocked pantry and freezers. I have been working on using what we have since July and it appears to be working.   This week everyone is home on Thursday so things may appear a little different.

Breakfast– Saturday-Find your own and use eggs. Sunday- muffins from Costco  Monday- more muffins from Costco and I have a breakfast burrito , Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. We are making good use of our eggs and home to continue to receive some each month.

Lunch-  Saturday–Costco for Matt and I  Sunday-Gregg’s. The kids have started packing lunch with things they find. I will continue to take several days of left-overs as long as they are available.

Dinner-  Saturday-Chicken from Costco, stuffing and peas.    Sunday-Snacks and crackers. Monday- Paula Deen chicken casserole (new)   Tuesday- Lasagna from Costco with garlic bread.  Wednesday- steak and twice baked potatoes Thursday-Breakfast casserole     Friday-Beef and Broccoli in the insta pot.

Saving On Saturday

I have been really quiet the last two weekends, actually really busy. Today, I am going to share why.   Initially before purchasing the camper, we decided to add a couple of driveway spots by extending our current driveway. One of the main reason for that decision was the fact we just re-built our square foot garden beds this spring. Once we got the camper in the driveway, I realized how big it actually was  and then Amanda hit one of the bed with her new car, we decided to rethink .  It was decided that we needed to expand the driveway all the way to the road.   I debated and thought about how we could salvage as much or all of the beds.. I also knew that I did not need to worry about the dirt as it was totally useless and needed to be replaced.  The concrete guys offered to move the beds however I was not sure or even hopefully that they would maintain them in one piece so for the past two Saturdays, we have been working.

I ended up paying each kid $10 an hour to help with this huge mass undertaking. With a total of $200 spent to the kids each weekend.  We also needed to build a small retaining wall next to the driveway to prevent dirt from eroding into the driveway.   A third component of this massive project was the square cement pavers that we had place under and around the beds. I was able to purchase most on sale for between 75 cents and a dollar each, however currently they are costing $1.48 each.  We have over 100 of these.

I am so happy to save that we have managed to save all the pavers, move the beds and it actually appears like we plan the whole operation.

The garden beds have been moved and filled with dirt except for the new sweet potato bed and one last raised bed.  We decided to place two beds directly in front of the house.

The other beds are currently behind the beetle space.

I have no idea what we actually saved but I am very thankful that the entire project is complete.


Thankful Thursday

I so enjoy the month of November. It is uplifting and inspiring to hear and express gratitude.   I have tried and failed in the past with posting a thought each day of thankfulness both on line and on the blog. This year, I am going to keep it simple.  Of course I am very thankful for my family and friends.  I am thankful to see and spend time with my Mom on a regular basis.   I really enjoy modern conveniences such as central air and heat.   But this year, my goal is to post a thankful thought each Thursday of the month. And it can not be the simple things already listed above!

Today, I am thankful for the financial blessing that we have received and enjoyed over the past year. They have help us pay of debit expand our lifestyle a bit and find ways to spend quality time together. But today, I am thankful for these financial blessing because they have allowed us to face and work around an expected job loss with minimal changes to our lifestyle.

Matt’s last day of employment will be next Friday November 12th. The current plan is for him to start tackling a long list of task and repairs that need to be completed.  He will also be looking for another job but he is not forced to accept anything and we fully anticipate his unemployment to last around a year.  But of course our prayer is that God will direct our paths and present a job either today or a year from now that will be the perfect fit.

Tuesday Thoughts

  • Lily was rear ended on Friday while driving her car, unfortunately the person who hit her did not have license, insurance or a tag.  She is very shaken up and we are now trying to figure out what and how to fix her car.  She loves the car and wants it to be perfect. So this will be a huge balancing act.
  • I have declared November to be a no spending month.  I have even gone so far as to tell both Matt and myself that we do not need anything from Amazon!   I have gotten into a bad habit of eating breakfast out 2 to 3 times a week, in addition to my 2 or 3 days of lunch out.  I am definitely cutting back this month. We have been gifted 3 to 4 dozen eggs so it is much easier to find a different way to eat an egg for breakfast every day this week.
  • We have given in and turned on the heat on October 28th was the official date.  We should experience out first freeze this coming week.  The temperature today was a cool high of 59.  I am not ready for winter in fact, I would love to move to a spot with summer all year long!
  • The kids all did awesome during the first grading period of the year. Lily has all A/s even in her college classes. Kendall has all A’s and Zach has all A’s and B’s.
  • The past several weekend have been spent relocating the garden beds in order to expand the driveway.  Hopefully during the next 2 weeks we will be able to start some seeds in the green house.
  • We have harvested our sweet potatoes. This year was a very small harvest of sweet potatoes but small is better than no harvest at all.
  • Tonight for dinner, I took out our entire green bean harvest for the year, and it was all eaten. Again one family serving is better than no servings.

Monday Menu Post

Menu planning has been a life saver the past couple of hectic weeks. I have enjoyed pulling items from the freezer to bake and eat.  We are really starting to enjoy the benefits of the hard work this summer. I also am supper thankful to have a full freezer as we are starting to see shortage on some items especially food in our area. I am only purchasing diary and fresh fruits. My sister in law gifted us about 4 dozen eggs on Sunday, and has promised as many as we can eat for the near future. Eggs are going to appear alot.

Breakfast– Saturday-Eggs, grits, bacon and biscuits. Sunday- nutella baked oatmeal      Monday- , Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. I am working on eating at least one egg every day for the protein.

Lunch-  Saturday–Left-overs Sunday- Corn dogs from Sonic. We are all eating left-overs from the fridge for lunch this week. Zach is eating at school most of the time.

Dinner-  Saturday-Coaches .    Sunday-Potato and Kiebsa  Soup Monday- baked spaghetti  Tuesday- Salisbury steak, rice, green beans and rolls .  Wednesday- Cheese burger pizza Thursday- left-overs or make your own     Friday-Chicken fried rice.

October In Review

October is typically our busiest month of the year. This year did not disappoint.  I am actually relieved to finish the month and start with November.  I am going to make an effort this year to post an item I am thankful for each day!  I probably will do in groups of five or seven but we can always see how it flows.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $500  Under budget and back on track hopefully for the rest of the year. I would plan to reduce the grocery budget for November but Lily has her sweet sixteen birthday party the first Friday of December so I am going to leave the budget in place to cover that!

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $456.79.   Not Met! Gas prices continue to rise. Currently they are above $3 a galloon.  We also needed an oil change in the van so that has made things more difficult than usual

Cash Envelope system-  Goal met!

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  This is post number 8. Did I mention how busy this month was!

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  Nope Naa

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– NONE

No Spend Days– Did not keep up with this as it just was too difficulty. We covered all our expenses and that is what is important .

We had some unusual expenses during this month. We also spent a ton of money but in the end, I have been able to balance out most things. We are ending the month with a brand new Tahoe, new to us camper and a huge drive way!  Most of this was covered by Matt’s inheritance so we are grateful.  We also have to figure out how to cover the expense of Lily’s car.

I really really want to attempt a no spend November to keep us on track and help cover the camping expenses for December and January.  So here to a quieter and less expensive November.

5 Things Friday

  1. I have a couple of hours at home alone tonight without it including work!  Matt and the kids headed out to the North vs Central football game.  I have had an exhausting week at both jobs plus I had to take a Humera shot in the middle of the week.  This is my small price for sanity.
  2. The first person we decided to contract with for a driveway addition has disappeared along with my $1500 deposit.  I have tried to contact him several ways including sending a certified letter this week. My goal now is to reclaim the deposit money even if it means a trip to small claims court!  We have decided to add a full second driveway to ease the parking problem we have.  That unfortunately means alot of work!   We will be spending most of tomorrow moving dirt and pavers and eventually the square foot garden beds we built in the spring.
  3. The weather has finally cooled down! But fortunately for us it has not gotten cold enough to need heat yet.  We have met my goal of at least 3 weeks without heat or air.  Now I am setting my goal for six weeks without heat or air that would actually put us around Veteran’s day.
  4. Zach plays his last scheduled baseball game on Monday night. There is a strong possibility that it will be cancelled due to COVID outbreak that cancelled a game on Tuesday of this week with the same team.  The tournament should start on Thursday of next week.
  5. Because of the weather and due to the driveway expansion, we will likely dig up our sweet potatoes in the next two weeks. On a bright garden note, we are still able to harvest one or two tomatoes each week to eat. This is the latest I can find that we have been able to pick tomatoes.