Water Fun!

One of the reason that we chose to stay at this particular hotel is because of the cool water areas that it has. These include several both indoor and outdoor hot tubes, a really cool water slide, several pools that range from 1.5 to 2 ft of water with buckets and sprinklers galore, a lazy river and of course several regular pools.  Zach has even decided that he likes playing in the water.  Check out the fun the kids have been having…..

5 Things Friday

  1.  We are enjoying our mini vacation so far, one of the favorite things about this trip is that we are eating out most meals. Zach actually at all his breakfast this morning at IHOP.IMG_16502. Amanda decided at the last minute to join us for this trip and everyone is really enjoying having some quality time to spend with her. The funniest part is that they are “taking turns to sit beside her” but no one wants to sleep with her because she snores!   IMG_16483.  We had planned to play Putt Putt today but the weather has not cooperated at all so instead we surprised the kids with a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium.  They LOVED it..I am going to plan an entire “Wordless Wednesday” post with some of the awesome pictures that Matt took.IMG_1653IMG_16524. The water slide that is part of the outside pool at our hotel was open today and all three of the little kids were so excited to go down it. Unfortunately Zach ended up with a battle scar from it. I was so proud that he did go down a second time after hitting his head the first time. IMG_16565. We have not even been down on the beach because of the weather but I did at least get a picture from the pool.IMG_1647

Yard Work

I am not a person who enjoys working in the yard, well except for mowing. As a mom, who can say no to an hour of uninterrupted quiet time?  I do however, want to have a yard that is pretty and looks like I care. I really enjoy flowers at least looking at them. We are finally at a season in our life when we have the money, time and energy to attempt to beautiful the yard. We are also focusing on making our square foot garden not only productive but at least not an eye sore. Yesterday, we spent most of the day working outside, the biggest project was adding a “platform” to the square foot garden as well as getting it ready to plant in a couple of weeks. I am so excited that it turned out this well.

Next after twenty years, I decide to replace the brick chip with mulch on both sides of the house.

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We also ended up replanting some grass up front and I did some rearranging of the flowers in the front bed. Finally, I replanted tulips and love my flower pot in front of the house.

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I am exhausted and sore but very pleased with the results.

Five Things Friday 4/10/2015

So glad that Carla did this post today! So I “borrowed” her cute picture and will share my five things!

  1. The white van was treated to yet another set of repairs yesterday. A new heater hose and  air conditioner compressor. This depleted our emergency fund by $450. I am hoping to be able to add a little bit  back to the fund this month but even more so am praying that this is the end of repairs at least  for a couple of months.
  2. I was driving the van to cheerleading last night and on the way home suffered an allergy attack. After a little bit of thinking, realized that it was most likely due to “dust” that had accumulated in the air condition system. This morning, Matt spent another $10 to replace the cabin air filters. I am so frustrated with this van at the moment.
  3. I did have a major success in saving for Groceries. Our menu plan called for Baked Potato on Thursday.  I realized when getting out the potatoes that I still had about a fourth of bag of potatoes that were starting to spout. In order not to waste food, I filled the crockpot with potatoes, used the remaining ones after dinner to make mashed potatoes. One 2 cup set I will use for “shepherd pie” this weekend and the others (2)  are frozen for later use. I also started a crock pot with “potato corn chowder” which will be a second meal for the weekend and then at least two additional meals in the future. So I have managed to cook a minimum of 5 meals in one day using crock pots and food on hand.
  4.  I am working toward a goal of significantly lowering our grocery cost for the month. To accomplish this I want to stick to shopping at CVS and Aldi, no Costco trips. So far for the month, we have spent $38 on groceries. The goal is to spend less than $50, purchase some landscape items and plants for the square foot garden with another $200 and use the remainder to now cover the unexpected van expense.
  5.  In NC on Saturday, the temperature is suppose to be in the low 70s and sunny so we are planning to spend the day working on the Square Foot Garden. I hope to post pictures of all the yard tomorrow.

Yard Sale Success

I have hinted  for several weeks that we were preparing for a yard sale. I am excited and eager to announce that the physical yard sale actually took place this past Saturday.  I actually began planning for this the first weekend of March. I am not at all  new to yard sales. In fact, I remember travelling with my mother to a flea market as a child in order to bring in some extra money. Since becoming an adult, I usually participate in a yard sale either once a year or once every other year. For the past several years, I have been going to a small bank and setting up with our cheer gym.  The standard that makes a yard sale successful has not changed over the year either. If I am able to bring home a profit of $100 then that is a very successful yard sale.

One new thing that I have never tried before was “online” yard sale. Basically this is a free facebook group., where you post a picture and description of the item, along with price and general area for meeting.   I decided to only place 1-2 items for sale at a time.   I also only arranged pick up and meeting in private messages and did not consider an item sold until the meeting was arranged.  I was nervous at first due to the publicity of recent bad horrible stories from meeting arranged on craigslist and also some of the stories that I had heard about people just not showing up. I am excited to say that my experiences with this have been overall positive. I had one person come to  what I thought was purchase an item but they looked at the item and decided they did not want it. I replaced this item for sale and in less than 2 hours had another person arrive and purchase the item.  I also had one experience where I arranged to meet someone and they did not show up.  Otherwise everyone showed up with cash in hand and  it was the easiest way to sell items that I would consider big and I did not attempt to sell anything under $10 as I didn’t consider it worth the gas.  Matt ended up doing some of the meeting during the day but even he will agree how easy and quick most were. I made around $400 just on the online part.

After the huge success via online selling, I decide to go all out with the advertising and not only pay for advertising in our local paper which cost $38 for 3 days, but also placed an ad on craigslist and on the site I use on Facebook. We also placed several signs on Friday night as well. I am so excited to announce that on Saturday we had a profit of $350 after covering the cost of advertising and two meals for us!

OVERALL YARD SALE PROFIT $750…………………..my most successful/profitable Yard Sale EVER!!!

 

So how are we spending this money.  1) Purchased a new stroller to use at Disney.  2)Purchased several gift items for the kids including Autograph books and a dress for Kendall to wear.    3) Purchased matching shirts from the Disney store to wear  4) Applied $400 toward our trip cost!

 

Monday Menu Plan

One of our biggest expenses is and has always been Groceries. I am forever trying to figure out ways to either save money and or stay in budget with this expense. In March I was so far over budget that I was even hesitate to post my monthly update. So in April I am already stressing and trying to come up with ways to make up the difference. After some discussion with Matt, we have decided to eliminate Costco shopping for the month and try to eat what we have with minimal trips to Aldi as needed. On Saturday, we did end up eating out twice but used profits from the yard sale to do so. Sunday was back on track with a creative yet traditional “Easter Dinner”. Matt grilled a can of ham on the grill with pineapple, I added a box of scalloped potatoes, made deviled eggs from our Easter eggs, add coleslaw and cucumber relish to complete. We also used some money from the yard sale to refill our gas cylinder for grill. As the weather gets warmer you notice a lot more use of this.  A huge part of not shopping this month will be menu planning so here is the start.

Breakfast-French toast (leftovers) , Cereal, toast, eggs and Pumpkin Baked oatmeal.

Lunch-The girls are out of school this week until Thursday so they will be eating at home and I will pack both their lunches on Thursday. I did go ahead and make a salad for myself and probably will eat some leftovers one day this week.

Dinner- Since we have at least 2 nights at home this week, Matt will be cooking a little bit more then previous weeks but we do plan to eat from our pantry and freezer.

Monday- Pork chops with mac and cheese and glazed carrots.
Tuesday- Beef Enchiladas
Wednesday-Breakfast casserole
Thursday-  Baked potatoes
Friday- Grilled Chicken
Saturday- Shrimp cocktail or coconut shrimp. Dinner- pizza ( need to use up the store bought crust we purchased.

Easter

10150666_303069269850973_5975013331359689380_n[1]To me this is the most important day of the year. I have the privilege this morning to be  teaching the Beginner’s Children Church group which is the two year olds.   I hope that they will begin to understand the significance of this day even in the smallest manner.  I am using the Resurrection Rolls as the base of my lesson. I was not able to find a recipe that I really liked so I combined a couple including scripture to make the meaning as clear as possible. Do you believe?