5 Things Friday!

1. We are in the process of refinancing our home. This time we are getting a whole new mortgage. By completing this we will be dropping 7 years off our current mortgage schedule and reducing the interest rate by over 2%. So far the process has been time consuming but not difficult. Our closing is tentatively scheduled for the end of June. I will share more details once a couple of issues are settled. The first of which is the appraisal of the house which is schedule next week.

2. The end of the school year is getting closer. I honestly think it is more heavily scheduled than Christmas. Sunday-was a piano recital, Tuesday night-Lily chorus performance, Wednesday night-Ending Party for Church Kid’s club. In addition to cheerleading tryouts on Monday and Thursday.

3.Our community pool opens this weekend, with swim team practice starting on Tuesday. Zach is planning to swim this year and I am so excited just to get him in the water on a regular basis!

4.Kendall is star student next week so I am scrambling to get some picture found and printed so we can make her poster on Sunday.

5. I am officially on call for Monday, so I may have to work a couple of hours but that means that I will get a 4 day weekend for the Fourth of July!

Zach Kindergarten Screening

Today Zach and I went back to school for his Kindergarten screening. This is the first of 3 trip prior to his first day of school. We will have a meet the teacher night in August, he will go for 45 minute the first day of school. Next he spends a full day of school with 5 or less other students before his official first day of school which is actually day 5 of the school year. Anyway, Zach is really excited!!

Saving on Saturday 5/16/2015

sosI am really excited to share this! If you know me you realize that I am not really a craft person. For example in 4th grade it took me 3 months to learn to cross stitch and that was not even to complete a project. I like the idea of being craft but honestly who has the time?

Well this time I did. I spent around 5 hours and $3.00 to create this awesome wreath for the front of my house.

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front laying on floor

front laying on floor

Back side I think it is neat too!

Back side I think it is neat too!

I purchased a bunch of tulle on sale for 10 cent a roll several weeks ago at Walmart. For the wreath, I ended up using about 3/4 of 3 different rolls.

Step one: Make the wreath pattern out of cardboard. I found a pot lid that was the size I wanted for beside the door and then drew and cut it out and then cut our the center.

Step Two: Cut the rolls of tulle into the approximate same size piece and decide a pattern.

Step Three: Tie each of the tulle piece on the wreath, I was careful to stick to the same pattern! I am so excited to show off this project!

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Random Budget Thoughts on Thursday!

  • This month I am really paying attention to our budget. The goal is to get our spending under control and be able to pay down most of our debts except the mortgage over the summer in addition to saving to pay for our Disney Trip.  I keep reminding myself and Matt that every dollar is important at this stage and that each dollar we save puts us a step ahead. I am also trying to enjoy the small victories like using the clothes line!
  • I was able to hang out 3 loads of clothes today on the clothes line. While shopping at Walmart this morning for a toaster, I picked up 100 wooden clothes pins. Let me tell you these are the cheapest made clothes pins that I have even seen. I had to use 3 to hold up shorts and even some shirts. Matt was excited to smell the fresh laundry. I would love to say that I am going to start hanging our at least one load of clothes a week but in reality I don’t see it happening. So I am simply going to enjoy the fact that it happened today and not worry about when and if it happens again.
  • Our square foot garden is actually growing really well. We have only lost one pepper plant and one cucumber plant, otherwise everything is growing. I am excited each evening to check out what is growing. We have pumpkin and corn in addition to our green beans that are all growing from seeds. The other plants are also growing. We have been watering about every third day so I hope in another month to be harvesting!
  • Over the past several months we have been keeping the budget low by using up  our stockpile. We currently have 2 freezers in our building. In January, both of these were filled to the brim. Today, I could combine the contents of both into one and it would not  be full.  My goal for the summer is to completely restock the vegetable freezer. I am hopefully to accomplish a lot of this with our garden but otherwise I am going to budget $50 a month to buy in season fruits and veggies. In the month of May, strawberries are in season. Last weekend we picked a total of 3 gallons and froze at least 2 of these. I am hoping to get another 2 gallons this weekend. One to enjoy and one to freeze. The second freezer is for meat and the only meat left in it is chicken. I have already planned a  trip to the meat market/butcher the second week of June. This will take about half of our grocery budget for June but hopefully will last the rest of the summer.
  • The white van is continuing to cost us. I am becoming increasingly frustrated with it. I just don’t like the idea of continuing to put money into something month after month after month. Currently the discussion is what is our best options. I honestly don’t feel comfortable driving it on long trips and especially going to Disney. So depending on our budget and saving we have some tough decisions ahead of us. Currently the goal is to keep the van running until September and then re-evaluate the situation.

Saving on Saturday -5/9/2015

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First check out the cute header my husband made for today!

Today’s saving is actually even bigger than I had originally thought or planned. We are all enjoying the square foot garden this year and hopefully will be reaping the benefit in just a few short weeks. One of the first things that I have been reading about is that we needed to start a compost pile to help supplement the dirt each year. I have been think and looking into different options for about six months.  So today, I decided we needed to act on the idea or at least get good plan in place to get this started in the next several weeks. After some discussion and thought, we were actually able to build our compost box using wood that we already had around!  That is right we spent absolute no money on the construction or materials!  I am actually over the moon that it turned out so well. Even Matt got on board and helped dig in the back for the last couple of boards we needed.  I am so pleased with this project that I have to share the pictures.

Side view!

Side view!

This is a view from the deck. I am hoping because we can just dump that it will be easy to keep things going in it!

This is a view from the deck. I am hoping because we can just dump that it will be easy to keep things going in it!

Standing straight in front of the new compost bin at the end of the deck!

Standing straight in front of the new compost bin at the end of the deck!

Wordless Wednesday-Part 2 Rides

Wordless Wednesday- Carowinds- Cheerleading

This was the final competition of this season. I am so proud of both girls. Lily’s youth team was second out of five and won special recognition for best tumbling of the day!

Kendall is waiting on the far right and Lily is in the air in the middle!

Kendall is waiting on the far right and Lily is in the air in the middle!

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Lily is on the far end!

Lily is on the far end!

Lily is on the far right, Cant see Kendall

Lily is on the far right, Cant see Kendall

Lily is staring her tumble run!

Lily is staring her tumble run!

Kendall is in the air and Lily is tumbling!

Kendall is in the air and Lily is tumbling!

Lily in the air

Lily in the air

Lily waiting to start a tumble pass.

Lily waiting to start a tumble pass.

Random Thought Tuesday

I have lots of these to share!

  • Happy Cinco De Mayo, we celebrated by having cheese Quesada and Mexican Rice for dinner. Matt and I ended the day with margarita wine! Yes we are partying hard.
  • The white van is having even more issues, currently I have a flashing light and it is running rough. I am frustrated. In fact I am so frustrated that we are discussing options for purchasing a new to us car and making payments. The goal right now is to wait several months in order to reduce our debt load and make sure we can afford a new huge monthly expense.
  • I purchased 48 bottles of water at CVS for a grand total of $0.10 yesterday. This was in fact all tax. I have not been shopping regularly at CVS for over a month now but was excited to actually grab a great deal and use ECB at the same time.
  • Our bean plants have spouted! I have had horrible luck with planting seeds this year that I was becoming concerned that the green beans would not grow either. In fact I was trying to find a store to purchase live plants from. But yesterday, they started popping out of the ground and today I am counting a close to 90% growth rate from the seeds.
  • Spring/Early Summer has finally arrived in North Carolina. The high temperature this week are crawling slowly into the 80s. We have not needed to turn on our air condition yet but I am sure it will not be long. The great news is that we have now been a month without use heat or air. Our electric bill should remain below $200 for the month of May as well!
  • Amanda has applied for and been accepted into the community college starting in the fall. I am so excited and proud of her.
  • On Sunday both Lily and Kendall participate in their final cheerleading competition for the year.  Lily’s team received a special honor of best tumbling for the entire day! My plan is to post lots of fun pictures for Wordless Wednesday. Pictures not only of the competition but also from the rides we enjoyed at the amusement park where it was held.