Weekly Update–Saving Money–April 28, 2018


This week ended up being a bit busier than I thought it was going to be.

One thing I did was help my sister with a brunch she was giving at her house.  She and my brother-in-law are leading a team on a mission trip this next summer, and this brunch was to inform people about it and give them a chance to visit with the team, so they can pray and support the team more effectively.  She did a lot of the cooking, and I made several items as well.

One was chocolate-dipped strawberries.  I used dipping chocolate I got on the Whoo-Hoo (reduced) rack after the holidays, white chocolate chips from holiday sales and on-sale strawberries.

It ended up being a lovely spread of food, and there was a wonderful turn-out and a large part of it was consumed! We had no idea of how many were coming, so I’m glad there was enough, but not way, way too much.  We have some leftovers, but not too many.  Whew!


I took Michaela to her Horses of Hope afternoon.  She gets to ride, and gets to help around the arena.  Her dad or sister usually take her, but today they were busy, so I went.  I have many talents.  Taking care of horses is not one of them.  I was very appreciative that they respected my feelings and let me pet a horse if I felt like it, and did not require me to do anything else:).  So, I just took pictures, and admired Michaela’s skills. Michaela was delighted to show me around, introduce me to the different horses, and have me walk along with her as she took her horse ride.  Because the horse she rode is new to the facility, there were 3 workers who assisted her, one on each side, and one in front.  They are using her and a few other seasoned riders to help train the new horse to be a good therapy horse.  I thought that was really nice of them to say and she was so proud to show off her skills to me!


Rob hung out with Jake and Patsy today.  Between the two of us, we logged in quite a few extra hours with Jake this week.  He was sick on Thursday, so I spent the entire day over there with him.  Have homeschool….will travel:). So, I took the books and Ja’Ana, and we did school over there that day.


I had tickets to Peter Pan up at the Northwest Children’s Theater in Portland for Friday.  When I found out that Rob, Jake and Patsy did not have school Friday, we were able to get them tickets, too.  It is so nice that they let the homeschoolers purchase tickets to the school matinees for a very reduced price.  Rob got to spend time and visit with a friend he has not seen for a while, who also attended the play with his daughter.  He had such a good time and it was especially rewarding to take Jake to his first play up there.  He loved it.


I decided to shop at Safeway for the fruit and other things I needed this week. The produce is so nice at our Safeway, and I needed a bunch of fruit for the brunch.  When I casually mentioned to the cashier how much my daughter is enjoying playing the Monopoly game, she said it was almost over and gave us some extra tickets.  We ended up winning 4 cans of tomato sauce, which Rob picked up today.  He also got 12 apple juices, because they were only 77c/ 64 oz. bottle.  We were delighted to stock up at that price!  He only got a few more tickets today,  but we still won a few more things.  There were some tickets from another day that did not get redeemed today, so we will pick these items up tomorrow after church.  I didn’t know Patsy had a little stash on the fridge under a magnet, but I’m glad to have found them before the game was over.


We keep eating home-frozen beans, and other goodies from our freezer, cupboards, and pantry.  I am pleased with how one of the freezers is starting to look—there is some wiggle room in there now.  I’m going to keep focusing on that project.

This week, it was nice to receive some very useful items from people.

My mom saved some pots for me to use in the greenhouse.  I have been hardening off plants, and was able to give her the flowers I grew for her from the seeds my sister brought her from England.  She kindly left enough for me to plant around here, too.  It was amazing how many flower plants we got from that little packet.

While in D.C., my aunt noticed 2 things.  1) My travel-sized bottles of shampoo leaked (thankfully they were in a ziplock bag) and 2) My phone ran out of charge before we were done with our daily sightseeing.  So, she had some extra silicon bottles she gave me, and a portable charger she did not need, and she gave it to me as well.   Those are going to come in very handy.

One of my sisters gave me a lovely flower, which I have been enjoying, and will enjoy some more once I get the table cleaned off again!  Right now, it’s hidden behind the pile of stuff that has migrated to the table after this wild weekend!!  Between the brunch and the boy who ended up spending 2 nights….Wow, just wow!  I have a pretty big mess:). I expect tomorrow afternoon after church will be the time to do a bit of tidying up.  My sister has a meeting, so I will be coming right home after church for once, eating leftovers, and then I’ll have some time to clean, I hope.


I got 1/2 of my strawberry bed cleaned up.  The plants I cleaned around are the new ones I planted last spring, and this end are very old plants that were here when I moved in.  The new ones are thriving, the old ones, not so much, which is normal when strawberries get too old.  I plan to put some bags of dirt around the berry plants and some bone meal and fertilizer, and will likely transplant runners from the new berries down to this end where there are huge gaps.  But, first, it needs to dry out again after the recent rain so I can get out there again.  It’s quite a bit of work, as the grass is trying to take over.

We are having to work outside in small bits of time we can carve out between work, homeschool and the rainy weather.  Sometimes I feel frustrated because I can’t finish up jobs I start in one session, but I keep reminding myself that breaking it into 2 days still gets it done!  Little by little:)  Patsy and I mowed the lawn again, this time lowering the blades after our first “mow” last week. Rob tilled a little bit in the garden.  It needs another time through on another day.  I have little seedlings up from a few weeks ago when I got into the garden for a short while.  I always enjoy seeing that!

I have several appointments this week, again.  We continue going to doctors/dentists/eye appointments/therapy, etc. for ourselves and the children.  Because Rob’s job is on a year-to-year basis (he only has a 1-school year contract each year), there is always a possibility that he won’t have insurance during the summer if they don’t promise him a job in the fall.  In that case, he would have to apply again in the fall for another position.  This can happen if the dynamics change in the classroom in any way, such as if a child that he work with moves or changes schools.    In any case, it won’t hurt to get these things done anyway!

I hope your week went well.






16 thoughts on “Weekly Update–Saving Money–April 28, 2018”

  1. I loved hearing about Micheala and her horse therapy. We have a similar place right behind our house through the woods. I know it is a wonderful program. I follow them on Facebook and see the great things they are doing there at Camp Hope. You are wise to use the insurance as much as possible since it is paid for anyway. Your strawberries always look so yummy!

    We had one of those weeks that we had to spend some money to replace and maintain many items. My drivers license was renewed, new wipers were purchased for the van on a great deal on Amazon and we had to buy new outdoor chairs that we keep in the van among other things. Our old chairs were limped along all through last summer with repairs and since they are 15 years old they have done well. We bought better chairs this time so that our aging backs don’t get sore sitting in them and they are sure easier to get out of which had become an issue for me.

    Friday we went to pick up a few deals at the grocery store because we needed some decaf K cups for the lake over the next two weeks. They were a good deal at $2 a box and while we were there we took a look down the meat counter. They had dozens of pkg of good, natural boneless skinless chicken breasts marked down to $1 a pound. Needless to say we stocked up. One chicken breast feeds us very well so we have many inexpensive chicken meals in the freezer. My husband has discovered the chicken nuggets at Chick fil A but oh they are pricey at about 50 cents each. I can cube up one breast and shake it in some House Autry chicken breader and pan fry them and he is quite happy.

    I hope you have a slower week coming up!

    1. I’m glad you are getting to go to the lake again. I know you love it there. Those lawn chairs are sure handy to have. We have a style that works well for us, also, and I seriously can’t get out of the other style at all, so I can see why you got new ones! We also carry them around in our vehicles during the summer. Who knows when a person wants to sit down? Right?

      I think $2/box is an amazing deal for the K cups! And, chicken breast for $1? I would have bought a ton as well. I hope you have a great week, and relax at the lake. I’m starting to think a lake would be just about right for me…..:). I’m seriously in a crash and burn phase right now after this past week. Hopefully, I can get a little rest today, but between the mess that my house is and having Jake this afternoon since his parents have a meeting……..I think church may be my best chance of sitting down today:). We’ll see. I may just go to church and stay forever!

      1. It is surprising how often we use those chairs. We are happy to sit and people watch or just enjoy the day anywhere we go these days. A few weeks ago I actually got 6 boxes of K cups for only 1.58 a box but decaf was not included. We get to stay at the lake for 2 glorious weeks. Counting down to Friday! You seriously need a camping trip with lots of rainy days!

        1. Yes! Yes! Yes!!! And I need to take my sewing machine:). But, the next one we have planned is in June after Rob gets out of school. Around here, it will likely be raining in June, so maybe that counts;)

  2. What a busy and productive week you had. And, btw, I loved your posts about your trip. It brought back many memories.
    I’ve been busy using what’s in my freezers from last year’s harvest as well. I’m making progress. I finally just found a home for my blender on the countertop so I could easily make smoothies.Sad to say I”m finally out of strawberries.

    I, too, have been working in the gardens in those ‘not raining’ moments. I did too much last weekend but it was fun. I’ve been harvesting asparagus like crazy — it’s the 4th year for this asparagus and definitely worth the wait and the space commitment.
    Also fun to hear about the horse therapy program. I had horses as a teenager and have fond memories of my time in the barns.
    A friend is a teacher’s aide and on year to year contracts as well. Very stressful indeed but she loves the work. You’re smart to get in all your appointments while you have the insurance.
    Take good care,

    1. I’m glad you are able to get out into your garden patches. I love very moment I can steal away and get out there, and I know you do, too:)

      I think you ran out of berries just in time. It won’t be long until there are more! Perfect timing. I told Rob I have enough beans for the rest of my life after last summer’s bumper crop. I really don’t, but I still have lots. So, I’ll grow some, and concentrate on other things instead in the rest of the garden.

      Hopefully, they will keep him on like they did last year, but, since we don’t know…..better to get it done. I’m not super excited about so many appointments, but I’ve put off some of them long enough:)

      1. This weekend, I saw flowers on the strawberry plants that are my early producers!

  3. The strawberries look delicious. That is great that your niece gets to ride. My oldest daughter used to ride through Girl Scouts. then it got too expensive. We would spend hours at the farm even though her lessons were 45 minutes. She would help at the farm with the horses. I have been doing my garden little by little too. It will get done at some point. Have a great week.

  4. Sounds like you’ve had another busy week! Barely any time to rest from your equally busy week in Washington D.C.! May I say how much I enjoyed reading all your posts (even if I didn’t comment on each one?)

    I hope the school continues to keep Rob, but very wise of you to take advantage of the insurance while you can. Wish you all the best and hope you have a lovely week ahead.

    1. Got my dentist appointment taken care of today–great news–no cavities:)

      I’m glad you are enjoying the trip posts. I have a couple more to do–I’m just struggling to have time to do it with life back in full force:)

  5. You may try to put newspapers (thick layer and edges widely on each other), cardboard pieces or smth similar between the cleaned-out strawberry plants and the grass; then cover the paper stuff with thin layer of soil, bark, cones, grass clippings, straw or smth similar what you have on hand and what looks ok there. It prevents grass from taking over. 🙂

    1. That’s a good idea. I do need to finish that job! Yesterday, I did get to dig for about 30 minutes in the flowerbeds out front, but have yet to make it to the back where the berries are. Since I have both Jake and Michaela all weekend….we shall see what I get done! It is supposed to be nice, so hopefully Jake, especially, will want to be outside a little bit, then I can get some things done out there. I would also like to get some work done in the garden as well, the lawn mowed again, more plants started in the greenhouse, and the blueberries fertilized. Like I said, we shall see….:)

  6. Last year, a horse therapy place opened nearby. I think that’s wonderful. Michaela looks like she’s enjoying herself. I also was at the dentist yesterday, with a good report. Those berries are impressive!

    1. Thank you! I was really happy with how they turned out.

      Michaela loves going to horses. They are so patient with her while she is helping, also. It’s nice to see.

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