Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 15, 2021

This past week, we went camping down at the coast. Although we have been doing homeschool for the past couple of weeks, this was our outdoor school. We did regular schoolwork with the kids in the mornings and then did fun, outdoor activities in the afternoons.

One day, I read a book about a silly, fantastic sand castle contest and then we went down to a beach and the kids built their own.

We read fall-themed books and decorated fall-shaped sugar cookies.

We read about sea creatures, then went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Rob organized this project. He melted old candles he collected from friends and family and some shells from the Dollar Store to make sand candles. He took the kids to the beach to collect the sand, and got the wicks from Amazon.

I thought they looked great.

There were lots of trips to the playground at the campground, and many, many times where the kids rode their bikes and I trotted along behind as fast as my short legs would trot:). We took a couple of drives down the coastline, and stopped at a candy store and for French fries. I read aloud for hours. The kids are enjoying Trixie Belden books right now. Of course Patsy has encountered them before, but they are all new to Jake and he’s loving them.

It was a very busy week, but a fun one. The weather was perfect and I’m so glad we got one last camping trip in before the fall rains come.

Once we got home, the garden needed attention. I picked tomatoes, we picked and chopped peppers to freeze. Just tonight, I canned 9 pints of crushed tomatoes. Rob’s been doing load after load of laundry and we’ve all been folding like crazy. There was more than usual because since this is our last camping trip for a while, there was extra bedding and such that needed washing.

We’ve been eating the leftover camping food for the past couple of days. I also unloaded the camper freezer, and we’ve been using the items that were in there. I always keep some chicken, hamburger, bread products, etc. in there for the entire summer, replacing as we use them on camping trips. So, I didn’t need to shop except for some milk, 1/2 and 1/2 and bananas.

Last evening, I dug up my old strawberry raised bed, put in some bags of steer manure, compost, coffee grounds and worm castings, and planted a few fall veggies. It may be too late to get much of anything, but it was worth a try and I simply couldn’t get it done before we went, as I was spending every minute canning. Those berries were done. They only last 3 years. I have some different berries in other places for next summer. So it feels good to have that mentally-daunting job done, whether I get any fall veggies or not.

12 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 15, 2021”

  1. What an amazing trip!!! And, well deserved!!! I don’t know how you keep up with everything! I LOVE those candles! Can you post instructions or at least a link to them, please? We are going to the beach in a couple weeks and I would love to do this with my grandchildren!

    1. Rob got 2 buckets of clean sand and put sand into boxes. The kids dug holes/shapes in the sand. They poked 3 large holes in the bottom with fingers to make “legs” for the candles to stand on when firm. Wicks were wrapped around sticks and places across the hole. Shells were used to line the hole.

      Rob melted old candles and other wax in a pot that was 50c at a garage sale and used a very cheap, old ladle from a garage sale to stir it with. He melted it on low-medium heat on the camp stove outside on the picnic table. Our candles are brown because he mixed old candles of various colors up.

      He carefully ladled hot wax into the shapes the kids dug. Patsy did her own, but Jake wanted Uncle’s help. The wicks got messed up in the process, but Rob re-adjusted them after filling the forms with the wax. Then, we let them sit until the next day when they were hardened. Patsy spent some time brushing the sand off her shells so they showed better. Jake didn’t so you can only see bits of shells peeking out here and there. All of them turned out cute.

  2. What a lovely camping trip! Sounds like so much fun! Love the beach pictures!
    We didn’t go camping at all this year. Sadly, I think that I am getting too old for popup camping and middle of the night trek to the bathroom. Then I see your camping pictures and remember all the fun times so maybe a camper will be in my future. 😉
    I love those sand candles; they look great! What a cool idea!! Guessing one should put them on a saucer to contain the melted wax?
    Hope you have a great week!

    1. I love camping, but the fun has fled of the whole “trekking down the road in the middle of the night” thing for me, too:). I love, love, love my camper. Even though we had only water and electric, our camper has a holding tank, so since we were careful, we had no trouble using the ladies/gentlemen’s room all week. The gray water is separate, and there are places you can dump your “sink water” so we did pour a few buckets down those during the week. That way, I could just shower in my camper, as usual.

      As for the sand candles, they are definitely an outside thing–both to make and to burn, in my opinion! I think a tin foil pie pan would be just about right to burn them on, then throw away. And, if I brought them inside to burn, again, the foil pan or a plate would be my choice.

  3. That sounds like a lovely school week to me. Wish I’d had such as a child, lol. You get a lot done every week. It’s such a joy to read your posts because they always have such a positive slant to them.

    1. Thank you. Since this is Patsy’s last year of homeschool and I’m helping Jake with school part of the time, and his parents are doing the rest, I’m hoping to make this year more fun than last year. We’ve done things like this in the past with other kids, and Patsy hasn’t been homeschooled enough to get to enjoy these kinds of things, due to Covid–so we are grabbing fun where we can find it this year:)

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