Category Archives: Saving Money

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–December 2, 2019

Patsy potted up a spider plant baby in a pot she painted and gave it to Lovana for her new house. She painted a few of these pots and so I expect she will be giving the other rooting starts new homes soon. I love how cute this turned out.

Jake and Uncle finished their woodshop project. They started it on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday morning, it was cut out, sanded and painted. It was a great, low-cost, but highly-treasured project. Because Jake did not have school at all last week, we were searching for some activities that would keep him occupied. We found several.

Jake’s oldest sister, Caitlyn, took him, Michaela and Patsy to the new movie, Frozen 2. I had one lonely pass to the movies in my box, so I gave it to Patsy. She earned a few dollars to take with her, but I think her cousin bought snacks for her. It was kind of her to include Patsy.

It was double kind of her to take all those kids somewhere else than here on that day, Tuesday! My aunt, mom and one sister came over and we prepared for Thanksgiving by doing some cleaning, cooking and other prep work.

I boiled the ham bone and the turkey bones. I made turkey-noodle soup and froze some broth. I also made ham and white bean soup from the other bones. When Lovana was making a pie last weekend, we used some white beans as pie weights while she par-baked her crust. I was not sure they would cook well after being baked, but I’m happy to report that they worked just fine in the ham and beans.

We had overnight guests for Thanksgiving and used the camper as a guest house.

The 4-H club has been working on a project for a few weeks now. Saturday, everyone met together and put together 11 baskets (wrapped boxes) full of goodies that had been gathered. The older kids and adults have been working independently on projects such as food items, a jar full of blessings (papers with inspiring verses and sayings on them for people to draw one out and read), cookies, Christmas decorations, etc. Then, lunch was eaten and a delivery marathon was completed. All 11 were delivered to the pastors and other significant leaders from our church, such as the wonderful woman who heads up the children’s ministries. The people were all delighted to receive such nice baskets from all the smiling children, and everyone involved felt it was super successful.

It has been very cold here and I’ve been enjoying burning my free wood in my wood stove.

I read a couple of Kindle books that I got for free. I also downloaded a new batch, choosing from books and a magazine that were included with Prime, which we use to watch t.v., for shipping, and occasionally a book or magazine. I was able to find a couple of Netflix movies for Jake to watch. Lovana gave Rob Netflix for Christmas last year, so I love it when I remember to use it!

I am gearing up for an extra-busy week with Christmas program practice 3 nights this week, and 3 performances on the weekend! Both Patsy and Jake are involved, and since Jake’s parents work late on at least one day……. Yikes! I’m going to do some planning for meals and things today.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–November 25, 2019

This week we enjoyed volunteering at an Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection day. It was at our church, and we took a shift on Friday morning. The collection went on for a week.

The day before we volunteered, hundreds of boxes had come in. On our shift, only a few came in. You just never know when people will show up with them. So, we spent quite a bit of time on our shift helping fill large cartons with the boxes so they could be sent onward on their journey.

We added our box to the pile, prayed over it with the rest, and sent it onward.

It was one of those weeks where we did a lot of small things, but they filled in the week and it flew by before we knew it.

I paid Patsy to help me tie up the blackberries. It’s a 2-person job, and I was delighted to get it done. I have a lot more canes this year than last year so I hope to get a good crop this coming year.

Patsy made a coffee cake. It’s gone:).

I made a large batch of gluten-free buns and a loaf of French bread. The buns turned out great–the French bread–a little sketchy, but I’ll eat it anyway, over time. Gluten-free flour is expensive, but just on the hamburger/sandwich buns I saved about $10 over buying an equal number.

My sister gave us a lot of kiwis from her bushes. A few have ripened already, but I have yet to get one since they are being eaten quickly:). I’m glad they are enjoying them.

I took Jake to a free event at JoAnn Fabrics and he and Patsy got to build a Lego Olaf box. They had fun.

There’s no school this week for Mr. Jake, so after his Mama took him to the dentist, he hung around with us for the rest of the day (and will be here all night, cause it’s fun here:). We made cookies and will serve any that are left on Thanksgiving Day.

Then the guys went to the shop to work on a project.

It was a good, busy week. Now I’m spending time getting ready for Thanksgiving. I got a lot of groceries today. I caught a couple of mistakes, and ended up getting a small refund…I’m glad I checked my receipt. I got more turkey at 49c/lb because I bought over $50 of groceries. My freezer is stuffed. My fridges are stuffed. In a couple of days, we will all be stuffed. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving Day–it’s one of my favorite days.

Thriving In My thrifty Week-November 17, 2019

We took the kids to the Oregon Coast Aquarium this week. We have a zoo pass. The reciprocal attraction for the month of November was the Aquarium. We eagerly set a date to use this amazing deal, because I had not been there for many years. Our niece, Caitlyn, went along, too. She has a zoo pass as well, so her admission was free also. We saved over $130 in admission costs. We all rode together in the van, and saved gas, as well. It was so fun!

We packed a lunch, and then stopped for little snacks like sea foam candy, French fries….you get the idea.

It took a lot of photos to get one of Michaela with a shark behind her, but that was her hope, so we persevered until we captured it!

The jellyfish are always a favorite of mine.

Patsy and Jake went in the hurricane simulator. They were the only 2 brave ones, but they had a blast.

There were so many interesting fish and other sea creatures.

The week was an extra busy one. It started on Monday with the field trip to the End of the Oregon Trail Museum. Then, on Tuesday, we needed to feed the college group at church, as we occasionally do. We made 3 kinds of soup, corn muffins and lemon poppyseed and raspberry bars, all from boxed mixes that I got on a great sale. It still took several hours to cook, but wasn’t hard to do.

In the meanwhile, Patsy was cramming schoolwork into every extra moment, since we were gone so much. We have a week’s worth of school to get through each week (right?), and I’m happy to say she did get through it by Friday. Some weeks she gets done sooner, and does hands-on activities on Fridays, but not this week. We were too busy with other things. That’s the beauty of the the flexibility of homeschool.

Jake had an event at his school Friday night. We had him for the entire weekend, so, it fell to me to take him. There was a raffle. He won a prize– a game. Amazing! I was extremely surprised, but oh, so happy, when they called his number so we could head on home. He had done what he could do at the event, and was just sitting on a chair, nervously chewing his ticket, in hopes that he would win. I’m not sure who was happier, him or me!

Last night, the sweet boy threw his pants into the laundry, as he should have. He did not remove his precious Pokeman trading cards from the pockets, which he also should have done. So, they got washed. :(. Oops! After agonizing over a solution for a while, Uncle sneaked the soggy cards down to a gaming card shop this afternoon so he could match them, and replaced the ruined ones that he could get for a reasonable price. He got all but 2. He also got an extra packets of cards. He then explained the situation to Jake, immediately handed him the new cards, and thereby avoided a huge vale of tears and a valley of sorrow. I never would have thought of such a solution, but I’m glad Rob did. Thank goodness there were only a few in those pockets:). If you’ve never had much to do with special needs kids, this action will not make sense to you. If you have……no explanation is needed:)

We had a family birthday party today, and I made a couple of salads from ingredients I had on hand. They were potato salad and quinoa salad. Yum!

I worked on some projects for Christmas and a sewing project for Patsy.

Rob did, too. (And, no, it’s not quite finished. The yellow lines will be gone!). The people who get these gifts do not read the blog. I’m not putting up pictures of the gifts for people who do. Just in case any of you are wondering:).

I cleaned a little here and there. I cooked a lot. I got a little creative, because we seem to be emptying out the fridge faster than normal, and I need to go shopping yet again. Tomorrow is soon enough, and we made out fine, using some ingredients that had lingered for a while. Win-win! Some weeks/months are like that!

I redeemed a few more Ibotta rebates. We cashed out most of the Ibotta money I’ve been saving and plan to use that plus the Bottle Drop money for groceries in the next couple of weeks. I usually buy extra in November anyway, since there are so many great deals.

My sister gave me a free turkey she had obtained. My Mom bought me one of the 68c/lb ones from Winco. (If we want to be technical, she gave me the $ and I did the actual shopping while I was out, but now I’ve got turkeys for both Thanksgiving and Christmas tucked away in the freezers).

The coming week promises to be a little less scheduled with outside activities. I’m glad we did our fun events while the weather was so nice. I’m equally glad that this week will give me more time at home. There is much I want to accomplish.

Thriving In My thrifty week–End Of the Oregon Trail Museum–Nov. 11, 2019

Today, we visited the End of the Oregon Trail Museum/Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Oregon. As the name suggests, it is where the Oregon Trail ended approximately 175 years ago. My sister set up a field trip there for both a group of homeschooled kids and kids who attend public school. There were 13 of them, including Michaela. It was planned for Veteran’s Day, since it is a school holiday for the public schools.

The kids we took had a blast!

They started having fun in the parking lot, and it continued. It was a gorgeous day.

We had a nice presentation by our guide, Bethany. We had pre-chosen the “Choose Your Own Adventure” presentation, so she let the kids decide what they would do under certain circumstances they might encounter if they were actually traveling the trail way back in the 1800’s. They loved her little voting devices that allowed them to push the button of their choice and then electronically transferred the information to the screen. After the informative presentation, they were allowed to explore that area for a while.

They moved on to a “Pack your wagon” activity.

The 3 big girls, with help from Alissa, really tried hard to figure out the best use of their 2000 pound wagon-loading limit. The littler boys just decided they didn’t need such things as clothes, just lots and lots of guns:).

The guide moved us on to butter making, where all the kids got to shake the cream until it turned into the desired butter, then they got to taste it.

Candle dipping was a real hit, as well.

Thankfully, there were plenty of grown-up hands to help the little ones. (Hard to believe Alissa counts as a grown-up now, but she DOES!).

The last activity was one in which they laid out ropes to “survey” their land on the big lawn outside. After each team “claimed” their property, often with lots of yells for others to “get off my land!” we were done with the official field trip. Rob had helped me pack a huge lunch for all 18 of us, and we relaxed in the picnic area while we all ate it. He didn’t go this time, which was a good choice since there was a lot of walking.

The kids ran and played on the big lawn after lunch. It was a great day for everyone. They had a blast while learning so much. One of the little boys confided in me how much he loved days where he didn’t have to have school–like this one!

We did do some money-saving activities during the week.

I cooked our meals, using the sale items from the grocery ads, coupled with items from my freezers/cupboards, etc. I did nothing earth-shattering, just made good, plain food. I sent Rob to some stores, and I went to others, and bought the best deals from each place. I hadn’t shopped much for a few weeks, and it caught up with me this week. I’m stocked up now for a while.

I wanted to make a small project and found everything I needed in my stash of fabric. We were also able to find everything my daughter needed for her project, except the stuffing, which my husband bought at the thrift store.

We used our membership at the Croc Center. Since the YMCA closed down for a re-build, we were transferred over there. We haven’t used it much, as it is a bit out of our way, but we are trying to use it more. Rob takes Michaela there at least once a week to swim and we join her when we can. I’ve taken a couple of exercise classes there, as they are all included in our membership. We are still on scholarship from the Y, which I thought was very nice of them all. We do pay each month, but it’s a reduced amount.

Thriving In My thrifty Week-November 3, 2019

The weather became very nice this week and I was able to spend several hours in the yard and garden. The huge pile of debris in the back of this picture is my secondary compost pile. I plan to let it rot down over the winter, rake the non-composted weeds off the top, and spread the nicely composted soil that is underneath since some of it’s been under there for over a year. I love having home-made compost to help fortify my soil. There is never enough!

Patsy clipped off her 3 dahlia plants. They had frosted, so were dead. She put tomato cages over them and piled leaves on them. We have fairly mild winters, so they should make it over the winter that way.

There was another picking of lettuce scattered throughout the garden. Surprise!

We got it really cleaned up. There are still more jobs to do, but I’m happy with what we got done.

I spent quite a bit of time this week helping my daughter, Lovana. She’s back from Hawaii, has a little place rented, and started back at her old job. She is staying with us until we get more things moved in over at the new place, as we only got part of what she has moved over. We went to a thrift store where she got a few things, and I grabbed 3 skirts for Patsy and a bowl, for a grand total of around $8. Some of the thrift stores in our area are expensive, but this one is not. It’s where Rob has been getting clothes in smaller sizes as he continues to lose weight.

We were able to take the kids to a very nice harvest party at church on Wednesday night. They had a lot of fun. Patsy helped run a game and Jake and Michaela enjoyed themselves. On Thursday, Michaela continued her tradition of riding up and down the street in the van with Rob while eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. She’s followed the same pattern for the past several years. She never gets out—just enjoys the ride and the candy and dressing up in her tiger pajamas. Patsy took Jake up to the doors to trick-or-treat. They lasted about 30-45 minutes, and then he was done.

I read a couple of library books.

I cooked some items that have been in the pantry for quite some time. I finally shopped for the first time in 2-1/2 weeks and got a few things, but not too many. Some items have lingered around the freezers and pantry for too long. I never seem to use them unless I put a little pressure on myself. A couple of the things I enjoyed were pizza from a home-made mix and some pepperoni that has been lost in the freezer and brown rice/dried cranberry/green onion salad from some frozen rice. Rob used some frozen chili up and Patsy worked on some frozen homemade refried beans. (I will go on record as saying that refried beans never get old at this house. That girl would eat them every day, but it’s nice to keep them fresh.)

What did you do this week to enjoy life while staying frugal?

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 27, 2019

I love the big pumpkin we grew! I stacked it up with a bunch of smaller squash and pumpkins to decorate for fall.

This week, I was able to get some cleaning done. It felt really good to have a day where I scrubbed a window, and cleaned up some clutter that had gathered. A LOT of clutter, I’m ashamed to report! I also wiped up a lot of dust. I got out some fall decorations and put them out. It felt good to have time to do a little more serious cleaning for the first time in a few weeks.

I noticed our spider plant is getting ready to make little spider plants. Patsy started this plant several years ago in a 4H class, and is excited that it is multiplying.

I can hardly believe that I found more cherry tomatoes. I am having to grab them quickly from branches that are dying on the few bushes remaining, but we had them in our salad for lunch today. The bigger tomatoes were picked green before our trip and are ripening slowly.

There are a few little cherry tomatoes left on the bushes. Time will tell if they ripen or freeze.

My aunt and I went on a quilt shop hop. She has been wanting to go on one ever since she heard about how much fun it was. We had a blast! The fall leaves were in full color and we got to go meandering through the countryside and thoroughly enjoy them. We packed a lunch and got to sit in a pleasant spot to eat it. In 3 of the towns we visited, we saw lots of little kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes, as those towns were having some kind of Trick-or-Treat event in their downtown areas. I am not a super big fan of Halloween, per say, but I always enjoy seeing how much fun kids have when they dress up. My favorite was a marshmallow. The kid was dressed in a white sweatshirt and sweat pants and had a little hat/cover over his head that looked just like a marshmallow. There were cut-outs for his eyes so he could see. It was adorable.

I worked on 2 projects this week. Neither is finished, but both are further along than they were. One was the quilt in progress, the other an old project. I have a goal of finishing up some things that have been around for a long, long time.

I still have a few flowers blooming, although almost every day they promise a killing frost.

Rob had doctors’ visits this week. He is within 2 pounds of his goal weight for surgery. The cardiologist has cleared him, and will send the proper paperwork, as will the primary care dr. But…the orthopedic doctor is changing hospitals, so the first available appointment for pre-surgery is in January. Then they will schedule the actual day for surgery. But, at least it’s coming closer.

My sister took Patsy to Disney on Ice, along with Jake and Michaela and some friends. They had so much fun!

I bought groceries for 2 weeks when I returned from Hawaii. I only picked up some milk and 2 packages of tortillas for 99c/each today. One day this week, there will be loaves of bread for 50c/loaf (limit 2), so I will get those. That will do it, hopefully, until next week. I am having to be careful to not stock up too much these days. With Rob dieting all the time, and less people in the house, we just aren’t going through the food like we used to do. So, it’s a savings as long as I don’t buy too much and end up throwing it away!

I will use a little more in the next couple of weeks, as Lovana will be flying home in the morning, and staying with us for a little while until we get her things moved into the place she and a girlfriend have rented. Busy times ahead for me!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–October 20, 2019

When I returned from Hawaii mid-week, I was struck by the amount of fall changes that occurred while I was gone. Trees had turned scarlet, yellow and orange, leaves dropped all over and the weather turned windy and rainy. I felt like I was truly home again.

These pumpkins and squash are from my garden. We got a freeze warning while in Hawaii, so I expected everything to be dead. Instead, I see that there are a few stragglers still alive in my garden area. I will go check them out this week to see if there’s anything usable still out there.

I picked the remaining few green tomatoes before I left on my trip. Upon returning, several of those had ripened and we’ve had tomatoes on our salads all week.

I did a fairly large shopping trip, since I had emptied the fridge quite well before I left. I focused on the sales, things I was out of, and was able to do some Ibotta rebates. I ended up qualifying for several bonuses, as well.

On Saturday, there was a county-wide 4H event. We have not had much of a club since we moved, but are excited to now have another family that wants to join. We rounded them up, along with Jake, our nephew, and Patsy, our daughter and took them all to the event. We are sticking to our old county, since we know them there, and know what to do, about events, etc., so we had to drive little bit, but it’s worth it to us. It was a bake sale. We took caramel corn to donate. Patsy and I made it, as we often do. While there, our clubbers made brownies and Chex Muddy Buddie Mix to send good smells through out the building, in hopes of building sales, and those were sold, too. There were lot of other clubs that donated and helped, and it was a success.

After we did our part there, we took our new club to Champoeg State Park and Rob had them do a scavenger hunt. He talked to them about identifying the native plants and objects, such as acorns, and rewarded them with little candies when they found them. We had a picnic and then all went up to the visitors’ center where the volunteers had another scavenger hunt for them to do about the history of the area, a movie to watch about helping the bluebird population and plied them with stickers for their efforts. They were super nice and helpful to us.

It was the first 4H experience for most of the kids, and it was very successful. I’m sure we will have many more fun times in the future. This year, we are going to concentrate on Cooking and Outdoors as our main projects. Once we get started, we can always add more projects if there’s an interest. Patsy’s super excited, since she’s been longing for other friends to do 4H with.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 7, 2019

I can’t believe I found MORE veggies out in that garden! Every time I say, “This is the last zucchini, or whatever,” I find more. Still, I think I picked the last zucchini today. The beans were on a row covered with weeds, but these were down there. The tomato bushes are pulled now, so they really are gone, but there are a couple of cherry tomato plants that are still alive. We have been hit with a couple of light frosts and so things have been scorched slightly, and will die before long, I’m sure. We’ve been having the veggies daily, and when there are none, we’ve been eating canned and frozen. I had a 1/2 head of lettuce and a little spinach we ate as salads.

I roasted one of the 2 –79c/lb chickens I bought on sale this past week. I froze the other one. I made bone broth from the carcass and froze most of it. I made potato soup with the rest. The spots in the broth are herbs that I sprinkled on the chicken before I roasted it.

I went on part of a quilt shop hop. We will not choose to travel the entire route this time. Some of the shops are very far from my house, and I just don’t have enough time to do that. Still, I had a great time visiting the ones nearer to my house, getting some more free quilt block kits and buying some matching fabrics so I can make another quilt. It’s very fun to visit several quilt stores in one day:).

I worked on the quilt I’m currently making. I sewed up 2 of the new blocks I got, just for fun.

Also, Patsy chose some additional fabric for the project she is working on. She’s very new at quilting, so it’s taking her a while, but she’s making slow, but steady progress. Jake chose a Star Wars print, and I will glue a spaceship onto his blankie, using some of that double-sided iron-on interfacing and a zigzag stitch. I’m sure those circus animals will enjoy having a spaceship flying above their circus:)

I read library books. Jake listened to a Boxcar Children book on c.d., watched a Boxcar Children movie, and had me read aloud from …..you guessed it, A Boxcar Children book.

I was able to use up quite a few odds and ends from both my refrigerator and my sister’s, preventing food waste. I will finish cleaning mine out in the morning, I think. If I get time, I’d love to wash it out. It’s a good time to do that when it’s not very full.

I had my mom and niece over for lunch on Wednesday. I made an Asian chicken salad from some cabbage my sister gave me, and potato soup. Then, on the same day, we had friends over for dinner. I made ham, a refried bean and cheese nacho, guacamole and chips, salad and coleslaw. Patsy made double chocolate cookies. I have to admit, it was a bit of a strange mixture for dinner, but it all went down the hatches! Good thing I love to cook:).

My friend brought her 7 children and they moved Rob’s wood pile from where he and Patsy had thrown it out of the van into the woodshed. That was so nice of them to gift us their time to do something Rob simply cannot do right now. The wood was a gift from my sister and her husband as he took down some trees. It adds to the woodpile we have. We are always gathering wood and will be warm all winter with the large stack we have. (If we had room, we would store 3 years’ worth like we did at our other place, so we would always have plenty and we would always have very dry wood. Because this place is small, we only have a little over 1 year’s supply, but feel grateful for that.)

We received several other gifts during the past few weeks. We are extremely grateful for each and every one of them and feel very blessed. Thank you to each of you who blessed us with either a gift of time, or another kind of gift.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 30, 2019

Rob made some great dinners this week. One of the things he did was barbecue up a large package of chicken drumsticks. At the same time, he made foil packets with chicken breast, beans and carrots. He always loves to cook a lot at once to save energy–both his energy and fuel for the BBQ:)

I spent most of my week over at my sister’s house, caring for the children, and at the hospital with a sick family member. In between those place, I kept track of Patsy and her schoolwork, giving directions to both her and Rob so she could stay on track. They also got to do the laundry, dishes, and cooking.

I read some library books. I played games on my iPad.

The first day at the hospital, since the whole occasion was unplanned (right?) I was without a lunch. After being graciously offered a couple of bland, tasteless bites of the patient’s lunch, I took a little walk and was able to buy a small trip through the salad bar for only $2.50. The patient immediately swiped a tiny bit of my cheese and a few olives for her tasteless meal, and we were both much happier:). The second day, I packed a gluten-free sandwich and some carrots.

By Saturday, I was very tired and did absolutely nothing except attend a short birthday party, which was held at a restaurant. I had nothing to do but show up. Otherwise, I rested. My brother-in-law ordered Chinese food for family Sunday dinner, so there were no dishes and no one had to cook. On Sunday afternoon, I was more than happy to join Jake on the couch and watch “Arthur” reruns on tv. He also asked me to work on a puzzle with him, which I did. Every Sunday afternoon, Jake comes home with us after lunch to spend the afternoon. Every Sunday night, Rob accompanies him to his Sunday night program at church, then takes him home, gets Patsy to her youth group, and so on. I putzed around a little while they were gone, doing a few little things around the house, but mostly rested. I still have not caught the cold that is running from family member to family member, and I’m hoping all that rest will keep it away from me. Only time will tell. I do feel rested up this morning, and plan to get right in and tackle this house and some of the other undone things!

I harvested a few tomatoes, the last of the beets, and a few cucumbers from the fast-waning garden.

I sewed a little bit on the quilt I started last winter. I had to set it aside all summer so I could work in the garden, but am glad to get it out again. I’m far from done, but can see real progress has been made in the past couple of weeks.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 22, 2019

Miss Patsy has been cooking again. This time, she made gluten-free calzones.

They were really good. She used a pizza crust mix from Bob’s Red Mill that had been given to us a while back. She made the crust as the package directed, added cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and olives, folded them over and baked them. She made a dipping sauce with some tomato sauce thickened with a partial can of tomato paste she had opened last week, and some Italian seasoning. It was great, and I know Grandma enjoyed it along with us when she came to lunch this week. I’m pretty sure I won’t get such a nice lunch this week, as Grandma has other plans on Wednesday, but she’ll come back very soon:)

We spent a lot of time with Jake and Michaela this week. Their daddy and sister returned from Israel today. Rob picked them up at the airport. He says they are extremely tired, as would be expected, but it will be so nice to have them back.

My sister invited Patsy and I to accompany her, the kids, and some friends to Bauman Farms. It’s a farm that has many fall activities and a pumpkin patch. There are also animals, a garden store, and lots and lots of food booths. We ate many yummy, bad-for-us treats, the kids did lots of activities, and we all went home tired. It was a good homeschool field trip–we saw cider being pressed, along with the other activities.

They all went “mining” for rocks and gold with a bag of “pay dirt” my sister bought. They had a blast. Jake was convinced he had gotten enough “gold” to buy a lot of Legos. Once Rob convinced him what he had were pretty, but not expensive rocks, he reconciled himself to having the nice rocks.

Michaela loved shooting the apple cannon and she tried her best to shoot and knock down a pumpkin target, but….not this year!

She also loved the big swings.

My sister got all the kids wristbands for unlimited fun, and they all played laser tag, slid huge slides, rode trikes, jumped on bounce houses, swung on swings, and ran and ran and ran. They were all tired that night!

Patsy got a long turn holding baby Allie on Friday. It was her lucky day, because baby was good as gold, and slept for a long time in her arms:)(Baby’s daddy is doing some work over at my sister’s house, so we are getting to see more of her than usual—my sister lives on the river and there was extensive flooding this past spring–he’s tilling and re-seeding the area that got ruined. In time, it should get established and handle the seasonal floods better, at least my sister hopes so–the neighbor’s place does pretty well. We were able to loan them our biggest Troy-built tiller and it’s doing the job, but it’s a garden tiller and it takes some time.)

I picked a few veggies from the garden. There’s not much left out there, but I got a few tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, peppers and green beans. The rain has returned and things are cracking and getting rotten, but that’s what it does this time of year. I’m having trouble keeping up with all there is to do anyway, and am ready for the seasonal changes. I’d sure like a few more nice days to work outside, cleaning things up, but we will see what comes along.

We still have a flowers all over the place. Patsy took this picture of this rose somewhere. It’s lovely.

We have only been shopping for the groceries we absolutely need, so there’s not much to report from the grocery deals. We just don’t seem to need the things they put on super sale the past couple of weeks, so settled for 99c/1/2 gallon milk, celery, lettuce, and a couple of other things Rob bought.

He made some enchilada casserole, cooked a pork roast, made lots of salads, and generally kept things going at home this past week as I homeschooled, worked many, many hours over at my sister’s house with the kids, and had Jake over here quite a bit as he caught a cold and couldn’t go to school part of the week. My sister has not been well this week and needed extra help since her husband was away. She still had to work, of course. I was glad the family was there for her–we all pitched in–my sister, my mom, my aunt, my niece, and us. Now, I prefer not to catch the family cold they are passing around, but we will see how that goes. So far, so good!!