Category: Budget

May 23 2016

Last week was an incredibly busy week with everything going on, but we made positive progress in the right direction for some of the items on my list.  There were a lot of activities and later nights.  I am thankful for that the grading part of the school year is done now for all the year end parties, activities, graduations, and other excitement over the next week and half.

I have had a lot of big projects going and have been keeping track of the progress personally, however, I have not been faithful in updating my blog like I used to do.  Even though the busy summer days with the kids at home are just around the corner I am going to try and be more consistently with my weekly goals and other postings for you.  Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein to the kids. – got a great start on it, but wasn’t able to finish with all the extra activities this past week
  2. Read 7 Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids. – only read a couple
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids. – was only able to get through a few cards
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids. – got through some, but not very many this week
  5. Do devotions and prayer time with kids every night. – devotions we were not very consistent on, but we did do prayer time
  6. Plan one special activity with the family – working on it
  7. Play a Game with the Kids – spent most of the extra free time on projects that were due soon
  8. Spend time Monday –Friday helping the kids with HomeworkBrina finished her “Cupcakes on the Rise” and Karlie finished her “Less = More” Science Fair Projects.  Both did really well.  Brina won for the 5th grade class and will be going on to the next level of competition this Thursday, 5/26/16. 
  9. Attend After School Activities  – Brina and Karlie finished their last day of swimming lessons, they loved it!
  10. Lunch Boxes & Book Bags packed the night before
  11. Prep for upcoming Family Adventure(s) – working on it
  12. Prep & Figure out Schedule for upcoming Summer Break – have some activities planned, but need to finalize the rest
  13. Ride Bikes with the Kids – did was a rainy week and spent most of our time working on projects that were due.
  14. Work on family projects together – started working

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  2. Keep up with my FitBit Goals – did better some days than others
  3. Do yoga at least 5 times a week – did it more than once, but was not consistent
  4. Go to my Appointments Scheduled this week – had to re-schedule one due to a conflict, but did everything else
  5. Update Counting My Blessings and Other journal entries daily
  6. Tackle some lingering projects on my “to do” list – somehow the list continues to grow ever longer….

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. All laundry for the week washed, folded, and put away in one day – we were working on the laundry room so the washer and dryer were unavailable a good chunk of this past weekend
  2. Weekly Dinner Menu planned out for the week
  3. Clean House (Focus – Laundry Room Remodeling Work (get all of the subflooring cleaned and prep and help Jake with getting at least 1/2 of it completed) – work in progress
  4. Organize Chaos (Focus – Find Bins / Containers / Baskets to put on shelves in Laundry Room once up) – starting to look but haven’t decided what I want yet
  5. Yard / Garage Cleanup (Focus – Annual Termite Inspection)
  6. Pet Care (Focus – Give Skipper a Bath)Brina and Karlie helped get this one done
  7. Repairs – (Focus – Refinishing our Laundry room, tearing out the old linoleum and sprucing it up) – working on it

Business Goals

  1. Work on ideas for upcoming blog posts
  2. Respond to Inquiry – Business Relation Emails – have some more to go through
  3. Keep up with the day to day items that need my attention  – some days I didn’t have time to get it all done
  4. Work completed for clients – couple special projects that need to be done still
  5. Notes typed for work – didn’t get to it
  6. Folders Labeled for work – got a couple done before getting pulled away
  7. Desk drawers organized – working on it.

Ministry Goals

  1. Meet a friend or family member for Breakfast or Lunch

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Advisor – made reached out, waiting to confirm with schedules
  2. Payoff Other Outstanding Debt – working on getting it eliminated
  3. Pay Bills & File Paperwork – paid all bills that came in this past week but need to do some filing
  4. Go grocery shopping one time this week and stay within budget – went to several stores and spent extra money for Brina & Karlie’s graduation celebration.

My goals for the upcoming week

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein to the kids.
  2. Read 7 Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids.
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  5. Do devotions and prayer time with kids every night.
  6. Plan one special activity with the family
  7. Play a Game with the Kids
  8. Spend time Monday –Friday helping the kids with Homework
  9. Attend After School Activities
  10. Lunch Boxes & Book Bags packed the night before
  11. Prep for upcoming Family Adventure(s)
  12. Prep & Figure out Schedule for upcoming Summer Break
  13. Ride Bikes with the Kids
  14. Work on family projects together
  15. Brina & Karlie’s Graduation Ceremony
  16. Brina & Karlie’s Award Ceremony
  17. Prep & decorate for Graduation party (Meet with people Mon / Wed) after school
  18. Take Brina to the Science Fair Competition

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  2. Keep up with my FitBit Goals
  3. Do yoga at least 5 times a week
  4. Go to my Appointments Scheduled this week
  5. Update Counting My Blessings and Other journal entries daily
  6. Tackle some lingering projects on my “to do” list

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. All laundry for the week washed, folded, and put away in one day
  2. Weekly Dinner Menu planned out for the week
  3. Clean House (Focus – Laundry Room Remodeling Work (get all of the subflooring cleaned and help Jake with getting at least 1/2 of it completed)
  4. Organize Chaos (Focus – Find Bins / Containers / Baskets to put on shelves in Laundry Room once up)
  5. Yard / Garage Cleanup (Focus – Plant Lilly Flower and Blueberry Bush – weather permitting)
  6. Pet Care (Focus – Give Skipper her vitamins)
  7. Repairs – (Focus – Refinishing our Laundry room, tearing out the old linoleum and sprucing it up)

Business Goals

  1. Work on ideas for upcoming blog posts
  2. Respond to Inquiry – Business Relation Emails
  3. Keep up with the day to day items that need my attention
  4. Work completed for clients
  5. Notes typed for work
  6. Folders Labeled for work
  7. Desk drawers organized

Ministry Goals

  1. Meet a friend or family member for Breakfast or Lunch

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Advisor
  2. Payoff Other Outstanding Debt
  3. Pay Bills & File Paperwork
  4. Go grocery shopping one time this week and stay within budget

I think it is important to share and encourage each other as we seek to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.  I want to live intentionally not just hope all my dreams and goals come true.  When I focus on small steps of improvement I am able to see results as I get closer to my goals.  Some weeks I get closer to the goals I have in my life and other weeks a take a few steps back (life happens, emergencies occur, people get sick).  Once the goals are written down and shared it provides a guideline for what I aim to accomplish this week.

Why Share My Goals?

  • To keep me accountable
  • To share a piece of my life with you as I strive to be a better Child of God, Wife, Mom, Friend, Homemaker, Entrepreneur and the many other roles I have each week
  • To have my goals consistently written down so I can gauge progress more accurately
  • Create healthy habits in my life
  • To encourage you to share your goals with me as you continue to grown and learn

How did you do this week on your goals?  Feel free to share or link to your list of weekly goals.

The picture above is one that I created for my own purposes, however, The “SMART” acronym was originally coined 30 years ago by Peter Drucker in his classic work, Management by Results.

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May 09 2016

http://www.blessingsmultiplied.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/4088699532_ae44f04b7dc.jpg

SURPRISE!!!  I’M BACK!!!  Yes, I am still alive and kicking (in case you were wondering)! 🙂  The past few weeks (umm….months really) it has been a little wild around our house.  All good stuff, but a lot of transitions, adjustments, work, school, travel, and everything else.  Also, was experiencing some technical difficulties with my blog and my IT person was super busy so I didn’t want to bug the daylights out of him.  Now that everything seems to be back up and running smoothly again, it is my desire to get everything back up and moving along for you.  A big shout out to those who have commented, emailed, called, texted, and checked in with me to make sure I was still alive during this little blogging siesta.  A huge THANK YOU for being patient and hanging in here with me as my family made some adjustments.  Will have to share more about what has been going on these past few weeks….lots of good stuff and a very full calendar!  It gets easier and quieter as the kids get older, right!?

It is my goal to stay on top of our dinner menu once again.  We have found a good rhythm for the most part (now that school is wrapping up for the year, ha).  We are finalizing several details regarding our summer schedule, but overall I hope to be available and more up to date in the blogging world.

It is nice to have people who help keep me accountable and organized throughout my week.  It is encouraging to know that other Moms have to work through all the balancing fun of family, work, home, and a multitude of other activities that I seem to experience.  If you have it all figured out, let me know because I would love to be able to get my ducks in order, have a positively balance life in every area plus a happy family and clean house (at least longer than 5 minutes).  If you haven’t reached that level yet, no worries, I am there with you.  We can do our best and   I am going to give it my best shot to stay on top of everything and organized so here we go!!!!  Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree): Crockpot Roast, Mash Potatoes & Brown Gravy
  • Tuesday (Seafood or Soup Entree):  Tilapia Fillets, Italian Herb Bread
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree): Sweet & Sour Chicken, Steamed Rice
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook): Mesquite BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Green Beans
  • Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  Leftovers, Family Preference, and Hosting

I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth).  It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned.  I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.

Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family.  On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home.  As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes.  If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).

As a family of four our life can get busy.  What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget.  Our family typically eats 6 to 7  dinner meals at home a week.  We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat.  Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family.  Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day.  Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends.  The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety.  We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.

Photo by Liz

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Jun 11 2015

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All Brina’s headbands, flowers, decorative hair ornaments organized and in one spot

A few months ago I showed you our  Easy DIY Headband Holder.  As you can see from the pictures on this post we are still using it.  It works very well for our girls.  Since they wear more than just headbands I wanted to find a solution that would help organize all the pretty, fluffy, and decorative hair ornaments they have as well.

My qualifications for getting these items organized:

  • Must assist in making these items more organized
  • Able to be hung in a visible location and still look nice
  • Easy to see, reach, and get access to the items when the kids need them
  • Reasonably priced organizer because I will need 2 (one in each of the kids room)
  • Something that we could hang near to the headbands (which were already hanging on the back of their closet doors).

It took me a little longer to find the perfect organizer for these items.  Part of the reason it took longer is I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for the decorative hair accessories.  I wasn’t in a rush so I just kept an eye out for ideas while in various stores.  One day when I was going through CVS the clearance section happened to catch my eye.  I paused for a moment and these little blue and black organizers were in the clearance section marked down to $1.*  After looking at them and thinking about them I decided to pick them up and see if I could make them work for the kids hair accessories.

It was exactly the type of item I was looking for and at a great price!  The organizer fit all the current hair accessories items I wanted to put in it plus had room for some extra ones too.  When I am on top of things (which doesn’t always happen) I will put the kids seasonal hair accessories in the extra pockets on the organizer too (ie. Christmas, July 4th, Halloween, etc… hair accessories during that specific season).

The organizer hangs on the back of the closet door where the kids can easily reach it.  It goes right under the Easy DIY Headband Holder  so everything is available in one spot.  The items are visible and easy to reach.  It meets all my qualifications for getting the kids hair accessories organized.  These have worked very well for our family!

*I tried to find these on the CVS website, but either they do not carry them online or they are not available.  You can look in your local store or I am sure there are other stores that carry a similar item.  This one on Amazon or something similar might work well too if you are looking for one.

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Looking down on the Easy DIY Headband Holder and Hair Accessory Organizer as it is hanging on the closet door

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Organized and ready to go!

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Jun 02 2015

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 Swimming at the pool

On a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia we stayed at the Homewood Suites.  The girls were begging to go swimming so on the first day we were there we wrapped up early and headed back to the hotel so they could swim.  It was in the high 70’s that day, however, they had just filled the pool a couple days before we arrived so the water was freezing cold.  Both kids got into the pool, but Brina was done after a few minutes.  Karlie stayed in a little longer, although it wasn’t much fun swimming by herself.  The entire time we were at the hotel we didn’t see one other person in the pool….I wonder why?!

Since we scrapped our pool time activity we decided to look for some other activities that we could do together that night.  We headed back to the room to re-group and figure out what we wanted to do that evening. While the girls got dressed Jake and I made dinner in the hotel room.  It was nice having one with a fridge, sink, dishwasher, microwave, and oven so we could eat at the hotel!

Jake found a movie theater nearby where you can get movie tickets for $3 each and they were showing some good kids movies so we decided to check it out.  It was only a few miles away inside a open shopping mall and market.  We chose to watch the movie Paddington with the girls at the Venture Theater

It was a cute movie.  I seriously cannot remember the last time our family went to the movie theater so this was a special treat for the kids.  Usually it is so expensive just to go to the movies so we usually wait until it comes out on video.  It was a nice activity for the four of us and only cost $12!  The kids enjoyed the movie.  Jake and I had a couple good laughs too.  Thankful for a fun evening with the family.  Sometimes even the best of plans don’t go as expected so it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B.

movie

Ready for the movie to start

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 Karlie is focused

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 Our kids typically don’t sleep in very late so one morning after breakfast we spent some time playing games until the place we were going to that day opened.  During the evenings after dinner if we had time and everyone wasn’t too tired we would play some card games too.  It’s always a good idea to bring card games because you never know when you’ll have a few minutes of down time to relax and have fun.

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Karlie relaxing on the couch at the hotel.

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 Brina setting up the game

Travel & Vacation - Atlanta Zoo, Atlanta, Georgia -P1130704c

It didn’t take them long to crash after a fun filled day in Atlanta!

The “Travel and Vacation” series is an insight into our trips together as a family and ways we relax.  Life is short and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to build memories with family and explore of of the most amazing places during our time away.  Explore with a good attitude, look for fun, and it will be an awesome trip jammed packed with positive memories.  It is refreshing having some time away from the regular routine.  Make it a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet new people and learn.  You just might see or try something new that takes your breath away!

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May 18 2015

Recipes - Pickled Green Beans - P1360121c

Making Pickled Green Beans

Our family loves green beans.  Fresh garden green beans are so tasty too!  We always planted a lot of green beans whenever we had a garden.  We typically had several varieties of beans from foot long beans to different types of green beans to purple beans and more.

Whenever we had extra green beans we would look for a variety of ways to store, eat, and enjoy them.  I recently came across our Pickled Green Bean recipe.  Since it is Spring I thought it would be a good time to share it.    These pickled green beans are crunchy and tasty!

Pickled Green Beans Recipe:

  • 2 pounds fresh Green Beans (rinsed)
  • 2 1/2 cups White Distilled Vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
  • 1 large bunch fresh Dill Weed
  • 2 teaspoons Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 6 Jars (1/2 pint each) with Rings and Lids

1.  Locate your jars and sterilize them.

2.  Trim both ends off the rinsed fresh green beans.  Make sure the green beans fit into your jars if not cut them in half.

3.  In a large saucepan put the vinegar, water, and salt.  Bring the mixture into a rolling boil over high heat.

4.  In each jar place 1 garlic clove, 1 sprig of dill, 1/8 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of Mustard Seeds.

5.  Pack the green beans into the jars, standing them up vertically.

6.  Ladle boiling mixture into the jars until it is 1/4 inch from the top.

7.  Put the lids on the jars and allow the jars and contents to cool to room temperature before placing them into the refrigerator.  Let the pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating the pickled green beans.

Makes 6 pint sized jars of Pickled Green Beans.

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Green Beans being pickled

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Everything added now need to put on the lids!

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Jars ready to be stored for later treats!

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