So here’s a look behind the curtain, behind the fun, family Instagram feed. We have been on a spending spree for a few years. Spending what we had. Not putting anything away for later (besides some bare-bones retirement.)
We set a goal at the beginning of this year to have three months salary in the bank by the end of 2019. Enough so that if disaster strikes, we could be okay for a little bit.
We’re only two weeks in, but we have made some progress that we’re very proud of. We’ve stuck to our budget, we’ve eaten at home, we’ve consciously not spent money on frivolous things. We’ve put back our savings for the pay period. We’re celebrating tiny victories. If we can do it, anyone can.
It hasn’t been easy. It’s fun to spend money. It’s fun to not cook. But it sure feels good to be on track. Even if it is just for two weeks. We had to start somewhere. With God’s help and our determination, and barring disaster we’re going to meet our goal.
It was a day of purging (and thankfully not the stomach virus kind from earlier in the week.) My goals of getting the house really clean and somewhat organized are coming along slowly. It didn’t get this way in a day, so I can’t expect to set it right in a day. Small goals, small victories.
Since it got cooler outside, Jason made chicken noodle soup for dinner, with Sophie as sous chef. I forgot to buy shredded carrots, so after some attempts at shredding, we had some carrot peels, some carrot slices, and some mangled-up carrots in our soup. But it was so good and so perfect for the cold night. His recipe is below.
After supper, Jason broke out the laser tag (#santawin) and they played outside for a little bit while I finished putting some stuff away. It’s a huge hit and great exercise – Mama really needs to get into the game next time.
Today we had the unique experience of helping with tasks on a sheep farm. We were invited to visit Hog Creek Farm, home of Darold and Jeanette Furrer. When we arrived, Rafe went out with Darold to call the sheep to the gate, while the rest of us went with Will Brumbeloe, Jeanette’s son (and Jason’s coworker) to the pen. We dried the feeding troughs and spread the feed in preparation for the stampede that was coming.
We got the chance to see the sheep up close and hold some of the lambs, a few that were born just yesterday. They were so sweet! We heard about the daily workings of the farm, and how quickly the herd of 50 had grown since May, when they bought the sheep. We learned that they’re Katahdin sheep that don’t require shearing.
The kids also got to collect fresh eggs (and keep them) so we’ll be eating high on the … um hog, tomorrow morning.
We had such a fun family outing. Thank you so much to Will Brumbeloe and to the Furrers for the invitation and the kind hospitality.
Today the kids went back to school and the quiet got to me a little. I’m usually all for my (up to this year, quite limited) alone time. But I was, and am, feeling how quickly the time is passing and I have to admit, I was sad today at the prospect of my children being away more and more. Maybe it’s just hormones, maybe I’m getting old and it’s all hitting me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen the sun shining in what seems like months! But I tried to power through with my organization and cleaning list, because if I’m being completely real, this house is LONG overdue for a purge and a good deep cleaning.
I made some slow and steady progress getting things put away and cleaned up before I had to venture out into the real world, and of course, being busy fends off the sentimental blues for a little while.
As for the food and fitness goals for today, we had a delish casserole for dinner that was low carb, low sugar, and best of all, the kids beg for it. I describe it as a bacon cheeseburger pie with Brussels sprouts. I’m including the recipe with credit to dietdoctor.com and the writer below.
Keto Brussels and hamburger gratin
15 oz. ground beef
8 oz. bacon, diced
15 oz. Brussels sprouts, cut in halves (I cut them into quarters for easier bites for little kids -LB)
4 tbsp sour cream
2 oz. butter
51⁄3 oz. shredded cheese (tonight I used a mix of Mozzarella and Cheddar-LB)
We stayed on track. We’re gonna celebrate small victories. One of our goals is to cut way back on eating out/driving through, for budget and nutritional reasons. We had easy chicken and dumplings for dinner. Here’s the recipe, thanks to Maddie Suber Lepianka:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for added flavor – plus I got 6 thighs for $4.04 vs 6 breasts for $9.49)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can buttermilk biscuits, diced (I tried crescent rolls and they were also delicious)
Garlic powder, salt and pepper and onion powder to taste
Cover chicken and seasoning in water, boil until fully cooked. Remove chicken and set broth aside for later use.
Shred chicken with a fork, return to pot with the stock and add the cream of chicken soup.
Cook on medium for 15 minutes, then add diced biscuits. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are no longer doughy.
This served our family of 5 with a bowl leftover. We’re enjoying small children eating small portions for now. We know that won’t last!
Lori here. One of the main things on my list of changes to make was to end the evening with an empty sink and to prepare for the morning as much as possible the night before. Before the kids went to bed, I told them my intention and told them how they would be helping more with the dishes.
After they went to bed, Jason and I sat on the couch together and created our first post. Then I walked in the kitchen, filled the coffee pot with water and coffee with the plan to set the timer for morning. Without even realizing I had done it, I started the coffee brewing and walked out of the kitchen.
Jason insisted this be our second post. Laughing at ourselves is and will be one of the major parts of this blog. So here’s your first laugh. Please note, Jason is laughing more than me.
It’s the first day of the new year, and this is a new venture for us. Not because we have astounding things to say, but because we’re just like you. We struggle, we laugh, we cry, we fight, we love, and we know that there are others like us out there. This is our way to say, “You’re not alone.”
We are a family of five. Dad, mom and three kids under the age of twelve, with the requisite golden doodle who lives inside and a cat with an identity crisis who lives outside. We face each day with prayer, love for each other and a hope that we can make our world better. We make our way with much laughter, an occasional glass of wine and a boatload of sarcasm and bad puns.
Today was atypical, being a holiday, with no set time to get up. Less of the usual chaos than a regular day. But we did have time to sit and think about the last years, the friends and families: some new, some old, some gone; and to look forward to this next year where we hope to finally get ourselves together — which is the true purpose of this blog, to make ourselves accountable. This year, we have planned to get our finances, household and fitness in check. If you have suggestions, things that you’ve tried, things that have worked for you, things that you’d like to talk about, please share and discuss.
We’re sure that we’re not alone, and that’s why we’ve started this blog. Stay tuned.