It has been perfect garden weather the past week! Last Wednesday I checked the 10 day forecast and made sure we were not going to drop near freezing for awhile and then decided to go ahead and plant. I technically they say to wait until after Memorial Day, but I can never wait! And it has been awesome because the weather has been sunny and 70′s and low 80′s all week. Tonight we had our first rain and it was a nice soaking rain for about 15 minutes and then moved on out. Exactly what tender plants and fresh seedlings need. Here is what I planted:
- 2 rows beets
- 3 short rows lettuce
- 3 sweet pepper plants (hoping for a couple of more)
- 3 cucumbers (hoping for a couple of more)
- 2 long rows peas
- 16 tomato plants
- 6 long rows yellow wax beans
Still to plant:
- purple potatoes
- butternut squash
Have you planted your garden yet?
For some reason with 4 kids around all the time Kevin & I never really get a chance to talk to each other. Either we are interrupted by someone, or someone is listening in and all too interested in what we have to say. The week flies by and I feel like we haven’t really talked. It is too easy to let this happen!
The older the kids get the later they go to bed. In fact sports practices mean we are frequently both heading out in opposite directions around 9 pm to pick people up. By the time we get home and get everyone in bed we are collapsing there ourselves.
Enter our weekly coffee dates. Our very first date was at Starbucks so I guess you could say we have a soft spot for that place. At some point every weekend we leave the kids at home and head out for coffee. I get a frappuccino of some sort and Kevin gets a regular coffee. It costs us around $5 each week. We can stay as long or as short as we want. We talk about whatever we want – many times the kids – we plan for the week, and we reconnect. Totally worth the overpriced drinks!
Sometimes I feel like no matter what I do I can NOT get through to my kids. Nothing makes an impact, nothing changes, regardless of what they say or I do there is no improvement. And I feel like I have failed at parenting when that happens.
I am tired of being the mean mom who lectures all the time, who hounds the kids to do homework, who repeats the same things over and over because no one listens. But yet I don’t want to give up. If I throw my hands in the air and ignore the bad grades and the avoidance of studying and the missed assignments then how will they succeed in school and in life? I won’t and can’t do it for them, but if I quit trying to steer them in the right direction then I imagine things will really go downhill.
The kid that promised all A’s this semester after seeing how poor the report card was has started it off with a 40% on a quiz. Same old, same old. Nothing has changed. How can I movtivate them to do the right thing? To try their hardest? To do their best and not just do good enough for the moment? Some days I feel like I am beating my head against a wall and no one cares about the issues but me.
So the first 3 months of the year flew by. I thought I would update on how things are going.
- We paid cash for the third set of braces in January.
- I had saved over $400 towards a new furnace – but then we had an over $400 repair bill. So now we are back to nothing.
- The laptop is broken and needs to be replaced. The crunch is on to come up with the money, but do we go with a PC or a Mac?
- We are starting a replacement car fund. We haven’t decided yet how we will handle it when Michael gets his license in a little over a year, but a third car is in our future. Time to buckle down and start saving.
- College is 3 years away. Do you think it is too early to start saving for that too? ugh!!! Must come up with a plan!
- In light of the above – I really need to make more money. I am looking for a job in the schools but I don’t think anything will really open up until the fall.
How are you doing on your financial goals?
As of Friday the Emma’s level 7 gymnastics season is over. She had a great state meet and met all of her goals. She competed a new skill for the first time, she stayed on the beam and she had fun. It was a great day! Now we can count the ways in which we can save money for the next 6 months until the next season starts …
- no meet entry fees ($5-$20 a person)
- no traveling = minimum 1 tank of gas saved for each meet ($40-$60)
- no hotels ($50-$130 each night)
- no eating on the road ($15-$20)
- no Starbucks stops to get me home at night ($4)
I love that the girls are in gymnastics and I love watching Emma compete. But I feel like I am nickle & dimed to death during meet season. Emma competes 8-10 meets a year and Claire should start competing next year as well. That will be another 8-10 meets. I need to start saving now I think.
While it didn’t feel much like Easter yesterday I did go ahead and cook up the ham dinner I had planned. Kevin & I were feeling rather sick and Claire was still recovering a bit, but we ate some of it. And I have a ton of leftovers – which I wanted. Here is what we are eating this week (in no particular order):
- potato/ham au gratin, salad
- chicken of some kind, salad
- ham & cheese quesadillas, peas, applesauce
- pizza, veggies & hummus
- barbecue beef puffs, green beans, salad
- leftover ham dinner with all the sides
- spaghetti, salad
This week I am hoping to make homemade granola, peanut butter oat bites, homemade pretzels, and banana bread. Yum!
Time has gotten away from me lately. Life has been too busy. One more gymnastics meet and we are done for the season, so that will help. We have been traveling a lot more than in years past – and farther as well – s0 my weekends have been consumed. I am hoping that things will slow down and that I can find more time for blogging but honestly I think I have lost my passion for it. Since I blog for a few hours a day as my job, Getting Ahead has slowly been put on the back burner I guess.
We are still trying to “get ahead” though – aren’t we all? College and all the expenses that entail is looming larger and larger as Michael finishes his freshman year. Yes, I know it is 3 years away – but I am a planner and when it comes to something so huge how can you not plan and think about it long in advance? The kids are growing up too quickly and I have realized this year that in 10 years all the kids will be out of the house. That is a scary thought.
We headed on our vacation to Kentucky on Thursday but it was cut short by the stomach flu. We had a good time for the first half, but the second half were pretty bad. Maybe someday we will laugh about having 2 kids throwing up simultaneously in the back seat on the way home, but right now it is still too fresh. All I can say is thank goodness for ziploc bags. It was a long 6 hours to say the least.
I am planning my garden, trying to cook more from scratch, reduce my grocery budget and eat more locally all at the same time. I don’t think it is possible, but I am trying. We have decided not to participate in our beloved CSA this summer as I just can’t come up with the $550 needed to pay for it. I would rather save the money for the winter CSA when I can’t produce my own local foods myself. I have a big garden in the summer and there is a farmer’s market in town, so the CSA was kind of just a bonus. We will get more out of it in the winter I think.
That is it for now. I am planning a quarterly budget review for this week and really need to focus more on meal planning. I hope to get back into blogging, but honestly it will likely be sporadic. Thanks for reading!