Monday, September 30, 2019

September Goal Recap

It's hard to believe that September is done as of today!  We've had a super busy month with swimming while we still could, field trips, a family fun day, and, well, school.  The weather cooled off which always makes me want to do things :-) 

Here's the recap of what was accomplished in September - I feel good about what was done! 

1. Finances - I'm working on sticking to a budget this month that includes getting the bills paid (of course) and then saving for other things that are coming up in the next 3-4 months (Like birthdays and Christmas) It was perfect, but I really worked hard on not spending unplanned money, not eating out (as much), and tracking everything.  I'm ready for October (on paper at least) and hope to do even better. 
2. Menu planning - my goal this month is to be intentional about menu planning.  Planning meals that we enjoy, keeping the grocery budget in line,  not running to the store multiple times in a week and not eating out on nights where it is easier than cooking. We've done really well at eating at home.  I've also done really well and planning and not needing to make extra trips to the store! 
3. Deep clean the bathroom and also update the art on the walls. This is done!!  I also "deep cleaned" the living room, dining room, and master bedroom. HA!  Cooler weather gives me energy! 
4. Create and tweak our school schedule this month.  I always start out the month with ideas I want to implement but those ideas have to be tweaked throughout this first month of school. We seem to already have a good routine that makes it easy for all of us to get school done. 
5. Another school goal is to help the boys be more independent in their online classes.  The "easiest" class to do that in is math so my September goal is to have them doing their math lessons by themselves by the end of the month.  Why? Because the more independent they are, the more they can direct their time.  For example, if one boy wants to start his lessons at 8;00 AM and get everything done by 11:00 - they have to do it independently.  If I have to do all subjects with both of them, they have to rely on my schedule to get work done. This is a true work in progress.  Fifth grade is introducing lots of new concepts so Josh still needs help; Nate has been able to do more on his own.  What we have tried to do is figure out what they CAN do on their own; then I schedule my time to sit with them.  That seems to be working! 
6. Camp - we have a camping trip scheduled.  I need to plan the details, pack, load and go! We had to cancel our camping trip for various reasons but we did spend a day out as family; ending up at the beach. 
7. Look for other fun, inexpensive, things we can do as a family.  I use facebook to help me by clicking "interested" on lots of activities that pop up so I can remember them later! We've done a few things - my family members are home bodies so sometimes, just staying home makes them happy !! 
8. Read.  It's time to get back to reading.  I need to go back to my challenge of years ago and pick out 4-6 books I want to read each month and post about it! I did get through two books this month, I believe.  It helped once I got my contacts fixed since now I can see :-)  
9. Update my holiday journal and also read through the items for Thanksgiving and Christmas from last year so I'm prepared! I finally did this yesterday! 
10. Get Halloween costumes for the boys Done!
11. Purchase Josh's Birthday Presents this month.  This is always a stretch but I'm hoping I can accomplish this.I have all but one purchased and I should be able to pick that up by the end of the week. 
12. Follow the flylady schedule I have weekly.This I did not do. 
13. Scrapbook - I'd like to finish 2015 - I just have December to finish so it is doable if I take time to scrapbook this month! I did it!  2015 is done!!! 
14. Scrapbook - I'd like to spend 2-3 hours a week scrapbooking.  With football season coming, I'm thinking I can scrapbook on Sunday afternoons while watching football . . . but sometimes, Sunday afternoons are my do nothing times - so we will see! There's a scrapbook weekend in October I'm hoping to attend so I need to register for that soon! I did scrapbook for more than 3 hours!  I decided not to sign up for the weekend; I can set up at home and get just as much done in my PJ's! 
15. Bake.  Breads, fun desserts, cookies.  Just one little thing a week. I baked a blueberry and apple crisp - both new recipes. 
16. Clean out my truck - once swimming has wrapped up, I will need to clean out the summer stuff and make sure it is ready for winter. This is on the plan for this coming week.  
17. Sort the photos I ordered several months ago and see what I need to order next.  Order at the end of the month.Done!  
18. Have the boys try on all of their fall/winter clothes and see what we need.  I automatically know that they both need boots HA! We are still wearing shorts so I have not done this yet 
19. Plan out the topic/class I want to teach next semester at our co-op.I've picked out my ideas (actually about 3 of them) and now I just need to do some more research and make a decision. 

So, over all, it was a great month for goals!!! 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Weekly Worship - Matthew West - The God Who Stays

This is another Facebook find.  I enjoy Matthew West's music but this is a song I had not heard before and I'm so glad that someone shared it!  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Our Week in Photos #36

We had a great week!  Here's a look at in photos!

On Saturday, we were able to spend time with my brother, Kel and sister-in-law, Deb at my mom's.  We celebrated their Birthdays with some amazing Blueberry Pie! 

 We then went to the campground for their trick-or-treating!  I don't like to give away the boys costumes until we get closer to Halloween.  It was fun because Kel and Deb got to walk around with Josh and Nate. 

After that, the boys and I stuck around and went through the Haunted House and rode the Haunted Wagon Ride.  

On Sunday, we went to church and then watched Football at my mom's together with Kel and Deb.  It was great to just be with family for the day. 

Monday - Darryl had to have a procedure on his ear drum so he and I got to spend some time in Grand Rapids together all day.  It was actually  a nice date day.

Tuesday - We were supposed to go camping but due to issues with Darryl's ear that he is dealing with we decided that would should cancel and instead took off for the day as a family. 

 Our day started by playing the "Left/Right" game.  Basically you turn left at the first road, right on the next one and so on.  We set a timer for an hour and did just that!  We drove down roads we have never been on and saw some beautiful scenery!  Amazingly, we ended up at Fallsburg Park and got to see the covered bridge!  

 A very nice couple stopped and offered to take our photo.  She said her husband saw us and wanted to offer!  
After the timer went off, Josh then wanted to pick a restaurant for lunch that we had never eaten at so he asked google maps. "Restaurants near me" and found BC Pizza.  It was perfect!  It has a great lunch buffet and we plan to go back! 

From there we headed to our favorite place - Muskegon State Park.  Yes, the boys really went into the very cold water and had a blast in the waves (don't worry, they weren't allowed to go out past their knees!) Darryl and I enjoyed sitting on the beach, listening to the waves.  I think we sat there for two hours. 
Finally, we headed to Bernie O's.  Our favorite Pizza Place.  Now, truth be told, Darryl and I weren't feeling "pizza" but the kids were planning on stopping so we did!  We tried the wings, fries and onion rings - all of which were super good! 

The rest of the week was quiet.  Wednesday and Thursday we did lots of schooling.  Friday, our Co-op was cancelled so we stayed home and just had a quiet day at home.  

Looking ahead, I think we have another fairly quiet week coming too!  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Weekly Menu

We had a great weekend with my brother and sister-in-law!  We did not end up going camping but we did do some fun things on Tuesday and kept the rest of our week simple.  I've been avoiding the grocery store because our local Meijer just did a complete overhaul of their grocery area and everything has moved.  I know when I do a big shopping trip it will take a lot of searching and back tracking to find what I need!  I can only put it off for so long though!

Here's the plan for the coming week:

Friday - My mom is coming for dinner.  I'm going to make Chicken and Dumplings and Apple Crisp.

Saturday - The Beset Authentic Beef Enchiladas.  I have a fabulous Chicken Enchilada recipe but not a Beef Enchilada recipe - I'm hoping that this one is super tasty!  Salad and Beans.

Sunday - Zuppa Tuscana (one of our favorites!) and French Bread

Monday - Tacos.  We are always "two ships passing in the night" so Tacos are an easy meal to eat at different times.

Tuesday - We have various things going on today which means I won't be home much.  I'm going to just plan leftovers - Enchiladas, Soup, and Tacos.

Wednesday - My mom takes the boys to AWANA now so, honestly, I usually grab something.  Sometimes with Darryl if he is home otherwise I just treat myself to something simple - Subway, Taco Bell, or whatever I have a coupon for!

Thursday - We are trying a new soup recipe tonight - Crack Chicken and Rice Soup.  It sounds really good and is different than other soup recipes that I currently have as favorites.  My kids are not big soup eaters (especially when they have "weird" things in them so I try to keep good old Chicken Noodle on hand.  At least one of my kids will eat that :-)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Weekly Worship -- Jesus is Mine - Jordan Kauflin & Matt Merker

A friend of mine shared this on their facebook page - it's such a pretty song and so simple.  I've never heard it before - I love new music :-)

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Our Week in Photos #35

We had a super busy, super fun week!

 On Sunday my brother and sister-in-law, Kel and Deb, made a quick stop at Biggby's to meet us for coffee . .. well, actually to pick up a double stroller to take to my nephew and family :-)  We always love meeting up for coffee though! 

 On Monday, it was warm enough to swim so, we did!  We had to squeeze it in in between my mom's haircut and some school testing but we wanted to swim!  (Josh did actually get in a after I put my camera away!)  We love the pool (or at least I love the pool!! ) 

 On Tuesday we went on a field trip to a fairly local Cider Mill/Orchard.  It also has the most amazing petting ZOO with some awesome animals.  Oh, and I asked the boys for nice smiles and that face is what Josh gave me HA! 

 My mom, Nate and I ended our evening by going swimming - we only lasted about 45 minutes though - once the sun goes down, it gets chilly (even for me!)

Wednesday - Nate had some testing, our friends had a 1/2 day so we went to the pool for about an hour and a half!  It was a great day for swimming!  The boys then had piano lessons AND AWANA started on Wednesday night!  It was a super busy, fun day!

 On Thursday we had our annual field trip to Uncle John's Cider Mill with Connections Academy.  The boys got to meet their teachers and see some friends.  The weather was perfect.  (One year we went, met the teachers and left because it was raining; Another year we went, met teachers, suffered through the corn maze and left because it was 95 degrees and humid!) 

 The boys were interviewed for a TV segment.  When it airs I'll have to try and share a link!

 There just happened to be a sunflower field there so I finally got our annual sun flower photos -  I was sure I had miss our photo op since our local field was plowed under in August. 

 We ended Thursday at ANOTHER field trip to see a Ninja Warrior!  It was so cool and the boys got to run a small Ninja course three different times. 

(In case you were wondering, the boys were SUPER sore on Friday HA!) 

Speaking of Friday - we had Friday school! 

This was one of our busiest weeks of the fall.  As we start moving towards October and the colder months, things slow down and most of what we do will be . . .School!!!! 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Weekly Menu - One last camping trip

When we camped last time, we decided to squeeze one last camping trip in this summer and it really was "squeezing" it in around lots of things.  Not to mention my brother Kel and sister-in-law Deb will be in town AND it is Halloween Weekend at the campground!  So, busy, busy, busy!

Friday - Stuffed Shells - a carry over from last week.

Saturday - My mom is cooking because my brother and sister-in-law are in town.  I hear we are having Ribs.

Sunday - Again, my mom is cooking - this time I hear it is steaks on the grill!

Monday - Tacos!  :-)

Tuesday - We are camping!!!  After unloading and setting up, we are going to get our favorite pizza from Bernie O's Pizza!

Wednesday - Camping!  Steak Kabobs, baked potatoes, and salad

Thursday - We are coming home from camping!  Corn Dogs in the freezer for a quick dinner!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Our Week in photo #34

I totally missed last week!  As I mentioned previously, we got sick in this house with a crazy cold so I was out of it all weekend!  I'll catch up today though!

We started school on Tuesday, September 3rd.  Hard to believe we have a 4th and 5th grader!  Normally we go swimming the first day of school but the weather did not cooperate!  The boys also returned to piano lessons and we managed to squeeze in about 15 minutes at the park for something fun on the first day!



 On Wednesday, September 4th the boys both got braces.

 Joshua's smile "before" 
 Nate's smile "before" 
 Josh's smile "after" 
 Nate's smile "after" 

On Friday, September 6th we started Friday School!  It was a busy day so I didn't get many photos but I did get this one! 
 The boys are excited to be back with their friends! 

Apparently I didn't take photos this week HA!  Oh well.  This was our second week of Friday School! 
 Josh's "school" photo - 5th grade
 Nate's "school photo" - 4th grade