Sunday, September 30, 2012

We did it!!!

Our family has budgeted for years but as the family grew in size and busyness, it has been harder and harder for me to keep up with finances so we could know where we were in the budget.  I have used a variety of methods but the one that is hitting the ball out of the park is EEBA.  We just finished our 2nd month of using it and it has allowed both my husband and I to see where we are in the budget at any time.

So, what did we do?  Well, the 13th of this month, after 2 big grocery shopping trips, I realized that we had gone over our grocery budget some.  As a family, we made the decision that we were not going to spend any more grocery money in the month of September.  Today is the 30th and we did it!!!  We never went hungry or missed a meal.  There is even some meat and veggies left.  The hardest thing was fresh fruits and veggies so we used lots of frozen and jarred items.  I will confess that I made one trip to the grocery store for a container of half & half but my girls paid for it because they had left my last, mostly full, container on the counter all day so it soured!  Sorry, have to have my creamer for coffee!!

I am thankful it is a new month so we can try again and see if we can stay under the budget this time!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Fall Day

"Happy Fall day, Mama!" was how my 7 year old greeted me this morning.  She is so excited that it is now Fall.  I remember those days!  Unfortunately, I have learned that here in Florida even though the calendar may say fall it takes a few weeks for the weather to catch up!  Should be soon though according the forecast.  I can't wait to open up the windows!!

I have used the hint of fall as an excuse to get some work done outside.  The garden areas have been neglected due to the rain and flooding this summer but we are finally dry so the girls and I have been pulling weeds for the last week.  I also moved some of my knock out roses to other areas because they weren't receiving enough sun.  I then found some azaleas for $3 at my local Ace so I planted them along with some Asiatic Jasmine that will hopefully give some ground cover to help with the weeds.  There are also some hostas in that area.

 I also picked up some mums because it just isn't fall without them!  The girls and I also put out pine straw in the front beds as a mulch.  I think it fits living in the country.

Here is a hibiscus which has recovered so well from last winter that I hate to see it have to start over again next spring so I dug it up and put it in this pot. Now it can visit inside when the weather doesn't suit it's tropical needs.

I also dug up these guys which are also a jasmine.  I had planted them in front of the alarm for our septic system hoping to hide it some.  Instead they keep getting hidden by all the grass and weeds.  I moved them here and plan to get a trellis so they can hopefully help hide the garbage cans!

I had intended to work on our new veggie garden area but we are having problems with our mower and that is what pulls the plow.  Hubby did get the area mowed down some with the tractor.  Hopefully I can get to it early this week!

I'm wrapping up the day watching the Noles play Clemson and hoping they can pull out the win!! Happy Fall!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So here we are a week later after losing our second chicken.  Thankfully, the 2 remaining hens are still giving us eggs and hopefully, the Buffs will start laying soon.  Still aren't positive how many hens we have although I am pretty sure there is 3 but that is another story.

Now, did the tip we used on the dog work?  That is still to be seen but I will be working on training her more with the electronic collar as soon as we get the replacement charger.  Why a replacement one you ask?  Well, seems said pup was pretty smart and ate the part that plugs into the collar and remote.  I definitely know that I will not trust her in any way, shape or form with my chickens!!

On the lighter side, enjoy a video of the puppy chasing bubbles that the girls are chasing:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Things that go togther - Not!

Peanut butter and jelly, pen and paper, bacon and eggs - all things that go together.  Chickens and dogs - not so much!  Ever since our Lab puppy showed up on our porch, we have seen trouble on the horizon.  Tonight it came to a head in that one of our chickens, Oreo, died as the result of rough treatment by the Lab.  This is the second chicken we have lost in the past month. The first, Peanut, died most likely while we were out of town and at the mouth of a carnivore like a coyote or fox.  We found only enough evidence to confirm it had been our chicken and that she had been out at least a day as there was a broken egg nearby.  We are also missing a 3rd chicken but hope she is just hidden good for the evening.

Our chickens are in coops with fenced in run areas but the gate is a little iffy on how secure it is.  That will be fixed in the next few days.  We are also giving a training tip that we read about on line a try so if it works, I will share about it.  If this happens again, there will be no grace and the dog will have to go.  Not an easy decision but the chickens are an investment.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

God cares

My oldest daughter entered the work force about 1.5 years ago. She was able to get on at a local grocery store with the help for a fellow church member. I was a little concerned about if she would be able to handle her school load along with working but it turned out to be for naught. She usually was scheduled between 10 to 15 hours which was okay. It has allowed her to cover her bills (insurance and gas) along with some extra but it wasn't been enough to start really saving for things like a car and education. Lately, after the company was bought by another company, the hours have gotten worse like the 5.5 hours this week.

Therefore, oldest daughter, with the prompting of Mom, began searching for another job. Her first stop was a local restaurant, which was recently in the news, where she has friends who we hoped would be able to put in a good word. Unfortunately, she learned this week that her age is prohibitive of getting hired there right now as the jobs they have vacant aren't an area she can work in legally. So then she looked to the retail world and spent an hour filling out an application on-line only to be told at the end that she didn't fit what the employer was looking for so the application wasn't even forwarded to them. Very upsetting that she had to waste time in that way.

 I have been working on turning to prayer more, even in the little things because I believe God cares about every part of our lives. He has assured me of that the last 2 days as He has allowed my daughter to have 2 babysitting jobs with the possibility of more in the future. I am reminded that He can answer prayers in ways we don't think of.

 "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6:26

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

Do you know the history of Labor day?  I have to admit I didn't have a clue but a post on Facebook got me curious. has an article about the day.  What I like is it celebrates the American worker and my husband is definitely a hard worker.  I am glad he got to enjoy a day of relaxation with his family!

We started the morning with yummy homemade doughnuts.  I had been wanting to try baking doughnuts but not willing to pay the price for the pans.  When I was in a Ross the other day and found the pans marked down to $6.99, I decided it was finally time for me to buy them!  They worked great and the doughnuts had a great flavor.  I found the recipe through Pinterest which led me to here.
After breakfast, hubby and I worked outside. He used his tractor to try and dig some trenches to help with our flood problem and I cleaned out in the chicken coops. We then relaxed while waiting for some friends who were visiting from out of town to come by. Hubby and I then took a grocery shopping trip together which made it extra enjoyable for me. After dinner, it was time to work on getting ready for a busy week with debate and speech on Tuesday and then the first day of science co-op for Puddin on Thursday.

I hope your day celebrating American workers was as relaxing and enjoyable!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Been a looong time

It has been over 3 years but I am back.  I have desired blogging again many times but just haven't done it.  Today, I spent an hour or two saving 60 pages of posts from my previous blog (I can't believe it was still on-line!) and while reading through the things I had wrote, I really desired to get back started so here I am.  I cleaned up the place, did some redecorating and am ready to go. 

Now, what has taken place since April 2009?  In a nutshell, much!!  We finally sold our house in August of 2009, spent the next year finding land and building a house.  You can read about that adventure here.  We have been settled in for 2 years this weekend, in fact!  We have added 9 chickens to our "farm" along with a bunny and black lab puppy.  We are still working on the garden after it was flooded out this summer by TS Debby.  It will need to be moved up closer to the house where it is a little drier.  We are currently waiting to dry up so we can work on that.

As for schooling, we are continuing on.  My oldest, Kemie (formerly known as Eldest), is dual enrolled at the local college and will be graduating this spring.  She has been driving for over a year and works at a local grocery store.  Victoria (formerly known as Longlegged girl) is possibly going to dual enroll in the spring and is learning to drive.  Hannah (Twin 1) and Abigail (Twin 2) are in high school level now.  The older girls are all doing speech through our local club and the NCFCA while Victoria is debating for the second year and Kemie is going to give it a try her last year.  They are debating Lincoln/Douglas style.  The youngest, Puddin, is now in 2nd grade and enjoying a small co-op at our church for science.

As for me, I am busy keeping everyone on track, leading the co-op, being the speech coach and just basically keeping the Mahan machine running.

You are hopefully caught up and will desire to continue following our adventures.  Check out the sidebar for ways to do that.  Until later (but not too long)!