Monday, March 28, 2016

Our Lord Has Risen Indeed - Happy Easter!!!

A simple mostly homemade Easter celebration!

Happy Easter, Y'all!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Last Weeks Frugal Accomplishments

March 20-26

Monday:  I served bran muffins, eggs and oranges for breakfast.  I used powdered milk and eggs gifted by my hens in the preparation of the muffins.  To accompany the muffins I put out a multitude of jams from the food storage pantry, home canned jams.  I used bacon drippings to cook the eggs.

I put some of the egg shells in a flower bed and the rest will be given back to the hens.

Bishop went to his apprenticeship with the baker/caterer.  It's such a blessing!

Tuesday:  The frugal highlight of the day would be a free movie and lecture.  Our local independent movie theater had a free viewing of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey which was followed by a lecture/discussion led by an astrophysicist.  Maceo was definitely game for this as this movie is his favorite and he has a particular fascination with astrophysics.

Wednesday:  I prepared lessons for science and history group and only paid seventy-two cents for all that would be done.  I did have to make copies of some worksheets.

Between the groups we had lunch at the park.  The sunshine and fresh air were free and lunch really didn't cost much more.  Bishop and I were blessed by our friend with Thai Peanut Wraps and chips.  Another friend brought bottled water.  I brought oranges and apples (you know, those really inexpensive ones that I picked up at Aldi about a week ago).

Maceo doesn't attend science and history groups with Bishop and I so he was home alone for lunch.  Today I left him a coupon that I had received for a free burrito from Chipotle.  He did, in fact, have that burrito and it was, in fact, absolutely free even though he added guacamole to it.

I had purchased some tomatoes from Aldi at a great price about a week ago.  They were really ripe and needed to be used so I made a roasted salsa.  I decided to work dinner around that salsa and opted to make chicken quesadillas.  Yum!

I also found that three avocados had ripened and needed to be used so I made some guacamole.  Delicious!

I purchased four dozen eggs that were on sale for ninety-nine cents a dozen.

While watching some tv shows that I had recorded I rolled more of my change.  While searching for more coin wraps I found a bag of coins that I had stashed so I ended up rolling $170.50.  I still have a bunch of quarters but I have to purchase more coin wrapping supplies first.

Thursday:  Bishop spent three hours helping a friend and fellow scout with his Eagle Scout project.  While he was doing that another scout mom and myself went to Taco Bell for a treat to accompany our great conversation.  I had some of those cinnabon treats for $1 and they were fantastic.  Fantastic and cheap.

Afterwards I made a really great posole for dinner.  I had purchased some pork stew meat at a significant discount that I used in the soup and every other ingredient was found in my food storage pantry.

I spent the evening giving some serious thought to our upcoming Easter feast, checking to see what we had on hand and making a shopping list.
I will make ham with peach chutney  (I thought I had a ham in the freezer but I couldn't find it so that goes on my shopping list.  I do, however, have all the ingredients for the peach chutney.  I will use canned peaches that I brought home from the food pantry because it had recently expired and we couldn't give it out.  Here is the recipe that I intend on using:
I will also serve mashed potatoes and gravy and some sort of vegetable that will be determined when I see what is on sale - asparagus?  brussel sprouts?  green beans?
I will make a slew of deviled eggs.  Those four dozen eggs will come in handy here.
I will either make potato rolls (yeast goes on the shopping list) or I will serve crescent rolls which I already have on hand.
For dessert I will serve cream cheese pie.  If I make my own graham cracker crust I have everything on hand although I may buy a crust as they are rather cheap.

I also gave some thought to what could go in their Easter baskets.  I know that I have some fun socks for them up in the stash of gifts.  Otherwise, I might make and package bunny shaped frosted sugar cookies (I have sugar cookie dough in the freezer) or possibly these white trash bars which I have all the ingredients for ( or these peanut butter truffle brownies ( which again I have all the ingredients for.  I also intend to make these bunny cupcakes baked in small canning jars ( and homemade candles.

Friday:  I did my grocery shopping at Aldi (always a frugal decision).  I also went by Hobby Lobby to buy some candy molds and wicks.  I used a 40% off coupons.

Upon returning home I did some candle and chocolate making - gifts for the boys Easter baskets.

Saturday:  Today was a fabulously frugal day.  I was able to see two stage productions, Willy Wonka kids and Sister Act, for free by volunteering to usher.

Then, upon returning home, I made more progress on Easter dinner and baskets.  I have been working on some chocolates for the boys.  I don't really know what I am doing, just winging it, but I am convinced that this is something I could learn to do and I think they would be great gifts throughout the year.

I know that a big transition is impending and it is likely that it will take a rather large toll financially so, while making the candles and chocolates, I have been thinking of how I can prepare for that time.  I have been thinking about what supplies and such would be great to have on hand to make things a little easier during those tough times.  Planning will ensue.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lifestyle of Learning 2016 Edition: Volume Five

March 6-19
So, what have we been up to the last couple of weeks?

Bishop joined his scout troop on a tour of our public safety facilities.  It was super cool.  It is a state of the art building with over one million dollars worth of technology, kevlar reinforced walls and built to withstand a F5 tornado.  It houses 911 dispatch for our county and is where authorities meet during emergency situations.

Bishop also had scouts where he helped plan a campout and did some team building exercises.

Bishop continued with his pottery lessons.  He logged 7 1/4 hours in the studio.  He is actively learning new techniques and is experimenting with new ideas as well.

After closing the production of Aladdin Jr. Maceo had every intention of taking a break; however, when the directors of the new production found themselves short a cast member they requested Maceo come in and audition for a role.  He and three other guys auditioned.  It was a fun audition process.  He was not cast so he does still get to rest.

Bishop put in four hours at the food pantry.
And, for some reason, he always feels compelled to make a tower of cans.

We had the opportunity to see civics in action.  There was a special program at Ted Cruz' local headquarters that was intended to instruct homeschoolers on how citizens can be involved in the political process.  We witnessed kids making phone calls for Cruz and had the opportunity to participate but opted not to.

I voted in the primaries...
and of course we have had a great deal of conversation relating to politics, hours upon hours of conversation.
One evening Bishop and I had an amazing time attending a STOMP concert.  It was truly inspirational!

Not all of the accompanying photos are quality but I do like to share Bishop's culinary adventures.  One evening he he got a hankerin' to try his hand at frying pickles.  They were a success.  He also fried up some jalapenos to be used on our barbecued pulled chicken grilled cheese sandwiches.  After he finished frying the pickles and jalapenos he took the remaining breading and such and created little fried balls of goodness.  They are difficult to explain but were my favs.
He also helped Dad make a hamburger/hot dog smorgasbord.  He created a "slaw" of sorts to put on the hot dogs and I thought it was really fantastic.  He is incredibly clever culinarily.

In science group we continued to examine the nervous system.  This week we looked at the anatomy of the brain.  Bishop can identify the parts of the brain including the four lobes of the cerebrum.  We created these cool brain hats and did some hands-on activities that required them to label the parts of the brain.  We also did a test that allowed us to assess if we are right or left brained and we explored the stroop effect.

In history group we examined the three branches of government and their responsibilities.  We briefly discussed characteristics of good leadership and the role that worldviews play in one's leadership and in politics.

Bishop did a lot of long boarding and is doing pushups and sit-ups routinely.  Although he isn't doing these activities for the merit badge he will add these to his fitness log in an attempt to earn the personal fitness merit badge.
Maceo continued with vocal lessons and is preparing for a youthfest performance.  He went to troupe, improv and ppt acting.  Bishop has continued with his art and is now exploring marker graffiti art and has watched FaceOff.  We all went to church.  Maceo hung out with friends on multiple occasions and Bishop as well.
And, of course, there are the countless hours pursuing individual pursuits - the podcasts, jazz music, movies, videos and books.