Mucho randomness

The tail end of summer is roaring past me at ridiculous speed.

We opted to skip the ‘big’ fair this year– it costs so much!– but had a great time going to a church carnival on Saturday. They had 50-cent hot dogs, corn dogs, burgers, ice cream, snow cones and cotton candy, if you can believe it, plus free drinks and watermelon. We gave the kids 3 food coupons each and they had great fun eating their way around the place and hanging out with friends. There was also face painting, a bike demo, a car show, a Boy Scout rope bridge and other coolness. Good fun.

My tomatoes are finally coming on– got 9 quarts canned with the able assistance of the kids today. Hooray for them! I’ve done my fill of cucumbers already…might do a bit more relish later this week since my family really loves that. Am also planning to buy peaches this week for canning.

My $700/month pay-only-cash-for-groceries went well this month. I’m feeling like it is doable long term, tho I will definitely benefit from meal planning to keep it feeling easy and not tight. Sometimes I just fly by the seat of my pants with meals, which results in more trips to the store. Much better for the budget to have a plan. The other day I made 3 lasagnas, which felt like a nice accomplishment, and reminded me how nice it is to have prepped food in the freezer. I’m thinking of doing a major cooking day in the next week or two– make a bunch of casseroles, brown some burger, cook some chicken, so I’ll have a bunch of easy meals handy as we start school soon.

Speaking of school, this summer I had the kids continue to do a bit of math and reading all summer, and I really liked it. No one had the chance to forget things, and we definitely fit in learning, albeit at a more relaxed pace. This summer we’ve worked through a couple of the Little House books with the youngest girls, and I’ve so enjoyed it. This year I want to do more reading aloud TO the kids– interesting books that we’ll all enjoy. And having done some school all summer, I’m not dreading jumping back in like I often do near the end of the summer. It’s nice.

We’ll be butchering one of the cows at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to getting my freezer stocked again. John is wondering if we should just butcher both, to save on hay (and livestock hassle) this winter, but I really have no idea where we’d put two cows. When we butchered one a couple years ago, I had to borrow freezer space from my dear MIL, and I’m pretty darned sure she doesn’t have that much space… Am thinking maybe the butcher might rent us space? But I have no idea how much that might cost…

One final bit of news: I’ve been asked to speak at the Oklahoma state homeschool conventions next April. I’ll be leading 3 breakout sessions, which is pretty exciting. Among other things, I’ll be talking about grocery budgeting, streamlining your kitchen time, and prioritizing time when you’re homeschooling multiple children. Speaking of prioritizing time, I’m also trying to figure out how many of my Oklahoma friends I can meet up with while there. It should be really fun!


  1. When we had a cow butchered, we picked up an older upright freezer from craigslist for $30. It isn’t as cheap as a modern freezer would be to run but the increase in our electric isn’t significant and it provided the extra storage we needed.

  2. I don’t homeschool or live in OK but I live very close and most of my family and my best friend live there. If there is a meetup, it would be the perfect excuse to head that direction.

  3. Kimberlie says:

    Yeah for coming to Oklahoma! I was very interested in going to the conference down in Austin and it would have been a bonus to meet up with you there. However, we are adopting our 4th child (hope to travel early Dec) and as the Church Lady said, “it wouldn’t be prudent…” to spend the money right now to go down there. Because of bringing a school aged child home in the middle of the school year, needing time to bond, and also for some surgery, we are going to homeschool our newest family member next spring. So the OK conference will be coming at a good time. Are you going to just the Central OK conference or also the Eastern OK conference (we live in Eastern OK but can travel to OKC super easy if need be).

    Very much enjoyed your other randomness. Maybe you could consider selling shares of your second cow to friends and neighbors if you don’t have freezer room for both and don’t want the expense of renting freezer space.

    • Hi Kimberlie, I am speaking at both conferences, so it should be no problem to meet up, whichever conference you go to…
      Fun, fun!


  4. We managed to fit half a beef and a hog in our freezer, but it’s tight! I can’t imagine doing 2! I’m glad you’re so open about that on your blog too. Some people get so worked up about people
    butchering their own meat.

    I too am canning peaches this week and am just getting a few tomatoes. Not enough to can yet. I’ll be drying nectarines tomorrow. I don’t like them much canned.