In serious need of some planning (and more stream of consciousness thoughts)

Brace yourself for some rambling!

I did a pretty good job of planning and prepping before our trip to Florida (If I do say so myself. Ha.), but ever since we got back, I really have not gotten myself into a good groove.

magic kingdom castle

(I promise I will tell you about our Disney trip soon!)

Zoe twirling

I really need to make a menu plan and do a decent grocery shopping trip instead of being quite so haphazard.  I mean, I’ve been cooking dinner, but because I don’t have a good plan in place, I’m spending way too much time figuring out what I’m going to make.

Must. Fix. This.

Vacations are really great, but (first world problem alert!!!!) I always feel like I’m playing serious catch-up when I come home.  I think next time we go away, I’m going to make more of an effort to have some post-vacation items already planned (like menus and music for church).


I haven’t started on the My Publisher book I mentioned the other day. I’m thinking maybe I will do a book with our Florida trip pictures because that would be pretty fast and easy.

girls jumping in waves

I have a shockingly small number of photos, though (for me!), because I didn’t carry my camera a lot of the time.

I did have my iPhone with me, though, so this book will be a mixture of iPhone and SLR photos.


The girls all finished their math before our FL trip, so the only math I have to deal with now is Joshua’s geometry.  And he’s down to the last ten lessons (oh, thank heavens!!), which means the end is in sight.

The girls just have to finish up their science and history, which is fine with me because I like history and science a lot more than math.

(Except when science involves a bunch of math.)


This picture makes me laugh.


The height difference between Joshua and our friends’ little two year old is pretty significant. ;)

I think it’s cute that she likes to hang out with him, and I also think it’s quite lovely that Joshua is good with her.  A lot of 14 year old guys are too cool for small children and I’m glad Joshua’s not that way.


I’m working on a 2014 summer bucket list, and I’ll share it with you guys once it’s done.

I’m not really a fan of super hot weather, but I AM SO EXCITED FOR SUMMER because of the free time it gives me.

Even though I can see the academic advantages, I will never be one of those homeschoolers who keeps it up through the summer.

N E V E R.

I would keel over from homeschooling burnout if I didn’t have those glorious three months off.


Lisey and Zoe and I got our hair cut yesterday ($40 total for all three of us, which is pretty good, I think!).  Joshua and Sonia are due for haircuts too, but I can do those haircuts myself.

(Here’s how I cut Sonia’s hair.)


Lisey and Zoe’s hair is so thick, I’m not up to the challenge.  But Sonia has a less full head of hair, so it’s a quick and easy job to give her a trim.

Cutting my girls’ hair doesn’t save me a ton of money because they need haircuts so infrequently.  Joshua wants a haircut about every four weeks, though, so I’m really glad I can cut his.

Monthly haircuts add up way faster than yearly ones!


Mr. FG’s car needs new front and rear brake pads.


This is not an unexpected expense, though.  Cars always require maintenance and repair…the question is just one of timing.

And that’s why we have a dedicated auto maintenance/repair savings account that we contribute to every month.  That way we’ve got the money available when things like this pop up.

(For those of you that are new to these parts, here’s how we use our targeted savings accounts to manage slightly unpredictable expenses.)

Ok.  That’s probably more than enough brain dump for one day!


  1. says

    We’ve done Disney twice and really enjoyed it both times — probably a bit more the first time than the second, just because the second was at spring break and it was *crowded.* Totally an upside of homeschooling if you can go whenever! It was not a particularly frugal experience, so I look forward to hearing how you handled it. But we still managed to be more frugal than a number of families I saw trotting around tons of Disney paraphernalia, hitting multiple gift stores per day. Phew!

    • Kristen says

      Yes! We purposely schedule our trip after Easter so that everyone would be sure to be done with spring break by then.

      You do have to spend a lot just to get into Disney, but we managed to not spend a lot more than our tickets. And of course I will blog about that. Ha.

  2. says

    I think the pic of the two girls going into the ocean is funny. It looks like in the distance a shark is heading in to photobomb them although I’m sure it’s a boat or something else

  3. says

    That looks like an awesome trip! I vividly remember my mom cutting my hair in the kitchen was I was a little girl. I think it’s a good memory to have–very frugal and can-do. Now my husband cuts our boys’ hair in the kitchen :-). (I am not bold enough to cut Mr FP’s hair. He is much too particular.)

    • Kristen says

      Same here. Mr. FG’s hair is completely and utterly straight, which means any mistakes are really, really noticeable. I’d cut his hair if we were completely destitute, but as long as we have money to pay someone, that is what we will do!

      • Amy says

        My husband likes his hair buzzed, so he usually does most of the work, and then I come in and clean up the spots that he can’t see (he’s got a neat swirl in the back that is tricky to cut) and straighten up the back of his neck. Of course we like it because it’s nearly free, but also because my husband works long and strange hours, and actually getting somewhere to get his hair cut is nearly impossible.

  4. Molly says

    Oh, cars.
    We moved on Monday (300 miles from our old place). So, about a month ago, my husband took our about-to-hit-100k car in for maintenance. Whoooooeeeee! That was a pricey visit. But I am SO grateful that a) we had the money, b) the maintenance on this car has actually been very minor, and c) we got it all done before we left, so we had our trusted mechanic instead of somebody new. Here’s hoping that giant check will keep our car going for a while!

  5. says

    Give yourself a break on not being in the groove of home yet. I find family vacations, while very fun, can also be very tiring. So much activity in such a short time span. Give yourself a pass on not having a game plan for the week in place before you left. It’ll all come together after a few days.
    We did a Disneyland trip last September. I’ve heard Disneyworld is a much more expensive vacation than Disneyland, so I’m looking forward to hearing how you made it a frugal one.

  6. Casey says

    I was thinking about the post-vacation grocery & meal issue. Maybe simply duplicating a previous week would be easy. I tend to reinvent the wheel but I just came back from Florida too and was in the same boat. I took longer than I wanted to shop because I had trouble finding time to make a good list. If I just used a meal plan from a previous week it would have been much much easier! Incidentally we just trimmed about the same length from my 3 year old’s hair. Tough pill to swallow but worth it! And Zoe looks supper cute :)

  7. Emily M says

    Car expenses are the worst! Nothing makes me feel more old than throwing money at a big dumb machine that’s just going to depreciate even more! :)

    On another note, the photo of Josh with the little lady is too cute. I’d bet homeschooling is an advantage in that regard, that kids don’t feel the same pressure to be cool.

    • Kristen says

      Yeah, I think not being age-segregated does help some in that regard…homeschooling by its nature tends to facilitate interaction with a wider range of age groups. (Although homeschooling is certainly not the only factor! I know there are some traditionally schooled teen guys who are also awesome with little kiddos).

  8. Casey Kelley says

    I can’t wait to hear about the Disney trip. I’m starting to plan a trip for 7 kids and its overwhelming.

  9. Jenessa says

    I just recently got back from vacation too. My vacation was very relaxing, but I haven’t gotten back into the swing of meal planning and grocery shopping yet. I did finally make a plan and a list, but the last couple evenings have been so busy I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store. So we have been making do with food from the freezer and pantry plus the few perishables we picked up on the way home. At least it is helping me clean out the freezer a bit.

  10. says

    So looking forward to your Disneyland write up. Pre-kids we visited Florida,but we haven’t taken the Kids to Disneyworld in the US. Although we’ve been to EuroDisney a few times. A magical experience for adults and kids. Just want to also give a huge thank you and shout out to ‘Give Kids The World’ (non-profit) that accommodates/hosts children with life-threatening illnesses at Disney. My Goddaughter recently had the opportunity to visit Disneyworld because of them.

    With you on taking a break in the Summer. Kids learn so much during their ‘free’ time. Books and schooling are so important, but so is unstructured learning and discovery. And boy, by Summer, don’t we all need a little downtime!

    • Ashley says

      Agreed Jo! My daughter selected her wish as Disney and it turned me into a lifelong Disney fan, something I was not prior to. We went when she was three years old. She has a condition called short gut syndrome. Give Kids The World actually brings in characters from Disney such as Mickey and Minnie because some children are so ill they cannot actually leave the resort. Give Kids The World is a truly magical place. There is a life sized Candy Land, a 24 hour ice cream bar, pizza delivered right to your door and a different themed activity every night. Santa vists one night, Halloween the next night, etc.

      Disney bent over backwards for us. We had tickets for all the Disney theme parks. We were granted immediate access to all characters and rides. My daughter was non verbal at the time and my husband and I still burst into tears when we recall when she met Minnie. She let out a squeal and Minnie held her tight. There is true magic to be had there and it really healed us as a family.

  11. says

    My husband just gave my daughter a mullet. Right when her hair was finally long enough on the sides to de-mullet. :( He didn’t realize you don’t cut the sides first like you do with our son’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *