Saturday, May 16, 2009

Morel Mushrooms!!

Saturday night is normally taco night in my house.  It is cheap, reliable and easy.  However, we had a change of menu this evening.  My husband found morel mushrooms while on a camping trip this weekend.  Pictures of these treasure will be uploaded soon!   He found 7 ounces of mushrooms.  They were perfect.  Because we had this seasonal treasure, for free, we decided to splurge and have tenderloin tonight.  

For those of you who have not had morels, you are missing on a fantastic treat.  Really.  My husband and I look forward to morel season every year.  Occasionally we find wild morels, but often, we have to buy them.  They are not cheap, they run at about $40/lb.  Of course we NEVER buy more than 2-3 oz, just enough to saute and add to a steak.  So, you can imagine our excitement when 7 ounces were available to us for free!!  Does the cost of the steak cancel out the frugality of the mushrooms?  If so, I don't care.  Life is short and I am generally very cheap.  Sometimes it is okay to live a little and sit down to a great meal, which I had tonight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sigh! My kids are getting older!

Tonight I went to Middle School orientation at the school my son will be going to in the fall.  Yes, yes I talk about how fast the kids are growing up.  I am well aware of how quickly it all goes by. Today it hit me especially hard though.  I don't know why?  I can guess that it is because I was anticipating the orientation that I needed to go to this evening.

Alec is my oldest.  It feels like his entrance into middle school signifies to me that we are leaving behind his childhood and entering the unknown world of adolescence.  We see signs of puberty rearing it's ugly head occasionally.  An eye roll or an attempt to swear by saying "Oh Crap!" is not uncommon.  He is testing his limits and proving to us all that he will eventually become a sullen teenager.  But, 90% of the time, he is still a little kid.  He hugs me, he likes me to read to him sometimes, I find him playing with action figures (friends of mine, don't tell your children that please) and he still likes to watch cartoons.  He is still a little kid.  Will his entrance into middle school rob me of my little boy?   I think so, and that is normal and fine.  I will be okay when the time comes.  I just wish that I had a little more time with him as a little kid.  I am finding that it may be harder for me to let go than I had previously believed.

Upon further reflection though I know what else is bothering me.  My children are getting older and they are taking me with them!  Yes, I am getting older too.  No, I am not old.  I am only 38, but the years are rolling by and having children really makes those years roll by faster. It is getting harder to take off the extra baby weight (okay, she is not a baby, after 7 years I should just call it fat)  Sometimes I look at old pictures off all 3 of my children, the event I maybe looking at might be 4 or 5 years old, but it seems like last week.  

I guess I have to ask myself, what is the issue I have with my son going to middle school?  My children getting older or me getting older?  I guess it is probably both and that is fine.  Better yet, maybe I am in the throws of a major mid life crisis?  What I do know is that I had better get a handle on my emotions before September 2.  I have been put on notice, I will not be walking Alec to the bus on the first day of school.  No exceptions.  I have to ask the other moms out there this question though.  Is it okay to spy on him from the end of the drive way that first day?  I have 4 months to figure out the answer to that question.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Frugal Travel

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about our summer plans.  It was my intention when writing that blog that we would forgo summer travel because of the economy.  After further consideration, my husband and I did decide to take a vacation after all.  We are going to travel to Western Massachusetts for a week.  This trip came out of the blue and we are leaving in 4 weeks already. Yikes!!

The decision to make this vacation was made for a couple of reasons.  First of all, when we got married, my parents gave us a timeshare that they had purchased in the early 1980's.  The week of our timeshare is the first week of January and only sleeps 4 people (we are a family of 5).  This time proves to be difficult for us because of the kids going back to school after Christmas, and, we can't all stay in the resort.  So, we always "bank" the time with the intention of using the time later.  Well, we are not always good about using the time wisely, frequently we find ourselves in a use it or lose it scenario, which we found ourselves in Friday.  We had all wanted to go to the East Coast, so I told the operator we will take anything on the East Coast in the second week of June.  We find ourselves booked to go to Massachusetts.  This exchange is going to cost us $189 for board for the entire week.  We are going to be provided with a full kitchen, so we can do our own cooking, saving a lot on groceries.  The bulk of our vacation bill will be the gas to get to the East Coast from Wisconsin.  I am optimistic that gas prices will not go as high as they did last summer.

The second reason we decided to take this vacation is that we wanted to spend time with our kids.  I have said so many times that they are growing up so fast.  I don't want to let a minute pass us by.  We are fortunate to have access to an affordable vacation, we need to take advantage of it.  Our time together on this trip will not  be spent in expensive tourist destinations.  It will be spent enjoying time together exploring an area of the country none of us have ever been to.  I think that time will be priceless, I can't wait!

I look forward to keeping a journal of our vacation.  I will of course document what we did, but, I also know that I will keep a strict budget and account for every dime we spend.  I am frugal after all.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I am a lucky woman!  My husband and children went above and beyond the call of duty today.  I woke up to a breakfast, made from scratch, by my wonderful husband.  He made me crepes with berries and homemade whipped cream, veggie sausage, orange juice and coffee.  It was a breakfast fit for a queen and thankfully not served to me in bed.  I don't know what woman likes eating in bed, but I am not one of them.

I received beautiful homemade gifts and cards made for me, with love, from my children.  Thanks kids, you are the best!!  My husband gave me the requisite flowers, which I love and appreciate.

Since today was my day to pick a family activity, I picked the unthinkable, we went to a movie.No not necessarily in the budget, but cheaper than eating a meal out (I think).  We went to Star Trek, surprisingly my choice, I am generally not a sci fi fan, but I heard good things.  I am glad I chose it, we had a good time, my husband and son loved, as did I.  My daughters, not so much.  I believe I heard the words boring, longest movie ever, lots of choking and "they sure did beat up Kirk a lot".  I pointed out to the girls that I have sat through more teeny bopper movies than any 30 something woman should be allowed, so their opinion meant very little to me.  I of course said it in a much nicer way, but, that was the general message.

My husband ended the evening by making me an authentic Italian dinner.  Bread soup, Chicken Parmesan and Caprice Salad.  It was a wonderful Mother's Day.

I hope to get back to more consistent blogging in the next couple of weeks, when my kids schedules are not so demanding.