Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June...a review....

Wow, what a whirlwind month! I can't believe we fit in all that we did in the month of June - 2 camping trips, VBS, extreme couponing and SEVERAL shopping trips, homeschool, and various other things. July looks to be just as busy, however, so no slowing down yet! I thought I'd share a little bit about each of these subjects and my favorite parts about them.

Camping trip #1: Eveleth Veteran's Park, Eveleth, MN. A nice small city-run park with about 30 campsites. We have gone there the last three years so that we can camp with some of my family members who live nearby. This year it was just my sister's family and my family camping -we had a joint birthday party for one of her boys and my son. It was good, and the weather was cool and sometimes a bit rainy but overall nice. Below is a pic of my kids and some of their cousins enjoying an afternoon at the beach. The water was too cold to swim in so they played in the sand and waded in the water.
Camping #2: Baker Park Reserve, Maple Plain, MN. A county run park just 20 minutes west of the twin cities. It's a beautiful park on a good-sized lake with two swimming beaches. I'm guessing there are well over 75 sites at this campground and is always very busy. This is our second year we stayed there because we really like it and it's a nice short distance (under an hour) from our home. This trip we spent with friends, and it was a good time despite the inclement weather. It rained almost two inches overnight the first night, and our friends' tent had lots of water in it by morning. This is a pic of the beach at sunset our first evening there. It was hot (92 degrees), and the kids had a great time swimming.

Vacation Bible School: This was the first year ever that my kids attended VBS. Up until this last year, we had been attending a small Bible church that didn't have enough kids to host something like that, so my kids were very excited to go. They had a blast. My daughter wants every day to be a VBS day now, and she's already looking forward to next year. I am so happy to see both of the kids' enthusiasm grow for the things of the Lord. This is my daughter's 4th grade class acting out a song at the parent's program on the last day.

Extreme couponing and shopping: In total for the month of June, I have saved an overall amount of $859.55. We bought more than just groceries and household items - Jeff needed new clothing but we only bought during BOGO or 50% off sales. We also did a lot of rebating at Menards and are still waiting for the rebate coupons to come in the mail. For actual groceries and household needs we saved $403.93, so almost half of the $859.55. We saved exactly 1/3rd off the total (if we were to pay full price) amount for the month! I'm pretty excited about that!

Homeschool: Our summer session of homeschool is a bit lighter than during the regular school year. We use different curriculum and do different things. The summer months bring gardening and kitchen basics, and we spend some time daily doing either one of them. As I mentioned before, I also am going to be adding in a money management class for the kids. We'll be starting it next Tuesday. I found some great books (here and here) that we're going to be reading through together, and then when we've read through both of them I will start having the kids help me with weekly planning for shopping trips (looking through ads, coupons, making lists, etc.). I saw other Larry Burkett books for kids when I was searching these to put up and I may consider them for next year's summer session to keep reinforcing the importance of godly stewardship. I am looking forward to helping my kids learn how to use their money wisely.

Other various things: During the month of June we also went to a classic car show, "Back to the 50's" held at the state fairground every year. My dad, brother, and nephew all have classic vehicles and have gone for the last several years. We met up with them again this year and wandered around the fairgrounds for several hours looking at classic cars. It's always a fun time.

Jeff had softball on Tuesday evenings during the month, and he has enjoyed that. We did go see him play at one game, but haven't had the chance to go again.

Overall, June was a good month. Busier than I anticipated, and these are just a few of the 'big' things we did. I hope your June was just as fun!

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