Had a GREAT soup for dinner last night!
Sausage & Kale Lentil Stew Recipe
This weekend we worked on our Christmas Giving.
Saturday we did a Giving Tree sort. This picture is a small fraction of what was sorted. This charity caters to sick and grieving families. It was the first time we volunteered for the sorting, and it was kind of mind blowing to see all those toys crammed into one building. (Lots of toys and bikes and clothing).
We always take my Christmas bonus ($200) and take $50 each to donate. The kids are both choosing the animal shelter this year. I will probably give $50 to the food bank. (We will do this regardless if I get a bonus or not, but that was just how we started this tradition).
Both kids' classes are doing secret santa with junk food and soda. (After all the endless notes not to send junk to school, don't ask me! I suppose they figured it was cheap and easy, and I appreciate that at least it will be consumables). So we picked those up on the way home from sorting, yesterday.
Dh has been doling out Scholastic gift certificates. Teachers are very happy.
**Last night I cleaned the kids' shower. It goes a lot quicker when you use the good stuff that dh is hoarding in the bathroom, not the 10-year-old expired shower cleaner. LOL. Seriously, that tub and shower hasn't been so sparkling white in years. IT was some no-scrub thing and it actually worked.
Anyway, the reason I did so was that I got a new shower curtain for the kids. When trying to figure out what to do with some Kohls gift certificates and Kohls cash, that was one thing I was looking at. The kids' "froggy" shower curtain was starting to fall apart. I could probably limp it along, but I figured they would probably prefer something a little more grown up, for the long run. So I did end up picking that up this month. The new shower curtain seems rather flimsy, so we will see how long it lasts!
Of course, I still also have the original original shower curtain. It was someone on the blogs who mentioned that you can just wash shower curtains in the regular wash. Yesterday I did a good wash of the extra long shower curtain I have in there. Which was apparently of high quality and has held up very well (& several washings) over the past 13 years or so. It's extra long for the tall shower but it is also just a clear thing. I had put our old (froggy) shower curtain on the outside for aesthetic and some privacy. (Though otherwise it would be too short for that shower, by itself). I suppose I could tell the kids if they break the new one they will just have to live with the clear plastic. Will see how it holds up...
**I bought myself a new laptop this week. Last week was just one too many days of "fighting over the computers" in this household.
Kind of impulsive, but I had no idea how cheap they had gotten. We did already buy a laptop this year, but every computer in our house has more advanced gaming and video editing capabilities. My needs were far lesser than that. I think it was last Saturday that I joked that I needed a new laptop. Dh kept an eye out on sales and picked one up Thursday? $288 for another Lenovo. Merry Christmas to me!!
Hoping for more peace in the house.. The computer didn't need much more than internet and spreadsheet capabilities, but dh picked out something that should be fairly future proof. (Faster processors and what ever techie goodness he wanted). I had a few wants with the laptop too, so it wasn't just "the cheapest thing we could find". I can't get over the price!
I will either pull the money from savings in January (a blip) or will pay for it with extra Christmas money. Hoping for extra Christmas money!
I am waiting for a $99 Chase refund and I think my parents owe me $150-ish for Ting. So, I guess there is some of that too. (All money due to me, but the checkbook is already fine for this month, so maybe one reason I am not sweating some bigger purchases this month).
**It's that time of year! San Francisco Comedy Sketchfest. They put on a TON of shows and we try to narrow down given the constraints of money and time.
I think a lot of the smaller stuff was kind of "meh" or either not that exciting or worthwhile for a weeknight trip. My pocketbook is happy with that! Dh is trying to arrange companionship for some of the shows. (Babysitting is a challenge, I don't like all the same weird stuff he does, AND I have an early bed time. I will go if he needs me to, or he will go alone, but it's more fun to go with a companion who can stay awake). Which has led to some conversations in our house about, "What is the point of making a bajillion dollars if you can never DO anything?" UGH!! (Don't get me started... You know, we are just the stupid ones who don't make as much money as we should, live in the middle of nowhere, and never have any fun. That kind of thing...).
So far our plan is to buy $200 show tickets. Hoping to cover with Christmas money. Thrilling Adventure Hour (a tradition for us) and a Newsradio Panel. Will have most the cast. (Oh how we miss Phil Hartman! )
I like how that worked out because we didn't want to go too overboard, and the Newsradio was completely unexpected. But is one of our favorite TV shows. Will see if dh can swing any company for some of the other $20 shows. Or if I will be drug along.