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Update on Plan #4: Summer Camp


There were many comments on the amount of money I am paying for the kids’ summer camp this year. And I have always admitted it was a large amount, but I thought it was worth it AND I believe (and still believe) this will be our last year of summer camp.

But even before my job loss, my perspective was changing a bit.  One because of the cost and two as I considered other ways the money could be spent.

What I Did

In early January, I had a conversation with Princess who was scheduled for 4 of the weeks of camp I was paying for. We discussed my thoughts about the amount of money is a 13 year old friendly way. I also showed her some other ways the money could be spent. I reiterated my commitment of sending her to camp for the four weeks, but I wanted her to consider these other options. And left the decision in her hands. We also discussed the private school she visited last fall. The deadline for application was Feb. 1 and I wanted to know if she still wanted to apply.

Bathroom selfie time with Princess and I

Every couple of weeks, I would check in with her on her thoughts. No pressure.

Decision Made

A couple of weeks ago, she came to me and said she was willing to give up the second session of camp. I was so proud of her for coming to the decision on her own. (Unfortunately, I probably would have forced it with the job situation. I’m glad I didn’t have too.)

I called the camp this week, and cancelled the second session.  They were very kind about it and said if something changes, they would be happy to offer me the deal I had locked in by booking last summer.

Moving Forward

The balance due for my younger two to attend is $1,430 (combined.) While I slowed down on my debt payment while I job seek, I am committed to paying this balance off by the end of April.

Full debt update coming this week.

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day


Did everyone have a good Valentine’s Day (or Single’s Awareness Day, if you prefer?) 😉

This year I took the easy way out. Typically, we hand-make our valentines. But this year, our teacher specifically requested that we NOT do any Valentine’s with candy. To make my life easy, I just went and bought one of the Valentine’s box packages that came with 30 cards and stickers (x 2 – one for each kid). The boxes I got cost $2.99 each, so I was out-the-door for under $6. Instead of spending hours crafting and creating each valentine, we spent our time carefully handwriting each classmate’s name onto the card (in past years, teachers had always said just to leave the “TO” name blank, but this year we received a class list so we could address each card). Great reading/hand-writing practice, fun for the kids, and easy and simple for this momma!

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t craft at all! The kids’ class had a Valentine’s party and our teacher asked for volunteers to bring in crafts to do with the kids. I volunteered, offering up one of the crafts we’ve done with the girls for a previous Valentine’s Day!

I used a free printable and printed up enough pages for each student to have one (find printable here, original source here). I raided our gift-wrapping box and used tissue paper we already had (we had red & white), and I supplemented by buying a cheap pack of purple and pink (for 99 cents, each). I used markers and glue sticks I already had on-hand and my craft was complete! We had enough for the entire class and I’d only spent $2!

One of my kiddos, working on her craft! <3


Hubs and I were super low-key this year. We didn’t exchange gifts or go out to dinner. We got a $5 Hot and Ready pizza so I didn’t have to cook, and we watched a movie together after the kids went to bed. But, really and truly, I received my absolute FAVORITE Valentine (possibly of all time, ever) from my kid the day after Valentine’s Day. We were driving to school and when she got out at the curb, she handed this to me. I had no idea she was even working on this in the car on the way to school. Th scrap of paper is from our craft box. My kids are 5-years-old, so writing is still very new to them. This is the FIRST time that I’ve had her write something for me (or to me, really) without me dictating all the letters! My heart grew about 3 sizes and just about burst when I read: “I Love Mom and Dad!” (some typos, but you get the idea). Plus, the whole thing is lined with x’s and o’s for hugs and kisses! AAAAAHHHHHH, kids know just how to get you in the old heart-strings!

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely and low-cost Valentine’s Day, too! Did you do any fun crafts or receive any special hand-made gifts from kids/family/loved ones??