Our Big Family Food and Fun this week included weekend company, a birthday celebration, and a church party…
Big Family Food and Fun: August 27-September 2, 2023
Sunday morning as I was getting the three little girls dressed, they suddenly started to be twirly and dancy and huggy. I started snapping pictures and they started posing and I got so many cute and giggly photos!
We planned to stay at church for lunch that day, so I packed up grapes, nacho dip/chips, and brownies to share. (I also took a loaf of banana bread I’d made in hopes that our friend who just had a new baby might be there. She was there! New Baby is precious, and I stuck the loaf of bread into her stroller for her to take home and enjoy.)
Lunch that day was a crazy fun Parking Lot Party after church. There were 150+ who stuck around after church to eat, visit, and play.
We’d taken our Shaved Ice Machine and Elias filled cup after cup for everyone at the party. Take a look below at the precious baby in the yellow dress standing by her brother’s leg. She stood there for the longest time, just being with him while he worked. Josie sure does love her brother. :)
That evening we met up with friends at a park. I packed a picnic (cheese, crackers, mandarin oranges, pistachios, and juice) but only got one picture the entire night! We were having too much fun visiting and playing.
Monday morning we ate more of the same (I had made a HUGE batch of the granola bars), plus apples with this special cheese.
Lunch was leftover 3-Cheese Spaghetti. Dinner was a dish I’d made ahead of time here. I dumped it into the crock pot at lunch time, turned it on low, and it was bubbly at dinnertime. We ate it as a chip dip with watermelon.
Tuesday morning Brayden had tests at school so he informed me that he needed “good sleep and a good breakfast.” I made cheese eggs and sausage (while an unnamed toddler was tantruming on the floor – part of her typical morning routine as we try to help her learn to regulate her emotions).
I got out strawberries and Orange Muffins that I had frozen and thawed.
After we walked Brayden and Kiya to school, we came home and did some cleaning. Anna and Josie “helped” by getting a hand broom and dust pan. The effectively spread around everything I’d swept up and made me do the work twice. ;) But I love that they want to help and that they are learning.
Meanwhile, Matt was upstairs using a power sander in one of our third floor suites that we are getting ready to rent out.
Elias and Malachi helped me with the five littlest all morning since Matt was upstairs working. I actually got quite a bit done in the kitchen that morning since the two guys were chasing kids for me. I made these 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (multiplying the recipe x6) so that we can eat some now and have cookies in the freezer to use as needed later.
At lunchtime, I cleaned leftovers out of the fridge for all of us to eat. Unfortunately, I left the corn cooking too long and all the water steamed off so the bottoms got blackened. The kids were not impressed. ;)
That evening I plated and bagged all the cookies I had made so now we have four bags of frozen 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies ready to pull out and use as needed.
Wednesday was a bit of a blur. But for dinner that night I made two griddles full of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with an air fryer full of French fries. I also made a bowl full of Strawberry Fluff which the kids loved.
After we got the kitchen cleaned up that night, we drove to the zoo and walked around the garden they feature just outside the zoo. We hadn’t had a chance to do that yet so it was extra special to do this just before bedtime.
Thursday morning after we walked Brayden and Kiya to school, we loaded up the youngest five kids and headed to Aldi. Phew, we filled two carts and that was just with children, ha. Somehow we managed to also put food into our carts, getting our Aldi favorites: whole milk yogurt, whole milk cottage cheese, whole milk, three varieties of bagels, hoagie buns, apple juice, pear cups in 100% juice, and three varieties of cheese slices.
I don’t always like to buy produce at Aldi, but they had really good prices that day and the quality looked better than usual. I bought bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, pears, two varieties of organic apples, grapes, blueberries, and four bags of salad mixes. I also found a 5-pound roast for $1.99/pound so I grabbed it. Chips were on sale for $0.99/bag so I got six bags.
This is what it looks like when the Coppingers “run into Aldi for a few things.”
I ended August with a whopping $1,780 grocery spending total – more than I’ve ever spent that I can remember. I’d feel bad about it except that I don’t – not even a little bit. We went under budget for several months in a row before this month and we had a lot of extra food needs this month. God provides, we make the wisest choices that we can, and we feed a lot of people. Praise God for His provision!
—> This is the grocery budget number I shoot for, but as always, I realize that I may need to make adjustments and increase the number. Stay tuned. <—
It felt so good to have so much fresh fruit on hand again!
I snapped this photo of the third floor room Matt’s been working on all week. Here’s the floor, half-way finished. So gorgeous!
Thursday afternoon our sweet friends, Steven and Barbara, dropped off two lovely loaves of banana bread for us – all sliced and ready to eat!
It was Acacia’s birthday so I put 12 burgers on the grill plus 14 brats.
I made a birthday cake, poking holes into it and pouring pudding into the holes, then topping it with whipped cream. The only thing I made from scratch was the whipped cream. Boxed cake mix and pudding mix for the win this time. :)
She may have turned three, but she’s already mother hen to this baby chick as we try to help him gain strength to sit on his own.
Some of our big kids were able to join us for dinner so I set out a spread of brats and burgers, chips, and fruit.
She figured out how to blow out the candles. :)
Keith was so excited to hand Acacia her gift – a little purse I’d found on clearance for $3.00. She loved it and has been carrying it around everywhere!
Friday morning we enjoyed Ms. Barbara’s banana bread with yogurt and blueberries.
After we got the kids off to school, Matt and Elias headed to York to work and Malachi helped me take the kids to Costco. I didn’t need to shop, I just needed customer service as I had noticed that the last time I was there they rang up four cases of diapers when, in fact, I had only purchased three. Since it was a $45 discrepancy, I felt it was worth getting credit back. Thus, going to Costco became our morning outing. :)
The boys started to get restless so Malachi walked around with Keith and BabyBoy#11 while I got the bill figured out with Customer Service.
Then we had a special treat of Costco Pizza. It was mostly a mess (like, a 12-15 wet wipes to clean up the pizza sauce mess). But it was fun for everyone and $6 took care of that day’s lunch!
As we were loading everyone back into the cart to head out to the van, Little-Mama-Acacia started to rub BabyBoy#11’s back. Goodness, the sweetness.
That night Malachi threw Sam’s Orange Chicken into the air fryer, and I got out cold watermelon and two bags of salad mix from Aldi. It was easy and hit the spot!
When Matt and Elias arrived back at home, they had our former foster son, age 4, with them to spend the weekend. Everyone was overjoyed to be back together!
The kids played and played outside that evening. I thought they might need a little something to eat to fill their bellies before bed, so I took grapes and cheese outside. They all thought that was a good plan. :)
Some dear friends arrived Friday night to visit for the weekend! For breakfast on Saturday, I set out banana bread and muffins, yogurt, blueberries, bananas, and made sausage and tator tots. Brayden had requested hashbrowns but I was out so we decided that tator tots were the same thing. ;)
The kids asked to play cards that morning, and this was the result. Ugh.
We packed up a big picnic for lunch and headed out to the Splash Park for one last hoorah before it closed for the season.
I wasn’t sure I had enough lunch meat left in my packages, so I threw together a container of tuna salad real quickly.
I smoked two pork loin for dinner that evening and served them with green beans, watermelon, buttered and toasted hoagies leftover from lunch, and Cream Cheese Corn. Meals like these are my favorite!!
After dinner, we took our friends on a walk to our beloved Sunken Gardens. Aww, there’s our Kellie with her baby boy. We became friends with Kellie and Ben while they were students at YU. They spent a lot of time at our house during those days and became a part of our family. Now here they are with a baby of their own. It was amazing to have a weekend with them!
Here we are in September, heading from summer into fall. We’re going to soak up every last bit of nice weather while it’s here!