Here’s our Big Family Food and Fun: January 7-13, 2024 post!
Big Family Food and Fun: January 7-13, 2024
Sunday for lunch we made Cheddar Brats (I cooked them before church then put them into a crock pot to stay hot). I had made Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Oatmeal Raspberry Bars the day before. Plus I made Green Beans, Cream Cheese Corn, Baked Beans, and warmed up leftover Ham for those who didn’t want Brats.
There were 17 of us for lunch that day. :)
That afternoon, our friend Paula dropped off school lunches for Brayden and Kiya to enjoy all week (read here about how this came about). This is a huge gift and help for our family!
That evening Keith, Anna, and Acacia helped make pizza for dinner.
While the pizzas were baking, I did some work on Anna’s hair. It seems that while she was in her room “napping” that afternoon, she had discovered the body wash in the girls’ bathroom. I’m not sure how much she pumped out of the container, but you can be sure that her hair was very, very, very clean. It took quite some time to rinse all the bubbles out of her locks. Oy.
We had carrots with our pizza. Some of our kids really like to dip carrots in peanut butter. Ever tried it? It’s highly recommended by the Coppinger kids. :)
That night we got the much anticipated school email that Monday would be a Snow Day! I started thinking of ways to make our day with the kids super fun at home since we wouldn’t be able to get out and go anywhere.
First up, Snowman Pancakes for breakfast with sausage links.
After breakfast we headed to the table to make Shrinky Dinks. Remember those?! None of our kids had ever experienced them before so they were a huge hit.
We heated up the smaller of our two ovens knowing we didn’t need the large one for melting down our Shrinky Dinks. But this was a bad idea because it was too hard to get that many heads in the same spot to watch the magic happen in the small window of that oven. Oops.
We headed back to the table for more crafting…
Then we went into the kitchen and started making Snowflake Quesadillas. The kids LOVED this.
Anna was convinced that this was NOT the snowflake she made and I couldn’t talk her into understanding that once I unfolded her tortilla, this was the result. Nope. (I gave hers to Josie and asked Anna to make another one – showing her the unfolded version right away this time.)
After lunch, we headed into the living room to put together puzzles before naps.
We had leftovers for dinner that night. Brayden asked if he could warm up the Chili. He has started to really love helping in the kitchen!
After dinner, Elias was an awesome sport and joined us for a game of Headbands. :) :) :)
We had served an early dinner so before bedtime I sliced, buttered, and toasted some Pumpernickel bread that we’d been given last week.
We had another snow day on Tuesday so I drew fun faces on cups and filled them with Warm Vanilla Soother. (Our BabyBoy#11 has eating challenges but I was able to get two tiny nibbles of Soother in him. Hooray!)
I made French Toast that morning also. Man, I love this built-in griddle. It is such a blessing to have!
I had been hungry for a childhood recipe “Peanut Butter Honey Puffs” – likely the very first recipe I tried on my own with my very first Buddy Bear Cookbook. I couldn’t remember the exact measurements but we made it work and they tasted like I was eight again!! (Also? That afternoon I was able to find the cookbook on Amazon and ordered it for myself!! I mean, I ordered it for the kids. Ha.)
Then, we took turns adding ingredients to make Chocolate Chip Cookies to share with our church staff.
At lunchtime, I turned Sunday’s Baked Bean leftovers into Beanie Weanies. Once again, Brayden wanted to help.
The boys were excited to help Daddy shovel snow during naptime.
Acacia helped me vacuum the living room rug later that afternoon. She’s tiny but mighty. :)
For dinner I made two pans full of Crunchy Ranch Chicken with leftover Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Buttered Peas. We all LOVED this chicken. I need to make it more often!
Since we’d been cooped up so much that day, we found some Winter Dance Party videos on YouTube so that we could get some exercise before bed.
The kids got to go back to school on Wednesday after two weeks of Christmas break and two bonus snow days. I made them Scrambled Egg Sandwiches so they’d be nice and full for their first day back.
We’d heard that there was more Snow Storm on the way so I went to Aldi and Costco during naptime that afternoon. At Aldi I got several gallons of milk, lots of whole milk yogurt, salad mixes, cucumbers, fritos, and cake mixes for upcoming birthdays.
At Costco, I got stocked back up on frozen fruit, frozen peas, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, potatoes, bananas, grapes, avocados, broccoli, spinach, spring mix, oranges, eggs, hamburger meat, turkey for sandwiches, canned corn, rotel, applesauce, chocolate chips, and a few other odds and ends. I was so happy to find a new coat/snowsuit for just $9.00 for a birthday gift for Anna!
Back at home, the older boys helped me get everything unloaded. It was fun to see all the fruits and veggies filling the island in our kitchen! I’ve been trying not to spend much at the stores this month so that I could focus on using the food we have on hand. But we were really low on produce so I feel like after this shopping trip, I can put together more well-rounded meals.
We got the kids off to school Thursday morning and sent Matt and Elias to York to work on our houses there. Malachi helped me get through the morning with the 5 littlest. At one point, all of them were in one spot playing happily. I got a picture as quickly as I could before they scattered or screamed. :)
Mid-morning we put together plates of cheese, crackers, blueberries, and cucumbers with ranch. We had case workers visit after that, plus Keith and Anna left on the school bus for their afternoon pre-school.
It was Anna’s birthday! Kiya wanted to paint her nails as a gift to her, so as soon as Anna and Keith got off the preschool bus, this was the scene:
Anna requested Mac and Cheese with Peas for dinner, and we made some Chicken Strips and Caesar Salad too. (We just stir frozen peas into hot mac and cheese – it’s a kid favorite.)
Yes, it was as loud in our dining room as you imagine that it was when you look at this:
Cake time! Anna requested Chocolate Cake, which of course I made like this with spinach blended in. Then I poked holes in the cake and poured in chocolate pudding. Then I made Chocolate Whipped Cream for frosting. It was super good!
After cake, we gathered in the living room for present time.
Anna loves her new coat. Hooray for Costco clearance!
While we were gathered in the living room, we got the email telling us that school was canceled for Friday because of another incoming snow storm. Justus and Kelsey, who were at our house for Anna’s birthday, had packed a bag in hopes that this would be the case so that they could “accidentally” get snowed in with us. We didn’t tell the kids – but let them be surprised when they woke up on Friday morning. :) It was awesome!! And it was so helpful to have them with us because Matt and I were getting a little bit exhausted from keeping so many cooped up kids entertained.
I made Whole Wheat Waffles and Bacon on Friday morning.
Mid-morning, we found some fun YouTube videos that walked us through the process of “how to draw.” We all drew a dinosaur, a minion, and a flamingo. This was a fantastic activity to keep us busy! By the way, we all decided that it was a Pajama Day. ;)
Kelsey warmed up leftover Chicken Bacon Pasta and leftover mac and cheese for lunch. I sliced oranges and that was that.
Keith and Acacia worked together to scrub potatoes for dinner.
Matt and Kelsey played Ticket to Ride First Journey with the kids during naptime while Justus and I worked on our computers.
After the game, I pulled Brayden, Kiya, and Keith into the kitchen to teach them how to make Pizza Chicken Bake. This is a great recipe to give to the kids!
While dinner baked, Kelsey and Justus played several rounds of “Silent Ball” with the kids. That might be one of the most amazing games – it’s quiet, engages the kids, and keeps them busy. Perfection!
Justus and Kelsey hadn’t planed to stay a second night, but the snow had continued to fall all day, leaving them no choice. I sure didn’t mind! I hadn’t made Cinnamon Rolls for a very long time (years probably), and after all the Snow Days, it seemed like the perfect thing to make. It was super fun to show the kids how Cinnamon Rolls were made. But I will likely not make them again for a while. I just don’t have time to spend on recipes like this right now. :)
But what is worth it? Oh yes.
We turned on music and made more crafts that morning.
For lunch, I made Taco Soup with avocados, fritos, and fruit.
Justus and Kelsey were able to shovel themselves out make it home that afternoon. Having them here for two days was such a game changer for our Snow Day needs. It was amazing to have them here!
Brayden ventured outside to get us a bowl full of snow so that we could finally make the Snow Ice Cream we’d hoped to make all week.
I had apples that were getting squishy so I turned them into a double batch of Applesauce Muffins.
I made Spaghetti with Salad for dinner.
We spent the evening giving everyone baths and getting ready for Sunday. WHAT A WEEK!!! :)