Ready for our Big Family Food and Fun post for this week?
Big Family Food and Fun July 16-22, 2023
Our week began with a big birthday meal for Eva on Sunday. She requested Lasagna and no one complained. :)
Her parents and a dear friend joined us (it’s so fun to do life with them in Lincoln too!).
That evening we got to join many of the youth and families from church at a swimming pool for a big event. Before heading out we ate a quick meal of chicken nuggets, fries, strawberries, and carrots.
Keeping everyone alive at the pool is a full time effort, so I got no pictures of our fun. :) Everyone was starving when we got home so we devoured two frozen pizzas before bed. (I had baked them before we left and I was so glad I did!)
The kids had been requesting “Eggs in a Nest” for breakfast so that’s what we enjoyed on Monday morning.
I FINALLY made Matt’s Father’s Day Cobbler. The question remains: did I make it a month late – or 11 months early? I feel like I’m ahead for Father’s Day 2024. Heh?
While the little girls were eating breakfast that morning I blended up this smoothie for Matt and me. When the blender was running, the girls all started laughing hysterically for some reason, which was incredibly fun and made up for at least three tantrums each.
At lunchtime, we loaded up and took advantage of our zoo membership. It was this day that I discovered this “salad in a bag for a picnic” trick. With our salad, we ate applesauce, avocado cups, cheese, sliced meat, crackers, and juice boxes.
That night we warmed up leftover Lasagna and corn and cooked fresh green beans friends from church had given us. NOTHING beats fresh green beans!
Tuesday morning Matt and Elias headed to York to work on our house there. I sent them with Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches and bottles of juice.
The rest of us ate eggs (we went through 15 that morning), sausage patties, plus an entire container of yogurt.
I browned 5-pounds of hamburger meat that morning so I could make Burritos. But I scooped out about a pound of cooked meat and mixed it with corn, beans, and white queso from the fridge. It heated in our small crock pot for a couple hours while Kelsey and I took the kids to the library for a fun “Magic” Show.
The magic show was super fun! It was rainy that morning so this was a perfect outing for us that day.
That afternoon I got hungry for these Peanut Butter Flourless Brownies. These can be great or these can be dry. The key is to pull them out of the oven before they seem to be done. I actually only baked these for 10-minutes and it worked great!
Keith agreed by eating three of these and licking his plate!
And then, since the four littlest were still sleeping, I used the rest of the hamburger meat I’d cooked earlier in the day plus a pan of this Stick of Butter Rice I’d made to make a huge batch of Burritos for the freezer. We’ll enjoy these on busy days, or I’ll pass them on to others who need them. (Fun Fact: I’ve stopped putting butter in my Stick of Butter Rice as a way to save money. The recipe minus the butter is still delicious and well, butter can be up to almost $1/stick now so….)
I had thawed 4 packages of our favorite tortillas from Azure Standard. So we ended up with 32 Burritos!
Matt and Elias were still in York working on our house so Justus came over after work to help me feed the kids dinner. I browned up some sliced ham, Justus made mac and cheese, then we gave the kids the frozen smoothie cups and flourless brownies. They thought we were sooooo silly for giving them “desserts” with their dinner. Little do they know that they got lots of nourishment in these treats!
We ate outside (of course), and boy did those smoothie cups melt everywhere. They are pretty messy. Tasty, but messy. I won’t make them like this very often. :)
After dinner, Justus played Walnut Baseball in the yard with the kids. It was the best! What is Walnut Baseball, you ask? It’s where you pick up all the walnuts off the ground that fell off of the walnut tree, and you use them as baseballs.
Bases loaded. The three-year-old up to bat. It was intense.
Wednesday morning for breakfast Anna helped me make a triple batch of Peanut Butter Honey Rice Krispie Treats. We ate them with bananas. (These bars firm up after they sit a while. But if you serve it right after making them, you have to serve it in bowls with spoons.)
Matt and I loaded up the kids after breakfast to go to Library Story Hour. Today was Butterfly Day, featuring the Hungry Caterpillar book. So sweet and fun!
Apparently it was National Hotdog Day. So obviously, lunch had to be hotdogs. Pineapple Fluff Salad sounded good so we ate that as a side dish along with a jar of pickles.
I am astounded by how quickly we accumulate recycling items. Matt emptied this container into our recycle dumpster two days ago but here it was overflowing again. (We eat a lot I guess.)
The Lincoln Zoo stays open until 8pm on Wednesdays so we decided to have dinner there that night. I made a big container of Tuna Salad, which we ate with crackers. We also enjoyed Havarti cheese with crackers, mandarin orange cups, and juice pouches.
And check it out! Since we’d enjoyed Butterfly Day at the library that morning, we made a point to enjoy the Butterfly Garden at the zoo after we ate our dinner.
Thursday we needed milk and a few other items so we decided that our morning outing would be a family trip to Aldi. Oy. I braced myself for the craziness of it, and grabbed not one but two quarters for carts. :)
Acacia and Josie held hands on the way there. I LOVE IT when they are sweet together like this.
Matt had the cart full of babes and I had one for food.
We spent $135 on chicken thighs, ground sausage, milk, yogurt, cream cheese, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, salad kits, juice, and buns. I was so glad I checked for sales on meat because their boneless skinless chicken thighs were just $1.99/pound. Amazing and well below my price point! I bought five packages.
By the time we checked out, loaded up, and made it home it was far past lunchtime. Thankfully I had blended up this Bean and Cheese Salsa Dip before we left so we got it out of the fridge and ate it with tortilla chips before naptime.
That evening was incredibly special as dear friends from York came to visit. We made this grilled chicken with baked potatoes in the crock pot, watermelon, green beans, and these gluten free, dairy free Banana Muffins. <— I hadn’t made those muffins in a very long time but wanted to accommodate our friends’ food sensitivity needs. I thought they were only sort-of good, ha. I’m not sure what our guests thought. But our six littles ate them like they were magic muffins. We started the night with 24 muffins and ended the night with only 2. So yay for that!
After eating, all the kids discovered that they could fit inside our dining room cabinets. :) We took a walk together to the Sunken Gardens, then came home and enjoyed popsicles. The night was perfect. Their visit and hugs were just what we all needed.
Friday morning Matt and Elias went to York to work all day so Eva came over to help me. I had a meeting with a case worker, so Eva entertained the girls by making a Sister Sandwich in our playroom.
A friend and her baby joined us all for lunch so I opened up some salad kits from Aldi and cut up last night’s leftover grilled chicken to toss in.
Dinner that night was a bit crazy because Matt and Elias hadn’t made it home yet and I was on my own with all seven kids. I was quickly scrambling eggs and frying last night’s leftover baked potatoes when someone who shall remain nameless got mad and threw a pound of strawberries on the floor. She very unhappily picked them back up.
We survived the evening and were very happy to see Daddy and Elias get home soon after we ate.
Saturday after a quick breakfast of yogurt, berries, and Peanut Butter Honey Rice Krispie Treats Matt and I decided to check out Pioneers Park Nature Center with the kids. I made Ham and Spinach wraps to take with us.
And I packed sliced cheese, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, raisins, pistachios, and juice. Plus a Spindrift for Mom. ;) Meanwhile, I was thawing a ten pound chunk of meat to use later in the day.
Pioneers Park was soooooo much fun. We saw bison, walked some trails, explored the Herb Garden, and experienced hands-on learning inside the Chet Ager Building. I had read that the park had a place for kids to dig, so Keith took his excavator and carried it around the entire time, hahaha.
We found a shady spot to eat our lunch.
Then the kids used the buckets, cups, and the beloved excavator to dig in the sand. (I’m not sure that this is the digging area the park website was talking about, but it worked!)
Everyone was dirty, sweaty, and tired on our drive home. But here these two are again, holding hands and singing as we traveled.
Remember the 10-pound hunk of meat I was thawing? I turned a bunch of it into Burgers for dinner, then browned the rest of it to have on hand for meals like this. Our across-the-street neighbor, John, was outside gardening so I hollered over to see if he’d like a hamburger and he came and joined us. It was awesome!
It’s going to be extra hot in the upcoming days so we picked up two little pools for the kids to splash around in. They enjoyed these after eating their burgers.
They got in and out so many times that the water turned disgusting and made bath time a bigger ordeal than it already usually is. OY. Worth the effort? 100%. :)
P.S. July’s grocery spending total so far is $1069 with one week left to go. Can I say within our budget this month? We’ll find out. :)