Ready for Food and Fun: July 9-15? We are on week three of Castle living. Each day we make a little bit more progress as we settle in. Of course, each day we make lots of messes, eat lots of food, and throw lots of tantrums so unpacking boxes is a bit of a challenge between dealing with normal day needs. :) We’ll get there!
Unrelated to food (unless we’re talking about formula), suddenly none of his clothes fit this little chunkers. (BabyBoy#11, not Matt. Matt’s clothes still fit.) Good thing I found some clearance items this week!
I’d say we ate pretty well this week as we have been well cared for by others and I am getting settled into our new kitchen. Every day I tell Matt, “I LOVE this kitchen!” Hopefully he doesn’t get tired of hearing it. Truly, it is an amazing kitchen and I’m so thankful God gifted it to us.
(This was the real estate photo.
The kitchen is no longer this clean because we live here and make food here.
But pretend that it is still this shiny.)
Food and Fun July 9-15
Sunday morning we sliced the Sourdough Pumpkin Bread our friend Barbara had made for us and enjoyed it with grapes before loading the kids into the van for church.
Before we left I had put potatoes into the crock pot for a Bake Potato Bar for lunch. When we got home, I realized that I had only set the crock pot to “low” instead of “high” so the potatoes were still not done. Oops. SO, I switched our lunch plan with our dinner plan and we warmed up more of Barbara’s food! What a gift that she had taken care of us so well!
We enjoyed her Turkey Alfredo, finishing off the first pan and half of the second. YUM.
That evening, we had our baked potatoes with bacon, cheese, peas, sour cream, and butter.
Monday morning I realized our need for quick-to-grab foods so I stirred together these No-Bake Cookie Cups. They are made with just a little bit of honey so they’re perfect for breakfast or snacks.
The rest of the day was borderline nuts. (What else is new?!) We had foster care specialists come in the morning to tour our home and approve it for foster care. We warmed up leftovers for lunch, then took the kids on a walk to the Sunken Gardens before naptime.
That afternoon, BabyBoy#11 had a well-baby check up with his new doctor. I filled out tons of paperwork to get all of our kids in the system and to authorize their medical records to be transferred over. Then we ran to Costco because it was close by. I rushed through grabbing a few essentials because Matt’s truck was in the shop and we needed to pick it up by 5:30.
I got home and we threw all of the kids into the van with a snack to hold them over (which it did not). We picked up Matt’s truck and went into Sam’s because it was two minutes away. Elias was with us, thankfully, so we had three adults with seven (hungry) littles in Sam’s. This was not my most relaxing shopping hour, ha. We filled two carts with more essentials. Meanwhile Keith screamed through half of the store because I wouldn’t buy him boots that he didn’t need. Oy.
We grabbed the beautiful $5 Rotisserie Chicken on our way out of the store, got home and tore it off the bone to quickly feed everyone before bed. Zero out of ten, do not recommend executing a plan like this in the future. But that chicken sure did taste good.
There was a mess of chicken skin, bones, smashed grapes, and apple cores all over the dining room when we were done and we managed to get the kids in bed – only thirty minutes late.
The good news is that I am now stocked up on groceries again, woohoo! I spent $216 on food at Sam’s and $286 at Costco. I’ve been avoiding the stores in an effort to use up what we have, and I’m so thankful for the savings as we’ve had other moving expenses. Making meals and snacks will be much easier now!
The next morning Matt and Elias needed to leave early to get to York for a meeting and to work on our house there. So I made them Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches for the road. We had a lot of strawberries that I’d picked up over the weekend so I made another batch of this Cheesecake Parfait to enjoy with them.
Then Kiya got up and the kids finished off the No-Bake Cookie Cups I’d made the day before.
Kelsey and Eva arrived to help me manage the kids all morning since Matt and Elias were going to be gone all day. (Malachi is gone for three weeks for work and church camp.) We decided to take the kids to the splash park I packed a loaf of bread worth of turkey sandwiches, juice boxes, and mandarin orange cups to eat there.
The kids LOVED this outing and took great naps when we got back. When everyone got up, I was on my own with all seven kids so dinner consisted of air fried Orange Chicken (boxed, from Sam’s), rice, and broccoli. OH WAIT. I burned the broccoli. So our veggie turned into spinach dipped in ranch. OH WAIT. Kiya eats her spinach with ketchup. Hey, whatever gets the nutrients in, I say.
Wednesday morning we ate yogurt with granola for breakfast before heading to our “new library” to check out story hour.
Silly as it sounds, when we got there and the story hour lady was soooo nice, it made me teary-eyed. We had loved story hour in York and I miss it already. I miss a lot about York and it’s all starting to hit me. So I cried a bit through Llama Llama Red Pajama. Tired much, Laura? :)
See Kelsey there? She had picked up a 2-year-old buddy to help out a friend
and they were at the library when we got there!
We came home and warmed up leftover Turkey Alfredo and made quesadillas with the leftover Rotisserie chicken from Monday.
I also sliced apples with this cheese, which is SO GOOD. Unless you don’t like it, and then it’s not so good. But most of us think it’s SO GOOD.
I had a lot of spinach in the fridge, and there’s only one solution to dealing with that: Make a cake. Obviously. I knew my kids would love the treat, and they were only fascinated that I could bake a cake in a crock pot. They didn’t care about the spinach. Big score!
That afternoon during naps, Kiya and I had a “date” at Aldi to pick up everything I hadn’t gotten at Sam’s and Costco. Highlights: whole milk yogurt, salad kits, protein snacks for Elias, cheese and meat trays for picnics, juice, and whole milk cottage cheese. Also macaroni salad because I have been hungry for it but didn’t need a Costco-sized container. :)
I spent $115 at Aldi that day, bringing our July total up to $884 so far. (Keep in mind that our four youngest kids are on WIC so that provides us with around $210 in food – a huge blessing. You can see what WIC provided for us this month in this post. Plus lovely people have showered us with food blessings since we arrived in Lincoln.)
My plan was to smoke Pork Loin for dinner, but wow I am learning that I need to budget my time differently now that we are in a city. Driving places takes longer, but also just getting out the door to go shopping takes longer because I’m not organized enough yet to efficiently find my purse and shoes. One day at a time.
Anyway, by the time we got home, there was no way I was going to start smoking pork loin. Matt had the smoker going so we quickly threw on Smoked Sausage I’d gotten at Sam’s. While that cooked, Elias put together the Caesar salad kits, I steamed corn on the cob, frosted the crock pot cake, and worked really hard to open the container of mac salad. ;)
We were so hungry and this feast tasted so good!! With cake for dessert – woohoo!
Inspired by my Crock Pot Cake, I decided the next morning to use the big bunch of brown bananas in my kitchen to try baking this Banana Bread recipe in the crock pot. It worked well enough that I’ll write a post about it so you can try too if you’d like to bake without heating up your oven!
While it was “baking” I cut two cantaloupe, a watermelon, and two pounds of strawberries to have in the fridge for easy side dishes.
Matt was working on fixing one of our air conditioners all morning (always fun when things break right after you move in). But we were able to all steal way late morning to have lunch at the zoo. We are amazed that we can “walk to the zoo for lunch” whenever we want! It’s just a few blocks away and we have a year family pass. Lunch with tigers and pandas. YES!
That evening our next door neighbors joined us in our backyard for dinner. They have been so good to welcome us and help with various needs. Our kids and their kids are becoming great friends and spending time together that evening was fantastic. We smoked three of the Pork Loin that I’d gotten BOGO last week and enjoyed it with green beans, banana bread, plus watermelon and mac and cheese brought by our neighbors.
Lunch on Friday was delicious soup Barbara had made plus Matt made grilled cheese sandwiches and set out pears.
Elias baked frozen pizzas that night and we enjoyed them with cold melon outside.
Matt spent time cleaning our smoker while the kids and I picked up sticks so the guys could mow. Afterward, the kids all lined up like this and started singing “The Wheels on the Bus.” It was kind of amazing because it is so rare that all the kids cooperate and play together like that. I had to document it! :)
The next morning we ate a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs and yogurt before heading to the Farmer’s Market to meet friends.
I also made a double batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies because our friends were coming over for lunch after the Farmer’s Market. It was fun to bake cookies for the first time in my “new” oven!
Lunch with our friends was a Nacho Bar with chips, taco meat, white queso, salsa, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and avocado.
That afternoon I put together a huge Lasagna for our Sunday lunch so that we could celebrate Eva’s birthday together. We pulled out leftover to clean out the fridge at dinnertime, gave all the kids baths (no easy task), and cleaned the kitchen.
Hope your new week is off to a great start!