Here’s our Food and Fun: November 12-18 post!
Big Family Food and Fun: November 12-18, 2023
After four weeks of sickness, this week got off to a much better start!
There was a “Friendsgiving” Potluck for our kids ministry after church. We took Pizza Chicken Bake, Cream Cheese Corn, and a Chocolate Fudge Pie. I was too busy getting food ready to remember to take pictures except for this. Impressive, huh?
This was such a sweet and fun event for families!
After the kids ate, there were several tables/stations set up with crafts and activities for them to do. Our kids LOVED this!
We came home for naps and playtime, then got ready for our big birthday dinner. Almost a week late, we were finally able to get all of our older kids over to celebrate Matt’s 50th birthday!! We feasted on some of his favorite foods: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Peas, Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies, and Homemade Ice Cream.
My second batch of Homemade Ice Cream didn’t work, so we had to get out store bought ice cream to make up for it. :) This Vanilla batch was pretty tasty though!
Because of all the sickness at our house, we hadn’t been together for over a month. :( I can’t tell you how beautiful it was to have everyone here!
One of Matt’s favorite things to do is play games. But, playing games with this many littles is almost impossible. We plan to try and hire sitters and have a big game day eventually. But for this night, Kelsey had the idea to turn on a show for the kids so that at least all of the adults could play a short game of some sort.
I’m so glad she thought of that! 50-minutes of game time is better than nothing. And how about that – 50 minutes of gaming for a Happy 50th Birthday?! :)
As a very boring but practical side note, I wanted to mention the amazingness of this chicken. I get these drumsticks at Costco (or sometimes Sam’s) for $0.99/pound. This entire package of meat cost only $8.42.
It included around 30 drumsticks and fed 10 adults and 8 kids – with leftovers. This is such an economical way to feed a lot of people!
Monday morning I scrambled 16 eggs with cheese to go with muffins and bagels for breakfast.
Eva came over for the morning to help with kids, praise God. So Keith and I headed to help sort and set up food at the weekly Food Distribution where we volunteer. He was having a rough behavior morning so it wasn’t great. But he did look cute in his ninja jacket and bike helmet (you can never be too safe).
Dinner that night was Lasagna Casserole with green beans and oranges.
Our dear friend Charlene was visiting that evening and I captured this sweet moment when several of the kids were hovered around her to look at pictures.
Tuesday was Keith’s birthday!! He requested birthday pancakes for breakfast. I attempted to make him a special #5 pancake, which worked sort of fine when I first created it.
But not so fine when I tried to flip it, hahaha. #nailedit
We “puzzled” it together onto his plate and it worked just fine.
That afternoon Brayden, Kiya, and I went to the Food Distribution and handed out food to almost 100 people. It is such a joy to do this! We were blessed to come home with a few items also:
We arrived home just in time for Keith’s big birthday dinner. Keith requested pizza and since we had so much going on, Matt and I decided to have some ordered and delivered. It was fun, but we won’t do this again any time soon. (High cost compared to frozen or homemade, delivery fees, then a late delivery and sub-par pizza) But again, it was a fun thing to do for his birthday and he was very excited!
Kelsey captured several of these photos, including this one where three of our little ducks are in a row.
Then it was cake time! I made him a vanilla cake with vanilla pudding and whipped cream. So tasty!
Have I mentioned that birthdays at our house are LOUD? Here’s present time!
Wednesday friends from York came to visit!
We celebrated one of our small housemate’s birthday that evening. YES, it was birthday week! I made burgers on the smoker, baked beans, and fried zucchini and squash.
We sure ate a lot of cake this week!
After present time, the kids gathered around another of our housemates for a special story time.
Thursday was a full day and one of my favorites. A dear York friend was celebrating a birthday and her sister invited me to come surprise her at the dinner party she was arranging. Even though York is only one hour away from our new home in Lincoln, it’s hard for me to get away and I hadn’t been back one time since moving the end of June.
Matt came up with a plan to make it possible for me to join our friends here, and I can’t put into words how wonderful it was to sit around this table with this precious group of ladies:
I love living in Lincoln – but out how I miss our community in York. I praise God for the chance to be with them on Thursday!
Matt and Elias headed to York to work on our properties Friday morning. Malachi helped me out with the littles all morning. We didn’t go on an outing so our morning was pretty chill. While the kids played, I finished bottling the big batch of vanilla I’d been brewing for several months.
Since I knew dinner time would be a bit tricky with Matt and Elias out for the day, I decided to make frozen pizza for dinner. I’ve been determined to have our kids finish making some Fall treats and crafts to take to our new neighbors before Thanksgiving. So I decided to attempt turning our night into a Fall Pizza Party so that we could make it happen.
We baked 8 frozen pizzas altogether, which fed 7 adults and 8 kids (with some slices leftover). Then the “party” started. For the record – one of the real reasons I planned a “party” was so that we wouldn’t have two hours of chaos after dinner before bedtime. Free play time doesn’t work very well for this crew, so I tried to structure the evening so that our kids would know the plan and so that there would be at least some form of order.
One of our housemates had brought back some ears of blue corn from her farm this week, so she did a wonderful job showing our kids that this is where blue corn chips come from. (Then they got to enjoy a blue chip as a treat!)
The evening craft was simple (and NOT MESSY HALELLUJAH). The kids decorated lunch sacks with stickers so that we can hopefully fill them with treats and deliver them to neighbors.
I had picked up a super inexpensive and cute “Build a Turkey” game at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago, so we had we rolling dice to add turkey feathers to our birds. :)
We gathered on the couch to read some Mother Bruce books – which was sweet but a little bit nuts with so many little ones crawling everywhere. The party was fun though and THEN IT WAS BEDTIME and also Matt was home by then, hallelujah again. :)
Keith found that I’d put these jammies into his container so he put them on. These aren’t just any jammies. My mom (who died of ALS 19 years ago) had given these to Asa (who is now 26) when he was a five year old like Keith is now. So Asa wore them when he was 5, then Justus, Elias, and Malachi. They were special, so I saved them, not knowing there would be more brothers down the road. Brayden wore them. And now Keith. The elastic is completely shot, but are we going to save them for BabyBoy#11? Oh yes we are.
Saturday morning I made a few quick-to-grab foods to hopefully make Thanksgiving week a bit easier – Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars and Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins. Of course we’ve already eaten a good part of these. But there are still some left that might help us get through holiday prep?? :)
I made a triple batch of Snickerdoodle Bites to hand the kids as needed. These should last at least through Tuesday.
Our church youth group had plans to hand out Thanksgiving meal kits to families in our neighborhood Sunday evening and we had signed up to provide a kit. So we took all the kids to the store to complete our list of food items. I divided the list into three – one each for Brayden, Kiya, and Keith. We helped them find their food items and tried to help them understand what a blessing this would be for a family to have a wonderful meal on Thanksgiving with all they were picking out.
Keith took his job of picking sweet potatoes very seriously.
Once we got home, we put together our big sack of food to take to church the next day.
The rest of the day was very full of outdoor work for Matt and housework for me. So I was incredibly thankful that last week when Kelsey was here making freezer meals, she had left one for us. I baked it ad dinner time and we ate the entire thing!
Then the crazy fun began. I had told the kids that we could set up our Christmas tree that night if they were willing to work hard and cooperate. They were very willing. :) :) :)
We didn’t decorate it – only set up the tree and put on the lights. THAT was plenty for one night with this many littles. The ornaments will go on Sunday evening.
What a full, wonderful week!