Here’s our post sharing our Big Family Food and Fun: September 24-30…
Big Family Food and Fun: September 24-30, 2023
This week started out with the biggest, best bang! We had heard that our beloved York University Singers were going to be performing in a church just three blocks from our house. So we messaged the director and asked if we could please feed the crew at the Castle that evening after their performance. It was the first we’d hosted something so big here, and it was a dream!! But first, breakfast. And lunch.
Sunday morning’s breakfast was Baked Oatmeal that had been created the night before by one of our housemates.
While everyone was eating, I got a huge batch of White Chicken Chili started in our roaster so that it could slow cook all day and be ready to feed the big crew. I had already made two huge pots of regular Chili so they were ready to warm up at dinner time.
When we left church that morning, we stopped at Sam’s since it’s on the way home so that I could grab last minute food items needed for our huge meal.
For lunch that day, I had put Simple Ham and Hashbrown Casserole in the crock pot. We ate it with green beans before moving full force into dinner mode.
We got tables and chairs set up all over the house and outside. The crew arrived just after 6pm and started making their way through the food lines. Of course, I forgot all about taking pictures of the big buffet of food we’d set out because I was too busy giving hugs. Wow, I’d missed these “kids.”
We set up a Coffee Bar in the living room so Elias could make people Lattes or whatever they requested. :)
Here’s what the buffet looked like by the time I remembered to get a picture. :)
We served two huge pots of Chili, a roaster full of White Chicken Chili, grapes, strawberries, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, plus cinnamon rolls and corn bread (made by a dear friend here in Lincoln whose son is in the choir), plus a table full of desserts.
I had made Frosted Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, Peanut Butter Cookies, and these Cupcakes. One of our housemates had made two beautiful desserts very similar to this Death by Chocolate recipe. It was a huge hit!
Truly, Sunday evening was a dream for me. I loved hosting these young adults!
Monday morning I was…tired. :) For breakfast, I got out yogurt and the Peanut Butter Honey Granola I’d made last week.
I don’t remember what we did all day?? Dishes. Yes, I did wash a lot of big pots from the day before. :)
That night for we enjoyed the last of the whole chicken I’d smoked the week before with pasta and Alfredo sauce. Plus I steamed carrots and warmed up leftover broccoli. I made lots, but we ended up having a beautiful crowd of 18 people at our house that night so it still ended up being barely enough. :)
Therefore, Matt made several rounds of popcorn for a snack before we got the littles ready for bed. It was just what we needed to finish filling everyone’s bellies. :)
Look at the little sweetheart in her princess dress – filthy faced and tired after a long day of play. :)
Tuesday morning I whipped cream to go with strawberries.
Plus I made 12 Sausage-Egg-Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches.
We took our 5 littlest to one of our favorite parks to play for a while that morning. They enjoyed cheese and crackers plus fruit/veggie squeezies while we were there.
That afternoon, the kids got out of school early so Brayden, Kiya, and Keith all got to go to help serve at the Community Food Distribution. I asked Elias if he’d go along with me to help with Keith and he was happy to help. (His muscles got used quite a few times while we were there too!)
Keith and Elias got to hand out bags of snacks during distribution time. Brayden handed out dishwasher soap (which he thought was a little bit silly – but you never know what might get donated for volunteers to hand out). And Kiya and I handed out prepared sandwiches.
We were blessed to come home with two bags full of extra food donations – a wonderfully nice perk that we weren’t expecting when we started helping with this. We got mostly bread products that day, which helps stretch the grocery budget!
Before leaving home that afternoon, I had put Baked Potatoes into the Crock Pot to cook. One of our housemates was kind enough to set out all the toppings at dinnertime since I wouldn’t get home until 5:45ish. We filled our plates with potatoes, leftover chili, ham, cheese, sour cream, butter, and peas. Plus we finished off the Applesauce the kids and I had made last week.
Brayden left to have a piano lesson with Justus. When he came home, I found him doing this:
I wish I could express how amazing it is that he is able to read this book to his siblings. Reading and learning are a struggle for him and he has come so far!!
One of the fun things we came home with from the Food Distribution was a bag of McDonald’s biscuits. So on Wednesday morning I made Sausage Gravy to go with the biscuits. Plus I cut the leftover baked potatoes and cooked them with eggs. It was all so delicious!
Wednesday night, I smoked Chicken Thighs and made Smoothies (so the kids would get spinach in them). I also buttered/toasted some rolls and got out potato salad we’d received at the Food Distribution.
One of our housemates had been gone all day but brought back a delicious Apple Crisp that her cousin had made. It was a perfect dessert that night.
Thursday Matt and Elias went to York to work on our houses. Malachi helped me take the five littlest to Walmart for a few final WIC produce items for the month. As we headed out, he struck up a conversation with the greeter. I thought it was sweet so I snuck a picture. :)
I had slow cooked a roast all day, and we ate it with leftover carrots and peas, plus buttered corn and grapes. Mmmmm, roast!
Friday morning I made a big batch of French toast and let the kids choose toppings: peanut butter, apple jelly, butter, and applesauce.
Our Bonus Boy (4-year-old former foster son who is a biological half brother to some of our kids) was visiting and has a very limited list of foods he’ll eat. I went through this list again to be sure I had food on hand for him. Then I made a huge batch of Mudballs because he loves them (and so do the other kids!).
I had found sausage on sale at Walmart the day before so I browned all 8-pounds that I bought. Then I bagged it up in meal-sized portions for the freezer.
For dinner, I grilled a bunch of Hamburgers and threw Sweet Potato Fries in the air fryer.
Saturday morning we packed a picnic lunch to take to the zoo: hoagie sandwiches, fruit, chips, fruit/veggie pouches, and treats that we’d received from the food distribution.
At the zoo, we watched the zoo keepers feed the penguins.
Then we had lunch with the flamingos. :)
Kiya, Acacia, and Josie had a little conversation with a peacock. :)
We were so exhausted when we got home at naptime. But unfortunately, the toddlers fought sleep. Ack.
Meanwhile, Matt and I had decided the evening before that we could use a bit of a break and had planned to order pizza for dinner that night. We’d never ordered from Costco before but knew that the price was good and that the pizza was tasty so we gave it a try!
10 out of 10, highly recommend. We had a Pizza Picnic at one of our favorite parks, and two of our housemates joined us. One of them even went to Costco and picked up the pizza for all of us so that we wouldn’t have to lug all of the kids there. Fantastic! We ate and the kids road their bikes and scooters until time to get home to bed.
Next, I wanted to show this this fun picture. Grapes? Yes. It’s a picture of grapes. Exciting, yes?
It’s just that Kiya was helping me gather items to take to the park to enjoy with our pizza and she helped get the grapes pulled off their vines and into the bag. Then she asked if she could be the one to take the picture. (I hadn’t planned to take a picture, but she sees me prepare food all the time and then snap a photo, so surely I was going to feature her grapes!?)
You bet I’m going to feature her grapes. I’m so thankful for any one-on-one time I can snag with any of our kids. And small as it sounds, my Kiya-Mom grape prep time was really sweet.
We came home from the park to a party that Elias was hosting. He and his friend Ross just launched their first song and there was a Launch Party happening at the Castle!
It’s Yeti on Ice – Double Jointed if you care to look it up on any music platforms you use (Spotify, Apple Music, etc).
He has a lot of great friends and it was so great to see so many of them milling about the house when we got home!!! Plus all of our older boys were here – a double bonus. :)
We got the kids to bed (somehow, because there was a party going on and no one wanted to get to bed!) and I headed there myself. What a great week!
Oh! Total grocery spending for September: $1220.