Here’s our Big Family Food and Fun: December 31-January 6 post…
Big Family Food and Fun: December 31-January 6, 2024
This week’s big goal was: CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE. We had enjoyed so many fun meals the week before when we celebrated Christmas and birthdays! So our refrigerators were full of all kinds of tidbits we needed to eat up.
Sunday for lunch, we pulled everything out and prioritized what needed to be finished first. We warmed up Nachos, Chicken Tenders, and Orange Chicken and put everything else away for another meal.
Justus and Kelsey joined us, plus our friend Kermit who comes almost every Sunday after church and feels like a part of our family now. I mean, you know you’re a part of the family when you’re only offered random leftovers for lunch, right?
Dinner that night? More leftovers. This time it was cheese, crackers, and meats. We got out Avocado Cups to provide something green with our meal. :)
Breakfast on Monday was Yogurt and Granola with the rest of our Blueberries.
Eva came over to help Matt with littles and I took Brayden, Kiya, and Keith to our Food Distribution site to set up food to give away the next day. We did everything we could and then had some down time while we waited for the next delivery truck to show up. So we enjoyed some Tic-Tac-Toe. :)
When we got home, we built Magna-Tile Towers with Eva.
Lunch was leftover pizza (that I almost over cooked when I warmed them up in our Air Fryer). I sliced an entire bag of pears to eat with the pizza.
We snacked that afternoon on Bananas and Pretzels to help tide us over because at 5:00 we’d been invited to tour our neighbor’s house. They decorate for every holiday in a BIG way. While we’d enjoyed looking at the outside of their house, they told us that their inside decorations were even more impressive. They were correct!
We had our Bonus 5-Year Old with us (former foster son) so we bravely took eight little kids into this beautifully decorated home full of breakables. Our neighbor took us into every room of their house, showing us all that they’ve collected through the years and telling us where they’d bought their treasures. The kids did amazing and were fascinated!
We headed back home and pulled out a Ham I’d put into the oven that afternoon (one of these awesome $5 hams!). We enjoyed it with leftover Mac and Cheese plus Buttered Peas and Corn. I also drank my Smoothie because I hadn’t had one yet that day. :)
Tuesday morning I baked a batch of Pumpkin Muffins, scrambled some Cheesy Eggs (with spinach), and peeled some Clementines.
BabyBoy#11 had his one-year check-up that morning and Anna went with us for the appointment. They had fun looking at the very sweet kids in the mirror while we were waiting for the doctor to come in. :) :) :)
Back at home, Matt sliced apples to serve with peanut butter and sprinkled cinnamon. We needed a substantial snack because we decided to take all the kids to the zoo for a late morning run around with the Spider Monkeys!
I grabbed Cheese, Summer Sausage, Crackers, Applesauce, and Juice to take with us for a snacky lunch.
It was a sunny 38 degrees, so a great winter day to walk from the van to the indoor play area! (…with an unnamed three-year-old who “wasn’t cold” and refused to wear the spring jacket she brought to wear with the spring dress she’d chosen to wear that day.)
We stopped off at the Tigers on our way as they were sitting in their hay bed soaking up some sun. How many Coppingers can you fit into the Tiger Truck? Quite a few, as it turns out.
The kids ran around and played for a solid hour, stopping eventually to eat and drink every last drop of food I’d packed.
We took some time in the room next door to enjoy the Iguanas and Chinchillas before heading home for rest time.
I had used soup bones from last night’s ham to make a pot of broth that morning. That afternoon, I blended up the veggies to stir into the broth for extra nourishment, planning to use it later in the week for soup.
Brayden, Kiya, and I headed out to hand out food at the Food Distribution while Matt and Elias kept everyone else happy at home. We came home with some extra food, including some Izze drinks they were handing out. The girls found them and pretended to chug them down on the step.
Matt had warmed up Tomato Soup and leftover Sandwiches from last week for our dinner. Everything was too crazy when we got home so I forgot to take a picture of our meal. ;)
Wednesday morning we had Toast/Bagels with Cottage Cheese and Peaches/Pineapple.
We loaded up and drove to meet some friends at a library for a Snow Much Fun Story Hour.
After fun stories and songs, we got to make crafts.
I had used the broth I’d made on Tuesday along with leftover Ham from Monday to make Spicy Ham and Potato Soup. We were all super hungry when we got home so it was great to have it ready to serve when we got home.
The kids also enjoyed Tuesday’s Pumpkin Muffins with their soup.
Justus and Kelsey came that afternoon so that Justus could give Brayden a piano lesson. Kelsey was awesome and played games with Kiya and Keith during that time!
I made Spaghetti for dinner that night with Salad and Corn.
Thursday morning was busy as we had an appointment in the morning and then needed to leave for York so that some of our kids could have a scheduled visit with their bio mom. Emotions were running high that morning.
I had a container of Homemade Instant Oatmeal in our pantry so I used it for our breakfast. We had bananas that were over ripe so I smashed those in the bottom of each bowl so that the kids could have Banana Oatmeal – their favorite.
Brayden, Kiya, and Keith stayed home with their big brothers while Matt and I left with Anna, Acacia, Josie, and BabyBoy#11 for their WIC appointment. I was able to snap this sweet photo of Anna as she got her height checked. (All three of the little girls are almost exactly the same height and weight. No wonder people ask all the time if they are triplets!)
An hour+ later, we waved goodbye and said thank you as we headed out the clinic door.
The rest of the day was a blur as we made Tuna Sandwiches at home before loading all the kids and heading to York. The kids and I played for a few hours at a friend’s house (delightful!) while Matt and Elias spent some time working on our York properties. Then I took three of our kids to spend some time with their biological mom. It was bedtime when we loaded everyone back up and made the drive back to York.
Friday morning after breakfast and general hubbub, we loaded everyone up to go to a Sensory Library Storytime. These are our favorite as they provide an intentionally calm environment with fidgets and weighted animals for the kids as they sing interactive songs and read fun stories. Quite a few of our kids become overwhelmed so easily (as do I, honestly, as everyone’s emotions start to run high with overstimulation). These story times have a smaller audience – and in fact, this day we were the only family who showed up. We filled the room, ha. And the librarian was so sweet to all of our kids as she engaged them in the interactive songs and stories.
Afterward, the librarian pulled out some fun learning toys for the kids to enjoy.
Then we all explored the rest of this library as we hadn’t visited this one before. We loved it and will likely visit often even though it isn’t super close to our house.
Everyone was “starving” when we got home at lunchtime. The plan was to warm up leftover Spaghetti, which we did. But while it was warming up, I quickly spread some peanut butter on tortillas and folded them into triangles to fill their bellies as fast as possible.
For dinner that night, we put together a simple Nacho Bar with chips, seasoned meat, white queso, shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, spinach, and corn.
Saturday was an exciting day as it was my niece’s wedding day! We spent the morning taking baths and getting dressed up for the big event. I also took some time to get our Sunday lunch ready since we’d be gone all afternoon/evening Saturday.
But first, Bacon.
I made a huge pot of mashed potatoes, then added sour cream, butter, and cheese to bake for our Sunday Lunch the next day.
And I made Oatmeal Raspberry Bars (x2) for our Sunday dessert.
After the baking and cooking, we got all seven littles through bath and showers. I had grand plans of braiding all the girls’ hair but time got away from me and I only ended up getting Josie’s and Acacia’s done.
We quickly threw sandwiches together for lunch so that we could get dressed in wedding attire and head out the door.
I filled a bag with non-messy snacks knowing that we’d likely need them to get us through the day while we were gone. Before Christmas I’d found Party Trays at Sam’s marked down to only $6.91 – crazy low and not near expiration. I still had one in the fridge and it was perfect to take along to feed hungry kids (and grown-ups for that matter). I also grabbed granola bites, pistachios, and applesauce. I was glad I packed all this because the kids worked their way through quite a bit of it throughout the day.
The wedding was lovely and we got to see so many people we hadn’t seen for years! We are so happy for the new Mr. and Mrs. Heinrichs!
Our girls spent as much time as they could with their very favorite Emma.
Keith was determined to dance to every song and took this job very seriously.
Before heading out we said our goodbyes and took this photo with two of my favorite friends. There’s Anna, still attached to Emma and acting as silly as possible.
And that was our week!