Here’s our Big Family Food and Fun: February 11-17, 2024 post!
Big Family Food and Fun: February 11-17, 2024
Sunday morning we had a little bit of extra time since we don’t meet for church until 2:00 pm right now. So we worked on kids’ valentines for their Wednesday parties at school. I had ordered stickers with the kids’ names on them from Delight Design so Keith and Anna put their stickers on fruit cups and fruit strips. Easy and so cute!
We spent the rest of the morning giving baths and showers, fixing hair, and prepping for the Super Bowl. I boiled some noodles for lunch and added some White Queso and milk. We ate it with spinach because we are very fancy around here.
Matt was preaching that afternoon so we got to church a little bit early. Elias and Malachi had brought their skateboards and pulled them out to entertain the kids. Nothing warms my heart more than watching my Bigs with my Littles.
Matt had used one of our dining room benches for an illustration in his sermon, and it took almost every Coppinger to get it back out to the van. :) Daddy is a rock star.
When we got home, we had some time before the Super Bowl started so Kelsey and I took the four littles for a walk in two double strollers so that we could visit. How amazing is this weather that we can take a long walk in February!
We got home and put together Super Bowl Party food: Ham and Cheese Melts, Bacon Ranch Chip Dip, Spicy Ranch Dressing (to eat with these Potato Wedges), and regular Ranch Dip to eat with veggies. and Brownies.
Something had gone a bit wrong with my jar of Ranch Dressing Mix when I put it together last week so none of my dips were salty enough. So I kept stirring in salt and testing them again. Good grief, how does one mess up this recipe??
We had a small crowd but it was perfect. A couple friends from York came, a friend from Lincoln, plus Justus and Kelsey. I didn’t actually get to watch much of the game (or the commercials, ha) until after all the kids were in bed. So I watched the final three minutes of regulation time which was actually pretty exciting! I decided that I don’t hate watching football and actually kind of enjoy it once a year for three minutes. (I had been up since 4:15 that morning so staying up for overtime was a no-go for me.)
Just before bed, Kelsey read part of a chapter book she’s been going through with the kids. I love our big kids’ relationships with our little kids. :)
Monday morning Keith and I went to help set up for Tuesday’s Food Distribution.
Wait. Has anyone seen Keith?
That afternoon, the little girls and I made a double batch of Banana Muffins. Kiya got to enjoy Craft Club after school.
Elias took Brayden to Holmes Lake for their Bro Time. They walked all around the lake, about two miles!
Then they took advantage of Honest Abe’s 1/2 price kids meals for an extra special treat.
Dinner at home for the rest of us that night was Sausage and Cheesy Eggs, Banana Muffins, and Steamed Broccoli.
Tuesday morning, BabyBoy#11 and I were on our own for about a half and hour before everyone else got up. So he helped me get our big freezer a little bit more organized.
For breakfast that morning we ate more Banana Muffins with some yogurt.
Two of our kids had appointments with their Speech Pathologist, then I took Anna for a different appointment. I love reading to the kids in the waiting room during our rare and precious one-on-one time. :)
We came home and made Mac and Cheese with Peas for lunch before sending Keith and Anna to preschool.
Then while Daddy stayed home with napping BabyBoy#11, I took Acacia and Josie to Walmart to get Valentine cards for the kids and to try and find Baby’s new Pediasure drink. (His dietitian is working to make sure he is getting the right kind of nourishment since he is almost 14-months old and still not eating solids. Matt and I are following doctor’s orders and trying not to overthink reading the label on these drinks. The sugar content is reallly high, oy. But God is bigger, right?)
The girls and I found the special cart that allows me to actually have room for groceries while they sit in the blue chairs.
While we were there, I told the girls to look for yellow mark-down labels. You never know what you’ll find marked down at Walmart! (Remember my $5.00 hams?!?!) Half-way through our shopping, Acacia reached over and pulled Josie in for a hug. She’s only 8-months older than her little sister but she’s such a little mommy.
Oh hey, look what we found! Great big pizzas marked down to just $6.88! I bought three and decided that we were having a special pizza dinner for Valentine’s day!
Brayden, Kiya, and I went to had out food at the Food Distribution after school that day. For dinner, Elias and Matt warmed up Burritos I’d found in the freezer that morning.
Then we gathered around the table to finish up Valentine’s for tomorrow’s parties. I’d gotten Keith’s and Anna’s finished on Sunday. But Brayden and Kiya weren’t allowed to take any edible treats so I finally got their cards picked up that day and we put them together just in time to take for the party. Phew.
Valentine’s Day morning I attempted Heart-Shaped Pancakes. They weren’t a total fail, but they also weren’t very pretty. They got eaten though. :)
After getting Brayden and Kiya off to school we loaded up the five littlest and went to Aldi. We’ve found that their organic fruit and veggie pouches are best for BabyBoy#11. We can usually get him to eat 6-7 bites of this in one sitting compared to 2-3 bites of any other kind. So Matt kept the kids in the van while I ran in to restock.
Of course, I always have to check for meat markdowns. SCORE!!!!!! I found three 1/2-price pork butts. These guys were just $5.60ish each!
From Aldi, we ran to Costco because we were almost out of diapers. Matt took the kids and gassed up our van while I ran in and grabbed diapers, strawberries (for Valentine’s day dinner!), and butter. Oh look. Annie’s Mac and Cheese was on sale so I got two cases. :)
We were close to Scheels so we went to look at fish and play in their play place. On our way out, Matt and Keith picked up a package of plastic practice golf balls to use with the small golf clubs we’d acquired.
The weather was lovely that afternoon so we played outside while we waited for Keith and Anna to come home on the bus. Then everyone was excited to pull out their valentine cards to show us.
Our neighbor, John, walked over when he saw us playing. Anna had received a ring in her Valentine sack and John was a good sport about letting her try it on his pinky. :)
I baked the marked down pizzas I’d picked up the day before so that we could have a special Valentine dinner. Plus I cut up strawberries and made Cheesecake Parfait to enjoy with them.
Elias and taken Brayden out for a Bro Time session and they had been making big “surprise Mom for Valentine’s Day” plans! They snuck in and spread little gifts on our tub for me to discover.
Brayden walked in ahead of me so that he could be standing there with the rose and card they’d picked out.
Wow, wow, wow. I was not expecting all of this, that’s for sure. Elias is doing an amazing job pouring into Brayden and this day he taught him to think of Mom and to show appreciation and honor. They were both pretty thrilled with how they spent their outing time that day, but not as thrilled as I was. :)
Thursday morning I made Scrambled Cheesy Eggs and Smoothies for breakfast.
Matt and Elias went to work in York for the day and Malachi came over to help me. Josie and I made a pan of Butterscotch Bars for our birthday celebration for Justus that evening.
Days without Matt here are always a bit of a blur. But we see a light at the end of the tunnel as we get more of our properties fixed up and sold so that Matt doesn’t have to go back and forth so much.
After school, Brayden and Keith played outside with our neighbor while the girls helped me prep for a big birthday dinner for Justus.
These salad kits are so helpful and easy and the kids love making them (and eating them, woot!). We put three kits together this night since there would be extras eating with us. Kiya made two of them…
And Keith came in and made one. This was the first I’d turned one over to him, but it really is as simple as cutting open the bags and tossing it all together. Did it make a mess? Sure. But messes wipe up. He was very proud.
Justus’ birthday meal request was this Italian Cream Cheese Chicken. I always forget about this recipe until he requests it and every year I tell myself that I have to make it more often. It is so easy and good!
I put candles in his Butterscotch Bars, but not 24, ha.
Friday was a day off school for the kids so we loaded them up after breakfast and headed to the Children’s Museum. We have a membership there that we bought with Christmas money so we decided to take advantage!
The trickiest part of this outing was staying with all seven kids by myself while Matt ran a few blocks to get the van and pull up to the front for us. Somehow we all managed not to scatter back into the museum. Phew!
We got home in time for a visit with case workers and CASA for BabyBoy#11. While I visited with them, Matt warmed up Hotdogs and sliced apples and got out carrots for the kids for lunch.
We cleaned out the fridge to eat up leftovers for dinner. Then to end the evening I told the kids that if they got the toys all picked up and put away we could get out our drawing paper and pencils and watch a “How to Draw” video on YouTube.
Before I went to bed that night, I put one of the pork roasts into a crock pot to cook all night. We woke up Saturday morning to a delicious smell and I turned it into Pulled Pork for our Sunday evening meal.
Friends came over to spend several hours with us on Saturday. They brought Rotisserie Chicken from Sam’s and fruit. I steamed broccoli and buttered some rolls. This visit was so rich and encouraging.
For dinner that night I boiled some 5-Cheese Tortelloni from Sam’s which we ate plain (little kids) or with spaghetti sauce (the rest of us). This is such a great “cheat” meal to make when we want a night off from cooking!
And that was our week!