Here’s our Big Family Food and Fun: December 10-16 post!
Big Family Food and Fun: December 10-16, 2023
Sunday we were blessed to have friends join us for lunch after church – a precious family of five that we have known for many years. Living in Lincoln with them now is a huge blessing so that we can worship and spend time together.
I made a Spiral Cut Ham, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans. Their family brought Salad, Cucumbers, Cornbread Muffins, Brownies, and a Trifle. It was an amazing feast!
When our kitchen looks like this, it is my favorite. I will stare at this photo and praise God for all He’s given.
We visited and the kids played a good part of the afternoon. Then I turned some of the leftovers into casseroles. I used leftover ham to make an Easy Egg Casserole and put it into the freezer for Christmas morning. Then I made two Ham and Hashbrown Casseroles – one for us to eat this week and one to give to a mom who just had her first baby.
At dinnertime, we finished off some of the side dishes from lunch along with Roasted Chicken. After we got the kids to bed, Matt finished getting all the chicken off the bones. Throughout the week, we can have easy chicken meals, plus I can make broth with the bones!
Monday morning Eva came over to help with the kids. I took BabyBoy#11 to a WIC appointment. Then I was blessed to spend two entire hours visiting with my friend Charlene – a rare and awesome treat!
Monday evening, Brayden had a Ukulele Concert so I made a big pan of Cheesy Chicken and Rice (this recipe but with chicken instead of beef) so we could have an early dinner before his performance.
Most of us were able to watch his concert and he was so excited (and nervous) that so many were there!
Justus and Kelsey surprised him with flowers afterward. :)
Here’s our crazy concert crew:
Tuesday after breakfast I used the chicken bones from Sunday night’s chicken to make a big pot of broth.
Keith and Anna had home visits from their preschool teachers that morning. Then as soon as all the littles went down for naps that afternoon, I headed out by myself to shop at Costco. I got a few more Christmas gifts plus milk, fruits and veggies, olive oil, chicken nuggets, diapers, and a few other needed items.
I got home just in time to unload the van and then pick up Brayden and Kiya to head to the Food Distribution where we help hand out food each Tuesday afternoon. I had used the last of Phyllis’ pulled pork to make BBQ Pork Melts, which Matt and Elias baked at dinnertime. So we got home and ate them along with leftover potatoes and fresh spinach.
Wednesday morning I used leftover ham from Sunday to make Ham and Cheesy Eggs and then let the kids choose a bread item. (We almost always bring home quite a bit of bread leftovers from the Tuesday Food Distribution.) That day we had a couple varieties of loaf bread plus bagels and Cranberry Orange Muffins.
Our morning was full of appointments and meetings. As we were getting kids dressed, Keith requested to comb Acacia’s hair for her. I usually let the girls look at pictures on my phone while I brush their hair (to keep them still) and Matt was able to capture this sweet sibling moment. Acacia actually let Keith brush her hair for quite a while!
I had a lot of tortillas from Azure Standard in our freezer and I wanted to make a big batch of these Burritos, so for lunch I made a Burrito Bar so that I could the leftovers to put together freezer burritos.
For dinner that night I used the chicken broth I’d made on Tuesday to make a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup (with spaghetti noodles since that’s what I had on hand). I also made a blender full of these smoothies because I had a lot of greens in the fridge to use up.
Justus had come over to give Brayden a piano lesson so he grabbed a bowl of soup too.
I was going to get out a Christmas craft for the kids to work on that evening, but I discovered a wrestling match that then turned into an I Spy game with Daddy. And before we knew it, it was bedtime. :)
Thursday evening we had signed up to deliver a meal to friends who just had a baby. So we decided that we would eat an early dinner, load everyone up to look at Christmas lights since we needed to head out to drop off food.
Brayden saw what we were having and asked if he could make dinner. Yup! From start to finish, he made our Orange Chicken and Steamed Broccoli. (This may not seem like a big deal for an almost-10-year-old. But for this guy, it is a very big deal and we are so thankful he has come so far as to do something like this.)
Meanwhile, I pulled out some frozen Christmas cookies to frost and decorate for the new parents we were delivering food to. Following these methods of making cookies with kids is sooooo helpful and this night proved it! The cookies were already rolled out, cut out, and baked. All we had to do was frost and sprinkle. Kiya loved helping me with this job and wanted to know who else we could make food for. :)
After we ate Brayden’s delicious dinner, Matt loaded all of the littles while I finished putting together the meal we were going to deliver: Ham and Hashbrown Casserole, Steamed Broccoli, Grapes, and Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies.
After we dropped off the food we found fun neighborhoods with lots of Christmas lights to enjoy. When we got home, Elias had pulled up the Husker volleyball game – perfect timing! We won the game just in time to get the kids to bed. :)
Friday morning I made a loaf of bread worth of Eggs in a Nest. Kiya had requested them since I hadn’t made them in a while. Perfect!
That morning I also made a batch of Flourless Chocolate Banana Muffins with some bananas that were turning black.
We loaded all the kids up that morning to run errands. First stop: Trader Joe’s to look for a few gifts to put together for teachers, etc.
Keith got to push a kid-cart, which totally made his day!
After school that afternoon, Keith proudly pulled out an ornament he had made at school and wrapped by himself.
Look at who is learning to write his name!
That evening, we all put on our snuggly-est jammies and headed to church for a Christmas Pajama Party! The children’s ministry team did a wonderful job putting together a super fun evening for the kids. We had a great pizza meal.
We had a dance party.
A grinch and an elf showed up and started a “snowball fight” which was a huge hit!! Well, except for with Acacia and Josie who weren’t so sure what to think about the whole thing, haha.
There were crafts and a bingo game and a chocolate fountain – a WONDERFUL party that we all loved! Best of all, the kids were all jammied up and ready for bed as soon as we got home. :)
Saturday morning I set out the Flourless Chocolate Banana Muffins I had made the day before. I also baked the remainder of the box of bacon I had bought a few weeks ago. We had a few yogurt cups from Aldi so we finished those off too.
Mid-morning we loaded up snacks and kids and headed to the indoor play place at the zoo.
I had made a big bowl full of Tuna Salad so we could eat right away when we got home.
During naptime that day, we spent time getting ready for a Christmas party with some friends who were coming from out of town. Kiya set out fun Christmas plates and juice pouches.
Then the kids watched as I attempted to put together Santa Bananas. Hahahaha, you got me, Pinterest. We were all giggling the entire time I was putting these together – especially every time I tried squirting the whipped cream onto the Santa hats and into Santa beards. The whipped cream didn’t cooperate very well.
Oh – and then the red M&Ms started to bleed so by the time we served these, Santa had quite the bloody nose. Sorry ol’ fella. It was FUN though and I’m glad we tried these. Good luck if you decide to try too. :) :) :)
We set out a buffet of Hotdogs, veggies, and other fruit to go along with our Santa Bananas.
Justus and Kelsey came over to help, thankfully! Altogether there were 8 adults and 16 kids. Was it loud? Do you even have to ask? But look at this precious, full table…
After dinner, we all loaded up in our cars/vans and drove around to enjoy Christmas lights. When we came home, Matt and Justus had popcorn ready and then Justus and Kelsey helped serve Hot Cocoa to go with it.
What a night! Matt had already bathed four of the kids earlier while I was working on the infamous Santa Bananas. Kelsey threw two of the girls into the tub after Hot Cocoa. Our guests headed out and we tucked everyone into bed after a fun time together!
And that was our week!