Here’s our Big Family Food and Fun: February 18-24, 2024 post!
Big Family Food and Fun: February 18-24, 2024
Sunday after church some friends came over to hang out with us. The girls painted nails. The boys chased each other with light sabers. The parents had adult conversation – bliss!
Monday morning we had Breakfast Cookies that I’d found tucked away in the freezer. They were almost gone before I remembered to take a picture. :)
I made another batch of Peanut Butter Honey Puffs that morning. Having these on hand for the kids is really helpful, but the truth is that I often need to grab one for a quick bite of protein. So maybe I really make these for me? ;)
I made two cans worth of Tuna Salad that morning to get ahead on kids’ lunches for school.
Then we packed up a big picnic to take to the zoo. The kids were off school that day and the weather was beautiful so we made a day of it!
Kelsey was off that day so she met us there!
Late that afternoon, while BabyBoy#11 napped, Elias took Brayden out for some Bro Time. I told Kiya we should use the time to make tomorrow’s breakfast and she requested Pumpkin Donuts. That’s a bigger and messier recipe to make compared to muffins, ha. But I decided to go for it. Slowly but surely all the other littles came in to join us and “help.”
After a big zoo day and a big Pumpkin Donuts mess, I was glad to just pull out leftovers for us to eat for dinner.
Tuesday morning I pulled out the Pumpkin Donuts we’d prepped and put some in the air fryer to cook.
We didn’t need all of them that morning so I put half in a freezer bag and froze them for another day.
I made a quick glaze to dip the donuts in, plus I baked several pans of bacon.
Keith and Anna’s teachers came by that morning for their quarterly Home Visit. The kids LOVE this!
After school that day, Brayden, Kiya, and I went to our Food Distribution site to give food to people in that area. Usually there are around 100 people that come through the line. We came home with some goodies too, including two Easter egg decorating kits that the littlest kids wanted to “eat” right away, ha!
Before leaving that afternoon, I had smoked a Whole Chicken and cooked Green Beans and Stick of Butter Rice. I kept the chicken warm in a crock pot so at dinner time, Elias rewarmed the beans and dinner was served!
It was gorgeous outside so the kids ate at a picnic table in the yard.
Wednesday morning, Matt and I loaded up the youngest five and headed to Walmart for WIC items.
These shopping outings are a mixture of great and hard. I’m so thankful to do this with Matt. :)
I don’t remember what the kids had for lunch that day. But for some reason I decided that I really wanted a bowl of Cheerios. So that’s what I had with my daily smoothie.
With the weather being so awesome, I decided to grill burgers for dinner that night. We ate them with Stir Fried Veggies, and Strawberries with Chocolate Whipped Cream. It was all so delicious!!! Our kids had been outside most of the afternoon/evening and we found ourselves hanging with neighbors so we invited them in to join us too. It was perfect!
Thursday morning I made two loaves of Cinnamon Bread worth of French Toast for breakfast.
Mid morning I used spinach and pumpkin to make a batch of these.
When it was time to pick up Brayden and Kiya from school, Acacia and Josie took a muffin for the road. :)
I used leftover rice and chicken from Tuesday to make Cheesy Chicken and Rice (this recipe subbing chicken for beef). We ate it with another two pounds of strawberries and the leftover Chocolate Whipped Cream from the day before, plus peas and corn.
Matt had been working in York all day and Malachi helped me brave the day without him. By the time we’d chased kids for hours and gotten them fed dinner, we were wiped out. Malachi sat in a chair with a Anna and Acacia watching videos. At this point, we were just surviving until Daddy got home. :)
Ah, but what did Daddy have with him when he got back? A big girl bed for Acacia. Malachi helped him get it set up, along with a big girl bed for Josie that we already had, while I kept seven VERY HYPER KIDS alive.
Here they are, all set and ready for their first night out of cribs!
It went better than I expected with only one middle-of-the-night wake up. :/
Friday we played outside as much as possible, enjoying the amazing sunshine.
I was pretty mentally worn out from all the intense parenting involved in our days, which is made worse when Matt is in York for the day as he had been the day before. So that afternoon I was able to go out by myself and spend a leisurely two hours at Costco. Phew, this was good down time for me. :)
I needed to stock back up on basics and I also wanted to pick up some convenience items that are easy to grab and take for picnics. I also had our third floor renters in mind as I shopped as it is handy for them to have several small snack items with them when they go to work.
We are now well stocked with some basic cooking/meal ingredients (coconut oil, cheese, hamburger meat, sausage, milk, cream, turkey lunchmeat, olives, spices, eggs), fresh fruits and vegetables (that will last maybe three days, ha), chips, and some special packaged snacks that our renters can enjoy AND our kids can enjoy for special outings.
It was Friday and if I can, we like to have “French Fry Friday.” I have not wanted to spend the money on prepared frozen fries lately as the price of those has gone up A LOT. Meanwhile, right now I’m finding our favorite Gold Potatoes priced at $0.54/pound which is fantastic!
So for dinner that night, I used 5-pounds of potatoes to make Homemade French Fries. (I made them similar to this and then after baking them, I put them in the air fryer to crisp up.) We enjoyed them with Chicken Nuggets and we ate in shifts as it’s pretty impossible to make enough fries and nuggets to feed us all at the same time. :)
There was some excitement going on one block over from our house as a pipeline had some sort of issues. All of our kids were interested in what all the flashing lights were about so we loaded up in strollers and walked over to “watch the show.” The worker trucks were gone by the time we got there, but we did get to admire the great big hole in the street. :)
Saturday morning I had help cleaning out a dishwasher…
I baked a dozen eggs on a cookie sheet, cooked a bunch of sausage patties, and turned them into Breakfast Sandwiches.
I planned to save and freeze extras for future easy breakfasts, but this is all we had left, ha!
Keith helped me make two loaves of bread worth of Uncrustables.
We packed them up with apples, olives, cucumbers, chips, cookies, and juice to take to the park for lunch. (I also packed a Pediasure and fruit/veggie pouch that we needed for BabyBoy#11.)
It took a literal three hours to get out the door that morning because behavior struggles slowed us down over and over. Please pray for these children and for Matt and me as we help figure out their needs and how to help them find peace. The effort it takes to get out the door for these outings is huge. But then once we finally reach our destination, it is all worth it as the kids can run out their energy in healthy ways. Phew.
We went to one of our favorite parks where there is a playground, bike trail, skateboard area, basketball, tennis, and disc golf. It’s perfect for our family!
Food tastes better when you’ve been running around outside!
Oh but wait. The food is abandoned when you spot ducks swimming in the water behind you!
Malachi joined us with his skateboard and Acacia and Josie tried to keep up with him on their scooter bikes.
We rode/walked around the trail together then we made our way over to the skateboard and basketball area. Everyone was soooo much happier and peaceful while we were there – one of the big reasons we venture out any chance we can with this crew!
We ate leftovers that evening in an effort to clean out the fridge. Our neighbors hosted a 50th Anniversary party and we briefly went to our church’s game night. And that was our week!