Hey, friends! Holy cow, it was kind of a crazy week around here. Our normal routine was thrown off (thanks to vacation, school holidays, etc.), and we had a jam-packed schedule full of fall sports, school fundraisers, teacher conferences, and...puppies! I'm embracing a slower day today, since the week ahead -- with Halloween and other excitement -- looks to be equally busy!
For those of you who are new to the blog, Our Week in Meals is where I share a little bit about what we’ve been up to over the past week — as it relates to our dinners each night. This series gives you a glimpse “behind the scenes” at some highlights from our life, shows you how I balance a busy schedule with feeding my family, and offers a few new ideas for your own weekly meal plan. Now let’s back up to last weekend…
We went to Charlottesville for lunch at the Chinese buffet on Sunday (the kids' favorite because they can eat all of the desserts that they want, along with General Tso's Chicken, Jell-O, French fries, etc!),
and then met my parents at the UVA soccer game. The boys had fun watching the college players, but they got antsy by halftime so we headed home early.
I had thawed some really big shrimp from Costco, so for dinner that night we had our favorite Marinated Shrimp served with white rice and salads. It was windy and chilly outside, so instead of grilling the shrimp, I roasted them in the oven on a sheet pan at 425 degrees F for about 9-12 minutes (stirring halfway through). It was a nice, light meal after a very heavy, filling lunch!
Keith took the entire week off for vacation, so he was around to help out a lot this week, which was really nice!
On my way home from dropping the boys off at school on Monday morning, I stopped at Yoder's Country Market to pick up our lunch meat for the week. They always have the best seasonal items that somehow get tossed into my bag when they're not on my list!
How can you say no to Pumpkin Pie Almonds or Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Covered Pretzels?!
Casey had a 6:00 p.m. soccer game that evening, and I had a PTO meeting at the school afterwards at 7:00 p.m., so I made a slow cooker dinner in the afternoon that I could feed everyone at 5:00. This healthy Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Stew is always a hit! I served it over pasta for the kids, which they loved.
Since Keith was home on Tuesday and he could meet Spencer at the bus at lunchtime, I took advantage and headed into Charlottesville for the day. I met my mom for some early birthday shopping (my birthday is still a couple of weeks away, but this was a convenient excuse!). The stores were so beautifully decorated for fall, and I had fun picking out some new clothes at Vineyard Vines.
I'll never be too old to go shopping with Mom!
We had lunch at Mezeh, which is a lot like a Mediterranean version of Chipotle. This bowl included chicken shawarma, eggplant caponata, baba ganoush, hummus, pickled onions, feta cheese, a tahini sauce, and about a zillion other toppings that I can't remember...plus pita bread on the side. Delicious!!!
And then...the REALLY exciting part! Mom and I went to breeder's house to meet some puppies! I've waited two long years since our Boston Terrier, Molly, passed away before seriously considering another pet. I couldn't hold off any longer, and with Spencer in school more this year, my time is a bit more flexible and can be devoted to puppy training.
This little Yorkshire Terrier isn't quite ready to come home with me yet, but we sure had fun meeting the little ones. I'm SO excited about this birthday present!!!
And yes...I picked out a boy. Because what's one more boy added to my house?! That will make me + 5 boys!????
I had to coach Spencer's soccer practice that evening, so I left Keith at home "in charge" of dinner (and by "in charge," I mean that he preheated the oven while I was out)!
We had Fish n' Chips -- which consisted of these fish fillets that I picked up at Costco, along with some French fries and salad. Coleslaw would have been a great addition, but I forgot to pick some up. Easy and tasty!
Spencer's pre-K class went to the pumpkin patch on Wednesday morning, and he was very excited to find "the perfect pumpkin!"
Keith left for the night to visit his brothers, so the kids and I had a very easy dinner. I took Casey to his 5:30 soccer practice, and then we came home to our Dump-and-Bake Pizza Pasta! What child wouldn't love this one?!
Thursday was kind of a crazy day, which involved a lot of running around. The boys only had school in the morning, so I picked them up at noon and treated everyone to lunch at Subway (their request)!
While I spent the rest of the afternoon attending parent-teacher conferences, helping at the school Book Fair, and coordinating the faculty dinner, Keith was in charge of the kids. He took them up the road to Liberty Mills Farm, where they jumped off of hay bales and ran through the largest corn maze on the East Coast. Fall fun!
I made a quick dinner using leftovers from the fridge. We had two different types of pizza: one with just cheese, and the other piled high with pepperoni, turkey Italian sausage, peppers, mushrooms and onions. Pizza is such a great way to clean out the kitchen, since you can throw just about any cooked meat or extra veggies on top.
Then I was back out the door to return to the school to help with Book Fair clean-up.
Friday was a teacher work day, so all 3 kiddos were home from school. With Keith home as well, it felt more like a Saturday than a week day.
My friend Mollie came over in the morning so that we could walk around our property and catch up while the boys played.
Since it was cold and rainy the rest of the day, we took the kids bowling up in Culpeper after lunch. This is the perfect indoor activity for my crew!
Later that afternoon I made a run to Walmart to pick up goodies for Spencer's soccer team party the next day, and then came home to deal with house chores and supper.
We had an old favorite for dinner, which was perfect on a cold, damp evening: my Great Aunt Bee's Swedish Meatballs. I served the meatballs with sauce over egg noodles and made a salad on the side. SO YUM.
The rain continued on Saturday morning, so the boys' last weekend of soccer was cancelled. I brought donuts and trophies to Spencer's team for a little get-together, and then returned home to stay dry!
When the sun came out after lunch, Keith took the boys on a hike while I got work done at home. I also baked a couple of pans of brownies to bring with us to a potluck that evening.
A new family moved onto the farm across the road from us, so we walked over there before supper to meet them.
I also brought along a jar of my Blueberry Jam for a housewarming gift!
We had dinner at home after the party, which included bowls of Chili Con Carne and cornbread. I'll share this new recipe on the blog very soon!
That's it for now, friends! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope that you have a wonderful week ahead!
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