Happy Sunday, friends! I hope that you had a great week, full of plenty of Halloween candy and festive fun! It was an exciting one around here — from trick-or-treating to adopting a new puppy and attending a concert, there was never a dull moment. I’m sharing all of the highlights, along with our easy dinners in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals. Let’s get right to it!
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…
I headed out with the sunrise on Sunday morning for an early walk with my friend Mollie, followed by a stop at the grocery store on my way home.
We often walk on the nature trails at Hoover Ridge Park, and that particular morning the trails were still decorated from the Haunted Woods event the night before. Holy cow, it was so creepy!
At one point a zombie (with a sensor on it) made a noise at me as I was walking by, I screamed and ran away, and we finished the rest of our hike on the gravel road instead. Hah! Even in the daylight it was too freaky for me!
Back home, Spencer helped me prepare a batch of M&M cookie dough, since both Spencer and Gibbs had requested these cookies for their class Halloween parties at school this week. We use a bag of the mini M&M’s, which work perfectly in the recipe.
After lunch we made our way south to Nellysford my parents’ house for my birthday dinner. My birthday’s not for another week, but Mom and Dad will be out of town at that point, so we celebrated early. We got to see my Aunt Barbara for a quick visit, too!
It was such a beautiful afternoon, and yes — each of the 3 boys “fell” in the water at some point…
Mom served crab cakes, along with coleslaw, French fries, and corn muffins. SOOOOO good!
And it wouldn’t be my birthday without her homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting. It’s always been my favorite, and it always will be.😍
Bonus — I got to bring home the leftovers to enjoy all week!
Monday was back to the routine with a pretty standard day. I got work done at home while Spencer was in school for the morning, and since the soccer season is over, our afternoon just involved a lot of horseplay in the yard. They’re smiling here, but don’t be fooled — this “play” often ends in tears or injuries!🙄
Keith worked late that evening, so the kids and I had an early dinner on our own: Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff. I served the meatballs and sauce with egg noodles and frozen French-cut green beans. Cozy (and easy)!
I squeezed in a few errands on Tuesday morning while Spence was at school, including a stop at Yoder’s Country Market for lunchmeat, as well as a walk in Orange with Mollie.
Dinner that night was an oldie-but-goodie: Dump-and-Bake Skinny Chicken Parmesan Casserole. Love this easy meal, and so does the family!
Wednesday was Halloween! Gibbs’s 3rd grade class went on a field trip to Big Meadows on Skyline Drive for the day, and this kid was excited to join hang out with the big kids at Casey’s 2nd grade class party.
Kudos to Casey’s teacher for getting the kids excited about a party that centered around fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, and popcorn on a day when they were otherwise consuming copious amounts of sugar (believe me…they had plenty of the sweet stuff later)!
I knew that I needed an easy and nourishing supper that I could feed everyone early before we headed out for trick-or-treating, so I threw my Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew in the Crock Pot that morning. This was the perfect Halloween dinner!
We went to the parking lot at the high school for the County’s annual Trick-or-Trunk event, which is such a wonderful, safe, and EASY way for the kids to collect their candy, see their friends, and celebrate the holiday.
This year we brought along The Conductor from The Polar Express (Spencer),
a Grim Reaper (Casey),
and Link from The Legend of Zelda (Gibbs). A motley crew, but that pretty much sums up my boys!
Thursday was a beautiful morning for a hike in the woods with my friend. It finally looks like fall has arrived in our yard!
After I picked the boys up from school that afternoon, we drove straight to Stanardsville to pick up our new puppy! We’ve all been counting down until he would be old enough to come home with us, so this was a very exciting day.
Meet “Teddy,” the Yorkshire Terrier!
Since I knew that I would be distracted by the dog and busy getting everyone settled at home, I planned an easy dinner for that evening. I pulled out the leftover Chili Con Carne from last week (which I had stashed in our freezer), and served the bowls with cornbread.
I can’t wait to share this recipe with you very soon! It’s one of my favorite chili recipes ever.
I spent my Friday morning largely focused on the new pup — from house training to an early morning vet visit, it’s very similar to having a newborn at home again!
I also managed to join a conference call that afternoon, pick up a grocery order from Walmart, and supervise Spence and the pup outside in the yard. When I snapped this photo, Spencer was saying, “Teddy…you can be my farm dog!” Hah!
We were supposed to have family photos taken down in Charlottesville that evening, but the rainy weather interfered with those plans for the second week in a row. Instead, I just whipped up some of the boys’ favorite Pesto Pasta with ingredients that we had in the pantry. Not fancy, but it worked!
Casey and Spencer were outside raking leaves at sunrise on Saturday morning!
I spent the rest of the morning running errands in Culpeper, and then picked up pizza for the kids for dinner that night. Our babysitter came over so that Keith and I could go on a date! We headed into Charlottesville for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, followed by the Chris Stapleton concert at John Paul Jones Arena. Such a fun (late) evening!
I promise — our Panang Curry, Thai Salad, and Drunken Noodles tasted way better than it looks in this photo!
Have a great week, friends!
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