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Good morning, and happy Sunday! As you read this, we’re on our way home from a fun, quick, and festive visit with family in Florida — including Christmas at Disney. All of the highlights, along with our easy dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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. First, though — a quick note to let you know that my most recent recipe for Taste of Home is now live! I hope you’ll check out this Easy Corn Casserole and give it a try this holiday season!

Now let’s back up to last weekend…

We woke up to a frost-covered ground and 20-degree temps on Sunday morning, but the sun was shining and it wasn’t windy, so an early walk with my girlfriend was the perfect way to get some fresh air.

I came home to find these two working on the construction of their elaborate tree forts, which have been a work in progress since last summer!

Keith had been plugging away at some office work all morning, so come lunchtime he was ready to get out of the house. The boys opted for lunch at their favorite Chinese buffet in Charlottesville, so that’s what we did!

Back home, the kids decorated their first batch of cookies for the season — and I didn’t even have to do the baking! My friend Katie and I used to spend hours decorating her mom’s Moravian gingerbread cut-outs every Christmas as children, and now her mom sends the baked cookies to my boys to continue the tradition.

This makes me SO happy for so many reasons — not only because the kids get to partake in something that I always loved, but also because the cookies are delicious to eat!

So many memories…but I must say, my boys have a MUCH shorter attention span than we did as little girls. In fact, Casey’s production level was quite low, because he ate every cookie that he decorated! ????

It was a perfect chilly afternoon to roast a pork shoulder in the oven, so we had tender, juicy Mississippi Roasted Pulled Pork for dinner that night. For the sides, I made a batch of cornbread in a cast iron skillet, along with coleslaw and baked beans.

Spencer went to bed early on Sunday evening complaining that his throat hurt. Since he rarely complains about anything, I took him straight to the doctor on Monday morning for a strep test. Sure enough, he tested positive (even though he had no other symptoms) and we picked up an antibiotic shortly after!

Since it poured rain all day and Spencer was home sick, we had a very quiet day indoors. I took care of chores and got some computer work done before the older boys arrived home from school.

We feasted on a Taco Crescent Ring and side salads for dinner, and then Gibbs and Casey had their first basketball practice of the season. Thank goodness for indoor sports on cold, wet days!

Not too much to report from Tuesday! Spencer felt fine and returned to school, and since the weather was rainy again, I was happy to meet my friend at the gym for an early class. I ran a couple of errands after the gym, returned home in time for lunch and a shower, and then parked myself at the computer to get work done for the rest of the afternoon.

These fun little Santa mugs (and some hot cocoa) were waiting for the boys when they got home from school!

Dinner that night was an oldie-but-goodie: Dump-and-Bake Chicken Parmesan Casserole, plus a big salad on the side!

I started Wednesday with an eggnog latte (courtesy of my Nespresso machine, which was a Christmas gift last year). I just froth the eggnog in the milk frother and it’s like I have a Starbucks in my kitchen!

The sun returned that day too, so I gladly met my friend at her farm for a walk once the boys climbed on the school bus.

We actually had some snow the night before (which didn’t stick because the temps were so warm), but we could definitely see the snow nearby on the mountains! Not ready for that yet…

Dinner that night was a Classic Pot Roast with Vegetables, Potatoes and Gravy, which I served with a side of green beans. My boys prefer their beef in hoagie rolls with melted cheese on top (we call them “steak and cheese subs”), so that’s how I served their pot roast. It’s a meal that works for everyone!

Sliced classic pot roast with potatoes and vegetables on a silver serving plate

Thursday was almost entirely devoted to getting ready for our trip. Even if it’s just for a few days, traveling with a family of 5 takes some serious preparation! A few things that I always try to do before leaving town include:

  • Changing the sheets on all of the beds (so that we come home to clean linens)
  • Putting laundry away
  • Watering the plants
  • Planning our meals for the first few days that we’re home, so that I don’t have to think about it or stress about what we’ll be eating
  • Writing a grocery list and starting an online grocery order for pickup upon our return, so that we’ll have plenty of food in the house
  • Working ahead to get some of my daily business operations scheduled or completed in advance so that I’m not trying to work too much while we travel
  • And of course, packing all of the suitcases!

We’ll be returning on Sunday just in time for the kids’ last week of school before the Christmas holiday. It will be a chaotic and very busy week full of performances, class parties, PTO obligations, basketball practices, etc. — so I’m doing my best to minimize any additional travel-related stress. We’ll see how it goes…

Amongst all of these preparations, I did manage to squeeze in a walk in the woods with my friend Ashley on Thursday morning. It was cold, but beautiful!

Back home, I started dinner in the Crock Pot (since I knew that I’d be out of the house in the afternoon to pick up Gibbs late from school), and then Teddy and I headed down to Charlottesville to meet my parents for lunch. My folks were kind enough to take care of the dog for the weekend, so I dropped him off with them and we all grabbed lunch at Burton’s Grill.

I loved this Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Bowl, as well as some of my mom’s fish tacos and sweet potato fries!

I also made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s next door, since it’s a pretty long drive from our house and I only make it there a few times a year. I like to pop in at least once during the holiday season to see what they have, and I obviously wasn’t disappointed. Highlights included the Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe’s, Whole Milk Eggnog-flavored Greek yogurt, Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti, and a mini Panettone.

For supper that night, I made my Slow Cooker Corn Chowder with Chicken, which I paired with biscuits and side salads. So cozy and delicious! Then Keith was out the door with the older boys for basketball practice, while I stayed home to put Spencer to bed.

Close up shot of bowl of Slow Cooker Corn Chowder with Chicken and crumbled bacon on top

We were up and on the go by 4:30 a.m. (!!!) on Friday morning so that we could catch a flight to Florida for the weekend. We had planned to pull the boys out of school for the day, but it turned out to be their first snow day of the year! While the mountains of Madison saw snow and ice, we were very fortunate that the weather at lower elevations was just rainy and our flight could leave as scheduled.

We made it to my brother’s house in Orlando in time for a late lunch, scooped his kids up from school, and eventually made our way to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The holiday event didn’t start until 7:00 p.m., so we picked up Chik-Fil-A for dinner on the way there.

The rest of our evening included rides, a Christmas parade, cookies and cocoa, fireworks, and a very late arrival back at the house. What a day!

Seven cousins ages 2-10!

We spent Saturday enjoying the sunshine at my brother’s house and stayed busy with trips to the park, swimming, and biking. We even got to watch my nephews play in their basketball games that afternoon!

My brother grilled steak fajitas for dinner that night, which we had with grilled veggies, yellow rice, cheese, chips, guacamole and black beans. Delicious!

Plus s’mores by the pool for dessert, followed by a ride around the neighborhood in the golf cart to check out Christmas lights. The perfect ending to a fun holiday weekend with family!

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope that you’ve found a few new ideas to add to your own meals in the week ahead. Have a great Sunday!


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

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