Hello, hello from sunny Florida! As I sit and type this post, we're visiting my brother's family for a warm weekend getaway. By the time you're reading this we'll be home, but it sure has been a fun few days (and a lovely escape from the snow and ice of Virginia).
Before I get too far ahead of myself, let's rewind a bit and chat about Our Week in Meals!
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 had plans to join my in-laws up in Northern Virginia for a pizza party on Sunday, so at 9:00 a.m. we all piled in the car for the two hour drive north.
At about the same time, it started snowing, the roads were very icy, and we didn't make it more than a mile before we realized that it wasn't safe to be out.
Instead, the kids played outside in the snow (which ultimately didn't amount to much),
and came inside for hot cocoa.
The snow turned to freezing rain and continued on that way for the rest of the day, so we were obviously housebound.
Being stuck indoors can lead to some very stir-crazy boys, so we tried to stay busy with baking projects! First up: a batch of brownies for our private "Super Bowl party" that evening.
I also made a batch of these wholegrain corn muffins to serve with dinner.
The mix made 44 mini muffins, so now I have a freezer full of them for future meals!
We didn't have a big gathering for the football game, but the kids were definitely excited about placing their bets in a pool (Keith's tactic for getting his sons interested in watching).
I had a pot of The Best Slow Cooker White Chili simmering all afternoon, so we enjoyed the cozy dinner in front of the TV with our corn muffins on the side (and brownies for dessert)!
Speaking of the Super Bowl...holy smokes, what a game! I normally just read my book and half pay attention to football in the background, but I couldn't take my eyes off of this game. I stayed up past my bedtime to see who won.????
And the halftime show?! Justin Timberlake is just so darn talented. The dancing, the choreography, the production!! I can't even wrap my brain around the amount of coordination that must be involved in putting together a show like that.
Thanks to the icy roads, all 3 of the boys were home from school on Monday.
They were happy to have a day off, but they weren't too thrilled about getting dragged to Costco! If nothing else, we desperately needed to GET OUT.
Ruby Frost apples are back in stock!
We also went for a short hike that afternoon. I decided that little boys are like puppies...they need frequent walks (or exercise), plenty of play, snuggles, and lots of food.????
And here's how country boys entertain themselves after dinner: "ice skating" on the frozen patches of gravel at sunset.????⛸
I had to go to the dermatologist on Tuesday to get my stitches out, so beforehand Spencer and I met my parents for lunch at Chik-Fil-A in Charlottesville.
After being stuck indoors for a few days, Spence appreciated the indoor playground. I did my best not to think about all of the germs. Ew.
Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken Nuggets on Top
Dinner that night was SO easy, and we seriously love this meal.
My 5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pot Pie is a good, kid-friendly shortcut on the classic. My kids prefer the "crust" (i.e. the biscuits) separate from the rest of the dish, so this is a meal that works well for everyone.
At about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Casey and I were sitting on the front porch, listening to coyotes howl on the farm across from us, as we tried to get his breathing under control. Croup struck again, and it wasn't pretty.☹️
He was still coughing a lot in the morning, and Spencer woke up with some similar funky bug, so this is what our morning looked like:
Watching old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
We picked Gibbs up from school a bit early that afternoon for a dentist appointment, and then came back home for the rest of the evening.
We skipped basketball practice since Keith was out of town and I couldn't drag the two younger boys to the gym when they were tired and not feeling well. I was more than happy to put everyone in their pajamas at 5:30 p.m.!
Dinner was a simple 20-Minute Garlic Shrimp Skillet, which Gibbs and I enjoyed with rice. The other two didn't have much appetite, so they stuck with a little bit of chicken noodle soup and called it a night.
Casey was feeling better on Thursday morning, so off to school he went!
Spencer and I stayed close to home because I had a lot of pre-travel prep to take care of. I packed suitcases for the whole family, did laundry and changed the bed linens, and scheduled blog-related content through the weekend.
I had a haircut in the afternoon before I needed to pick up the older boys, so Spence tagged along with me for that.
Since we had a few minutes to spare after my appointment before we had to be at the school, Spence and I stopped along Main Street to check out a couple of new shops.
Madison only has a very small handful of businesses in town, so when a little consignment shop and a bakery popped up, I wanted to support them.
We didn't buy anything here (although he loved that balloon)...
But we did have luck at the bakery (of course)!
3 vanilla cupcakes for the kiddos
Dinner was an easy dump-and-bake dish that used up some leftovers in the freezer.
I made a Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, which I can't wait to share with all of you. Recipe coming to the blog next month...
And then it was Friday morning and we were off on an adventure.
I piled the kids and our bags into the car after breakfast and we made the 2 hour drive north to Northern Virginia to Dulles Airport.
We came to Florida to visit my brother and his family, and it's been a perfect warm February getaway.
Keith had been on a business trip on the West coast all week, so he actually met us at the airport and joined us for the flight.
Subway for lunch in the terminal.
As soon as we got to my brother's house, the kids headed straight to the pool.
We had salad and pizza for dinner...
and delicious mini cupcakes for dessert.
This was a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cupcake.
We spent Saturday morning at the Orlando Science Center, which was basically like a gigantic children's museum/indoor playground.
The cousins had SUCH a great time together!
They also worked up an appetite for burgers, hotdogs, and shakes at BurgerFi in Winter Park.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the swimming pool, and dinner was tasty carry-out from the country club house.
Blackened Salmon on a Winter Salad with Butternut Squash, Beets, Goat Cheese, and more.
So there you have it! A full recap of the highlights from our busy (but fun) few days!
We're flying home bright and early this morning, so I'll be back on the blog with a new dinner recipe tomorrow.
I hope that you're all enjoying some sunshine as well -- no matter where you live -- and that you have a great week ahead!
Need some help planning your family’s meals? When you join Simply Mailed, I will send you 3 quick-prep dinner recipes and a grocery shopping list each week (for about $1 per week!!!). This super-affordable service takes the stress out of dinner, saves you time and money, and brings your family together at the end of the day. There are even options for smaller households of just 1 or 2!
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