It's July, my friends! This summer is flying by (in the most exhausting way!), and we're looking forward to a very exciting July 4th week around here. But first -- it's Sunday -- and that means that it's time for another roundup of 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…
Keith was still out of town until late on Sunday, so the boys and I were on our own for the day. Unfortunately, Gibbs wasn't feeling well, so he didn't get off of the couch -- which meant that the younger boys and I were forced to stay home with him as well.
I took advantage of our quiet morning by making two batches of blueberry jam (using the blueberries that we had picked the day before).
I'm by no means a canning expert, so I find this book really helpful as a reference for processing times, etc. It's approachable and easy to understand -- bonus!
I used this recipe, which turned out perfectly. About 16 cups of fresh blueberries gave me 12 small jars of jam and 1 larger jar. They will make great gifts during the holiday season (and of course we're already enjoying some now, too)!
While Gibbs rested, Casey and Spencer stayed busy with indoor football (????), blanket forts, and water balloon fights.
I kept our meal very simple that night -- spaghetti, a jar of store-bought marinara sauce, and some dump-and-bake ratatouille on the side (which I'll share on the blog next month). YUM!
After what seemed like almost an entire week of non-stop rain (and flooding), I was so happy to see the sunshine on Monday morning.
I headed up the road for a walk before the rest of the house was awake, and I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.
We spent the morning at the pool and had a picnic lunch before returning home to change.
Casey loved his peanut butter and homemade blueberry jam sandwich (and proceeded to eat one every day for the rest of the week)!
The older boys had Lego Camp on Monday - Thursday afternoons this week, which meant that I had time to get my hair cut (with just one child in tow) while they were occupied.
We had a new recipe that I'll be sharing on the blog soon: my Dump-and-Bake Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole served with a green salad on the side.
I served this early supper around 5:00 since we had to get back out of the house for lacrosse practice at 6:00 p.m. Phew!
The boys were up early on Tuesday morning, so by 7:00 a.m. they were already finished with breakfast and outside on their scooters. I'm telling you -- their energy is never ending...
I needed to take photos for the blog, so Mary Kate came over to supervise the kids for a couple of hours while I got my work done. Thank goodness for her help, or I wouldn't accomplish anything this summer!
Mary Kate left, I fed everyone lunch, and then we took Gibbs to camp for the afternoon. Casey didn't return to Lego Camp the rest of the week, because after sitting there for 3 hours on Monday afternoon, he decided that it was way too boring and he'd rather be outside running around.????????♀️
While Casey and Spencer rested in their rooms for an hour, I put back on my "business hat" and jumped on a conference call. It was definitely a day of work for me -- with very few interesting photos to show for it. ????
How about a snapshot of my not-so-organized desk from that busy afternoon?!
Dinner was a new recipe that I had photographed earlier that day and just reheated for supper. We had a tasty 5-Ingredient Chicken and Crescent Roll Casserole (coming to the blog soon), as well as peas and broccoli on the side (from the freezer).
Then I was back out the door! Keith stayed home with the kids that night so that I could go to a PTO meeting at the boys' school.
I know that folks say life slows down during the summer, but I have not found that to be the case AT ALL this season! We're having fun, but it's also a lot to keep up with (and it's certainly not "lazy" or "slow").????
Wednesday was cooler and cloudy, so instead of freezing at the pool, we opted for a trip to the kids' school for bike riding, scooters, and the playground.
We admired the kindergartner's garden while we were there. All of the rain (and sunshine) that we've had recently is keeping the crops healthy...
We also stopped at the library to re-stock our book supply before returning home for lunch.
Dinner was an old favorite, which truly couldn't be easier. Straight out of the pantry (and freezer), I made these 5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Meatball Subs.
I had some leftover veggies in the refrigerator that needed to be used (zucchini, bell peppers, and onion), so I roasted those in the oven and served them on the side.
The heat returned in full force on Thursday, so we returned to the pool for the morning.
He's always shooting baskets...even near the water!
Gibbs had his final day of camp that afternoon, and Mary Kate came to stay with the younger boys for a couple of hours so that I could go meet Mollie for some exercise.
Dinner needed to be something quick that I could just assemble and get on the table in about 30 minutes, because the boys had to be on the fields for lacrosse practice again that evening.
I grilled chicken breasts the day before, so these Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwiches came together in just minutes. Perfect summer meal if you have red ripe tomatoes and fresh basil!
Friday morning was ideal walking weather! I stood in one spot and saw the moon in one direction:
and the sunrise in the other direction. Best way to start the day...
We burned off some of the boys' energy at the playground,
and we met Aunt Barbara at Yoder's that afternoon for treats. They each chose a favorite: homemade ice cream for Gibbs, a lime snow cone for Casey, and a freshly-made (still warm!) chocolate frosted donut for Spencer.
Unfortunately, I think our 95+ degree temperatures killed their appetites, because Gibbs and Spencer took about 2 bites of their snacks before saying they'd had enough. I guess a giant donut on a hot afternoon just isn't appealing?!????
Gibbs spent the night down in Nelson County with my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Gary, so we were just a family of four for the evening.
I was off the hook when it came to dinnertime, since Keith picked up pizza and salad on his way home. Yessssss!
Saturday was all about gettin' stuff done! From accounting to changing the bed linens, meal planning to running errands, I was checking items off of my list for most of the day.
Meanwhile, Gibbs was having a blast with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Gary. My uncle is a woodworker (and has hand-crafted much of the furniture in our farmhouse), so he taught Gibbs how to use the power tools in his shop. Gibbs even came home with a completed project!
I needed to meet my aunt in town to pick up Gibbs that afternoon, so I was able to enjoy a solo (and productive) trip to Charlottesville. I made a stop at Target on my way, and even managed to get my car washed.
I enjoyed a Qdoba Burrito Bowl for lunch while waiting for my vehicle. It's the simple things...
Once Gibbs and I made it home, we all went for a late afternoon swim at the pool before dinner.
Our menu that night was a hodgepodge of food that just needed to be finished. The kids had leftover pizza, Keith grilled a steak from the freezer, and I just reheated a turkey burger that was already cooked. Easy!
And that rounds out another summer week around here! As I said earlier, we've got a fun-filled 4th of July planned, so be sure to check back next weekend to see what we've been up to (and what we've been eating). Have a good one!
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