Sunday, October 25, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Boo at the Zoo)

Last weekend we braved the cold weather and headed to the zoo for the annual "Boo at the Zoo."  We really could have lived without this event on our calendar this year, but we also really wanted to go ride the rides one more time before they close for the season.

As in most years past, we were kind of disappointed in the actual "Boo" part.  There were only 7 treat stations.  I understand it is a lot of money to give out candy to all the people who come to the zoo but this seemed really light.  The boys didn't seem to care, they were happy running around in their costumes and riding all the rides.
We rode all of our favorites, the roller coaster twice in a row, the whirly-gigs (tilt a whirl), the frog hopper 10 times (at least), the train ride, safari stampede, the swings, etc.  Between the weather and the time of year, there were very few people riding the rides so we were on and off everything very quickly.  The most we waited was when staff were switching off who was running the ride.
The one thing that we did that was "Boo" related was watch the Superhero show.  The boys were very excited to see some of their favorites live.  This year is was Spiderman, Black Widow, Capt America and Antman against Green Goblin.  It was kind of cheesy and they have a few technical difficulties, but the boys LOVED it.  They were smiling and cheering thru the whole show.  Zak was especially cute, sitting with a huge smile on his face and clapping like crazy.  The boys also liked talking to the characters after the show.  Black Widow asked AJ "Hulk!  Where were you?  We needed your help today!!"
While it wasn't my favorite trip to the zoo, it was nice to spend the day together as a family.  And it is always fun to ride rides.  Next year we are hoping to renew our gold passes to the zoo.  While we didn't go to Zoombeezi Bay as much as we would have liked (mostly because of bad weather, not lack of trying), we definitely got our moneys worth.  And the boys are already asking when we can go ride the rides again.  Hoping Zak makes some of the bigger rides next year, he is dying to go on the coaster!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Columbus Day Weekend)

Wow, what a busy weekend we had!  It started Friday afternoon with a play date for the boys.  Daniel has really been missing hanging out with his friends since he is in school all day.  I picked up his friends from school and brought 5 boys (my 3 and 2 friends) back home to play.  Thankfully it was nice enough for them to be outside...they had a TON of energy!  Everyone had a great time playing.  Then I got my turn for a "play date" and went out to dinner with a few friends.  It was technically a PTO meeting and we got a lot done, but we also ate, drank and chatted which is always fun!

Saturday started with our normal schedule of swim lessons for the boys and me teaching a Zumba class.  Everyone was at the YMCA for the morning and I got to watch a little of swimming before my class started.  And then about 20 minutes into class I saw a commotion near the door and there were my 4 guys watching class.  So sweet!  After we finished up there, I won wife of the year and took AJ to hockey practice so Adrian could watch the OSU game.

Saturday night we had our first Broadway in Columbus play for the season.  We saw Kinky Boots and it was really good!  We really enjoyed everything about the performance, from the writing of the story to the songs by Cyndi Lauper (love her!) to the actors in the show.  It was all great!  The boys also had a fun night because Grandma, Great Grandma & Aunt Jackie came in to watch them.

Sunday morning we headed to Lynd's for our first trip into the corn maze for the season.  We got there early and played on the dirt mountain and in the play area while waiting for my brother and his family to meet up with us.  It was soon apparent it would be a very crowded day at the farm!  We got our tickets and headed into the Machu Pichu Survivor themed maze.

This year's maze was probably the hardest one we have done so far!  There were a ton of different ways to go and lots of dead ends.  We did eventually find all 9 of the etching plates and completed their corn maze challenge for the 5th year in a row.  We all enjoyed a piece of candy after the 2 hours we spent in the maze!
When we came out of the maze, the place was jam packed with people.  There were lines everywhere!  Thankfully we did everything we wanted before we went in.  The boys spent a little more time in the play area, then we headed out to grab lunch and head home for the rest of the day.  Before we headed out, we grabbed our annual pumpkin shots.

Normally this is where our weekend would end but since this was Columbus Day weekend, Adrian had Monday off.  Now this is our new favorite holiday because while he was off, the kids all had to go to school!  Granted we only had about 2 hours where all 3 were gone, but we made the best of it by going out to lunch, running a few errands & just spending the time together.  And we realized we get to do it all over again for Veterans Day!
What a fun filled weekend and a great way to kick off our fall family events!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 10/19 - 10/25)

I can not believe it's already the middle of October!  This time of year always flies by since we are usually so busy and this year is no exception.  I had a very hard time planning a menu for this week because we have so much going on I'm going to have very little time to cook.  I would like to do some prep this weekend, at least for tomorrow but I'm also trying to catch up on stuff I didn't get done last week.  The boys are also worn out, we were supposed to go to a Halloween event today and all three asked to stay home and play instead.  Wish granted!

I did pretty good staying on track this week with the exception of not getting to one of the casseroles.  It was just not going to work out the night we had it planned so we had turkey ruben sandwiches and salads instead.  Not a bad quick meal to have on hand for this time of year.  And the fritatta I made took over twice as long as the recipe said it would to cook.  This really messed up our plans for Friday night.  But we rallied with a family trip to Menchie's for dessert. 

My freezer supply is also almost depleted!  We are super the next three weekends but after that we should slow down a little for a week or two.  I'm going to plan to do some cooking those weekends and also over the long Thanksgiving break.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Veggie Loaded Pasta
Tuesday - Chicken, Quinoa & Broccoli Casserole
Wednesday - Leftovers - I'll be gone all night so the boys are on their own
Thursday - Squashed Washington - I have a spaghetti squash to use & found this while looking for a different recipe.  Sounds yummy!
Friday - Eggs Pizzaiola - I will make this for my lunch & then the boys will have for dinner while I'm out volunteering at a school event
Saturday - Pizza (the boys have been asking for this & we have a full day)
Sunday - Chicken Paprika

Water Flavor - Strawberry Grape.  I successfully used up all my peaches last week, they were still delicious!  I'm hoping for a mild winter so there will be more to pick next year.  This week we are very low on fruit since I didn't really food shop last week.  I need to restock this week for sure!

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 10/12 - 10/18)

Our very full week last week was made slightly easier by the kids missing school on Weds due to upset stomachs.  I'm not sure if it was a quick bug, something they ate or just a case of really needing a day off from school.  AJ and Daniel were both complaining all night Tues night they didn't feel well so I let them miss school on Weds.  AJ was up and down all day, but was much better by lunchtime.  Daniel woke up find and probably could have gone to school.  It was nice for me to have a day off and get a few things done, even with everyone home all day.

This weekend has been very busy so I'm just dropping in quickly to share our meal plan.  Every week from here on out is busy now that we're in full swing with hockey, bowling, boy scouts, soccer, ice skating, PTO & Zumba.  Not to mention all of the homework.  This week I'm trying to not go to the grocery store at all and just use what we have for our meals.  Two of these are holdovers from last week, one night we did leftovers & tonight we're doing burgers & sausage on the grill.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Bacon Ranch Pasta
Tuesday - The boys will be eating pizza at bowling & Adrian & I will be having leftovers
Wednesday - Zuppa Toscana
Thursday - Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Parmesan Quinoa
Friday - Frittata and English Muffins
Saturday - Chicken, Quinoa & Broccoli Casserole
Sunday - Something on the grill or from the freezer, we will be running all day

Water Flavor - Peach.  My fresh picked peaches are starting to turn so I am using up the rest of them ASAP.  I'll use 2 in my water leaving me 2 or 3 to eat the beginning of the week.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Family Fun Day!)

Last weekend we were supposed to go camping.  The boys had been asking to go camping so we found a weekend we were (relatively) free and booked a campsite.  Everyone was super excited!  Then we started looking at the long range forecast & it didn't look good.  And it kept getting worse.  They were forecasting 40's for the lows & rain all day Friday and Saturday.  Thankfully the campground we were planning on going to has a very liberal cancellation policy so we cancelled and got a full refund.

Instead of going camping, we wanted to do a family fun day.  The boys wanted to fish and play mini golf while camping so we thought we could do that locally.  But we got the crappy weather that was forecast so Saturday was super cold and rainy, limiting us to indoor things only.  We made the best of it and had a really fun day!

We started at Magic Mountain Fun Centers.  We had a Groupon that was expiring which allowed the boys to play in their play area and then all 5 of us to play laser tag.  The boys loved their play area and were in it playing for over an hour.  Then we headed in to laser tag and played adults vs. kids.  We had a fun time running around and shooting each other.  I think the adults won, but I'm not really sure.  We finished up our time there with some air hockey, video games & skee ball.

After we finished up there, we headed down the street to get lunch at Mellow Mushroom.  They were just opening up after a power outage so it took a while for us to get our food.  The waiter thought he was being helpful by rushing the boys food out so they wouldn't be hungry.  The problem with that was they were done before our food even came out.  It worked out though since the place is very kid friendly.  The boys ran around with some of the other kids who were there and played with Hulk while we enjoyed our pizza.
With our full bellies, we headed back to our side of town to let the boys make up the bowling game they missed the week before since AJ's bus was very late.  They both bowled pretty well, and very quick.  They knew our last stop was mini golf.  We headed down the street to Glow Putt in Gahanna.  What a fun place!!  Everything is glowing under black lights, they have a fun 18 hole course and it's very affordable.  We also won 5 (of the 7 of us who were playing) free games for next time so we will definitely be going back!

We thought we were done after that but what family day would be complete without ice cream?!?!?  We stopped at Menchie's on our way home and loaded up on frozen yogurt and toppings.  They have a peanut butter cup flavor right now that is awesome!

So while it wasn't the weekend we had planned it was still a pretty awesome weekend.  Around all the fun stuff on Saturday we also played a lot of video games, watch a lot of football and got a few things done around the house.  And everyone was really happy which is always my end goal!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 10/5 - 10/11)

We had a change of plans this weekend when the weather did not cooperate for our camping trip.  40 degrees and raining on Friday and Saturday was not ideal for camping with kids.  We instead had a nice relaxing night at home on Friday and then had a family fun day on Saturday.  Even though the weather was horrible, we had an awesome time.  Look for a recap early this week.

So since our plans changed, I changed around our menu plan as well.  We had buffalo chicken salads on Friday night, then ate out yesterday to keep things easy.  Today we are having pork parmesan and salad.  It's already prepared and frozen so it's an easy night for me.

This week starts our full fall schedule since hockey starts up for AJ.  The good news is that Zak is done with ice skating on Thursday and next session he will move to a morning class.  That will make our weeknights slightly easier.  For now there is a lot of easy meals and slow cooking in our future.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Butternut Squash Soup
Tuesday - Marco's Pizza for a school fundraiser
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Swiss Steak & Cauliflower Mash
Thursday - Taco Macaroni - I may use spaghetti squash for this, not sure yet
Friday - Bacon Ranch Pasta for the boys, I'm going out to dinner for a PTO meeting
Saturday - Steak on the grill with veggies between a busy day with the boys and a date night to see Kinky Boots
Sunday - Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Parmesan Quinoa

Water Flavor - Peach/Apple.  For once it's already set up and ready to go either later today or first thing tomorrow.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!