Friday, May 26, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 5/19 - 5/25)

Friday (5/19) We survived another school week!  AJ had a Brain Balance assessment today so he did not go to school.  I got Daniel and Zak dropped off and then came home to get AJ and I ready to go.  We headed up to Brain Balance and I did my part of the assessment then headed down the street to meet a friend for lunch.  It was so nice to catch up with her and enjoy an awesome burger at J Alexander's.  AJ finished up a little earlier than planned so thankfully I was back and we were able to head home.  My mother in law came in to stay with Zak after he finished up at school and I needed to get home to relieve her.

AJ, Zak and I hung out for about an hour and then it was time to pick up Daniel and head to the Y for my Barre class.  I had a great group for class and we worked hard!  Then I got a little cardio after class by running to the car with the boys since it was pouring!  Of course since the weather was bad, the traffic was horrible to get home.  We finally got here and I got pasta ready for dinner.  We settled in for family movie night and watched "Piglet's Big Movie" which was Zak's pick.  It was cute, we all enjoyed Winnie the Pooh and we laughed a lot.  Then we got the kids to bed, caught up a little on our DVR and headed to bed pretty early ourselves.
Saturday (5/20) I got almost 10 hours of sleep last night and I feel like a new woman!!  And I was still up in plenty of time to get ready for our fairly busy Saturday.  I got ready and headed out with Zak to his soccer class.  He did great, followed all of the directions and scored a few goals in the scrimmage.  Then Adrian met us there with the other two boys so they could do a make up class.  They did pretty good, but there was some bickering between the two of them as there usually is.  AJ did really well, the coach commented that she's seeing a lot of improvements in his skills.  He has one more session at Lil Kickers (this summer) and then he will join a league in the fall.

After soccer, Adrian took Daniel and headed out to a baseball game.  I took the other two boys to the library to pick up a few books for them.  Daniel's team won the game,  he made a few plays in the field but didn't get a hit again.  Adrian worked the concession stand since we have to volunteer twice during the season.  They were happy the rain held out for the game!  When they got home, we all played a quick game of Sushi Go Party, my new game from Mother's Day.  It was a lot of fun!

The rest of the day we just tried to get as much done as possible around the house.  We are trying to do one day of work and one day of fun over the summer so today was our day of work.  I flipped the boys clothes around so now all of their shorts are out.  I also found about 3 bags of stuff that doesn't fit them any more so we can pass it along.  We finished up the night was some snacks and TV and later than usual bed times for all of us.

Sunday (5/21) started as another lazy Sunday, which we are really getting used to.  Although Zak and Adrian were up very early and started playing, the rest of us slept in.  We went to church together for the second service and then came home to have lunch.  Our plan was to go see "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" but Zak didn't want to go, then AJ decided he didn't want to go if we couldn't all go as a family.  So we decided to have a stay home family fun day instead.  We played volleyball in the yard, played on the swings, played a bunch of board games and played video games.  We had our normal Sunday family dinner, finished up a few things left on our to do list and got to bed early to be ready for our last week of school!!
Monday (5/22) was the start of our last week of school!!  Everyone is ready for a little relaxation and not having a set schedule for a few weeks.  I dropped Zak and Daniel off at school and then headed in to AJ's class to attend the final quarterly assembly.  His teacher invited me and I assumed he was getting an award.  I was shocked to get there and find out that I got an award for "outstanding parent volunteer" for being in the classrooms this year.  AJ also earned all A's for the second quarter in a row.  We are very proud of him!
After our exciting morning, I picked Zak up from school and we came home to get ready for a busy night.  We got dinner ready, played a little and relaxed a little.  We walked to pick up AJ and Daniel and then I headed to the Y with AJ and Zak for my Zumba class.  My mother in law came in to take Daniel to baseball practice so Adrian could go golfing.  We headed up to the park after class and Zak met a friend from swimming lessons so he played with her while I watched practice.  We finished up at the park, came home and had a quick dinner and headed to bed to start all over again tomorrow!

Tuesday (5/23) We all got up and out to work and school on time.  I did a little grocery shopping after dropping everyone off before heading to teach my Silver Sneakers class in the morning.  Then I picked Zak up from school, grabbed a quick lunch with him and headed to meet our friends at Doran's farm for some strawberry picking.  We spent nearly an hour in the field and picked about 8 1/2 pounds of strawberries, plus ate about another pound!  It was a great day and Zak and I had so much fun!
When we got home we were both wiped out so we rested for a bit before walking to pick up AJ and Daniel from school.  AJ was excited to tell us about how much fun he had running his mini golf course at school all day!  We went home and hung out for a bit before having tacos for dinner and getting ready to head out to our last Cub Scout meeting of the year.  AJ and Daniel learned some self defense and Tai Kwan Do moves while the parents learned about day camp.  At the end of the meeting, the boys were missed last meeting got their awards.  Daniel got a bunch of belt loops and officially advanced to Bear for next year.

Wednesday (5/24) I got everyone off to school after a little struggle - we are all running out of steam!  Then I headed to my old gym to sub a Zumba class for a friend.  It was so fun to see old friends and dance with them!  Then my whole afternoon canceled.  I was supposed to have a meeting but the woman had the flu so we rescheduled.  And Zak and I were supposed to go to AJ's mini golf course but since it was raining it wasn't set up.  So Zak and I came home and relaxed, cooked dinner and played some video games before picking up the older boys and heading to the Y for class 2 of the day.  We finished there, ran home for a quick dinner and I took AJ and Daniel to their soccer class.  They did a great job tonight, very good listening and skill development.  Adrian and I finished up the night by staying up too late watching the Survivor finale.  What a great season!!  We really enjoyed seeing a lot of our favorites come back and play again.  And we are so happy that Sarah won!

Thursday (5/25) 2 more days!  We got up and out to school on time today and Daniel was super excited to get to wear pajamas and bring a stuffed animal with him to school today.  After I got everyone dropped off, I headed out to teach my Silver Sneakers class.  I picked Zak up and we played for a little, then I decided to get ready for the evening because we had a busy night planned.  I was waiting until the last minute to see if the rain would cancel Daniel's baseball game but it seemed like the weather would be fine so I planned as if we'd play.  We walked to pick up AJ and Daniel and then I got ready to leave for my Zumba class.  Adrian got the boys ready and headed to the baseball field.  When I got there after my class it started to rain so I decided to leave with AJ and Daniel while Adrian and Daniel and his team waited out the rain.  But after about 30 minutes of waiting, they decided to cancel the game so we'll have to have a make up later in the season.  We tried for an early bedtime but everyone was very excited about the last day of school tomorrow!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for May 22 - May 28)

We mostly stuck with our menu plan from last week until the weekend.  On Friday night I was tired and did not feel like cooking so I quickly made pasta for us for dinner.  And then on Sunday we decided to check out the new Fresh Eats Market that just opened up the street.  We had a $5 off coupon so we thought it would be a great time to check it out.  It was just OK for us.  We probably won't eat there very often.  But I am still thrilled to have the mini grocery, gas station & pharmacy right there!

This week is another crazy busy week with lots of celebrations.  It's our last week of school and we also finish up Cub Scouts for the year.  We also have baseball and soccer, but those keep going for a while.  Adrian and I will also celebrate our anniversary on Saturday - 11 years of marriage!  We're not doing anything big to celebrate this year since we are slowly upgrading all of our appliances and then will start giving the house a much needed facelift.  But we do have some fun things planned for the weekend.  And finally it's Memorial Day weekend so we'll be grilling out for sure!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Italian Spaghetti Squash (carryover from last week)
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Greek Chicken Wraps
Thursday - Pasta
Friday - Frozen Appetizers, Cheesecake & a bottle of wine for at home movie date night
Saturday - Piada take out (it's buy one, get one free this whole week)
Sunday - BBQ of burgers, brats and dogs, plus corn on the cob

Water Flavor - Orange, we got a bag for free from my mother in law so I'm using them up before they go bad

Overnight Oats - We loved the new additions last week & I also read an article about how beneficial cinnamon is and since it's in both of the new ones we made, we're repeating those again this week - Apple Cinnamon and Peach Pie.  We're also making our old favorites - Original and Chocolate Peanut Butter.  We are out of chocolate chips so we're taking a week off from our favorite banana chip but it will be back next week for sure!

Clean it Out Challenge - I'm using up some applesauce that was in the pantry in the oats and also some powdered peanut butter.  We're also making a huge dent in our stockpile of syrup with the oats.  The rest of this menu uses up some vegetables that we have that need to be used.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 5/12 - 5/18)

Friday (5/12) Finally, we made it to Friday!  The past week has been a bear and we were all dragging this morning.  But we managed to get up and out on time for school and Adrian headed to a doctor's appointment.  I dropped everyone off, ran two quick errands and then headed home to get a few things done before heading to Zak's school for Mom's Day.  He has been so excited all week for this day!  He gave me a flower when I arrived and then we headed to the gym for some circus fun.  We did hurdles, threw balls thru rings of fire, balanced on the tightrope, played tennis with balloons, took some pictures and had a great time!  Then we sat down to enjoy muffins and the kids gave us our Mother's Day gifts.  We finished up with a special graduation type ceremony since his teacher is moving and today is her last day of teaching.  They still have two weeks left of school but will have a substitute those two weeks.  It was a special and fun morning!

 After our busy morning, we decided to relax in the afternoon and just do a few things around the house.  Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the other boys and head to the Y for my Barre class.  I had some familiar faces in class and we got a great workout!  Then we came home for a quick dinner of pasta before Adrian and I headed out for a date night.  We went to see the "Total Package Tour" with Boys II Men, Paula Abdul & New Kids on the Block.  We had a fun time reliving our youth and listening to some of our favorite songs by each group.  NKOTB really put on a great show, we enjoyed it a lot!  After the show, a long walk back to our car and some horrible traffic, we got home very late and after a quick snack were quickly asleep to get ready for a busy Saturday.

Saturday (5/13) started way earlier than I wanted it to after such a late night.  Daniel had a nightmare and woke me at 5am.  Thankfully I got him settled down and we slept for about 3 more hours.  Then we hit the ground running!  The day started with Adrian going out to golf with some of his friends so I was on my own with the boys.  We headed out to Zak's soccer class where he did awesome!  Then we rushed back near our house to a birthday party for one of Daniel's classmate's.  Thankfully we were all invited so we enjoyed a perfect afternoon at the park with Daniel's friends.  We played, ate hotdogs, cake and candy and celebrated Maggie turning 8.
After the party, we went home to change clothes and get ready for the second half of the day.  Thankfully Adrian finished golfing and met us there.  I took Daniel to his baseball team pictures while Adrian hung out at home with Zak and AJ.  On the way home, we stopped to get half price Frappacinos for me and Adrian - we needed the sugar to keep going!  We also got Jets pizza for dinner to celebrate Adrian's birthday and Mother's Day.  After our delicious dinner Adrian took Daniel back to the baseball field for his game under the lights.  I took AJ and Zak to buy donuts for breakfast tomorrow and the red light was on!  So we enjoyed our free, hot donuts and watching the machine make the donuts.
Daniel got home late from his game but he had a huge smile on his face when he got home.  He finally got a hit in the game!!  He has been working so hard to figure out how to hit in the coach pitch league, it's been a long two seasons for him not being able to hit.  His coach was also super proud of him and gave him the game ball.  Oh and his team won the game so they are still undefeated!

Sunday (5/14) Happy Mother's Day!  I got to start the day by sleeping in, which was nice because I was SO tired!  Then I woke up to flowers, cards and Starbucks coffee waiting for me.  We had our donuts for breakfast and then headed out to church together where I got another rose.  I worked in childcare and Adrian went to the service.  Then we ran home and had a quick lunch of leftover Jets pizza before heading out to the boys' last swim lesson for this session.  They all did a pretty good job in class and are now excited for a two week break before we start our summer sessions.

After swim lessons, we headed to Menchie's for an afternoon treat.  They currently have Oreo yogurt and it's SO good!  I think all five of us got it - some just the cookie and some the blend of cookie and cream.  Then we headed home for some family time.  The boys gave me their presents for Mothers Day - a 3D card that Daniel made, bath salts that AJ made, Sushi Go Party board game, a new laundry basket, new workout capri pants and a new chair for baseball/camping.  They really spoiled me this year!!
After presents, Daniel begged to go for a walk and since it was so nice out it was impossible to say no.  So we walked as a family for about 30 minutes, mostly thru the new development that they are building behind the boys' school.  Then we came home and played some board games including Bang! The Dice Game, Forbidden Island and Yeti in my Spaghetti.  We finished up with a BBQ for dinner, video chat with my parents and some more time in our yard enjoying the beautiful weather.  It was a great Mother's Day and I'm very thankful to my guys for making it so special.

Monday (5/15) was a rough morning.  I woke up not feeling well and Adrian's back was really bothering him.  We both decided to call off of work for the day and spend the day recuperating.  I got the boys back and forth from school and that's about all I did.  I slept, read and watched reruns of Beverly Hills 90210.  Adrian did the same.  We're both feeling better now, hoping an early bedtime will help us both be back up and running tomorrow.

Tuesday (5/16) After another rough night of sleep, this morning was horrible trying to get up and out to school.  Zak came in to our room around 2:30am and I could not fall back asleep after that.  Plus it's really hot today so that makes me feel even more tired.  Anyway, I got everyone to school on time and ran a few errands before teaching my Silver Sneakers class.  I got back to pick up Zak and while I was in line, the school called to tell me that AJ wasn't feeling well and I needed to come pick him up.  He had severe ear pain so I tried to call our doctor immediately and they were at lunch.  Since AJ was in so much pain, I decided to take us to Urgent Care but neither of the ones that are close by were opened.  So I decided to just go home and let him rest until I could call the pediatrician back.

When I finally talked to someone, they told me to bring him in immediately.  They checked him out and he has an ear infection.  The doctor was a little concerned since he wasn't sick or anything.  He's afraid it might be swimmer's ear.  We have amoxicillin for now and if that doesn't help, I have drops for swimmer's ear.  We dropped off the prescription and got home in time to pick up Daniel from school.  The rest of the day AJ, Zak and I just relaxed and watched TV.  Daniel had baseball practice so Adrian went there with him.  We all had an early bedtime again tonight.  I'm hoping for rest for everyone and that AJ is able to go back to school tomorrow.

Wednesday (5/17) was another rough morning after another rough night.  AJ had some ear pain but he finally fell asleep.  I decided I was going to let him sleep in and either miss school or go in late.  He slept until almost 10am!  He must have needed the rest!  He decided he didn't want to go in late which was fine with me so he stayed home and hung out with me all day.  I got Zak and Daniel to school on time and then came home and did a bunch of stuff around the house.  AJ and Zak played most of the afternoon which was awesome for me.  I also finally got my new dishwasher installed!  We bought it a few weeks ago and we were going to install it ourselves but we just never had the time.  It was well worth the cost to have Lowe's come and do it, they were done in 20 minutes & also hauled away our old one.  I'm so excited to do dishes!!

Adrian came home from work early so I walked alone to pick up Daniel from school.  It's always nice to have some one on one time with each kid and I was able to do that today.  When we got home, he stayed with Adrian to get ready for his baseball game while I headed to the Y with the other two boys to teach my Zumba class.  It was really hot and really hard since I'm still not 100%, but we all survived!  We came home and the boys played video games while I loaded my new dishwasher.  Daniel's team won again at baseball although he wasn't able to get a hit this time.  He did make a few plays in the field.  We finished up the night by video chatting with Pop Pop (my dad) for his birthday and some snacks and TV. 

Thursday (5/18) I finally got a full night of sleep and in my own bed!  I got everyone up and out for school on time and ran to Meijer before heading to my Silver Sneakers class.  After class, I ran to Aldi to finish up my grocery shopping for the week and then picked Zak up from school.  Since it was rainy, we came home and set up camp on the couch.  The weather cleared and we were able to walk to pick up AJ and Daniel.  We came home and realized for the first time in a long time, we had nothing to do tonight!  We watched some TV, played outside, had dinner together and got to bed early.  It was a nice relaxing night!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for May 15 - May 21)

Happy Mother's Day!!  In an effort to do "nothing" tomorrow I am getting my menu plan and grocery list together tonight.  We did great sticking to our plan last week, although it was a fairly easy week of cooking.  It wasn't my healthiest week of eating but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I'm buckling back down this week since most of our celebrations are over for a bit.  I'll hopefully do well until Memorial Day weekend, which is right around the corner!

I'm working on using up some of the vegetables that we have in the house this week.  I have two heads of cabbage that need to be used up and also two spaghetti squash, one I'll use this week and one next week.  I also have some farmer's cheese from Easter that needs to be used up so I'm using that on Tuesday.  It's a fairly light week, at least compared to the past two weeks, so I'll have some more time to cook this week.  I know I'll be complaining in a few weeks but I'm really looking forward to summer break and not having the school schedule for a few weeks!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Meatball Subs for the kids & meatballs with Zoodles for the adults
Tuesday - Bruschetta with Caesar Salads
Wednesday - Kielbasa and Cabbage and Pierogies
Thursday - Italian Spaghetti Squash
Friday - Unstuffed Cabbage
Saturday - BBQ Chicken CasseroleBanana Chocolate Chip
Sunday - London Broil and Corn on the grill

Water Flavor - Mango - yes I know it's three weeks in a row.  It's still on sale and I love it!

Overnight Oats - I'm branching out this week with some new flavors!  I'll still be doing two favorites Original and Banana Chocolate Chip, which I'm making with peanut butter & chocolate chips and it's delicious.  I'm also trying out Apple Cinnamon and Peach Pie this week.  If we need one more flavor, I'll throw together a Chocolate Peanut Butter, which I've also tweaked a little (for the better) by using powdered peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 5/5 - 5/11)

Friday (5/5) started rough yet again after another rough night.  Both Daniel and Zak were too scared to sleep alone so Daniel and I slept in my room and Zak and Adrian slept in the spare bed.  We were all very slow getting up and moving but we made it.  I had a doctor's appointment so Adrian took the kids to school.  They brought flowers for their teachers for the last day of teacher appreciation week.  I went to the doctor and got all my annual check ups - everything looks good!
After I got back from the doctor and Zak got back from school, we played some Yoshi's Wooly World and then got ready for my barre class.  We picked up AJ and Daniel from school and headed to the Y.  I taught my class and then we came home for some video games, dinner and bedtime.  The boys were fighting with each other most of the night, I'm wondering if it's just because they are tired.  I'm really hoping for good sleep and better behavior tomorrow!

Saturday (5/6) once again didn't start out as planned.  We were all supposed to go to Hocking Hills to go hiking and camping with the cub scout pack.  We decided a few days ago that we wouldn't stay overnight, it's going to be VERY cold tonight!  But we planned to go hike as a family.  When we all got up, Daniel said his stomach was hurting and he wouldn't be able to go.  I'm not sure if it was an act or not but we didn't want to take the chance of being out in the woods with a sick kid so I stayed home with him and Zak while Adrian and AJ went.

After relaxing for a while, Daniel seemed OK so I took him and Zak to Zak's soccer class.  Zak did great, even scored a goal during the scrimmage.  We came home, had lunch and the boys played some video games while I got a bunch of stuff on my to do list done.  We took a break in the mid-afternoon to go to Target to shop for Adrian for his birthday next week.  Soon after we got home, Adrian called to say they were on their way back home.
Adrian and AJ had a good time at Hocking Hills hiking near Old Man's Cave.  AJ's favorite parts were the giant rock that he slid down and the waterfall.  He was really tired when he got home after the long hike and running around "chasing Zombies" with the other boys.  We all had dinner together and then decided to have family movie night since we missed it last night.  We watched the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie and it was fantastic!!  I really enjoyed it, one of my favorite superhero movies so far!

Sunday (5/7) started late for me as I finally got some sleep!  I slept in so late that we missed the first church service.  Since it's too hard to do second service with swimming, only Adrian went this week.  I stayed home with the boys to get a few things done then got all of us lunch.  I took them to swimming lessons at the Y while Adrian worked around the house.  When we all got back, the boys played while we worked.  And we got our whole to do list done for the first time in over a month!!  It feels so good to be caught up going into a super busy week.  We grilled an awesome dinner and enjoyed some wine with it.  Not a very exciting day but it was exactly what we all needed!

Monday (5/8) we were back to our normal routine - but only 3 more weeks!!  I got everyone up and out to school and then I ran a ton of errands.  I got just about all of my grocery shopping done for the week because it's a super busy one with lots of extra stuff.  I finished up in time to pick Zak up from school a little early because I was subbing a Zumba Toning class at the Y.  I forgot how much I love teaching that format!!  I may need to see if I can get it on the schedule soon.

Zak and I came home after class and our time seemed very limited.  We had a quick lunch, packed up new stuff and headed out to pick up AJ and Daniel before heading back to the Y for another Zumba class.  Adrian picked Daniel up from the Y because he had baseball practice before we would be able to get home.  I took Zak and AJ home for dinner and then tried to deal with all of the groceries I bought that morning.  We finished up the night with some snacks and TV and a fairly early bed time.  It was an exhausting Monday!

Tuesday (5/9) was a more routine day for us - school, work and a Silver Sneakers class.  Zak and I hung out at home in the afternoon, getting a few things done around the house.  We dodged rain drops and walked to pick up AJ and Daniel from school and then came home to have an early Taco Tuesday dinner before Adrian and Daniel headed to Daniel's baseball game and the rest of us headed to a Cub Scouts meeting.  Daniel's team won again, they are undefeated so far this year.  He didn't get a hit again but he made a few plays in the field.  AJ and his whole den of Webelos advanced to Arrow of Light.  He has worked very hard this year and I'm really proud of him and his dedication to Scouts.  He is looking forward to day camp and then more scouts in the fall.

Wednesday (5/10) Happy Birthday Adrian!!  Unfortunately we had a ridiculously busy day so we didn't get to celebrate very much.  He got up and out to work before any of us got up, we are really struggling with getting up in the mornings these days.  I got the boys up and out to school although we were late getting AJ and Daniel to school.  I was volunteering in their classrooms so I brought them in and then found out both of them had substitutes for the day.  Thankfully I know what to do so I did Math facts with Daniel's class and finished up the Math books in AJ's class.  I love being in the classes, probably only one more week of volunteering - only two more weeks of school!

After volunteering I came home and waited for Zak to get home from school.  I rested for a short time then got all of our stuff ready for the evening.  I wrapped Adrian's presents and packed up dinner for everyone.  Since it was looking like rain, Zak and I drove to pick up the other boys and we headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  Since I had gotten a few requests I decided to do a student request playlist - it was such a fun class!!  I finished up there and rushed down to soccer so Zak could do his last make up class and AJ and Daniel could do their regular class.  Adrian met us there and we all had dinner while watching the boys.

When we finally got home, we gave Adrian his presents.  We got him two new travel coffee mugs, two new shirts and two games - Yeti in my Spaghetti and Seven Wonders.  We played a quick game of Yeti in my Spaghetti which is actually a very fun game.  We laughed a ton and Zak ended up winning.  We finished the night with Oreo ice cream cake and then Survivor once the kids were in bed.  We plan to celebrate more this weekend by having a ton of family time.

 Thursday (5/11) was back to business as usual.  This week is feeling SO long!!  We got up and out to work and school on time today.  I wasn't ready for work so I came home after dropping everyone off, got a few things done and then headed out to teach my Silver Sneakers class and run a few quick errands.  I picked Zak up from school and he said he was tired and wanted to spend the day on the couch watching TV.  I couldn't help but agree with him, I am also very tired!  I got a few things done while snuggling with him which was nice.  Then about 2:00 I got an email that Daniel's baseball game was cancelled for tonight.  I have never been happier to have something cancel and get some free time!

I picked up AJ and Daniel from school, we got to walk since the rain held off.  When we got home, we played in the yard for a while and then since we had no commitments and no homework, I allowed the boys some video game time.  They were SO excited!  Adrian came home and did a bunch of things around the house - fixed the boys door, rehung a curtain, fixed our outside water spicket and arranged for installation of our new dishwasher.  We spent the rest of the night relaxing on the couch.  It was an unexpected yet glorious night "off."

Monday, May 8, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 4/14 - 4/20 - Part 2)

If you missed part 1 of the week (which is basically Easter weekend), you can read about it here.  It got too long so I split the week.

Monday (4/17) started bright and early for me since I agreed to teach two Zumba classes to the teachers of our school district during their professional development day.  I had a ton of fun teaching the two classes to the teachers and they all said they had fun too.  We are going to work together to try to set up a weekly after school class for them next school year.  While I was there, Adrian was home with the boys, playing and trying to get some control over the mess that was our kitchen.

I got home and shortly after Jon, Rebecca and the girls came over for a few hours before their flight back home to Dallas.  The kids played outside while we enjoyed the perfect weather on the deck.  We all had lunch together, re-enjoying the yummy food from the weekend.  And then all too soon it was time to say "so long" so they could head to the airport to catch their flight.  It was such a fun weekend with them and our second year spending Easter together.  I think we decided to make it a tradition!
After they left, I headed out to teach class number three of the day for me.  Adrian continued to work around the house.  When I got home, I was exhausted!  We finished up with the cleaning, had more leftovers for dinner and all had an early bed time.  Back to our routine tomorrow!

Tuesday (4/18) was back to our normal routine for us.  We got up and out to work and school in the morning.  I dropped everyone off and then went to teach my Silver Sneakers class.  I picked Zak up from school and then we headed home for a quick lunch before heading back out to our dentist appointment.  Zak did great with his appointment and both of us were pronounced cavity free!  We raced back home to pick up AJ and Daniel and then I dropped everyone off at home before heading out to my Zumba class that night.  Adrian got the boys dinner and then headed to Brain Balance with all of them.  Super busy day after a long weekend!!

Wednesday (4/19) was another day of our normal routine.  We got up and out to work and school on time in the morning.  I taught a Silver Sneakers class in the morning and ran a few errands.  I picked Zak up and we went home to have lunch and play some board games.  We got to walk again to pick up the boys and then headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  We came home and had a quick dinner and realized that Adrian was stuck at work.  So I took all three boys to AJ and Daniel's soccer class.  Thankfully Adrian wasn't too late and we all got home around the same time after class.  We put the boys to bed, watched Survivor and then headed to bed ourselves.

Thursday (4/20) was another busy day for us and we were all dragging from the busy weekend before and the current week.  We got up and out to school on time and did our normal during the day things.  When Zak and I walked to pick up the other boys, he was so upset to see that his "hole" had been covered.  I'm not sure exactly what the hole was, but it's been there for about a year.  Every day when we walk, he checks on it.  Today it was covered by a manhole cover.  His disappointment is evident in this picture.
After we got home from school, we got ready for our busy night.  Adrian took Daniel and Zak to Daniel's baseball practice while I took AJ to Brain Balance.  I ran a few errands while he was at his session and then we all got home late.  After snacks and some TV it was bedtime for all of us, thankful tomorrow is Friday!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for May 8 - May 14)

Another pretty good week in the books as far as healthy eating.  I hit a few bumps in the road but managed to mostly stay on course.  I did hit the wall on Thursday after two ridiculously busy days of running so I just had leftovers for dinner.  I just did not feel like cooking that night!  I probably could have done a pasta night since I'm usually ready for that but even that didn't sound good.  The meal I planned for that day got bumped to this week.

This week is a little crazy because we have something going on just about every night of the week.  And it's also Adrian's birthday on Weds and Mother's Day on Sun.  We're going to do our best to follow our plan and eat mostly healthy but as you will see, there are a lot of easy meals and also a night to eat out.  I'm trying to not stress myself out with cooking so I can enjoy the fun things we have planned!

I'm trying to start on the "use it up" plan this week so that is reflected in some of these meals.  Although that is hard because there were also specific requests for things this week and a few special occasions.  But I'm using up some deli ham that needs to be eaten soon on Weds, some wheat germ on Thurs and cabbage and rolls (in the freezer) on Sunday.  Next week I'll be continuing on this path, specifically using up all of the cabbage I don't use in the coleslaw and some farmers cheese leftover from Easter.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pizza Chicken Casserole (carryover from last week)
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Subs as Salads at soccer and then ice cream cake to celebrate Adrian's birthday!
Thursday - Breakfast for dinner - Chocolate Chip Pancakes with fruit
Friday - Pasta night - Gnocchi and Tortellini Alfredo with salads for the adults
Saturday - Jets Pizza!
Sunday - BBQ of hamburgers, hot dogs and brats.  Plus homemade potato salad and coleslaw

Water Flavor - Strawberry Mango (again) - it's so good and mango is so cheap right now

Overnight Oats Flavors - Original, Chocolate Peanut Butter, & Banana Chocolate Chip

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 4/14 - 4/20 - Part 1)

Friday (4/14) was the boys' first day of a long weekend so we all slept in.  Adrian actually ended up with the day off as well thanks to some comp time and a late night earlier in the week.  We started our day with haircuts for the boys at Great Clips and then our free dozen of donuts at Krispy Kreme for good report cards.  We also grabbed a quick lunch of McDonald's for Daniel and Zak and Taco Bell for the rest of us.
After that running around, we came home to start preparing for our weekend full of company.  Adrian set up the pizza crust for dinner tonight and I did the sauce and chopped all of the vegetables for the pizzas.  I also started prepping for Easter breakfast and Easter dinner.  The boys spent some time playing video games and anxiously waiting for the cousins to all get here.

Jon, Rebecca, Luci and Antonia finally got here around 4pm and the kids immediately ran outside to play.  The girls loved checking out our toys, both inside and out.  Carl, Sarah, Isabelle and Vinnie got here closer to dinner time.  We ate pizza, colored our Easter eggs, had ice cream cake and played.  It was a really nice family night together!  Here are just a few pictures from that night.

Saturday (4/15) started early for me because I was up early cooking kielbasa and baking bobka for tomorrow's breakfast.  Adrian also took AJ to Brain Balance because we didn't want to miss his session.  The others all decided to go to a Spring Fest in New Albany but we decided to sit that event out and meet up with them a little later.  We had leftover pizza for lunch at home and then met them all at Easton for some Jeni's ice cream.  It was a gorgeous day and very crowded so we didn't stay long at Jeni's.  We got our ice cream, picked up the boys free Cheryl's cookies for their report cards & got my wedding ring cleaned and inspected for my warranty before heading out.

We went over to Carl's house for the rest of the day.  The kids all went to the park for a while to play while Carl and I prepped dinner.  Then they came home and played upstairs for a while so the adults could relax and then set up the egg hunt in the yard.  The kids loved searching for the eggs in the yard, especially AJ and Luci who found the golden eggs and got giant chocolate bunnies as a reward.
After the egg hunt, the kids spent the rest of the day playing together, eating candy and running around both inside and outside.  The adults enjoyed a delicious dinner, drinks and lots of adult conversation.  It was a fairly relaxing evening, which is great when you have 7 kids together!  We wrapped it up fairly early as I still had lots of prep for the next morning.

Sunday (4/16) Happy Easter!!  I started the day by heading to the church early.  I was asked to be part of the sermon today for both services.  The Children's Ministry pastor Andre was speaking about "Jesus for All People" and we had about 12 of us on the stage with him speaking in different languages.  I was representing American Sign Language.  It was a very moving experience to be up there sharing the word in ASL.  We did a reading and sang a song for both services.  Everyone came to the 9:30 service and then headed back to my house to wait for me.
The kids did their second egg hunt at our house while I was at the second service at church.  Thankfully the predicted rain held off so they got to search for eggs inside and in our yard.  When I got home, we had the traditional Polish Easter breakfast - kielbasa, eggs, farmer cheese, rye bread & bobka.  I also made a cinnamon bun coffee cake which the kids loved!  When we finished eating, we were all in need of a nap!  Some of us did nap, some of us just rested on the couch, some of us (the kids) played video games.  It was a relaxing Easter afternoon.

We finished up our Easter celebration with a big dinner.  I did a ham and a bunch of sides.  Everything came out great and we all ate a ton!  We had cheese cake and leftover ice cream cake for dessert and the kids attempted to watch "Sing" together but were too distracted by each other and the desserts.  We called in another early night since Carl, Sarah and I all had to work in the morning.  Plus we were all really tired from an amazing weekend together.

This post is getting pretty long, even though it's mostly pictures.  I'm going to end this here and finish it up in another post.