Stew for Sunday Supper

I was on the praise team at church again this morning, so I had to be there a couple of hours early, at 8am. Emerson wanted to go early with me, and she was so cute just laying on the front row, journaling while we rehearsed our worship songs.

We did have a great morning at church, with me on the praise team, Jeff on the tech team, the girls in their GC Kids classes, and the boys sitting with me during the service. Emmie was wearing a new fancy dress from Nana (with the sparkly necklace attached to the dress), and new boots from Grammy, both of which she got for Christmas.

They were very interested in these sticks today, for whatever random reason, but Addie was really in the picture-taking mood today. Addison was also wearing a new Christmas outfit she got from Grandmommie today, which was slightly too big (Ms. Ary binder-clipped her straps behind her back 😉 ) but still very adorable!

We introduced the boys to one of our favorite local restaurants for lunch today, at El Rincon. It was delicious as always, and they both enjoyed it as well.

We had our typical nap time after church and lunch today. And although 4 of the 6 of us fell asleep and slept for 2 to 3 hours, I personally couldn’t actually sleep. So I took myself on a solo trip to Walmart (for the potatoes they forgot in our order for tonight’s beef stew), and enjoyed an hour of wandering the store by myself (found some more clearance Christmas ornaments, and a really nice candle), with one ear-bud in listening to an audio book.

And then when I got back, I immediately started getting the Instant Pot beef stew started up. My mama had sent me this recipe through email recently (she often sends me stuff she thinks we’ll like), and that inspired me tonight. But for some reason, that recipe only said to use 1/3 cup of liquid, which isn’t even enough for an instant pot recipe, and certainly not enough to turn into a stew, so I used that one as a starting point, and then used this recipe (this is my favorite food blog) as well, and kinda combined them both. And it turned out so good!

Jeff and Gabe put took the one side of Addie’s crib off, and put on the new toddler side rail thing today, and we taught Addie how to climb in and out of it. Technically, this one is for a twin bed size, so we’re probably going to return/exchange it for the crib size, and keep her using this crib as long as she’ll fit in it…

And of course while the beef stew was pressure-cooking, we had to go spend some time in the backyard, playing with new binoculars the girls got for Christmas.

Emerson also picked another orange off of our orange tree, and requested that we juice it instead of eat it. So I did a quick little juice, and got about 3 tablespoons of juice for her to drink, but she said it was really good!

I sliced, buttered and toasted some French bread once the stew was done, and then dinner was ready! The prep work for the stew wasn’t difficult, but it did make a bit of a mess, and use a good amount of ingredients. But then I love the set-it-and-forget-it method with the instant pot, that requires no additional stirring or simmering or checking, and then dinner is easy & done!

Everybody just kinda hung out and played and watched tv after diner, until it was finally time to get the girls into their jammies, and start on their bedtime routines. We kept them up a little bit later than usual, hoping they would be super tired, ultimately hoping they can sleep through all the fireworks and craziness tonight.

We got really lucky, and Addison actually slept through the whole night in her bed last night, and even slept in until about 8am. Then again this afternoon, I got her to nap in her bed again, and she had a nice long nap. But with the new side railing, things are out of the norm again, so we’re once again hoping and praying she will sleep through the night, despite the fireworks and the change to her bed!

We’re not really planning to do anything special for New Year’s Eve tonight. Who knows if we’ll even make it to midnight? If I had to guess, probably Gabe and myself will fall asleep, but Jeff and Ryan will stay awake. I did actually buy sparkling grape juice at Walmart to go with our dinner tonight, but forgot about it. So maybe we’ll have it with our dinner tomorrow night instead.

Also, here’s a cute little “top 9” photos from my Instagram this past year during 2023! From top left, down to bottom right:

  1. Lunch on my birthday in January.
  2. “Mirabel” at the library in August.
  3. Family trip to Jacksonville in September over Labor Day.
  4. Emerson’s first day of first grade in August.
  5. Ice cream at Sugar Rush for Emerson’s 7th birthday in July.
  6. Emerson on her birthday at church in July.
  7. Annual Galentine’s tea party in February.
  8. Taylor Swift (from “Shake It Off” video) & Wonder Woman on Halloween.
  9. Post-Christmas clean-up in early January.

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