I love our Christmas decorating time. It is important for me to do it as a family. We crank up the Christmas music, put on some hot chocolate and pull the bins out from the basement. I treasure that time together especially since I know their excitement won't last forever. Cole thinks the ornaments and berries are all balls, so he is especially excited this year.


I spent November prepping for Christmas (oh and hosting my first fairly large Thanksgiving--no biggie) which was completely exhausting. BUT it is the last day of the month and I have all the Christmas gifts bought and almost all of them wrapped. Now I can enjoy our family time and enjoy this month of celebration. I am ready!

With this warm fall weather, we have been able to play at the park, hike and spend lots of time outside.
Elise & I fought over her hiking outfit. Can you tell who won that one?
And do you see the baby that she carried the entire way?

We took advantage of our recently underused aquarium membership

Cole gets a lot of attention from Grey and Elise. He is one lucky boy.

I got away for a weekend with the best family I could have ever married into. There was a lot of laughing, movies, card games, pedicures and delicious food.
We were trying to spell Wandry. Good times.
I was almost asleep in this picture.
Grey had his Turkey Trot and lunch at his school. He was so embarrassed and mad that Jared & I kept laughing. But it was too cute. And they were all running around and around like crazy little turkeys. I couldn't help it. We made him turn around to get a picture of his tail-feathers. 

We also squeezed in a little family bowling time on the long weekend.


Mommy's Day Out

There was a bit of tension in our household as things have been extremely busy and the only time I have to do anything is when Jared is home and can take the kids. I finally had it and called to see if there was space at Elise's preschool and I was able to start Cole two days later for the same day as her. So now I have FOUR hours a week to go to the temple, schedule doctor appointments, grocery shop and even shower. Jared & I have had two lunch dates in the past month and I have been able to fit most everything into that time. I guess it is worth my sanity and more family time together at home.

And it helps that Cole loves it. He barely gave me a look goodbye as he ran into the room to play. And they give him a cute teddy bear stamp (he is in the teddy bear class) on his hand when he is done for the day. I give him his milk on the way home and he sleeps for another hour or two while I spend time with Elise. Perfect!

Big Boy after his first day of "school"


15 months

Our little Cole train is 15 months and finally life is back to good. Not that we don't adore him--but he just barely started sleeping through the night. Hallelujah!! He is such a fun, crazy boy. I am either laughing or pulling my hair out with him. He is into absolutely everything--yesterday I found him in the kitchen with the Costco-sized cumin dumped all over himself and the kitchen. Today I caught him choking on air freshener he somehow found and sprayed into his mouth. I pull semi-dangerous things out of his mouth constantly--no matter how much I pick up and clean, he finds them.

He loves balls, dogs and things that sing to him. He loves when we sing or make animal sounds--especially the roar of a lion! He loves when Jared throws him on the couch back and rolls down--we call it the "cole roll." He wrestles, sits on our heads and eats our faces. He is CRAZY! Such a fun, fun boy.

I couldn't keep him still for our mini photo shoot--very frustrating!

Halloween Night

We were lucky to have absolutely perfect weather. Grey had been on antibiotics just long enough that even though he missed school and his school party, we let him go trick-or-treating. My dad, step-mom and half sister Isabella came over for a warm chili dinner then we went searching for candy.

Ready to go! Perfect weather, perfect red trees, perfect pink sky.
Cinderella Elise, Sleeping Beauty Isabella, Captain America Grey

Cole really wanted to be a part of trick-or-treating and knew just what to do when I took him out of his stroller.

I love Halloween--but am super excited for November and the fun holiday season coming up.


Vegetarian Red Lentil Enchilada Casserole

Another fabulous recipe that the whole family loves! That is tough to find in our house. I am lazy and never roll up the little enchiladas--not worth my time. So I always turn them into a casserole type dish. These are loosely based off of this recipe, but I have changed quite a few things. Enjoy!

Red Lentil Enchilada Casserole

3 c. water or broth
1 c. red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 T cilantro
30 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 1/2 - 2 c. frozen corn
1 small can green chiles
approx. 15 corn tortillas
1 medium can sliced olives
monterey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350. Bring the water or broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add lentils and cook until al dente about ten minutes. Drain lentils and set aside. Meanwhile spray a large skillet with oil and saute onion, jalapeno and cilantro until very soft. When vegetables are done, mix in the cooked lentils, 1 cup enchilada sauce, green chiles and corn.

Put 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Tear the tortillas in half and make a layer to cover the bottom of the dish. Top the tortillas with half of the lentil mixture, a scant layer of cheese, and half the olives. Add another layer of tortillas, 1/2 of lentil mixture, cheese and the rest of the olives. Top with one more layer of tortillas, about 1 1/2 cups sauce and grated cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is thoroughly melted. Our favorite toppings are sour cream, salsa, cilantro and/or avocado.