Friday, November 20, 2015

Five on Friday

Five of my new favorite fall recipes...

1. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Tortellini. Logan and I are butternut squash lovers while the rest of our family are butternut squash haters, so I was taking a huge risk by making this for dinner. But let me tell you, that risk paid off big time when they all ate it without a word of complaint. And then I had to hold back my laughter when I asked what they thought was in it and their answer was cheese. Warning: While wonderful the first day, this is not one of those meals that is just as good the next day, so make it when you're serving a crowd.

2. Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins. This muffin just screams autumn with pumpkin, apple, and pumpkin spice. It's practically a dessert, but because it's called a muffin you can justify eating it for breakfast. What's not to love about that?!

3. Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze. Cinnamon rolls are one of Rog's favorite foods and he's kind of a cinnamon roll purest in that he thinks they shouldn't be messed with. So I've always stuck with good old regular cinnamon rolls, but just in the last few months I've gone a little crazy trying every version out there. This pumpkin spice version was a winner. And the maple glaze was the perfect finishing touch - even my dad thought so and he is the biggest maple hater I know!  

4. Apple Fritters. Making the dough for these could not have been easier. Frying them was a little more tricky and I ended up with quite a few doughnuts that didn't exactly get cooked all the way to the very center. That being said, after popping them in the microwave for a few seconds the middle cooked right up and they were pretty close to perfection.

5. Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls. I'm going to have a really really hard time going back to regular cinnamon rolls now that I know these babies exist. I don't know what else to say except these are amazing and you should really make them ASAP!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


We had some fun Halloween FHE activities the weeks leading up to Halloween. One week we played Halloween Bingo.

And had dirt and worms for our treat. (The Oreo was supposed to be a tombstone, but it didn't end up looking like I had imagined.)

The next week we carved our pumpkins. Rog and the kids cleaned them out.

And then I carved them. We did a Wizard of Oz theme this year for our pumpkins and our costumes. Logan's pumpkin was the Lion, Corbyn's pumpkin was the Tin Man, and Peyton's pumpkin was Dorothy and Toto (although she dressed up as Glinda).

I had to take pictures of the kids in their Halloween pajamas - one mummy and two skeletons.

And their Halloween outfits too. 

Logan is so much easier to photograph than the other two (for now).

After doing our ghoulish feast the Sunday before Halloween, I decided to do some fun Halloween lunches. It's so easy to turn a normal lunch into a Halloween lunch with some cookie cutters. I cut out quesadillas, apple slices, cucumbers (they didn't eat them, but it was worth a try), PB&J sandwiches, and cheese sandwiches in fun Halloween shapes. We also had mummy pizzas, candy corn pizza (for dinner one night), swamp yogurt, and jack-o-lantern tangelos.

Peyton got to dress up for dance on Wednesday and for preschool on Thursday. Friday morning we went to the Halloween parade at Rees Elementary. It was so fun seeing Corbyn walk by with his class.

Friday night Cailey invited us to the Qualitrics Halloween party. Since Rog was in Baltimore on another fellowship interview, I gladly accepted. They had dinner, dancing, face painting, balloons, and so much candy. Peyton got her face painted like Minnie Mouse and got a Minnie Mouse balloon.

Corbyn got his face painted half Spider-Man and half BYU and got a monkey balloon (not pictured).

Saturday morning I was frantically finishing up my costume. Because I was in such a rush at the end, I did a terrible job on the zipper. I was able to cover it up by wearing a cardigan, but I'm going to have to go back and fix it because I know I can do better.


I had planned to do a dinner in a pumpkin for dinner, but ran out of steam after spending every spare second that week sewing my costume (Rog says I'm not allowed to sew my own costume ever again). So we had mummy hot dogs and Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip (with Halloween sprinkles) instead. (And we had the Dinner in a Pumpkin a few days later after I'd recovered.)

I think Corbyn enjoyed getting his face painted gray for trick-or-treating.

Grandma Lori was a good sport and dressed up as the Wicked Witch to complete our Wizard of Oz theme. (We tried to get Papa George to be the Wizard of Oz and Jared and Cailey to be flying monkeys, but they wouldn't go for it.) I made sure we got a picture before going out trick-or-treating. Some parts of our costumes I made and other parts I bought, but I feel like they all came together perfectly.

I'm so grateful Rog will dress up with me. He even let me paint his face.

We went to a few houses in our neighborhood, but then went up by my parent's house for the majority of our time since no one is ever home in our neighborhood.

While we were out trick-or-treating we saw a Toto dog running around. I had to pick him up for a picture. He nearly bit off my hand, but it was worth it.

Logan the lion was more interested in the scarecrow's straw than getting candy.

Cutest little Lion ever!

The kids decided to sell most of their candy to a dentist in Springville that was buying it to send to the troops. They each got $1.50. We matched that, so they each had $3 to pick out a little toy. Corbyn got a Transformer and Peyton got a Little Pony. It worked out perfectly - they got to enjoy some candy, but then it wasn't sitting around the house for weeks!

It was a pretty great Halloween!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ghoulish Feast

Another year, another ghoulish feast!

For our menu, I modified one I found here.

Jack-O-Lantern Juice (I saw this on Pinterest, but didn't pin it, so I can't link to it. They were actually really quick and easy using my Silhouette to cut the vinyl faces and then using transfer tape to stick them on.) 

Sinister Chips and Salsa (I put some black beans in the guacamole to make it sinister.)

Haunted Salad (I do this one - and the Spooky Squash - every year now.)

Rice and Blood with Devil Tail Meatballs (Our favorite sweet and sour meatballs with devil tail toothpicks stuck in them - I just put some toothpicks in red food coloring for a few days, cut out triangles with my Silhouette, and glued them on with my trusty glue gun.)  

I think it turned out to be a pretty fun Halloween spread!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


October seriously flew by! Here are some of the highlights from our month.

The kids and I ran the Cougar Run. Peyton's 200 meter race was first. I was hoping she'd be able to run it all by herself since we had been going to the track at Maple Mountain High School to train a few times a week. She got a little scared at the last minute, so Rog ran with her.

Next was Corbyn's 400 meter race. He did it faster than our practice runs and had no problem running all by himself.

I wasn't expecting to PR, but I ended up running my fastest 5K ever finishing in 22:28.

My time was fast enough to take second in my age group. Other than the years I was pregnant with Peyton and Logan, I placed every year I was in the 25-29 age group!

We played East Carolina for the Homecoming game that night and beat them 45-38.

Corbyn helped Rog change the oil and for the first time, he was actually helpful!

We drove to Heber to have dinner and FHE with the Goodrich family. Rog did the lesson on the 10 lepers. 

I came seriously unprepared for it to cool down in the evening, so they let us all borrow sweaters and Logan borrowed some of Ivy's pink pajamas. 

Rog had his first fly-out interview the same days Corbyn had off for fall break. I planned some fun things for us to do close to home while he was gone. On Thursday we hiked to Battle Creek Falls.

And then since we were close, we stopped at Wood Connection for a few minutes. Corbyn and Peyton really wanted to make something, so I let them get this spiderweb. They painted it and then I glued on the paper and spider.

We also played with Fall Playdough, watched Hotel Transylvania...

And made Pumpkin Whoopie Pies to take to friends.

Friday afternoon we went bowling at BYU. When we were paying, my friend, Ashleigh Adkins (who I haven't seen in years), came out of the office behind the counter (she's a manager at The Wall) and let us bowl for free! It was the kids' first time bowling and they had fun.

Except while we were bowling, Peyton started saying that she felt sick.

After bowling we went to Jared and Cailey's apartment to get ready for the tailgate party before the game that night. Peyton threw up in the parking lot, so I ended up taking her and Logan home and sending Corbyn to the game with Grandma. 

We beat Cincinnati 38-24, so it was a fun game for him to be at (especially at the end when we scored all our touchdowns).

Peyton threw up a few more times (thankfully in a bowl) that night and was tired/just wanted to watch shows in the morning, but perked up that afternoon.

We made our annual visit to the Red Barn's pumpkin patch.

They added a corn maze this year (and also started charging a whole lot more), but it was getting dark fast and we were rushing to fit in a few fun activities before it got too dark. 

^Apparently Logan wasn't too impressed with the big slide.

We gave in to the kids and let them get an ice cream cone after. (And I got an apple cider doughnut because I'd always wanted to and this was my last chance!)

Corbyn had his first SEP Conference. It was fun to see how far he's come in just a few short months. He needs to work on his counting (he always skips 13), but he is doing great with reading and is a model student - his teacher said she wishes she had a class full of Corbyns! On the way home we stopped to get an ice cream cone because his teacher gave him a coupon for a free one and this way, I didn't have to buy Peyton one.

Corbyn had a day off because it was the end of the term, so we had a picnic lunch at a park in Orem.

And then we ran a few errands. I was in desperate need of some new jeans, so we went to Old Navy and all 4 of us crammed into a tiny dressing room while I tried them on. 

^Logan was still trying to learn how to crawl and kept getting stuck under the cart!

^Peyton was entertaining herself by taking pictures with my phone. And Corbyn had apparently had enough at this point!

We all got to go to see BYU beat up on Wagner (final score 70-6!). It was Logan's first football game and he was all smiles!

^Our first family of 5 picture at a BYU football game!

Corbyn did great saying his part in the primary program. "Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me." He didn't need any help and said it nice and clearly. 

He also had his turn to be the spotlight for the week at school.

All that and Halloween (which I will post about separately) made for a very busy (and fun) month!