Everyone got new jammies... they say "Wii" all over them AND have a pocket on the side (to hold your Wii controller of course!)

James' favorite present! Lucky kid!!!

Joshua's favorite gift!!! He's one happy kid!

It may be small, but this is definitely Jonathan's favorite gift! I love it too! Mom's getting some use out of it as well!

Jilly's gift to mom and dad was sleeping in until 9 am! What a gift! This was her favorite present from Santa... she loves to say cheese!

I got Earl a pair of PJ bottoms for Christmas too! He thinks they are silly but very comfy! I had to get them for him... he's so much fun to watch playing Guitar Hero!

There aren't any pictures of me this Christmas. I was in one picture in the background. How is it that the one who keeps the blog never has a picture of herself? Oh well... maybe next year!


Turkey Tortilla Casserole

I don't make a lot of casseroles... they take time, and I don't have a lot of it lately. But this is by far one of my husband's favorite and I'm making it for dinner tonight! When we first got married, my husband did a lot of the "my mom used to make..." and that's tough competition when he's talking about my mother-in-law's cooking. She's a great cook - one who can make something great out of just about nothing - and I'm not like her! I'm no master in the kitchen, but over the past 13 years I have made this recipe a few times each year when we have our wonderful leftover turkey. I think I've almost mastered it, as long as I use a lot more fried tortillas than the recipe calls for (Earl doesn't like it too saucy!). Here is the recipe... try it out! Warning!!! Don't make this is you are watching your weight or cholesterol. It's dangerous!

Turkey Tortilla Casserole
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 small can diced green chilies
1 c. milk
1 tbsp. minced dried onions
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
3 c. (or so) chopped leftover turkey (dark and light - chop it up and put in in a zip bag in the freezer after Thanksgiving. You can make the casserole whenever you want!)
15-20 corn tortillas (cut in triangles, fried in oil - don't use store bought chips!)
Jack cheese
Mozzarella cheese
sliced black olives

Soak minced onions and garlic salt in milk. Mix soups, sour cream and chilies. Add milk mixture to soup mixture. Layer in 13x9 greased pan: chips, 1/2 meat, 1/2 soup mixture, cheeses. Repeat layers ending with cheeses. Sprinkle with sliced olives. Cook at 350 until hot and bubbly. Use more thicker chip layer if you don't want a really saucy casserole.


The Best Christmas Ever...

We had fun at a few Christmas parties last weekend... here are some pics...

Jimmy got a stuffed hippo and gift card from Taco Bell from Santa at the Lillard's Christmas party. He got to see Santa again at our ward Christmas party that night. He said "This is the best Christmas ever!" I love how Christmas is so exciting for him.. 3 is a fun age!

Never too old, right?! Not if it means you get a Cold Stone gift card!

Erika the Elf, Santa and Jillian
(Joshua WOULD NOT sit on Santa's lap... said he wasn't the real Santa anyway!)

Daddy and his girl (she's not a "daddy's girl" yet, but it will happen soon!)

Then Erika "crazy-go-cart-driving-woman" took all 3 boys on a ride. Wow! Don't give that girl a license for a while. She's a manic behind the wheel! Of course, she gets a lot of practice, but it's hard to watch as a parent. Later I found out Jonathan didn't wear his seatbelt! I about died! He got the lecture... from a number of people!

Jimmy's helmet is so big!

We had a blast, the kids were so wiped out by the end of the night (and so were mom and dad!!!)
We love Christmas parties!


Tis' the Season to Remember Our Savior

I was just made the new Enrichment Leader in our ward and we had our Christmas Social tonight. We called it a "Cozy Christmas" and it turned out really nice. Everyone brought a favorite munchie or appetizer and we had a short lesson about the symbols of Christmas (thanks Shannon for helping us remember the symbols of Christ all around us during this season!). Then a few of us had some craft items available to make very simple ornaments to give to sisters that we visit teach or anyone else. I had a poem matted on some card stock with a simple flat head nail with a red ribbon attached. This was the poem:

A Nail at Christmas

It's Christmas time at our house
and we are putting up the tree.
I wish I could find one simple way
to remember Christ's gift to me.

Some little sign or symbol
to show friends stopping by.
The little baby was born one day,
But He really came to die.

Some symbol of His nail pierced hands,
the blood He shed for you & me...
What if I hung a simple nail
upon my Christmas tree?

A crimson bow tied 'round the nail
as His blood flowed down so free
to save each person from their sin
and redeem us for all eternity.

I know it was His love for us
that held Him to that tree,
but when I see this simple nail
I know He died for me

I love this poem and the simple ornament you can add to your Christmas tree as a reminder of our Savior and his sacrifice for us. Use it in your family home evenings or give it to someone to spread the Christmas Spirit.

With my new calling comes the challenge of organizing our "classes" or activities for the coming year for our Relief Society Enrichment Program. Give me some feedback! All of you "lurkers" who are scoping out my blog and never leave comments, here is your chance! Let me know what your ward has done, is doing, what you would like to see happen in your Enrichment Activities. I could use some ideas and help! Thanks!


Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving celebrations in our home are pretty low key the last few years. Earl took off early with some friends and ran the 10k for Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento. He came in just under one hour - Go Earl! You rock! I was making turkey and other traditional side dishes at home (in an oven that had a burned out connection on the sensor - it wasn't sensing the correct temperature inside all the time!) We borrowed an electric roaster oven from a friend (thanks Sorensen family!) and thankfully had a good, finished turkey. I was worried about the turkey turning out in our undependable oven, but I didn't mind cooking the side dishes in it. We had a wonderful late afternoon lunch and then had a few friends over to share pies for dessert that evening. We all sat around, stuffed our faces again with more unhealthy treats, and thumbed through the after Thanksgiving Sale ads.

We made a list of items to shop for at the stores and took off about 4:45 on Friday morning to get some great deals. We hit Sam's Club and Target and said "Enough is enough" and went to breakfast with some friends that were out shopping as well. It was so much fun! This is the second year that we have done this and I'm sure we will do it again next year. We get so much Christmas shopping done this way!

The boys went with Earl on Saturday morning to find a Christmas tree for our home. They had a really good time tromping around the woods and found a really big, beautiful tree for us to decorate. We've got half of the lights on it so far and hope to finish the decorating for family night tonight! The boys get soooooo excited when we get out the Christmas decorations and it's hard to keep things under control. My diningroom looks like a tornado hit it right now :)

I'm making door hangings with the extra boughs from our Christmas tree and have about 5 door hangings that I am going to decorate and let the boys sell for extra Christmas money. How much would you pay for one? Would you pay $15, $20 or more? Let me know...