Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We decided we were not going to make the drive to Utah for Thanksgiving. We went last year, so we planned to go for Christmas instead. I was a little bummed to be  missing all the fun stuff back home like Black Friday shopping with the sibs and Holly Days, so I asked Emily if they would be around, and we decided we would do a group "Friendsgiving" together with Stephanie Colton and Anneliese Fix and their families.

We talked about it a lot but never really planned anything til about a week before. We decided to have dinner at our house because it has the "most" room. We divvied out the food responsibilities and prepared to party.

The boys wanted to start the festivities off that morning with a bottle of sparkling apple cider. They could bathe in that stuff.

I started the turkey that morning, low and slow, in my brand new electric roaster Kev bought for me. Sadly, no beautiful turkey photos. Don't know why...

Also made my most favorite (and easiest) cranberries from Tyler Florence's recipe.
I was in charge of the turkey, stuffing, gravy, apple tarts, and cranberry punch; but can never resist making cranberry sauce because I love it so much.

I made these yummy little apple tarts courtesy of Ina Garten. Big return for minimal effort.

Apple tarts after glazing
Because watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is so exhausting...

Parade lounging

There was mass pandemonium and hysteria in the streets when a Skylander balloon was spotted in NYC. Back to you, Matt.

Of course it snowed and snowed that day. Kev got the drive and sidewalks all shoveled off and then it was almost a blizzard.

So, I took this photo as we were getting all the food set out and the kids arranged at the table. I realized later...much later...I had never taken one with the food uncovered. Maybe Emily

There was no shortage of food and beverage, obviously

The kids were so cute! They barely squeezed around the little table, and Declan and Branson had to sit elsewhere, but they had so much fun.  I had to post three similar photos because Edison looks less and less thrilled in each one.
Clockwise from top; Tucker, Cael, Dahlia, Evalet, Kyan, Jaxon, Edison,and Alex

The adult table was so "fancy."

I should have taken a ton more photos but I was too busy eating, talking, laughing, and having fun. The guys congregated to the living room to watch football and us girls just talked around the table while the kids ran amuck and caused the usual chaos. Stephanie brought supplies for a cute turkey day craft and the kids loved it.

Us girls! I thought we threw a pretty good Thanksgiving together!
Emily, Stephanie, me, and Anneliese
Kev had to go into work due to some ridiculous emergency (boo) so the kids and I wound down the evening with a family tradition; snacks and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Yep, Kyan's "snack" was the entire container of leftover mashed potatoes.

The next day was Christmas tree day. We were planning to be in Utah for Christmas so I wanted the tree up ASAP so we could enjoy for as long as possible. Kev helped us put up the tree. He hardly ever gets to help us decorate so he took advantage of the smidge of free time he had and joined in before heading back to work.

We give each kid a new ornament for the tree every year. It's a tradition my mom did when I was growing up, and now I have quite the collection of ornaments, and I love doing it with my kids, too.

Figuring out the  new tree via the iTwinkle app. Kev snagged the tree on sale last year after Christmas. The lights can be programmed to music and all kinds of flashing patterns. It's pretty cool!

Horribly unflattering photo of me, but Kev says I'm always taking the photos and never in them so  he was going to fix that.

Blue watched with great enthusiasm. It was about -4, so all he wanted to do was hunker down and nap. Can't say that I blame him...

Kev was headed out to the field again to try and solve frozen pipe issues, so I packed up some T-giving leftovers in my trusty Easy Lunch Boxes and sent him off.

The boys and I finished up the tree and sat back to enjoy the view. The did a great job of trimming the tree!
Hiatt Christmas tree 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Great Pumpkin Obsession of 2014


I have always loved pumpkin, but for some reason, that love bordered on the obsessive this year.


But so, so GOOD!

At first it was an experiment to see how many ways I could use pumpkin. After all, it's really good for you, besides being yummy. We had pies, cupcakes, oatmeal (a personal favorite of mine and Kyan), smoothies, pancakes, waffles, French toast, muffins...I could go on and on.
Delicious pumpkin muffins with a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle. Recipe here.
Pumpkin oatmeal smoothie was a great, healthy lunch.
Here's the recipe I used for the smoothie, if anyone wants it: 
Freeze 1/3 cup pumpkin puree overnight. Add 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, splash of vanilla, 1/2-1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and enough unsweetened almond milk to blend to the consistency of your choice. You could also use regular yogurt but I adore Greek. It was so yummy and so filling!

I stirred in pumpkin wherever I could. I put some in a regular French toast recipe and even my fruit and veggie-phobic Tucker gobbled it down (I just didn't tell him there was something--GASP--healthy in it!)

Things started getting out of control when all the pumkiny goodness hit store shelves. I mean, pumpkin yogurt? Pumpkin pie toaster strudels?! 

And it just kept happening. I was a woman on a mission: buy all the pumpkin things!
That pumpkin Chobani was heaven!
I even convinced Jaxon and Kyan to have pumpkin parties for their birthdays! We painted pumpkins and they had pumpkin themed snacks and pumpkin cupcakes. I blogged about their parties here and here. It turned out really fun though, and they didn't complain.
Mini pumpkins ready to be painted.
Pumpkin party snacks
There came a day when Kevin was looking in the fridge after a shopping spree gone pumpkin and just gave me that know, the one that your significant other gives you when he thinks you've gone nuts?

 Yeah, that look. 

Plus, I sent some pumpkin Chobani to work with a friend and a sackful home with another friend because I needed more room in my fridge...for more pumpkin-laced contraband. 

People, I needed help!
 I was a woman OBSESSED!

I vowed to jump off the pumpkin bandwagon.....
....or maybe just stand on the running board!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween was pretty fun this year! We got into the spirit of the holiday and decorated the house a bit more than we usually do. That was fun.

Bats made of toilet paper tubes painted and flattened; wings from cardstock.

We carved pumpkins when my mom was here, about a week before Halloween. We invited Kyan's friend Cash to help us and we had a ball.

We picked up Halloween costumes super early because the boys just knew what they wanted to be by October 1st, plus Kyan said it's good to be prepared. Plenty of time to wear your costume multiple times just for fun.
Spider Haxie!

Power Ranger Tucker

Ky the Ninja

My friend Nikki had a fun Halloween-themed birthday party for her youngest son, so we got to dress up for that and have a fabulous time!

MMMMM, caramel apples!

I was a zombie nurse and Kev was....a regular zombie dude.

Me with Emily. She was the witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Jaxon fell into Nikki's front door as we were leaving the party and got this huge dent in his forehead. Seriously. The photo doesn't even do it justice. Bruised, swollen, and literally dented. Good thing family photos are in one week....

He also had a black eye from falling off a dining room chair. People probably thought (think?) I beat my kids.

Halloween lunches this year were super fun for me to make!

Lunch on the actual day of Halloween
Boys were super proud of their pumpkins this year.



We had a ward trunk or treat a few days before Halloween, so we got dressed up for the second (or fourth or fifth) time and had a chili and cornbread cook-off and trunk-or-treated to our heart's content. Of course, I got the good candy in case there were any leftovers...

We even decorated the car a bit.

I got to help with a Halloween party in Kyan's classroom. It was super fun! We played a candy corn relay race and a mummy wrap contest and painted pumpkins. Of course we also had treats! 

Jaxon is so spoiled because he always gets to come to the parties!

The big night finally arrived, cold and windy, but the Hiatt boys were not to be deterred. They suited up and away we went! We walked around the neighborhood with Cash and Austin and their mom, Katie. We were super sad because they were moving back to Idaho that weekend. The boys came over for a 2 night sleepover after trick or treating and had a ball. It was sad saying goodbye but now Kyan has a great pen pal and they still keep in touch.

We hit the streets until two little boys cried they couldn't feel their hands and feet anymore, so we called it quits. 

I think they got enough candy...