Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve Heaton Style

Every year Grandma Heaton throws a New Year's Eve party. In the past it usually starts around 6 pm and then ends at the church for the ward party. Being Grandma was serving a mission the past 2 years she was really looking forward to hosting her annual party again. This year it worked best for the majority of the family to do it today, the day before new year's eve. Seven of the nine siblings were able to make it so it was hosted at the Town Hall. 

It started at 1 this year and ran long into the afternoon. With everyone working together our lunch was Cafe Rio style followed by Root Beer Floats. While this mom was busy helping Grandma and Daddy wasn't home from school yet Kylie found cousin Jessica to snuggle with. Jessica must have done something right as Kylie fell asleep on her shoulder.

After lunch Grandma had 2 pinata's for the kiddo's. 

 This is Madelyn taking her turn.

Way too much candy!!!
But... the kids loved it. 

Following the pinata a charades game was played.

While the kids were busy playing charades the dad's visited.

When the kids tired of Charades we had a white elephant gift exchange.

Brayden lucked out opening a box of Star Bursts.
 No one took it from him so he came home with even more candy.

After the white elephant exchange the candy bar game was played. You can't tell but this is Madelyn all dressed up. She was the 1st to roll doubles.

The candy bar game is always a good one. Who doesn't like chocolate??

As if all that chocolate and candies weren't enough our time together ended with ice cream sundaes.
We had a great afternoon visiting with one another. It's always great to see some of Kory's siblings that live up north that we don't get to see too often.

Heaton Christmas Party

 About a year after Kory and I got married we moved to Arizona. The 1st few years we traveled home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. After Madelyn's 1st Christmas we decided it was just to hard to travel with all the gifts for Christmas. We stayed home that first year and I absolutely HATED it. I hated how quiet our home was. I hated how both Kory and I were seriously bored! I hated how much time and work I spent in the kitchen making this huge Christmas dinner and then had no one to share it with. We decided there and then that we would have to do things differently. The following year we started a new tradition. Prescott was full of young, poor college student families. We invited several friends (that were also staying home) over Christmas afternoon to eat a big fancy dinner and then play together. We missed being away from family the most during the holiday's. Our tradition stuck. For 5 years we hosted Christmas Dinner for our Prescott friends that felt like family. 

Moving back to Utah being closer to family was a perk. Our 1st Christmas home was in Hurricane where we shared it with the Christensen side. The next year we were living in Alton. I could not believe it when I heard that Kory's family did not get together for Christmas. The Heaton's at that time were getting together every Sunday for dinner and so did not do anything on Christmas Day. That was not O.K with me! So 3 years ago we changed family dinner's to 2x a month and we hosted our 1st Heaton Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. This year was our 3rd year hosting and will probably be our last. I'm not expecting to be here next year. I wouldn't mind hosting again but I'm sure most of the family won't want to travel to our house on Christmas Day. This year we had 5 families, Grandma and Grandpa (who have been on a mission the past 2 years) plus Mike and Carol, our adopted sibling couple. We had 34 people at our house. 

 Everyone brought a dish to share and we had a plenty of good food to choose from.

After dinner we played a reversal charade's game. One person sat and watched their team act something out that they had to guess. What they were acting out was held above their head so that they couldn't see but the team mates could. Uncle Kevin went first. Savannah, Madelyn, Ruth and Aunt Harmony were his team mates. They were trying to get him to guess "suspender's". They must have done a good job. He guessed it quickly and they went on to the next card drawn.

Grandma participated several times while Grandpa was napping on the couch. I'm not sure how he could have possibly fallen asleep with as loud as it got. But he some how managed. 

More cousins doing there best at acting.

The older boys spent most of their time outside playing darts!
It was a great activity for those bigger boys.

Madelyn was a great sport and let everyone have a turn on her new karaoke machine. The girls had a good time hearing themselves. I believe our family missed the singing gene. I don't think anyone will ever make it in the singing world but it was fun to hear them do their best!
It was a great few hours to spend together. We're a big family and I'm glad our house can host everyone. It does sadden me a little to know that next year we will be in a different house, in a different town and we probably won't see any of Heaton's on Christmas. On the bright side it's been a good 3 years and I hope the Heaton's will continue this new tradition of their's that we started. Chances are Grandma and Grandpa will be serving another mission at Christmas time next year so it will be left up to one of the siblings to get everyone together.

Santa found us!

Christmas morning at 7:05 am.
Waiting so patiently for mom to turn on all the lights!

Madelyn's look of surprise to see Santa did bring her that Karaoke machine!

Santa brought some pretty complicated, sophisticated Lord of the Ring lego's too!

Proud new mom of the newest addition to the family, Cuddles!

Brayden wanted the purple Ninja Turtle. Santa snuck him in his stocking.

Santa also brought him his much anticipated Bat Man Cave.

 Santa brought Kylie her very own purse with a set of keys, and her favorite a hard plastic no push, no noise making cell phone!

Santa was good to us this year. Now on to some of the other gifts given/received this year....

Hunter was just a little excited to get some fun looking duct tape.

Madelyn is thrilled with a spirograph. It's amazing what can be created with this.

Brayden was so excited to have mom and dad open his gift to us. Look what he made in Preschool for us!
It's something that will be treasured for many years to come.

Kylie loved the baby bottles for her new baby. Mom hopes that now maybe she'll quit giving her baby doll's a drink of milk out of her real cup. 

Emily was thrilled with a pair of pretty boots.

Kylie and her new baby. This baby is all plastic. Instead of mom having to throw the babies in the washer because of the real milk offered to them she can now just rinse her off in the kitchen sink.

Madelyn was quite happy with her new necklace and earrings.

Mom's pretty happy with her new winter coat. Dad's quite ecstatic over his Vitamix. He's made a a slushy at lunch and ice cream after dinner every day since Christmas. He can't wait to try making soup, peanut butter and powder sugar. I think it was a hit for everyone! 

Christmas Eve 2013

The girls were so excited as soon as sun went down Christmas Eve. They knew it was getting closer and closer to when they could open their special gift that Mom picks out for them. The girls were very photogenic and wanted a picture taken all night long. Here they are are with the anticipation written all over their face.

It's matching pajama's!
What a surprise...

Excitement was sure in the air. These two wouldn't give me a normal smile. They had to give monster faces or growling faces or glaring faces. This was best normal picture I could get. Looks like Hunter's about ready to strangle little brother who has a big smile on his face! These two really do love each other. 

Look at us!

Why or why is it so hard to get a decent Christmas Eve picture?

Here's the best of the best.

The kids were so round up Kory decided to try different poses.
 Dog pile on Hunter!

Kylie's not quite old enough to be the topper of the pyramid. We tried though.

Kids weren't ready for bed so we played the stick game using a wooden spoon.
In the end it was a tie. Hunter:4 Madelyn:4

 The girls insisted a carrot for each reindeer.

While the girls were getting Santa's plate ready and writing their notes the boys were playing Deer Hunter 2014 on the iPad. They were shooting deer with names like Blitzen, Donner, Dasher and Prancer. 
Daddy and Hunter finally quit playing when Emily had a small melt down. How in the world is Santa going to come if Hunter keeps shooting all his reindeer? Emily and Brayden kept asking if Santa was really going to make it without his reindeer? I had to keep telling them that just like there are 2 Toby's in her class and 2 Sara's in Brayden's class there are other reindeer with names like Donner and Prancer too. Hunter and Daddy were not shooting at Santa's reindeer! This silly game sure made an interesting conversation for the evening. 

Christmas Goodies

My kids last day of school before Christmas break was the Friday before Christmas. Knowing we were hosting the Heaton Family Christmas Dinner/Party at our house again this year we spent the weekend cleaning. My kids were so excited come Monday to be able to play with friends. Having had basketball every single day for the past few weeks my kids hadn't been able to play at all after school. The excitement was in the air. They were so disappointed to learn  that no one could play until after Christmas. Everyone seemed to be getting ready for Christmas or cleaning their own houses. Talk about disappointment! This is just one more reason why I am anxiously waiting to move. My kids will have more than one friend in town. If one can't play you simply call on another. This is something we definitely do not have right now. 

Not wanting my kiddo's to spend their 1st two day's of vacation being couch potato's from boredom we spent a lot of our time in the kitchen. Madelyn helped make goody bag's for Dad's home teaching families. She did a great job making all the gift tags. 

We made candy covered pretzel's for the 1st time. The kids' really wanted to make enough to take around town but they are way to time consuming and too expensive. We made homemade caramel to dip the pretzel's in first. Then when that hardened a bit we dipped it into melted chocolate. The kids then sprinkled them with different toppings. We had chopped pecans (the favorite), coconut, mini choc. chips and Christmas sprinkles. They were pretty yummy.

Madelyn spent some time on pinterest looking for something fun and different to make. She came across Santa Bread. Using my own bread recipe she made her 1st Santa Bread.

 I think it turned out cute and it took her quite some time to make it. Time well spent in the kitchen!

Emily, Brayden, Kylie and I made a cinnamon roll wreath for Christmas morning. Emily insisted that instead of using white frosting we needed Christmas colors.  

Hunter wasn't terribly interested in baking so he decided to use my rubber train molds for something. He wanted to make chocolate trains but knowing I didn't have any where near the chocolate he'd need he decided to go the jello route. Following the direction's by himself be made jiggler's on his own. He did a good job.

My kids still spent some time on the couch but we had several hours of fun in the kitchen. We laughed, we played, we teased. It was a great time to spend together. 

Madelyn while searching for a movie on Netflix came across The Next Best Baker. The host of the show is also the host of Cake Boss, her favorite show to watch. We watched a few episodes while we were doing the dishes each day and just cleaning up our mess from baking. We're hooked! My kids made me feel good when I heard a lot of , "Mom, you could do better then her." or "Mom, you are so much better at that then him" or "Mom, you should get on that show. You'd definitely win the $100,000". They make some real amazing cakes. It's given me the bug. I've got to make another cake. It's been way too long! Maybe for my own birthday in a few weeks?

Emily's 1st Grade Play

It's a tradition at the kids school that every year Kinder and 1st grade produces the Christmas Play. Emily was so excited that she was asked to be Mrs. Clause. According to her she had the *perfect* dress to wear for the occasion. It was so perfect that she didn't have to wear her teacher's outfit because her dress was so much better. All Miss Emily wants for Christmas this year is a front tooth!

Emily's sitting on the very top row next to Santa Clause.

Before each groups parts like the dancing dolls, drummer boys, etc. Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause would sprinkle them with magic dust so that they could come a live so the audience could see them do their part.

Both Santa and Mrs. Clause had a one liner to say too!

She did so good. It was cute to see her excitement about playing such an important roll for her school  play. She felt very special she was able to participate in the way she did.
Good job Emily!