Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giving of Thanks, 2011

We all know that to express gratitude for the relationships 
& cushy blessings we have is usually a giant understatement, 
so I will let it just continue to be obvious that I have the BEST family in the world and I'm glad.  
I like where I live, what I know, what I have, what I've learned, it's nice to be healthy.  
Really, I'm grateful for these things every day, so is it okay that on Thanksgiving, although I revel in the former, for me it's all about...

...the food?
I collect recipes weeks in advance and dream about them all the while feeling especially grateful for access to a huge variety of relatively inexpensive ingredients.

Here is our traditional spread at Gma K's-  the 1/3 times a year the china & silver are put to work 
(do people still put these things on their wedding registries?  
It is a treat to eat off of fancy dinnerware, but incredibly useless the rest of the time):

 Variation on sides this year (in addition to the usual...):

Curried Brussels Sprouts       Coriander Cauliflower                 Sweet Potatoes in a Buttery-Lime Syrup

This is my favorite cranberry relish (with green apple and orange). 
We have it every year, but I never get sick of looking at it:

The regular pies were around, but my mom makes the best trifle and it tops them all!
(She always does everything from scratch, including the butterscotch pudding 
which I am certain would include a dollop of scrambled eggs if I made it myself)-
This one:  Gingerbread & Pumpkin Creme!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One (type of) Graduation Down...A Lot More to Go

Last night was David's graduation from Fire Academy, something he's been doing in a volunteer capacity during all his spare time lately.  He loves it, so it has been worth the sacrifice of having him away and super busy to see how excited he gets about this stuff (And how could he not?  Cutting apart cars with really powerful tools, playing with fire, squirting stuff with giant hoses, oh...and saving people's lives...  it's like a bunch of little boys on steroids). 

Dad got to show off his engine to Mia.  She was pretty excited about an up-close-and-personal fire truck!   

Here is the big solemn fire-fighting oath-taking moment:

...and here is further evidence of my "little boy in grown-up body" theory:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

D.J.H.'s 80th

This guy had a birthday last weekend.

His birthday is worth celebrating because in addition to all the big stuff he's done as air force veteran, PhD earner, Stanford graduate, world-renowned plant geneticist, etc., etc., 
and the big service he's rendered as bishop, stake president, area authority, missionary, etc., etc., 
he also happens to be my grandpa.

Since it was a mile-marker, a party was planned unbeknownst to him 
and he didn't get to have a say toward the invites...

So, the whole family was in on it which made preparations really fun--  I never thought I'd stay in a hotel while visiting Rexburg with all the connections we have there, but because of the nature of the trip, Mia had access to a pool and a lot of live entertainment.  Here she is taking a lap with Gma K:

With favorite Heinz cousin, Eli, while grown ups are party prepping...

...and trying desperately to attract Eli's skinny chicken with a handful of corn. 

Here is our fall spread with Gpa's favorite cupcakes- applesauce with caramel and carrot with cream cheese-for the open house.  Many of the grandkids had a part in table laying which made for a fun time.

It took some sneaking around to keep the whole event (and the entire family's presence!) a secret from Grandpa.  Gma was of course in on it and turned out to be a world-class fibber!  
He didn't suspect a thing which made for a fabulous reaction when a  happy-birthday-singing entourage swarmed him in the church parking lot.

The party made for an ideal Halloween costume venue.  Here is Mia's oh-so-exciting get-up.  I needed to make something quick & easy  that could travel and she would keep in place, so her options were limited to something with ears.  She chose a mouse, and had a great time practicing her squeek in the mirror!

We were lucky enough to get two for the price of one during our super short Idaho jaunt!
 My sweet Gma & Gpa Harmon made an appearance at the open house to check on us and I am SO glad!

The trip was a success and I am so grateful that I get to claim D. J. Heinz as mine!  
Happy, happy 80th Birthday!