Sunday, December 27, 2009

BARF-mitzvah










My Mom's boyfriend, Castro made us the best Mexican dinner on Christmas night. We had Chicken Enchiladas, Steak Tacos, Rice & Beans, and Seafood Pico de Gallo. We were all so excited to taste it. Well, except Chase...he is the classic "Picky Eater". He always gets stressed out at dinner time. If I would serve him Dutch Babies and Crepes everyday, he would be happy.

He looked at the food that night nervously. We assured him he would be just fine. We told him the steak tacos would be his favorite. He wouldn't touch anything. I told Castro to not feel bad because he even refuses to eat macaroni and cheese! Castro looked at Chase and said, "What kind of American kid are you if you won't eat macaroni and cheese??" I explained that we are amazed he has the energy he does because he barely eats. Castro said "Then you must be......Jewish....what do Jewish people eat, anyway?" I said "Well I know they eat Matzo Balls and Challah bread." Castro looked down at Chase and said "Don't they eat... "Barf-mitzvah?" Tayler thought that was hilarious. Chase was still worried about that steak taco, which had no steak in it and was really just a hollow corn tortilla on a plate.

We had planned on going to see a movie and knew this could take all night, so Scott told Chase he was giving him five minutes to finish his food. He then set his iphone timer and held it up. If it was Brussels sprouts or broccoli, then I wouldn't make him eat it all, just a tiny bite. But he eats corn chips with ease on other days, and this was just a glorified corn chip, so I had no mercy. I didn't want him hungry in 30 minutes or just eating candy at the movie, so I said, "Hurry it up...the timer's ticking."

He choked down a couple of bites as his siblings cheered him on. They didn't really need to chant the count down out loud, I will have to admit. Then I heard the sound.....that horrible, gagging sound. Tayler had the camera. I started yelling, "Oh! He's gonna throw up! Hurry Tayler!" Scott yelled back at me, "Calm down, he is not going to throw up!" Well, he was so caught off guard by us that it came up.....but not OUT. (Sorry. I know. Gross.)

"See!" Scott said. "He didn't throw up." I was looked at Scott. "No....I wasn't worried about THAT, I just wanted Tayler to catch it with the camera for my blog if he DID!!" Tayler said to Scott, "Ya Dad...and you made us miss it!"

I asked Castro if he knew he was going to get dinner and a show. Tayler said, "Well, at least we had our Barf-mitzvah"

Monday, December 21, 2009

How To Spot A Clean Freak....


It is no secret that Scott is a clean freak. He LOVES to clean the house. It makes him happy. He recently bought me an electronic dustpan. It's called the iVac. He was thrilled over it. I thought he was joking. There had to be something different in the box. Nope....that was it. A black contraption that was going to make my life easier. I nicknamed it the iSore. It's a great idea...you sweep up the dirt in front of it and it turns on and sucks it up. The thing is, it turns on when you are walking by it. It turns on when you drop a Sorry game piece and inhales it. It turns on when the cat decides to sit in front of it. If you ask me it creates more work.....but he loves it. He loves to wash walls, floor, counters. We all watch in amazement after a party. Within twenty minutes everything is back to normal....Husbands especially watch with jaws dropped...wishing he would just stop.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Malissa and I were standing in the kitchen talking. Scott was on his laptop drinking coffee. He reached over to grab something and knocked his cup over. Only a true clean freak would do what he did. Instead of letting the coffee hit the floor he threw himself in front of it to catch it. He would rather scald his skin right off his chest than let that liquid hit the floor. Scott even had to laugh at himself. Instead of changing, he got a towel to get any drops that may have missed landing on him. First things first.....

So if you want to spot true clean freak...look for the shirt soaked in coffee...it's a dead giveaway!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Up On The Rooftop



Nobody can accuse me of being a high strung Mom. I know I can get a little worked up at times, but overall....I am pretty laid back.... in my opinion....when it comes to the kids.

Last week while we were at our home schooling classes, Beau called me to say he was locked out of the house...in his PJ's. I told him to call his Dad to see if there was a key. Scott said there wasn't a key to be had so he got a ladder and climbed on the roof to see if he could get into his room through the window. The window was locked. The ladder fell to the ground. The next call I got was from Beau telling me he was now stuck on the roof. I explained we still had an hour left of classes and then we would be home. He had a coat he said, but his feet were freezing. I guess I should have left right then, but I just knew he would be okay. I was in the middle of signing the kids up for the next semester of classes, and if I stopped what I was doing, the classes might fill up. I called him back fifteen minutes later to see if he would like to take the Math class or not. "MOM! I don't care about that right now, my feet are FREEZING!" I didn't sign him up.
On my way home, he called me to ask exactly where I was at. He wanted to know what landmarks were around me. "I just passed the cow in the field, and I am at the blinking light." As we passed in front of our house we could see a little red speck lying flat on the roof. "There is Beau!!" Autumn yelled. We pulled into the driveway and I saw the ladder on the ground. Beau walked over to us and asked Chase to hurry and open his bedroom window so he could climb in.
"Did you do the dishes?" I yelled up to him. "Ummmmm, no, I have been stuck on the roof," he said. "Likely story....." I mumbled. Tayler was in the kitchen when I walked in. I commented that Beau in fact did NOT do the dishes like I had told him to do because he was stuck on the roof.
"He so did that on purpose," Tayler said.
Poor Beau...but he did get to defrost his hands in the warm dishwater. Oh and come to find out, there was a key, but Scott was worried Beau would LOSE it....Beau is such a good sport and was able to laugh about it. Such a great quality to have. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Favorites....Triple Barrel Curling Iron



Do you remember the "crimping" irons from the 80's? Well, I happened to love mine. I used it all of the time in high school. I was really sad when crimped hair went out of style. I thought it looked so pretty and natural. We now have something close to that "look". The triple barrel curling iron! It creates those lovely waves. The best part is that it isn't expensive. I got mine at Sally's for only $30.00. (I KNOW!!!) It's a lot of bang for your buck! If I was a decent blogger, I would have thought to take a picture of my hair last week after I used it...."Duh Tupid" ( I am quoting my niece Scarlet here)

Here are a couple of tips that my amazing hair dresser/sister gave me.

1) Straighten your hair one day, then triple barrel it the second day.
2) Use a product called "Shine" on your hair before use.
3) Use smaller strands
4) Spray each strand with hair spray first for more defined waves

Jodi, Jessica and I were practicing on our hair a few weeks ago. My Brother-In-Law came home and Jodi asked him if he liked the way it looked. He said, "Look, if you guys want to have an 80's party while I am at work, that's fine with me"
Ok...it might look a bit 80's, but that is the whole point. Styles seem to cyle about every twenty years, so we are right on schedule. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome Kyle




Well, I have a new follower. His name is Kyle. I basically forced him to follow my blog, but that is beside the point.

He doesn't know this, but he will forever hold the position of being my first child's first "official" boyfriend. Yes, Tayler has liked other boys and hung out with them...but she has been accused by her friends of being very, very picky. They told her she had this dream guy made up in her head that DIDN"T exist. She is not one to throw away affection on just anyone. Well, she has found a person who meets these standards, (GASP) and he is the one who gets to hold the title of FIRST BOYFRIEND forever.

He is the one that has made Tayler laugh the hardest, and smile the biggest... that, my friends, made us snap to attention. He is the one Tayler's siblings tell people about. He is the first one to make Scott's eyes look like a deer in headlights. He is the first one that I have wanted to buy a Christmas gift for.

He has had Chase hanging off of his neck, and Autumn making up code names for them. (SHHHHHH..... it's SHARK GIRL and LAVA BOY) The last time Kyle was here, Chase yelled, "TAYLER, YOUR GEERFWIEND IS HERE!" And he still returns.... Kyle is the youngest in his family, so I am impressed at how well he handles Tayler's younger siblings.

I asked Tayler what things she liked about him that she didn't like about other guys. This was her list:

1) He is sarcastic
2) He doesn't wait on her hand and foot.
3) He is a swimmer
4) He gets good grades
5) He plays piano
6) He plays guitar
7) He golfs
8) He has a nice smile
9) He is cute


Ok....there you have it. Kyle Beede folks....Oh, and Kyle...here are a couple pieces of advice.

1) Honor God always...
2) Respect my baby girl...
3) Watch out, because Tayler comes from a long line of strong women..... ;)That green eyed monster can be rough...haha. Her Grandma IS wanted in Oregon, afterall....so mind your P's & Q's.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I <3 You?


I have this little quirk. I often say things that I do not mean so say. Random words will just come out of my mouth for no good reason. I like to tell myself it is because I am always trying to "turn a good phrase" and so words just spill out of me here and there. My head is often in the clouds and I don't notice details very often. (I would make a horrible eye witness.) I am more of an "over-all picture" sort of girl. I like GENERAL ideas...I like concepts. I have been accused of being an air head, but my friend Cassie just tells me I just have a lot to do at once and anyone would act like I do ....thanks Cassie. I will take that. Ya know how some people are Glass Half Empty, and some are Glass Half Full? I don't even know where my glass is half of the time....I just drink out of the hose.

So all that to say...I was on my way to the Logos Christmas Party the other night. I needed nylons so I ran in bare legged and cold into Rite-Aid. I had kids in the car so I went as fast as I could to Isle 18 and grabbed the first ones I saw. I threw them on the counter and swiped my debit card. The lady made small talk while she put the nylons in the bag. "Thank You," she said to me. I took the bag and looked her in the eye and said, "I love you."

I don't know why I said that! It just came out. She looked at me, blinking. I didn't apologize or explain. I was late and had freezing legs, so I left.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Favorites...Cheerios with Hershey's Syrup.




Our Dad is way cool. He knows how to enjoy chocolate. He loves it. When we were little he used to give us our Cheerios smothered with Hershey Syrup. We were thrilled...we couldn't afford the fancy cereal with five kids....so we made our own. It is so gooooood. Trust me......


I was talking to my sister Jodi about this the other day. I have been off of sugar for a few months, but every now and then I just have to indulge. :) She reminded me that we would also put Nestle Quick on rice crispies so we could have....

GHETTO COCOA CRISPIES. HAHA!

We were always SO jealous of Cousin Kristy because Aunt Edie always bought them the fun sugar cereal. We had no choice but to be creative. I will never forget sitting there with Dad in his "tighty whities" while we ate our "Chocolate Cheerios." It didn't matter if we had friends over, there he would sit. Happy as a clam. Skinny ankles and all.........

Autumn had some this morning. She loved it. Chase had some this morning. He said he "kind of" liked them.
He must be missing that particular "King" gene. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Duet-ing


Last night I was over at Jen's house with Autumn. Jen was telling me that her daughter Chloe wants to go Christmas Caroling in the worst way. I asked her if she was going to take her. She laughed and said "Uh no...how embarrassing." I thought about it and unless you have a really organized group, it actually can be a bit nerve racking. You are interrupting people's evening, so if they are going to get up and let half of their heat out....it had better be good. It had better be entertaining. It had better be BROADWAY. I thought of the American Idol auditions, and really... a bad performance can be just as amusing as a good one. Maybe we could just sing off key and make fools of ourselves. That would be worth it for anyone. I could not convince them. Autumn and Chloe decided they were NOT going to wait for us to make it happen for them. They were going out into the neighborhood and they were going to sing for whoever would listen. We just stayed on the couch. I thought I should follow, but Jen and Brian didn't seem worried so I stayed put. It was freezing out there.

They came back after a few minutes and reported that at the first house the person answered the door and laughed the whole way through Jingle Bells. The second house they went to TWICE, but they were happy because two different people answered. The third house they got the door slammed on them because they got the giggles and just held onto each other and laughed through the song.

After they left we cracked up. I suggested we arrange a caroling night for them. Brian said, "Ok Mikki, when should we drop her off with you?" Ummmmm....that isn't what I had in mind. The door bell rang....Nobody got up. "Aren't you going to answer the door?" I asked. Jen reminded me it was only the "Carolers". "Well aren't we going to listen?!" Still nobody moved. "FINE, I will get it..."

I turned on the porch light, opened the door, and watched the two most silly, giggling girls sing Jingle Bells to me. I don't think I even heard one word correctly. I couldn't stop laughing as they hung onto each other, gasping for air at the end of We Wish You A Merry Christmas. I made them sing again so I could take a picture. They asked for hot cocoa because it was about 15 degrees out. I would love to tell you we made them some.....but we didn't. It was late and we had to go. I know....so mean.

I do think I will try to take them out with a group. I just don't want to be responsible for the happiness of random listeners, so if any of you local people are going out....can we come along?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Favorites....Silly Slime...




A few years ago our kids bought some "goo" at a craft fair. They played with it for hours on end. It's right up their alley. Slimy, cold, and gross looking. Surprisingly, it doesn't make too much of a mess.
Today the two little ones stayed busy for hours making it. There is no cooking involved so it was a great project for them to do.
They decided toFont size make me a surprise. They wrote "I LOVE MOM" with the goo. How sweet.... how could I not love this stuff? They were so proud of their efforts. Here is the recipe in case you would like to try it out. I guess it's a toss up...Autumn & Chase are probably today's real Friday Favorites...




SILLY SLIME



1 cup Elmer's glue



1 1/2 cup warm water



food coloring



1 1/2 cup hot water



4 Tbsp Borax



In first container mix first three ingredients.



In second container mix last two.



Pour mixture #1 into #2 and DO NOT STIR



leave for one minute. Pull goo from liquid and separate into small containers. Wipe counters clean, leave open to dry for about one hour.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Heavier Than A Pound Of Babies




1) Here are five highlights of Thanksgiving with my family in Vancouver. The morning started with my sister Jessica picking me up at Dad's to go shopping for last minute things. Everyone else decided to sleep at the hotel, but in order to spend more time with Dad, I chose to sleep on his 64 yr old, dust mite infested couch. I did have a hotel pillow that I had snagged, so that made it a lot better and I slept surprisingly well at the Spider Hotel. (love you dad)

2) We arrived at Winco and I did my usual freak out routine about all of the low prices. It's always the same song and dance. Jodi says that everytime I yell, "Oh my gosh the prices are so low!! I pay fifty bucks for a pound of butter in Lynden because of those Canadians!!!!!"

And yes, I did it today. Only worse. We rushed through the store throwing last minute things in the cart with me hollering about each price tag. We stood there forever deciding which kind of rolls to choose, knowing Jodi would turn up her nose in disdain at anything not made by scratch. We settled on potato rolls and raced to the checkout. Brian the checker was very nice. I told him I could NOT believe these prices and told him about the Canadians. When the final total came to $28.00 I screamed. I told him that would be at least $70.00 back home and then I took a picture of the screen. I asked him if I could take his picture.
"I'd rather you didn't" he said weakly.
"Ok! then can I take a picure of your nametag? It's for my blog," I said. I looked at his shirt and his nametag was gone.
"Hey where is your nametag?" I asked.
He said, "I don't have one"
"Then how do I know your name is Brian?" I asked.
I saw he had tucked it inside his shirt. Jessica was dying laughing by now and laughed even harder when I took a flyer and wrote my blog address down for him. I told him to become a follower because I really wanted 20 of them by Christmas. I also told him he would star in it today. I thrust the paper in his hand and left. I whispered in Jessica's ear, "He is SO going to throw that thing away".

3) We spent the rest of the day getting things ready, just like you all did. The guys were lined up in the living room like sloths watching football while we broke our backs in the kitchen. I walked out there at one point and said, "It must be nice to be a guy on Thanksgiving." Jodi's brother-in-law didn't miss a beat and said, "EVERY day is a nice day to be a guy." I decided I would be the one to dish up HIS plate.

4) Dinner was underway and Gordy (the mouthy one) was inhaling rolls because he had just had his wisdom teeth removed and could barely chew. (Waaa) He was trying to eat the deviled eggs with very little success. I saw a line of drool stream down onto the platter. No more eggs for me tonight, I thought. My sister pulled me over to the stove and put a roll under my eyes. "Look at this!" she hissed."What?" I asked, it was too close to see anything. I pulled it away and saw a thin layer of mold across the top. "Oooooohhhh, yuck" I said. I was so glad I hadn't eaten one. We were huddled together inspecting the roll as one by one each voice stopped. You know what happens when two people in a crowded room start to whisper. EVERYONE SHUTS UP. I looked over and the two brother-in-laws were sitting there with their mouths open and I heard one of them say. "MOLD?" Everyone started talking loudly and these are the things I heard flying around the room.....

GROSS! I ATE FIVE OF THOSE!

IT WON'T HURT YOU....

MOLD IS LIKE PENICILLIN

BUT GORDY IS ALLERGIC TO PENECILLIN!!

PENICILLIN WONT KILL YOU...

IT WILL IF YOU ARE BACTERIA!
....................I sorta hoped Gordy would get a reaction.

5) I can barely type this last highlight. But it's too shocking not to share. I hope you don't mind. My sister, her Mother-In-Law and I were in the kitchen after dinner. Nana was telling us she had recently lost 40 lbs in two months. She said she went from 190 to 157. That is always exciting. The thing is Rob, her son wasn't going for it. I tried to help out by saying everyone carries weight differently. She wasn't budging. She said she has more "Inner weight" than "Outer Weight". I don't even know what that means, but remember that. It comes in later in the story. Rob walked up to her and said, "Mom, I am not buying it. There is NO WAY you way 157." He then began pointing to all of the other people in the room and rattling off their weights. CLEARLY she should see that it is obvious she does not look like them. She argued with him and insisted on the matter. Rob said he was going to have to weigh her. That was that. The only thing is they didn't have a scale. Rob was going to buy a scale but everything was closed. SO he sent my sister to the neighbors to get one.

These neighbors deserve their own description. They spend all of their time in their garage smoking and drinking. It is NOT a finished garage. They have an 80's coke dealer couch complete with blue lights underneath, lamps, a TV, end tables, a minifridge, blankets & pillows. They keep the garage door OPEN so the whole world can see them and there is a NET that goes across the garage to keep in their little dogs and Grandson that their transvestite son/daughter named Daisy Daffodill left for them to raise. You can hear them singing Kareoke at all hours of the night.

Ok....back to the scale. Jodi goes up to the house and can hear them singing. She knocks and hears someone sing...."Coooooommmme ooooooonnn iiiiiiinnnnnnnn" I'm sure they had a scale in the garage. Jodi had it in hand and was walking up the driveway just as Nana came out. Rob put the scale down and said, "Get on". Nana gets on...... and the number pops right up to 190. We had just finished Thanksgiving, but I don't think she ate 40 lbs of food. Poor Nana! She said the scale must be off. Who would actully step on that scale?!!

Later that night Jodi and I were sitting down laughing about it and I asked her, "So, what's with the whole Inner Weight and Outer weight that Nana was talking about? I mean, doesn't a pound of feathers weigh just as much a a pound of........."
Jodi looks at me. "Yes?" she askes, smiling.
"Ummmmmm," I say, "I can't think of anything heavy except bricks, but you can't have a pound of bricks can you? Because isn't one brick more than a pound anyway?" We crack up laughing and ask Rob. He looks at us like we are crazy. Jodi says, "Yah, that's like saying, It was heavier than a pound of babies."

I. laughed. so. hard.
I could not stop.
My mouth began to hurt and I was doubled over.
She was cackling and gasping for air.
I knew we had just coined a new phrase.

"Heavier than a pound of babies"
I am going to say it forever.


So, in true "King" form, we laughed our way through the day. We had a point today when Mom's absence was all too obvious. We didn't know how to deal with it, so we laughed. That's what she would want. That's what Kings do, and I am sure Mom was shaking her head at us and saying, "Those idiots."
:)












Monday, November 23, 2009

How To Lose A Friend In 10 Days...Amish Friendship Bread



I remember back in the 90's when this bread hit the scene big. You couldn't walk into the church doors without being handed ten bags of Amish Friendship Bread Starter. At first I was amazed at the whole concept. I then realized that it was just a chain letter that festered on my counter. It seemed like this would be a great way to lose friends! I ended up taking some bags home. A little interested....a little nervous. Each day I reluctantly squeezed the bags and watch them bubble and grow. By day five I could hear the bags groaning in the kitchen, begging to be put out of their misery. I didn't want to go near them. It was sorta really gross. On day ten I was instructed to bake it into bread. I was afraid. Why was I doing this? I followed the rules and added to and divided the goo into bags for my friends. Friends? I thought it might be better to give them away to people I didn't really like that much. Or friends I'd like to see gain some weight. Or donate them to science. It just didn't seem like a nice thing to hand someone you cared about. I managed to get two loaves in the oven. It smelled good. I was hopeful. But in the end I thought it tasted like a sponge soaked in oil, topped with cinnamon. I know people LOVED it, but it didn't thrill me. I grabbed the starter bags I had just divided and tossed them in the trash. Who would I give them to anyway? EVERYONE already dozens of these things on their counters. Far be it from me to force anything on anyone.



Flash forward 15 years.....I am at a gathering of homeschool Moms. I am visiting and passing time. One lady I like very much comes up to me and offers me four bags of "friendship". She's smiling...no, she's beaming...wait a second....Is that fear I see in her eye? Poor thing...it is. I sadly shake my head and say "I pass." The fear quickly turns to full on panic. I won't take them?? WHAT is she going to do with all of these starters?! She cannot throw them away...potential...FOOD? She turns to the person next to her. They also shake their heads. She backs up slowly, ready to cry. "Just take them back home," I tell her. "We don't want that stuff here." She stands there stunned, bags hanging. "Bake it all at once," I say. Blink........blink....."Freeze it," I offer. She sighs, she turns, she leaves. Yes, I feel for her. But I also feel relieved for myself. I then look down and see her recipe sitting on the table.



"Pumpkin Amish Friendship Bread"



Well..... that is a different story! Anything with Pumpkin is indeed a sign of Friendship and Goodwill. I LOVE Pumpkin. I run out the door calling her name. I catch up to her in the parking lot and tell her quickly "I changed my mind! I would love to try it. I didn't know you could add pumpkin and chocolate chips!" Her hands were empty. She had already given it away. She found some real friends. I ask her for the recipe for the starter. She says she will bring it, but she doesn't sound too happy about it.



A couple of weeks later she walked up and thrusted paper into my hand and stomped off. Not one word uttered. I will give this one more shot. And if I come up to you with a pleading look in my eye, just take the bag. You can toss it later. I will never know.




THE RULES OF FRIENDSHIP BREAD




Do not use any metal bowls or spoons when making this!



Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe


(.25 ounce) package active dry yeast


1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)


3 cups all-purpose flour,


divided3 cups white sugar,


divided3 cups milk



In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Put one cup in a gallon zip lock bags to give out to your friends. You can also freeze the starter for later use.



How to make the bread.


1 cup starter


Day 1:Do nothing with the starter.


Days 2-5:Knead the bag


Day 6:Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to the bag and knead.


Days 7-9:Knead the bag


Day 10:Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir.


Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends.To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.


1 cup oil

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla


In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:


2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 - large box instant vanilla pudding or two small boxes

1/2 tsp salt


Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.



Amish Friendship Bread Variation


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread Friendship Bread:


Add small can of pumpkin, 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips; decrease oil to 1/2 cup. Omit cinnamon.





Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Favorites.... Dutch Babies










First off......The picture of this morning's Dutch Babies is a bit disappointing. But it's Friday. I need a favorite thing. This is going to have to work. Usually they are WAY PUFFIER. I am glad I decided to take a snapshot just in case I needed to fall back on it. Friday comes quickly, you know.




Dutch Babies are also called German Pancakes, a sweet breakfast dish similar to Yorkshire Pudding and derived from the German Äpfelpfannekuchen. It is made with eggs, flour and milk and can be seasoned with vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon. There are many different recipes but all have the same basic concept. I have a friend who refuses to give out his recipe. He is a Dutch Baby Snob, but I can accept and appreciate that. His are very good....I have to admit. No Dutch Baby ever looks the same though. It's like a piece of artwork every time. It takes just seconds to whip up and then it bakes for about 20 minutes. During that time you can finish other dishes or just go jump in the shower. They are impressive to look at, and guests are always thrilled over them. Serve them with syrup, powder sugar, jam, and of course a LOT OF WHIPPING CREAM.



Here is how I make them. There is NO RIGHT way. Just play with it until you get them the way you like them



4-5 Eggs



1 cup flour



1 cup milk



3 Tbl butter



Heat oven to 425. Melt Butter in dish by putting in oven. I use a round stoneware. Any dish with sides will work, including a cast iron skillet. Mix Eggs for one minute. Add flour. Mix 30 seconds. Add milk. Mix 30 seconds. Pour into pan. Cook for 23 minutes. Top with.....well...whatever you like!



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Santa spreads Swine Flu?

Tonight at dinner my daughter told me that it was going to be mandatory in some malls for kids to provide proof of swine flu immunity before sitting on Santa's lap.

What?!

That is going a bit far. I have a better idea. Why don't they just form two lines? One line for the shot, the other one for pictures. Or maybe Santa himself could administer the shot to each child before they sat down. Forget the candy canes! (I say this tongue in cheek because my children don't get vaccinated at all. But that is a whole different post that I will save for another day when I feel like getting into that battle.) I read up on this story and found out there are two sides. Evidently those pig germs can hide in Santa's beard quite easily. Dr. James Orlowski is the head of Pediatrics at University Community Hospital and says bacteria and viruses can live up to eight hours in clothing! So.... before all of those North Pole impostors start demanding things of innocent children, I think they should shoulder some of the responsibility! Here are some suggestions to consider.

*He could sport a new clean cut look. Beards are Swine Flu breeding grounds. (Sorry, Dad)

*He could wear a mask.

*He could wear disposable suits

*Each child could spray him down with Lysol before they sit down.

*He could use a webcam from his workshop.

* He could sit in a glass cubicle and use a microphone.

I am not suggesting skipping Santa's lap this year. He has bills to pay too. I understand he is offering his lap to society and is taking a risk. But is it a bit much demanding a shot record in exchange for his....empty promises?

And by the way....Rudolph has LYME DISEASE written all over him........what should we do about THAT??

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blah.......




WHO IS PERFECT ANYWAY?







I just have to start out by saying that. I just got off of the phone with my friend and we agreed that sometimes it is nice to just be negative. She said she logged onto Facebook, saw all of the cheery posts about perfect husbands, perfect kids and perfect pets and logged off. ...She said it would be nice if just for once someone would just say, "Tonight when I looked at my husband, I wanted to vomit." Or how about "My kids are driving me crazy because they won't stop asking me questions!" The more she talked, the more amused I got. She was so frustrated, but the more she talked, the harder I laughed. Is it wrong to be angry, or just wrong to advertise it? I am not naive enough to think that others never struggle. It would just be nice to know it now and then!


So here it goes...this one is for you Kristy!


My laundry pile is starting to fossilize

My kids ate today but I had nothing to do with the process

I need to return library books, but they are lost...again

Our dentist banned us from her clinic for missing appointments

Our orthodontist congratulated me last week on only being one hour late

I cleared out my voicemail, but only so people will stop hounding me, not because I will return their calls.

I lose my keys about twice a day

I need to go grocery shopping today...but I won't....

I text while driving...but I am GOING to break that bad habit


So you see...I am so off the mark and suppose I will share that fact. And Kristy, if you need to call and just vent or be negative for a little bit, I will stand by you and I will listen. And maybe we will even end up laughing about it all.


While writing this post the phone just rang. It was Kristy and this is what she said..."I have decided to not let things get me down. I am going to get out of the house and go to church and everything is going to be just fine!" (insert very happy tone to her voice) That is SO funny. I guess I am on my own. hahaha


I asked her to come over for dessert later. I guess I should get over this bad mood so I don't bring her down. :) Really, who wants to be around someone who is always complaining???

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Favorites... a bit late

























I had this really great idea. I wanted to let my 12 readers have something to look forward to each week. Something they could count on. Solid and unchanging....I thought it would be fun to post one of my favorite things each Friday. The thing is, I kinda sorta need to do it on Friday if it's "Friday Favorite's." But I am more creative than organized..... That's my excuse for most of my weaknesses. I asked Scott if he thought I could still do one tonight even though it is technically Saturday. He said "No." I turned around and said "Hey! It's my blog and I will do what I want!" He said I could call it "Forgetful Friday" Anyway, you may get a few of these posts on "Second Thought Saturday." Whatever.

Tonight was the release party for the new Logos software. It's so amazing. You should all buy it today. That is not my Friday Favorite though. As we walked in the door, my favorite cups were lined up on the table for the taking. (They look like the clear Starbucks cups but they are hard plastic with screw on lids. ) And...I am sort of throwing in two favorites today. I used to get lattes, but I found out that iced coffee tastes the same and is much cheaper. Recently while in Starbucks, the employee told me about this new, hot item called Via instant coffee. It comes in the CUTEST little foil packets. It dissolves instantly in hot or cold water and it tastes brewed. I was sold. Now I make my own iced coffee with two pumps of vanilla in the comfort of my own kitchen. It averages out to about 80 cents per cup. A far cry from the four dollar latte. You can also use it in hundreds of recipes! You can roll your steaks in it, make cupcakes, chicken soup, creme brulee', muffins, cookies, cannoli, pies, smoothies.......I bet it even removes stains.

After the party was over, we were walking out with our friends Andy and Maureen. I told Scott to grab me an extra one. He would not do it. So I told Andy to grab me one. He also seemed reluctant. I just reached over and took Andy's cup out of his hand and marched out the door. I think I heard him yell something like "Real NICE Michelle, stealing a cup at a bible software event all the while wearing a Star of David around your neck!" He was forced to get another cup for himself from the table. He followed us out the door and immediately started griping about the snow on the ground and said it should stay on the mountain where he could see it but not feel it. I thought that was so funny for some reason and told him I was going to put that in my post tonight. He said that was just fine and even spelled his name for me so I could quote him.

I came home to write this Friday-Favorite-on-Saturday post. I put the coffee in my new stolen cup. It then took me ten tries to get a decent picture of me drinking it and I finished the whole thing....Now I am WIDE AWAKE as a result. (I don't usually add whipping cream with little gingerbread man sprinkles, but I thought it made it more exciting looking.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Beau & Shane......the Failed Attempts


























Beau and Shane have been friends for a long, long time. I have watched them
grow up together and turn from little boys into young men. I know I am going to
blink and they will be all grown up. I have been amused by them on many
occasions. They seem to always be looking for the latest and greatest new
thing....rip sticks, skinny jeans, heeley's, neon clothes, skim boards, nerd
glasses, and music, music, music......They sort of like being the center of
attention and always have hogged the spotlight at every Home Connection event.
Beau plays bagpipes and Shane plays the guitar. So of course they decided to
start a band. They are the "Failed Attempts" They have a local following and are
getting pretty good. I am proud of their hard work. So much creativity out of
these kids! If you need a good band or a piper for an event, just let me know.
You can also become a fan of their band on Facebook. Apparently, if they get 400 fans, Shane is going to jump off the pier in a chicken costume at 6:00 am. I'd like it so happen soon so he has to do it in the dark.

I just went to their page. They were sitting on either side of me as their profile picture came up. Beau says, "Why are YOU the front person, Shane?" Ahhh....they sound just like a real
band.


Monday, November 2, 2009

My Perfect Rhyme




I may never paint a masterpiece,
or sail the ocean blue
Fame and Fortune out of reach
yet I'm rich because of you


I could try to write a sonnet
of granduer and of grace
but words could never capture
the beauty of your face

You are my Mona Lisa
you are my perfect rhyme
the music of your laughter
goes with me all the time


Rain will fall, storms will blow
throughout your days I hope you know
all you are and ever will be
will always be enough for me


I offer up my thanks
with a grateful heart
Tayler, Beau, Autummn, Chase
You are a work of art......

Sunday, November 1, 2009

:(

Most of you would agree that when you are with me we do a lot of laughing. A lot. But the last two days, I am just not in the mood. I want to cry. I want to stomp my foot and just throw a big tantrum. Don't you get tired of trying to avoid unpleasant feelings? I have dodged them for a while and I think it has caught up with me and I am tired. I need a friend with a nice shoulder I can cry on. It would be helpful. I'm not trying to be a downer, but this is my blog and so I guess I can write whatever I feel like writing. And right now I feel like being negative. I may not even publish this post, but I feel a little better for getting it off my chest. I think I will get in the car and drive over to Jen's. She will just have deal with me and my issues tonight. And then I will hug her and smile and promise to do the same for her soon...probably tomorrow.
Have a good night.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Favorites














Beauty Rush Liquid Liner

I love sparkly things. My Mom loves sparkly things. My sister loves sparkly things. I don't know what it is, but it's a weakness we all share. When we see something sparkly we always, without fail say "OOOOOH SPARKLE SPARKLE" I know...that sounds dumb. But it's just the way it is.

I was standing in line at Victoria Secret and I noticed a bin of SPARKLY eye liner. I picked it up...and you know what I said. Of course I had to grab some and try it out. I am happy to say, it is all I thought it would be! It's so pretty....and yes sooooooo sparkly. I especially love the Copper Hot color...it matches my brown eyes nicely if I do say so myself. At five bottles for $20.00 you can have all the colors!

So this is my Friday Favorite. You should try it out. Especially for the upcoming holiday season. Although in my opinion, any day is a good day for glitter.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Neuter Chick Magnet?



capon;






n. A male chicken castrated when young to improve the quality of its flesh for food.

My sister has decided to take Chick Magnet and let him live in her barn. She thought that a rooster this famous should not end up on the chopping block, or be dumped off in the woods to fend for himself. My only concern is whether or not he would be sad to live alone in a barn. I offered to send a hen along, but she doesn't want baby chicks running around.

I arrived at our homeschooling co-op and told my friends I had a possible solution for my rooster. Then something hit me like a ton of bricks....

Could I have Chick Magnet NEUTERED??!!!

This idea caused not a little laughter. I decided to call my vet right then. I dialed the number and put it on speaker phone so my five friends could hear the outcome....
Ring.....Ring....Ring....




Receptionist: Kulshan Vet, how may I help you?

Michelle: Ummmmm, yes.....Do you neuter roosters?

pause........

Michelle: This isn't a prank call, please don't hang up.

Receptionist: Neuter a rooster? You want to NEUTER a rooster? I don't know.....ummm hold on...

pause...... (insert friends laughing under their breath....holding heads in hands.)

Vet: Are you inquiring about having your rooster fixed?

Michelle: Yes. I am sick and tired of fertilized eggs but I don't want to get rid of him. I love him.

Vet: It can be done, but bird surgery is very risky.

Michelle leans over and mouths to Ranee...."THE CHOPPING BLOCK IS VERY RISKY"

Vet: I wouldn't feel comfortable performing surgery on a pet knowing there was a50% chance he could die. His little heart might not be able to take it. Maybe you should just separate him.

Michelle: Ok....I understand. (sob) I will find another option.

Vet: I'm sorry. I wish you luck. Goodbye.

Michelle: Thank you. Bye.

I hung up and faced my friends who were by now in tears from laughing at me. SIGH.........

I sat there stunned. Was there no hope? Kristy took her phone out and told me her sister is a vet tech in Missouri and she would call her. She wasn't available but the Vet answered the phone. Kristy explained my problem. He thought it was best to just get rid of him. Kristy took a breath....."But she loves him"......At that point he started to laugh and she handed me the phone. I told him the vet here wouldn't do it. He said it was very easy to do and the folks up in Washington State just didn't know poultry. I asked him if he would perform the surgery if I were to fly Chick Magnet out to him? He thought I was kidding and hung up.

I guess I am back at square one. One lady suggested I under NO circumstance let him die. She thinks he would be the perfect hero for a children's book.

HMMMM.............



























Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crack and Scream


I am really sorry if you all are tired of hearing about my rooster problems. But it is really stressing me out. Bethany, if you are reading this....Why did I let that cute face of yours talk me into stopping at the feed store that fateful day?



We now have two problems on our hands....For one, Chick Magnet has decided he hates Autumn. He tries to maim her anytime she comes near the coop. She now travels with a big stick to collect the eggs. We wait until he is in the yard and then we shove something in front of the hen house door and gather the eggs as he throws himself at us violently.

The other problem we have, I like to call "Crack and Scream". As I make breakfast each day I slowly get the eggs out of the refrigerator and stare at the carton. I wonder if I will find any signs of ....ya know....baby chicks....if I don't, I sigh with relief and tell myself I must be crazy for wanting to get rid of Chick Magnet. I mean after all he is just doing what he was put here on the earth to do. It's not his fault. If there IS any little surprise inside after I crack the egg, I scream at the top of my lungs, throw the egg in the trash and tell myself to just let Jerry send the hit man.

Yesterday I was sharing this with my fellow home school Moms while the kids were in classes. I happened to be peeling an egg that I had boiled that morning for my lunch. They thought the whole "Crack and Scream" concept was so amusing. I ate one egg and thought to myself how lovely it was that I was eating eggs from chickens I had raised from babyhood. Living off the land...with this economy it was the way to go. I showed the Moms the pretty green shell of the next egg I was peeling. I broke the egg in half....... and SCREAMED. There before me was a tiny little BOILED baby chick!!!!!! My stomach turned over and over. My friend Tammy was horrified. She said if that happened to her she would NEVER eat another egg again. Kids came over to look and I am pretty sure they were as traumatized as I was. What if I boiled it alive?! What if I had EATEN it?! It had little EYES....ugh....

AND HOW ON EARTH CAN A BABY CHICKEN FORM AFTER ONE DAY??????

We had asked Jerry how this could be happening if we collected the eggs everyday. He said it was impossible. It's as if Chick Magnet has some "Super-Hero Chicken Sperm"....able to form a baby chick in a single DAY.

I couldn't eat for hours. And when I did, I ate vegetables. That night I went through Taco Time and got a cup of White Chicken Chili. I took one bite and almost lost it. I dumped it in the parking lot and went into Safeway and got a protein bar. I don't know how long it will take before I can eat.....chicken ....again. I also now know that Chick Magnet needs to go. But I feel bad sending him away from the only home he has ever known. Roosters are tossed out on their ears everyday for just being themselves.

Sigh......I guess we can just let him roam free and guard our house? But then we will have to look over our shoulders constantly. He will be angry at us for taking him away from his hens and will retaliate. I just know it.

Darlene...if you are out there....what do I do???

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chick Magnet Part two



I am going to unfold for you more of the story about our rooster/hen, whichever he was. He seemed to recover from his sneezing fits nicely. We were now just so curious to see if we did indeed have a rooster in our midst. I decided to research his breed and learn what I could about it just in case. I don't like surprises. I like to know what I am getting into. Here is what I found out about Leghorn Roosters:

1) They are the meanest breed of roosters out there.

2) They are the meanest breed of roosters out there.

3) They are the meanest breed of roosters out there.

Great. I had a possible terrorist on my hands.
I read about a lady that had three Free-Roaming Leghorns. When she came home each night they would be standing in her driveway waiting for her with little leather jackets on and cigarettes folded up in their sleeves. They would wait until she got out of her car and then jump her. Needless to say they ended up as soup.
I couldn't find one positive story.... and I searched....believe me. I ended up back at the feed store to consult with Jerry. Poor, patient Jerry.
I walked in the door and this time he clapped and said "Look folks, it's my favorite customer!" I couldn't tell if he was being saucy. I decided to take it as a compliment and waved at everyone.
As I waited for my turn I tossed the words around in my head so I would know exactly how to convince him to take this chicken off my hands.
He smiled without teeth showing and looked at me. Blink....blink.... I took a breath, "Jerry....I think I have made a big mistake. I have a feeling that Leghorn is a rooster!" He didn't say anything. I went on to tell him that I had read about this breed and found out some very bad things. Things that would make a grown man cry. I feared for my life and the lives of my children. This was no laughing matter. I had to bring that little allergy ridden chicken back where I found him.
He put his hands on the counter and leaned forward...."Look....here is the deal." Ok...I was all ears. He talked slowly...."Best case scenario, it's a hen." Fine I thought...he is right, it could be. "Mid case scenario, it's a rooster, but he is nice" Yes....I suppose there was a chance of that. "Worst case scenario it IS a rooster and he's violent and dangerous...." I asked him what would I do if we had a worst case on our hands. He then looked at me with the eyes of an honest man and promised me that if that happened he would hire a hit man to come in at night and drag Chick Magnet out by his feet and kill him.
"Who on earth would do that?" I asked. Jerry shrugged and pointed to his employee. "Marshall will do it." I looked at Marshall and felt relieved when he nodded his head. Jerry told me it was his personal guarantee.
I had no choice.
It was my only option.
As I was walking out the door Jerry stopped me. "Ya know," he said, "I told my wife at the dinner table the other night about you. I told her that you used to drive me crazy, but that now you are really starting to grow on me!" He was smiling big. "Thanks," I said. I hoped he remembered that if I ever decided to get goats.
















Friday, October 16, 2009

Autumn & Me


















Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm sooooo bored........


My house is quiet. Yes, half of the people are gone right now....but I mean overall. I don't have babies running around. The kids are big enough to get their own drinks. Wipe themselves...well pretty much. They get their own snacks.They play together nicely and don't need me to entertain them. They just don't need me so much. I find myself alone more often.....I do enjoy it, but sometimes it's a little sad.....It's as though a chapter in my life is ending and I am going to have to find things to fill my time.

Ok...... as I was typing this Chase just came in, threw himself down on the couch and huffed. "I am really really really BORED...there is nothing to do Mom!" Ok...do I finish this post? My whole point is blown now....Fine. I am going to go play a game with Chase. He is looking at me with those big brown eyes....waiting. I guess I am still needed. I guess there are a few more lines to be written in this chapter.....and that makes me thankful.

So I may take this topic up again later.... hahahahaha

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chick Magnet...Part One







I began this chicken adventure in March. I was so excited to get baby chicks.
While I waited for them to arrive at the feed store I read. And read...... I researched breeds. I became familiar with color patterns. I tortured people who owned chickens.
I asked Jerry down at the feed store a million questions. He hated me. He thought I was making it harder than it needed to be. But I found out all sorts of things in the process. I bet you didn't know that chicken's eggs match the color of their ears? I also discovered I didn't NEED a rooster to get eggs. Nor did I WANT one.
I remember all too well being chased by my brother's rooster, GONZO. He was a two pound TERROR. He spurred my ankles raw. I detested that thing. I still have nightmares about him following me down dark allies.

On March 14th I brought the kids and a box to pick out our chicks. Well, we couldn't really pick them out. Jerry just grabbed them randomly and threw them in. We started with four. Two Rode Island Reds and two Americanas. Brown AND greens eggs...woohoo! I had read that you had to be careful not to let them "paste up" or they could die. Evidently you had to make sure their bottoms stayed clean so they could GO FREELY......Our very first day I just knew we had one in trouble so I raced it in to Jerry and asked him clean her little hiney. I think he was getting irritated with me. But he did it.

By then end of the day I had one more chick. A Buff Orpinton. She was SO CUTE. "Remember..." Jerry said..."These are tiny LIVING creatures. DON"T LOVE THEM TO DEATH" He looked so skeptical of us......

The next day we added another TWO. On day three we had Tayler's friend with us and she begged to pick one out. FINE! What's one more? Jerry explained that all he had left were fryers. And they could be either hens or roosters......Ummmmmm? Roosters???? Well.... these were LEGHORNS. And Jerry convinced me it would be so romantic to have a Foghorn Leghorn Rooster just like the cartoon for our hens. And I had a 20% chance that is was a female anyway. Besides, I would be giving one chicken a reprieve from the frying pan. How could I NOT? So off we went with Little Chick Magnet. We got him home..... and he promptly began SNEEZING! I just knew it was the bird flu and I was in danger of losing the entire flock...yes, flock. So I read up. Hmmmmm....You could mash up garlic in their water or give antibiotics. I decided to ask Jerry. I picked up Chick magnet and raced him back to the feed store. I busted through the door and told Jerry I had a sneezing chicken and.......WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT IT??!!!

He looked at me and said, "CHARGE ADMISSION." I stood there holding Chick Magnet. Waiting for him to sneeze. Nothing. Jerry was not concerned. Fine.....I stomped out the door and went home. The next day TWO were sneezing. BACK we went......"Jerry.....I now have TWO sneezing chickens. What am I going to do? It's spreading!" He was checking out a customer. He didn't even look up at me. "CHARGE DOUBLE," he said. My Dad was with me that day. He was embarrassed. He quietly told me we needed to go. So I took them back home. They recovered from their allergies and I didn't lose a one of them. I told Jerry later that week that it was touch and go for a while....He just shook his head and said I was what he liked to call a "Weekend Warrior". That meant I was a ......FAKE FARMER! A POSER!


Oh well......I was just happy I kept those eight chickens alive. (All while wearing my Romeos....)

My next plan was to find out if Chick Magnet was in fact a boy or a girl....

Poor Jerry. He wasn't rid of me yet....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hawaiian Chili....So easy...So Yum




Hawaiian Chili








I have people ask me for this recipe all of the time. It's usually men that want it for some reason? You will think it sounds too easy to be very good.....but trust me. It's GOOD. It's a great choice when you don't have time on your hands.


2 cans pineapple tidbits

2 cans pinto beans

2 cans navy beans

2 cans diced potatoes

2 lbs ham chopped

6 cups chicken broth

1 tsp chili powder

4 tsp cumin

cayenne pepper ( to taste)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tsp Italian Seasoning

swiss or mozzarella cheese


Add all ingredients except cheese into crock pot. Cook on low for four hours. Add cheese before serving.

I serve it over sticky rice

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plumb...... She so gets it...


I am sitting here listening to "Blink" by Plumb. I love this album. It never fails to make me feel inspired. The melodies are lilting and beautiful. The lyrics strike you right in the middle of your heart. They are unpredictable and lovely. I have been brought to tears many times. It is Brilliant.

The lead singer is named Tiffany Arbuckle Lee. She has three children named Solomon Fury, Oliver Canon, and Clementine Fire. She began her career in 1997. I remember going to a Plumb concert in Branson, Missouri that year. She came out with long beautiful brown curls cascading down her back, wearing angel wings. Her voice was resonating....the music calming.

Her music ranges from rock, to alternative, to ballads about her children. Amy Lee of "Evanescence" has said Plumb is one of her inspirations. I love both of their voices for the same reasons, so I am not surprised. Tiffany wanted to leave the music industry in 2000. A few hours before her last concert she received a note from a girl who had been molested as a child and was thanking her for writing the song "Damaged" because it had helped her cope with the pain and had changed her life. That letter inspired her to stay put and keep producing music.

When you listen to "Blink" you will feel as though you have stumbled upon a journal written by a Mother to her children. It will bring to the surface feelings you didn't know how to put into words but knew they were always there. The awe and wonder of Mothering. The pain and joy that go hand in hand as you watch them grow up. The beauty and miracle of childhood. It's deep and timeless. I gave the album to my sister and she told me that it's almost hard to listen to at times because it pierces you. My kids ask me to play it all of the time. It reminds them of how much I love them. It also puts them right to sleep....and come on....that is just priceless..... :)