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.....






....................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, she's beaming...wait a second....Is that fear I see in her eye? Poor 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.


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.


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



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 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

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.....