Monday, December 19, 2011

Like fireworks with no fuse

  I am changing the title of this great song to Christmas without family.  And I think the line in the title of this post is oh so fitting for my firework selling family!  

It's no secret I'm a family girl!  And who can blame me?  All around I have a pretty awesome family. 
I mean seriously did any one else's Uncle and Aunt dress up as the Mr & Mrs Claus this year?  

and how about these amazing cousins!  They chatted with me on skype while our mothers did the dishes.  You know we wouldn't want to break tradition and actually help in the kitchen.

I'm a pretty lucky lady if you ask me.  And also if you ask me I have done some pretty crazy things to make sure I was at these awesome get togethers in the past.  
There was the year I broke out the tears while working at Candy Tyme! 
Definitely did some major begging and pleading with co-workers at Nordstrom to switch shifts and the most famous, or shall I say infamous would be the syrup of ipecac incident!
You read that right.  I did it.  I took that awful potion while at work to get out of working on a day that I wanted to be with my family.  I won't go into detail but I will say I did eat clam chowder and orange pop for lunch that day. 

But this year, this year was different.  I didn't have a co-worker to switch shifts with, a manager's trash can to vomit in or anyone to cry to about why I can't miss this Christmas dinner with my family!  It's a weird feeling.  So this year for the first time in forever I didn't get to run around to 328473897 Christmas parties but I did manage to make it look like I did.

Thanks girls for taking me around at the Kume Christmas Party!!!

Now believe me I am so so sad to have missed these parties but I kind of feel like a grown up because of it.
I didn't throw any fits!  What a big girl I am.  

Now don't feel too bad for me.  I will be at my parents house for the next week and will get to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with our family and as a bonus I get to spend Thursday night with some pretty great friends too!  

And just for the record this is where the Jer man ended up!

I may or may not have woken up in a slight panic at 12:30 realizing Jerry hadn't made his move.
I think it is pretty obvious that I didn't consult Pinterest on this one! hahaa

So tonight we will hit the road to Spokane and hop on the train.  And guess what that awesome family came through again and Matt's amazing cousin Torey has spared us a bus ride and is picking us up and taking us to Albany!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You're a crazy one Mr. Elf!

Here is what we woke up to saturday morning! ha The kids got a kick out of it.  And then of course proceeded to eat all of the marshmallows!  

Our Saturday was a nice relaxing day.  Matt didn't have to work so that was just wonderful.  The kids played with the neighborhood friends most of the day which they hadn't done in a while so they were thrilled!  

This is our wonderful bittersweet chocolate cake with coffee ice cream! HOLY FRIJOLES!!! It was so good!

Matt and I had a date in the evening to a wonderful restaurant here in town called Swilly's.  It was nice to have some time just the two of us since we haven't had much time together since Matt has been working like a mad man on his latest project. Click here to keep up with his project.  

Yep, that's right.  Jerry went for a ride in the night! HAhaha The kids are cracking up and wondering where in the world he found that string.  They are coming up with all kinds of ideas as to where the string came from.  It's pretty awesome.  I love that they totally believe that he is magic and is doing this all on his own.   Now we have to figure out how to get him to Albany with us.  I am going to have to sneak him in the bag at the last minute and then have mom quick grab him when we get there.   You hear that mom?  I'm going to need your help.  
Speaking of, going to Albany.  We are quite excited to be taking the train this time!  The kids and I will be taking the train early tuesday morning.  We will hop on the train around 2:30 am so I am hoping that we sleep most of the time.  Then once we are make it to Portland we will take the bus!!! Yippeeee.  Now that is going to be an experience. 
Matt will meet up up with us on Friday for a crazy weekend of family fun!  We are so looking forward to spending time with our family!!!
So that being said, I had better get my buns going and get our stuff packed! Yikes. I  haven't started and we are leaving tomorrow night. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

If anyone is looking for a last minute gift for me.........

I would like this.

Unfortunately the hubs doesn't read the blog so I don't think he'll see this.

I tried to froth milk in the VitaMix.  It kind of worked.  I think I will hold out on purchasing this frother for now.  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elf on the Shelf`

So, in our family we have never done Santa.  Not for any major reason.  It just wasn't part of growing up for Matt or I so it just didn't come naturally once we had kids.   As the kids have gotten older we have sworn them to secrecy, told them they may not talk about Santa with their friends or tell them he isn't real. So far so good.  Then this year however,  they decided they wanted to believe! HA! Cracks me up.  So here we are 7 years into it and we are believing in Santa.  I really don't know how far to take it and personally I don't want let any one else take the credit for the awesome presents I get my kids. :) I thought about putting from Santa on the big gift.  But I just can't make myself do it.  I guess I have a little bit of time before I have to make that choice.  Another thing we have jumped on board with is The Elf on the Shelf.  The kids were at their friends house and saw how very fun it was so to the store we went.  Now, technically I probably shouldn't have let Jude see me buy it at the store!  But they still think he is magic.  I love it.  It has just been two days but I just can not get enough of their belly laughs when they see what Jerry has been up to the night before.  Thank goodness for pinterest!  It is full of great ideas.  Otherwise I don't know what I would be doing with him.

So here is Jerry the first morning when the kids woke up.  

I may have to start video taping them when they come down stairs and see his latest mischief.  It is awesome! 

And here is this morning.   Jerry made a zip line off of the Christmas tree!!!

So stay tuned for more mischief from Jerry the elf! And please pass on any ideas you may have!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas From the Kings!!!!

So I pretty much should not be allowed to design my Christmas card.  It seriously takes me forever!!! Just as soon as I decide on a design I find something I like better.  Ahhh So this year I thought, I will make it easy on myself and just buy some templates and use one of those.  Oops, big mistake.  Nope, buying a template does not stop my indecisiveness.   I just ended up spending too much money on templates.  This being one of them.  This isn't what I mailed out but now that I am looking at it I kind of wish I had.  Oh well.  I am just glad to have them sent out.  Well, except for a few.  I accidentally didn't order enough.  LAME.  So those will be here soon and then I will be done.

Merry Christmas from the King Family!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!

So I know this is old news, and many people would be shocked to learn this but I turned 30 in June.  It's true.  So while this isn't recent news I want to make sure and have this documented in the blog.

It was quite a day.  Actually, quite a week.  School was coming to an end and summer was just around the corner.  I had plans to be helping out at the coffee shop and just like every year my birthday was the same weekend as the strawberry festival.  And this year to add to the fun Matt's company planned a company party at the wings and waves water park on my actual birthday.  (Yes, I think they did that on purpose) So, my big 3-0 day was packed.  Just the way I like it. :) The day was starting with me at the coffee shop. The Strawberry Fest was in full swing and it was a great day at the shop!  At about noon I hit the road and headed home to meet the family so we could make our way to the water park.  We felt quite privileged to have our party there considering it wasn't opening to the public until the next day.

 It was so great to get to experience that with a small-ish group.  The lines were short and so we could do all the slides and other fun stuff without waiting forever.  Matt and Madels are the dare devils of our family so they went on all the crazy slides while Jude and I stuck to the kids slides and the wave pool.   Fine by me!
We were at the pool for several hours and enjoyed a nice lunch and of course spent some time in the arcade!  This is where Matt started stressing.  I didn't get it at the time but looking back I can see it!  He was rushing us and I just didn't get it.  Why would we have to leave early?  We had plans to be at my parents house for dinner but we still had plenty of time to get there.  So off we went.  Speeding back to Salem.  Once we were home the rushing continued.  A few quick showers and a little make up for me and we were on our way.  We pulled into my parents drive way to see the normal vehicles.  The ones I expected to see for my bday dinner.  We took our time getting out of the car  and headed to the back yard.  I am almost going to start crying again!

When I came around the corner I was SURPRISED! I can't even describe how I felt.  I immediately started bawling!  No not cute tears, not a little cry, full on ugly bawling!  It was awesome.  It was so crazy.

There were so many people there.  My family and many of my friends had pulled a fast one on me.  I had received texts, phone calls and facebook messages throughout the day from most of these people!  And there they all were.  It was so awesome.

Not only had Matt and my sister went to a lot of work to invite all the people I love, they provided quite the spread of food!  Lindsey, Mom and I'm sure many others worked all day friday and saturday to put this beautiful table together.  What a gift!

Linds also did a s'mores bar!  It was so fun.  She even made the graham crackers and some of the marshmallows!

There is never a shortage of food when Mom and Linds throw a party!

Fun sign made by my dad!

Lindsey also took lots of time putting together a wall of photos and a great scrap book.  Full of sentiments from many friends and family. 

We had a wonderful night full of laughs and of course many many more tears from me.  
Thank you so very much to Shawn Garber for taking all of these pictures.  I was so busy bawling my head off I didn't even have a chance to think about taking any.  

It was such a great day!  Full to the top just like I like it.  I am so very thankful for my amazing family and wonderful friends.  I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The King Family Christmas Tree!!!

"We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols"  
So while the Griswolds headed out into an snow covered field, numb up to their eyeballs the kings,  headed down the open road and ended up here............

Yep, that's right.  We bought our tree at Rite Aid this year.  At first I was quite sad about it.  Most years we make an afternoon out of getting our tree.  We find a tree farm and bundle up and head there after church.  We have fun wandering through the trees trying to find the BEST tree available.  Matt gets to cut it down and we drag it back to the car.  Sometimes there is hot chocolate waiting at the end and candy canes or other times we just head home and start pulling out the decor.  Another part of our tradition is making a big pot of golden cream soup and warm our freezing selves back up before we start the best part.  The "best" part usually includes arguing over who's ornament is whos.  Me untangling lights for most of the time.  Matt putting the lights up.  Me getting sad/mad because another ornament has broken.  And of course the best part, trying to decide who gets to put up the star!  But through all of that we have found the secret to keeping the peace.  Video camera!!! Hahah I set the camera up and just let it roll.  And guess what?  Everyone is a little nicer, a little happier and all around a little more fun! It's amazing how we behave when that thing is on.  Madels is definitely her mothers daughter and spends a large amount of time jumping up and down in front of the camera, and Jude mostly tries to avoid it. 

Too bad that beautiful flocking job didn't stick around.

Yep, we did that!  Good thing the house isn't far from Rite Aid.  I actually held onto the top of the tree from inside the car while we went up the hill to our house! We must have been quite a sight.

Matt King, the best tree lighter I know.

Cutest light helpers I know. 

We can never remember who put the star up last year so this was our solution this year!

What a beaut!  The kids are so happy with the tree!  They walk in the room and just gush about how much they love the tree.  It smells sooooo good and I love the glow of the lights through our front window. 

So although this year's tree hunt didn't start out like I had planned (hello story of the last few months!)  it turned out like it always does.  My family was together, we made memories and we have a beautiful tree decorated with love! :)  

So what are your favorite family traditions when it comes to putting up the tree?  

Merry Christmas from The Kings!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Super Bass-O-Matic!!! AKA Vitamix!

So several years Matt's cousin Lacey was talking about how she got a vitamix at the fair.  She was sooo excited.  I said, "isn't that just a blender?" Uh NO it isn't.  I didn't get it.  But now I do.  Sorry Lacey for doubting you.  The thing is amazing.  So far I have only used it for blending smoothies but my goodness that thing rips through it all.
Seeds from berries???? They don't stand a chance.
Ice cubes? See ya!!
Kale?  Smooth as your mutha!

Matt and I have always loved starting out the day with a smoothie.  Our main recipe was simple, Spinach, strawberries and lemon juice.  It was good but now it is even better.  But since the VM has entered our home we have reached a new level of wonder.  I have never consumed more fruits and veggies.  I basically will put anything in that baby.  Today I took pictures along the way to share with you!

It's a beast.  

One thing I really like to add to my smoothies is Odwalla Super Food.  Main reason is, it is great for you.
It has all kinds of good stuff in it.  And secondly my kids love it.  So when their smoothie is totally green from me adding kale or spinach I just say the superfood made it green and they are good. 

I used about 1 cup.

Next I added Kale.  This food is full of it!  Full of everything you need for the day.  It is a cancer fighter and much much more!  google it.  You will start eating it.  

I added 2 stalks.

Today I used plain yogurt.  Sometimes I use greek yogurt.  About 1/2 cup.

A handful

Flaxseed.  Good source of fiber, protein, and omega-3's  I don't mind it in there but it does change the texture a bit. 1 serving is 2 tablespoons.  I did 6 tablespoons today.  (for a 2 serving batch)

I had lots of grapefruit that needed to be eaten so I peeled one and added half of it to the mix.

Half a banana for a smooth texture.  

There it all is.  Isn't that pretty!

Start blending.  And be amazed.

There is nothing this thing can't handle.

And there you have it.  Everything you need to start your day right! 
Just think I have already had about 4 servings of fruits and veggies today! Add in the yogurt and flax and I have some protein and fiber!  

I added it up and for 1 serving (this recipe made 2) it was about 325 calories.  Not too bad.

So to those of you who love to blend things, pass on your recipes!  And to my friends, if I start acting like Dan Aykroyd please stop me! hahahaha I love the bass-o-matic!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Kings are back in the Kitchen!

Looks like we took a little kitchen hiatus there, but have no fear! The holidays are upon us and we are back in full force in Cocina de la King's! 
This video is our absolute favorite treat to bring to holiday (or any day for that matter) gatherings.  It is a very welcome addition on any table of treats.  I really like to be able to have a light item among all of the other wonderful savory dishes. 
We call it "The Pears" yep they're that famous in our family.  So here you have another episode of Cooking with the Kings, with special guest Grammy!!!

Ahhhh I have just spent far too much time trying to get this video uploaded!!! NOT Working.  I will give it another whirl tomorrow but I am pretty sure I have tried everything I know how to do.  

I am not sure that I have ever actually seen a written recipe for this item.  My mom received this recipe from a friend at work so I am sure it is floating around somewhere but I am going to give you my best direction.

I like to do about 1 lime per pear.  This will give you plenty of juice and zest.  And do make sure you get Asian pears.  We have tried with a regular pear and it just isn't the same.  

1. Wash limes and pears.
2. Zest limes
3. Combine lime zest and some super fine sugar.  (Here is where a printed recipe would come in handy)
Do about 1/4 cup sugar per lime.  
4. juice limes.
5. slice pears.  We like to do ours quite thin. Cut into 16ths.
6. In a gallon zip-lock bag combine pears, lime juice and half of the zest sugar mixture. 
7.  Allow to soak for at least one hour in the refrigerator.  But probably no more than 4-6 hours
7.  remove from juice, place on a platter and sprinkle remaining zest/sugar mixture over top.

And there you have it.  My kids snarf these things!!!

Today Jude and I got the urge to get started on the holiday treats.  We were going to make the cookie press cookies but it appears that the press was either thrown away (very good chance) or still packed away somewhere very special!  So we decided to go with the best cookies ever.  No Bakes!!!  If you haven't made these cookies you must walk straight to the kitchen with this recipe and make them now.  They are soooo simple.  I wanted to film Jude but he said he would rather just do photos.  So that's what we did. 
You can just see the excitement in his eyes!  He doesn't have to take turns pouring with sissy. :)

Strep one:
Assemble ingredients. Including one adorable son. :)

Pour into pan.


Add butter

Pour some more

Pat with semi-clean hands

Stir a little more

And finally plop!

I am trying to make sure and enjoy these afternoons that I have with Jude! First grade will be here before I know it. And then what will I do?!?!?!? Hahaha.  

No Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 cups quick oats.

Cook the sugar, cocoa, milk and butter over medium heat until it starts to boil.  Remove from heat and cool one minute.  Add vanilla, salt, peanut butter and oatmeal.  Stir well, then drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper and cool.  

Thanks for stopping by.  What is your favorite holiday treat?