January 23, 2011

Caramel Corn

Weekend...family time, movies, and caramel corn!!

My sister-in-law Amy made the most delicious caramel corn at Christmas.  She had found the recipe online at allrecipes.com, and based on the reviews, everyone thinks it's amazing, especially hubby and the kiddos.

7 quarts plain popped popcorn
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jelly roll pans, or disposable roasting pans. Add the peanuts to the popped corn if using. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat.
**Instead of placing the cooked popcorn in pans, I poured it all into a large paper bag, then poured the caramel on top and shook it until coated.
Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags

January 18, 2011

Gig Harbor

Saturday morning after breakfast we threw the kiddos in the car and ventured out to explore a little more of this new place.  We headed southwest to Gig Harbor.  We crossed some amazing bridges on our journey, one of my favorite things about this place. 

Our first stop was the Harbor History Museum.  It was a small museum, but beautifully done.  It shared the history of the area, and how it had been explored and it's most early inhabitants that came from across the globe.  I was absolutely in love with all of the "old items" that had been collected. 


They had learning stations at each area, with rubbings for the kids to do, and interactive things like basket weaving, rowing your own boat, and rigging the sails on a sailboat.


They also had an amazing one room schoolhouse that had been restored, remember how much I love old things.  I was in heaven.  I love anything nostalgic.


After we were done at the museum we asked about nearby places to eat, and found ourselves at the Marketplace Deli & Grille.  The one side was completely filled with diners, so she put us on the opposite side with it's own seperate door. We had a fully enclosed room all to ourselves.  Perfect for my crazy little monkeys.  The fish 'n chips were delish, and the boys loved their "krabby patties".

After lunch we got back in the car and drove to nearby Bellingham. We drove around and looked at the city, and the homes.  We then gathered some snacks, and boarded the ferry for our return trip to Seattle.

We arrived home with still some of our Saturday left, and after getting into cozy jammies we cuddled on the couch for a family movie. 

I'm not sure what our next destination will be.  It's kid's choice so we'll see what they come up with.

January 16, 2011



Josh loves lizards.  He has a collection of stuffed lizards, and books on lizards.  He has even made power point presentations for us about lizards.  So for his eighth birthday we gave him what any lizard lover would want, a real live lizard of his own.  He chose a Leopard Gecko, that is orange and purple (two of his favorite colors) and named him Gecky. (don't you love the shirt)

January 15, 2011

Iced Oatmeal Cookies


I got this recipe from my dear friend Rachelle, and instantly printed out the recipe and made them for my family. They are delicious and light and chewy.  They got a thumbs up from all my kiddos.

I substituted more whole wheat flour (1 cup rather than 1/2 cup in the adapted recipe) to make them healthier, and they turned out great. I used the recipe below.

Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from
Good to the Grain from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 30 3-inch cookies (with a 2 tablespoon) larger if yours spread more.  (I got about 42 cookies)

Butter for baking sheets
2 ½  cups + 1 tablespoon old fashioned oats
1 cup  whole wheat flour
½  cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon  baking soda
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon  freshly grated nutmeg

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs

2 ¼  cups powdered sugar
5 to 6  tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Rub two baking sheets with butter. In a food processor, grind 1/2 cup of oats to a fine powder, then add remaining oats and grind them all together until it resembles coarse meal, with only a few large flakes remaining.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back any bits of grains or other ingredients that remain in the sifter. In a small bowl, whisk butter and eggs until combined. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Scoop balls of dough about 2 to 3 tablespoons in size onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. When tops are evenly brown, take them out and transfer them to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Let cookies cool completely before icing.

In a bowl, whisk icing ingredients together until smooth. It should have a honey-like consistency. Drizzle the frosting over the cookies

January 14, 2011


This morning I woke up, and made breakfast for my family.
I got my oldest boys off to school, and hubby off to work.
I washed the rest of the dishes in the sink and on the counter, no more dirty dishes!!
I sliced apples and made hot chocolate for the little ones.
Little miss cranked up my eighties tunes and we danced in the front room till we were dizzy.
I was hoping to head to the gym this morning, but just not in the cards.
Looks like the cold garage,the elliptical, and I have a date.
I'm not sure exactly what I accomplished this week.  
Maybe next week will be more productive.
We need to get out this weekend, and do something fun.
Hope you have a great weekend too!!

January 10, 2011

Ladder Shelf


See this box?

It's been sitting here for the last four months (yes we've been in Seattle for 4 months already!!)  It's been sitting here, because our master bathroom has absolutely no storage, a pedestal sink (which surprisingly doesn't hold much), and a huge jacuzzi tub that takes up 3/4 of this small space.

When Ana listed these plans, I knew this would work perfectly in the space I had.  I played with the plans a little, and altered them to fit the space (23").  I used a 20" board for the base of the shelves.  Mostly because I had it, and the rest of the wood already.  It went together rather quickly, in less than an hour!!


I used my pocket jig to make the shelves, and they went together so quickly, and nice and squared.  The paint came from another project that's not quite finished yet (promise a reveal soon!!).  And I did some sanding to the edges to make it a little more me.

I love having a place to put everything!!

January 1, 2011

Happy New Years!!


Sledding in Ephraim

Sledding with...

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IMG_5246  IMG_5410 IMG_5397 IMG_5378

Christmas Morning

As we put the boys to bed Christmas Eve, we said that they had to stay in bed till 7am.  Normally they are up at the crack of dawn looking down at a sea of presents, in need of opening.  This year they found themselves downstairs in the basement, with no view of the tree or said presents. 

At 7am Daniel came into our room to wake me up.  The little ones were still asleep in our room, so I sent him away for another 15 minutes of sleep.  At exactly 7:15 Daniel re-entered our room, more awake, and putting him off again was not an option.  Caleb awoke from the comotion, but Natalie was enjoying her beauty sleep too much to wake for such an occasion. 

The deal in our family is that we all go out to look at the presents together, and then of course all chaos ensues.
josh trying to wake little miss

Whispering in her ear about the presents and toys that Santa had brought her, finally woke her from her slumber.  Then we all ascended up the stairs to see what treats the big man had brought us.

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First we opened Santa presents, and stockings, then it was kind of free for all on presents from every one else. 

josh hugging one of his many lizards he received

Natalie found herself in lots of pink (pink dolls, pink outfits, pink princess dress, pink books about princesses)
natalie reading to her new pink princess doll from her princess book, in her pink princess dress

and the boys were deep in halo mega blocks, and nerf guns.



It was a wonderful Christmas, and we feel so blessed with all we have, most importantly the celebration of the birth of our Savior and of course our four amazing kiddos that continue to teach and bless us everyday!!

Link to all Christmas Morning Pictures
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