Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Roast Yourself a Chicken.

I can't tell you how many people have told me they are unsure about how to roast themselves a chicken.

So here's the skinny. And for those of you that think that the roasting of the chicken is only for beautiful tasty skin you are wrong. Roast chicken is moist and flavorful and oh so worth your time. And once you learn the basics its a cinch.

Jess' Roast Chicken.

1 Chicken 4-5lbs is best for a 4-5 person family. If your family consists of more youngins' then adults then you will have plenty of leftovers for soup:)
2 lemons or oranges the aromatics with this is over the top.
Fresh rosemary or thyme or both even better
1 onion.
2-3 cloves of garlic
Butter I use about 1/2 stick but you use whatever your heart and mind tell you. Just make sure you have enough to rub your chicken down inside and out.
Salt and Pepper.

As always feel free to stuff your bird with whatever you have on hand or whatever sounds good to you. This is just one way to do it.

Here are my tips.

1-in the morning or event the night before prepare your chicken by springkling with plenty of salt and pepper. You even want to sprinkle it inside that little chicken. Just get in there with it:)
2- 30minutes to 1 hour before you are going to cook your bird I want you to take it out of the fridge. You want your bird to be pretty near room temp before you put it into the oven. This makes is so it doesn't spend the first 10-20 minutes in the oven getting warmed up.
3-When you pull it out of the oven its time to pamper that bird. Get your softened butter out and rub it not only all over your bird but on the inside and underneath the skin. This will keep your bird moist and make the skin that beautiful color and crispness you are looking for.
4-Then stuff her up. I put a whole orange,half an onion, garlic and 3 sprigs of rosemary inside. Some more orange and garlic on the outside. Sprinkle that dear bird with a bit more salt and pepper and you are darn near ready to throw her in the oven.

You are going to put that bird in the oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes at 400 degrees. I shoot for about 170 degrees on the bird to determine its done(if you are going to temp it). The Fancy Food Rulers suggest 165degrees for chicken.
When you pull your bird out quickly cover it with foil and let it sit for 10-15 minutes this will insure that all of those flavorful chicken juices get reabsorbed into the meat.

Slice it up and voila...best chicken ever!! And as always I recommend eating happy chickens(whatever that means to you). To me that means grown over at Cackleberry Farms and butchered by yours truly and my friend the farmer.

Don't forget to make stock from that used up bird either it is oh so good for you and your youngins'.

As always let me know if you try the recipe...even if your review isn't great it is still nice to know people are reading this thing:)

Monday, January 30, 2012

We don't want to play baby games....

Apparently we are tired of Monopoly and Uno and the like. The kids requested to play an adult game the other night. They wanted to play Ticket to Ride and if you know that game you would know why I decided to forgo that tutorial for now.

But we settled on Sequence. We have the kid version at Grans so the kids are very aware of the concept of the game. This made for an easy teach and lots of fun.

So heres to learning new games it stretches the kids brains and my patience....but in the end its pretty fun:)


P.S. we do have a table in our house....sometimes its nice to sit on the floor.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What I was thinking about from 10pm to 2 am.....

Sleep Sleep Sleep. I prayed this over and over and over last night as I laid next to my son last night. By the way don't feel to bad for me that kid has the most comfortable bed in the house. When my Grandpa was still alive Elliot complained about his brand new mattress so my Grandpa went out and bought him the most amazing mattress topper.

Last night was horrible. Elliot slept in 30 minute intervals until 2 oclock when he finally woke up for real and declared that he was awake and not happy about it. Praise God at this point I could give him some Melatonin and he slept until 8.

As I lay awake in his bed this is what I thought about...

-First I prayed every biblical piece of protection I could over the sweet little boy. Then I claimed for him all of the biblical truths I could think of.

- Then I thought about Grace who is all of the sudden experiencing separation anxiety and wondered if it is stemming from what is going on with her brother. I feel bad that she gets the short end of the attention stick sometimes. Our entire existence seems to be wrapped around the E man lately. But guilt will not get the best of me...it is just a season.

- I thought about my hubby and how much I love him. I thought about how far we have come in 15 years. Let me tell you its been a long way.

-I thought about the need for a run. I just wanted to run....and run and run. And I did this morning but boy was it cold.

-I thought about Brians job and all of the opportunities that lie in it.

-I thought about how overwhelmed I am. I prayed that God would give me rest and peace and take away my anxiety.

-I thought about how lost I am in parenting my little boy right now. I have always felt like I am doing my best until recently. I feel like I have no idea what to do. My prayers for him do not bring peace....and leaves me a mess. I cried so hard on my home from taking them to school today. I cried to God and asked him to fix it, to give me the answers to make me trust. I need to trust. Elliot's teacher gave me hug this morning and told me I was the best mom for Elliot. Part of me didn't believe her. I am tired and discouraged and I know neither of these feelings come from God which makes it so much worse.

-I thought of warm beaches in Costa Rica. This gave me peace for awhile.

-I thought about school auction and the responsibilities that lie there. Along with all of the work yet to be done.

- I thought about a marriage conference we are going to this weekend and wished I could cancel so I could watch over my boy.

And then I was back to anxiety. Uhhhh the wretched beast reared its ugly head once again. I'm a mess right now. But I know that God will prevail in this situation. I know he already knows how to heal my little man and he will in His time.

One praise is that I called the neurologist in tears yesterday and they moved his appointment up a week(they probably think I am crazy...whatever).....so hopefully Tuesday we will have some news:) I know so many of you are praying for Elliot and I so appreciate it so much.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Hat....

The hat that made me curse American Girl:) Just joking I love American Girl. But the movies oh man. The movies cause my girl to covet.

If you are a mom of a young girl and a watcher of the American Girl movies you may recall the movie about Chrissa. I loved the movie by the way, t was full of good reminders about bullies and how to be a good friend. Anywho all the girls had these hats. Knit hats with a hole for the ponytail to come out the top. Grace wanted one immediately and although she does not get everything she wants, I was secretly coveting these sweet little hats as well. So I set out on a mission and found a pattern. Next stop was the Rah because I had never knitted a hat before, and well she is kind of a master at it. I started the project while at cabin fever and Sarah helped me finish it last night. It pretty much laid in a bag for a week waiting for me to gain the courage to plow forward. Knitting on the round was one thing but when we had to switch to double pointed needles I was sort of intimidated.


So I must add one last time with a lot of patience from the Rahster and some perseverance on my side the hat turned out adorable.

Unfortunately I forgot how large my children's heads are. So now I have a hat that is looking for a smaller head to wear it. Let me know if you are interested.

Off to knit another one:)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Daddy's Girl.

Grace does not want to get married ever. She also is adamant about living here with Brian and I forever.This cracks me up because I believe she is so going to take this world by force when the time is appropriate. She is my free spirit. Graces aspirations at this point are to be a mommy and give money to the poor (have I mentioned how much I love this girl). Recently I asked her about the whole mommy thing without a daddy. She told me if there had to be a daddy he could sleep on her bedroom floor in a sleeping bag and we could get her kids bunk beds (again the innocence).

I have questioned her on many occasion and I think the reason she sees no point in getting married is in direct relation to her relationship with her dad. At this point in Grace's life all of her stability and comfort and safety is totally placed within her dad. So at this point why would she ever need another man. If she lives here for the rest of eternity why would she need a husband her dad takes care of all of those needs she sees for a man at this point. I love this for a number of reasons. I also love that with great articulation she expressed this all to me. I wish you could have been there. More than that I wish she would have said this to her Dad herself. Why do I need to get married if I have dad.......He always keeps me safe?

I love watching the two of them together. Does she have him completely wrapped around her cute little finger? Heck Yes! Do I secretly love this? Heck Yes! They have a relationship that is second to none. At this point he so sets the moon in the sky. And at this point he sees nothing sweeter than this little girl no matter how sassy she might be. And I love it!

I am so glad Grace can feel this security from her dad at this point. A man that is Godly and just and fair and loving and supportive and so incredibly dedicated to this family. She is blessed beyond her knowledge at this point! I also hope that when she does get to the point of possible wanting to be married this is the sort of man she will look for.

Its an amazing relationship this daddy daughter thing. I am blessed just to witness what is supposed to look like. I think God intends this relationship to be the way it is for my little girl!

Brian Jager you are an amazing father to both of your children. I always knew you would be! They are blessed to have you!

And just so you know i am in no rush for Grace to think any differently than she does. I just have a habit of asking my kids questions to better understand them and some times I get some really great answers. If I have learned anything in the last 8 years of being a mom I have learned to talk to my kids constantly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I got out and it was good.

I went to boot camp this morning:) I got to sweat it was fabulous!!

I drove my car this morning:) No one one woman has ever been so happy as I was cruising down Front Street with Tom Petty blaring. I let a man cross the street and I am pretty sure he was laughing at me. Whatever Dude..been stuck in my house for days.

Made breakfast for the kids...Whole Wheat Pancakes...healthy syrup...sausage and smoothies. They were pumped.

We are getting out today. Grandma Chewie needs a visit she has cabin fever and a healing knee. I think a visit from her two favorite crazy kids will be the ticket to a happy heart.
We are also going out to dinner and other fun this evening to celebrate this guy turning 30. Happy Birthday Todd, its going to be a great year!

Its going to be a good day and everybody be happy:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I gotta get outta this place...if its the last thing I ever do.

And now all the Mommies with school age children sing it with me. Now don't get me wrong I love my children and in all actuality they have been amazing this week. However a change of scenery would be nice. Something to be able to plan for would be even more awesome.

To be totally honest I did get out of the house last night thanks to my father - in - law who was nice enough to pick me up for the church board meeting. So I did experience a bit of a change in scenery for a short while. And I was thankful even if it the meeting was all about budgets...I hate budgeting although in our house it is part of my job and I kind of rock at it:) I'm not kidding I really do:)

What better to wrap up this amazing week then a ten for ten list. Yes this is my attempt at being funny:)

#1 - We have bought our tickets for Costa Rica...using an international flights budget service, they are booked. We also avoided a 12 hour layover on the way home in Houston....can I get a woot woot:) They other thing we avoided- much to Beejers liking- was flying the taco:) There is an airline out there called Taca....beej refers to it as the Taco and was very against flying with them for no other reason then it being called the taco:) Taca Airlines we have nothing against you but your name could use some help according to the hub dub.

#2 - Remember how I told you guys I was doing endless amounts of laundry to avoid pipes bursting? Apparently we should have been taking endless amounts of showers and baths because the shower pipes froze and started leaking profusely:) Yep awesomeness. Bring on the snow and ice I love it! The frosting on the cake was a brief stent without our furnace as well. Apparently the emergency shut off switch got bumped while fixing pipes. Three Cheers for This Old House:)

#3 - I am wearing black leggings for the 12th day in a row. I have washed them after each wear, remember the endless laundry cycles. They are very comfortable and quite warm however I am sure they are losing their attractiveness at this point. We may need to have a ceremonial burning when I can finally leave the house. However, after spending this many days on my bum they may become the only thing that fits:)

#4 - Did I mention I made no bake cookies yesterday and I have eaten about 6 or 7. Self control has left the building. Those things are so darn delicious:)
#5 - I have five children today. They are cute and having fun. I think the neighbor kids are coming over too when the Josherwoggie wakes up. Seems that my friend T has a bit of Cabin Fever too.
Sorry for the photo quality or lack there of, my sister texted these to me yesterday.
# 6- Josh has learned to do fishy lips and if this isn't the cutest thing ever I don't know what is. And now when I say my nephew is cuter than yours I will be officially right;)

#7 I'm going to boot camp tomorrow...even if I have to walk there.

#8 I'm pretty sure I have a ear infection again. However the snow has kept from my appt. so I will have to try again next week.

#9 The kids are so cute. Grace has been saying JK all day like just kidding.

#10 Pizza for dinner tonight gotta mix things up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Things I am Thankful For Today....

I don't have pictures for any of the mentioned items but to satisfy my friend the farmer I am including one that I took on the way to school the other day.

Numero Uno - That we spent endless hours and cash on new siding. In previous windstorms you could hear the old siding being torn off and thrown across the yard. Not any more the Hardi Plank is totally hardy. This improvement also cut down on the drafts.

Numero Dos - That we got our kids ipod shuffles for their birthdays. Currently I can hear Grace singing very loudly I am a Friend of God while Elliot is making guitar noises and singing Walk This Way. Yep. It's pretty adorable and really funny.

Number Three - That my husband loves my chickens. He installed a heat lamp for them in the dead cold today so they wouldn't freeze to death. Oh life on the farm;)

Quatro - That Brian didn't have to drive to a two day conference in Seattle this morning. The thought of him driving the Mitsubishi in this is terrifying I am not going to lie:)

Cinco - Elliot slept through the night last night. Although I am not counting on the continuation of the trend I am thankful for the tiny bit of sleep. Thanks for all of your prayers they are felt! We had a test yesterday morning to narrow down some possibilities of what may be causing the problem.

Number Six - The city finally called and they will be covering the total repair bill for my van after they hit it with their snow plow. Three cheers for the van she's had a rough couple of days.

Seven - That I have enough laundry to keep the laundry room warm so the pipes don't freeze. If you have any that needs doing fell free to drop it by I will probably run out in an hour or two. Yes we live in an almost 110 year old house it is a complete labor of love to continue living here sometimes:) But its our house and we love it.

Ocho - That I have a warm house and plenty of food to last how ever long we are stuck inside. A hubby that is able to work from home. And two sweet kids that are plenty of entertainment.

Hope you are surviving the cold. Keep warm and drink a cup of cocoa for me:)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just what the Dr. ordered!

Picture before the snow.

Another Cabin Fever trip under our belts and a bit of rest can do a lot for ones sanity. I am feeling rested and nearly rejuvenated after a weekend of nothing unless you want something of course;) Cabin Fevers main rule is don't do it unless you want to. Don't move unless you want to. Don't get dressed unless you want to. And oh yeah eat every 1 1/2 to 2 hours because all that doing nothing really drums up an appetite.

This year we were a bit more active then usual.... with all the snow we got on the island it called for a guys vs. gals snow ball fight. The girls won by a long shot:) Of Course! And boys are major babies when they lose but we all knew that as well.

Enjoyed plenty of amazing meals....homemade mac and cheese, pot roast and pork chops all on separate nights of course. Breakfast consisted of a breakfast casserole, yogurt parfaits with bagels and biscuits and gravy. Yep we ate well!! I will leave the plethora of snacks and desserts up to your imagination. It may have been over the top. Actually it was totally over the top.

This year it was the pair of us and the Bajemas along with Todd and Jessie. Having three couple was fun. We spent plenty of time in the sauna, lounged around reading and knitting. The girls played Mash and the boys played yahtzee. We played games and did puzzles( i deem Jessie as the most dedicated puzzler for the weekend)...lots of them. Laughed until we cried and just really enjoyed an opportunity to relax. It was fabulous!

The leaving the island part was a little less fun...with a dead car battery twice, a gas station with down phone lines and a snow plow that decided to make friends with the back of my van. However with a relaxing weekend in the bank it all seemed a bit funny and I was willing to just roll with it.

Looking forward to the next week. I can do anything now:)

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Mothers Love....blessing or hindrance?


I am going with blessing. Although the pain that comes with it sometimes is almost to much to bear. The worry and anxiety is something I struggle with pushing to the side almost daily. God calls me to trust but I find it difficult and almost impossible sometimes. And doesn't he call me to care and provide safety and nurture. How is one to do this when there is no answer as to what help to give. No consoling that helps. No teachable moments to be had.

I don't sleep anymore as I shared in the previous post. And it is not just because my son is waking so much. Nope in all actuality it has nothing to do with that because although the waking every now and again is tiresome, you can go back to sleep and wait for the next to come. The worry in the unknown is way worse. I worry that he may fall out of bed, that he may sleepwalk and fall down the stairs, that he may hurt himself, stop breathing, that I won't hear his cry. I know this sounds dramatic. But what we have been experiencing with this child in the last couple of months is terrifying.

We went to the Dr. on Tuesday and got a few possible answers and we have found out that it is likely not night terrors that we have been experiencing. It is very likely it is something else entirely. After the nurse left the room before the Dr. came in I saw worry overcome my boy. I asked him what was troubling him.....his reply,"I guess I am just contemplating if this is serious?" Yes he is a 60 year old man stuck in an 8 year old body. I reassured him that everything was going to be okay. We were at the Dr. for help and that is what we would receive. As I was talking to him I found that I wasn't only reassuring him but myself as well. I found that I needed those exact words.

Don't get me wrong I am fully aware that sleep deprivation has set in making me ultra sensitive to anything. But I think even without the deprivation I would be sensitive, I would be worried, and impatient. What is about a mothers need to make sure everything is alright? That we feel this all consuming need to make sure that our kids feel, safe, loved and cared for? Once again I am reminded that this Mom stuff is not for sissies. That this mom stuff is given to us not only to bless but to grow us up into the women we are to become. We are servants in His kingdom, we have a desire because He has given it to us. We have our children to serve a purpose. To bring more into His kingdom to serve. Oh but the trusting is hard and the thing I preach the most about being a mother (they are not really ours) is the hardest thing to believe right now. The reality of me needing to let God have them and hold them is hard, but its true and the sooner I get there the sooner the peace will come. I am trying....its hard.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Unexpected Blessings

My son has had multiple night terrors a night since Thanksgiving (minus a 5 day respit over Christmas). It has been exhausting. He screams horrible things and can not be consoled. He does not remember a lick of it come morning. To say that we are all a bit anxious at this point would be an understatement. We are trying some extreme things to get his sleep rhythm back and the last two nights have been better....only two terrors instead of 5 or 6. It is all stemming from anxiety..and I think the root of the anxiety is changing all of the time. Right now it seems to be centered on me and I am not sure why. When he is shouting at night he screams for them to not make him leave me, for me to not disappear. Its heartbreaking and strange all at the same time. This child has never even had a glimmer of separation anxiety with me in his entire existence. I have attempted to talk to him about it during the day and he has no idea what I am talking about.

This morning I decided to do a bit of sleuthing at school to see if he has been having any anxiety there that his teacher has noticed. He strives for perfection at school, which he does not need to do. I mean the kid is brilliant and I don't mean that in my kid is so smart kind of way. He just has the type of learning style that takes little effort (I wish I did;). I have also shared on here that he is my people pleaser... disappointing anyone is crushing to him....so much so that it is hardly an option for him. So when talking to his teacher she shared that sometimes she can tell that things are bothering him, but he is slow to share whats going on in his head. He has also been seriously flipping out over his reading goal for the year....if they read 5000 pages they get to have lunch with their principal. The kid read 600 pages over Christmas break, so the worry is kind of out there but oh its there. Elliot came over as I was talking to his teacher and she wrapped him in a hug and told him God had made him exactly as he intended and that he was special and loved. She went on to tell him that perfection need not be a goal and he needed to only worry about being himself. And finished with telling him how brilliant she thinks he is without even trying.

I hope Elliot was as blessed as I was in that moment. I nearly lost it. What a blessing to be in a school environment such as my children are. To have a teacher that loves them. To have a teacher that wants them to be who God intended them to be. To have a teacher that takes the time to recognize each of her students as individuals.

Ultimately I know God is in control with Elliot. I know that sleep deprived or not we will all get through this time. It is only that...a time. In the mean time if you could a bit for my little man I would so appreciate it. He could use the prayers right now.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012 Homies!!!

I have a feeling this year will contain lots of surprises....this is something that leaves me excited yet uneasy at the same time.

Some things that I am looking forward to .......
These two are getting hitched.....come this fall there will be a new Mrs. and I couldn't be happier these two are perfect for each other!!

These two are going to be adding another to their family and although the timeline is not solid and the anticipation continues to grow, we are beyond excited for whenever we get to welcome a little one home. I have never encountered two people that are better suited for this challenge. The Jagers are so excited for this!

And us...well we have a lot of things on the back burner(s) right now. Some of which I am not even sure I am ready to share. We are just going to focus on the year broken up into seasons...this seems to be the best way to deal.

I am thrilled to see where God takes us this year. I am thrilled beyond belief for the surprises.