Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Numero 600.......

This is my 600th post woot woot.

Us four Jagers had a movie night this past Friday. It was so much fun. We even made home made pizza with whole wheat crust (my kids would rather Little Ceasars but they don't complain to much).

Grace made a giant "cozy spot" on the floor and we snuggled up and enjoyed the show.

I love these three more than anything.....I mean look at them!

Mr. Husband left for Disneyland this morning. He was awarded a special honor at work as well as a conference held in Disneyland by the Disney Institute. They are even putting him up in the Grand Californian. I scream no fair:) At the same time I couldn't be prouder. Only one other person was chosen from our district so it was a very large compliment. I am so thankful that my husband has a job where he can find joy and fulfillment. It has been and continues to be a blessing.

In other news we have decided that we are taking everything we need to Costa Rica in two backpacks. We will also check one bag that has our sunblock and liquid stuff in it.

So all of my things need to fit in this baby...
The brewer and his wife the infamous Rah leant them to us. They purchased them when they went to Europe for three weeks and these were the only bags they brought. If they could pack for three weeks in these I can surely pack for ten days in one. If you are related to me and have traveled with me before (aka Bubba, Krispis, Jaim or Mom) you can stop laughing now it is possible and I am up for the challenge:) And to catch the rest of you up I may be a tad bit of an over packer...its not a disease but it may be a hint at a not so hidden form of anxiety:) I hate to be without something I need. And if you forgot something awhile travelling with me I most likely have an extra. My Dad is the same way. When you vacation with him if something breaks he surely has what it takes to fix it....your flip flop blows out he has an extra pair probably in various sizes. Its just the way we roll. But for this trip I am vowing to travel light and only take what I absolutely need, it will be good therapy for me!

In other news Grace's class was in charge of putting a chapel service together for school. Today was the day for everyone to enjoy their hard work. If you aren't familiar with our schools practices, at Ebenezer on the last Wednesday of every month they hold a chapel service, each grade takes a turn throughout the year to plan, prepare and host it. I try to go to chapel every month simply because it is a great reminder to watch these kids innocent perceptions of their faith. I love it! It is also such a great opportunity for these students to participate in something that stretches them and teaches them about public speaking, and performance as well as them learning to speak openly about God in a public setting. Grace has been ecstatic about the service for over a week and all she talked about was a play they had put together. She informed me this morning that she was an actor and her part was a boy but it doesn't matter because its just pretend. She then went on to say she didn't want to be a narrator because she gets stage fright and that makes her voice small and squeakish:) I thought this was a profound realization and was proud of her for being joyful it what she was good at. Isn't it wonderful that God makes us all strong in our own right. If God had made us all willing speakers there would be no actors:) That is what Grace and I talked about this morning. And i was so thankful for the reminder once again that we are all made with our own purpose and strengths to complete it.
I didn't get a great picture so you will have to deal with what I got. The kids were pricelessly adorable. There are 11 in her class this year and they are all so sweet.
Grace has the hat on in the striped dress.

I just got a call that Elliot's medication came in at the pharmacy. Another praise would be for amazing medical benefits the prescription cost 60 cents:) So here's praying for a new normal, hopefully sleep will be upon us.

Thanks for hanging in here with me I k now what I write isn't always butterflies and rainbows. It has always been my goal to keep it real around here:) But don't think for a moment that I don't feel blessed in this life...It's everything I never knew I wanted and more!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We have a plan:)

I kind of love this little guy. He told me he had a 12 pack the other day I was nice enough to point out that those weren't ab muscles they were ribs:) Got to keep the handsome guy a little humble...his teacher says that he is first pic for the ladies in his class:)

We finally received a call from "THE DR." yesterday. We got some good news and we now have a plan. I like plans you should know this about me. I am goal oriented and do well with lots of steps toward that goal. God knows this most of all because thats how he made me. That all being said this is exactly what "THE DR." gave us yesterday.

First off I should tell you that there doesn't appear to be any extending health problems with our boy. No apnea, no typical seizures, no heart problems. The sleep study led the "THE DR." to believe that Elliot is still extremely sleep deprived which was also the cause of these episodes beginning in the first place. Elliot's brain waves show he is in a certain type of his sleep cycle called Delta Sleep for 25% of the time he is sleeping typically kids his age are in that stage about 13% or less. The Dr. says this is actually significant. The amount of Delta Sleep Elliot is having leads to the likelihood of more and more sleep terrors its the kind of sleep we dream or have nightmares in. If we can get him caught up and experiencing more "good sleep" we should be able to reduce the amount of terrors significantly. "THE DR."suspects that we will still experience night terrors a handful of times a year....I quickly told him I can do a couple of times a year compared to every night:) In layman's terms Elliot's Brain is very confused about what type of sleep to have, how much and when. Sleep deprivation is a very serious situation and can lead to dozens of other problems. So Elliot dealing with this any longer than needed is not an option.

So here is the plan. Yay! We will wean Elliot off his Melatonin and slowly introduce a new medication called Clonidine( I struggled with sharing the name of the med as I am sure I will have people that feel the need to share all of the bad reactions and horror stories that come with any med), it is used for several different things in the medical world, very often for panic and anxiety in kids who are diagnosed with ADHD. It may take a few weeks to get the dose right. After a few months we will be back in touch with Sleep Clinic at Swedish and re-evaluate the situation. Basically our goal with this is to reset Elliots sleep rhythm and hopefully all will go back to our version of normal.

I know many of you have issue with medication. Yep me too:) I have many medical "issues" personally that I do not take meds for and will not until that is the last option, my Rheumatoid Arthritis for example has been completely handled with diet and exercise, and although I have been offered a pocketful of meds I don't believe that is a good option for me at this point. However some conditions require meds and I believe in those situations it is a great option. We have tried to deal with Elliot's sleep issues in every way possible at this point. I also believe everyone needs to make the best choices they can when they are in a situation. You can't judge especially in situations where people are making decisions for their children, if you have never had a child that deals with chronic issues you have no place to even dapple in judgement. Brian and I have prayed much, discussed much and toiled with the ideas of how to deal with all of this and I believe this is the best option for our little man at this point.

This may seem a bit you may be able to tell I have had to deal with a lot of neighsayers and judgers in the last couple of months. I have not much more patience for this sort of "support" at this point. In this I should also say we have many hand holders and walk along siders and prayers. We can still use all of these people as we now head into the plan set before us. But neigh saying and judging can pretty much be left behind, we have had our fill and it would be gluttonous to partake in anymore of this:)

Thanks to all of you supporters....I can't tell you how many times I have felt the strength of others prayers, hugs and kind words in the last few months.

So here's to praying for sleep in the Jager home... I feel hope in this area:)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sometimes you need a reminder.

I wrote this two days ago.....that very night Elliot slept through the night and last night as well. Last night we all slept in fact. I woke up this morning almost feeling like a new woman even wore my favorite heels to church;)

I read today that the phrase "do not be afraid" is written 365 times in the Bible. I guess that is a reminder to be fearless.

It is so hard to remember this sometimes. I cannot possibly count the times I have been afraid in the last months since we started this chapter with Elliot. What a waste my God must think of the time I have spent afraid and worried. Why is so hard to trust for us mothers when it comes to our kids. I can not speak for all mothers but I have talked to enough of them that I know am not alone in this feeling. I can trust with my finances, my marriage, my job, my church, most of my family but when it comes to those two little cherubs I get all mother bear and want to hide them in a cave. I feel like I have to be the one to fix it all. I have to be the one to protect. But how many times have I preached that my children are only mine on loan? It's a reality check if I really do believe that statement. If I really believe that they belong to my God then I must leave them in His hands to fix and protect. I must only worry about that which I can control which is not much:) This thought and proclamation alone is enough to make me worry and be filled with fear. But it is what I must do.

We waited all week for the Dr. to call as they had promised and they didn't. I was angry, I was worried, I was discouraged....and I can't help to think that God is using this to do a mighty work within me. Teaching me patience and trust. Every night I pray without ceasing and I am ashamed to admit I wake feeling faithless and empty. I know my God is with me....I mean that. I know he is watching over all of us....I mean that. However, I feel as if he doesn't hear me right now and that is so frustrating. I also feel guilty because I know ultimately we are healthy and happy. I know many of you and many others have got it and have gone through things so much more trying and consuming than what we are experiencing. I guess I am just tired of the tiny glimpse of the fatigue and exhaustion that comes from having a child that suffers from something that seems chronic at least right now. Somedays feel as if they are so long I could fall asleep just about anywhere. In fact I am not a napper I find them to be a waste of time (for me), but I have taken more naps in the last few months then in my whole life and this is not me being dramatic.

This all being said God always has a word to remind me of how I need to feel, a word about where I should turn and how I should walk.

I like the Messages version of Isaiah 41:10 -
Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

If He has a firm grip I can let go:)

I hope my realization meets you somewhere as well. Its rough being a mom....I told my MIL the other day it was just stupid this mom stuff:) And Jagers don't even say stupid by the way. I guess I was mostly referring to how crazy I can get when it comes to my children....I know I'm not alone. There is a reason for the bond we feel with them. God intends for us to love them like no other and I suppose the extra comfort I feel in this is when I compare this with how much God must love my kids! There is nothing that compares to His love and i need to learn to trust in it more.

Hope you had a blessed Sunday. The mountains in our area were so amazing today, covered in fresh snow with the sun shining so brightly on them making them appear as that of a painting. Breathtaking, my God made those too!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Streams of...Seriously.

First off I made this...and it fits:) Yay. Clarification its for Grace, she chose the yarn.

I'm now working on a cowl and a headband. In knitting fail news... the garden gnome hat won't quit staring at me...I feel kind of lost in fixing it though so I may just throw a dish towel over it and make it sit in the dark for awhile:) The knitting has proven to be good therapy...who would have thought.

The real reason for the post is to fill you in on news concerning Elliot. We were supposed to hear from the Dr. last night and well we didn't. So no news yet. I will post an update as soon as I have one. Elliot has been exhausted the last two days. This was something the Dr. was surprised we had not yet been experiencing and had chalked it up to a bonus of being marked with ADHD. So we pray hard that at least he will be able to make it though school and homework and after that its a free for all. Its a form of temporary normal around here I hope:)

We have currently started a few more house stairs, heat upstairs, and new walls in the stairwell and playroom. I am hoping and praying that I can get the hubdub to hold off on anymore demo until after vacation. We will see...I continue to be over the top thankful for a capable and handy husband who seems to somewhat enjoy the projects.

We are planning a surprise for the kids over mid winter break, we plan on keeping it a surprise. We really wanted to do something fun with them seeing as we will miss all of Spring Break.

Here is my random post for the week.....hopefully I will have something of substance to share tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mom Stuff.

I was the crabbiest mom on the planet this morning. Sometimes the lack of sleep results in me feeling sorry for myself, which results in me being impatient and lacking in the subject of grace. its just the way it is. And when caught in the moment I forget that the cause is the sleep issue not the little people(or the big man) around me. Once alone in the house again I am quickly reminded of the cause, realizing I still feel the same once the morning chaos is gone. Crabby, tired, confused, sad and the like. They say depression is a result of sleep deprivation...although I am not sure that I am full on depressed, I will admit to moments of it. I will admit that I am not always at my best in the morning especially lately and it is something I find myself apologizing for often.

While my children were at school today I took some time with a good friend, and then came home to reflect on the morning for what it was and what I wish it would have been. I am human I realize and I also realize the danger that comes with mommy guilt, so mistakes and falling short are something that I am comfortable with. However I do know that this lack of sleep thing could be part of my reality and so I need to find a way to buck up and deal.

I bet you are hoping I have some sort of answer or some wise thing I have come up with in all of this. Sorry to disappoint, but I don't. I just know that I need to cleave more to my Father from the moments my toes it the floor in the morning. If I have learned anything through all of this it is that God has everything in the palm of his hand and He orchestrates everything perfectly even if I think otherwise. And in knowing these two things I need to be patient in my waiting, instead of anxious. I need to rest in knowing that He is always with me even if I haven't had enough sleep. And yes even though this may be the most non-comforting reminder, He never gives me more than I can handle...sad but true.

I did set out to make the evening better today. My love language very often is food. Mostly because that is the gift God has given me in which to create something that not only I love but i love giving to others. My kids favorite dinner is breakfast....this never means the same thing. Sometimes its waffles, sometimes its pancakes, sometimes its a feast of eggs and bacon and toast but tonight we had Peanut Butter Crepes. With the crepes came yogurt and granola, and bananas. The little cherubs were thrilled. We paired dinner with a dance party and the world was a much better place. I stuck to what I knew, I stuck to where my heart led me and that was to be myself to let the rest fall to the wayside. There were about a million other things I could have been doing instead of dancing around the kitchen like a crazy person but it was where I needed to be right then. I can find myself in this time I just lose her occasionally. It just takes a little work:)

In more happy news Grace and I made cupcakes yesterday. We were supposed to make them last week but appointements for the E Man took up most of the week. That being said the cupcakes were put to the wayside.
Buttercream frosting, house made of course with lots of sprinkles. Grace delivered them to each of the neighbors. Good thing:)

My husband encouraged me to go shopping for a washing machine. Umm yeah I jumped right on it. Ours started dying a slow death about two years ago. May it Rest In Peace!
This baby is huge and it sings me a song when its finished washing. Talk about service with a smile:)

The Joshy man came to visit us this weekend....did you know he is 10 months old now? Where does time go?
He's still a big fan of his Auntie though, just ask him he'll tell you. He's newest tricks include kisses, snake noises and well just plain being cute. Don't worry we are still over the moon for the Josherwoggie in the jager house!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I see something that doesn't belong here.

Imagine my SURPRISE when I opened my fridge this morning to make my little cherubs breakfast. I squealed and then looked around the refrigerator door just in time to see the emotion of pride overwhelm my little boys face. Oh man, how blessed am I?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just in case you were wondering....

This post is a bit'll just have to deal with it.

Numero Uno - These came in the mail this week. Mine came first so I told Brian I was traveling without him. We are both giddy its sort of sickening.

Number Two- I finished this hat and the top looks like it was made for a gnome. I am going to try to fix it today. I think its a pattern issue or thats what I keep telling myself;)

Three-This little guy had his sleep study this week. It was frustrating and a bit heartbreaking. The following morninghe woke up and told me the test was his worst nightmare come to life. Poor little man. This all being said we are so thankful for capable Dr.s and amazing health insurance we know we are blessed. My mother-in-law gave Elliot a little note of encouragement the morning of his test along with a pebble to remind him of the the story of David and Goliath. She told him to keep the pebble in his pocket all day to remember that we can conquer the Giants in our life because God is with us. I am not sure who needed the reminder more Elliot or myself....I thought about it all day. We should have the results on Friday.
This was the reality of our testing situation. Can't say i would have been able to sleep either.

Numero Quatro - I reserved our rental car this morning. It is a 4x4 micro machine. That is all I can think of when I look at the photo. Its called a Suzuki Jimny....we don't have them here. I'm pretty sure that neither my Dad or my Father In Law would be caught dead in the thing:)

Lastly- A preview of the Valentines Day Date Post I promised. I am just waiting for Brians pictures to show up on my computer. But for now did I mention we enjoyed chocolate popcorn at Paul Allen's movie theater, the place was amazing and it smelled of chocolate. You can also see a smidgen of the adorable purple dress I wore.

Ta Ta For Now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Surprise Date.

My husband is wonderful! And although I know he is romantic if he tries and is very skilled in the area of planning dates if he applies himself it is not something he does very often. But don't confuse this with me being ungrateful because he's the greatest thing since sliced bread!! This all being said he planned the most wonderful surprise date ever this past Saturday and totally knocked my socks off.

Here are the pictures to prove it.

First of all he told me I needed to be ready by 4:30 and he would be picking up. He also instructed me to wear a to get dressed up its like my fav so I was already beyond excited. I also happened to have a new dress hanging in the closet just begging to be worn.

He showed up as promised and put his suit on. Swoon. Not kidding I love a man in a suit...mostly just my man.

Then we got in the car and we drove and drove, passed Bellingham and continued to drive. Finally we reached Seattle and rounded the corner of a very familiar neighborhood to me. And I knew we were going to my favorite restaurant Branzino, he dropped me at the door and went to park the car what a gentleman.

We started with the cheese course...dear me heaven help me its a weakness:)
There was a cheese that very much resembled a Tellagio(my favorite), a bleu, and a hard sharp cheddar. They were paired with walnuts, dark chocolate, dried cherries, and apples. It lived up to all of my hopes and dreams.

Next came the Entrees.
Brian had House Made Ravioli stuffed with house marinated short still my heart, thankfully he is a good sharer and I was able to taste these they were beyond fabulous. I think pasta is the next thing on the Angry Blueberries to master:)

I had pan seared duck with a sherry reduction, baby turnips and grilled brocolini. It was delicious...I love duck. I shared with Brian and he loves duck too now. If you've never tried it cooked in this way you haven't tried it in my opinion its just fabulous, nothing compares.

These are the types of photos Brian takes of me when we are out. They are always strange. When questioned he says its because I never stop talking long enough for him to get a normal look on my face....hmmm....there may be some truth in there somewhere.

Second Stop- Bathtub Gin. Any amazingly charming tiny little cocktail bar located in a back alley that is not marked by anything besides a tiny plaque on the wall outisde the door. This place has an extremely strict code form the fire marshall as to how many people can be inside at one time. The occupancy can't be anymore than 30 -40. Its two stories and if they don't have room you may have to wait in the alley all shady like while you wait. We had to wait for about five minutes, when the book reading doorman came out and informed us he had just kicked to table poachers out of our spot....thanks book reading door man guy:)
this was the only picture we took there. I must have stopped talking;)

Last but not least we took in a movie at Paul Allen's movie theater just a few blocks away. They only show one film there at a time on one screen. It is most always an independantish film. The one we watched was called Pina. CLick here for a trailer. Anyway the movie was totally strange but interesting at the same time. It is about a famous French ballet choreographer and I guess she was quite unique in her creations. This was apparent when the movie started out with a ballerina sporting the greatest pair of granny panties while playing an accordion.

The theater was so dreamy. Big curtains that covered that unveiled a huge screen right at the appropriate moment. Stars on the ceiling. The aroma of chocolate the moment you entered and the most comfortable red velvet movie seats that rocked. Ummmm was over the top.
Two Sweathearts.
Sad to say the self timer pictures I took before we left did not work out at all so no picture of the aforementioned dress. Guess I will just have to wear it again.

Probably the best date ever. With my favorite person in this world. Thanks for being mine babe I am so blessed by you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Romantic Meal For Valentines Day.

With the big ol' day of love coming tomorrow I thought maybe some of you could use a romantic meal idea. Sometimes when I feel like I need a date with the hubdub I will make a dinner for the pair of us after the kids are in bed. I will go all out and make something extra special that is complete with all the courses and a bottle of wine. These "dates" are some of my favorite. This year we will be celebrating Valentines Day with Elliot at the sleep center.

Back to the meal. Men like meat lets be honest. Women like sweets and I know many of us could skip the dinner and go right to the dessert. This meal has is it all. And for the first time ever I will share my short rib recipe. Its solid gold....and a house favorite along with a client favorite. It never disappoints. Lots of people are scared to make this cut of meat because if done wrong the meat is very tough to the point of being inedible . But never fear if you follow my fool proof method you will be just fine.

I tried to take some pics for you this time too, so the post won't be too boring.

Jessicas nearly famous in certain crowds short ribs.
my recipe cooks for 4-6 but the leftovers are phenomenal so make the whole recipe even for 2

5lbs bone in short ribs (again for a whole gaggle of people I use boneless)
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of veg oil (higher temp threshold)
3-4 slice of bacon....its up to you
1 large onion
12 cloves of garlic
2 cups of red wine or beef stock or chicken stock
1 28 o can of plum tomatoes
hand full of fresh thyme and rosemary still on stock
2 bay leaves
Fresh sage if you have it coarsely chopped maybe about 1/4 cup

You are going to need a dutch oven or a heavy bottom soup pot.

Add oil and get that pot screaming hot. Salt and pepper those ribs and work in batches to brown both sides of your ribs. Don't worry about the brown bits that are forming in the bottom of your pan thats just all sorts of flavor you are creating. Once brown remove the ribs and put them on a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add bacon. Cook stirring often until it is almost crisp. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Make sure you scrape those brown bits up at this point to get them incorporated into the onions. Stir in you liquid at this point wether its wine or stock as well as the tomatoes. Salt and pepper at this point. Return the ribs to the pot and bring it back up to a simmer.
Now you are going to make something fancy but don not be afraid. You are going to make your very own bouquet garni. Yep you are. Just get some of that twine I talked about in the chicken post and make a simple bouquet out of your thyme and rosemary. Toss it in the pot. Add the sage and bay leaves at this time as well.
See the bouquet.

Now you are going to perform a braise. Reduce the heat and put on a lid. You want the temperature to be causing a very gentle simmer. I don't want you to open the pot until those ribs have been cooking for 2 1/2 -3 hours. No matter how delicious it smells have some self control people. After the time has passed you may crack open the pot and stick a fork in the meat to determine if they are done. Meat should be tender and falling off the bone. If it is you are in luck its time to eat. If its not quite there give it another 3o minutes.

Now you are going to make a sauce out of that delicious stuff remaining in in the pot. Remove ribs and put on platter cover with foil. Remove your bouquet and discard it. Bring the sauce to a boil for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, spoon that delicious sauce over your ribs and enjoy. Your husband will worship the ground you walk on...I'm not kidding.

....Now what to serve with it. I like to pair this with some delicious mashed potatoes....but oven roasted would work as well. The other night I served it with garlic and parm mashed potatoes and oven roasted asparagus and carrots. IT was over the top fabulous.

Now for dessert.

No Bake Boston Cream "cheater pie".

This is an easy fool-prrof way to make boston cream pie and you still get to reep all of the benefits in texture and flavor. If you are my MIL I made this the other night and thought of you while I ate is right up you alley. The end product resembles Tiramasu in all of the right ways.

Now the nerve racking part is you are going to make home made custard. Do not let me catch you making pudding from a box people....I try not to judge and I'm not but I do have a bit of soap box reserved just for packaged foods. You can do this and I am going to help you and give you some tips. The whisk and a small sifter is very handy for this recipe.

One Box Graham Crackers

3 TBLSP. corn starch
2 Eggs
3 egg yolks
5 TBLSP butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 quart of 1/2 and 1/2
2 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cover the bottom of 9x13 with graham crackers.

Make the custard and heres how....
-Place cornstarch in a small bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and the yolks.
-Melt bitter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Stir in sugar. Add salt and 1/2 and 1/2. Heat until just before it boils. When the mixture is at this point pull off heat.
-Ladle a bit of the mixture into the cornstarch. Whisk it until it is smooth add more of the liquid if needed. Pour cornstarch mix into the eggs. Whisk quickly until combined. Do not be worried about scrambled eggs this will only make your worries come to life.
-Pour the egg mixture into the pot and return to medium heat. Whisk continuously until the liquid becomes thick and starts to bubble. This will take 5 or so minutes. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla.

You Did It!

Spread 1/3 of the custard over the graham crackers. Add another layer of graham crackers. repeat two more times. ...ending with the graham crackers.
Now make the frosting.

Melt the butter and the cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Once melted whisk in milk. Remove from heat and beat in the powdered sugar using a hand mixer of putting all ingredients into stand mixer. WHen smooth add vanilla and pour all of the chocolate over your final layer of graham crackers.

Wrap pan tightly and put in fridge for 3-4 hours or even overnight. I thought the texture was even better the second day.

This recipe is full fat and full sugar I realize. The Jagers do not eat like this every night but we do allow treats and don't feel bad about them. Everything in moderation with healthy doses of exercise is the way to go in my opinion. And never make apologies for wanting to eat something that is yummy to you.

So theres your recipe for a romantic evening for two in your home. Don't forget the candles:)

Come back tomorrow to see the surprise date I got to go on on Saturday. I have the bestest husband in the whole world!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Half my life and how it began.

The day after we got engaged my mother in law threw us a little engagement lunch party after church. You know whats funny I still remember what we ate...Prime Rib and her famous Yorkshire Pudding with gravy....oh yes that meal is one of my ultimate favorites! Doesn't this picture of BJ look like our Elliot?

Today marks the day my husband asked me to marry him. I know I have told the story many times and that isn't what I intend to do here today. However it is always a day of reflection for me. This week not only marks our engagement but also the crazy anniversary of us meeting for the very first time 15 years ago. Yes folks this week marks the fact that I have spent 1/2 of my life with my husband. Excuse me....what???? This fact alone brings emotion not only to me but some of the strangest emotional reactions from others. For some people this simple piece of information cheapens it for them. You get strange comments such as,"oh so you were high school sweethearts? How sweet...." Or, "Wow you got married so young." favorite,"How could you have possibly known what you wanted that young." My response if I don't make the choice to quickly flee the situation is not always so nice.....:) What my nice response would be is, "It was not up to me who I would fall in love with and when." The second part that grabs much response is when I tell them I was really in love with my husband in High School....not puppy love not teenage hormonal lust (although there was that too)...nope I was full on in love with him! And today for the first time I think I have it formulated in my mind well enough to explain how and why that was and is.

I met my husband at a high school dance...yep a room full of sweaty hormone crazy teenagers with the soundtrack of "I Got Five On It" playing the background. Oh 90's music how I love thee! Moving forward. The "friend" I rode with to the dance introduced us, and apparently she forgot to tell me that she was interested in BJ before we arrived. If she would have God would have had to get a lot craftier because I would have never accepted his offer for a dance and I would have attempted to slap away any attraction I had for him. But she didn't make it known so well that friendship didn't last....because as soon as I danced with that boy it was all over for me! The way he looked at me was not how I was used to boys looking at me. The way he talked to me made me feel as if he actually cared about what I had to say. And I can tell you I had never experienced an interaction with the opposite sex in this way before. Sad, but true. He ruined me for anyone else I would date int he future. The bar had been raised and I realized I deserved how he was treating me.

So fast forward a couple of months. Oh man the unedited story of BJ and Jessica is hilarious to me now....I will spare you all the mother in law and grandmothers read this:) What I will share is that as time went on I began to feel love, I began to feel acceptance...I could be exactly me, I never had to pretend to be anyone else with BJ. I will also share that I had never experienced unconditional love in my whole life. You may think this a bold statement and it is but it is nothing short of the truth. Love that I had experienced at this point also had to be earned and came from my fulfilling someones elses role for me. At this point I was not a Christian all that would come!

So here is the rest of this bold story. After almost 2 years of a crazy high school relationship things to began to get difficult. God wanted me for his own so bad, and I was fighting it because I didn't know how to balance my relationship with a boyfriend and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. At the time I had put BJ in a very poor position, I had put him on a pedestal that had one place to go and that was down because he was human. This love I felt I never wanted to lose. What I didn't realize at the time was that if I would accept the love of Jesus for all that it was I would never lose "love." I would never lose the acceptance that I felt from that boy because no matter if I had him or not I would always have God with no matter where I went. But God was working. I would hear Jim Huleatt deliver the message of Gods unfailing love for me a few times a week and I had convinced myself my devotion could be in both places. (by the way for a time BJ and I were only allowed to see each other 2 times a week so church and youth group were for the most part the only time we saw each other) Oh I was so confused its painful for me to admit. It is humbling to share all this.

So, you probably already know where this story is heading...yep 1 week before prom we broke up. I was devastated because I had convinced myself I would never have that love again. That that was my one shot and I screwed it up. What was even more devastating was my mother called my MIL up and informed her that BJ would still be taking me to prom. Oh my goodness, insert dying of embarrassment here:) What an awkward evening:)

Further more that devastation brought longing. Longing for the feelings I thought I had lost. I felt empty in a way I never had before, but not for long. I continued to go to the same church I had gone to through my relationship with BJ. I never missed church or youth group and this is when I began to blossom. I started to become the real me. The me with Christ living in me. And I can tell you with tears rolling down my cheeks, I know that God was big enough to bring this about in another way if he needed to, but I love my story I love that he drew me to him in the way that he did.

The end of the story is as follows. The day after Christmas 1999 I was baptized and declared my profession of faith. It was the single most beautiful moment of my life. One that will remain with me forever. One that is personal in so many ways. I am always so amazed at the stories people have of how they came to Christ and this is part of mine.

And 3 years later I stood in that very same church and made promises to a man that God had redelivered to me...and no I don't think I was to young and yes I knew exactly what I wanted. And the best part of my story is God had taken ahold of my heart....he was #1 and BJ was #2 and that was how it was intended! I had the love I deserved, all of the love God intended me to have!!

So there it is the story of me....the story of God in me and the role that he gave my husband to play in it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One of my FAVORITE things!

One of my FAVORITE things in this world to put in my tummy is Lorraine Bajemas Fudge Sauce. It is the bomb diggity and I know that I am not the only one that thinks so. We enjoy it many ways but one of my favorites is on smores in the place of your Hershey square(thanks to the Terbeeks).

Thanks for the fudge sauce once again Lorraine its a fan favorite over here:)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some Pics to hold you over....

Grace, Sarah and I went to see Beauty and the Beast 3D at the movie theater on Sunday instead of watching the SuperBowl....I think this was one of our smartest decisions to date.
The Josherwoggie has spent a lot of time here over the last week. I told Emily she could have him back when he got sick or decided not to sleep through the night....I don't know why she didn't take me up on my offer?
These are the kind of photos The Rahster and I send back and forth. We have so many people who want to be friends with us;) Knitting anyone. I totally didn't ask Rah before I posted these either:) You still love me right Rah?
Brian always gets fun mail.......
Grace thought this was important to capture:) At least there were no birds in my sky:)

Welp thats it for now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I need some self control....

I have not been able to eat anything fried for over a year. This is not a huge problem as I do not normally even want it. But sometimes a girl wants chinese food or fish and chips. That being said I am pretty sure I had fish and chips yesterday and my body may never forgive me. They were tasty at the time:)

Uhhhhhhh when will I learn.

So tonight we are having rice and beans..homemade of course. The blander flavor palette will hopefully help my problem.

From now on I expect others to hold me accountable. If you see me trying to fudge on the above mentioned statement please slap my hand:) I will thank you later!

You know what rice and beans reminds me of? COSTA RICA! 53 days people. Bikini shopping is now in full force....and sun dresses and skirts and shorts and tank tops are being pulled to the front of the closet. Everything is just dying to be worn! If you sit close enough to the window today you can almost imagine what morning sun in Costa Rica may feel like. One can daydream right?

And to make up for this totally random post and to reward you for even reading this far how about a new recipe that I think is the bomb:)

First off I accidentally pushed delete on the end product photo so this is kind of mid process. You can tell I am really focused today....

Almond Meal Banana Muffins with a touch of Chocolate

DISCLAIMER So these are pretty healthy but still sweet and delectable. Elliot hated them Grace loved them and she doesn't even do bananas.
Bananas also don't follow my food purchasing rules seeing as they aren't even grown anywhere near here but they are packed full of healthy nuggets so they are a major exception to the rule. Some of you are better with the rules....not mentioning any names....cough cough farmer friend cough:)

2 1/4 cups of almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 Tablespoons of honey or whatever sweetener you prefer.
2 eggs
1/4 to 1 tsp of cinnamon or leave it out if you hate it.
2-3 bananas whatever you have on hand. They are ok if they were frozen or if they are fresh.
dash of salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

preheat 325 degrees.

-Give you almonds and baking powder a spin in your food processor (a blender works to or if you have a nut grinder) until finely ground. A little secret I leave mine a little on the chunky side because I like the texture. Its totally up to you though.
Dump into a bowl.
-Now give the eggs, honey, bananas and cinnamon a turn in the food processor...leave them in there with the machine running for 5 or 6 minutes until the mixtures is nice a airy.
-Fold the wet and the dry together.
-The cocoa powder is totally optional, if you want to use it feel free to separate 1/3 of the above mixture and add the cocoa powder to it.
-Now divy out 1/2 of the original mixture among your muffin liners. Next add a spoonful of the chocolatey goodness and then end with the remaining original mixture. The picture above is before I added the top layer of plain mix.

You can top with a banana slice if you want to get real fancy or just leave them be.

Cook for 30 minutes or so.
Yum Yum.

I am thinking you could maybe sub the bananas with applesauce...but I haven't tried it so if you do and its all kinds of bisgusting don't blame me.

Happy baking:)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elliot Update.

So we are still in the process of helping our little man. And if I being honest we are still in the process of helping ourselves as well. The three of us are quite exhausted at this point and really tired of Dr.'s.

Two days ago we received the results of the EEG. They showed nothing which the neurologist was not surprised about because Elliot was awake for the entire test and he only experiences difficulties when sleeping. SO now we are in the process of waiting for a sleep study that could take a month or more to wait for. THis is wearisome to me. So we are praying for expedited testing so that we can hopefully get some better tips on how to help our little man. It not so happy nes we received a call from Elliot's pediatrician yesterday stating they had seen something irregular and worrisome on his EKG portion of his test. For the love of humanity we so didn't need one more thing. The Dr. said it could be nothing or something...thanks:) In saying this we are going for a complete EKG tomorrow after school.

So right now I am beside myself. We are walking bewildered at this point and I am not sure I want to know what will come up next. But we will move forward in faith that God already knows what we need. We are praying that we have already been prepared from what is to come. We are praying for fast service in tests. We are praying against the stress and fatigue that has already come with all of this. We are praying that the anxiety of all of this continues to stay away from our little man. And I am praying that God can continue to strengthen me in the role of "Mother" to my children.

This whole experience has been mighty humbling as we wait for answers and wade through the unknown. We have asked our Dr. if this could be a reaction to meds Elliot is already on or If he thinks this is a result of emotional anxiety he has reassured us we are doing all that we can do right now and we will figure out the cause. I am working very hard a listening to peoples well meant advice but I will be honest in saying its hard. Advice automatically makes me defensive, it leads me to feeling as if I am not doing enough. I know this is satans handiwork and I try to pray it off daily. Asking God to replace my insecurities with trust and faith in his abilities to conquer all. So if I am not receptive to advice you may give please be gentle with my spirit..its in rough shape. I just can't handle much without bursting into tears right now:)

To Twine or Not To Twine.

I have had two questions on the chicken front since my last post.

#1- Do you peel the citrus before you put it in the The essential oils in the rind are what adds a lot of the flavor to the meat of the chicken. So just chop your citrus in so segments and throw er' in.

#2- Why did I tie up the bird? How do you do it? And where do I get the twine?

I just get my kitchen twine from the grocery. It is usually by the foil pans and things or by the wood skewers. It is nothing special.
The main reason for trussing a bird is to maintain a juicy breast. Yep you read it here:) If you keep the legs in close to the bird it will better protect the breast meat during cooking. Now if you stuff the bird it isn't as necessary to do so, however trussing also maintains the shape of the bird during cooking. Mostly trussing just encourages even cooking so the air can circulate more evenly resulting in a more evenly cooked bird.

Since I am not making another chicken right now here is the best tutorial I could find (Step by step) to show you the ropes of trussing. Maybe next time I will try to do a vlog so you can see me do it. I hate my voice on camera though so don't hold your breath.

Again let me know how it goes...or if you folks have any more questions.