Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crockpot Roast Chicken

472 people cannot be wrong. That was my first thought when I took a gander at this recipe for my crockpot. 472 people gave this recipe raving reviews. It's described by the poster as "tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken". That's exactly what I need, I remember thinking to myself. Chicken that will listen and be tender and fall off the bone. For me. I have a problem cooking meat. I routinely overcook it. I have no one to blame but myself and the fact that someone, somewhere is out to get me.

But this. This seemed foolproof. Even for me.

So yesterday morning I gathered the girls around and showed them how to clean and prepare a chicken. We got it ready and placed it in the cooker. I began checking with my meat thermometer around 4.5 hours later. It took about 5.5 hours for this to cook on low.

Then I took it out and put it under the broiler for about 2 minutes to sear the outside a bit. I sliced it up and served it alongside the carmelized onions, black beans and rhubarb oatmeal bars.

The girls were enamored with the chicken. So much so, that Liv woke up at 11pm, tip-toed downstairs, and requested more chicken. This doesn't happen when I bring home grocery store rotisserie. Holland said, "Mom! You made the chicken taste good!" Liv said, "This chicken is amazing! You can make this for your whole life!" Notice the astonishment at moist chicken in the Wieber home. That's okay, I was astonished, too.

Try this recipe tonight, and you'll be hard pressed not to sign up for square dance lessons--what with all the extra time on your hands.

4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 T. minced onion
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large roasting chicken
1 C. sweet onion, chopped (I sliced mine)
1/2 of an onion to stuff in the cavity

1. In a small bowl, combine the spices.
2. Remove any giblets from chicken and clean chicken. Pat dry.
3. Rub spice mixture onto the chicken. If time allows, place in resealable plastic bag the night before.
4. When ready to cook, put sliced onion in bottom of crockpot.
Add chicken. No liquid is needed, the chicken will make it's own juices. (After cooking, save the juices and use or freeze as chicken broth!)
5. Cook on low 4-8 hours. (If you have a pop-up timer, that would be helpful. Otherwise, I just lifted the lid and tested using my meat thermometer around the 5 hour mark. It took my cooker 5.5 hours to cook the chicken.

Notes: If you want to make up a whole batch of this rub (and if you plan on making this often, I recommend it) then triple or quadruple or octople, the spice recipe. Place in a jar, shake or stir well, and use 2-3/4 Tablespoons of spice mixture each time you roast a chicken. I almost skipped the onions on the bottom--but I am so so glad I didn't! They were the most amazing onions I have ever tasted...flavorful and carmelized. Next time I will add more and serve atop a side dish of rice or potatoes. Also, I really loved the spice blend. Holland, who fears anything even remotely spicy, commented that it was spicy, and then promptly asked for more. I was afraid it would be too spicy for her and it wasn't. It had the right combination of flavor and spice. I followed this recipe exactly as instructed except for the onion powder. Since I did not have any, I used a couple tablespoons of minced onion instead. I also did not apply the spice rub the night before but decided to wait until the next day because when you're a mom, some things must wait. The recipe above reflects my adaptations.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fearless Fashion

That's what Brian calls this new look boldly presented by Holland. She calls it her Pony look. Ponies in our house is synonymous with the word underwear. Liv so cleverly coined this term as a little potty-training tyke who, ecstatic at her brand new package of My Little Pony undies, requested to wear her "ponies" every day. Now they are called ponies by us all. So when Holland tossed on this pair of ponies, and stuck her pony tails through the leg holes, I couldn't resist clicking away. Who knows, in some small cheeky European country, this may already be all the rage. :o)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Happy 15th Valentine's Day to my best friend, the one who wears chicken pepper jeans. Yeah, you. You know who you are. Here's to many more opportunities to belt it out during roadtrips, especially during Seattle rush hour. I love ya pal. Thanks for this life peppered with quirkiness, silly girls, and the everydays that never tire.

Dumb and Dumber - Mockingbird Scene - Click here for the most popular videos

Dedication of Reese!

Dear darling girl,

Even before you were born your name was whispered and shouted and sung into the beams of every room in our home. It was whispered in excited anticipation when your foot would stick so far out of my tummy. Reese. It was shouted by your sisters during playtime while they danced with their dolls. Georgia Reese! Your name was even sung at bedtime, by your family who longed to see you. Sweet, sweet Georgia Reese! We knew your name even before we saw you, and believe it was God who gave us your name.

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your might." Deuteronomy 6:5. Is this our prayer for a little girl whose name means enthusiastic? We prayed so. We prayed and still pray that your life would be a passionate exclamation for Jesus and for all you do in His name. And now that you are in our arms, we see how perfect the name Reese is for you, as you interact with us in smiles and shouts. Even in mid-cry, you are unable to resist a reciprocating smile to any who offers one.

Dedicating you to God last Sunday, as it has been with your sisters before you, is a very heartfelt experience--cozy and warm almost--as if we are inviting God to stay and work in your heart and soul--and we are. And only God knows what your life will become, sweet child, but we can and do pray that your heart will reflect your Maker in every beat.

Matthew Henry says about Deuteronomy 6:5: Happy those who have this one Lord for their God. It is better to have one fountain than a thousand cisterns; one all-sufficient God than a thousand insufficient friends. This is the first and great commandment of God's law, that we love him; and that we do all parts of our duty to him from a principle of love;...we are to love God with all our heart, and soul, and might....with a sincere truth...with a strong love; He is our ALL, must have our all, and none but He....with a superalitive love...above any creature whatever...with an intelligent love him with all understanding, we must see good cause to love him....with an entire love, He is ONE...oh that this love of God may be shed abroad in our hearts!

And as we do pray for these things in your life, we also pray for ourselves--that our entire family would join in this giving of mind, body, and spirit, to the Lord. In doing so, that our dedication to God over you would be sincere and whole.

You bring abundant joy to our lives and the four walls in which we live, sweet girl. Our prayer is that you would whole-heartedly have the joy only He can give, in your heart, and that the wanderings of your heart and soul would always find their way to Him.

I love you, Reesie-girl,

xxoo Mom

Our Pastor (aka Uncle Troy) , who also happens to be Reese's godfather, was able to dedicate her. He is the new pastor at Calvary Chapel Middleton. We were extremely blessed to have him pray over her.

First, daddy prays for Reese, beginning with, "Thank you Lord for my three little girls..."

Then Pastor Troy prays...

...while the girls peek. They look so tired. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the sleepover they had with Papa and Nanette at their hotel. Nah. Couldn't be. I'm sure.

And as if on cue, Reese gives a big--enthusiastic--smile.

Here Reese sits on daddy's lap, after the dedication. I may be going out on a limb here, but I'd say she looks...dedicated.

Family photo after church:

My dad and mom (aka Papa Snail and Nanette) were able to come up and join us for the occasion. And they played and tickled and giggled with our two oldest girls into the wee hours of the morning at their hotel. Oh...did I say that out loud?

Happy Dedication Day, Reesie-girl!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hat Haiku

Did you ever write Haikus in school? The proportions are as follows: The first line--5 syllables, the second--7 syllables, the third line--5 syllables.

I always loved the challenge that it presented.

How in the world is one to get their point across in only 17 syllables?

I'm a girl! Doesn't this Haiku know that I need, as does any woman for that matter, at least 57 syllables to do it justice? Why do I have to be put in a box? For pete's sake, I am starting to feel a bit smothered.

Even though I love haikus, I didn't write any for years. For some reason, since I only learned about them in my school-age years, I felt that they were proprietary to that time in my life. I simply wasn't allowed to write any Haikus, unless of course it was a project assigned by Mrs. Welde. Right? How funny this mind of mine works sometimes.

Now I write Haikus. Not all the time. Just every once in awhile on a crinkled napkin, or an old page torn out of the phone book. On the back of the junk mail envelope. They all get tossed, but there is something satisfying about finishing a's the same feeling you get when you finish a sudoku puzzle or when you find Waldo and his skinny red and white striped shirt amidst a sea of other red and white striped cars, construction workers, and dog sweaters. It's a short challenge, one that still allows me to change diapers, finish the dishes, interact with my girls, teach school.

All in only 17 syllables.


Charming hat atop
a crown of balmy-sweet scent
warm my baby's ears

My super sweet friend Katie, with her mad crocheting skills, made Reese this beautiful little hat. Isn't it cute?

Now, it's your turn to write a Haiku. In my comments section. Using only 17 syllables.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Function: noun
Date: 1519

1 a : a device that produces a rattle; specifically : a case containing pellets used as a baby's toy b :the sound-producing organ on a rattlesnake's tail
2 a : a rapid succession of sharp clattering sound

3 : a hand-crafted gift of love from a father to his precious daughter

4 : a sweet token in which to inspire the mind to twirl and dance with enchantment, occasionally smacking the forehead in the process

It's really something special to see a daddy with his daughter. All that tough-man exterior-- instantly replaced with the softest of tenderness as soon as that little gal snuggles in the crook of his arm. It's love. Instantly. Forever.

I love this rattle. Because it was skillfully crafted by the man I love. Because I am absolutely enthralled by the way Reese clutches it with her very life, wildly swinging it and manipulating it back and forth between her two dimpled hands. Because when it was finished, it was a cause for celebration as it was the first time Brian was able to create the two rings without breaking the entire rattle. And because Brian spun it on his lathe, crafted from a solid piece of wood.

A solid piece of wood. Isn't that something?

To think that this precious rattle.... sure to be a family heirloom and beloved toy, was once just a block of wood gathering dust in the garage.

This brings to my mind the illustration of God as a potter in the bible.

Correction: not "a" Potter.

Note even "the" potter.

"Our" potter.

How do we rate, that we get our own potter, for goodness sakes?

When we seek to put our life in His hands, our life is molded in ways that are extraordinary.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.

This verse and this rattle comes to mind as we prepare to have Reese dedicated at church this weekend. Our prayer Reese, is that you would love God and would be ever-shaped by Him as the Lord of your life.

How Many Blondes...

...does it take to remove the kick stand?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Healing, part 2

After reading a little bit in Matthew last week, our school day began with Liv's declaration: "We won't stop praying for daddy until he gets better!" I was so overwhelmed with her sweet and believing heart. Lord, please help us all to have such faith. So on that note, please continue to pray with me for Brian, for all our loved ones. Prayer is powerful. Here is some dialog and verses to remind us all that God does have the power to heal. He is able!

Sometimes when someone has been hit by an extreme sickness or disease, especially with one that may be considered terminal, our faith levels may be severely shaken - possibly to their core! You have been just diagnosed with terminal cancer and the doctors have told you that you only have 6 more months to live.

Though you know God is all-powerful - your situation looks so hopeless, that you start doubting whether or not God can really deliver you out of such a dire, extreme and hopeless situation. You are so overwhelmed by the hopelessness of the situation - that you start forgetting how powerful God really is and that He does have the supernatural power to be able to fully heal you - no matter how grave the situation may appear to you in the natural.

These next three verses are telling us that nothing - I repeat nothing - is too impossible for God to be able to handle. Again, these verses should be burned into your memory banks so you can have them fully loaded up into your mind and spirit if you are ever faced with what appears to be insurmountable odds.

  1. "For with God nothing will be impossible." (Luke 1:37)
  2. But He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27)
  3. "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." (Ephesians 3:20)

The second verse is telling you that if you cannot get any kind of a healing from a doctor, then God Himself can come to your rescue and fully heal you - no matter how bad and hopeless the situation may appear to you in the natural.

Remember - God the Father has the full power and full ability to accomplish anything that He wants to. If He has the divine supernatural power to create our entire world in 6 days - then I don't think He will have any problems in being able to fully heal you with whatever may have just struck your body.


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