Homemade macaroni and cheese

An easy yummy alternative to the boxed stuff.

This simple recipe has fast outdone our normal boxed mac and cheese days.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back.

Cook macaroni noodles according to directions on package.

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 TBSP butter, and enough flour to make a roux, and whisk while slowly adding milk until you have a medium thick gravy.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and stir until melted and blended.  Salt and pepper to taste.  (adjust amount of cheese according to preference…we like it extra cheesy, and sometimes add more.

Drain noodles when cooked, and fold into cheese sauce.

VOILA…easy peasy mac and cheesa…and inexpensive too.

You can serve alone or as a side dish.  For variety, you can add vegies, and/or chopped ham.


Sunday Psalm

Be Not Afraid by Bob Dufford
Based on Isaiah 43:2-3 and Luke 6:20ff

1…. You shall cross the barren desert
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety
though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words to foreign men
and they will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid. I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

2… If you pass through raging waters
in the sea you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames
you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the power of hell
and death is at your side,
Know that I am with you through it all.

3… And blessed are your poor
for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn
for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you
all because of me, blessed, blessed are you

My daughter has a gift for putting perspective into words. This is an awesome example, read it, and be blessed.


Sometimes it’s difficult not to believe that we as a family will be stuck in transition for the rest of our lives. From the beginning, we have been perpetually transitioning: from Moscow to Payette; in Payette waiting for baby and deployment; deployment; transition between Grace’s surgeries; post-deployment, but pre-school; school; and now, post-school, pre-job…which will likely be one of our bigger transitions, as we could be forced to relocate to the other side of the country, for all we know. Likewise, I have watched my loved ones in transition. My immediate family has been in transition for the past year, waiting…watching…trusting.

I’ve been wrapping my brain around why we feel the need to not be in transition, why it’s such a difficult thing to bear. Truth be told, in some instances the reality that we live in outside of transitional phases is more “difficult” than what we live through transitioning…

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I am from

My friend, Sylvia inspired me with a piece that she wrote a few years ago.  I loved writing this, and have saved it, because I enjoy the walk now and then down memory lane.  I may need to write one titled “where I am”, but not today.

I am from small town Idaho, from clothes dried on the line, from lazy summer afternoons spent watching clouds form into familiar shapes.

I am from a small 2 bedroom house, lilacs outside the kitchen window, climbing roses out the back door, new kittens born in the crawl space under the house, and goats and chickens in the back yard.

I am from the garden,  from fresh strawberries picked just that morning, and the never-ending chore of keeping the weeds out of them.

I am from penny candy and feathered bangs.

From Engblade and Schappert, and Lewis, Davis, and Durrett.

From “come straight home from school” and “do you want a spanking?”

From hearty laughter and “FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD”

I am from the Yakima Indian Mission, stained glass windows, “Now I Belong to Jesus”, VBS, Sunday school, traditional hymns, after church potlucks and ice cream socials. From dresses on Sunday morning, and jeans are fine for evening service.

I’m from Salvation Army thrift store finds, hand-me-downs, and saving babysitting money for those expensive popular brand name clothes.

I’m from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. From beans and cornbread, biscuits and gravy. I am from surprise family vacations, and weekend campouts in the hills.

I am from fresh baked bread laid out on mom’s kitchen table and from the fresh dirt tilled in preparation for dad’s garden next spring. I am from weekend long canning sprees, and cleaning house “like Momma likes it” in preparation for company.

From worn out LP’s of Hank Williams, Slim Whitman, and Marty Robbins. From Momma’s gentle humming. I am from the kitchen. From “Put your hand in the hand of the man” complete with our own version of the “jitterbug” taught and learned during chore time. From “Tell me why you love Jesus…” From candles and oil lamps and power outages.

I am from family meals, family prayers, and family gatherings. I am from a small house that sheltered a large family with faith in a Great God.

By New Things Posted in Poetry


Kat at To Talk of Many Things tagged me for a meme.  I answered some of these questions for her already, but this looks like fun, I’m in.

  1. Tagged Bloggers should post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you in their post and then create ten new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Tag seven people and link to them on your post.
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

I’m still fairly new to this blog world, so coming up with 7 will be a challenge in itself….coming up with ten questions, whew…I’ll do my best.

I will tag:

Mrs. Older at A Word to the Wives

Heidi at Heidi Girl

Jill at Ink Paint and Cloth

Kate at Teaching What is Good

Marilyn at Memories Keepsakes Gifts

Natasha at To Live for Him

Jacqueline at Deep Roots at Home

Though I don’t comment much, I follow these blogs and am encouraged by them, I hope you will be too.

I’ll ask for answers to these questions:
  1. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  2. What’s your favorite vacation destination?
  3. Canada is phasing out the penny, the US is talking of doing the same, should we?  Why or why  not?
  4. What color is predominant in your closet?
  5. Share your best one line of advice for a new Momma.
  6. When is the last time you were outside your comfort zone?
  7. Where are you in your family’s birth order?
  8. Are you a full time homekeeper, or do you also hold a job/career outside the home?
  9. What’s your favorite frugal tip for me?
  10. Encourage me with your go-to Scripture reference for a heavy heart.
Now for my answers to the questions posed to me:

1. List your must-haves for a successful road trip.  Tires, a car battery and $$$…the rest is just stuff.

2. How many books do you read in a year?
My first answer to this question was incorrect due to a very bad memory.  So far this year, I’ve read four, and am currently reading Story of Soul by Therese de Lisieux and Imitation of Christ by Thomas A’Kempis

3. Should the U.S. get rid of the penny which costs more to make that it is worth to spend?  I’ve held the opinion for years that they should.  A penny isn’t worth the materials that make it anymore.

4. Does your community have a parade at some point during the year? When? Do you participate or go to watch it each year?  The last parade we went to was Christmas.  I’m not really up on the community happenings here, I will go to watch if I know about it.

5. What’s the minimum amount of sleep you can get by on? Four or five, but I can’t do it for many days in a row

6. What would you do with a six-month break from work or school and the money to support it?
Sorry, I just can’t go there, even in my wildest imagination right now.  I’ve been on an 11 month break, but without the funding, lol.

7. What do you love most about your hometown?  The memories of family gatherings, and Christian fellowship.

8. What is something you are especially looking forward to this summer?  Deliverance

9. Where is your favorite place to vacation? What do you do there?  A little campground in Washington State, “Teanaway”.  When I was young, it was a Bible camp (Bible Rock Camp) that my family attended and enjoyed.  A few years ago, all but one of my siblings and myself met there for a reunion.  The camp buildings have been removed, and the land is being returned to it’s natural state, replanted and all.  It was such a neat time of reminiscing, and passing on our memories and love of the place to our kids.

10. What is your favorite hobby or activity you share with someone else?  Reading, watching movies, writing.  I’m in a very laid back season of life right now, lol.

One pot chicken pot pie–without the oven!

I miss my oven, but not having one sure has stretched my imagination and cooking skills.

My latest concoction was a hit, and it’s frugal as well.  To feed a family of four, you’ll need:

  • One box of Stove Top Stuffing-prepared ahead of time.
  • 2 chicken breasts (I actually used chicken tornadoes, because that is what I had on hand, but it would be better with real chicken breasts.
  • 2 potatoes, quartered and sliced
  • 1.5 cups frozen vegies (I used peas, carrots and corn)
  • 1/2 package of poultry gravy mix
  1. Cook potatoes and vegies together until soft, drain and set aside
  2. Cook and dice chicken, set aside
  3. In your medium skillet, melt 2TBSP butter or margarine, and add chicken gravy mix and enough flour to make a roux.
  4. Using a whisk, add milk slowly to roux until consistency of choice.  We like ours thick.  I don’t measure this part, I just cook it until it looks right.  It thickens fast, so keep your whisk busy.
  5. Turn the heat down to a low, add in cooked vegetables and chicken, and top with prepared stuffing.  Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, then serve.