Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You know you want some mac and cheese

I make great macaroni and cheese.  It took years of experimenting but I believe I have perfected it.  I'm sharing this with the world so here it is...

First, boil and drain 2 cups macaroni noodles.
Then, make a roux.  You need a 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup flour.  Stir together for about a minute and then gradually add in 1 3/4 cups milk.  2 cups is too much.  1 1/2 is too thick.  1 and 3/4 cups is just right.

Next add the cheese.  I use about 1/4 lb Velveeta.  I have tried doing this the "right" way without American cheese but you just don't get the ooey gooey factor.  Then add 8 ozs of your favorite cheddar.  It should look like this
then stir and melt until it looks like this

Throw all the cooked and drained macaroni noodles in and stir to coat.  Pour in a casserole dish and top with whatever you like.  I like to take about 2 Tbs of melted butter and mix in some seasoned bread crumbs until it is crumbly and perfect and sprinkle that on top.  You can also use toasted bread, more cheese, or let your imagination run wild.
Here is how it looks when it comes out of a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes...YUM!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The worst insult you can give me

A couple of years ago someone at work called me an independent woman.  I know they meant it as a compliment but it hurt right to the core.  That is the last way I would ever want to be characterized.  Independence has such a lofty connotation in our society, but as a Christian, I want to be marked as fully and wholly dependent.  I want to teach my daughters to be strong, dependent women.

Dependent on who?  On their Father in Heaven and the Church.  I want them to live Galatians 6:2 every day:

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Do I want my kids to be able to take care of themselves?  Absolutely, but I want them to know that everything they have is a blessing and not a result of their own ability.  Do I want them grow in wisdom?  Yes, but I want them to learn that through the experience and teaching of those in the local church.  I want them to share their burdens and take up those of others when they can.  

We sometimes see dependence as a weakness but I see it as wisdom.  There is no way I can accomplish great things alone.  I need the strengths of the other parts of the Body of Christ to really do things right.  Last week proved that all the more to me.  My husband was out of town on business and while we survived without Daddy's presence here for 6 days, it was tough.  We need him and he needs us and I'm not ashamed to say it.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is intentional parenting?

So what is with the name of this blog?  A few years ago, I started using the word "intentional" in my vocabulary.  I didn't want life to just pass me by and my kids to grow up with me constantly reacting to everything with my emotions.  I wanted to purposely make choices that led to positive results following the principles of sowing and reaping.  I knew that the laws of the Kingdom of God apply to everything, so if I sowed love and self-discipline in my kids' lives, I would reap a harvest of watching them grow into loving and disciplined young women.

I decided to apply this to every part of my parenting.  Implementing 1-2-3 Magic, planning healthy meals, and trying to take advantage of every teachable moment became a way to be intentional as a mom.  I am constantly inspired by the concept of "drawing out greatness in my kids".  I know that they have talents, giftings and abilities and my job is to draw that out of them by encouraging them and teaching them how to love themselves and the world around them as God does.

As a parent, our job is not to react with emotions, but to demonstrate self-control and the rest of the gifts of the Spirit.  I'm not there yet...not by a long shot...but I'm better than I used to be.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Treats!

So here are the cake balls I made for my 4 year old's preschool party.  They are yum.  I made little goodie bags with these and mini muffins made from Hungry Girl's recipe.  It was all super easy and fun to make.  I just wish I had an extra freezer for making projects like this.  I'm still saving up for that "garage fridge" I've been wishing for.  I love my counter depth fridge but it just doesn't hold enough for a family of five especially when one of them loves to cook and bake and another one needs a place to store his small beer collection.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

All you can do...

No matter how structured and intentional your parenting is, sometimes your kids will throw you for a curveball.  Tonight, my 6 year old lost her mind.  She was overly tired and had a major post-bedtime meltdown.  She said she was scared and tired but wouldn't go to bed.  Sometimes all you can do is pray and be firm but loving.

I finally got her back upstairs and into her bed and I haven't heard a peep since.  Being overly tired can make even the best of kids act like a total nut.  But we love her and we all have bad days.  I'm glad I go through days like this because it reminds me that we all need a big helping of grace some days.  I know I do.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finding joy in this diet

Let me start by saying that I'm thankful to be in the National Guard because I have to stay a healthy weight for my job.  Losing a job that you love is a powerful motivator to get and stay healthy.  I am exercising so that I can pass my fitness test but I knew that my eating habits needed to change as well.  I heard about the "Lose Baby Weight Diet" from Parents Magazine and decided to give it a shot.

I will be honest...I was really irritable about it at first.  I hate depriving myself and like most people I want to do what I want to do.  Then last night at Chili's I had a revelation.  I was ordering off the "Guiltless Grill" part of the menu when I really wanted an Oldtimer and fries with a side of ranch for ultimate fry dipping.  I was mad that I couldn't do what I wanted to do.  Then I looked at my kids.  I thought about what it would be like to be raised in a family that made really good food choices so that when you grew up you just automatically made those choices.  You splurged occasionally and indulged on holidays but for the most part, you made healthy food choices because it was just what you knew.

I'm thankful that I was raised at least halfway there.  We didn't grow up with fattening snacks around and we ate vegetables with dinner.  I just want to go even farther in that direction for my kids.  I want them to see me making good choices everyday and enjoying healthy foods not just enduring them.  I want them to see my husband and I exercising regularly because that is just what you do to take care of your body.

So it means I will have to be more intentional with what I eat...because it matters.  Not only for my job and the way I look in jeans but in how my kids will treat food for the rest of their lives.  I won't be on as strict of a diet forever but little changes add up and I want to be a good example for them in every area of my life.