Category Archives: Family

Crock-Pot Mac & Cheese

My family has lots of Christmas traditions… and crock-pot mac and cheese has become one of them.  It’s the perfect meal for us during the middle of the day on Christmas day.

It’s perfect because it takes just minutes to put together and it tastes great.  I thought I’d share the recipe we’ve come up with after a little trial and error and a video of me making it.

Crock-Pot Mac & Cheese

What you need:

16oz. box of pasta

4 cups shredded cheese

2 cups Velveeta cut into 1-inch cubes

2 – 12oz. cans evaporated milk

2 cups milk

2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp cooking oil (canola, olive, or vegetable)

Optional: Ham chunks or bacon (cooked and crumbled)

What you do:

Spray the inside of your crock-pot with cooking spray to prevent cooking.  Boil the pasta for half of the recommended cooking time.  Drain and add to the crock-pot.  Stir in the butter and oil.

Whisk the milk and the spices together in a bowl and pour over the pasta.  Stir in the cubed Velveeta, shredded cheese, and ham or cooked bacon (optional).

Cook covered on low for one hour.  Stir and cook for another hour covered on low.  Stir and enjoy!

Notes:

You can have fun and experiment with different shredded cheeses. I like cheddar jack and cheddar… but some colby jack would be good too.

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Weekly Verse – Worshiping At Home

I love our church and our church family… but today my wife and I made the decision not to go to church.  Actually, we made the decision Saturday night.

It’s not that we didn’t want to go… but we’ve had a really busy schedule lately, we’re all exhausted, and a few of us are doing our best to fight off different colds and sicknesses.  We thought it would be best to sleep in and then do some cleaning around the house that we’ve been neglecting.

So, that’s what we did.

I slept until 9:30 am. It was awesome.  I actually woke feeling refreshed.  My wife got up about the same time and we were able to spend a half hour enjoying some coffee (hot chocolate for her) and conversation.  Then we got our girls up to get some things done.

Cleaning is always easier with music… so to start I said, “Hey Google… play Casting Crowns everywhere.”  Just like that music filled both levels of our house and we all got to work.

I found myself humming and singing along. In between picking things up, my daughters were doing dance moves and turns.  My focus became the kitchen.  I cleaned the sink and began hand washing some pots and pans.

It was then that it hit me.  Even though we weren’t in church we were worshipping.  We were listening to God’s word through song. We were singing, dancing, and praising God together.

The morning was capped off with a late brunch where we could all sit down and eat at the table.   I don’t think I could’ve scripted a better morning.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. – Matthew 18:20 NIV

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President Trump Has Made Me A Better Parent

Say what you will about the man… or his ability to lead our country… but President Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has certainly given parents many “teachable moments” they can talk to their kids about.

It seems like almost weekly my wife and I are having conversations with our daughters that all stem from something President Trump did, said, or tweeted.  

Here are just a few examples of the lessons that we’ve been able to teach our kids based on President Trump’s first year in office.

  • Profanity isn’t necessary and makes you sound ignorant. There are thousands and thousands of words in the world.  Skip the swear words and expand your vocabulary.
  • Calling people names isn’t cool and makes you come across as a bully.
  • Private conversations aren’t always private.  You never know when a microphone or video camera is running to document your true feelings.
  • It’s easy to get caught lying.  The internet, smartphone cameras, and social media make fact-checking easier than ever.
  • If you mess up… it’s OK to admit it. Honesty is the best policy.
  • The internet is forever. If you post it, there’s a chance it could come back to haunt you.  Even if you delete something there’s probably a screenshot of it somewhere.
  • Nobody likes a braggart.  Let your accomplishments speak for themselves.
  • There’s a difference between confidence and cockiness.
  • Two scoops of ice cream are better than one.
  • Nothing good happens after midnight.  Remember the “covfefe” tweet.  Yep.  Tweeted after midnight.
  • If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
  • Choose your friends wisely.  Who you back and who you hang out with is a direct reflection of you.
  • Gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation don’t matter… we’re all human.  That’s the only label that’s important.

Whether President Trump will make America great again has yet to be seen… but he has made me a better parent.  What about you?

What are some of the President Trump inspired conversations you’ve had with your kids?

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