Healthy Chicken Noodle Casserole

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It wouldn’t be fair of me to not share this recipe with you about making a “healthy”, yet creamy, chicken noodle casserole.  Really, it wouldn’t.  In fact, you can take this recipe and make it even healthier if you chose to do so.  But I’ll get to that in a minute

You see, I prepare this dish with the most basic of ingredients.  Things any regular cook would have sitting in their refrigerator & pantry shelves, making the ease of this dish astonishing.  I know every blogger will tell you this exact thing, however, I am being sincere.

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Eating this dish nearly had me feeling, like I was being unfaithful to the real stuff.
Nearly.
I think I will forego the delicate foreplay of spinning a story to accompany this post, and instead just jump right in here.  If you have a stay-in weekend ahead of you, do yourself a favor and make it. 
Just don’t be surprised if it is completely eaten by the end of the night.

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Healthy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Ingredients

2 medium carrots (diced, small)
1/2 of one medium onion (diced, small)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
4oz of Fat-Free cream cheese
1 package of egg noodles (16oz)
1 cup of frozen peas
1 large can of chicken, drained and flaked w/fork  (found by the Tuna, usually)
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 cup of grated parmesan divided
Salt & Pepper to taste
(To use healthier substitutes, use skim milk instead of whole milk, and use 8oz of wheat noodles instead of 16oz of white) Just know that using skim milk will give a slightly less creamy texture, but it still tastes great.

Method
Boil noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Throw in the diced carrots and onion and cook for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. 
Once the carrots are tender, stir in your flour, and cook for 2 minutes to get the flour taste out.
Then slowly pour in the milk and bring it to a soft boil, stirring constantly until it begins to slightly thicken.  Once it has thickened, slightly, throw in the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and Dijon mustard.  Stir around until it has completely melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now add your peas, chicken, and cooked noodles and stir to combine.
After it has been combined, pour the mix into a baking dish and sprinkle 1/4 cup of remaining parmesan on the top.  Broil until slightly browned and bubbly on top.
Serve warm. 
Like what you see?  Then check out a few of my other recipes, here

nostalgia & a broken heart

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My heart broke today. Not for a person; for nostalgia. It’s funny, I never imagined handwritten letters, such a common skill, could become close to ceasing its existence. Writing is my love language, but handwriting letters is an impalpable love of mine. There is something about scribbling words onto a crisp sheet of paper that someone could possibly hold onto forever.

 

In case you’re wondering what brought this on. It is simple, really. I was in need of new stationary. Good old fashioned set of plain quality paper with envelopes. I went to five different stores and couldn’t find anything except for notecards. Beautiful as they are, it is not letter paper that can hold a beaucoup of scrawled words.

 

While visiting the last store, I asked if they could order what I was looking for. He politely replied with, “…no one writes letters anymore.”

 

I was instantly bummed out. And no, he could not order it because they no longer sold stationary.

 

There are a few specialty stores, but their paper is extremely expensive, so I suppose it is back to college ruled notebooks for my recipients.

No Rhyme Or Reason

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Sometimes, the last thing I want to do is leave the house with my three kids in tow. But my errands were begging me to stop my charades and just go. So I put my big girl pants on and went on my way.  Luckily for me, God shed his grace on me. He knew I was trying my best to be patient during the half hour of traffic I painstakingly crept through. He knew I was trying to be patient with Rori as she screamed half of that time. He knows I don’t like driving in the rain, and I drove in the rain the entire way.

I assumed by the time I stepped my soggy foot into the packed store, my kids would begin their tantrums and their attempt to escape the cart.
But, guess what? They were angels. I couldn’t believe it. Then, at check out, they couldn’t find the price on the pants I wanted, and gave me a discount on them.
Then, on the way home, the traffic was lighter and Rori eventually fell asleep. The rain slowed to a drizzle and we all made it into the house before it began pouring again.

God is good.

The rest of the day was the usual grind, coupled with preparing my homeschooling lessons. Speaking of homeschool, I finally received the Teaching Textbooks for Nate’s Math this year and Bubba received his Calculus book.

Just for the record, I hate math. Better them than me. ha!

Sorry there was no rhyme or reason for this post.  It was completely random, and I sort of like it that way.  I’m tired of planning all my posts…this blog is supposed to be my journal so I may as well begin treating it like one. 

Until next time,
Elizabeth

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It’s That Time Again // Homeschooling

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I sat down a couple of weeks ago, gazed at my calendar, and gulped, “Crap!”  This is code for, holy-crap-there-is-so-much-to-do-before-school-starts!  It goes beyond jamming your cart through the store on the no tax holiday for school supplies.  Nope.  Homeschool moms get to worry about planning a whole curriculum.  A curriculum based on your child’s strengths and needs to get ahead in their education.  No pressure, right?  Eeee Gads! 
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At some point during my adult-hood, I had made the postulation that I was finished with school.  The parenting books I read during my first pregnancy failed to mention that as long as my children are learning, I too, am expected to repeat grades K-12 along side of them.  It never ends, the learning process.  I now understand why my grandfather once told me, “I’m not going to help you with your homework! I’ve already been to school, college, and raised four boys.” 
Grandpa, where ever you are, I get it. 
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Any way.  We realized last years program choice was a bad choice.  What does that mean?  It means I had to do a lot of research.  As in days and hours of research.  But I finally have it all ordered and it will be dribbling in over the next two weeks.  Just enough time for me to review it all, set it all up, and get some organization in place.
In the mean time, I did take advantage of the no-tax holiday, and jammed my cart through the cluster of moms and kids at Target, and bought a few things we will be needing this school year.  Wish me luck, and hopefully this experience will strengthen my patience.  Maybe that’s why God has me doing this…to teach me to be more patient.         

Evidence that…TKWH

TKWH (The Kids Were Here) are in the words of Brenna Peterson
I was looking forward to documenting a new aspect of our lives, which I gave little (or no) attention to with the camera. Yet it is such a significant part of our everyday. These left-behind toys, the messes, the food, the strewn about clothes; some days, I think they’re staring me in the face, laughing. You vacuumed? ha! You just emptied the sink? Too bad! The entry way has been cleared of shoe piles & coat mountains? Nope, not today!”
I first heard about this through the blogger of Mama Daze and really wanted to jump on the TKWH bandwagon.  So, periodically, I will be posting a group of random pics that is proof of the torture the kids put my house through.  Just kidding about that last part.  Sort of.  Hah!!
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Just a little thought about the grapes; I think my toddler is OCD.  He has been doing this since he was a baby!  He must get it from his father!

A Throw

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I started working on my throw and so far, I’ve only experienced one hitch.  It was the  cast on method.  I had never used the long tailed cast on before and it took a few tries to get it down.  Once I figured it out, it proved to be a very efficient method.  I’m actually a little further along than what is pictured, but, I had already taken this set of photos a week ago and decided I may as well use them!
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So you know when all the books you put on hold at the library come in at the same time?  Yeah.  That’s what happened to me. 
I’ve been reading a little bit in each book every day; although, despite my best efforts,  I’m sure I will be rechecking them out soon. : )  
The Case For Christ is really good.  This book was written by an atheist, of all people!  It was a famous journalist, Lee Strobels’, journey to prove Jesus didn’t exist, only to end his four year journey by becoming a believer.  This is a, the proof is in the pudding, sort of book.  It’s kind of a slow read because you want to memorize all the information for that ONE day that you run into someone who asks you challenging questions.  If you’re an atheist, this book will answer nearly all of those hard questions that want proof that the bible is a reliable source.
The other books I will comment on next time.  If I tried to explain each book today, this post would be a mile long!
Instead, I will leave you with a list, incase you’re interested in any of them.
Linking up with Ginny, today.
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Last Day

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I would love to be typing you a verbose foreplay of words today, but I just don’t have it in me to produce mind blowing material.  So I guess I will keep this post short, sweet, and simple for you.
During the last day of my niece and nephew stay with us, I had them do a craft project that I had promised them they could do earlier in the month.  Better late than never, right?  The project went along with the bible lessons we were doing, which was about living and knowing the word of Jesus. 
They had way more fun with it than I anticipated, and it kept them busy for a few hours!  I don’t have a picture of their “final product”, but I can tell you what they did. 
–They each painted the wood blocks and then Bubba put a loop of string on the back of each one, so it could be hanged onto the wall.– 
If you’re interested in doing it with your kids, this is what you’ll need:
scrap wood/blocks of wood
1” small nails
hammer
twine
paint w/paintbrushes
All I did was draw the outline of a cross onto their blocks of wood for them as a guide.  I let them hammer in the nails and wrap the twine in whatever direction they chose. 
Once they finished, Bubba burned the frayed twine to keep it from unraveling over time. 
Annnnnnd…that’s pretty much it. 
We Miss You Already Kaily and Kayden!

Breaking The Period Taboo

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That’s right.  I’m going there.

 

Aunt Flow.

Crimson Tide.

The Curse.

Period.

 

Call it what you will;  it is an inevitable rite of passage to womanhood.

It’s also a topic that as my friend and I once put it, the sort of thing that makes you plug yours ears and sing, la la la la la la, until the person stopped the torture.

 

I don’t know to many women in my life who have felt comfortable talking about the very thing that turns us into a woman, let alone tell their story of the first time they received their period, until I recently read a book appropriately titled, My Little Red Book.

 

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Until I read this, I didn’t realize that most stories of women’s transition in to womanhood was not as thrilling as they thought it would be.  Which is a relief, because the story of “my first” could have easily made it into this book.

 

So what exactly does this book have to say?

 

Here is the skinny:  It is a miscellany of stories of first periods written by women of all ages, of all backgrounds, and from all corners of the world. Some of the stories are hilarious, mortifying, stoic, and almost heroic. 

 

Things I didn’t realize:  That there have been many myths associated with periods.  In fact, one father told her daughter she could not work in the garden while on her period because it would kill the plants.  Scientists tried to prove this theory but failed.  Duh.   

 

Overall:  I think the author’s purpose for writing this book is hoping for a change in attitude and perception on how we talk about our periods, especially to our daughters.  I feel as though she hopes that it will bring mothers and daughters to the table and begin talking to each other, because lets face it;  Girls have a lot of questions, even if they don’t ask.

 

So I have to ask.  Are you bold enough to tell your first period story to a public audience?