Beefy Baked Macaroni and Cheese: A Hearty Main Dish

 Beefy Baked Mac & Cheese

What kid doesn’t love macaroni and cheese?

All of mine do, but I’m not excited about the boxed stuff, even the organic brands. I’ve tried several different from-scratch variations, both stovetop and baked, with varying levels of success.

I recently came up with this baked version with ground beef added. I first made it without the meat, just as a side dish, and everyone loved it, so I wondered if I could make it a complete main dish.

Sure enough, it turned out delicious!

Since then, it’s been added to our regular meal rotation, and is equally loved by everyone in the house: adults, teens, and kids. It’s very hearty and filling! It’s also not complicated to make. :) [Read more...]

Purposeful Links #57

Purposeful Links from

Time for this week’s roundup of purposeful links!

Here they are:

  • Here are excellent tips for converting ANY recipe to use real food! I’ve gotten to the point that it’s second nature to skim a recipe and automatically tweak it in my head, but this is a great explanation of how to do that!

“Sometimes moms see their ministry to their children as insignificant when compared to other ministries…sometimes the only cheering a mom hears is when the lid of the ice cream container snaps open in the kitchen. But as mothers share the gospel with more souls than we can count and faithfully raise up the next generation, the applause of heaven echoes in eternity.” (Read the whole thing.)

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend! :)

In Our Classroom: High School and Junior High Edition (April 2014)

In Our Classroom - all

This week will be a combined junior high and high school update.

Last week our whole family was hit with a nasty virus, so I never got a high school update posted. We’ve had several out of town trips, three birthday celebrations, and a major job change for my hubby in the last few weeks, yet both of my oldest have managed to still be fairly productive with their schoolwork! I’m proud of them. :)

I’ll begin with the latest in our high school classroom: [Read more...]

Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union With Christ (Mom’s Bookshelf)

Found in Him

Incarnation. Union with Christ.

These are theological terms we may not think about every day. But really, we should. These two crucial doctrines should inform everything we do every single day. Elyse Fitzpatrick has once again taken what can seem like theoretical, academic concepts and made them incredibly applicable in her newest title, Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union With Christ.

Elyse is one of my very favorite author/speakers. Her book Because He Loves Me had a profound influence on me, and formed the basis of a talk I gave at a women’s conference a year and a half ago, and Give Them Grace provided the foundation for a parenting class my husband and I taught at our church. Her ability to unpack deep theological concepts and make them relevant to everyday life is amazing!

Found in Him explores the practical implications of Christ’s incarnation and our union with him. The book has two sections: the first unpacks the incarnation, and the second shows the reader clearly how this truth is applicable to our everyday lives through our union with Christ. [Read more...]

The Jerusalem Chronicles (Mom’s Bookshelf)

The Jerusalem Chronicles

I’ve been on a biblical fiction kick for the last several weeks.

I really enjoy well written novels based on biblical events. Even though a certain amount of artistic license must be taken, when done well, they can really bring the people, events and culture of the times to life!

The husband and wife team of Bodie and Brock Thoene are legendary when it comes to biblical fiction, but I’ve somehow not read much by them. In the last few weeks, I’ve read – and thoroughly enjoyed – the first two volumes of their new series, The Jerusalem ChroniclesWhen Jesus Wept and Take This Cup. [Read more...]

Purposeful Links #56

Purposeful Links from

Time for another round up of purposeful links!

It’s been an eventful week here with a nasty bug making its way through the entire family, plus my hubby’s last day of work before a major job change. I still managed to round up a few links of interest for you!

Here they are:

  • This is a fantastic piece on Christian stewardship and our food choices! “But where did we get the idea that our food should be as cheap as possible? Do we not know that, when food is cheap to us, it is costly to someone else?” As Christians, we should be at the *forefront* of the ethical food and creation care movements: Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?
  • As someone who has four children in heaven and four here, I think this is excellent advice for the friends and family of women who have previously miscarried and announced a new pregnancy: Will You Be Happy With Her?
  • As a homeschooling mom of two teens, I think life skills are an incredibly crucial part of my children’s high school education! Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers came up with this list of six life skills for teenagers. A couple were ones I hadn’t thought about! What would you add? 

That’s it for this week!

Have a wonderful weekend! :)