Dad’s Macaroni and Cheese

Cooks: D13 and Rachel, Recipe Source: Darryl M


16 oz elbow macaroni (I used an equal amount of cavatappi, which I like much better than plain old macaroni)
26 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
1¼ sticks margarine (10 tbsp)
12 oz evaporated milk
4 oz 2% or regular milk (I used 2%)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375° F
2. Cook pasta until al dente, per package instructions
3. Drain and toss pasta in a bowl with margarine, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
4. Cut cheese into ¼ inch cubes
5. Beat eggs and milk
6. Add liquid, cheese and pasta to a bowl, toss to mix well
7. Add to well greased baking dish
8. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

I Don’t Want to Move, by Caroline Watkins & Emily Hercock

Thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial

In this cute little story, a girl doesn’t want to move. She is afraid of what her new school will be like, and that she’ll have no friends. But she soon learns that she can have fun in her new home. This book is meant to comfort kids when they are about to move, though I wonder a little about the target age. The girl looks and acts as if she is about 10. The teachers let them walk the hallways alone…but maybe that is normal for 6-7 year olds these days? Because that’s the age range the book seems to target by complexity.

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

Cook: M10 & Rachel Recipe Source: Amanda V (from “newspaper”)


  • 1 C butter, softened
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C crushed (hard) peppermint candies
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C corn starch


  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp crushed (hard) peppermint Candies


  • Using an electric mixer, mix butter, sugar, candies, and vanilla thoroughly. Gradually blend in flour and corn starch
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into 1 inch balls and gently press flat on paper. Bake 25-30 minutes, until bottoms beging to brown. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Combine powdered sugar through vanilla to make frosting. Mix until smooth. Drizzle on cookies and sprinkle candies on top.

Update December 31, 2022


Saturday was a busy day of hanging out with the kids and doing last minute preparation for Christmas, which got postponed because of the snow storm. Aaron took M10 to Target and D13 to the Mall of America on Christmas Eve. IL4 helped me wrap Aaron’s gifts while he was gone. They ended up with a lot of extra paper and tape.

Christmas was equal parts fun and chaotic. We let M10 not be grounded for Christmas, which meant he could hang out in the living room with us. They unwrapped SO many toys. Many of IL4’s included marbles and puzzle pieces, so those got scattered everywhere – especially after D13 unfathomably decided to take the cellophane off all IL4’s puzzles at once. Now I’ll have to put about 4 puzzles together with pieces that are all mixed together. Yay. But at least they’re 4yo puzzles. I was at my wits’ end by the end of the day, so I exited the room and tried to go to sleep. IL4 (of course) followed me into the bedroom, but he settled down playing a game on the phone. Aaron and the older two kids put together their first Christmas puzzle.

I didn’t read to IL4 (though we worked on a puzzle), and Malcolm continued reading the first How to Train Your Dragon.

On Monday, everyone was home because it was Christmas Day observed. It was mainly a day of relaxation – I got some reading and organizing done – but I had to cook our Christmas feast because on Christmas itself I couldn’t find my beef broth and therefore couldn’t cook the feast. M10 finished the 2nd How to Train Your Dragon and started the 8th Ga’Hoole book. I read If You Give a Moose a Muffin to IL4.

Tuesday was supposed to be a family day. It started out with us going to the Mall of America and getting pictures of us all dressed as Vikings. D13 started feeling sick towards the end, and IL4 and I started feeling sick when we got home. D13 had a fever, IL4 threw up, and I was simply very tired. I watched a couple movies on my phone, and generally relaxed. M10 continued reading Book 8 of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole. I read Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes (2 times), Gruffalo, and Frog on a Log? to IL4.

Wednesday was a fairly successful day besides my car not starting in the morning. I had to call AAA, but when they jumped it, the car ran just fine. That only took 2 hours of my life. 🤷‍♀️

After that, I took IL4 to his first OT since I was in the car accident on November 11. He loves OT because of the gym. 😊 But he ate nothing for his therapist, which was his reason for being there.

M10 lost his last canine tooth – leaving him without any canines at all. He’d be a miserable vampire.

M10 finished the 8th Guardians of Ga’Haoole book and D13 is still reading the 9th Keepers of the Lost Cities book.

Thursday, I worked for a bit, and then had a few margaritas. It was a fun day.

M10 was reading BFG. I read Grumpy Monkey Oh No, Christmas, The Bad Seed, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, and Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes to IL4.

Friday was a good day. I helped a friend move after IL4’s speech therapy. D13 and M10 were visiting their grandpa with their mom, so it was a quiet day.


  • 1 letter Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Michigan Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Week’s Photos

My new hoodie

Media Partaken In

Lectures 18 – 19
Episode 8
8 – 6 hours left
Episode 2
65% – 82.4%
Season 1, Episode 1
9 – 7 hours left
Season 2, episodes 1 – 4
Podcasts 40-41

Games Played

IL4 gets that he’s supposed to act out the picture, but tells us what he’s about to act


Aaron and the older kids put this puzzle together
IL4 put together his first 50 piece puzzle

Update December 24, 2022


Saturday was a good day. We had session 1 of our D&D. It was Escape the Underdark. After D&D, I watched an episode of Lucifer and D13, Aaron, and I watched an episode of X-files.

Sunday was a relaxing day. I spent a good amount of it catching up on some simple things in life, like my blog and shopping. Then I watched a few episodes of Lucifer.

Monday was a fantastic day. I got so much done with catching up on my life. I decided to set aside restarting my exercise goal till the new year in order to reduce anxiety and leave time for other things that need to be caught up on after my injury-followed-by-burnout.

Tuesday was a busy day of running errands and sorting and wrapping presents. I lost my present to Aaron, bought 2 more for delivery on Saturday, then promptly found the original present. So he gets 3 of them. I still have quite a few presents to wrap.

M10 and I went to a late night showing of Wakanda Forever. We had completely empty theater. He was upset because of something that happened involving strong women, and I had to listen to him complain about it. You’d think he’d like strong women.🙄

Wednesday we had a bit of a snowstorm. We were supposed to get 5-10 inches, and it was closer to 5. I had been going to take IL4 to occupational therapy – a 45 minute drive each direction on a good day. The therapist called and told me not to come, so IL4 and I hung out for the rest of the day.

Thursday all three kids were home due to -34F windchill and blizzard warning. The blizzard was pretty unobtrusive, it was a beautiful clear day. All. Day. Long. It’s best IL4 was home, because the furnace broke at the daycare and they had to evacuate to the bank next door. 😱

M10 read 2 hours of the 7th Legend of Ga’Hoole book in order to earn 4 hours of tablet time. He said “It was a rollercoaster of emotions.”  Despite those 6 hours of occupation, he still drove me crazy by riling up IL4: running around the house smacking him with a stuffed toy while IL4 chased him with a gigantic dinosaur balloon. (May that thing pop soon. It takes up so much space.)

D13 spent a good chunk of the day hiding in her room, the other chunk saying she was lonely. She was most likely reading book 9 of “Keepers of the Lost Cities” down there. She made Chicken and Andouille sausage Jambalaya with me – recipe compliment of my LibraryThing friend Darryl. It was so yummy that even D13 liked it. (Obviously there was no question of M10 or IL4 trying it – both having extreme pickiness to the point of health concerns.)

IL4 was a peach (sarcasm). I think he was unwell and uncomfortable.  IL4 peed on the floor and when I said “Did  you pee on the floor?” he answered: “No silly mommy, that’s water.” Like I said, I think he was experiencing some discomfort and that’s why the embarrassing (to him) accident happened, so I let it pass. He also apologized a couple of times while I was cleaning it up, and I told him it was ok, just use the toilet next time. It’s his first pee accident in quite a while. He also baked chocolate chip cookies for Santa. I read “When You Give a Moose a Muffin” (2 times) and “Grumpy Monkey Oh No! Christmas” to him.

Aaron gave me the most appreciated of assistance and wrapped the rest of the presents.

Friday was another uneventful blizzard day. We holed up in the house and didn’t do a lot. M10 ended up grounded for the rest of vacation for sneaking his school iPad downstairs and staying up all night watching YouTube. We’ve decided to change our wifi password and he just has to walk to the library if he needs to do homework. This way, we’ve taken away the problem so we can avoid further stress by constantly grounding him. 🤷‍♀️

In the meantime he can earn 1 hour of non-grounded YouTube time for every hour he reads.  He enjoys reading, so it’s all good. He finished up the 7th Ga’Hoole book and started the first How to Train Your Dragon book while waiting for his hold on the 8th Ga’Hoole book to deliver.

I read If You Give a Moose a Muffin and half of Simon and Chester Super Sleepover (graphic novel) to IL4.


  • 1 letter Michigan Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Maine Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Maine
  • 1 letter Virginia
  • 38 Christmas cards

Week’s Photos

He’s proudly holding the cookies, but was in a state of undress that I thought was inappropriate for y’all, so I cropped it.

Media Partaken In

Episode 9 – 13
Episode 5 – 6
Episode 1
3 hours – 13 hours
Episode 34-39
12.5 – 9 hours left
Lecture 13 – 14
Season 1, episode 8
Lectures 16 – 17


Games Played

M10, Aaron and I played a hand. M10 won, which is nice because I was not emotionally invested in winning and I doubt Aaron was, either