A Cheeze-Itless World

What’s a Cheeze-It loving girl to do in a Cheeze-Itless world?  Make them from scratch!

And guess what?  It’s super easy!

Homemade Cheeze-It Recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 (7-ounce) bag grated extra-sharp 2% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but recommended)
5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour, butter, cheese, salt, and cayenne in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse until crumbly. Pulse in water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. (You may not use all the water.)

Wrap dough in plastic wrap, press into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mats. Set aside.

Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper. (It’s sticky!) Roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Carefully flip dough in parchment over, and gently peel off the top layer. Using a pizza cutter, trim dough into a rectangle, then cut into 2-inch squares. Carefully transfer squares onto baking sheets, using a spatula if needed.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until crackers are just slightly turning light brown, and are crisp. Quickly cool and taste one for crispness. If they are not crisp, bake just a few minutes longer. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if they last that long!). If crackers are soggy after storing, re-crisp them in a preheated 400º oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
Admittedly, these don’t taste exactly like the store bought crackers.  Although that could just be because I only rolled out my dough until my arms got tired, not to the recommend thinness.  But still, they are a pretty tasty substitute!


6 Things

1.  We officially have a place to live in Nampa, ID!  Yipee!  This means we can move forward with switching our residency to Idaho, the first step in our adoption process.

This is a four-plex.  We will be living on one of the top units.

2. Nathan continues to have tooth pain.  The dentist thinks that his tooth is cracked and that there is an infection.  For now he is on antibiotics to take care of the infection.  Depending on how this week goes, he may have to get the tooth pulled next week.   If he weren’t flying everyday, he would probably try to hold out until we get to America, but because flying is his job and the altitude change causes extreme pain, pulling it might end up being his only option.

3.  Three-weeks from today we will depart from Nabire!  Which means we have a ton of packing to do!  Our whole house will need to be packed up since we will be in America for an extended period of time.  Leaving Nabire is bittersweet.  We are, of course, sad to leave our home, our friends, our puppies and our life here, but we are so excited  about what lies ahead!  We are praying that the adoption process goes quickly and smoothly so that we can return to Nabire soon as a family of three (or maybe even four??)

4.  We have found a new home for our puppies.  They will be going to live with an Indonesian family in Sentani.  We are really sad to see them go, but we are so glad that we found a new home where they can run and play!

5.  Nathan is officially an MAF mechanic now after finishing his maintenance check out last week.  He has an official stamp and everything.  I wonder if they make a “Professional laundry-doer and meal-cooker” stamp.  I need one of those.

6.  I don’t have a 6th thing.  But um, I always call these posts 6 things and so I have so stick with the form right?

Dentistry in the Third World

Nathan has been having some dental issues over the last few weeks.  One of his fillings popped out when he was flossing.  It wasn’t causing him any pain, so we thought he could just make it until we’re in America next month, where he already has a dental appointment set up.

And then a few days ago, his tooth started hurting.  A lot.

Fortunately for him, we are still in Sentani where there is an expat dentist!  Dr. Lopez was trained in the U.S. and now runs a clinic here in Sentani.  He was able to fit Nathan in to his busy schedule.

We were really impressed with the set up that Dr. Lopez has, especially over here at the ends of the earth.  He has a lot of the equipment that we are familiar with from the US, but something are just creatively tweaked because certain things aren’t available in Papua.  For example, his dentist chair is a reclining lawn chair and his spit sink is a plastic bag that Nathan held in his hand.  Also, being in line with Indonesian custom, you have to take your shoes off before walking in the door, so both you and the dentist are walking around sock-footed!

Dr. Lopez pulled two nerves out of Nathan’s tooth.  He’s still experiencing some pain today, so we’re going back in to see if Dr. Lopez can help.  Please pray that this can be taken care of in Papua, otherwise we may be making an emergency trip to Jakarta.  With only 4 weeks left in country, we’re hoping to avoid this!

X Spider

If the X-Men were to have a mascot (wait, do they have a mascot??  I don’t think so…) this would be it!  How awesome is this spider??

Not only is the spider X-shaped, he also wove an X into his web!  Plus, I’m pretty sure these are Wolverine’s colors.  It’s so meant to be.  I’m calling up Marvel Comics right now!


Have I mentioned that we’re in Sentani right now?  Well, we are.  Nathan is doing an inspection on his airplane (an inspection is done every 100 hours of flight time).

I love coming into Sentani.  Sentani Lake and the surrounding mountains, plus the little houses with red roofs make for some beautiful colors from the air.  Photos, of course, don’t quite do it justice, but you get the idea at least!

The “urban sprawl” of Sentani.  They are trying really hard to build up the airport.  Right now it is called an international airport, but truth be told, not a single international flight goes in and out of here.  Here’s hoping that someday they start up flights to Hawaii!

All of our Kodiaks come equipped with a G-1000.  You’re impressed right?  :)  The G-1000 is basically an onboard computer that tells the pilot…piloty things like airspeed, altitude , and a bunch of other super important flying stuff.  I know, I’m really awesome and know all the pilot words.  Aileron.  Wings.  Seatbelts.  Niner.

Anyway, the G-1000 also shows you the lay of the land below you, so even if you’re in the clouds the computer can still tell you where the mountains are.  Above is what the computer is seeing and below….

…is what we can see outside the window.  Pretty cool huh?  And don’t worry, all of those old fashioned dials are on the plane too, just in case the computer fails.  And I know how to turn on auto pilot and call for help on the radio in case my pilot passes out (but let’s pray that doesn’t ever happen!).



Daboto is the last airstrip I visited.  Nathan says it is his hardest airstrip because the margins are so narrow–pilot to English translation:  it’s short, so you have to land in the right place and stop quickly; it’s sloped, so it feel like a roller coaster; and it’s narrow, so you have to land right on the center line so your wings don’t scrap the mountainside.  Fun huh?

Do I have a soft spot for the kids?  I think so.

This is some kind of wood (Sandalwood maybe?) that the local people try to sell at the market in the “big city.”  We weren’t able to take any of it out with us this time, but they were sure ready to load the whole place with it!

I loved being in Daboto.  The people were are really friendly.  I also learned a new greeting!  “Aba aba aba aba aba aba”  It means hello or something.  But it’s fun to say!


I thought Pagamba was a roller coaster…and then I went to Bugalaga.  (Isn’t that a fun word to say?  It would make a good chant at a sporting event.  Buga-laga!  Buga-laga! )  Bugalaga starts of at like 14% slope, “flattens” out to 8% for a brief second and then goes up to 24% slope.  That is nuts people, nuts.

We had to circle for 40 minutes before we could land so that the clouds would clear.  We we finally landed, the people we so excited and told us that they prayed and prayed for God to move the clouds so that we could land!  Praise God!  He answered their prayers!

Looking down the runway from the top, you don’t even see the second hill.  Although, in the Kodiak, we’re off the ground before then anyway :)

How cute is this little house???  I want to live there!

This kid makes my heart happy.

This guy makes my brain happy–love his shirt!  And now I have the Blue Clues song in my head.

This guy really wanted to talk to me but we have no common language.  So it was a lot of smiling and gesturing and giving the thumbs up.  He was super sweet.

Nathan is checking on ticket prices for these guys.  Ticket prices are based on distance travelled, so it can vary depending on how far you want to go.

It was a wee bit cloudy…

Maybe Nathan is showing them his golf swing?  No idea.

I somehow managed to take 226 pictures in Bugalaga.  And these are only 12 of them.  Maybe you should just come visit!  Then you could get the whole experience!  (plus, it’s beautiful here and we’d love to see you…but you’d better hurry because we leave in 31 days for America!  Yowzah!)



Pagamba reminds me so much of Pogapa that I’m already getting them mixed up in my head.

Pagamba is where we visited on this last trip.  (Maybe say it three times to yourself so you don’t forget: Pagamba, Pagamba, Pagamba.  Not Pogapa.)  I’m a little in love with all of the kids there.  They all smiled shyly at me.  If I waved or smiled back, they would giggle and look away.  Such sweet little babies!

Pagamba starts at 8% slope and then goes up to 20%.  It’s like a roller coaster.  A fast, bumpy roller coaster.  But one glance at the cute rugged pilot’s confident face and you know that you will stop before running into the hill at the end.

“Let’s go sit on the runway with [dad, uncle, cool neighbor] and then we’ll squat and hold our bows just like him.  It’ll be SO AWESOME.  And we will be SO COOL!”

Kids are the same all around the world, I tell ya.

“No white lady, I will not smile until you put your camera away.”

Which he did, four seconds later when I waved at him.





Finally some smiling kiddos!  I learned the secret.  Show them their picture after you take it and then they are all smiles.

This is only 6 of the 166 photos I took in Pagamba.  Thank goodness for digital cameras!  :)  If you want to see the rest, you’ll just have to ask me.  And I’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know about Pagamba (or is it Pogapa?)