My (Sort of) Battle with a Skunk

| By Alesha Thompson, Jennifer's sister | On our mini farm in Wisconsin, we have lots of critters. Mostly our awesome tomcat, Pippin, takes care of them—mice, chipmunks, and even rabbits. But there is one critter that even Pippin can’t defeat. We know this because we will periodically smell the strong scent of skunk on him, and we’ll know he’s lost another round with a skunk. Anytime I...
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Salted Caramel Layer Cake–Delicious!

| by Nicole Thorpe, Jennifer's daughter | It was my birthday last week! I made my own birthday dinner, and my own birthday cake, but my husband did 100% of the clean-up, so it was actually a sweet deal. I’ve always wanted to experiment with caramel flavors in a layer cake, but was always intimidated as caramel seems sort of “one note” to me. Well, this little beauty did not disappoint, and...
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Baby Elephant Quilt

By Allison Sharp: Jennifer's sister I am thrilled to announce that I have another grandchild! There is nothing in the world that is better than a grandchild, and her birth means, obviously, that I got to make a baby quilt! Her mother requested something purple, but the rest of the design decisions were mine. First, I decided to make the quilt out of flannel, and after spending a few hours in the...
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The Elk Hunt

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father In Utah permits to hunt elk were obtained by participating in a lottery. My father would pay the fee, enter the lottery, and hope to draw a permit. To my knowledge he went elk hunting only once. Here is what happened. I was just old enough to go on this hunt along with my brother. The entourage included several of my father's brothers, brothers-in-law, and...
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A Gift of Music

I ran across this recording last week. It is my family, me, husband, sons, daughters, and sons-in-law, singing at my mother-in-law's funeral three years ago. My husband is the first tenor soloist and my son--17-years old at the time--is the baritone soloist. My family and I sang this song at several funerals and in church a couple of times. I have so many memories and emotions associated with...
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Doll Stroller Quilt

By Juliet Sanders, Jennifer's sister I have this cute stroller that my kids haven’t played with for years. I found it a few weeks ago and decided I could use it for the toddlers group I work with at my church. However, it has a stain right on the part where the baby doll is supposed to go. The stain is not appealing to look at, so I decided to make a little quilt covering to go in the bottom of...
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The Deer Hunt

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father My father loved the deer hunt. It wasn't just the hunt, but the social activities that went along with it. It usually turned into a big male family outing. It included my father's brothers, brothers-in-law, nephews, and sons. My aunt Edith would go along with us, but she was the only woman. The preparations beforehand took many weeks and included...
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Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

Happy New Year, everybody! I am so excited for the new year and all the promise of wonderful things! On my own personal New Year's Resolution List: Deepen my trust in God, strengthen my cherished relationships, and always choose love. And lose 5 pounds. What are your resolutions? This recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe with a few of my own changes. These bar cookies are delicious and perfect for...
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Mexican Chicken

By Nicole Thorpe This chicken is a standby for all my Mexican cuisine. It freezes, so a double batch is not a bad idea. I do tacos, quesadillas, tortilla soup, enchiladas, chimichangas, and taquitos with this chicken. It would also be super tasty in a taco salad. Plus you make it in the crockpot so it wins. Put all the ingredients in a crockpot and set to high for 5 hours. Remove the chicken...
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A Pie for Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I hope you have a wonderful-gute day filled with food, family, laughter, and love. One thing we try to do in our family on Thanksgiving is to recount our many blessings and remember those who went before us and made it possible for us to have what we have today. We like to tell this story: "Thanksgiving Day is the expression of a deep feeling of gratitude by our...
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