Happy Birthday April

On Friday we celebrated my sweet April’s birthday.

April, a beautiful wife to Jacob…

an incredible mother to Lily and Beckham…

a loving sister to Lyndi, Jillian, Dane and Rhen, and an inspiring daughter…to me.

April, who–among a million other wonderful things–creates all the background that is beautiful on this blog.

We love you, Honey.

Thanks for being ours…

Happy Birthday.

“The” Stuffing Recipe

You could probably make big money selling this recipe on the black market. If you do–remember…I get half.    :]

Nov. 30 055

Secret Magical Stuffing

(For a Bus Load of People)


8 small cans of Campbell’s Chicken Broth (Please don’t substitute something else–it won’t be the same)

6-1/2 cubes of butter

3-1/2 Tbsp salt

2 medium onions diced up or run through blender

1-1/2 Tbsp pepper

4 Tbsp sage

1 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder

8-10 loaves of dried, broken up bread (Depends on how big the loaf is)

You are gonna need a big bowl. And no, sorry, you can’t borrow ours…we’re using it.

Dry bread for at least 3 days–5 is better. It needs to be dried hard. Don’t toast it in the oven–it will crumble instead of break.  Break it up in a huge bowl. Reserve about 6 cups of the broken bread off to the side.  Boil all the other ingredients together for about 15-20 minutes. Pour a cup full at a time over bread and toss until the bread is well coated. You will have some saturated pieces and some that are still dry, so I stir through the bowl and take many of the soaked pieces and smush them onto the dried pieces as you’re tossing it.  That’s really the best way to distribute the broth evenly. If you have plenty of broth, add the rest of the reserved bread a little at a time. Put bread in a foil lined pan and cover with foil–shiny side towards bread– at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Use a spatula and turn the stuffing in the pan so the top pieces can have a turn getting brown and golden. Bake for another 30 minutes.  For the last 5-10 minutes, remove foil so the top can be toasty as well. This is the best stuffing in the world.

You must trust me on this.

“The” Stuffing Recipe
  • 8 small cans of chicken broth
  • 7 cubes of butter
  • 3-1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 onions diced up or run through blender
  • 2 Tbsp pepper
  • 4 Tbsp sage
  • 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 8-10 loaves of dried, broken up bread
  • —————————————————-
  • I’ve added a much smaller version of the recipe–about 1/6 the size of the one above. The instructions are basically the same.
  • Ingredients:
  • 3 cans Campbell’s Chicken Broth
  • 2 cubes Butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Onion diced or run through a blender
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • 2- 3 Loaves of Bread
  1. Dry bread for at least 3 days–5 is better.
  2. Break it up in a huge bowl.
  3. Boil all the other ingredients together for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Pour a cup full at a time over bread and toss until the bread is well coated.
  5. Put bread in a foil lined pan and cover with foil–shiny side towards bread– at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Turn bread in pan and return to oven to brown again for 30 minutes.
  6. For the last 5-10 minutes, remove foil so the top can be toasty as well.


Personal History Prompt Jar

~What could you see from your childhood bedroom window?

~What did you do, as a child, that got you in big trouble?

~Do you remember a favorite nursery rhyme?

~Have you ever gone fishing?

These are just a few of the personal history prompts that we’ve folded up mysteriously and sealed into a class jar. Someone you love–grandma, grampa, mom, dad–then, chooses one question each day to trigger a slew of childhood memories. It doesn’t matter so much if they write them down in a formal journal or a simple spiral notebook, as long as they start putting it on paper…for the rest of us to enjoy.

Probably the number one reason people hesitate to begin a journal or personal history in the first place, is because they have no idea where to start. So what better gift to give them than a box or bag or–in our case–a cleaned candle jar–of daily prompts with intriguing questions that will actually be fun to write about. If they answer only one question per day–in six months they will have quite an impressive history. And who knows? That history may just be their Christmas present to you–next year!


Click on the link below to make your own copy of the prompts. Print them on white or colored paper–or both. Cut them into strips. Fold them and store them in a bottle or box. Tie a ribbon around it–and there you have it. A family heirloom in the making. Oh, and adding a pretty pen and notebook or journal is a nice touch too.



Click the following link:

Personal History Prompts

Babies 010

The Bald Kid’s Frankenstein

abcd 006

Nothing beats a good book. Everybody knows that…

Our family book club finished the Chocolate Touch last week, and promptly moved on to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Ewwwww…Not so sure how I’m feeling about that. Perhaps I’ve shared with you my sentiments on severed body parts. And now, the fact that some nutty guy has sewn a bunch of them together, hooked up some jumper cables to the dead dude and has him stomping around scaring people doesn’t make me feel any better. I know, I know…I haven’t read it yet, so how can I possibly judge? Right?


Yeah, well, maybe I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the movie. Ok, not the real movie, but the Abbott and Costello version and that’s good enough for me. The monster does have some pretty cool boots but the stitches in his head really creep me out. And his eyes…why doesn’t he open his eyes? If he did, maybe he could put his arms down and walk like a normal…ummm…dead guy and not draw so much attention to himself.

Ok, I admit it. I’m stalling. But I have good reason to. It all stems from the fact that Frankenstein and I go waaay back. Back before most people reading this were even born.

Yeah, I’m that old.

Copy of Scan10037

Anyway…so I have this big brother, right? My sister and I share a room with him and he has a few strange hobbies.

1. He collects bugs, and moths and spiders and pins them to a styrofoam block…sometimes while they are still kicking. Vile.

2. He saves dead things in the patio freezer–like an old owl and a huge tarantula because someday, he’s going to be a taxidermist and he wants to be ready, so he’s saving up. Disgusting.

3. He has a thing for building toy models. Not car models, or plane models, ohhh nooo. The only kind he is interested in are the monsters. He has Dracula-with blood running down his face. He has Wolfman-with his dirty, pointy teeth. He has Creature from the Black Lagoon–with green and silver claws. All very, very nasty.

But the dumb model that really kept me awake at night, the one that I couldn’t take my eyes off when I was in the room alone, the one that looked like he was gonna swagger right off that ledge and pinch me in the neck with his creepy out stretched hands, was Frankinstein. Of course he was carefully arranged on a shelf right across from my bed. The better to see him with.

Photo from IMDB

You know, I wasn’t stupid. I knew it was a silly piece of plastic, glued together and painted by my morbid brother…Igor. But the thing that got me, that kept me wondering and tossing in my little seven-year-old sleep, was the fact that my brother…Boris, loved to tell me that someday when he had enough money, he was going to go down to the hobby shop and buy a motor. He was going to put that motor in old Frankie-boy’s back and bring him to life where he could promptly take good care of any annoying little sisters that might happen along. No jumper cables needed. Listen, my brother was Vlad the Impaler so, yeah, I believed him. OK maybe I was stupid.

At any rate, what it boils down to is that Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and I are not pals. Not even close. But I’ll read the dang book, because it’s Rhen’s tough-guy choice and I want to be a sport. So it better be good. But when it’s my turn to choose, you better believe, I’m gonna make them all read Little Women or something so girly that their toenails curl up.


Because nothing beats a good book. Everybody know that…

Nest Building

Lyndi, at last, is beginning to look like she’s expecting. Her body is so long and willowy that her baby girl has been able to hide away from all of us…until now. She kicks and squirms so much more these days, like she wants to be sure we know she’s there, waiting to be ours. She’s like her mama that way. They haven’t settled on a name yet and so the sweet thing has been dubbed Baby Chomp after the Nintendo character. Lyndi says, “You know that phase where you’re just starving, so you eat…and then 5 minutes later, you’re starving again.” Baby Chomp…get it?

Of course, she felt like she was eating everything in sight–like Pac man–tortillas, Tillamook, Goldfish crackers, Teddy Grahams and anything with cream cheese on it. All of which was very new and scary to this daughter. But I think her body was making up for all the year’s she spend flitting and dancing around forgetting to eat altogether. She’s happily somewhere in the middle now.

So, as the temperature keeps dropping and we huddle in a bit more closely to home, I’ll start pulling out some of the finer yarns and slightly smaller hooks and begin the stacks of toasty things, to keep the new one coming snuggly warm. The booties and socks and caps and leggings. Then to rekindle interest in the dozens of half-worked projects waiting to be finished.

There are 4 or 5 shawls and wraps in the works, countless slippers for 20 or so feet, new hats for the twins, soft, jingly toys–with no noisy microchips attached–thank Heavens, and my own version of “doggy dollies” –that I will show you in the next little while. A few piles of crocheting are for now, most have the Christmas deadline–and the rest are for January…for that tiny face we don’t know yet.

All to keep my baby birds warm till spring.