As I sit here by our kitchen table on this cloudy Monday morning I am calmed by the sounds of nature. The birds are chirping away and it sounds as if they are scolding one another. From the barn I hear the rooster, big boss of the chicken coop, announcing to us that it is time to rise and shine. Time to start another day of work. Lately, though, I am learning to take one day at a time. I keep reminding myself how unimportant the work is and how God and family should always come first in my life. Off in the distance I hear our neighbors cows bawling for the early morning feeding and milking. That alone always gives me a wave of loneliness for my dear parents. The memories of growing up on the farm, helping to milk the cows, hauling manure, putting up hay and so forth come back to me in these early hours. God has created a wonderful world for us all. How often do we take that for granted?
Today, June 14, 16 years ago, Joe and I were blessed with our first child whom we named after my mother, Elizabeth. It seems like 16 short years ago when I became a mother for the first time at my parents home, where Joe and I lived for a few years after our marriage. Following Elizabeth, 7 other children have been born to us filling our hearts with joy and love. My everyday prayer is that my children will always let God be their guide in this unknown world.
Foremost on our minds is daughter, Verena, age 12. Saturday evening she was rushed by ambulance to the children’s hospital. That night I asked her if she wanted to sleep on the couch because I thought she looked extra fatigued. She had been her active self again and had been up and about for about 5 days. She looked as if she was having a hard time relaxing when all of the sudden she started gasping for air. The ambulance was summoned and until the first responders came it seemed like forever. It shook up the whole family not knowing what was going on. Verena was kept at the hospital where the doctors ran all kinds of tests. The doctors said she had post-concussive syndrome along with an anxiety attack. They tell us the post-concussions are normal to have after a bad brain injury like she suffered a few weeks ago. A few other tests concerned the doctors, I won’t go into detail as one of the doctors said it might not be anything serious so we’ll just take one day at a time. We appreciate your continued prayers and support. If anyone has had experience with post-concussive syndrome we’d appreciate your thoughts and advice. Also in our thoughts and prayers are our Uncle Joe H. Schwartz and family. Uncle Joe passed away last week from a heart attack. With Verena’s condition we were unable to travel to the funeral.
Saturday, Jacob, Emma, and family assisted us in butchering our 19 chickens. They were cut up, bagged, and are in the freezer now. The children are getting to be a great help so we were done in a short time.
Tonight a friend is picking up an ice cream cake in honor of Elizabeth’s birthday. I was hoping we could also have pizza brought out for supper. Elizabeth has done a wonderful job of taking my place while I have been with Verena at the hospital. She deserves a break from cooking. Cake is not one of Elizabeth’s favorite foods but I do know she always enjoys the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes. As of now Verena needs assistance with walking again and she has fallen back in speech to what she was after her concussion - although not quite as bad. Doctors say the regression is normal and the episodes should be spaced apart and less severe until they disappear altogether. God’s blessings to all.
With so many getting fresh strawberries from their garden patches, try this refreshing recipe!
Editor’s note: Thank you all for your cards, concerns and support for Lovina during this time. For a special message from the editor this week, visit www.amishcookonline.com/update
Frosty Strawberry Squares
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
1 cup whipping cream
Beat together egg whites, berries, and sugar for 10 minutes in a large bowl. Make sure the bowl is very large because the mixture will triple in size. Whip cream and fold into mixture. Stir until well-blended. Pour into molds or pan and freeze and least six hours. Cut into squares and serve. Delicious!