We managed to get the painting all done upstairs. We moved up the furniture for two of the bedrooms on Saturday. The floor was laid in daughter Susan and Verena’s bedroom and Elizabeth’s room is all redone. Susan and Verena’s bedroom still need more shelves put up in the closest. Their room also needs closet doors and trim but for now we will call it good enough. Joe wants to get the floors laid in the other two bedrooms and then they can move up as well.
Jacob and Emma and family and the girls’ special friends have been assisting us with our work. The children made a lot of trips up and down carrying smaller things while the men handled furniture. I need to find a few more dressers for the boys as they need more room for their clothes. We are gradually getting these things replaced. Also we appreciate all the things that were donated to us. And a big thank you for the help from readers. There are some things the boys had that we don’t think about until we need them. Benjamin and Joseph just remembered yesterday their luggage bags on wheels were also burned in the fire. We gave those to them for their birthdays last year. We gave them before their birthdays in July so we could take them on our trip to Florida. So much easier for everyone to have their luggage separate. We are very fortunate, though, to still have a house. Before moving some of the things upstairs we are starting to clean items that were in the girls’ closets before them moving back upstairs. Our hands really get black from cleaning the smoke off of some things. Every box etc. has to be cleaned.
Next week Joe will have a week off from the factory. It will be nice to have a week without a schedule. Joe would like to camp and do a lot of fishing on his week off. He said if he stays home he just thinks he has to stay busy working on the house. This past weekend a friend offered us to use her cabin by the lake and we decided we would go. We all will be glad to get away for awhile. The children are most excited about being able to go swim every day. We will probably also set up a tent for whoever wants to sleep outside. Family times are so important. Too often we get so busy with our work we don’t take the time to just relax and be together as a family. It has been a hard, stressful past year so I think getting away will be good for all of us. I want to thank readers for all the prayers, encouragement, and donations to Verena and Loretta and all of us. It helps knowing that others care. One reader wrote to us from experience because she has a son with muscular dystrophy. She said it will take acceptance over and over again but always let God be your guide. Letters like that mean so much. The children are pitching in extra hard to get the garden cleaned and the other work caught up before next week. Kevin is counting the days and says he is going to catch a really big fish. He has such a big imagination. He can be outside for hours entertaining himself. He always has the dogs Buddy and Rover with him. I was telling a friend one day that our baby will be in first grade this fall. After my friend left Kevin asked “Mom why do you keep telling everyone I’m your baby when I’m almost 7 years old already?” He said “I am too tall to be a baby.” Needless to say he keeps us smiling with the stuff he comes up with.
The 63 baby chicks we got a few weeks ago are really doing well. 12 will be for butchering and the rest are laying hens.
The following recipe is a good way to use up leftover mashed potatoes:
Mashed Potato Cake
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done.
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The Amish Cook Friend Club
Many readers have asked about joining The Amish Cook Friend Club by postal mail. Here is the information:
Joining The Amish Cook Friend Club is a fun way to support Lovina in her battle against Muscular Dystrophy (she announced it last week’s column that two of her daughters have been diagnosed with a form of it) and in keeping her column around long-term. There are several levels of support that you can offer the column:BASIC ONE-YEAR MEMBERSHIP $10: thank you note and recipe for “marriage meatloaf.”ONE-YEAR SILVER $25: thank you note and a packet of 25 unpublished recipes from The Amish Cook recipe archives.ONE-YEAR GOLD $50 all of the above, plus an 8 X 10 photo of a suppertime scene at Lovina’s and a copy of The Amish Recipe Project Cookbook.SUPER SUPPORTER, $100.00: all of the above, plus a complimentary copy of the Amish-themed fiction book Abraham’s Redemption when it is released. To join, visit www.oasisnewsfeatures.com/friendclub or send to:Oasis Newsfeatures, PO BOX 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042 100 percent of the funds benefit Lovina by going to her directly or being reinvested in the column.