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Helping the newlyweds and enjoying family time

The temperature is staying in the low 60s today. Leaves are falling and it’s a typical fall day.

Yesterday, the mercury almost reached 80 degrees, and it was a lovely day with the laundry drying very well.

I’m frying chicken for our supper tonight. Daughter Lovina is washing potatoes for steamed potatoes as well. Newlyweds Dustin and Loretta will join us for supper.

Our house is empty without Loretta here anymore. I am glad she’s close by so we can help her. It’s hard to believe half of our eight children aren’t at home anymore.

Friday night, sons Benjamin and Kevin went to a wedding. Son Joseph and daughter Lovina went to their special friends’ house, leaving just Joe and me at home. We decided to go to daughter Susan’s house for supper. We picked up sister Verena, and then daughter Elizabeth. Tim and the children also came.

Daughter Verena made supper for all of us. She made chicken casserole and apple cobbler which was delicious. It was enjoyable spending time with the grandchildren. It seemed like over the wedding, we didn’t get much time to spend with them.

Abigail is really enjoying school. She stayed the night with Jennifer, so they were excited for their sleepover.

There is still such an empty spot when we go there. It seems like late son-in-law Mose should be coming back from hunting and telling us about the big buck he saw.

Tim and Elizabeth bought a surrey (a two-seated buggy) for their family. There will also be more room for them if they want to pick up my daughters Verena and Susan to go somewhere. It seems like short years ago when we drove a surrey and had eight children with us. Life goes on and time brings so many changes … some happy, some sad.

Dustin’s birthday was Oct. 8, so his mom and dad made supper at their house in honor of his birthday.

Saturday night, our family gathered at Dustin and Loretta’s house in honor of his birthday. Daughter Susan and I helped Loretta during the day with her cleaning and washing and putting away wedding gifts / dishes. One other day my sister Verena and I also helped Loretta with getting her house organized with all the new gifts they received.

It will be easier for Loretta once their house is more handicap-accessible, but it all takes time and money. Nothing is cheap anymore. Starting out as a young couple takes a lot. I remember when we were first married, how one thing after another came up. And when you buy an older farmhouse, you always have repairs.

What matters most is making a house a home and enjoying each other’s company. Dustin is a good son-in-law and seems like a son to me. He is a great husband to Loretta, and he says she is a great wife to him. May God always be the center of their marriage. What a blessing when you gain a son instead of lose a daughter.

Dustin and Loretta appreciate all the good wishes from you readers. I am trying to talk them into writing the column next week.

Loretta is having fun cooking for her and Dustin but tells me my recipes are much too big. I am having trouble downsizing with my meals so I need to learn to adjust as well.

God bless all of you and keep us in your prayers as we travel into the unknown future.

Chicken Casserole

3 cups chicken, cooked and diced

1 (7 ounce) package macaroni, cooked

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

2 cans mushroom soup

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk

2 green peppers, diced

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and cover with buttered bread or cracker crumbs or croutons. Bake in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight who lives in southeastern Michigan. Her cookbooks, “The Essential Amish Cookbook” and “Amish Family Recipes,” are available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply), or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

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