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It is almost 5:30 a.m.  My husband Joe has left for work. He is over the flu and feeling better.  So far none of the rest of us have caught it.  Baby Joesph was fussy for a few days, but he now has four new teeth peeping through. I figured that was his problem.  He now has all his teeth except his two-year molars.

The children are all asleep except Loretta. She's sitting beside me playing with the balloons that the girls got at the dentist yesterday.  Benjamin wants to go to the dentist now so he can get a balloon.  He said: "Mom, see how big I can open my mouth and I'm only 4!"  He doesn't realize there's more to going to the dentist than just opening your mouth.

We got to bed later than usual last night, so I'll let the school-age girls sleep until 6:30 a.m. The bus comes at 7:05 a.m. but I have their clothes and everything ready to go for them so they can get some extra sleep.

Yesterday, we got a lot accomplished in preparation for church services.  Services will be held at our home the next two church Sundays.  My sisters Verena and Susan came and we washed the walls and ceilings in both bedrooms. We also cleaned the furniture and took beds apart and polished everything really good. After lunch, Verena took my daughters into town for their dentist appointments.  She had to pick Susan up at school. This really helped me to not have to leave all the work here at home.   My sister Susan rocked Joseph and Loretta to sleep for their afternoon naps, but she couldn't get Benjamin to take a nap.  He says he's 4-years-old and he doesn't need a nap everyday.  I gave him a book with horses in it to look at and that kept him from getting into too much trouble. I did a lot of organizing. Those storage totes are so nice to store extra blankets and clothes. With the children growing I'm running out of drawer space in our dressers.

Today, Thursday, my sister Emma and children and Verena and Susan will come again. We plan to wash off more walls and ceilings. We'd also like to wash all the windows before church services. Susan will take my curtains, quilts, blankets and wash and dry them.  With this cold weather it's hard to get the curtains to dry without staining them.  And the blankets and quilts take so long to dry. This will be a big job done and a great relief to me.

I must get started with breakfast. Loretta brought me a loaf of bread and said she wants a "cheese toastie." (grilled cheese sandwich).  I told my sisters to all come over for breakfast, so I want to fry bacon and make scrambled eggs, toast, cheese, etc.

Loretta work the rest of the children, except Joseph. I guess she thought everything was too quiet.  So much for letting them sleep in a little longer.

Reader in Federal Way, Washington asked for a good casserole recipe.  This is a good one for kids to try, it's a "pizza casserole."


1 pound ground beef 1 medium onion
salt and pepper to taste 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 /4 teaspoon thyme 1 /4  teaspoon oregano
1 /4  teaspoon garlic powder 1 cup minute rice
1 can tomato soup grated cheese, any kind

Brown ground beef and onion.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  In a separate saucepan, mix soup, seasonings, and rice. Let simmer for five minutes. Combine two mixtures.  Pour into casserole dish and top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes for until cheese is golden and bubbly on top.

Lovina Eicher (pronounced Luh-Vine-Uh Eye-Ker) is Old Order Amish. She hand-writes this column from her Indiana home. Lovina, age 32, inherited the column from her mother, Elizabeth, who penned it from
1991 through 2002 (see www.theamishcook). Lovina's recipe of the week can also be accessed at www.theamishcook. Anyone with
cultural or cooking questions can send them to:

Lovina Eicher
The Amish Cook
PO BOX 2144
Middletown, Ohio 45042


4:30 a.m. It's time to start another long day. There's plenty to do in preparation for church services that will be held at our home this Sunday.   My husband Joe goes outside to do the outdoor chores (feed the animals, etc).

5 a.m.   Joe comes in from doing the chores. I have made for him a cheese toastie and eggs for breakfast. I also have his lunch packed and ready to go. Loretta and baby Joseph woke up so Joe tries to eat his breakfast and hold Joseph at the same time.  Joesph is starting to hold one finger up when we ask him how old he is.  His sister Verena also got him to wink his eye.  He's at such a cute age - when they try everything new.