A day in the life of the Eichers
4 a.m. — I get up to pack lunch for son Joseph, 16, and make him breakfast before he leaves for work. They are working an hour away, so they will start out earlier than usual.
4:30 a.m. — Joseph leaves for work. I go back to bed until I need to get up to wake the children for school.
6 a.m. — Alarm rings again. Daughter Lovina, 14, and son Kevin, 13, start getting ready. They eat breakfast at school as the school serves free breakfasts to all the students each morning.
6:45 a.m. — Lovina leaves for school.
7:15 a.m. — Kevin’s bus is here to pick him up. Kevin can now wheel his wheelchair down our ramp to the bus, so no one needs to help him. Coming home, it’s harder for him to wheel his wheelchair up the ramp, so someone usually pushes him in.
8 a.m. — Daughters Elizabeth and Susan and children arrive with horse and buggy. Elizabeth is driving this week. They take turns each week.
Son Benjamin, 19, goes out to take care of the horse for them. I help carry in the little ones. Abigail is awake but just too tired to walk in, so she still wants Grandma to carry her in the house. Jennifer is smiling and in a good mood. Baby Timothy is 4 months old today and is as lively as ever. He is so active and rolls over and over. He’s not safe on a bed and moves all over already. He looks like his daddy and is always smiling. So precious when he reaches his little hands out to come to Grandma.
My husband, Joe, is home, so he gets to enjoy the grandchildren, too. Benjamin is off work this week as the RV factory he works for is shut down this week. He has been hauling manure out to the fields every day.
8:45 a.m. — We are ready to eat breakfast, which consists of fried eggs and potatoes, ham, cheese, toast, butter and jelly, and coffee and grape juice. Daughters Verena and Loretta help get the little girls fed. Abigail and Jennifer love their aunts.
9:30 a.m. — Verena and Loretta wash dishes and watch the little ones while Elizabeth, Susan, and I go down to the basement to start cleaning. On Monday, Susan was here and we cleaned the can room where we have shelves of all our canned food. That is a big job done. Susan cleans the windows and Elizabeth helps me organize and mop the floors, dust, etc. With our coal stove in the basement it causes a lot of dust down there.
Joe and Benjamin are cleaning out our pole barn, where we will have church services in. It seems somehow things accumulate over winter. On Monday, son-in-law Mose and Loretta’s boyfriend, Dustin, helped Joe run new waterlines in the pole barn, where we have cabinets and a kitchen sink, and also to the bathroom. This winter, a pipe froze, breaking the hot waterline, so we didn’t have any water out there. They ran a new kind of pipe and did better insulating. I’m glad that is done. It will be nice to do my canning out there this summer.
1 p.m. — Verena and Loretta have lunch ready, so we all gather in the kitchen to eat. We have chicken noodle soup and leftover pizza from supper last night.
2 p.m. — We all go back to our work. Verena and Loretta rock the little girls for their naps. Elizabeth fed baby Timothy and he is sleeping.
3:15 p.m. — Kevin is home from school.
3:30 p.m. — Lovina is home from school and gives Abigail a swing ride. Jennifer is taking a walk with Verena. She’s still learning how to walk good over bumpy surfaces.
4:30 p.m. — The girls leave for home.
5:30 p.m. — Joseph is home from work. Benjamin has evening chores done.
6:30 p.m. — Supper is ready. Campfire stew, cheese, and crackers are on the menu.
7:30 p.m. — Dishes are washed and everyone is getting cleaned up for the day.
9:30 p.m. — Everyone has gone to bed. Good night to all. God bless.
Note: I would also like to mention that a reader wrote explaining that the math in the column for March 20 isn’t correct. So I thought I needed to give credit to daughter Lovina, who wrote the column, and mention that it wasn’t her mistake but a publishing typo.
Daughter Lovina thanks all of you for the very nice letters written to her. I also want to thank everyone for the letters and cards of encouragement to our family.
Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks margarine
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
1 (16 oz) rhubarb filling (any kind of fruit filling is good; see recipe below)
Crumbs: Mix ingredients together, reserving 1 1/2 cups; put the rest into a 13-inch-by-9-inch pan, pressing flat. Bake 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Filling: Mix cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk and pour over baked crust. Top with rhubarb filling (see below) and add the reserved crumbs on top. Bake 20 to 40 minutes.
3 cups rhubarb
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cook together on medium heat.
Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She, her husband, Joe, and their family live in southeastern Michigan. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her latest is “The Essential Amish Kitchen,” is available at 800-245-7894 Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.