Family enjoys eighth-grade exit program

As I write this, we are at the end of March already. Temperatures are staying above the freezing mark on most days.

Tuesday evening, our whole family attended the exit interviews for the eighth-grade class. Once again, Mr. Ultz did an outstanding job having the 23 eighth-graders make supper for all their families. On the menu were potatoes, ham, green beans, dinner rolls and a salad bar, along with brownies and ice cream for dessert.

As we finished with our meal, comedian speaker Craig Tornquist entertained the group. Mr. Ultz has been teaching at the school for 46 or 47 years, and Craig has been entertaining and speaking to the eighth-grade class for 20 years at our school.

We were then able to watch daughter Lovina, 14, and the other eighth-graders present their portfolios to the teacher.

Even though we have done this with our other children, it is always fun each time. Abigail and Jennifer were amazed at all the bright lights in the gymnasium and at everything in the middle school classroom. Son-in-law Tim took Abigail outside for a while on the playground. She had lots to tell us when she came back inside.

Yesterday, my sisters Verena, Emma and Susan, nieces Elizabeth and Emma and baby Jessica, and my daughters Elizabeth and Susan, along with their children, all came here for a brunch and to just spend time together.

My friend Ann from Grand Rapids, Mich., came to spend the day with us as well. And then we also had a surprise visit from Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty from Geneva, Ind.

Usually, when we are all together, we are working on cleaning or something, and I thought we all needed this break and time to catch up. It was enjoyable, and now with my three grandchildren and sister Emma’s first grandchild, it is quite entertaining.

On our menu for brunch was a breakfast casserole, cheese, homemade bread, butter and jellies, hot peppers, also lots of desserts, as everyone brought something. Cherry, blackberry and rhubarb pies, Reese’s peanut butter pudding, cherry-blueberry delight and cake were the desserts, and of course it was much more than we could eat. Coffee, grape and orange juice, V-8 juice, milk and lemonade were the drinks.

My husband, Joe, and I, along with my sisters Verena and Susan, attended the funeral services of Joe’s Aunt Mary Jane in Berne, Ind., on Saturday. This is sister-in-law Nancy’s mother. It was a big funeral, and we saw a lot of Joe’s aunts and uncles and cousins we don’t see often.

Before starting home, we stopped in to visit with sister Liz and Levi. They were busy processing a beef. Their son Levi Jr. and Arlene and baby Ella Nicole were also there helping. Levi and Liz had four children, and now with three of them married, they only have their youngest daughter, Suzanne, 18, at home with them. I can’t imagine our house that empty, and I hope it won’t be for many years.

Joe is still looking around and waiting to hear an answer on another job. Meanwhile, he’s getting work done around here that needs to be done.

Sons-in-law Tim and Mose have cooked many gallons of sap into maple syrup this spring. It is a good year for maple syrup, and they are running around 30 gallons of sap to one gallon of maple syrup.

Son Kevin, 13, is back to school this week after his surgery on his right foot. The county bus picks him up and drops him off every day. They have a lift for his wheelchair. Next week is spring break, so he has a break again.

We are starting to clean for our upcoming church services that we will host in early May. Daughter Lovina remarked that she already knows what she will be doing on spring break.

God’s blessings to all.

Cappuccino Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk and instant coffee granules; stir until dissolved. Cool the melted butter for a few minutes. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter and mix lightly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Do not overmix! Fold in mini chocolate chips. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 degrees for 17 to 20 minutes.

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