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Precious family time

It’s Tuesday evening. Supper is over and the dishes have been washed. Daughter Susan and children Jennifer, 3, and Ryan, 1, are staying here for three days. They are staining / finishing some trim and doors / door frames at her house, so the smell is a little strong, and there are no doors on any room right now while they are being stained.

Tonight, daughter Verena is spending the evening and overnight with Sister Verena. She is so good at putting others’ needs before her own. God will surely bless her someday.

Daughter Susan and Jennifer and daughter Loretta are sitting at the kitchen table. Loretta and Jennifer are coloring while Susan is writing. Susan keeps journals — one to her late husband Mose and one to God. Putting her thoughts on paper seems to be a healing process for her. She said even if Mose can’t read her journal, it’s a way to feel connected to him.

Yesterday, we did our laundry and hung it in the basement. We brought it up today to fold and put away. Susan brought her laundry and washed it today. It is hanging on the lines in the basement now. Last week spoiled us with all the warm sunny weather. Hopefully this cold spell won’t last long.

Sunday night our family gathered at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house for supper. The menu was chicken and potatoes on the grill, with steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, cheese and cupcakes. It was all delicious. It was a lovely evening for a buggy ride. Spending time with our family seems more precious since losing loved ones so dear to us. It makes us appreciate each other much more.

The weekend also moved our clocks an hour forward. Nights seem longer with more daylight. We see early signs of spring — robins, flowers peeping through — so we hope cold weather will soon be past for the season. This weekend the calendar says it’s officially spring.

Another blessing we have had is my husband Joe has a job at a metal shop now. This is his third week, and it seems to be going great. We are so thankful for all our blessings in the midst of our heartaches.

This is now 4:45 a.m. I didn’t get this column finished last night. Jennifer, 2, decided she wanted cream to give us all foot massages. She didn’t spare the cream, which I think is what she likes about it. She tries to act like she’s a doctor and we are her patients.

Earlier today she helped with dishes and folded laundry. When she heard us comment about it, she put her hands on her hips and tried to act like an adult. She was talking and would roll her eyes and make her voice sound different.

Ryan,1, walks behind her trying to mimic everything his big sister does. When they do cute things like that it makes Susan want to share it with Mose. There are so many milestones he is going to miss. God has a plan and a reason why he took Mose from his earthly home so soon. May he help guide the broken-hearted left behind to understand. God makes no mistakes.

God’s blessings to all.

Zucchini Crumble

6 cups zucchini, peeled and diced small

1/4 cup lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Crumble topping:

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick cook oatmeal

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine the diced zucchini with lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish. In another bowl combine all the crumble top ingredients. Using your hands, combine butter with dry ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of zucchini mixture and press firmly. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. It is good served warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

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. Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and the message will be passed on to her to read.

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