A birthday party surprise that wasn’t

The garden bed built by members of the Amish community for Lovina Eicher’s daughter Susan. Submitted photo

Our work night at daughter Susan’s house last week proved to be a success. The majority of our church showed up to help with whatever needed to be done. Some fences were put up, flower beds were made, weeding and trimming were done, and the barn was cleaned. Then the ladies washed walls and windows, and all brought in supper. There were casseroles, salads, desserts, iced tea, coffee and lemonade. It was a very hot night, so the cold iced tea and lemonade went fast.

Susan does well to let everyone come and help her where needed. It is hard for her to think Mose isn’t there to do all that for her. That night a heart-shaped flower bed was built, as Susan had suggested, in honor of Mose. It really does look nice and will even more so when the flowers that were planted start blooming. She wants to get some memorial stones, etc., to put in there in memory of her dear husband.

On Sunday night Joe’s sister Susan and her three teenage boys, Tommy, Freddie and Seth, came to visit daughter Susan. We took chicken to grill. Daughter Elizabeth and Tim brought potatoes to make mashed potatoes, and daughter Susan made beef and noodles to go with that. Also on the menu was sliced cheese, strawberries, ice cream and chocolate cake. We don’t often see Susan and her sons, so it was good to visit with her again. If I remember right, her boys are 18, 16 and 14 years old. Time goes by so fast.

On Monday, June 14th, our firstborn, Elizabeth, had her 27th birthday. Again, it doesn’t seem possible that 27 years went by since we started parenting. It takes a lot of help from our heavenly Father to raise a family. He blessed us with eight wonderful children.

Son-in-law Tim wanted to surprise Elizabeth for her birthday, so he told us all to be there by 5:30 p.m. on her birthday. Elizabeth and the children went for a wagon ride with Tim to help take down the church tent. Tim is on the committee to put and take down the tent if someone needs it for church services. The rest of us — Joe and I, Benjamin, Joseph, Lovina, Kevin, my sister Verena, Daniel (Lovina’s special friend), Grace (Joseph’s special friend), and daughters Verena and Susan and her children—all gathered at Tim’s, waiting for them to come home. Dustin (Loretta’s special friend) and Loretta were going to come later, as Dustin was flipping our hay and his with the hay tedder before he came.

Tim had to go past our house, and as he went on by Elizabeth said she would like to stop in and say hi, which was normal. I imagine Tim thought, “Oh no!” So he turned around and Loretta was the only one home. Elizabeth of course wondered where everyone was, and Loretta had to do some fast thinking and make excuses for where we all went. Elizabeth knew we didn’t often leave on a Monday night, so on her way home she started thinking.

We all said “surprise!” when she walked in the door. She said their house dogs always bark when they come home, and we didn’t know that and were trying to keep them from barking. It was fun anyway, and we had a good supper of pizza, hot wings, cherry tomatoes, dill pickles and ice cream cake. Dustin and Loretta came before we started eating but didn’t make it before the “surprise” that didn’t really work out. Elizabeth had a nice birthday anyways

Sister Emma’s husband Jacob is still in the hospital. He has been moved out of ICU. Yesterday he had exploratory surgery to check for blockages, etc. His sodium level had been dangerously low and is now almost normal. Our prayers are that he will have a complete recovery.

Emma gets someone to take her to the hospital every day, and it’s an hour away. Expenses are high with Jacob not working. The three boys are at home alone for supper every night, so I passed out dates of three nights a week to the church ladies to take in supper. Everyone has one night scheduled to drop off supper on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Hopefully that will help out, so they have a decent meal. Please keep Jacob in your prayers. God bless you!

Peach French Toast

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 tablespoons water

1 29-ounce can peaches, drained

12 slices French bread (3/4- to 1-inch thick)

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

cinnamon

Mix brown sugar, butter and water together; bring to boil for 10 minutes. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Layer peaches over syrup, then layer French bread on top. Mix eggs, milk and vanilla well and pour over bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Refrigerate overnight. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Write to her at P.O. 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.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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