Joseph and Kevin have both been taking a nap since lunch time. While they are sleeping, Lovina is playing "mommy" to her little doll she calls Ken.

She doesn't pronounce the "vin" in Kevin so she calls all babies Kens. Her eyes are looking droopy so it probably won't be long before she'll fall asleep, too. I decided to take this moment of peace and quiet to write this column.

I have laundry that needs to be folded and put away, dishes that should be washed. So many things waiting to get done that go with raising a family. Time is just so limited, do we use it wisely? I must remember that when my work gets overwhelming, we have a Father up above to turn to with our struggles.

We attended the funeral at sister Liz and Levi's place for Levi's dad. The funeral services were held in their new pole barn and in the house. Both places were really packed, a lot of friends and family from other communities were there, plus the locals, which made for quite a large group. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones who are struggling though this trying time of sorrow.

I saw all of my brothers and sisters at the funeral, except Leah. In the afternoon we went to visit with Leah, her husband Paul, and children Elizabeth, and Paul Jr. Their boys Ben and Levi weren't home from work yet. Leah set out some good snacks for us. After leaving Paul and Leah's we went back to Levi's where the last people were leaving. I wanted to give them plenty of time to visit with their guests before we returned to say goodbye. We left Elizabeth's in the evening, so it was after 11 p.m. when we arrived back home in Michigan so we had a lot of sleepy children to get off to bed.

This coming Sunday brother Amos, Nancy, and family have plans to travel to Michigan to see where us four sisters moved to two years ago. They have never been here yet. They wanted to come in September when I had come home from the hospital. I told them I would enjoy a visit better once I regained my health. Having three surgeries at once and two the year before left me quite weak for awhile. Am so thankful for my health now. And baby Kevin had the struggle with yellow jaundice in his first few weeks of life, which we treated here at home. He is such a happy, healthy little boy now! Such a joy to have around as are all our children. Each one is special.

To the Oxford, Pennsylvania reader who inquired about cookbooks. There are still cookbooks available. Titles are: "Best of The Amish Cook, Vol. 1," "Best of The Amish Cook, Vol. 2," "The Amish Cook Treasury" and "The Amish Cook's Family Favorites." Each title - shipping included - is $20. Each book is approximately 200 pages with plenty of recipes and stories. The set of four can be purchased for $65. Send order to: Oasis Newsfeatures, PO BOX 2144, Middletown, Ohio 45042. Books will be autographed, Delivery by May 5. (Editor's Note: All books are packed with facts, stories and tidbits about Amish life, along with plenty of recipes. The Treasury, however, is just recipes, a collection of recipes from Amish, Mennonite, and German Baptist kitchens.)

Try this delicious, juicy recipe.


3 pounds swiss steak, trimmed of fat

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 / 4 cup soy sauce

1 cup coffee

2 bay leaves, crumbled

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 /2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Do not pound or flour the meat. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat, then sear meat on both sides. Meanwhile, in a large roasting pan, combine soy sauce, coffee, bay leaves, garlic, oregano and one of the sliced onions. Transfer the browned meat to the roasting pan. Top with the second sliced onion.

Cover and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, basting every hour with pan juices. If the liquid begins to boil away, add another cup of coffee and a splash of soy sauce. You may need to repeat this procedure; there should be quite a bit of liquid. Cut the meat in thin slices and serve with pan juices.

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