3:15 a.m. It is Monday and time for my husband Joe to start another week at the factory. Getting up so early means an early bed-time, which is difficult during the longer sunlit days of summer.
3:50 a.m. Joe leaves for work. I go back to bed for a few more hours.
8 a.m. The children and I sit down to eat breakfast. We have scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, orange juice, milk and cookies. I let the children sleep later this morning as they were all tired yesterday. Jacob and Emma's were here last night and we all played kickball outside in the hayfield. The children really enjoyed having us adults play, too.
9:30 a.m. 11-year-old Elizabeth and I start doing the laundry while daughters Susan and Verena wash and dry dishes. Meanwhile, the younger ones, Benjamin and Loretta are outside keeping Joseph, Lovina and Kevin entertained. Kevin enjoys stroller rides. I had Kevin to the doctor for his nine month check-up and he weighs 21 pounds, almost as much as two-year-old Lovina. She is little but mighty!
11 a.m. The wash lines are all filled and the clothes are drying nicely on this breezy day. Now that dishes are done we all pitch in and get the floors swept and mopped.
12:30 p.m. Everything is clean and what a relaxing feeling it is! Over the weekend the floors tend to get tracked up again, especially with all the dirt from building the new house. With eight children it doesn't take long to get dragged in. We have sandwiches and milk for lunch. The children love milk and I have to remember to buy extra since the school children are home all day now for the summer. We sure would like to buy a cow and have our own milk again.
1:15 p.m. I rock Kevin and Elizabeth reads to Lovina. They both take a nap. The children are all doing something quiet: reading, coloring, writing, etc. Joseph doesn't want to take a nap now since the school children are home.
2:30 p.m. Joe is home from work. He holds Kevin and Lovina awhile as they just woke up. Then he heads out to put siding on the new house. I stuff a whole chicken (which we raised and butchered) with dressing. Then I put potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, cream of celery and cream of chicken soup on top of the vegetables. I put that in the oven. So supper will be ready whenever we want to eat.
3:15 pm. I get the laundry in the house while Benjamin and the girls harness up the pony and hitch him to the pony cart. They haul stones that we picked up from the new garden.
4:30 p.m. I check on the chicken roast. Looks like it is cooking fine and it smells yummy! Then I head out to start mowing grass that I didn't get done on Saturday.
6 p.m. Everyone cleans up for supper. They all like the chicken roast. Even Kevin enjoys the food. I put it through a babyfood grinder.
7 p.m. We are washing dishes. Joe did the evening chores and now he is back putting siding on again.
7:30 p.m. I do some hoeing in the garden and the children are driving the pony.
8:30 p.m. I get the children started on their baths, brushing teeth, etc. With the big dirt pile outside they get pretty dirty some days. But the new house is coming along nicely.
9:30 p.m. Bedtime! Joe worked until dark, showered and headed for bed. Most of the children are settled down and I am also going to call it a day. Good night!
Oh, and I want to write that June 14th, 12 years ago, we were blessed with our first-born: Elizabeth. She is sure is a good helper. Hard to believe she is now 12!
Editor's Note: Due to response, cookbook order deadline has been extended. 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, P.O. BOX 2144, Middletown, Oh. 45042. Books will be delivered by August 30. 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. As a thank you to readers for their support through the years, anyone who orders a full set of cookbooks through July 15, 2006 will receive - via FedEx - a free copy of "The Amish Cook Family," a colorful photo-filled coffeetable cookbook when it is released in September 2007.