It is hard to believe we are a couple of weeks into 2006 now. What does the unknown future hold for us? Only God knows. Isn't it good that we don't know our future and take only one day at a time?

Everything has gone back to normal in this household since the busy holiday season. Seems quiet with only Joseph, Lovina, Kevin, and I here at home. The rest of the children are back at school. Although a few minutes ago it didn't sound too quiet. Joseph and Lovina were having a little disagreement which resulted in some hair pulling. So I settled their disagreement and now they are enjoying a snack of homemade party mix and grape juice. They are sitting side by side now. If adults could forgive each other as fast as these innocent children I doubt there would be so much turmoil in this world.

My husband Joe will had a day off on Friday, Jan. 6. Most of the factories around here honor this Amish holiday known as "Old Christmas." It is a day we take off from our busy life to our dear Savior who died for our sins.

If possible, I'd like to get started washing walls and ceilings as church services will be held here in 2 1/2 weeks. Then again two weeks later, as Jacob and Emma will take their turn here. I didn't do much fall cleaning as I knew we'd be hosting church services.

It's another dreary day and raining. Yesterday I did the laundry and just hung it in our tool shed to dry. Also I filled the clothes racks here in the house. With all the clothes hanging around it makes one look forward to those good old summer days when doing laundry only takes a day. But I still like the changing of the seasons. There is something good and bad about every season.

Brother Amos and his wife Nancy will have our family Christmas gathering on January 28. I am glad that one of the church services here will be finished.

The next time isn't so bad to prepare. We are more than 60 in my family when we all get together. Our dear parents will be greatly missed. There always will be something missing from family gatherings.

We spent New Year's Day at Jacob and Emma's house. Sisters Verena and Susan joined us. Our family here in Michigan had our gift exchange which was an excitement for the children to see who had their name and what they got.

For New Year's Day, we enjoyed a big dinner consisting of turkey, dressing, scalloped potatoes, mixed vegetables, veggies and dip, homemade cheeseball and crackers, apple crumb and apple pies, chocolate chip cookies, jello cake, oranges and grapefruits, etc.

My mother's side of the family used to always gather at my grandparents house on New Year's Day. The family would usually all gather down the road at our house and then we'd all go together. We would sing the New Year's Song outside grandpa's door. After that each of us 81 grandchildren would line up and greet grandpa and grandma and wish them a happy new year.

Try this recipe for apple crumb pie. Have a happy new year.


2/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

6 to 8 green or baking apples, pared and sliced

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Blend sugar and spices; toss with apples. Arrange mixture in pie shell.


3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter

Blend sugars, flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Spoon crumb topping over apples. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reset temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 more minutes.

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