This is a quiet Sunday forenoon. Joe and six of the children went to church. I was unable to go as I was still recuperating from being sick all week. I ended up going to the doctor and found out I had an inner ear and sinus infection and strep throat. I feel a lot better now, but my ears still hurt. I didn't want to go out into the cold wind yet, so I stayed home. Hopefully in a few more days my ears will feel better, too. Daughter Verena, 10, and Joseph, 6, stayed home with me. They helped me wash the breakfast dishes and sweep the floors while the others were away. Joseph has a cold so I thought it would be better for him to stay home also.Verena and Joseph are playing "school" now. Verena is the "teacher" and is trying to teach him his letter sounds. "School" is one of their favorite activities once the weather gets cold outside. I will say that my husband Joe and the girls did a really good job of keeping this household going while I was sick. They kept meals on the table and everything cleaned up, so I was grateful for their help. I heard the younger children saying "it is boring around here when Mom is sick." Joe said he thinks the saying "when Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is true.

Our garden is now history for 2008. Although a lot of places in this area frosted at the end of September our place didn't have a killing frost until last week.

Meanwhile, it is very windy today. I hope the winds will blow away a lot of our leaves. Nine-year-old Benjamin raked up a lot of leaves Saturday. On Sunday morning when he looked out the window he said "Oh my, the leaves are all over the yard again." I told him that more had blown off the trees during the night. I think he was a little disappointed to not be able to see all the work he had done.

I need to go make lunch for us three here at home. Joe and the children will eat lunch at church. I will probably make grilled cheese sandwiches or something easy.

This is now a rainy Monday morning. Jacob, Emma, and family stopped in yesterday to see how I was doing. Before they left for home, we set out a simple supper of bologna sandwiches, cheese spread, dill pickles, popcorn, apples, and cider. The children enjoyed playing board games with their cousins and Joe and Jacob joined them. The board games coming out is a sure sign of winter!

This morning daughter Elizabeth, 14, and I, washed the breakfast dishes and now she is doing her homework. I would like to get some mending done today. I usually do laundry on Mondays but it isn't a nice laundry day with the weather. These days the children keep jumping out of bed in the morning to see if it has snowed yet, but so far we had just a few flurries one morning. They were asking me if they could get out their snow pants and boots.

For me there is not as much excitement to think of the winter coming on. Winter brings with it a lot more laundry and drying clothes inside. Joe did start our coal-stove now and it makes it nice and cozy in the house. But now that brings another winter chore: to care for the stove.

Foremost on our minds is Joe's cousin and family. Their 22-year-old son fell 40 feet at work and landed on concrete. His life ended instantly in the fall. Our sympathy goes to the grieving family. May God be with them through this time of trial. We would have liked to go to the funeral but I don't think I would be up to it yet.

This is the time of year when sweet potatoes are on the menu. This is a good, easy casserole to use up those sweet potatoes.


3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 2 eggs, beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup milk

Topping: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all of the ingredients except for top-ping into 2 quart baking dish. In a small separate bowl mix top-ping ingredients and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

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