"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in the heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." -- Matthew 24:30, 31, 36

On this late, well not so late, Wednesday afternoon, the clouds seem to be breaking up and the sun shines stronger. The wind is still sharp, but seems to have mellowed somewhat. Seriously, I'm done with cold weather! But I'll deal with whatever.

I am so thankful for a warm house and warm clothes. I can't remember not ever having warm clothes. I can remember not always having what we thought were "nice" clothes.

We weren't well-off financially in my younger years and we had other people's cast-offs. In my little mind, some were just pure ugly! But we survived!

As far as a warm house, not always. The first home I remember was a small ice box in the winter. My mom mentioned the other day that one winter on a particular frigid day, our dad carried in thirteen buckets of coal and we still wore coats.

So yes, I am thankful for our hot water heat, water out of a faucet, indoor "flushing" toilets, and many, many other things.

I had a surprise this past Monday morning when I went out to chore. It had snowed! All the world (my little corner anyway) was blanketed in white. When my hubby got up, I asked him if he knew it snowed. He said it was snowing when he was up sometime during the night. I wished I would have seen it. It must have just drifted down so softly with no wind.

I just stood and looked at the wide expanse of snow, pure with no tracks, I thought that is just like the day God granted us. A fresh morning, no tracks, what will I do with it. I would like my life to be like the pure white snow, no tracks of sin.

But I am human, so I will make "tracks" but Jesus can sweep me clean, just like I did the walks.

The snow was so light and fluffy, I could just sweep it off the walks. I did not have to use El Cheapo, the shovel I have to push!

On my way home from work Monday morning, it got foggy overhead, then cleared off. It left behind some more of God's handiwork. The trees were coated with hoarfrost. It really did look nice. Then the sun came out and everything just glowed.

You know, sometimes I groan about always having to leave early mornings. But then I think of all the things I would miss, like the sight of the fog or the early morning quiet. Or a fleeting rainbow after an early morning summer storm. Because believe me, if I wouldn't have to leave early, I would still be snoozing!

I was disappointed last week that we had to cancel our workday. But not only was granddaughter Sherilyn sick, but her mom, daughter Jane got sick, too.

My mom and I went to help Rachel with her apples. Rachel's daughter Cynthia was there, too. Rachel had actually done some of the apples the day before, so it didn't take very long. It was actually fun. Working together with family is always special.

Jane and Sherilyn seem to be over their sick. Sherilyn still has a lingering cough that is really sort of annoying for her.

Sherilyn came over on her bike the other afternoon. What a breath of fresh air! We haven't seen them for quite awhile.

Another reason that I am glad for summer. Then the girls can ride their bike over more often.

Maybe Andrea will come over to collect Hollyhock flowers to make dolls. Or maybe she has outgrown that phase. Hopefully she'll have other reasons to come!

In closing: Don't get confused between my personality and my attitude: my personality is who I am. My attitude depends on who you are.

I borrowed this from granddaughter Mary Lorene Yutzy.

How about this after school winter treat?

Snowball Cupcakes


1 box chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix

2/3 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, cut into 24 cubes


1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. water

2 egg whites

1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme

1 tTp. vanilla

2 cups coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or non-stick pans).

Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular size muffin cups. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, sour cream and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then medium speed 2 minutes.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Place 1 cube cream cheese in center of each cupcake; press down into batter almost to center (top of cream cheese will show).

Bake 21-27 minutes of until toothpick inserted near center come out clean. Cool completely about 30 minutes.

In two-quart stainless steel or uncoated saucepan, mix sugar, water and egg whites. Cook over low heat, beating continuously with electric hand mixer at high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add marshmallow creme; beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes. Sprinkle generously with coconut. For sparkle, you can sprinkle with decorating sprinkles. 

Millie Otto of Arthur is a member of the Old Order Amish. Contact her by writing to 1584 CR 2000N, Arthur, IL 61911.


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