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"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." -- John 3:16, 17, 18

Winter is just not releasing its grip just yet. It is cold once again. We even had snow, although that has now melted. But maybe, just maybe, this is the last hurrah before Spring.

We did have a little bit of sun today. It felt good while it lasted, even if the wind was cold.

Our daughter Cindy Miller from Dale, Il. called to see if we have some of their laundry up here. It was really windy down there and she thought it might have blown up here.

She is once again up and about after her last chemo treatment. It seems a treatment always puts her down for a few days. I believe she has two more treatments to go.

We had some really nice days last week. Friday was ever so nice. I stripped our bed and washed bedding and a bunch of throws before going after hubby. Then when we got back I did the rest of the laundry, even washing the carpet that we have in the buggy and the buggy blanket. Yes, even if we have a heater, we still have to use a blanket as the heater doesn't work properly.

The blanket is made of double thickness of fake fur. When it is dripping wet, it is very heavy! I found out just how wimpy I really am. I couldn't put the blanket through the wringer or the spinner, so I put it in a basket and drug it out to the line. I tried and tried to toss it over the line, but to no avail. Okay, maybe if I would stand on a little stool I could do it. No, still not. Well, maybe if I put the basket on the stool, that way I won't have to lift it so far, but no, I still couldn't do it. Well maybe husband Erwin can help. But daughter Rachel had seen my dilemma and came over to help. Whew! What a wimp!

I had to wash the carpet twice. The first time the water smelled like pure barnyard.

I also cleaned the buggy and even charged the battery. Now we have bright lights again and a clean buggy. I expect the lights will stay bright longer than the buggy will stay clean.

That was a good, good feeling, the house was clean, laundry done and the buggy was cleaned. We were ready for Sunday! Of course, we don't use our buggy to go to church. We go with daughter Rachel and Lloyd, and the children, Lynetta and Galen. It gets quite full. No one is getting any smaller. We all seem to just get bigger!

And yes, Sunday we went to church. How good it was to go to church, being filled with spiritual food first of all, then the fellowship and lunch of peanut butter and cheese spread. Daughter Rachel had made the bread. I had to really practice self-control so I wouldn't eat a whole loaf. (Not!) I mean, I really didn't eat that much!

I do love to go to church and really appreciate our heritage. There is just something about sitting inside waiting for church to start and seeing the buggies come in the drive, unloading women and children, the young boys helping their dads unhitch the horses. It is so special to me, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Oh dear, snow flurries! Ah well -- it's cozy in here and we don't have to go anywhere.

My day didn't go exactly as planned. Does it ever? Sis Barb came by to take our mom to Dutch Valley meats. She had a gift certificate to use. We had one as well, so I unhitched Diamon, turned him out and went with Barb. We picked up Erwin at work and went to Dutch Valley. Now we have some good eating! I have to repackage some to put in the freezer and can some beef chunks. That's mostly on the agenda for tomorrow (Thursday). A good thing to do on a cold and cloudy day. Well, maybe it will be sunny. One can always hope!

In closing: Too often by the time a man realizes his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he is wrong.

Since it seems so wintry, I believe this soup would just hit the spot.

Baked Potato Soup

2/3 cup butter

2/3 cup flour

7 cups milk

4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)

4 green onions, sliced

12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream

1/3 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large soup kettle or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Stir in the flour; heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Yields 8-10 servings (2 1/2 quarts).

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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