Diary of Jan. 15, 2020
3 a.m. — The alarm rings, and it's time to start a new day. My husband, Joe, and son Benjamin, 20, get ready for work. They refuel both coal stoves for the day while I pack their lunches and make grilled cheese sandwiches for their breakfast.
3:35 a.m. — Joe and Benjamin leave for work. I go back to bed to catch a few more winks.
4:30 a.m. — Son Joseph, 17, goes out to feed the animals while I pack his lunch and make him a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast.
5 a.m. — Joseph leaves for work. They have an hour drive to where they are putting up a pole barn, so he’s leaving earlier than usual. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. and take a nap in my recliner. I feel extra tired this morning, and an hour nap makes a big difference.
6 a.m. — Son Kevin, 14, gets ready for another school day. We have had a mild winter, so he hasn’t had any days home from school.
6:45 a.m. — Kevin leaves for school. Daughter Lovina, 15, is helping at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house and will come home with Elizabeth and children for the day. Daughter Susan and children will come with them.
I get some mail ready, and then, with the help of daughters Verena and Loretta, fold laundry that was washed on Monday. Son Benjamin carried the laundry baskets up from the basement for us last night, but we didn’t get it folded and put away. We also make sausage gravy and biscuits so that breakfast is ready when my daughters and grandchildren arrive.
9:15 a.m. — Our friend Beth has a 14-passenger van, so she picks up all of them. Of course, it takes time to fasten all five car seats in the van. They are glad to have Lovina to help.
9:45 a.m. — They arrive here, and all the little ones are brought into the house. Beth won’t be able to take them home, so all the car seats are taken out of the van. Sons-in-law Tim and Mose will bring the buggies tonight to take them home. It is Jennifer’s second birthday today, so we sing “Happy Birthday” to her. She just smiles and tries to put two of her fingers up when we ask how old she is.
10:30 a.m. — We are finally eating breakfast. I fried eggs, and we have cheese along with the biscuits and gravy. One-year-old T.J. doesn’t want his mom to feed him and comes to grandma to be fed. Baby Ryan is almost 6 months and enjoys being in the walker and playing with toys. He’s such a calm little guy and so patient. Susan breastfeeds him, so he doesn’t eat food yet. Abigail, 3, prefers her aunts over her grandma. They are more interesting to her, which I understand. She likes me, but prefers to hang out with them. She loves books, as do all the children. Jennifer and T.J. will sit on the bottom step of the stairs and sing really loudly. They hold their books, pretending they are in church.
1:45 p.m. — The day is going fast. Susan brought sewing along, so she is making a new shirt for Ryan and finishing one the same color for Mose. The girls made a light lunch of sandwiches and Tater Tots.
3 p.m. — Joe and Benjamin are back home. They have fun with the little ones.
3:30 p.m. — Kevin comes home from school. We get Abigail, Jennifer and T.J. dressed to go outside. Lovina and Kevin give them rides in the little wagon. I tell Elizabeth to go take a nap, and we enjoy little 19-day-old Allison. She is so petite and has a great smile already. She lets everyone know when she is hungry.
4 p.m. — Joseph is home, too, now, so the guys do evening chores. After they are done, they grill chicken and steak for our supper. It’s so handy to go to the freezer for meat when you need to make a meal. The girls make a cake for Jennifer. Mose and Susan will have a birthday party for her, but we thought we’d make a cake for her tonight.
6:30 p.m. — Supper is ready. We're having vegetable soup, cheese, chicken and steak, plus ice cream and cake. We lit two candles for Jennifer to blow out, but she wasn’t too enthused about doing that. She loved the cake, though.
7:30 p.m. — Verena, Loretta, Lovina and I wash dishes while they get all the tired little ones dressed to go home. It was a long but enjoyable day.
I’ll share the recipe for the chocolate fudge cake we made for Jennifer’s birthday.