Son Kevin is spending the night at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. He will go deer hunting with Tim in the morning.

Tonight we attended the visitation for a 41-year-old woman in our community. We were shocked and saddened when son-in-law Mose’s cousin, Ruth Ann, passed away after giving birth 10 days earlier. Ruth Ann leaves a husband and eight children to mourn her. The oldest child is 16 and the youngest 10 days old. Our hearts ache for them. We know they will have many hard lonely days ahead. Ruth Ann was an only daughter and had two brothers. She also is survived by her parents, mother-in-law and her husband’s family.

Tomorrow we plan to attend the funeral. We will take daughter Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan along. It is hard for Susan when she sits with Mose’s relatives and he’s not beside her anymore. She understands the feelings Ruth Ann’s husband will go through in the days, weeks and months ahead. A baby that will never get to know his mother. Teenagers that could use their mother’s advice, and school-age children that will never come home to their mother to tell her how school went. This family needs our prayers.

Sunday we awoke to our first snowfall which accumulated to about an inch. It didn't stay long because the ground is not frozen. It was a pretty scene with snow clinging to the tree branches. We have had some nice sunsets lately, too.

Next week is Thanksgiving. A year ago, our life was complete yet. Our three loved ones were still with us. We all ate together for Thanksgiving dinner. Sister Liz, Levi, and some of their family were able to join us. Little did we realize that within a few weeks, our lives would be forever changed. Time goes on and we must go on, but not without a lot of tears shed and pain in our hearts. Without comfort from God and the support from others we could not go on.

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We try to be cheerful around others, and daughter Susan says she has learned to smile when inside she doesn’t feel like smiling. She is good at hiding her feelings. She says she has to for her children’s sake.

Sister Emma and I went to town with sister Verena yesterday. She needed help looking for a new stove. Her's gave out, and her house was 45 degrees when we stopped there. She has been staying with us or with Emma. She stayed with daughters Susan and Verena last night.

I think she plans to come here tonight and will go to the funeral with us. Hopefully her house will be heated by tomorrow and her new stove will work OK.

Cowboy Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cups oatmeal

2 cups coconut

2 cups chopped pecans

3 cups chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to her at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her.