Church preparations and July birthdays

Another week has passed already since I wrote my last column. It is a nice cool morning as I sit here writing. I was invited to a coffee break at our neighbor Wilma’s house with the other neighbor ladies this morning. Samuel and Wilma moved into our community recently. I have so much to do today that I didn’t think I had time to go, though.

Yesterday we were helping daughter Elizabeth with the final cleaning for Sunday, when they will host church services. With her three little ones, things don’t stay clean too long. Others there helping besides daughters Verena and Lovina, son Kevin, and I were sister Emma and son Steven, sister Verena, niece Elizabeth, niece Emma and her children Jessica and Menno Ray, daughter Susan and her children Jennifer and Ryan. Abigail, T.J., and Allison were glad for the little playmates. Seven children under age 5 keep it quite interesting. Son Kevin and nephew Steven gave Elizabeth’s house dogs a haircut. They did a good job.

We cleaned a lot of corners for Elizabeth that needed to be cleaned yet. Church services will be held under a tent on Sunday.

I made a casserole to take along for our lunch along with cucumber salad. Dessert was brought in by the others, so lunch was easy.

We attended church Sunday in a different church district at niece Elizabeth and Manual’s house. We stayed all day and had supper before heading home. Sister Emma was surprised with an ice cream cake from her family at supper. Emma turned 48 on July 19th. On Sunday brother-in-law Jacob attended church for the first time since his hospital stay, but it really wore him out. He has an appointment scheduled with a doctor in Ann Arbor next week. We pray this will help him and he’ll get good results.

A festive cake to celebrate Lovina’s son Benjamin turning 22 on July 14. Photo provided.

Son Joseph will have his 19th birthday Saturday so we will have another July birthday. Also grandson Ryan’s birthday is next week and he will be 2. Joseph was only a few months old when I started penning this column. It has been almost 19 years that I have written it and my mother wrote it for 11 years before that. After Mother passed away so suddenly, I took over. Life was different back then with having six children and the oldest only 8 years old. I thought I was busy then, but it seems almost like I’m busier now. The family grows and I like to help my married daughters when I can.

Today I want to make iced tea concentrate for the freezer so I can take it to Tim and Elizabeth’s house for church Sunday. I will make spearmint/peppermint which I have out in my garden.

Saturday I will go help Elizabeth mix her peanut butter spread, make casseroles for Sunday night supper, and help her clean up. Daughters Susan and Verena are going to take Elizabeth’s children for the day so everything will stay clean. They will make supper for Tim’s so they can go home to a clean house and be ready for church services. It’s not that everything has to be cleaned to hold church services, but it’s nice to have a goal to get everything cleaned. I’ll share the tea concentrate recipe. God’s blessings to all!

Tea Concentrate

6 cups water, divided
1 cup tea leaves of your choice, packed
1 1/2 cup sugar

Boil 4 cups water. Add tea leaves. Put the lid on the pot and remove from heat. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Put sugar in a 2-quart bowl. Strain liquid into bowl, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Rinse leaves with 2 cups cold water, then strain and add this liquid to the sugar liquid. Cool, then measure out 1 cup concentrate into individual containers, and freeze. To serve, add 1 cup concentrate to 2 quarts cold water.



Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher 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 to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

3 thoughts on “Church preparations and July birthdays”

  1. So glad I found your column again, Lovina. I missed you when your column left The Amish Cook. But so glad to catch up with your family. Love to hear all about you and the family. I have been keeping all of you in my prayers as you struggle through so many losses. It is difficult to accept sometimes but as you say so often, God knows what is best.
    I am going to try the tea recipe. It sounds so refreshing ! Best wishes to all your family and prayers , too.

  2. I enjoy reading your columns. I also have your cookbooks. My mom was your mom’s first cousin . So it makes this interesting. I remember my dad always clipped your moms recipes out of the newspaper for my mom .

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