(NOTE: Because of slow mail delivery, Lovina's Christmas week column only arrived in time for this week's publication.)

As I write this, Christmas is six days away. I do not need to look at the calendar to know, as the children remind me every morning. Jesus is the reason for the season. Let us rejoice on the day Christ was born. May each of your holiday season be filled with all the joy and peace on earth.

My husband will have off work after today until January 2. The school will give the children a 2-week Christmas vacation. Daughter Elizabeth isnít sure if she will get 1 or 2 weeks off yet. Anyways, it looks like the next 2 weeks will be lively here at the Eichers.

Today is laundry day again. I also have dough rising for bread and cinnamon rolls. I made 2 batches of cinnamon rolls yesterday. The children want to give them to their teachers for Christmas. Daughter Susan made all the frosting for me for the rolls. She is always the one I get to do that for me. The last rolls came out of the oven around 9 p.m. So had to wait to frost them until they were cooled off enough. After the frosting was set enough I put them in Ziploc bags so they would be ready for the children to take this morning. Lovina and Kevin will take their teachers cinnamon rolls to them tonight.

Tonight is the elementary Christmas program at the school. We have only 2 children in it now. So hard to believe that only Lovina (third grade) and Kevin (second grade) are in elementary school. At first all the older ones were in the program while all the younger ones sat with us. Now the older ones are back with us in the audience while the younger ones are in the program.

On Sunday, December 22 my husband Joe will his 45th birthday. Another reminder that we arenít getting any younger.

We had some excited children this past week when we were dumped with some snow. Not sure how many inches we had total but it was a beautiful sight to behold. The children have spent all their free time sledding fown the hill in the hayfield.

Last night Kevin came in with some very cold toes. I think he stayed outside a little too long with coming inside to warm up. Our border collie is always by Kevinís side and races him and the sled down the hill. During the holidays may there be peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Try this party mix over the holidays!

Ranch snack mix

12 ounce box very thin pretzels 12 ounce bag Bugles 10 ounce can cashews 6 ounce box bite size cheddar cheese fish crackers. 1 envelope ranch dressing mix 1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 3/ 4 cup vegetable oil

Mix snacks in large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over snacks. Bake at 200 for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish and lives in Michigan. Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write to Lovina at: PO BOX 2144, Middletown, Ohio 45042. © OASIS NEWSfeatures