The school will have Friday and Monday off for a mid-winter break. Today is Valentine’s Day so the elementary classes are having their party. Last night Joseph 10, Lovina, 8, and Kevin, 7 signed all their cards to their classmates. This is Joseph’s last year in elementary school so this is his last Valentine’s party.

We headed out for the two-hour trip to Berne, Ind., on Saturday at around 7:15 a.m. We have set our hired van driver to be here around 6:30 a.m. He got out of his van and somehow left his keys locked inside. His son brought a spare pair and we were on our way 45 minutes later. Nine out of the 12 siblings were at Joe’s sisters house for the late family Christmas gathering.  There was more than enough food for the 10:30 a.m. carry-in brunch. Snacks were served later on in the day. After we left the gathering on Saturday we drove in to the place we used to live before we moved to Michigan almost nine years ago.

From there we stopped in at the homeplace where I lived until after daughters Elizabeth and Susan were born. The family that lived there now was kind enough to offer us to go inside the house. We were running short on time so we decided not to. The three oldest daughters seem to remember the most of the place. It brought back a lot of memories but the saying proves true that "home is where the heart is." We stopped in for a short visit with sister Liz and Levi. From there we headed to brother Amos and Nancy’s house. Amos is recovering from bronchitis. In the van accident on Jan. 9 he had badly bruised lungs. That seems to make it harder to get rid of his cough. He hasn’t been back to work since the accident but wants to go soon.

It is difficult for Amos not to be able to go to work. The results for the 23-year-old boy who was in the accident are better than they first thought. He does have some feeling in his feet and one of his thighs. He is doing better than the doctors thought he would. We hope and pray he continues to improve with therapy. After we left Amos’ house we stopped to see sister Leah and Paul. Paul had been in scheduled to have hernia surgery last week. The doctor didn’t do the surgery due to Paul’s blood pressure being high and signs of weakness in his heart. He will need to have some tests done on his heart. Hopefully everything will work out and good health will be restored.

Last week daughter Susan made monster cookies to take along to the family gathering. Seeing the bag of M&M’s brought back a lot of memories from my Grandpa Coblentz. When we were little children every time he came to visit he would bring us a bag of M&M’s to share. We would be so excited and evenly count them into piles. We tried to make our pile last as long as we could savoring each morsel. Not once do I see or taste M&M’s without thinking of Grandpa Coblentz. 

We recently took Loretta to the children’s hospital where she had surgery on her feet last fall. The doctors were really pleased at how well she was doing. She can go six months without her braces to see how she does. Also she is doing all of her therapy here at home now. We pray her strength will keep getting stronger but we need to accept whatever God’s will is. I want to thank everyone for prayers and encouragement. It  helps to know others care. God’s blessings to all.

Daughter Verena made this pudding last night as a treat for us all. Sister Emma always prepared this pudding a lot and our family always enjoys it.


1 12-ounce package of Oreo cookies

2 3-ounce boxes of instant vanilla pudding

1 16-ounce Cool Whip

1 8-ounce cream cheese

1 stick margarine, melted

3 cups milk

Crush cookies with a rolling pin. Place all except 1 cup of crumbs in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch pan. Pour margarine over crumbs in the pan. Mix milk and cream cheese. Add pudding and mix well. Pour over crumbs and then top with Cool Whip. Sprinkle with leftover crumbs and chill.