After spending the past four weeks with family in Ohio, it feels good to be home again. The weather has been perfect since we're back.

Today was a full, yet enjoyable, day. It seems like a lot has happened since we got up this morning. After breakfast and devotions, I tackled the apples. I decided to turn most of our apples into applesauce and put the rest away to be eaten fresh or used for making pies and apple crisp. I just relish the aroma of apples being cooked in preparation to be turned into a sauce.

With my sister's help and there not being too many apples, we were able to finish in time to go to my grandparents where my mother's aunts and some cousins were quilting. I enjoyed the short, half-mile walk to their house. Upon arriving, I found them sitting around the quilt with their needles rapidly going up and down and in and out. I found a vacant spot in one corner, got a thimble and joined in. I have found it to be pleasant and relaxing to sit at a quilt stitching away while visiting with other ladies. The quilt was a beautiful maroon and white color, with neatly embroidered flowers and hearts. Sometimes when I look at a quilt that needs to be done, it looks overwhelming to think of doing everything. But bit by bit, stitch by stitch, the project is completed. At noon when an uncle came home for lunch, he informed us that "walking to the West Coast from here" would almost appeal more to him than doing the quilt by himself.

After a scrumptious lunch of haystacks, Julia and I headed for the store, where we did some shopping. When we returned home, we were both ready to relax a bit, so we each took a refreshing nap.

Next, I tackled a closet that needed to be organized and cleaned. Organizing is something I thoroughly enjoy, but unfortunately I don't always keep it that way. As I worked, I started spinning my mind on what we could have for supper. Finally, I decided on making fried rice and red beets. I chose to make blueberry and strawberry crisp with milk for dessert.

My husband Daniel isn't especially fond of plain rice but is always delighted to see my fried rice. I'll include my recipe in case you are interested in trying it.

After supper, we had been asked to babysit for several neighbor children while their parents attended a Parent-Teacher Association meeting. Caring for four extra children younger than 6 kept our evening quite interesting and lively. After playing outside a while, they came inside and I helped them play a game of Strawberryland and read several stories to them.

Perhaps it would be interesting for you to hear more about the PTA meeting? I mentioned with having a small parochial school, we find communication to be both needful and valuable. Every six weeks, the teachers meet with the scholar's parents. They all gather at the schoolhouse for the evening. Since Julia will one day attend the school, we were once invited to join. I found it to be quite interesting and enjoyable. We all sat in a large circle and sang several songs, followed by a brief devotional and prayer.

Next, one of the board members presented some things in relation to the school that needed to be discussed and decided. Generally, the presentation is followed by a discussion from the menfolk and teachers. The meeting is closed with a parting song and a prayer. Afterwards, each set of parents is given the opportunity to personally meet with their children's teacher or teachers.

This is the fried rice recipe I fixed for supper. You can use any meat you wish; we like browned sausage, venison or diced turkey. More veggies can be added. If using turkey or chicken, you might want to add pineapple chunks. That'll give it a sweet, juicy twist. I hope you enjoy making this as much as I do.

Fantastic fried rice

8 ounces rice, cooked until tender

1βΡ2 pound meat of your choice

1βΡ2 pound bacon, fried or crumbled

2 green peppers, sliced or diced

Chicken seasoning

Liquid smoke

Worchestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese of your choice

In a 10-inch skillet, sautee peppers and onions in bacon drippings. Extra butter can be added if desired. Add cooked rice, meat and seasonings. Stir and fry together until hot. Top with cheese, place lid on top, heat on low until cheese is melted.

Gloria Yoder, 24, is an Amish mom in Illinois. She lives with her husband, Daniel, and daughter, Julia.