How can one describe the miracle of a birth, a newborn, a young soul who will live throughout all eternity? I have often wondered why God ever trusts us humans with innocent little ones, ready to be shaped and molded, taught and trained? Oh, for wisdom from God to lead our little ones in His ways.

Yes, it's true, our little one has arrived. We're blessed beyond measure. Austin Daniel was born Oct. 30, flooding our hearts with joy. We are totally delighted with a little boy. It's especially fun for me to see my husband, Daniel, with a son.

Weighing less than 7 pounds at birth, he's still a tiny bundle. He seems to be doing well and is rapidly gaining more weight. I love the newborn stage. I try to enjoy and savor each moment. After all, they grow up so fast.

Our 3-year-old daughter, Julia, seems to be adapting well to a new little one in the family. I tell her she's Austin's big sister and Mom's helper. She runs a lots of little errands for me, such as fetching his pacifier, burp cloth, diaper or whatever I need. After Austin was born, she almost cried. She said: "I wanted a girl." Thankfully, she is now delighted to have him as a boy and would rather have a brother than a sister. A special and hearty thank you to all of you who sent cards and notes after my birthday and Austin's birth. I was quite surprised and have been reading them. May you be blessed.

My husband Daniel's sister Mary from Ohio is here helping us for several weeks. She has been a tremendous blessing. It helps me relax to have someone go ahead with whatever needs to be done around here. She does a wonderful job with the children as well as other tasks. Last week, she made a huge batch of barbecue sauce with tomatoes I had stuck in the freezer this summer.

The other day, she asked Daniel if there's anything he's hungry for or that she could make for us before she returns home.

"Creamsticks," was Daniel's quick response.

"OK, let's plan on it. What if I'd prepare the dough in the afternoon and when you come home from work, we can all help each other make them?" Mary suggested.

Daniel was all for that. Have you ever heard of baking creamsticks instead of deep-frying them? Of course I love to have them deep fried, at the same time I like the thought of using less grease. It's definitely easier and less mess to clean up afterwards if you bake them instead.

Making cream sticks is something I enjoy doing with family or friends. Here is our recipe:

Baked creamsticks

1 cup shortening

11βΡ4 cup mashed potatoes

1 quart milk, scalded

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1βΡ2 cup warm water

3 packages yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

6 eggs, beaten

11 to 12 cups flour

In a large bowl put shortening, potatoes, milk, sugar and salt. Stir until shortening and sugar are dissolved. Put warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl. Add eggs and yeast to first mixture. Stir in enough flour until dough is not sticky. Cover, let rise until double. Roll out dough. Cut in 1-by-3-inch strips. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Let set until they are cold. Cut a slit on top and put in filling. Then top with favorite icing.


2 cups milk

6 tablespoons clear jel

Pinch salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups sugar

11βΡ2 cups Crisco

Combine milk, clear jel and salt in saucepan. Cook until thick. Add vanilla and cool. Cream together sugar and Crisco. Mix with cold cooked mixture and mix well.

Daniel's favorite caramel icing

1βΡ2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1βΡ4 cup milk

2 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter, add sugar and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring. Add milk and stir until it boils. Cool. Add powdered sugar

Editor's note: Clear-jel is a thickener which can be found in most bulk food stores. If you don't have access to clear-jel, cornstarch can be an appropriate substitute.