Blending as a big family

By Gloria Yoder

We’re home! Yes, home sweet home. How is it possible to have such a wonderful trip, but then be so delighted to be home again? The younger children were not as impressed about being home, so I explained to them that in order for us to go away again, we first need to go home! We all see things through a different set of lenses, right?

As always, on our return from a lengthy trip one of the first things I do is take a stroll around the house, check on the garden, the veggies, and of course the weeds. This time we were elated to find a gallon of ripe strawberries. Mmm… what is better then a fresh berry, straight form the patch? Actually, I do know what’s better- a little hand, outstretched with a, “Here, mommy, this one is for you!”

With the little dry spell in our area we set to work watering the garden. Ah, I can’t wait to harvest the first ripe tomato. My goal for years has been to have the first ripe tomato by my Dad’s birthday on June 26.

Ya, our trip to Ohio was packed with family time, a birthday party, fishing, garage sales, and the likes. It was an enriching time for each of us.

If you ask Jesse what his favorite part was, he’ll inform you about his fishing trip and the time he spent the night in Mary’s room. This little guy, at three years old simply does not tire of fishing in the hot sun. After more than two hours of fishing, he shed many tears because it was time to go for supper. Since he hadn’t caught his long-awaited bass, he was sure that it couldn’t be time to stop fishing just yet. He was super impressed when he mastered the art of casting all by himself. Standing a short distance from where he was fishing, I observed him dropping his own fish line, to go cast in Elijah’s. With all-boy mannerisms, he importantly informed Elijah, who is four months younger than himself, how he needs to keep an eye on his bobber, and told him exactly what to do when it starts to go under water.

Julia thrived on her time with Aunt Mary, especially when she was asked to join her at her office to help water plants for the landscaping business. Spending time with the cousins her age, who live down the little gravel road from Grandpa’s was a special treat.

Austin, Jesse, and Elijah were impressed by all the big tractors and forklifts on Grandpa’s farm and pallet shop. Hosanna spent hours with the boys playing on Grandpa’s swings and slide. She was elated when we had an early birthday party for her and Aunt Janice. When Mary gave her the option of a cake or cupcakes she wasted no time in choosing Mary’s specialty- cupcakes. Hosanna chose pink and lavender colored icing.

I smiled, as I watched Daniel thrive on time spent with his dad and brothers, whether they worked together or just relaxed around the table, chatting about work or discussing deeper and richer things in life pertaining to God.

A simple thing that blessed me on our one week stay was that I am truly welcomed and included as one of them. It’s like I told them, I have done nothing to deserve their love and acceptance of me as a part of the family! Whether I need an afternoon snack for the children, or strike a notion to make supper, it’s all about just being you and blending as a big family. As a side note, I have also found that in any strong families as such, if you take a closer look, there have been a lot of giving and forgiving. Never do relationships just fall into strong ties without tying and retying knots, and learning to trust all over again.

Little Joshua did amazingly well throughout our stay despite his teething that cost disgruntled sleep patterns and some rougher days. He soon learned where the toys belonged and where the stairs are, leading up to our room. At 11 months this little fellow loves to climb — the higher the better. He’s not walking yet, though it won’t be long. It’s looks comical as he turns his curly little head watching as we all cheer and clap at his new accomplishments, like saying a new word. He knows that all he needs to do is repeat it, and he’ll have all the attention he wants.

I’d like to leave you with a recipe Daniel’s mom used to make when he was a young boy growing up. He still fondly remembers his mom making Penny Supper Casserole. Of course, a homemade gravy may be used in place of the store-bought soup.

Penny Supper Casserole

4 medium potatoes, diced

1 cup peas

1 small onion

1/4 cup margarine

1 can mushroom soup

1 teaspoon mustard

8 hot dogs

1 cup Velveeta cheese

Cook potatoes and also cook peas and drain. Mix together with onion and margarine in a mixing bowl.

Mix soup and mustard into veggies.

Put into 7-inch by 11-inch dish.

Top with cut-up hot dogs.

Put on top.


Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

By Gloria Yoder

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427