It’s like music to my ears. Grandma Yoder is telling stories to the children while I tackle the joy of getting in touch with you.
How can all of you, many of whom I have never met, seem so much like family? I do hope you are all doing well. Here we are challenged more than I ever thought I’d be. Still I hasten to add that the most upside down moments keep being flipped right side up by a hand higher and stronger than mine.
I admit, I never thought I’d mother six fatherless little children. The daddy they completely loved and adored is no longer here to tuck them to bed, or chase them on the trampoline, or to enjoy his favorite foods made by them and Mom. Then I ask myself, “Are they really fatherless?” Didn’t God promise that He himself will be a Father to the fatherless? Yes, I wipe tear drops from little cheeks, we pray together, we wonder why, then we give it all back to God again telling him we want his perfect plan for our lives. I marvel anew. How can it be that these little hearts can hurt so much, then soon be bursting with joy, feeling that they really are cared for? I know like never before that God alone is the One who can heal shattered hearts.
We find joy in doing many things together that Daddy used to do, such as spending time with our animal friends. Every evening after supper we all go out to the barnyard. One-year-old Joshua never ever tires of gathering duck and quail eggs. The five youngest children all ‘helped’ me carry their emptied turtle sandbox to the ducks where we filled it with water for them to enjoy. The boys thought it would make a perfect little swimming pool for themselves to play in. “Maybe on a hot day, but for now it’ll be the duck’s pond,” I explained.
Daisy our nanny goat had all of us bursting with excitement when she had twin nannies a few weeks ago. Best of all was that Daddy had picked out the name before he went to be with Jesus. He and the children had agreed on three sets of names, depending if she’d have nannies, billies, or one of each. Now everyone was comforted knowing that Daddy had named them, even though we missed him so. Sheila and Heidi were the new babies.
Daisy provides milk for her babies and enough for our morning grape nuts. Little Joshua has fond memories of last summer, when he and Daddy would go out milking together, and still wants to be a part of the whole process of getting the ice pack, carrying the bucket, and such. Now if goat milk sounds freaky to you, I invite you to our house for a smoothie with fresh goat milk! (Laughing)
Ah, wish you could hear the children singing with Grandma right now. They are singing on the top of their lungs. Isn’t singing a healing tonic that we so often don’t feel like applying? I mean, who feels like singing when their whole world cages in on them? Daniel had been a strong believer in singing through the thick and thin of life.
Yes, Grandma has added a rich dimension to our lives and whether you’re a grandma or not, know that you can make a difference in the lives of others. No matter how lonely and dark our corner in life may be, God has promised to hear us when we pray. We all influence others, whether we mean to or not. Some of the people who have made the biggest impact on my life may never know it.
Thank you for touching our lives in countless ways; each of you matters. Tonight we were blessed by Daniel’s cousin (who was also his birthday twin) and his family from Kentucky, who brought supper to our house. Mmm, we were all well fed, dessert was a special treat, especially with fresh strawberries to top it. If you do try it, use the liberty to choose your favorite fruit and flavor of Jell-O.
Strawberry Trifle Dessert
1 box of angel food cake mix
Mix angel food cake mix according to directions on the box. Cool, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
3/4 cup vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
8 ounces of Cool Whip.
Beat together vanilla instant pudding mix and milk. Add sour cream, vanilla yogurt and Cool Whip.
4 cups cold water
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup Therm-Flo*
In a sauce pan, whisk together cold water, white sugar, and ThermFlo. Bring to a boil, simmer several minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup strawberry Jell-O, 1/2 teaspoon strawberry Kool-Aid and a pinch of salt. Cool then add 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced. Layer the angel food cake cubes, then the filling, and the sauce in a container of your choice (2 layers each). I like using pretty clear glass bowls.
*Corn starch may be used instead, resulting in a more cloudy- look in the filling.
Note: This recipe may be cut to fit your size and store-boughten filling also may be used instead of homemade.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish house-wife in rural Illinois. She is the third writer of The Amish Cook column since its inception in 1991. Yoder can be reached by writing: The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042.
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