Monthly Archives: August 2007

A Birthday Party!!!

There are two little guys who are precious to us in so many ways.  They both have birthdays coming up, and their Daddy and Mommy decided to have their birthday party together and have everyone come. What a hoot!

There were party hats–

aaa my kids

Some wore them and some didn’t.  Okay, so maybe some people are more vain than others!
(One of the vain ones cropped her own picture out of this group.  And yes, she was wearing a party hat!  But there were other “considerations”). 


aaa Daniel and his party hat

And then there were people there who didn’t even know how to wear party hats!!!  Some people just can’t help it!

Birthday Day Boy Number One planned the menu:

aaa birthday boy 1

“I want Brats.  And root beer in a bottle.  Iittle tiny cupcakes with sprinkles.  Macaroni and cheese!”
He got it all.  “Next year,” says Mommy, “(Birthday Boy Number Two) gets to plan the menu!

aaa birthday boy 2

What fun to open the presents.  It was almost like Christmas.  How nice that there are so many people who love these little boys.  How special that their Daddy and Mommy allow us in their lives!

aaa The builder and the inspector

The plumbing inspector and the builder try their hands at putting together a shopping cart.
It was together before we knew it!

aaa good conversation

What a nice surprise!  Grandma Ruby came with Grandpa Nelson from Virginia.

aaa my girls

And Auntie Chris and Rachel were there — as well as about twenty others.  It was quite a party!

aaa the boys 

Little cupcakes with sprinkles on them!  How Exciting!

aaa the boys and daddy

Birthday Boy Number Two gets some instruction from Daddy —

aaa mommy helps

And then help from Mommy. Such a sweet, sweet family.

Precious, precious days.
What wonderful memories for them, for us. 
I thank God for these little guys and how they have blessed our lives. 

Happy Birthday Carson! 

Happy Birthday Nevin!



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At 6:30 pm August 25, 2007

 Laura Marie Beachy
(Plain City, Ohio)

Beloved sister of Daniel’s stepmother,
Sue Yutzy,

finished the work that she was sent to do
here on earth,

and entered into her heavenly home. 

May she rest in peace.

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Aren’t Saturdays wonderful things?

This day is a wondrous gift to me, indeed.  Youngest Daughter gave me a special gift when she cleaned up the kitchen with all its grub and grime and loaded the dishwasher. And started it.  Middle Daughter did an equally distasteful job when she cleaned out the litter box in the basement. (They are on an “end of summer” expedition with Beloved Son in Law and Eldest Daughter on this very, very hot day in Delaware.)   I have worked on Church Retreat stuff, did some laundry, shared a wonderful small Italian sub with my husband, and now am getting ready to be host family tomorrow.  It is so peaceful, so quiet, so deliciously unrushed that I am sure it won’t last.

And while preparations are made for yet another funeral in the Greenwood community, Certain Man’s family awaits the homegoing of an Ohio auntie who had a stroke earlier this week.  Somber, somber thoughts, as we contemplate our own mortality.  But comfort and hope and peace as we remember that our times are in His hands. 


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My Grandma Wert’s Brown Sugar Cookies

Cream together:   2 cups brown sugar
                        1/2 cup shortening (I use margerine)

Add:                    2 eggs and beat until creamy.

Sift together:         3 cups flour
                            3 teaspoons baking powder
                         3/4 teaspoon soda

Add flour mixture to sugar/shortening/egg mixture alternately with
                          1/2 cup canned milk

Mix well.

Add:                     1 teaspoon vanilla
                         3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheets and bake 12 minutes at 375ยบ until golden brown.  If you let them set just a little after taking them out of the oven, they will remove from the cookie sheets better. (I do not usually grease the cookie sheets.)  Remove to waxed paper and cool.  When totally cool, frost with Maple Flavored Frosting.

1 lb. box of confectioner’s sugar
1 stick of margerine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
3 tablespoons canned milk (use slightly more if icing isn’t “spreadable”).

Mix everything together and frost cookies.  When the frosting is set, I layer them into an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers.

(These are my sons’ favorite cookies, and  I always make a double batch of cookies and frosting.  One single batch is never enough!)


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e Oh, I love a rainy day!!!  e 


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My Oldest Brother turns 57 on Monday, August 20th.
As youngsters we argued and fussed and I got him into trouble.  More than once, I’m afraid.  Our disagreements were so sharp at times that our Sweet Mama would cry and say, “Why can’t our children love each other?”  Our Daddy would smile and say, “My children have spirit.  They are going to go somewhere in this life.”  (It occurs to me that he didn’t say where we were going to go.  He just knew we would do it with all our hearts!)
One time, I shot him in the leg with a BB gun.  I didn’t mean to, but I still did it.  And it was during a fuss, so he always thought I did it on purpose!  Looking back, I remember the look on his face before the incident, and it did need dealing with.  I remember the look on his face afterwards, too.  It isn’t a comfortable memory.  There is justice in this old world.  We both got punished.
Clint often helped in the kitchen.  Sometimes I had to dry the dishes while he washed them.  Until Mama decided that our argumentive skills needed no sharpening and would make other, less volatile arrangements.
I vividly remember the time he got a brand new yellow volkswagen and he let me drive it!  I couldn’t believe it then.  Can hardly believe it now.
The year he turned sixteen, Daddy allowed him and Middle Brother and me to go to Tennessee to see our cousins down there.  The boys really didn’t think I should be allowed to go along, but Daddy said I could.  And then, when I left all my hang-up clothes back in Greenwood, and discovered it ten miles out of town and had to go back, it didn’t make for the best beginnings of a trip.  But we went, we survived, and we returned all in one piece.  When I think of sending our Oldest Son off when he had just gotten his license, with Youngest Son and Youngest Daughter in tow — well, let’s just say, IT WOULDN”T HAPPEN!!!  But Daddy had confidence in him, believed that he would be okay, and it was.
This past week has been a busy one for him.  He came home from a family cycle trip (he was driving a car) to one of his members in ICU, dying.  She hung on until Monday evening, and then went HOME to Heaven.  There are some difficult things facing his church right now — There was an elder’s meeting this week that went late.  Then Friday, he conducted the funeral (and did a swell job, too!).  He went to the dinner afterwards, mingled with the family and helped to clean up.  Then went from there to his Church Campout/retreat.  Beloved Son-in-law and Eldest Daughter and another couple were cooking for that particular event and the other gal told me late last night, “Your Brother came into the kitchen and encouraged us.  He cut up the cantaloupe and watermelon that needed cutting up and he wouldn’t have had to.  He did it just to be nice.  He sure can cut up a watermelon.  Robert (her husband) has been practicing doing it his way ever since!”
There are very few of his nieces and nephews who don’t think the world of him.  Every one of our children have voiced their love and appreciation for him.  Oldest Son, who is a member of his church will often say, “That Uncle Clinton! He’s the man!”
I just want to go on record as saying that it has been a long time since my oldest brother and I have had a fuss, quarrel or even a minor disagreement.   The events of our adult lives have revealed more what we have in common than anything else.  And he grew up.  I think I did too.  (That has helped alot!!!)  And God has done a work of grace in each of our lives as siblings that I never would have dreamed possible 40 years ago.  I am so grateful that we have been able to be friends as adults.  I am so thankful that we’ve been able to be a part of the lives of our nieces and nephews.  I know that my life is so much richer because of each one of them.
In a recent, sudden death, the family could not find one of their siblings.  They tried everything they knew, but she was nowhere to be found.  Finally, the day after the funeral, she got the message that she was to call home.  It was a terrible thing for her to hear, “We buried Daddy yesterday.”  It is one of those things that has caused me to think again about families and the people that make them up.  Losing Daddy has been the hardest thing for us as a family to work through.  But I cannot imagine what kind of pain it would be to missing someone at a time like that and not be able to find them.  I know that personal choice plays a big factor in situations like this, but I’m grateful for brothers who have forgiven a pesky sister and who are genuinely friends.  I have no desire to be out of their lives.
Happy Birthday, Clint.  I surely do love you!


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He never taught me how to pick lima beans.


When my Daddy went away to Heaven, he left an incredible legacy behind.  One of the things I think about, especially at this time of year, is the beautiful lima beans he grew every summer.  (I know.  You all are tired of hearing about my Daddy and his pole limas!)  He and Youngest Brother would work together in a huge patch beside the nursing home, and they would plow and plant and weed and spray and tie up and tie back and then finally PICK. 

I never really thought about it until tonight that we girls never picked lima beans.  At least not in earnest.  Those of you who get the Conservative Conference’s Monthly Magazine, “The Brotherhood Beacon,” saw my Daddy’s hands on the front of the last issue.  I remember those hands, even when they were old and arthritic, picking basket after basket of fordhook lima beans.  We girls were good for shelling, washing, blanching and getting them to the freezer.  But picking them was definitely in the Male department.  And those familiar old hands did a wondrous job, indeed.

Not so, at the house of Certain Man and Certain Man’s Wife.  Certain Man does everything until it is time to pick.  And he will help pick.  At least he did one time (which was just last week, actually).  But usually it is my job.  Last Summer, seeing my grief and homesickness for my Daddy, Certain Man quietly went and purchased some healthy plants and planted one row of pole lima beans down the length of our garden  (I love him for many, many reasons, but qualities that cause him to do things like this sure do make it easy!).

pole limas

I was so delighted.  They did well at the beginning, and I got my first small bucket picked, Deborah shelled them, and I made them the way My Sweet Mama always made them.

Pole limas 1

But then the summer got hot.  And I could hardly bear to be out there in the garden, picking pole limas.  Especially when I was crying so hard that I couldn’t find the beans.  Finally, I just didn’t go out there any more.  I was comforted by the fact that everyone was saying, “This sure is a bad year for pole limas!”  I don’t know about other people, but I will tell you that beans in the garden don’t get into the feezer by themselves.  And eventually, they will just stop trying.  Alas and Alack!  Most of my beans went to waste.

This year, Certain Man planted a row again, and he has watered and watered and watered.  And they are doing well.  I’ve been going out there, keeping an eye on them, and trying to pick them.  I duck in and around, red faced and sweating, with dirt in my sandals.  I ponder the mysteries of mating grasshoppers and aphids.  I squash the hornets if I am able and throw the dried up pods across the fence to the cow pasture.  And I ask Daddy why he never taught me to pick beans.  It always looked so easy. 

“I could do that!” I would think.  “Nothing to it, really!”

Well, I surely was wrong.  If the light is right, you can hold the pod up and can tell the size of the beans inside, but most of the time, you just need to feel for fullness, and after a couple hundred beans amongst the propagating insect life and the setting sun, it gets pretty fuzzy.  I realize now that my Daddy liked to pick beans, and probably enjoyed some of the quiet of the patch or just the good company of his Youngest Son.  And he probably never imagined that someday, this fifty-some year old daughter of his would take up the art of growing lima beans.   If he had, he probably would have taught me.  

He taught me some pretty unusual things in my time.  When Certain Man and I started to raise chickens, and Certain Man’s soft heart (Thank God for soft-hearted men!) wouldn’t allow him to cull, I called my Daddy and he came over and taught me how to cull chickens.  And he taught me how to butcher chickens, too — from slicing the throat to scalding to plucking to cutting them up for the frying pan or roaster. 

But he never taught me to pick lima beans.  But I’m learning, I’m learning.  And tonight, our little row of Lima Beans has finally produced enough that I was able to put two bags in the freezer.  Wow!  It feels good!

(Now if I could find some way to make my little row produce 50 more quarts, I would really be in business!)




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Today there was a funeral.

We sang about the City of Light ‘mid the Stars.

And about Glad Voices Lifted in Triumph on High.

We sang about being anchored in the Haven of Rest,

And about All the Way My Savior Leads Me.

We laughed.  We cried. 
We listened.  We prayed.
We cooked.  We visited. 
We ate. We cleaned up. 
We went home again.

And all the while, I thought about that Daddy of mine, safely home, there in that City of Light.  I wondered if it seemed to him but a minute before he turned and saw Daniel and Ivan and Ethel and Uncle John and now Val.

“Lift your glad voices, in triumph on high
For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die. . .”

Tonight I struggle to reconcile this revisited grief with the intrinsic belief that these words are true.  I believe in Heaven, and I believe Daddy is there.  But there is something to be said about death, too, as we know it.  Right now, the reality of death is more experiential than that City of Light. 

No one panic.  I am not losing my faith.  I believe more than ever that Heaven is a real place, and that Daddy is there — But I miss him intensely as we pass off yet another hand into the hand of the Father. . . and I realize that this person who so lately spoke and laughed and walked with us, now is in the presence of The Father.  And Daddy is there. 

What a comforting thought!



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They’re home, safe and sound!  Thanks for all the prayers!

And it is Monday at Shady Acres — Which means laundry by the (literal) bushels.

Today is also the day when we finalize the planning
for the funeral of one of our church members.

July 4th picnic --  USA chairs and Val

Brother Val Miller (age 88) was killed in an accident last Thursday night,
and will be buried tomorrow.

Please pray for his widow,

July 4th picnic --  Mr Jones Express Himself
Polly Bontrager Miller,
and his children and grandchildren.



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It’s after midnight.

Somewhere, “out there,” three of our offspringin’s are making their way home from Conference.

My Kids

Lord Jesus,
hold them tight!


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