Monthly Archives: July 2008

Saturday evening at the reunion, just before supper, we took family pictures of those who were there — Many, many were missing, but I decided to put on the families that were there at that particular minute.  Some of you don’t know a single one of these people; others of you know some of them.  I am so blessed to know them and to call them

Aunt Ruth’s Family

Uncle David’s Family

Uncle Amos’s Family
Aunt Naomi’s Family

Uncle Johnny’s Family

Uncle Dan’s Family

Uncle Paul’s Family

Our Family, with Uncle Luke’s

Uncle Jesse’s Family

Aunt Miriam’s Family

The families are in birth order.
Each family was represented at the reunion.
What a family!
I suppose we know our weaknesses better than those who look on.
(And those who look on know them pretty well!!!)
I’m just glad that for a golden weekend,
We could put it all aside
And just be


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Yesterday, Certain Man and I celebrated 35 years of being married to each
other.  (Please cheer!)    We took a leisurely day — did some shopping for
shoes for him, had early supper out, went to the boardwalk, sat and watched the
waves, got some incredible custard cones from a rinky-dink old shop, did some
exploring on old abandoned state roads, checked out a campground for the
feasibility of renting cabins for a church retreat or family get together,
peered from afar (or should I say “acar”) at a deliciously variegated ornamental
plant nursery, stopped and visited my aunt who was in the hospital, and then were (for me, FINALLY!!!) on our way home around 9:00 pm. 

I talked to Middle
Daughter, still not home from work, and was surprised when she asked to talk to
Certain Man.  But I was even more surprised when he suddenly pulled off the road
and said, “We are going  back for the Brats you wanted for tomorrow night’s


“Because.  I can’t tell you why.  It’s like
Christmas.  You shouldn’t ask questions.”

I looked at the clock on the
dash and I said, “It’s too late for a party tonight, Daniel.  It’s just too

“Well,” he said evasively.  “I don’t really know what the kids are
planning for when we get home.”

Forty-five minutes later we came breezing
into the kitchen to find all of the kids there.  The married ones as well as the
ones still at home.  Their precious faces were shining, and they obviously had a secret,
but there were no noises of “Surprise!”  No party evidence.  Nothing.

I started across the kitchen into the family room, Eldest Son came up behind me
and put both hands over my eyes.  Certain Man came in front of me and took both
of my hands and said, “Shut your eyes, Hon!”   And the children chorused, “Yeah,
mom.  Shut your eyes and don’t peek!”

So I obediently shut both my eyes
and allowed Certain Man to guide me around the end of the table and he stopped
right in what felt like the middle of the family.  “Okay, NOW!” said the Powers
That Be.  “Now look!”

China cupboard

could not believe my eyes!  Certain Man has been talking that he would like to
get a hickory china cabinet for a long time, but with the current economic
status, I never dreamed that he was planning something like this.  I didn’t know
whether to laugh or to cry.  It is just so pretty!  And big!  And has such
economical storage space!  Of course, everyone had to say how they couldn’t
believe that I hadn’t seen it right away, but if they had seen the seven smiley
faces that I saw when walked in, pretty much everything else would have dimmed
in comparison.

I’ve been so blessed, in so many ways.  

Lord Jesus, once again, I
offer grateful praise.


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It started in the early morning light with a crabbing trip.  Here, Joan and Johnny man the crab lines.

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I neglected to take any pictures of the potato salad affair.  Donna and her two girlies, Laura and Amy, joined me and my Sweet Mama, my two beloved sisters, and my Oldest and Middle Daughter and we made five gallons of potato salad in about an hour and a half.

A little before five, they started to gather in.
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Uncle David, Becky and Uncle Daniel

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Lucy and Mama

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Aunt Dottie and Aunt Gladys

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Ralph, Karen and Steve

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Melanie, Aunt Naomi and Judith

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Becky, Uncle Jesse and Clint

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Aunt Mimmie, Naomi and Rhoda

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Laura, Donna, Jonathan, Annika and Danielle

Jonathan and Danielle have the newest Yoder of all:
(Though very temporarily — there are at least three babies due almost any time).

Meet Liv Joannamae Hoffstetter
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Two weeks old

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Linford and Liv

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That Crabbing Picture was not just for fun.  The crew got three bushel.
Rob steamed them for us and they got to the school around seven — after most of us had supper!
These things were very popular, as the following pictures will bear out.

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The table full.

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Another shot of the table

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Dee and Katrina

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Carmen and Holly

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Sarah and Mama

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Jared and Amy
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Paul, Ronda and Aunt Dottie

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Polly                                         Judith

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Johnny                                           Clint

And then there was some time for visiting and seeing the familiar faces.

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My Certain Man and Aunt Naomi

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Eldest Daughter caught me halfway throught the evening.

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Judith (Uncle Paul’s youngest)

Uncle John’s Judi and Victoria

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Here, two David Yoders have serious conversation.

What I wouldn’t give tonight to see my Daddy’s smile.

Where ever you are tonight, Daddy dear, I love you.  And though it probably doesn’t make a hill of Delaware Lima Beans bit of difference to you, the planning, the work and the joy I feel at being able to be a part of this happy time has its impetus in that love that will not let me go — that shines ahead and behind me and makes me want to be strong.  I know you would love these days, and I see your face in the lined faces and smiley eyes of your brothers and sisters.  But even with all this closeness, you seem very far away . . .

Can you know that in a very real way, this weekend is for you . . . from me?


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Our Bible School is over, and we are going home!

AA Bible School

The boxes are back into their places, the floors have been swept, the kids are gone.
The five nights of Bible School are over, and there are some very tired people.
The words of the theme song keep ringing in my head,
“Read to go where you may lead,
I’m ready, ready to serve . . .”

I look at the faces of the children, and there are so many different emotions and life experiences played out there.
My heart aches for so many of them.
I wonder how I can best serve them and their broken families.

But then there is incredible joy in my heart, too.
I look forward to time spent with my extended family.

We are getting ready to start a big Yoder Family Reunion tonight. 
And this is where I am called to serve for the next several days.
It feels like these sweet July days are filled to the brim with
Precious Times

My anticipation is tempered by the losses.
I feel keenly the faces that won’t be there —
Aunt Mary Lois, Aunt Clara, Aunt Gertrude, My Daddy, Uncle Monroe, Uncle John
(These are the ones in Heaven)

And there are those, who won’t be there, by reason of health:
Uncle Amos, Aunt Daisy, Uncle Luke, Aunt Cora, Uncle Eli, Aunt Ruth.

And there are those who won’t be there because they can’t.
(This makes me sorry)

And there are those who won’t be there because they won’t.
(This makes me sad)

But there will be many, many who will come gladly.
Because they can.
Because they want to.
Because when all is said and done,
 warts and all,

Welcome, dear family.


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I love the flowers that are all around Shady Acres.  They relax me and speak to my soul.  I especially like flowers that have a story. 

Some years ago, there was a sleep over for the female cousins on my Daddy’s side.  We had a wonderful time.  It was a sacred, heartwarming time, filled with laughter and tears.  One of the things we did that weekend was to bring something to give away that would tell something about our lives.  My cousin, Judith, had come to be with us that weekend, and it took a great deal of courage, because she really did not know us.

When the time came to share what we had brought, she brought out this greenhouse pot kind of thing with some “spear-ish” looking things in it with some stems topped with something that looked like dried blackberries.  She proceeded to introduce us to a lily that made delicate flowers and then folded up over the center and formed a blackberry looking seed inside of a parchment-looking cover.  She told the story of how her life paralleled this particular lily.  There were few dry eyes.

I was the one who got to keep the sqiggly looking things in the pot.  Some of the cousins took some seeds, and I don’t know what became of them, but I planted my little lily beside my back garage door, then transplanted it to a raised bed on the other side of the back door, and kept wondering when it would bloom.  This is my third summer with it, and very suddenly, just yesterday, I noticed that it had made a single flower (with the promise of many, many more)  I was ecstatic!

Blackberry lily 01
This is larger than actual size.

In other news, Bible School has been moving right along. 
The balcony houses the elementary class, and it is such a temptation to look over the edge:

This fellow is being quite contained. 
We’ve had a couple of narrow squeaks!

The thing that always cheers me up is this little guy.
(His Mama is teaching, and his Daddy comes along to keep an eye on him.)


Ah, Sammy.  You can’t begin to know how important you are to our church family!


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“Come to Bible School, Come to Bible School . . . “

It is time for Bible School
at the little white church at the corner of
Canterbury and Carpenter Bridge Roads in Kent County, DE.

How our church loves Bible School Children
 and the week of Bible School.  Our theme this year is
God’s Big Back Yard
And what a great job of decorating!  It is really sweet!

The children are the best of all, though.

They love the snacks and games
(Don’t we all?)

The first two nights have been well attended, greatly participated in, and a whole lot of fun.  (You could put the word “Work” in the place of “Fun” and you would still have it right for the adults and youth group people involved.)

Worth it???

Only eternity will tell the whole tale, of course.
But even without eternity, we would hate to miss this week and the opportunities it brings to us.

“Come to Bible School, Come to Bible School . . . “

“Lord Jesus, if the invitation to Bible School can translate into an invitation to make sure of Heaven,
And even one person would accept,
The Family in your Big Back Yard
Could know no greater joy!


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Remember that Handsome Young Groom of two weeks ago???

A Wedding 003

Today he was going through some things to take to his house and found his old eye glasses.

It did not bring out the best in him . . .

Crazy Boy 1

His pretty girl was not impressed.

Frankly, neither were any of us.

Except, maybe, HIM, because of the reaction it got.

Ah, Son.  You still light up my life!


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