Monthly Archives: November 2008

Last Week, I while reading a blog:

homesteadingtess

I came across a recipe that she had posted for making cinnamon/applesauce ornaments.

Today, after our Thursday morning Bible study, a few of the gals stayed and we mixed up two batches.

I was quite pleased with the results, and this little garland was one of the products of the afternoon:

Ornaments
I was just so pleased with it!
Thank you, homesteadingtess!
I enjoy your recipes so very much!

And the other day, I went to pick up Youngest Daughter at school
And whom should I see, but
MandMGreen
 in her bus.
Bus
You can’t see MandMgreen, but she is driving that first big bus.
I certainly don’t envy her that job, but I’m glad that she does it.
Thanks, Erica

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Uncle David and Uncle Luke
This picture was taken today at my Uncle Luke’s house.
Uncle Luke, on the right, is my late father’s twin.
The oldest brother of Daddy and Uncle Luke is Uncle David (on the left)
NurseEd , one of Uncle David’s Grandsons,
made it possible for these two brothers to have some time together.
Thank you, Ed.
This is a best gift!

Our hearts are heavy tonight with the diagnosis that Uncle Luke has received.
ALS — Lou Gehrig’s Disease

I’m so proud of my cousins — his family.
They are united, committed, loving and wise.
I wish so much that the outlook would be brighter,
But they know the God of their father,
And they know where to go for comfort.

And even though this is a terrible, terrible thing,
It isn’t bigger than our incredible God.

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you.
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned;
The Flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD you God,
The Holy one of Israel,
Your Savior. . . ” 
Isaiah 43:2,3a

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We went home to Mama’s house last night.  The usual first Sunday get together had been postponed because of communion last week at our church.  It was one of the smallest times together ever, and we keenly miss those of our family circle who couldn’t make it — but it was still so precious.  I still cannot call it “Mama’s House” without pang when I think of it. 

Mama's House 01
At one corner, Chris, Jess and Josh

Mama's House 02
Mark and Polly

Mama's House 03
Raph and Regina

Mama's House 04
Daniel and Mary Ann

Mama's House 06
Frieda and Clint

Mama's House 05
Our Sweet Mama

As a family, we are dealing with grief in a “familial” sort of way.  Our Daddy’s twin brother, Luke, is struggling with a strange muscular disorder that has changed life for him so drastically.  (If tears about this could fix it, believe me, it certainly would be improved!)   His brother, Dan, has been in the hospital and rehab for a couple of weeks, and deals with pain on a daily basis.  His sister, Ruth, and her husband, Eli, have been dealing with serious age-related issues for a couple of years.  His brother, Amos, is in Landis Homes, needing twenty four hour supervision because of Alzheimers disease. . .

Sometimes I think about my Aunts and Uncles and realize that the days are running out.  The ten oldest children were born in a little over 13 years.  They really are not so far apart in age.  Aunt Ruth, the oldest, is now 90.  Uncle Jesse, the youngest of those ten, is now 77.  (Aunt Miriam is 71) That’s not exactly what you would call a “young bunch” I guess.  But they are my aunts and uncles.  And most of the grandchildren are not so much younger.  The days for us are going just as fast.

This morning, I’ve got Heaven on my mind.  There is this scent to the air I breathe, this gorgeous autumn that compels me to think about  how glorious can be the ending, this thought about my Daddy — already there.  Yesterday morning, Middle Daughter made some comment about how excited Grandpa is to be watching over the edge of Heaven and realizing that it probably won’t be long . . .

I said, “Oh, Deborah!  It probably seems but an hour to Grandpa since he got there.  He has barely had time to turn around. . .”

She said, “Maybe, but maybe it seems like a thousand years.  Maybe he’s had time to learn all sorts of things and explore all manner of stuff that he just can’t wait to share with the people he loves!  It’s so exciting for me to think about!”

It did not comfort me much at that point.  I was crying copious tears over my beloved Uncle Luke.  But it has settled into my heart and made me think so much about that place that will someday be my home.  I guess it already is my home, I’m just not there yet.

And when I get together down here for a evening of sitting around the table with people that I love it makes me think about getting together over there — We can sit and talk forever and a day, and no one will have to leave, and the food won’t make us fat, and we won’t run out of the favorite stuff, and there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears.

But what I pray most is that no one will be missing.

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There’s a mean wind blowing tonight in Delaware.  There has been rain for most of the evening and the fire feels good.  Blind Linda has been running a fever, and even though I am not sick, I think it would be nice to just climb in bed for a day or so.

I’ve been studying my Bible Study lesson for tomorrow.  The Thursday Morning Bible Study group that meets at Shady Acres is going to study a very short, four lesson study on “How to Beat the Doldrums” from ChristianBibleStudies.com.  I’ve had lots to think about over the past few weeks as I have read and tried to prepare.  The first lesson is Getting Right (Repentance) and it talks about how that when God calls us to repent, we often envision His disapproval.  In fact, when God calls us to repent, it is God, running to meet us with His arms open wide.

I love that picture, and it is probably more accurate than most of us would be able to admit.  But I also have to say that there isn’t any easy way to deal with sin — my sin.  And as we study Jeremiah 14:19-22, I realize that there is value in identifying, confessing, and even repenting of the generational sins that have affected our family.  This thought is quite overwhelming.  (Of course, those would be the Yutzy side, not the Yoder.  Right?  WRONG!)

I wish (selfishly, humanly and sinfully) that there was some way to skip over this foundational lesson.  Let’s get on with some of the other lessons:  Living Right (Obedience)  oops!!!  Staying Right (Perseverance)  and Thinking Right (Gratefulness).  Come to think of it, none of the rest of the lessons will be of any use to me if I don’t get this foundational thing right:  Repentance.  A good word with a bad rap.

The thing these lessons deal with on the whole is how ignoring any of these aspects of our lives will cause us to be unhappy.  H-m-m-m-m.   There is much for me to ponder. 

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I taught Sunday School this morning for Middle Daughter.  She teaches the youngest class at our church, and she often regales us with stories about her precious little people.  She hates to miss teaching her class and after this morning, I really know why.  They are quite endearing.

We got into class this morning and one of our families was missing, so there were just two children — Daniel and Victoria — Children of gracegiven and KGeosphere.  Both of them adorable little people.  Middle Daughter has everything written down as to what she does and when she does it.  She writes down the particular quirks of each child that might cause dismay and how to handle melt downs.  So the schedule was followed very carefully, and we were getting along together quite well.

“Let’s see, we’ve done attendance, offering and stickers.  It’s time for our prayer time.  Is there anything you would like to pray about this morning?”

Daniel looked up at me through his glasses and without missing a beat, said “My parents.”

Now both of Daniel’s parents feel to me like they are my kids.  They’ve meandered in and out of our house over the years, and I love them dearly, so this response brought me some concern.

“What about your parents, Daniel?  What would you like us to pray?”

He scrunched his nose, fiddled with his glasses and hemmed and hawed.

“Are they sad?”  I asked carefully.

“No.”   He said quickly.

“Are they fighting?”

“NO!!!”  He acted like that was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard.

“Well, Daniel, what do you want us to pray about?  How would you like us to pray?”

He scrunched his face all up and twisted his mouth side ways.  He wrinkled his nose and readjusted his glasses.  “It’s just,” he began carefully, “It’s just that they are so BOSSY!”

I had to laugh at that, of course.  I looked at this little guy who has done some amazing growing up in the last few months and thought about how he is learning to relate to people.  I love him so much.  He sat there on his little chair like he was considering whether what he said was appropriate or not.  He scooted down and looked a little embarrassed.  “I guess,” he said rather reluctantly, “that if they are the parents, they’re allowed to be bossy!”

You betcha’ Daniel-boy.  You really don’t know the half!!! 

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The day has been a roller coaster of emotions for me.  For one thing, I’ve not had the best week physically — and even though I am feeling better with mega antibiotics, I still feel very teary.

It’s kinda strange, really, but I’m missing our offspringin’s quite mightily.  On Thursday evening all the local ones (Christina and Jesse, Raph and Regina, Deborah and Rachel) headed for Ohio in the family’s trusty mini-van.  They dropped Rachel off at the airport for her very first flight ever.  She was headed to Dayton, Ohio and Lem and Jessica’s house for Senior Friday at Cedarville University.  The rest of them were headed for Holmes County, Ohio, and the stomping grounds of Regina’s homefolk.  After Rachel finished her day, Lem got off school and Jessica got off work, the three of them were heading up to Holmes County for what they were calling “A Sibs’ Weekend.”

“A Sibs’ Weekend?!?!?” I asked Deborah the other day.  “What brought this on?”

She looked at me as if I had two heads.  “Mom!” She said, indignantly.  “We haven’t been together since Raph and Regina’s wedding!!!”

“How come I wasn’t invited?  Daddy and I?  I mean, maybe we would have liked to get together with you kids, too.”

She looked guilty, looked nonplussed, then said, “Well, Mom, do you want to come?  We didn’t know you would want to come.  We didn’t know you could come.  I mean . . .”

“That’s okay, Deborah.  It’s communion weekend, and we do have lots of things to do here, but it still would have been nice to be with you.”

“Sorry, Mom.  We thought it would be neat to all be together.”  (She didn’t say “without parents” but she might as well have.)

So they’ve been gone all weekend.  The house is dead quiet.  Certain Man has worked on some household things, trimmed some trees, fixed some leaks, worked at cleaning out a shed.  I’ve kinda moped around, did laundry, changed some sheets, hung out some laundry in the beautiful Autumn sunshine, did kitchen stuff, worked on bookwork, emptied some flower boxes that got caught in the frost this week, listened to my classical music without opposition, and even shed some tears.  Both Our Girl Audrey and Blind Linda seem to be subdued, and it is funny how much I feel the same way.

Certain Man and I have wondered if the days of no children will be harder than we expected, and after today, I’m suspicious that they will.  I usually don’t feel quite like this when they are gone, but the idea that they are all together without us is making me melancholy. 

Now we may be getting to the crux of the matter:

I’m afraid I’m missing something!

And when I really get sane about it, I am pretty pleased that our children like each other enough to want to get together for a weekend.  They seem to be starting a tradition of family togetherness rather early in their lives, and for that, I am grateful.

And Lord willing, they will be coming home tomorrow night.  And then the stories will be so sweet.

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