Monthly Archives: November 2010

Photos from “Little Christmas” 2010

What is more fun than early Christmas at Grandpa and Grammy’s house?

Auntie Rach and Auntie Beebs decorate the tree.
(Well, it really does all end up there! Eventually.)


I have my own little manger scene:

Really!  I have my own!

Grammy bought it for me so that I could play with it.


I can show off the fact that I can do somersaults:

And someone always claps and cheers!


Great Grandma Yoder, who always gives me “Meenyahs” (M&M’s) came and Auntie Rach was here, too!  Oh, Happy Day!


Auntie Jess and Uncle Lem, Uncle Raph and Auntie Gina were here!  Fun, Fun!



I sit with Daddy and Mommy


while Grandpa reads the Christmas story:


And then there is all that paper to wade through!





Big people chairs to steal:


More somersaults to turn for attention


And frolicking on the floor


And what could be more fun than when Auntie Beebs brought out the gifts from Peru and I got a hat all my own?


More fun than that???

Well, Daddy and The Uncles got hats, too, and we all got our picture taken together!


And then, too soon, it was over, and Auntie Rach had to leave for Ohio.
Grammy and Mommy said that she was flying for Thailand this morning around 9:28.

I guess that is right about now!



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Youngest Daughter says “Good-bye . . .”





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Proof that, in fact, there is quite a bit of laughter going on at Shady Acres!

Middle front:  Rachel
Middle back:  Deborah
Right:  Holly
Left:  Carmen
This was a gathering of the four single cousins of marriageable age.
I think it is a stellar group!
These gals are best friends!



This is also proof that
brave Girlies can smile even when they know
that they are saying “Good-bye” for a very, very long time.

Holly spent nine weeks with Rachel and Deborah in Europe last summer.
Deb and Rach both consider her one of their sisters.


There are just so many good, good times together these days.  Tonight the boys will be coming home with their wives, and the family will be together for about 36 hours.  I am so looking forward to the sounds of “family” filling the big old house that we call “HOME”. That will be sweeter than anything I can think of for the Daddy and Momma at Shady Acres!


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Countdown to Thailand

The days are passing quickly.

In the mornings, I sit on my chair, cradling my hot cup of coffee against my chest and feel like the time is running out.  Every day I cry.  A little bit.  Not in public, but often when I am in the car alone, dashing from one place to another.  I roll the windows down and try to dry the evidence off my face and sing praise songs loudly though my tears.  It would never do to dump all these feelings on unsuspecting victims.

Certain Man has been uncustomarily irritable.  Not that I blame him.  There has been much to ponder, so much keep track of.  And his heart is no less occupied with the near departure of his littlest chick than mine.  He had planned to take this whole week off, so as to have some quality time with her.  But Monday she had a number of appointments and plans for the day, so he decided to work (just) Monday.  Besides, his office was having a meal together on Monday morning, and he had agreed to bring in a dessert for that.  I made a pan of apple dumplings, and he went off, pleased as can be.  Unfortunately, the other Kent County Plumbing Inspector was diagnosed with shingles that day, so Certain Man was needed at the office for the rest of the week.  He has also dealt with his father’s death, and lots and lots of ambiguity with that situation, has a new flock of chickens, and somewhere along the line did something really bad to his ankle.  It is hard for me to understand how a guy can injure himself so incredibly seriously and not remember how he did it.  Purple, swollen, angry looking and painful.  It happened while he was working at a frolic for a gentleman who has had a long, discouraging  battle with cancer, and I guess there was so much happening that morning that there wasn’t time to stop and think about what happened.  The pain in his shoulder, hip, knee and ankle has certainly affected his sleep and consequently, his outlook this week.

Anyhow, he has been just a bit more grumpy, and things were especially difficult the day our church family packed Thanksgiving boxes.  I crept into bed Tuesday night after he was asleep, and thought about the day, and felt the familiar prickle of tears gathering behind my eyelids.  My happiness is often wrapped up in the words that are a part of my day, and in my head, I kept hearing that impatient edge that had crimped the edge of a number of conversations we had that day.  I was incredibly tired from the past two days, having baked 30 loaves of bread, had company, babysat a couple of hours, taken Youngest Daughter to an appointment in Easton, Maryland, worked on the paperwork for the boxes, helped to pack and deliver them, and through it all, had been struggling with an upper respiratory infection.  I felt so sad, so weary, so alone.  So I began a silent lament to my Heavenly Father.

What mercy is given to me in my greatest need!  And as I began to think and pray, I was urged in my spirit to change my perspective, and to think about all the things Certain Man had done for me that day.  Things that he really wouldn’t have had to do, but had insisted that he wanted to.  Even when he spoke with the tone that I am unaccustomed to, it was often when he was doing things that were helpful to me, or that would make my load lighter.  He did a splendid job with organizing the distribution of the boxes, and he always has such innovative ideas and energy and insight when he is dealing with the people who are in need and he loves our church family unabashedly and openhandedly.  He had gone and gotten the family Christmas tree because we decided it would be easier if it were already here when Middle Daughter got home from Peru.  He had gone with me to pick up an order of chicken that was ready to be gotten just before we needed to leave to pack boxes.  He had helped me with the lists and the addresses for the Thanksgiving boxes, and he KNEW what I needed to know because he had spent his entire Sunday evening making contact with (or trying to contact) every single person on the master list for the boxes.  All of these things while keeping up with things on the farm and going to work every day.  He is just such a good man!!!  And usually, he is the same at home as he is everywhere else, with very few exceptions. 

It didn’t take very long, once the positives were being enumerated in my mind for me be in a totally different frame of mind, and it was easy to just drift off into a wonderful sleep.  I felt much better after that good night’s rest, and yesterday was a better day in every way. 

Except one.  That issue about the fact that the time is marching on to the day when Youngest Daughter flies for Thailand.  Over the months, I’ve put off thinking about it.  “I’ll think about that later,” I would say to myself.  “We still have that week in November!”  Suddenly now, the week is not only here, but almost gone, and I am just not ready.  I’m not sure I ever will be, and so my prayer for these days is that I will not put an unnecessary damper on what can be a happy, full of memories, good week.  I look at her shining face, and know that God will hold us all in the days ahead.  I know that He will be in Thailand with her. 

I heard a quote this week that said, “Where you go, The KING goes.  And where The KING goes, people bow down.”  That is comforting to me.  To think that my girlie can be a part of people coming to know the LORD JESUS in a way that will cause them to bow to the King of King and Lord of Lords.  How incredible is that?  And on the other hand, how very small our sacrifice in the great scheme of things eternal. 

“Lord Jesus, once again, I pray that we could see our sadness and the many, many emotions that  are wrapped up in the ‘giving up’ of another of our precious children as an offering to you, not just the high and holy God, but our tender and loving Heavenly Father.  May we trust your plan for her life without fear, without feeling like we need to somehow ‘hang on’, without constantly dwelling on her absence.  Help us to gauge the cost in terms of eternity instead of the terms of our sense of loss.  And in all of this, Heavenly Father, may you have the honor and the Glory.  We give you grateful praise.  May you be pleased with our sacrifice. “

For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ,
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
King of kings,
And Lord of lords,
Forever and ever,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!



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And now we are home again!

Tonight, I stir about in my kitchen, and think about the miles upon miles that I have ridden with Certain Man over the last eight days.  Two trips to Ohio, in fact.  We were out to his father’s funeral, and came back home on Tuesday.  There were new chickens that Certain Man hadn’t even seen, and even though his “almost a brother” Gary Burlingame, does a fantastic job, Certain Man just needs to lay his eyes on his chickens, has to do this and that to adjust things, has to get a feel for the flock so that he knows how to handle them.  And so, while in Ohio, he worked extra hard to have things finished up from the funeral so we could come home to Delaware on Tuesday.

I wanted to come home, too.  We had a surprise birthday party scheduled for a friend on Wednesday night, there was Bible Study on Thursday morning, and a luncheon for our church ladies at noon on Thursday.  I had laundry I wanted to do and housekeeping things I needed to get done before heading back out to Ohio on Thursday afternoon.

I had honest offers to help, and I would think and think how someone could maybe plug in, but there are so many loose ends when you are catching up from being gone and trying to get ready to go again.  Things I felt needed to be done by me (or one of my daughters — but Oldest Daughter had a baby that was running a fever, Middle Daughter was(is) in Peru, and Youngest Daughter was in Ohio).  And so I plugged away, finishing laundry, checking and making sure all the medications were right for the ladies, trying to straighten up the kitchen and pack.  There came a time when I told Certain Man that I wasn’t going to be ready at 2:00pm.  I wasn’t even going to be ready at 4:00.  I kept reminding myself that I was going to get to sit all the way to Ohio — that slow and steady wins the race — that putting one foot in front of the other, painful though it was by that point, was necessary to get things finished.  And so I plodded on.  It was 6:00 when we finally were all ready to go.  I hugged my despondent Nettie-girl, and Cecilia, who pushed me away with great irritation, and finally, was out the door.  I plopped myself into the front seat of our mini van and wept.  I was so incredibly tired, so incredibly sad, and I really, really just wanted to stay at my house and not go anywhere.

Certain Man was quiet beside me.  He had shown remarkable restraint all day while he tried to help me get ready, and he was weary, too.  The previous days had depleted him emotionally, and he had worked hard to get things in order in the barn and chicken house.  We had originally thought that we would be able to drive straight through to Ohio, be there around ten or so, and get a good night’s rest before going in to the Rosedale International Center to pick up Youngest Daughter.  But we evaluated our state of mind and body and the delayed time of departure, and decided that we would ride until we felt we couldn’t anymore, and then get a motel for the night and go the rest of the way in the morning.

I began to think about the day, and decided to look for things to be thankful for.  It wasn’t going to do me or Certain Man any good to sit there “brutzing” all the way to Ohio.  Certain Man had been so kind to me all day, and so I thanked him for his patience and kindness to me, for his help and the way he had not spoken in any way that was harsh or irritated.  That put me in a better frame of mind, and I silently counted more and more blessings and decided that life wasn’t all that bad after all.  We enjoyed some great conversation, and along about eight o’clock, we both got to feeling much, much better.  The miles flew by, and before we knew it, we were all the way to the Ohio line, it was around midnight, and we found a sweet motel and got a good night’s sleep.

Yesterday morning, we got in to Columbus around 11:30 and dropped off the packing boxes for Youngest Daughter.  We did a little shopping, came back and picked her up, got a little lunch, and took her to Rosedale to be with some friends for the afternoon.  We put a set of tires on our minivan, I got an emergency Chiropractic appointment for a neck that had a painful kink in it, and Certain Man went to the funeral home to pick up the Death Certificate for his father, and then we dropped some papers off at a cousin’s house, went to Yutzy’s Farm Market for some chocolate, cheese and Trail Bologna, and then got to Mechanicsburg in time for supper with the REACHERS and their families.  Then we went to Commissioning for the teams, enjoyed some sweet time with friends, and then headed back to Certain Man’s cousin’s house and a wonderful, wonderful bed.  Youngest Daughter spent the night watching “all night volleyball” at RBC, but at six o’clock this morning, we hit the road for home.  What a wonderful feeling!  We got in around 3:00pm.  It was the first time in three months that Youngest Daughter had seen the old home place, and her appreciation for home warmed my heart immensely. Jim and Normie Stutzman did a wonderful job watching over things for us until they needed to leave this morning after receiving news of Jim’s grandma’s passing.  Then my capable niece, Carmen,  took care of things today, and gave us a royal welcome home when we pulled in.

And tonight we rattle around the home place.  Youngest Son and His Wife were here for a few hours, Oldest Daughter and Beloved Son in Law and their Love Bug came for Pizza with Youngest Daughter and Certain Man and I.  There are apple dumplings baking in the oven, and the plans for Sunday lunch tomorrow are coming right along with a fat turkey that Oldest Daughter found in her freezer. 

And I am HOME.  Home.  How wonderful it is.  We have the prospect of a golden week with Youngest Daughter before she flies to Thailand, and the week has plans for so many happy times.  I am glad we could go and be with Youngest Daughter for commissioning, and I would not have wanted to miss this milestone in her life.  But I am so gratefully relieved that Oldest Son and His Ohio Heart Throb plan to take Youngest Daughter back to Ohio after this week at home is finished.  I think I’ve seen enough of that road between here and Ohio to last me for a while.

And with that, I’m outta’ here.  Still need to work on the lists for our Thanksgiving Boxes on Tuesday night, and need to go over my Sunday School lesson plans for my precious young charges tomorrow. 

And I love life settling back into some normalcy.  Right now “ordinary” looks mighty fine.


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Home, safe and sound!


Daniel and I got home from Ohio yesterday afternoon — safe and sound.  While we were there, our family had a chance to eat supper together at Der Dutchman, Plain City’s most impressive restaurant.  There is an Amish buggy inside the dining room where people can sit to eat if they want to.  It was empty when we were getting ready to go home, and Charis wanted to get in and play.  I caught this picture while she was cavorting about.

There is much to tell from our weekend, but even more to process.  I have very busy hands these few days because we need to go back out to Ohio (leaving tomorrow) to get Rachel for her Thanksgiving break.  This is where my courage fails me, and I need to really rely on strength that is not my own.  Please pray for our family.


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Middle Daughter, far away on a medical mission trip to Peru, wrote a tribute to her Grandpa Yutzy on her Xanga page.  If you knew him, (and even if you didn’t) you might enjoy reading it over there.


Click on the above link.

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Helping Grammy

Is there anything quite as nice as a helper
when there are cinnamon rolls to bake?


Maybe —  If there’s a pile of leaves to jump in!

Especially if Auntie Beebs will get in there with you!



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Rest in Peace

Ralph Yutzy

June 9, 1924-November 11, 2010


He did many things well.

But the best thing he did

was to give life to

the man I love most.





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Daniel’s Village

Certain Man began his Christmas Village work in earnest last week.  With Youngest Daughter coming home for Thanksgiving week, and our family wanting to have “Little Christmas” while she is home with us, he looked at his schedule and saw chickens coming in, a nephew’s wedding, and then commissioning for Rachel and said, “If I’m going to have this done before she comes home, I need to get busy!”

And so, he did!



Slowly, under his careful craftsmanship, it took shape:




And what would we have ever done without the help of Middle Daughter?  I took these next pictures to show how she really does endanger life and limb to organize the shelf over the basement steps so that all the boxes fit there properly. 

With lots of tender care —


. . .she turns this                                                                                into this!



My precious pilgrims take second place.  I still have many of them out (and actually just received a beautiful set from Cracker barrel this week that I set up).  But I know their time is limited this year.  Soon it will be time to hang the stockings and set up the tree.  In the meantime, Certain Man worked and worked and finally, last night, it was time to turn on the lights.


And so, the Christmas Village at Shady Acres is open for business.
Come on down and see it if you get a chance!


Besides, the Thankful Wall is still up, and many a person has escaped without giving thanks.
So there’s lots of room there to put your thanks into words for the rest of us to see.
I even filled our nine quart canister with Yutzy’s Hot Chocolate Mix, and I’ll fix you a cup and you can sit a spell and chat.

I couldn’t mean it more.  Hope to see some of you over the next few weeks.



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