A glimpse into the Yoder household


This is a glimpse into our home on a recent Friday evening.

Tonight, 6-year-old Elijah came in from doing his chores to report that Miss Putter, our turkey hen, is sitting on the nest. Sounds too good to be true! A couple of weeks ago, the children were impressed when a gentleman from the area offered to gift us with his two turkeys, a tom and a hen. “The tom is tame,” he explained. Now, seeing is believing. This big black tom is truly as tame as a cat. Even little Joshua can go out there and pet the strutting tom. One day, when I heard Joshua’s urgent cries, I went to investigate to find Joshua hanging onto one of his wings in an attempt to get him back in his pen. This big bird will follow you around the yard like he feels at home whenever he’s with people.

Of course new pets equals new names. We debated, at last we decided Strutter and Putter will do. Since the hen started laying eggs I’ve been telling the children we’ll need to get an incubator to hatch some eggs, now if Miss Putter does it herself we won’t need to worry about that. The ducks have been laying eggs in the same nest, what will happen now?

By supper time, the sun was at last peeking through the clouds. We decided to all sit outside to celebrate. Thanks to Aunt Mary from Ohio, who had made pizza on her visit last week. The leftovers had been frozen and provided an easy supper for six hungry children. As the last bits of pizza were scraped from the plates the sun was hiding behind the clouds once more, so we opted to go for the living room floor in front of the heater for ice cream.

I marveled: life is so different now that the babies are growing to be children, old enough to add their personal contributions to the family, whether it be helping around the house, telling stories to each other, or playing games together.

“When you were younger, and I needed a babysitter, I had to get two sitters.”

“Why?” Hosanna wanted to know.

We don’t remember what it was like to be toddlers, do we?

I kept it simple “It takes a lot of care to make sure little ones are well taken care of.”

One of the older children noticed the sunshine which would be sure to cut the chill again, “Mom the sun came out again, could we leave the dishes for now and go in the front yard to play softball?”

“It will just take us a jiffy to do them right away,” I assured.

After our song they sprang into action and in minutes the dishes were cleared.

Now as I write I hear the ding of a bat hitting a softball. And Hosanna, from her perch on a bar stool on the front porch is singing her heart out. Surely, it’s worth it all! She loves singing for her imaginary audience. Before she could read she’d take a song book and turns its pages, intently ‘reading the words’ as she sang song after song by memory.

Tonight we all want to walk over to the school house where the youth will be practicing for a program.

I’m back again, it’s 9:30, the children are all tucked into bed. We loved listening to the program and with several girls missing I even got to help sing for a portion of it. It brought back fond memories of my youth years and the times we would go sing in nursing homes.

In closing we’ll wrap up with a family favorite rice casserole. Most folks who don’t care so much for rice will go for the second helping of this yummy dish. Daniel liked when I added a dash of liquid smoke and tossed in some extra onions and peppers.

Easy Oven Rice

2 cups parboil rice

½ cup butter

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chicken base

2 tablespoons minced onion or ½ cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon parsley

3 cups cooked diced chicken

2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (optional)

1. Place all ingredients in a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish.

2. Pour 4 cups water over everything.

3. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

4. Carefully remove lid from steaming rice and serve.

*Chopped peppers, mushrooms, peas, or any other chopped veggies may be added.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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