It’s downright chilly outside – the perfect weather to sip lattes, snuggle up in fluffy blankets and watch the soft flicker of a candle.
Every year, when spring arrives, I wonder how I could have wanted winter, but here I am again. There’s something about knowing your garden and yard work is done for another winter that makes you feel relaxed. And all the pre-annual flowers, trees and grass wait patiently to show their character and color until my favorite season arrives and the sun warms them again.
It reminds me of the seasons of life. Does your life also have different stages and seasons? Do we have a choice of any value but to watch our savior every step of the way?
Despite the extra work of dressing everyone warmly to go out, I enjoy watching the children breathe in the crisp, fresh air and walk in with rosy cheeks and wide smiles.
They love to bundle up, especially wearing gloves. They wanted to start wearing gloves even before it got cold. I told them that once their coats, shoes, hats and scarves are placed in their little stalls each time they enter, they can wear gloves at all times.
Imagine our small entrance with a row of seven stalls on one side. This works great until coats fall off the hooks or boots and shoes don’t fit next to each other under their assigned cubicle. With six children, in no time, it can look like a disaster.
Recently, I did some basic math in my head. If we each wear shoes and socks, a sweater and a scarf, that means having 42 extra pieces of clothing to have clean and ready to go and put away when we get home. I keep reminding myself that when I train them to organize, I don’t just do it for them, but also for their family or friends in the future.
Several weeks ago, I moved my clothes up a notch in Daniel’s section to make room for Joshua. It seems rude to go on living without taking care of Daniel the way I found so much joy in it, but trying to keep it all the same won’t work forever. I know Daniel was smiling and saying, “Sure, you’re using my spot!” Everything is so temporary until you get to heaven! »
Now, speaking of cold days, I know most of you probably enjoy walking into a heated garage to hop in your vehicle to get where you need to go and not even get cold where you want to go. I’m happy for you, but I’d like to invite you to join the kids and me as we bundle up and hop on our open cruiser for a clean ride! The kids love the rides, especially in this cold weather which is pushing Sapphire, our big standard breed mare, to go faster.
Although we also have other closed strollers, the open cruiser remains our favorite, which can easily accommodate a dozen or more people. Bring an extra blanket to protect yourself from the wind. Since Daniel isn’t there to help me hitch up Sapphire, I hitch her up, tie her to the hitch post, pull the cart and tie the straps. Both Julia and Austin love to drive horses, but with the amount of Sapphire zip shows, I’m the one driving her.
You can sit in the front or join the children in the back on the two seats facing each other. On super cold rides on the way home from an evening anthem, it’s not unusual for Julia to sit between the two seats on the floor with the younger children to be entirely out of the wind.
What could be better than coming home to a warm, cozy home, enjoying a cup of spiced cider and lighting a candle? No, life isn’t perfect and it’s hard, but it’s okay to open our hands to simple blessings and receive them as gifts.
Finally, we’ll end our discussion with a delicious recipe shared by a friend whose husband died when she had five young children. It may be a perfect choice for your Thanksgiving table!
Homemade pumpkin pie
24 graham crackers, crushed
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces of cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
Combine crackers, sugar and butter and place in a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Top with the last three ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin
1 tablespoon of gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
Cook sugar, salt, egg yolks, milk, cinnamon and pumpkin until thickened. Then add the soaked gelatin to the hot water mixture and allow to cool. Once cooled, beat the egg whites and add them to the pumpkin mixture. Pour this over the cooled crust. Chill in the fridge for a few hours and top with whipped topping.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mother, writer, and homemaker from rural Illinois. The Yoders mostly travel by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room schoolhouse. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.