Amazing how swiftly life can whisk you from one stage to another! Just a year ago we had only two children, now here we are with five little blessings! Honestly, we have had our share of “growing pains” that have gone with it, but then life wouldn’t be complete without any of these little darlings including the two foster children.
Being a mother of a flock of little ones really is a dream come true for me. There are moments when life’s road does feel a bit rocky, but then it’s like I recently told Daniel, “Family life really is so good!” For me, it’s just a matter of where I have my focus. The times I think I deserve more sleep than I’m getting with two babies or when I pine for the quietness I so much relish when I’m writing, I simply am not a very pleasant person to have around. On the flip side, if I take a moment to realize that I don’t deserve anything, life is simply a gift, things start changing considerably. The atmosphere of the house begins to change as the children sing gaily as they play church, play with their animals, or construct food dishes with their playdough. Daniel’s optimistic outlook on life has added an ever-encouraging dimension in my life, “It simply won’t help matters any to get stressed out over anything,” he has reminded me time and again.
A highlight in our household has been Julia’s preschool days.
As you may know in our little country school, we have only a couple weeks of preschool before our little ones start first grade. Julia and I have spent lots of time together the last few years, doing kindergarten work here at home. It has created many fond memories for both of us.
It took some time for me to get used to the thought of my little girl leaving for the day, not seeing her from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. But then I couldn’t help but just be so happy for her, as the two of us got her needed school supplies together and talked about what it would be like to go to school for the first time. It doesn’t seem long since I went to school, which I always enjoyed, and here my daughter was all ready to take this big step.
On the first morning, we packed her pink lunch box with a corn dog (a rare treat for us), an apple, a cookie, and a baggie with salty snacks. Her pink backpack held her writing, gluing, and cutting gear along with the pencil box I used all eight years I went to school. On this special morning, she chose to wear her deep purple dress with a cape. Soon her hair was combed and she had on her white cap. She was ready for the day ahead. Before long she was out the door. A friend of ours escorted her to school that first morning.
“This is the beginning of a new stage in our lives,” I told myself. “We now have a school-aged child.” In a way it made me feel like we’re getting old too fast.
I had told Julia I would like to come visit her at school one day. She told me she would rather have me just drop in, then to plan ahead. That way it would be a surprise. One Thursday forenoon Austin, Elijah and I popped in on her. She really did look so cute in her little desk, writing in her workbook. Of course, she was all smiles when she saw us. Her teacher pulled out chairs for us to sit and watch. Austin was impressed with the little chair that was given to him, he informed me that he also wants to go to school.
Perhaps I’ll share our pizza pocket recipe with you. These are perfect for lunches. Simply make some extras and pop them in the freezer, wrapped in tin foil. They are ready to be reheated and enjoyed.
HOMEMADE PIZZA POCKETS
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm evaporated milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cups flour
1 pound sausage
1 cup pizza sauce
Pocket: Dissolve yeast in water. Add the rest of ingredients adding flour last and let rise once, till double. Then roll the dough thin. Let rise again about 10 minutes.
Filling: Fry sausage and add pizza sauce. Layer ingredients as you like on dough circles. Fold in half and press shut. Bake at 350 until golden brown.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.