Comfort in memories, meatball casserole


Tonight I held a baggie with Austin’s first tooth, which just came out. I felt a wave of joy, but then a tug of sadness.

How can it be? Is my little boy growing up that fast? Why, this is the same tooth we cheered over as it first made its appearance over six years ago.

Now, our little first-grade boy was all smiles as he showed off his first tooth. I cheered with him. Surely these milestones will be memories forever.

His excitement centered around the missing tooth and the fact that mom would play the “missing tooth game” with him. Finally, it was his turn to place his tooth in a bag and stick it under his pillow for mom to take it during the night and swap it with a little prize.

He sleeps on the top bunk, so I told him to be sure to place it on the side of the pillow where I can easily reach it. Eagerly, he agreed to it. Truth be told, he’s been waiting on this for months, especially with Hosanna, who is close to two years younger than him; she lost two of her teeth last fall already.

Yes, little Hosanna, now in kindergarten, is excited to have her turn as a first-grader next term.

Tonight she and I were chatting about various aspects of when she first came to our house when she was only 15 months old. I could hardly wrap my brain around the reality that this same girl is going to school next year — not only kindergarten, but actually in first grade! How did it all happen?

She is as fascinated with words as Elijah is with numbers. She loves to “read” stories to her little brothers, or at other times she’ll sit on the couch or stand in the living room singing for up to an hour. Occasionally she’ll stop her songs long enough to preach a little sermon to her imaginary audience.

It is those moments, especially, that I stand in awe. Indeed God does heal and establish hearts, no matter what all they have gone through!

You know, those good times give hope when the waters grow deeper again. I’m glad Jesus understands what it feels like to grow weary. Many, many times, I’ve found comfort in the verse that says Jesus is interceding to the Father for us.

What love. What provision!

Hosanna is waiting for the day she is old enough to rescue a little girl with a mommy who cannot care for her. In her mind, now is the time for her to mother a needy child, not in years down the road. After some time, she accepted that she wouldn’t be able to foster or adopt a baby now.

As an alternative, she started a little treasure chest with baby clothes and all sorts of things babies may need. Her goal is to collect items in case. Mom and Daddy would adopt a baby which she could help care for.

I told her that we have no way of knowing what God will have for our future, but that if he does send another baby for us to adopt, we’d be delighted to do just that.

I admit, just talking about it gets my heart pumping. Surely one day, the time will be right, but for today we’ll cherish the six he has given us.

Here is a delicious comforting casserole which is perfect for these cold winter days. It is always a hit when we take it somewhere!

Enjoy this meatball sub casserole.

Meatball Sub Casserole

1 lb hamburger

1/3 cup onion

1 teas. salt

1/8 teas black pepper

12 slices bread

1 (8 oz) cream cheese or sour cream

1/2 cup mayo or salad dressing

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 cups Mozzarella cheese (or your favorite)

1 (28 oz) jar pizza or spaghetti sauce

1 cup water

1/4 teas garlic powder

Fry hamburger, onions, salt, and pepper, then set aside. Arrange bread slices in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Mix cream cheese, mayo, and Italian seasoning. Spread over bread slices then top with 1 cup of cheese. Mix pizza sauce, water, and garlic powder, add to drained hamburger. Pour this over cheese layer. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Very good! Serves 12.

Note: This recipe can easily be divided in half or fourths.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

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