Getting to know the Yoder children


I am amazed by how much life changes and how little I find out about those shifts on a day-to-day basis.

This past weekend we had the opportunity of hosting a friend of mine from my girlhood years. I hadn’t seen her for years. Much has happened since then, she is now married and has four little children including a set of two-year-old twin girls. My friend and I enjoyed catching up in each other’s lives, and one afternoon we even got to babysit their children while they as parents were in a meeting.

Caring for other little ones is a rich joy to me now that we no longer have any in the infant and toddler stages. We no longer have pacifiers and baby toys scattered around, nor are we pacing the floor with a crying newborn. Infant car seats and high chairs are a thing of the past. Those days are now shifting into playing ball, water fights, and working together.

And when we get to babysit for another busy mom, I have helpers on all sides ready to devote their own type of love to visiting little ones. The children enjoy dreaming of having an orphanage some day. For now I feel like I have some more batteries to recharge.

Our children, ranging from ages 3 to 12, also show more and more of their personalities, their likes and dislikes. It takes channeling- many times it feels like it takes more than I can dish out. I keep telling myself that everything taught and trained now will make a difference in their future- down to picking up their own clothes! A while ago I told the boys I really don’t like the thought of their future wife (if God would give them one) to have to pick up after them. “If I don’t train you, I’ll only cause extra work for your partners!”

I heave a little sigh, I know I won’t hit every area squarely, so we’ll just keep doing our best and move on to the next moment, and the next, and the next. Life is lived by taking the situation at hand, trust God to take us through, then move on to the next.

Recently, when Julia attended a hymn conference in Pennsylvania for a couple of days, I realized how much I depend on her. The other children had to step up to the plate and help fill in. I’m now trying to figure out how to keep developing the other children with things they can do for the family and not miss the opportunity of teaching the younger ones responsibility. Seems the youngest children tend to fall through the cracks in learning how to shoulder their share of the load. Any ideas?

And then, children are all so different! What clicks with one is a trial to the next. I dearly love every one of them. When I think of areas where others accepted and loved me, it motivates me to do the same for our little ones. And when I think of the years of struggling with despising myself, I know it’s worth the effort it takes.

Everyone has a story; everyone has an idea. And yes, every one counts on the Lord.

Julia, 12, is naturally precise in all she does and finds satisfaction in learning new things and meeting new people. Austin 9, is full of life and energy, along with a very tender side who enjoys the challenge of taking care of children and often ends up being a favorite to little children coming to our house. Hosanna, who just turned 8 is full of ideas and is not afraid to try new things. Jesse, 6, has many brainstorms, big stories, and a voice to match it. Elijah, 6, who is four months younger than Jesse, is more reserved and enjoys many things his daddy liked to do when he was a boy, such as playing ball or anything that takes aim. Joshua who will turn four this week, drizzles his own sweetness over our family, we especially enjoy listening to him voice his own thoughts and ideas. His curly blonde hair are a delight to him since Daddy also had hair like that when he was a boy.

The children all seem to enjoy working in the kitchen. Last week several of them were helping me make a zucchini casserole. They were impressed with cranking the zucchinis through the king cutter and offered to shred some extra for me. More than once, when we needed a quick meal, I grabbed the container of zucchini and fried it in a bit of bacon drippings and added whatever I happened to have on hand, which is usually something like onions, peppers, mushrooms, and meat of some sort, and whatever seasoning strike my fancy at the moment. Topping it with shredded cheese is an added luxury to us.

The casserole we made is one of those dishes we don’t get tired of right away, plus it’s easier for me than the zucchini patties since those require more work just before the meal

Zucchini Hamburger Casserole

3 eggs

3 tablespoons butter, melted or bacon drippings (opt)

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 teas baking powder

1/2 teas salt

1/4 cup chopped onion (opt)

1/2 cup chopped peppers (opt)

2 cups shredded zucchini

2 cups fried meat of your choice (opt)

1 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Beat together eggs and butter, add flour, salt, and baking powder.

Mix well, then add remaining ingredients. Place in a greased 9 inch

baking dish. If desired sprinkle with black pepper and parsley.

Bake at 350 until set.

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