Okay, here we go with part two. A week ago, we chatted a bit about the Amish way of life and covered some interesting questions some of you have had. Rita, from Lehman, Pennsylvania, also remarked how children are a gift from God and that it stands out to her that we can care for them while a loving home is not the story in all foster homes. Now, if you know me, you know that not only roses grow at our house, we are blessed with thorns too. I say blessed, because without them I know I’d become very self-centered, or perhaps I should say more self-centered. Rita, you asked how I manage without losing my temper.
Guess what? I am human too. I get tested; there are times I find myself not dealing as patiently with our precious little ones as I aimed to. Time and again, I find myself going to the Lord and repenting, then going to my little ones, hugging them, and telling them that Mama is sorry for not being gentle. Gulp. That’s honestly been hard for me to do. But then a friend pointed out to me that by apologizing to my children, I’m having the opportunity of setting an example for them to say, “I’m sorry simply.” It has been so richly rewarding for me to watch the two-year-olds hugging each other and witnessing their sweet, “I’m sorry” and, “I forgive you.” Toddlers have such a way of making things look so easy to forgive and then happily move on.
Yes, it does take someone much bigger than I to keep things running smoothly at our house. I get tested daily. I love all five of our little ones, including the two dear foster children, but that is not enough to get me through trying times. I’ve been reading a book that is titled, “When Love is Not Enough” by Nancy Thomas. It is mainly written for children who’ve faced trauma and don’t respond to life as the average child would. It has helped me many times to understand why these dear little ones react so negatively to simple things that would only make another child feel loved and secure.
Now back to Rita, you mentioned how some folks do it for the money or other selfish reasons. That is a very sad truth that I was not even aware of until we were taking foster classes. I honestly cannot imagine doing it for that, why the immense responsibility and emotional strain that goes into carrying for troubled hearts can’t be compared with mere dollars. And yes, the rewards are nothing to be compared with earthly dollars either.
Now talking about our children brings up the anticipation of the baby coming in July. A special and hearty thank you to all of you who have taken the time to jot down name suggestions for us. We have thoroughly enjoyed your ideas. Why tonight I told Daniel that if we’d have a couple of dozen children, we could barely even use up all the ideas! Some of you also mentioned names that we have highly considered. We were intrigued by Pat‘s idea from Delaware, Ohio, who suggested using names that would spell out the initials P.R.A.Y. Neat, I never thought far! So ya, thanks to all of you. We enjoyed every bit of it and are eager to see what will materialize on a final decision. The children are always begging to help open Mama’s mail.
Rita had also shared how much she likes chocolate whoopie pies made by Amish folks that she also enjoys making. I don’t have her recipe, so I’ll pass the one on to you that is used at my uncle’s bakery each weekend. Enjoy!
Homemade Chocolate Whoopie Pies
3 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups milk
2 cups sour cream
6 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa
4 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Whoopie Pie Filling
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup Crisco
2 cups milk
2 cups H.O.T. water
2 cups all-purpose flour
Mix first three ingredients and beat well.
Add milk, vanilla, and sour cream to egg mixture and beat again.
Combine flour, cocoa, soda, and baking powder and add to moist mixture. Mix only until just combined and then scoop onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.
Cream together powdered sugar and Crisco, then add remaining ingredients. Fill cookies, sandwich style. We prefer to have them individually wrapped with plastic wrap.
Tip: The longer the dough sits out before baking, the thicker the dough gets, so for best results, be ready to pop them into the oven as soon as they’ve been mixed.
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.