Little Joshua is doing well and is the center of attention. Everyone dotes over him. Yep, our long wait is over. It’s hard to believe that he is a month old already. While the newborn stage is my all time favorite stage, I so enjoy watching him grow and oh, those first smiles are priceless. I really can’t think of anything that compares the freshness and newness of a brand new life. It’s like a touch of God. The sweet innocence is priceless, he’s just so trusting and so pure.
I have felt like a little girl playing doll with a real baby, only this baby is real and responds to love. Amazing. I never quit marveling how he just soaks in all the love and thrives on every bit of it. He loves when we sing for him and snuggle him close. Julia is all into figuring out just how he likes to be held and what quiets him when he’s fussy. His fussy times are few and far in between compared to what we’ve had with a few of the others. That alone is a gift from God, I’ve been so amazed at how much easier it is to recover with a content baby.
On Sunday we all went to church with baby Joshua, there is something so special about those first Sundays with a new baby. My cousin Judith sits near me during services to help with caring for our little ones as we don’t have baby sitters at church; the children all join for the services. Daniel also does wonderful with helping care for the children and having several of them sit with him. As you may know, in Amish church services the ladies sit together on one side and the guys on the other.
Yesterday the children were all fascinated and excited as they watched Daddy concrete our barn that used to have only a dirt floor. The highlight was when the cement was nearly dried and we all pressed our handprints in it just inside the barn door; yes, that was all of us, down to Joshua. Now I know I’m mom so I am a bit partial but it really is just too cute! Baby Joshua’s tiny print at the end of the row of handprints topped it off. Above each handprint, I scratched in our names. That way the handprints could all be identified in 20 or 50 years from now.
My mind flashed back to when I was a little girl at a large family reunion and we gathered around handprints which had been molded in my great grandparent’s barn, years before. “Is life really that short and fleeting?” I asked myself. “Are we also soon going to be showing these prints to future generations?” I have a feeling we are here for a shorter time frame than I grasp.
Back to our cementing project — today the concrete is dry enough for the children to play on it. As I write they are out with Daniel riding their bikes, trikes, and scooters. Joshua and I just came back from taking a walk out to the barn and watching them, they were all excited to show me how they can ride on the new floor. For me it brings back more memories of when I was a girl and we would bike in endless circles in the shop, or best of all on brand new concrete. Obviously we were typical children as I recall feeling a bit smug that I could ride my bike and my younger brother, Micah couldn’t; he declared that he had as much fun just pushing his bike, and running along side it as I did riding mine. Oh my, why is there such a strong tendency for competition in children (and gulp — maybe in us adults sometimes)? You know I wonder, if we’d be as serious in making others as successful as we are about ourselves, what would this world be like?
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been super blessed by friends and family dropping off meals for us. I’d like to pass on the lemon cheesecake recipe Mrs. Lehman used for our supper last week. Bless her kind heart, she wanted to know exactly what I was hungry for so I admitted my crush on cheesecakes; then Daniel added, “and her favorite is lemon.” Mmm… now talk about some refreshing tastiness! You’ve got to try it, it’ll be more than worth your efforts.
Refreshing Frozen Cheesecake
18 graham crackers
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
12 ounces Cool whip
1 (14-ounce) can sweeten condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 quart pie filling of choice
Crush graham crackers then add sugar and butter. Mix well and press into a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan or container.
Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar, then add cool whip, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Mix well and pour over graham cracker crust. Freeze 6 to 8 hours. Remove from freezer, spread pie filling on top, serve, and enjoy! Yields 15 servings.
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