The 100-day countdown unwound at last. You may remember the 100-link children’s paper chain we made earlier this summer. After the chains were made, the children removed a link a day and when we reached the end a fun activity was planned for the whole family. They chose a pontoon ride scheduled for June 30. But guess what? Baby Joshua arrived the night before. Naturally, it was postponed, but yesterday it finally happened, and now even Baby Joshua went along.
We waited to go until three in the afternoon when Julia comes home from school. She came bursting in the door, all smiles, ready for the long-awaited event. Quickly she helped me pack up the last items, then babysit Joshua, before climbing onto the pontoon parked in front of the house. Grabbing a stack of towels and some extra clean clothes and some snacks that I had hidden, we were on our way. The children were impressed with riding on the pontoon as Daddy drove the tractor the two miles to the lake where we planned to spend the evening. You know, real life; it just doesn’t all go as planned. The pontoon’s batteries needed charging first.
Meanwhile, the children and my sister Keturah, who had come along, got into the water. I loved hearing their happy shouts. At least they could have fun in the water while we waited. After Joshua was fed, Daniel offered to take care of him while I go swimming. I was tickled for the opportunity, and they were delighted to have Mom join them.
At 5:30, Daniel could back the boat into the water, but then it wouldn’t start. The children began really getting worried. We had a little prayer, asking God to help get it started. There were cheers of delight as the engine came to life at last. We helped all the children get into the boat. Several of them were scared to feel the boat leave a solid foundation as it rocked gently in the water. After some reassurance, we thought we were on our way when once more, but Daniel was having issues with the motor. We began to wonder if we may not get our pontoon ride after all.
“Let’s pray,” I told the worried children. Together we prayed, “Lord, the motor isn’t working, show Daddy what to do…” As the words came from our mouth, the motor roared to life again, and we were off. With praise to God and more shrieks of delight, we sped away. There was no doubt, God heard, He was there.
Our big plans of enjoying all these special snacks on the pontoon faded away as we together enjoyed the ride. The children had fun watching Keturah riding over wave after wave as she sat on the intertube we had tied behind the pontoon. My highlight was when we tied our huge mat behind the pontoon and gave the children rides on it. Julia was a “mother hen” as she sat next to the younger ones. They looked so cute wearing their safety vests and hanging onto the mat, excitement shining from their little faces as Daddy carefully drove the pontoon around and around. Can’t you see two-year-old Jesse, sitting there with his blond hair soaking wet, his eye goggles perched on his forehead, and his big blue eyes widening as the boat revved a tiny bit and we were off for another ride? I have no idea how long he would’ve gone on and on. Darkness came way too soon, forcing us to stop. While Daniel took the pontoon out of the water, I took the children to where Daniel had earlier built a fire. Finding a stick, we poked marshmallows on it and roasted them for s’mores before heading home.
It was a good evening, but then for Mama, perhaps the best of all is having everyone clean, tucked in for the night, and sound asleep after all the hard play.
For a recipe this week, I’d like to pass on our grilled chicken recipe on for you to try. When we were pontooning, Owen joined us, bless his kind heart, and brought chicken, fresh from the grill. Mmm, it was a yummy treat, and I’d love to give you all the chance to try it, as well!
Yoder’s Chicken Marinade
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
¾ cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dry mustard
Mix all ingredients together with a wire whisk. Pour over meat to cover completely, stir gently. Marinate two hours or more. The longer you soak, the more tender your meat will be. This sauce can be used for chicken, steak, or any meat of your choice. Grill as usual.
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