“What’s the forecast for Wednesday?” We all had the same question. We were hoping for a beautiful sunny day, perfect for our annual “school picnic.”
In the forenoon, the school children ranging from grades 1 through 8 present the program they had practiced the weeks before. After a tasty meal, anyone is welcome to join in softball games.
So here we were with a rainy forecast for this very special day. Prayers were sent heavenward for a sunny day. The evening before. the entire weather system shifted, sending the rain back in the direction it came, resulting in a gorgeous day for ball.
This year I was especially looking forward to the program, but I do confess the night before when I woke up to care for the baby boys, I started wondering what my day would be like caring for our five little ones. I decided it wouldn’t be wise to try to help play, but was hoping to be able to watch some of the ballgames. The next morning Daniel brought up the subject even before I had a chance to do so. Of course, he was also planning to help me with the children as needed, but I really wanted for him to be able to play.
As we got our little family ready to go it seemed the boys were extra fussy. “How will this day turn out?” I asked myself again, then gave it back to God once more: “Lord you know all things; I ask you to direct this day according to your will.” Somehow taking care of fussy little ones is just harder away from home.
At last everyone had their jackets and shoes on. The diaper bag was packed, and we were on our way.
Arriving at the schoolhouse we found seats close to the back, where I prefer sitting with our little flock. Soon the school children and their two teachers filed in from the back, singing as they made their way to the front. It was absolutely beautiful. I felt goosebumps spread over me, the words of the song sank deep into my heart, “Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Thee…”
Julia sat beside one of her aunts drinking it all in. She knows that a year from now she will be one of the students standing up front with her little friends, helping with the program. I told her I can barely wait to see her stand up there in the front row and recite her poem and help sing. As you mothers can imagine, it takes some letting go as well.
Soon the program was past and everyone joined in a closing song. Next came a hearty meal of haystacks and a smorgasbord of mouthwatering desserts, including some sugar-free options which I was quite impressed with.
After the meal came the ball games. Our games are nothing professional at all. We simply play for the fun, not for competition.
The afternoon passed swiftly. And yes I did get to watch quite a few games as it proved to be warm enough to take the children outside.
By mid-afternoon, ice cream cones and other snacks were served. Everyone could snack or play as they pleased. Perhaps you would enjoy one of my favorites on the snack table. The lower-grade teacher, who is also our neighbor, is known to make these deliciously seasoned pretzels. Here is the recipe for you to try:
1 cup oil
3 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder*
3 tablespoons sour cream and onion powder*
1 pound pretzels (we prefer thin sticks)
Mix together oil and seasonings. Pour over pretzels; mix thoroughly. Bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
*These items can be purchased at bulk food stores. Also, the sour cream and onion powder can be replaced with ranch seasoning if desired.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish, go to www.amish365.com.