By AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN
As a very young girl, I recall my dad taking us children mushroom hunting. It was a highlight for all of us. I remember once when we as a family all went on a trek in the woods, 1-year-old Jeriah stood pointing at a mushroom which the adults and other children had missed. He just stood there making his grunting baby sounds at it as we all stumbled right past it in our excitement.
Editor’s Note: Gloria is taking a much deserved week off. As a father to a 2 1/2 and a 5-year-old, I can attest to how much effort (very rewarding wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world effort) it takes to be a parent, so I can not imagine how her and her husband Daniel do it with 5 children all so close in age and to take in two foster children is an amazing display of kindness that we can all take a lesson from.
The house is quiet, yes the children are all tucked into bed, sleep will wait for me. I just had to give you a quick invitation to join us as we enjoy dinner with the Lehman family.
My favorite holiday is just around the corner. How could your favorite season be so saddening, yet absolutely complete, you might be wondering? Good Friday and Easter, though, have a beauty all its own.
Ah, this Spring weather gets me going. I can’t wait to start planting the garden. Daniel plowed our garden plot a couple days ago in hopes to have it dry out faster. Digging deeper by plowing also helps some of those buried nutrients to get closer to the surface where the plants will take be taking root. The way it sounds we have more rain coming the next couple of days so we’ll try to stay patient. There’s just nothing like fresh goodies from the garden. Equally fulfilling is watching the children’s eyes widen with delight as they help harvest veggies straight from plants they heed start from seed, pulled weeds, and helped keep watered.
Winter months do have a twist all their own. For many of us Amish housewives, the quiet winter months are a time to catch up on sewing for our growing families. Just yesterday while sewing a shirt for Austin, I told Daniel who stepped in the house for a minute, “I forgot how much I enjoy sewing!” As odd as it may sound, it’s true. As a young girl, I could spend entire days, sewing dresses or coats for myself or my little sisters.
We bade the birth parents farewell. The door shut behind them. Could it be true? We looked at each other then at our darling children. Would they really be for keeps? Would the birth parents change their minds? How much should we really allow ourselves to think of being Rayni and Jesse’s parents for life? At any rate, we didn’t waste too much time calling to Ohio to tell Daniel’s family of the birth parent’s proposal of us keeping the babies.
I know many of you have been waiting patiently on an update on our two darlings we’ve been fostering the last 14 months. Honestly, it’s been quite the journey for us. As we poured our lives into Rayni and Jesse, we knew it will never be fair to them if we didn’t love them as our own. Yet especially for me, it’s been a constant process of letting go and loving with no expectation of any return, only imagining how crushed we all would be, should the time come of parting with them.
DANIEL: So we all like to make memories you know, and tonight was one of those nights, today was the last day of deer season for shotgun, so I told Julia and Austin that I would like to take them with me. Wow, excitement was in the air, they could hardly wait. I told Austin that he needs to take a little nap before we go, so that is what he did. After an hour, I woke him from his nap and told him we’re ready to go. He was all smiles and ready to roll. Gloria helped get Julia and Austin get bundled up for the cold evening, with goodbye kisses to Mama we left the house.