The value of community


This week Julia and I would like to share some of her adventures on school projects with her friends, including old-fashioned noodle making at Uncle Vernon’s.

As you know, we as a church are homeschooling our 19 children this year. Along with that it was of concern to us parents that the children still have the opportunity of getting enough healthy interaction with friends their age. That’s when the idea came up of having the school children gather at the schoolhouse or someone’s home twice a month. Each event would be under the supervision of two couples from church. This turned out to be a blessing, not only for the children but also for the parents having the chance to interact with their children’s friends. Every other time the children are served hot lunch. The adults in charge pick out their choice of games such as softball, tag, lemon-aid (which is one of Julia’s favorites), and/or other educational activities.

Last Friday, we were all curious what the children’s afternoon would hold when Stephen Wengerd announced that the event would be hosted at their house, and the boys need to bring their boots along.

I didn’t have long to wait after Julia popped in the door, bursting with smiles, a plate with all sorts of goodies in her hand, and a baggie with some kind of wood chip-looking stuff in it. “The boys went out in the woods and dug this sassafras root and cut it up for all of us to take some home to make tea with. And this plate was the girls’ project. We helped each other fix a bunch of these trays, then we each got to take one home, then we can choose who we want to give it to!”

“That is neat, how impressive!” I responded, admiring the plate with neatly arranged fruit, a baggie of homemade granola, some candy, and a baggie of our “Flat Rock favorite”, seasoned pretzels.

“I’m giving it to Carolyn,” Julia declared.

Carolyn, who lives only a skip and a hop down the road from our house is good friend of mine and has an outstanding touch with children, thus easily became a favorite to our children, sometimes they even get to sit with her at church.

“Good idea, do you want to go right away?” I asked Julia.

“Yes, could Austin go with me?”

As soon as Julia got a card ready for Carolyn to stick in with the plate, the two were off on a trek to Carolyn.

Another school event Julia (and her mom) were impressed with, was a few weeks earlier.

When Julia returned home, she announced, “Mom, I learned how to make noodles!” Wow, that is an art I had never taught her and hadn’t even helped with for years, and now she got to help first hand. She told me how they mixed and mixed and mixed the dough by hand, kneading it until it was no longer lumpy and had reached just the right consistency then how the dough was cranked through an old fashioned noodle press and finally spread them all out on the kitchen table to dry. Julia was intrigued by the entire process as she had never really stopped to consider just how it’s done.

Vernons’ daughter Eunice, her husband, and their little girls also helped coordinate the project. Now when they host church services in a couple weeks from now they will be cooking and serving the homemade noodles to the entire church! Julia and I are both eager to try some of “Julia’s noodles.”

Stay in touch and I’ll be filling you in on how they turned out and supply you with a good recipe!

For this week I’ll pass on our all time favorite seasoned pretzels. I have found these to be an excellent safe snack for the little ones. They never last long at our house. My uncle Paul sells them at his bulk food store. If we buy pretzels it’s always his thin sticks in the three pounds bags.

So here you go, they are bound to be at hit at your Christmas gatherings or even for you to snack on as you do all your prepping for the holiday!


1 pound pretzels

1 cup canola oil

3 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder

3 tablespoons sour cream and onion powder*


Mix together oil and seasonings. Pour over pretzels (we prefer thin sticks). Now mix thoroughly. Bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

*This can be purchased at a bulk food store or you can use ranch powder instead.

By Gloria Yoder

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

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