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Puppy love at the Yoder home

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By Gloria Yoder

It’s downright chilly these days. For a while we wondered if winter would ever come, now it’s so cold we canceled school for the day. That’s not all; hubby is home from work! That certainly produced extra smiles around here.

It’s all working out correctly, our English Creme Retriever is having her baby puppies today. Yes, that’s right! Last night Daniel got out of bed, time and again to check on this expectant mother. Just before lunch when Daniel was in the kitchen, his sharp ears picked up the whine of a newborn pup. “That’s a baby puppy!” he exclaimed, dashing downstairs. The children and I followed close behind, not wanting to miss out on the excitement. Sure enough, there was a brand new puppy, wet yet adorable. Daniel quickly set up a heat bulb to keep it nice and warm.

The mother, Salamander, looked up at us quite pleased to show off her new offspring. After taking a peek and making sure mama was comfortable we stepped back to give her the solitude she needed to give birth to the remaining puppies. What is more rewarding than to watch a brand new life take its first breath, then watching it thrive and grow?

As I write the children are all taking naps, and I get to watch Salamandra and make sure all goes well for her. Yeah, believe it or not, there are times our house is actually quiet while the children are all sleeping. Most of the time we have what my mom calls happy chaos!

Really though, I can tell a big difference between how it used to be when Jesse and Elijah were both infants and to this stage of having them both running all over the house. It’s not nearly as intense as it used to be. As you can only imagine, they’re continually practicing sharing, learning not to pull pots and pans from the cupboards and throwing them down the stairs, or being reminded to stay off of the table and definitely not try to run around on it or play in the toilet.

No, I don’t get bored, yet it feels a lot more do-able than it did at first. But then I have to think of what Daniel always reminds me of, “If we look at our responsibilities instead of at God we’ll never make it, but if we keep our eyes on the one who makes all things possible it won’t be a problem at all!” I am the one who tends to try figure everything out ahead of time then worry if I can’t have everything organized in my brain, so as you can imagine, these words of wisdom have many a time been what I needed.

Too bad you can’t watch this new mom doting over her babies. It’s so amazing how mother love all works. And to think that I used to think I’d never have a dog in my house. You know how it all works, at times things change when you get married, and you discover your best friend has ideas that may not be identical to your own. And yes, if it wouldn’t be for Daniel, the children would never have all this excitement right in the house where they can shower these young pups with love/ The challenge will be to explain to them that these puppies will need time to grow and just be with their mommy before they’re handled too much.

Comical though it may sound, as I think of a recipe to pass on to you I have to think of the simple breakfast we had this morning that we shared with Salamandra. This mother-to-be just devoured every bit of the egg-in-a-nest we gave her.

As a little girl, I was so fascinated when my mom would occasionally make these nests for us. Now as a mother myself I enjoy making them for our children. I should add though, that Daniel did make them this morning, I don’t get the credit for that. Julia and Austin aren’t the greatest egg eaters around but always want some egg-in-nest.

In a sense, the recipe is just simple and old fashioned with a unique twist. Daniel prefers his eggs over-easy. (Ten years ago I had a strong dislike for over-easy eggs until I discovered my boyfriend likes them and I tried it with an open mind and found out that they really are delicious!) Make them however it strikes your fancy.

We like to eat them like Daniel’s family used to; after flipping them onto your plate, spread with peanut butter then drizzle maple syrup.

Egg-in-a-nest

• butter

• bread

• eggs

• salt

• pepper

• peanut butter

• maple syrup

Instructions

Take a slice of bread and tear out a circle from the center (about 2 inches across). Now place it onto a buttered skillet and break the egg in the center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat over medium heat until toast is nice and brown and egg is slightly set. Flip and brown the other side.