Archive for February, 2016

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 2 boxes fresh mushrooms (about 16).
  • 4 slices thick sliced bacon fried and crumbled
  • 1/3 c. onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 drops red pepper sauce
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 c. half and half cream
  • 3 T. shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Wash mushrooms. I use a melon scoop to remove the stem and slightly hollow out the mushrooms.
  2. Using a knife (pastry blender worked great) chop the stems fine. I throw approx.. 1/4 of stems away. It is just too much to use to refill the mushrooms. Add chopped onions, salt, pepper, and red pepper sauce.  Microwave on high until mushrooms and onions are tender (2-3 mins).  Stir in flour, bacon bits and then cream until well blended, Microwave another 2-3 minutes stirring once or twice. Stir in cheese.
  3. Place the mushrooms on a paper towel on a dinner plate. Microwave 1-1/2 mins.  Fill with stuffing and microwave again 1-2 mins. Serve warm.

I do step one and two 30-45 mins before I am ready to serve them. Then 5 mins. before serving I do step 3 and it is not as big a deal to get ready to serve.



Our Group

Way back in 1972, 44 years ago to be exact, four couples from our church got married in the same year. In our small, young congregation (50-60 people), that was a lot of weddings.  Several times through the years “our group”, as we call ourselves, have gotten together to celebrate. Last evening was one of those celebrations.

2016-02-27 19.13.27

Ray and Betty Hertzler are the oldest in our group, marrying at the mature age of 37!  They were married first (in April), in Chesapeake and made their home in Powhatan on a dairy farm. They started in a very small trailer but later built a house across the road where they still reside. The Hertzlers have two children.

2016-02-27 19.14.43

Gene and Pat Hertzler were next, marrying in June, in Harrisonburg. Hurricane Agnes (June 19-24) did her best to detrail our wedding plans. As she roared up the east coat, dumping 7 inches of rain on the area, the James River flooded, big time! The old, one-way trestle bridge on 522 at Maidens had just been replaced with a new, state of the art, bridge. The water reached the roadway of the bridge and washed out the approaches. Gene had to go to Lynchburg to get around the flooding to make it to Harrisonburg. The wedding day turned out to be a beautiful, warm summer day.  We made our home on a dairy farm in Powhatan where we still live.  We have two children and five grandchildren.


(I put this picture in from my archives to show the magnitude of the height of the water)

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Harold and Elaine Alderfer were married in early September in Minnesota, Elaine’s home area.  Harold and Elaine met while she was in Voluntary Service in Chesapeake. After the wedding, they also settled in Powhatan on a dairy farm. They have moved the most.  They moved their farming operation from Powhatan to Minnesota, back to Powhatan and then to Brunswick County in Southern Virginia. After selling the dairy, they moved to Louisa in central Virginia where they now reside. The Alderfers have one son and twin granddaughters.

2016-02-27 19.13.18

Sam and Poe Powell were the last of our group, marrying in late September in Powhatan. Poe was the youngest, a 17 year-old bride. They made their home in Amelia County in a trailer on his parents family farm. They later built a house a little further back the driveway, nestled in the woods, where they still live. The Powells have 3 sons and seven grandchildren.

We had such a good time eating, story telling, laughing and catching up on our lives. Three of us still go to Powhatan Mennonite Church and even though we see each other every Sunday it is not the same as sitting and visiting at the same table.

2016-02-27 18.57.15

Our scrumptious, luscious Lady Finger Cheesecake and fruit topping made by Poe Powell

We learned some very interesting things… (for those who know us, let’s see if you can figure this out!)

  • There is only one in the group who has not had surgery.
  • There is one who is not missing any body parts or had body parts replaced. (hip, knees, hysterectomy, piece of colon, appendix, etc. Teeth did not count!).
  • As a group we take 17 prescription medicines. One does not take any.
  • We have traveled to the west coast, Argentina, Hawaii, Bermuda and Puerto Rico.
  • Only one still has her parents living.
  • All but three are taking their social security benefits.
  • Two couples are still actively employed and earning paychecks.
  • One couple still have the cars they each owned when they got married.
  • All but two have had car accidents.
  • The worse accident in our group was a chain saw injury to the face and arm.
  • One has used up 3 of their “nine lives”, another had a very serious illness and another is a cancer survivor.
  • Only one does not have gray hair.
  • We have lost two children to death and suffered 3 miscarriages between us.
  • Each couple was grateful for the children God blessed them with.  Each couple in some way has dealt with some uncertainty whether age, infertility, miscarriages or genetic disease.
  • One has twin granddaughters and one has a daughter getting married this summer.

It was a wonderful evening of sweet fellowship, story telling, reminiscing and looking at our wedding pictures.  Oh my, how we have changed!!!! We wondered ….why don’t get together more often. We departed determined to do this more often.

2016….Our group… we are still celebrating and looking forward to more years to come.

Our menu:

  • Appetizer: Stuffed Mushrooms  (The original recipe came from
  • Barbecued Cornish Hens
  • Sweet Corn
  • Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Orange/Pineapple Jello Salad
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls and Honey Butter
  • Ladyfinger Cheesecake with Mixed Fruit Topping  (Recipe is from Taste of Home and is actually called Cherry Cheese Torte)

My Morning Prayer

I just want to thank you for a good nights rest. But I also realize that many did not sleep well last night because of stress, worry, fear, pain or insomnia.

Thank you for safety through the night. I realize that many experienced danger, injury and harm.

Thank you for peace in our land. I realize many are living in fear and danger and some are hiding or fleeing for their lives.

Thank you for my family. I realize many are living with shattered lives and splintered families. Some may not even know where their family members are.

Thank you for breakfast, lunch and supper today and snacks in between. I realized many will wake up hungry and may not have access to even one meal.

Thank you for our warm house.  I realize many are homeless, living on the streets, or refugees fleeing a war-stricken land. I realize some are going through hard times and can not afford to pay for the basic necessities of life.

Thank you for my health. I realize many are suffering deeply today and dying from broken health.

Thank you for my husband. I realize many marriages are shattered and living in despair.

Thank you for my job. I realize many do not have a job to go to today to earn money for even the basic necessities of life.

Thank you for my church. I realize many do not know the privilege of having a caring church family.

Thank you I can live my faith openly. I realize many in the world are a part of the underground church and live with the daily reality of persecution and death.

Father, I am so thankful. I want to be more grateful and have a generous heart. I do not want to take this privileged life for granted.


A Star of Hope for Jase

Lots of you have followed the journey of our family and extended family with SMA, an unforgiving, incurable, fatal disease until… someday. When our two children were born in 1977 and 1982 there was not even a remote star of hope on the horizon.  In 2011 and 2012 there was no cure for Truman and Ariel, only hope that… someday. Someday.  Someday.  And somewhere between then and now, someday has burst into being. Someday is now a star of hope. Someday is now a glimpse of reality.

On July 16, 2015, little Jase Marius, brother to Ariel,  was born. From all appearances he was a healthy baby, however, one week later blood test revealed the hidden truth. It was a devastating blow to our prayers and hopes.  Little Jase had SMA. You can read more of that part of the story on my blog post Heatwole Family Reunion-2015.

Jase Yoder-birth July 16 2015

Let me tell you about someday. Type 1 SMA babies can not roll over, sit up, walk, or kick.  They lose their ability to eat and breathe. They usually do not see their first birthday.

Pictures are worth a million words….just take a look at this miracle!





This past week little Jase’s mom wrote on her facebook page….

To the “Cloud of Witnesses” around Jase’s life:
Life is busy and full these days, but we think often of all the people who pray for us and are grateful! We want to show you what God has been doing:

Jase rolls front to back. He rolls back to front. He stands holding his own weight. He has two teeth and eats solid food. He sits! Yes, the baby diagnosed with SMA Type 1 SITS! By himself!! (Miracle alert!!) There are lots of smiles and exclamations of amazement in the exam room these days.

The drug study continues… Jase received the fifth dose this past Tuesday. Jesus said to pray, “give us our daily bread…” and I’ve often thought of the drug in this light (though it’s not given every day – hooray for that!) I see it as provision for his strength. And where that ends there’s, “Come, do! On earth as it is in heaven.” And when mystery remains, “underneath are the everlasting arms.” So we’re doing well. (Grace!!)

Our praise is to God the Lord who created us, who arms us with strength and who reveals secrets to the sons of man. In spite of the fact that if WE were choosing, SMA would not be a chapter in our story, we’re grateful for front row seats on breakthrough that doctors are saying they hardly dreamed was possible.

Do you know how thrilling it is for this mommy to have a “normal” conversation with the pediatrician at a well visit?! You can imagine, I’m sure. We LOVE this happy, funny, growing little boy!

There are still many unknowns.  What will happen at the end of two years when the clinical trial is done? Right now they are sailing on unchartered medical waters.

Somday is today.  Today we give God thanks for His goodness and mercy in Jase’s life, all praise and honor to Him alone.  We thank God that He has allowed “someday” to be today.  Today. Today!  This mom never dreamed in 1977 when I wept over the casket of my little Karla, that I would see someday.



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