Tonight we had my family's Ice Cream Supper at my brother Marvin's home. I thought perhaps you might find it interesting to learn what an Amish Ice Cream Supper is. First of all, it is a Supper. But, it isn't where we all come together to eat just ice cream. Some Amish families might call it an Ice Cream Social, but in my family we just call it an Ice Cream Supper.
Because many traditional Amish families have so many children, it would be far too costly to have birthday parties for every aunt or uncle or cousin every month. So, instead we have one family supper per month in which we celebrate all of the birthdays for that month.
In my family, there are three girls, (Me, Josie, and Caroline) and four boys (Marvin, Henrie, Ben, and Thomas Jay). We are all married and each have flocks of children, with some still growing.
So, the ice cream supper will include:Mommie & Dawdy, of course and then me and all of my siblings and each of our children. I am the oldest and married first and therefore Jacob Jr. is the oldest grandchild. Josie and Ronny have four children, all boys; Marvin and Mandy have five children, 2 boys and 3 girls, and Mandy is pregnant with number six; Henrie and Eva have just three, one set of twin girls and a new little baby girl; Caroline and Jed have 2 little boys, Ben and Stephanie have a set of twins as well, also two girls, and she is expecting; and then Thomas Jay and Lori Jo are expecting their first. Did you get that?
Mommie & Dawdy
Rebekah & Jacob - 10 children
Josie & Ronny - 4 children
Marvin & Mandy - 5 children, 1 on the way
Henrie & Eva - 3 children
Caroline & Jed - 2 children
Ben & Stephanie - 2 children, 1 on the way
Thomas Jay & Lori Jo, 1 on the way
So, to date there are 7 children, 26 grandchildren and 3 more on the way. That means there are currently 42 family members on my side. Do you see now why we only celebrate birthdays once a month as an extended family? That isn't even talking about Jacob's family! I have many more nieces and nephews on that side too.
Okay, so now that you know WHY we have Ice Cream Suppers, I will learn you HOW we have Ice Cream Suppers. Between Mommie & Dawdy and the rest of us, we rotate who will host the supper each month. After 8 months, the rotation starts over. Caroline is sort of the self-appointed family scribe and therefore, she keeps track of who has Ice Cream Supper which months and makes sure we all know.
The host family will select an evening in the month and they will be responsible for cooking the main dish. Then everybody else brings a side dish and either ice cream or other dessert. We usually have all sorts of cakes and pies and ice cream flavors to choose from. Dawdy's favorite is Butter Pecan and Mommie's is vanilla, so those two flavors are always a must.
We don't usually have any party games or sing birthday songs like many of the English do, but we sure seem to have lots of laughs. Also, because there are so many children, we don't usually buy the nieces and nephews birthday gifts. That just gets to be too much. But Mommie always makes sure she gives a little something for each of the grandchildren. And when one of the women have a birthday, Mommie will get us a new candle or set of dish towels or something. Dawdy usually takes care of the men. That is plenty, and though we don't expect it, it's always appreciated.
The best gift, however, is being able to spend a wonderful evening laughing and sharing stories and eating ourselves silly!
As usual, tonight's Ice Cream Supper was no exception. Both Jacob Jr and Esther Sue have January birthdays, so Gramma (Mommie) gave them each their own paper sack filled with a few trinkets for their birthday. They couldn't wait to get home to open their bags. Jacob had a new pair of gloves and an LED flashlight. Esther Sue was given a little pony toy, and a doll-size quilt that Mommie made. They were delighted.