Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Very Amish Day

My husband has a slight obsession... with Amish/Mennonite people.  Okay, maybe it isn't so slight.  He LOVES them!  So, when we learned that we lived near the largest Amish community in the world, I knew it was only a matter of time until we made our way over to see it.  :o)

We started out eating lunch at one of the local Amish restaurants.  Mmm... there's nothing quite like it.  Very fresh and VERY tasty!  Even the kids ate everything on their plates!  (unfortunately, I have no pictures of this experience, because the Amish people do not like pictures to be taken of them).

Next, we made our way to an Amish Flea Market, where we saw a ton of wonderful Amish-made goods and crafts.  One thing that got me cracking up on the way out, though, was this sight...  See if you can guess what had me laughing so hard...

A car seat!  Strapped into an Amish Buggy!!!  HAHAHA!  I had never seen such a sight!  :o)

Then, we visited a local Amish Chocolatier.  Mmmm...  the wonderful smell of chocolate filled the air as we walked in.  The last time the smell of so much chocolate entered my nostrils was when we took a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania.  We, of course, had to take a few "samples" home with us, too!  And, the kids had a blast in the kiddie area.  :o)

Finally, we went to tour a local Amish Farm.  We got to see a house that was built and used by the Amish in the 1800s, as well as one that is used today. 

Here are some pictures of their beautiful garden (and outhouse, to the left), as well as some canning jars, which they sterilize by sunning them...

Then, they took us to the barn, to learn about all the animals they raise.  They allowed the kids to pet and play with them, too!  :o)

Here is a 2 day old baby rabbit.  Soooo sweet!

This is a foal named Thunder (whose mother is Lightning), born 2 weeks ago. 

Baby Ducklings.  (there were tons of adorable baby kittens, too, but they wouldn't stay still for pictures!)  :o)

We also got to tour an Amish school house.  They teach grades 1 through 8 in the same room (after 8th grade, the Amish children will leave school and learn a trade).  It was especially cool to see samples of the curriculum used to teach the children, because a large protion of it is what I use to teach MY children in homeschool!  :o)

This is a picture of the alphabet that the Amish children also must learn.  It is in German, because their Bibles are all written in German, and they must learn to read the letters in this format, if they are to be able to read the Bible.

We ended our tour of the Yoder House with a Buggy ride.  That was also a lot of fun!  (and, it provided a nice, cool breeze and some relief from the heat of the day).  :o)

We finished the day eating at another local Amish restaurant.  I did manage to get a few pics of Baby C, eating a lemon.  She was eager to try it...

Then, came the reaction we were hoping for...

But, what surprised us most of all, was that after she tasted the sourness of the lemon, she grabbed her daddy's hand and put that lemon in her mouth again!  She wanted MORE!  Silly baby...  :o)

We will definitley be making another trip into Amish Country very soon!  :o)

Monday, May 3, 2010

When Sisters are Friends

Our girls love to play dress-up.  They love to put on fancy dresses, plastic high heeled shoes, gobs of makeup, and pretend to be princesses in a wide variety of scenarios...  locked in a tower, hosting a royal tea party, shipwrecked in the ocean and needing to be rescued by a daring prince (AKA - their brother who reluctantly agrees to play simply because he's bored and there are no other boys to play with), etc.  The possibilities are endless!  And their little imaginations never cease to amaze me.  :o)

Last year for her birthday, we got R a large case of makeup to use when playing dress-up.  She was very excited about this gift, and treasured this makeup case like no other.  She valued it, and kept it hidden from little people who would seek to destroy it.  Unfortunately for her, the little people are very good at finding things that have been hidden from them.  And little H just loves to wear makeup, almost as much as big sister R.  The problem is that little H has yet to learn the art of seeking permission first.  This has caused many struggles between the sisters, to say the least.  :o)

Because we are homeschoolers, our children get to spend much more time together than other families.  Sometimes, this causes many stressful days, filled with arguing and hard lessons on being patient and putting others first.  Other times, like this particular day, I was able to observe the fruit of our labor; the result of investing the time to teach our children the life-lessons of being kind to one another and putting others before ourselves.  It doesn't always turn out this way, but when it does, it is worth blogging about.  :o)

R discovered little H sneaking into her prized makeup case.  Instead of screaming at her and starting a major argument, my sweet eldest daughter decided to bless little H with a special make-over.  I just love watching as sisters become friends.  :o)