Archive for the ‘jean on Amish Stories’ Category

Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

First Michael would thank to thank everyone for the many Happy Birthday’s he received from Amish Stories. They were so kind and he really appreciates them. He couldn’t believe that they came from people not only in the United States, but other countries too. Right now he is wishing for cold weather with snow so he can use some of the items he got for his birthday. We tell him to wait-in Upstate New York he will get his wishes.

Last Tuesday evening I sent Michael down to get something out of the freezer and he came back up and told me the freezer wasn’t working.  The freezer was old and you couldn’t get her to keep things cold especially when you opened it to get something out.  I went down to the cellar, checked the fuses and light switches and everything seemed all right-so I called David to go down and take a look. He came back up and said the motor was gone but he could put in a new one.  The freezer had belonged to either my parents or David’s parents-we can’t remember whose.  When they got a new one they gave us the old one.  The motor in it was the second new motor.                 

Also it was a long freezer and if we ever got a new one I wanted an upright one-like a refrigerator. My arms are short and if I want something in the bottom of the long freezer I had to get David or Michael to get it for me as I couldn’t reach inside. After a great discussion David and I decided it was time to get a new freezer-well I decided-David finally went along with me. David said it looks like he wouldn’t be able to get me the Christmas present he wanted. I told him the new freezer could be my Christmas present.

On Wednesday Susan had to go to school, but the public schools that Michael went to were closed. Martha’s Father agreed to take us to look for a  freezers so Michael went to Martha’s house to help them do some jobs and play. We told Michael he had to be home when Susan came home. David and I took Baby David and off we went. We went in a couple of places but the upright refrigerators were too small. Finally Martha’s Dad said we were going to Sears. I found the freezer in Sears. David kept trying to talk me into a smaller one, but we need a big one with all of us in our family. While there he also had me to  look at the washers and dryers too. I had the feeling he was going to buy me a dryer for Christmas. He wanted to know if I was going to buy a set-which would I buy. I showed him what I would like, but of course, he didn’t buy it. We bought the freezer, but Sears couldn’t deliver it as their trucks were out and they were booked up for deliveries until next week.

We got home at lunch time, Michael was there so I made lunch for everyone. David got on the phone and called people he knew that had a truck to see if they could get the freezer for us. One friend offered to go get it in their horse trailer-but I was hoping David would find someone else. Finally one of the firemen he knew said he would see if his boss would lend him the company truck that had an hydraulic lift on it. The boss agreed so he came over to the house, picked David and I up with Baby David and off we went. Michael agreed to stay home and take of Susan when she came home from school. He said it was his first babysitting job. I also told him we had some relatives coming for Thanksgiving if they got there before we came back (which they did) who went in what bedroom.

Off we went to get the freezer. By the time we came back it was supper time so we stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken and got chicken, potatoes, and Cole slaw for dinner. When we got home, two of my aunts and uncles were at our house. The men got the new freezer in the basement, but you are not suppose to put food in the new freezer until it has been running 12 hours. After 5 hours I transferred the food from the old freezer to the new one and the men took the old freezer out. David offered to pay the man whose truck we had and the fireman that drove it, but none of them would take money.

Thanksgiving morning the new freezer was up and running just fine. All the food was frozen solid even though I couldn’t wait 12 hours before putting it in. I did lose a few freezer items from the old freezer as they defrosted before I could put them in the new freezer. We went to David’s parents for Thanksgiving Dinner and spent most of the day having a great meal and time together. During conversation my parents asked Michael if he had any problems talking care of Susan. He said she started to cry when she found out we weren’t home, but he took into the basement to play basketball with him. Susan said she wasn’t suppose to go into the basement and he told her when you parents are away you sometimes do things you can’t do when you parents are there.

 What we told Susan  was not to go down in the basement alone as David has paint, grease, oil, etc. down there. And we don’t want Susan and her and friends going  down there-our reason being so Michael and his friends have a place to play without a six year old in the way. Michael needs time to play with young folks his age. We did tell Michael  that he could take her down there as long as he kept an eye on her, which he did. Susan couldn’t get a ball in the basket so finally Michael put the ball her hands, lifted her up and let her drop it in. He said Susan was thrilled.

Our company left at 6:30 AM this morning when the van driver came. It is nice to have company. Now we are doing laundry which I will hang up outside. Someone asked if I have an electric washer and yes I do. I hang the clothes outside, but we were thinking of getting a dryer for me to use on rainy days or in the winter. With the cost of the new freezer, it looks like I will have to wait for that dryer.

I promised the recipe for Haystack Supper. I have a couple recipes, but they are all about the same.

Haystack Supper

1 3/4 cup-saltines, crushed

2 cups-cooked rice

3 lbs-hamburger

1 lg-onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups-tomato juice

3/4 cup-water

3 tbsp-taco seasoning mix

seasoned salt-salt and pepper to taste

4 cups – shredded lettuce

3 med-tomatoes diced

1/2 cup-butter

1/2 cup-all purpose flour

4 cups milk

1 lb-American cheese cubed

3 cups-shredded cheddar cheese

1 jar-stuffed olives, drained and sliced

1 bag-Doritos

Divide crackers between un-greased 9X13 baking dishes. Top with rice. In a skillet cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato juice, water and seasonings. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with lettuce and tomatoes. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil, cook and sir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat; stir in American cheese until melted. Pour over tomatoes. Top with cheddar cheese and olives. Serve with chips.

Be With God,


Please stop by this Friday for my post along with lots of image’s from the town of Lititz in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This historic small slice  of Americana has become one of my favorite  small towns in Lancaster county.  Richard

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

Warm thanksgiving wishes from Jean and her family to yours.
Our Thanksgiving Day is a day much like you have. The Sunday before Thanksgiving the sermons at our meetings (church) are on remembering and thanking the Lord for all He has done for us. In our home prayers David quotes verses on thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has done for us. After our dinner on Wednesday, we fast until dinner is served on Thursday. We also remember the gracious things the Lord has done for us. The children have Thursday and Friday off of school including the weekend.

When David and I were about Susan’s age (6), all the Old Order Mennonite that went to our meetings would meet and have one Thanksgiving meal together at someones home. Since that time we have grown in size  and that is really impossible today. Today, we rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas among our family. My Mother and Father were going to have it this year, but David’s Mother asked if she could do it-as David’s Grandmother passed away and she wanted to have a happy occasion in her house. So David’s parents are having Thanksgiving, my parents will be having Christmas. Next year one of those will be at our house.

Many relatives usually come in from out of state, but because of the Grandmother’s funeral not all of them will be coming this year. David’s Father came from a large family and our family is a large family so some will be coming. Also some of our parents families will be going out of state to their children’s homes. Some of our my families relatives will be coming here for Thanksgiving so there will be lots of family here.

On Wednesday a lot of us ladies will go to David’s Mother’s house to clean and help cook the turkey, ham, stuffing, noodles, and rolls. The rest of us will bring a dish to the dinner which will include salads, vegetables, jams and jellies, corn relish, chow chow, cakes, pies, cookies and more. Dinner will be at 12:00 noon on Thursday. We all get there an hour or two earlier to chat, and help David’s Mom. When we set for dinner, we have silent prayer and David’s Dad offers a voice prayer. He doesn’t always do this, but he does this on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It is not written as a way of our meetings, but something that David’s Dad does. After eating as each person is about to the leave the table, he asks the person of one thing they are thankful for that God did for them this year. He asks both children as they usually leave first and then he asks the adults as we sit at the table. Again this is not written in our meetings to do-it’s something David’s Dad does and my Dad has picked this up as David has, so we do it every year.

After dinner we ladies do dishes and clean up the kitchen while the men are outside chatting (or inside) depending on the weather. When dishes are done the ladies and men might go into the living room to chat or sing. Depending on the weather the children may go out and play games which we watch while chatting. If the weather is bad, we may play inside games with the children. We leave in time to get home and door chores. On this day, as on Sunday, we only do the chores of milking the cows, feeding the animals, etc.-only chores we have to do. That evening before bed, David will read Bible quotes on thanking the Lord.

David says this day is one of the worst day for fires and he will probably get a fire call. People put something on the stove or in the oven and forget about it. Sometimes they don’t pay attention to their fire stack or fire place. They seem to get a lot of things on their minds and don’t pay attention. Almost every year they get at least one fire call on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

As we have relatives coming in from out of state, some will probably being staying at our house. Of course we will be providing meals, transportation and more for them. They do it for us when we visit in their area.

On Friday, we do not try to get to the sales on at the stores. In fact, if we can we try to stay off the road that day or just go between our family and friends. We don’t want to get on the road with all the traffic and people buying. If it is absolute that we go some place that day out on the Main Roads, we get someone with a car to drive us. You have to book ahead because car drivers all seem to be booked up this weekend. If it were an emergency we would call Martha’s parents, because they would come. Martha’s parents are not consider “drivers” as they do not drive for everyone. They would never turn anyone down in an emergency, but driving is not jobs for them. Martha’s Mom and Dad have other jobs so they can’t be on call all the time.

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and please remember the good things the Lord has done for you.

Be With God, Jean


2 Cups fresh or frozen Cranberries

1 1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 c. chopped nuts

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine melted

Spread cranberries over bottom of a greased 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and nuts. Beat eggs well. Add remaining 1 cup of sugar gradually and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour and melted butter or margarine. Beat well. Pour batter over the top of cranberries. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Tastes better served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream.

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

I thought this time I would answer questions that were asked of me that I haven’t answered yet and also questions that people frequently ask David and I at bake sales, craft sales, etc. Jean

Why do men and women sit on opposite sides of the meeting (church)?

When I was a little girl I thought all men and women sat that way in all different meetings or churches. Once I got to know the outside world I was surprised to find that Old Order Mennonite and the Amish are about the only religions that do this. The separation of men and women seating’s in church was originally founded in the early Catholic Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem spoke of this during his lectures : “If the church is shut and you all are inside, yet let there be a separation, men with men and women with women, lest the pretext of salvation become an occasion of destruction. Even if there be a fair pretext for sitting near each other, let passions be put away.” So the men and women separate seating’s was intended to keep worship pure. It was felt that the intermixing the sexes would be a distraction to worship and cause us to sin by looking on the opposite sex. The Catholics no longer observe the separation but Old Order Mennonite and Amish still do.

Why don’t the ladies cut their hair and why do we wear prayer caps (as the English call them)?

We go buy the 1 Corinthians, 11:5-6 “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. ” and Verse 15 “But if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” Because of these verses in the Bible which we believe, I do not cut my hair and I do wear a prayer cap. We in Old Order Mennonite and the Amish follow this word of the Bible, but there are many other more worldly Mennonite Orders who do not wear prayer caps, longer dresses and who do cut their hair.

Why do we dress the way we do? Why don’t we wear jewelry?

We go by several Bible verses including 1 Timothy 2:9 “In like matter also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair or gold, or pearls or costly array.” And also 1 Peter 3:3,4 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel: ” (We feel the next quote is for us all) “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of grace price.” Because of these readings of the Bible and more we feel we should not wear jewelry and to dress modestly.

Why do Amish men grow beards and most Old Order Mennonite do not anymore?

The reason the Amish and some Old Order Mennonites wear beards is also in the Bible under Leviticus 19:27 “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of they beard.” and Leviticus 21:5 “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.”In the 1950’s or 1960’s the American Mennonite changed to smooth-shaving as part of a general cultured process. It was said that resistance of certain conservative group to the smooth-shaven were resistance to general accommodation. Some of the older men like my Grandfather still have a beard, but he keeps it trimmed. When he was brought up Old Order Mennonite men wore beards-he has shaved his off twice for a few weeks-I saw his face completely shaved once when he shaved it off, but being brought up the way he was he has regrown it both times. He said, the last time he shaved it off several years ago, he won’t shave it off again. He just can’t get use to it. David, my Dad and David’s Dad are all clean shaved. All of the Old Order Mennonite men are clean shaven except some of those by Grandfather’s age.

Is our Bible in German or English?

We have both. We mostly used the German Bible, but now that Michael is here we use mostly the King James. Michael is learning our language but, of course, understands English better. Sometimes David and I will get talking our language and Michael will have to ask us to speak English. Then of course there is the high German which we also have and use at meetings and sometimes at home. All of us each have our own Bible and we have one in the living room that David uses when we gather for readings and prayer. Michael wants a German Bible like we use, so we are getting him one for Christmas. Even if this gets back to him as some of his friends have computers and so does his school-I don’t think this present is any surprise for him.

All the quotations that I have used in this post are the King James Version. We do not use any of the revised editions nor do they use revised at our meetings (church). If you have any other questions you would like to ask, please do.

Be With God,


If there are any mistakes in the Bible quotations I will take the blame. It would be do to my computer mistakes. The best way for exact Bible quotations would be to read them from your King James Bible.


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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

Michael’s birthday cake was taken to his homeroom at school on October 28th. When I was making it Michael asked me to put on it Happy Birthday to his homeroom number. I asked him why as it was his birthday. He said as it was going to be the only birthday cake in his homeroom for the year it wasn’t fair that it was just his birthday cake. So I did as he asked. I brought it over in the buggy about a half hour before his school closed to his homeroom. I bought the cake, paper plates, soda, napkins and paper cups. The students were happy that Michael had the homeroom put on his cake rather than just his name. Before they had me cut the cake, they sang Happy Birthday to themselves, which I thought was nice. All the students and teacher got a piece of cake and a soft drink. The students wanted to know if I could bring one in before winter break (they don’t say Christmas break in the public school). I told them I would check into it, which I haven’t done yet. Thought I would wait until after Thanksgiving.

On October 29th  Michael had the first  birthday party in his young  life. A couple of weeks before I had him make up a list of his friends. He advised me what food he would like and of course another cake. Michael had been to birthday parties, but had never had one. I started making up foods on Thursday for his party. After being here for Susan’s birthday and us talking with him, Michael knew that not all his gifts would be worldly gifts. That most of our gifts were items he would use-not toys, games, etc. so to expect gifts from us , our Old Order Mennonite and Amish friends would be different that he might expect.

The morning of the day we celebrated Michael’s Birthday, David told him he did not have to do any chores that day except for milking. Michael was shocked. David said that was one of our gifts for him. After breakfast we decided to tell Michael what we had in the cellar for him. Michael likes to play basketball and we were going to put a hoop on our barn so he could use it, but of course he couldn’t use it in the winter with all the snow. So we took Michael down in the cellar and showed him the steel basketball hoop we had down there that could be used in the basement during the winter and be taken outside during the other seasons. Plus we got him a couple of basketballs. David also gave Michael some new wood working tools. Michael had been using David’s when he did wood working-now he has his own. I also bought Michael some clothes for school and a gift certificate for another pair of Nike shoes. I made him an Old Order Mennonite set of clothes for meeting days, which we had in a box as Susan’s gift to Michael. Michael had asked for the clothes so he would fit in at meetings. From Baby David we had a gift certificate for a shoe store so Michael could get a pair of shoes for meetings. We had to give gift certificates for shoes as Michael’s feet have grown and I want him to have his feet measured before he gets new shoes-want to make sure they fit with room to spare a bit.

In the afternoon Michael’s friends came. We put the gift’s on a table in the living room. I think some of his friends knowing that his parents had never purchased him anything more than they had to, and that this was his first birthday party wanted more expensive gifts that they would otherwise give him. Martha and Joseph also came so Martha could decorate the cake worldly (with flowers and decoration on it) and  they could help with  the party-they also brought their children. The young folks played soft ball and one of the girls hit a baseball through our bedroom window which is on the second floor of our house. Joseph came in and told us about the window also said-they told her to run a home run for that hit. The glazier will be here Monday to put glass back in the window-we have plastic over it now. After the soft ball game we had them come into the house to eat and open presents. Joseph and Martha gave Michael a gift certificate for a pair of ice skates. We have several ice skating places on ponds and lakes in the area-but Michael had no skates but he soon will. Also, Joseph and Martha’s children bought him a sleigh for when the snow falls. Our young folks gather for ice skating and sleighing during the winter. Some of Michael’s Old Order Mennonite and Amish friends pooled their money together and got him a fishing rod, reel, and box. They bought them when they went on sale at the end of the summer. He also got gloves, gift certificate for winter boots, gift certificates for Wal-Mart, one boys mother made him a winter jacket, winter socks, and more. He and we couldn’t believe all the nice gifts he received. Michael had tears in his eyes and thanked everyone several times. We then had cake and ice cream. After that they all decided to go in the cellar and test Michael’s new basketball hoop. At milking time several of them started to go home so they all left.

Today we went over to my parents house for a dinner and a family birthday party for Michael. David’s family came over, also. After dinner Michael got snow Skiis, a gift certificate for ski boots, another meetings set of clothes, Old Order Mennonite straw hat, and felt hat, (the hats came from Pennsylvania), and more. David has been teaching Michael how to hunt. In New York State you have to take courses before you can get your first license-which Michael has completed. My Dad gave Michael a brand new hunting rifle and David the bullets. Dad also gave Michael a lecture on the use of the gun for hunting only and only animals that we eat not to waste God’s animals. The gun is in the locked gun rack at our house next to David’s gun and my gun-yes I hunt, too. I don’t hunt with David as much as I use to since we’ve had the children. The bullets are also locked in the case. David said to add they are not in the flour like in the movie Witness. We only unlock the gun rack for hunting and to clean the guns-then they go back in again.

When David was at a Fire Department meeting at the fire house, he happened to mention about Michael being born on October 31st and that it bothered him. One of the Amish firemen (we now have three Amish volunteer firemen) said he was born on that day, asked if it would it help if he spoke to Michael. Michael agreed so he came over and spoke to Michael. They took a walk and just talked about it. We don’t know what they said, but Michael said he made him feel better. His view is different religious wise toward Halloween. He still wants to celebrate his birthday October 29th.

One thing Michael said was that he wishes he could be in one world or the other. He said it is so hard to be in two worlds. We asked him which way he would go and he’s not sure. He thinks he would go our way, but then, there are things in the other world that he doesn’t want to leave. We explained to him when we adopt him that does not mean that he will get out of school. On October 31st he will be 14 which means, in our schools, he would graduate in May when school ends for the school year. Us adopting does not mean he will not have to continue school until he graduates from the public school – that may be part of the adoption papers-we don’t know. Martha, Joseph, David and I discussed Michael. Martha said it is hard to leave one world and take another. If he met the right Old Order Mennonite lady when he was courting age that  would help. David and I have discussed this decided that if he remained Mennonite that would mean the most to us whether it was Old Order or one of the other orders that was more liberal than ours. It would be hard on us if he went the way of the outside world.

I think Michael had a pretty nice birthday party for his first. He couldn’t believe all the nice gifts that he received. Some of his gifts are in his bedroom and some are in the spare bedroom-we have to find a place for them. He will be using his winter gifts soon, we think. Also have to get him to the shoe store to use some of his gift certificates. We told Michael he should use his Wal-Mart gift certificates on something for himself-but he wants to use them for buying Christmas gifts. We will not argue with him regarding that matter-that is thoughtful of him.

If i  see there are some question’s, please keep asking them. I will answer them in my next post.

Be with God,


 Amish Stories wishes Michael a happy belated birthday


Don’t miss my tour of Lapp’s woodworking from Lancaster county this Wednesday and Friday. Lapp’s is an Amish owned business and  On Wednesday will be pictures of  its retail store and product’s, then on Friday i take a tour of its wood working shop. With Amish recipes included for both post’s!  Richard

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

David and I recently went to the prison and met with Michael’s parents.  Martha’s parents drove us up and went in with us.  We had never been to a prison before. We had to go through metal detectors and they went through my purse and David’s wallet to make sure we weren’t bringing anything in.  When we met Michael’s father there was glass between us and him.  We spoke with him on a telephone.  He thought having Michael with us was a big mistake, that  we were backward religious phonetics trying to force Michael into our way of thinking.  Later David said we are not religious phonetics, but we are trying to change his way of thinking. The looks on Michael’s father’s face scared me-like he had evil inside of him.   He said was going to get the state to take Michael away from us evil people.  He cussed and used bad language.  He told us Michael was born on Satan’s Birthday (October 31st) and had evil inside of him.  We were allowed fifteen minutes with him, but left after ten minutes. 

With Michael’s mother we were allowed in the same room.  She had an evil look, but was not as  bad as Michael’s father.  She did not like that he was living with us as she thinks we are taking him backward and not forward, and  that he won’t amount to anything in life.  She also spoke Michael down but not as bad as her husband did.  When we started to leave she called to me and asked me to take good care of her son.  She said they did wrong with him and hoped that somewhere we could change his life for the better-that he wouldn’t spend his life living in the evil they did.  History shows if parents are criminals many of their children are too-she doesn’t ever want to hear of Michael being in prison. 
Before we left David had tried to talk Michael into coming with us, but he refused.  When we go home David told Michael that he was wrong-he should never have to go to a prison and see those people that claim to be his parents.  They may have given birth to them, but they are not parents.  That’s what Michael tried to tell us.  We will pray for his parents that they will find the Lord and change their ways.
Social Services contacted us and Michael is up for adoption.  His parents have no say who gets to adopt him.  They can not take Michael away from the parents because they will be in prison until after Michael is 21.  We have first chance to adopt him.  That evening we and Michael had a long talk about whether he wanted us to adopt him.  He was told if we adopted him that it did mean he could get out of school at the end of this year.  We wanted him to live our life style, and we hope that he would change to Old Order Mennonite.  Even if he did not have to return to school he would have to work on our farm doing our ways.  We understood that we are asking him to leave the worldly way and come to our way. He would be with  us through the good times and the bad times.  We would work together, recreation together, he could be with his worldly friends, but we wanted to know where he was going and what he was doing.  He prayed for a week before he came to us and asked us to start the adoption.  As we do not have any experience in lawyers, we are using the one Martha and Joseph used when they adopted their last children.  It will be a year before the adoption goes through as Social Services wants to make  sure we are happy and that Michael is happy.  We can not take him out of the public school until the adoption goes through which Michael said “Oh Darn” about. As yet, we agreed not to tell Susan until we make sure we are all is going to work out. So we are not having Michael as a foster child, but as our child.  He doesn’t like us calling him a child.
At our school when a child’s birthday comes we bake a cake or cup cakes for the students that day.  We are celebrating Michael’s birthday so I thought I would bake a cake for his home room.  I was told that I can not have a homemade cake as in this day in age you never know what a parent could put in a cake.  After seeing Michael’s parents, we could understand, but I explained that I am credited by the state and bake for bake sales where I sell my food.  Still they turned me down.  Michael told the principal that he better look out.  Principal asking Michael if he was threatening him.  Michael said no, but the principal didn’t know his Mom (me) and I wasn’t going to take this lying down.  I drove the buggy home and got the inspection certificates from the state, my licenses, and awards-put them in the buggy and went back to the school.  I laid them all on the principals desk.  He copied some of his items on his machine and said you won’t take no will you?  I said nope.  I don’t like to show off the awards I got from bake sales, donation baking’s, etc-I feel that is pride-but i just wanted to help prove my point with the school .  Finally I got a call from the principal-all he said was you won, bring in the cake.  So on October 21st I am bringing a homemade cake into Michael’s homeroom about a half hour before they go home so the children can enjoy it.  When Michael’s friends came over and he told them what I did they all applauded me.  Michael said you don’t tell my Mom no even if you are the public school system.
Other news is we have sold the property we were going to build our house on.  The Amish couple who bought our other property back there’s parents bought this one.  David, Michael, Susan and myself had talked and decided we wanted to live closer to Martha and Joseph.  We are going to buy a piece of their property.  They said we could build in back of them, either side of them or across the street.  We would buy property for our house, farm land, barns and green houses.  David’s parents are trying to buy property in that area, also.  My parents are a little upset as we would be moving away from them.  David’s parents are trying to talk our parents into buying over there and selling their place.  We have a relative who would like to buy our farm so that would be no problem.  Martha, Joseph, David and I are close friends.  Joseph, David and I went to school together and Martha became my friend when she met Joseph and planned on joining Old Order Mennonite-which she did.  All our children would be closer together too.  Michael would be closer to his public school.  David would be closer to the fire department he volunteers to.  Martha and I would be closer for our projects and the children would be closer for their activities.  We would stop wearing out our buggies driving back and forth all the time-although we would go to see my parents.  Sometime this week we plan on going over and picking our farm and house space.  We wouldn’t build now until probably spring.
Be with God, Jean
Recipe of the week this Wednesday
along with some images of my early snow fall here in Lebanon Pennsylvania!

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

Richard asked what our views were and do we celebrate Halloween. We look at Halloween as getting into the occult, death, worshiping the devil so we do not partake of it. Nothing happens at the Amish/Mennonite school. If one of the students brings it up or asks why we do not celebrate Halloween while their outsider friends do-the teacher explains. Our children do not go collecting candy or dress in costumes, There are no special parties or food. To us the day of Halloween is just another day-there is nothing special. We even sometimes wonder if we should even sell pumpkins like we do. Not everyone that buys them will use them in food-but some will carve ugly faces out of them. Of course we can not control what customers will do with them when they purchase from our fruit stand once they pay us and remove it from our property. So we wonder if we should continue selling them or not. Also, if we do not take our pumpkins in every night of Halloween weekend, we will find them smashed the next morning or several of them missing or both. Young people do not understand that every one they take without paying or one they smash is money out of our pocket. A couple of times we have had our money jars taken in broad daylight. We have our fruit and vegetables priced and leave a jar for people to put their money in as we can’t always be out at the fruit stand all the time. We have that money to buy our seed, pay our medical bills, utility bills, groceries, and more. We are one of the few Mennonites that have a fruit stand in our yard anymore. Many of them sell to the big fruit and vegetable stores along the main highway. Some also sell to the grocery stores as we do. If someone came (young folks included)  to our stand, wanted something and couldn’t afford it-we would give it to them. Taking or smashing upsets us, but we know we must trust in the Lord. We should not worry about it because God will take care of it with them in His own time and in His own way. We are learning things slowly from Michael that we did not know before. David and I knew that Michael was born on October 31st, but we did not know that his parents called him a devil. They told him he would not amount to anything. Now we realize why he tries to please us so much. Almost all the times he does what we ask and more. He does not act like a child as much as Martha’s children do and we know why. David and I sat him down telling him it does not matter what day he is born on-it is the way he acts and what he does that counts. We also explained that Halloween is a man made celebration not a God celebration. He told us his parents were atheists. It was friends of his in school that led him to the Lord. When he lived with his parents he had to hide his Bible and  if his parents found it they would throw it in the garbage like they did the first one he had. Michael never went to any particular meetings (church) as his parents did not allow him to go. The Old Order Mennonite is the first regular meetings he has attended. David and I feel that our meetings, home Bible and prayers is God’s molding Michael. He does not want to celebrate his birthday on October 31st. David and I said to pick another day to have a birthday party. He must give his real birth date when asked, but he didn’t have to celebrate it on that day. As October 29th is a Saturday, we will celebrate it that day. David’s Mother and my Mother have agreed to do the bake sale that day so I can bake for the party. We have some of his school friends over. Also Michael’s parents have asked us to come to the prison as they would like to meet us. We don’t have to go, but David and I are curious about them, also. They would also like to see Michael, but he has refused to go. David thinks he should go-I think  he shouldn’t be forced to go so we called Social Services to see what they think. We also spoke with Martha and Joseph-all agree he should not be forced to go. David still thinks he should go, but he will follow with the others said. Since they are in jail we write letters and take pictures of Michael for his parents. We do not believe in pictures, but Social Services says we should and our Bishop let us do it. Martha and Joseph also do it when they have foster children and the parents wants pictures. As we do not know Michael’s parents yet, we don’t really say much except about things he does, his marks at school, etc. His parents letters always seem down on him. After talking with Michael-now we know why. David and I are going to the prison to meet them. The prison and Social Services approved it. We explained to his parents that he will not be coming with us. They are upset that Michael is not coming, but they still want to meet us. Michael has told us that they are not like most outsiders that are our friends and neighbors. We are not making any decisions about them until we meet and talk with them. It is a long way from our house to the prison, but we have made arrangements with Martha’s parents to take us. Martha’s parents felt that we should have someone from the outside world with us at the prison although they have never been to a prison before either. We previously wrote about the Marvin Hershberger Jr. and his wife that passed (died) do to the automobile accident where six people were killed that lived in Joplin. New York. Just to bring you up to date the people that were coming to take care of the twelve children have sold their farm and moved into the Joplin home with the children. They are in the process of adopting the children and making them their own. God works in mysterious way-the couple had no children-now they have twelve. The family will be having a party for all of us that worked on their farm, cleaned the house, stocked them with food, etc. before they got there. They were going to provide all the food, but their fellow Amish decided they would provide the meat and all of us bring a dish. So we have that party to look forward to when the harvest is over. Harvest season is ending. We are harvesting what is left and getting all out of the garden. The apple trees and grapes are being picked. Apple butter, cider, apple sauce and more are being made. Grapes and apple jams and jellies are made. We are also making some of the items  I sent the grape recipes for. After everything is out of the fields and garden David and Michael will plow them for one last time this year. David is teaching Michael how to drive the tractor. Once the fields and garden are plowed for the last time they go to rest for the winter. In our view it gives the fields and gardens a rest until we start over in the spring. When Michael learns to drive the tractor David is thinking of buying another tractor, it would be done faster if we had two tractors. Once the fields are done David will be looking for construction work for the winter. He looks for work independently or with other construction people. They do mostly interior work during the winter. Sometimes David make furniture for people. Michael also wants to learn how to make furniture and wood item so David will be teaching Michael. Some of the wooden items are sold a craft shows in our area. Right now, David has a items he has made when he had a chance for the Christmas craft shows or sales. He will try to get more made and maybe some of Michael’s items can join his. I tell David the same things every year: “Farm work stops in the winter, but house work goes on all throughout the year.” Be with God, Jean
The following Amish Fried Chicken recipe came from my grandmother who got this from Amish lady many years ago. This is one of the dishes I made when Marilyn was here for dinner. Amish Friend Chicken 1 C. bread crumbs 1/4 C. flour 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. oregano 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1/4 tsp. onion salt 1/4 tsp. red pepper 1/8 tsp. celery seed 1/2 tsp garlic powder 2 chickens, cut up in pieces 2 eggs, mixed with 1/4 C. water 1 C. water Combine bread crumbs, flour and seasonings. Dip each piece of chicken into egg and water mixture, coat with crumb mixture. Fry quickly in butter until brown. Put chicken pieces in a single layer roasting pan or 4 quart casserole dish. Add 1 cup water,cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes. Enjoy. Jean
Dont miss Martha’s return to Amish Stories this Friday!

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Corn Relish: 9 ears corn 1 qt vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 tablespoon’s dry mustard 1 tsp turmeric 1 medium head cabbage 2 medium onions, chopped 3 red peppers 2 green peppers Cook corn in boiling water for 2 minutes. Dip into cold water and cut grains from the cob. Chop the cabbage, onion and peppers into small pieces and add to corn. Mix vinegar, sugar, salt and spices and heat to boiling. Add the corn and vegetables and boil until tender-20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into sterile jars and seal. This makes about 8 pints.Enjoy both recipes. Jean



Creamed Chicken and Biscuits 2 c. cooked chicken 1 c. cooked carrots 1 small onion, chopped 1 c. canned, frozen or fresh green beans 1 small can or 4 oz fresh balanced mushrooms 3 or 4 tbsp butter or margarine 1 1/2 c. milk (sometimes I use cream) salt & Pepper Melt butter in medium saucepan. Blend in flour over low heat. Make a roux (thickener) . Add milk and stir to blend and thicken. Add chicken, carrots, onion, green beans and mushrooms. Heat thoroughly and serve over biscuits. (Sometimes I make the biscuits, cut them in half and place on top of the creamed chicken to let some of the cream get inside the biscuits-then serve the cream chicken over the biscuits.) You can also makes this recipe with cooked diced ham or pork.

This Tuesday on Jean she talks about Halloween and how the old order Mennonites view it!


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