Amish Auction

Big doings in the neighborhood last week!

One of our Amish neighbors had a moving auction.

So what does an Amish auction look like?

Auction 006A lot like a regular auction – except you could bid on buggies and pony carts and horse drawn equipment and wood cook stoves.

And there’s lots of Amish folks around.

They came from all over.

Auction 023Some in horse and buggies.

Some in vans with hired drivers.

Whole families.

It was like a party.

Friends seeing friends they hadn’t seen for awhile.

Several of the teens put up volleyball nets in the pasture and played while the bidding went on.

Speaking of bidding…

Auction 002Those Amish ladies may look serene and nonchalant – but boy can they bid when they want something!

I lost out on a couple things because I couldn’t tell the bonnets apart and didn’t know who had the bid.

I did score a set of three pretty glass jars to store sewing supplies.

But then I had to carry them around the rest of the morning – which kept me from bidding on the Amish cook stove – which may have been a good thing.

Auction 015We stayed long enough to see the horses auctioned off at noon because I really wanted to see an Amish horse auction.

I kept my hands in my pockets though.

But we didn’t stay long enough to see the farm equipment go –  we probably don’t really need a manure spreader with steel wheels anyway.

But we did see all the neighbors, caught up on the news, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I love a good auction!

VBS

This year’s VBS is now history.

What took weeks to plan and prepare for – was over in the blink of an eye.

We had drama.

11061979_10152874338071423_7271705925682164061_nAnd laughter.

And suspense.

And lots and lots of trench coats.

11665577_10152874339901423_3384670670926188579_nAnd we had music.

And silly games – both inside and out – because of course we had rain.

11693955_10152876094836423_6241233042329684299_nWe did crafts.

And got snacks from a crazy snack lady person.

And had an absolutely incredible group of volunteers – including some amazing teenage helpers and actors.

But most importantly –

11403497_10152876096531423_6818735480113891379_nWe had lots of precious children who heard about the One True God.

And that made every detail worth it.

A Wild West Kinda Day

Last week was a humdinger – let me tell you.

The poison ivy went systemic and even with steroids, it continued to spread.

But I made it. It was by the grace of God and lots of help, that we were able to host our all-day VBS here on Saturday.

And I do mean a lot of help.

DSC_0173Somehow backdrops got painted, the building was emptied, props were found, lines were learned and some incredible teens preformed some hilarious skits that both entertained and taught truth.

These kids rock.

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Somehow benches got painted and cement blocks found, a herd of stick horses was created, and a sound system set up in a building that has no electricity.

Snacks were made, hamburgers grilled, watermelon cut, dishes washed and everyone was fed, three times.

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Flubber was made, crafts prepared and rattlesnakes bought. Games were set up, torn down,  and the new ones prepped. Again and again.

It was an intense day.

It took an army of people.

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Servants.

Quietly doing what needed to be done.

Teaching truth.

Living out God’s love.

I was humbled and blessed.

Amish Eggs

DSC_0123My new little layers just aren’t laying enough eggs yet to feed the family.

So now, once a week, I head over to the Amish produce stand to buy a few dozen Amish eggs.

This never fails to make me smile.

Every time I pull in, I’m greeted by some smiling Amish children.

I buy my eggs and maybe a melon or a cucumber and watch as they carefully count out my change. It’s worth the drive just to see that!

But my latest trip was the best yet. When I got to the stand I saw three little Amish girls, their height like stair steps, probably ages seven and five and three. But I didn’t see any eggs, so I asked about them.

The oldest of the three little girls had a look of panic, then a hurried consultation in Pennsylvania Dutch with the next biggest.

The middle girl took off across the driveway to the shop (I guess to ask mom or dad) , while the oldest smiled at me and said it would be just a minute. We then had a very interesting conversation about turkeys, squash bugs, green beans, sweet corn, and how much we needed rain.

I must say, I was impressed with her conversation skills!

All the while the youngest girl just stared at me with great big eyes underneath her prayer bonnet.

Then middle child rushed back in the stand, grabbed a long hoe from the back and rushed out again.

Oldest just smiled at me and said, “We’ll have some eggs soon.”

I was puzzled, wondering how a hoe could bring us eggs?

Then I heard a bell. As I stepped around the stand, I saw middle child with hoe in hand swinging it over her head for all she was worth, so the metal part would ring an old school bell that was missing it’s rope.

She hit it every other time. But it was just enough to bring someone out of the house.

A volley of Pennsylvania Dutch was exchanged and within 5 minutes a little Amish boy (obviously one step up the stair steps from the oldest girl) ran in with my eggs.  They then consulted over how much I owed them, even grabbing a piece of paper to do some figuring.

Another five minutes and I had my eggs, a zucchini, a cucumber, a handful of change, and a big smile.

Buying eggs at the grocery store was never this much fun!

Calling in the Cavalry

Many of you may remember that we frequently host a one day – all day Vacation Bible School here at Windy Ridge. And it’s all done outside, in tents and on the lawn.

Every year people ask what we will do if it rains. Every year I just smile and say we’ll figure that out when it happens. But it never did.

Until last year.

In the middle of the worst drought in 100 years (seriously , we hadn’t had any rain for almost 3 months!) yet the minute the kids step off the bus that morning it started to rain.

Then the wind picked up and it started to pour.

Then the lightning came and some really strong wind gusts.

We huddled together under the tents we had set up and watched the wading pools fly by.  After we saw the food tent fly by – we decided to quickly move all the kids back on the bus.

We were just in time to see the porta- potty blow over.

When the rain stopped, we moved back outside and enjoyed a great day.

But I determined then and there that we needed to have a back-up plan. What if they rain hadn’t stopped? We sure couldn’t spend all day in the bus!

My idea? The pole barn.

The only problem was that it, like all the other buildings on the property, was full of “treasures”.

But if we could simply rearrange the building to put all the storage items in the back half and keep all the easily moveable things in the front half (things like tractors, mowers, balers, etc..) Then, on VBS day, we could simply drive out the things in the front half , park them in the pasture and set up VBS in the now empty front half of the pole barn.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

All winter it seemed brilliant. All spring it seemed genius.

It really did seem like a wonderful plan until last week when we suddenly realized there were only 3 weeks till VBS and we still hadn’t started re-arranging.

We worked in the evenings – sorting, emptying – but the task was monumental.

The scrap guy hauled away 3 loads. THREE loads! God bless him.

We’ve had a fire going that would rival the eternal flame.

But still we had a massive job.

It was time to call in the cavalry – the kids in the youth group. Young, strong, and would work for food. Perfect.

They arrived Friday afternoon in the midst of heat and humidity.

And they worked. Hard.

They moved piles and piles of wood left over from remodeling. They toted and carried. Car parts and bike parts. An outboard motor. Many, many doors. They unearthed some very interesting artifacts.

I’m wishing now that I had made them sign a confidentiality statement.

They were covered with sweat and dust and old spider webs, but still they smiled.

Then I fed them all the hot dogs they could eat and they had a massive water fight well past dark.  And I smiled.

They earned it.

They got us over the hump. God bless them.

We spent another day doing the finishing touches, but now we’re ready.

So – maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

And maybe I need to bring those amazing youth group kids some ice cream. And cookies.  And squirt guns…