Subscribe to our blog

A Simple Amish Christmas

A Simple Amish Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the decorations and the lights. I love being with family and eating good food and singing Christmas carols. But every year around this time, my chest gets tight and I start to panic about all the things that need to be done before Christmas. December is such a busy month that the busy-ness often overshadows the joy of the season. I always wish it could be different, but I seldom figure out a way to make it that way.

The Amish celebrate Christmas simply and without a lot of fanfare. The lowly stable of Bethlehem is…

Read More Post a comment (1)
November 28, 2016  |  Author's Corner, Family  |  1 Comment

The Present Quilt

The Present Quilt

I know that last month I promised to show you a Thanksgiving table runner this week, but I just couldn’t resist starting my Christmas sewing. I love this present quilt! It is very happy, almost whimsical, and you can make this pattern for any occasion, using happy birthday colors, baby colors, really, anything you want. And this quilt is fairly easy to put together.

First, I cut all my pieces: four squares, three pieces of “ribbon,” two “bows,” and sashing for each present. (The sashing is the white fabric that surrounds every present.)

Then I started sewing. I sewed a ribbon…

Read More Post a comment (4)
November 21, 2016  |  Amish, Quilting Bee  |  4 Comments

Pears, $3.00 a bushel

Pears, $3.00 a bushel

By Richard Gappmayer (Jennifer’s dad)

In September of each year after the pears had been picked, sorted, boxed and shipped, I would walk through the orchard and observe that many of the trees had a few pears left on them. Because there were just a few in each tree it would not be worthwhile to carry a ladder around to pick them. They were, however, still very good. Since they had been on the tree for a week or more longer than those already picked they had grown in size and were nice big beautiful pears.

I would get a number 10…

Read More Post a comment (6)
November 14, 2016  |  Family, Farming&Gardening  |  6 Comments

Hawaiian Sweet and Sour Chicken

Hawaiian Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is my husband’s very favorite meal.  He always requests it for his birthday dinner.  It’s different from a typical sweet and sour chicken because it isn’t as sticky, but it is delicious.  The recipe comes from Grandma Vicky and my mother-in-law Lisa.  Her five sons eat two pans of this chicken any time she makes it.
4-6 chicken breasts (cut each breast into pieces)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour

4 beaten eggs

Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
4 Tbl ketchup
1 Tbl soy sauce

1. Mix cornstarch and flour and place in plastic gallon Ziploc bag.

2. Add chicken pieces and shake until coated.
3. Heat 1-2…

Read More Post a comment (4)
November 7, 2016  |  Cooking, Family  |  4 Comments

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, fellow quilt lovers! And just in time for this fun holiday, here is the finished Halloween quilt top I promised to show you:

I love it! I think it is worth all the time it took create. And guess what was the hardest part of the quilt? Creating the long, green panel that says, “Happy Halloween.” Appliqueing the letters themselves was a little time-consuming, but not really difficult.

The fusible webbing on the back of each letter allowed me to position the letters and then iron them in place. Once they were stuck on the fabric, I outlined each letter…

Read More Post a comment (2)
October 31, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  2 Comments

Sisters, sisters!

Sisters, sisters!

When I envisioned “The Honeybee Sisters” series, I wanted it to be about a trio of sisters who shared a special bond. There is nothing like the friendship, closeness, and love of a sister.

I have five sisters and no brothers. Growing up, our house was filled with prom dresses, sewing lessons, curling irons, school work, singing around the piano, heart-to-heart talks, estrogen, the best mother in the world, and one very long-suffering father. My dad was proud of his daughters and always told us we could do anything we set our minds too.

I have four daughters, and they were very close growing…

Read More Post a comment (10)
October 24, 2016  |  Amish, Family  |  10 Comments

Halloween Quilt!

Halloween Quilt!

Halloween can be such a fun holiday, but, unfortunately, my house is sadly lacking in decorations. I decided to remedy this problem by making a Halloween quilt, pattern courtesy of Amy Bradley Designs. The pattern is available for download on Amy’s website. (amybradleydesigns.com)

I love the way this quilt includes 12 different Halloween characters, so I wasn’t required to choose my favorite. And although the quilt is rather time-consuming to create, I think the finished product is worth it.

First, I picked out fabric for all the characters. This took more time than you might think. I used approximately 35 different pieces…

Read More Post a comment (13)
October 17, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  13 Comments

Pruning, stacking, and burning limbs on the farm

Pruning, stacking, and burning limbs on the farm

Peach and apple trees need a substantial amount of pruning. Too much foliage on peach trees will result in small peaches and unhealthy trees. The same is true of apples. This pruning is usually done in the winter after the leaves have fallen and the trees have become dormant. My father would spend many very cold and dreary days in the winter pruning. I don’t believe that he enjoyed it, but he knew that it had to be done.

In the spring after the snow had melted and it had warmed up a little, my brothers and I would go to…

Read More Post a comment (3)
October 10, 2016  |  Family, Farming&Gardening  |  3 Comments

Creative Quilting: Fusible Applique

Creative Quilting: Fusible Applique

A few weeks ago, my niece Jessica asked if I would help her make a quilted wall hanging for her toddler’s new bedroom. In the photo below, he’s holding his favorite ball, wearing his favorite jacket, trying to decide if he approves of having his picture taken.

This little guy loves balls, so Jessica decided to make a small quilt with fabric pictures of four different balls. Below is my rough sketch of the quilt on graph paper. (Yes, the orange and brown blobs are supposed to be balls.) I always design quilts on graph paper because the grid lines make…

Read More Post a comment (2)
September 26, 2016  |  Quilting Bee, Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Honey Peach Syrup

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Honey Peach Syrup

This recipe was originally posted on Amish Wisdom a few weeks ago, but I’ve had several requests to feature it on my blog too. It’s delicious!

The newest book in the Honeybee Sisters series, Like a Bee to Honey, came out on August 30, and I am as excited as a bee on a honeysuckle bush! Rose Christner, the youngest of the Honeybee sisters, is timid and cautious, but she’s not shy in the kitchen.

One of Rose’s favorite recipes is Honey Whole Wheat Pancakes, which she makes for Josiah Yoder and his energetic nephews in Like a Bee to Honey. Honey Peach…

Read More Post a comment (0)
September 19, 2016  |  Author's Corner, Cooking, Family  |  No Comments