Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit to our Amish Friends

Staying overnight at our Amish friends was one of the highlights of our summer! We met our friends in the ICU at Riley and have kept in touch since. They invited us up to see their farm and we decided to make that part of our vacation.

I couldn't take any pictures of our friends, but I do have a few of us to share. Believe me, my mind was constantly trying to capture every photogenic moment I saw since that was the only way I could remember it for the future.

After lunch we all went on an hour and a half buggy ride to see the surrounding countryside. The parents and the babies rode in the big buggy and all the rest of the kids rode in the pony cart! I wish you could have seen the fathers in the front seat, the mothers in the back seat with our babies, and all the rest driving behind having a fun time of their own! (Our friends also have 5 children of similar ages to ours).

Our kids spent as much time as they could in the barn, swinging on the rope swing. It made me so happy to see them enjoying a farm!

Here is a view from the barn toward the neighbors.

A little chick was discovered in the bowels of the barn and brought out for James to hold.

Everyone headed to the barn at chore time to either help or watch. And, yes, several people were barefoot!

Here is the milk for the calves being mixed up.

Our friends raise calves which, when grown, are shipped to Turkey to become milk cows. The calves begin by being fed from these bottles:

Rachel was eager to jump right in and even got up the next morning at 4 am so she could help with the morning chores.

Here are the calves:

And there were some goats as well. Our friends drink goats milk and James got to try milking the goat.
The family dog:

The were two new kids who had just been separated from their mother and had to be fed with bottles.

Our friends also raise pigs and this is the pig barn, smellier than you would imagine!

The most fun of all was had on the pony cart, which was kept hitched up all day long. Is that not the most adorable thing?!!

I finally broke down and asked if I could have my turn.

Rachel was quite at home by the time we left and even started wearing her hair up!

Riding the ponies bareback was also fun:

After we said goodbye to our friends, we headed north into more Amish country.

We drove through a few "touristy" towns:

stopped to let the kids ride on a merrygoround:

And then went to tour the Menno-Hof Mennonite Museum. It dawned on me, while paying for our tickets, that maybe they might carry the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I looked up and there it was on the shelf in front of me!

The museum was very helpful, attention-keeping and well-done. We all enjoyed it.

We ended our time with a donut from one of the big bakeries.

And then we were off to our next visit, which I will tell about next time.

We are just so thankful for such a wonderful time with our friends. I was so happy for the kids to experience a farm, and it was fascinating to learn about the way others live, and yet also to see how very much the same our families are in so many ways. We all can't wait to go again!


Nicole said...

brings back memories...

southseaislandhome said...

Wow - what an amazing experience for you all - how fun! Thanks for sharing the photos - really interesting to look at - the ponies looked so sweet and I loved the look of that barn swing!

harmony and rosie said...

How fortunate to have this experience, it's the stuff of films. Love the pony cart and buggy

Heather said...

What an amazing experience for your family! Great pictures - I can almost smell the pig barn!

Amy K said...

What a great opportunity! How awesome.

Lovella ♥ said...

Sweet! I loved the pictures of the farm. How wonderful that you were invited to stay with this Amish family. I only spoke with a few ladies while we travelled through Lancaster ..not wanting to impose my "touristy" curiosity on them.

So fun that you found the book. .yay!