Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Out of Order.

You know how I say that when I get on a kick I run it into the ground?  When I become interested in something I want to read about it, talk about it, discover and find out everything there is to know about that thing. I become obsessed.  And then when I get a new interest, I drop my old one like it's hot and delve into the recent obsessions.  I'm real wishy-washy like that.

Well, I have been extremely interested in the Amish as of late.  I have watched several documentaries over the past couple years on the Amish and I find them simply fascinating.  My brother introduced me to a new show on the National Geographic channel because he knows of my infatuation with the Amish.  The show is called Amish: Out of Order, and it is fantastic.

Any other viewers out there?  Don't you just love Mose?

I grew up not far from "Amish Country".  I never thought much about them or gave them another thought, but now that I'm recently interested in their way of life, I have become a stalker.  My Mom and I went on an Amish Expedition the other day and scoped out their colony - their houses, their buggies, their bakeries, their land and tractors - oh, it was amazing.  We went on a couple hour journey through the Land of the Amish and when we found ourselves back on the main highways and out of the serene fields and dirt roads, we both longed for their simplicity.

Though I don't agree with some of their beliefs spiritually (for the most part they are spot on with me, but there are a couple huge differences), and their convictions against education, war, and advancements in the world, I find their lifestyle wonderful. And I find myself thinking "this is how we were intended to live".  Hard working.  Family oriented.  Zero "worldly" distractions (phones, tv, etc.).  Solid morals.  Strong community.  They live off the land - completely self sufficient with total reliance on God.

I think we have a lot to learn from them.

But anyway, I became obsessed, bought a couple books and I stalk them as often as I can.  I feel like I could give a professional lecture on the Amish, I have learned so much!

There is a store called "The Amish Cheese House" that we have been going to for years in a town near the one where I grew up.  They have the best lunch meat, cheese, fudge, handmade goodies you can find.  It is absolutely delightful.  Levi, from a very early age, has had a strange infatuation with the Amish Cheese House.  My Mom jokes that he would rather go there than Disney Land.  You should see him light up when we say we're going there.  It's the strangest thing!

I took some pictures last time we were there, so I could give you guys a visual of this amazing shop.

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There are samples of cheese everywhere, and so Levi has a hey-day.

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Rows and rows of goodies.  Levi's favorites are the Sesame Sticks.

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I especially love the handmade pastas they sell.  Delicious!

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They also have all kinds of baked goods and things for you to make at home - like pie fillings.  Yum yum!

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Lots of seasonings and stocks.

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Their fudge is to die for!  And I don't really even like fudge!

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I have a great aunt from Colorado that has this fudge shipped to her a couple times a year.  It's THAT good.

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And you just can't beat homemade peanut butter.  It pairs perfectly with their homemade jams and jellies.

Oh, and their pickles?  Best in the world.

Next door to this place is a little bakery that sells baked goods and bread.  I can't even tell you how amazing the bread is.  It's unlike any bread you've ever had.  It's delicious.

The people working there are all decked out in their Amish-wear, but I recently learned that most of the employees are Mennonite.  Don't ask me what their differences are because there are TOO MANY to list!  I read a whole book on "the differences of the Amish and Mennonite".

I told ya.  Obsessed.

So, now that I have scratched the surface of what there is to know about the Amish, it's time for me to adopt a new obsession.  Let's hope there's a cheese house involved with the next one.

I guess I could start watching Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and become obsessed with the gypsies?

...

:)



27 comments:

  1. Too bad- that makes me want to go visit Amish country! You should check out 'Little Jewel' books. They are for preschoolers written by Mennonites. They are simple and wholesome. Ask Taresa to show you some of hers- a lot of us love them!

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  2. My sister lives in Amish Country in the heart Ohio. Every time my Mom visits (every other week) she stops at the main bakery and grabs everyone in our family a pie/donuts/bread. What ever our fancy. Best. Food. Ever.

    I think they are doing so much right. Happy healthy kids and a hard working family. We could all learn a few lessons from them.

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  3. I went to University in the heart of Mennonite country in Canada, and my housemate was mennonite (although she dressed in jeans ect). I miss the baking, but I'm also 20lbs lighter now so maybe it's for the best.

    When I went hitchhiking across Canada, I got picked up by a Hutterite lady and her daughter. They have these really really amazing farm colonies in the west of Canada. Other (non H) farmers I talked to out there said the Hutterites are hugely successful farmers, both in land management and in financial gain.

    If you want another cool documentary, there was a series here called "Amish: world's squarest teenagers" which was about 5 Amish kids on a Rumspringa in the UK (also good to see some cultural things from here) and then 6 English kids went to live in the Amish community in "Living with the Amish".

    I think they are really neat too.

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  4. I love Amish! They make awesome furniture and knifes. My Mimi only buys her knifes for the kitchen from them! Awesome food too! :)

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  5. It was absolutely surreal to see this post pop up in my reader because the owners of the cheese house, Wes & Leah Miller, go to the Mennonite church where I grew up. :) I was just at the cheese house myself less than 2 weeks ago when I went home (I live in Ohio now) for a visit!

    I'm a Christian first of all, but secondly, I'm Mennonite, but you couldn't tell it by just looking at me. :) My grandparents left the Amish when they got married, and I still have extended family that are Amish. Most of the girls you see behind the counter really are Amish. I don't want to burst your bubble, but I know it's too easy to glamorize the life of the Amish. Trust me - while the facade looks good, there is so much that is totally messed up. Life looks simple there, but it's not. There's still the huge tug of "worldly" things, and I would bet that 75% of the Amish homes in Chouteau & Inola secretly have cell phones. :) During college I worked for two summers with Amish teenagers who were "rumschpringa" (running around), and the stuff I heard and saw was appalling. There have been numerous tragic accidents due to alcohol consumption. For instance, the guy I worked with died in the arms of his girlfriend, my 2nd cousin, while driving drunk. Yes, he had a car even though he was Amish, typical for the "rumschpringa" time of their lives. Thankfully, my mom's 1st cousin (an Amish man and the girlfriend's grandpa) was able to pray with him for salvation just before he died. In addition, blatant immorality runs rampant during the "rumschpringa" time.

    There are many legitimate believers within the community, but the community as a whole has just as many "issues" as the rest of us. :) The redemptive side for these girls (well, most of them) is that three of them left the Amish, got married, became true believers, and now go to my parents' church where I grew up! So crazy. If you had asked me in the summers of 2000 and 2001 whether God could change their hearts that much and completely transform their lives, I would have laughed myself silly. I'm glad God's not limited by my lack of faith! : )

    Just thought I'd share a little more of an "inside" perspective. : ) They're still interesting to me even though my roots are in that community.

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  6. Just ate there on Saturday. Yummmmm. :)

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  7. I am the exact same way about getting obsessed with things. Right now, my obsession is Dance Moms (*hangs head in shame*) and I love to find out all I can about the world of that type of dance. It's not one of the obsessions that I'm more proud of. Haha!

    I've always been really interested in the Amish too, because we also live very close to Amish country in Ohio. We used to visit a lot with my parents. I might have to start watching that show!

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  8. I watch the show because its really informative, but also because of Mose's voice. Seriously....his voice is just killer. (And screams Amish, but that's a personal preconceived notion.)

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  9. I'm not even sure if there are Amish in Canada hahaha. I'm sure there is, but not in central Ontario where we live so we have never even seen them

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  10. It resembles "The Cheese House" where I live... In our area they are true Amish (no vehicles, tractors or electricity), and we actually live next to an Amish family. We wake up every day to their horses in the pasture that borders our property and I love it!! My husbands uncle used to be Amish too.

    Have you read the series by Wanda Brunstetter?? They were a pretty good read about the Amish.

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  11. What a neat post! I would go crazy in that store. It's always interesting to get a glimpse into different lifestyles and practices.

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  12. Ooh how interesting! You know, there are no Amish people in my country (I live in Europe) so I actually had to Google the word (I have heard it but didn't know anything else). Absolutely fascinating that they live so "naturally" - just like we all used to. And I want to visit one of those shops if I even see one! Home made peanut butter? Yum!

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  13. I to am fascinated by the Amish. While I love the idea of a simpler life I don't agree with their beliefs in general. A lot not all but a lot don't believe in salvation in the sense that evangelical Christians do. My cousin married a Mennonite farmer in the Midwest and their lives are really no different than ours. Their beliefs very closely match ours also. Of course like anything there are many different Mennonite and Amish groups so there are different ways of lif in different communities. But yeah, I'm also fascinated by the Amish.

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  14. My husband grew up near the Amish in Pa. I love that you can buy homemade food from them - its soo good and good for you. I wish we had Amish in Ga. I agree the simplicity is something to cherish. I wish we could all learn to relax and be a little more simple from time to time.

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  15. Although it's pure fiction, you might enjoy "Plain Truth" by Jodi Picoult. A very interesting read about Amish culture!

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  16. We have a lot of Amish in Ohio and I've always been so interested in them. After I started teaching 4th grade, my interest grew because the kids have to learn about them as part of the standards. I have loved watching Amish Out of Order and learning more about them. They amaze me! I think it's so wonderful that they come together to help each other. We also have a lot of Amish stores around here (about 20mins in the country) that we go to quiet often to get meat and other fresh items. Great post!

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  17. I tried really hard to get into My Big Fat Gypy Wedding, I just couldn't :P

    I love this post! My friend lives in Lancaster now, so I'm hoping to visit her this summer and take a day or two in and around Amish country- their culture is just so different!

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  18. I agree w/ Dana. You'd love those Little Jewel books! They're only about $3 each.

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  19. I have recently read the fiction books by Wanda Brunstetter. Really good reads. You would love them!

    I don't usually go to the Amish Cheese House in the summer, because I miss their soup (only made/served during the colder months). I may need to stop there this week, though, after reading this. ;-)

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  20. I lived in Chouteau most of my childhood. We had Amish babysitters so I would spend my summers with them. I was only slightly younger than their youngest so I feel like I got "the inside scoop." We ate rabbit often. It was so good. I saw the dairy barn, the slaughtering of the bunnies, what I called "noodle season", phone booths in the yard, the one boys room and the one girls room for all the children and when they would clear out the whole bottom floor of the house so they could host church at home on their assigned Sunday. But the coolest thing of all was when me and the youngest Amish kids would sneak into the "Sunday buggy". It was so fancy.

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  21. I also think if you start watching the gypsies you will get angry. I don't know about the American ones but when I used to watch the English gypsies I used to yell at the t.v. (like a guy watching sports) "Leave him, leave him now." It was like a backwards Cinderella story. I began praying for that culture after I watched that show. It hurt my heart.

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  22. That store looks AMAZING! I wish I had a store like that near me! :)

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  23. That store looks AMAZING! I wish I had a store like that near me! :)

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  24. It is SO funny you posted this. I am the SAME way! I love love love studying the amish. Lately I have read a ton of books too. I was at a business conference and one of the people I was paired up with had an accent. I asked him where he was from and realized he was AMISH. He had a Pennsylvania Dutch accent. He said he and his wife had stopped being Amish 2 years ago. He was AMAZING! I got to meet his wife too and they are just so awesome!! Their story from Amish to westernized was amazing!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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