Since leaving the Amish have you made a lot of changes in how you decorate the house?
By looking at how our house is decorated it could still very well pass for one of the plainer Amish homes. There were blinds at the windows when we moved in and so far I still haven't found the curtains I want, and other than calendars and clocks the walls are basically bare.
Do you homeschool your children? Will they go to school through high school? How do you feel if they chose higher education, or is that an option?
Our children will have at minimum a high school education and if they want a higher education that is an option.
I guess this is actually two questions, so feel free to only answer one! I read Beverley Lewis' novels of Amish life obsessively, and I was wondering if you're familiar with them and how accurate they are. Because they are my only real exposure to the Amish, I noticed that you use the names Mom and Daddy in your blog; her characters always call their parents Mamm and Dat. Is there a lot of variation from family to family or community to community in what children call their parents?
In the entire Somerset County Amish community there are very few families who call their parents Mamm and Dat. There are variations from family to family and from community to community. Daddy, Papa, Dad, Dat, Pap, and Pop are all used as well as Mom, Mama, Mamm, and Mem.
A good thing to remember when reading Beverly Lewis books is that they are fiction and there will be things in every book that are not 100% accurate. I don't begrudge anyone the joy of reading those books though.
I read many Amish books both fact and fiction. We have lived our lives plain in comparison to the average person. What are ways that you see that would benefit us that we could learn from the Amish ways.
We want to have more friends and community, more peace and less drama in our lives. Can you list things that you see that some could change and make a better life for themselves. Thank you for helping.
One of the biggest things that we still think add value to life that we were raised and trained in practising is, forgiveness. Being able to forgive people freely whether or not they "deserve" it makes a huge difference in the amount of peace and drama in your life.
I understand that there are a number of different groups of Amish with the majority affiliated with four orders: Swartzengruber, Old Order, Andy Weaver, and New Order Amish. Old Order Amish are the most common and Swartzengruber the most conservative. In which order were you raised, Mary Ann?
There are two orders of Amish. Old and New. In those orders especially the Old Orders there are huge differences among communities from Swartzentruber and Swiss being some of the most conservative, to the way more liberal communites. I don't think I can even begin naming all the different types of churches among the Old Order.
I was raised in Old Order. Specifically, what the Amish refer to as Somersetah.
Have your brothers left the Amish? They come for visits from time to time to see your family, so they must've left. Their clothing doesn't look Amish. Are they also being shunned by your parents?
Two of my brothers have left the Amish, and yes, they are also shunned by my parents.