Friday, September 28, 2012

Aunt Emma's Rugs

Going to Grandpa Mast's was always a lot of fun. There were so many options of fun things to do there from spending time with Grandpa in his harness shop, helping Grandma in her craft room, playing with Aunt Vernie, and on days when Aunt Emma was making rugs I usually didn't have to think twice. Vernie and I both loved watching and helping her.

It was fun filling those big bobbins with long strips of fabric and then watching as they flew back and forth across the loom leaving a trail of the fabric strips behind them, woven into the rug. Aunt Emma would let us try to help her on the loom but it was much harder than it looked when she did it so I was content simple watching and listening to the delightful clackity bangs as she made rug after rug.

She sold a lot of rugs in my parents store and when I was preparing things for my own home she was more than happy to make all the rugs in every color I wanted. By the time she was done I had everything I needed and more. A whole set of blue rugs, a few pink, several made with plastic grocery bags to use in the basement or our front porch, I had rugs that matched the colors for every room of the house. And then a pile to use for special occasions which included several all white ones.

I still have a pile of rugs I never even used including the white ones. Somehow they always seemed too pretty to actually walk on and so they stay tucked away.
Aunt Emma still makes rugs, I would love to spend a day watching her once again.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Join Us

On Wednesday October 3rd I will be joining Suzanne Woods Fisher at Books-A-Million in Cumberland, MD for a book signing from 2 to 4 PM.
We would love to get to meet you!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge this week falls on John Chapman's birth date. He's more famously known as Johnny Appleseed...what's your favorite variety of apple?

I really like a lot of different apples but, my favorite variety of apple is Fuji. So delightfully crisp, sweet, and juicy.

There is a variety though that I keep looking for and so far have not been able to find. My search is a little more complicated since I can't remember the name of the apple but I do remember how it tasted.

It was a Saturday afternoon, the winter I was sixteen, and the fruit peddler had stopped at our house. The back of his truck was loaded with bushel boxes filled with apples. Mom bought several bushels of Yellow Delicious and before the peddler left he tried to sell her a bushel of a brand new variety. She wasn't interested knowing that Yellow Delicious were the family favorites, besides this new variety was more expensive.

The peddler gave her one to sample, sure that we would want to buy some the next time he made his rounds.

Mom came into the house with the funny shaped apple. It was much more flat than the apples we were used to eating and the color was intriguing as well from yellowish green spots to a dark reddish purple. It didn't look very appetizing to me.

That evening Mom peeled it and we each got two slices. Biting into it there seemed to be an explosion of flavors. Almost as if I had a bite of an apple, grapes, and pears. We all loved it and wished we had bushels and bushels to enjoy. We were looking forward to the next time the peddler came so we could buy some.

Unfortunately by the time he got to our house he was sold out of that variety. Too many other people had been wanting them too. We never did get any more of those apples and I will continue sampling new kinds when ever I have a chance in hopes that I will be able to find them again.

2. When did you last say 'ick'?

Yesterday, leaking diapers have a way of making me say that.

3. Do you think there's a generation gap? Explain.

I think this varies a lot from family to family. I never felt that way and was always close to my Mom and grandparents. We all loved talking so there wasn't much chance of any of us not understanding how the other was feeling.

4. What's on your computer screen saver? Do you leave it alone or change it often?

My computer background is a picture of a patch of lily-of-the-valley flowers. I change it once a month or so. My screen saver is bubbles and I never change it.

5. If you had the attention of the entire world for two minutes, what would you say?

I would ask them to forget their differences, life is much too short and precious to be focused on that.

6. Four fashion trends to try this fall are-brocade/jacquard (fancy printed fabrics), peplum, lace, and printed pants...which of these four would you be most likely to wear?

I'm really not a fan of any of those options though lace does sound the nicest to me.

7. What can make your bad day better?

Having little arms flung around my neck and hearing the words "I love you, Mom"  is always a day brighter.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
The way the yard looks in front of our house I think it's time to start raking leaves even though they have only started falling.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm really liking the trailer for Life with Lily. And also excited about a fun filled website created for Lily where you will find games, coloring pages, and more.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Answering Questions ~ LV

Over time I have accumulated a list of questions from my readers that were directed to LV. And today he will be answering them here.
  1. How has life changed since you have left the Amish?  Other than the obvious of now driving a vehicle, having electricity, and the way we dress the thing that changed the most since leaving the Amish is my relationship with God.
  2. Do you ever miss your horse and buggy? Never! I loved my horse and enjoyed riding but using a horse and buggy to go somewhere always took too long. I found that to be frustrating even as a little boy.
  3. How many brothers and sisters do you have? I had three brothers and one sister.
  4. Are you still in contact with your family?  Yes, I am. My parents seem to have accepted our choice of leaving the Amish quite well and we are always welcome at their house. They will even ride in our vehicle with us occasionally. I don't talk to my brothers and sister as often as I should but we are all on friendly terms.
  5. What was your first job?   For my first job I was only fifteen and had to spend a year working for a young family on their farm. I hated it. I had to work extremely hard. I was almost constantly tired. There was never enough to eat and I was constantly hungry. Every once in a while I would sneak over the fields to my sister's house and she would cook a nice meal for me. I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't been for her.
  6. How was it to be the son of an Amish preacher?  My Dad was ordained before I was born so I never knew anything else. I didn't like when people came to talk to him, it always seemed to spoil the rest of our day.
  7. How did you stay cool during the summer while you were Amish?  We were fortunate enough to live in an area where we didn't have extreme heat. Sitting under a tree in the shade always cooled us off nicely and after we built a pond we used to like going swimming to cool off after a day of hay making.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Here!

What a thrill to be able to hold this book in my hands!  I can't thank you readers enough for encouraging me to put my life stories into a book.  Together we are seeing that dream come true.
Doing a happy dance! 
See sidebar for ordering information if you want a copy and check back often. I predict a fun giveaway in the near future.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Morning

Buddy's favorite thing to play with for the past few days has been Sailor's toy barn. It seems nice to have it in use again after having been packed away.
This morning before school Sailor was reading one of  the books from our old Book of Knowledge set. "Hey Mom," he called. "Did you know your picture is in here?"
I knew that was impossible unless I am much, much older than I thought I was. I went to see the picture and though it certainly isn't me there is still a resemblance.
Curious?  Here it is. The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? The NFL is back in action along with all the college teams. Are you a fan? Who do you root for? If you're not a fan what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night games?

I'm not a huge fan of football but I do root for the Steelers. There are so many things I enjoy a whole lot more than football. Playing with my children, reading a book, catching up on emails, and I of-course can't forget Pinterest.

LV loves football so sometimes when I help him watch for a few minutes I enjoy asking intelligent questions such as, "How can they keep the grass on the fields so nice?"  "Why do they call it football? Is it because the ball is secretly stuffed with feet?"  "Why do they keep slapping each other like that when they're happy with a play?"  "How do the refs decide when to give a penalty for excessive celebration after a touchdown?" 

Okay the last question really does bug me.  Some teams get away with a lot more than others.

I think my favorite thing about football is this little bit that I like to watch every fall when football season starts.

2. What's something I'll always find in your closet?

Other than clothes I keep a box filled with the letters LV and I exchanged before we were married.

3. Share one of your earliest memories.

I think I shared some of my earliest memories already but in case you missed it.  I remember sitting on Mom's lap at a dinner table when I was only a baby when we were visiting one of her friends. A fawn came and ate a noodle from her plate and I was absolutely terrified.

4. What circus act best describes your week so far?

I'm not really sure. Some type of a balancing act I suppose. So far this week we have all been sick and today is the first day I'm feeling a little better.

5. What's a food you disliked as a child but you love now?

Olives. I used to think they are one of the most awful things anyone could try eating and now I really like them.

6. Describe your summer in three words.

Sorrow, busy, warm.

7. Where were you on September 11, 2001? Will you do anything special to mark the day this year?

I was on my way to the hospital with pregnancy related complications when we saw the smoke from Flight 93 crashing.

We didn't do anything special to mark the day other than remember and pray. On a brighter note I became the aunt to a sweet little nephew yesterday. I won't have any problems remembering his birthday and there will now be something much nicer for us to think of when we hear that date.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Of all the gladiolus I had planted only a few have bloomed and they have all been in the orange family of colors. The way the leaves look I think there was some kind of bug bothering them.
Hopefully next year I'll have better luck growing them, both in keeping them alive and healthy and hopefully colors other than orange.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life Goes On

Everything that comes to my mind to blog about this morning all seems so trivial. After a very emotional, very hard week where we said our final good-byes to LV's brother Melvin it seems almost unreal that we are getting back into our usual schedule, our normal routines, the sun shines brightly in a brilliant blue sky with fluffy white clouds drifting along lazily. The birds are still singing, and the grass is still a lush green.

Somehow life goes on even though hearts are heavy with sorrow. In all this we still say "God is good, always."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


As I sit here I feel numb and helpless. We just received a message telling us that LV's brother was killed in a work related accident. He has left behind his loving wife, Emma, and their eight children. As well as those six little motherless children that they had moved in to help care for.

We are preparing to go to the family. If you care to, prayers for Emma and their family would be appreciated.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Something Smells Phishy

Over the course of time that we have had email we have received quite a few phishing scams that I always promptly deleted. Everything from fake Paypal and bank account alerts which I knew were not legitimate because when the first arrived in my inbox we didn't have an account at either place, to an assortment of inheritance letters with horrible spelling telling me of distant relatives that I knew didn't exist claiming they passed away in Nigeria in either a plane crash or an assortment of other causes.

Today I received one a little different:

Greetings in Jesus name,

 May this letter find you blessed in Christ. I am writing from West Africa and it is a blessing getting to you in the other part of the world. It is my prayer that you become a friend of me and the local church here. I got your email when I searching online and got into the web site and I know that it is God’s arrangement. I need not silver or gold but the word of God only!

By His grace I am a Believer bought and washed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. I am married with three children. I am a pastor of a small local church non denominational or affiliated to anybody. The church was founded in 2006 and now has about 30 members. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 when I was still in the high school at Zaria. A campus fellowship student by name Johnson was my roommate at school and his life of faithfulness unto Christ and his prayer and teaching me the Bible led me to Christ. This Brother told me then that he sensed that God was going to use me for His cause. I was never ready to hear that because my dream or thought was never in the ministry but to finish my studies and get a nice job. Five years after school and already working I started having the stronger urge and sensing that God was calling me but I kept on putting it off my heart because my job and life was sweet to me and I felt I needed nothing else. One day a guest speaker was ministering in our church and he singled me out in a crowd of over a hundred people and told me that God has called me to the ministry and cannot hide. After he left I told my pastor that I have accepted and my pastor and other elders of the church prayed with me. I immediately joined and headed the evangelical outreach of the church and I saw many coming to Christ in the outreach. I let go of my job in 2005 and returned to Edo my State. I joined a small local church and was assisting the pastor as the second pastor. In January 13th 2007 a pastor of a little church of about five families in my area walked up to me telling me that he is leaving the state to his home state where the Lord has asked him to go and start the work. He said he has been praying for over a month that the Lord has asked him to tell me to take over the little church he founded 2006. I have not had relationship with this pastor before now so it amazed me. He asked me to pray to ask the Lord. I did prayed and without wasting time I knew the Lord ask me to hold that little church and that was how I became the pastor of this church called Victory Chapel. The church is a growing church and we meet at a temporary rented building. We are not earthly rich but rich in Christ, riches that will last for eternity.

 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. The reason why I am writing is to appeal for your assistance in the area of a Study Bible which will be of help to me in my research and study of the bible as well as lesson preparation as a pastor, also bibles for others. These Bibles are very expensive here. I need a Dakes Annotated Reference Bible or a Thompson Chain reference Bible either one of the two. If you cannot get any of these please send me any study Bible which you know has study helps and aids. I would prefer a King James Version. Bibles cost much here as they are imported not printed here. There are many in our local church who do not have bibles and cannot afford to buy. I want to specifically make a request for the elderly ones who cannot work and earn money to buy for themselves. There are 12 of such ones in our church and they are very devoted. Please on their behalf I request that you send them 12 Bibles the very big letters or super large print would be preferable for them because of their sight. Thank you for considering this request. And as you help to meet this kingdom need the Lord will bless you finance abundantly. If you send the bibles through post office a registered postage the bibles will get to us safely. I was told at the post office that express mail international postage or insured mail is safer.

My home and postal address is (Edited to remove address.) Please write when you get my mail. I do not have full access to internet but I can check at least three times weekly. Ecclesiastes 11:1 "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days" God bless you and your family as you labour for His Cause

In His Service,

John Izierielkor:

(Edited to remove contact info)

So what do you think? It is different from any I have ever received before since they're not asking for any money and their spelling is surprisingly good. But somehow I'm still getting a phishy vibe from it.

Have you received an email like this? And if you did were you tempted to send Bibles?