The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

The dreaded Christmas Letter...

This is a excerp from our Christmas letter this year.  I wrote alot about our trip back in May on the blog, since I wrote out the highlights, I thought ya'll might enjoy reading this.  I did change our names to pronouns for this post for privacy.

May 9- leave our home and travel to Mountain Home, ID. Nothing exciting to see this day.May 10- Mountain Home, ID – Rock Springs, WY.  On this day while passing through Utah, we took an unplanned detour to visit the Golden Spike National Historical Site; our timing was perfect, it was the anniversary date, of the laying of the final spikes!  The national parks dept. put on a full reenactment, period costumed folk, the actual dialogue, history coming to life!! May 11- Rock Springs, WY- North Platte, NE.  It was 28F when we woke up in Rock Springs that morning, a tent trailer even with heat was not warm at all!  This day we did 2 exciting things, we surprised the children with a little detour into Colorado, just to say we went there.  Our main thing to see for the day was the home store of Cabela’s in Sidney, NE. It was over 80F in Sidney that Mother’s Day, quite a change from our morning temp!! May 12- North Platte, NE- Davenport, IA.  Nothing exciting this day, lot’s of driving.May 13- Davenport, IA-Michigan City, IN. 2 missions this day; 1st, John Deere (for the boys) in Moline, IL; then American Girl Place in downtown Chicago (for the girls!).  Davenport and Moline are sister cities along the Mississippi River. We visited John Deere Plaza in Moline early in the day, spending a couple hours exploring.  Then we were off on a 4 hr. drive across IL, to get to AG Place.  We got to Chi-town late in the afternoon, drove around forever trying to find a parking spot for a car with a trailer (bad planning & not recommended); we made it, the girls loved it, the store has GameBoys available for any brothers to play with while we shopped.  Then we were off to drive around Lake Michigan, in the dark and it was super stormy, we saw some awesome mid-west lightening.May 14- Michigan City, IN- Alton, OH.  First this day, we visited the little “village” as the locals call it of Three Oaks, MI; the town where the movie “Prancer” was filmed back in 1989. It is one of our favorite Christmas movies.  We met the Town Magistrate, who gave us a little history on the town.  Our goal this day was to experience Amish Indiana; but the weather was terribly rainy, so we drove through onto our evening destination in Ohio.May 15- Alton, OH-Huntington, WV.  We had one goal this day, to visit the Longaberger Basket Co. Homestead.  This day was for me!!  We had stayed on the west side of Columbus, Longaberger is just east of town. We arrived fairly early to the headquarters in Newark, OH, the “big basket building”.  It was spectacular!  Outside and in, the family photo was taken inside the basket building. Then we were off to the Homestead in Frayzesburg, OH; to weave our own baskets! This was my Mother’s Day present from my children.  The girls and I wove baskets, while the boys all took the pictures.  The factory weavers assist in the weaving experience. Then we did some shopping for more baskets (yikes!!) and walked around the Homestead, taking more pictures.  We left in the afternoon, knowing we had a big drive ahead, to our destination of Huntington, WV, our most eastern point.   As it was getting dark, we had more rain, then in Charleston, WV we were stuck in a traffic jam in the pouring rain dark; this was our most frightening drive.  We arrived in Huntington around 10PM, and decided to get a motel room that night. West Virginia smells like oil or coal. May 16- Huntington, WV-Lexington, KY.  This day our goal was to visit Rod and Staff Publishing Co. in the hills of eastern Kentucky.  This is the company that publishes the school books we use for our children.  This was just another great learning experience, our guide Brother J; showed us how the books are made from start to finish.  It was such a blessing to meet and thank the Godly folks who work diligently to produce school materials that glorify our great Lord!  After our visit to R&S we were off to Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.  After our harrowing drive the day before, the short drive was welcomed.  The camping section of the horse park was the grandest state park we’ve ever seen!  We settled in and just had a great time camping this night.May 17- Lexington, KY-Lousiville, KY.  We spent the day at the horse park, Dad and the children all rode horses around the guided trail, except our youngest daughter and I. Our little girl, was the right age, but too short to ride a “real” horse, so she rode a pony in the ring.  Every day on the trip, she would say in her cute way, “I’m gonna ride a p-OOOOOOOOOny!”.  After riding the horses and touring the museums we drove around the area sightseeing all the beautiful horse farms, on what is called the “Dreamer” tour, after the movie. Then were off to Louisville!  The reason for the trip!!May 18- 21 - Louisville!!!  Dad didn’t have any conference stuff to do on Sunday, we regrouped, did some grocery shopping (we had a hotel in Louisville) and laundry.  By afternoon we were ready to tour something, but this is the Bible belt, not much is open on Sundays!  We talked with the concierge and decided to go to the Louisville Bats baseball game at Louisville Slugger Field.  We were very impressed with the field, for farm club play it is pretty fancy!  Monday we were able to take a day trip to Elizabethtown (for our oldest daughter, a big fan of the movie Elizabethtown), Abe Lincoln’s Birthplace (Hodgenville, KY) & spelunking at Mammoth Caves. The remaining time in Louisville, we toured the Louisville Slugger Factory, downtown Louisville and Cave Hill Cemetery (that’s where Colonel Sanders is buried!!)  Also during our stay, Hilary Clinton was in town trying to win the vote in that state. The children & I actually saw her getting out of her car and run into the hotel that was hosting her event (exciting, but we are GOP fans here!) May22- Louisville, KY-LaPlata, MO.  We crossed the Ohio River into Indiana; (southern IN smelled weird) later we crossed the Mississippi into Missouri (we drove past the Gateway Arch in St. Louis) on our way to visit our friends in LaPlata.  It was so nice to see familiar faces and just relax and visit. The children had such a great time playing with their friends and seeing lightening bugs for the first time ever!  We are blessed with so many awesome friendships!

May 23-  LaPlata, MO- Alexandria, MN. This was the longest drive ever!! There is no short road between LaPlata and Alexandria, MN and we had nothing planned to see and there was not much to see. Iowa is pretty much the same from border to border!!  We had to get our oldest, up to Minnesota for staff training.  We arrived in Alexandria really late, near 11PM, to some our friends there.

May 24-  Alexandria, MN. My friend and I woke up early to take my daughter over to the camp.  The folks at camp were so nice to offer breakfast to us, then we unpacked her stuff and we left.  It wasn’t quite as emotional as I had thought leaving her there.  I knew that the Lord was watching over her and that her being at camp was truly God’s plan for her.  We spent the rest of the day just hanging out and visiting; the children again enjoyed seeing their friends too.  Our friend shared his “secret” to removing the remains of the unofficial MN state bird (mosquitos) from our car with my husband.  The car was completely covered (it was so gross!)May 25- Alexandria, MN- Glendive, MT.  We left Alexandria after church, deciding that we had had enough vacationing and took the quick route from MN to WA.  After such a long time from home and church, it was a privilege to worship with our dear friends and hear our friend preach.  May 26- Glendive, MT-Spokane, WA. A long drive, one less child though, so more room in the back seat for the boys!!May 27- Spokane, WA to home!!!!  We had one child not feeling well, so we all decided that we would drive straight through with as few stops as possible.  Miracle of all miracles, we drove without even making one stop for anything! You can drive that distance on a tank of gas exactly we discovered and in 41/2 hours.  We were glad to be home!  19 days &18 states later, our biggest field trip ever was complete! We saw so much, yet found that there was so much more to see, next time I guess!!

amish in Ohio

I'm confused. I thought someone told me they closed the Longaberger Basket Co. My niece worked there a few years ago so my sister has many of the baskets. We live about 3 hrs from amish country in Ohio and visit there many times a year. We always feel safe while there and enjoy the slower pace of life.

Re: amish in Ohio

Nope, the Longaberger Homestead is still open and going strong.  The town of Dresden though has changed in that many of shops that were there before are now closed with not as many new shops taking their place. 

Re: amish in Ohio

Tell us about your day trip, I've been hoping to hear from you how it went??

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5

Re: amish in Ohio

I know only you will enjoy this blog but I will tell you about it.  Left for my day trip at 5:30 in the morning.  The drive there took about 3 1/2 hours.  The basket that came with our trip was the Christmas Bread Basket (of course now I have to buy the liner and protector but I really like the stripe botanical fields print).  On the bus, my door prize was the Christmas print purse and my friend got the cook book holder.  There were 8 buses in our group (that's about 450 people).  When we arrived at the Homestead, you can imagine what it was like with that many people.  We bee lined it to the factory outlet store along with the majority of others that were on the buses.  I did find the plates I was wanting.  They were the discontinue green tradition pattern.  I had to pay more than I was wanting ($13 a plate) but that is still a good deal ($42 a pair regularly).  I had a lady come over while my friend and I were opening the boxes to make sure they were ok, and asked if we were going to take all the plates, but we did leave her a few ( she kept looking at our cart in disbelief because I bought 8 of them).  I also found some factory seconds on salad plates and bought some of them.  We had a nice lunch at the Homestead resturant, shopped at the Homestead (found a few good deals there too) and then went to the town of Dresden itself for a few hours.  Bought me several new purses at the Longanbeger clothes shop in Dresden and found a really cute snowmen sweatshirt.  It did snow throughout the day which really gave it a nice festive feel to the day.  However when it was time to leave, we found out that I-70 was closed down due to the weather so the trip home took longer than usual.  I told my friend that even though I like doing the Christmas trip, I really want to do the spring trip next time (just to see the clearence sections ;-))  When you become a consultant for them, you'll get to go to the famous bee's.  Or if you ever get a chance to do any of the bus trips, I highly recommend them, it kinda of neat, on a bus with 50 other people you don't know but you all have a love of Longaberger baskets (or in my case, their pottery).

Re: amish in Ohio

Sounds like a perfect day!  I would have to fly in closer to go on a bus trip; they don't have them from the west coast.  I am very excited to become a consultant, and have an opportunity to go to a "bee".  I love the pottery also.  I probably should have gotten some while we were there, but we were running out of storage space in our car and trailer; as it was, we shipped a box of stuff home instead of trying to juggle it for the rest of the trip! With the economy the way it is I was thinking of putting a little extra energy into selling the pottery, that is something that a lot of people use daily.  I use mine daily, and it has really held up well; with the exception of my Grma Bonnie Pie Plate, I had slick hands once, it slipped out into the sink and cracked right in half!  I was so sad, I knew it was just a fluke, but it made me sad:(

Thanks BK for sharing your day, it was just like being there! 

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5

Re: The dreaded Christmas Letter...

Ah it is a great time of year to go!  The bus tour that we are on will also go to Dresden in the late afternoon where we can shop and stay until after the Dresden's Christmas Parade.  They are calling for snow tomorrow in that area which will add to the feeling.  My main goal is getting dinner plates.  Last year they had them for $9.00 but not in my pattern so I didn't get any.  I have now decided that I don't care if it is or isn't my pattern, I'm buying some!!! It really is a great deal to go.  For $100 I get the bus trip up and back, breakfast, lunch (at the Homestead) and dinner.  Breakfast is served in a Longenberger basket, everyone gets a 'bus prize' (last year I got the four divider serving dish) and the Christmas Holiday fabric bag (which I use as a holiday purse). The only downside:  I have to be at the Florence Mall by 5:45 in the morning and wont' get back until midnight!!! (Thank goodness I am going with some really good girlfriends). 

Re: Longaberger...

Are you trying to tourture me!!!!

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5

Re: Longaberger...

I saw the Longaberger headquarters once, but the crazy thing is I wasn't expecting it...I was just trying to take a non-interstate short-cut between New Philadelphia, Ohio and Columbus so you can imagine how jarring it was to round a bend and see this ginormous basket.......

I just read your entire post, Kjunebug, I was saving it was a time-killer during this long weekend for me...Very enjoyable reading, sounds like an incredible trip experience, thank you so much for sharing that all with us! Makes me want to hit the road and just drive......

Re: Longaberger...

The side story to us finding the basket building is this:  We saw the signs for Newark and got off the highway thinking we would miss it; then we didn't find it.  We found a couple that was willing to give us some direction; the guy said we needed to get back on the highway and we couldn't miss it.  Boy, was he right! Just like you we came around that corner and WHOA!  There it was!!  We felt pretty silly at that point!!

I thought you might enjoy the speed version of our trip!  Hey, gas prices aren't to bad now, so go ahead and hit the road!!!

One question to add:  It seems like the Amish would use baskets like the Longberger type in day to day; you've said the women really like Tupperware, does that carry over into other home party type business, like Longaberger?    

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5

Re: Longaberger...

While I was at the Homestead today, I did see a Menonite woman who was with a different bus tour and she had a consultant name tag on.  She was with another younger Menonite woman looking for basket assesories. 

Re: The dreaded Christmas Letter...

Ah I am headed to Longenberger land tomorrow on one of those famous bus trips.  Well worth the time and price with all the great deals I'll be getting Wink 

Re: The dreaded Christmas Letter...

I am so-so jealous!  I bet the Homestead just looks all festive this time of year!  I watched a video on the website, that showed the inside of the basket building where they build a 34 ft tall tree out of baskets!  And I just emailed my consultant, telling her I want to be a consultant.

Happy shopping!  Ahhh, smell those baskets!!

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5