Monday, January 16, 2012

This week on Jean: Reflections of Christmas past is on Jeans mind as Michael has spent his very first Christmas old order Mennonite style!

Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

Someone asked how did Michael enjoy his first Christmas with us. On Christmas morning Michael went to meeting (church) with us like he does every Sunday. When we got home, I kept Michael down stairs while David put Michael's presents under the Christmas tree Michael had in his bedroom. I saw David come down so I sent Michael up to change his clothes and he found his presents. Michael received a baseball bat, baseballs, catchers MIT, a new winter jacket, and clothes. Michael gave me a beautiful wooden revolving serving dish for the kitchen table-that he had made. He gave David a hunting belt where you can put water, snacks, etc. Susan he gave a tea set that she had wanted very badly. Baby Michael received a stuffed bear. We thought these gifts were very kind and special of him.

He enjoyed our dinner which had turkey, ham, scalloped potatoes, sweat potatoes, turkey stuffing, jello salad, tossed salad, chow chow, string beans, beets, pie and some things I'm sure I forgot. I think he was a little disappointed after dinner. If we having Christmas at my parents, or David's parents or a "family" dinner at our house some of my nephews would have been there to play ball with him. As he had wanted just our immediate family he didn't have anyone his age to play ball with. He and David went out in the back yard with Michael hitting and David pitching - then visa versa. Michael had fun but not like he would have with young folk his age. Later he told us that he would like Christmas with the whole family next year.

On second Christmas (December 26th) we went to my parents which was a combination of my family and David's family-so lots of people were there. My parents, grandparents and David's parents pooled together and bought Michael a season pass to Bristol Ski Resort. He and many of his friends like to go there skiing. We paid for Michael to go once, but it is expensive. With a pass it is a lot easier. The only thing he would have to buy is food, if he wants and young folks his age usually want to eat after skiing. Bristol Ski Resort makes their own snow with machines when it gets in the 40's and we don't have any natural snow. After dinner, he had young folks to pay ball with on Second Christmas.

Michael has taken down his tree, and lights. They were returned to  Marilyn and his friend who loaned these to him. Next Christmas he will not have a tree, or lights and we won't wrap the presents like we did this year. He agrees-he just wanted to have one Christmas with the decorations. One thing he said is that the tree, lights, Santa Claus, etc. sort of take the real meaning out of Christmas.

There is still bullying going on at Michael's school. As Foster Parents we must call Social Services when this happened. For a few minutes they thought of transferring Michael to a family who were not Old Order Mennonite, but didn't. Michael didn't want to go, but they pay no attention to him as he is a minor in that  way. As we are in the process of adopting him, it changed Social Services mind. We have been to the school a few times.

One of the people bullying Michael was a "friend" of his that came to our house for his Birthday, to play soft ball, and more. We advised Michael to forgive him. One night David had readings from the Bible on forgiving and not seeking revenge. Michael agreed and told his "friend" he forgave him, but the two of them haven't been together since that. Some of his friends have sided with Michael and told the people bullying him to leave him alone-which has helped more than us adults can do.

I thank all of you that use my recipe's especially Lissa. I enjoyed the pictures of the goodies Lissa made. Sometimes I wondered if anyone made made the recipes that I gave to Richard to put on, but now I know that you do. If you are looking for any special recipes, please let me know and I will see if I have. Not only do I have recipes, but my Mother, grandmother, David's Mother and Martha have recipes so one of us might have what your looking for.

Be With God, Jean


I've created this website out of my own interest in the Amish/Mennonite culture and of living in the country. Its a place for people who are interested in the Amish like myself, and its also a place to share Images of the beautiful country side that is all around me. my name is Richard, and I live very close to an Amish settlement here in Pennsylvania. This site is dedicated to my mother, who had started all of this by taking me as a child to Lancaster,pa from our apartment in the Bronx projects..........THANK YOU MOM............... Richard