After Sam’s Shoot

Well, Sam did her bikini shoot and she was actually okay with it. Honestly, I don’t really approve, but it’s her call. 

“I loved it, Pen! I felt so sexy!” I furrowed my brow after that comment. 

“Sam, that’s not the point. You really think you want to continue to do this? Be that kind of an example for your daughters?!”  

“What do you mean by that?” Her voice got stern. 

“I don’t want them to grow up to be…harlots!”  Sam just started crying and sat down in a dining room chair. 

“I know…I don’t even know what I’m doing. I’ll figure it out later.” She just wiped her eyes and left.

I don’t know what she’s going to decide. I’m praying for her.


Sam Thinks About It

Sam chatted with me over lunch yesterday. We sat down at the kitchen table and I just went into what I really wanted to find out.

“Have you thought about whether or not you want to pursue English modeling?”

“Yeah, and I talked to my agent. I have one scheduled.”

“Really!?”  I got excited. “What is it?”

“Well, that’s the problem. You see it’s a bikini shoot for a local retailer.”

“Bikini? We aren’t even really supposed to show our ankles, Sam. That’s a little weird. You wearing a bikini while you swim at my house is one thing, but having it out there for all eyes to see is another. Are you really going through with this?”

“You know what, I think I am. I don’t know why, but I really want to. This is just part of my secret English lifestyle. I need to see how it is. If I feel horrible afterward, I’ll know I need to pick other jobs.”

“Oh, wow, so you really are following through with this?”

“Yeah, I am. I know it’s crazy, but I need this.”

“Okay… You’re old enough to decide so, go ahead.”

“I’m a little scared honestly.” Sam stood up and started to pace the floor.

“Then don’t do it.”

“Pen, please don’t try to talk me out of this. I want to do it!”



English Modeling

Sam came over after a modeling job last night. We were going to have dinner and watch a movie just the two of us…and our babies. The night was going fine, but then Sam got “that look” in here eyes.

“Do we need to talk?” I paused the movie.

“Yeah… my agent wants me to branch out into other fields besides just Amish book covers and what not. Like English stuff. There will be more money, but…I’m going to have to move if I really want my career to take off.” She bit her lip waiting for me to explode or something.

“Wow…that’s really big. Are you considering it? I mean, the other day you were upset because Jason is English and you don’t want to convert. Are you second guessing that? You know, if you move you’ll be…shunned.”

“I know! That’s my problem! I really, really want to pursue this, but I can’t turn my back on my roots. I want to raise the twins in an Amish way.”

“Well, for goodness sake don’t tell anyone else, okay.”

“I’ve only told you and I won’t spread that information. If only there was a way to have both.”

“Well there isn’t, I’m sorry, there isn’t.”

“Calm down. I know. It sucks.”

“Maybe there are some local jobs you could do that are English and figure out how far you want to take it. We’ve kept lots of secrets from the elders and Momma and Poppa. We can keep this one until you figure it out.”

“That’s a good idea, Pen.”

“I know, I’m a genius.” We both laugh.

Greg Talk

I decided to bring up the whole Greg thing to Joseph just so I don’t have the awkwardness hanging over my head. I think he deserves to know. It’s kind of awkward, but hey we have to be open about everything with each other.

Joseph was feeding Joey at the kitchen table early in the morning. I waltzed up to them and just kind of told him what happened. It was total word vomit.

“I see.” Joseph paused and then continued to feed Joey.

“So…” I just stood there unsure of what else to say. “Do you think we need to do something about it?”

“Not really, I mean I knew Greg was weird when I hired him, but he’s really good at his job.”

“I’m not asking you to fire him. Maybe talk to him.” I started fidgeting.

“No, I don’t think that’s necessary.” Joseph seemed so calm.

“Um, I don’t think you heard my story right. He tried to kiss me, Joseph.” I got a little stern and bordering on mad because it was like he didn’t even care.

“Yeah, I know. I get that, but you rejected him and he knows not to do that anymore. I think it’s best if we just forget it.”

“Why are you being so chill about it? I would be mad if the same thing happened to you.”

“You see, Penelope, Greg is an odd person. Things like that are to be expected. I can’t really say anything without him possibly freaking out and/or quitting. So, just forget it, okay.”

I just stood there with my mouth agape. “Okay… I guess.”

Sam and Jason

So, Sam has been on a few dates with this one guy, the mumbler, Jason. He’s English and not really the marrying type. Sam doesn’t even like him that much, but he’s mostly someone to hang out with. Sam has wanted to end things with Jason after every date she’s been on with him. Not a good sign, but for some reason she hasn’t “broken up” with him yet. So, I asked her about it.

“Pen, I haven’t ended it with him yet, because… I’m starting to like him.” Sam looked distraught.

“That’s wonderful, Sam!”

“Not really, no.”


“He’s English. He’d either have to convert… or I would if this got serious. He pretty much told me that he wouldn’t convert, but then again neither would I. So, I’m stuck. and confused.”

“Oh Sammy… I don’t know what to say. If you really, really like this guy then someone is going to have to compromise. If you don’t want to deal with that than you need to break up with him before he gets feelings for you.”

“I know and I’m going to do that tonight. I just and so sick and tired of always having a broken heart.”

“I think you rushed into dating too soon.”

“I know I did.” She started bursting out into tears. “It was like my Rumspringa days! He pressured me into doing non-amish stuff all the time and I just had flash backs of being my teenage self. It was horrible Penelope! You know how I was.” I just held her and let her cry.

“You need to just take some time and let yourself FULLY heal before you date anyone.”

“I know, I know, I know… I’m so lost right now, Pen. I need you to help me. Just be there for me. Please.”

“I will always be there for you Sam.”

Joey Turns One!

I can’t believe that my baby is one year old now! Time sure flies! We had a cute little party with all of our close friends and family. We let Joey have his own little cake so he could dig his hands into it and get really messy! It was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  

On an other note, Joseph’s assistant manager (A kind of creepy single man who started working there a few months ago) Greg came to the party. It was kind of awkward that he even came. I was talking to Joseph about the party in front of Greg and next thing I know he’s planning on coming to it. I’m not really sure how it happened. Anyway, he showed up and was quiet most of the night until Joseph left for a moment to take a phone call secretly from one of his suppliers at work. Greg came over and started talking to me. 

“So, you have a really cute son.” He ndoded his head and had a blank expression on his face.

“Oh, thanks. He is pretty adorable. Get’s it from his daddy.”

“Really? I think he gets it from you. I mean…look at you.”

“Ummm thanks.”

“You know when I was working on this dresser yesterday at TWW, I hurt my knee.”

“Did you tell Joseph?” 

“Nah, I’m fine, I suppose, but you could kiss me and make it better.” 

“Okay.” With out hesitation I kissed my hand and slaped it on his knee really hard. I know that’s not what he meant, but I’d rather look stupid than reject him or make a scene at the party. 

“Ouch, hehe…” He laughed nervously and cleared his throat. “Joseph is a really lucky man to have you.”

“Oh, I know.” I feel my self getting sassy as a natural self defense from his creepiness. Seriously, who tries to kiss a married woman at her son’s birthday party!!? 

“You deserve better.” 

“Better than you…”

“No, I mean Joseph.” He didn’t understand my sarcasm. 

I sigh, “I’m a married woman.”

“I know.”

“Then please, stop flirting with me.”

“What about the last time I saw you?”

“What do you mean?” I started to fidget. 

“You and I were like magic. We were flirting and talking… It was wonderful.”

“You don’t understand. I wasn’t flirting with you. I was being nice.”

“Oh…I guess I’ll leave then.” 

He somewhat stormed off and I run over to Sam and whisper all that happened. She starts to gut laugh out loud and Greg sees us from across the room laughing. He looked so sad and brokenhearted. He just slowly walked out of the house and I felt horrible. Poor guy… I don’t really know what to do about it.

I’m back!

Hi guys… Sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. Since September. The last few months have been really rough. I couldn’t bring myself to the computer to type anymore and I was really depressed. I’ll tell you why.

The new school year was going okay, except for the egging, it was alright… I really couldn’t complain.

But when I would come home and I would have to make clothes and bonnets and hats for the store Joseph and I own, The Wagon Wheel. It was my second job. I would rush home from school just to make sure I would finish everything. Also, people would give me requests to make stuff for them that they needed on my Etsy store. So I wanted to keep up with those too. On top of that, I had my wifely (is that word?) duties I needed to take care of like making supper, cleaning dishes, and doing laundry, as well as taking care of Joey Jr. I felt like I never got to spend a lot of time with Joey anymore too, and I didn’t want to be “that parent.”

After about three weeks of that routine I was very exhausted. I think Joseph noticed something was wrong, but I didn’t say anything to him about it. Finally on a Saturday night I just broke down and told him everything. I told him how miserable I was. He said I should have told him and how I didn’t have to keep making stuff for TWW if I didn’t want to. I told him how I was doing both jobs halfway. I told him how I missed being home with Joey. I cried for about an hour and he held me. He told my that I needed to choose which job I wanted to quit, and he told me to be honest and that he wouldn’t be hurt if I chose my teaching job more than making stuff for our store. He said that he could always find someone else to make things to sell.

I called in sick that next Monday and cried all day, trying to decide what I wanted to do. Sam came over to comfort me, but I was mostly unresponsive. I didn’t know what to do.

Well, that night I made my decision.

I was going to quit my job at Indian West Amish School.

That next morning I called my boss and said I was quitting. I told Miss Yoder, my aide, and she said she would happily take my job.

Those last two weeks I spent loving every moment of my job. Even when I had to give some kids time out. I tried to be loving about it.

I told my kids the last week that the coming Friday would be my last day as their teacher. Some of them were really sad, which made me smile because I knew I would be missed. On that last Friday, we had fun all day and I didn’t give them any lessons at all. I ordered pizza for them and we played games. They also showered me with gifts…. It was a bittersweet day. It was bitter that it was my last day, but sweet because I got to smile and laugh with all of my kids. They are my whole world and I love them so much. Even Billy who was always out to get me.

When it came to be the end of the day, I stood by the door and gave each child a hug as they walked out. I also gave each child a cookie I made and a personal note from me as my way of saying goodbye.

I was crying the whole time.

I was alright for the first month at home without my teaching job. I mean, I couldn’t complain. I got to stay home with my son in our pajamas each day. And I was starting to catch up on all of my crocheting, knitting, and sewing orders from both online and at TWW. I kept thinking I needed to update you guys, but I thought that if I thought too much about my old job I would break down again.

Well, even though I was getting all of my things done, I realized I was still very depressed on the inside. I missed seeing the kids. I missed being a teacher. That was when I started to get depressed and I definitely didn’t touch the computer for a few months. I was so sad. I still am, but I don’t regret quitting. I always knew it would have to happen sometime, but I just didn’t want to think about it.

Well, here I am. I figured that I had waited long enough to tell you where I was those months.

My Christmas was very nice and I got a lot of things that I had been wanting. Joseph surprised me with a new sewing machine and some very pretty fabric that Sam just HAD to have picked out for him. Joseph is very indecisive about that kind of stuff. I can’t see him standing in the fabric store for 45 minutes trying to decide what I would like and what I wouldn’t like. So he probably just sent Sam to do it. They won’t admit anything though!

Oh, and Joey received a lot of toys too. He is one happy boy. By the way, he’s turning one on January 13, 2013. I can’t believe it.

How was everyone else’s Christmases?



Sam’s Date

“Sam!!!” I yelled into the phone. “How was it?”

“It was okay…. I haven’t rode in a car in years!”

“Your date was English?”


“Oh… How did that go?”

“It went well. Being in the car was fun – I opened the ‘sunroof’ and stuck my head out. It was fun. Then he told me I had to come in because it was illegal.” I can imagine her toying with her hair or studing her nails. “I don’t think I like him, though.”

“Why not, Sam? It sounds like you had fun.”

“I did, but he’s way to good for me. And that mumbling doesn’t help any.” I can see her rolling her eyes. “I got my meal and he kept talking. I couldn’t hear a bit. I had to lean in and ended up getting my hair in my spaghetti.” She sighs. “But, I like him as a person. Just not as a… significant other.”

“Oh, well I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah… but it’s okay.” She sighs. “I don’t think I’ll ever find love again!”

“Sam, I was much older than you when I finally found my Joseph. There’s a man out there for you. Just wait and see.”

“I don’t want to wait! I can’t be patient!”

“Sam, calm down. You’ll find love again. You’re only 18, you know.”

“I know. I’m barely an adult. But all of my Amish peers are getting married or are in serious relationships. I’m in neither.”

“That’s where the waiting part comes in.”

She growls. “I know….”

We hung up and went to bed. She’s so young…

If He’s a Mumbler…Deal Breaker!

Sam called me yesterday a little distraught.

“Pen!” She screams on the phone. “This guy asked me out!”

“Wait, what? Who?” I stumble to process all that she spouting out at me.

“This guy I had a shoot with last week asked me for my number. Yesterday, he called me up and wants to go to dinner tonight!”

“What did you say?”

“I panicked and said yes…”

“That’s so amazing, Sam!”

“No…” She pauses. “It’s not good.”

“Why, Sammy? You’re taking a first step into dating again! Oh…are you still not ready?”

‘No, I’m not completely ready. I mean I could be, but this guy, Pen. He’s not exactly my type…He’s really weird!”

“Then why’d you say yes?”

“I didn’t know what else to say!”

“How about ‘No’?” I smirk through the phone.

“Very funny, Pen.” I feel her glaring back. “Anyway, he’s a weirdo. Like he could be crazy! He’s a mumbler too! You know how much that bugs me! I’m a loud person! I can deal with someone kind of quiet, but a mumbler! A MUMBLER, PEN! That’s a deal breaker for me.” I can hear her getting out of breath on the other end.

“OK, calm down. It’s just one date. It’s not like you’re going to get married tonight. It’s too late to cancel and you’d have to think of a reason why. So just go and enjoy a free meal.” I hear her breathing slow.

“Yeah, OK.” She inhales.”I’ll go tonight. Just pray I don’t strangle that mumbler!” We laugh.

“Have fun, Sammy!”

“Right…” She rolls her eyes. “I’ll call you tomorrow and tell you how it goes.”


So I was on my Pinterest (as usual) and I stumbled upon some really good quotes I like, mostly having to do with children. I want to share these because I think they can be inspiring to others.

Even though Joey is only 8.5 months old, I feel like I can still apply these right now. Here are some parenting and teaching quotes I found:

“If your children look up to you, you’ve made a success of life’s biggest job.” Unknown

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” Abigail Van Buren

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I will learn.” Benjamin Franklin

“The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect eachother.” Jane Blaustone

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

“The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother.” Elaine S. Dalton

I think all of these are good advice.