School starts Wednesday!

Miss Yoder and I decorated the whole schoolhouse last week! It looks SO nice… I can’t wait till the kids see it. It is the ultimate classroom. I love all of the space… I also love having Emma Yoder as a co-worker. Patty, my aide, also came in and helped me decorate. I was glad to see her again! She and I get along exceptionally well. I think Miss Yoder is going to ask the committee (the teaching committee/headquarter people) if she can have an aide for her classroom. Miss Yoder DOES have the older kids, but if we’re going to be having about 45-50 kids a classroom you will need some help!

I was so proud of all the work we all put into it I gave Joseph a tour of the schoolhouse. He had seen it all before because he and his crew had built it, obviously, but he hadn’t seen it decorated. He was really impressed with the work. Also, I made out a schedule for who keeps Joey:

Monday: Sam

Tuesday: Paul

Wednesday: Momma

Thursday: Joseph

Friday: Me (I bring him to work)

I had to ask them all what days everyone wanted. I am so glad everything is going so well. I haven’t actually been teaching since before Joey was born… I had my maternity leave and then I asked to take off more time for Oregon, because it was Paul’s Rumspringa and… yadda yadda yadda. Patty can teach so she covered for me. The teaching committee/headquarters are really loose about that kind of stuff.

I can’t wait to meet all of the new kids from Indian East too!


Guess who turned 8 months old yesterday…

 This guy!!!! Joseph Andrew Sabastian Jr. is almost a year old…. I can’t believe it. On January 13, 2013, we will be celebrating his first birthday. He looks so big for his age. I compared Joey with Sam’s photos of her girls at this age. They look so small and he looks so big.

This is what I wake up to every morning. Joey, with his big blue eyes ready to face the day. He is SO smart also. I never realized kids could be so smart at this age. I read somewhere that if you want to start signing with your baby this would be a perfect time to start. I don’t know sign language very well, but I have been studying it. I think it would be useful if he could know how to do it, so we have been starting with “up”. You just point up in the air. He has been doing very well with it, and I think the next thing I’ll teach him is “down”.

Joey has been sleeping through the night now so I have caught up with my sleep that I didn’t get for the first few months. I still have to check on him sometimes… out of habit I guess.

I am still planning on bring Joey to work with me, but only sometimes. I don’t want to make people mad (like the school board or whatever) so I know that Momma is going to watch him once a week and Sam another or something if she’s not working…like I said she might be getting a part time job instead of just freelancing. Paul said he would stay home with him once a week too (he helps Joseph usually) and Joseph said he would bring Joey to work with him too. So that’s four days right there. I just have to get a schedule around.

Also, I am going to the schoolhouse to decorate tomorrow. The remodeling and renovating of the schoolhouse is finished. Emma (Miss Yoder) and I are planning on going together so we can help eachother. I think Paul might want to help too.

Joey :)

I was doing the dishes after supper. Joey was sitting on the floor beside my feet playing with his toys and I got a little distracted. I was getting lost in the water and suds. I can’t even remember what I was pondering at the time LOL.

Now, Joey really likes being butt naked and running around butt naked. He was only wearing a diaper at the time so it must have been really tempting for him NOT to be completely naked. So here I am washing the dishes and thinking about… whatever I was thinking about.

Paul comes in the room. “I was watching TV when this little guy came crawling in. He took his diaper off again!” Paul was holding naked Joey in his arms.

“Oh, Joey! Why do you do that? I turned my back on you for a minute and you go all commando on me and run off.” Yesterday the bishop and his wife were visiting us and Joey tried to pull that stunt. He was slipping off his pants but no one was looking at him, luckily, and I bent over and adjusted his pants and distracted him with a toy. We usually let him not wear pants when he is just at home so I can’t really blame him… but I was so embarrassed…

“Wait, you said he was crawling?” I asked.

“Yeah. He just crawled in there.”

“Really?! I’ve never seen him crawl before! Let him down on the ground, and see if he does it for me.”

Paul put him down and Joey looked at me, like, aren’t you gonna put my diaper on? He had a mischevious look on his face. He started giggling and crawling.

“He IS crawling! Oh my goodness!” I clap my hands and Joey looks so carefree with his diaper off.

Joseph walks in the door and Joey is at his feet. “Hey, punk, where is your diaper?” He looks at me with a scared look on his face. “He hasn’t gotten this from me, has he? I don’t walk around naked, but I DO walk around in my boxers a lot! Maybe he thinks this behavior is okay…”

“Oh, Jo, don’t be ridiculous. He just likes to do it. If he was picking it up from you, he would have still been in his diaper. Anyway, he took it off. We were just so happy because he is crawling. Have you ever seen him crawl before?”

“No, I haven’t. That’s great!”

“I know!” We clap our hands as Joey crawls around the room, giggling because he’s getting praised for being naked (or so he thinks). 🙂

Empty House

Sam and the Twins are gone…Like moved out GONE! They used to take up two rooms…now both are empty.


It’s really weird. Sam is a talker and the house is so quiet without her. Like I really want to talk to her about all this drama going on, but she’s not here! So frustrating! So anyway, after work I’m going to go to her house and let the twins and Joey play while we chat it up.

On another note, Linda came back today. Joseph was here for a few minutes before she popped in…like she knew he was coming in at that time. It was really creepy, but Joseph was really polite and nice to her regardless.

When she left I gave Joseph a slightly disgusted look. “What’s her deal?”

“Don’t be upset, she’s just…friendly. Don’t worry. You know Linda and you know how she is.”

“I know…but why is she going after a married man? That’s just sick.”

“I don’t know and I don’t know if you can classify is as ‘going after me’. You know? I think she just has an odd personality and it comes off strangely.”

“Yeah…?” I nod unsure.

“Don’t let this bug you.” He kisses my forehead and goes back to work.
Linda, you best stay away from my man… D:<

Amish Paradise Lyrics (aka my favorite song)

By Weird Al Yankovic

As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain
I take a look at my wife and realize she’s very plain
But that’s just perfect for an Amish like me
You know, I shun fancy things like electricity
At 4:30 in the morning I’m milkin’ cows
Jebediah feeds the chickens and Jacob plows… fool
And I’ve been milkin’ and plowin’ so long that
Even Ezekiel thinks that my mind is gone
I’m a man of the land, I’m into discipline
Got a Bible in my hand and a beard on my chin
But if I finish all of my chores and you finish thine
Then tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1699

We been spending most our lives
Living in an Amish paradise
I’ve churned butter once or twice
Living in an Amish paradise
It’s hard work and sacrifice
Living in an Amish paradise
We sell quilts at discount price
Living in an Amish paradise

A local boy kicked me in the butt last week
I just smiled at him and I turned the other cheek
I really don’t care, in fact I wish him well
‘Cause I’ll be laughing my head off when he’s burning in h—
But I ain’t never punched a tourist even if he deserved it
An Amish with a ‘tude? You know that’s unheard of
I never wear buttons but I got a cool hat
And my homies agree, I really look good in black…fool
If you come to visit, you’ll be bored to tears
We haven’t even paid the phone bill in 300 years
But we ain’t really quaint, so please don’t point and stare
We’re just technologically impaired

There’s no phone, no lights, no motorcar
Not a single luxury
Like Robinson Crusoe
It’s as primitive as can be

We been spending most our lives
Living in an Amish paradise
We’re just plain and simple guys
Living in an Amish paradise
There’s no time for sin and vice
Living in an Amish paradise
We don’t fight, we all play nice
Living in an Amish paradise

Hitchin’ up the buggy, churnin’ lots of butter
Raised a barn on Monday, soon I’ll raise another
Think you’re really righteous? Think you’re pure in heart?
Well, I know I’m a million times as humble as thou art
I’m the pious guy the little Amlettes wanna be like
On my knees day and night scorin’ points for the afterlife
So don’t be vain and don’t be whiny
Or else, my brother, I might have to get medieval on your heinie

We been spending most our lives
Living in an Amish paradise
We’re all crazy Mennonites
Living in an Amish paradise
There’s no cops or traffic lights
Living in an Amish paradise
But you’d probably think it bites
Living in an Amish paradise

Whatcha think? It’s also my ringtone for my iPhone.

Schoolhouse Floor Plan!!! :)

Isn’t this awesome?!

I just got this in the mail today from the Holmes County Schoolhouse Committee (the lady who called me a few days ago). I am so excited. Before I get started why, there were a few notes she left me on the back side of the page. It said that there is still outhouses with non-flushing toilets. She just needed to represent the bathrooms so she used a toilet symbol while making this up. Then she said that there IS a playground, she just didn’t include it in the blueprint (they are not getting new playground equipment because from both schoolhouses combined they were in good shape). She also said that the stairs leading to the second floor is not the only staircase and that there is one outside of the building. That was so all of the older kids wouldn’t have to come through my classroom to get to theirs. Also, she noted that this is what both plans will look like so she didn’t send me both plans. Plus, the chairs are not counted. She said she’ll put as much desks in the schoolhouse as she can fit. And the last note she left me was that the square behind my desk is my playpen! She just added it in there since she knew that was were I usually put it when I have bring Joey to work.

First of all, I have french doors. FRENCH DOORS! Before they renovated I only had one, and all of the kids trying to get out of it when school ended was chaotic. I suggested that, so I’m glad I did.

Second, they added two cabinents! Before I didn’t have any! It is for coats and school boxes. I’ll probably divide it and have girls’ things on one side, boys’ on the other.

Third, I have a sink! Yay! I didn’t have one before and when the kids got messy they had to go all the way outside to the outhouse sink. I was thrilled.

Fourth, my aide Patty has her own desk! It’s the bottom right table in the corner… it’s round with chairs. I was really happy about this because she usually had to always pull up a chair to my desk when she graded papers. I never minded, but it will be nice to have our own places.

So, woohoo!

Working at Joseph’s Store

It’s really lonely working in there so I brought Joey along with me. Paul said he would stay home with him if I wanted to leave him at my place, but I figured I’d let him come along. Joseph already has a playpen behind the front desk for Joey. Sometimes, if I need to run a quick errand, I’ll leave him there. But Joseph doesn’t usually like to have him there all the time because he has to keep an eye on him. Even though Joseph is the boss he does a lot of work besides keeping people in line. Joseph’s men really like him because he actually helps with the orders.

So Joey was playing in his playpen and I was making a bonnet. Someone walked in the store. She was an elder and I recognized her from church – Linda Hershberger. She is the church fabricator and, frankly, full of hot air. I won’t sugarcoat the truth about her. One time she told me she saw Joseph out with another woman. I asked her when, and when she “saw” him with a woman at the time when Joseph was home with me. 😐 I think she was trying to break us up because she always flirts with him at church.

“Hello,” I said politely.

“Hi.” Linda said. “Where’s Jo?”

“He is out renovating the Indian West Amish Schoolhouse where I work.”

“Oh. That’s nice.” She looked at the bonnet I was making. “Whatcha doing?”

“Oh… just making a bonnet for The Wagon Wheel.” I smile.

“Oh, right. Well, I think I’ll come back when Jo is here. We have some… private matters to discuss.”

“Okay…” But before I said that she was out the door.


Sam’s Apartment

This is what it looks like. What do you think? I helped her move in today. Most of her stuff (like childhood things) she didn’t need to pack because they were still unpacked from her moving in with me. So that was nice. She and I stayed there till about 2 AM decorating the place. It wasn’t hard. It’s small, but it’s very cute and quaint. It’s 2 bedroom and 1 1/2 bath. The laundry is in the basement (which Sam didn’t care for too much) but hopefully she’ll be able to own her own washer/dryer pretty soon. It was pet and smoke free so it was very clean when we got in. I will have to post pics of the inside soon.

On the other hand, my schoolhouse has just started being renovated! Funny enough, Joseph’s Carpentry was hired to do it. So Joseph (and his men) are working on MY schoolhouse. Isn’t that kind of ironic? I didn’t even suggest that. I wonder if the lady I talked to knew that, because she would have been in charge of deciding who builds what.

So, since Joseph and his men are working on that, Joseph told me he would pay me to run the cash register at Joseph’s Carpentry while they are gone. Because I had to help Sam, Paul did it today but I am on deck for the rest of the week.

Basically all you do is take people’s orders, give people their orders if they’re finished, etc. and take people’s money if they buy something that has already been made and is sitting out in the shop.

Sam is moving out!

“I’m leaving, Pen,” She said while holding Grace. “I need to find my own place. I have been living here since I divorced Jimmy. I need to move on.”

“What? Why?”

“When I was working on that commercial this weekend I realized I have enough money to start out on my own. And I always have royalties coming in. I am going to get an agent instead freelancing so I will have more job opportunities.” She paused. “I already found a place.”

“Really? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Yesterday when you were at the schoolhouse helping to clean out everything for the renovation I went grocery shopping with the girls. There was an apartment building uptown that had a sign that said they had 2 apartments left to rent out. And it said that you can come in any time and take a tour. So I took the girls up there and I asked the landlord at the desk for a tour. She gave me one, and I bought it.” She snapped her fingers. “It was as simple as that. Anyway I was so overjoyed that by the time I came home I went to bed. You came home afterwards.”

“Oh, that’s right.”

“Yep. So, the lady said I can move in anytime.”

“When are you going to move in?”

“Maybe today. If I get my stuff packed.”

“That’s really quick!”

“I know… the apartment was a good price, too. About $595/month. All of the people there seem really friendly.”

“That’s good.”

“Wanna help me pack?”

I smile. “Sure.”

A Visit

I didn’t know if Miss Yoder had a phone house or not, so I just decided to stop in or knock on her door to see if she’s there. She probably still lives with her parents since she’s not married.

I got the address out of my pocket and looked at it again. I think I’m at the right house. So I pull in and park the buggy.

I see someone walking around the barn, so I yell to them. “Hello, sir! Does Emma Yoder live here?”

“Yes, she is in the house. Just knock on the door.”

“Thank you!”

I walk to the door and knock. A lady with a Mennonite prayer cap on answers the door.

“Why, hello there.” She smiles.

“Hi, is Emma Yoder in there?”

“Here I am,” Someone says from inside the house. She comes to the front door. “Hello.” She smiles.

“Hi, Emma. I’m Penelope Sabastian from Indian West. On Friday I got a call about the schoolhouse and how you’ll be teaching upstairs. I wanted to meet you.”

“Oh, come on in!” She steps aside for me.

“Danki.” I use my Pennsylvania Dutch term for thank you to sound more proper.

“So… how long have you been teaching at Indian West?” She sits down on the couch with her mother and motions me to pull up a chair.

“This will be my third year. I started in the fall of 2010… I have loved it ever since. What about you?”

“This will be my second year.” She looks at my wedding ring. “You’re married?”

“Yes, I am. I know that’s highly unusual since I’m a schoolteacher. But I like my job so much I didn’t want to quit. Besides, I can still be with my family during the day, and I get summers off. I have a son, he is almost 7 months old. His name is Joseph Andrew Sabastian Jr., after his father.”

“Your husband is Joseph Sabastian?!” The mother and the daughter look at eachother with big eyes. “He is SO sweet and kind. He made Maam our dining table.” She points to her mother.

“Yes,” her mother says, “he did. He did a very good job at it, too. We all enjoy going into his store. He has very nice stuff.”

“Penelope,” Emma adds, “you are so lucky. He’s very handsome, too.”

I giggle and look at my ring. “Thank you.”

We become good friends and basically learn all about eachother. We had a good time. I learned that Emma is 19 and she also loves her job.

“So… what grades did you want to take? I enjoy them both a lot.” I say. I really don’t know what group I want more. Grades 1-4 or 5-8. I like them both a lot. Of course, we have a the 3 days a week kindergarten, but my aide Patty teaches that. I’m really good at the little kids, but I also like being with the older kids too and teaching them Buggy Driver’s Ed.

“Hmmm… I don’t know. Since you’re older than me, you might want to take the older kids, but the little kids are the ones who need the most supervision.”

“Yeah. Well, I guess you can take the younger kids. But yes, they will need more supervision.”

“Yeah… maybe you should take the younger kids since you have an aide and all. There is more younger ones than older ones.”

“True… Okay. I’ll do that. If you’re okay with that.”

“Alright. Good deal.”

I leave with a smile on my face. I am getting more and more excited for school every day!

P.S. Sam came home last night. She said the commercial went really well. It was for the Mennonite church. They wanted to advertise so more people would become Mennonite. Also, the twins were happy to see her. I knew they missed her when they were getting fussy.