Back from the Quilt Festival

My friend and I are back from our vacation. Many thanks to those who sent us best wishes! We had a great time.

We went to the Shipshewana Quilt Festival in Shipshewana, IN. The show itself was wonderful, with some of the most amazing quilts I’ve ever seen. Quilting has become a sophisticated art form.

There was also a display of World War II quilts in the Hudson auto museum; we enjoyed that, too.

We hit all the best shopping spots in Shipshewana, including Yoder’s Department Store. We also visited several small Amish shops in the outlying areas and came home with some nice fabric, including several pieces for a quilt I’m making for my first grandchild, due this fall.  :)

While in the area, we tracked down several quilt gardens, which were just beautiful despite the drought in the region. Here’s one in Elkhart, IN:

We also enjoyed the barn quilts on various buildings.

I spent a lot of money at the Amish bulk store, where I bought 25# of natural sugar (cane, not beet), several pounds of three varieties of popcorn for 60 cents a pound (my husband makes popcorn almost every night), and 5# of cocoa for $1.09 a pound, along with some other goodies that we will enjoy (for quite some time!)

But the very best part of our trip was the night we went to an Amish farm.

While there, we were served a yummy homemade dinner (salad, fried chicken, Salisbury steak, homemade bread, buttered noodles, stuffing, gravy, green beans and two kinds of homemade pie!) followed by a quilting bee.

What fun! There were nine of us quilter-tourists plus two Amish women who quilted with us. We chatted while we worked, which is how we learned that the Amish lady quilting next to us had ten children, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. When we told her that both of our youngest sons have Down syndrome, she was clearly quite touched and it gave all three of us a lot to talk about. We had such a nice time that night.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the boys and their dads were doing just fine without us. I think we had the harder time adjusting to being away from them. We really missed them, plus it felt weird not to have to make meals for anyone; we just went out to eat whenever we got hungry. Between outings, we’d take a break in our room and comment on how quiet it was without our families around. And before we checked out of our hotel, we both scoured the room, looking under the beds and in the drawers out of habit from years of making sure our kids hadn’t left anything behind.

We returned home very tired, but refreshed just the same. If you get the chance, check out Shipshewana, IN. It’s a nice place to visit. And if you’d like more info on how you can quilt with the Amish, just let me know and I’ll send you the contact info.

 

 

We’ve Escaped!

By the time you read this, I’ll be on vacation with a good friend who, like me, happens to be a retired homeschool mom. Between the two of us we’ve homeschooled nine kids; she has five, I have four, and both of our youngest sons have Down syndrome, hence we’re still very much moms on a daily basis.

So we aren’t just leaving our husbands to do the cooking. We’re leaving them with their often-rambunctious 19-year-old sons who have lots of energy, make quite a few demands, and who each have a great sense of humor as well as a spare chromosome. This should be interesting!

I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never even been away from my husband for more than a night (except when I had the babies). But I’m really excited about hanging out with my friend, seeing lots of quilts (we’re going to a quilt festival) and eating at any restaurant that doesn’t have golden arches (my son’s favorite).

After I get back, I’ll report on what happens when two recently retired homeschool moms escape the ties that bind, if only for four days  :)  See ya!

 

Good Things Happen When We Let Go

Ten years ago next month, we went on our last big family vacation.

At that time, my kids were 7, 9, 15 and 16. The older kids were already so busy that we knew it would only get harder to fit in a big vacation before they went off to college or moved out on their own. It was a bittersweet feeling, knowing this would probably be our last family trip with all four kids together.

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