The following week was 66 hingle at Elvesta's goat farm. We met there same time, bringing dishes to pass, big stainless steel bowls for putting meat into, and some sharp knives. We always are sure to bring a scarf to tie around our head to keep warm and a cruddy old apron for all the mess. I like to tie the cruddy apron over the fresh one, so when we break for dinner, I have something nice and I can clean up better before I eat. Elvesta had a touch of the stomach flu, so I was telling her about kefir and how I will be serving kefir to my family and I will not have to worry about getting it from her. I brought some kefir later and all the kids that sampled the kefir did not get the sickness. Otherwise, the Amish share their cups and double dip, so a sickness is bound to get around quick that way. If you take the good bacteria like in raw milk kefir, if there is any sick bugs in your belly from sharing a cup with a sick person, the good bacteria will fight the bad bugs in your gut right away and you do not get sick. Isn't that marvelous! It works for us every time. That evening one of the ladies invited my girls to an Amish slumber party. Since Molly is diabetic, I needed to come along and I usually do not allow sleep overs anyhow for other reasons. We had such a fun time. The Amish have certain games they play at sleep overs. The first was called Uncle Andy. One little girl laid on the floor covered in blankets with her head under the chair and her feet all the way straight down in front of the chair. A hat was placed on the feet and a coat wrapped up around the lower legs to make up a fake man. Then another girl will sit on the chair and ask Uncle Andy some questions. He nods his head for yes or for no and the final question is always, "Do you like me?" Then the legs pop up and the girl on the chair gets a quick surprise. The next game was really clever. It was called the dish washing game. Mary Ester, the mom, was sitting there writing down a number 1-10 and the girls had to guess the right number. If they chose the right number, they got to start the dishes. When the next girl chose the next correct number because you keep right on picking new numbers, she gets to wash and the first girl bumps down to the rinsing station. The next winner gets to bump all the other girls down, and she washes, the first girl is now drying the dishes and the second girl is now rinsing. When the correct number is picked again, the first washer goes back to pick the number again, because she was bumped out. I just though that was a clever way to make the dishes get washed in a really fun way. Sometimes one just got to the dishes and got bumped before they could even wash one. So fun! I slept on the sofa and all the girls were on the floor right beside me. 6 little giggling girls. After about an hour of giggling in the dark and whispering, they finally fell fast asleep which was around 11pm. About 5 in the morning all the lights were on again and it was time for the kids to help milk the cows. They all sat down for a nice breakfast and went on to the little one room school house.
We visited the school house on one very cold day. We loaded up all the kids, all the books on the open carriage and headed down the lane to school. The school was about the size of a double car garage with windows on both sides to let a lot of light in. There was a girls cloak area where they placed their coats on hook, bonnets on shelves, lunch pails on other shelves and another cloak space on the opposite side of the back of the school for the boys. They all lined up in their seats just as quiet as could be. 1st grade through 8th grade all in desks. There were 2 male teachers and one female teacher. They started the day with a prayer and a couple hymns. Then they went into the Arithmatic. There was a curtain to divide the younger pupils from the older ones. We just sat in the back and found our math books and did the same as they did, in the same books. I think the children found that pretty neat that we were on the same lessons in our books. About 2 hours into the school day, they were left out for a recess. They all were excused row by row until the room was empty. Outdoors the children played softball, or kick the can. Some started a volleyball game. About 15 minutes later, they were called back in for school time. They worked on reading and english until dinner. When it was time for dinner, they prayed silently and row by row, went back to fetch their lunch pails. We also brought a lunch pail and proceeded to eat with the children at their desks. Miles brought the soccer ball and started a big game of soccer and they got all the boys going on that. It was a very exciting game, indeed. Mark plays soccer at home with the kids to get them practiced up.
The next morning, same time as usual, all the buggies started to arrive on our homestead. Marth, Orpha, and Edna Ellen all came by way of buggy loaded down with little children, pressure canners, big bowls, sharp knives, and plenty of good eats. Martha brought the casserole that day, because it was my butcher day and my mess. That was really nice. At this point, the wash house was barely done. There was no running water out there except a cold garden hose. We had to walk around to the front of the house to get warm water. It was cold, but Mark managed to have a couple table set up, another propane stove for the canners which made 2 total stove tops. You can set two big canners on one stove. He also hooked up a floor burner that we could also get one canner on, which made it so we could have 5 canners going at one time!!!! Now that gets the job done in a hurry.