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July 22, 2008

The Coblentz family

Recently our family was blessed with the most amazing experience. We were welcomed into the home of an Amish family in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Growing up in my family, The Amish, were referred to almost as a tourist attraction. We'd Go to the Amish Country for something to do on a Saturday afternoon. We would buy some of their food and admire their handmade furniture. Sometimes, we'd see them riding in their buggies. We would stare. Openly. Oblivious of our rudeness. Not even bothering to smile or wave. And we thought THEY were the odd ones.

For quite awhile, Kaity has been wanting a puppy to raise and hopefully train for agility trials. Gabby was not the right dog for that. She was a bit too much around Chloe. So, she went back to the home she came from.

Kaity misses Gabby and has kept after us for another dog. "And it MUST be a Female". We've had Shelties during most of the last 20 years. So we decided to stick with what we know.

I met Aaron Coblentz on Breeders club.net. I spoke with him several times on the phone. When we had the money for a puppy he only had males or when he had females, we didn't have any puppy funds.

With each conversation, we learned more about each other. On the phone, I met his wife Marilyn and his eldest daughter Susannah who is learning to help with the puppy customers. We were eager to meet face to face.

Finally, funding and puppy lined up at the same time. We drove to their dairy farm and were warmly welcomed, and invited to come inside their home. The Coblentz family has 7 children. As the boys stayed outside doing chores, Aaron, Marilyn, and the girls invited us in to play with 2 week old puppies.

After cuddling each puppy, Kaity and Angel chose one another!


What a Face!


As part of her training, Susannah is being taught to share her family's faith. Aaron told us, "I'm not uncomfortable that I'm Amish, and I'm not uncomfortable that you're not. So please, ask us anything you're curious about." How Fun IS THAT???

Susannah is 16. Like most 16 year old girls would be, she's a little shy about sharing her faith. She did very well. She gave us a book they give to each customer entitled "1001 Questions and Answers on the Christian Life." It covers the basics of Christianity, but then goes on to explain in detail why Amish people wear what they wear, do what they do, and believe what they believe. What surprised Benny and me the most was, as Christians, we have more in common with the Coblentz's than differences. And most of what we thought we knew about Amish people and their customs was completely WRONG.

As our visit ended Benny, the kids and I walked to the van. We each had the same experience. PEACE Not just regular, "We're not upset or unhappy peace", but a physical personification of peace so strong that we could feel it as fully as one can feel touch or hot or cold.

When you go into a home or place where there is strife, you can feel it as a physical presence. People use the phrase "You could cut it with a knife". That is the exact antithesis of our experience, coming from the Coblentz home. This peace lasted in each of us for the next few days. What an amazing gift!

We look forward to returning in a couple of weeks to bring Angel home, and see our new friends.

Posted by Angi at 12:57 AM

July 01, 2008

Surprise Renovation

We live in a 1920 Craftsman house. We have been renovating, changing, and changing again since we moved here in 1997.

Some lessons, I've learned the hard way. Like, 85 year old painted over wallpaper really isn't worth scraping to bare plaster. Just mud over the seams, sand and paint.

Sometimes we find wonderful surprises in our house. Those are the times I love. I enjoy when we uncover something from long ago, and wonder what the people who put things there lives were like.

Yesterday was one of those days. The basement apartment carpet, which was dark brown against brown 1/2 paneled walls needed to be cleaned. As I steam cleaned it, the color looked even more drab when wet.


Contemplating the commercial question, "What can Brown do for you?", Sarah and I decided the best answer was, GO AWAY!

We pulled up a corner to see what might be under the ugliness and found the most beautiful treasure!


It's a Victorian style room sized wool rug, surrounded by parquet flooring.

Sarah loves it! So Justin tore out all the brown and threw it away. We cleaned the "new rug" and plan to gently roll it up and place padding underneath.

Chloe loves her "new libbing room"! That's the best part!

Posted by Angi at 05:17 PM