When Amish Children Get Bored

UPDATE: This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Donna Taylor and “tmhhherbelin.” They’ve each won an autographed copy of Plain Wisdom.

Last week, I offered a “grab bag giveaway” of fifteen books from my box of slightly damaged books. It was so much fun! Thank you to everyone who responded with such enthusiasm! Here are the fifteen winners:

  • “Carmena…”
  • Elizabeth Dent
  • Julie Trout
  • Vanessa Bockover
  • Brenda Veinotte
  • “Judystetz…”
  • Kathleen Grieser
  • “Raggedhar…”
  • Tammy Courts
  • Peg (mquir…)
  • “Cindyflynn…”
  • Pat Moore
  • Liz (guruon…)
  • Kristie (connectionlife…)
  • Marilyn Dotson

Congratulations to each of you! Please send your name and mailing address to cindy@cindywoodsmall.com to claim your autographed book!


The following story can be found in Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into An Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It is told from the perspective of my Old Order Amish friend and co-author, Miriam Flaud. 

From Miriam

Like passing plates of steaming meat and vegetables at the dinner table, we often pass stories around during mealtime. Since our oldest boys are married with homes of their own, we rarely have the whole family here for a meal, but when we do, it seems that the conversation is the main course.

Recently I heard a story I hadn’t thought of in a while, and it reminded me that when children get bored, adults usually pay the price.

My husband’s sister Martha and his cousin Ruth Ann were at their Uncle Mannie’s for a week while their dads were in Virginia. The girls were around seven years old and had run out of things to do. Ruth Ann said, “I know! Let’s peel potatoes!” Martha said, “I don’t know how,” but Ruth Ann agreed to show her. So they began peeling potatoes—a big bag of ’em—down in the cellar at an old sink Uncle Mannie had. Peelings piled thick and fast. The potatoes were quite small once they had the peelings off! They peeled a five-gallon bucket (approximately thirty pounds of potatoes) and put the dear little things in clear plastic bags. When they showed the first bag full to Aunt Katie, she mumbled, “Uh-huh,” and went right on enjoying her after-dinner nap.

Guess what they had for every meal the rest of the week? Potatoes, of course, that Aunt Katie didn’t have to peel!

Bored children often get into mischief, but sometimes they simply want to learn how to do what the adults do. If we want to instill a love of work, we can’t wait until they’re truly capable of being helpful. That will likely be too late. Catch them while they’re still young and work looks exciting to them. Otherwise they’ll grow up to be couch potatoes.

Aunt Katie would have benefited from this recipe that day.

Crumb-Top Potatoes from Mrs. Martha Esh

1/3 cup butter
3 or 4 large potatoes, cut in thin slices
1½ cups sharp cheese, grated
¾ cup crushed cornflakes
2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons paprika (optional)

Melt the butter in a jelly-roll pan in a 375-degree oven. Add the potatoes and turn once in the butter. Mix the remaining ingredients, and sprinkle over top. Bake 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Delicious!

Question mark


Do you have a favorite dish or dessert you remember from childhood?


Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into An Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women was chosen as a part of the official book list for the United Methodist Church!

Book Giveaway

As a celebration, I’d love to give away TWO copies of Plain Wisdom.

If you would like to enter for a chance to win one copy of Plain Wisdom, please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post.

If you are reading this anywhere other than my website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to my website (https://www.cindywoodsmall.com/2013/01/30/when-amish-children-get-bored/) and leave a comment at the bottom of my post to enter the giveaway.

Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway. (It’s just too hard to track down all the comments left in various places, and that means it’s too easy to miss some of the comments.)

The deadline for this contest is Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at noon. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.


If you’ve already purchased a copy of   Plain Wisdom and would like to make it into an autographed copy, I’d be honored to send you a FREE autographed bookplate!

Bookplates are adhesive-backed stickers that I can sign and mail to you in a regular business-size (No.10) envelope with current letter-rate postage. Putting the sticker on the title page of your book makes it an autographed copy. Click here for more information on how to request autographed bookplates.

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