Big Valley in the Fall


Keeping in line with my current Big Valley theme, today I’ve posted a few pictures of the Valley in the Fall. Here’s how to find them:

On the MENU, click ALL THINGS AMISH > AMISH PHOTOS> THE AMISH OF KISH VALLEY (that’s the green one)>KISH VALLEY AUTUMN 2016. (Note: this is not a link, only instructions).

If you’ve been following this 6 week giveaway, then tell me what you think. Is Kish Valley prettier in Summer or Fall? If you’re joining us for the first time, simply tell us which photo is your favorite.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing for one of three sets of The Amish Christmas Sleigh which includes my novella, A Mamm for Christmas.

Sets? you ask. Yes! If your name is drawn you’ll receive 2 autographed copies of the book–one for you and one to give to a friend. So don’t forget to leave your comment and as always, thanks for stopping by! ❤




10 Things I’ve Learned About Kishacoquillas Valley


This summer I got to travel to Kishacoquillas V alley and fell in love with the place! So much so that I decided to set a series there. That meant research. Here are 10 unique facts I learned about the Valley.

1)      It sits between 2 mountains–Jacks Mountain and Stone Mountain

2)      The buggies in the Valley are yellow, black, and brown and white.

3)      Men wear mostly blue shirts

4)      Men wear one diagonal suspender

5)      The women dress like the Lancaster Amish with the one piece apron that ties in the back

6)      The difference in buggy colors also signifies the three different Amish groups in the Valley– Nebraska Amish (white and brown buggies), Renno Amish, also called Peachey Amish (black buggies), and Byler Amish (yellow buggies)


7)      Other names for Kishacoquillas Valley are Kish Valley and Big Valley

8)      The most common Amish last name in the Valley is Peachey

9)      They serve white church pickles (made with white cucumbers of course!)


10) The Amish and Mennonites in the Valley share a cemetery. It has gravestones ranging from very plain to very elaborate.

I have pictures of all this and more here on Amy’s Amish Adventures. Simply click All Things Amish<Amish Photos<The Amish of PA Kish Valley< Kish Valley part 1 to see the slideshow.

My Kappy King Amish Mystery Series starts January 2018. (Yes, I know that’s a long ways off!). Aside from being set in Big Valley, this series has another unusual aspect: My protagonist is Amish! I’m very excited about this series and just as excited to share with you the pictures and interesting facts I learned while in Big Valley.

And the best part? This post is part of my Christmas Giveaway. How do you enter? Leave a comment below. That’s it! By leaving a comment you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing for one of three sets of The Amish Christmas Sleigh. That means three names will be drawn and three readers will receive 2 autographed copies of The Amish Christmas Sleigh which includes my Amish Christmas novella-A Mamm for Christmas. That’s one copy for you and one copy for a friend! Or two copies to give as Christmas gifts. Or, heck, I guess you could keep them both for yourself! Whatever makes you happy!

Have you ever read an Amish mystery? Did you like it? Do you want to read more? What was your favorite part?

Thanks for reading!







Merry Christmas Giveaway


Christmas? Wait…it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Well, Thanksgiving is a little over a week away and since it’s so late in the month, Christmas will be here before we know it. So that’s why I’m giving away three copies of The Christmas Sleigh, which includes my Paradise Christmas novella, A Mamm for Christmas as well as two more great holiday stories from Molly Jebber and Kelly Long. Let’s get into the Christmas spirit!

kish-valley-5-mkd-wmBut wait! There’s more! If you are chosen as one of the winners, then I’ll send you a second copy for you to gift to a friend! Yep, you read that right. One signed copy for you and another one to give to a friend.

So what do you have to do in order to qualify for the giveaway? Head over to my page dedicated to Kish Valley (aka Big Valley) and tell me what your favorite picture is there. Be sure to stay for the entire slide show. There are a few pictures of the infamous yellow buggies of the Valley.

The three winners will be chosen by random drawing at the end of each week (We’ll actually draw on Sunday and announce the winners on Monday morning.)

If you don’t win the first week, never fear, I’m giving away the three-plus three copies each week from now until Christmas. That’s 18 chances to win!

So go check out the pictures and leave me a comment as to which is your favorite. Thanks for stopping by, Merry (early) Christmas, and the best of luck to everyone!

How do you get to the page? Simply click All Things Amish<Amish Photos<The Amish of PA Kish Valley< Kish Valley part 1.

And feel free to poke around a little. There are a lot of great things to see here!

Thanks for reading!



New Amish Pictures

After taking some time off to finish a couple of projects, I decided that it was time to get back go blogging. (Hey,  those books don’t write themselves you know! LOL)  But with the first mystery in my new series turned in and accepted by my editor (yay!), I felt it was time to put up a few more pictures. Especially since they pertain to that book. Just click below to check out all (well, almost all <wink>) my pictures of Kish Valley. This is where my Kappy King mystery series is set. But more on that later. We still don’t have the title completely nailed down and without a title there is no cover. But we do have a release date–January 2018!


Of course we were in Lancaster County visiting for a while. And when we’re there we always find some reason to snap a few pictures.


And if you’ve been keeping up on Facebook, you know that Stacey and I have been traveling. Here are the pictures from our latest trip to Chouteau.


Later this month, we’re on our way to Texas, then hopefully on to another research trip to Pontotoc, MS. That Swartzentruber Amish community is the setting for my next new romance series. If you haven’t seen any of the pictures from our first trip, click below.


This gets the website all caught up…for now. Hope you enjoy the pictures from our summer trips. It’s been an eventful year for sure!

Thanks for reading!


BTW-which community is your favorite? Comment below to be put in an end-of-month drawing for an autographed book! Keep it for yourself, or gift it for the upcoming holidays!


New Series

I’m so very excited to announce that I will be starting a new series this fall. And even more excited that the series is set in my home state of Mississippi! Yes, it’s an Amish Series. What? You didn’t know there are Amish in Mississippi? I didn’t either until recently. But when I heard I headed for home and paid a visit to this sleepy Mississippi settlement.

pontotoc-mississippiThe community in Randolph (just outside of Pontotoc) is a Swartzentruber settlement, a spin off from the community in Ethridge, Tennessee. They are very conservative and very concerned with being self-sufficient. Most work at the mill or at their own business on their home property. Many have stores where visitors can shop for such things as goats milk soap, honey, jelly, baskets, and pickles, of course.

It’s going to be a challenge to write about such conservative people, but I’m excited for the opportunity. But since this is all I can share with you about the stories for now, I thought I might share a few pictures with you. Click below to go to the Pontotoc page here on my website for a glimpse at this unique community.

Did you know there is an Amish community in Mississippi?  Be sure to leave me a comment. I’m giving away a book at the end of the month to one lucky contributor!

Happy Reading!





A Visit to an Amish School

It’s August and for the kids here in the Sooner State (and others too, I’m sure), it’s back-to-school time. Not just for the English kids, but the Amish ones as well.

Although Amish schools are very different from English ones, not all Amish schools are the same. Last year, I got to visit an Amish schoolhouse and observe. What great fun to see the teacher and scholars in action. I also asked a ton of questions (how unlike me, right?). Here’s some of the great info I discovered and saw.

Before school starts in the fall, the moms clean the schoolhouse. The teacher has a few students come the week before to help her get set up. Just before the first day of school, everyone (students, parents, and teacher) will go to an all-school singing and picnic.

When we arrived at the school, the students stopped what they were doing and sang three songs for us. I found out that they do this for all visitors. While they sang, we were allowed to look through the visitor’s binder. Inside is a page for each scholar at the school. At the beginning of the year, they answer certain questions and decorate a scrapbook page.

One of the scrapbook pages I saw was “What I want to be when I grow up.” Some girls put “own a bakery” and “be a maid” and they decorated the page with stickers. A few of the boys wrote “be a hunter” and “be a farmer.”

Some of the questions from the binder were name and grade, along with the names of their siblings and parents. Other questions included:

Something people don’t know about me

Some cute answers I saw were:

“I like pickles.”

“I know how to milk.”

“I was in an accident when I was two and got to ride in a helicopter.”

“I went on a train to New Jersey.”

My pet peeve

Some cute answers were:

“When people chew with their mouth open.”

“When people talk with food in their mouth.”

“Milking cows.”

“Going to the dentist.”

“Do-overs.” (A do-over is when someone gets a 70% or below. They have to do that paper over until their grade improves.)

A good habit the entire world should practice

Almost everyone wrote The Golden Rule

The binder was such fun to look through. It really gives good insight into the likes and personalities of the kids.

The teacher called each grade to the front by her desk to practice reading out loud, locating states on a map, doing flashcards, and practicing German vocabulary. When each grade came up, the others remained at their desks doing silent work.

The teacher held a spelling activity for the third grade girls. They all went to the front and had to spell words to get back to their seats. A consonant was a step forward and a vowel was a step backward. So they spelled the word aloud as they took the appropriate steps. It took four to five words to get to their seats.

When the lessons were over and it was time for recess the teacher said, “Everyone sit up straight and tall.” Once they did as she asked, the teacher rang a bell, and they went outside. Some kids have chores to do before recess like sweeping the floor.

The kids played softball outside and we stayed to watch. (Well, I watched. Stacey played. But that’s a blog post for another day. LOL) The children also like to play tag where if you get tagged you hold hands and make a long train as they keep trying to catch people. Like most schools, there were swing sets and see-saws to play on as well.

A Few Fun Facts I Learned About Amish Schools

Amish and Mennonite attend the same school in some districts. (When I was in Pennsylvania, there was one Mennonite boy in the school.)

The parents refer to the children as scholars.

Amish schools do issue report cards.

The school we visited was also equipped with an outhouse. And I’m sure it’s not the only one.


Yes, there is discipline in Amish schools. And there are behavior problems that arise. If a student is not well-behaved, the teacher speaks to the parents and the child works to improve the behavior. If the student still does not follow the rules, they will be sent to a different school for a fresh start. If the behaviors still continue, the parents will be required to homeschool.

A fun example of how the teacher encourages good behavior:

Each mom is sent a piece of paper. On the paper, she writes a reward. The students and the teacher do not know what is written on the papers. Then the teacher places each paper in a balloon and the balloons are left in the classroom. Once the class earns two hundred points, they get to pop a balloon and they earn their reward. The day I was there the reward was a pizza party.

Each school has a board which consists of three men (who are dads from the class). Every so often, the school closes so the three dads along with their wives, the teacher, and the 7th and 8th graders will visit other school houses. They visit four that day. They go to get ideas and to see what other students and teachers are doing.

So as you can see, Amish schools can be as similar to English schools as they are different. Have you ever been to an Amish school?

Pictures from an Amish School:

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The Big Valley

For those of you who remember the TV show with Hoss and Little Joe, no, I haven’t forgotten what this blog is about. I’m talking about Big Valley, PA. Also known as Kishacoquillas Valley or Kish Valley. Kish Valley  is home to the second largest Amish settlement in Pennsylvania, with Lancaster County being the first. But in terms of uniqueness, the Valley wins hands down.

big valley pa meme

Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be blogging about Kish Valley and all the interesting things I learned while I visited there. Here are a few of the beautiful pictures I took last month. Enjoy!

kish valley 15

Here’s me and Stace on the top of Jacks Mountain. Down below you can see the Valley. Incredibly beautiful!

Kish valley 17

The Valley from the top of Jacks Mountain.

Kish valley 1 peights store

Peight’s Store in the Valley.

Kish valley 27

“Byler Amish” farm. The Valley is home to twelve different sects of Amish and Mennonites, the Byler Amish among them. (more on the Byler Amish later.)

KV black buggy 5

“Peachey” or “Renno Amish” buggy. They go by either name and are the most progressive of the Valley Amish, though that’s not saying a great deal. They are still conservative Old Order Amish. More on the Peachey Amish later. (Yes, I prefer calling them by this name since almost every mailbox we passed had the name ‘Peachey’ on it.)

KV wildflowers

These beautiful purple wildflowers were all over the Valley. I loved seeing them against the weather-worn fence posts.

KV store 1

A road-side store. This one was closed the first day we were there, but open the second. Two very helpful Mennonite women worked there and gave us some great information about the local Amish. Stacey and I bought a jar of church pickles, some corn on the cob, and a couple of tomatoes. Yummy!

Kish valley 38

A Valley farm. So picturesque!

Kish valley 47

Oh, you know how I love cows!

Well, that’s the last picture for this post. Which one is your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment. At the end of the month, everyone who commented will have their name put in a drawing to win a copy of one of my books!

Be watching for more about the Valley Amish, along with news about the new mystery series, updates on the new romance series, and other great info about the Amish in general!

Thanks for reading!

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An Amish ‘Milking’

One of the highlights of my trip to Lancaster County last year was doing a ‘milking.’ My Amish friend Sadie lives next to her brother who’s a dairy farmer. When Stacey and I stayed with Sadie for a week last September, we offered to help him by doing some of the chores, including milking the dairy cows. He took us right up on the offer. So the first day we were there we learned how to milk from two of his daughters, ages 11 and 13. We did such a great job that they asked us to do the Friday evening milking when they were all at the Green Dragon Market.

The first time we milked, we wore our regular clothes. Being the goober that I am, I bought overalls for the occasion. Okay, I admit it. I LOVE overalls! So working on a dairy farm was the perfect excuse to get a new pair. And of course Crocs. But after the first milking, Sadie told us we “reeked” (that’s a quote) and we decided for Friday’s chores we would dress a bit differently. When Friday rolled around, we changed into choring dresses.

Okay, so the real truth is that Sadie made us wear two of her choring dresses because she said we would stink to high heaven if we didn’t. Since we were living with her, we had no choice!

When we walked down the lane to her brother’s farm, all of the cows were in the pasture. First we put out feed at each stall so the cows could immediately eat. Stacey let the cows in and they miraculously went to their own stall. All but the bull. He stayed in the holding pen.

The girls explained that each cow has a number and a name which are both on a sign in their stall. We checked after they came in and all but one went to the correct stall. (Sadie’s niece told me her name was Lena and she was a known troublemaker. A troublemaking cow…who knew?)

Once the cows were settled in and eating, we hooked each of their collars to the chain at each stall. I cleaned the udders and hooked up the machine to the first cow. The machine is powered by a generator so it gets mighty loud in there! While I was doing that Stacey put more feed around the outside of the holding pen so when the milking was over they could eat a bit more before going back outside.

Once the first cow was milked, I poured the milk into a big container called the sputnik and hooked up the next cow. We had four machines and four tanks that we rotated. Once the sputnik was full, we rolled it into the milking room to the refrigerated holding tank. When the milk man comes he removes the milk from this holding tank by pumping it into the milk truck.

When the milking was complete, we let the cows back into the holding pen for a bit. It was quite a chore getting them out of their stalls and back into the holding pen because after they eat, drink, and get milked they grow tired and lie down.

Once the cows were back in the holding pen, we swept all of the manure into grates that empty into a manure pit under the barn and sanitized all the equipment. Once we had all these chores complete we let the cows back outside. Then we refilled the big wagon with feed so it was ready for the morning milking.

There were over fifty cows and the whole process took the four of us about an hour and a half. Fun and interesting, but definitely hard work!

I hope you enjoy the pictures we took during our Lancaster ‘milking.’

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A few more Amish pics

Look what I found! A few more Amish pics that I forgot to post! For those of you who have already looked through the pictures here on the site, I decided to put them in a blog post so you could enjoy them separately. If this is your first time, be sure check out all my pictures. Click All Things Amish from the menu, then click on the square for Amish Photos, then Lancaster 2016. Enjoy!!