Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Our Year in Pie

Our new grandson, Arthur Campbell Lacey, at 11 days old
I can't believe we're at the end of February and I still haven't done my annual Year in Pie post for 2018! All I can say is that I've been a tad distracted of late–and who could blame me when one of those distractions is this adorable?

What is a Year in Pie?

Anyway, to explain, our family eats a lot of pies, usually at least one or two a month.  When we do, we'll use any extra crust to decorate the top in commemoration of whatever's currently going on in our lives–whether it's something big, like a birthday or holiday, or something small, like a fun thing we happened to do that day. Either way, it struck me a few years ago that looking back through the photos of the pies we'd made the previous year was almost like viewing a journal–in pastry. So fun!

Thus my annual Year in Pie post was born. If you're curious, you can see previous years' posts here:


and even view the recipe for our pies, which are made with no sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Drum Roll Please

I usually post about our pies in late December or early January, but I figure it's better late than never. :) Thus, even though it's nearly March, I now present the Clark household's pies of 2018...


We started 2018 with a classic lattice top, which my hubby enjoyed while watching his beloved Eagles earn their way to the Super Bowl.


February brought two pies, the first for Valentine's Day, made by my hubby...

...and the second made by me, to commemorate his birthday later that month. We spent that afternoon in the Poconos, hiking to a waterfall, so that night I tried to recreate the scene on his birthday pie. :)

That's the waterfall, behind us


This one was made for our family's annual February/March Birthday Celebration. Between siblings, cousins, loved ones, etc., there are so many birthdays this time of year (14 at last count!) that we usually just have one big party for all, hence the Valentine/Shamrock motif.


In April, we celebrated our dear friend Kay as she completed chemo treatments for breast cancer.


April showers bring you-know-what.

Also in May, we piled in the car for dinner out on Mother's Day...

...then we came home and enjoyed this pie, made by my hubby.


Though not exactly the same kind of "pie", I have to mention this delicious Whoopie Pie, which we picked up from a roadside stand on a visit to Amish country in June.

Also in June, we enjoyed the warm sunshine while touring Gettysburg–then came home and had a sunshine pie.

That's me looking up at Louisiana's Gettysburg monument
The scene from Little Round Top


Had a great time watching the 4th of July fireworks in Jim Thorpe, PA–and then eating this fireworks pie!


I created this depiction of the Chicago skyline when my hubby went to the Christian Leadership Conference in Willow Creek.

Our second August pie, a bit burned thanks to a tricky oven, celebrated a long weekend spent at the Jersey Shore.

Waving from the waves: Daughters Emily and Lauren, future son-in-law Andrew, and my hubby John


A pie to celebrate the last lazy days of summer.

Belle in her life jacket, ready to hit the lake for some fun.

Also in September, I made this pie in honor of our son-in-law-to-be, Andrew, who plays for the Pottstown Flames basketball team.


This one's an apple/blueberry pie with a pumpkin design on top. So does that make it a pumpkin pie? ;)

Hubby and daughter Lauren enjoying a fall walk among the autumn leaves
Also in October, this was our Halloween pie.


I made this pie as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration in November.


We had two pies in December. First, my hubby made this one to celebrate the end of the Montco Trail Challenge, a local parks & rec initiative that we participated in.

Finally, here's our last pie of 2018, created by my hubby to celebrate our daughter's New Year's Eve wedding.

Between the holidays, the showers (baby for Emily, bridal for Lauren), the out of town guests, the wedding, and then the arrival of little Arthur earlier this month, you can see why I've gotten a bit behind. But it's all good!

And that's it for 2018. Can't wait to see what fun happenings make it onto our pies in 2019. In the meantime, just one question for you...

What event in your life in the past year deserves to make it onto a pie? 

Let me know in the comments here or on my Facebook page; I'll pick one lucky winner and memorialize your event on our next pie. You won't actually get to eat it, but I'll post photos and at least you can enjoy it virtually.  :) 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Questions and Answers About the Amish

Do the Amish believe for certain that they will go to heaven, or do they think they can't know for sure until after death?

This question came up recently on my Facebook page, and though I was able to give a brief reply there, I thought I might go into a bit more detail here.

In this excerpt from my book Plain Answers About the Amish Life, this is how I addressed the subject...
Various Amish affiliations seem to be of different minds on the topic of what is known as “assurance of salvation.” The majority of Amish believe it would be prideful to state outright that they have received salvation and instead maintain what they call a “living hope” or a “continued effort” on the topic. They trust the ultimate fate of their soul to God’s providence rather than claim it with certainty.

There are other Amish groups, however, that feel an assurance of salvation is not prideful but biblical, citing verses such as 1 John 5:13, which says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (emphasis added). Amish who fall on this side of the matter believe that everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior can know with certainty that they have been saved for eternity.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Amish and Then Some

All of Plain Answers About the Amish Life is written in a question-and-answer format, which makes it an easy (and hopefully fascinating!) read. The book covers numerous other Amish-related topics, including:

Sorry to sound like an ad, but it's been a while since the book came out, and it struck me that I ought to remind my Amish fiction readers that this non-fiction resource about the Amish is still available.

Other guides to the Amish you might enjoy include Donald Kraybill's Simply Amish: An Essential Guide from the Foremost Expert on Amish Life and 20 Most Asked Questions about the Amish and Mennonites (People's Place Book 1) by Merle and Phyllis Good. Both are excellent and informative.

Amish Voices

Finally, there's a great new resource coming out soon: Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings, compiled by Brad Igou and written by the Amish themselves. I was fortunate enough to get an advance peek at this one, and I found it quite compelling. It won't be out till June, but at least it's available for preorder now.

Amish Fiction and Nonfiction

And that's it for today's roundup of resources on Amish life. I hope you find this helpful and that you'll consider sprinkling a bit of Amish-related nonfiction among your reading of Amish fiction. :)