Do you have a tradition on Mother's Day (something your husband or kids do for you every year)?
My husband and boys give me gifts and cards, and there is always at least one card from the cats. Then they take my mom and me out to lunch or dinner. It’s fun!
What was your favorite Mother's Day?
What was your most memorable Mother's Day gift or action?
When Joe and I were living in our first house and before we were parents of human children, we had two cats named Les and Gracie whom we loved dearly. My first Mother’s Day after we adopted the kitties, Joe gave me a gold charm necklace with two cats on it and he said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” It meant so much to me! That was my first Mother’s Day.
Amy, please share a special "proud mom" moment that you had with each of your boys. I'm thinking of the Scripture that "Mary kept all these things in her heart" and thought there might be something that even Matt and Zac don't know about.
This year each of my boys has moved me to tears because of their loving and giving hearts. I’m not going to use any names in order to protect their privacy.
One of my sons stood up to a bully by defending another boy who was being harassed. When the bully called the victim horrible names, my son walked up to the bully and gave him a piece of his mind. The bully was stunned silent and left the victim alone. I can’t express how proud I am that my child didn’t stand by and allow a bully to hurt another child.
My other son was a blessing to his friend when he needed help. His friend was depressed shared while they were talking online that he was thinking about hurting himself. My son texted the other boy’s mother and told her he was worried about him. When this issue came up again when my son was with his friend, he listened to his friend talk and even cried with him while offering him comfort. I had tears in my eyes when my son shared this with me.
I’m really proud of my sons for helping others in their time of need. I believe my sons will continue to be a blessing to others.
What "proud mom" moment would your Nana share about you?
My nana passed away when I was a junior in high school, and I wish she could have met my sons. (I also wish she could read my books!) I believe my nana would be proud to see my sons are good, thoughtful, funny young men. I think she’d also be proud of me for raising my sons in the church and working hard to teach them how to be respectful members of our society.
Do you have any special traditions you used to do with your mom when you were a little girl on Mother's Day?
I remember making my mother gifts at school, and no matter how terrible my artwork was, she still loved it.
When you first learned you were going to be a mom what thoughts entered your mind?
I was thrilled, and I hoped and prayed my baby would be healthy. I prayed this prayer fervently when I was pregnant with Matthew because I’d experienced a miscarriage two years before he was born. I was terrified I was going to lose another baby, which why I call Matthew my miracle. He was appropriately born on Good Friday.
Do you get any book ideas from your sons' shenanigans?
I haven’t really included any of their shenanigans, but I did model a character after Zac. In my young adult book Roadside Assistance, Logan, who is Whitney’s younger brother, was inspired by Zac. Logan likes Star Wars and video games, and his room is decorated similarly to how Zac’s room used to look.
As a mother, what is your prayer for your boys?
My prayer is that they stay healthy and they find a profession they love. I also pray that if they chose to marry, they find someone who is nice and who will treat them with love and respect. I tell them repeatedly that love should never make them feel bad about themselves. I pray with all of my heart that they will be happy.
What's one of your favorite memories/stories of your boys with your books? Has anything special you recall been used in one of your books?
For the past four years, I’ve spoken to the 6th grade at my boys’ middle school. I don’t think I embarrassed them too badly when they were members of the audience. One of my sons doesn’t tell many people that I write books, but my other son proudly shares it with friends and teachers. He frequently comes home from school and tells me that the girls in his classes are reading my books. I’m thankful he’s not embarrassed by me or my books.
I really haven’t used any experiences with my boys in my books; however, I named characters Zachary and Matthew in my Kauffman Amish Bakery series.
Can you share one of your parenting goof ups?
Oh, there are so many, but some I would never put on display in a blog! Ha ha! The one I will share happened the weekend before Zac started Kindergarten. Joe and I took him to the beach at the Outer Banks, and we spent the day on Oregon Inlet. It was overcast, and I stupidly didn’t think we needed sunblock. I didn’t know until later that Zac burned terribly on his shoulders, and he went to school the following day in pain. To make matters worse, he developed blisters. I cried! It was terrible. I felt so horrible for allowing him to get hurt that way. (Please don’t send me hate mail. I learned my lesson!)
What was your most favorite book to read to your boys when they were little?
Zac absolutely loved Big Joe’s Trailer Truck by Joe Mathieu! He knew it by heart! It’s the cutest book, and I read it to Matt also. We kept it and will pass it on if they have children.
Out of all of your novels, who is your favorite mother?
Mattie Fisher from my Amish Heirloom series is my favorite! She’s modeled after my mother with her patient, loving heart. My mom and I sit together and have a cup of tea every night, just like Mattie and her daughters do.
What advice would you give to those who are not Mothers, yet long for children?
Since I have experienced a miscarriage and I know how it feels to lose a baby, my heart goes out to those who long to have children. I don’t feel I have the authority to give any advice, except to suggest that they speak to a fertility specialist. I hope those who long for children will have their prayers answered soon.
Can you share a special memory of your mother?
My favorite memory as a child is going to the movies with my mother every Saturday. We would go to see a matinee, and we had the best time! My love of movies truly comes from my parents.
This might sound corny, but my mom and I make special memories every day. She lives with my family and me, and she’s my best friend. We watch movies and television shows together, and we share books. While I’m working on a book, she sits in the same room and reads in order to keep my company. She helps me plot out my stories and she reads my books for typos. I can’t imagine not having her in my life. I’m so thankful God blessed me with the best mom!