About Us

Katie's Story

Katie with a hand crafted amish marble rollerYou may be wondering who Katie is. Well I wonder that some times also! But I shall attempt to introduce myself. 

I am number ten of eleven children born to Mose and Mary Yoder.  I am quite fortunate because I am a "ten", and that means I’m perfect!  Of course you will have to talk to the rest of the family about that. For years I have told my siblings to find out what their number is in our family, and then they can blame all their problems on where they fall in line.  I was two years old when my parents left the Amish and joined the Mennonites.

I have been married to my childhood sweetheart for 41 years and am the mother of seven children. Five of them were born within five years.  I tell young mothers that I am living proof that they can survive the hectic years of raising children.  I am a grandmother of seventeen, and what a joy each of them are to me.

  I was born near Wooster, Ohio in a Amish community and my parents left the Amish in 1950 after my father had gotten help through Alcoholics Anonymous for his alcohol problem.   He wanted a car to get to his meetings and so we joined the Mennonites.  He was active for 37 years in AA before his death in 1984.  What really is amazing about my parents is that they both were willing to change even though they were in their forties. They saw that there was a better life, and they went after it learning all they could to attain it. By there example it helped me see that no matter ones age – you can try something different.  They taught me by their example how to relate to many different people, no matter their background.  You will be able to buy a book about his life story on the website.  Another book on the website that will be of interest is called “Born Amish”.  This was written by my sister in 1980.  In this book you will see the story of the Yoder family.  It was written from the eyes of a eleven year old because that was the age of the author when we left the Amish. It tells her experiences as we left the Amish lifestyle. Even though people may think that Amish and Mennonite are alike they are very different.  The three main things are cars, electric and phones.  This book is in school libraries and children are using it to learn all about the Amish.

I have always been interested in entertaining children and I love to see what draws them and then I like to watch how long they play with a certain item. Marble rollers is one thing that we have had in our home and it’s been so much fun to see the children play with them. It’s also been interesting to watch fathers get on the floor and play with the little ones. Another thing that we have in our home is a big basket of brain teasers on our coffee table and its great to see someone pick one up and then watch how long it will take for them to solve it.  These have been gifts for my husband over the years but now I watch my teenager grandchildren come in and head for the basket. I really enjoy seeing young people using their mind and that is what happens when they pick up a brain teaser. I took some time and did a lot of research and spent some months to find out where both of these things could be obtained. The brain teasers are great for teachers to have in their class room and I have found out that many middle schools and high schools have one or more of these available for their students to work on.  I recently sent 10 different ones to a public school in Minnesota. The teacher said it was every thing she was looking for.

Katie and Herman Hochstetler "The Marble Lady" and her husband.I had the privilege of having a booth inside a local Marketplace for 3 yrs. My store was called Katie’s Place and I called it my living room. I have always loved having people come to my house and so my booth became an extension of my house. I had a lot of the brain teasers on a table for anyone to try and solve.  I also had 6 marble rollers at a low level for the young ones to come in and try them out. I so enjoyed watching them as they tried the different ones. The parents were so amazed at how long they were entertained with them.  They liked the idea that they were made in US and that no batteries were needed.  I have shipped many of the rollers to different places – California, Maine, Indiana, Ill are some of the states.  I met some wonderful people from all over the United States and from many different countries at my store.  France, Spain, England, Germany, Norway, Sweden are a few of the countries that I can think of right now. 

The reason my website is called amarblelady is because of what many parents would say as they brought their children back to my store— their child would say “we have to go see the marble lady first”.    

Thanks for visiting!

Katie Yoder Hochstetler