Hello and thank you kindly for your interest! You have caught us in the middle of a transition. We have nearly three years of content right here on Substack, but if you feel compelled to join the Plain Values family, please subscribe at plainvalues.com to get our newest content. Thank you again! May you find joy in the simple things, Marlin


After getting married and walking the infertility path for five years, my wife and I completed our home study to begin the adoption process. Today we have 4 children. Bryson is on the Autism spectrum, Adelaide and Bennett both have Down syndrome, and Miles has Mosaic Down syndrome. Over the years, folks have asked us all sorts of questions from “Are you sure you want to spend your whole life caring for your kids?” to “Did you know they had special needs?” And we have a simple answer every time… We asked the Lord to bring us the children He wanted us to have, and He did just that… and that’s good enough for us! We are a noisy tribe at times and most likely you will be wished “Happy Birthday” at random times or even sung to if you happen to run into us. Our neighbors on the hill are such a blessing, watching out for our kids and at times, dropping everything to come help us out.


Ten years ago, we started publishing a print magazine that stands on a few pillars: sharing the gospel with the Amish across the country, the beauty of adoption, and shining a light on the dignity of kids with special needs. Over the years, we have welcomed many “non-Amish” folks to our passel of readers, and we added more of ourselves into Plain Values, including homesteading content. At times, folks ask us “what is Plain Values all about?” I think they ask because we have such a wide variety of topics inside our pages. We do that purposefully because we want to be well-rounded, well-read, and deeply thoughtful people. Our favorite people are those who have walked sections of life’s road that are bumpy and hard and have not given up on God’s purpose for their lives. We believe it makes us deeper, more soulful, and if we let it, wiser for the road ahead.


At the heart, Plain Values is about cultivating anchored community and living in authentic community with our neighbors. We are far from perfect, but we do the best we can to live out what we write about, and it seems to resonate with people. Today we are read by 300k plus folks across the nation and have tons of great content coming. A few years ago, we saw an opportunity to do more and began Room to Bloom. It is a nonprofit focused on exposing the realities of the many children with special needs stuck in hard and dark places around the world. Over the last two years, we have played a role in bringing 26 kids home to their “forever families,” and we will not stop until the orphanages are empty! We will rest in Heaven!


All her life, Lisa has loved one-room schoolhouses. In fact, for eight years, she taught first grade classes in our public school district in a historic two-room schoolhouse. While homeschooling has been a great choice for our family, after reading about the schoolhouse Rory Feek built on his farm for his daughter, Indiana, it gave us a vision for what school could look like for our family. In 2023, we will be busy bringing two one-room schoolhouses from the 1800’s back to life, rebuilt together as one bigger one-room schoolhouse. Juneberry Hill Schoolhouse is reimagining education for our family and other children in the community by creating a multi-age, all-ability–included rural school on our homestead.

We are doing our best to enjoy the simple things in life, to stay connected to our community, and slow down so we don’t miss a minute. Won’t you join us? Subscribe today, and stop by our office when you pass through town.


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Plain Values is a monthly magazine dedicated to the notion that faith centered simple living within community is still possible today.