- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

LANCASTER, Ky. (AP) - It all started with a pie request from a friend. At least that’s the story 13-year-old Isabella and 10-year-old Susanna Domidion of Lancaster tell about their pie-making.

“Originally, it was a fraction lesson, but they don’t remember that,” said mom Amy, laughing. “It grew out of that.”

Isabella had made pies with her nanny when she was younger and began again, this time with her sister, under the name Bella’s Bakery and Susie’s Sweets.

Initially, the girls would make and sell the pies any day.

“They would be getting up in the mornings before school, making pies. We had to settle on one day,” Amy said.

Now, every Friday is pie-making day.

Isabella and Susanna are homeschooled, and Amy believes the pie-making is a living math lesson for the girls. They have four brothers: Taylor, 20, Grayson, 10, Graham, 6, and Jack Hudson, 1.

On Thursdays, Isabella and Susanna look at their pantries, check the orders and make a list. They go grocery shopping, which has been a learning experience for the girls. They’ve begun price-checking, coupon clipping and more.

“They’re pretty frugal,” said Amy.

“But, cheaper is not always better,” said Isabella, citing a lesson the girls learned early on.

When they get home that day, Susanna sometimes begins her desserts - pecan and peanut butter - a little early because they can be made the day before.

“I like pecan; they are easy,” she said with a smile. “Peanut butter is a pain.”

Isabella makes meringue pies such as chocolate, butterscotch, lemon and coconut cream - all have to be made just before delivery. They also have apple and pumpkin.

The best seller is chocolate, Isabella explained.

“The apple is for people we love, who will show us mercy,” Amy said with a laugh.

Besides learning how to bake and make desserts, the girls are learning money management and the value of hard work.

“It’s been good to see. You want to give your kids everything. With six kids, we had to say no to a lot of things,” said Amy. It was hard, she said, but sometimes these choices have to be made.

So, when Isabella came to Amy and husband Jerry because she wanted to participate in ballet classes, they told her she would have to come up with the money herself.

Isabella has been able to do that, making enough for one year of lessons and her shoes. Currently, she is working to get next semester paid for. She also uses the money to pay for her own cell phone.

Susanna, smiling broadly, said she doesn’t really have a major goal right now; she just likes having money in the bank. She also loves Mentos candy, spending some of her money on that.

The girls don’t just keep their money for themselves.

“They give away a lot,” said Amy, talking about money and pies. The girls will use the money they generate for their tithes at Lancaster Baptist Church and sometimes to buy things for their brothers.

They’ve also started the process of sponsoring a child through World Vision.

Ballet, school, church and pie-making keep Isabella busy. Susanna spends her free time playing basketball through the LIGHT home educators support group. The group is a co-op of sorts, for homeschooling families, allowing the students to have “typical” teen experiences.

“The flexibility of homeschooling is that there are ways to teach them without knowing they are learning,” Amy said. A former Garrard County math teacher, she said being able to teach kids, including her own, in creative ways is great.

Grayson and Graham have their own business of taking out trash for their neighbors.

Amy and Jerry keep a close eye on how the girls spend their money.

“We still have rules, but they have freedom within those,” Amy said.

The girls’ budding business came at a time that the family needed the extra support, and Amy believes God’s hand was in the details.

“I know it was the Lord providing for our family,” she said. The family is thankful for the love their friends and community have shown.

At this time, the girls don’t have a storefront but are praying about launching a full-time business.

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