Fall in the air

It’s finally starting to cool off a little here. No fall colors, but at least it’s not in the 90s today. The windows are open and there’s a nice breeze. Judah and I are decorating for a little belated-birthday celebration for Kevin this evening. Listening to Pandora and this song is on. The kids and I had a phase where we were listening to Lennon & Maisy nonstop, their voices are so beautiful together. This is a good Fall song.

Thanks for the update, Dad.  This is actually Jessica.  I enjoyed reading through your sabattical report.

The booster seat is Orlando’s.  However, we have another one we’re using and only need one now that Sadie is 8, so if you need to get rid of it or anything, or just keep it, whatever is fine.







Here’s the report …

Sabbatical Report

Voxer is great, but let’s not lose this! :-(

I know I’ve been very remiss!

Practical:  I’ve got a grey plastic car seat base/booster seat and a Sunbeam Fan/Heater.  Can anyone tell me who’s they are?  🙂

So much has happened!

We are very concerned about Luke.  Please earnestly pray for his (and everyone’s) safety down there.

Joel and Katie may close on their house this Thursday!  What a saga that has been, but it seems as though God has been consistently surprising and blessing them.  It is wonderful to have them here.  So much fun, and (frankly) a great comfort as Faye and I face a difficult present and very uncertain future.  I visited David Aikman recently in an “Old Folks Home” and was reminded what a great joy to hear Caelyn’s laughter and to see Silas learning to climb up the steps, to be greeted with a “Hello, Gwandpa” at unlikely times and places.

It is also wonderful, wonderful, wonderful to have Liesl at PHC and home so much.  To see her in Western Lit class, to read her papers, to see her “around campus,” to ride back and forth with her almost every week, and to have lunch with her every Wednesday!

I am discipling four young men every Monday and enjoying it so much!  Their names are Tim, Trent, Andrew and Drake.  Please pray for our growth!  The Christian Life class is also going well and I’m enjoying it a lot.

Faye and I walk for a full hour almost every day.  I really enjoy that time, and it keeps us very “caught up.”

Elizabeth’s “last day”!!! Hooray!!! I have been praying very earnestly this whole time, Elizabeth, for strength, patience and safety!

Becky, the “huge pizza” was so much fun!  I love all your pictures and news.  And we have been following with avid interest the adventures of Cinnamon the Pig!

Feel free to skip over the rest, but this is the report I did on my sabbatical (!!!):



Happenings and Rivendell videos

Nice to read a post on the blog, thanks Hannah 🙂 I got on here to see if anyone had written or if Dad had gotten to write a sunday post, so it was nice to see something.

So glad to hear about Isaac’s new job seeming to be a much less stressful and more contained where he can be truly home when he’s done and with you and Elsa. That’s great. I’m sure it will have it’s demands and bumps but hope it continues to be a good fit and balance for you guys. And also nice to hear you’ve been able to do some more improvements to your home like a new linen closet, besides the recent shower install! All these things we take for granted, that are hard to get along without when you don’t have them! It is neat to see a house transform and take shape as you work on it. I remember the condition of our house in Philly, really a dilapidated shell of a house, and how Kevin was able to tackle each task, floor by floor, inside and out, until it was completely and beautifully renovated. Speaking of which, I hope the Poortengas are soon able to be past this septic trouble and on to purchasing and renovating the home! It would be so wonderful to think of them living on that property 2 doors down…

Also nice to hear of your new friendship and upcoming retreat.

We are still looking for a church. This morning we went to the Emslie’s church (the Acts 29 one 😉 and afterwards the Emslies invited us over for lunch. That was nice because even though I see Lisa and their family everyday because school is at their house, we haven’t gotten a chance to visit together as families lately. We offered to pick up pizza, and Kevin wanted to get it from this popular place here in town, Big Lou’s. They make good pizza and HUGE pizzas as well as regular-size ones. The largest they make is 62″! Kevin has been there a few times with his co-workers and had the big pizzas. Anyway, we ordered the biggest size we could for take-out which was 37″! Needless to say, our kids and theirs were all very impressed by the size of the pizza box, which Kevin had to turn sideways to get in the door 🙂 Besides pizza, the rest of the afternoon was very enjoyable visiting and talking with them.
IMG_9857 IMG_9856

Kevin’s Latin class starts tomorrow. I’m sure he’d appreciate any thoughts or prayers :). And I have little preschool time for the younger crowd I’ll be “teaching” :). Sienna is super excited to have a class to go to, she always wishes to be old enough to go to school like Judah. But this is just a once-a-week thing on Mondays. As little as it is, I hope I can do a good job with this little story-time/learning hour. I don’t see myself naturally doing this kind of thing, or as my personality – “teaching” kids – as I don’t have a whole lot of patience or creativity.

The Ford Expedition/SUV we bought in Alabama on the way home from PA, is now our car. Kevin put the wagon up for sale on Ebay yesterday. Pray someone buys it. It does make even me nostalgic to think of letting it go, and I really appreciate Kevin’s sacrifice because this is a hit for him, a hard thing to let go. At least our “new” car is not a minivan (he would never do a minivan anyway 🙂

Hope everyone is doing well. I was taking pictures/videos off my phone yesterday because it was backed up with months of stuff, and came across some videos from the family reunion. Here are a few:

Thanks, Mom, for the birthday post!

I saw it shortly after my birthday (since my birthday was on a Sunday, I didn’t get on the computer that day), and I greatly appreciated it. 🙂

The voxes have been great, but it would also be really nice to get some longer updates on here (if Voxer hasn’t made the family blog totally obselete…).

Today I enjoyed a walk with a lady named Bethany and her two boys, aged 2 and 2 months. We walked Tuesday, too. She and her husband just moved here from Dallas, TX, so he could take a job as an English professor at Grove City College. The have come to our church two different Sundays, but I met Bethany through a mutual friend, a lady in her late forties or early fifties who thought that Bethany and I would get along really well. It has been delightful to get to talk with someone close to my age and in a similar stage of life. There is no one else in that category here in Grove City in any of our circles, and I’ve been praying for a friend like that to move here and come to our church for a couple of years now.

I signed up to attend a women’s retreat (our presbytery is doing it) in a few weeks. I am excited because some of my closest friends from our church are going, and the speaker is supposed to be good. I am nervous, though, because it will be my first time ever away from Isaac overnight since we’ve been married, and I struggle a lot with anxiety that something will happen to him while we’re apart. Ironically, the retreat is about anxiety and facing your fears… I will also be hosting and facilitating the women’s Bible study for our church this fall. I am so glad to finally begin using our home as the place of hospitality we want it to be. Having Liesl’s friends over last Sunday during her Labor Day visit made me extra excited about the possibilities of hosting students and others in the community.

Isaac seems to like his new job pretty well so far. I am sure he will post something about it soon, but the main thing I have noticed is that he seems much less stressed and we get to see him more. When he says he’s done for the day, he’s really done, without any pressure to do more hanging over his head. (That wasn’t always or even usually the case with his former job.) I think it will be really good for our family long-term.

Right now, Isaac is down in the basement working on making shelves for our linen closet. I can hardly wait to have somewhere to put our towels and sheets other than in a large stack in our study! We will try to vox everyone some pictures.

Our bedtime alarm is going off, so I’d better go brush my teeth. 🙂 Love you all!

Hurray for our God!

He made Hannah.
And Hannah makes us Happy!
Happy birthday, Hannah!

failed attempt

I just tried to put up about five video clips from the Rivendell Reunion that I thought you all might enjoy seeing, but I had a hard time making them work. Maybe next time we are together we can look at them.

God is so good.

Isaac, this was an amazing story and an amazing unexpected provision. God is so good. We will certainly be praying for you as you adjust to a new work place. He is taking such wonderful care of you and Hannah and Elsa!

Changes for the West PA Hakes

As of yesterday evening, this computer programmer is computerless and unemployed. This week I accepted a job offer from   C e l t i c   H e a l t h c a r e   in Mars–close to TF’s old office in Cranberry. They have a small software team there that is hiring some new hands and separating from the rest of the company somewhat as it prepares to develop some new products, re-do some old ones, and expand into additional markets. (I also discovered they’re outsourcing some work to TF, so I’ll continue seeing some of my TF coworkers in the coming months.) After a few acclimating weeks, I’ll start working from home four days a week. On the whole, I’m guessing the work will be less exciting than the stuff I’d be doing at TF if I stuck around, but they have some interesting projects in the works and I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

TF was loath to see me go and extended a very substantial counter-offer I hadn’t expected. Since I’d already accepted the offer with Celtic when I told them about my decision, I felt obliged to stick with my choice. And while I’ll alert my current company first in the future, it may be best that it worked out that way this time. I don’t know if I’d’ve had the courage to leave in the face of that offer without the extra incentive, and I think Celtic will be a good fit for us–closer, steadier, less stressful, more time for other things, but still (hopefully!) engaging.

My last day at TF was yesterday. It’s been hard to say goodbye–partly due to the normal difficulty of leaving something familiar for something unknown, but mainly because I really enjoyed my relationships with some of the people there. They’re a good bunch.

I start at Celtic on the 31st, which gives Hannah and me a week together at home. I haven’t had a full week off work since starting at TF two years ago, and we’re looking forward to spending that time together very much.

Elsa is doing well. We got her a baby gym from IKEA several days ago and discovered that she’s somewhat mobile, now. We left her on it unattended for a few minutes and found her completely underneath our living room chair crying when we came back.

Hope you’re surviving, Elizabeth. Happy birthday! 🙂 Glad you found a job that sounds like it will be so convenient.

Glad to hear about the Poortinga’s home-buying progress, that the Radman’s sold their RV, and that Luke is safely in Puerto Cabezas. Looking forward to seeing Goo in a few weeks, too!