Author Archives: Isaac

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!

Thanking God for Elsa

Hello dear family! Sorry it’s taken so long to get pictures online. I’ve made many attempts since Thursday.

After twenty-five hours of labor at home, Hannah and I left for the Butler Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night.  When we arrived, Hannah was pale and slow, but so composed that the nurse who initially checked her suspected she’d have to send us home. She was 8cm, however, so they began preparing for delivery. A second laboring mother—equally far along—arrived just after us. Laurie Powell, the nurse-midwife on call that evening, delivered both babies—theirs, born at 1:08, and ours at 1:09. It was strange standing there, holding Hannah’s leg back, watching her push with quiet grunts while listening to the screams of a laboring woman emanate throughout the room. If they’d sounded a little more like Hannah, I’d have wondered if they emanated from deep within her on their own.


God gave Hannah the strength to give birth without an epidural—something we’d both been praying for, and Hannah greatly wished to do, but doubted she could. She did splendidly. Laurie—who we were told gives no undue compliments—told a nurse the following day, “She did well. In fact, we should have taken a video of her delivery to use as an example how it should be done.”

We received our first visitor that afternoon, who braved unknown roads in a squeaky, borrowed car to meet little Elsa, and welcome her into the bright, colorful world with these tulips. It was hard to see her drive away into the night all alone that evening in that rickety car.

Hannah’s family arrived shortly after Liesl, straight from their home in Charlotte, and got a chance to see their first grandbaby/niece.

We spent the next day and couple nights in the hospital with Elsa trying to figure out breastfeeding and attempting to catch some sleep between all the midnight temperature checks, blood tests, and lengthy urinary rituals.

I took one trip back to Grove City on Friday afternoon to move some furniture from our apartment to our empty house to make room for the baby. (The kitchen in our new house reminds me of The Prisoner of Azkaban. It looks like Serius Black broke in and raked his claws all over our wallpaper paintings. The tatters are everywhere.)

Hannah and I drove home Saturday afternoon, after a painfully slow discharge process, to find our apartment cleaned and decorated by Hannah’s family. We visited with them for the remainder of the day and enjoyed our first night home alone together as a family that night. It’s so good to be home.

Roy, Mary, and Matthew left yesterday. Mom Britton is staying with us—in the Lauers’ school room downstairs—for all of this week. She’s been taking good care of all three of us.

Happy belated birthday, Becky! I’d wondered if Elsa would be pokey enough to share a birthday with you, but she didn’t quite make it!

I’m about to start the process of catching up on the boatload of voicemails, emails, snail mails, voxes, texts, and packages we’ve received, but haven’t had a chance to peruse. Thank you very much for the ones that are from you all! 🙂

Hannah is sitting across the room from me holding a sleeping Elsa and weeping for joy. We’re so thankful to God for His good gift. We can’t wait for all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to meet her.


Say hello to the Villa Caprice!

Thank you all for your prayers about the house. Everything did go smoothly. Hannah and I are quite excited and are looking forward with great joy to the far more exciting event coming any day.



Family photos

Been meaning to share these with you all… . I borrowed the frame from Rivendell so I could get some high-quality scans.


Also been meaning to share these with you all… a glimpse of Truefit’s new office in the Union Trust Building in downtown Pittsburgh.



Birthdays and Pantries

Hello all,

Thank you for the birthday posts and emails! I appreciated them all.

So sorry to hear about Liesl! We’ll be praying for you, Goo, and hope you’ll be mostly recovered by Sunday for the drive back up. We’ve missed having you up here. 🙂

Hannah got up early yesterday and fried me a tasty sausage omelette, which I savored before venturing out into the sub-zero temperatures to catch the New Castle Transit that takes me down to Pittsburgh. On my ride down, I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Marty–a retired Vietnam war vet who lives in Pittsburgh with his grandkids, cares for his mother in New Castle, and eeks the largest wounded military vet pension he can from the government in his spare time. (Bus rides are a more adventurous way to get to work than cars.)

Hannah, Chicken Marbella, and Grandma’s apple cake greeted me on my return. We were just sitting down for dinner when we were interrupted by a knock on the door. A friend of ours had misread an email from Hannah about a future event and came to our apartment expecting to find a bunch of people and a party. He joined us for dinner and cake. It changed the flavor of the evening, but we had a pleasant time catching up.

In other news, Hannah and I spent this past Saturday renovating the apartment pantry–a fun project, and a bit more of a novelty for us than for it would have been for most of you. Half the challenge was figuring out how to cut and paint all our shelves without leaving the warmth of our little apartment. The kitchen turned into a workshop, the bedroom and stairs into painting areas, and the living-room into a hazardous stockpile of food, building supplies, and kitchen chairs.

Hannah babysat Zeke, her cousin’s baby, in the middle of it all while the rest of the family attended a wedding ceremony in Harbison Chapel. After the ceremony, they all piled into to our apartment to use the restroom while I dashed about trying to keep their unusually-bumbling little girls (Their father noted that attribute himself.) from knocking over stacks of lumber, bumping into teetering piles tin cans, or smearing their dainty blue dresses on our freshly painted shelves lining both sides of the stairwell. We had a number of close calls in the few minutes they stayed.

One more painting story. After a few more hours of painting and assembling, Hannah and I decided our project required a second can of paint. I ran the errand while Hannah continued to paint. The young lady in the paint section at Wal-Mart seemed flustered when I got there. Her co-worker had just abandoned her suddenly for a late lunch break. She mixed my paints, handed them to me, but apparently forgot to hammer the lids back down after pulling out a sample. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this blunder until I was almost back to the cash register. An elderly man glanced at me as we passed eachother quipped as he walked by, “Hey buddy, you’re leakin’ paint.” I looked down and discovered a little paint-fall flowing from a can I’d been holding sideways. It had poured little patterns all over my jeans and boots and left a trail behind me all through the store.

It took several minutes for the employees to figure out what to do, and by the time they had, despite my efforts to ward off passers-by, the paint was tracked in in a number of different directions throughout the store. Eventually, several employees set to work attempting to clean up the mess, but by then a good deal of the paint had dried, and they gave up, saying that the paint would have to stay until they stripped the floor. In the meantime, they refunded my paint, and offered to pay for my clothes. I took them up on the pants, since they were one of my few nice ones, and walked out with free paint and a $50 gift card. Best deal I’ve ever gotten at Wal-Mart!

Below are a few pictures of the process and final product. We should have gotten a “before” shot of the little shelves that used to be in there, but weren’t thinking about documentation then. Oh well. There’s a good bit more shelf space with the new layout, which we greatly needed–as you can tell.

Praying for Wade and Jo–and all of you!


IMG_1953 IMG_1955 IMG_1956 IMG_1960 IMG_1965 IMG_1966 IMG_1967 IMG_1969 IMG_1971 IMG_1972 IMG_1978 IMG_1981



Hake Family Slideshow Revisited

This week Dad and I revived Mom’s “grandchildren” slideshow and gave it a significant face-lift. In addition to the physical improvements, I took the opportunity to change things around on the virtual side as well. I thought–since we’re going to the trouble of uploading pictures anyway–it would be fun to have them in a place where we can all see them and access them easily. To that end, I’ve set up the slideshow on the blog (available in the tab above this post) for all of us to enjoy, and created a little video demonstrating how to upload your own contributions. We may have to make some changes down the road if our photo collection gets too massive, but we’ll cross that river when we fall in. Hope you all enjoy it!



Me name’s Orlando Hake. I’ve had a chocolate crash, and it’s nobody’s fault but me own!

Happy birthday, Katie!!!

We love you dearly, and rejoice that God gave you to us as a sister in our family and in the Lord. You are wonderful!

Isaac and Hannah

Happy birthday, Luke! You are a wonderful brother and we love you lots.

And happy belated birthday to Judah and Sienna as well! So many birthdays! We were thinking of you two little sibling-offspring on your birthdays. 🙂

It’s been an unusually full week up here Grove City. I stayed up into the wee hours with Hannah on Monday while she finished up a paper–first time I’ve done that in a long time (not like me, I know). On Tuesday we attended a GCC performance of Les Mis, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and returned to campus again on Wednesday for a concert featuring Julie Fowlis–a well-known singer and official ambassador of Scottish-Gaelic culture (she wrote some music for Pixar’s Brave). She surprised us with a lively bagpipe performance after pretending to leave the stage. On Thursday and Friday Hannah had exams in Modern Civilization and Calculus respectively (Hannah thinks she probably passed her calculus exam! Thank you for your prayers about that.) And on Friday, Hannah cooked a great jelly-roll pan of granola bars, which we brought with us to the Youth Rally at Covenant OPC.

There was a good deal of upheaval at work this week as well. T r u e F i t ended up laying off six of their employees–a lot for a company of forty. Five of them were software engineers and I knew them all to some degree. A few had been working here for over ten years (one nearly twenty.) There’s been a dip in the market recently as far as development work goes, and that–combined with the slow recovery from an acquisition of a small user experience research and design firm they made in May–made it necessary to make some cuts. I’m thankful I still have a job!

Love you all!

Isaac and Hannah

Liesl’s Highschool Graduation Video

Mainly for the Kevins, if they’d like to see it.

Here it is.