Author Archives: Hannah - Page 2

Hello, Family!

Luke and his roommate, Jordan, just left a couple of hours ago after spending PHC’s Fall Break with us. Liesl spent every spare minute with all of us as well, and we had a really fun, relaxing visit together. There was lots of coffee, music, cooking, and conversation. 🙂 It was so nice, and we had a fun time celebrating Luke’s birthday on Sunday, too.

Our baby is getting bigger. I can tell because I am getting bigger. Isaac and I bought just a few maternity items on a “shopping date” a couple weekends ago, and after wearing the items for just a day I realized how brilliant the invention of maternity clothing actually is. I went back on Friday and bought several more shirts and some jeans that accommodate our growing child, and it is so exciting and satisfying to wear them! 🙂 Also, I have started to feel kicks within the last week (baby is kicking as I write!), and we will find out if he or she is a he or a she two weeks from today!

One huge answer to prayer is that not only am I feeling much, much better, but I am also getting significantly more on top of the house work. There is a sweet 12-year-old girl who lives down the street and goes to a PCA church about a half hour away but comes with her mom to our church’s women’s Bible study (which is going through A Mouth Like His!). After I mentioned during prayer requests one week how hard of a time I was having getting our home back in order after feeling sick for three months and how the dishes were especially difficult, she called and asked if she could come over sometime to help me wash dishes. I was so encouraged by her kind offer, and when she did come over, she stayed more than two hours and basically saved our kitchen! Since then, things have been better, and we’ve even gone to bed most nights with a clear table and a clean stove! The rest of the apartment is coming along, too.

We have really appreciated everyone’s recent updates on here, and we can hardly wait to see Mom and Dad, Luke, Liesl, Elsie and Elaina, the Harrisburg Hakes, and whoever else can come at Thanksgiving in just a few weeks!

Love, Hannah

Dad and Mom, the video and article were beautiful–thank you for sharing them with all of us! Also, congratulations on gaining another boy, Poortengas! How exciting to have TWO brothers! I love the extra-excited look on Micah’s face in the pictures. And it looks like you had a fun and memorable trip out west; the detailed accounts of each day were so fun to read!

Isaac and I are doing pretty well these days. More of the leaves are changing here, and we’ve had some beautiful weather lately. Isaac is spending 3 nights a week and all of Saturday mornings leading a small team of middle and high school boys (mostly homeschoolers) in a robotics competition. None of them have had any experience whatsoever with robots… and it’s taking a lot more time than anyone originally thought. Isaac’s a trooper, though, and is doing a great job. Harder than figuring out all the complexities of building a robot in six weeks has been the challenge of keeping the boys engaged and on task. 🙂

Truefit has changed its plans once again, and the company will now be moving in December (it was going to be this month or possibly November). We’re glad the long commute won’t start for a few more months, although that gives us a little less time to feel out the company on whether or not they’ll be happy for Isaac to work from home enough to allow us to stay in Grove City longer-term. We would appreciate prayer for wisdom about all of that. (I’m especially anxious to have things a little bit settled before the baby comes.)

Speaking of Baby Bump, he or she seems to be doing well. I will be 14 weeks on Sunday and have finally started to get some of my energy back. One prayer request for me is that I will be able to eat enough and gain a pound a week throughout the rest of the pregnancy. I lost a few pounds during the first few months because I have trouble eating enough when I feel sick. It seems a little overwhelming to go from barely being able to eat a few small meals a day to eating beyond my normal amount to gain weight. To help with that, the doctor gave me some anti-nausea medicine which seems to make a difference (I’m out of it for a few days, though), but it’s still hard right now. Hopefully in a few weeks it won’t be a problem…

Despite the slightly foggy state of my brain (or perhaps because of it), something recently has made me crave books that make me think harder. I finished The Discarded Image by C.S. Lewis a few days ago. It’s very good and corresponded well to one of my favorite history courses I took at Grove City. It is about the Medieval Model of the Universe, which of course touches every aspect of life, or nearly every aspect. I think it was Lewis’s last book. I also read Looking for God in Harry Potter, which I found helpful. Both books leave the reader with some interesting stuff on which to chew. Isaac and I have also, little by little, been listening to The Fellowship of the Ring together–in the car, at night before we go to bed, and other random times. That’s been really nice; I’ve only read the trilogy once before, and it’s our first time reading it together.

I should go and straighten up because Mom and the two E’s are stopping by briefly in a little bit while they’re in town to whisk Liesl away for a weekend at home. 🙂 Thinking of you all!

Love, Hannah

Baby Picture!

Jessica, those stories are so funny! I am trying to imagine what I would have done if I had been in your situation with the plumber, and I just can’t. Also, the TN property looks very pretty; the pond is my favorite part from the pictures. 

And speaking of pictures, we finally have one to post of our baby! This is from our first ultrasound, which was yesterday:

Ultrasound 1 best picture

They gave us three pictures, but this one is the clearest and the only one in which you can see his or her profile. The blob above the chest is at least one hand, but maybe both of them. Baby Bump was waving, somersaulting, rolling, and bouncing during the ultrasound; it was so amazing to see! And we got to see and hear the heartbeat yesterday, too! 🙂

Seeing the baby on the ultrasound definitely ranks up there as one of the best moments of my life so far, so it almost seems silly to mention anything else. We have, however, been doing other things besides baby stuff. We went camping last Friday night, just for one night, and got to use the cool double sleeping bag that Jesse and Elizabeth gave us for our wedding (it was perfectly warm and cozy). We camped at Oil Creek State Park, which is a pretty area about an hour from us that was the site of the first oil boom towns in the country, or perhaps in the world. The first commercial oil wells were drilled there, and throughout the park, a few remnants of the industry and the towns that sprung up around it remain. There are a few little boardwalks along what used to be the busy, muddy streets with historical information posted alongside. It is strange and hard to believe that such a lovely, natural area used to be several ugly, rather ungodly oil towns. It was a nice place to camp.

I recently read The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G.K. Chesterton, which I received for my birthday. It has eight short stories, all interesting and quirky in Chesterton’s way. Very fun and relaxing. 


Isaac has been working extra hard lately, both on regular work and as the leader of a robotics competition team of high school boys. That takes up three week nights and Saturday mornings, which Isaac says may still not be enough. It will end in about a month, and I think we’ll both be glad when it’s over. 🙂

Also, Isaac’s company changed its moving plans again. Now they will be moving to Pittsburgh sometime next month. Please pray that it will truly work well–on our end and their end–for Isaac to work from home 3 days a week! Otherwise we’ll have to move in a year or two, which we are loathe to do. 

Hope you all are doing well! Are those of you living in the South getting any autumn weather yet? Love, Hannah

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

You are a wonderful sister-in-law, and I hope you have a wonderful year. 🙂

Well, for me this past week has been a combination of quiet, tired, queasy days punctuated by some big, exciting events.

Last Saturday, we joined a bunch of friends from church in helping our pastor’s family move in to their new house, just a couple blocks from us! It is the first house they have ever bought, and it fits them much better than the house the rented for their first year and a half in Grove City. (They have 4 kids.) It was fun to watch the men move the furniture and to help unpack boxes; I unpacked their six-year-old daughter’s room and helped her put up cute wall decals that matched her bedspread. That was particularly satisfying since she’d been sharing a non-girly room with two of her three older brothers since they moved here. 🙂 After we’d been working for several hours, I sat down (collapsed) on one of their couches and fell asleep. Christina, our pastor’s wife, said it must have been from the Sudafed I’d taken because of some powerful allergen in their upstairs; I barely kept myself from telling her it was more likely due to pregnancy… Sunday, though, we gave the elder who did the announcements a special one from us, so the whole church knows about our little Baby Bump now! The excitement and support everyone has expressed to us makes me feel how well we are loved! (They even clapped when the news was announced–a big deal in our traditional, subdued little OPC church!)

Tuesday night we had another of our bigger events of the week–probably the biggest for me, physically speaking. I had to get blood drawn for routine testing about the baby, so we found the closest in-network lab, which closed at 7pm. Isaac rushed home from work, picked me up, and got us over there by about 6:35, and the lady at the desk, who also happened to be the lab technician, said we were cutting it pretty close, but that they would still be able to get me in. Then she asked me how I did with blood work. I told her that it was possible that I might faint. “Oh, don’t say that,” she said, “You’ll be fine. Plus, I’m good!” I, however, felt pretty nervous, and on top of that, I hadn’t eaten or drunk much all day because of my “morning” sickness. Anyway, as soon as she stuck the needle in, I passed out, big time. According to Isaac, the tech, Melissa, said “oh, she’s going” and then “oh, she went.” Also, Isaac says, I didn’t look like someone fainting in a movie who just goes limp; apparently what I did look like was pretty scary.

It took me over an hour to recover enough to give my blood, and poor Melissa and Mindy (another tech that Melissa called for extra help) got in about an hour and a half of overtime. They were some of the nicest medical personnel I’ve ever met; they were really patient, plus they said that they wanted to get the blood drawn that night so I wouldn’t have to come back another day, having had lots of time to worry about it. Isaac was what you’d call a “regular brick” throughout the whole experience (Melissa and Mindy told me not to ever get any blood work done without his being there), and he took me to Arby’s for a milkshake and dinner afterward. He is so great.

The other, most exciting event of the week was Wednesday night through Thursday when Mom, Luke, Liesl, Elsie, and Elaina came to move Liesl in to Grove City College. It was absolutely wonderful to see everyone! And although it was hard to see and know a little bit of how difficult it was for Liesl to have to say goodbye and for the others to drive home without her, it was still delightful to help move such a dear sister-in-law in to a place I know so well and love so much. (I probably bordered on too peppy, although I tried to tone myself down.) Isaac took the morning off to help, and in the afternoon, while Liesl was in some student orientation meetings, Mom, Luke, the girls, and I went on a big, fun Walmart run to get things to make Liesl’s room more cozy (plus some other stuff she needed). Afterward, we all worked to get the room set up nice and home-y. Luke, in some amazing climbing moves reminiscent of Kevin Hake painting in the Kansas house, hung white Christmas lights around almost the entire perimeter of the ceiling after having built a bookshelf. We were all (minus Isaac) able to pray in the chapel before Liesl went to hall dinner and we left to get the other WV Hakes packed up and sent off.

Anyway, we are so excited to have Liesl just one mile away! It will be lovely to have her for as long as she is here.

Please pray for me as I continue to deal with feeling sick; the hardest part is feeling hungry and thirsty and yet feeling strong aversions to most food and drink so much of the time.

That’s the news for the week from Grove City! We love you all so much!

Trips and Trips

Dear Family,

First of all, congratulations to the Radmans on the safe arrival of Noel! We can hardly wait to meet her in August! Thank you for sharing the pictures and the video; Judah and Sienna are so cute with their new little sister. 🙂

We are so glad that all of you are back in the USA, safe and sound. We can hardly wait to see you!

Dad, thanks for posting your story; it was quite encouraging.

Isaac and I have had two trips since the Oak Island Expedition, and we have several more scheduled for the rest of the summer. Our anniversary trip to Colonial Williamsburg was simply lovely; though we tried to pack a week’s worth of sightseeing into one weekend, we felt refreshed by the time away together. We stayed in one of the historic taverns right in the middle of things, in a pretty room with a canopied, curtained bed, window shades in the authentic style of the eighteenth century, and a fireplace. And some very anachronistic, very cold air conditioning. Our stay included breakfast both mornings at the Williamsburg Inn, which turned out to be a really fancy resort-type hotel where you could get crab meat in your omelets and where the waiters pulled out your chairs for you. We did not get crab meat in our omelets, but we did enjoy our pancakes, eggs, bacon, and tea. (Well, Isaac actually had coffee.) During the day, we visited all the big important historic sites (governor’s palace, magazine, capitol, courthouse, gaol) and lots of less-important but equally interesting and fun places (historic houses, trade shops, art museum/insane asylum, etc.). There were many beautiful gardens, too. My favorite part of the tourism was probably seeing the insides of the houses, and one of Isaac’s favorite parts was the cabinetmaker’s shop, where they make beautiful furniture using 18th century tools and methods. The tradespeople in Colonial Williamsburg actually work there for their full-time jobs, and they have to go through several years of apprenticeship in order to get jobs there. Both evenings we dined at historic taverns (there are four or five taverns that are now restaurants, and several more that are used as hotels, and maybe one or two that are set up for tours), where the servers wore period clothing and where musicians walked around with historically accurate instruments playing period melodies for the guests. Eating in those taverns felt sort of earthy or gritty and fancy at the same time, in a very pleasant way.

The last day of our trip was Sunday the 22nd, our actual anniversary. We worshiped at Bruton Parish Church, the historic Anglican (now Episcopal) congregation that was established in Williamsburg in the early to mid 1700s (maybe 1750s?), and in the late afternoon after touring several more places in town, we went to site of the Jamestown settlement from the early 1600s (earliest permanent English settlement in the New World). Jamestown was quite interesting, and it was much more solemn than Williamsburg and a bit eerie. The archaeological museum was fascinating, but it emphasized the hardships of life for the settlers and the extremely low survival rate. From Jamestown we left for home and finished the Warden and the Wolf King on the way.

The following weekend we drove down to NC to visit my side of our family. We drove to Charlotte on Saturday, worshiped with my parents and siblings at their church on Sunday, and then drove with my grandparents to Ocean Isle Beach, NC, that afternoon (Ocean Isle is just a few islands closer to SC than Oak Island). My mom’s parents have a beach house on the island a few blocks from shore for the family to use, so I have gone there almost every summer for as long as I can remember. Although Isaac had to work Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday, and had to go to a local library to find wifi, it was fun to show him so many of our favorite Ocean Isle trip traditions: mini golf at the African-animal themed put put place on the island, the pier with lots of fishermen of all kinds, cherry toaster strudels for breakfast, a crazy-huge gift shop my siblings and I used to beg to go to after dinner at one of our favorite local seafood restaurants, and the beach itself, among many other things. We didn’t make it to the Museum of Coastal Carolina, though, which we almost always go to, because we left on Thursday to escape tropical storm Arthur. Fortunately for my grandparents’ beach house, the storm didn’t hit Ocean Isle very hard, but because we weren’t sure what would happen, we went back to Charlotte for one night. That broke up our return trip nicely and allowed us to meet my sister’s new dog, named Charlotte. Despite Isaac’s having to work and our having to cut the beach part of the trip short, we had a really good, meaningful time with family, especially with my siblings. As we drove back up to Grove City on Friday, July 4th, we saw bits of so many fireworks shows; sometimes we could see 3 or 4 different displays at once! Normally I prefer to sit in one place and watch one show all the way through, but driving past so many in such a short amount of time as we hurtled toward home was a neat experience.

The Saturday following the Friday we got back to Grove City, we slept in and drove in the afternoon to the wedding of some college friends in OH, just a couple hours away. It was a beautiful, Christ-centered wedding, and for the first time since Annie and Zachary Simmons’s wedding in 2011, we could enjoy being together at a wedding that neither of us was in.

That was last Saturday, and it sure was nice to be back at our church on Sunday. This week we’ve just been getting back into the swing of things. I’ve been cleaning–we can walk in our bedroom closet again, and there are currently no dirty dishes in the house! Now that we’ve finished Andrew Peterson’s latest book, we’re back to reading Captain from Castile. Also, tonight we went to a friend’s house to eat rabbit.

Other than that we haven’t been doing too much. 🙂 Praying for Katie’s nausea and of course for Mom and all the rest of you. I (we) love you all so much! -Hannah

Great battle pictures!

It was an epic fight. Even if you weren’t there, you can tell it was epic from the fierce faces of the warriors in those thrilling photos.

We’re enjoying the warm weather here in the usually-rainy Grove City, and it was nice to worship with our church yesterday after being gone the week before. We spent the whole day with church family, from the time we got to Sunday School, through morning service and lunch/all afternoon at our pastor’s house, until 9pm when we finally left the church building after evening service. It was a refreshing, restful day.

On Saturday, we decided what to do for our anniversary weekend: we’re going to Colonial Williamsburg! Neither of us has ever been there. We are really looking forward to it. 🙂

Some of our recent challenges (apart from Mom’s situation, which is our biggest, hardest hard thing) have been that some of our close friends are going through really difficult relationship and life situations: one friend in particular as a result of bad, harmful choices, and also my close friend and prayer partner, Krista, who is living godly but just experiencing some really hard things.

I’m beginning to realize that prayer is not just a bunch of little (or big) requests for which you are trying to get answers but is a way of life that continually teaches you to know and trust God better in all the details. Have you (being praying people) also found that to be the case?

Anyway, we are praying for all of you in each of your current challenges, but especially for Mom, for Aunt Patrice, for Luke, Liesl, & co., and for Becky & Baby.

Love, Hannah

Hello to you, too, Caelyn!

It’s so nice to hear from everyone. 🙂 All the outside time at the Poortengas’ sounds delightful–wish I could Apparate down there for a quick visit! (Speaking of Apparating, I just saw at the Post Office today that there are some special edition Harry Potter stamps available–fun, although also funny to have stamps of such British stories.)

Isaac and I just found out last night that his company is for sure moving to Pittsburgh, but we (and they) aren’t sure exactly when or where. It sounds like they will be pretty flexible as far as employees working more from home, at least for a while. And we will probably stay in Grove City for at least a year after they move, so we may have a while yet before we have to make a transition. God is giving me more peace about the whole situation, too. Whatever happens, though, we will likely have to make some big decisions within the next year or two about moving and jobs, so we would appreciate prayers for wisdom and for continued peace.

I finished sewing a valance for Isaac’s office window today, and he said he “loves it”! 🙂 I didn’t have to fight the sewing machine quite so much this time around, either… bathroom and kitchen valances are up next. I am learning more and more to appreciate working with my hands around the house. A lot of days I think of that verse that’s hanging up in the guest room in Mom and Dad’s house that talks about the boundary lines being drawn in pleasant places.

Today it has rained steadily all day, but yesterday it was sunny. My friend Krista (the one I pray with every week) and I took a walk and enjoyed swinging at a little playground right around the corner. She and I have also recently discovered a delicious, not-too-expensive, old-fashioned homemade ice cream shop in the next town over from Grove City. We’ve been there twice and will probably go a lot this summer. One other nice little thing in our lives right now (or mine, anyway) is the world of house plants. I seem to acquire them left and right (mostly on my weekly shopping trips, when Aldi or County Market, our local grocery store, has nice ones for five or six dollars… they’re hard to resist). I’ll try to post some pictures of those and of the new curtain in Isaac’s office.

We love you guys, and we will keep praying for all of you. We are especially praying for Mom, Liesl (and Emily!), and the Canadian Kevin Hakes.

Our quiet and uneventful life just might go out the window

We found out a couple Fridays ago that Isaac’s company might move from Cranberry Twp to downtown Pittsburgh, possibly sometime this year. That would change his commute from 45 minutes each way to about 75 minutes each way, so it would mean we would have to move just far enough south to be too far from Grove City to stay at our church and in the community we know and love so much. We are praying that they’ll decide not to move (it’s still very up-in-the-air), but knowing it’s a possibility is hard. I in particular am having one of those “I know I should trust God, but it’s really hard” times. As of right now, we have no timeline for when they will make the decision or of how informed they will keep the employees, so we’ve got a bit of an ambiguous waiting time on our hands.

Other than that, things are relatively quiet and uneventful. 🙂 We got to see my aunt and uncle who are missionaries in Ethiopia (and South Sudan, sometimes) this weekend along with a bunch of other family from my dad’s side because my aunt and uncle are on a short furlough for meetings here in the States. We had a big Ethiopian dinner at which we got to meet a lady who grew up with my dad and his siblings at boarding school in Addis Ababa. One of my aunts even got out a yearbook from my dad’s junior year of high school. It was fun to look at that and hear stories from their growing-up years I’d never heard before. There was a picture in one section (social life, maybe?) of a student feeding raw meat to one of the hyenas that lived in and around the school compound, and I thought of Elizabeth’s stories of that weird zoo.

Among other recent happenings, Isaac will be in two weddings this summer: He’ll be a groomsman in Michael Duryea’s wedding on August 9 somewhere in Kansas (we’ll have to fly out of D.C., probably, since we’ll be with you all at the family reunion), and then he’s going to be the best man in Ben Brown’s wedding in the Harrisburg area on my birthday, August 30. They were both in our wedding, and we’re excited for them and their fiancees!

We are praying for all your crazy lives. How can there be so much craziness in one family??? Love you, Hannah

I also loved your post, Jessica. :)

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a blog post since Nessa and Tobin’s descriptions of Dick and Frick. Does Orlando have a specific kind of insect in mind? 🙂 Seriously, thank all of you parents for sharing kid stories… I don’t want to say something as cliche as “they warm my heart,” but something along those lines is definitely true. The stories make me feel happy and even more thankful for such wonderful nieces and nephews, and they make me look forward to the time when Isaac and I will have kids.

Speaking of funny stories… yesterday afternoon Isaac and I took a nap and forgot to set alarms. We normally attend the evening service at our church at 6pm, but we didn’t wake up from our nap until 6:44. When I realized what had happened, I got up and started confusedly getting ready for church in case we decided to go and catch the end of the sermon and asking Isaac what we were going to do. At first he just grunted, which he often does in the mornings when he understands me but isn’t awake enough to form words. Then he said, “what are we trying to save?” I asked him what he meant. “What are we trying to zoom in on?” he asked. “What are you talking about?” I asked him, laughing a little because I thought I’d heard incorrectly. He responded somewhat unintelligibly, again saying something about trying to save something. I then re-explained, twice, that we normally go to evening church at 6, that it was now a quarter til 7, and that I was trying to figure out what we were going to do. He finally woke up enough to tell me that he’d been talking about a situation with a lot of elephants and a lot of ice; he’d thought we were trying to save the elephants from being stuck in the ice and that he knew I would be mad if we just left them there. We didn’t go to the end of church. 🙂

We had a nice visit with my friend Caroline last week. She flew up on Tuesday and back to Atlanta on Saturday. I took her to a lot of local shops, we baked bread together (which she had never done), and we went out to eat at our favorite local brewery. She also came to a potluck, bacon-themed dinner with some of our recent grad and college student friends. She and I grew up together in Georgia, and it was nice to have her come experience this next stage of my life and get to know Isaac a little bit.

Isaac has recently joined a group of men from our church who gather at the local coffee shop every Wednesday morning to read Calvin’s Institutes out loud together from 7 to 8, and just this morning he met for the first time with a man from church with whom he will meet regularly for mentoring and discipleship. I’m really excited for Isaac about these things, because while I have had a lot of good and regular fellowship with women recently, he has not gotten to spend much time with other men. I’m praying that the group and the mentor will be really encouraging and helpful to him. 🙂

We are looking forward to spring! It’s still fairly cold here, but the sun’s been out a lot more recently, and most of the snow has melted. Hope you all have a sunny day today, too!

Love, Hannah

Isaac and I just finished up a nice, not-too-crazy week. We even said “no” to a hike and dinner with friends on Saturday so we could spend a quiet, productive day at home. (Big step for us; it’s hard to say “no.”) I finished Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea on Librivox and have been listening to some fun children’s fantasy by E. Nesbit (The Book of Dragons and The Magic City). Despite being a founding (?) member of the socialist Fabian Society, she wrote charming and creative children’s stories; I am quite enjoying them.

We spent a nice afternoon at our pastor’s house with his family and another couple yesterday. We are so thankful for such a wonderful pastor with such a great family; they bring such healing, encouraging grace and joy to our church after so much hurt. Also, at the evening service last night, our friend Michael Duryea (a groomsman in our wedding, getting a masters in conducting sacred choral music at Notre Dame) walked in during a hymn, totally out of the blue. Isaac dropped the hymnal, and Michael is now staying with us for a couple nights. So fun! We hadn’t seen him since our wedding. Also, my friend Caroline (from Atlanta, bridesmaid in our wedding) is flying up tomorrow to stay the rest of the week with us for her spring break. It’s going to be quite a week! 🙂

It’s good to hear what nice times the WV Hakes got to have with the Poortengas and the Harrisburg Hakes! Hope Mom feels better soon! Love, Hannah