Category Archives: Uncategorized - Page 2

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!

A Hard Day’s Night and Happy Birthday to Elizabeth!


hard day’s night 2

Is it even sensible to wish a happy birthday to someone who is working two full time jobs simultaneously?

I don’t know if it’s sensible but I do very much wish you happiness, Elizabeth! May God grant you a little rest on your birthday, grace and strength to get through the next few weeks, and joy in your new job and the new life before you in this coming year.

What an explosion of creative forces God put into action when He brought you forth on this day ” a few years ago” ! We are all blessed through you. We are so thankful for you, Elizabeth, and love you so much.

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY even in the midst of your crazy hard day’s night!

Rivendell Reunion

The Place

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A Few of all the Precious People
















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Treasured Classics








Quiet Moments





A Family

 A picture of the mysterious wonderful eternal

Body of Christ,

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He who began a good work in us will complete it…     Pressing On….

God is so good.


Photo looks great!

Enjoyed your two posts, Kevin.  It was funny and very last minutes that Elaina came along.  Entirely her idea!  She was super sweet and helpful.  And very sweet, too, on the long ride back.  We got back about ten and I heard this wild music.  I traced it to the basement, and Faye, Luke, Liesl, and Elsie were just beginning to watch McFarland (second time for us).  So Elaina and I settled down and joined them.  I liked it even better the second time.

The horse camp went really well.  I think all the kids really enjoyed it, and Faye, Luke, and Liesl really enjoyed their part of it, though they were very ready for the relative quiet of our home after those two, wonderful weeks.  I made the most of my week at home by really focusing and getting things done at PHC.

I preached this morning at New Hope and baptized three more Beaty children (Niko and Christianna now that they are both fully and finally adopted) and Ayala Shalom (with a big bow in her hair).  Quite a saga, and pretty amazing. The Howard kids sang a couple really beautiful songs during offering and prelude.  And Abby Messinger came.  Luke took her out to the Thai restaurant for lunch and they are both here for dinner tonight, so that’s really fun.

Faye was supposed to begin her third type of medicine yesterday, but I think she is actually beginning today.  Please pray!

Last night during a wakeful time I thought about the verse, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it to the glory of God.”  I wondered what “sleeping to the glory of God” would involve.  God never sleeps, and does not need to.  He has created us to need sleep, just as we need food.  There will be no night in heaven–will we not need to sleep?  There were “evenings and mornings” before the fall, and God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep when He took his rib out to make Eve.  Did Adam and Eve sleep before the fall?  I think so.

In any case, it seems to me to sleep to God’s glory involves being thankful that He promises to watch over us while we sleep, that indeed He is the one who gives the gift of sleep (Psalm 127:2).  It is an opportunity to obey, quite literally, the command to “be still and know that He is God.”  And to express our grateful faith by banishing all fear and anxiety, indeed all thought and concern, and giving ourselves up to Him completely in sleep.  These thoughts, and others like them, were helpful to me.  They are kind of an extension of what I shared Saturday night.

Life is full.  Overwhelming sometimes.  But good, because God is good.  We need each other so much!  Pray and never lose heart!

Joel and Katie have potentially good news on the house across the street.  They are willing to sell it “as is” at a very reasonable price.  Please pray as inspections are done, and the bank and Poortengas make final decisions.  Guide, Lord! We give this to You!

Thanks for updating the photo, Isaac! Looks great!

I trust those of you who have had a childless or childlesser week have enjoyed yours as much as Jess and I have. Thanks, Mom, Dad, Luke and Liesl! We’re super excited to see our kids later today but we enjoyed the quiet evenings and clean house while it lasted…

Radmans, how’d your trip back go? Have you guys recovered your equilibrium a little?

Our Florida renters, who have been there forever, have been struggling the last year or so and I just got an e-mail saying they can’t pay the rent they’re behind on and are moving out. 🙁 This renting business is for the birds. I have to talk to lawyer next week about our NC foreclosure anyway, so I’ll look at what makes the most sense for the FL place. We’ll probably wind up doing a short sale or letting that one foreclose too. That will be the last of our upside down properties and our penultimate mortgage.

I better go make breakfast. Work is calling and Jess needs to finish getting packed for her trip to get the kids. We enjoyed seeing everyone and the time at Rivendell North. You’re a pretty great bunch.

Nice to hear an update from the north PA Hakes. And rumors of Poortengas moving and south PA Hakes making progress in that direction. And we’re also excited about the family reunion wherever it winds up taking place.

This is our first day back to real life after our week in Thomaston at Be In Health. It was an amazing, refreshing, challenging week of learning, crying and eating blueberries (the lady whose house we stayed in had wonderful, enormous bushes in her yard). Sadie announced loudly to the neighborhood as I was feeding the goats when we got back “Mommy just pooped and she didn’t take any pills!” That’s our own mini-miracle right there. And she’s been keeping it up since we got back. We have hope again that the other, less immediate, issues will also clear up and we can regroup a little on other plans. Jess is already planning a trip back for one of their week long walk out sessions once the kids are back in school and her dad can come stay with us a week to watch the kids in the afternoons before I get off work. We fit so well into that community, we feel like we’re on a high (much better than weed) the whole time we’re there and for a few weeks after we get home. We’re seriously considering doing a gap year there when we’re done with the TN building project but before we move to the farm full time.

Our doe is starting to fill out a little around the middle so we’re hopeful that she’s expecting. It’s so miserably hot it’s hard to imagine being pregnant outside right now, but by the time she’s waddling it should have cooled off some. I’ve got my seedlings well underway for the late summer garden. Counting the days till September when I can apply my first fully cured poop compost. I finally got a load of 1400 lbs of agricultural lime in our new trailer and got that spread just before we left for Thomaston. That should start making a difference in a couple of months in what will grow in our yard.

Saturday was a birthday mania all day. It was tiring to be mostly out in the hot all day at various parties but it was nice to meet some new neighbors and develop some of the relationships in this neighborhood. We’re having one of the families over for cobb oven pizza on Thursday. They have three little girls and chickens and go to an Assemblies of God church.

Jess has been out all day at Back Yard Bible clubs and helping out a friend who had surgery last week with her kids and meal planning. She should be home soon so I better go get the beef off the grill. She probably won’t let me publish this with the poop comment if I wait…

Question from Dad …

I just sent this also via email, but wanted to put it up here as well:

Faye and I would like to ask you a question.  It’s coming kinda late, and we apologize for that.  Our lives have been pretty full, but that’s no excuse.

We are wondering about having the family reunion at Rivendell North this year instead of Rivendell South.  There are several reasons for this.  Rivendell North is on the market and may be sold before we could ever do it again.  It would be an opportunity to “say goodbye” to that very unique and wonderful place.  It is also “picture perfect” at the moment:  grass manicured, plumbing and electric all works, beautiful inside and out.  It would be kinda nice to enjoy it when it’s “never been nicer.”  We would have the creek, kayaks, the go-cart, we could get hay to jump into out of the loft, etc.  We could have a lot of fun.  We could also comfortably accommodate everyone with almost no work on anyone’s part.  And meals would also be very convenient.

Joel and Katie just moved here (Rivendell South) and things are a bit “topsy turvey” at the moment.  By the same token, next summer, especially if Rivendell North sells, we plan to do some things at Rivendell South that would make the family reunion (summer 2016) better than ever.  So this summer would be a good one to “go north” in that sense also.

Kevin and Jessica, if you drove up to Rivendell South, we would really like it if we could “mix things up” for the further drive to Rivendell North, so that you and your kids could begin to enjoy fellowship with siblings, cousins, etc., even while you made that further drive.  (If that seems like a good idea to you all.)

Jesse and Elisabeth, Isaac and Hannah, Kevin and Becky—please let us know honestly what you think.  We have no idea how this would affect each of you.  You can either email me, or call.  If I don’t hear from you all pretty soon, I’ll call you.  J  It would be good to settle this either way for obvious reasons.

We love you all very much!  We are VERY EAGER to see you all SOON!

I am so thankful to have a small amount of quiet time this morning to read the Bible, eat breakfast, and (finally) write this post. Elsa is asleep, my friend Caroline hasn’t come downstairs yet, and Isaac is working upstairs in the study. I hope this post isn’t too confusing or convoluted; I haven’t got enough time to edit it!

So much has happened in the last month. After we moved, we had only two hectic weeks in our new house before we drove back down to the North Carolina coast to spend time with my family at Ocean Isle Beach. In the meantime, my grandpa Vandevort’s cancer spread quickly, and we spent all of Saturday, June 27 with him and my extended Vandevort family saying goodbye. He died peacefully on Thursday, July 2, and the funeral was yesterday. On Sunday, June 28, we drove down to the beach despite Isaac’s being a little bit sick, and that night, shortly after we arrived, I got really sick with the full-blown fever/throw-up version of whatever Isaac had. I felt better by Wednesday, and we enjoyed the time with my parents, siblings, my Yandle grandparents, and some aunts and uncles the rest of the week.

We arrived home from the beach at 3:30 am on Monday morning. We hit a ton of traffic in the Richmond and D.C. area, and we also stopped for a little while to meet up with Michael and Shaina Duryea (the friends who got married during the family reunion last summer) and to meet their son, Caspian, who is just a little younger than Elsa. Isaac got an hour and a half of sleep before he had to get up to drive in to Pittsburgh. Monday night, he picked my friend Caroline Scott up from the airport, and she will be staying until Saturday. Because of my grandpa’s funeral, my mom and siblings came up on Tuesday and will leave tomorrow. In the middle of it all, we are still trying to get some work done on the house. 🙂

We are thinking of you all, praying for everyone’s houses to sell, and looking forward to the family reunion. Glad to hear of Luke and Liesl’s safe returns and of the demise of the black snake. Love, Hannah