Merry Christmas! We’ve enjoyed 1999 and all of the changes that it’s brought with it. The biggest, which you probably all know, was our move to Kentucky at the beginning of September to take up the quite different life of a camp director. In the short time that we’ve been here, we feel right at home. The Asheville Mennonite Church sent us off lovingly and with prayer, and we’re enjoying being a part of our new church here – Buckhorn Creek Mennonite.
In May, I talked Roger into buying a piano, using the excuse that since we’d be moving soon, it wouldn’t be cluttering up our trailer for very long – and besides, we found a good deal! Needless to say, we’ve enjoyed it, although after moving it up to our second floor living room, we’ve considered looking for a new one if we ever move again. 🙂 The previous owner stopped halfway through refinishing it, so that’s a project we may tackle… someday. (Roger has also enjoyed the challenge of trying his hand at tuning it.)
A highlight of our year was going along with our Asheville youth group to the Mennonite youth convention in St. Louis. You can imagine what it was like driving 12 hours with 8 guys (2 of them green-haired), 2 couples and a baby. We had lots of laughs, made some memories, and through it all, we’ve now got some of each of them carved into our hearts.
We made an extra trip to Oklahoma towards the end of the summer due to the death of Roger’s grandma. We miss her, but somehow knowing that she was with Jesus and reunited with Grandpa lessened the grief, and helped us really enjoy the unexpected chance to be with all of the Voth family. We had been planning a family vacation to New York right about the time that Grandma Voth passed away – to see Niagara Falls and to visit Roger’s brother Greg and his wife Ellen. Although we got to see them at the funeral, we kept our plans and took the 20-hour? trek to visit them at their home in Ithaca, NY. We stopped one night on the way there and camped on the beach of Lake Eerie, where we had a blast swimming in the COLD water the next morning. We enjoyed our time with Greg and Ellen and got to visit the Corning glass museum and take a sailboat ride.
Judah has been learning all kinds of new things. This year he’s gone from calmly observing the vacuum cleaner to running in absolute terror from it (and no, I never intentionally chased him – except once when Roger tried to get it on video…) to running after the vacuum cleaner and having fun with the on/off switch. He’s gone from solely nursing to part solid foods, and finally to eating everything that we eat – except for salad and sauerkraut. He turned one September 1st, and of course we think he’s the smartest kids in the world. We keep thinking he must have music in his blood – he loves to walk around the house playing the harmonica. And when he’s getting fussy down at our neighbors’, Eldon & Ella June’s, we can usually pacify him by sitting him down at the organ where he has all kinds of buttons to push that make fascinating sounds. Recently, he spotted a box full of crumpled up paper towels in the living room. After pulling every one of them out into the floor, he walked away to find something else to do. I looked at him, jokingly, and said, “Judah, are you just going to leave those paper towels in the floor? That is so rude!” I don’t know how that little mind works, but he looked at me, walked over to the box and started putting those paper towels right back where he found them. One of his favorite games is, “Where’s Daddy?” in which he looks for daddy until he finds him behind the closet door or beside the piano, then laughs (I wish you could hear how excited he gets) and runs away as Roger chases him around the house.
We just “inherited” two playmates for our Judah-boy; a cat (Mr. Sanders) and a puppy (Asher.) He loves to go outside and play with them – when he hears “puppy,” he squeals and chatters in high pitches; sounds like Asher made when we first got him. It’s so cute to watch Asher follow Judah around; they’re both so little and unknowledgeable, but they’re both ready for any adventure that comes their way.
We all love living at camp; Roger enjoys the challenge and diversity of this job. There is so much to do, and so much responsibility that it seems kinda overwhelming. But I think that is a good place to be in; that way we are challenged to rely on our Big God. We’re looking forward to our first full summer of camp and getting a taste of what it is like to be here for 8 weeks of camp in a row. So right now, we’re trying not to take all of our “free time” for granted. (Every hour of our free time has about 10 different projects that could be put into it.) Pray for us that we will be able to balance the duties of camp, family, friends, and church involvement.
Here at the camp, we send out a newsletter 3 times a year. If you would like to be on the camp’s mailing list, please let us know. We sent the first one to almost all of you, but we won’t send them to you again unless you ask for it.
May our God continue to lead you in his way as we step into the next century. He led the wisemen, He gave us direction as we listened to his voice, and so we trust in him to be our “way” for what lies ahead.
Roger, Ruthie & Judah