Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from Clayhole, KY – where it’s cold and snowy and Roger is working hard outside while his two boys sleep away and his wife finally gets around to writing the “Christmas” letter.

Maybe the first thing I should do is try to answer a question that so many people ask us: “What does a camp director do when summer camp is over?”  Off the top of my head…. plan and direct 3 fall and 2 spring weekend retreats, put together and mail off a newsletter 3 times a year and a summer brochure, plant trees, dig out ditchlines, plan 2 Valentines banquets, get in touch with summer staff (each week we need 2 speakers, a worship leader, 3 cooks, a nurse and plenty of counselors), fix the washing machine when it breaks, TAXES, redo our web page (www.bethelcamp.org), come up with a “master plan” for what needs to go on at camp in the next 5-10 years, draw up plans for renovating a dorm into guest housing, put together camp videos and get copies out to campers who request them, try to get lost and found Bibles back to their owners, try to fix the copier, shop for a new copier, winterize cabins, fix valves and clean up water when the winterizing didn’t get done quite right, redo the bathroom celing after the upstairs tub leaked through the floor, go to different churches occasionally to share about camp, host family reunions, prepare for and keep work groups busy – as well as making sure that they get fed, and of course, prepare for summer camp.  It’s not a boring job.  🙂

Our biggest accomplishment of 2000 was making it through a full year of camp directing ~ we know better what to expect for this year.  Our biggest goal for 2001 is to potty train Judah  The incentive that we chose to use was (surprise) tie-dyed training pants.  (Hey, whenever I let him pick out his own shirt, he always wants the tie-dyed one – I might as well give him attractive underwear.)  It’s been a year of big changes for Judah – he’s gone from being a baby to a 2-year old, from an only child to a big brother.  He’s done such a good job with all of it.  I can’t resist writing down one of my favorite phrases that I’ve heard in our house during the year.  At the dinner table one night, Roger said, “No Judah, you need to eat some spaghetti before you get some more vegetables.”  This is a kid who really enjoys junk food, but at the same time, he’ll get pretty excited if I give him a cup of frozen peas to snack on while I’m fixing supper.  He’s so much fun.  He’s learning to talk, but don’t start thinking that’s his primary form of communication.  Maybe it’s more fun to point and use hand gestures and watch us try to figure out what he’s talking about.  We get excited about every new word he learns.  Judah loves to help.  It makes him happy to be able to get the peanut butter and crackers and put them on the table for mommy, and he’s always throwing trash away for us.  He seems to be organized than Roger and I put together.  Can this last?

Wesley’s birth produced one of the hardest new experiences for Judah this year; spending two nights away from mommy and daddy – on September 7&8.  Ella June Miller took care of him when we took our sudden trip to the hospital.  By the second night Grandma Hunsberger had come to take care of him.  And then, finally, he got to hold the baby that was in mommy’s tummy.  I was watching the video of Judah holding Wesley Joel for the first time – he was so quiet and still – he seemed to be in awe of him, almost scared to touch his tiny hands and feet.  He is in awe no longer.  Wesley has been hit in the head with a ball, run over with dump trucks, pulled off the couch once or twice, bounced like crazy as Judah jumps on the bed, kissed, hugged, and pretty near loved to death.  And I’m pretty sure that if Wesley knew how, he would love Judah right back in all the same ways.  The best way I’ve heard Wesley described is, in his daddy’s words, “Wesley loves to smile and grow fat.”  And the things that make him smile the most (other than those silly things that make all babies smile) are a diaper change and a warm relaxing bath (although, you put Judah into that equation, and the bath isn’t always relaxing!)

In December we had the privilege of taking our boys on their first airplane ride.  My family decided


at this point, the letter ends. Your guess is as good as mine. I do know that my family bought us plane tickets so we could fly to Oklahoma for Christmas instead of driving the 14 hours in a van. Maybe you kept a copy of this letter and would send it to me so I can keep it in my files.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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