I’m sitting here typing this letter as Roger installs a brand new stove that was donated to the camp for our apartment. We have really enjoyed the two years that we’ve spent here in Kentucky. The more we get to know the people in our community, the more we feel like this is really home. I invited the high school girls from church over to make Christmas cookies on Saturday – it was a fun way to start off the Christmas season. Actually, the Christmas season got started off 2 weeks ago when we put up the tree and looked in vain for the box of ornaments and white lights that we lost 2 years ago after Christmas. Sunday, Roger said to me, “I don’t understand why you keep baking cookies!” I guess he’s decided to put up with it though. Those girls have become really special to us. Actually, we’ve been enjoying all of the kids at church. Roger is in charge of their Christmas play – he wrote it himself and did a super job. Now, if we only had enough time to practice it thoroughly!
One of our highlights from camp this summer was our weekly shaving cream fight. (If you have any wacky ideas for next summer, let us know. My favorite idea so far was to fill up the waterslide pool with cooked spaghetti, but do you know how much spaghetti it would take to fill up a 2000 gallon pool?? About 5000 pounds!) Another highlight of this summer (for me, especially) was having Heather Wesselhoeft here. She moved in with us in March to volunteer her time to the camp until just before Christmas when she’ll be going back home to Florida. Over the last nine months, I feel like I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to have a sister. We’ll really miss her when she leaves, but we’re hoping that her future plans will bring her back closer to us. 🙂
Last year at this time, we were wondering if Judah was ever going to start talking. Well, over the next 3-4 months, he pretty much mastered it. I love having conversations with him – you never know what he might bring up next. Yesterday I heard him singing, “Amazing grace, how sweet you are, how sweet you are.” I don’t know if he was singing about his little cousin Grace, or what. 🙂 Wesley is starting into the world of words too – most outside things are “birds” and all animals that he isn’t sure about are “dog.” We have really enjoyed watching Judah and Wesley learn to be brothers. We’ve seen already that Wesley is starting out life differently than Judah. He takes being hit and pushed around as a normal way of life. (Although he does his share of complaining and we do our best to help Judah love him gently.) Judah was always very gentle with Wesley until the day he realized that along with the ability to walk came the power to grab toys that used to be out of reach. So, we’ve been learning lots, and we wouldn’t trade a minute of it. (Well, maybe a few!)
The boys have acquired 2 new cousins this year: Grace Voth and Abram Hunsberger. We look forward to seeing them grow up together and the relationships that will develop over the years. (If they have as much fun as Judah at Thanksgiving, then we’ll really be in for some laughs. It’s always fun to see Christmas through the eyes of a little one, isn’t it? When Judah helped me put out the nativity set, he thought the goose from his farm set wanted to see baby Jesus too. So, at our house, there’s a little plastic goose looking on at the memory of Christ’s birth. Judah also wonders about Jesus growing up. “Mom, Jesus have a “baisdey” (birthday) like me?” [He sure did – do you think he got presents like you do?] “Maybe him got a “boosdozer.” (bulldozer) 🙂 As I look out the office window, I can see the lit up nativity scene over in the church yard, and I think of how excited Judah was when he first saw it. I don’t know how many times we went out there and walked around it, Judah touching each person and telling me who they were. For a while whenever we were at church he kept begging me, “Mom, let’s go see Jesus again!” It’s one of those things that I’ll always remember him saying. Our prayer for both of our boys is that after the thrill of the plastic lighted baby has worn off, they’ll find the excitement in the real Jesus, and that somehow they can learn some of that from Roger and me. We love you all – Merry Christmas.
Ruthie, Roger, Judah & Wesley