It is hard to believe that our furlough is already gone…I guess time flies when you are busy. We did a lot of stuff on our furlough, but we started it off with the best thing of the entire trip, seeing Lori.

It all started on June 11 when we flew from here to the US, but it was the afternoon of the 13th before we arrived at Beaver Lake Camp in Canada. Needless to say we were very excited to see Lori. After the rounds of hugs were finished we went inside to eat lunch and do a lot of catching up.

IMG_6424 Edited

Lunch Time

If you knew our family before we came over to Cambodia you’ll know that our whole family loves fishing and that was high on our priority list. Fortunately for Dallas he was only fourteen and could fish under somebody else’s fishing license. So almost right away he was down at the lake fishing and caught a nice Northern Pike. The people at the camp said that they didn’t know that there was any that big in that lake. Dallas was one very happy camper. After a couple of days the rest of us got our licenses and spent a lot of our free time fishing. We had some really good luck for smaller pike, sometimes each of us catching over twenty in a day.

Dallas's 35

Dallas’s 35″ Pike.

Fishing, a family activity.

Fishing, a family activity.

The only walleye of the trip

The only walleye of the trip.

One day we decided to go back to the corral, a place set up for camping back in the sticks, to cook some chili soup over the fire for lunch. This was as close to camping as we got, but it was a lot of fun and the food was delicious. The corral is right next to a big field that had a lot of beautiful wild flowers in it. Heather and Carissa picked some beautiful bouquets, while the soup was cooking. The soup was really good but just relaxing together as a family was a lot better.

IMG_7000 Edited IMG_7015 Edited IMG_6992 Edited


One day we really enjoyed going to a picnic with all the Beaver lake camp staff. We had a lot of fun even though it didn’t get much above fifty five degrees with no sun and a nice cold breeze. It was cold for everybody, but especially us.

Bean Toss

Bean Toss

IMG_6802 EditedIMG_6781 Edited

Another thing that we enjoyed doing was going out on the canoes on the lake after supper. It was a bit chili some evenings but it was still a lot of fun. Sometimes we just sat on the dock with the guitar. Either way it was still fun.

IMG_6505 Edited

We also helped Lori get the cabins ready for camp, painted some archery targets, and did some other odd jobs to stay busy and help out. All too soon though it was time to say good bye. Lori gave Forrest a stuffed moose as a goodbye present, and told him that if he missed her he could just hug the moose. Well for the first couple of hours he was crying softly and hugging that moose as hard as he could. All of us were feeling that way to some degree, but the younger ones showed it most.

From Canada we drove all night to Ohio to try to get there in time for a board meeting that Friday, but found out after we got there that the board meeting had been postponed to Monday evening. That was a bit disappointing, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Since we didn’t need to go to the board meeting, we went to straight a friend’s shop where he makes candies and had a tour of that along with some free samples.IMG_7106IMG_7134IMG_7123 Edited

I also needed to get training on a new accounting software, while I was in Ohio. We decided to do that first thing so that Friday I went up to CAM to get training for that. It turned out that they weren’t exactly sure what they were supposed to be telling me and I wasn’t sure either, so they gave me a basic over view of the software. It ended up that I had to fly up from South Carolina for another meeting a couple weeks later.

There wasn’t that much going on the next couple of days. On Saturday Mom really enjoyed meeting up with her best friend for coffee. Monday a highlight was shooting clay pigeons. Then that evening they got a volleyball game together for us youth while mom and dad went to a board meeting. We ended up staying till around 12 o’clock, and we still had to pack to leave the next morning early. It was definitely worth it though.



We teach them young.

IMG_7306IMG_7463 Edited

It ended up that we didn’t head out the next morning quite as early as was planned, but by 8:30 we were on the road for a Yoder reunion in Tennessee. That evening we had fun catching up with cousins that were there. Lori and Tony, ya’ll were definitely missed very much. The next day we were planning on playing softball, but the field was about little league size with waist high grass just past the outfield. We knew right away that wasn’t going to work, so somebody ran into town and bought a whiffle ball set. We had fun playing that instead. Most of the day was taken up with that and some other activities. Since everybody was heading out the next morning after breakfast, some of us cousins decided to extend our time together by staying up all night. It might not have been the smartest thing to do, but we sure had fun!

After breakfast, we headed for South Carolina. We stopped at Grandad’s place on the way home to chat before heading the four remaining miles to our place. It was very different being at Grandad’s and not having grandmom there welcoming and fussing over us. It hit dad the hardest but she was definitely missed by all. After a while we headed on to our place. There was definitely some mixed emotions about getting “home.” This place feels like it should be home but yet it doesn’t feel like home anymore. (For me,at least. Mom thought it felt like home.) It was good to be back though.

IMG_7846 Edited

Friday we spent a lot of time cleaning up around our place and grandad’s place before all dad’s siblings got together to go through grandmom’s stuff. Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday we were together going through stuff.  One exciting thing that happened on friday evening was that Grandad and Freda Yoder announced their engagement. We had a good time with the people that were there, but all to soon everybody headed back home again.

Announcing the engagement.

Announcing the engagement.

IMG_7901 Edited

That didn’t mean stuff slowed down for us though. Instead of going into all the details of where we went suffice it to say that we had something going every evening. I really enjoyed everything we did while we were there, and all too soon it was July 16th time for Ryan, Austin, and I to leave. Ryan and I were headed to California to help my uncle put together chicken cages. Austin was going to the Idaho Wilderness Boys Camp as a camper. We would be states side 2 weeks longer than the rest of the family who came back July 21st.

Ryan, Vernon, and I had a lot of fun batching it and working. The next two weeks were full of work during the day, and fun at night. The second Saturday we went to san Francisco and spent the day walking around the wharf and going over the Golden Gate bridge. It was a lot of fun just watching the people and street performers. One night Ryan decided to give himself a haircut. This might not have been worth mentioning except for the style of haircut he did. It ended up that it was all about a quarter of an inch long. When he came down the stairs I had to look twice. The third Saturday evening Austin, my aunt Jean, and Jared came flew down from Idaho. We had a lot of fun that Sunday afternoon along with some amazing food. Early Monday morning we had to leave for the airport, and Tuesday evening we arrived back home in Siem Reap.

This is how bachelors cook:)

This is how bachelors cook:)

Before the haircut.

Before the haircut.


and after.

Street performer.

Street performer.

IMG_8861 Edited

Life has been busy since we came back so I might start writing another post right way. But this is all for now.

Luke for the Helmuths.