With the end of 2010, I (Lydia) have been elected for writing the Christmas letter this year. So let’s dive into the year of the Jeub Family.
To see the entire letter in all its glory — complete with full-color pictures of each child, grandchild, and random events — click here for a PDF.
Our big announcement this year is as follows: Number 16 is on the way! Mom’s due in May, but she was still able to do so many things this year.
In February Dad, Cynthia , Lydia, Isaiah, Micah, Noah, Tabitha, Keilah, Hannah, and Josiah, took a skiing trip. We started our own speech and debate club in Monument so cleverly named “Monumentum.” We’ve got “momentum” in Monument, hence the name.
There have been several very lucky raccoons approaching our deck and eating our dog food. And one very unlucky raccoon. The older 3 at home got the privilege of fitting Horse Camp into our schedule.
Later in the summer, the entire family got to vacation in California as Dad was there for one of his debate camps. We spent most of our time swimming in our friends’ swimming pool, and making 3 trips to the beach for boarding on the waves. This was the first time feeling the salty water since our 2000 trip to Virginia and California.
We skipped our yearly elk hunt this year, but took the time in Nebraska for deer hunting. We were quite successful. Noah took a 10 point bull, and Micah shot his first doe. It turned out to be a fun experience full of action the whole time. We plan to go to the same area the day after Christmas, this time with Grandma and Grandpa!
Mom and Dad have been taking blogging more seriously for our website, making sure a post goes up every morning. Besides our Facebook and Twitter page, we started a Jeub Family Channel on YouTube, already releasing 3 videos (with the help of the fantastic movie editing skills of yours truly). We hope to release a new video every week. Other movie/blog ideas include giving tips on saving money, kitchen basics, home organization, Mom’s and Dad’s parenting ideas, and giving some tutorials on how “we” do chores.
Zechariah (21 months) is going to be the youngest Jeub for the longest time. He has developed a “spoiled-youngest-child” attitude which he will have to get over in May (when the baby is due). Overall, he has begun, at this young age, to master the ability of getting on his favorite game on his mother’s iPhone. When someone asks, “Where’s mom’s phone?” we all know the answer. It’s in Zech’s hands in a corner somewhere playing Bug Squash!
As for Priscilla (3), she has been crowned one of the best helpers when it comes to cleanup. With her great helping talents she has become quite a big sister to Zechariah, always telling him what to do. But above all else, being the smiley one, and always having something to talk to someone about.
Havilah and Joshua (5), besides being the cutest of the Jeub kids, have turned into buddies as they performed a Duo at the Jr. Tournament. Havilah took to the idea that scissors were for cutting hair; therefore, when you find a pair, you must cut your hair. Her long, blond hair has been shortened just a bit. The younger twin (but twice the size), Joshua is no longer taking orders from Havilah. He has found the leader to follow is Josiah, and the two have become the best of friends.
Josiah (6) never runs out of things to talk about! He always has his own version of a story to tell you about Star Wars, Bionicle, and his Lego characters. Josiah was able to accompany his dad and older siblings in the yearly skiing trip, being able to put his mouth into action in ways such as: “Dad, I can’t STOP!”
Being the youngest of the three middle Jeub Girls Hannah (8) has taken on quite a year. She memorized a Dramatic Interpretation for the Jr. Speech Tournament, The Rainbow Fish, and she took the 2nd place trophy. Hannah’s school life has gotten more serious, becoming a very good reader. Drawing is still her forte. When she picks up a pencil she can create great art that brings out her imagination beautifully.
Keilah (9) and all the siblings under her got to visit the ocean for the first time in their lives. They grew to love the water and despising the sun there in California. Beating out Hannah in the Jr. Tournament, Keilah took the 1st place trophy in Dramatic Interpretation with her piece on the touching story I Love You Forever. Keilah, along with Tabitha and Hannah, have started attending a Bible study for girls their age, enjoying fun games, fellowship, and memorization of Bible verses.
Tabitha (10) is proud to say she finally turned “two digits.” She has had a great year of accomplishments for her young age. Mostly taking up competition with Noah in practicing her athletic moves, now being able to do a back handspring on the ground. She also teamed up with Noah for debate during the summer’s Training Minds Ministry Debate Conference, receiving an award for the youngest debater in camp history! Tabitha accompanied some of the kids at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions (NITOC) for speech and debate and won 2nd place out of about 70 kids for timing the most rounds. As for Tabitha’s speech life, she took two 3rd place prizes at the Colorado Jr. Tournament in both Humorous Interpretation and as a team with Michael Gilbreath in Duo, performing “Amelia Bedelia.”
Noah (12) replaced me as the “great hunter” of the family. Just last month he took down his first Buck during our deer hunt in Nebraska, now able to hang a 10 point set of antlers on his bedroom wall. Noah has always been the “athlete” of the family, being able to do over 20 backflips on the trampoline with only a pause of one jump in the middle of each. He can go even further and do a backflip on the ground with no assist. Surprisingly, he has a not-so-athletic side, too. He dove into debate like no other Jeub of the past. He and his partner, Jared (a friend from Colorado Springs), have partnered up in team debate. Noah also does Extemp and DUO.
Besides Micah‘s success on his second hunting experience, he has been busy taking up the hobby of arm-wrestling, especially trying to beat his older sister (me). He has not yet managed to do so. He has found a way to make unique gifts for each siblings’ birthday out of nothing but electrical foil and duck tape — with an occasional stick. He’s 13 and thoroughly into speech. He has teamed up with Noah with a piece from Calvin and Hobbes. Outside of school life Micah has become a huge fan of his BB and air-soft guns. Magpies are in danger in our backyard!
A year ago you wouldn’t have ever caught Isaiah (14) with a book in his hands. Now, he’s constantly reading, even enjoying hefty works like Lord of the Rings. He also writes stories about pirates and ships. Isaiah, along with his two older sisters, attended horse camp as a teen counselor. He was remembered as the most patient and enthusiastic leader of the group of teens while helping kids ages 4-12 in building their faith in God and their confidence in themselves while vaulting on horses.
It has been a big year for me, Lydia (16), giving debate a try along with an occasional speech. Last year went quite well overall. I took 8th place in the Nation with my speech on “Sibling Rivalry” (which is now on YouTube with over 1,200 views!). I still love sports, discovering the ultimate sport of Ultimate Frisbee! Believe it or not, I learned it at debate camp. (My dad’s camps are the best!) I’m still the feared arm wrestling champion at our fitness class, beating all the guys in push-ups and chin-ups. I’m one step away from reaching the Presidential Badge. Best part of this year: I’ll be getting my driver’s license January 5. Well, at least close enough to this year to make it in the Christmas letter.
Turning 18, Cynthia had set her mind on graduating, but being a flexible home schooler, she decided to hold another year to do debate again (I really wanted to do one more year together). As for debate, we had a busy 2009-2010 competitive year. We went to a total of 11 tournaments in Washington, Utah, California, and here in Colorado. Cynthia made it to the Tournament of Champions in every single event she participated in: Apologetics, Extemp, Impromptu (in which she made it to quarter-finals), Duo, and Debate (with me). Cynthia was one of the main interns for Monument Publishing last spring and summer with a team of teenagers who helped publish the curriculum for the 2010-2011 school year. She has taken up the hobby of quote collecting, and has gathered nearly 2,000 quotations from her regular reading.
Alissa (24), still lives in Australia making herself at home there, working and going to culinary school. She’s been in Australia for over two years, but plans are that she’ll be coming home for a family reunion next summer. Alicia‘s (27) adult life continues with work and living in Denver. We welcomed her second child after her son, Isaak, turned 6, into the family. He has the beautiful name of: Forrest, and joined our family in August.
As for Chris, we celebrated his 29th birthday (really 40th) as a surprise party in February. And as always he’s been busy with Training Minds Ministry, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011. Cynthia and I help him a lot at the office packing up curriculum and making products for home schoolers. He hosted five debate camps across the country this year, Cynthia and I getting to go to three. Dad describes this last year as the busiest year since he started 10 years ago (but he says that every year).
As for Wendy, she and Dad have been working for over a year on their new book Love Another Child. It goes with the same theme as many of their books (Love in the House, Love in a Diet, and Love in the Kitchen Vol. 1 and 2). Being Mac fans, Dad bought Mom a brand new MacBook Air for her to use since we started getting real big with blogging and our Jeub Family Facebook page. She tried the iPad but it just wasn’t as useful as she needed it to be.
With the new year on its way, we wish all of you a wonderful Christmas to join together with Happiness and Love with Family and friends! May God bless you through this special season.
With Love, from the Jeub Family:
Chris, Wendy, Alicia, Alissa, Cynthia, Lydia, Isaiah, Micah, Noah, Tabitha, Keilah, Hannah, Josiah, Havilah Joshua, Priscilla, Zechariah, and the New Baby.