“The Jeub Times”
Christmas Edition December 2011
Written by Cynthia Jeub
In a stunning turn of events, the Jeub family found themselves at the end of 2011 with the realization that they had managed to break all their previous records for number of exciting things taking place in a less-than-365-day period. There was plenty of action this year, from near-death experiences to multiple trips across the country, and through it all, our house has grown to be a place filled with fun conversation.
This year was full of activity from day one. In early January, we moved our office home after renting a local office for the prior five years. A few days later, Lydia and I went to two speech and debate tournaments on subsequent weekends, one in California and the other in Utah. We won all six of our preliminary rounds at one tournament, making it to the final round of team debate. Also in January, dad and mom were working hard on their latest book, Love Another Child, released this spring.
In April, during a speech and debate tournament, the sixteenth child in the family was born: Elijah Luke (weighing 8 lbs 12 oz). The age difference between Zechariah and Elijah is 26 months, the largest gap there has been between two of the kids since I was born. Nonetheless, Elijah fits right in with the toddlers, and he can already crawl. The other small children have their own little group of adventurers and philosophers—sometimes the older kids will stop talking to listen to the conversations Josiah, 7, leads with the twins, Havilah and Joshua, 6, and Priscilla, 4. These four play together often and are good friends.
June brought part of our family to Southern California for the Stoa national championship tournament. Training Minds hosted a camp to prepare for this competition, and Lydia and I were competing in debate together, and speech. Micah and Noah, now 14 and 13, qualified in duo, and I made it to the semi-final round in impromptu speaking and was in outrounds in extemporaneous and Apologetics, but Lydia far outshined us all by taking the first-place trophy with her expository speech on hunting. As national champion, Lydia intends to keep stretching her abilities in speech by trying new events in her two remaining years of competition.
June had hardly begun when Lydia secured her victory in speech, and the week after Nationals we were in northern Minnesota for a family reunion at the beautiful Birch Haven Resort. This lasted a week, and then Lydia and Isaiah joined me in volunteering at the Wings Like Eagles horse vaulting camp. WLE helps underpriveleged or special needs children to gain self-confidence by learning to do tricks on well-trained horses. It’s been encouraging to see these kids start out unable to imagine themselves standing atop a walking horse with a smile on their faces, but they manage to do it by the end of the week we spend working on it.
Oh, and at the end of June, I graduated from high school. I turned nineteen in July and have a semester of college at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs behind me, where I’m studying Journalism. Only a few days ago, I learned that I qualify for receiving free Damon braces through Theroux Orthodontics in Denver, and will be getting braces early next year. In July, Alissa graduated from a two-year program of studying restaurant management. At 25, she still lives in Melbourne, Australia, though she was in the States this summer for the June reunion and my graduation.
Near the beginning of August, we once again hosted our Training Minds debate camp in Estes Park, Colorado. Our keynote speaker was Ken Davis, who is a Christian comedian. Just in December, dad picked up the job of working for Ken, scheduling speaking opportunities for him. Dad loves this new work, and is doing a good job balancing the scheduling with still running his publishing business and ministry. At the end of August, we were all scared by Micah’s hand injury: Micah, 14, was sawing some boards and his table saw was winding down when his hand was caught by the still-turning blade. Mom and dad rushed him to the hospital, and after several appointments involving stitches, casts, and an x-ray that revealed a chipped bone. Micah now has a great scar on his left hand after having plastic surgery to repair one tendon in his finger. His tendon will grow back at a rate of 1 inch per month. Micah is expected to make a complete recovery very soon.
Only thirty days had passed after Micah cut his hand when we were at the hospital again, this time with dad. We thought that he had strep throat for a few days, then woke up with chest pain one morning. Worried that he might have had a heart attack, mom brought him to the hospital. It turned out that while it was not a heart attack, a virus had affected his heart, causing the pain and confusion. He was put on a medication and told that recovery would take six months, but only a few weeks later, the doctors could not find any weakness left when they conducted further heart scans. Praise the Lord for complete healing!
In October, Lydia, 17, Isaiah, 15, and Micah, 14, went hunting, where Micah shot his first elk. They went with our friends the Ericksons and Stauffers, and there is plenty of meat in the freezer again. November began with the Junior Speech Tournament, and Tabitha, 11, Keilah, 10, and Hannah, 9, won awards with their speeches. Tabitha won first place with her dramatic speech from Catherine Marshall’s novel Christy. At the end of November, we all packed up and went to Minnesota again to spend Thanksgiving with the family, and Lydia and I went to a retreat.
Overall, this year has been one filled with activity, but telling you about the events that took place is only a general way to tell you how life is. Each day is filled with activity, and we are so very blessed with the people around us. There are new opportunities ahead for every one of us, and we’re excited to find out what God has in store for our family in the future. The message we continue to be compelled to share is that every family can love another child, and it’s vitally important that there is love in every house.
The Jeub family wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2012!