What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas to you!

The annual Christmas letter~ posted here for posterity and to wish all of you wonderful blog readers a joyous Christmas!  Thank you for sharing in the little moments of our lives that form and stretch and grow us.  It's been a beautiful year. 

Merry Christmas!


Greetings from Hopestead!

I had the hardest time trying to come up with something to write about in this years’ Christmas letter- but I muddled through somehow knowing in my heart of hearts that Christmas just wouldn’t be the same for you without a proper update from us.  (rolls eyes)   So, here is what we’ve been up to (in a nutshell):
Matt: Drove more than 40,000 miles this year for work.  Tore down part of the old chicken coop before it fell down. Fixed up the part that remained.  Sawed up a bunch of boards from our own logs.  Painted the milkhouse.  Has the most gorgeous, mischievous twinkle in his eyes. *swoon* Re-sided and repaired barn.  Laid down all new flooring in cow barn.  Made a countertop for the kitchen.  Tackled children every Saturday morning as they woke up and came downstairs.  Dug up the old Silo and put gravel in its’ place.  Split firewood.  Bred our Jersey cow.  Sold logs felled by pipeline going through.  Made Rebecca laugh hysterically too often to count.  Works incredibly hard for his family.
Rebecca: Made 6,570 plates of food (give or take.).  Began homeschooling THREE children this year.  Worked a large garden this summer.  Canned up nearly 100 quarts of tomato products alone.  Added some berry bushes to the place and a few filbert trees, along with plenty of perennials shared by neighbors and an asparagus bed!  Went to the emergency room (TWICE) and felt like a dork when it WASN’T a heart attack (but was thankful it wasn’t!). Opened an Etsy shop to sell photo calendars, postcards, and other various handmade goodies.   Counted every day that Judah stayed alive a huge success.  Had several photography sessions, including two weddings.  Cried plenty.  Laughed more.  (see: Matt)
Corynn: Turned TEN this year!  Rollerbladed miles this summer.  Biked many more.  Visited neighbors as often as she was allowed.  Learned to crochet. Went to New York City and Radio City Music Hall.  Has perfect ringlet curls after her hair gets wet.   Is a voracious reader and a lover of books. Still struggles with certain times tables.    Wants to learn to play piano.  Enjoyed taking care of the miniature horse we were given this year named Skeeter.
Andrew:  Turned 7 this year!  Went to Radio City Music Hall and New York City with Corynn (and Grandma & Grandpa).  Plays with Playmobil daily.  Relates everything in life to cows.  Referenced cows in conversation approximately a dozen times a day.  (That would be about 4,380 times this year…but who’s counting?)   Had a bout of Lyme’s Disease that was, thankfully, taken care of before it escalated further.  Fishing with our neighbor was the highlight of his summer.  Is over the moon excited about our Jersey cow “Penny” giving birth this summer. (And doesn’t stop talking about it.)
Adele’: Turned 5 this year!  Loves to help me cook, especially on Pizza night.  Began speaking more clearly and maturely this year.  Colors often.  Draws mermaids and princesses with eyelashes and crowns.  Loves homeschooling.  Her hair still doesn’t grow but her arms and legs have!  Has the most awesome laugh imaginable.
Judah:  Turned 3 in September.  Shoved playdoh up his nose in order to have a beard like Papa.  (Playdoh up nose does NOT equal a beard in my book, but hey- I am not three.)  Colored his face with permanent marker for the same reason.  Climbed out onto the roof...TWICE. (See: Rebecca)  Wears bigger shoes than Adele’ (and weighs five pounds more).  Wears big boy undies now!  (Hallelujah!)  Helps cleanup at church more enthusiastically than some teenagers.  Is obsessed with pocketknives and excavators.  And when I say obsessed…I mean OBSESSED.  Melts his Mama’s heart when he isn’t driving her crazy.

I am incredibly thankful for these children and this husband and these busy, infuriating, precious days.  I know that this new year ahead of us will be just as full of trials and triumphs as the year passed, but I pray that we will continue to fix our eyes upon the Lord through it all and count it all JOY.
May it be so with you as well. 
Merry Christmas to you and yours~
from Me and mine.
Rebecca, Matt, Corynn, Andrew, Adele’ and Judah
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