Category Archives: Year In Reveiw

Year in Review ~ 2017

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” ~Colossians 1:15-20

Dear Friends and Family,

This year has been full of the good, the ordinary, and, a few times, the not-so-ordinary.

January: Preaching, teaching, and counseling have continued to be Jason’s focus at church. He started the year with a series on “Biblical Communication.” Then, after 2 ½ years, he finished his series on the book of Acts. He is currently preaching through a series on the “Commitments and Distinctives of Our Local Church.” It has been a blessing to be reminded of what a special and unique place our church is, and how thankful we are to be a part of it. We had the privilege of having an intern from The Master’s Seminary with us this summer…but he decided to stay for a year! He has been such a big help in so many ways, and we will all miss him when he returns to school next year. We also began a new children’s program on Wednesday nights, which Hannah and Titus have both enjoyed. It has been a joy to watch our church grow in so many ways over the year.

IMG_7442February: Titus is now 5, and in 1st grade. This boy loves to learn! He is a great student, and genuinely seems to enjoy each of his subjects. (But, he says Math is his favorite.) He has memorized several Bible verses and passages, in addition to the books of the Bible in Generations of Grace (our church’s new children’s ministry), and is always ready with some great questions for his teachers! He has become a real bookworm, and reads anything and everything he can get his hands on. He got his very own library card this year, and checks out stacks of books each week…mostly on Dinosaurs, his newest passion. He loves teaching his little sisters how to correctly pronounce each of their names, and sharing random facts about them. He is a serious, thoughtful little boy who is growing up so quickly!

IMG_7421March: Rachel turned 2 this year! This is such a fun stage! She is a curious little girl, and loves to explore. And, she is constantly surprising us with her ever-expanding vocabulary and amazing memory! She tries so hard to keep up with her big brother and sisters, and loves do whatever they are doing. So, she has officially joined us for pre-school this year, and absolutely loves being included in our school days! She is still so young, so although she does a great job of listening, and participating in her lessons, we are leaving lots of time for play! This girl just loves life, and brings so much joy to our family. She has the best giggle, and loves to make people laugh! So far, she remains the baby of our family, but she is definitely not a baby anymore!

IMG_7426April: Hannah turned 12, and I am amazed by just how grown up she is. She is my right hand girl, and is a competent and reliable help each day. She loves to be in the kitchen…especially if it involves baking! But, she is also willing to help out with everyday meals, and clean up. She has continued playing the flute this year. She loves to practice, and has shown great ability and improvement over the last year, and has moved up to the Intermediate Band. She is currently busy getting ready for 2 concerts! School has been a big change for her this year. She is officially in junior high, and her classes have definitely become more challenging (for her, and her teacher!), but she is working hard, learning to manage her time, and continues to approach everything with her characteristic joy and sweetness.

IMG_1802May: May was a busy month for our family, and even involved a little bit of travel! At the beginning of the year, I became a consultant with HomeWorks by Precept, which represents BJU Press and other homeschooling resources. In May, I had the opportunity to travel to Arlington, Texas, to work at my first homeschool convention of the year, sharing about the curriculum that we use, and helping other homeschoolers find the best options for their family. Shortly after I returned, Jason left for Washington DC, and spent several days at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, for their “Weekender.” It was a much needed time of refreshment and encouragement. He came home so excited about all he had observed and learned, and ready to apply it in our church!

IMG_3577June: Hannah and Titus took 2 weeks of swimming lessons this summer. Titus went from a fear of getting his face wet, to putting his face in the water, swimming (somewhat) independently, and even willingly jumping off the diving board! Hannah, made a few new friends (of course!), and went from only being able to do the most basic “doggy-paddle” to diving in, and learning several new strokes!

July: Veronica’s parents, sister, and our nephew moved to Texas this summer! After spending our entire married life in a different state than one, or both, sides of our family, it is a special blessing to have all of our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews nearby! (Even if we still don’t get to see everyone as often as we would like.) The kids have greatly enjoyed having all of their grandparents close, and have loved playing with, and getting to know their cousin.

IMG_4179August: Although we weren’t in the path of totality, we enjoyed watching the (partial) solar eclipse from our front yard. We experimented with the supposed gravitational differences caused by the eclipse. And, a friend gave us some eclipse glasses so that we could all watch safely. That was on Monday. By Friday of that week, we were in the path of Hurricane Harvey. We were so thankful for the generosity of so many friends who offered us refuge, should we need it. Thousands of people were displaced due to flooding (including several of our own friends and family), and the state is still very much recovering. But, God was incredibly gracious to us, and our home and church buildings remained safe and dry.

2017-09-05_09-27-54_924wmSeptember: We started our 8th year of homeschooling this Fall. Our “one house schoolroom” is a busy place during the week. I teach 7th grade, 1st grade, Pre-K, and preschool. We rotate through a daily routine of lessons, play time, chores, errands, music practice, and general chaos. It can be exhausting at times, but it is definitely not boring. I think I say this every year, but this really might be my favorite school year yet! At the end of the month, Jason and I had the opportunity to attend his 20th High School Reunion. It was fun to spend some time wandering around his hometown, meeting/reconnecting with some of his high school classmates, and attending his high school’s Homecoming football game.

IMG_7416October: Rebekah turned 4, and started Pre-K this year! She is my high energy girl. She runs, skips, and twirls everywhere. Sitting still and being quiet is not one of her stronger skills. But, she has really surprised me by becoming an eager and enthusiastic student. She is usually the first one ready to start our school days, and often asks for more work when she has finished. She has one volume – loud. But, she has a surprisingly shy, timid side as well, especially when she is faced with new people or new situations. I often describe her as sweet and spunky. She has her own unique style, ideas, and opinions…about everything. But, she is the tender-hearted, encourager, and cheerleader of our family.

November: We became a house divided, as the Houston Astros played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of the World Series! My son even called my hometown team “the bad guys!” And, I found myself alternately cheering for both sides. Ultimately, we were all happy with the outcome…and the victory was especially sweet after all that the city of Houston has been through this year.

December: And, this month already promises to be full. We are looking forward to Christmas concerts, band and choir practices, church fellowships, Bible Studies, and time with family…all celebrating the best, most extraordinary Gift ever given.

So many years ago, in the birth of a tiny baby in Bethlehem, we were given the “image of the invisible God,” in whom “the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” He was, and is, the promise of our hope and our salvation, “making peace by the blood of his cross.”

What an amazing thing to reflect on, and celebrate…this Christmas, and each day of the year to come.

By His Grace,

IMG_7478Jason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Rachel

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2016 ~ Year In Review

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Dear Family and Friends,

This year, much like every year, was full of joys and trials. But, through it all, Lord has given us many reasons to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks!

January – Jason continued a tradition that he started a couple of years ago at our church. At the beginning of each year, he preaches a special series of sermons for the purpose of “Strengthening Grace.” This year, he taught on some of the key elements of the church. It fit in so well with his ongoing series in the book of Acts. He has also been teaching a Sunday School class on the Doctrine of God, and leading our church’s monthly men’s study. In addition to his preaching and teaching responsibilities, counseling, discipling, performing weddings, and developing new ministries and leadership have kept him more than a little busy! In order to keep up with everything (between church and a young, growing family), we had to make the hard decision to eliminate our midweek service this year. But, we are eagerly looking forward to its return this coming year…along with a new children’s program!

img_9030cfm-copyFebruary – Titus turned 4 on February 7th! We celebrated with a Monster Truck-themed party with a few of his friends from church. Superheroes, Transformers, and monster trucks are his newest obsessions. He often tells me that he wants to be a monster truck driver when he grows up. And, he has already promised us all a ride! He is in Kindergarten this year! He is still young, so, I know I should say that our plan is to go slow and keep it simple…but, it’s not. He is not having any of that. He loves school! I thought some of his first-day enthusiasm would have worn off by now, but he continues to amaze me with his eagerness and hard work each day. He asks for more work than I have planned. He is disappointed when his schoolwork is completed for the day. And he has been known to cry when I tell him that we don’t do school on Saturdays. Reading is his favorite subject, and he loves practicing his new skill by sounding out everything he can get his hands (and eyes!) on! He has become very responsible, remembering and diligently doing his chores each morning. He loves his sisters, even if he does show it by alternating between terrorizing them and being their best buddy. Sometimes, it is easy to forget how young he really is, because he is growing up so fast!

img_9015cfm-copyMarch – We celebrated Rachel’s first birthday on March 23rd! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a one-year-old so into opening presents! She thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of her party…just like she does everything. This girl has brought so much joy to our family this year with her sweet smiles and silly antics. She started walking shortly before her first birthday, and has recently mastered climbing the stairs! (Going down is still a bit of a work in progress!) She rarely sits still, but, when she does, she is a cuddle-bug. And, she gives the best hugs! She loves being outside, coloring, play dough, all things Minnie Mouse, and playing dolls with Hannah. She shares a room with her big sister, Rebekah, and it is so sweet to hear them talking and singing together before they go to sleep. Her vocabulary seems to grow each day. And, even after 4 kids, I still treasure each new each new word and sentence. She greets me each morning with a big smile and a loud “Peek-boo!” She rarely says yes. Instead, she always responds in the affirmative with an enthusiastic “Sure!” But, I think my favorite is hearing her sweet prayers before bed and mealtimes. We look forward to seeing these simple prayers grow into a true faith and obedience in the years to come.

April – At the beginning of the month, we had the privilege of having John and Janie Street out to speak at our church’s annual Bible Conference. They taught on “Parenting for the Long Run.” As always, it was wonderful to see them, and sit under their wise, biblical teaching again.

img_9035cfm-copyAlthough we had to delay the celebration a few times, due to illness, we celebrated Hannah’s 11th birthday this year! Of course, she handled the delays graciously, with a maturity far beyond her 11 years. She is our sweet, creative, dreamer. She loves to write stories, draw pictures, and make cards for her friends and siblings. She is in 6th grade this year, which I am told is considered “middle school” here in Texas (but, that just sounds a little too much like junior high). Her favorite subject continues to be science (Zoology), because, in her words, “we are finally studying land animals!” Her favorite land animals are horses…which we will begin studying shortly after the new year. But, she has already checked out every book our library has on the topic of horse care and training, dreaming of someday getting one of her own! Her grandparents gave her a day of “horse camp” for her birthday. She spent a Saturday at a local stable, where she got to ride and groom a real horse! Even cleaning the stalls could not make her enormous smile disappear! I think it was the highlight, not only of her year, but of her life! She has also joined a homeschool band, and is learning to play the flute. She seems to be a natural, and absolutely loves it! She is currently preparing for her first concert, which is coming up this week! She is a wonderful big sister, and continues to be a capable and willing helper. She cares for her siblings, and works hard at the many things she is asked to do around the house. But, her favorite place right now seems to be in the kitchen. She loves learning how to cook and bake! And, we all got to enjoy the results of her hard work when she made a delicious chocolate chip-pecan pie for Thanksgiving – all on her own.

May – Just before Rachel’s birthday, we were thrilled to learn that we were expecting another little one to join our family in November, around Thanksgiving Day. But, sadly, we miscarried just before Mother’s Day. My mom was very sweet to fly out here to help us as I recovered. And despite the circumstances, it was a special blessing to spend Mother’s Day with her. At the end of May, some complications landed me in the emergency room. Although it was a difficult time, both physically and emotionally, and my recovery was slow, through it, the Lord used it to allow us to address some other health issues, and I am feeling better than I have in years!

June – In addition to my health issues, we all spent about 2 months fighting what seemed like a never-ending cycle of illnesses. There were too many sleepless nights to count, mountains of laundry, multiple prescriptions, and several visits to the doctor’s office and urgent care. It did end…eventually. And, we were even able to enjoy a visit with Veronica’s parents, sister, and our nephew/cousin. But, this time definitely made us all very thankful for our normally good health, and for the help and care of our church and family! People brought meals, cleaned our house, and watched sick children while we took others to the doctor. Jason’s dad even rescued Titus and me after we got stranded in a downpour and flooded streets on our way to (yet another) doctor’s appointment!

July – Everyone recovered in time to enjoy our first real vacation! Well, I guess it was really more of a “stay-cation,” since we didn’t go anywhere. But, we rested, and visited the park and splash pad, and took care of a few projects around the house. It was perfect!

img_9056cfm-copyAugust – Jason and I celebrated our 15th anniversary. The celebration really was quite simple. More than anything, it was an opportunity to reflect on, and thank the Lord for the life, the children, and the ministry that the Lord has given us so far.

September – We started our 7th year of homeschooling! It has been quite the puzzle trying to figuimg_5812wmre out how to fit in all we want, and need to do each day. This year, I am teaching 6th grade, Kindergarten, and Pre-School…while simultaneously trying to keep a 1-year-old (constructively!) entertained. At the same time, I am also trying to get everyone to weekly band practice (during naptime!), grocery shopping, keeping track of the giant stacks of library books we check out each week, potty training, feeding growing children 3 (or more!) times a day, and attempting to keep the resulting piles of laundry and dishes under control! My days, and hands, are definitely full! Some days, it miraculously all gets done. Other days are a little (or, a lot!) crazy. The good days are sweet reminders of graciously answered prayers. The chaotic ones are too, but, they are also vivid reminders of God’s patience with His children, and opportunities to rely on His grace and strength when my own is severely lacking.

img_9022cfm-copyOctober – We celebrated Rebekah’s 3rd birthday! I think her favorite present was the bouquet of balloons from her party. She sang about them for a week! This little girl loves music! She loves to sing, dance, and pretend to play all sorts of instruments (but especially the flute, like her big sister!). Rebekah is equal parts sweetness and spunk. She is very compassionate, and it just breaks her little heart to see anyone sad or hurt. She is always the first to offer a hug when one of her friends or siblings is upset. And, she is our family cheerleader, and can often be heard encouraging her brother or sisters (or mom and dad!) with a hearty “Good job!” when they finish a chore, or project. She has joined us for pre-school this year, and is having fun with her own lessons, as well as listening in on a few her brother’s and sister’s. But, since she doesn’t like to sit still for too long, we are keeping things simple and fun for her this year. She would much rather be outside, “fwinging” (swinging), climbing up the slide, going to the park, riding her scooter or tricycle, and catching lizards or butterflies.

November – On Thanksgiving, we got to enjoy a visit with Jason’s aunt, uncle, and grandmother. And, Rachel got to meet her Great-Grammy! The 3 older kids helped make our Thanksgiving desserts! It was so fun to work alongside them, and to see their excitement to share the pies that they helped to make.

December – This month has already been busy with school, band and choir practices, fellowship with friends, and fun preparations for Christmas – at church and at home!

At times, this year has looked very different than what we would have liked. But, as we reflect on all that took place – the sweet and happy moments, as well as the sad times – it was a year marked by the grace, the mercy, and the providence of a sovereign, loving God. And, as a new year lies before us, we continue to rest and rejoice in the steadfast goodness and faithfulness of our Lord.

We pray that He would be the source of your joy and hope this Christmas, and in the year to come.

By His Grace,

img_9039cfm-copyJason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Rachel Whitley

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Year In Review ~ 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Is it just me, or do the days, and months pass with increasing speed each year? I am amazed each time I realize that another year is coming to a close…not only at how quickly time has passed, but also at all that the Lord has done!

At the end of last year, we realized that it was time to say goodbye to our faithful vehicle of 10 years. When I thought about how we had our Jeep longer than we had lived anywhere, I half-joked that I might be more sentimental about getting rid of it than about moving out of any of our previous homes. After all, that was the car that brought our first three babies safely home from the hospital, and carried us over thousands of miles, through two interstate moves! But, adding another, albeit tiny, passenger (and her not-so-tiny carseat!) was just not an option. Normally, I am not a fan of car shopping, but this was a fairly easy process. And, the Lord provided a good deal on a vehicle with enough room for our growing family. Yes. We became minivan people! And, to be honest, I actually like driving a minivan!

   RachelRachel Susannah, was born at 2:17 p.m., on March 23rd. She weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 20 ½ inches long. Her joyful, content personality has been such a sweet addition to our family! She is now 8 months old, and is all smiles and giggles! While teething has disrupted her normally-good sleeping patterns a little bit, it hasn’t changed her sweet disposition at all. She now has 2 teeth, and is currently working on a third! I love hearing her grunt and babble at her books, toys, and her big siblings! She loves to eat, and has enjoyed trying out all sorts of new foods. Right now, anything she can feed herself seems to be her favorite! And, as I type, she is probably only days away from crawling…and keeping up with her big brother and sisters!

IMG_4057Rebekah turned 2 years old in October. And, she is very 2. She is full of energy, curiosity, and stubborn determination. This has led to more than a few bumps and bruises for her, and a few heart-stopping moments for her mom! But, she has also put that 2-year-old determination to good use by deciding to potty train herself! (Potty-training 2 children this year was definitely not part of my plan, but, why not? She is making it really easy!) She has also joined her big brother and sister at the school table this year! She is so excited to “do school” each day, and, even with a short attention span, she has an incredible memory, and is doing well! She loves to help me around the house whenever she can, and takes her new responsibility of feeding the cats very seriously! Although she seemed a little unsure about losing her status as the baby of the family earlier this year, she loves playing with Rachel, and has become a very caring big sister. Although, “big” sister might be a bit misleading. Even though she is statistically tall for her age, she is still pretty tiny. There is only a 3 pound weight difference between her and her 8 month old sister! I have a feeling it won’t be long until people start asking if they are twins!

IMG_4318Titus turned 3 in February! He has grown up so much this year! Starting with the fact that he is now fully potty-trained! He is in preschool again this year, and, has eagerly jumped into our school days with a surprising amount of focus and concentration! He could practice writing his letters for hours (and, on occasion, has done just that!). But, his favorite part of the day is reading time. He has been begging to learn how to read for months, so, we are working though the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons together. And, while I’m not sure he would agree with the “easy” part, he is a hard worker, and definitely up to the challenge. When I asked him why he wanted to learn to read, he told me, it was because he wants to read his Bible…by himself. He is still all boy, and loves to run around outside. I think the back yard may be his favorite part of the house! He still loves his trains, cars, and tools. But, monster trucks are his newest obsession. He is in a unique position as the little-big brother. So, appropriately, he alternates between terrorizing his sisters, and protecting them from the anonymous “bad guys”. He cheerfully entertains his baby sister, and loves to make her smile and laugh with his goofy faces and silly noises.

IMG_4423cropHannah turned 10 in April! Ten. Entirely too grown up for my liking. But, it is a joy to watch her grow in to a sweet, creative, beautiful young lady! We celebrated her birthday with a Frozen-themed party, which she planned, and executed, all on her own! She loves helping in the kitchen, so she even helped make most of the food for the party! With a 12 day old baby, it was definitely a bit more low-key than she was originally hoping for, but I’m not sure it would have happened at all without her meticulous planning (and help from Grandma!). She is in 5th grade in our homeschool this year! Creation-Science steadfastly remains her favorite subject, as we continue our study of Zoology for the second year. This year’s focus is on ocean animals, and she is rapidly becoming a walking encyclopedia of sea-animal trivia! (Seriously. Ask her anything!) Outside of school, her interests lie in anything crafty or artistic. Thanks to a monthly girls’ group at church, she learned how to sew and crochet, and made a cute little hat, and a fun apron! She is a great help around the house helping me in the kitchen, or with the daily cleaning. And, she is great at organizing! She changes diapers like a pro, entertains little people, reads stories, and is just a wonderful and creative big sister! She loves her brother and sisters. And, they adore her as well.

It is a joy to see how much my children love and enjoy each other. And, at times, it still overwhelms me to see them all running around, laughing, and playing together. They are each such unique, and amazing answers to our prayers of so many years.

IMG_2620wmLife at home keeps me busy. I spend my days playing cars, changing diapers, coloring pictures, washing dishes, picking up stray Legos, and potty-training (x2!), while attempting to conquer mountains of laundry! I teach numbers, letters, and colors, alongside long division and ancient Greek mythology. And I answer the question “why?” more times than I can count. It is an exhausting, and at times overwhelming responsibility to train and disciple our children. But, it is also my greatest joy…and a whole lot of fun!

IMG_3591 Jason has been the Senior/Teaching pastor at Grace Community Bible Church for over a year now. He is greatly enjoying studying and teaching through the book of Acts, as well as special series on Sanctification, and Perseverance. And he had the privilege of baptizing 2 people from our church this year! IMG_4025As the only pastor/elder, it has been challenging at times, to keep up with all the needs of a growing church. But, he was able to bring on several deacons and an administrative assistant to help him with various ministries and responsibilities. It has been an incredible blessing to see the Lord growing our church – both spiritually and numerically – over the past year!!

When we moved to Texas, 5 years ago, the Lord provided a great little house for us about a mile from our church. And, at that time, it fit our family of 3 perfectly, with room to spare! But, our family has since doubled in size. And, it was becoming a complicated game of Tetris just to figure out how to fit everyone, and everything, in. We put that house on the market in July, and, thanks to a great friend and realtor, our house sold (very!) quickly! And, so began the exciting (and exhausting!) process of finding a new place to call home.

11934555_10207618183433836_8361133520582927853_oWhile we originally dismissed what would be our new house as a possibility, the Lord perfectly worked out the timing, the finances, and so many little details and desires, and gave us a new home that we absolutely love! (And, even though we are technically in a new town, we really only moved across the street. And, we are still only a mile from our church!) We moved in at the beginning of September, and are enjoying the process of getting settled, and working to turn our new house into more than just a place to eat, sleep, and store our belongings.

While our lives, and certain seasons especially, can seem impossibly busy, they really are very ordinary. But, it is in that everyday, ordinary, Christian life, that there is also great joy and anticipation as we see what God is doing, and what He will do, in us and through us to accomplish His purposes. It is an incredibly humbling privilege to serve Him as He chooses.

May this Christmas and the year to come be one of joy and anticipation for you, as you seek to serve our Savior each day!

With Love,
Jason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Rachel

 

“Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!”
Psalm 100:3-4 (ESV)

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Year in Review ~ 2014

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance….You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” ~Psalm 16:5-6, 11 (ESV)

Dear Family and Friends,
This year seems to have passed in a blur of happy surprises, simple everyday moments, and unexpected trials. But, as I think back over all that has happened, I am both humbled and amazed at all that the Lord has done – in our home, our family, and our church.

Our children are a constant joy, and tangible reminders of God’s sovereignty, grace, and timing. They humble us, stretch us, and show us our need to be completely dependent on the Lord each day as we seek to faithfully parent, train, and disciple them.

Hannah turned 9 in April, and is in the fourth grade! She enjoys our school time, and science continues to be her favorite subject. This year, my little animal-lover is thrilled to be studying Zoology! She actually jumped up and down after I purchased the books at the homeschool convention this summer. But, she is still my creative little artist. She designed and built a moving Lego merry-go-round! She loves to write and tell long, elaborate stories, often keeping her brother entertained by transforming the living room into a forest wonderland, a train station, or some far-away kingdom! She definitely inherited her daddy’s artistic talent, and I think she has checked out every “how to draw” book in our local library, as she attempts to illustrate the many books and stories she is writing! She is a sweet and eager helper, and willingly jumps in to help with whatever I need…washing dishes, picking up toys, making lunch. She is a wonderful big sister! And, despite their age differences, she adores and genuinely enjoys her brother and sister!

Titus turned 2 in February! He is all boy! Full of energy, from the moment he wakes up! He runs. Everywhere. If he could, he would spend all day outside, playing at the park, or digging up the back yard. He is currently obsessed with fire trucks, police cars, and construction equipment…especially bulldozers, front end loaders, and dump trucks. He is so curious about everything, and most days, he has more questions than I have answers for! (Thankfully, he still buys “Because.” as a valid answer!) We started “Titus-school” (or, what most people would call pre-school) this year, and he is so excited to be sitting at the school table with his big sister, learning his colors, numbers, letters, and days of the week. He is a great big brother, and loves his “baby Bekah” (and, he is the only one that gets away with calling her that!). He checks on her when she cries, gives her kisses and hugs when she gets hurt, and occasionally offers to share his special monkey. They are both learning how to share their toys, and how to be kind. But most of the time, they get along great!

Rebekah turned 1 on October 10th! It has been so fun to watch her grow and change this past year! She talks a lot, but mostly in her own little language. She does say “bye” to Daddy, with waves and kisses, as he leaves each morning. And, she has learned some sign language. “More” seems to be her favorite sign…probably because it gets the most immediate results. But, my favorite is the way she signs “thank you” by blowing a kiss to whomever she is thanking! So sweet. She folds her hands to pray with us before meals, at bedtime, and in church…always offering her enthusiastic “Mmmen!” at the end. She officially started walking just after her first birthday, and is getting faster every day! She is full of personality, and has added so much joy to our home with her sweet smiles, contagious giggles, and silly faces. She loves her big brother and sister, and enjoys following them around, watching them, copying them, and just generally doing (or trying to do) whatever they are doing…including being a big sister!!

Ultrasound 11-3-14 001edYes! We are thrilled to be expecting a baby girl to join our family on, or around March 20, 2015!! We are so thankful for a relatively easy pregnancy this time, and are anxious to meet her.

As you might imagine, my days (and nights) are filled with caring for our children and our home. Some days, the laundry is never-ending (and we’re about to add more!)…I often resemble a ping pong ball as I try to simultaneously homeschool a fourth grader and a pre-schooler, while supervising toddler playtime…Sleep is in short supply…And, I seem to spend an extraordinary amount of time wiping things – little noses, little cheeks, little fingerprints, and little bottoms. But, each day, all of these things (and more!) remind me that being a mommy is one of the greatest privileges, responsibilities, and ministries I will ever have!

Although it can often seem that way, our children are not the only thing keeping us busy…

This summer, Jason became the senior/teaching pastor of Grace Community Bible Church. We have been blessed to be part of this church for 4 years, but this has been a big change (for us, and for our church). He is continuing to counsel, disciple, and oversee a variety of ministries, and has added preaching regularly to his responsibilities! He is enjoying studying and preaching through the book of Acts on Sunday mornings, and (finally!) finishing up a series on the book of Proverbs on Wednesday nights. We have been so encouraged by our friends during this transition, and are even more grateful for the wonderful church family that the Lord has given us to serve alongside of here! And, we are looking forward to how the Lord will continue to grow us and use our little church in the future.

This year has challenged and stretched us in unexpected ways. But, it has also been a year of immense joy as we have once again seen our Lord’s faithfulness to convict, encourage, strengthen, and sustain us each day!

This Christmas, we remember back to that moment, long ago, when God Himself took on flesh, and became man. We celebrate His birth, yes. But, more than that, we celebrate His sinless life, His perfect sacrifice for our sin, in His death on the cross, and His victory over death and sin in His resurrection.

And, it is only by His grace that we live, not just one day, but each day, in that hope…In the Light that was shined into the deepest darkness of our sin.

And, it is our prayer that you also may know the hope and joy that only comes from knowing our Savior…this Christmas and in the year to come.

By His Grace,
Jason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Baby

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2013 ~ Year In Review

Dear Family and Friends,

While it doesn’t seem possible, another year has come and (almost) gone so quickly!

Hannah turned 8 years old in April, and is just so grown up! She is in the third grade this year, and says that science is her favorite subject, because she loves studying God’s creation – especially animals. She has the most amazing imagination, and loves doing anything creative…writing stories, drawing pictures, putting together new Lego creations, and most recently learning to cook. She is such a sweet big sister. She can often be found playing blocks, reading stories, and building blanket forts with Titus, or holding her baby sister. She has been such a great help over the past year, and especially in the last few weeks!

Titus has grown and changed so much this year. He turned one on February 7th, and he is definitely all boy! He is silly, stubborn, and full of energy. His vocabulary seems to expand almost daily, and he constantly surprises us with new words. His favorite thing to do is to watch the trash trucks collect the garbage each week. “Trash Day” is quite the event in our home, and often finds us standing outside waiting for the trash truck, and waving to the garbage men. His big sister is his best friend, and he loves to be wherever she is. He has also become a wonderful big brother. He adores his new baby sister. He is surprisingly gentle with her, and loves to hold her and give her kisses. And, yes. You read that right. In January, we were happily surprised with the news that our family would be growing once again!

Rebekah Ann was born on October 10, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. She weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and measured 21 inches long. After a bit of a concerning start to this pregnancy, we are so very thankful to be holding this little girl in our arms! She is now 2 months old, and such a joy! Her sweet, calm personality has made the transition to life with 3 children an extremely easy and enjoyable one!

My days are blessedly busy…homeschooling Hannah, snuggling with Rebekah, and trying to keep Titus from climbing the bookshelves. And, I love it! There is no other way I would rather spend my time!

Jason continued teaching through the book of Proverbs in Sunday School this year, and is currently teaching an Introduction to Biblical Counseling class on Wednesday nights. He and our pastor have been working to establish an extension campus for Shepherds Seminary at our church. They have spent the year taking turns moderating seminary classes on Sunday afternoons, and they traveled to North Carolina in April to present their plans to the board. (We are hoping to hear that the site has been approved soon!) In September, he organized our church’s annual Bible conference. He also had the opportunity to perform his first wedding this summer…and his second just a few weeks ago!

Our days and weeks are definitely full. But, we have been able to spend some wonderful time together as a family this year as well.

As we reflect on the blessings and joys that this year has held for our family, we are reminded of the greatest gift we have been given.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6

We pray that you also know the joy and hope that comes from our Savior this Christmas and in the year to come.

By His Grace,

Jason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, and Rebekah

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