Praise God for the unique Texas weather! This morning at six it was 32 degrees and my bare hands ached with cold as I did push-ups on the front porch after my jog. By lunchtime it was 75 so we had a picnic outdoors  and this evening I played soccer in shorts because the weather was beautiful. By tomorrow evening it will be cold again and by Christmas it will be down in the ‘teens, however it will probably be warm next week. God blessed Texas with the ability to please everyone – if you don’t like the weather just wait an hour or so and it will be different.

Now for the real purpose, God gave me a day at home that I wasn’t expecting so I have time to put up another post. This is our family newsletter (minus the pictures). Each person wrote their own section so I take no responsibility for what is said.  I thought y’all might be interested in knowing my family a little better and seeing how God is has blessed us this year.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” At Christmastime, we especially think of God’s wonderful work in sending Christ, His Son, into the world to provide for our salvation. We approach the Christmas season with hearts of gratefulness. This year has been one of changes, of children who are growing up so quickly. We have said god-bye to Jim’s dad, Bobby Jones, and to two beloved uncles, Roy Paslay and E. G. Jones. We have sent our three oldest daughters to college in Michigan. And we have welcomed two new members to our family.

Jim (dad) – I shipped out FedEx (giving my business to Michael) and began remodeling again. I snow skied for the first time, played soccer all year, worked for some wonderful clients, and gained a great daughter-in-law who has already blessed me with my first grandson. God provided new insights as I kept my eye on Christ’s Commands and studied the blood covenants. I am so blessed to have these children who love God and put up with their Dad. God has faithfully and miraculously provided for all our needs.

Anne – Our household has really changed with the girls off at school. I’m continuing with my hobbies of scrap booking and astronomy. I also teach a Chemistry class each week. This spring I had the wonderful privilege of cruising to Alaska with my sister Sue, and parents for their 50th Anniversary. I loved all the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and the whales we saw breaching.

Michael – 23 Just before Valentine’s Day this year, I married my sweetheart, Lindsey Hebert, on the snow-covered mountains of Angel Fire, NM. We are living in Bryan while she works at Wells Fargo Bank and I drive for FedEx. 10 ½ months into our new life together God blessed us with a son, Connor Andrew, born Dec. 10th, weighing 7lbs 7oz. Gramma and Papa and all his aunts and uncles think he is the cutest thing.

Amy – 21 Leaving home for college life has a lot of trade-offs. Starting with the farm we sold our horses in order to buy laptops; discipleship of the neighbor girls was traded for a new ministry among the girls attending a cooking course held on campus; piano students changed to self-defense students; AWANA kids were replaced by staff kids on campus; triathlon training became early morning workouts and noon walks with the kitchen staff. Leaving the old for the new is bittersweet, but “ I count all these things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord” and being in the center of His will. Shakespeare’s Juliet puts it perfectly in saying, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” My crowning achievement however, was directing and producing a two and a half hour radio drama called The Fall of the King , a Narnia based story starring some of our good friends. I formed a close friendship with Mikaela as we spent two intense months planning, recording, sound mixing and watching the hand of God move on our behalf.

Stacie – 19 This year has been one continual blessing, especially the outpouring of love we received from our friends before leaving for college. My major is History, but I have loved everything I’ve studied, from Humanities to Economics. Opportunities to be involved in drama included, The Fall of the King, Gifts for Madge and Guy, and a Nativity readers’ theater. Lori and I are starting to play flute/harp duets for weddings and banquets; it’s nerve wracking, but I love it. The greatest blessing this year has been the growth of my relationship with the Lord. His word is true when He said, “Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart”. The Lord has become both my delight and my desire.

Lori -17 The last few months of this year have been dominated with college life. However I can’t think of any better roommates than my own two sisters. I learned I am the youngest student at Verity. I like his because if I’m going to be one of the youngest, I might as well be the youngest. I’m majoring in music theory/composition with the piano as my instrument. I have a flute student, which helps bring in a little spending money :) I’m proud to share my birth month with our first nephew (was there ever a cuter baby?).

Brian – 15 This has been quite year for me. In the early part of this year, I went skiing twice at Angel Fire, NM. I skied a few of the easier black slopes. This was my second year of working with Robert Santini in our lawn mowing business, “Po’ Boys Mowing.” (Interested local people can e-mail [email protected] ) I’m taking a chemistry class taught by Robert’s dad , and a basic drafting course which I’ve enjoyed a lot. (Drafting is drawing things like blueprints and machine parts.) My days are now spent studying, eating, playing soccer, ultimate frisbee and paint ball, singing in our church choir, and working with Dad. All in all, this year has been absolute loads of fun.

Hi! My name is David . I’m 13 years old and I am 5’4” and still growing. This year, we have done a lot of stuff like the Blue Bell Fun Run where I won a medal. We also went to Big Sandy and  did ALERT cadets, where we did rafting, knot tying, search and rescue, and an obstacle course.

Timothy – 11 My first time to ever go skiing was an adventure. I fell down a lot and got up a lot. There was a blizzard and it was clod ad fun. I also ran in the Fu n Run, played piano for the Grand Concert and helped with Republican work. I am learning cello.

This is Katie Jones the explorer, Indian, kier, jogger and Christian. I was a flower girl in Mary Lassiter’s wedding. I ran in the Blue Bell Fun Run and won a gold medal!!! At my Indian 7 th birthday party, everyone dressed up like Indians , with painted faces and feathers. We shot arrows, canoe and rode horses. I played a piano duet, “Take me out to the Ball Game” with Mom in the Grand Concert.

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