Merry Christmas from the ever-growing Jeub family! It has been some years since I (Chris) have taken up the pen and written the yearly memoir of our family life. We traditionally call this the Jeub family “letter,” but it is growing into more of a book that I hope you enjoy. What a year it has been for the Jeubs, and I don’t foresee life slowing down any time soon!
Wendy and I love this time of life. Mama Jeub and I run a nice mix of befriending adult children, counseling teenagers, running school children, and loving on grandchildren. Our favorite weekly activity is Sunday Brunch, set at the same time every week where the adult children (plus spouses and grandchildren) gather with the rest of us still at home (half are currently moved out) and catch up on the lives of one another. It’s like a living Christmas letter every week! The rest of our week has its busy routines. Wendy works at High Country Home Educators and homeschools two of the kids. I manage our Monument Publishing business in the early mornings before heading off to our local charter school to teach 7th grade English.
Routines aside, 2019 brought us new adventures. We remodeled our bedroom and bathroom, so now our master wing looks fantastic! We are also planning a comeback of Love in the Kitchen — remember those cookbooks? — amping up our kombucha brewing and a variety of other recipes. We were amply blessed this year in our elk hunt — two 5×5 bulls harvested on Opening Day — as well as a donated cow and a couple of small pigs. Two freezers full of 100% organic grass-fed meat makes for frequent steaks on the grill and hors d’oeuvres of jerky and sausage.
I suppose y’all want to visit now. Well, we have a place for you! We built a unique “glamping” rental on our property, a full “glamorous camping” site with our outfitters tent on our property. No kidding: You can register for a stay on Airbnb, a one-of-a-kind short-term rental in Monument, and we plan to ratchet it up with added amenities next summer. We love hosting people from across the country as they vacation in the booming Colorado Springs area.
My online membership model in my publishing company for academic debaters has helped free me up to pour my whole heart into teaching middle school English. These two “jobs” complement each other nicely, but I have been working for the past year on a third: writing on more relevant, life-giving topics, much like Wendy and I used to do back in our reality-TV days. In many ways we are aiming to bring back Love in the House in 2020. I spent the summer giving my first shot at it: a full 10-chapter memoir on my family’s struggle with social smearing. Called Facing Hate: Overcoming Social Smearing, Recovering Relationships, and Rebuilding Your Reputation, it’s quite the extensive work that I believe will make a significant impact on the dark reality of online shaming, something my entire family has dealt with for the past half-decade. (Read the Prologue here.) The book is set to release next year.
Never a boring moment, wouldn’t you say? Now sit back and get scoops on the rest of the Jeub family, starting with the oldest Jeub children, all the way down to the youngest.
First, the grown ups. Or, at least, those who have known adulthood for a decade or so. For a variety of reasons, some prefer not to be part of our yearly letter, and we respect that. Our love for them remains unshakable. In fact, we’re flying to Australia next year to visit Alissa and Assad. Can you join in praying for the end of the war in Syria? While our daughter and her family call Australia their home, extended family are still displaced from this most devastating war. May God heal and restore Syria!
Lydia, meanwhile, has plenty to share. She and Skip live the mountain life a few hour’s drive from us, but we get to see them quite a bit. A favorite expedition for us is rounding up as many Jeubs as possible and heading to the mountains for their local pool, a natural hot spring. Lydia’s son has a favorite game when visiting Grandpa’s: Get the Pillow. It’s the perfect excuse to get my aging body rough-housing in the living room again. Lydia and Skip’s daughter will be joining her brother soon, but she is a bigger help to Grandma in the kitchen for now. When they visit, they often bring their teenage niece and nephew (on Skip’s side of the family) who currently live with them in the mountains. They merge nicely into our family’s life and are always welcome. It sure is a full house when all of us are together!
Next: Da Boys. Isaiah got married in July to Bree, our beautiful blonde daughter-in-law. Their wedding was perfect, joining in matrimony in her family’s backyard, the same spot where Bree’s parents got married over thirty years prior. The wedding was intentionally small, immediate family the only ones invited, save for one non-family member, Isaiah’s boss, Nathan. The two of them run a painting business in Colorado Springs. They do quite well, well enough for Isaiah and Bree to afford their first house. The two are set to move into their townhome this month.
Five weeks later (no pressure!), Micah married our beautiful brunette daughter-in-law, Kya. She, too, comes from a large family (ten children), so their wedding was a huge bash of family and friends. Micah had already owned a house for nearly a year and had since transformed it into a multi-tiered Airbnb. They moved into the basement and Kya now manages the rest of the property. Micah quit his construction job of three years to start a home remodeling and property management business called Jeub Pro, and his business partner is his little brother, Noah. The family business keeps them busy…but not too busy! In true Jeub fashion, Micah and Kya wasted no time at all and are expecting their first baby this coming spring. Our ninth grandchild will be here soon!
Technically, da boys were all married off within a year, though the little brother married early in 2018. Today Noah and Christine are such wonderful parents of Malikai, our beautiful grandson who turned one this month. He started walking at only nine months, so he’s running everywhere! Christine gets a break now and then as she works a few hours per week at a local cake shop. Like Micah, Noah recently quit his screen repair job to put his full focus on Jeub Pro. Noah and Chrissy swap babysitting responsibilities, but when in a crunch, Grandma Wendy is a most willing volunteer for Malikai. And an announcement surprised the family at the time of this letter’s first draft: Noah and Chrissy are expecting Baby #2! Our tenth grandchild will be arriving in July.
The rest of the Jeub children still live in our home, down to only nine. Nearly empty nesters, eh? Let me now tell you of the next two Jeub kids, Tabitha and Keilah, as they are the two into post-secondary education at the moment.
Tabitha has her sights on Law, and she’s off to a great start. She stayed in high school an extra year through Colorado Springs Early College so she could secure college credits, expecting to graduate in May with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Her plan for now is to stay home for two more years to wrap up her full college degree in Colorado Springs, then move onto law school. Her ambition is criminal justice, perhaps district attorney some day.
Though a year younger, Keilah graduated through our homeschool in the spring. She is now a full-time student for the International Salon and Spa Academy specializing in cosmetology and expecting to graduate next September. Keilah’s siblings and relatives are frequent models for haircuts, skincare, and nails.
The next two are the current Jeub/Jeub debate team, Hannah and Josiah, the two homeschooled Jeubs at the moment. They attend a weekly co-op in Colorado Springs as well as debate club in Aurora, on the same day of the week, no doubt. Mama Jeub is their personal chauffeur, and they’ll be traveling far-and-wide next year when the tournament season picks up. They both work, too, Hannah at McDonald’s and Josiah at the Ponderosa Conference Center, making extra cash to keep their speech and debate bills paid off.
Next: the twins. Though born two hours apart, we placed them in school in different grades when younger. I have had the privilege of teaching them both for the past two years. Joshua (8th grade) is the drama guy at school, playing the lead role of Robin Hood in the fall play this year. Havilah (7th grade) has developed a beautiful voice and took a place at the school’s talent show. Performing arts seem to be both of their fortes. They turned 14 this year, which means they get to start their first jobs, joining Josiah and the crew at the Ponderosa.
Last — but not least — are the littles. Priscilla, Zech, and Elijah keep us all young. Priscilla is definitely the Jeub artist, and Zech also has had his artwork displayed in school and even the school district’s calendar. Elijah is closest in age to our visiting grandchildren, so he is a favorite buddy of theirs. All three of the “littles” are fantastic uncles/aunt in the Jeub home.
Want to know something? It’s a surreal feeling writing a short book on what’s going on in our home. I should reflect on this more often. My routines are established: I wake every morning, brew coffee, do some meditations and exercises, and get to work. Wendy, too, has her routines, as does everyone in the family. We roll on with our lives. The result? Abundant blessing. When I take account of it all — like I am in this Christmas — I am humbled and awed.
This letter ends on a prayer: may God continue to bless us all. I don’t mean that to sound cliche. The Christmas story reminds me of the Jeubs’ dedicated relationship with Jesus Christ. Our story is a journey with Him and the abundant life He has made for us. Those who know Christ know abundant life, filled to the brim with a will specially formed for them. I’d love to hear what is filling your cup in your life, as I’m sure I’d see God stirring some mighty works.
Chris Jeub and Family