2013 Family Christmas Letter

by Greg Linscott

As Christians, Christmas is the time we celebrate the Advent of our Savior, Jesus Christ. With the words of Wesley’s hymn, we hope that you too can rejoice in the salvation He provided for us:

Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth. 

2013 is winding down its last days, and we in the Linscott family are thankful for God’s provision to us over the past year.  This February will mark the completion of our 6th year here in Marshall, and we have truly grown to love the place God has planted us in. By the time you read this, Greg should have finished the classwork for a Master’s degree from Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Sumnmit, PA.

Jennifer's hard work has paid off

Jennifer’s hard work has paid off

Jennifer recently completed a dieting process of over 2 years, losing 115 lbs. in the course of that time. The children are developing and maturing. Abby, Kati, and Dori continue their responsibilities delivering papers for the Marshall Independent. Caleb and Emma started wearing glasses. Abby continues her love of drawing, and started Driver’s Education. Kati continues to play her violin with the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra. She and Dori are taking piano lessons, and were joined this year by Reggie taking violin lessons, too. Abby and Kati are accompanying the congregation in hymn singing- Abby on her guitar and clarinet, and Kati on her violin.

Jennifer did some painting with her mom while in Grand Rapids.

Jennifer did some painting with her mom while in Grand Rapids.

January was an interesting month for our family. Reggie and Emma played basketball with the Marshall Community Services programs for their age groups. Jennifer spent a week with her parents in Grand Rapids, following her father’s hip replacement surgery. Dad and the kids survived her absence without any significant problems, though Dad did end up conducting a funeral at the church while she was gone. He also managed to arrange for the family dog to spend a weekend away… something we’ll come back to later…

Abby is in the front row on her clarinet

Just about every day in February had at least one member of the Linscott family down with the flu- the odds of such things increase with 9 family members! With that being said, we still managed to navigate through a month of normal activities, including the annual Grand Prix race at church, and a band concert for the girls. Greg and Jennifer celebrated 18 years of marriage, and Reggie celebrated his 6th birthday.

The most notable event for our family in March was Dori’s decision to follow Jesus in the waters of baptism. She joined 5 other baptism candidates, as well as three others who joined the church on Easter Sunday.


The children were also involved in a production of The Pinocchio Show  with other students from the Marshall Area Christian Home Educators Association. In other news, our family dog gave birth to a litter of nine golden retriever puppies, 7 of whom survived and went on to good homes.

April saw plenty of snow throughout the month- enough to warrant canceling church services once or twice, even. Dori and Emma celebrated their 10th and 5th birthdays, respectively. Kati had the opportunity to accompany a men’s choir from Southwest Minnesota State University on her violin, an opportunity we were very grateful for, considering she was only in eighth grade.

In May, the adoption of our son Hayden was finalized, the youngest of the three children we have added into our family. We celebrated with an impromptu trip visiting Mount Rushmore and the Badlands of South Dakota over Memorial Day. The girls resumed their summer horse-riding lesson with Joanne Stoneberg from our church in June. Jennifer and the children were excited to complete another year of school.

We sent the three oldest girls to Camp Shiloh for camp in July, along with several campers from Marshall. Jennifer took the children and some of the girl’s friends to the Mall of America for an adventure-filled day. A highlight of the year included a trip to Michigan for Jennifer’s 20th high school reunion, which included a few extra days visiting with family and a detour to the Creation Museum. August saw us back in Marshall, taking in tomatoes from the garden, and gearing up for another year of home education.CSC_0132

Jennifer’s Class Reunion Picture

Jennifer got to see Charlie and Betty Vander Meer (Uncle Charlie of Children’s Bible Hour) while visiting her home church in Grand Rapids

Greg oversaw the Minnesota Baptist Association’s Men’s Retreat in September. There was a very good turnout for the event, which featured Phil Johnson as speaker. Reggie joined Kati and Dori taking violin lessons. Jennifer and the kids began another year of school, and Greg celebrated his 42nd birthday.

Dressing in animal costumes for Kids 4 Truth at church


October saw Abby’s 15th birthday, Kati’s first concert of the season with the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra, and our first snow of the season. Dori played volleyball with the team from Marshall Area Christian School. We also enjoyed watching the Boston Red Sox march on to their third World Series title in 10 years (well, at least watching Dad watch the games and shaking the whole house when they did something exciting….).

The 2013 Red Sox postseason was memorable at our house

The 2013 Red Sox postseason was memorable at our house

Thanksgiving dinner at the church

Kati turned 14, Caleb turned 4, and Jennifer… had a birthday in November, too! We had a wonderful month of family celebrations. We enjoyed a Thanksgiving celebration with several people from our church, including several Karen refugees from Burma- in all, there were 60 of us who enjoyed the meal and celebration together.  Greg got an 8 point buck deer hunting with the men from church, to help put some food in our freezer for the winter.

Kati at 14, Abby at 15

We’re looking forward to an eventful December. We will celebrate our 2nd Christmas together as a family, as well as Hayden’s second birthday. On the church front, we plan to celebrate our 6th annual Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service.

Hayden is nearly 2, Caleb just turned 4.

We wish you all a joyous Christmas season, and a prosperous 2014 as you are faithful to the commands of Christ.

Love from Greg, Jennifer, Abby, Kati, Dori, Reggie, Emma, Caleb, and Hayden