Sunday, December 14, 2014

Greetings from Sarah (Angell) Monaghan

Greetings to all! 

We (Sarah and Adam) continue to reside in Wichita, KS. We are so thankful to be parents to two little ones, Eliana Beth (2) and Seth Michael (1). We love the Kansas prairies, the big open sky, our community and neighbors, our friends and our work. Adam works as a pastor for the Friends church and does event planning and mission coordinating. His job takes him to all four corners of the earth on a regular basis! Sarah is learning many new skills - like how to get a car seat out of the car without the Kansas wind blowing the door into the next car and how to put two children in the car without one running away! When there is time left over, she loves to design with Adobe and help with the communication side of the Friends church. 

Mostly, we are very thankful for the gift of God-with-us, never leaving us, never forsaking us. We have much to learn, many dreams to actualize, but we are reminded that amidst all of the occupations of life, we desire to have the faith of a child and dwell in the love of God and live out of his love. Pray for us that we will not run the race of our life in vain, but that we would always press onward and seek wholeheartedly the Kingdom of God first. 

We are so blessed to know all of you that will read this. You have each touched our lives in beautiful ways and we do not underestimate the gift of being a part of community with you. We truly thank God for you when you come to mind.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Greetings from Isaac Angell

"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." Isaiah 41:13

In the midst of a busy work day, my thoughts often turn to a longing for time with my girls. Every so often I will call Allie and ask, "What are you up to? Do you and the girls want to come on a farm call with me?" When the answer is "Yes!" not only is my heart elated, but I know I will have three of the best travel companions anyone could ask for!

On a particular occasion, when we were just a family of three, driving down the salted roads in the midst of a barren and frigid winter landscape, Allie and I were holding hands, chatting about the upcoming birth of Olivia. With a brief pause, Allie turned around to Isabella, who was sitting in her car seat surrounded by medicine bottles and medical equipment in the back passenger seat of our SUV vet vehicle, and asked her what she was looking forward to most about having a little sister. Without missing a beat, she pipes up in her 2 year old voice, "I want to hold Baby Sister's hand in the car!"

It is in this context that our lives have been lived this past year. It has been a year of blessings and new beginnings. In March, a dream of ours was fulfilled to start our own family business: Bentley Veterinary Practice PLLC. We have been blessed to have a great team in this new venture. Allie is the business manager, but better yet she is my business buddy. Each Sunday evening, we look forward to our “business meetings.” We have two wonderful secretaries. Dr. Hart and I provide the veterinary care.

On May 14th, holding Allie’s hand, we welcomed Olivia Faith into this world. Isabella immediately took Olivia under her loving care. They are true friends, routinely playing with much laughter and smiles.

On our days off, you can usually find us working with our cattle herd. Isabella loves rounding up the cattle, and will often run alongside Papa holding his hand as they corral the cattle. In August, our family’s farming highlight was winning Grand Champion with our Ayrshire cow at the Dutchess County Fair.

Just recently, we were blessed to be able to buy a vet truck with an extended cab allowing Isabella’s dream to come true. Now when the vet calls come in, Mama and Papa are holding hands in the front and Isabella and “Baby Sister” are looking on in the back holding hands!

This is the beauty and wonder of Christmas, Jesus came to us, extending his hand, desirous for us to put our hand in His.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Greetings from Nate Angell

There is a tradition in the Angell family to name cows after the women who marry into the family. This photo was taken on our land with Jacob's Jersey calf named Meghan!

We are living in Irvington, NY, a small river town in Westchester County north of the city. Nate continues to enjoy his job at Black & Veatch in engineering consulting for energy projects. Meghan left her job at the doctor’s office to be a homemaker and loves being able to keep a home, volunteer at a local farm giving tours to school kids, and get involved with the Friday morning ladies group at Bentley Farm. On Valentine’s Day 2014, we bought a parcel of land on the original Bentley farm from our cousin Phebe. Over the course of the late summer and fall, we have been slowly cutting down locust trees from two overgrown groves on our property and cutting them into fence posts and firewood. We hope to have the fence up by next summer and graze livestock on our land. One day, we hope to build a house there too. In November, a dream of Nate’s came true in running the New York City marathon with Adam. We celebrated our first year wedding anniversary in September and look forward to many more celebrations in the years to come! We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Greetings from Luke Angell

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Rochester, New York!

We have really enjoyed our first year of marriage together and celebrated our first year anniversary in Cape Cod. We both continue to enjoy working at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Luke is a pediatric nurse and Abby is a secretary. Luke continues to pursue his pediatric nurse practitioner degree with an anticipated graduation date of May 2015. As the new year is dawning we are reminded of the blessings that this last year has brought. 

This advent season we are reminded of the gift of life that comes with each new day and season of life. We are excited to announce that we will be expecting our first baby in June! Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy and excitement as we anticipate being parents. As we celebrate this new gift of life, we are reminded of the life that this Christmas season is all about: Jesus Christ. May you know his love this Christmas season. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Greetings from Hannah (Angell) Hunt

The highlight of the Hunt's year was welcoming Asa James into the family on March 3rd. Asa has brought much joy and laughter to the home with his love for life and ear to ear smile. When Eric and Hannah are not playing with Asa, they have been renovating their 1934 home that they bought this spring in Columbus, In. They continue to be grateful for their church and Eric's employment with Cummins. They are looking forward to welcoming another new little life into their growing home in June of next year! 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Greetings from Jacob Angell

Merry Christmas! As I reflect over the last year, I am truly struck by how blessed I am.

I am on my way to completing my senior year at the Dyson School at Cornell University. The experiences I had at Cornell are ones that I will never forget, and I hope prepare me well for my future endeavors. This is an exciting time of life, and it will be fun to see what the future holds.

The experiences I have had this year have been great. I was able to go to Italy, Aspen, Colorado, for a ski trip, and I was able to spend my summer in Wichita, KS. Not only was I able to spend my summer with my sister Sarah and family, but I was able to fulfill one of my dreams and that was to work for Cargill. For those that don't know, Cargill is the largest privately owned company in the world, and I had the privilege of working with the marketing and executive teams of their beef division in their corporate office. Cargill processes close to 8 million cows per year to supply the global beef demand. I very much enjoyed seeing the macro view of the agriculture industry. I was really amazed by how many men and women that work day in and day out to provide food for the world population. We often take their hard work for granted.

I have also very much enjoyed being an uncle and being a part of all the little blessings of nieces and nephews. It is always exciting to be around young children and watch them grow. You definitely wish that they didn't grow up so fast!

 I wish each and everyone of you a blessed New Year and a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Greetings from Rebecca Angell

As I reflect on this past year I can't help but feel blessed. God has provided me new experiences, new friends, and an abundance of gifts.

This spring break I was able to go on my first mission trip where I traveled with different Friends' churches to Mexico. I was thankful to have that opportunity and to get to know the loving and hospitable people of Mexico. We went with the desire to bless them, but I left feeling I had received the blessing from them!

This summer, I enjoyed working for Children's Medical Group. I was able to serve many Hudson Valley families with pediatric care and I enjoyed building relationships with staff and patients. I also had the opportunity to work at Bentley's Veterinary Practice which provided for me many unique opportunities to further my secretarial and clinical skills. This August I moved to Wichita, Kansas to live with Sarah's family as I attend nursing school at Wichita State University as a Junior. I have loved getting to know Eliana and Seth better and to form relationships with them as I love on them! I am so grateful for each day of breath God has given to me and I hope to continue to treasure all of life's moments both big and small. 

Merry Christmas to you as we celebrate God's greatest gift of all: his son. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Greetings from Caleb Angell

Merry Christmas to all! I am currently finishing up my sophomore year at Dutchess Community College. I have become very involved with the Student Government Association at DCC and am enjoying the college experience. In the spring of this year I played a season of baseball with Upton Lake Christian School. I also joined Rebecca on the missions trip to Mexico, and was blessed by that experience. Over the summer I worked on Bentley Farm, landscaping and tending to other projects as they arose. Recently, I have worked at Malafy's Meat Processing in Red Hook, and have blessed by the friendship of many people God has placed into my life. I wish you all a very merry holiday season. 

Warm regards!

Friday, December 05, 2014


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Janet and I, with very grateful hearts, greet each one of you with that special joy which flows from that gloriously “impossible” event that took place some 2000 years ago in the City of Bethlehem.  Over the years many of you have graciously read our Christmas letter written at different times by our children Sarah, Nathaniel and finally Caleb.  The fullness of life finds us in a new season. It seems fitting that I should write to you this advent with a reflection on our thirty years of raising our children and to bring to a conclusion our annual family newsletter tradition. We look forward to staying in touch in other ways in the years to come.

The doors of the Bentley Farm home school have closed for now.  Caleb, our youngest, has joined his sister Rebecca at our local community college.  Jacob is very much enjoying his junior year at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Business.  Hannah and Eric, in Indiana, are happy expectant parents due in March with a son.  Luke and Abby had a wonderful wedding in August and now live, work and go to school in Rochester, NY.  Nathaniel and Meghan had our first big city wedding in September in NYC and then promptly relocated to the small hamlet of Irvington, NY.  Isaac, Allie and Isabella all were very proud this year when their cow was selected as Grand Champion Ayrshire at the Dutchess County Fair. Isabella is also very excited about the new member to be in their family. Sarah, Eliana and Adam welcomed Seth to their family during this very advent season.  Their family gave very generously of their time as they made multiple trips East so that Adam could fulfill his role as family pastor in officiating at the various weddings.   Janet and I continue living very full lives at the intersection of family, work, and community.

Times of change are often times of reflection.  Janet and I met each other when we were teenagers.  I was the hall resident in the Bundy dorm.  She was the incoming freshman.  We were a number, as they say, from the beginning. We took Introduction to the Bible together.  Our professor would always take great delight in reporting to the whole class whenever Janet did better on a test than I did.  I, of course, was proud of her for doing so.  During those early college years, Janet was often asked what she wanted to do after she graduated from college.  She would, without missing a beat, say that she looked forward to being a mother of twelve children.   This, as you might guess, was not the expected response in 1977. God did bless us with twelve children, eight of whom made it into this world.  And now as Janet and I watch them leave home, start their own families, and have their own children, we often speak about what we have learned along the pathways of life thus far.  The children have been, and still are, a source of tremendous joy. The Scriptures teach that children are a blessing from the Lord; blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  We have experienced that blessing beyond all expectations.

God has provided for us in miraculous ways over the years:  the unexpected gift at a time of need; a helping hand during periods of struggles; and most importantly, friendships which have spanned the decades.  We have always had enough provision for the moment, for which we are extremely grateful. Many of you have played a role in supporting our family with your friendship, with your lending and helping hands, with your gifts of encouragement and support.  We are so thankful for each of you.

We have also been incredibly blessed by having others come join the family.  Some have come for dinner and a visit.  Others have stayed for months, a few for years.  Our visitors have been all ages and with many experiencing different trials of this life.  We have worked together, ate together, prayed together, sang together, read the scriptures together, and most importantly shared with each other this journey together. It is in living with others that we truly learn to know each other and ourselves.

In addition to the richness of human community, we have experienced as a family the fullness of the wider creation.  For us, it is our connection to Bentley Farm.  We have a commitment to this place—the fields, the brooks and springs, the woods, the hills, the wide open sky, and the mountains in the distance. But it is more than the physical space and its attributes, it is the place where we have experienced what it means to be fruitful—the hay we baled and put in the barn as a family, the cows we have milked, the eggs we collect from the chickens, the wool we shear from the sheep, the apples we have collected from the trees, and the bushels of vegetables that we gather every year from the gardens.  It is this place that has both sustained us and given us a sense of belonging and rootedness. However, Janet and I would not have experienced the fullness of our life together if it had not been for the person whose birth we celebrate, Jesus Christ.

Both of us, at different times, in different places, and under different circumstances had an encounter with our living God, through his Son.  For me it was during a very lonely time during the summer of 1985 when I met Jesus.  He was on the cross, the room was filled with light and power.  He spoke into my life and my struggles.  I literally heard His voice.  I was changed.  Janet's life changed dramatically on a wintry night in 1990.  She had given her all to bring our son Luke into this world, putting her own life at risk.  Luke was at death’s door. After leaving Luke in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Janet was driving North on the Taconic Parkway in the middle of a snow storm.  She laid Luke down at the feet of Jesus and Jesus picked Luke up.  Luke, born three months prematurely and hospitalized for months, miraculously turned a corner that night.  He was home with the rest of the family within weeks.  Janet experienced the gift of new life. Our marriage, our family, and this life that we live together is built on our relationship with this person whose name is Jesus Christ. Without Him our lives would look like Bedford Falls without George Bailey.

In Him, we have experienced a fullness of life that to this very day overwhelms us with a peace that passes all understanding, an inward joy and a sense of being in the presence of a love that is an overwhelming, extraordinary reality.  He is the good news, the great joy, and the reason not to fear. For He is still as near and alive as when the angel said to the shepherds of old, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)