Bret and Ellen Huntebrinker have been married seven years and are blessed with three children: Gianna, Vaughn, and Kolbe. They hail from Maumee, Ohio and are parishioners at St. Joan of Arc. Bret is Coordinator of Evangelization and Pastoral Care for the Diocese of Toledo. Ellen is a mom and RN. Here’s their story.
Please share the short story of how you met and began dating.
Bret and I met at St Thomas More University Parish. We were friends for 3 years, when Bret decided he wanted to pursue a dating relationship with me. We dated a for a few months, but then I ended it because it was “too weird”. After prayer and discernment, we started dating again about 6 months later, and the rest is history!
What are some favorite family activities?
Playing board games, working on puzzles, reading books, taking walks, playing at a park
Share a time you all really laughed as a family.
Whenever we get Kolbe started on his loud laughs, it’s contagious and we all contribute to keeping his laughs going!
Share a “cute kid” story (or two).
During bedtime prayers while we were house hunting, Vaughn prayed, “Jesus, help us find a new house.” Very sweet.
Describe a dream family vacation.
Nothing breakable in the house or room where we’re staying. Room for the kids to run. Some sort of water to swim/play in, and maybe a beach. An outdoor area to hike or walk. Campfire with s’mores at night. Kids going to bed without putting up a fight 😉
What do you love most about being married?
Knowing I have someone praying for me and wanting nothing but the best for me. Knowing that I have someone by my side to help out.
What is your greatest challenge as a married couple and how are you working at it?
Finding time for us in the midst of young kids, fatigue, busy weekends, and working. Working at it through at-home date nights.
What do you love most about your family?
The love for one another.
What is your greatest challenge as parents and how are you working at it?
Patience and modeling good behavior. Working at it by talking about it with my spouse and holding each other accountable for our actions.
Share a time you saw Jesus fulfill a real need in your family?
We were house hunting, getting very frustrated with the housing market. The house we found fits our needs in so many ways and then some more!
How does your family pray?
Structured meal time prayer, before bed with a kids prayer and asking the kids to contribute their prayers for gratitude and intercession. Praying spontaneously during times of frustration. Praying in the car. Rosary.
How do you measure success as a family, and what help do you need getting there?
When our family is in a state of peace, happiness, and health. Need help in continuing to pray more as a family and really tuning in to each member’s needs.
What are you moved to proclaim to other families?
Having Christ at the center of our family life makes such a positive impact in our lives!
How have Mass Impact and LIT Groups impacted your marriage and family life? Why do you think others should get involved?
It helps us to incorporate our faith into our lives, and helps us to grow closer to God, and in turn, closer to each other. LIT Groups have encouraged us to have conversations that we may not normally have, through continued talks about the Mass readings.
We would love to feature your family story!