Dear Family and Friends,
What a busy year this has been. They seem to get busier and fly by faster. The blessings, however, seem to come just as rapidly. We pray this letter finds you as blessed and excited about the future as we are.
The first half of the year was the usual adult routine. Timmy had his first birthday; we got a much smaller garden out, and, oh yeah, we had another child, Jeffrey Thomas. This little blessing arrived on May 10. The timing was perfect, because his mother took the summer off from work for maternity leave. He is a red-haired, blue-eyed, happy baby. It is definitely more hectic and quite a bit louder in our house now that we have two boys. Who ever said one plus one equals two?! Jeffy laughs at his brother who tries to smash him with a hug, and he gets distracted with looking around when we try to give him a bottle, and he refuses to nap longer than 20 minutes at any given time. And, we wouldn’t trade a minute of this for anything!!
Timmy has truly graduated to toddler-hood. He will grab any and all writing instruments; he likes to dip his food in his cup of milk or water (or pour his drink onto the floor); and he will roar (childlike, of course) when asked what a lion says. He sometimes eats vegetables, but always eats Oreos. He will run from his bath, but scream when you try to take him out. He is a small child who tests his parents to the stretching point, and kisses them to reward them for their patience. Did we ever not have kids? We think so, but there is no time to remember that now.
Andy has really had a good year. He changed jobs a week after Jeffy was born, and he has not looked back once. His new employer is Applied Innovation. They make and manufacture equipment that is sold to the phone companies. The job is great for many reasons: 1)Andy gets to play on the Internet, 2) Andy is doing something he really loves, 3) Andy takes aerobics twice a week at work 4) and (drum roll) Andy can make it to work in less than 10 minutes and does not hit one traffic light. It is truly a company that takes care of their employees. The future and opportunity look wide open.
Judy continues working full-time at Banc One. Her job, however, has reached maximum overload. She is currently conversing with (begging, pleading, bribing) her boss to hire another employee benefits attorney, but she’s not holding her breath. Although it is too busy, she continues to find the work exciting and challenging. During the summer, she taught two classes in Chicago to a group of trust officers from various banks around the country in what is known as “Trust School” in the banking business. She really enjoyed the experience.
We have been able to do a little bit of traveling this year as a family. We took a vacation to Marco Island in January. Timmy loved the water and his parents loved the lack of white fluffy stuff and warm sunny climate. The rest of the travels were business related. Judy and Andy went to Orlando in early August for a conference. The little theme park was the major attraction. In late August, Andy had a conference in San Francisco, and Judy and Timmy tagged along (Jeffy went to Grandma’s). Additionally, Andy had a conference in Las Vegas in mid-November, and the whole family went along.
We pray that God has touched your lives in special ways throughout the last year. We know some of you have experienced great hardships, and we will continue to pray for you and your situations. May the peace and love of Jesus fill your hearts this Christmas.
Andy, Judy, Tim & Jeff Gruenbaum