|Dear family and friends:||Christmas 2003|
Happy holidays from the Gruenbaum household. We trust that this letter is finding you well.
Judy has logged yet another year at Bank One bringing the total to 10. At the beginning of the year, she became the Acting Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer for all of Bank One and was named the permanent chief in September. Her job is to oversee Bank One’s program to fight money laundering and prevent terrorist financing. It is a very big change from her old job and an even bigger challenge. She officially has no other hobbies besides work, hubby and children these days. She is hoping to change that in the new year.
Andy is still staying at home taking care of things as Judy stays very busy with her job. Of course, like any good househusband, he still has other ambitions, but until the direction is clear, he will continue reading as much Ludlum & Clancy as he can. When he is not reading or doing a computer project, he maintains his status as the best cook, babysitter, diaper changer, and gardener to whom Judy has ever been married.
Early in the year, God orchestrated the events in such a manner so that it was undeniable that he desired us to become licensed foster parents. Our bundles-of-adventure arrived on May 17. Cody (age 9) and Savannah (age 6) were a fixture in our household for 5 months and were happily reunited with their mother in October. To say fostering is interesting is an understatement; we have the stories to prove it.
Our boys have continued to be a joy…..the degree of joy depending on the day! Timmy (8 ½ going on 13, 3rd grade) loves school and his friends. He is a very good reader and a huge Stars Wars fan. Jeffy (7 ½ and 2ndGrade) is what we call our “numbers guy”. He can come up with a number to fit any of your number needs. (i.e. How many blades of grass in our yard?) Both boys along with their foster brother got into many adventures this summer (ask them about the huge hole they dug in the garden – it took days), and they kept daddy busy hosing them down.
We are enjoying watching the girls grow. Abby (3 ½ ) loves being Rachel’s big sister. Abby may fuss at times, but her laugh and jokes make her lots of fun with whom to spend time. Our only lefty, Rachel (2), is a girl with a mission…..entirely her own. If she wants it, you better be prepared to give in OR to have a good option available. Both the girls love to be read to, but Rachel insists on about 15 books each night (really!). Dr. Seuss would be so pleased to know that he is loved in our home. Both girls got to play with their big foster sister Savannah all summer long. Savannah was an adventure no one in the house will soon forget.
Of course, we were able to sneak out for a couple of trips again this year. In the spring, we went to Disney. And, this fall, we went to Gatlinburg. (Our cabin, Dixie Stampede, and the Ripley’s Aquarium.) And, while we had the foster children, we went to visit Judy’s sister Mary Jo in Pennsylvania on our first family camping trip (picture Mom, Dad, 6 kids and a big tent). We also went camping in northern Ohio for a few days while we worked in a couple of visits to Six Flags.
As the gifts are unwrapped and the Christmas cookies devoured, may the Babe born in Bethlehem spend time in your home and your heart this holiday season.
God Bless you in the coming year!
Andy, Judy, Timmy, Jeffy, Abby, and Rachel