|Dear family and friends:||Christmas 2004|
Seasons greetings from the very full Gruenbaum house! This year has been a year full of blessings and a few challenges, primarily in the form of children. We trust God has been working in your lives over the past year!
Our fostering ministry has continued in 2004. It is hard to adequately convey how blessed we feel by the opportunity God has given us to serve in this way. We have had a total of 5 placements (9 children) this year. The placements have generally been for 4-6 weeks, which is somewhat short in the foster care world. They have been a combination of sibling groups, races, and ages. We have even experienced being the parents of several teenagers (3 of them – all age 13) without being too much worse for the wear! We are continually thankful for the way our bio-children minister to these children through friendship, sharing, and providing unconditional love. We are also thankful for the babysitting services of both of our mothers. It is very hard to find a babysitter that we can trust with 7 children!
Tim (4th grade) and Jeff (3rd grade) were both football players this fall. Their team didn’t win many games, but they enjoyed the season. They continue with their piano playing and enjoy school. They both did well in last year’s school spelling bee, and are both representing their classes again this year!
Our little girls are now preschoolers 3 days a week and enrolled at Worthington Christian Preschool (part of the school system that Timmy and Jeffy are in). Abby is 4 and Rachel is 3; they are both so independent. They like to be hugged and read to. They enjoy their friends at school, but “daddy days” are still a favorite.
Finally, mom and dad……Judy is no longer at Bank One. After the acquisition by J.P. Morgan Chase earlier this year, she is now one of their employees. It’s hard to be acquired. She changed jobs slightly and now is in charge of JPMC’s anti-money laundering compliance program for the U.S. portion of the business. At Bank One, she was in charge of their entire program. She travels to New York quite often, but still scrapbooks occasionally, although there isn’t much free time these days. Andy is still at home. His sense of humor continues to keep him sane (just to the right of insane), but there is a little bit of a twist. In January, he and Judy started a company together, Fountainpoint Distribution. Although the primary customer has been the Limited, the experience has ranged from working with manufacturing companies to outright manual labor. So, now besides his many parental hats, Andy wears a few business hats as well!
Lastly, somewhere between all of our other commitments, we fit in several family vacations. We spent a week in Florida in March with Judy’s mom and dad. In August, we made a family trip to San Diego and the Southwest. This was in honor of our turning the big 4-0 this year! We do feel pretty old, but we are trying not to dwell on it! San Diego weather was wonderful; the beaches were terrific; and the family time was awesome. We also went to Las Vegas (crayons melt in 120 degree weather), the Grand Canyon, and Phoenix (spent time with our friends, the Logans).
We pray that you and your families will experience the true joy of Christmas this season by knowing that God sent a little baby in a manger for you and for us. Blessings to you in the New Year!
Andy, Judy, Timmy, Jeffy, Abby, Rachel & James, Kim, Casey