|Dear family and friends:||Christmas 2005|
Seasons greetings from the very full Gruenbaum house! Another full year with lots of opportunities to grow as individuals and as a family! We hope 2005 had some of this for all of you as well!
Our fostering ministry has continued in 2005. We have been at if for over 2 1/2 years and have had a total of 12 children with the last 3 being our longest stay yet – almost 14 months. We end the year with 2 of the foster children we had last Christmas. The foster daughter, Kim, from last year has recently moved to another home which is in the process of adopting her. We also had a few repeat visitors this year. We aren’t sure what 2006 will bring. We are seeking God’s direction in how long He wants us to continue with the challenges of fostering.
Tim (5th grade), Jeffy (4th grade) and Casey(5th grade) were all baseball players this summer. Jeffy is doing violin for a second year. Casey and Tim also did soccer this fall. All the boys are doing “Upward” basketball at a church nearby. They continue with their piano playing and enjoy school. Although we aren’t expecting any of them to win the Heisman when they grow up, we are hoping for academic scholarships. 🙂 While Tim and Jeff participated in last year’s spelling bee (Tim won!), it is a new year and harder words. James and Casey both attend Buckeye Valley public schools. James (8th grade) has a busy teenage social life, and he plays a couple of sports, too. We would rather have waited another couple of years to parent a teenager, but why put off till later what you can do now?
Abby (she prefers Abigail) turned 5 in June and acts like she was born to go to Kindergarten. She is an absorbent sponge that likes to wear her school uniform (mostly her jumper). Where did our little girl go? Rachel is 4 and so sweet and happy and so wonderfully pleasant……UNLESS she just got up or is ready for her nap. Rachel is almost always laughing or burying her head in a book as she “practices” her reading. She attends preschool 3 days a week. Unfortunately, we have to provide busing for ALL of our kids. To further complicate things, Abby is attending Delaware Christian School (due north with excellent all day Kindergarten and likely where Rachel with attend next fall) while the boys and Rachel continue at Worthington Christian Schools (due south).
We tried to inject some excitement into our otherwise boring life as we entertained a move to Charlotte, North Carolina this past summer. Judy had a very good job offer from Wachovia Bank. Although we loved the area and found a great Christian school for the kids, we decided it just wasn’t the right time to go. Since then Judy has enjoyed her job more. She still travels to New York City a few times a month and made a quick trip to England in October. Judy is the room mom for Jeffy’s class this year. She also manages to find a little time for her scrap booking hobby from time to time. Andy has kept our small distribution company, Fountainpoint, alive for another year. It will be a few years until it replaces Judy’s salary, but it makes the Mr. Mom routine much less boring. He does most of the cooking, but manages to find a little time to work out at the Y and to read some of his favorite books. Finally, we are very pleased with the church we are now attending, Gracepoint. It is very contemporary and full of many people with very big hearts.
We took a couple of family vacations this year. The first was to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA and Niagara Falls last winter. The water park was great. The Falls were pretty, but it was cold and snowy – – which was not a surprise since it was mid-January! For our summer vacation we rented a little beach house in Myrtle Beach (3 little bedrooms, 1 bath, and 9 people). It was cozy, but fun. Rachel and Andy flew on Hooter Air while everyone else went by land (our biggest vehicle only seats 8). Lastly, Judy took most of the kids and went and visited her parents at their new residence in Omaha, NE. (Judy’s sister Debbie lives there, too).
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!