Merry Christmas from a very blessed Gruenbaum family! We hope this letter finds you well. January seems so long ago, but we have continued to weave our way down life’s path. We have put our fostering on hold for a few years, but have taken on a guest for the school year. Matt has joined the family and comes to us from an Indian reservation in Arizona supported by our church. He is 14 and a freshman at our school.
All of the kids continue to go to Delaware Christian school, and we are so thankful. I would like to say they love to study, but Judy and I both know they only work hard to get their free donuts at Krispy Kreme and their free cookies at Cheryl’s Cookies with the “As” on their report cards. We are fortunate that all of the kids are good students, and they are still somewhat reluctant piano players. Although Judy and I sometimes see them enjoying themselves while practicing, they would never admit to it.
The girls are still lots of fun. Abby is in the 4th grade and considers it a challenge every day to maintain her sweetness in her parent’s eyes and her deviousness in her brother’s eyes. Abby recently competed in the school geography bee and will soon be in her first spelling bee. Rachel is in the 3rd grade and enthusiastic about EVERYTHING. The girls enjoyed soccer in the spring, and they both participated in gymnastics this fall. Life is SO exciting seeing it through their eyes!
The boys bring their own version of fun. Much to their chagrin, they are both taking Latin through an accredited online program through the school. The boys both played soccer in the spring and the fall. Jeff is playing basketball as well. They sing in the school choir and recently sang at the Creation Museum in Cincinnati. They both attended a sports camp and other church youth activities throughout the year. Tim is now in high school and continues to remind me what a great kid I was. Jeffy is in 8th grade and knows there are limits, but he has fun seeking the edges of the rules we give him. They love to play with their electronics (e.g. MafiaWars on Facebook or computer games, and the X-Box) and enjoy their airsoft guns with their friends.
Andy continues to work from home in his sign business. It keeps him busy, so much so that he hired an assistant in September. The true blessing of the his business is the flexibility it gives the family. As Judy had a few periods where she traveled significantly, Andy kept things afloat and left the less important things of his business to wait. Andy continues to bake award-winning banana bread (not really, but it is good), but the crockpot which has been a a faithful companion for many years has lost its luster. If there are any good crockpot recipes out there that are kid-friendly, we welcome whatever you might offer.
Judy has completed her 15th year at Chase. She continues to work very hard at work and at home. She also continues to volunteer as the head room mom at school. She also still does on-line scrapbooking, but discovered Facebook this past summer which has seriously cut into her scrapbooking time. She has, however, enjoyed connecting with everyone.
We traveled several times this year. Judy and I took two trips together. We went to trade shows in both Las Vegas and Chicago. Grandma is always glad to volunteer with the kids. Over spring break, we went to Gettysburg and then to Willamsburg. We especially enjoyed the personal guide at Gettysburg who really brought the battle field to life. In June, we visited our friends in PA and Judy’s sister, Mary Jo. Finally, over the 4th of July, we visited Judy’s parents and sister in North Carolina with a side trip to Myrtle Beach. The nice rented home at the beach was a product of Judy’s Internet savvy.
In a year anticipated by many to be full of hope and change, may you put your hope in the One who is the true reason for the Christmas season rather than a any person or thing!
Please let us know how you are doing and God’s blessings to you and yours during this sacred and festive season!
Andy, Judy, Tim, Jeff, Abby, & Rachel