Merry Christmas in whatever way you like it.  Whether it is “Yo, Christmas”, Feliz Navidad, or “J’s B-day”, we wish you the best.  We have been in Texas another year, but we are still Buckeye fans.  And, with the exception of election results, we are still mostly Ohioans.

Rachel is our “steadfast” one and in the 6th grade.  She is diligent about her homework and very determined to get the best grades possible. She loves her guinea pigs to the point of being called a “staller” at bedtime.  She scolds us for scheduling an orthodontist appt that might cause her to miss her “perfect attendance” at school, and she continues to have the best manners at the dinner table.  She traded in her clarinet for a “huge” bassoon this school year (and has truly found her calling).  She also participated in soccer and now basketball at Bethesda Christian School.  

Despite the introduction of middle school drama, Abby seems to be enjoying the 7th grade.  Abby loves crafts, and Micheal’s is a destination of choice.  Most every room of the house continues to have a completed craft OR raw craft supplies somewhere. She is an avid crocheter and has taken up knitting on a loom.  Whether it is “runner’s club” at school or school soccer, Abby continues to be an active girl.

Jeff is a junior and put together a political strategy to win the Junior Class presidency at Fort Worth Christian.   He had his acting debut in the school play (Annie Get Your Gun).  Besides playing soccer for the school, both he and Tim played on the Purple Crush (an extremely competitive rec soccer team). They won the Tournament of Champions! As the senior year approaches, we start to see clues to the man Jeff will grow into — all 6’3” of him.

Although Tim is just a few months from graduating, he hasn’t found the senior “slide” yet.  Tim has had the busiest year since we moved to Texas.  This fall he was on 3 soccer teams (Purple Crush, indoor league, and school team); he helped do sound for the school play; and he has been a big help with driving. He is also on the school robotic team, and he continues to be on the academic team.  He is awaiting word of his college acceptance and his parents (especially his mother) are already missing him. Both he and Jeff are going to Italy on a school trip for Spring Break, so his intercontinental travels continue.

Judy continues to deal with the turbulence of working at Chase. The excessive travel for Judy (over 90 days) has been difficult for all of us.  Maybe this coming year will be the year when we can put an end to the travel…or not!  She just found out she may be going to Hong Kong in January.  This year we were able to take a Caribbean cruise with some families from school.  The boys had so much fun they will probably never travel with just the “boring” family again. We were also blessed to see our families and a few friends.  When Judy isn’t traveling, she enjoys going to kids games, doing laundry or dishes, watching “Gold Rush” or “The Amazing Race” or being Abby’s “craft-buddy”.

Andy’s year seemed busier than usual.  With Judy’s travel schedule and active kids, it seems like someone always needed to be somewhere.  In the spring, Andy began to manufacture “Black Signs”.  (Small warehouse and everything)  The boys have been able to help, but the “to-dos” are always more than the “to-dones”.  Andy coached an Upward basketball team this past winter.  He enjoyed having two of his favorite girls on the team.  Both Andy and Judy are ANXIOUSLY looking forward to their next trip to Europe (although nothing is planned).

As the world seems to becoming more politically correct and as those who celebrate the birth of the Christ child more attacked, may we all join together in the coming year seeking the one TRUE God and a purpose for ALL of our lives that will stand the test of time.  We can’t take anything with us, but we join together as individuals and a nation to celebrate what is good and to discourage what is evil.  Throwing caution to the wind, we proudly wish a Merry Christmas to ALL!  May you enjoy this blessed season of hope and new beginnings! We are so glad to have you as our family and friends.

The Gruenbaums

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