This is the first year the letter went out late.  Not just a couple days late–past New Years late.  It has not been our normal year—what is a normal year?  We fought thru the hiccups, and are trying to figure out what changes we can invite into our lives in the coming year.  We have worked it down to a short list.  Tune in next year to see what we decided…..


Merry Christmas from the Gruenbaums–where a bedroom is never empty and the kitchen is always serving something new!

We did downsize, but there was still a bedroom shuffle this year. We were sorry to see our exchange students leave in May.  The year went so fast!  Never would we have expected to learn so much about them or ourselves during the year they were here.  The bedroom wasn’t empty for long. The newest family member to the Gruenbaums is Jackson Quist.  As his parents serve in South Africa, Jackson has moved in with us and will start college in January. The added bonus is his employment at Sprout’s – this gives us a discount on the extra food we are buying. 😉  On his Christmas list is, “a car he can have regular access to for work and school.”

The girls continue to give us glimpses into the fine young ladies they will be!!  Abby (10th grade) continues to amaze with what she creates on the sewing machine.  Pinterest is readily visited for craft ideas and new food options.  Our inventory of spices has outgrown the cabinet space.  And, with Abby’s custom trail mixes, our nuts, berries and yogurt covered raisins also have their section of the pantry.  Rachel (9th grade) has lots of homework. Rachel was afraid she was going to have so much free time this school year, so she added a Java class before school started each school day.  The girls and Andy went on a mission trip to Hungary for 2 weeks this summer.  While there we met some great people.  The girls highlight were mostly food-oriented:  learning to make crepes, the markets, and Mexican pizza.  After that incredible experience, Judy met up with her husband and daughters in Vienna.  They visited Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. It was a great experience–really great!  We met some old friends and opened our daughters eyes to the world!

Another year of watching the boys grow into young men!  Jeff continues at Oklahoma Christian.  He is very involved socially, AND he has become an RA this year–a great way to save on room and board!  He is thinking of switching his major to computer science, but he still has a heart for some form of church-related service.  Tim has put his education in the passenger seat for awhile.  He started working at Aldi’s a few months ago.  He still is working at Chik-Fil-A but at a different location.  With two jobs, he is kept pretty busy! He enjoys hanging out with Jackson–they have purchased a PlayStation together to make sure they don’t lose touch with their youth.

Judy is completing her 22nd year at Chase.  Maybe her mind is going, but the early years seemed much easier than the more recent years.  Andy has been looking to make a change from selling signs for the past couple of years.  As the girls have gotten older and more independent, he remains hopeful the right arrangement will come along.  Judy and Andy just got back from a cruise to the Caribbean.  Judy’s parents went along to supervise.

Merry Christmas or Happy New Year or Whatever-is-the-appropriate-signature-when-the-Christmas-letter-is-sent-out-late from the Gruenbaums!!

Andy, Judy, Tim, Jeff, Abby, Rachel & Jackson