Dear family and friends: Christmas 2006

A blessed holiday season to all from the still slightly overflowing Gruenbaum house!  We were blessed again this year – some time for reflection (very little) and mostly time for living the life God has given us!

 We hope you enjoy our new format.

Sammy06 GooGooGaGa….My name is Samantha.  I have been with the Gruenbaum’s 8 months.  I didn’t weigh much when I came here (only 15 pounds), but I sure know how to eat now!  The Gruenbaums like me and I like them.  I hope I get to stay with them. Googoogaga…..  (Please disregard any editorial comments inserted into the mouth of this babe.)
I am Rachel.  I love kindergarten, and I love my teacher.  I try really hard to keep my name off of the board.  I love Sammie.  Even though I don’t get to sit on mommy and daddy’s lap as much as I used to, I am glad Samantha is in our family.  Abby and I take tap dance classes. People say I am excited about everything I do.
Hi, I am Abigail.  I am in the first grade, and  I like my friends at school.  I am a pretty good reader.  I am excited to be a cheerleader for Upward basketball.  Rachel and I like to color and make cards for everyone in the house.  Sammie sometimes pulls my hair, but I forgive her.
Jeffy here.  I really like my video games.  Timmy and I play on the Xbox and the Game Cube.  (I also have a DS.)  I played football this year.  We won some games and I recovered a fumble. I liked playing defense best.   I am still playing the violin and we all take piano. My mom is teaching us how to play handbells. That’s kind of cool! I REALLY like having Sam around!
Hi, I am Tim.  I am in middle school now, but my 5th grade year was the year of the spelling bees. Thanks to my mother’s rigorous study plan, I spelled my way to the National Spelling Bee for Christian schools and came in 6th. We all piled into the van and had a great trip to Washington DC.  My dad is very jealous of me and all the reading I do.  I played soccer in the spring. I really enjoyed football, too.  My dad is coaching Jeffy and my Upward basketball team.  Sammie gets upset sometimes, but if I got a vote, I would want to keep her.
In 2006, I found out the internet was a little bit different than it was in the “old” days.  I began selling pond liners (also selling on Ebay), signs, and, most recently, tools on-line.   And, although I don’t get to read much, my frequent visits to the used book store have allowed my book collection to grow.  I have stayed sane while managing all 5 kids when Judy travels.  And, sometimes our life goes slow enough that I realize I enjoy it. J
I have had a very busy year at work. Bank One officially became JPMorgan Chase. I still travel to New York a few times a month, but all in all, everything is going well. Sammie is our 17th foster child in 3 years.  What an amazing journey it has been! God has used us in ways we could not have imagined. I am using the kids as guinea pigs to decide whether or not to start a children’s bell choir at church. We are having a good time with it. My other hobbies are officially deceased. I am, however,  hoping to resurrect scrap booking at some point soon.
Besides the trip to Washington DC, we went to Chicago for a few days before Sammie arrived.  The boys and Andy went to summer camp for a week. Judy and the kids also visited her parents and sister in Omaha this summer.  We  bought a timeshare on Ebay so we foresee a few vacations in warm places in the future.

We dedicate this letter to the loved ones we lost this year: LaRae Hill, Tom Taylor and Kay Mustard. We loved them and miss them.

  Andy, Judy, Timmy, Jeffy, Abby, Rachel & Sammie       


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