We just received a text from Nairobi, Kenya where Heidi, accompanied by now nine-month old Gabriel Joseph, is doing some important work with her organization, Innovations for Poverty Action. This well-traveled young man spent two weeks in December with Heidi and Ryan and sister Grace doing some team work in Guatemala for IPA in conjunction with Ryan’s work at Yale.
In mid-September, Tammy and I were delighted to participate in the dedication of Gabriel Joseph McAnnally-Linz, along with Heidi and Ryan and proud sister 3 year old Grace at the Elm City Vineyard Church in New Haven CT. I was also honored to make a return visit to Grace’s Neighborhood Music School and give a concert for her lively pre-school class of three and four year olds.
On June 11, our daughter Lisa and her husband Jonathan welcomed fraternal twins, Evelyne Kathryn and Isaiah Frederick, to their family. Both weighed in at almost 7 pounds and we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them these past 9 weeks! It is a very exciting and special time in the Jutsum household! For three weeks, our growing family also welcomed daughter Heidi and her husband Ryan, and their 3 year old Grace Victoria and 3 month old Gabriel Joseph.
On Thursday, April 28, our older daughter Heidi, husband Ryan and grand-daughter Grace welcomed Gabriel Joseph into the world and to their precious family. Gabriel weighed in at 8 pounds, and was 21 inches long and he has long fingers!!! Of course, Tammy and I are thrilled to welcome our second grand-child and look forward to meeting him very soon.
2 and ½ year-old first grandbaby Grace will be welcoming a baby brother in April. Heidi, Ryan and Grace joined us for two weeks over the holidays and we enjoyed many wonderful times together, including lots of singing and dancing! In other exciting news, we learned that younger daughter Lisa and her husband Jonathan, currently serving in Central Asia, are also expecting and they will welcome TWINS in May!!!
On November 8th, I was picked up from my Milwaukee Airport motel at 5 a.m. by Pastor Raymond Olson, a dear friend and pastor of Harbor Missionary Church (a Grace Communion congregation in Juneau WI.) Ray also serves full-time as a Prison Chaplain at Dodge Correctional Institution in nearby Waupun WI. After driving some 55 miles, we arrived at the facility, went through multiple levels of security and set up in the chapel for the 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. worship services.
Uganda, and Kenya for Heidi’s role as External Relations Manager for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). In each country, there is an IPA office, and Heidi visited fieldwork, trained staff, and attended conferences throughout the four weeks. In this time, Ryan was also able to finish and submit for publishing his new book with Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity, due out early next year.
Tammy’s dear mother, Grace, passed away on March 20, the first day of Spring, in her 85th year. Grace had lived with us in Southern California for more than 10 years before moving up to Washington state a few years ago to be closer to Tammy’s sister, Linda and her family. Since my “Mum” died way back in 1980, “Granny,” as Grace was affectionately known, was like a mother to me as well these past few decades, and dearly loved by our daughters, Heidi and Lisa. We held a “Celebration of Life” at our home a few weeks ago, connected by Face Time with family and friends in Washington and Texas. In addition to sharing fond memories of Grace, we also sang some of her favorite songs.
This family “selfie” was taken at our home on Thanksgiving Day 2014 – Grace is fresh out of the bath and not too amazed at the adults’ carrying on! What a delight it was to have all the family home over this special holiday. With Grace now at eighteen months, Tammy and I look forward to several “Face Time” calls each week and, of course, we sing some of her favorite songs at the piano and she is quick to call out “more, please” before each song is quite finished!
The picture on the left was taken last December in our back yard when Grace was 5 months old. Now she is 15 months old, and her current favorite fruit is a banana – hence the costume in the middle picture just last week for a church family gathering! Proud father Ryan has several chapters completed on his doctoral dissertation at Yale University.