Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas blog 2012

 Sometimes you can get so caught up in the day to day that you forget how blessed and eventful your life has actually been over the last year. I just got done reading a family Christmas letter someone else wrote and it made me wonder and think about what I have actually done this last year. So, here I am taking the time to reflect back on 2012 in the form of a Christmas blog (I hope it doesn't bore you...).
How Richard really feels about the French! haha (joke)
Richard (turned 28 this year) has been working hard all year as a project leader at a government institution (Rijkswaterstaat). He's learning a lot and growing in his career, and itching to eventually start for himself. His current job has some nice perks, one of which allowed us to order a brand new (lease/company) car with the options we wanted. We picked up the car at the beginning of the year and it has been a blast! We have had some good road trips this year already. We also redecorated our livingroom at the beginning of the year and replaced our 3rd generation, hand-me-down, gem of a tube and went modern with a flatscreen (partly because the old thing made wierd noises and it didn't fit on our new TV-stand)! This last year Richard has also added some significant big boy toys to his (our) beach hobby. He got a new buggy for his birthday and we added another (smaller) kite to the collection. We've had some fun days on the beach with those things!
We've had some eventful changes in church callings in the family over here this year as well. At the beginning of the year Richard was called to be a counselor in the bishopric... That means he doesn't get to sit with me in the congregation at church anymore and has meetings every other Tuesday night. Richard's father was called as stake patriarch which has proven to be a very humbling and challenging experience for him and the family. You can really see how the Lord is working with him and changing his nature. At the end of the summer I was released as young women's president and called to be the primary president (me? really?). Though I miss sitting next to my husband and am intimidated by my new calling... we are blessed to be able to serve God's children and I am grateful. We also had an amazing opportunity this summer when we were called to teach at EFY. It was such a special experience and the youth are truly amazing!

Wooden shoe museum with Mom and Siebe (father-in-law).
Probably one of the most exciting events of the year was when my mom came to visit! We saw a lot of the Netherlands and took a trip down to Paris (of course!) and over to Germany to see the little village where she lived when she was young. After a fun 2 week visit she headed back home with an even more firm resolve to find a job teaching in Europe after she graduates.
We were watching our wallet this year and decided to do a 'budget vacation' instead of going to the States. We went camping in the Alps in Austria! It was so beautiful and we did some amazing hikes. Again, all these trips were thanks to having an awesome car and gas prices covered by the boss!
I (turning 27 this month) finished my second year of college over here and started my third. This year I am interning as a counselor at a high school on the other side of Rotterdam. It is challenging, but rewarding work. ALSO.. Finally after 3 years and about €2500 (euros) I gained Dutch citizenship! I am now a dual citizen and will have fun using which ever passport is most convenient while traveling! Now we gotta get Richard to become an American!
Other exciting news in the family is that we are getting a new Radford niece or nephew! And, my dad and Suzie have finally picked a day (December 15th) to get hitched! We are so excited for the family and can't wait to visit again in 2013!
We've had a fun, eventful year. Though it's fun to have all our stuff and to travel around, we are most grateful for the really important things. We are healthy, have a home and food, have the Gospel and are very happily married. We are grateful for another great year behind us and look forward to what 2013 has to offer. Here are some pictures from 2012.

I got to take my nephew, Jipster, for a day! 

Nephew Calvin turned 12 in the summer had his first family temple trip!

One of our great hikes in Austria.

Enjoying the view in Salzburg region.
Mom talking to random people in Germany.

Mom and I in France, at Versailles.

Fun activity with friends. Airsoft.

My school trip to Spain.

Cochem Castle in Germany (on we visited with Mom).

Little Jipster having a snack with Uncle Richard after our hike. (Also a pic of the car) :)

Our good friends Kilian and Concetta tied the knot in August! Richard was best man.

 God bless you all! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!