Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

Christmas Newsletter 2012                                                                          

I am looking forward to all of my family being together to welcome in the New Year. I know that there may not be many Christmas holidays where we are all together again. Thank you Eliza Bitter and Alex Bitter for making the trip from Texas. We are all looking forward to meeting our newest addition, Amanda Lorraine Stevenson.

So 2012 is already at a close. It's been a good year. I've been looking over some pictures and just reminiscing on all the great times we've had. John graduate from Laverne in January 2012 with a Master of Education degree. He and Megan were engaged in February.

Bob, Christine, and I had a wonderful family vacation in March and traveled up the Coast to Monterey Bay. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. We stopped at so many vista points and the scenery and wildlife were always incredible.

Alex graduated from Brigham Young University in April with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. Then both he and Eliza were accepted into Texas A & M, and moved to College Station, Texas in August. Alex is working on his Master's degree in International Affairs, and Eliza is working on her Master's degree in Public Service and Administration. Both of them were awarded full-tuition scholarships.

John decided to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).  This he did in April. As soon as he took it, he moved to Utah as well. His cousin Paul helped him get a job as a manager at the Subway in University Mall. Megan has a teaching job in Spanish Fork, and John wanted to have a steady job so that he could pay for his honeymoon and meet his expenses. He'd been substitute teaching until then. Needless to say, John scored super high on his test. He was called by a recruiter and his application for Officer's Training was begun. He had a month to get his packet together, and that was the month before his marriage. But he got it in.

John and Megan were married on 15 June 2012. I am so glad that we could all be there for that. It was a beautiful day. Everybody looked so beautiful. Megan's family is lovely, and they absolutely adore our John. It was great for me to have my extended family at this wedding since they were married in Salt Lake City.

And we had a wonderful week with family. I made Father's Day dinner. I knew that my Dad would like brautwurst with potatoes and sauerkraut, so that's what we made, and I made sure that it was gluten free for my mother. Eliza and Alex made the dessert. The little cupcakes with brownies looked just like hamburgers, and the sugar cookies looked just like fries. Then there was frosting for dipping that looked like catsup and mustard.  We also had beautiful day outings to Thanksgiving Point (Thank you, Sheila), and to the top of Millcreek Canyon.

Soon after that, Tom and Whitney moved to Utah. We were glad that Jacob's birth father had allowed Jacob to go with for John's wedding, but we were thrilled when he agreed that Jacob should move there with Tom and Whitney, because Tom had a job. He even thanked Tom for being a good dad to Jacob and said that he hopes someday Jacob will consider him a friend. He has agreed to let Tom adopt Jacob.

Christine and I were back to Utah again in August. We wanted one more chance to visit Eliza and Alex before they moved to Texas. And we helped them pack and saw them off. We stayed at Tom's and Whitney's until they were gone and had much time together with all our Provo and Orem families. It was so grand to be met with a great big hug from Jacob. Cathy came to stay with us as well so that we could all celebrate her birthday together. Then we visited my parents and family for a few days as well. Melinda and her boys were there, too!
Josh turned 9 already. His brothers Jesse and Jeffrey are 6.

We were back again in September. My mother had appendicitis and, therefore, emergency surgery. I was sad I couldn't help when she had had shoulder surgery in January because I had a severe cold. So I was determined to be there in September if my parents wanted my help. Christine and I were there for nearly two weeks, and it was a wonderful experience to have that time to visit with my parents. A highlight for many years to come. Plus, I had time with my children and extended family again. And all the while, poor Christine had to keep up on school.

Well John was accepted for Officer Training back in September, but he was told that it might be up to a year before he was called up. He has still been preparing and getting ready for that. Federal agents have been interviewing some of John's contacts, including me. Very recently, he received word that he will start Officer Training on 15 January 2013 in Alabama. This is a two month's training, and he will be trained as a Combat Systems Officer, which includes being the navigation pilot. After that he will have two years of flight school in Florida.

Cathy is doing well in her work and in her schooling. She is working on a Master's degree in Library Science through San Jose State. She experienced the severe pain of having kidney stones a couple of months ago. I'm glad that they dissipated and that she is doing well again. She is constantly serving others: babysitting for Tom and Whitney and friends of hers; treating people to dinners or activities. We are very proud of our Cathy.

Christine has continued to work at the library. She has now volunteered there over 380 hours. She is treated much the same as a trusted paid worker. She is the president of her young women's group. And she is a beautiful young lady. This fall has been exceptionally crazy as far as schoolwork. But she is pulling through it all so well.

Preparing for a Stake Dance

Bob and I are doing well. Bob is still in the Bishopric. I was released as Primary President on 18 November. I have still been helping out in Primary as one of the teachers just had a baby; plus, I've been playing the piano. I do have a new calling for the New Year though. Bob has been doing a wonderful job as a managing partner at Western U, along with creating awesome PowerPoints and lecturing, including creating and teaching the Jurisprudence and Ethics course.

Amanda Lorraine was born 29 November 2012. I am delighted to  see all the photos. It will really be Christmas when we get to Utah and see Jacob and Amanda, and everyone else too, of course. Children at Christmas really brings the Spirit of the whole thing home. So Merry Christmas all.

We love you and hope your Christmas Season is full of wonder and joy. And best and warmest wishes for 2013.

The Stevensons

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful and impressive family! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!