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2022 Christmas Card


December 21, 2022

Hello Friends and Family!

In September we got a dog. The End. 

No, just kidding. I'll try to fill in some more details about him and the rest of the gang. His name is Sven, just like the reindeer from Frozen. He's a sweet and mellow Portuguese water dog, and YES, he loves our pool. But I've never had a puppy before, so it's been a major adjustment for me. I haven't written any blog posts and I'm still trying to find my new groove that includes another critter who's fuzzy and small-ish. He's the main reason we didn't send any paper cards this year, but the girls are in love with him so I'm learning to love him too ;)

Cade is super far away and we love him and miss him. He's grown so much and has learned a lot about himself, about life, about Heavenly Father and His power to bless us, and especially how to serve the people around him. Here's a fun fact about Finland right now. He said, "Tomorrow is the darkest day of the year, sunrise around 10:15 am, sunset 2:30pm. I can see stars by 4. The sun barely goes above the horizon, it's a sunrise until noon or so and then a sunset, nowhere in between. Almost always below freezing, and we're not at the coldest part of the year yet. I'm doing well though, been layering up and using the happy lamp and vitamin D pills." He and his companion have been teaching a family from Sri Lanka who got baptized on Saturday. It's a miracle. He's so glad to have been part of this family's story, watching their faith and commitment to follow Jesus Christ. We love having our son serve a mission and we love talking to him each week. We're so happy for him and how the Lord is working in him and through him.

Shad is almost grown. He's been adulting in many ways, with a full-time welding job during the summer. He completed his last season of marching band and was a great leader among his peers. I love hearing him play trumpet, he sounds amazing. His senior year has been full of band, (top trumpet and section leader) welding (he broke the school record for welding certifications) and church (part of a cool youth leadership team). He's been spending a lot of time with his friends and girlfriend and is looking forward to graduation and the fun things that follow.

Karly has grown into an amazing young lady and is now an inch taller than me (a fact which she points out with some frequency). This photo was from the summer when we were in Washington state. The Pacific northwest was so beautiful. Karly has had tons of fun playing the violin, being in the school musical, and playing basketball. During Christmas break, she borrowed a string bass from the school-think cello but bigger-and is learning to play it just for fun. I love hearing the music she makes, whether it's guitar or ukulele or singing or whatever.

Amber broke her leg at the end of June and missed swimming for the rest of the summer. It healed beautifully and we're glad she's running around again. She's been reading a LOT and has discovered how much she loves chapter books. Currently she's devouring the Little House on the Prairie series. Last week when she lost another tooth, she asked me if I'm the tooth fairy. I didn't admit it exactly, but the magic is fading. We had a magical day with her at Magic Kingdom in Orlando during Thanksgiving break. It was fun to see how much she still loves princesses. That week was really special to be in Florida with my siblings and parents. 

And here we are. This was a summer trip to WA, where we rented an Airbnb on a beautiful lake. We're both still mostly the same as last year, but maybe a little bit older and a little bit wiser than before. Norm continues to be grateful for a job and coworkers that he really enjoys, with a couple fun side trips here and there (the Olympic National Park area of Washington was awesome). Kristina's interesting thing was taking an art class in the fall. We used oil pastels and each Wednesday I had a two-hour window of time to create and learn and do something new and different from my normal routine. I'm still grateful to be a stay-at-home mom, and I'm still playing the organ at church each Sunday. Together we're proud that we haven't committed a single act of teenager-icide.  Pretty sure we deserve a medal. 

Above all, we're grateful for our health, for our blessings and for our faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, our dear friends.

Sending lots of love from Texas,
The Nelsons


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