© 2012 Aaron Christmas-2012-Collage-for-blog

2012 Memories and Reminiscing on Time Abroad

2012 brought another international transition and some challenges with health, but also rich blessings and a settled, peaceful feeling that can only come through the Holy Spirit.

The biggest news is that our time in Switzerland came to an end in August. We are fully repatriated and in our home again in Minnesota. We weren’t expecting the transition home to be as challenging as it was, but it seems to be getting easier as we settle into a routine and enjoy time with family again. At first, we felt like a foreigner in our own land. We miss our wonderful friends God placed in our lives while abroad, and we miss many things we grew accustomed to, like the wonderful learning and traveling experiences. However, Cologne, Minnesota is home again and we’ll continue to learn and explore.

Aaron will begin a new role at Prime Therapeutics in January, after more than four successful years with Thomson Reuters as a User Experience Lead. He gave us a health scare at the end of July when he developed atrial fibrillation. It is uncommon at such a young age, but he is doing much better now with no medication required.

Kim has returned to work as an RN at Good Samaritan. She has been volunteering at Trinity, creating costumes for the fall drama and Christmas pageant, also making apple pies with Katelyn. Settling the two shipments and getting the kids to their activities have kept her plenty busy this fall. She hopes to have a bit more time soon to enjoy scrapbooking via SKYPE with her friends in England and Switzerland.

Zach is 16 and towers over us all at 6’3” – still growing. We are thankful his feet seem to have plateaued to a size 15. Zach is a Junior at Mayer Lutheran High School where he has worked really hard to bridge the curriculum differences between the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) and the Lutheran school. He was one of two juniors to make high honor roll in the first quarter. He continues to enjoy music and had the opportunity to perform at Trinity on Festival Sunday with the Trinity orchestra, choir and praise band. He also played in the pit band for Mayer’s production of Oklahoma! Zach also participates in Mayer’s wind ensemble, jazz and pep bands, and takes piano lessons with our friend, Linda. In Switzerland Zach travelled to Tarragona, Spain on a tour with the Kadettenmusik band of Zug. He also learned to play the Alphorn and built the website, www.learnalphorn.com. He is looking into universities and continues to show interest in large animal veterinary medicine. He shadowed a few vets and absolutely loved his experiences, caring for cows and horses. Zach is now learning to drive and doing really well, even in the winter ice!

Katelyn is 12 and is very proud to officially be 5’1”, catching up to Kim. Her favorite pastime activities include reading (a lot) and running. She is quite the bookworm and is doing fantastic at Trinity Lutheran School. Katelyn continues with piano lessons and we are trying to find her a violin instructor so she can resume learning to play the violin so beautifully. In February, Katelyn participated with her friends in the Battle of The Books at ISZL, achieving 3rd place. Prior to the competition, the famous children’s book author, Avi, visited ISZL. In March, Katelyn travelled to ISZL’s Wengen chalet for a weekend of music with the ISZL strings. She has reconnected with friends at Trinity, was the head of stage work in the recent Anchors Aweigh school play and was quite a cute camel in the Trinity Christmas program. Katelyn has thrived and grown during this year, taking full advantage of a wide variety of learning opportunities, blossoming into a kind, cheerful, lovely young lady.

While living in Switzerland we were blessed with the opportunity to learn and explore first-hand with a dear friend, brother in Christ and native to Switzerland, Joel. He helped us immerse in the culture, led us on many hikes, taught us Swiss recipes, and shared many stories and experiences. Joel visited us recently at our home in Minnesota, enjoying the Trinity drama production, skating and plenty of “Minnesota Nice”.

2012 generated memories from time in England, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Holland and Switzerland with guests who came to visit, including Kim’s parents and Sharon Schneider. We toured Istanbul and Ephesus, Turkey with the Christies, enjoyed the beaches and history of Tarragona, Spain as we supported Zach on his tour, and savored the culture, clocks and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte of the Black Forest region in Germany.

It was hard to say “until we meet again” to our international family, but we look forward to any opportunity to share time with all of our friends, here and abroad, in 2013.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Aaron, Kim, Zach and Katelyn

 

Comments

  1. Joel
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:40 am | #

    Lovely job Coopers – it’s beautiful to see how respectful and thankful you are of all your wonderful memories! Thank you for sharing and putting in such hard work in making these memories easily accessible, fun and meaningful!

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