Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Sweet 16 Andrea!

The big event of our week was celebrating Andrea's sweet 16th birthday. 
Saturday, we took her to her favorite restaurant, "Crepes and Waffles" for her chosen Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese crepe and a yummy waffle for dessert!
We enjoy lunch and a b-day treat at Andrea's favorite restaurant, Crepes and Waffles
Then on Sunday the eight missionaries from the Inaquito Ward, which include the nurses and office missionaries, came over to the Mission Home and surprised her.
Cheesecake for her birthday treat!
Hermanas Garcia and Pemberton, the Richardsons, Elders Gallardo, Bahr, Dickerson, Chavez and Higgins
It's not every birthday that you get to celebrate with eight awesome missionaries.  They took a special interest in Andrea and asked her some "inspired questions," like "What will you miss the most about being here?" and "What do you want to accomplish before you return to the States?" They each shared something they admired about Andrea, which in almost every case was her beautiful smile.

Elders Ramponi and Higgins
Elders Chavez and Dickerson
Hermanas Pemberton and Garcia
The next morning, on her actual birthday, I decorated her room while she was asleep and woke her to a personalized birthday song. I actually got a smile but of her in the morning which is saying something. 
Later that day, I made arrangement for eight of the youth in our ward to come over and surprise her. They watched a movie, ate pizza and had chocolate cake and ice cream. 
Isaac and Martin, Alexandra, Adriana and Fabiana, Katie Christensen (behind), Sol and Estaffanie and Andrea
She was happy to hear from her brothers as well as her grandmother for her birthday and felt loved and remembered, so I guess you could say she had a great and memorable Sweet 16!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Great End of Summer 2015 for the Richardson family

Andrea arrived home on Wednesday night and she is slowly but surely re-adapting to life in Quito. She definitely wants to be back in the States where she had a wonderful time this summer. She shared a couple of faith promoting experiences where her prayers have been answered and clearly her faith is growing. That is a great blessing.  She is doing on-line school this year through a Utah Charter School, Mountain Heights Academy, which seems to be an awesome school, and she’s really enjoying it (her first week!!)  She and Steven enjoyed being together immensely for the few weeks they were together. Steven mentioned that he is missing Andrea and it's definitely mutual.
Andrea comes back from the U.S.

The good news for Steven is that he was able to purchase a car and has some good leads on a job. He will begin school in September at LDS Business College.  
Steven's new Forester!
Matt finished the summer as the #1 top salesman for Vivint.  To celebrate, he and Brittany are travelling to Europe in the next week prior to their move to Dallas, Texas.  They are busy and happy.
Matt finishes #1 in Summer Sales for Vivint

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy Homecoming for Elder Richardson

First Mom and Steven hug in two years!
The highlight of our week (lives) was getting Steven back from the Chile Santiago North Mission and enjoying his humor and fun personality again.  What has been most delightful is recognizing the strength of his inner core and learning of his diligence and obedience as a missionary.  He was not much of a writer so we guessed for two years how he was doing, but hearing his stories has confirmed in our minds that he gave it his all and learned much, especially about humility.  That is never a fun topic, but he tells us that he had a non-stop course in humility for the entire two years.  We are grateful that he returned whole and happy. 
First family pic after two years - in the Quito Airport
His arrival was Stevenesque.  We checked the flight times before leaving for the airport, but due to a road being closed, had to cross the city in traffic, and then apparently, the plane was early and empty, which meant no lines through customs.  Thus to make a long story short, we arrived with banner, balloons and excitement and stood waiting for him to come out of the terminal, after he had already come out.  He watched us as we hurried in to set up and then snuck up behind our banner and stood smiling at us until we registered that it was him.  I literally screamed, thus informing the entire airport that Steven was home.  So true to Steven form, we didn’t surprise him; he surprised us! 

We returned him home to his bedroom which we hoped helped him feel welcomed and cherished!

Steven's door gives him a big welcome
Andrea cuts out letters of Congratulation.
The three of us write what we missed and love about Steven
Steven's bulletin board await him with love and welcome notes from family and friends
Steven's notebook of letters to and from him during his two years in Childe Santiago Norte
The following day, we took a couple days off with Steven to get reacquainted and went to a few of our favorite spots.  We laughed more in those days than we’ve laughed in two years.  Steven’s humor had only gotten better and his stories had us entertained.  We were thinking that he should go into some form of Stand-up Comedian work.  While with him, we went to our favorite fishing spot, a great jungle resort, and then to the Butterfly farm, zip lining, and to the chocolate factory where we ended our adventure with the most decadent chocolate brownie that exists in the world…I’m convinced!
Elders Herrerra and Kerby with Pres, Hermana and Steven Richardson
We watch chocolate made from the cacao plant and meet a recently returned missionary, "Elder Montana" from Guayaquil.
We get ready to do the zip line across the cloud forest in Mindo
We decide to smile like Steven!!
We take a pic near our miniature golfing
He and Andrea returned to SLC on August 1st, gave his homecoming talk on August 9th in the Alta View Ward, and was able to meet several families of our missionaries who came to hear both him and Andrea speak.
Saying "Goodbye" to Steven and Andrea in the Quito Airport
I received a note at 3:59 a.m., her time, asking me to read her talk.  It seems that they were writing their talks all night, so hopefully, they didn’t fall asleep mid-sentence!  We received some positive feedback from families of our missionaries who attended, which was nice since I was sitting by the phone waiting for news.  That really was a hard event to miss!  The good news is that Andrea recorded both talks so we will be able to hear them.  Without having been there, we assume that Steven was funny, true to form, but we're sure he was able to bear a strong testimony as well.

After Steven and Andrea both speak in the Alta View Ward
The Keyes, Call, and Colfacks come to the Homecoming
The Lunts and Sattrees also show support

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hospital visit for Andrea

Andrea has definitely been my focus this past week  because she came down with a serious stomach infection which, after serious fluid loss (I’ll spare the details), was showing dangerous signs of dehydration, including losing feeling in her arms.  I rushed her to the local hospital and they immediately put her on an IV and pain killers.  After several hours, we were able to go home and she is appreciating good health much more.

 She squealed when they put the IV in her arm, but was relieved when the pain killers took effect. We're so grateful for good medical care, both for our missionaries as well as for our family.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

President Richardson's birthday

Happy birthday Brian! Through the ups and downs, bumps and bruises, years with both tears and joys, I pause to reflect on 30 years with you and acknowledge that other than our Savior, you are my greatest inspiration, strength, comfort, refuge, light, and my very best friend in the universe. I must have done something very right to deserve the privilege of sharing my life with you. I am who I am today because of your love, encouragement, example, diligence, dedication, wisdom , constancy, faithfulness and goodness. May this final year in the mission be filled with memories to last an eternity. I love you.  Sue

Nothing like bowling 100+ for your b-day celebration
.I didn't do quite so well, but I'll blame it on the skirt!
Elders Santana and Kerby bowled strike after strike!
Elder Folsom took his bowling seriously!
Andrea takes her turn!
Elders Caballero, Folsom, Mogollon, Herrera, Kerby and Santana
We have a special birthday lunch of Chicken Broccoli with the assistants.  
Our family has the tradition of making the b-day person's favorite meal.  During dessert, each person shares what they appreciate about the b-day person.  The elders shared that they appreciated President's love and patience, as well as his constant diligence.  

Elders Kerby, Herrera and Santana
Andrea creates some amazing napkin masterpieces

Dessert were individual cheesecake cups from Cassolette.

Could it be another tie from Joseph Banks??  Yes!