Season’s Greetings from the Stutz family!
We hope all our friends and family had a wonderful 2006 and that 2007 brings peace, joy and opportunity to all. 

2006 was a big year of travel (as usual) and change (not as usual) for our family.  We began 2006 with our third year at the International School of Belgrade in Serbia.  Dave flourished as middle school Assistant Principal and math teacher and Susan continued with the pre-k program.  Serbia has been good to us and we appreciate the friends we have made and the places we have visited. 

We celebrated the winter holidays in Istanbul, Turkey, enjoying a fabulous stay after a week-long drive through Bulgaria.  A family highlight was a service on December 25th in a Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  It often seems there are more walls than bridges between the Muslim and Christian worlds, so it was especially meaningful to share a common celebration and a common message of respect and peace. 
February was a ‘risk-taking’ month for the whole family as we drove to Jahorina, Bosnia/Republika Srpska and learned how to ski at the site of the 1984 Olympics outside of Sarajevo!  We had a wonderful week of fun with the Habecks, colleagues from ISB.
April found us on the road once again visiting the Dalmatian region of Croatia.  We spent five lovely days in the medieval town of Trogir on the Adriatic.  We took day trips out and had tremendous times at Plevitza Jezera waterfalls, Split, and the Roman ruins of Solona. 
Susan’s sister Carla and nephew Nathan visited in June.  They spent a busy three weeks with us touring Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.  It was the ‘castle tour’ to end all tours.  Everything about it was perfect! 
Back in the USA, we spent a wonderful two weeks in Helena, MT visiting our new cabin and hosting a Stutz family reunion.  As always, it was a joy seeing everyone and marveling at how the families are growing. 
Since the summer time, things have been crazy. Dave helped Susan and the kids find a place to settle in Minnesota for one year – he wanted to fulfill his commitment to opening the middle school in Serbia, but Susan was ready for a year in the USA after three is Serbia.  Since September, she has been teaching at a south metro high school.  Although it has not always been fun being apart as a family, Suz and the kids enjoy the time spent with extended family – fishing at Grandpa’s cabin, going to apple orchards (and making pie) with cousins Nathan and Aiden, boating with Uncle Mark and baby Paige, and swimming with new cousins Jonas and Anna. 

We lost Uncle Peter and Grandma and Grandpa Hebrink this year. We miss them deeply.

Alea is nine and in 4th grade.  Breck is 7 and in 2nd grade.  They are going to the school that Susan attended for elementary!  They have fabulous teachers and a strong curriculum.  They have made friends and are doing well.  They continue swim lessons (though we have a pool in our apartment which is a lot more fun!), basketball, art classes, and soccer camp.  Alea’s big news is she got glasses.  Grandpa calls her his ‘little professor’.  Breck’s big news is he is the ‘bestest lego builder ever’ (and the whole family agrees!). 
Dave comes to Minnesota for a full three week holiday on December 17th. After four months of freedom and trips to Vienna, Istanbul, Rome, Helsinki, Salzburg, and Munich, we figure he'll be happy to have some quiet family time!! We'll all begin to pull together ideas for next year at that time.  Syria?  Morocco?  India?  We have been blessed as a family wherever we go and we know whatever choices we make will bring opportunities and possibilities.  We’ll keep you posted! 

Until then, we wish all our friends and family a very wonderful holiday season and peace in 2007.

see other Christmas letters from previous years...