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CELEBRATING BLESSINGS ~ CHRISTMAS 2000!

… Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God ~ Colossians 3:16

Hi Everyone! This greeting comes a little early, but we're leaving soon for another international project and we wanted to mail it before getting on the plane. Can you believe it… another year gone by again? Is it just us… or is time passing by more quickly for everyone, and including more "senior" moments? The new millennium brought with it a lot of change for our life and family. It's been a year filled with love, support, fun, family time, renewing old acquaintances, exercise and weight loss, education, travel, heritage research, challenge and accomplishment, recognition, closure and new beginnings…

We celebrated the New Year in tux and sequins. What fun getting all dressed up and "doin" the town! We definitely recommend it EVERY millennium; in fact, we're thinking about making it an annual tradition.

This spring, we enjoyed some great visits with friends and family. Daughter Lisa, and her husband Mike, came for a week and we had a delightful time "playing" and showing them around Puget Sound. We also had two fun visits with the "Kiwi" kids… Jodi, our New Zealand Rotary exchange student from 10 years ago and her friend, Leanne.

In March, my Maine man became an official U.S. Census 2000 taker. What a project! I think he discovered every little nook and cranny in our surrounding area for 100 square miles plus tidbits of info from each household he visited! He's now a walking/talking map of our counties and a great tour guide!

May found us in Spokane cheering our grandson Logan on while he played Valley YMCA baseball. We also participated in the 12K Bloomsday run again this year… and finished! But the biggest surprise was Carole being recognized as "Student of the Year" in the Sociology Department at Pierce College. Guess one is never too old to learn!

It was wonderful this summer to take a break from school and homework and actually relax a little. Highlights for Kayla and Nana were vacation Bible school, the Walk for Jesus, swimming lessons and a horseback-riding lesson. We also attended Kayla's first dance recital. Of course Nana was right up front taking lots of pictures! And the BIG news is… we've REALLY finished our landscaping after my latest expression of creativity with 3.28 ton of rock, 3 cubic yards of topsoil and 11 cubic yards of beauty bark!

Jer celebrated a belated birthday party at the end of June with son Mike and daughter Lynn in California, riding mountain bikes, playing golf and reconnecting with an old friend, Frank Pinney, from his Naval Academy days. What fun… swapping old stories and sharing new ones! Jer also rode and FINISHED the Seattle to Portland 195 mile bike tour! He had such a great time, he's decided to do it again… but plans to do it next year in one day instead of two. Personally… my butt bones hurt just thinking about it!

August brought us travel and adventure! We enjoyed watching daughter Lisa and son Matt participate in a mini triathlon at Falmouth on the Cape before we headed to Kentucky for the traditional Carpenter Reunion. Following the reunion, we drove to Pennsylvania searching for, and finding, more stories about Carole's heritage. We also attended the annual Duston/Dustin Association meeting in Haverhill, Mass. Of course a trip to York wouldn't be complete without a day at the beach. Luckily it turned out that Lynn, Mike, Lisa and Matt were near York at the same time, so we all got together for a little sun and surf before coming home. It was a delight watching Madison Rose and Grandpa Jerry being "kids" as they built sandcastles and jumped the waves together.

Two days after returning from the East Coast, Jer headed for a 5-week IESC volunteer assignment in Ferghana, Uzbekistan; and Dashavas and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Both are their own republics now, separated from Russia. Of course he did a fantastic job and they ALL want him back! Then, in November, we did a second assignment in Yerevan, Armenia. Jer's projects were marketing and management training for Computer Training Centers, ISP's and Retail stores. Carole continues her BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) classes. This year we're studying the Book of Mathew.

In October we had the privilege of participating in a new personal development course called Inside Passage. We played, laughed and loved our way through 4 days of this new exciting, self-honoring and compassionate process. It was great sharing the experience and connecting with old and new friends. Our other October news is… Jer is now minus one gallbladder! His surgery on October 18th took less than an hour, and he came home that same afternoon. Modern day medicine is amazing!

Our kids have also had an interesting year of growth and change. Lynn is now a VP in the marketing area of Netscape's Netcenter. In September she took a month's sabbatical to Africa teaching English to elementary school children. Mike is now working as a tech specialist for Keynote Systems, an Internet performance data service. He also is an avid golfer and challenges Jerry every chance he gets! Lisa continues to teach school and coach sports in Keene, NH and in her spare time enjoys bicycling and jogging. Her husband Mike is extremely talented in his carpentry work and has done a great job restoring their New England country home. Matt has changed jobs and now works for a company that tracks fleet cars and trucks by computer. Renee also has a new job working for a medical firm that supplies material for skin grafts. Madison Rose began kindergarten this fall. She enjoys nature, reading, dancing, and all the wonder and excitement of being almost 6 years old!

Denise and Eric remain busy with their church activities and have excitedly bought their first home in Federal Way. It's wonderful… especially now… with all new paint, carpets & flooring, bathrooms, fixtures and kitchen area. And the best news is… they're less than 25-minutes away from us! Denise continues to work in HR for Alaska Airlines and Eric now works as a tech support engineer for Nordstrom's internal systems and network. Jani & Joel have separated. We send love & prayers to both of them as they go their separate ways. Nana has the privilege of assisting at Kayla's preschool this year (college is on hold for a short while) and she's rediscovering the delight of being 5 again! Todd has begun a new job, too, as an account executive at Beneficial Finance in Spokane. Logan also began kindergarten this fall, and loves going with dad to the hockey games. Whew… as I said… 2000 was a year of great change and new beginnings!

If you're in the Seattle area, give us a call (253) 891-2910 or if you need a place to stay, our guestroom is always ready for company. Our home E-mail address is carpncc@ix.netcom.com
If you're browsing the Web and want to check out our Web site, click on http://www.netcom.com/~carpncc
Jer's business E-mail address remains  jcarp@ccstrat.com

And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is LOVE ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13 During this Holy season may we all be more mindful of God's great love and mercy. Each day is the day that the Lord hath made… let us rejoice and be glad in it! We love you and are so glad you're a part of our lives!

With Warm Holiday Hugs,

Carole and Jerry Carpenter


"God Bless Us Each and Every One"