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CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS 2003!
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV)
Merry Christmas and Praise be to God… It's once again the most wonderful time of the year… and this year is definitely one to celebrate! 2003 has been a delightful year of expectations and blessings! We've been in our new townhouse here in Auburn for 7 months now and we absolutely love it! We discovered that furnishing a new home is quite a project. I never knew how exhausting shopping could be, but we are definitely settled in now and thoroughly enjoying the results of all our endeavors.
Last New Year's Eve we got all dressed up and dropped in on the kids, first stopping by daughter Jani and Brian's work place and then stopping by daughter Denise and Eric's church. We arrived home just in time to open a bottle of Champagne, take off our shoes, and watch the Space Needle fireworks on television.
In January, Jer's consulting work took him to Rostov-on-Don in Russia for the first time and wouldn't you know, it was just as our realtor for our townhouse was handling all the contractual items. Thank goodness for international phone calling cards and fax machines!
Carole's son Todd, Kristen, and Logan surprised us with a quick visit to Federal Way in February. Shortly after arrival, the family headed to downtown Seattle and the Aquarium. Trying to get 8 adults and 4 children to all agree on one thing is a hilarious undertaking! Jer also made a trip to York, Maine to see Mom Helena in February.
In April we drove to Disneyland and joined son Todd, Kristen, Logan, and Kristen's parents for a few fun days with Mickey Mouse. Denise and Eric flew down on Alaska Airlines and joined us for one of the days. We stopped by daughter Lynn and Ken's home in Mammoth Lakes on the way home. In May Nana Carole joined the kids for another delightful day at the Woodland Park Zoo. We also enjoyed a day at the Seattle Science Center this spring. Having children and grandchildren nearby creates great incentive for playing. Jer returned to Mammoth Lakes in June for Lynn and Ken's wedding and then later in the month he made another trip to visit Mom in York.
Carole went back to work in July as a resident assistant in an Alzheimer's unit in Federal Way. She loved working with the residents but realized quickly that she was getting much too old for that kind of work! After 5 months, and a glowing evaluation, she thanked them profusely for the opportunity that she had been given… and retired again!
August was an enjoyable month of playing at the ocean, mountain climbing (we actually climbed up to Carbon Glacier on Mount Rainier), bike riding (a 40-mile fun ride along with many other rides on the Interurban Trail), and a trip to Spokane to "hang out" and ride bikes with grandson Logan. We also did our first official 45-mile bike tour together called the Headwaters Century. Our official run this year was a 5 K neighborhood fall fun run. This year a lot of our bike rides were with our grandchildren. Bally's exercise program is a constant challenge, that is, to get in the car and be consistent in treadmill, stationary bike, or a long swim. For added outdoors exercise, Jer took the Edmonds ferry to Kingston and did a 100 K bike tour called the Kitsap Classic Century. There were plenty of hills and a light rain slicked road, but it was still a great ride!
Carole continues her Bible Study Fellowship classes and being a scripture listener for the AWANA children's program at her church. This year in BSF she's studying Israel and the Minor Prophets. There's a tremendous amount of Old Testament reading involved but what a treasure of information! September is always a fun month because of the Puyallup fair. Again this year Carole attended the Newsboys concert and then Nana and Papa took 2˝ year-old grandson Byron to breakfast with Clifford the Big Red Dog! We often go to the matinees, play "movie critic", and then compare our personal opinion with the Oscar nominees. Jer visited Mom again in October.
As predicted in last years Christmas letter, our kids have made some BIG changes in their lives. Daughter Lynn and Ken moved to Mammoth Lakes, CA where Lynn started a new job as Marketing Director for Mammoth Mountain and Ken began working in the Information Systems group. He was recently promoted to Manager. Lynn and Ken decided to get married after being together for several years; and to cap off Lynn's exciting year, they became the proud parents of a son, Kai Jackson Schumann, who arrived on August 26th! Jer drove down in September to be introduced to Kai and do some early babysitting. Son Mike now works in sales for Mercury Interactive Corporation, a worldwide leader in business technology optimization (BTO) software solutions. Daughter Lisa and Mike continue to renovate and enhance their New England farmhouse in Alstead, NH and Mike continues to add to his furniture-making workshop in their converted barn. It should rival the Yankee Workshop soon! Lisa continues to teach school in Keene, NH. Son Matt continues to work for a pharmaceutical company. Matt's daughter, Madison Rose began third grade this fall. She's a fun, precocious almost 9 year-old that loves the outdoors and is never without her notebook and drawing pencils!
Daughter Denise, Eric, Sahale and Toby (their 2 golden retrievers) continue to enjoy life to the fullest. Excitement abounds with expectancy of their baby in January. Denise continues to work for Alaska Airlines as does Eric for Nordstrom's. They remain actively involved with the college age group at their church. Daughter Jani enjoys being a full-time mom and part-time bartender at Bud's Tavern in Milton. Jani, Brian, Kayla, Kaden, and Byron live close by in Puyallup. Jani's daughter, Kayla, began second grade this year. She's a fun 8 year-old that enjoys playing PlayStation games, swimming, and bike riding. Brian's son, Kaden also enjoys playing PlayStation games, reading books, and sports. Kaden is 6 and in the first grade this year. Nana Carole & Papa Jer have fun watching & playing with Jani and Brian's son, Byron on the weekends (he'll be 3 in February). Byron's favorite thing is "Ride bike with Papa!" Todd & Kristen enjoy living in Spokane. Excitement abounds for them too with the expectancy of their first baby in February! Todd's son, Logan began third grade this fall. He's almost 9 years old, and is becoming more like dad everyday! He loves sports, math, riding bikes and snow skiing.
If you're in the Seattle area, give us a call. Our home number is (253) 333-6841. Our new home address is: 6104 Marshall Ave. SE, Unit B, Auburn, WA 98092. We may also be reached on our cell phones at (253) 209-5515 or (253) 209-5436. Our home E-mail address remains email@example.com If you're browsing the Web and want to check out our personal Web site, you'll find it at http://home.netcom.com/~carpncc/index.html Jer's business E-mail address remains firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a Personal Computer and can connect to the Internet you will find some of our Year 2003 photos at:
Our prayer for you this Christmas is that your heart and home is filled with God's love, peace, and blessings. May the grace of our LORD, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. 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"