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CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS 2005!
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in a manger. Luke 2:16 (NIV)
Christmas! A wonderful season where spirituality, family gatherings, and good cheer are mixed and enjoyed! Our Christmas letter this year is extra special as we were blessed with two more grandchildren. Lilliana Riley Carpenter joined our family on March 24th. Since it was Good Friday, we called her our Easter Lilli. Korban David Kliskey joined our family on August 7th. He came with bright red hair and a captivating smile. Meanwhile, the three born in 2003-2004, Kai, Kiana, and Trista, are entering the "terrific twos" now and are fully engaged in developing their unique personalities. Byron, Kaden, Madison, Kayla, and Logan complete our "Carpenter Grand-10" and remind us continually of how fun it is to be a kid.
Our year started off with a repeat of the neighborhood New Year's Eve party. This celebration has become a regular event in our community and is both a safe and great way to visit and toast with neighbors that we don't see as much in the winter.
Winter and early spring brings us indoors more for our entertainment. Carole is usually found either playing with grandkids or doing her Bible study. Once in a while, she will even make it to the gym. Jer has been playing bridge on Mondays, Wednesdays. and Fridays at the Senior Center, where the favorite lines are: "Who dealt this?" and "What is trump again?" Jer signed up for softball in April in a Senior co-ed league and was playing shortstop early in the season when he broke his thumb. Unfortunately, the break ended the playing for him for this year anyway. Jer and Carole went to Maine to visit Jer's Mom in March. They also helped granddaughter Madison celebrate her 10th birthday.
In May, we took an anniversary trip to Disneyland with daughter Denise, Eric and granddaughter Kiana Joy. What a wonderful time watching Kiana enjoy the kiddie rides. Carole went to Spokane and finished the Bloomsday 12 K run while Jer was once again in Maine. Son Todd and Kristen and Grandson Logan also did the Spokane race.
Jer went to daughter Lynn's in June for his annual birthday celebration with kids. He decided to prepare to enter triathlons again this year and spent much of the summer on bike rides, running, and swimming. The first race was north of Seattle and was a sprint triathlon, a second one two weeks later was a bit longer, and finally a half Ironman bike relay in September completed his races for 2005. He hopes to continue competing in 2006 with a half Ironman in August or September.
One of our YMCA instructors was training for Ironman Canada 2005 and Jer was instrumental in motivating her to keep at long bike rides and regular open water swim workouts. He ended up volunteering at Ironman Canada in August, and once again, marveled at the dedication of the participants and finishers. Jer is working toward this distance once again. Training is now suspended for 2005, but will start up again early in 2006 sponsored by the local YMCA.
Carole remains busy with her Bible study. This year she is studying the Book of Genesis in Bible Study Fellowship. BSF is a seven-year study program that covers the Books of Romans, Matthew, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, John, Israel and the Minor Prophets, the Acts of the Apostles, and Genesis. This has been an incredible study that I highly recommend for everyone!
Our combined families of 7 kids and 10 grandchildren are all well, and reasonably happy in both work and recreation. We see daughters Jani and Denise regularly, and several times a year visit with daughter Lynn in Mammoth Lakes, CA, son Mike in San Carlos, CA, and son Todd in Spokane. Daughter Lisa and son Matt are on the East Coast. We try to connect with them at least a couple times a year when we're back there visiting mom.
If you're in the Seattle area, give us a call and we'll open a bottle of our best wine. Our home number is (253) 333-6841. Lakeland Hills is at the top of the hill above Highway 167 to the East between Auburn and Sumner. We can also be reached on our cell phones at (253) 209-5515 or (253) 209-5436. Our home E-mail address remains firstname.lastname@example.org Our family Web site can be found at home.netcom.com/~carpncc/ Carole's personal Web site is Heartbeacon.com Jer's business E-mail address remains email@example.com If you have a Personal Computer and can connect to the Internet you will find some of our Year 2005 photos at: http://www.ccstrat.com/xmas/year2005pics.html
This year as we gather together and celebrate our many blessings, let us truly remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. We love you and are so glad that you're a part of our lives! May the LORD bless you and keep you; may He make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; and may He turn his face toward you and give you peace. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
With Warm Holiday Hugs,
Carole and Jerry Carpenter
"God Bless Us Each and Every One"