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SHARING OUR 2006 BLESSINGS

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below;
     Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost…


       Hi Everyone! PRAISE GOD… I have finally been blessed with a small amount of time to write our traditional Christmas letter! Granted, it's a little late, but please know that it is filled with love as I write and share it with each of you.

       The past year was a year of growth and change for all of us. We said goodbye to 2005 and welcomed in 2006 with close friends from Spokane. The menu was a celebration in itself… strawberry margaritas, cracked crab legs, tenderloins, Caesar salad (you get the idea), and I'm sure some really yummy dessert (although I can't remember now what it was)!

       February was a birthday month. Our grandson, Byron, celebrated his 5th birthday with a big party at the local YMCA. Nana helped out and all of Byron's friends from preschool had a great time playing games and being pirates!

       In March, daughter Denise and Eric sold their home in Federal Way and moved into a lovely new home just down the street from us. It's wonderful having them close by and being able to play with Kiana Joy and Korban David every Monday and Tuesday.

       In April, we headed south to see Mickey Mouse and to "hang out" with son Todd, Kristen, Logan, and Trista Marie. Disneyland is always wonderful… even when it's pouring down rain, as was the case on this trip! PRAISE GOD for plastic ponchos and hot chocolate! We returned home just in time to dry out and head to a Red Sox/Mariner's game at Fenway Park with daughter Denise and Eric. The game was a true highlight of the year for us… just a few rows above the field, and directly in front of 3rd base! Luckily, we were also able to see son Matt and Renee at the game. This was actually a mini vacation for all four of us, which included stops in Boston as well as York, Maine, New York City, and Washington DC.

       May was an incredibly busy month that started with several preschool field trips for Nana and Byron. (Playing and discovering with the kids is always a super way to spend an afternoon.) Byron also graduated out of Cubbies in the AWANA program at church. AWANA is a great kid's play night where Bible stories and Scripture are introduced and taught in fun and exciting ways. (It is such a delightful blessing to hear the little ones recite God's Word and then see their big smile when they finish saying what they've worked so hard on to memorize!) May also brought another trip to see Mickey; but this time, PRAISE GOD, it was in sunny, hot Florida! Daughter Denise, Eric, Kiana, and Korban invited Nana and Papa to join them in Orlando for a week… and, of course, we couldn't say no! Upon return home, Daughter Lynn and grandson, Kai came from Mammoth, CA for a short visit… and of course, Nana and Papa played again… showing Kai all the fun things to do while in Seattle. Whew... I never realized that playing took so much energy!

       Speaking of energy… in July, we used every bit that we had with the hike of a lifetime! PRAISE GOD… we hiked up Mount Rainier to Camp Muir and then made it back down safely! It seems that at some time in my life (and with very little thinking on my part), I had actually made the comment that I thought it would be "fun" to hike up Mount Rainier. The kids, who had done it on several other occasions, happened to be listening and decided to make Mom's "dream" come true. What a trek and what an accomplishment on everyone's part! I don't think we'll do that adventure again, but I'm honestly thrilled to think that I actually did make it up the mountain at least once in my lifetime!

       August was a wonderful month! PRAISE GOD… Grandson Byron and Nana were able to attend two different Vacation Bible Schools and Grandson Korban David Kliskey was dedicated to the LORD!

       September brought a fun trip to Spokane, first to attend the County Interstate Fair with son Todd and family, and second to do the Tour des Lacs, a two day 80 mile bike ride from Spokane to Coeur d' Alene and back. The fair was in full swing, and of course, we planned an afternoon and evening of great food and fun rides! The bike tour followed the scenic Centennial Trail along the Spokane River and was great exercise… something much needed after our night at the fair!

       In October, Jerry, Eric, and Eric's friend Cricket put together a relay team in the Black Diamond Triathlon. PRAISE GOD again… all three finished their part of the relay and all three were smiling at the end!

       In November, Jerry and I traveled to Maine again to celebrate his mom's birthday. We had a wonderful visit that included many smiles and treasured moments. Thank God, for that precious blessing, for we lost Helena just a few months after that. PRAISE GOD… Helena was a believer! She accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior many years ago and it is with joyful expectation that I look forward to the day when I will be with her again in heaven. Helena and I shared a special relationship for over 15 years. She was my Mum, my friend, and my teacher. I will forever love and miss her.

       We celebrated Thanksgiving in daughter Denise and Eric's new home with the cooking of two big turkeys and a full house of family and friends. Todd, Kristen, Logan, and Trista joined us from Spokane. Everyone ate… and ate… and ate some more of the delicious meal that Denise and Eric had prepared. Then, on the weekend, we all ventured out to the Seattle pier and aquarium, and of course, we discovered more yummy eating spots along the way! I think I gained 5 pounds that week! Oh… by the way, did I mention that we are being blessed with another grandchild in April? PRAISE GOD… Todd and Kristen are expecting again!

       Christmas seemed to come and go by before we knew it! PRAISE GOD for early shopping and daughters that enjoy cooking Christmas dinner! Jerry's son, Mike, joined us from San Carlos, CA and taught Byron a new way to play cribbage. What fun… now, he beats all of us!

       I'm so glad that I was finally able to share some of our 2006 blessings with you. If you have a Personal Computer and want to do some browsing, you will find a few of our Year 2006 photos at: http://www.ccstrat.com/xmas/year2006pics.html

       PRAISE GOD... Easter is almost here! With that we bid you a Happy Easter… Happy Spring... and Happy 2007! We pray that this New Year brings each of you an abundance of God's love, blessings, and joy. We love you and are so very thankful that you are a part of our lives.

With Love and Hugs,

Carole and Jerry Carpenter


"God Bless Us Each and Every One"