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Hi Everyone! Our GOD truly is an AWESOME GOD and His mercy endures forever! 2007 was our year of "family" with some really fun stuff thrown in. God blessed us with many challenges, needed change, loss and new birth, the commitment of family, the value of support, the joy of accomplishment, and a deep and personal understanding of what love can really do!
In January, our downsized home was stretched at the seams when daughter Jani, Brian, and Byron moved in with us. At first we weren't sure that it would be possible, but as time went by, we rediscovered the joys of having three generations all under one roof!
We lost Jerry's mom in February. Mom had spent her most recent years at an assisted living complex, Sentry Hill in York, Maine. Visiting with Mom always led us to the Nubble lighthouse viewpoint, ice cream at Brown's, and watching the ducks and swans at the Sentry Hill pond. These wonderful memories will forever keep her close in our hearts.
God blessed us with a new grandchild on April 9th. Son Todd and Kristen are the proud new parents of Parker Allen John Dammel. Parker is a little sweetheart with a happy personality and a heartwarming smile. Logan, Maddie, Kayla, Kaden, Byron, Kai, Kiana, Trista, Lilli, and Korban complete our "Carpenter Grand-11"...and what a GRAND eleven they are! These kids really keep Nana and Papa on the move...but they are also a lot of fun to just "hang out" with.
In May, we made a quick trip to Spokane and did the Lilac Bloomsday 12K run. Bloomsday is always a fun walk/run to do and is probably the best way for Carole to get back in the saddle of exercise (although she would much rather be riding a horse!) Jani and Brian found their own apartment later in the month, and Nana and Papa headed to Disneyland for some fun in the sun!
June brought some more fun travel with a trip to Seneca Falls, New York, for nephew Curt and Emily's wedding; a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada (just because we had never been there); a quick overnight with daughter Lisa and Mike in New Hampshire (to drop off Mom's car); and a trip to York, Maine, for some beach time and Uncle Hervey's 90th birthday celebration.
Jerry participated in several fun athletic events this year, but his three "biggies" were the 2-day, 185 mile, RSVP: Ride from Seattle to Vancouver B.C. and Party; the Federal Escape Triathlon; and the Black Diamond Triathlon. Needless to say, he was very pleased when he got to the end of ALL of them and was still smiling! But… our true test of stamina this year came with our running in (and finishing) the Disneyland Half Marathon in September! Daughter Denise and Eric ran right beside us and encouraged us all the way. Thanks guys… your support was invaluable!
Daughter Lynn, Ken, and Kai are now living in Auburn, CA; and son Mike has bought his first home in San Carlos, CA. We visited them several times this year and played in the warm California sun. But, our craziest, most spontaneous, most spur of the moment travel decision came in October when we bought tickets off the Internet and hopped a plane to Boston to watch the Red Sox play in the World Series! We had the time of our lives… and best of all… we won! While there, we also spent another great afternoon on the beach in York with son Matt, Maddie, and Lilli.
November was a special month of celebration including Parker's Baptism in Spokane and Thanksgiving at home with family and old friends. Then, in December, we celebrated Christmas a little early with all the Washington State kids and grandkids home and healthy. What a true blessing! This was the first time we had all been together for many, many years… and may be part of the reason why you're now receiving a Happy New Year letter instead of a Merry Christmas letter. But, in actuality… that shouldn't really surprise you since we sent out last year's Christmas letter on Easter!
I'm absolutely thrilled to share the way God has worked in our lives this year. He truly is an awesome God and we give Him all our thanks and praise for our many, many blessings. If you have a computer and would like to see a few of our year 2007 photos, you will find a link at: http://www.ccstrat.com/xmas/year2007pics.html
We would love to hear from you. Our home number is (253) 333-6841. You can also reach us on our cell phones at (253) 209-5515 or (253) 209-5436. Our home E-mail address remains: firstname.lastname@example.org
We love you and are so very glad that you're a part of our lives. In this New Year… may your heart and home be illuminated with the awesomeness of God; may you always enjoy the love of family and friends; may you be blessed with health and happiness; may you continue to enjoy new experiences with God; and may your walk with the LORD be closer than ever.
With Love and Hugs,