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SHARING OUR 2008 BLESSINGS

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV


       Close your eyes and share the dream… let everyone on earth believe… A child was born, a star shone bright, when love came down that Christmas night. Hi everyone! I absolutely love this time of year… the songs, the lights, the snow, and especially… celebrating the true reason for the season! God sent his son to show the way when love came down that Christmas day. PRAISE GOD and MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS! This year has gone by so quickly and been so abundant in blessings for us. Where, oh where, to begin…

        January, found Carole in Spokane quite a bit with son Todd and family. The upside was spending several fun days with the grandkids and seeing Logan play basketball; the downside was getting snowed in and having no way to get back! When the snow finally stopped, Nana was able to fly home just in time to head for San Carlos, CA. where son, Mike and Toni were painting their kitchen a stunning burnt orange. We never knew we were such great painters!

        In February, Jer made another trip to California… this time to visit daughter Lynn, Ken and Kai. Kai is growing up so fast and he loves his time with Pappa!

        In March, Carole made a quick 1-day "almost all the family together" trip to Disneyland. She flew down with daughter Denise, Eric, Kiana and Korban where they met and played with son Todd, Kristen, Logan, Trista, and Parker for a few hours before flying back to Seattle.

        April was a month of mixed blessings… some challenges (which, praise God, we were able to overcome) as well as some other "once in a lifetime" delightful moments! On the 7th, we made a quick trip to San Francisco to reconnect with old friends from Russia. Then, on the 10th, Jer had a bike accident which resulted in a pelvis, hip, and tibia fracture. Thank God it wasn't worse and that he was able to recover well enough (along with having a motorized cart) to make a "previously planned for a long time" trip to Disneyland with the entire Carpenter family. Daughter Lynn, Ken and Kai; daughter Lisa and mom Joanne; son Matt, Renee, Maddie, and Lilli; and son Mike and Toni all joined us at the Disneyland parks and hotel for five days. The weather was gorgeous; but unfortunately, a tummy bug tried to dampen our fun. Thank goodness we had three good days before it hit!

        In May, our downsized house became stretched to the seams again! We invited daughter Jani, Brian, Byron, Kaden, and their 2 cats to join us again in an effort to help them save money for a down payment on their future home. So far… so good… since it's now been 7 months and we are still all speaking to each other. In all honesty, it's really been a lot of fun most of the time! The boys were busy this spring swimming at the "Y", playing flag football, reading, and of course… doing homework. Needless to say, we try to adhere to a schedule as much as possible so that all the "important" stuff gets done before bedtime!

        Healing continued and June brought another trip to California for Jer. It also brought our first participation in the local cycling event, Tour de Pierce. The day was beautiful and the ride felt great!

        July brought another wild and crazy baseball experience… only this time, to New York to see the Red Sox play the Yankee's in Yankee Stadium! Daughter Nise and Eric joined us for this last chance to see a game in the old stadium. Playing "tourist" in midtown Manhattan was a blast, but unfortunately the Sox lost the game. Oh well… there's always next year!

        The rest of the summer went by quickly with school starting again in September. Kaden catches the bus at 7:15 AM and Byron walks to school with Nana an hour later. Jer and Carole did make another trip to San Carlos to attend a special birthday party that son Mike planned for Toni… including a great live band in the backyard! The following weekend, Carole flew to Spokane for the day to attend the Fair with son Todd and family. Later in the month, Jer attended his York High School reunion in York, Maine.

       In October, Jer decided he had been idle long enough, so after a bit of bike training, he did the Kitsap Color Classic, a 45 mile, very hilly bike tour on Whidbey Island that covered many of the picturesque towns of the island. This would be the last ride of the year until the Feb 2009 “Chilly Hilly” over some of the same roads on the more southern part of the island.

        Just before Thanksgiving, Todd and his family made it over for his "once a year" trip to this side of the mountains. It's a good thing he did, because it has been snowing for over a week here now, and our area is literally a "winter wonderland"!

       That about catches you up on our year's events to this point… except for two very, very special celebrations… that being the birth of two more grandchildren! Malakai Josiah Kliskey was born on September 26th and weighed in at eight pounds fourteen ounces. What a cutie he is! And… Karma Octavia Walch was born on December 9th weighing in at eight pounds six ounces. She is also a little sweetheart! Logan, Maddie, Kayla, Kaden, Byron, Kai, Kiana, Trista, Lilli, Korban, and Parker complete our now "Carpenter Grand-13"… and they're getting GRANDER every minute! These kids really are a lot of fun to "hang" with!

        This has been an amazing year for us as God continues to work in our lives! He truly is a mighty God and we give Him all our thanks and praise for our many, many blessings and learning experiences. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. May we all remember and apply these powerful words of Scripture in the New Year.

        If you would like to see a few of our year 2008 photos, you will find them on the computer at: http://www.ccstrat.com/xmas/year2008pics.html

        Know that you are loved and that we are so very glad that you're a part of our lives… and most importantly… remember the reason for the season. JESUS is the gift… He is peace… He is joy… He is Love… He is every good gift from God's heart to ours. We pray your Christmas and New Year overflows with God's love and blessings…

With Love and Warm Hugs,

Jer and Carole

"Let everyone on earth believe"