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SHARING OUR 2009 BLESSINGS

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV


      There's a miracle in Christmas…there's a stillness in the air…and excitement in the shining eyes of children everywhere. There's a miracle in Christmas…as peace on earth unfolds…and we see again the promise that this holy season holds. There's a wonder in traditions… in the stories passed along…in our thoughtfulness toward others… and in voices raised in song. There's a reassuring comfort in the joy glad tidings bring… and an inner peace from honoring and praising Christ the King. There's a magic in the season… in the kindnesses we do…whether joys are shared by many… or among a special few. There's awareness of our gratitude for blessings from above…There's a miracle in Christmas, and the miracle is love.

      PRAISE GOD for his immeasurable love… PRAISE GOD for Jesus… and PRAISE GOD for faith, hope, and miracles… for He alone is worthy of all honor and all praise…

      Hi everyone! I don't have a clue where this year went… but I do know that our family has been blessed throughout it over and over again! We have proceeded in faith when we couldn't see what lay ahead; we have hoped and believed that God walked with us every step of the way; and we have felt His incredible love every day!

      2009 has been somewhat of a "laid-back" year for us when compared to others. Daughter Jani's family is still living with us… and (miracle of miracles) we are all still speaking to each other! Brian was laid off at work; and is now going to school at Green River Community College for his AA degrees in "Natural Resources" and "Natural Resources Water Quality". Doing homework remains the top priority at our house with video games coming in a close second! We're all working together on eating better meals and getting more exercise.

      January and February were spent mostly at home with Carole babysitting Malakai and Karma, helping with AWANA at the church, and going to women's Bible study. Byron celebrated his eighth birthday February 8th.

       Zoe Valentina was born on March 4, to daughter Lynn and Ken Schumann… and what a cutie she is… with lots of dark hair and sparkling brown eyes! Zoe joins our other "Carpenter Grand-13"… Logan, Maddie, Kayla, Kaden, Byron, Kai, Kiana, Trista, Lilli, Korban, Parker, Malakai, and Karma… all who are terrific kids and all who are a lot of fun to be with. Jer made a trip to California to play with Zoe… and Malakai's dedication to the LORD was on the 28th!

       In April, Carole made a weekend trip to Seaside, OR with her "old" friend Patty… and stayed at their condo right on the beach. WOW… talk about nice… wish I had bought one of those 20 years ago! We all celebrated Easter here this year… coloring and hiding eggs for all ages. And then on the 28th, I clung tightly to my LORD in faith and hope when Malakai needed surgery for Craniosynostosis at Children's Hospital in Seattle.

       Jerry experienced another serious bike accident the day that Malakai came home from the hospital. This time he suffered an inner cranial bleed and deep cuts on his head and knee. He's not sure how or why it happened… but we all PRAISE GOD that it wasn't worse… and that he was able to get back on his bike and make it home before going to the Emergency Room.

      In June, we celebrated Kaden's twelfth birthday here at home… and then on the 21st, we celebrated Jerry's birthday in Tahoe with son Mike and Toni, daughter Lynn and Ken, Kai, and Zoe; and daughter Denise and Eric, Kiana, Korban, and Malakai. Mike had rented a big house for the celebration party and every day was filled with some kind of fun activity!

       In July, Carole went to a Women of Faith conference in Seattle. This is one of my favorite events because Key Arena is filled with wonderful songs, inspiring stories, and lots of praise and worship for our LORD.

       In August, Carole, Jani, Kaden, Byron, and Karma all piled in the car and headed to Spokane to play with Uncle Todd, Aunt Kristen, and all the cousins at their lake place. The boys had a blast and want to go back again next year. Nana, of course, tried to keep up with all the fun activities… but was happy watching (with a smile) more than doing (and taking Ibuprofen) this year. We stopped in Wenatchee for a fun overnight before returning home.

      September found Carole at her 45th (her what?) class reunion. It was fun seeing all the "old" people and reconnecting! And then, once again, Nana flew to Spokane for a fun night at the fair with son Todd and family. Kiana began soccer this year; and Nana, of course, was one of her biggest fans! Byron also did a Walk-a-thon at his school.

      Everyone on this side of the mountains celebrated Thanksgiving together at Denise and Eric's… and then Nana was found Saturday morning cheering on Denise, Kiana, Jani, and Byron as Kiana finished her first Seattle Kids Marathon. The next day Nana, Eric, Kiana and Korban cheered again as Denise ran and finished (in her best time yet) the Seattle Marathon.

       Playing bridge and being the "Lakeland Computer Doctor" keeps Jerry very busy these days; Carole, on the other hand, loves playing with the grandchildren and attending church activities. PRAISE GOD… all our children and grandchildren are in good health and leading active, fun lives. If you would like to see a few of our year 2009 photos, you will find them on the computer at: http://www.ccstrat.com/xmas/year2009pics.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 Jesus is the reason for the season. We pray your Christmas and New Year overflows with God's love and blessings…

With Love and Warm Hugs,

Jer and Carole

"God Bless Us Each and Everyone"