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SHARING OUR 2011 BLESSINGS

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1 NIV



      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS… Merry Christmas and Hi to everyone! Many years ago, I came across Ellen Cuomo’s definition of faith… and I happily want to share it with you this year. Ellen writes: Faith is risking what is… for what is yet to be. It is taking small steps… knowing they lead to bigger ones. Faith is holding on when you want to let go… and it is letting go when you want to hold on. Faith is saying yes when everything else says no… and it is believing all things are possible in the midst of impossibilities. Faith is looking beyond what is… and it is trusting for what will be. Faith is the presence of light in darkness… and the presence of God in all. This year, we have found ourselves walking in continual faith… and we happily share some of that walk with you now…

      With good intentions, Jer and Carole made a New Year resolution to run one event every month in 2011. So, on January 1, we participated in the 5K “Resolution Run and Polar Bear Dive”. At the end of the run, Jer dove into Lake Washington. Carole didn’t!

      Continuing our fitness attempts, in February, we entered the 4-mile “You Knock My Socks Off”. Shortly after the run, Jer was diagnosed with a torn PCL in his left knee. He continues to bike… but it seems that his running days are over. Later in the month, Carole flew a couple times to Spokane to see Trista and Logan play basketball.

      In March, Carole did a 5K “Run For Luck” followed by a big hamburger, french fries and a pitcher of green beer. So much for New Year resolutions!  But… her BIGGEST news of the year was her mission trip to Ethiopia. God is doing amazing work there and it was a true blessing to be able to go and be a part of it. You can read more about our mission trip and the work of YWAM in Ethiopia at:   www.ywamethiopia.com/

      In April, Jer attended his USNA class of 1963 reunion in San Diego. It had been over 50 years since he had seen or heard from his classmates! Unfortunately, the mission trip and the reunion were scheduled at the same time. Later in the month, Jer returned to CA to visit son Mike, daughter Lynn and family, and granddaughter Madison, who was visiting from Boston. At the end of the month, Jer had cataract surgery. It is amazing how quickly this operation is accomplished and the dramatic improvement in sight it affords.

      May took Jer back to San Carlos, CA to help son Mike with some “handyman” jobs. We also spent a fun weekend in Phoenix, AZ with Jer's Aunt Jackie and Uncle Chuck. The weather was hot and their pool was wonderful!

       June brought another birthday for Jer… and at this juncture, he was not into celebrating them as he just encountered #72! So without fanfare… we went to Leavenworth and went white water rafting with son Todd, Kristen and grandson Logan.        

      We supported daughter, Denise in her first half Ironman in Chelan,WA in July. Carole also made a fun trip to Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho with grandson Byron and son Todd’s family.

      September brought another fun reunion for Jer in Maine. Every 3 years, his York High School plans a get-together for all classes that have been out of school for 40 years or more. Jer also had a chance to visit with son Matt and daughter Lisa on this trip.  Before school started, Carole spent a wonderful day horseback riding with grandson Byron and granddaughter Kayla. Later in the month, she began working again with AWANA at her church, but this year she is working with the 5th and 6th grade girls.

      In October, we took a quick day-trip to Spokane to see granddaughter Trista run in the all-city cross country meet. She did fantastic… finishing 3rd in her age group!  Nana also cheered grandson Byron on in his all-city volleyball tournament that same month.

      This year we purchased tickets for the Paramount and Fifth Avenue Theaters in Seattle… and have really enjoyed the shows as well as the night out in the city! Three of our favorites so far have been Les Misérables, Saving Aimee, and the Blue Man Group. We celebrated Thanksgiving at daughter Denise and Eric’s home this year. It is always such a blessing to spend turkey day with all of them… and they always make a delicious dinner!

      December found Carole celebrating an early Christmas in Spokane with son Todd’s family. She watched grandson Parker play basketball, helped to pick out and decorate their tree, attended granddaughter Trista’s and Parker’s Christmas program and spent a fun evening on the Lake Coeur d’ Alene Christmas cruise.

      So here we are at the end of another year. Jerry and I are both extremely excited about getting our quiet house back again. Daughter Jani and her family will be moving into their own home soon, after which we will be doing some major clean-up, painting, and remodeling.

      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 2011 photos, you will find them on the computer at: http://ccstrat.com/xmas/year2011pics.html

      Know that you are loved and that we are so very glad that you're a part of our lives. We pray you have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of Christ’s love at Christmas and always...

With Love and Warm Hugs,

Jer and Carole

"God Bless Us Each and Everyone"