Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review

I blog so infrequently that I am now down to about 2 blog posts per year.  One during the summer and one at the end of the year.  One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to post something about my Youtube Channel.  So, here we go.

Strangely enough, the most watched video from 2016 was this Jive Video of Mary Poppins Medley.  I'm guessing that the Jive performers have been watching it over and over again.  Most of the views have come from Idaho.

The second most watched video from 2016 also comes from Jive but it is their little promo video I did for them before the Jive Show.  It is a little lip sync video from the song "I feel better when I'm dancing".  It started out as a montage of random scenes from their normal life and then evolved into this fun get together of all of the jive kids in the costume room.

Even though the next video didn't get many views, it was fun to create so I'm adding this to the 2016 video list.  This video is of me and Katie going up to Pomerelle and skiing.

And finally, one of the happiest/saddest day of last year is when our son Andy entered the MTC to serve a full time mission for the LDS Church.  This is the video I took right as he was entering the MTC.  The girls and Mom were very emotional to see him go.  We were sad to see him go but we were so proud of his decision to serve.

Christmas Letter 2016

2016 has been a whirlwind for the Carter Family.  Many changes occurred and we are still trying to sort out all of it.  One of the biggest changes was that in April we moved in to Clint’s parents’ former house. While we miss seeing our friends every week from our old ward, we have loved getting to know many new friends in the new ward. The girls have loved having so many Young Women in the ward with them! We were blessed to have the 1st Ward devote so much time and service to us when we truly needed it.

 Coby has been at BYUI for a full year of school.  He returned home after the Spring Semester and won't return to school until January.  His track at BYUI is from January to July.  Once Coby arrived at home he looked for a job and found one working for Agri-Service.  He was hired temporarily to work in their IT department to help with help desk calls.  They have loved having him as an employee over the last several months.  At his last review they decided that they would like to have Coby work from Rexburg while studying at BYUI.  This is an awesome opportunity for Coby to continue to work in his field of study as he is going to school and then continue to have a full time job when he is off track.  Coby is thrilled that he can continue to work in the technology that he loves and with great people.  While Coby has been home, Coby has been involved in the college ward and has found a number of good friends to hang out with.  He has also found a girl the he gets along with really well.

Andy was called on a mission at the beginning of the year so we packed him up and shipped him off to the Omaha Nebraska Mission in January.  He has now served in 3 different states, Lincoln, Nebraska; Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The Omaha Mission covers 5 states so we expect him to serve in at least 2 more states before he is done.  The one thing Andy didn't want to do when serving a mission was to serve in an area that was really, really cold.  So, just for that, he was sent to spend the winter in South Dakota.  Andy has seen success in his mission and continues to send us very positive emails every week.  Some highlights include catching frogs, chasing away wild turkeys, tornado sightings and runaway rabbits.  Right now he has several investigators which he feels will progress to baptism so the Lord is blessing him with people to teach.  He has about one year left so we are hoping that he continues to enjoy his opportunity to serve the Lord.

Savanna has had a very busy year.  She has been to Atlanta, New York and the Dominican Republic.  She has also participated in BYU's Young Ambassador program.  She spent a week at Girls State as well.  I think she only spend about a week and a half at home all summer.  While in the Dominican Republic, Savanna actually visited one of last remaining leper colonies in the world.  Wow, what an experience.  She is a senior this year so she is very busy.  She has a job and performs in Jive and has returned to clogging.  She is getting ready to go off to college next fall. She just finished her college applications so now we just have to wait to see if she is accepted.  We aren't sure where she will go, but she feels ready to leave the nest.

Katie has been enjoying her time at the High School. She made the 9th grade volleyball team and started most of the games.  At the end of the season she tried out for a club volleyball team and will be playing with girls a year older than her.  She has definitely found her sport.  Next year she will try out for the tennis team so wish her luck.  Katie was getting strep throat every few months so a few weeks ago we had her tonsils removed. She is still recovering from this surgery but seems to be getting better and better each day.  She can now swollow solid foods so the hard part is over.

Deanna has been trying to keep up with all of her children. She is in her 11th year teaching kindergarten at Sawtooth Elementary.  She had an opportunity to move to a brand new school but she didn't want to leave her teaching partner so she stayed where she was.  She really loves what she does and loves the little 5 year olds that she teaches.  She can't go very far in Twin Falls without a little kid running up to her and hugging her legs.

Clint was diagnosed with melanoma in March of 2016.  Our lives turned upside down and we had to re-prioritize everything.  The ripple effect of this diagnosis was huge and affected everyone in our family.  Clint had to go through a couple of surgeries at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake and was unable to get around for quite a while. He does have an awesome scar on the back of his calf that he likes to claim is a shark bite to show for it! During this very hard time, we could see the Lord's hand in our lives.  The Lord had prepared us for this trial and had given us several tender mercies to help us get through the difficulties.  After the surgeries, we were blessed to receive the news that the melanoma had been removed and Clint was now considered cancer free.  He is participating in a clinical trial of a cancer drug and continues to have CT scans every 3 months to make sure that the cancer does not come back.  So far each CT scan has come back clean.  He is recovering very well from the surgeries and is happy to be alive with a very promising future.  We are so thankful to all of the friends and family that fasted and prayed for him and our family and helped us out in so many ways. We can never repay all of the many kindnesses that were shown to us and support and help that was given to us during that time.  

It is clear that the Lord has watched over and protected our family.  He has guided us along a path that has blessed our lives and made it possible to weather the storms of adversity.  We are so grateful for His guiding hand in our lives and we join with you to celebrate his birth during the Christmas Season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Carter Family.

Clint, Deanna, Coby, Andy, Savanna and Katie

Sunday, August 07, 2016

First Half 2016

The first half of 2016 has been a wild ride.  To make is short, I took a new job with PMT as a technical sales person.  My official title is Account Manager but I really am tasked with the job of finding new sales opportunities.  I have been blessed to have been let to this job.  It is helped our family in more ways than one.

In March I went to see the dermatologist about a spot on my calf.  It turned out to be Melanoma Skin Cancer.  My world changed at that point and a process was started.  I was referred to the Huntsman Center where I underwent 2 surgeries to try and catch the cancer before it had spread too far.  With the faith of family and friends, after the second surgery I was considered cancer free.  I simply had to heal from the surgeries and go on with life.  I am currently participating in a clinical trial of a drug that possibly would fight off melanoma.  So, every 2 weeks I go to the Huntsman Center and undergo shots and blood work.  Not a big deal.

Savanna has had a summer of travel and fun.  She has been to Girls State, Key Club Convention in Atlanta Georgia, Girls Camp, YASE camp at BYU and a High Adventure Camp.  I think she is happy to be home for a while.

Katie has been working on her Volleyball skills by attending a few camps this summer.  She is excited to become a 9th grader at Twin Falls High School but she is a little worried that the classes might be too hard.  She has also started Drivers Ed.  Yikes, she will be driving us around soon.  I'm sure she will be great.

Andy left on a mission in January.  He was called to the Nebraska Omaha mission.  He has been serving in Lincoln for the past few months and recently was transferred to Council Bluffs Iowa.  He was asked to be a trainer of a new missionary.  He was also asked to "white wash" the area so he has triple duty.  New area, New companion, senior companion.  That is a lot to take on all at once.  I hope he isn't overwhelmed.  He seems to be doing well and he seems to be loving the work.

Coby finished off his first year at BYUI.  He had school from August of 2015 till July of 2016.  He was studying electrical engineering but has really liked his programming classes so he has switched to computer programming.  He enjoys what he is doing and learning.  He is now home for the summer and has found 2 jobs.  One is working for a local Physical Therapist that needs his help creating and editing and organizing medical forms.  He has a second job working for Agri-Service where he will be working in the IT department as a help desk tech.  This is right down his ally.  He should get tons of hours and have enough money to get back into school starting January 2017.

Deanna has been driving Clint back and forth to Salt Lake City the last few months for his surgeries and follow up visits.  She is totally sick of the drive but has been a trooper to help Clint though this very difficult time.  She has also kept working as a Kindergarten Teacher.  She even kept her job teaching summer school for some extra money.

I almost forgot, with all of this going on over the last 6 months, we also moved out of our house on Chase Drive and got it ready to put on the market.  It has been for sale for a couple of months now but has not been sold.  We now living in my parents house at 526 Monte Vista.  The girls love it here and are happy for the move.  We are also in the 1st ward now and enjoy a full ward.  We have been blessed beyond measure even though we have had some hard times.  I am currently working on a story about what has happened during my "cancer" months to let everyone know the blessings we have received even though I did have cancer.  The Lord was watching out for us and had put all of the pieces in place for us to help us survive.  There is no doubt in my mind that we had divine intervention in multiple times in multiple locations.

I am teaching a seminary class today about family history.  I hadn't posted something here for quite a while so I thought I would update it.  I do consider this a little bit of family history.  Someday a grand kid or great grand kid will look this up and say, "I didn't know grandpa had cancer"!  What is cancer anyway?  Hahahah, it will probably be a non issue at the point in the history of the world.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Letter 2015

This year has been crazy, fun, exciting, busy, relaxing and stressful.  

To start out, we had a graduating senior, a return missionary, 2 college students, Jive performances, volleyball matches, State Tennis Tournament, a trip to Disneyland, a service project in Mexico and, wait for it, wait for it….. A trip to Hawaii!!!

Andy had a very eventful year this year.  He practiced tennis almost all of last year with his doubles partner with the goal of going to state and with the possibility of winning state.  After going undefeated in district play, he and his partner were ranked #2 in the State Tournament.  We were all on pins and needles during each match of the Tournament and watched all of the other teams to see how good they were.  After the first round, we could tell that it was going to be close but that Andy and Matt had a really good chance of winning.  After several more matches, they reached the finals and played a doubles team from Caldwell.  In two short sets, Andy and Matt became the Champions in 4A Men's Doubles Tennis!!  Andy had a busy year performing in Jive and preparing for Graduation.  He walked across the stage and received his diploma while we held up a huge banner stating, “#AndyDidIt”.  Andy also was accepted into BYUI and has been attending the fall semester.  Andy received his mission call just a couple of weeks ago. He was called to serve in the Nebraska, Omaha Mission.  He reports to the MTC January 20th.  We are very excited for him and we have heard wonderful things about his mission already.

Our long lost son has returned from his LDS Mission in Tijuana Mexico.  Deanna and Clint went down to Mexico to pick him up and get to know his areas and some of the people he worked with while serving. We had an AWESOME time with Coby while we traveled around Tijuana, Ensenada and Primo Tapia.  It was so great to see all of the people he served and taught.  It was cool to see the places he lived in and the companions he had.  Once Coby returned home, he worked as hard as he could to earn enough money for college.  He, like his brother, attended the fall semester at BYU Idaho.  In fact, they were roommates.  I think they have both enjoyed being together over these last few months.  

Savanna has entered her Junior year in High School.  She is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and is planning for what happens next in life.  She has taken on several things this year which is normal for a Junior.  She made the performance choir, Jive, again.  She is also the Key Club President and she has started a new job working as a file clerk in the judicial building of the county clerk’s office.  She is enjoying the fact that she has money and can spend it any way she wants.  She is planning on playing Tennis again this year with the hopes of playing on the varsity team.  Last year she played in the Capital Invitational Tennis Tournament in Boise and took 4th place in Girls 3rd Singles.

Katie played volleyball this last year and has done very well.  She is probably one of the top five players in her 8th grade class.  They split her team into two different teams so when she gets to High School, I think she will shine.  Katie is in 8th grade this year and is looking forward to going to High School next fall.  She has grown up quite a bit this year and is measuring every day to see if she is taller than her Dad.  I’m going to have to start sporting some elevator shoes just to keep my pride and height in tact.

Clint has been working with Integrated Technologies this year and has done very well.  However he will be starting a new job at a new company in January called PMT (Project Mutual Telephone).  He will still be in technical sales but will have new responsibilities and new products to sell.  PMT is a much larger company with better benefits and better support.  He is excited for this new adventure but sad to leave some of his friends at Integrated Technologies.  Clint has been very involved with the lives of his kids and enjoyed all of the trips and activities with everyone this last year..

Deanna has been busy keeping everyone together, everyone busy and keeping all of the schedules synchronized.  Deanna is still working at Sawtooth Elementary as a Kindergarten teacher.  She loves her job and enjoys the little 5 year old students.  Deanna is very active in the School District and serves on many committees.  This last year she won a grant to bring ipad mini’s into her classroom.  They have been a huge success and the kids love it.

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Clint, Deanna, Coby, Andy, Savanna and Katie