Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Christmas Letter 2013

It is Christmas time again so I guess it is time to put together another Christmas letter to mail out
to our family and friends.  It is always a good way for me to rewind the year and focus on all of
the good things that happend to us.  This year has definately been filled with blessings,
celebrations, happiness and emotion.

At the beginning of this year, and after the announcement of the age change for missionaries,
Coby decided to come home from college and submit his mission papers.  He returned to his job
at Smiths and began saving up his money to serve a mission.  In February his papers were all
finished and he received his call.  He was called to serve an LDS Mission in the Tijuana Mexico
Mission.  Coby entered the MTC early July and has been serving in Tijuana proper for 4 months
now.  He just finished his 3 month training with his trainer and was called to train a new
missionary right after that.  Deanna and I have both felt a huge sense of Love, Pride, Hope and
Anxiousness as we send our first missionary out into the world.  Each letter we receive brings a
flood of emotions and we find ourselves wiping away tears as we read. We are so thrilled with
Coby's successes and we pray for him every day.  If you would like to read some of his letters,
you can view them on a blog we created.

Andy has really focused on his talent in tennis.  He attended a BYU tennis camp this summer
and learned a ton.  He finished in the top of his pod and feels that he has improved significantly.
Clint is a little nervous about playing him in singles so he has focused on feeding him tennis balls
instead of playing a match. Andy qualified for the State Tennis Tournament.  He played mens
singles and made it to the quarter final round before being defeated.  He has set a goal to make it
back to State next year and maybe even get to the semi­finals.  Andy also decided to try out for
Jive (a high school performance choir).  To our surprised, he made it.  He has performed with
this group 2 or 3 times now and feels like he has a group of friends surrounding him.  In January,
he will be performing in the Jive Showcase which will be dancing and singing.  He has been
working hard but really loves what he is doing.  Andy has also picked up the piano again, on his
own, without lessons and has memoriz ed some very hard pieces.  It is fun to hear the house
filled with music.  We have all memoriz ed his songs to and many of us will sing along in the
other room.

Savanna is really liking 9th grade.  We thought it would be rough being with the big high school
kids but she has taken everything in stride.  Savanna maintains a 4.0 grade point average and
receives praise from her teachers often.  Savanna also is in the top clogging group in her dance
studio.  She is learning all of the top moves and plans on competing in Nationals next spring.
She loves clogging and if she ever is standing still, her feet will start to tap and eventually she will
be in full clogging motion across the floor.  It is fun to hear all of the cool beats and rhythems she
can make up with her feet.  It is quite amaz ing.  Savanna is also singing in an all girls choir called
Bella Voche.  She enjoys singing and performs like a professional.  Her eyes light up and her
face expresses the feeling of the song.  She is fun to watch.Katie has decided to follow in her father and grandfathers footsteps to play the trumpet.  This year she signed up for Band and was chosen to be one of the trumpet players for the 6th grade beginning band.  She has literally started from scratch but has picked up the trumpet with ease and enjoys playing.  She had her first performance last week and did very well.  Katie has also decided to continue her interest in soccar.  This summer she played on a team that was really good and ended up being undefeated.  They tied one game but were not defeated.  Katie will be turning 12 in January and is very excited to begin her experiences in Young Womens.  Deanna is the Beehive advisor so I'm sure they will have many fun together next year.

Clint is still working for Integrated Technologies and has really settled in nicely to the Technical
Sales position.  He has worked hard this year and has been successful.  He is hopeing that next
year will be even better.  Clint has been re­living his mission since Coby was called to serve in
Mexico.  He has been sending Coby weekly letters sending him suggestions and advise on how
to prepare and deal with mission life.  Coby has responded several times that he could not figure
out how Dad knew so much about what he was experiencing.  Hopefully Clint's advise has
helped Coby overcome some of the difficulties and successes of the mission field. Memories of
the mission field have flooded back to Clint's memory and have added to his nostalgia of
participating in Coby's mission experiences.   Clint has also picked back up the tennis raquet. He
helped coach the Twin Falls High School Tennis Team last year and then decided to join a
league this summer.  He started at 3.5 rank and then was moved up toi 4.0 before the end of the
summer.  He went to Boise for the league tournament and bearly lost his doubles match.  He
has continued to play in other leagues and tournaments to try to keep up with Andy.

Deanna has been working very hard to finish her Masters Degree in Reading.  Many evenings,
nights and weekends have been spent in front of the computer writing papers, reading texts,
finishing projects.  This last week she completed her final paper and submitted it.  She has finally
completed all of the work and now qualifies to receive her Masters Degree. In the Spring, she will
walk across the stage at Northwest Naz arine College.  She is very excited about this
achievement and will be thilled to walk across the stage and receive her dimploma.  We are all
so proud of her.  She has worked very hard and her work has always been top notch.  In fact,
she has received straight A's from all of her classes over the last 2 and a half years.  After she
gets her degree, we have all agreed to begin calling her Master Mom.  I'm sure we will sallute or
bow for a few weeks after that event but it might wear off a little over time and she might become
just Mom again.  Deanna has also felt the sturrings of the spirit since she said goodby to her son
Coby when he entered the MTC.  When you ask her about her missionary, her emotions are at
the surface and her tears will be at the ready.  She is so proud of her son and his decision to
serve.  She writes him every week and she tears up in front of her kindergarden students when
reading his letters while still in her classroom on Monday mornings.  She send letters of love,
encouragement, excitement and council each time she writes and reads and re­-reads Coby's
letters each week.  She is no doubt a Missionary Mom.

Well, I think that covers everyone in our family for 2013.  I hope I didn't miss anything.  We have
felt the Lords love and we have received abundant blessings this year.  We pray for all of the
missionaries every day.  We pray for our friends and family that they may be safe and blessed.

We have felt the overwhelming love and support of The Lord and from friends and family as our
son has left on a mission.  We wish your family the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest
New Year.


The Carters
Clint, Deannna, Elder Carter, Andy, Savanna and Katie

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