Tuesday, December 27

Christmas Letter 2016

Another wonderfully full year for our family, fortunately now in a home that fits! We moved to another rental in the same village early this Summer. Here’s a rundown of the Carter clan and many of our fun adventures.

Easton, 12, 7th grade – Froze at Scout Klondike Derby and Summer Camp in Kandersteg, Switzerland. Swim and guitar lessons, Model United Nations club, volunteered at Stuttgart breakfast kitchen for his school Action & Service project, baking treats, student council rep presentation on empathy and bullying. Enjoys trying dance moves and special handshakes, Studio C skits, video games, dabbling on the piano and dog sitting. Learning to navigate city bus system.

McKay, 10, 5th grade – Strategic athlete at recess and track and soccer seasons. Coming into his own academically, enjoys playing the piano, baking treats, tried wrestling camp, MathQuest club, elected Student Council representative 4th year in a row, school play club, and Cub Scouts. Travel adventure with dad to Lake Bled, Slovenia. Learning his leadership potential with great mentors at Int’l School of Stuttgart!

Morgan, 8, 2nd grade – Braved first grade in German school. Loves to do art, face painting, cooking club, animal family playing with friends, read with Mom or Dad. Chose to be baptized and joined Activity Day Girls. Starting piano lessons, loved ballet class this summer. Thriving back at int’l school.

Jake, 5, German kindergarten – Peanut butter or Nutella-eating early riser, loves his American best friends at Kindi [Sigh]. Loves to sing Pirates of Penzance and Hamilton. Enjoyed first soccer season! Everyone he meets, young or old, is potentially his new best friend!

Aliza, 2 – Vocal early riser, mommy and me Musikgarten class, loves Nursery and especially her leader Josie. Jake’s best playmate and stuffed animal hoarder.

Tracie, almost 40! – January through the end of July were a blur facilitating Morgan’s integration into German first grade and staying afloat with the rest of our life. Great experience that stretched this mom of five too thin! Love hosting German class twice a week. Teach Relief Society 1-2x/month (women’s Sunday school class). Coached Jake and McKay’s soccer teams with Ryan. First Disney park experience. Loved visits from Nick & Christine Bare, Gina Waddoups, and Eric & Tamsyn Carter’s family!!!

Ryan – Planned and led our family on great travel adventures to southern Spain, regions around Paris, a two-week RV trip through England and now Christmas markets. Also led Tracie’s brother Nick and wife Christine on a whirlwind trip around Italy and a buddy on a hike through Interlaken Switzerland. Heading into third year of a five-year contract as site lead with CSRA. Enjoying the satisfaction of building a solid, functioning team atmosphere at work. Serving as Sunday School president and enjoys facilitating the new Teacher Council discussions each month.

Cancer took Ryan’s younger brother, Greg, early this past year after a valiant two-year battle. We can not comprehend the depth of loss felt by his parents and dear husband, Nathan. Mourning Greg, it has been heartening to reflect on this year’s highlights and be deeply appreciative of our many blessings.

We wish you health and happiness this season. May the peace, joy and love found in following our Savior’s light bless your home and heart.