Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Family Photo & Year In Review 2010

December 2010

I've tried to send out as many Christmas cards and letters as I could to the current addresses that I had this year. I had several of these returned to me. If you didn't get a Christmas card from me, let me know, so that next year I have your current information on record. Thanks!

Dear Family & Friends,

For our family, the most significant events of 2010 have happened nearing the end of this year. On Sept. 27th, Jared’s mother Clara was diagnosed with an advanced stage of Leukemia. Even though she was seventy-eight years old, it still seemed a difficult prognosis. Jared was part of several phone calls back and forth to help with talking with his brothers and sisters who were handling her hospice care. I believe he was helpful to them during this time. Clara passed away on Oct. 9th. Jared had been able to drive to Utah and spend three days with his mother before she had passed away. I was able to make arrangements for my six children to be cared for by four generous families in our ward so that I could fly out to her funeral which was on Oct. 12th. I felt very grateful that I was able to attend and it was nice to have my mom, Sylvia, come as well. I took pictures of the flowers that were sent to Clara’s funeral and I have posted them on Facebook. Jared and I were able to drive back to Texas together.

As a family, we felt very busy in the next month as the children continued to attend school and Jared working. On Nov. 9th Jared received a call from his sister Caroline to tell him that she had found his father, Melvin, had passed away as well. This news was unexpected for all us even though his father had lived eighty-two years. He seems to have died of natural causes most likely from complications with his heart since he has had heart surgery in his lifetime. So many of us had been impressed with how well his father had been doing since Clara’s death. This time Jared was able to fly to Utah for his father’s funeral and I stayed home to take care of our children. My mom, Sylvia and our sister, Mollie were able to attend his funeral as well. Jared really appreciated their support.
Even though these events have been a sad occasion for us, it is happy to think of Melvin and Clara together in heaven just in time for their 60th wedding anniversary which was on Dec. 15th. We have wonderful memories to cherish of his parents even though we have been living far away from them for some time now in Texas. It’s hard to believe we’ve been here about twelve years now. We have come to really enjoy living in Texas and our children are growing and thriving as I think you’ll see from how they are doing.
Hopie finished up middle school and she applied to Early College Academy this year. She was accepted and she has started her Freshman year as both a high school student and a college student. We have been so impressed and amazed with her determination to work hard and excel at this school. One of her favorite things that she was able to do this summer was to go and visit Bonnie, Levi and Clark. She really enjoyed the time that she was able to visit with them. Her Uncle Sam was able to come and visit to say “Hi” to her as well. Hope had worked really hard with babysitting jobs and had diligently saved her money to be able to go. Personally, I am so glad that she had this opportunity and I am so thankful for Bonnie for her hospitality while Hope was there.

Cowboy finished up 6th grade and started 7th grade this year. He is enjoying playing his Trombone. He also enjoys scouting and the Young Men’s program. One of his favorite memories is training and completing the Gatorbait Triathlon with his Dad. He swam 500m, biked 1300m and ran a 5k to be able to accomplish this task. Cowboy really loves to be outdoors and is very active as he continues to run, ride his bike and do the yard work for our house. He is very helpful to his brothers and sisters.

Nessa graduated from Elementary school and started 6th grade this year. She is learning to play the trumpet. Nessa loves to write stories and she started a blog this which can be found at She also really loves to receive e-mail from people if any of you would love to e-mail her she would love to correspond with you.

Zayah is a budding artist and you can pretty much find him drawing all the time. He finished 1st grade and started 2nd grade. He really likes his teacher this year, Ms. Williams. He is always finding an excuse to make her a card to thank her for all that she teaches him. He is really doing well at school. His favorite subjects are Science and Art. One of his favorite memories is going to the Coast over the Thanksgiving Holiday with his Aunt Martha and her children which are his cousins, Molly and Mike.

Princess G graduated Preschool and started Kindergarten. Her favorite things to do are playing Barbie’s and computer games like Moshi Monster and Club Penguin. She also loves to help her dad in the kitchen and play house with her friends or her little brother, N. Her favorite book is the Pinkalicious series and the new one she was able to get at the book fair is Goldilicious.

N has turned 3 and his most wonderful, significant event is becoming potty-trained! His sister, Nessa, helped out quite a bit with him in being able to help him accomplish this task. N loves Scooby-Doo and getting into anything slimy like mud or toothpaste. He is very smart and uses his curiosity and stealth powers to his advantage. He has also maintained the art of the escape artist and has been secretly introducing himself to our neighbors. He also decided to try out the career of a barber on himself first. Needless to say, he’s sporting a short haircut now. Most of all, he makes all of us laugh and smile!

Jared is still working his job on the phones with Health Dialog and he’s still a Nurse in the Army Reserves. He’s also started a few side jobs to help out with the finances.

Julie has been busy in her calling in Nursery but has recently been called to be the Young Women’s Camp Director so she’ll be attending camp next year with both of her daughters too. She is also watching, Jakey, a boy N’s age during the day full time and continues to have a Scrapbooking group and a book club. She also recently entered three of her poems into a poetry contest. Wish her luck!

We want you to know that you are loved and in our hearts. May each of you continue to be blessed throughout your lives.
We love you, The TX Carter’s
In photo: L-R Back: Cowboy(13), Jared, Hopie(14) Front: Nessa(11), Julie holding N(3), Princess G(5), Zayah(7)

Candy, our dog

Friday, September 10, 2010

In Comparison

I came accross these two pictures filed away on our computer and I couldn't help but notice how they compared together. I thought this was so cute that I had to share! "Like Father, Like Son" Don't you think?

You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes. ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On a Sunday Walk Part 2

Stopping to smell the flowers...

Our Beautiful, Beautiful Boy


All Three Brothers

On a Sunday Walk

Big brother Cowboy and Little Brother Zayah - Buddies Forever

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Training in the Kitchen

Jared likes to train his kids in the kitchen at an early age. There's a job for everyone! Zayah is cutting green onions, Gracie uses the chopper to get the ginger minced, Noah is on garbage detail, Nessa peels garlic, Brig zests an orange. Fresh veggies, soy sauce, sesame seeds, won tons...can you tell it's homemade Chinese night? Yummy!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Day of Middle School

Here's a photo of Brig & Nessa on the first day of Middle School. They look sharp! They are happy they survived their first week even. Reminds me of the opening lines of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." It amazes me how much growing up they do during these formidable years. I wish them success!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Year

My Gracie girl is in her very first year of school - Kindergarten. Wow! She is growing up and she is such a happy girl! I miss her during the day just like she told me on her first day "Mom, I like school but I really miss being around you in the day." So heart-melting!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Back to School

Here's Zayah - can you believe he's in 2nd grade now?! Such a cutie!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Summer Wrap-Up

We enjoyed a full summer with many activities together like tubing, kayaking, and going to the park and the Zoo! Here's a few of our favorite summer memories in photos:

These are at the San Antonio Zoo. Vanessa is in the Aviary where the bird drank nector from her cup. Gracie loves to sit on this statue of the baby elephant. We were so thrilled to learn that our Zoo now has a new friend elephant for the elephant that has been so lonely for a while. The new elephant was rescued from a circus. It is 58 years old. Having a Zoo pass this year has helped us to go more often and learn so much more about the animals.

These next few photo's are from the Boerne City Lake. Be sure to read a real neat story below about Brigham and Vanessa from one of their trips to the Lake with their dad. He texted me about it and I thought I would include his texts here:

Brigham and Vanessa performed a real life open water rescue moments ago. A homeade boat with two occupants sank. Brig and Nessa were running a bait out in the kayak when they heard cries for help. Both had lifejackets but they had become completely exhausted swimming against a stiff breeze. Using a tow rope, Brig and Nessa dragged the boat and occupants to shore. Everyone is okay. Brig says his shoulders will be sore tomorrow dragging a swamped boat and a large 50-something year old and his companion was no joke. Good memories. When I asked Nessa, if she was scared she said "A little but we could tell that they really needed help."

This is a great view of the Lake. One reason we went to this lake so much is that it was the lake that Jared and Brigham swam in for the GatorBait Triathlon that in August they participated in it together this year. It was a 500m swim which is about the length of 5 football fields. They biked 14 miles and then ran 4 miles. Jared felt like he really came to appreciate and know more about his son. Brigham loved getting to spend time with his dad. It was very enjoyable for both of them and woth the hard work. They trained hard for only about 3 weeks beforehand because they didn't hear about it earlier. It is quite an accomplishment for both of them. It is amazing to note that Brigham used to be quite afraid of swimming and water when he was a toddler but he has really overcome it! They are looking forward to training together for next year and improving their times. This first photo is one of their ranger training times at the lake and the next photo is the one where they slowly but steadily finished the race together. Would anyone like to come and join them next year in the Triathlon? I'm sure Jared would love to talk to you about that. (hint, hint:)

Way to go #245 and 246!

Noah's accomplishment this summer is becoming potty-trained! Vanessa took the time, care and patience to help train him. It worked and it really is super cool. He's been doing great!

Another neat thing that happened for Hope is that she was able to visit my sister, Bonnie in Arlington, VA for 2 1/2 weeks and see a lot of Washington D.C. Most amazingly, Hope earned all of her own money for the trip! She took over 300 pictures but she hasn't uploaded them yet so we'll have to put some up later. Needless to say, she had a blast!
Overall, it has been an amazing summer for us! I apologize that I'm forgetting a lot that I could mention. Although we are back to school now, it still feels like summer and it will until the end of October. So, we're still planning fun activities on weekends when Jared isn't working! :D

*What was your favorite summer memory this year?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Cowboy Grills

What Brig grilled & made for us for dinner one night all by himself. He's growing up!
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Sunday, August 15, 2010


Zayah is on top of world spending the day with his big brother & his dad for his birthday. So fun!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

California Jared

This will be a double post for the Carter's (I apologize - you can stop reading now;) but I thought my family & friends might enjoy hearing about what I wrote up about Jared's latest 'vacay' to California. ;D
No, seriously Jared spent the whole month of June at Ft. Hunter Liget for Army Reserve Training. It was educational and he enjoyed the little break from his normal routine. These are the pics that I have from his trip. Enjoy!

Jared shaves his head for the occasion - Whoa!

He finds a super duper large pinecone - very cool! I love this pic of him too.

Of course, a picture of one of his meals he really liked - Chinese. He explained to me that it was special because it was the first real meal (cooked by an actual cook) that he had eaten after only MRE's and soldier chow type food in the field for the month. It looks good to me too!

I hope to add more pics from him later.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wildflower Season

*3 beautiful people

*sisters forever

*bluebonnets forever

*old church

*hot pinks and brilliant blues
*interesting, gray cow

*Ebenezer cemetary
*wildflowers that look like roses

Wildflower season is in full swing here in Texas! It is absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous this year since we have had so much long awaited rain during the winter months. Jared has been exploring the TX wildflowers both on his own and with his family taking photos along the way. He took the photos I've posted here. It doesn't last long so you have to pay attention to when the flowers are blooming and then make time to go and look at the beautiful flowers while they're out. In the last weekend in March, our family took a drive out into the countryside to Cheapside, TX. A town that has about two families that live there. It has a quaint church, a graveyard called Ebenezer and a few old homesteads with an old schoolhouse/banquet hall. It was a pretty place and we enjoyed driving out there to see it. Jared even talked to one of the residents who came to check on the church building so that's how we know a little more about it than what's online. On the internet, it is listed as one of the 120 ghost towns of TX. We may consider driving out to a few more ghost towns during wildflower season again in the future. It was a very peaceful experience and free for the most part except for the gas, of course.