- 1 A song of ascents. 2 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come?
- My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
- God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep.
- Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.
- 3 The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your righthand.
- By day the sun cannot harm you, nor the moon by night.
- The LORD will guard you from all evil, will always guard your life.
- The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.
Another year of challenge and change, and we know that God was with us through it all and continues to be. It was a strange year of ups and downs, but God brought us through and still continues to. We do praise Him and continue to pray for wisdom.
As I wrote last year, Christopher went into a group home in September of 2008. Though he had a rocky start, things seemed to even out later in the later fall and winter, and we thought everything would be fine. However, as he seemed to scream out more and not sleep, talk of his being asked to leave the group home began to become more active, and by August or September we had a solid decision by the group home management company that Christopher would have to leave.
We looked at some group homes in the area in September or October, but none seemed more able to meet his needs than the wonderful-seeming one that he was leaving. Most of the staff was very caring, and it was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye on November 1st. We weren’t really sure what to do, but our early plan has been to share care with Christopher’s grandparents, Roger’s parents. He has been in our custody since November 1st and mostly he has been staying with Roger’s parents, where we have him some of the weekends and take him on outings and appointments.
A glimmer of hope is that he does actually seem happier and also seems to be sleeping a LITTLE better, though he still often stays up all night — 2-3 times a week, usually. He also just now (last week) obtained his old aide back who had him in 04, Vicky, whom he loved to be with. He also is still attending the school system he started last year, that works with autism and seems to have a good plan for Christopher. My mom has also watched him some in our home, after school.
We also are still considering a school for the deaf/autistic disorder that is in Florida and still may be looking into that. But for the moment we are trying to still reach a sense of routine and normalcy and figure out how to best meet his needs as an extended family. He is a senior and will still most likely attend the school he is at until he’s 22. We will also be seeking what adult workshops, etc. he will be attending, and that is an exciting time of exploration.
Colleen with Uncle Al’s dog
As a sophomore Colleen is now observing classes at the vocational center, and she hopes to attend in the graphics program. Hard to believe she’ll be a junior next year. She has been wishfully speaking of driver’s ed but with her birthday all the way in May we feel this will be a junior, not sophomore, activity! She is ready, but we’re not!! Of course she is still creating her artwork and videos, working to keep grades up, and is hoping to get her first summer job this summer. She also attended another anime convention this past spring.
Colleen is planning another holiday party this year with pizza and friends over, as she had a blast last year with one of those at Christmas and another at her birthday (where she and her friends slept out in a tent out back). Colleen has also been taking care of a fishtank full of goldfish, and just recently obtained 3 tadpoles in another tank. Along with all this we also adopted her a cat recently; we had had a cat earlier in the year but sadly Stella died of cancer suddenly (she was a stray and we didn’t realize how sick she was until her 2nd visit to the vet for vaccinations). Sophie so far is very healthy and will have her first maintenance visit at the vet in January.
Sophie, our cat
Ryan’s speech is really growing by leaps and bounds this year. He has not been successfully wearing his current hearing aids, but we will be soon ordering new ones. I hope we can get a different style that he’ll be comfortable wearing, and I’m sure his speech will be getting even better. Right now he is in love with the Cars movie and is watching it many times a day. Our county awarded him a new computer in the fall, and he is greatly enjoying it. He loves www.Starfall.com and also loves to watch Youtube videos about the alphabet, Leappad, and, of course, Cars.
He got to see a few movies in the theater this year, Madadascar II and also Veggie Tales, the search for Noah’s Umbrella. He loved it! We hope to take him again soon and can’t wait for Cars II to come out but hear that’s in 2011 so we have a little wait!
Ryan swinging at the Potato Festival last fall.
This was the year where Roger and Dorene first attempted to take business trips together, as Roger’s out of-town county duties grew and it was sensible to share the work between two people. We went on these trips in February, April, July, and end of September, and are about to go again the 2nd week of January. This is one of the mountain views we saw in July and September, where we took a side drive away from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (one of our courthouses) and discovered the beautiful world of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.
In a very large coincidence, we discovered after a friend wrote to us after seeing our blog pictures that she and her husband LIVE there, and thus we were able to meet them for dinner in that town in September. We hope to do this now every year or two incorporated into our business trip.
We have both been thinking again of returning to school, where I was thinking of returning in the spring semester and Roger perhaps in the fall. I actually signed up for a class towards my Associates of Arts degree and will be starting on Fridays starting 1/22 at Lakeland with my first class in 22 years. I have approximately eight classes to take to get my Assoc. of Arts, and this class I start with, that fits into my schedule, is Comparative Religions. So it shall be interesting!
I have decided to study Speech and Language Pathology with an eventually transfer to Cleveland State towards a master, as I would like to be a speech therapist in the schools. Roger and I would both like to work with the deaf/autistic population, including our own sons, and Roger is still deciding what major he would like to have (possibly deafness captioning).
In the meantime, we are continuing with our present careers of transcription and court research which we do enjoy very much. My main client at this point is a firm that assigns me cases about Immigration deportees; it is very interesting and plentiful work!
I had the enjoyment this year of being contacted to fill in as a sub at my first law firm where I worked in ’88-94 and ’02-03, while the head attorney’s secretary goes on vacation or is out on any extended break. That has been nice extra money and also a chance to see old friends and have a change of scenery. I worked for a few days in January, February, April (I think?) and quite a bit in July/August, then again in early December. I’m supposed to work in March again, for about a week.
We just continue to work and pray and live in the hope and goal of helping our family as much as we can while still enjoying each other and doing our best with whatever we are doing. We did get to go away on some outings this year, and I will close with some pictures from these. A blessed holiday season to you and yours.
Our beach outing, last summer. Paula came with us and we also brought Colleen and Brenda who were swimming.
Fourth of July picnic with Rick and Nancy and kids at the park
That was Chris’s 1 sleepover during this 14-month stay at the group home – he slept all night for us —
EMAIL (Rog) firstname.lastname@example.org
BLOG:NEWEST – http://criscollrjblog.blogspot.com/I decided to move my blog from WordPress.com to blogger.com as my other new blogs are at Blogger. So far as of 12/22/09 I have moved one year of the six years contained; the rest are on the blog following.
BLOG: 2009, most of the year – http://criscollrjblog.wordpress.com/ – intermediate blog that I copied everything into when my WordPress.org blog was closed (www.criscollrj.com/blog, now closed) when I didn’t renew my domain at that time. Will probably just leave up as a backup.
LEGAL TRANSCRIPTION BLOG, 2009 – http://type-align.blogspot.com/ All about how I got into legal transcription and tips I think of as I go.
AUTISM LESSONS BLOG, 2009 – http://autismlessons.blogspot.com/ New blog where I am writing about the things we’re learned through the years about autism and deafness.
HOME PAGE: www.criscollrj.com – home
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com – search for Dorene Enea Humphries and contact to be added.
BUSINESS BLOG/INFO: http://line-brightservices.web.officelive.com/default.aspx. This (replacing line-bright.com, where I also did not continue to renew the domain) is the area where we will be explaining more about both of our businesses, summarizing my legal transcription (which will be more in detail on my legal trans blog, above) and discussing Roger’s court research position.
Roger, Dorene, Christopher,
Colleen & Ryan