"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6.
A very blessed Christmas season to you all! I am so sorry I did not get cards out this year – I will try and get them out next year along with a printed newsletter. We enjoyed our Christmas very much and had a lot of family time. Colleen and I are enjoying our tradition of baking together. We also sat and watched movies and went to see Pettiti’s garden center’s Christmas display as well. Unfortunately a bad virus kept us from attending Kraynak’s in Sharon with the Jevnikars but hopefully we will get there next year.
Chris is flourishing at his adult workshop after some adjustment hiccups last year, and he has a wonderful Autism Interventionist specialist now working with him this year. This has made a huge difference for him, and we are so grateful! He also after a few years’ wait finally has working hearing aids and is starting to wear them all day there at school. He is also being provided the Autismate program for the IPad soon which is an excellent program for autistic individuals to communicate better. http://autismate.com/Home/Comprehensive-App-For-Autism-With-Visual-Supports/ Chris continues to say occasional words, the most recent being Juice! 3 times as I took a container of orange juice out of our basement refrigerator!
While continuing college Colleen continues to take care of a lot of animals, the new one of which is Buddy, a Bearded Dragon! All of us including her boyfriend Scott have said NO more, but, boy, she sure enjoys what we have! She continues to draw and won great praise from her art teacher, with her art being shown at the school, also. Colleen baked delicious cookies this Christmas again, making her decorated sugar cookies and buckeyes, among other things, and I also made my monster cookies. We wanted to make a gingerbread house that I bought from World Market, but unfortunately, in the strange way things tend to go, the entire kit went missing, and we have yet to find it. So I suppose it will be a later winter gingerbread house when it is found…. sigh.
I think lately what is striking me is how tall Ryan is, suddenly! He is growing into a young man before our eyes. His academic progress is fun to watch, and the fact that he enjoys it all so much is thrilling. Currently Ryan’s favorite game is Minecraft either on Dad’s IPhone or my Kindle. He also sometimes plays it on Chris’s IPad (while we hold it!!!) – unfortunately he broke his own IPad last March. He played Minecraft on his PC for a while but then didn’t want to anymore, for some unknown reason. Ryan’s high point is outings with daddy every weekend and he loves “the little grocery store” and “Marc’s Store.” Keeping Ryan by us in a store still can be a challenge as he wants to dash off and get his favorite chocolate milk and chips. He is getting so independent! He misses latchkey as he was cut out of it this school year with his school not offering it any longer (he is now in middle school in a different building).
Graduation from fifth grade was a highlight of Ryan’s year! It was very emotional to say goodbye to Leroy Elementary School!
Getting back to Port Clinton/Marblehead this summer with the Jevnikars was a wonderful outing! We hadn’t been there with them since 2005. Ironically Roger then also was assigned Ottawa and Sandusky counties with his work, so he gets to go back there every few months – I went with him back this fall one time. It was super having an all-day camping day with our friends in July and we enjoyed swimming, walking, eating barbecue, and traveling to the Marblehead Beach!
Things continue to the same in our data entry work – God has enabled us to keep up the 3 two-day trips every quarter! Prayers appreciated for some medical issues for Rog that continue. I also continue to perform home health care with two companies. Rog has chosen Columbia College online in Missouri to obtain his bachelor’s degree in social work – just awaiting the right session to enroll in. I have transferred from Kent State over to the online college Western Govern University, where I continue to major in special education. I really like it a lot – and of course, though, I loved Kent as well, but the scarcity of any classes locally or at a time that was convenient to go was becoming a bigger problem every semester. WGU’S degree also adds an elementary school license which may be very handy for flexibility in job-hunting! They go on a six-month semester, and one can start any month. I started September 1 and go through the middle of February, and then start again in March. I can take a month or two off in between any semesters as long as I give them notice. I also still hope to go back for autism certification and ABA after I receive the bachelor’s. Can’t believe I will be student teaching in just a few years or less!
Anyone who wants to read the list of my complete courses at WGU can click here — http://www.criscollrj.com/2013/08/15/transfers-and-changes/ ha ha!
I started using My Fitness Pal in January 2013 and have kept up with it fairly well to date. I am not logging each day now though, as I should, but hope to get back to that today!!! I have lost another 10 pounds or so – it wavers between 20 and 25 pounds total loss since early 2012. I need to lose more but do feel so much better being down about one size! In the new year we hope to attend a water fitness class at the Y every Wednesday. A very bad cold/virus got me away from walking in late November, and I hope to have my strength completely back when Ryan goes back to school January 6 so that I can start walking every morning again. The entire family was down with this virus between mid November and mid December – it was awful!! We also have a really nice exercise bike in the basement that we want to start riding now that everyone is starting to feel better.