Christmas newsletter, 2007

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS —



B een busy with working, kids, and holiday events
L ife is crammed full as always!
E veryone needs to take some time and relax
S omeone special will leave gifts for the kids
S o tired, mom and dad will fall into bed
E ating holiday cookies will be a fun time for all!
D ecorating is mom’s favorite thing to do!

S ometimes dad doesn’t get home until late
E ventually we all spend some time together though!
A ll of the work eventually gets done
S eason’s clues begin to appear in the household arrangements
O ften mom and dad are up late finishing chores and those gifts
N othing can be left out for little eyes to see in the daylight
Photobucket

Christmasbearavatar
We wish you True Simplicity and Peace in 2008. That is my motto at this time, and what I am seeking. Life can get truly chaotic with everything you have to do and want to do and need to do. I had to scale a bit back this year in all areas to simply be able to manage everything – and I still can’t manage every single thing! It sure is a balancing act. But Christmas has been very enjoyable in that I am not trying to do everything I used to do. I had to cut way back on cards this year and only sent to mostly out of town immediate family, knowing that you all have email. [I tried to send to most of our loved ones that don’t have email – I hope I didn’t forget anyone!]

Chris is 17 now, in the 10th grade, and learning more and more skills all the time! After kind of a tough year last year with medication problems (he was switched to a different med in approximately March of 07) he has had a very good school year this year and is more cooperative and compliant and happy.

The last 6 weeks or so everyone has had at least 3 different colds and he’s been a bit miserable with that. I hope we all get over it soon!

Chris is wearing his hearing aid at school – we have one that is lost that we are seeking to replace. Both boys will have ABR’s to retest their hearing very soon as they are due – it was almost 3 years ago they were first tested.

Colleen is 13 and in the 8th grade. She is making videos and animating them herself, and still excelling at art.

Colleen had the opportunity to join the Anime club and is really enjoying that. And playing drums is her next ambition – I need to do some research and make some calls into that to see about lessons, etc.

The following websites showcase her work? http://www.flaming-kimono.bravehost.com/,
http://youtube.com/profile?user=KirraInuyasha
http://keyara-inuyasha.deviantart.com/gallery/

And wonderfully, baking is a new hobby of Colleen’s, and it’s really helping me out this Christmas!

Ryan is going to be 6 in February and is in Kindergarten in a classroom where he gets a lot of speech help. He is learning to write a lot of words and can count to 30!

The therapist I spoke of last year did come to our house through most of the year and taught us some ways to work with Ryan more efficiently and effectively. She was great! She had to leave her job and we’re going to miss her very much.

Ryan is in mastery of his icon schedule at school and loves to get on the bus. He loves Blues Clues now and has to watch it every night before bed on DVR.

Roger is well into his second full year of Court research and enjoys traveling throughout Ohio and PA. For about 6 months of the year we were busy collecting menus for a sub-area of the company, and that was neat – we often took the kids with us and Colleen made some money collecting menus with her dad. It was fun family time and we would spend some of our profits at times on a nice dinner from an obscure Italian pizza place or a Chinese restaurant. We were disappointed that that recently ended.

But Roger is still busy collecting mortgage data and tax liens, and will probably begin collecting foreclosure files soon.

Photobucket (Colleen made this for me)

I have finally broken fully into legal transcription again and have hit my comfort zone transcribing for the same court I did in 02! I would like to get my certification in the field. This will involve joining AAERT and studying a guide and testing eventually when they get to an area near me. I have to be a notary as well, which I am; however, I don’t have my stamp and seal at this point. It expires in November of 08 – I need to remember to renew it.

The certification opens doors that aren’t otherwise open, and I think will cement me in the field that I really am happy to be in for my next several working years.

I have been participating on a transcription board and have met many wonderful people on there! One of them is a new boss I have!

The genetic testing for hearing loss that I mentioned in last year’s letter so far resulted in no known cause. Ryan was the one who took the test. So we will see if more testing will be done in the future.

Haven’t had a lot of time for hobbies, but blogging and youtube, and watching a little TV, are relaxing for us in the down times.

Blog To read the rest of my blog entries [2010 note, this is changed now to criscollrj.com only]
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criscollrj.com Main site [2010 note, this is now blog, and has a link to older web sites on it]
Criscoll’s Cottage . Older main site, not updating [2010 note, this is now purged as Geocities folded.]
flickr.com/. picture gallery
Photobucket picture gallery, videos
Christmas newsletters [2010 note, this may have dead links – still lots of work to do!]
vimeo.com

With our obtaining FINALLY! a digital video camera as an early Christmas present, we started this video site where we upload a lot of our family videos for relatives and friends to view. Here is a recent one:

Untitled from Dori H on Vimeo.

School pics

Mary’s Song

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers.” (KJV)

VIDEO I put together to “Mary, Did You Know —

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If anyone is looking for my Christmas letter —

it’s coming!!! Every year I do a Christmas letter and photo page – and I’ve gone from making a complete web site for them (a la http://criscollrj.com/christmas%20index.html to putting them on my Blog. Usually I have it done and out by now and really enjoy writing to all of my email friends (I have hundreds!). I used to do it when Chris would be up all night and I wasn’t working at home at the time, and would spend a lot of time on it.

I think last year was the first year ever that I believe I just sent to everyone and didn’t get to write a letter to everyone. I missed doing that. I surely hope I can squeeze it in this year – but don’t know that it will be before Christmas.

If any of you are on my email list – know it’s coming, and we’re thinking of each and every one of you!!

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Ahhh

Coca-cola
Yum – I’ve REALLY been wanting a coke and finally got some cans!!! Boy you appreciate what you run out of when you finally get it!

I have been so BORING lately – first I complete NABLOPOMO and then I go to December and hardly post at all!

I have been cleaning and doing projects and laundry and all sorts of things like that. Wrapping is done, shopping is done. We are having our family over on Sunday for Christmas. I believe we are going to Gayle’s for Christmas dinner.

It just came so fast this year – it hardly feels like it should be October let alone Christmas!

Here is just one of the videos of our tree:

Untitled from Dori H on Vimeo.

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Would like to slow down and enjoy it—

The season is upon us. I am in a whirlwind of stuff and a lot of the stuff is not getting done. But we have our beautiful tree up, and the shopping is done (much lower in quantity this year, but high in quality and as always in love given…)

My to-do list:

  • Finish 70 minutes of audio of 120 due Saturday.
  • Schedule kids’ abr’s
  • Start wrapping gifts
  • Finish Christmas cards (very short list of mail cards – only to immediate out of town family pretty much.)
  • Do email Christmas letters
  • Plan for Christmas party – menu, cookies, etc.
  • Clean house, do laundry
  • Try and enjoy the little things.
  • And immediate goal – get rid of headache I have tonight.

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    My day – November out with a bang–

    My to-do list today: from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    * Get rid of headache from h*** (already laid down quite a bit and took 2 Exedrin Migraine pills) — Well it’s better but I still feel goofy. I had to nap for like 60 minutes as I felt so off and getting nauseous.
    * Get two more kids on the bus
    * Take bath/shower
    * Order Avon today
    * Finish reading over hearings due today (I’m way ahead on this and QUITE HAPPY about that! — I have read 4 3/4’s of 6 hearings and will finish reading them shortly when I get back home.
    * Start job today that I was going to start Monday (headache permitting) — Not going to happen, I don’t think
    * Call lady I’m doing speech trans for as she never called me back yesterday. Explain that I probably won’t get sizeably through this until week of the 10th (finish by 15th or so???) — Didn’t yet but will try from car
    * Unpack remaining Christmas stuff and get boxes up to attic (I KNEW it would take all week this week – not bad, “bite-size” portions– didn’t happen.
    * Mail in printer ink rebate — I’ll just do this tomorrow
    * Make a decent dinner in crockpot — just going to put up something quick at store
    * Go to grocery store — Going to run in very quickly now, get a few things, and get gas, AND THEN have to pick up sick kid at school (again) which is pretty well going to throw off all the above plans because of the length of time involved to do so involved in distance driving, etc., before other kids come home…. They don’t want to put him on the bus because he’s on there for an hour while they pick up kids for another school, etc.
    * Buy Christmas stamps — Will try and remember this at the store! DIDN’T REMEMBER.
    * Do A TON of dishes (they’re piling up badly)
    * Laundry (unspoken amount still remaining and WET
    * Start cleaning up basement (this weekend probably) again for basement treating people coming next Thursday.

    I realized that I’ll actually be off work next Wed., Thurs., and Fri (mammogram, basement people coming, and my Christmas plans with my friend) so I need to make full use of today, Monday and Tuesday!!!

    headache be GONE!

    later – GOT Chris picked up. GOT ahold of new client (yay, she’s happy with my doing job by 15th!). Still sick and nauseous with migraine…

    Decorating almost done – and apparently sickies coming back

    I’ll have to post a pic of our tree decs tomorrow (2 strands of lights still not working – i haven’t had time to pursue it really).

    But got breakable ornaments up out of Harm’s (Ryan’s) way today and Rog bought a new star for the top of the tree that I’ll put on tomorrow.

    Chris got sent home from school yesterday and Colleen the day before. I took them both to the dr. yesterday – believed to be viruses. They finished their meds for sinus infections last week.

    Now Ryan was coughing most of the evening and I’m wondering if he’ll make it to school tomorrow.

    So far I’m healthy (knock on wood) but feel very very tired tonight. I did nap for a while. I am going to just go to bed, and hope that Chris goes to sleep (he’s pacing). At least he’s not taking 89 baths like he did Tuesday night!

    I am getting a lot of nice legal cases to type – finished one and proofing it now and have another for tomorrow and early next week. Then I received a long speech transcription project for late next week and week after (hopefully they’ll accept it then as that’s when I can do it!!!) that is a referral from a local company I used to work for!! Word of mouth recommendation is nice!

    Yawning and my eyes are watering so shall try and sleep and hope Chris doesn’t drag me up over and over again…

    Christmas meme

    Googled for memes and found this one and filled it out —

    Favorite Christmas…

    * Non-Jesus-related song? “Jingle Bell Rock”
    * Jesus-related song? “Mary Did You Know” and the song about the little boy buying his mom a red pair of shoes.
    * Santa-related song? “Up on the Housetop”
    * Fictional character? The little blind boy losing his sheep (something like that??)
    * Dinner’s main course? Turkey
    * Dinner’s dessert? Chocolate Silk Pie and Pumpkin Pie
    * Scent (pine, gingerbread, candles…)? Candles, dinner cooking
    * Animated movie? Polar Express
    * Non-animated movie? Christmas Vacation, the Santa Clause
    * Personal memory? Playing guitars on Christmas Eve, our Christmas parties at our house with friends and family
    * Story/Fairy Tale? ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, the Christmas story from the Bible

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    Spirit of Christmas

    Ryan style 🙂

    I was doing dishes yesterday but Ryan decided THEN was the time to start unpacking all the Christmas boxes I had hidden behind the couch. He also did some of this in the morning yesterday before school —

    Let’s get all these boxes dumped!




    Decorating Ryan Style 1

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    What a bunch of tangled beautiful garland!




    Decorating Ryan Style 2

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Garland still on bottom, and 2 strands of lights (continued even now) out.




    Decorating Ryan Style 4

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    This tin looks like a drum!




    Decorating Ryan Style 5

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Putting all the garlands on the bottom …




    Decorating Ryan Style 6

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Pulling all the garland out. He eventually got it all tangled and we had to get it all untangled last night 🙂




    Decorating Ryan Style 7

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Last night:

    The breakables, up high enough??




    11-07 023

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Love those lights…




    11-07 018

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Colleen’s room.




    11-07 019

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Office wall




    11-07 020

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Santas (not breakable, on lower shelf 🙂 )




    11-07 021

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    And half our stuff is still in the attic!




    11-07 022

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

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    First big snow – 8″ over two days!

    SNOW DAY! Kids had a lot of fun outside. I actually wrapped gifts for almost an hour this morning before anyone got up. Then I washed dishes, then went outside with them. Now I need to cook lunch and clean office.

    Less than two weeks of school left before break…

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