Revising and tagging, and studying

Of course in the middle of fall semester (perhaps exactly in the middle?) and that is keeping me very busy!!  I tend to do algebra at the beginning of the week mostly and biology at the end.  Then I tuck transcription in usually Wed/Thurs (job due today, so nothing different there).

In the few evening hours I’ve had and sometimes early morning I’ve been going through ALL my blog posts here, starting ins 2003.  They all needed tagged and categorized.  I don’t even really understand the difference between that so I’m doing both – tagging and categorizing, mostly the same titles.  Ha.  If that causes trouble I suppose I shall find out somehow- but at this point it seems fine.  Also adding the pictures back in where I can where they were”lost” going from Livejournal to then to then to blogger then back to 

My goal is to have this blog ready for real publication, where I post it on autism sites, etc., and really try and get some help and recognition for autism and deafness.  Chris needs a lot of help.  I DID get a comment from a person at the National Deaf Academy, who found my blog online, and I was thrilled about that.  If I can just get all the tags done and the blog totally organized, and then keep trying to add to it, perhaps it can get top recognition and the boys can really get some help.

So then, of course this with studying, working, and everything else I’m doing, challenging, but it should be SO worth it!


Fall semester



When I was a little girl I remember labeling and assembling all my school supplies weeks before school started.  I loved the way the notebooks and pencils looked, all new, crisp, and shiny, and the way they felt smooth and clean in my hands.  To this day I still have a habit of ruffling the side of book pages, feeling absent-mindedly how smooth the side of the book feels as I read or listen in class.  I don’t know what it all means but I do know it hasn’t gone away.  On a side note, I think Ryan has inherited my addiction to school supplies – he loves his notebooks and bookbags very much – it’s so cute!



It is a good feeling to have gone back to school after wanting to for about 15 years.  I remember in 1995 first considering that I would like to go back to college after that time being absent for 9 years.  When I graduated in 1987 I had been going for 3 1/2 years, and even though I didn’t realize it at the time I think I needed a break simply from not knowing what I really wanted to do with my life.  Continue reading

A week off!

Mostly – ha ha.

To do —

  • Take transcription test for Allegis insurance today (step 5 of the application).  Trying to add another backup contract as my favorite backup contract lost their whole department last week and we all lost our contracts.  Don’t want to have less than three eggs in the basket . . .
  • Do just 40 minutes of audio by Thursday – yay, that is SO like a week off!
  • Spend a great day with Chris tomorrow – want to make him a great dinner!  Hope to have Rog visit too – he should be home VERY soon!!
  • Play with Ryan at the park today where I’m dropping off Colleen for her “Otaku Picnic” – it’s not one we go to a lot so Ryan should love it!
  • Clean office this weekend and finish going through files (haven’t gone through them since 2008).
  • Monday and Tuesday CLEAN MY BEDROOM THOROUGHLY.  It has been a long time since I did this – I won’t say how long (not even sure!)
  • Wed. Ryan goes to Cleveland for dentist – special needs clinic.
  • Thurs. Drs. appnt with Chris

Things are going fairly well – enjoying the spring weather- hope it’s not immediately 90 degrees as I’m really enjoying 60s and 70s.  On my break from school this week too.  Should have my grade from Spring semesters (which was my first back) by next week — Enjoyed presenting on music and religion yesterday in class.  Did powerpoint and word document.

summer – first algebra class and computer class, both online.

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Thanks, my Facebook Friends!

Since with new wonders of Facebook, my blog now appears in my profile when I update, I just wanted to thank you all for being on my friends list.  Many of you have joined recently and I haven’t been able to personally write you, but I thank you for being in my circle of friends and family.

I do have some prayer requests at this time.

  • Roger continues to heal from his gall bladder surgery, but has hit some difficulty here and there along the way.  He had to have a more complicated surgery than normal due to a cyst he had, and I believe that is why it’s taken longer to heal.  The doctors have also been watching another cyst he had in another area of his pancreas, but it was not prudent to work on that at the same time as the surgery so they were waiting and watching.  He still had it as of last week at his CT scan, so they will be watching it another 6 weeks.  If it is not gone they most likely will have to do another surgery to drain it.  This also may explain why Roger has had a slower recup time and extra nausea and pain.  Lately, however, he has had more good days than bad so we are grateful to God for that.
  • We are in prayer that he can resume work slowly and get back to normal.  Whether he has to have a second surgery will determine how fast that will happen.  We would also like him to get home SOON (he’s at his mom and dad’s house) but with Ryan being rough in his affection for his daddy we were afraid to have him stay at home yet all the time.  Ryan talks to him every day on the phone and gets so excited when he gets to see him sometimes!
  • My paperwork load has been very heavy but I’m trying to get through one project at a time.  It has been harder to keep up on my paid transcription work with the hundreds of pages I’ve recently had to scan and fax and mail and drop off to various agencies lately with different updates the agencies had to do on our kids, etc.  They all came up at once, and multiplied with just trying to keep up on calls in regard to hospital bills and just keeping up the checkbook and filing and all the items one has to do, it has been a little overwhelming!!  I am now trying to get ahead of my transcription a little this week, and am hopeful the largest part of the paperwork elephant is now behind me.  There are still some things left to do though, and I’m trying to keep track of them.
  • Christopher’s placement.  We had a meeting at Christopher’s school Friday about how to help him progress more and learn more and learn to self-regulate with some aggressive behaviors and his not sleeping still, often.  We all agreed that we need to contact the autism school I mentioned in my last post, in Florida, and I will be doing that this weekend.  I pray the Lord’s will will be done in that area, and that we know the best thing to do for Christopher.
Thank you for prayers.  We are all just trying to get through all this the best we can, and still enjoy the spring with the blossoms, and enjoy the family when we can all get together and communicate as much as we can.  Rog and I had our first Facebook chat last night!  That was fun 🙂  And I’m going over there and visiting a few times a week – Friday after my school has become a tradition.
I only have 3 classes left of my first class in 23 years.  I still have 4 papers to write to catch up on my homework, but I will do it.  It’s a good thing I love to write.  Then I have a final paper to do along with a power point that I plan to do on music and religion (it’s a religion class).  Next semester I am taking two online classes, first summer session computer introduction, and second summer session my first remedial algebra class.  So I shall continue to be busy.


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It’s a fitting day to thank the Lord publicly for His grace for us.  As most of you know, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year thanking Him for a miracle we had in 1994, when we had a mortgage and additional payment for a trailer, a baby on the way, and fear in our hearts that our trailer wouldn’t sell.  Right on that day suddenly a person bought our trailer, with cash, and I’ll never forget crying in thankfulness looking at that money on the table.

This weekend, 2010, right before St. Patrick’s Day we had a financial deliverance once again that was sorely needed, and was a surprise.  Things are still difficult but I am so grateful!

Recent events:

  • Caused by unsuspected gall bladder trouble, Roger has been in the hospital since February 11, save 5 days he was home and had to be readmitted.  We are hoping his surgery is SOON.  He had complications from the gall bladder trouble of pancreatitis, heart trouble, and pneumonia.  His dr. appointment is tomorrow; we believe these should be resolved enough for surgery hopefully!  Roger is aching to get back to work after being off for over a month!
  • I went back to school in January, just part time.  Taking a comparative religion class — starting off getting my Associate of Arts degree which I need to complete in order to go on.  Planning to get my Master’s in Speech Language Pathology along with an autism certificate from Kent State.
  • Chris is at his grandparents, and still struggling with his sleeping.  We are still planning to most likely try and have him admitted to National Deaf Academy in Mt. Doro, Florida.  
More soon — have massive transcription to do today —-

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Completely overwhelmed, but still soothed by nature’s glory


Originally uploaded by criscollrj

I’ve noticed that nature greatly soothes me as well as prayer. And also just being with family and laughing.

But things are crazy, and I just have never any time for blogging, etc. I often think lately that I’d just like to totally quit working so I can catch up on pretty much everything and spend more time just hanging out with my kids and hubby. But I love my work, and right now it’s necessary. So I continue to get up at 3 to type and have toothpicks holding my eyes open most of the day —

  • 97 minutes to get out, proofed, by tonight – I have 6 minutes done – so why am I here? I’ll be quick!
  • Chris is officially discharged from his group home Oct. 1. However, they’re still keeping him while they look for more homes for him. I believe he’ll be home here and G & C along with us will share his care.
  • Chris’s school is going very well and they have him in a new language program that is helping him a lot!
  • We are unable to get Chris’s waiver yet as there’s still a huge huge wait list – like 15 more years maybe.
  • Ryan has a new teacher this year as well as a new autism coordinator in his school. He is doing well but won’t eat lunch or wear his hearing aides – sigh. Sunchips are my friend . . .
  • Colleen is working hard at school and enjoys times with her friends –
  • They’re all growing up so fast.
  • I am seriously seriously considering going back to school in the spring to become a speech therapist, and need to apply for my financial aid. This of course means a little cut in my work but I need to try.
  • We’re going back to the Maryland mountains Tuesday as part of our business trip and I’m going to meet my good friend Pat from a transcription board I’m on!
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    my crazy life goes on…

    Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been scarce. hope everyone is well! I had a crazy morning but just resting now. I decided not to go to the exercise class originally because I had a headache AND had to go to the store. Still hoping to go 2x a week but only been there once so far.

    I’m going with Ryan to Giant Eagle after he gets home, and rest and clean while he’s at school. I’m going to take a shower/bath in a little while. I’ve already done half the dailies. I just got the shakes because I didn’t eat any protein this morning so I just had an egg sandwich and hopefully those shakes will calm down. Maybe I’m shaking from the migraine meds too…

    I may also have a headache because I’m out of cocacola – don’t know. Going to buy some at the store – yum!

    This morning I lost Ryan’s hearing aides, bookbag, and shoes, and my library card. I found the hearing aides in time for school (remembered I’d put them in this little bag) but not the shoes until after he went to school in sandals. Still haven’t found the bookbag or the library card. Luckily the library renewed them over the phone with my drivers license, but said it was a one-time favor.

    My aide was in an accident as in the hospital! I don’t know any more than that. Prayers appreciated!

    Rog is doing good. Got 248 files done yesterday and his goal today is 300. Then tomorrow he should be finishing up and come home. God is providing and sustaining us.

    I’m still looking at court reporting or captioning so I can bring in hopefully in one day what it takes a week to make now – that would be more worth it. I wish I could start the court reporting course now but know it’s above my ability with all on my plate at this time. And from what I’ve seen it’s all online, I believe. So I would hardly have to leave the house 🙂

    over 100 things

    over 100 things…

    1. We have always felt the Lord has a plan for our lives. Part of that plan apparently is that we have children with some special needs. Our goal is to seek Him on His will through this and how to help ourselves and help others.
    2. In my childhood I read a book about a girl that was autistic and rocked all the time. I wish I could remember the name of it – I’ve searched but don’t have a clue. I went to school in the 70’s and 80’s.
    3. When I was pregnant with my son Christopher in 1990 I was super careful and never had any caffeine, even. I did briefly take some allergy/asthma medication, but went off it soon after I was pregnant. It was doctor-approved. I wish I could remember the name of the medication.
    4. I was so nauseous with morning sickness with Chris that I lost 10 pounds in the first trimester. But I gained back 40 pounds then before delivery.
    5. I was only thinking of Down’s Syndrome as something to worry about as a birth defect. No other disability came to my mind. Because I was 24, I tried not to worry about Down’s very much.
    6. I had no prenatal testing in any of my pregnancies – I just felt I’d take things as they came and didn’t want to risk miscarriages and wouldn’t have considered an abortion.
    7. I always wanted four children and feel so blessed to have the three I have – they are so sweet, smart, original, and unique. I took the same direction with my other two pregnancies as my first, except I did drink coca cola with the second two — maybe 1-2 cans every few days.
    8. I’m sure we would have had four children if we’d have had one between Colleen and Ryan – perhaps in 1999. But we didn’t feel prepared – I’m sure the Lord had a plan and as He knows the future He guided us to space Colleen and Ryan as we did, as it wasn’t until 2005 that we began to know about the deafness disability.
    9. Christopher played the organ when he was 2 and seemed to be very gifted musically. He was still talking then.
    10. Christopher lost his speech the first time at 2 3/4 and we blamed it on an event at a babysitter’s where there were no witnesses but the girl said a neighbor boy hit him on the head. He showed no damage per the doctor, but the next day quit talking and didn’t talk for 6 months.
    11. Chris regained his speech about 3 1/2-4 years old but was still diagnosed with mild-moderate autism/PDD at age 4 1/4 in January 2004.
    12. Chris held his speech until he was approximately 6 and then it disappeared again. We believe now that this is when he started going completely deaf.
    13. Chris often through the years has hit his ears hard when he is angry. He once caused an injury to his right ear that needed surgery.
    14. Chris used to speak in many words/some phrases and sang Old McDonald and a song called My Buddy. I know it’s STILL IN THERE.
    15. Chris is now in an autism class where the teachers/aids/curriculum is totally AWESOME and he is progressing very well on tasks, duties, following schedule charts, filing, color sorting, and related tasks.
    16. We want to have the same scheduling and success at home!!
    17. Chris was diagnosed as totally deaf in June of 2005, right after his brother was diagnosed with moderate deafness. He has been evaluated for cochlear implant but it is felt his hearing aides are helpful enough at this time.
    18. His hearing aides would be even MORE helpful if we would WEAR them. Sigh – the stage we’ve been in the last 3 months is that he won’t wear them.
    19. Colleen has always loved to talk and has a wonderful vivid imagination!
    20. Colleen and her dad often had creative times playing with her animals and dolls and made elaborate story lines about them.
    21. Colleen is a gifted artist, and as she’s changed her topics through the years she’s now very talented at creating mouse-created pictures on the computer of guinea pigs and anime images.
    22. We used to have Colleen in ballet class and gymnastics and she enjoyed that very much.
    23. Colleen also has done ice skating many times in her brother’s skating class.
    24. Animals have been long Colleen’s favorite and she has enjoyed guinea pigs, fish, and frogs at her grandma’s, and we had two hamsters in our home, one of whom our special SPICE lived for over a year.
    25. Colleen would like a dog and we hope in the future to be able to get a therapy dog that will help the boys.
    26. Colleen is going to be 13 and is growing up before our eyes into a beautiful young woman.
    27. Ryan was born on my birthday, and was the same length as me, two oz. more, and was born either 3 minutes early or later than me (can’t remember at the moment).
    28. I knew Ryan would be my last child, unless the Lord has an unexpected miracle now in my 40s!
    29. Ryan made our family feel complete.
    30. While Chris woke the usual “every two hours,” and Colleen slept all night but was up all day without napping usually, Ryan had an interesting tactic of being up at night for like 4-5 hours at times straight and then sleeping in the day for 3-4 hours. YAWN.
    31. While I was recuperating after Ryan’s birth, Christopher stayed with his grandma “Mama” Roger’s mom, and I appreciated the rest so much. She had also taken Chris for a while when Colleen was born.
    32. Chris laughed and smiled at both his little siblings when they were babies. He especially loved Ryan’s bathtime as an infant.
    33. I think part of the purpose of Ryan’s deafness, which we discovered when he was 3, was that we would then eventually find out that Chris was deaf. I am not sure we’d EVER have known Chris was deaf if it weren’t for Ryan.
    34. Ryan’s deafness was diagnosed after several months of non-conclusive hearing tests after dual tubes being put in after ear infections, in 2003.
    35. Ryan has not been diagnosed with autism, but has been in speech therapy since early 2003 and also has been in special ed preschool since Winter of 2005. He is being followed by a neurologist.
    36. I will never regret having early intervention for all three of my children.
    37. Colleen has also been watched by early intervention and team leaders, but she has done very well, having learned to cope with ADHD and some shadow syndromes (which I may have as well).
    38. One of my purposes in this journal is to build a resource page in regard to early intervention and other helps for families with special needs.
    39. My husband Roger is a wonderful wonderful person and dad. He is hard working, caring, and never stops trying to make life better for us.
    40. Both Roger and I have the entrepreneur spirit and have tried many arenas to make a supportive living for our family.
    41. Traditional employment has been hard for me to continue through the recent years with the needs of my children but I am grateful for Roger continuing to work to support our needs. God provides.
    42. Roger is a gifted guitarist, poet, and writer. I hope someday he can go back to pursuing these interests.
    43. Roger was the lead guitarist in our church band for a while – he was great!
    44. We no longer attend church due to our boys being hard to handle at times at church. I know the Lord has the timing in His hands for returning to a church.
    45. I love choir greatly (second soprano!) and I hope to someday return to it. I also play guitar and sing solo at times.
    46. Roger is a great cook and barbecuer!
    47. We love to hike at the park and have picnics!

    48. Roger got his associates degree in 2001 – yay Rog! He worked and went to school at night.
    49. Our home was a gift from God, made for us – a steal due to being on the market for a year and being kind of run down, we got it WAY below appraisal value. It needs a lot of work, but it’s ours and is enough room for all. With the basement family room included in the total I estimate the square feet to be about 2500 or so, not including the garage. Our old house was just 920 square feet with no basement or garage.
    50. Our family on both sides worked together to build a beautiful fence in the back yard for safety of the children. It’s so lovely out there!
    51. Okay, more tidbits on just me, then I’ll close. My favorite kind of candy is chocolate.
    52. I am addicted to lip gloss.
    53. I rarely channel flip.
    54. I love pens, paper, organizers, and am addicted to the stationery section of stores.
    55. I feel like I work better on housework when I talk on the phone to someone.
    56. I’m fairly good with money and even better at making beautiful spreadsheets and budgets for it.
    57. I’m not as good at housework but very good at making streamlined, organized spreadsheets of the chores I need to do.
    58. I love making web pages.
    59. I love cashews.
    60. I often eat crunchy peanut butter with dark chocolate chips mixed in.
    61. My house is often a mess even though I pick up just about every day (whirlwind tornado 4-year-old!).
    62. We didn’t used to have a garage or basement and a lot of our stuff is still stored at in-laws or my mom’s. We also haven’t finished cleaning out the attic or shed at our old house that is now on the market.
    63. I own large supply of books on how to get organized.
    64. I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle going to college with 3 kids all with special needs. Originally I was going to go back in 2005 (when I first drafted this list on another journal) and now I’ve postponed that until 2009.

    65. My first degree was Associate of Applied Business, Legal Secretarial. Over the years I’ve considered adding Paralegal, Court Reporting, Medical Transcriptionist, Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Music Therapist. I have now centered again on Court Reporting. That’s what I plan to begin study of in the Fall of 2009 when Ryan starts 1st grade. We’ll see.
    66. I usually think I’m right once I’ve made a decision.
    67. I have a horrible time making a decision.
    68. I do not drink alcohol at all for various reasons though I did drink in college.
    69. I tried smoking cigarettes but couldn’t figure out how to inhale.
    70. I am very glad I never tried pot or any other illegal drug.
    71. I didn’t think I would get pregnant the first time I tried after 3 years of marriage.
    72. I did get pregnant the first time!
    73. I drink icy pop (cola or dr. pepper) often stuck in the freezer for a while but only drink about 12 oz. a day.
    74. I used to hate diet pop EXCEPT for diet rite fruit flavors. I have now learned to like diet Dr. Pepper and Coke Zero. I LOVE COKE C2!
    75. I do enjoy drinking flavored waters with Splenda.
    76. I collected Trixie Belden books as a child and want to pick up some for my daughter to read and me to reread!
    77. I had the fancy hard back version of Little Women and read it at least 20 times.
    78. I had the entire set of Little House books as a child and hope to also get this for my daughter.
    79. I absolutely adore reading, especially Christian historical.
    80. I had all my children’s names picked out at age 18 and they were Christopher, Jeannine, Kevin, and Danielle.
    81. I only used the name Christopher and tired of the other names before I had Colleen & Ryan.
    82. If Chris would have been a girl he’d have been named Danielle, most likely.
    83. Colleen would have been named Ryan if she was a boy.
    84. If Ryan would have been a girl, I don’t know what she’d have been named, though I liked Michelle a lot.
    85. I do not plan to have any more children, though I always wanted four.
    86. For the first time in my life I would be devastated if I were to get pregnant.
    87. If I did have another baby, I would know it was in the Lord’s plan, and I would cope best I could.
    88. I would probably want a girl…
    89. When I was little everyone was forced to call me Laura or I wouldn’t answer (that was not my name!)
    90. I got very good grades in school but was embarrassed about it.
    91. In 9th grade I purposely failed some tests because I thought that would make me popular.
    92. By 12th grade I had to squeeze tons of classes in and just about killed myself to get straight A’s and get all my credits in for nursing school.
    93. I did get the straight A’s, and most everyone still liked me, in 12th grade, but I did gain 30 pounds and got migraines and eye twitches from all the stress that year.
    94. I only pursued nursing for one quarter and then switched to secretarial.
    95. When I was almost done with secretarial I almost switched to graphic arts, but didn’t (took one quarter of classes, loved them, but then got married and didn’t go to school anymore after my degree).
    96. I usually made the Dean’s List in college.
    97. Sometimes I miss working, for one second, but then think how insane I am.
    98. I usually thank God I’m home so I can do things like move furniture and improve my house without having to do it on weekends.
    99. I love being home and playing with my kids.
    100. I wrote a book in high school about a Cambodian girl.
    101. I wrote a book in elementary school about orphans.
    102. I also wrote a book in early high school about an overweight girl named Karen. It disappeared. It was the best book I ever wrote.
    103. I wrote about 500 poems but haven’t written any in years.
    104. My husband wrote me poems that were beautiful when we were dating.
    105. April of 2004, I was up to 187 lbs. I’d lost 18 pounds last summer.
    106. I gained back all of it, and then lost the same approx. weight in 2005. Luckily I’ve only gained back 10 this time.
    107. I can recite most of the Veggietales Silly Songs tape, and know what key the songs will be in.
    108. I started playing guitar when I was 10.
    109. I started singing when I was 6 or 7.
    110. I sang my first solo at 11 in front of the class (Let me Be There by Olivia Newton John – it was supposed to be a punishment for having not done my book report.)
    111. I sleep with a care bear given me by my husband in 1984. (Friend bear)
    112. I wish I could take more classes just for fun.
    113. I love to write.
    114. I hardly ever wear makeup. But I just recently renewed my Avon business and have now bought new makeup, and Colleen is now wearing a little makeup, and even my mom is interested in some now. Yay – makeover party coming up!!
    115. I went back to typing at home from Jan. 06 until end of August. Now that Ryan is just in preschool and not daycare (the daycare didn’t work out), I’m back to just “being home.”
    116. I really like that…..
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    potty training?

    User: dori

    Comments: DSL is better -they called last night and it turned out they
    were detecting noise on our line and wondered if we had a phone plugged in without
    a filter, I said the only one is where the dish is. they said to unplug that and
    now it’s the fastest it’s ever been since we lived here. What gets me is the
    place previously had said it was fine to have the dish plugged in without a


    Replying …

    Comments: DOES ANYONE have any potty training tips for Ryan? He has gone several
    times, pee, and one-two times, poop, since he was 2. But I can’t get any
    consistency. He takes his poopy diaper off and throws the poop in the toilet.
    That is good. But I can’t get him to sit there and go. He won’t stay. Any tips?
    He is 4.

    Hoping I can get a new degree to have a better paying job. I just don’t know
    what, yet. And how to get there, to college.


    interests survey

    LJ Interests meme results

    1. attention deficit:
      I believe my whole family suffers from this. Apparently I have it, but it didn’t affect my school work – I was kind of a brain ha ha! But my housework abilities suffer.
    2. back to school:
      I still want to go back to college, but this, again, is on hold. I really want to get either a music therapy degree or an occupational therapy degree.
    3. Continue reading