Christmas, life

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2006 Christmas letter & picture

This is cut and pasted from our actual letter. Hope you all had a good holiday – I didn’t have time to do an actual web site this year, but wanted to send you this letter, in my new journal (posts from 2003-2006 are added from a former journal). Happy New Year 2007! Only change in letter is that I’m now working at home again, just a little. And we got a new hamster! Pictures are on the right at Flickr, taken by us, Brad & John.


HOUSEHOLD In case anyone missed our news, we moved last fall! Our moving story is here files/movingday.html (2020 – site is there but has some dead links….) and last year’s Christmas newsletter, which never made it to print, is here files/Christmas05letter.html (2020 – same as above!) . Every day we thank God for this lovely house we have been given. It truly is a gift. One of our biggest goals of 2006 was getting a fence for our yard. It was a long wait (end of October until approximately June 24), but with lots of help from family and friends we are the proud owners of this fence.

We also obtained a safety lock for our front door, and sleep easier at night knowing the boys cannot as easily escape the house. We had some close calls early in the year with adventurous boys being beckoned by the lovely schoolyard across the street!

The Lake County flood of July of 06 was pretty astonishing. You can see a picture blog our county made, (2020 all links were empty… will have to look up new). Lake County received FEMA/SBA help, and we had gutters put on our home as a preventative measure. The intensity and depth of the water (about 7 inches compared to the 1 inch or so we got before) was amazing. We lost some furniture but considered ourselves very fortunate compared to some, including residents of two large condominium complexes by the river downtown, which condos were condemned and a total loss, and a cousin of Dorene’s that lost his home near the river.

CHRIS was diagnosed with complete deafness in June of 2005. We have spent the last year and a half in an ever-changing process of trying to get him used to hearing aides, beginning speech therapy for cochlear implant candidates, going through the candidacy review, learning that he was not a candidate due to the hearing aides working fairly well, and now struggling through him refusing to wear his hearing aides at all. This is an ongoing struggle, and we pray that all involved will have patience and wisdom.

Chris is 16 in 9th grade now, after having an awesome year last year in 8th grade. We are struggling more with Chris’s extremely assertive (and passive aggressive!) behavior, and are seeking out therapists and doctors to help in this area. He continues to grow and excel in use of picture icon schedule and TEACCH projects at school. Thankfully he is still sleeping well.

COLLEEN is now a lovely young lady, age 12, in 7th grade. After playing trumpet from 02/05 until 05/06, Colleen switched to choir this year. Guitar is her next ambition, and Dorene and Roger will be happy to teach her! Colleen continues to excel at art and is taking teen art at the Y and also has become extremely talented at the unique skill of drawing pictures on the computer with the mouse. We are amazed at her skill at this.

Colleen also is a great fan of participating in Neopets web site and enjoys reading about and watching the show Inuyasha, and practicing drawing Japanese anime in general. She has many new friends at school and in the neighborhood and has found a lot in common with them with her artwork and hobbies., and keep her busy as well. [2010 note, these web sites are no longer open but I didn’t want to delete the examples of how she made these sites!] We were sad to lose our hamster Spice this year after being with us only a year, and a beta just this fall. We are hoping to add a new pet to our home soon.

RYAN was diagnosed with a hearing loss in May of 05. He is very consistent with wearing them on his way to the bus and all the way through the school day. He has been attending preschool since November of 05 and has wonderful teachers and assistants. He has learned many letters and other skills, and follows a picture/object schedule and also uses many words. After working with his speech therapist from 01/03 to 08/06, we were sad to see her leave for a new job. Ryan was also chosen for a therapeutic case study at a local college for speech delay; we are waiting for it to begin. He is being continuously followed by his neurologist to judge how much of the speech delay is from his hearing loss.

Singing many nursery rhymes and dancing are two of Ryan’s favorite pursuits. He is also fond of dumping everything out of shelves, bins, and buckets throughout the house, and running through the hallways. A firm hand this one needs, but a more joyful boy there could not be many of. He is our snuggler as well, most of the time falling asleep in our laps. It brings back memories of when our little Chris would do the same. He loves to run and jump and play. The fence in the back and the school playground across the street have also been a blessing for him!

US As Rog’s work had a long slowdown beginning in November of 05, Dorene began to work at home in February of 06. It was an adjustment as she’d been home without working since January of 04! But after the slowdown continued Dorene was able to establish 8 contacts for typing and transcribing at home. In the summer Ryan had a month of daycare and all had summer camp (Colleen volunteered), so Dorene worked about 2 months straight almost full time. In September Dorene gratefully “semi-retired” as God had worked in Roger’s life with a new business. She may type occasionally in the future, but has been on break since the end of August. Thankfully most of the contacts have larger pools of transcriptionists and Dorene stays on the “backup” list and can get back on to regular shifts when she is ready, perhaps when Ryan attends the 1st grade.

Roger began working for a court researching company in July and by August had built the business into almost full-time. He travels into 10 counties in mostly Southeast and extreme Northeast Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania and gathers records in regard to mortgages. He still works for the traffic job as well occasionally but is grateful to have the new business as the traffic job has slowed down considerably over past several months in volume of work available. He is still cleaning for them, however, on the weekends.

Dorene is planning [still] to attend school and most recently is interested in the field of captioning/C.A.R.T. for the hearing impaired in the court reporting field. There is a 2-year program she is very interested in completing at home. In Dorene’s semi-retirement at this time, however, she is feeling just as busy as when she was typing at home and cannot fit in any time for school classes this year! Home projects are filing in any gaps she may have in time as we attempt to make this house a home – cleaning out kitchen shelves and cupboards was the first major project of the Fall of 06. Plans were made to paint the kitchen but are put on hold now until after Christmas. And as Roger’s business now takes him out of town for a few days at a time each week and away for most of the day every day, the children need her availability. We are sure happy to see Dad when he comes home though!

Dorene was surprised in the summer of 06 to find that she too needed a hearing aide. She was given a hearing screening due to both the boys having a hearing loss as well as her father. A mild hearing loss, but believed to be progressive, is going to result in she and the boys being tested for a genetic hearing loss. The test is scheduled for February for Dorene. So far Colleen’s hearing is fine.

Among trips away from home this year was a day trip to the Sugar Creek, New Philly area in approximately July, and also the Fall Festival at Atwood Lake in September with our friends Rick and Nancy and family. Then in October we took a day trip to Meadville and Oil City, Pennsylvania. We love to travel through hill country and were glad we had a chance to go! And taking pictures and posting them on the computer and online remains one of Dorene’s favorite hobbies!

Casting Crowns, Praise You in this Storm

From the album Lifesong

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen,” and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
I’m with you.
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
I’m with you.
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of Heaven and Earth


We pray you all have a blessed and memorable Christmas with family. We will be sure to sit and enjoy each other as well, pop some popcorn, watch TV, and listen to and watch old video clips on Anyone else? Blessings, and enjoy!

Colleen trying out her tablet! 

Chris opening first gift!

Rog and his sister Lisa at Gayle & Chuck’s house

 Dorene & Ryan at Gayle & Chuck’s house

3 thoughts on “HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2006 Christmas letter & picture”

  1. Dori, I just wanted to wish you a very happy New Year and I truly hope and pray that the new year hands you simple times, loving memories, and good family fun.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us FAMs, you are the
    strong one of us all.
    God Bless….

  2. Dori-

    I so enjoyed your lovely holiday newsletter and websites. I give you so much credit for the daily schedules you have and still finding the time to create such lovely correspondance. Let’s get together sometime for coffee! When would your schedule permit? Mornings work best for me, as Jared is in kindergarten. When does Ryan attend preschool-mornings or afternoons?

    I’ll be in touch. God bless you and your lovely family!

  3. Doreen,
    Thanks for keeping me on your list as I love to see pictures and hear of Ryan’s progress. We miss him at Preschool, but know he is in good hands with his current teaching staff. Have a wonderful 2007!

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