Christmas ’16/Happy New Year ’17/otherwise known as the Unfinished Post!

February 4, 2017

I TYPED THIS January 1, with the expectation of having it done in a few days.  I never finished it.  I have not finished most of the things I am doing right now!  So I figured, what the heck, I will post this, and will probably give it a nick name of the Unfinished Post!  I truly wish you all a blessed 2017, here in early February, and pray you all will have all you need and love.  God’s blessings to you all!  I didn’t want to wait any longer to post – so understand all the pictures are not even on this newsletter – going with the theme of this being unfinished!  But what I didn’t want to do is break my approximately 25 year record of doing a newsletter every year!!  I don’t seem to get them mailed anymore, but getting them on this blog (before it was my web site) happens every year (since about 1998??).  Lastly, those of you that sent us Christmas cards, THANK YOU — I truly appreciate it and enjoy them so much.

January 1, 2017

First wanted to share this from a friend’s facebook wall…of course changing her items to mine…

I’ve seen LOTS of memes and lots of posts decrying how horrible 2016 was. There were some strange things, some bad things, the deaths of a lot of cultural icons, but the year itself was no worse than any other year. There were also a lot of good things!
I think that social media likes to focus on the negative, so I want to change that here! I’m going to focus on the positive! here are some GOOD THINGS That happened in my life:

  1. with all the changes that happened with Christopher’s housing and staffing, we have ended up with a new fantastic company and staff for his care.
  2. with further changes in our self employment situation, we were able to put a very part time job from the back burner to the front burner, giving us more full-time work that disappeared from our former major company.
  3. roger had a full year of better health, and even though learning about his diabetes was a new challenge, we had an early warning to attack it head on with better eating plan, more exercise, and time to turn things around and lead to even more weight loss!
  4. Our Christmas season was not as hectic as last few years – even though it was still hectic!  We had time to watch our beautiful tree and take the kids to see lights.
  5. We were able to meet friends and family for a few dinners and gatherings, even though we didn’t go to Kraynak’s or Christmas world.  there are plenty of great light shows to see right here in our neighborhood!
  6. Colleen made her wonderful buckeyes after a few years of not getting to make them 🙂
  7. I’m now just months away from my bachelor’s degree.  (February 4 note – this has changed a bit — I will soon do an update on this, but I actually now believe my main teaching degree is done in October, then I will have a semester of research writing (instead of doing student teaching) that will take me probably Jan – June.  So probably graduating June of 18, but without the license.  (One step away from that license then, if I do it then… I may wait a bit, so much going on!)

There are lots of other good things too! These are just the highlights! As we go into the new year, let’s focus on the blessings! PLEASE COMMENT AND SHARE SOMETHING GOOD THAT HAS HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE THIS YEAR!! Or share on your wall!

To risk being repetitive, two years later we are all still so grateful for Roger’s health.  We continue to approach new wellness approaches, trying to follow a Mediterranean more healthier carbs eating style, and Roger has lost some weight.  I have a bit of a struggle as I can’t seem to stop the sugar, but will try and cut back more and more this new year.  I luckily have not gained any weight back that I lost the past few years, and am grateful for that.  We continue to visit a few courthouses together, and have added some online courthouses as our focus of work has switched from one company to a different one.  We also had a new experience begin this year, as Ryan has become older and more calm and able to focus pretty happily on his photo programs on a tablet or phone, we began to travel with him along to courthouses.  We were able to have 4 trips with him this year along with us, where he enjoys Pizza Hut or Wendy’s after work day.  It’s been wonderful to see our towns in the hills again!

Had a solid year of college this time — as I was planning to start student teaching in either Sept. of 17 or Jan of 18 any more term breaks would have messed up my schedule to get into those programs.  However about 3 months ago I made a new tentative plan, and am still in the midst of making a decision.  An option that I most likely am going to do is to obtain a degree plan called a BAES (Bachelor’s of Educational Studies).  Then I can obtain a waiver to receive a master’s (I am looking at either educational technology or instructional design (writing lesson plans) where I can do my student teaching afterwards, in a few years.  with everything going on right now I do not feel ready to commit to 4-6 months of full time student teaching!!

I am planning a term break then most likely in March or possibly March and April, to hopefully finish cleaning out our basement, also recovering from a brief plumbing problem we have had, and completing the move of Ryan to his new room (no that did not happen yet!!).  One huge accomplishment I had a few months ago was I was able able to clean out ALL my file folders in five file drawers, plus a large file bin.  I burned or shredded many boxes of papers!!  I just have to file what I have saved – that does take up a large bin and I’ll have to get going on that filing stack soon!

2016 was a rather difficult year with Chris’s care team, with many changes and challenges.  A long story short, however, we ended up with a team starting in August that we have been very pleased with, with loyal workers at this time that we feel are a good fit for Chris and very hard working.  Please continue to pray for Chris’s communication to improve as we face struggles as well with his day-to-day comfort and peace as he continues to try and learn to communicate more.  We are praying for more answers for his medication and other needs as we progress in this continuous journey.

Colleen is still working at the pet store and has a lot of hours and responsibilities.  She continues to love her animals and has been pet sitting (temporarily!) some ferrets.  She was able to go on vacation with her best friend in March and visited Virginia Beach and also took a side trip back to Cooper’s Rock, our favorite park in West Virginia.  I was glad she was able to go on such a nice trip.

Ryan’s halfway through 9th grade and does well in his autism class in the high school.  He also has been attending basketball, football, and soccer with a local special needs organization and also takes special swim lessons, where he is swimming in the deep water now!  Basketball starts in February, football in May, soccer in July.  They all last about 1 month each.  (www.specialsportsinc.com!)

Getting Christmas decorations out early was a nice accomplishment this year, as I haven’t done that in about 3 years.  We enjoyed looking at our lights and others’ lights on their houses as well, as I took a lot of rides especially with Chris looking at all the neighborhood lights.  Even though with a lot of working hours we didn’t have a lot of hours together, I was glad to be with Chris a lot sharing the Christmas season with him.  It was also wonderful enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas at Chris’s house.  We also enjoyed time with the rest of the family, visiting at Gayle and Chuck’s new home and at my mom’s home, and visiting my uncles.  A large snowfall in early December gave us about 32″ of snow to wade through, then most of it melted by Christmas, giving us a white AND green Christmas!

2016-01-04-17-44-54 2016-01-18-12-46-50 January 20162016-01-19-12-22-42 2016-02-03-18-56-13February 2016
2016-02-14-13-31-00 2016-02-29-16-15-48March 2016 – giving away old possessions! and the Aquarium visit!

2016-03-09-19-59-04 2016-05-13-18-07-12April 2016 Ryan swim, Chris walking at park

2016-04-27-08-02-07 2016-05-18-12-16-39May, 2016 the rainbows that appear on Chris’s walls from the window cut on the front door — but I take them as signs that God and the angels are with us!  May started a whole lot of new struggles, but God is always with us!  Ryan’s football camp.


February 4, 2017

And there, the pics end, as I never finished entering the pictures for June-December, which I had planned to do before posting this, but as I’m trying to finish my semester by February 15 I’m slammed…   God Bless…