Just one of the 2020 pictures. https://www.criscollrj.com/2020-monthly-picture-blog/ Click for our 2020 picture blog!!!
Prayers to you all at the closure of this crazy strange year! Do not believe I’ve sent paper Christmas newsletter since 2014. I did do electronic newsletter in 2019 (published 12-31), and RIGHT after that my criscollrj.com site failed. So whether many of you had an opportunity to read it I’m not sure! I mentioned some dark scary times. Faith in God is so important, and prayer of family and friends is paramount. This post says a lot. Please read if you can. https://www.criscollrj.com/2011/04/11/the-powers-and-exponents-of-faith/, emphasizing Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I read through entire blog this year and reviewed it and edited it in preparation of moving back into my soon to be revamped original blog site. I’m glad I wrote so many of these entries years ago – I’d forgotten many of them.
Electronic newsletter of 2015 – on time, but 2016 published Feb. of 17, and 2017 published Feb of 18. A quick summary for those who missed – 2015 we continued in our gratefulness for Roger’s recovery from hernia surgery of 11-2014, rehab until April of 2015.
2016-2017 brought struggles with Roger’s diabetes diagnoses, impactful work changes, and Chris’s severe physical/neurological breakdown causing loss of workshop and changes of providers. I had the blessing of working with Chris myself as his unofficial dayhab provider from March – July 2017 while continuing college. God remained our rock, and in 2017 med changes resulted in a fantastic workshop that he is still in today. I also had the privilege of being a frequent caregiver for my precious Uncle Don from 2016-2018. I continue some caregiving for his doctor’s appts and personal affairs up to present as he is in an assisted living. So enjoy seeing him and doubly enjoy when my mom usually comes along.
I managed to graduate in August of 2018 with an education studies bachelor’s degree. Without being able to do student teaching I do not yet have a teaching license, but I’m the proud owner of a sub license, and my 60 hours of observation teaching IS done. I worked as a substitute teacher from January of 2019 until COVID collided with the world in March of 2020.
2018-early 2019 was an extremely challenging period as Ryan also then had a physical/neurological breakdown, (which possible cause of PANS/PANDAS I’ve described in the 2019 newsletter online). In the midst of this period, Roger also had a shoulder surgery in 2018, from which thankfully he recuperated fully. Before Ryan’s improvement through medication and God’s mighty hand in early ‘19, he changed schools in Oct. of 2018 and moved in with his brother in a new group home in December of 2018, joining Chris in receiving a valuable I/O waiver from the county.
Though he had about four rough periods in 2019, always after illnesses, Ryan had only one (so far) event of aggression connected to illness in Feb. 2020, and that was after a strange 103 deg fever where he broke a tv and hit one of the staff. We pray there are no more, as his current meds seem to be helping him be calm and collected. Lending some excitement to mid 2020 was our prior landlord wanting to sell the boys condo, which eventually presented eviction fears. Our current provider of 2019 helped facilitate an outside purchase of the condo home, ending our time crunch of trying to get ready for a permanent move by the boys into our house! Property changed hands on September 1, 2020.
Colleen moved out with friends in 2017, and she is still working at a pet store and seems very happy with her current boyfriend, Brandon. She enjoys her independence and her pets – lizards and her cat Oreo and dog Axel, and a fish or two. I shared in our 2019 newsletter that our beloved cat Charcoal passed away, but to our sadness and shock our sweet Sophie passed away this May. Sadly a month later we lost Colleen’s axolotl fish. Colleen also at her residence lost her bearded dragon, Buddy. Colleen lent me her girl beta Athena (yes, the Who song) when she moved this August to a new apartment, and I am cherishing her. Eventually we’ll get another cat but am not ready yet, partially because Ryan still is very very leery of cats.
We have not been out of town on a trip since November of 2019, as we were ALL CAUGHT UP! We were planning a trip in April. Well, you all know what happened. March 13, 2019 was my last day of teaching. The students were all sent home with their laptops to start a “2 or 3-week virtual learning period,” which lasted until this September. Roger and I were blessed to be able to facilitate Ryan’s virtual learning from mid-March until end of 2020 school year in June, where Ryan proceeded to have a drive-through graduation from his home school! We also had a lot of time with Chris and took both boys to parks just about every day. A new routine of taking lunch to a picnic table was begun!
Ryan went back to school at his vocational workshop September 2, 2020, and I planned to eventually start subbing again. Chris still hadn’t gone back to workshop, so I was working several days a week with him at his group home. September 13 we had the unfortunate experience of finding out that their group home had BEDBUGS! Both boys moved home to our house, causing trepidation, but it actually went great! The boys got along better here than I expected! We still had sleep deprivation as Chris still stays up all night 2-3 nights a week, but we made it through to condo being ready and decided to have them through EVERY WEEKEND! It was a very smooth transition, and we appreciate the excellent staff at their group home. We joke now about how the bedbugs gave us a great opportunity!
Just as we were breaking into this new routine, November 30 I woke up with a bit of asthma. No big deal, had before. Took my inhaler, then about 6 hours later, fever for 3+ days, aches and pains, and you know what’s coming. Roger and I tested positive for COVID getting the results 12-6-2020. The boys and my mom also had symptoms. God is sustaining us, yet again. We will be back working for the boys the weekend of the 19th and Christmas/New Year’s also! But we’ve been missing them in this quarantine period!
Pray Ohio and the country and the world will start climbing out of this horrible pandemic, and things can get back to normal. I, for one, REALLY want to eat at a restaurant again, and have Ryan’s graduation party! Congratulations 2020 grad!
So there it is! The newsletter, printed, and so far stuffed into 15 Christmas cards and mailed out!!! I am still working on this blog, making the picture index, but will most likely publish this post TODAY 12/22/2020 making it one of the earliest newsletter postings in my history! Ha!! Happy to have finally gotten my criscollrj.com blog revamped, and will leave the mirror site (criscollrjmom.com) up for a while as a backup.
I need to get in and edit more dead links, and unfortunately found out a lot of pages in the 2014-recent years do not show the pictures that were loaded into the blog as images in the posts. I will be gradually working on that — something lost when I imported my mirror blog over as they were there when I finished editing my mirror blog last week…. So at this point today if you look at old posts there may be dead image links but I am going to be working on it…
Attaching images for now from my paper newsletter, while I’m working on making a gallery here. Gotta say it’s exciting to see all the new blogging options in 2020, for photo albums, and all sorts of options. I’ll get there!!! Check back here frequently! Meanwhile my clunky rushing “take a pic of the newsletter” monthly picture log!!!
We are fairly well recovered from COVID now. We had our boys this past weekend! So grateful for health and looking forward to a busy and memorable 2021 – perhaps not QUITE as memorable though!
Actually copied this closing from my 2009 newsletter! Found quite a few neat things in reviewing all my blog posts from 2003-2019 this year — plus some not so neat things here and there that I deleted!!!
EMAIL (Rog) firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL (Rog) email@example.com
BLOG: NEWEST – www.criscollrj.com
BLOG: mirror – www.criscollrjmom.com
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com – search for Dorene Enea Humphries and contact to be added.
BUSINESS BLOG/INFO: line-bright.com This is the area where we will be explaining more about both of our businesses, summarizing my legal transcription, and discussing Roger’s court research position. We have also in 2020 added other areas such as a review and listing of our local parks, which can be very helpful this year in entertaining our kids! My “book” is also on there in HTML format – a lot of my high school friends will remember it – I never finished it but still hope to! Ask me for the password…. It’s dippy but I still am glad I have it….
Roger, Dorene, Christopher, Colleen & Ryan