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)
Last year’s picture blog — https://www.criscollrj.com/2020-monthly-picture-blog/ 2020 picture blog! (2021 note, I may do this at some point for 21 and more likely for 22. I am vaguely disappointed in ways with both that method and this one used here in 21…. would like to find the PERFECT picture display method…. ha ha.)
A text only version of this newsletter — this one is picture heavy. (WILL BE UNDER CONSTRUCTION, IF NEEDED–let me know)
PRAYERS TO ALL this second very strange year! After God brought us through COVID last December, we are thankful for no lasting problems except some extra fatigue for about 6+ weeks.
So grateful also for our sons’ recovery and my mother’s. Strangely no one else in our families got it! We had two humongous snowstorms in December of 2020 that made life interesting trying to get out of the house for COVID tests and needed grocery pickups. Broke limbs on several of our trees! The snow stayed around until at least February, and as we gained strength we started walking at the parks and seeing the frozen lake.
JANUARY started off the year baking cookies that we gave to family and friends!1-4-21 Roger went back to college, and has several classes finished now towards his Psychology/Human Services Degree from Southern New Hampshire University! Later in January I began substitute teaching again. I also FINALLY got back to some transcription for Free State, and did until April when I once again needed a break due to overscheduling! Looking forward to doing some more this winter to “keep my fingers in the pot.” I also often do some data entry at home, both for courthouses and for a friend’s printing company.
Well, all we continue to say after last year is that we are so glad Roger is with us this year!! As I wrote last year, he was in the rehab center all last Christmas and it continued into February. He was finally able to come out then and recuperated at his parents’ until sometime in March. We were so happy to finally see some strength return by about April and May, and I continued to do a lot of work with him on data entry. We truly are a team!
We still go to our Youngstown courthouse every few weeks and enjoy getting a lunch together at a local Chinese restaurant. We also were blessed to enjoy a family vacation (https://criscollrj.com/2015/10/22/october-2015-maryland-vacation/) for the first time in 9 years. Even though it was a bit colder than expected (with a little snow even!), we all really really enjoyed it and hope to return again soon.
We did completely have our basement renovated last year–as I wrote in the last newsletter that said renovation had begun–and then had our bathroom repaired in May. With school again from July until just a few days ago, I am yet again ready to start cleaning out corners and cobwebs and ready to finally get Ryan in his own room as we had planned last summer, that didn’t happen. I am on another term break now until March 1, when I will start yet another semester. Three more semesters until student teaching! A bit scary, actually…
We returned to Kraynak’s again a few weeks ago with our friends the Jevnikars, and reunited with my high school friends Annette and her family, and also our mutual friend Becky. It was very enjoyable, and we especially found delicious the food at a new place, Hickory Grill. We had unseasonable warmth through much of December except for a few brief snows. It has been in the 60s this Christmas week. Strange to see daffodils coming up in places — will they come back in the spring?
We were thrilled for Chris to be enrolled in a new workshop in October where the focus is on autism intervention/training for workshop. He is doing so much better and also has seen a new medical expert that has tried some new medicines for him. He is sleeping better and is usually in a great temperament!
Colleen found a fantastic job this year and has been working since April at a pet store. She is a lizard/fish expert and that of course is right up her alley. She works a lot of hours and is very content with that.
Ryan moved on to the high school this year, in the 8th grade. He continues to excel in his academics and made honor roll this semester! He is now taller than all of us except Roger.
With all of the things that have occurred in this past year and before, we continue to trust that God has us all in His Hand and is watching over us. We have had many challenges and trials, but am so grateful that many things are resolved now, with just a bit more to get through yet. Some time ago this popped into my head, particularly the part that begins at 2:14
I didn’t realize I posted this on Facebook on December 10, 2014. Guess I should have posted it on last year’s newsletter, but here it comes now for some reason…
From Facebook 12/10/14: “This is a song I used to sing all the time in high school, and I’d forgotten about it. Starting about 1:03, listen to this song (though the first song is good too!). The part that says “I want to thank you for the gift of your son,” just randomly came in my head when I got home from the hospital today, at 2:13 on the track. Word for word it came out of my mouth, and I hadn’t heard the song in about 33 years. I felt like thanking God for seeing Roger today and that things hopefully are going to look up soon, and I thanked God, and then just started singing this song. Didn’t even know who it was by until I found on YouTube! Just knew I was in high school probably when it came out. I needed to hear the words today… been such a struggle.”
“I want to thank You for the gift of Your Son,
And for the mystery of prayer,
And for the faith to doubt and yet believe
That You’re really there.
The mysteries of Your Word are the questions of my days.
I search them now to understand the wisdom of Your ways.
Jesus walks before me and clearly walks the path
To guide me to the Father and to peace at last”
Chris visiting Daddy in the hospital, Jan ’14
Rog programming his new IPhone 5c
The place where Rog should be sitting in Youngstown court next to me…
4. I am at Youngstown Courthouse
5. February 2015 – and the snow just keeps coming.
6. And the cold!
A particular memory is how the heat quit working in my car when I was driving to Youngstown, and the real temperature outside was -17. Talk about cold toes!! Later found out it was my radiator, which I had replaced in May of 15. You’ll see below what happened in June…
7. February – the amazing photobombing bird!
8. A start to one of Colleen’s amazing paintings.
9. Ryan writes so much like I did..
10. The cold just keeps up.
11. March – painting almost done!
12. Rog is back at his mom’s, and we finally had Ryan’s and my birthday parties!!
13. Boys at mama’s and papa’s house.
14. Ryan’s SpecialSports Basketball 🙂
15. March also finally got Rog back in that special chair at Youngstown Courthouse!
16. That was an amazing temp after all that cold!
17. April brought new glasses, after years, that turned to sunglasses!
18. Colleen’s beautiful sculpture.
19. Another one of her gorgeous art show entries.
20. Rog and I got to Meadville to work May 1 and ate at 5 guys!
21. Ryan at the football camp in May for Specialsports!
21. It was Flag football…
22. Got our bathroom redone in May!
23. Colleen turned 21!
24. June – Ryan’s really enjoying summer!
25. End of June said goodbye to Old Bess after she caught on fire. 13 years — 195,000 mi. Yep, a month after replacing radiator. I was pouring radiator fluid and power steering fluid in it for months…
26. A few weeks later this 2014 T & C joined our family. 30,000 miles, and now it’s already up to almost 44,000.
27. Sophie and I enjoying our basement, much nicer after the Christmas ’14 repair!
28. July, a little trip we took Chris on where Colleen was doing some fishing.
29. Mom and her friend Allen Helm helped us plant a lot of beautiful plants and shrubs my uncle Don gave.
30. I saw Rainbows on Chris’s wall on 3-4 separate occasions this year, amidst worry and struggle.
31. Sometime the summer/fall Peach went to live with my mom. She is flourishing! She lost her “sister” Pumpkin a few months before that.
32. July – my mom and Chris and I enjoyed attending the Montville bicentennial.
33. Ryan always enjoys getting his Dairyman’s Chocolate milk, a daily trip he calls “getting Biggerline Dairymen’s chocolate milk here.”…. and boy what a fit if one of the stores has run out of stock on it…
34. September – we did get 15-20 tomatoes!
35. Mantua potato festival 🙂
36. Getting rid of old couch and fridge. Lots of newer furniture and a fridge, and lots of boxes and other things, came in when Mama/Papa moved! I’ll be sorting and arranging all these on the current break I just started.
37. Took Chris to the shore one night, Lake Erie.
38. Our trip in October to Maryland. More pics on my blog! Runaway ramps in WVa.
39. One of the parks in WVa or Maryland.
40 Fire in our cabin 🙂
41. First views of the hills.
42. I want this mailbox!
43. Our cabin.
44. November after Gayle/Chuck moved, Chris visited before they gave away the keys — Emotional!!
45. Breathtaking view of the lake in Auburn on the way to Youngstown.
46. Happy birthday Chris, mom, Papa, Nancy!
47. 48. 49. 50. Kraynak’s trip with Jevnikars, Kromer’s, and Becky Freeman 🙂 Boys are at the chocolate store, and Colleen took this lovely selfie in the car (didn’t take a selfie in the Santa chair that I asked her to 😉 )
51. Our one snow event a few weeks ago. Before and after, unseasonably warm!
In my spare time, here and there, have been tagging and categorizing my posts back to 2003. I got to November 2005, then just found a way today to import all the comments from Livejournal! This is exciting as I just don’t get to Livejournal much anymore so this way all my comments both from WordPress and Livejournal are in one place! And this pleases my computer geeky self
Any Live Journal readers here that were on my friends list in the mid 2000s – if you want to add this blog that would be great. It’s fun re-reading your comments now as I re-add them [all the posts were imported in on private and I have to edit and tag each one] – it will take me a while to get them all in but hopefully in a few months all the comments to the posts that I have put on WordPress will be added (not all my Live Journal posts are on WordPress, so some comments will still only be on LJ – – -)
Have had a few things done to the house recently – some unsafe wiring fixed and getting some drains cleaned out. It will be nice to have all that done for winter! We had to clear part of the attic so in the process brought the tree down. It’s in my bedroom – we’ll probably put it up sometime this weekend without decorations.
Can’t believe the holidays are around the corner – refuse to change the background yet of my blog – ha ha – but will choose the layout and probably change it right away on Friday!
Took difficult square roots test in Algebra yesterday – hope I did all right.
Taking Ryan to his hearing evaluation today for school – it’s at our deaf school in Mayfield.
Have lost 10 pounds since September but no more – need to get back on that.
Just found out from our old neighbor that there’s WATER pouring out of our old house that was nearly done and ready to put on the market. Chuck and Gayle and Rog are on their way over to survey the damage and start the clean up. I hope it’s not too bad….
I suddenly have this my LJ page – wonder how long I didn’t see this?
A place to answer recent comments to me – cool!
Just the recent happenings – then rushing off ….
update – turned out there was a big root in the line going from the downstairs sewer. The plumbers explained that probably in the months the previous owners weren’t living here that that happened with all the trees we have. They could see that the owner had cleaned out the other drains regularly but that this one didn’t looked touched. Their opinion was that the owner just had never had a problem with this particular drain before. It cost us $600, but that was less than they had predicted. So that was good. Everything seems to be running along well now.
Thanks for comments all! It just seems to go on and on here. I will have to do my complete summary soon – it is very interesting! But no time now.
We LOVE OUR HOUSE. However, we have some plumbing problems. Much more than owner indicated. Only problem he indicated was that toilet upstairs was a little loose, and he made steps to fix it. So we move in, and now, we can’t use downstairs toilet, sink, washer, nothing. It is blocked in the yard! Like 60 feet out. We already spent $380 for a plumber/roto rooter guy. He said it would be over $1,000 for the rest. Digging up yard to replace pipe, etc. Our upstairs toilet was supposedly fine AFTER overflowing like 4 times. Well, it leaked again last night, (clean water, from the tank and bottom of toilet?) went through the furnace grate and back wall, and down in to the furnace room, and back through the basement all the way to the back wall where we have a computer hooked up. Luckily it was turned off. This actually happened one other time, but we thought everything was fixed so we didn’t move it (last week) I am moving it this morning, to the other wall.
But we’ll be okay. We bought this house cheap because we suspected problems. Even though the owner said everything was fine, we were suspicious because when we first came to look at it the downstairs water was all SHUT OFF!!! (We know that because Chris PEED in the toilet downstairs during open house !!! and the realtor had to go get the bucket.) We’re like, why is the water off? She seemed to not know (uh-huh?) That was a different realtor, than the one we bought it from. We’ve let them know (realtor and owner) and are awaiting results. We think the previous owner should contribute something to this repair as it should have been disclosed. Unless he just never used the bathroom downstairs or did laundry for 12 years he lived here? I don’t think so…..
So when we came and looked at it again in August they had the water on (new broker guy – the one we fired from being our loan guy because he seemed unethical!!!) So they flushed it for us and everything to show it was working. Well, it only worked for 1 week after we moved in. Passed home inspection, because of course it was still flushing then.
Glad we bought it cheap. He was asking 157,900 last winter, then went down to 149,9. Then by the time we came back in the picture it was 144, and we offered 136. We agreed at 139. I actually wish we’d have offered less, but we still got a good deal.
Our in-laws are buying our old house and selling it after fixing up. We’re making a small profit, enough to pay for this plumbing and pay off credit cards. then we’ll just have the van payment. That is good!
more soon, including moving day summary!
(2020, wow, amazing to look back at how fast the plumbing problems started. We struggled with a lot of it all the way until 2011 (6 years!) when the county rehabbed our house and put a new sewer line in from the addition, out to the street. A portion of the problem remained until we find another Hidden sewer line on the opposite side of the house, in the DRIVEWAY! that had never been cleaned out. Did that in 2014 and things have been fine since!)