Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Spring is in the air!

February 10, 2009

Well, maybe not for long, but after a few months of a blanket of snow continuously it was so nice to see the grass this week!! We had snow pretty much continuously since November with maybe 2 short breaks. I love winter, but it was getting to be too much!

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I never posted my 08 goals–

December 30, 2008

So thought I’d post here. I will then look over them over the next week and make up my 09 goals. I don’t even expect to reach some of these, it’s just good to have them all written down to have an awareness of them.

2008 GOALS (the year that will be over TOMORROW! wow)

• Every few weeks check Colleen’s progress on web site and follow through with teachers on items needed to be made up.
• Boys – try and get them to write their names, and spell extra, 1-2 times a week. Find computer games for them to play. Try and help Chris focus on academics a few times a week and show Doreen how to do it too.
• Colleen to continue picking up her room and to start doing her dishes (soap squeegie!) and laundry.
• Get icon board up and done for boys’ chores.
• Try and get us in position where dishes and laundry and daily pickup gets done every day and figure out as a family HOW!
• Me – Weigh Down. Lose at least 20 pounds. no dieting at this stressful time.
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Christmas Newsletter 08

December 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

Well, here in NE Ohio we have managed to have a white Christmas after all, after having a white “Pre” Thanksgiving and it all melting before Thanksgiving, and then having a foot of snow just a few days ago in a generous Lake effect Northern Ohio storm, and having it all melt yesterday. So now the little flakes are coming down on our green grass that had emerged yesterday, and it’s enough to make me feel indeed it’s a White Christmas.

It has been an eventful year, full of changes and unforeseen events, but God’s hand in all as always. He continues to oversee us through the years and we trust He always will.

More pictures are in Flickr to the right.


Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

CHRIS moved into a new home this year. It was quite a surprise to everyone, and came about when he was almost 18, in September. We had turned down about 4-5 other residency placements over the past few years, but this one seemed perfect. It’s a small home in Northeast Ohio, with 8 people.

He has adjusted well and he enjoys our outings and visits. He has lost weight and looks great! He is also attending a school local to his home and ours, instead of his old school, in the 11th grade. His health has also greatly improved. Sleeping is still rough, though.

Chris has outings with us frequently, going to the chiropractor, mall, restaurant, and sometimes our house. He is also doing very well in school with increased focus. He is also on some new medications.


Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

COLLEEN had some changes this year too, with briefly homeschooling (ECOT method) from May to sometime in July, then again in September, then returning to her district school in late September (I needed to increase my work hours). She’s still involved in her art, anime, and friends.

Colleen had her first teen Christmas party this year and had a ball in the basement with their doing DDR and Playstation games, along with several them bringing over Guitar Hero and X-Box. She also went to 2 anime conventions with friends this year, one in Columbus and one in Beachwood.

Bass lessons are a near future possibility and she is excited about that. She also is still involved in art and received recently a lot of art supplies to practice painting, and an easel.


Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

RYAN is in first grade in a local autism class and is getting great grades and is able to write many words and do simple math. He loves school and is thriving with a recent med change he’s had that’s really calmed him down a lot.

He is enjoying a Leapster he just got, and also had a lot of fun with the crayons, playdough, cars and coloring books he received for Christmas this morning. He has fun seeing his brother and says, “Chris is at the blue house.”


Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

ROGER and DORENE are still in the same jobs, and Dorene is hoping to test for the AAERT certification in June of 09.

Roger is still performing court research in many N.E. Ohio and PA counties as well as some southern Ohio and PA counties. We are planning to travel together to one of the PA counties to gather information together in a few weeks as they do not allow laptops in their courthouse.

I just recently got a laptop for work that I’m enjoying, and Roger updated his in May, as his old one had crashed. My old 4 or 5-year-old work computer also crashed, as far as programs freezing and an external (but essential) hard drive failing. So we both entered the land of Vista this year, entering the later end of our decade finally.

I have not updated web sites very much this year. I mostly go on Facebook, if anything, and update here occasionally. I usually do put new pictures on Flickr every time I take any. Below is the pretty up-to-date list of our sites 🙂






HOME PAGE: – home

FACEBOOK: – nick: dori typesalot


Transcription 101 publication –

Roger, Dorene, Christopher,
Colleen & Ryan

Christmas 08

December 9, 2008

It’s a good thing I love Christmas, as it comes whether you want it to or not! Pics in flickr 😉

I’m going to order the kids presents today, and Colleen is having a little party for her friends this Friday night. Next Saturday the 20th is the family party. I look forward to that every year. We make special food like broccoli casserole with chicken in it and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and just relax. Chris will be here too that day! He was here for Thanksgiving and he had a good time. He really seems to love his new home too and is content as far as I know.

I just worked about 8 days straight and am taking today off. Have a huge to-do list – here’s some of it:

invoicing for work
Request work from E for tomorrow
order Christmas gifts
look over bills
make drs. appts for Rog and I (dentist, eye doctor, foot dr. for me, etc.)
finish decorating tree
take thanksgiving stuff to attic.
Dailies (5 minutes each room)
Plan dinner
Call about Chris’ guardianship
Begin to look at Christmas newsletter
Order printer ink, and stamps.

Christmas newsletter, 2007

December 23, 2007


B een busy with working, kids, and holiday events
L ife is crammed full as always!
E veryone needs to take some time and relax
S omeone special will leave gifts for the kids
S o tired, mom and dad will fall into bed
E ating holiday cookies will be a fun time for all!
D ecorating is mom’s favorite thing to do!

S ometimes dad doesn’t get home until late
E ventually we all spend some time together though!
A ll of the work eventually gets done
S eason’s clues begin to appear in the household arrangements
O ften mom and dad are up late finishing chores and those gifts
N othing can be left out for little eyes to see in the daylight

We wish you True Simplicity and Peace in 2008. That is my motto at this time, and what I am seeking. Life can get truly chaotic with everything you have to do and want to do and need to do. I had to scale a bit back this year in all areas to simply be able to manage everything – and I still can’t manage every single thing! It sure is a balancing act. But Christmas has been very enjoyable in that I am not trying to do everything I used to do. I had to cut way back on cards this year and only sent to mostly out of town immediate family, knowing that you all have email. [I tried to send to most of our loved ones that don’t have email – I hope I didn’t forget anyone!]

Chris is 17 now, in the 10th grade, and learning more and more skills all the time! After kind of a tough year last year with medication problems (he was switched to a different med in approximately March of 07) he has had a very good school year this year and is more cooperative and compliant and happy.

The last 6 weeks or so everyone has had at least 3 different colds and he’s been a bit miserable with that. I hope we all get over it soon!

Chris is wearing his hearing aid at school – we have one that is lost that we are seeking to replace. Both boys will have ABR’s to retest their hearing very soon as they are due – it was almost 3 years ago they were first tested.

Colleen is 13 and in the 8th grade. She is making videos and animating them herself, and still excelling at art.

Colleen had the opportunity to join the Anime club and is really enjoying that. And playing drums is her next ambition – I need to do some research and make some calls into that to see about lessons, etc.

The following websites showcase her work?,

And wonderfully, baking is a new hobby of Colleen’s, and it’s really helping me out this Christmas!

Ryan is going to be 6 in February and is in Kindergarten in a classroom where he gets a lot of speech help. He is learning to write a lot of words and can count to 30!

The therapist I spoke of last year did come to our house through most of the year and taught us some ways to work with Ryan more efficiently and effectively. She was great! She had to leave her job and we’re going to miss her very much.

Ryan is in mastery of his icon schedule at school and loves to get on the bus. He loves Blues Clues now and has to watch it every night before bed on DVR.

Roger is well into his second full year of Court research and enjoys traveling throughout Ohio and PA. For about 6 months of the year we were busy collecting menus for a sub-area of the company, and that was neat – we often took the kids with us and Colleen made some money collecting menus with her dad. It was fun family time and we would spend some of our profits at times on a nice dinner from an obscure Italian pizza place or a Chinese restaurant. We were disappointed that that recently ended.

But Roger is still busy collecting mortgage data and tax liens, and will probably begin collecting foreclosure files soon.

Photobucket (Colleen made this for me)

I have finally broken fully into legal transcription again and have hit my comfort zone transcribing for the same court I did in 02! I would like to get my certification in the field. This will involve joining AAERT and studying a guide and testing eventually when they get to an area near me. I have to be a notary as well, which I am; however, I don’t have my stamp and seal at this point. It expires in November of 08 – I need to remember to renew it.

The certification opens doors that aren’t otherwise open, and I think will cement me in the field that I really am happy to be in for my next several working years.

I have been participating on a transcription board and have met many wonderful people on there! One of them is a new boss I have!

The genetic testing for hearing loss that I mentioned in last year’s letter so far resulted in no known cause. Ryan was the one who took the test. So we will see if more testing will be done in the future.

Haven’t had a lot of time for hobbies, but blogging and youtube, and watching a little TV, are relaxing for us in the down times.

Blog To read the rest of my blog entries
Myspace. notify us to add you Main site
Criscoll’s Cottage . Older main site, not updating picture gallery
Photobucket picture gallery, videos
Christmas newsletters

With our obtaining FINALLY! a digital video camera as an early Christmas present, we started this video site where we upload a lot of our family videos for relatives and friends to view. Here is a recent one:

Untitled from Dori H on Vimeo.

School pics

Mary’s Song

Luke 1:46-55

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)

VIDEO I put together to “Mary, Did You Know —


December 21, 2007

Yum – I’ve REALLY been wanting a coke and finally got some cans!!! Boy you appreciate what you run out of when you finally get it!

I have been so BORING lately – first I complete NABLOPOMO and then I go to December and hardly post at all!

I have been cleaning and doing projects and laundry and all sorts of things like that. Wrapping is done, shopping is done. We are having our family over on Sunday for Christmas. I believe we are going to Gayle’s for Christmas dinner.

It just came so fast this year – it hardly feels like it should be October let alone Christmas!

Here is just one of the videos of our tree:

Untitled from Dori H on Vimeo.

Would like to slow down and enjoy it—

December 13, 2007

The season is upon us. I am in a whirlwind of stuff and a lot of the stuff is not getting done. But we have our beautiful tree up, and the shopping is done (much lower in quantity this year, but high in quality and as always in love given…)

My to-do list:

  • Finish 70 minutes of audio of 120 due Saturday.
  • Schedule kids’ abr’s
  • Start wrapping gifts
  • Finish Christmas cards (very short list of mail cards – only to immediate out of town family pretty much.)
  • Do email Christmas letters
  • Plan for Christmas party – menu, cookies, etc.
  • Clean house, do laundry
  • Try and enjoy the little things.
  • And immediate goal – get rid of headache I have tonight.

    Decorating almost done – and apparently sickies coming back

    November 29, 2007

    I’ll have to post a pic of our tree decs tomorrow (2 strands of lights still not working – i haven’t had time to pursue it really).

    But got breakable ornaments up out of Harm’s (Ryan’s) way today and Rog bought a new star for the top of the tree that I’ll put on tomorrow.

    Chris got sent home from school yesterday and Colleen the day before. I took them both to the dr. yesterday – believed to be viruses. They finished their meds for sinus infections last week.

    Now Ryan was coughing most of the evening and I’m wondering if he’ll make it to school tomorrow.

    So far I’m healthy (knock on wood) but feel very very tired tonight. I did nap for a while. I am going to just go to bed, and hope that Chris goes to sleep (he’s pacing). At least he’s not taking 89 baths like he did Tuesday night!

    I am getting a lot of nice legal cases to type – finished one and proofing it now and have another for tomorrow and early next week. Then I received a long speech transcription project for late next week and week after (hopefully they’ll accept it then as that’s when I can do it!!!) that is a referral from a local company I used to work for!! Word of mouth recommendation is nice!

    Yawning and my eyes are watering so shall try and sleep and hope Chris doesn’t drag me up over and over again…

    Christmas meme

    November 28, 2007

    Googled for memes and found this one and filled it out —

    Favorite Christmas…

    * Non-Jesus-related song? “Jingle Bell Rock”
    * Jesus-related song? “Mary Did You Know” and the song about the little boy buying his mom a red pair of shoes.
    * Santa-related song? “Up on the Housetop”
    * Fictional character? The little blind boy losing his sheep (something like that??)
    * Dinner’s main course? Turkey
    * Dinner’s dessert? Chocolate Silk Pie and Pumpkin Pie
    * Scent (pine, gingerbread, candles…)? Candles, dinner cooking
    * Animated movie? Polar Express
    * Non-animated movie? Christmas Vacation, the Santa Clause
    * Personal memory? Playing guitars on Christmas Eve, our Christmas parties at our house with friends and family
    * Story/Fairy Tale? ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, the Christmas story from the Bible

    Spirit of Christmas

    November 27, 2007

    Ryan style 🙂

    I was doing dishes yesterday but Ryan decided THEN was the time to start unpacking all the Christmas boxes I had hidden behind the couch. He also did some of this in the morning yesterday before school —

    Let’s get all these boxes dumped!

    Decorating Ryan Style 1

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    What a bunch of tangled beautiful garland!

    Decorating Ryan Style 2

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Garland still on bottom, and 2 strands of lights (continued even now) out.

    Decorating Ryan Style 4

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    This tin looks like a drum!

    Decorating Ryan Style 5

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Putting all the garlands on the bottom …

    Decorating Ryan Style 6

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Pulling all the garland out. He eventually got it all tangled and we had to get it all untangled last night 🙂

    Decorating Ryan Style 7

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Last night:

    The breakables, up high enough??

    11-07 023

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Love those lights…

    11-07 018

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Colleen’s room.

    11-07 019

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Office wall

    11-07 020

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    Santas (not breakable, on lower shelf 🙂 )

    11-07 021

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

    And half our stuff is still in the attic!

    11-07 022

    Originally uploaded by criscollrj.