Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Pretty Good Year

In reading blogs the past couple of days, a few of my favorite bloggers mentioned doing a post -for the new year -by doing a little review of the past year. The idea suggested was to take the first post for each month of the year and list it with a little information about the post so as to give an idea of some of the things that had happened or what was going on then. A "Day in the Life" sort of post except being a little more specific with respect to the "when" of each of those days.

I thought about this for a while and decided it might be a bit fun to see what I was doing, what was happening here to me, to the grandkids -whatever. So, here's my Year in Review done just for you!

Because at Christmas last year I had given myself a little present -a nice, snazzy -fire engine red -Kodak Digital Camera - for my Christmas gift from Me to Me, I finally had the ability to take pictures, download them immediately to my computer and use them right away then in a post. Before that, I either had to rely on scanning in photos or with newly developed ones, make sure they were on a cd that I could then drop them into my computer at will. This opened up a lot of new and exciting avenues for me with my blog. Probably opened the flood gates for my readers to be really bored out of their gourds too, viewing picture after picture of my grandkis I suppose.

But heck, when you've got some of the cutes (and best too) grandkids on the planet, why not show 'em off? And so, I did!

There were a few things during the year that were really funny -mostly the little kid things, tricks that Maya pulled on me, on her mother -especially her special brand of artwork, some of which is displayed here and there on my blog.

In April, my family and a bunch of our friends all participated -again -in the State College, PA "Cure Autism Now 5K Race and 3K walk in honor of my two youngest grandchildren, Kurt and Maya -both whom are autistic. Our team did great -raising over $2,800 for the Autism Speaks Foundation. And we couldn't have done that, could never have raised that much money if it weren't for the support shown our team by family members, friends locally and definitely from so much support given to us by so many of my friends from the blogging community! Mandy and I were both totally blown away by the overwhelming generosity in the donations from you -my readers, my fellow bloggers! I still can't thank each and every one of you enough for your gifts to our team!

Back in March, we got the official word then that Kurtis had also been diagnosed with autism. It had only been 11 months earlier that we had received the diagnosis that Maya is on the spectrum -PDD-NOS -and now, Kurtis was diagnosed as "Straight Autism." Thankfully, were a lot more "in tune" and knowledgable as to the various signs and symptoms so he had begun receiving therapy a little earlier then than did Maya and we were much better prepared for the road ahead with him that way too.

So many people tend to get this really sorrowful look on their faces when they learn both these beautiful little children are autistic -very "Doom and Gloom" attitude too as they tell Mandy or me how sorry they are to learn of this misfortune that has befallen our family.

Because none of us here regards the autism as being an "end of the world" type diagnosis, one of my goals with my blog is to post many of the things the kids do -good and bad stuff -and hopefully by doing that, to show that although autism does present a lot of challenges for us and definitely for these two kids, it is not the end of the world as we know it! They are just two little children who learn but who learn in a different manner than do most other children of their age range. They are sweet, loving -and extremely loveable -energetic, playful, mischieveous, and just wonderful to have come to bless our lives. Because they do have their little quirks here and there -meltdowns too -and such, they do sometimes have to work a little (or a lot) harder than other kids may have to in order to learn to speak, to socialize, to perform academic stuff -so when they do master a skill, it is a big deal for them and for us! And so far, both children have been doing very well -somethings come easier for Maya, other things that she may have struggled with, seem to be a bit easier for Kurtis but isn't that the same that happens with all children, the world over that they don't all learn everything right off the bat, with ease? The important thing is not the timeline, but that they are receiving therapy, and advancing to the fullest of their capacity -whatever that may be.

So with that said, here's a little review of my blog over the past year.

January 1st - "And So It Begins..." It's the New Year - 2008 - and you know what that means now don't you?

Only 385 more days to go! - (This was the first "Bushisms" for the year 2008.)

February 1st - "A Very Short Trip" Well, my friends, my "peeps," it does look like I am about to go up and away -over the edge for sure.

It's not bad enough that I am already addicted to food, caffeine and nicotine and abuse/use all three quite liberally, but I came across something else yesterday that is probably gonna be the end all, do all, of addictions for me. (A post about admitting I have an Addiction to blogging.)

March 1st - "Ahead of the Game" -- I'm trying to get a few things done tonight - not put them off till tomorrow -so I decided I would post the Bushisms for the coming week tonight and get that done -ahead of that game. (Trying to get a jump on my blogging by posting the Bushisms for the week ahead on a Saturday instead of the usual Sunday post.)

April 1st - "Kaboom!" -- KABOOM! Crash, bang, rumble and other odd noises along those lines got my attention -big time -here at about 3:45 this morning. (When the middle shelf in the cellar way collapsed in the middle of the night, sending all kinds of canned goods rolling down the cellar stairs and scaring me half to death in the process.)

May 1st - "Slowly Returning" - I'm slowly trying to sort through things of the past week -along with loads of things that go back over the years too -and as I'm doing that, I'm going to try to get back into the blog stuff once more. (The day after my Aunt Mike's funeral. She was the baby of my Dad's family and the last of my aunts and uncles -a very, very special lady who my kids and I loved dearly and miss her presence very much.)

June 3, 2008 - "More Absurdities from "The Shrub" - The late (and really great) columnist/writer, Molly Ivins, frequently referred to DUBYA as "The Shrub" - a nickname I always thought was pretty appropriate. Hence the title of this week's Bushisms -which as you can see, are once again posted a bit late. My apologies. It's been a busy weekend and first day of the new week too. (Bushisms, posted a bit late in the week.)

Wednesday, July 2nd - "Of Kitten and Small Children's Surprises!" - Tonight, when Mandy went to get the dishpan out from under the sink, she had a bit of a shock waiting for her.

She wasn't looking -just reached in under the sink to grab the dishpan and felt something different -a little strange as she touched something soft -also, something moving.
(How Mandy found the newest place that Mama Cat Jorge was using to hide her babies.)

August 1st - "Another "Faithful Friday" - How quickly time does fly. And in a week's time -since my last "Faithful Friday" post, how many more things have come my way, happened, for which I am thankful. Some things, I'm only sort of thankful for today as they have come to me as kind of a back-handed complement type thing if you know what I mean. But, the fact I am still breathing, still walking too -well, being thankful isn't just about every little good thing that happens to us, is it? (Things I was thankful for that day.)

September 2nd - "Unbelieveable Weekend" - The past couple of days have been filled with all kinds of things -a few good things but all of it still tinged with the tragic events of Sunday evening when two people lost their lives in a terrible crash of four ATVs just down the road from my house. (recap of Labor Day Weekend and the accident that killed the fiance of my former neighbor, along with two other people.)

October 2nd - "Batten Down The Hatches" - Boy, it just doesn't seem possible that it is now October! Where the heck did this year go so quickly?

Bill's been trying to take the time to do some extra winterizing on the house this year. Last year's fuel oil prices were bad enough to deal with and now, we're looking at another winter already with the wind blowing, snow falling, ice storms and such. Something I don't particularly relish, for sure! (Getting the house ready for winter.)

November 1st - "Of Tricks and Lots of Treats!" Last evening -just as most all kids across the continent went trick or treating -Kurt and Maya dressed for Halloween and even though early in the getting ready to go phase, Kurt was not exactly the happiest camper on the planet, they did both eventually venture out, visited the neighbors' homes (with their parents walking with them) and then, eventually came home, hopped in the car and drove off to hit up a few friends, including Pastor Carrie, who don't quite live within walking distance of the house.(Going Halloweening with Maya and Kurtis)

December 2nd - "Ta Da!" ALL RIGHT! I did it! Finished the table topper I've been slaving away at for the past two weeks now tonight. And to prove it to you, here are some pictures of this cloth as well as the one I finished just before starting the floral one. (On finishing the floral tabletopper I made for Mandy and the Red Reindeer tabletopper that went to Pastor Carrie.)

Along the way through this past year, I learned I am now not just addicted to blogging but also to embroiderying too! Between August and Christmas, I was busy-busy all the time, working on what seemed an endless stream of embroidery projects to give to my kids as Christmas gifts this year. I'm happy to report all three of the kids loved and appreciated the items I had made for them. And, after a two-day break from the hoop and needles, floss and patterns, I started working on yet another embroidery project -another tabletopper cloth -about 34 inches square. I have a fairly good sized "stash" on hand now too of other items, waiting in the wings for me to pick each one of them up and make, as Maya calls them, "A pretty!" All for future use or gifts for various people.

And now that I finally completed this post and am really tired too, ready to go to bed (about time since it is now almost 6:30 a.m.), wouldn't you just know it but Kurtis has decided he wants to wake up now! I don't think so, little boy! Hopefully, he'll trash around a little bit, re-tire himself out and fall back to sleep without creating a major racket and wake up the rest of the household!

If I don't get around to reading every blog post in my reader today and wishing each of you a very Happy New Year with the best that life can possibl bring your way, let me say it here and now then too!



Minnesotablue said...

Happy New Year to you Jeni, my first blog buddy>

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Wow! You had a very busy year.

Happy New Year my friend!

Morgan Mandel said...

It's hard to remember everything that happened the year before. I don't think I'll even try.

Anyway, glad you got a good camera. Digital cameras are so handy it's hard to remember when I didn't have one. I treated myself to a new small Canon from Amazon for only $110. I had enough points there from using my Amazon Visa card, so it turned out free.

I also love my Iphone because I can email my photos right away if I'm afraid of losing them. It doesn't have a flash or telephoto lens, so now I've go the little camera as a backup.

Morgan Mandel

Dianne said...

would you believe I remember most of those posts!!

Have a Happy New Year Jeni

and hugs to the whole brood!

Keith said...

Happy New Year Jeni. may 2009 bring you many blessings.


Sweetie said...

Happy New Year! Are you watching Penn State and JoePa tomorrow?