December 26, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Christian's Year-In-Review 2013

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
December 26, 2013-TCS # 382

So, Everyone, Welcome Back from Your Holiday! I hope You had a Great Christmas as much as I did. I’m sure you have noticed that I am writing on a Thursday, instead of a Wednesday, but because of the weird week schedule and Christmas Day being on a Wednesday, I thought I should write My Newsletter on Thursday instead. With that said, on to The Regularly Scheduled Newsletters! So, It’s that time of Year again and it is coming fast! It’s New Years! Now, I know you just got done with Christmas and Now New Years is coming. So, with New Years coming means My Self-Produced “Christian’s Year-In-Review.” So, without further a due, This is “Christian’s Year-In-Review 2013”! Near the end of The Year is a time to reflect on The Year’s Past and Re-Remember the Good and the Bad of The Year. So, as with most years we start in January. So, January didn’t kick off the way we wanted it to, but We here at The Christianville Spirit had someone choose Our Yearly tagline for us, We choose “ The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up” chosen by Greg Simpson and PTLS Member, Stacey Brooks. On January 20, We drove down to Killeen/Fort Hood to see PTLS Member, Mary Soisson and Her Wonderful Family. In The News, The Fiscal Cliff was avoided on New Years Day. February was a Quiet Month and it was an Okay Month, Personally. In The News, No One could forget the Lights going out at Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans on February 3, for 30 Minutes. On February 8, What The Weather Channel referred to as “Winter Storm Nemo” or Blizzard of 2013 hit with Hurricane Force Winds while dumping 20-30 Inches of Snow along the Coast from Long Island to Auburn, ME. March was when things got much better and much Happier. March was a Very Successful Month, I will say. March was dubbed “PTLS Awareness Month” and on March 8th was what is now going to be called “PTLS Awareness Day” because Potocki-Lupski Syndrome was named on March 8th of 2007. 2 Days later on March 11th, was a Huge Celebration Day  for the Non-Profit Organization called The PTLS Outreach Foundation. At the End of March was Grandma Honey’s 75th Birthday Party that she called “Life, Love, Family, and Friends (or ‘Life & Love’ as a Short Version). In The News, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez passed away on March 5 and it was a Big Deal to them. on March 13th, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope (He was The first from South America). He took the name of St. Francis and is now called “Pope Francis.” April was a Mixed Month of Happy and Sad. On the Sad Side, We had two deaths in Our Family, Cousin Morgan (Apr. 12) and Grandma Honey’s Dog Sugar (Apr. 30). The Celebratory Side, on April 13 was The PTLS-Dallas Gathering and Delaware Dave started his walk on The Pacific Crest Trail while raising money for PTLS, April 9. In The News, on April 15, was the Boston Bombing and a Fertilizer Plant explodes in a town called West, Texas. At the end of April, I had a Double-Root Canal without Needles or Gas. (it helped that there was a TV in there too!) In May, In Honor of Lynee Day, I changed the name of “East Michael St.” to “East Lynee St.” in Downtown Christianville. I had the Post-Op of The 2 Root Canals, a week after My Root Canal Procedure. In The News, a Mile-Wide EF5 Tornado strikes Moore, Oklahoma on May 20. June was a Month of Transition, I planned and threw My Friend, Zack Turner a Going-Away Party before he moved to Denver, CO. In Early June, I met another PTLSer My Age named Tyler (who is Now, My “PTLS Brother”). Also, in Early June was My Brother and I’s “Deck Park” Adventure where we went to Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas. In The News, Paula Deen is hated because of saying the “N-Word” 27 Years Ago from June 27-30. In July, Family Friend, Monica (of The “Monica Miracle”) was interviewed on WRAL News in Raleigh on July 26. I did a Special Newsletter to Thank Readers of My Newsletter on July 3. In The News, Prince William & Kate had a Baby named George Alexander Louis on July 22 and It too was a Very Big Deal! The President of Egypt (from The Muslim Brotherhood) was dumped from Office and Arrested on July 1st. And, finally, Radio’s Kid Kraddick (from “Kid Kraddick in The Morning”) passed away on July 27. August was filled with Birthday Events for My Birthday, On August 11th was My 26th Birthday. We had another wonderful PTLS Gathering with Our East Coast Friends. In September, My Uncle Craig started his Year In Dallas and We took him on a tour of Our City on September 7. On September 21, There was a Rivalry In Our Family, Because There was My Mom and The Smith Family rooting for The University of Georgia and My Brother for The University of North Texas (UNT) which were playing each other. In The News, September 16th was a Horrible Day because there was a shooting at the Washington DC Navy Yard and Of Course, the US Government was near a Shutdown on September 30th and that brings me to October, Where The US Government did Shutdown. All of Our National Parks, The World War II Memorial Closed and Debt Ceiling was near it’s Top. The Government was Shutdown from October 1st to October 16th. In Personal News, It was a Sad Month because Our Friend, Monica Shevell moved to Stockholm, Sweden for 2 Years on October 4 and We put down Our Oldest Dog, Mandy on October 22. In Lighter News though, On the Same day, I got Real Maine Leaves from My Mom’s Friend Greg Simpson (that is who Greg is, If you are wondering). Also, My Brother, Michael’s Birthday was October 26. In November, My Brother’s Art was in a Gallery starting November 9th and going to November 26. I am still Very Proud of My Brother for That! Also, November 16-17 We got to see Aunt Kellie (Uncle Craig’s Wife) came to town to visit and it was awesome having her here! In The News, there was another shooting! This time on November 1 at LAX Airport. Also, The Strongest Storm on Earth, Typhoon Haiyan hits the Very Poor nation of The Philippines on November 8th. And, finally, The Last Month of The Year, December. From December 5-7 we had what I called The “Pre-Christmas Ice  Storm” and Of Course, a House Manager Fail, My Mom fell on Her Chest. Luckily She is Okay, Nothing Broken, She just hurts a lot bending but, I am glad it was Not an Arm or Leg. on December 2nd, It was a Year ago since “The Monica Miracle” and Then, on December 13-16, My Cousins Anna and Olivia came to Dallas to visit. We had such a Wonderful Time Together! In The News, the Famous, Nelson Mandela passed away on December 6th. So, As You can see, It was Quite a Year for All of Us. If You have read all of this to End, I congratulate You! I’m sure it was Long to Read as it was for Me to Write. By The Way, Be Sure to Leave your Comments if You have read to The End and Tell Me what you thought. What was Your Year like? Good, Bad, Happy, Sad? Anyway, I’ll End with This as I sound like Charles Gibson (Formally from ABC News). I Hope You had a Good Year, In This Year of 2013. Whether It is was Good or Bad, There is always The New Year to Make Things Better. I look forward to seeing you back here Next Year for Another Year of Exciting, Thought-Provoking, or Inspiring Newsletters here on The Christianville Spirit!

(For The Last Time in 2013)

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Happy New Year and May 2014 bring you lots of Joy! 

December 18, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Christmas & The Gift of Family

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
December 18, 2013-TCS # 381

So, Everyone, It’s that Time of Year Again! It is Christmas Time! I’m sure though that many of us are repeating the words of Bruce Springsteen’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Where he says, “Hey Ben! Does Anyone know what Time it is?!” and He received a very faint (at least before The Song begins) “It’s Christmas Time!” Yeah, I think Christmas came a little faster than We were Ready for but, that is Okay. Even for Me, it came Fast and I like it to approach a little more slowly but, also give me time to Enjoy It. So, I have another episode to Tell You of What we’ll call the “Craig Chronicles” (meaning Part of his Family coming, or Any Fun we have with my Uncle Craig, Considering He is in Town for a Year). So, How does this deal with Christmas? Well, This was sort of a Christmas Gift for Us, if You will, even I didn’t know it at the time. You See, We had been waiting for My Cousins, Anna and Olivia to come visit for a while and This past Weekend they finally came to town. We had a Blast! We had so many Adventures and Surprises, so many to Count! Yes, I see myself talking all mushy like Grandma Honey would, but Hey, when The Christmas Season and Family Quality Time mix, it’s bound to happen. So, They came in on Friday and They came over to Our House, and then we went down to Grapevine (a cool little old town out near the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport). Now, I have lived in the Dallas Area for almost 20 Years and I didn’t know that it is so Pretty at Christmastime in Grapevine. I’ve heard it many times on the news the past few years, that Grapevine was called, “The Christmas Capitol of Texas.” I didn’t believe it until We went to Downtown Grapevine to see the Christmas Lights and have Dinner. We went to Dinner at This Nice, “Hole in the Wall” Italian Restaurant called Napoli’s Italian Cafe, it was a really nice place and Best of All, The Waitress remembered My Name. After Dinner, Olivia (My cousin) wanted Gelato so We got some Gelato and walked through Downtown Grapevine with Christmas Lights, Being Really Cold Outside, and Family, Olivia was Over The Moon at that Moment. After Downtown Grapevine, We took a short tour through The Gaylord Texan (a huge hotel) to show them the Sheer Size of The Building and To show Anna and Olivia that Everything is Bigger in Texas. Of Course, It was really cool to see all The Christmas Lights at The Gaylord Texan as well. The Next Day, on Saturday, We were supposed to hang out with them during the day but, due to other things we could not. However, We did get to hang out with them in The Evening, This Time we went to My Favorite Collin County City, McKinney (the 2nd biggest Historic Downtown in Texas). So, We hopped on the road going toward Downtown to find MORE TRAFFIC, but, We were all surprised why. Apparently, They were having a “Parade of Lights” in Downtown McKinney. Wow! Talk about a Total Surprise! Because We didn’t know it was going to be that busy that evening. So, We stood along the street in the Freezing Cold (which was both really cold and Spirit-Lifting for Christmas) and watched all the floats, There were about 80 Floats in The Parade. We joined in the fun in yelling either, “Merry Christmas!” or “Merry Christmas Y’all!”, Anna and Olivia even joined in saying, “Merry Christmas Y’all.” On Sunday, was more of a Day for My Brother to spend time with them because he had to work in the afternoon of Most of The Days. So, My Brother, Uncle Craig, Anna, and Olivia went to Breakfast so they could have Quality Time together. On Monday, because My Mom and Uncle Craig were working, My Brother and I took Anna and Olivia up to UNT (the University of North Texas) and showed them around there, We had a nice Lunch at a place called Mr. Chopsticks which according to My Brother, is really good place in Denton. After Lunch, We toured around UNT and We got to see the Environmental Science Building, which was cool because it had a lot of artifacts and it was very-museum like. It was really cool too because they had a World Population and US Population Clock. It was really interesting how fast the World Population Clock was going versus The US. It was showing at least 3 People born per second. After That, We drove back home to hang out for a while before We went to Dinner at a Pizza Place. So, Finally, Yesterday We drove down to pick them up and  then, We drove down to White Rock Lake and parked at the Park where we had Our PTLS-Dallas Gathering back in April and We walked down toward The Dam and The Spillway. The White Rock Lake Spillway was running with Water, where I thought it would not be running. We walked to The Bottom East side of The Lake (near Garland Rd.)and then turned around and came back. We thought that we could make it to The Dallas Arboredum thinking that it was not that far and ended up walking halfway there and turning back. After White Rock Lake, We drove down to Deep Ellum for Lunch at This “Hole in The Wall” Place called The Angry Dog to which They claimed to have “The Best Burger in DFW” and I think They might be Right. After Lunch, We drove back to Uncle Craig’s Place and hung out with Uncle Craig and watched TV until it was Time for Anna and Olivia to head back home to Ohio. We all had an Awesome Time Together and as My Mom and Anna pointed out, it was the first time since going down to The Beach that we have had that long of Quality Time, which I for One, is Grateful for. So, even though it is only 7 Days until Christmas, I think, This was the Best Unofficial Gift that I (as well, My Mom and Brother) have gotten. It was a Great “Gift of Family” for Christmas! All in all, as I always say, Christmas is what You make of it and Sometimes, It can make You! 

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. From The Bottom of My Heart, I Wish You a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and A Happy Kwanzaa. Of Course, If You don’t like any of those, then Happy Holidays as well!

December 11, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Pre-Christmas Ice Storm

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
December 11, 2013-TCS # 380

So, At This Time last week, here in Plano, it was a nice and comfortable 80 Degrees. Yes, Shocking isn’t it? Well, that was, until a Huge Ice Storm came toward us, The next day. Temperatures dropped from a Nice warm 80 to 30 or 40 Degrees. So, Last Thursday, it was to start Freezing Rain at 4:00PM, I had an appointment with A Supportive Employment person at 2. I was very worried about Her because of Freezing Rain heading in, luckily though She is Okay but We WERE Very Worried about My Brother coming home from UNT in Denton. So, when My Brother finally got home, he had to unload all of his art work that he needed to work on because The School Closed because of The Ice Storm (The Whole City shuts down when Ice and Snow Storms come) and right when He was done unloading, it started pouring down Freezing Rain and Sleet. We did all the preparations and I took My “House Manager” Position and Warned My Mom that She cannot go outside on to The Ice because the Last Time that She did that was The Super Bowl Historic Snow Storm where She fell and Injured her Right Wrist. For This Ice Storm, She fell again, This Time on Her Chest because, “The Ice was Melting” She says and turned to Black Ice. She needed to go to The Store then, Go to Teach a Class later in The Evening and A Huge Ice Sheet came down from The Roof and In trying to avoid it, she fell down aligned with the ground this time. This Ice Storm was a pretty bad one in My Recent Memory, It had Trees hanging low to The Ground and Some Trees’ Branches broke on Our Street. Luckily though, The Tree in Our Front Yard was Okay, it looked like it was hanging over the side of My Mom’s Car. On the 3rd Day of The Ice Storm, it was above freezing for the first time in 3 Days, so, We took advantage of it and shoveled our Driveway to help My Brother for when he got home from Work. My Mom, of course, was the first to go out there, My Brother and I were both against it but, it turned out okay. I’ll tell you though, that The Shoveling was Hard Work and I can’t Imagine doing that Everyday. It really gets your Heart Rate going! Good Thing, I got prepared before hand by Playing Wii Fit. The Ice is Dangerous to Walk on sometimes (It was Thick), but it is really cool to look at it, especially when Our Neighbor’s Christmas Lights reflected on The Ice which really puts you in The Christmas Mood. So, Considering that I put a name to each Storm, What Am I going to Call This Storm? I think, “Pre-Christmas Ice Storm.” All in all, It was a Great Quality Time with My Brother, even though We were all stuck inside.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Sometimes, You have to take an Ice Storm and turn it into Quality Time in a Warm Home.

December 4, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Monica Miracle-A Year Later

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
December 4, 2013-TCS # 379

So, Happy December Everyone! I can’t believe I am writing that! It seems like it has come really fast this year since Thanksgiving. But, I Love December so now that is here, I am ready. What also amazes me is that has a Whole Year since The “Monica Miracle.” I remember it very well now after a Year. It started with a Family Friend of Ours named Scott Lerew’s niece had something called Cystic Fibrosis and She had been waiting for New Lungs for Many Years. Well, on The Evening of December 2, 2012, They got the call that They had New Lungs. I remember this because I was checking Facebook, the night of the Annual “Special Friends’ Christmas Dinner” that we go to each year and I saw a post from Scott’s Brother about how they got the call about New Lungs for Monica and they were ready to bring her to The Hospital for a Double-Lung Transplant. I personally, didn’t know that Monica had Cystic Fibrosis but, It really wasn’t my business or I just didn’t ask. Anyway, I remember driving to The Christmas Dinner and Telling My Mom about it and how excited I was about a Christmas Miracle happening (even though I only knew Scott, Not Monica) So, after the Christmas Dinner, we got home and I checked for updates on her and at that time, she was at The Hospital and was waiting for the “All Clear.” By The Time, I was ready to go to Bed that night and it is December 3rd, Monica was going into surgery and The Lerew’s did their final “Goodbyes and I Love You’s” before they took her in The OR. I updated My Mom on that as well, saying, “As We speak, Monica is going into Surgery and Everyone already said their Goodbyes and I Love You’s” After I woke up at 2:45 on December 3rd, I checked Facebook and read The Great News that Monica is Alive, Her Surgery went very well, and She is Okay! Little did I know though, what it was like to watch someone recover from a Double-Lung Transplant. It started with a lot of Wires and Tubes, and over the next several weeks, Monica progressed very well. Scott’s Brother was the one to do all the updating, saying that Monica’s Process was Above Average compared to most Lung Patients. She had to pass milestones like First Time out of Bed, First Walk to The Hospital Room Door, and into The Hallway, along with many other milestones. After about 6 Weeks, it was finally time for Monica to go back home finally. So, Since that Time, Monica has been doing excellent and living a much more Normal Life. She got to be on the News several months ago from WRAL-TV about Her Double-Lung Transplant. She celebrated with a little Party that she referred to as her “One Year Lungiversary” Party. Also, since then, I found out what her “Speciality” is and it is One Thing, Football. Oh No, I’m not just talking about Football I am talking about University of Florida Gator Football. Her Dream, she says, is to move to Gainesville, Florida so she can see all Florida Gator Home Games in what they call “The Swamp” for herself. I would go further to say that I think that She would be a Good Stadium or Radio Announcer for The Florida Gators. I could see her getting really excited if one the Gator Players does what one of the Auburn University players ran the WHOLE FIELD at the end of The Auburn vs. Alabama game last week. Wow! Talk about a Dream Come True for Monica! Now, as excited as we get about Monica’s New Lungs and New Life, We cannot forget about The Donor Family. The Ones who gave Monica new lungs, even unknowingly. It is Sad to think that while Monica is Celebrating her First Full Christmas, They are mourning their First Full Christmas without their Family Member. Sometimes, We forget about all that in all of our excitement about The One getting The Lungs and Not the one who lost the lungs. But, that alone is a Miracle in itself. As far as Monica is concerned, She paid her respects in her own both personally and outwardly. All in all, Christmas Miracles (and, Miracles in General) do happen and If You don’t see it, then as They say in The Movie, Bruce Almighty, “Be The Miracle!”

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Cherish The Things You Have and Give to Those who have Nothing. Happy Lungiversary, Monica!  

November 27, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
November 27, 2013-TCS # 378

So, I know it is a day early (I wrote this The Day before Thanksgiving), but, Happy Thanksgiving! So, Let me ask you a Question. Yes, It has been a short time since the last question but, This is Good, I Promise You! So, What does “Thanksgiving” mean to You? Does it mean (in a Radio Announcer's Voice): FOOTBALL!? Does it mean Quality Time with Family? or Maybe Shopping on Thanksgiving or God Help You, Black Friday? The Sad thing about Thanksgiving is that although it is an Important Holiday to us Americans, it is often overlooked by My Favorite Holiday, Christmas. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas and I Live for It but, getting excited about it too early, like listening to Christmas Music or watching Christmas Movies (They started November 1st on The Hallmark Channel, by the way), by the time Christmas Day actually comes, after you have opened your presents, You are burnt out on it. But, I think I’ll explain that more when it gets closer to Christmas, but Anyway, I often think to Myself saying, “Why aren’t there any Thanksgiving Music or Thanksgiving Movies?” I know that there is one song called “The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler. Okay, I think I am rambling too much on this Christmas vs. Thanksgiving and how I feel about it but as They say in the News, I digress. So, for those still following along, What does Thanksgiving mean to Me? Well, it means many things, For Me, it starts in The Morning (Shocker, since I sleep in till 2:45PM) and I watch the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” It is My All-Time Favorite Tradition of Thanksgiving. I Love watching all the different floats and of course, all bands that are big that year like Selena Gomez, The Jonas Brothers, One Direction, You get the idea.. and, then watching all the balloons (again they are different each year). Then, comes My Favorite Part, when Santa Claus comes and They say that, that marks, “Official Beginning of The Holiday Season”. That always gets me excited! So, after that, Thanksgiving turns toward what it should be; About Quality Time with Family (either Smith Family in Georgia or Ohio, or Immediate Family here in Town). It is also fun watching them cook the Turkey, which My Mom names it every Year. Once it is time for Dinner, then Thanksgiving means Two big Things: Turkey and Stuffing! Of Course, after we are all served, We go around the Table and ask what Everyone is Thankful For. Again, This is what Thanksgiving is majorly about, Being Thankful for What You Have like, The Roof over Your Head (to protect you from Bad Weather); for Me, My very loving Dogs (they’ll hangout with you, You can love on them, and You can talk to them and They don’t judge!); My Readers as well (Because They keep Me writing) and, Finally, The Most Important Thing, Family because Family is all You have! Now, Do Remember that Thanksgiving is not all about Thank Yous but, also Giving, hence the name (In My View), Thanks-Giving. In other words, You give Thanks and Give to others as well. Also, Remember to give extra Thanks to God and Your Family if your going to be one of those People who are going to get up and Fight People to get a Good Deal at The Store or The Mall on Black Friday. But, all in all, here Thanksgiving is a day to Give Thanks and Spend Time with Family. Oh! and Some Good Turkey!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Give Thanks and Cherish What You have, This Thanksgiving. Also, it goes without saying, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Aunt Kellie in Dallas!

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
November 20, 2013-TCS # 377

So, As all of You know, My Uncle Craig is in Town for a Year, but Something Special happened while he was in town. As Mentioned a Couple Years Ago, Uncle Craig got re-married to someone named Kellie (We refer to her as “Aunt Kellie”). Well, for the first time ever, Kellie actually came to Dallas to Visit Uncle Craig as well as Us! You See, The Smith Family all live in the Eastern US; being Georgia, Florida, and Ohio, respectively. So, it is rare that They come to visit us here in Dallas because it makes more sense to go there. Anyway, After having some good Quality Time with Uncle Craig, Kellie hung out with us for 2 Days Last Week. But, It was a really fun 2 Days to show her around The Area. So, on Tuesday, We drove out to pick up Kellie, out toward Craig’s Job-site (the Whole Reason why he is Here) and We checked out My Favorite Place to show people, the Gaylord Texan. It is My Favorite Place, even when I’m just showing My Mom around. I believe that This Hotel, summarizes the State of Texas to Visitors and Locals. It works both ways because You are proud as a Texan to show it (or see it) and You as well as The Other Person appreciates it. I Love the way Kellie travels, People travel in different ways and fashions but what I love most about the way she travels is that she is as Inquisitive as I am about How everything works and what things are. Curiosity Abound! With that Curiosity, it makes you proud to Explain everything because all the places are just “Normal” to You. Anyway, after we visited the Gaylord Texan, We drove up to Denton, Where My Brother’s Art is in a Gallery. The Show at The Gallery is called, “Metabolic Art & Sciences” and My Brother put an entry in and He got a chance to have his art for All of Denton and UNT to see. So, We got to take Uncle Craig and Kellie up to see it and They loved it! My Mom figured that it would be awesome to have a Family Member other than just My Mom and I, to see his Wonderful Art. I am very proud of My Brother for having his art in a Gallery. I mean, He has had his art on a Mural but, a Gallery is very different. Also, to Plus that, His Art was one of the first Art Pieces you see up front, How Awesome! So, then We walked around the Square of Downtown Denton (which is quite nice!), along the walk around, we ran into a lovely store called Serendipity On The Square. When we walked in, the owner of The Store gave us a funny greeting, something like “Hey! Haven’t I seen you before!” This is What I thought that I heard. Anyway, The Store Owner and I had a Short-but-Deep conversation about Serendipity, it’s meaning, and Something New that she taught me. Serendipity means Fate or Destiny to Me but, to the Store Owner, it means that there are No Coincidences, only “Happy Accidents.” Happy Accidents happen when You focus on The Positive, The Event will turn into a Positive in The End. So, that left me leaving The Store with a Big Smile on My Face and It is funny because it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Kellie visiting. The Reason being because we have not been all the way along The Square of Downtown Denton because we don’t stay there long enough or We do other things. After walking around, We all had a Cool Dinner at a Restaurant on The Square. So, on Wednesday (Newsletter Day), The 2nd Day, only this time in McKinney. It seems funny to Me, because Denton and McKinney are directly across each other on a Map but, Opposite Sides of The Counties. Anyway, We showed Kellie the Historic McKinney area (Again This is a Personal Favorite for Local Reasons) and We showed her some of the Historic Houses in the Area, which I love a lot because it feels like a Texas Version of Norcross, Where My Uncle Bruce lives. So, we showed Kellie around the Square in McKinney, which I didn’t realize how many shops are There! So, Our first stop was a nice Texas Wine Shop called Lone Star Wine Cellar. The Owner, Moreen was Very Nice to Me as well, considering I was the only guy amongst Two Women (three, if you count Moreen). Uncle Craig, by the way, was at Work during some of our time with Aunt Kellie in McKinney. I thank Moreen because She made me feel included by giving me Water to drink while My Mom and Kellie were Tasting Wine. Usually, I would think, The Guy would just sit there while The Women do the Tasting. We all had some good conversation between all of us and The Singer, Steve jumping in as well, He was pretty funny too! After we finished that, We walked around The Square until Uncle Craig got off work and joined us for Dinner at a Nice Restaurant/Bar called The Pub. I Liked this place because They have really good Pork Sliders There. At Dinner, I thanked Aunt Kellie for coming to visit Dallas and It was an Honor to show her My City. As I told them, “You don’t realize what things are around you until Someone from Out-of-Town shows You” All in All, it was an Awesome Time having Kellie in town and I hope she comes back again!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Be Proud of Your Hometown. Show Visitors or Yourself around, even if You have seen it a Million Times already.  

November 13, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Labels, Labels, Labels! Remixed

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
November 13, 2013-TCS # 376

The Following Newsletter was Written back in November of 2010 but, a few added twists in it. This is Showing Up as a New Newsletter because it is a High Requested Newsletter that Should be Rebirthed. Enjoy!
So, Let me ask you a Question, What does a “Label” mean to you? Does it to say where your from, a certain place like Europe or Canada? Is it a tool you use to judge someone? Well, the truth is that there are many labels to people and things. In fact, there’s pretty much a label for everything like what country or state your from (etc. American, Texan, Mexican, European, Norwegian, “Swede” or a Swedish Person), There are Labels to color of your hair like Brunette, Dirty Blonde, or just Blonde, and of course, there are what I’ll call “School Labels” like Nerd, Geek, Special Ed, Cheerleaders, and many more. And finally, there are labels to your lifestyle and things that, let’s just say, are your own business, like sexual preference. But, those are the most common labels that some I don’t like and others I don’t mind. The way I see Labels is that they are words to put on people so that others can judge. To know what it feels like to have a Label is like putting a sign on your front that says what your labeled by others and then, you walk down a street and watch the way people look at you. Now, I have to say, though, that sometimes in the case of having a “Rare Duplication” that not many people know what it is, in a way it’s helps and in a way it doesn’t. It helps so Your Child can get the help in school and the real world that they need. But, if you just want to be diagnosed with Autism (which to people with Special Needs is a Label) just so people know what you have, I believe takes away the “Rareness” and being more Special than anyone else away. Now don’t get me wrong, there is some Autism behaviors in kids and adults with Potocki-Lupski Syndrome. In fact, by a mere chance if My Mother didn’t jump in and say, “I know he has something else” at one of the many doctor’s appointments in The Study in Houston, I could have been diagnosed with Autism. The reason why was because there was an open window view of Downtown Houston and I wouldn’t answer the questions because I fixated on the view of Downtown Houston. So, Today when it comes to Labels, I know that I have Special Needs. But, I consider myself to just be Me, The special person I am. You See, when a person has Special Needs it’s more about them as People not what they have, People need to look beyond the label. Back in November 2010, a law that would help in many ways has passed, it’s called “Rosa’s Law” that eliminates the name, the government and some many people use to describe Special Needs, it used to be what I call the R-Word in all legal areas and now it’s called “Intellectual Disability”. By The Way, Even when The R-Word is used in an “Oh My Gosh, That’s Funny or That’s Stupid” way, it is still offensive to those with Special Needs because it promotes exclusion compared to Everyone Else. And Really, the only thing that People with Special Needs wants is to Be Included, whether they play along or they just observe. There was a Young Girl here in Plano named Shea and She was bullied because She has Special Needs. They sent her Horrible Text Messages via an app on the internet that makes the Phone Number Anonymous to hide the real number.  Now, in My Opinion, She is a Pretty Girl and it doesn’t seem like she has anything but, She has a Syndrome in which causes her to have Seizures. Luckily, Plano Police caught the people who did it.  Anyway, “Rosa’s Law” is A law that I am Extremely Happy to hear about. All in All, Labels are a tool to judge people. So, Learn to see pass the label of that person.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Labels are things you find on Canned Foods, Not hanging on People.


November 6, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Asking Questions

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
November 6, 2013-TCS # 375

Having Special Needs is a Great Thing but, There is always one concern about it. It is actually a Common Thing that People encounter, and that is whether to ask someone about their Special Needs or Not. It is a Big Concern of Everyone including The Person with Special Needs, The Parents (either of The Child or of Someone Else’s Child), and yes, Even those that Don’t have Special Needs. This Common Concern comes because You don’t know how the person is going to React. Your not sure if They are comfortable with talking about Their Special Needs. So, The only other alternative is to Stare at them, which in Fact, only makes them feel worse. As for Me, I don’t mind talking about Having PTLS and How it affects My Life, but I’ll tell you that even I am uncomfortable sometimes Asking about someone’s Special Needs (Outside of PTLS). But, What is the solution to This Common Concern? Well, For Me; Ask any question that You have because I will Answer the best I can and I would rather you come out and Ask me, instead ignoring me, calling me names, or staring at me. But, for Others, It is best to just be Upfront about it and Ask them (or their parents) What kind of Special Needs they have, and then add in if they are comfortable talking about it. Even for Me, it is a little hard to ask someone that has different Special Needs because I never know what they are going to Say. Once when I was in School, There was one student who had a Rare Disorder which made her look different physically. I wasn’t sure how to ask her because I did not want to Embarrass Her. So, One Day I asked her what she had, She told me, and she thanked me for asking her. We became good friends and I would help her everyday at school. If you asked me what I have, I would tell you that I have Potocki-Lupski Syndrome, which is a Duplication of Chromosome 17p11.2. I would say that it has Autistic-Like Behaviors (Only we smile a lot, We prefer a Gentle Touch; Not a Hard One  and Like to give Hugs!) We are hypersensitive to sounds, and get overstimulated easily. If they would like to know the Medical Side, I refer them to My Mom because She is better at explaining it than I am. However, If they are interesting in Me, then I will tell them about My Lack of Filter, Texture Issues, and How I get Anxious Trying New Things as well as Other Things. The Part that would Wow Them would be all the knowledge I have about Geography, History, Politics, and The World. If anyone comes up to Me or My Mom, We will just come out and tell them about it. All in all, If You see someone that has Special Needs, Take an Interest in Them and Ask Them.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Special Needs People are just like Us. Don’t be Afraid!  

October 30, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Mandy, The Momma Dog

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
October 30, 2013-TCS # 374

So, The Following Newsletter maybe The Most Raw of My Newsletters as I was crying about this, a Couple Minutes before I started and I’ll explain it as I go. You See, as You Know or Are About to Find Out, We had to put our Oldest Dog, Mandy down Last Tuesday. For Reference, We had 3 Dogs being Mandy (The Oldest), Zoe (We like to say, she is a Sophie-Incarnate, 5 Years Old), and finally Our “Foster Dog” Sadie Good-Lord (as of now, she is not a “Foster Dog”; she is ours now. 1 Year and a Half Old) Anyway, Mandy was the Main Dog in our family after we put down Sophie, back in 2008. Mandy’s Story started as a Very Odd One. Now, as You know (or will know), We are fans of Rescue Dogs or in Mandy’s Case, taking care of her until we could find a home for Her. Mandy was given to us to find a home for her from a My Brother’s School Buddy’s Brother. The Brother took her in but, realized that he couldn’t have her because His Apartment was too Small and Mandy was a Big Dog. Mandy was a Black Lab for Reference. Anyway, the Brother came over and gave Mandy to us to find a home. Well, Long Story-Short, Her Home was the Smith-Centeno House, Of Course! She was the Original “Foster Dog”, Now that I think about it. The Best Part about Mandy was Her 2 Trademarks that set her apart from The Rest. One was that, she is a Momma type of Dog (so much that We called her “Momma Mandy”) that takes care of The Other Dog, that being Sophie and Zoe. She would lick Sophie and Zoe’s Ears and all over Their Faces. And, then, we found out of Mandy’s Second Trademark and that was the way that she talk to us. Often, My Brother and I would make an “ooooohh” noise and she would respond with her Trademark Voice that sounded just like My Brother and It was a funny one. I do wish that I would have caught it on Video before we had to put her down but, I’m sure it’ll be ringing in My Ears for Now. In Fact, when Mandy would bark which was her way of talking, I could understand what she wanted because She barked in Syllables; As in “I-am-Hun-Gry.” When Mandy was Young, She was the one to drive Sophie crazy wanting to Play, then The Roles reversed when we got Zoe. After Sophie left in 2008, Mandy fell into a Depression, Eating nothing but, Treats. I helped by loving on her and scratching her on Her Favorite Spot. So, we asked Sophie in Prayer to tell us when she was ready for us to get another dog. When it came time to get another dog, which We got on December 22, My Mom went to the SPCA (again We Love Rescue Dogs) along with Mandy to pick the dog for her as Her Friend and for us. Now, My Mom thought that Mandy would like an Older Dog but, Mandy would growl at them. Then, My Adopted-Aunt Kathy, Went to the Puppy Section and found a Cute Dog. My Mom thought, “Oh No, I don’t want a Puppy!” Well, when they let this puppy in, The Puppy, Now known as Zoe, ran all round the room and Mandy stopped her, put her paw on her on her head, and licked her face; that is how we knew! So, we got to spend Christmas with our new dog, Zoe. Now, My Brother was the one to Name her but, My Brother came up with some really weird names before Zoe. So, Then we come to Last Weekend. All of a sudden Mandy’s Health declined to where she was losing her grip on the Wooden Floor, She slowed down Her Eating to Barely Nothing ,and She slowed in Walking as well and started Laying Down more often. On Monday of Last Week, it turned into Mandy Throwing Up every couple minutes and She didn’t want to Move at all. So, We knew that She was in lot of Pain and we weren’t sure how long she was going to live. My Mom and I had to have that, “We have to Talk about Putting Her Down Discussion” and After that, I figured that I would announce it on Facebook as a Way of Helping Myself deal with Mandy not being around anymore. I made it official that We were keeping Sadie-Good Lord and telling about Mandy as well. Because in My Literal Mind, People weren’t sure if we were keeping Sadie or not because We kept calling her, “The Foster Dog” and I wanted to reassure those people that we were keeping her.  So, on Tuesday, October 22; a few days before My Brother’s Birthday, it was pretty clear that Mandy was in so much pain, it would be Wrong and Inhumane to keep her alive. So, My Mom and Adopted Aunt Kathy went to take Mandy to put her to sleep. As My Mom recalls, “She was so Ready” and She went very peacefully. By Now, I’m sure Mandy is having such a fun time in Heaven while Eating Treats, Chasing Bunnies, and Plenty of Food. And Yes, I’m sure she is really happy to hang out with Sophie and Best of all, Not in Pain! So, I’ll end with this, I have two final thoughts. When My Mom put Mandy down, Mandy did a little smile to My Mom. And, on The Day that Mandy passed, I was getting the food for Sadie and Zoe, I saw a Picture of a Black Lab on the Box of Soft Food that We fed Mandy in her Final Days. It was then, I could hear The Long Island Medium’s Theresa Cuputo’s Voice in My Head saying, “That is Confirmation that Mandy loves You and She thanks you for doing that.”

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. If Your is in Pain, Don’t be Selfish, and Let Them Go. They will Thank You Later when They come to Welcome You in Heaven!

October 23, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Catfish in Your Life

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
October 23, 2013-TCS # 373

So, There is This Show here in The United States that My Mom and I watch called “Catfish: The TV Show” on MTV. And, No I don’t mean, The Actual Fish, Catfish. You See, “Catfish: The TV Show” is based on the documentary that a Filmmaker named Nev (short for “Yaniv”) and his filmmaker friend, Max. This Documentary, Without Spoiling It, is about something that People these days, don’t know about but, can be done. The Term, Catfish means that Someone creates a Fake Profile on a Social Media Site while using someone else’s pictures and then, Tricking Someone into falling in love with Them. The Basis of The Show is to Find out who is “Catfishing” and their motivation. They catch the “Catfish”, They reveal themselves to the person that has fallen in love with them, and Nev and Max interview them and record the process. Now, if all this Interests you, I would recommend seeing the documentary first before you see the show. By The Way, The Documentary is not as Scary as the Previews make it look like. So, How does this relate to Your Life? Well, at the realization of The fact that it has been a Year since The Divorce of “Mom X-1 & 2” (I use that that term as a Nice Way of not Naming Names or Assigning Blame) and I still think, “Why did they do such a Hurtful Act toward Me and My Family?” Well, In an Odd Way, it relates to the “Catfish” Term. Now, I’m Sorry but, There is a SPOILER QUOTE Coming. According to a Guy named “Vince” in The Documentary, He tells the Purpose of “Catfish.” According to Vince, “They used to ship Cod from Alaska to China, They would put them in Huge Vats on The Ship. By the time that The Codfish got to China, the cod’s Flesh was Mushy and Tasteless. So, This Guy came up with The Idea that If You put Catfish in the Vat with The Cod, Then the Cod would arrive in China less Mushy and More Active.” He continues, “There are those people who are Catfish in Our Lives and We thank God for Those Catfish because they keep us on our feet, keeps us guessing, keeps you thinking, and keeps you fresh. Without These Catfish in Our Lives, We would be Droll, Boring, and Dull without Somebody nipping at Our Fin.” As I explained to My Mom, I told her that We need “Catfish” in Our Lives. It is like You swimming in your own school of fish, going the same direction but, Not really going anywhere and all of sudden, Here come the Catfish and They will start annoying us until all of us in the School of Fish go different directions. I told her, after pointing out all the things that She has done in The Past Year including the Non-Profit Organization, The Delaware Dave Walk, and So many others. Most People believe that You just become successful like the snap of a finger. But, The Sad Secret about Becoming Successful, is that it is painful and annoying, that those “Catfish” in Our Lives will actually push you to head in a Direction that Keeps You Fresh, instead of Going Nowhere. Because They will nip at you to keep going and after saying, “Okay, Okay!”, You end up in a place where you never thought you would be a Year Later. Then I asked her, if that whole event never happened, Where would You be at this time a Year later. Now, to say that The events of the “Mom X’s” wasn’t painful would be an understatement but, I now see why it had to happen. All in all, We all have “Catfish’s” to deal with in Our Life but, They will push us to be better than we were before. In a Twisted and Bizarre Way, We Thank Them for being our “Catfish.” 

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. If You have a “Catfish” in your life, You are the one who will move forward and The “Catfish” will always remain a “Catfish.”

October 16, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: TCS Series; A Letter to Siblings

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
October 16, 2013-TCS # 372

So, Let’s Start This Week’s with One Last Question for You. Don’t Worry, I promise this is going to be a good one. So, When was the Last Time that You Wrote a Letter to a Sibling or Siblings? Most People would say, “Why on Earth Would You want to Write a Letter to Your Sibling?” Believe it or Not, There are people who do write letters to their siblings, but Only if They are in The Army (Thank You, Guys!); They are in Distress (like if they were in The Hospital), or They are really Mad at Them. Usually, The Siblings are either living with you or are Close to You. After All, Behind Family, Siblings are Very Important. Because They influence you in many ways, that Parents can’t. If However, You have Long-Distance Siblings, there is always Email. But, once in a while You should Write a Letter. So, That is What I’m going to Do, I’m going to write   a Letter to My Sibling; My Brother, Michael as well as Other Siblings of PTLSers. So, Without further a due, This is The Christianville Spirit Series, “Letters to Loved Ones!”
For The 5th and Final Installment of My Series, “Letters to Loved Ones” I’m going to write a Mixer Letter to My Brother as well Siblings of PTLS Children. Since The Original Idea was to Write to My Brother, I’ll start with him first. So, Here it goes. Enjoy! 

“Dear Sibling of Christian (Michael) & PTLSer Siblings,
Hey There, Michael! Yes, I know we live in the same house but, I thought I would give you some credit and a little fame. I know that You are quite the Hard-Working Artist that You Are and I am extremely proud of You for all the Hard Work that You have done to get where you are right now. If you were to ask me, What My Proudest Moment in Your Process to Achieve Your Dream is, I would say that, The Mural that You worked on at UNT was So Awesome and I can’t believe that You took such a Big Part in Designing and Painting it. If I wouldn’t have known that You were in a Team doing it, I would have thought that by the looks of it, It was done by a Famous Artist. I want to Thank You, Michael, considering that You are My Little Brother and I am the Big Brother, for taking that Big Brother role in My Life. I am sure that it was Very Different. Thank You for Introducing Me to some of Your Friends like Spencer and Zach. As Well as Allowing me to be “One of The Guys”. I’m sure that Life can be Hard sometimes but, I Love being Your Brother. Even though I often get the last two letters before the “L” confused Sometimes! Know that Whatever happens in Life that I am Very Proud of You and Remember too that Family (and, God) always comes First! 
So, to Siblings of PTLS Kids, I’m sure it may be hard to be a Sibling of Someone who is Different from You but, You are doing a Really Good Job. If You are a New Sibling to the PTLS Family, The Best Thing to do is to Help Your Sibling the best you can, as well as Show Good Behavior toward them and around them because You will be the ones that They imitate the most, Besides Your Parents. Your Sibling is Unique, that is the best word to use. The Words, Disabled and Disability shouldn’t have to be used unless it has to. Your Brother or Sister is Unique because God made them that way, if Anyone, like Your Friends or Bullies ask. It is up to you to teach them how to do things, Like My Brother did. Yes, They may Get Anxious or Get Upset (We PTLSers do this when Trying New Things) but, the best thing is to help them Get Through it and Try it. If they don’t like it after they try it, then Let that one be. If They do like it, They probably will keep doing the new thing over and over again. An Important Thing to Note, The Looks on Their Faces, Behaviors, and What to do when They are Overwhelmed. First, The Looks on Their Faces, We all have that “Look” that tells people when Something is Wrong. For Me, My Look, Looks like I’m going to be Sick. My Mom calls it, “The I’m going to be Sick/Something’s Bothering Me Face.” For Behavior, If something is bothering them, they will be unusually Quiet or not acting like their usual self. Other than That, If They are doing some kind of Behavior that is not from You or Your Parents, Then Chances are, it is from another kid in School. They are Imitating what they seeing at School, which may not be Good Behavior. They will look to you to their friend, playmate, teacher, one who comforts them, and ones who really understands them well. When Your Sibling has too much Activity going around them, They will Shut Down, Start to Cry, or Have a Behavior Problem. The Best Thing is to do is the give them a Big Hug and Take them out of The Situation. Know that We PTLSers care a lot and appreciate what you do for Us and How You are always there for Us. I Thank You on the Behalf of PTLsers Everywhere.

Your Brother (to Michael) & PTLS Sibling Spokesperson,
Christian Smith-Centeno.”

All in all, As You Can See, Siblings are a HUGE Part of Our Lives.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Cherish Your Siblings, Young and Old.

October 9, 2013

The Christianville Spirit; TCS Series: A Letter to My Future Self

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
October 9, 2013-TCS # 371

So, I know I have asked a lot of Questions on all the Newsletters of This Series, “Enough with The Questions!” You Might Say, but I promise that this one is going to be a Gold One. By The Way, “Gold Newsletter” is my term for a Really Good Newsletter. So, Here comes the Question, Have you written a Letter to Yourself? For Most People, They don’t write letters to themselves unless they are going through a Really Bad Breakup and They want to Make Sure not to trust another Guy or Girl again. Then, there are those again, Very Rare now, where They take it upon themselves to write a letter to their Future Self. If you are lucky, Which I wish I was this lucky, they give it as Project in School. “Write a Letter to Yourself, Telling Things like, What You want to be when you grow up, What do you want to Accomplish in Life, and Where do you want to be in Your Life”, The Teacher would say. But, it would be hard to think of it at that age, but maybe when you are 16, then you do it. Although 26 is a late age to be writing a “Future Letter” I’m going to do one. So, without further a due, This is The Christianville Spirit Series, “Letters to Loved Ones”!  So, For the 4th Installment of The “Letters to Loved Ones” Series, I’m going to write a “Future Letter” to Myself. 

“Dear Future Christian,
Hey! This is Christian from 2013! This is a Future Letter to You and For Reference, it was written on October 9th of 2013. By The Time that You read this, You will be in your late 30s’ or 40s’. If you are not above at least 10 Years (You’ll be 36) after You Wrote this, I recommend You stop reading! So, on to The Future! Now, Normally these start out with Job, the Girl, and Where in Life I want to be like Marshall did on How I Met Your Mother (That is how You got this Idea from!) But, There is one major Priority before all of that. This, I want to make sure will always be there, and that is Your Love of Family. Out of all the things I list below, Remember This, No Matter how crazy Life gets and No Matter what happens in Life; Remember that Family always comes First! Of Course, God always comes first but, On Earth, Along with God, Family comes First. Now, at this point, If you live on Your own or with a Significant Other, Don’t forget the Key People, being Your Mom, Your Brother, and Yes, even Your Dad. So, on the Significant other thing, If Who Should be Your Wife by Now is The Women of Your Dreams that You came up with, named Bridgett, Then One, You are Very Lucky and Two, Congratulations on Your Dream coming True because Not Many people have that power. If however, Her Name is not Bridgett, but She is still The Women of Your Dreams, then that is Okay too. I’m Sure Your Wedding was Nice and Beautiful, but Small. and Your Honeymoon was really Romantic. By Now, You should be Traveling the World, in Real Life, seeing all there is to see in this Beautiful World. I’m sure it is so Awesome! So, on to The Job, You should have a Job that You Love! So, that could mean Navteq, Tour Guide or a Travel Agent. A little extra note about Your Family, More along the line of Your Immediate Family, Your Mother at this time, should be Re-Married to The Person that She spends the rest of Her Life with. The Plan is that You live with Bridgett and Your Mother lives down the street. If that didn’t work out, Make Sure that You at least live NEAR Your Mom. I’m sure that Your Mom’s Wedding was Really Beautiful and It was a really Happy Moment for all of You. Next, Your Brother too, should be with His Women of His Dreams and should  be getting ready for Grandchildren for Your Mom, If that has not happened already. So, For Fun, We travel The World and along with visiting with PTLS Family Members, and helping spread Awareness of PTLS. By The Way, PTLS has really grown and is becoming the Size of Autism. Also, Just a Note, Not that it will happen, but If in the event that The Doctors offer a Helper or Cure to Your PTLS, for the love of Goodness, Don’t Take It! And, Encourage Your Other PTLS Family Members not to as Well. And, Finally, Your Newsletter is Very Successful and You are still Writing, against all odds. The Future sounds really great and I can’t wait to be You!

All The Best to You,
Christian Smith-Centeno
October 2013”

That was really great! Parents of My Readers, I truly do recommend having your child (or Yourself) write a Future Letter to Yourself and have them read it 10 or 20 Years later and see where they (or You) are after that many years. All in all, It could be exciting to look forward to The Future.

Thanks For Reading The Christianville Spirit. The Future is as Bright as You see it.

October 2, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: TCS Series; A Friends Letter

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
October 2, 2013-TCS # 370

Happy October, Everyone! So, Let me ask you yet another question. Yes, I know I am asking questions with Each Letter in My Series, but I believe that it hits the point home better. So, The Question is have you ever written a Letter to Your Friends? Now, Friends are probably the ones that you would write a letter to least. But, They deserve a handwritten letter whether they live close to you or more of a Long-Distance Friendship. Usually, the only time You write a letter to Your Friends is to say Your Sorry, That You need Help with Something, Thank You, and to Drop a Bombshell on them. Most People would think, “You can Call, Text, Maybe FaceTime or Skype Them, or Facebook Them, Man!” Well, that is true. But, nothing is as Sincere as a Letter to Them. So, That is What I’m going to do. Without Further A Due, This is The Christianville Spirit Series, “Letters to Loved Ones.” So, for the 3rd Installment of the “Letters to Loved Ones”, I’m going to write a Letter to My Friends. Because I have a Good Amount of Them, I will address them individually and as a group, so I don’t miss anyone.

“Dear Friends of Christian,
I would love to say Thank You for Being My Friend, Regardless of Whether I talk to You all the time or Rarely. So, I guess I will start with My Childhood Friends; Izzy, Meredith, Whitney, and Brooke. I really enjoyed My Childhood with You Guys! From Jumping on the Trampoline all day, Playing Nintendo 64 in the evening, or when it was Raining or When it was too hot. I enjoyed the fact that We could run through 4 Yards and Not Run into a Fence. To Meredith, I remember us “Kidnapping” You and taking you to Gulf Shores with Us, it felt like You were part of Our Family, as if You weren’t already. Unfortunately, All, it seems like we have lost contact with each other and it makes me Sad because You Guys were (and, still are, an Important Part of My Life). To Spencer, Although You are actually, My Brother’s Friend, You Have become “My Adopted Friend” and A very good one at That! I want to Thank You for learning about PTLS and Treating me like I am “just one of the guys.” Thank You for Accepting Me! To Karleen, My Best Friend; We have been Friends for 10 Years Now and We met on My Birthday back in 2003. I remember that You would yell so loud (in a Fun Way!) That it would hurt My Ears. I am very sorry for deserting you and dating the girl you hated the most when you needed me the most. Although it was interesting to say the least to Date this girl, I hate that it nearly cost me, losing you. I am glad that we are still friends, against all odds. To My Best Friend, Steven, I know that You are in your own world but, I do miss you from time to time. I’m Sorry about the way you are treated by those who you are around. But, That Happens sometimes. To Popi, I wish I could have known you better and wish I could have been there to see how much you loved My Grandma Honey back in the Old Days. To My PTLS “Brother” Tyler, Thanks for our “Male-Bonding” Nights Together. and, Finally, To PTLS “Gal-Pals” that I chat with a lot online, I’m so glad that I found people that take time to chat with me, share their lives, and let me share mine. You are all True Friends! Thanks for The “Dates”, Skype (known as “Camming”) sessions, and Phone Calls. Y’all Rock!

Your Special Friend and BFF,
Christian Smith-Centeno”

All in all, So, as You can tell Friends are Very Important to Me and when the Friendship Bond is Broken, it hurts me deeply. Without My Friends, My Life wouldn’t be the same. 

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Cherish All Friends and Keep the Old, One is Silver and The Other is Gold!

September 25, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: TCS Series; A Family Letter

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
September 25, 2013-TCS # 369

So, Let’s Start This Week’s Continuation of My Series, with yet another question. When was the Last Time that You wrote a Letter to a Family Member? By That, I mean, A Family Member can be Your Uncle, Your Cousin, Your Grandma, or even Your Aunt. It can be someone in your Immediate Family, or someone in your Extended Family. It is, believe it or not, Rare to write a letter to a Family Member unless They are Serving Overseas. Thank You for Your Service, By The Way! The Most Common Written Letter is a “Love Letter” but, a Family Letter? Well, Most People will tell you while leaning back, “Ehh, We have Email for That!” True. But, Again it is Rare and Getting Rarer. So, In My Case, Because I have 3 Families (Immediate, Smith, and PTLS Family, respectively) I’m going to write to My PTLS Family. So, without further a due, This is The Christianville Spirit Series, “Letters to Loved Ones!”. For the 2nd Installment of the “Letters to Loved Ones” Series, I’m going to write one to My dearest PTLS Family.

“Dear PTLS Family Members,
Hi! For Those who don’t know me, My Name is Christian Centeno, I am the son of My Mom, Julie Smith-Centeno. although I liked to be referred to as “Christian Smith-Centeno” but, I answer to both. I am now 26 Years Old and Yes, I have PTLS. I am actually proud to say that I have PTLS (or Potocki-Lupski Syndrome). Also, known as Duplication 17p11.2 and Yes, all that Medical Lingo Matters! I have had PTLS My Whole Life, although I didn’t really know until I was about 9 Years Old but, it didn’t really matter much to Me. It doesn’t matter to Me now. For Those that are wondering, “Why am so I Proud to have PTLS?” Because it makes me Unique. Not in a “I’m-Better-than-You” kind of Way but, in a more “I’m One of God’s Many Unique Creatures in This World.” So, People will always ask me, “How do You handle having this ‘disease’?” First of all, It is NOT a “Disease”! It is a Unique Chromosome Disorder, and, How do I deal with it? I have lived with PTLS, My Whole Life so, It became part of My Life. Anyway, The One Thing I wanted to tell you, besides Giving You an Education about It, is that Everything is Going to be Okay! Life through My Eyes, it is pretty Awesome! Excuse Me if I sound like My Mother for a minute, but Your Child is going to Talk either words or through their eyes; Your Child hears and understands Everything and I mean, Everything, Believe Me, I drive My Mom crazy when I hear her talking on the other side of The House and I have always understood what was being told to me; Your Child might want to have a Girlfriend (like I did) or Boyfriend; Depending on the Child’s choice, They could go to Homecoming or Prom (I went to Homecoming, but I didn’t go to Prom); and, Finally, as scary as it sounds, Will find someone and Will get Married (As I plan on doing). A little note about PTLSers having Children, There is a 50/50 Chance of their child having PTLS. As for Me, I don’t plan on having Children for that Reason, Crying or Children/Animals in Distress really bothers me, as well it would be Hard for me to take care of. So, Will they get to Go to College, Get a Job or Drive? Well, College will be up to the Child’s Discretion and Abilities. As for Me, maybe I’ll take a few Continuing Education Classes but, College isn’t high on My List. A Job is a Definite Yes! I have, had one before and I was really good at it. and, Driving...Well, I’ll put it this way, If we lived in a Small Town where Everyone knew who I was, then maybe I would Drive but, considering I live in a Big City, it might be Hard. Of Course, That is not to say that I never Drove before. Because My Brother had me drive around the Neighborhood and When I was younger, We had a Go Cart and I drove that a lot around the yard. So, Your Child will get there eventually, it just takes a lot of patience. So, If you are reading this and you have been here a while, You pretty much know all this. For Those that are New, Welcome to The Family! Remember though, that No Family is Perfect and Remember too, that Family should always come First! I believe that we are literally, a Family, we may not be Blood, but We Are Family!

I Love You All, PTLS Family!
Your PTLSer, 
Christian Smith-Centeno”

So, as You can see, whether You are New or a Veteran, We welcome you with Open Arms, a Hug, and Lots of Encouragement. All in All, Family may be what you make of it but, Family is Important!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Remember the Importance of Family!

September 18, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: TCS Series; A Love Letter

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
September 18, 2013-TCS # 368

So, Let me Ask You a Question. If You had the opportunity to Write a Letter to Someone, Living or Dead, Would You? It is a Sad Fact but, Not Many People write letters anymore. By that I mean a Letter-written-on-Paper Letter. You Know, the old fashioned way of communicating, unfortunately People have resorted to “Writing Letters” in an Email but, it is not the same thing. So, with that said, to Whom would this letter be to? A Friend, Family Member, A Loved One or Partner, or maybe Someone Famous. I mean, the possibilities are endless! And, one final question, What would you say to them? A Good Job, I’m Missing You, or maybe just a simple Thank You. So, with that in Mind, I’m going to write a Series on Letters. I’m calling it “Letters to Loved Ones.” So, without further a-due This is The Christianville Spirit Series, “Letters to Loved Ones”! Sponsored by The Christianville Spirit & WTSOC Communications. So, This Installment, I’m going to write a letter to My Guardian Angel, Lynee Watson.

“Dear Lynee, It is nice to write to you for My Newsletter Series. I Think about You a lot. There are times that I miss you dearly, Even though You are My Guardian Angel. I do have the comfort of knowing that You are around if I need you and You are around sometimes when I least expect it. I know that You are around because even when I am in a Room Temperature, Room, I feel chills and I know that you are probably hugging me a lot to give me comfort. Other ways that weird things happen like The Dogs looking up at the sky or I hear very faint and quiet words in my ear including “We need to Talk” whispers in My Ears. I’m going to Meet My Soulmate soon and I can’t wait because I know that your spirit will be inside her, and that is how I will know that it is her. Because she will look Exactly like You. Oh!, I forgot to tell you that I wrote a real letter to your parents, I told them I was sorry for their loss, What a Great Friend to Me, that You were going to be missed, and I hope they got it. I hope that it comforted them as well as, it helping me. I wrote it after I found out that You passed away, which was 2 Years Later. I guess I’ll finish by saying that I Love and Miss You alot and I guess, My Friend was Right. Maybe it was best to find out later than, at the time that You Passed Away. I wonder what your Personal Heaven is Like though. I’m sure it is Beautiful, Just Like You! I Love You, Lynee!
Till Then;
The Person You are Watching, 
Christian Smith-Centeno.” 

So, as You can see I truly loved Lynee even though I was too young and not as social to understand it yet. All in all, I hope I didn’t make you cry, writing this but, that’s how you know it is a good letter, when it is Heart Felt!  

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Write a Heart Felt Letter to Someone that You Love!