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!