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!