July 27, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: Michaels Moving (Again!) Rerun

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
July 27, 2016-TCS # 505

Howdy, My Readers! So, The Other Day I realized something. In a Few Days, that on August 2nd it will be a Year since My Brother moved to Colorado. Wow! I can not believe that It has been a Year since He moved. So, I am going to do a Rerun of The Newsletter that I wrote, emotions and all, breaking the News that My Brother was in fact moving to Colorado. Before I do, I would be lying if I wasn’t a little sad about The Anniversary. Now, In My Head, I talk about My Brother being Gone, He isn’t Gone, He is just out in Colorado. He is Long Distance, is better said. Again, In My Head, It sounds like He is Gone-Gone, as in not alive. But, He is Very Much Alive, just in a Different State. I miss Him a lot though! I miss having Him to hang out with and having “Brotherly Time”, as Random as It might be. Truth be told, He did a lot for Me, helping with My Speech, Understanding Me, Taking Pride in Me, and Adding Me to His Group of Friends like They were My Own, among Many different things. In Case You were wondering, My Brother has Two Jobs, One at a Wine Cafe and a Roofing Contractor. It sort of reminds me of My Mom’s Old Friend, Steve who I walked on The Roof with Him way back when We were living in San Antonio. Strangely, us PTLSers walk funny as it is, but I walked on that Roof like a Pro! I Digress. Now, My Mom and I do talk with My Brother on The Phone and Cam (Skype/FaceTime) with Him from time to time. So Far, I am sure that He misses us too, but He is loving it up in Colorado, A little too much sometimes. One Thing I realized more Solidly is that Our City of Dallas does not Fit His Character  and that Reason alone is why He wanted to move. Anyway, Here is The Newsletter I wrote in My Brother’s Final Week in Dallas. It was written in July 29th of 2015 (Refer to Newsletter Number 459). Enjoy!

So, My Readers, It is that Time. A Time that My Mom and I have been struggling with. This Sunday, My Brother is Moving to Colorado. As This is His Final Week, I think I ought to Share how I feel about it all. Now, Don’t Get Me Wrong, My Brother and I have been having Good Quality Time together lately before He Leaves. Last Week, My Brother and I decided to go See a Movie, Ted 2. You See, My Brother and I saw the First Movie, Ted, So when I heard that There was a Sequel to it, I thought, “I should see that with My Brother”. See, My Brother Michael and I have different Movie tastes, I am more a Romantic Comedy or General Comedy Movie kind of Guy and Michael is more of an Action Movie and Horror Movie kind of Guy. So, Seeing Movies that are more like Gross-Out type of Comedies is where We meet in The Middle, if You will. On Sunday, We got to have Our Last Family Day, and Monday We went out to Dinner with My Brother’s Friend, Spencer. You See, Sunday has always been Our Family Day, The Day that We would always hang out at Home and Spend Quality Time together. I cherish All those Sundays! It is a Time also where we can talk about Each Other’s Weeks and How Everyone is doing. We would also have Our own Brunch that sometimes My Brother would make for us and He brought Home some Good Meals sometimes! On Monday, We got to hang out with Spencer. My Brother’s Friend, Spencer, went to School with Us and then, He would have him come over and Michael would play the drums while Spencer played the Electric Guitar, that is how I met Him. Since Then, Michael, Spencer, and I have our little “Guy Time” every now and then. Again, We have gone to Many Places and Many Adventures. Then  The Question comes, How do You feel about All this, Michael moving to Colorado? Well, I have to say it is Tough watching him go off to Colorado. I would rather him go East toward Family, but He has to Spread His Wings a little bit and Learn Lots of Lessons. I tell Myself that My Brother has His own Destiny, His Own Track, as Do I and My Mom. I would not be a Good Brother if I told him to stay or Follow us to move toward Family. Because He would probably end up resenting us and always wondering “What If I went to Colorado?”. Now, that is not to say that I won’t miss seeing him all the time, knowing before when He lived in Denton, that He is only a 45 Minute Drive away and Having Him to Hang out with or I want to have Brotherly Quality Time. In His Defense though, One, is He has come a Long Way since High School and All This is just part of Him becoming Successful, and Who would not want to See Their Brother become Successful? The Second, with Respect to Where We live in Dallas, I tell Myself that Nothing is keeping him here (except for Us) but, The Truth is, He is not a “Dallas-type of Guy” and Dallasites tend to be Not as Friendly and Focused on Making Money and No Nature, My Brother on The Other Hand, is more of a Nature type of Guy. Someone who loves to be around Nature, like Trees, Mountains, Rock Climbing, and All Associated. In Dallas, We have Broccoli-Sized Trees, No Mountains (We have a few Hills though!), and No Beach (Except for Galveston, 5 Hours Away, not as Pretty as Say, The Coastline of The Carolinas). My Mom is not too happy about, as Her Second Son is moving away from Her because She really enjoying having Her Children around, and Who would not blame her, We are Awesome Kids! She has deemed This Weekend Her “Grieving Weekend”. Then, There is the fact that My Mom wants to be near Her Future Grandchildren, Not have to Travel so far to see them. I am going both ways, where I want to be near My Brother, because He is My Future Guardian (if Anything should happen to My Mom) and I Love Him. At The Same Time, I want to be near The Smith Family as well as PTLS Family Members like “My Kristin”, My Friend Deb, and PTLS “Brother” Tyler. I picture My Mom as a Stretch Armstrong Doll, Michael and Future Grandkids pulling Westward and Smith Family pulling her Eastward. I follow My Mom’s Friend, Monica’s Son and His Lead because He was similar to My Brother. He has moved 4 Places before Settling Down, or at least for Now. He has Moved to Illinois, Atlanta, New York City, and Finally, Amsterdam. I could picture Michael living in Europe and Really Enjoying It and It is Very Artsy. Although, My Mom could picture him in Oregon. There is a Different Side of The Family there, The Grants. We are close but, I don’t know them as well as The Smith Family (I am starting to get to know The Grants better though!) . All in all, I try hard to see Michael moving to Colorado in a Positive Light and I believe that although Change is Painful and Hard, I believe that It will be a Growth in Our Family and Like I said, Change is Painful, but then again, so is Sitting Still. It is better to have Pain in Changing!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Follow Your Destiny where ever It takes You  

July 20, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: The Sweat of It All

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
July 20, 2016-TCS # 504

Much Love to You, My Readers! Hey! That is a Different kind of Greeting! So, as The Legendary, Joan Rivers said “Let’s Talk” and This time, about something that is rather cringing or at least to Me. Here at The Christianville Spirit, I thought that I have talked about Pretty Much Everything that might be a little Cringing to Me but, This is yet another one. Guys, I sweat a lot! But, The Crazy Thing, It is just My Hands and Feet. My Face and Body do not sweat. Okay, I don’t Sweat Excessively though, but I do Sweat sometimes. Apparently, It is a Common thing for PTLSers to sweat in Their Hands and Feet. As for Why, I’m not sure, maybe Nerves, maybe The Body Temperature, or Just Not sure why. The Reason this is a bit Cringing for Me is because I get a little Self-Conscious about it. Now, just so We are clear, I am talking about My Hands and My Feet only. I think I am more Self-Conscious about My Hands sweating, When I have to shake Someone’s Hand or even hold Someone’s Hand, I hope that My Hands don’t sweat. Usually when I shake Someone New’s Hand, My Hands are sweating, probably because I am excited or anxious to meet them. I have to wipe my hands on the side of My Pants to have them at least a little dry before I shake their Hand. Whenever I think of Cringing Stories regarding that, I think back to when I was Dating Madison way back in My Senior Year of High School. When I held Madison’s Hand walking as a Couple, They would start to sweat and I would have to either suck it up and keep holding her Hand, Sweaty and All or let go for a second, Dry, and then hold her hand again. I found the perfect solution for that when Holding Hands at School. After Lunch, waiting for Class to start, I watched a Couple walking by Holding Hands, but The Girl was holding on to The Guy’s Backpack. Luckily, in High School, I had a Satchel-like Backpack so, I introduced The Idea of Madison holding on to Strap of The Satchel and I put My Hand near Hers, It would look couple-y! Once We tried holding hands at Work because We worked at The Same Place. Pause! Guys, Listen to My Advice here! (Which I did not listen to!) Do Not Work with Your Girlfriend! Unpause, Moving On. Anyway, We were Walking together Holding Hands and eventually, She asked Me “Why are Your Hands so Sweaty?!” I told her that I did not know, but it got me a Little Self-Conscious. I think ahead to Holding My Future Wife’s Hand and It worries me a little bit because My Sweaty Hands. I don’t think it would bother her much, but Still I worry about it. Now, My Feet is another Story, They get Sweaty too. Again, I don’t know why that They do but, They do. The Best Ways I can tell you is that, My Feet in Sandals get Very Sweaty, by the end of The Summer, My Sandals are Pretty much, Dark. I know, I bit of a Gross Visual here! But, I am trying to show you this. When I sit on The Couch, I tend to want to curl in a bit and My Feet end up on The Couch. Sweaty Feet and Couches, don’t work. At Home, I sit on a Blanket and Put My Feet on that and then, It does not Stain the Couch. Before My Mom and I came up with that Idea, It was starting to Stain the Couch and The Blanket was the best way to stop it. Now, I have tried to not put My Feet on The Couch, but It is comfortable when They are on it. I guess it is The Way that I like to sit, Curled up, Feet on The Couch, with My Australia Blanket covering me, A Pillow to lay against, and Hugging a Big Pillow. I think that I have always sat in that kind of Fashion even since when I was Younger. I have heard that There are Shots or Dryers that You could take that could help with Sweaty Feet and Hands, that does not sound Exciting to Me. All in all, Sweaty Feet and Hands is something that You just have to deal with.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. If You have something that makes you Self-Conscious, I feel your pain.

July 13, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: My Fascination with Europe

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
July 13, 2016-TCS # 504

Hej, Ciao, and Bonjour, My Readers. I am saying Hello to You in Three of My Favorite Languages; Swedish, Italian, and French. Funny, My Mom’s Side of The Family is both German and Italian. Personally, I like the Italian Side, The Food and Music side of them. But, Of Course, Who wouldn’t like Italian Food! If You didn’t, an Angry Grandmother would be after You. You-a No Like-a My Food?! Anyway, on to This Week’s Newsletter. So, In My Newsletters in The Past, I have mentioned about wanting to Expat to Europe, My Fascination about Europe, All about Europe. So, I am sure that Most of You are wondering Why exactly. Well, There are quite a Few Reasons Why. So, Let Me Explain. Now, I have to say, bearing in Mind, that to some people This is a One of those Oh-So-Sensitive Political Situations, But, I am going to make this more about The Fascination and Passion for This Part of The World. So, Here We Go! The First Reason is something that for Most of The World is most likely The Craziest Idea but If You see a Map of Europe, You would understand why. It is something called Schengen. As In The Schengen Agreement. What is that? Well, It is basically an Agreement named after a Town called Schengen in Luxembourg that is literally a stones throw from France and Germany. That is All! Just Kidding! There is much more! The Best Thing (or Worst thing to some people) is the fact that You can Freely Travel between Countries (in Europe, They refer to them as “Members States”) without having to Stop at The Border Crossing and Have Your Passport Ready. You just drive across The Border and Continue on, that is as long You follow the Rules in Imports and Exports. Now, The Police of The “Member State”, will check Your Passport at Your Hotel or Other Business. That is only so “Member States” can make sure that You are following The Rules. Now, The Best Part of Schengen (“Freedom of Movement”, Europeans say) is that You can Live in One Country and Work in another. For Example, You could live in France and Work in Italy and Vice Versa. Schengen covers Most Countries across Europe with the Exception of a Few. Now, There is an Option that You can Opt-Out of Schengen. Countries like The United Kingdom opted-out of Schengen but, Oddly, They have their own “Freedom of Movement” Condition in Their Area. One of My Favorite Youtubers, CGP Grey (Who explains Europe very well!) claims that because The UK is part of The British Isles and They are an Island, that they should not do Schengen. That is Okay though. So, The Next Reason, It ties together with The Schengen Agreement, in fact It kinda led to The Schengen Agreement. After World War II, Europe was torn a part and Europe needed to a way to come together via something that was then The European Community, now known as The European Union. So, Just so We are Clear, some “Member States” are not part of The European Union but, are part of the “Schengen Area” like Norway and Iceland. The People of The European Union came up with the Name, “Member States”. To Explain how Schengen and The European Union (or EU) work, is that it is like The “Member States” are sort of like Their Own US State, only with Different Flags, Road Signs, Country Sign, and Language. Basically, Crossing International Lines in Europe, to an American is like Crossing a State Line only with The Things I mentioned above, hence the Term “Member State”. When You do cross a Border, You see a Sign that has The Country’s Name in It’s Own Language usually with The European Union’s Blue Flag with a Circle of Stars instead of a “Welcome to “Member State” like The US. For My Favorite “Member States”, You would see Italia for Italy, France for France, and Sverige for Sweden. By The Way, I have Many More Favorite (actually, Favourite) “Members States” but, those are a Few Examples. After You see “Welcome” Sign, Then You see the Speed Limits Sign (A Speed for Inside “Urban Areas”, Outside “Urban Area”, and Motorways) usually The Speed of Motorways is about 120 to 130 Kilometers an Hour. (That is except for Germany’s Motorways or “Autobahn”) 
Now, The Whole Thing that I mentioned about Flags, Road Signs, Country Sign, and Language is a Fascination of it’s Own. It is Amazing how You can drive across Europe and See/Read Signs that are in Different Languages. Each Member State has it’s own Road Signs in Different Fonts AND Languages. Talk about a Road Geeks Dream, right there! Each Country has a Different Flag on top of that, and It’s own Country Sign to make it easier for Europeans to know what Country is What and By The Way, Some of the “Country Signs” are confusing. So, One Time I was googling pictures of Road Signs around The World, when I came across a Sign that had “Country Signs” and Capitol Cities of those Countries. As I explained one time about How Close Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria are. I found a Road Sign Pointing to Those Cities and More. I will post The Picture of Them on My Newsletter. One Sign going strait say E-59 (called European Routes) to “Wien” (Vienna, the Capitol of Austria), Then, on The Right side You have E-60 West to Linz/St.Pollen with D. D means Deutschland (Germany), and E-60 East say CZ (Czech Republic), SK (Slovakia), and H (Hungary). Further down, E-59, You will see a Sign that says “Wien-Centrum” (Vienna City Center), Prague-CZ (Capitol of Czech Republic), Bratislava-SK (Capitol of Slovakia), and Budapest-H (Capitol of Hungary). Another Sign I saw and Took a Screenshot of a Sign with Wien and E-60 with  The Country Signs of H (Hungary), SK (Slovakia), SLO (Slovenia), and The easiest one, I (Italia). So, While We are talking about Roads, Europe has an Interstate-like System called The E-Road System. I found out yesterday that They are called European Routes. Think of it was an Interstate, only an Inter-Member State. Hehe, Get It? Anyway, These European Routes (or E-Roads) take you across Europe from One Member State (or Country) to Another. I could tell you how to get from Malmö to Milano, Italia. E-20 to E-45, E-45 to E-43, and E-43 to E-35 respectively. I could tell you what Member States too! Danmark (Denmark), Deutschland (Germany), Öesterreich (Austria), Suisse (Switzerland), and Italia (Italy), again respectfully. I will tell My Mom that and Her Head would Explode. Like What to Where?! And, Finally, The Final Fascination, You can literally drive on a Train to go from France to The United Kindgom or Vice Versa. So, The Fact that You can do that is just beyond Crazy! It is much shorter, I am told to drive onto the “Eurotunnel” versus going on The Ferry. Just remember, as They say to Drive on The Left in The UK and Right in France. In Case, You are wondering The UK and Ireland are The Only Ones in Europe  who drive on The Left. All in all, Europe is a Very Fascinating Part of The World and I really want to see it’s Fascinations before They are all gone. I am thinking that I might have to start a Go Fund Me account to help me do this!

Thanks (Takk and Gratze) for reading The Christianville Spirit. Oh! The Places You can see in The World!

July 6, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: My Stubbornness

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
July 6, 2016-TCS # 503
Bonjour, My Readers! and A shoutout to My PTLS “Brother”, Hugo! Bonjour, by the way, is Hello in French. I have to say that, Bonjour is one of My Favorite International Greetings. It sounds so Romantic and It Flows, between Bonjour and Brilliant (used in The UK) are some of My Favorite Words of Expression. They have a little flair to English. So, on to This Week’s Newsletter! Like We talked about a few weeks ago, with All the Gold Newsletters that I have written and Everything that I talked about, It never harms to do a few repeats, or at least Repeat The Message but, Maybe in a Different Way. So, I am going to do a Rerun on a Topic that I feel needs a bit of repeating. Even thought, I don’t want to and You will see why. This Topic is a bit Personal to Me because It relates to One of Those Oh-So-Annoying traits of PTLS. That Subject of course, is Stubbornness. I Love having PTLS, it makes me Unique, but They are Traits of PTLS that Let’s just say, Aren’t always Perfect. So, This Newsletter was written last year in June of 2015 (Refer to Newsletter 453). Enjoy!  
You Know, I always think that I have told you just about Everything about Me, but Sometimes, I forget those little things that seem silly to write about. But, In The Case of PTLS, I shall. Guys, I am Stubborn! Yes, it takes a Man to admit that but, I am not the Only One who is Stubborn. In Fact, Most of us PTLSers are Stubborn. We PTLSers like to do things Our Own Way and Often, at Our Own Pace and that is Okay, but Sometimes We need a bit of a Push to do certain things. Things that are Simple to “Typical” People but, is a bit harder with Us. You See, I probably would not be as far along without My Mom pushing me to do things. Now, just so We are clear, There is Pushing (meaning; Come On, I know that You can do it) and then, Help You Through. Then, There is Forcing (Meaning: You Are Going to Do This, Whether You Like It or Not!). So, We just need a Gentle Push. When I was Younger, My Mom pushed..Well, Let’s just use the Word “Encouraged”, it sounds better. My Mom encouraged me do a lot of things. Potty Training, One Day, My Mom frustratedly said, “Okay, Christian, You are going to Use the Potty because The Baby down the Street needs Your Diapers and You can not go in Your Pants”. Well, I looked at her funny, like I had No Clue what She was saying and then, Went to The Bathroom Successfully and Did not Pee in My Pants Ever Again. Except maybe Once, but I REALLY had to go at that time. My Mom told me that I had to eat without making a Mess, My Mom’s Friend, Steve told me that He was going to put me outside in The Rain (Jokingly) if I did not eat without making a Mess. And, I got a little upset and then, started eating cleanly without Any Scraps on The Table like I used to. Which shocked Everyone because They were Kidding, but My Literal Mind thought it was Serious. So, I made it a Rule to follow, not that I was afraid I was going to be put in The Rain each Time I ate, but Because I knew I was not supposed to make a Mess because It was My Rule. When I had to Tie My Shoes, I had My Mom do it for the longest time, because it was Easy and A Time Saver. So, One Day, We were leaving to go somewhere and Mr. Jeff told My Mom to go to The Car and He told me, “I’m going to Let You Tie Your Shoes, Take Your Time”. I, again got upset because We were in the middle of Leaving, Why couldn’t My Mom just do it and Off We go? “We’re going to be Late!” My Mom said and So I thought the Same Thing. But, I did it! While We are on The Topic of Shoes, One Episode of Mr. Jeff saying, “WHO GOT MUD ON THE CARPET?!” was Enough to Make Me take My Shoes off every time that I enter Someone’s House; I still do that to This Day. Now, My Mom did help me a lot with Sliding down a Slide. It was not that tall of a Slide, but in a Kid’s Mind, It was pretty tall! I tried turning around, Nope! Okay, Might as well Cry and Try to get out of It, Nope! I ended up enjoying The Slide after I went down it. After that, It turned into an Obsession and My Mom could not get me OFF The Slide, I Loved It that Much. Funny how that happens! Each Time that My Mom tried to get me to do something that I did not want to do, But it was good for Me, She would have have to Raise Her Voice, followed by Me getting Upset Crying and saying “You hurt My Heart!”, and Finally, I would get a Hug and then, I would do Said Thing. Also, I would do Said Thing and then, Hug Her. Even Today, that happens Every Now and Then, The Same Process and The Hug, only the saying now is “I’m Sorry Mom! I did not want to do XYZ! It just made me Feel Bad!” But, on The Other Hand, It does help me get past a Milestone. Of Course, There are Times when I pass it on My Own and My Mom is Extremely Proud of Me. Now, I am sure that for The PTLS Moms, It is hard to see your kid cry, but If The Reward at The End is worth it, than You must go through that process. Of Course, like I said before, If They truly do not want to do it, than Leave Them Be, but It might just be their Stubbornness. To Be Honest, It took a while for Me to get even This Newsletter on Routine because I was not used to writing so much and This is One of Those Times when I pushed Myself through it because I really liked it. So, I made My Own Routine. Mind You, that was Almost 10 Years ago when I was still in High School and It was a Good Way to keep me doing something after I was finished with High School, Today it just flows and I stick to My Routine, I make My Mom have to respect My Routine. I write This Newsletter Every Wednesday like Clock-Work. The Only Time I don’t is either because I am on Vacation (Company Vacation Time) or Something is Wrong with Me (Sick Time). All in all though, It took some Pushing in all the Progress that I have done and It is a Process too!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Don’t be Afraid to Give Your Kids a little Push to Encourage Progress.