November 30, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: PTLS En España

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
November 30, 2016-TCS # 522

Hola, My Readers! Welcome Back from a Lovely Holiday! I hope You enjoyed your Thanksgiving. So, Boy do I have an Interesting Story with quite a Twist to Tell You. So, What did I do for Thanksgiving? Oh Just...You Know, hang out with Family...Well, Yes and No. I actually went to Spain for Thanksgiving. Woah! Hold The Phone! You went to Spain for Thanksgiving?! Yes, I know, Crazy, right?! Yeah, You normally don’t hear that in Most People’s Thanksgiving Plans. The Only Reason You would hear that is if Someone had No One to spend The Holiday with, so Why not travel somewhere and Skip Thanksgiving. Well, I will assure you that it wasn’t Us. You See, a Month ago, A Couple PTLS Members wanted us to come to Spain and meet and talk with a Few PTLS Members, Keyword here, a FEW PTLS Members. It was to be a PTLS Hang-Out if You will. They had already picked The Date and It happened to be over Thanksgiving. So, Thanksgiving Week it was! Over the Next Month, The Amount of PTLS Members coming grew from a Couple of PTLS Members to 20 PTLS Members! Now, for those of You wondering, We did have a Thanksgiving, We will call it a “Make-Up Thanksgiving” because One of My Mom’s Friends was having a “Friends-Giving” at their House and so that was Our Thanksgiving. Now, This Second Trip to Europe, was a much shorter and More PTLS Business Trip than A Mix of both Business and Pleasure like Stockholm and London was. We flew on Thanksgiving Morning to Madrid, Spain. I will say that it is quite busy at The Airport on Thanksgiving Morning, but I think most of it was for Those flying home within The United States. This was The First Time that I ever flew on Thanksgiving Day as well as The First Time that We flew on an International Airline where They spoke two Languages in their Announcements, both English and Spanish. We arrived in Madrid, Spain on Friday Morning, as The Sun was starting, It was really pretty to arrive as The Sun was Rising. One of The Organizers of This Meeting, Ana, was Nice enough to pick us up from The Airport and took us to Our Hotel that Early in The Morning. She gave us a Nice Introduction to Spain and Preparing us to meet PTLS Family Members in Spain. None of Them except for Her and Another PTLS Member, Erik another Organizer for This, spoke English. Most of them speak only Spanish and maybe a Little (keyword again, little) English so, It would be a bit of a Challenge but, as Barney of How I Met Your Mother would say “Challenge Accepted!”. So, We arrived at Our Hotel, and let This Business Trip get going! First Thing on The List is an Interview with The Nursing Board of Spain, little did My Mom and I know that Said Interview was to Take Place on Camera. Due to Arriving early in The Morning, Our Room was not ready yet So, We did The Interview, on Camera and with Pictures as well while We waited. After all that was Finished, We were not going to be picked up until later that Evening to go to Dinner in The City Center. After a Nice Nap and a Really Nice Rain Shower in Our Hotel Room, Organizer Erik picked us up and Showed us around on Our Way to Dinner. We drove past several places including The Prado Museum; a Local Department Store called “El Corte Ingles” on Black Friday (which is a New Idea for Those in Spain); An Arched Monument in a Traffic Circle called “Puerta De Alcala”; and, A Traffic Circle with Spanish Flags around it, called “Plaza De Cibelas” near Banco de España; and, Finally, Walking by a Christmas Market in “Plaza Mayor”. We also got to see Some Pretty Cool Christmas Light Displays along the Drive to Dinner. We made a Slight Detour to meet Erik’s PTLS Child because He was not coming to The Event the next day. By The Way, The Way that The Spanish pronounce “Plaza Mayor”, To me, It sounded like “Playa Mayor’d”. We all had a Nice Dinner with a Few PTLS Members at a Restaurant in Madrid’s Old Town. Thank God that We had Erik and Ana to help Translate! My Mom really pulled from Her High School Years of Her Spanish, She can understand more than She can Speak. We tried Several Different Foods including Garlic Soup (It was really good) and Broken Eggs with French Fries (I am told that It is a Spanish Delicacy). I should mention that The Spanish tend to Eat Late, like around 8 or 9 O‘ Clock at Night and then, They party all Night in the Summer because They don’t have Air Conditioning and It gets Very Hot, so They stay out all Night. However, It was Freezing while We were there so We did not stay out late. They also do things Late, Lunch is Late (like 2 or 3 In The Afternoon) and Dinner is Late. Of Course, Organization in Spain may not be Top Priority either, but apparently That is How They like it there. Anyway, so Saturday was sort of like a Mini-Conference, like We did in Stockholm. My Mom spoke most of The Time all the way until After Lunch. By The Way, The Lunch that We had was really good too. Luckily though, We had a Friend of Michael’s Girlfriend, Nicole, named Marta came and She helped us Translate as well as Translators for The Speeches. Boy, Did We need those Translators! What was funny to me (But, It was Respectful) was that Some of the PTLS Members came up to Us and started speaking Spanish and Spoke to us as if We knew what They were saying. It took a lot of Listening to hear Words that You knew in Spanish and then, Get a General Idea of what They were saying. To Be Fair, I am sure that They were listening for Key Words that They knew in English.
After Lunch, I was up to Speak. Yes, I was Up to Speak! Now, This was The Organizer’s Idea for Me to do this. I did Very Brilliantly and I made My Own Powerpoint to Present and I spoke a Bit of Spanish to Impress them a little bit. For Dinner, We went to This Place called “Kilometros De Pizza” (Translating into Kilometers of Pizza) and They had Pizza that was VERY Long for a Group of People! First came Two Appetizers, One which was Real Mozzarella Cheese and Pita Bread. Then, Came the Main Dish, a Board of Pizza that was Literally a Meter Long and It had 4 different Kinds of Pizza (Cheese, Margarita, Ham and Cheese, and Barbecue) that was a 5 Person Length. It was Huge! The Next Day, Sunday was sort of like a Business Meeting. It was Interesting to say the least! After that, Ana took us on a Final Tour on The City and See The Places that was on Our List to See. So, We stopped for Lunch before Our Tour because I had to make sure that I had Paella while I was there. After We walked another PTLS Member to The Train Station (which was quite Extensive!), It was on to The Tour. Due to The Fact, that It was Raining most of The Time that We were There, We could not really explore too much but, We saw The Major Places, The Spanish Palace; “Gran Via”, The Spanish Version of Broadway; The Tourist Avenue; and, Finally, “Puerta Del Sol” which was a Highlight for Me to see! I realized Later that “Plaza Mayor” is More Significant than “Puerta Del Sol”, but to be Fair, “Puerta Del Sol” is the Exact Heart of Spain and Heart of Madrid. After that, That was The End of The Tour and It was Time to head back to The Hotel. The Final Day, Monday, It was Time to head Home. All in all, It was an Awesome Trip and I wish I had more Time in Spain to see it, but Maybe Next Year! A Huge Thank You (Muchos Gracias!) to Our Translators; Organizers (Erik and Ana); Our Cheering Squad, Pili and Laura; a Special Thanks to My Little PTLS Brother, Carlos for His Smile and Kit-Kat, and Finally, the People of Spain for showing Your Lovely and Historic Country.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Spending Thanksgiving can mean Spending It with Family Anywhere.

November 23, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: Being Truly Thankful

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
November 23, 2016-TCS # 521

Happy Thanksgiving, My Readers! Yes, I know that it is technically Thanksgiving Eve but, I thought that I would wish you a Happy Thanksgiving anyway. My Friends, It is that Time of Year again, My Second Favorite Time of Year after Christmas. I Love Thanksgiving though! I mean The Turkey, The Stuffing, and The Family, What more could You want? Yeah, I could do a Thanksgiving without seeing The “Giblets” coming out of The Turkey, to me, It is Nasty. Now, I am sure that some of you would consider the “Giblets” a Delicacy or The Best Part, Nope! Not Me! Anyway, so Let’s be Real for a second. What are You Thankful for? Yeah, Yeah! I know! We are asked this Question every year and usually We answer with Something simple like Your House, Your Family, or Yes, even Your Wealth. Maybe It is The Roof over Your Head, Food on The Table, and Money to pay for The Food as My Mom likes to say in Our Dinner Prayers. and, Don’t get me wrong, Folks! Those Things are Great to be Thankful for, How about What are You Truly Thankful for? Well, as for Me, I am Truly Thankful for My PTLS Family, My Mom & Brother, The Smith Family, and Of Course, You, My Readers. I am Thankful that as mentioned in Last Week’s Newsletter and Several Times This Year that I got to Finally meet Lynee’s Family and Help them (and, Myself) in a Way find both Ourselves, and Lynee herself, in The Process. I am thankful that My Grandma Honey moved in Her New Place unscathed (Relatively, anyway) and We No Longer have to Worry about Her falling down The Stairs, and Finally, As Life has taught me Recently, You have to be Thankful for..well..Life. Funny, It is Easy to think (in Super Hero Voice) “I am Invincible and Nobody can Harm Me! (or Friends of Mine for That Matter)” As I mentioned about My Brother last week, He was feeling down. It is because One of His Best Friends, Cameron, went Rock Climbing last week and Fell 100 Feet (Yes, really 100 Feet!) without a Helmet and is to say the least, Pretty Badly Damaged, It was surprising that He survived the First Night after The Fall. Kinda sent me a Hard Reminder that One, that could have been My Brother, Two, that One time I watched My Brother Rock Climb Indoors (Refer to the “Great Wolf Lodge” Newsletter) and My Brother fell, He only fell maybe 15 Feet or so and Came out of it only with a Body Ache and a Bop on The Head. It could have been so much worse. and, Then, A Relative of a PTLS Family Member, one that We held Very Dearly as well as, She held us Very Dearly, Passed Away the other day. She was One of Brilliance, and I use the word in This Context VERY Lightly. She, Her Name was Faith, was in a Word, a Queen (A Hero of Many Sorts!) Of helping My Mom and Her Own Daughter raise Awareness for PTLS. She even Showcased a Shirt with Her Own Design, with The PTLS Logo as well as Permission to do so, at Her Church. Her Favorite, of Course, was One that was Mainly Pink with The PTLS Logo on it. Pink and Green, that was her motto! I would believe that She has Heaven painted Pink and Green by Now. Now, Yeah, I don’t like to think about These kind of Stats, but People are Born or Pass Away Everyday, even on Holidays. It sounds Sad and Depressing, but It is true. So, It shows me a Lesson that really, Anything can happen at Anytime. Hence to be Truly Thankful for Your Family, Your Friends, and Your Life as well as The Lives of Others because Everyone’s Life Matters to Someone and That is The Way it should be. Even those People who Annoy You, or Could Care Less about, Their Life Matters in Some Odd Way. And, all in all, Finally, I am Thankful to Someone who hurt me badly in The Past who extended an “Olive Branch” to Me and My Mom This Year as well I have extended an “Olive Branch” to Other People in My Own Life.  

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Be Thankful for Everything around You.

November 16, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: Celebrating Christian's Best Friends' Festival

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
November 16, 2016-TCS # 520

Happy Michael Day, My Readers! I actually have not written on The First Day of My Best Friends Festival in all The History of Writing for 10 Years. So, What is “Christian’s Best Friends’ Festival”, You ask? For Those of You that Don’t Know, I hold a “Best Friends Festival” Each Year from November 16th-20th and Each Day honors All My Friends and I name a Day after a Few Select Friends, among them, My Brother, Michael; Childhood Friends, Brooke; Meredith, and of Course, Whitney; and, Ending with My Best Friend, Steven. More on that in a Second. Anyway, So in thinking of What I could write about This Week, I though about Writing about What an Expat is, Maybe a Newsletter about How We need to Love one Another, or Something Special about My Brother because He is going through a Bit of a Hard Time. So, Before I begin with What I am going to write about, My Best Friends Festival. I want to Say for those like Me that are worried about Our Country’s Condition, We will be Okay! Just Spread Love! An Expat, in short is Someone from a Country moving to Another Country, either Short Term or Long Term. So, on to This Week’s Newsletter. So, on The Opening Day of Christian’s Best Friends’ Festival. Michael Day, It is a Big to do! It starts with The Opening of The Festival Doors, City of Christianville Band, The Presentation and Introduction of Friends, and The Parade of Michael Centeno featuring My Brother and All that He likes. But, One Thing that Touches Me that I did not think about until Now is How Blessed I have been This Year between Friends that I know and More Importantly, Friends (or Family) that were Introduced in This Year’s Best Friends‘ Festival. Starting with Who I feel has been The Most Important of This Year and Believe Me, I have met a Lot of Brilliant People both This Year and in My Life. Those People are Jona and Dona Watson, Lynee’s Sister and Mother, and Dad included as well. Not sure that I have ever said This but, It is Something really, I never thought would happen. I don’t know about You, but An Old Fashioned Romantic like Me, feels that It is a Must or at Least a Dream to meet The Family of a Girl that You were either Dating, Liked, or Had a Crush on. In This Case, I had a Huge Crush on Lynee and I figured that because I thought it was Time that I needed a more Modern Picture of Lynee instead of The Old One I have, I figured Why Not Contact Them? To say the least, It not only provided My Self with Closure and Quite an Accomplishment of Meeting My Year’s Goal. But, Most Importantly, It blessed Their Life and Honestly, I am blessed that I could do that for Them. The Second Important Person, or actually Persons, was that I got to If You Will, Re-Meet an Entire Family. You See, My Mom’s Dad’s (Popi) Side of The Family had a Family on the West Coast in Oregon. I like to refer to them as “The West Coast Smiths”, They are The Grants but, Anyway. Up until February of This Year, I had never been to Oregon but We always planned to go. Well, on Valentine’s Day, My Aunt Ginny passed away, so We went to Oregon to have a Memorial/Family Reunion because Truth be told, We had not seen each other for 10 Years! So, It was an Awesome Way to Re-meet them! The Third Person, is My Brother’s Girlfriend, Nicole and Believe it or not, and This shocks me too, This is a Girlfriend of My Brother’s that My Mom actually Likes! Yes, I can’t believe it either. Of The 2 Girlfriends that My Brother has had, My Mom likes Nicole The Most. Nicole actually has helped My Brother in More Ways than He (or Us, for that matter) realize. Alot of Not Good things could have happened if Michael had not Met Her. Blessing in Disguise, I tell ya! Of Course, We can’t forget Meeting PTLS Members as well as Present PTLS Members. PTLS Member, Jennifer formerly-Scarborough has been around for Quite some Time but, She was been Very Supportive of My Mom in The PTLS Family. PTLS Member Natalie Hinkin, I thank her alot because She made a Birthday Brunch Meal at Her House for Me, when We were driving home from Colorado. Some Thanks have to go to My Mom’s Friend, Barbara because She was the one who Found (actually better said, Rescued) a Boy Dog known as Paco. We have never had a Boy Dog in Our House before and He is quite a Handful, but We are hoping to He will be with Michael again soon. And, The Final Person is Someone named Deb, that I have been talking to for 2 Years online and This Year, I finally met her in Person. All in all, I have been Blessed to meet Several Great Friends This Year. I thank All My Friends, Family, and PTLS Family for being so Awesome!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Love everyone who comes and goes in Your Life!   

November 9, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: If I Were President Rerun

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
November 9, 2016-TCS # 519

Well, My Readers, It is The Day after Election! Finally, The Election and Anxiety is Over! Annndd, Breath! I am Glad that The Election is over, No Worrying. Now, Folks, Due to Sensitivity of Said Election, I and those here at The Christianville Spirit will not speak of Who won, Our Stand on it, or Anything Else. Disclaimer here: **The Christianville Spirit is and Forever will be Non-Politically Aligned with any Candidate or Leader. Thank You!** So, with that in Mind, Let’s speak of what would I, Myself would do if I ran for President and I promise You, It would be Brilliant! I wrote a Newsletter about just that. I wrote This Newsletter back on November 7th of 2012 (Refer to Newsletter 324). I wrote This Newsletter when Obama was running his Second Term. Anyway, I talked about The Possibility of a Special Needs Person running for President, after all Anyone can run for President so, The Law says anyway. So, I hope You enjoy This Point of View!

So, Considering that Everyone is talking about and sharing their view on US Politics, I figure that I would put my own twist on it. However, instead of writing all about The Election and The President, I’m going to take a different road. You See, the thought occurred in my mind sometime ago and then, I was reminded when I read the wonderful post on Facebook about Daniel Honda for President. I was really excited and thought, “YEA! A PTLS Child for President!”. So, I thought of what I would do if I were President of The United States. So, here we go, what would I do if I was President. Of Course, there are many things going on that I could change, for instance, I would make sure that Everyone had Health Insurance, that they could choose on their own and If it comes from the job they have, then they can choose from what the company does or what you want. For Illegal Immigration, I would have a “Stay or Leave” Condition, which meant that If you want to stay here in The US, You must get citizenship, Pay Taxes, and Speak at least Half English compared to your native language. I would love for you to keep some of your language to add a little flavor to the culture pot of America. If you choose not to do those things, (not to sound mean or anything but..) then you will need to go back home and come back for a visit. In the Jobs Sector, I would encourage people to find what their passion is or what they love to do and go after it. My Belief is that if You go after your passion then, Everyone will have a Job to do. I would really make sure though that Jobs stay here and Things are made here in America. In the Debt, I would cut spending and Tax heavy on the bad stuff like Trans Fat, High Fructose Corn Syrup (yes, that’s a big word; I know it because My Mom and Brother mention it a lot) and Cigarettes which would make the Government money and which in turn would Pay off the debt. I would incorporate Hugs as Currency in exchange for some things like Groceries, Electricity, Water, and Phone Bill. I would incorporate a PTLS Holiday called “PTLS Awareness Day” to be on March 7 because it was the day that PTLS (Potocki-Lupski Syndrome) was named. People with Special Needs would get the services they need and their seen as Honorary Members of Society. I would believe that if you say your going to do something, you do something. It’s called “Say what you mean and Mean what you say.” The next one most people don’t think about until it is brought up to them, I would make that there were Anti-Bulling and Anti-Hatred Laws in Every State. Truth is, there is quite a bit of separation in our country, let alone The World because of Bulling and Hatred. I Mean, without Hatred we would all get along and be at peace with The World and the funny thing would be The World would be at peace with all of us. After all the debt is paid off, I would make sure that those really poor countries like Haiti and Nations in Africa would get money and food to help them until they sustain themselves. As for The Military, I would pull them out of Afghanistan and elsewhere for 2 reasons. 1. To give them a little break to be with their families and 2. I read in a magazine once that the less countries we occupy, the less we get attacked and the less Suicide Bombings. Then, there’s Oil. The World would use it until it’s gone and then, we switch to Vegetables and then, to Hemp, because Hemp powers Cars much better than Oil or Vegetables. Finally with Social Security, I would keep both Medicaid and Medicare. Considering that Everyone would have a Job and Health Insurance including those with Special Needs, not many People would have to have it, only the people who really need it like the elderly. I can tell you though that things will certainly be organized with me as President, because of My OCD and needing structure and needing routine. Things like the Tax Code would be so simple because I would bring the code down to 1 Page instead of the 100’s, you could do it in an hour. All in all, Things would be very simple, Organized, and Loving...if I were President. Of Course, it wouldn’t be a good team without Daniel Honda as Vice President.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. PTLS for President!     

November 2, 2016

The Christianville Spirit: My Headache Remix

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Encourages
November 2, 2016-TCS # 518

Happy November, My Readers! Yes, Folks! That is Right, Halloween, My least Favorite Holiday is over and It’s Time for Christma...Hold on a Minute! I am happy that Halloween is over too, but What about Thanksgiving? Like I mentioned in a Newsletter about I feel like Thanksgiving is skipped (Refer to Newsletter 475 or November 2013). Okay, I’ll give you a break This Year without the Political Correctness (We have enough of that with Our Election!) Happy Christmassing Away! Anyway, On to This Week’s Newsletter, Due to an Episode that I had that other day, I am going to Rerun and Remix while I am at it, a Newsletter that I wrote back on February 6th of 2013 (Refer to Newsletter 337). Enjoy!
So, This Week, I’m going to write about something that I thought that I only had, but apparently a couple of PTLS Kids have. So, before I start, I need to put a Disclaimer in, so Parents don’t freak out. Disclaimer: *Not ALL PTLS Kids/ Adults have this.* So, this is how I remember it, One Day I remember, I all of a sudden started getting headaches. It started happening in December of 2008. I remember that because it was the time that We got done with getting Guardianship for Me. At First, I thought something was wrong with Me, like as if I was sick or tired, or something Medical that was of concern. Now, when I say that I have had headaches since then, they haven’t all been strong headaches, most of them have been ones that you barely notice but, know that they are there. I do have bad headaches every now and then, but I am not sure why, I’m going to see the doctor about it. When I was younger, the doctor did not see any Chiari but, I need to have it checked again. I even came up with my own headache scale so I can tell if it is a Low Headache or a Headache to be concerned about. I call it my “HDA Scale” or “Headache Index Scale.” So, for example if I say I have an “HDA 5.7” Headache, that would mean that is a Medium Headache. My Rule on it, is that if it is a 7.1 or Higher, then I need to go to bed early and oddly sleeping it off does help. Most of the time, I have My Mom give me medicine if it is getting bad, I have My Mom rub what I call my “Neck Cords” which are the two muscles that run down on both sides on the back of my neck. My Mom finds that the way I sit sometimes and the way I sleep, stretches The Cords out and causes me to have headaches. At Least, that is one of the guesses we have about why. I will say that the Chiropractic Adjustments that I have sometimes, helps that the cords relax a little bit and it helps a lot. As far as Medicine goes, it helps me a bit but, not as much as just sleeping it off. The Problem with that is that I don’t like to go to bed early, I can if I need to. But, I would rather stay up and go to bed at My Normal Time. I can always tell when I’m having a bad headache because My Forehead starts to hurt and When the headache gets bad enough, it makes me start to feel nauseous and then, it starts to make me feel sick.  

Now, as I have had Headaches for a While now, It is getting Harder for Me to Gage where on The Headache Scale I am.  Most of The Time, If I have a 7.1 or Higher HDA, I get Nauseous and I know that It is Time for Me to go to Bed. My Recent Episode, I started to feel Nauseous because of a Bad Headache and I thought, I could make it a little longer. And, then Another Thing It is hard for Me to Gage, I felt like I was going to be Sick. I stopped what I was doing, sat there, and Pretty much ran from The Living Room to Bathroom getting sick and more in The Bathroom. Funny, by the time, I realize that I’m going to be Sick and need to get to The Bathroom, I only have a Minute to get up and go. I don’t really feel like going to The Bathroom to get sick until I know I have to go. This Time, I kind of thought that It was only Nausea like I normally have when I have a Bad Headache. Luckily though, I do not have 7.1 or Higher Headaches that often. On Average, My Headaches are maybe a 2.3 or 3.5 HDA. Before Writing This Original Newsletter, I thought that It was only Me who had Headaches or Something was wrong with Me, but, I was surprised to learn that It is Common for PTLSers to have Headaches.
So, If your kids can’t tell you that They have a headache, watch for signs like Rubbing their Forehead, Playing with Their Ears, or Rubbing Their Neck. Also, Their Eyes may look Sad, they may have what My Mom calls “That Look on their face”; which looks like that something is wrong, they don’t feel good, or going to Sick. All in all, Headaches are No Fun.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Our Heads should be as happy as We Are.