Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 in Review


Thanks to any of you who are visiting after receiving our Christmas card, and WELCOME to my blog!
This post is going to give an update on the major events in 2012 for us and what we're expecting next.

Jobs:

Greg says:  I am still working for Intel doing internal software development.  My boss says that I've done lots of important stuff this year, but it would bore you to tears, so I'll be kind and skip any details. We were treated to a couple of neat events this year by my department, including seeing Les Miserables.

Christie says: I stopped seeing private clients as a Speech-Language Pathologist in May.  I worked for a few months for Sun Valley (our church home for the last 16 years). It soon became clear, though, that the Special Needs Team I had developed over the last 10 years was at capacity (four classrooms of 5-6 students each over three services on Sundays!)  It  also became obvious that the team was self-sufficient after the training I had done, and that the team could function well even without me.  Because our mission as a family is to reach as many kids with special needs as possible, Greg and I are planning to move on to a church that needs and wants to provide support for kids with special needs, but that needs help figuring it out.  We are not sure yet where that will be, but it's exciting to envision creating another successful team!

I am also still developing and distributing the Chirp Curriculum, lessons that are created to teach spiritual truths to kids with cognitive and language disorders.  So far three churches are using it in their programs!  I hope to increase that number to at least five in the upcoming year.  I am also developing a nutrition and fitness curriculum for students with cognitive and language disorders (Chirp: Eat & Move) that will be marketed to schools.  It will be used in a pilot program in a junior high class for students with Autism this coming fall.  Exciting!

Home:

Greg says: In May, we paid off our home. For any Dave Ramsey fans in the house: WE'RE DEBT FREE!  (Christie adds: WOO-HOO!)

Click here for a funny Dave Ramsey video about keeping Christmas spending in check.

I recently finished installing the new flooring in the hall (see this post for details) and just have baseboards left to put on. (Christie adds: WOO-HOO again!)

We helped prevent the feral cat population in our neighborhood from increasing by catching kittens and 'fixing' them and their mommies. Our personal cat count increased as a result of that.  Apparently we had far too many fragile items; the kittens have helped us with that problem - their efforts accompanied by loud crashing sounds. 

Christie says: If you haven't been following this blog, the new additions to our inside family are Allistair (above left) and Stephen (above right).  They were born April 20th (so they are now eight months old).  They were born in the neighborhood and their Mama, Madge, moved them to our front rosemary bush when they were a day or two old.  Click here to start reading their story.  We are thrilled that they are part of our family because they add some much-needed spunk.  Everyone else is elderly (Baltazar and Bjarne, who are 16 and 15 years old) or crabby (Claude, who just has an unpleasant temperament a lot of the time - don't tell her I said so!)  The Christmas tree has only been tipped over five times so far.  We also have one outside addition: Juvy.  Click here to start at the beginning of her story.  She lives outside because she didn't get along with our adult cats, but to the kittens and to us, she is loving and gentle and sweet. 

Christie adds:  Even though I'm not seeing private clients anymore, I continue to spend time with my sweet girl, Juildeen.  She is growing up into a funny and smart young lady with a wacky sense of humor and a curious mind.  In the summer, we spend time swimming, and this winter we have been baking and cooking.  We made shepherd's pie and a couple of kinds of cookies.  Yum!

And this one is too funny NOT to share:
Looking at the camera and smiling normally is still a bit of a challenge (she has Autism) . . . 

Well, that's the year we had!  We hope the coming year will be peaceful and fun, and that we get to spend lots of time with the people we love.  We pray the same thing for you.

-Greg & Christie

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