Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Holidays

The holidays were extra special this year.  Taylor was much more in tune with what was going on.  The trip to Disneyland at Thanksgiving really helped our boy become more aware of everything around him.  He is not shy about try his ABCs or 123s.  He had a great time opening presents this year.  It took over four hours for him to open most of his gifts as he kept getting overwhelmed.  At one point he locked himself in his room, without any toys, and did not come out for an hour.

On December 21st I re-released my first two novels in my book series The Guardian Chronicles along with the third installment.  That has taken up a considerable amount of time, so big thank you to my ever patient wife Debbie for putting up with the book work.  The amount of work required is something that no one can understand unless you are the one doing it.  So, I really appreciate her patience with my book dream.

The new year is already started and life is full of possibilities.  I cannot remember what it was like when the new year rolled around and nothing major or significant happened.  Alas, change comes whether we are ready for it or not.  We are hopeful that 2013 will be a great year for our little family.

We are excited that my parents are moving to Utah either this spring or summer.  I know how hard this move is for them as they have lived in Colville, WA forever.  Utah will definitely be a change of pace for them, however, I am happy to see that they will be able to be retired finally and be able to enjoy it.  I know that Taylor is super excited to have them around.

One thing I will try to be better about is posting this year.  I want to share Taylor's progress with everyone.  He is truly amazing and we are certainly blessed to have him in our lives.  We must have done something right at some point to be entrusted with him.  He has the biggest personality and is trying hard every day to express himself with not just his actions, but with his words.

We want to thank everyone who helps our little man out.  I want to thank Shauna and Diane for being willing to watch Taylor during sacrament meeting on Sundays.  I know he really enjoys that time each week.  We are so thankful for his teacher at school, the bus driver and his assistant.  We are also thankful to his new Sunbeam teachers and his assigned helper Mike Bitton.  You all do not know how much your assistance means.  We hope that you are all blessed for helping our son!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall 2012

This fall is turning out to be rather busy for our little family.  Our little boy, only 3 years old, is going to an all day preschool for children with autism.  Between the bus ride and school he is gone for 8 hours.  He is progressing every day and is more exhausted than usual.  He is working so hard and Mommy and Daddy are so proud of him.

Debbie is trying to adjust to not having her little man around all the time.  Even though Taylor is gone, she is keeping really busy.  She basically gets attacked when Taylor gets home from school.  He is definitely a Mama's boy.

I am doing rather well in project management and I am currently taking PMP courses to prepare for the PMP exam.  I must say that I really have missed the learning environment that comes with taking courses at an university.  4 Saturdays, 8 hours per day, and then I will be able to sit for the 2-4 hour examination.  I really like the people I am taking the course with and the instructor has the philosophy of PTT...Pass The Test.

I have finished my initial writing of my third book called The Dark Tide.  I am working on editing right now and I am also working on re-edits for books 1 & 2.  In addition to that, I am working on the first of three novellas called Origins.  This is also related to my guardian chronicles story.  I am currently looking for an artist for my latest work.  I will be publishing the third book before the end of the year through CreateSpace, an Amazon company.

I am also working with my friend David Cothran who is building me a new author website.  We are looking to make the experience in coming to the website remember-able.  I am anxious to get The Dark Tide out and to be able to complete Origins before Christmas.  I am also looking to making t-shirts available on the website with sayings and images from the books.

Needless to say I believe in keeping busy.  The most important thing to me right now is my wife and my son. While I have not made the progress I had wanted on the books I feel that I am being blessed for keeping my priorities straight when I do get to write.  I hope some day to write a story for my son about the world as seen through the eyes of a child with autism.  It is hard to do right now when I am also writing about wars, so I might be able to get to that story in the new year.  I would love to have it written for his fourth birthday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Life of Charles Curtis

Today on August 1st Grandpa Charlie passed away. He had a long life that was full of service and devotion to others. He was an inspiration to his family and those who were lucky enough to know him. My wife asked me what my favorite memory of him was and I instantly knew what it was. I will always remember going to Eastern Washington University football games for one season. I was able to go with Uncle Ted, grandpa's brother, grandpa, and my uncle Roger, grandpa's son. Grandpa was not really into football and would make some of the funniest comments as we watched the games. I will always cherish those times.

Growing up I learned a great deal from grandpa. I learned that there is always work to do. I learned how to work by simply watching his example. He was a great influence on my father which in turn taught me a great deal about how families need to work together. He was there for many tragic events relating to animals. Though I was young, I still remember the day that our dog lost its mind and killed its babies. Mom called grandpa to come over to the green house and take care of the poor pups. It should be noted that it was winter and that the ground was covered in snow. When grandpa arrived he systematically threw the pups into the snow bank and buried them. Needless to say, come spring we found skeletons.

I will always be thankful for the weeks they took me in their home while my parents worked on my room to make it more allergies friendly. I had to do chores, but I was able to watch the Star Wars movies as many times as I wanted.

I am also thankful for the time that I was his home teaching companion and for his devotion to the people he visited. Between my grandpa and my dad, I learned what it meant to be a good home teacher.

My most recent memories are of grandpa and Taylor. He loved our boy so much and just loved to watch him. He always wondered what Taylor is thinking. He was heartwarming to see the joy he took in just watching our special boy play. I think he may have a better idea of what Taylor is thinking and saying.

My life is so much better for being able to associate with him, to learn from him, and to be blessed to be related to him. It warms my heart to know that he is with his beloved May, my grandmother. I am certain, as all of the family is certain, that she has a to-do list for him to do now that he is on the other side. She knew that he was a man that needed to be active and doing. He started working at a young age and never stopped. Thank you grandpa for your example…you will be missed here on earth, but I know you are at peace. Love you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Going to India

For my work I will be traveling to India this December for two weeks. Thankfully it is the first part of the month. I have to say that the joy of traveling across the world was tempered slightly with the lovely immunization shots. 6 shots spread between both arms and now I actually have the flu. Still, I am very excited to be traveling to India. I am way excited to meet my team over there and to take in their culture.

It is sad to say that in 36 years I have not gone further east than Colorado. This will be quite an adventure and thankfully I get to go with one of my long time employees. It will be hard to be away from Debbie and Taylor that long, however, thanks to technology we will be able to keep in touch. I hope that Taylor does alright with his daddy being gone that long. He is making such great progress. He just had out his adenoids and had tubes put in his ears. I hope that he gets fewer ear infections now.

If anyone lives close by, stop by and visit Debbie and Taylor the first couple of weeks in December. Or, if you live out of traveling distance, give them a call or do a webcam.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Men in Tights

So, at the company I work for Halloween is a pretty big deal. As a matter of fact, it is the most celebrated holiday of the year. Last year I convinced most of my team and some guys from IT to join in a group to make a run at best group for the costume contest. We were the monks from Monty Python's The Holy Grail. Right after that performance, we did the chant and all, I came up with what was thought at the time a crazy idea. Robin Hood Men in Tights. By the way, I have to mention that last year we won the competition.
As this year rolled around I prepared in September to get the Men in Tights organized. With the help of Karrie Ann Ogilvie, our director, we began training in early October. While the final product was not without error, it looks like everyone had a great time. Oh yeah, we won again:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Taylor - Our Boy

Trying to bring our special boy into this world was a long, emotional journey. Little did we know that the years leading up to his birth were only the beginning of something great. He has been a wonderful blessing in our lives and can make you smile by just being himself. We know he is definitely our boy. He looks like me and has my wife's personality traits. It was a long time coming and we are so very happy to have him.
As you all get to know him you may notice that he is not quite the same as other children. Some of this is part of his personality and the rest of it is due to his condition. Though he has not been officially diagnosed, he is somewhere on the autism spectrum. He learns differently and is behind is some areas of development. Debbie and I are working with some great programs here in Utah and we are seeing good progress. It is good that his Mom was so attentive to notice the need to have him checked out so early.
We had not told everyone about this prior to now fearing the labeling that he would receive. Naturally we are apprehensive about what some people may say. He is advanced in other development areas, so we know that he is making progress. The folks we are working with here in Utah have been fantastic.
Right now support is what Debbie and I need. Interact with Taylor if you get the chance...he is a wonderful boy. We know that he is meant for us and that now was the time he was meant to come to us. We simply feel blessed to have Taylor...he is simply too fun at times.
One thing I can say about him is that he loves the outdoors. I think he will help me get a tan for the first time in years because we will be in the backyard every day. He loves going down on the slide in the play set we put up in the backyard. The funniest moment thus far was when he decided to go down face first...he had a red mark on his head from his hairline to his nose. Too funny.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pictures of Taylor

Here are one of the great pictures taken by Brook Long. Taylor is such a sweet, active guy. This is a look that I get on a regular basis. Makes me wonder he is thinking about. On one hand I cannot wait for him to talk, on the other, he may not stop once he starts. I think I will take the latter.

Christmas was another great holiday for us. Taylor loved to hide things in the Christmas tree. He would put a toy in the tree and leave it for a while...some times he would not go to retrieve it until the next day. I was impressed that he always remembered where he put it. I took off the last two weeks of the year and in the last week Taylor had started doing a wide variety things he had shown no interest in doing previously.

My first two books were officially released on December 21. I am working on the third book, which will be named "The Orb of Nitesh". I am hopeful that by January 1st that I will have the third book complete. I am excited to start hearing back from readers about what they think about my story.
I am hoping in the new year that the job will not take us so much time and that I can spend more time at home. It has been great to have my Dad and Mom stay with us for a few days. Dad has fixed up the house which is greatly appreciated. I think Taylor will take more after Dad than I...he was interested in what Grandpa was doing when working on a project. He would try to help my Dad with his work.
The year of 2010 has been a long one, but it certainly did go fast. I hope that in 2011 that there will be a whole lot more family time. Looking forward to hopefully having some success with my books. I also hope that you all have a great year too.