Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Year in Review

The Carter Family’s 2009 Year in Review

January was the beginning of a year of changes. Jason was working at US Synthetics and the job was very promising. Daniel was enrolled in preschool. Emily was still serving as a compassionate service leader for her local Church. Deborah and Stephen also came out for a nice visit.

February was a challenging month. Jason was laid off of his job and found a temporary job helping sell meat door to door. Emily was diagnosed with having ADHD and began the process of treatment options—the first medication did not work too well with me and I ended up going with a different prescription that had no generic, but it worked well. Emily also had the opportunity to make lunch and dinner for an elderly couple 7 days a week.

March was Daniel and Joseph’s birthdays. This year we had a combined birthday party with a Dora and Diego/Swiper theme. They loved it, but it was a lot of work. Also, we had a small family birthday party which was quite entertaining. Emily’s cooking job ended due to the couple moving into an assisted living facility. We also went to the zoo as a family.

April began with an outpatient surgery for Daniel. Shortly after which, Daniel decided he was ready to potty train! Emily was interviewing for some jobs while Jason was doing landscaping temporarily. Another zoo trip. Emily saw the play Thoroughly Modern Millie with a friend. And Jason began the process of assessment tests.

In May Emily attended a free career workshop to fine tune her interviewing skills. Shortly after the class she got two jobs and met some amazing friends—one at Platinum Protection, an alarm company; and one at Tuesday Morning, a retail store. Jason stayed at home to take care of the kids and make sure the house did not burn down. Jason also started to experiment with cooking and has since become very good at doing so. Emily started the process of training for a teen mentoring program as well. Daniel completed his first year of preschool.

June was an outdoor month. Jason started the summer off right with taking the boys swimming at the pool and another family zoo trip. Jason also took the boys to a summer movie series on Monday mornings. We purchased a different car—a 2003 Saturn L200—because our truck was getting a whopping 13 miles to the gallon. Our car gets at least twice that. Daniel and Joseph both had some more assessments done for school. Emily got her very 1st flat tire on the freeway.

July was pretty similar to June: swimming, movies, assessments...Emily and Jason spent a lot of time together learning to communicate in each other’s language and have since become much more patient with each other. Jason also decided that ITT tech was the best fit for him and that Computer Electronics would be his field of study. Emily was released as a Compassionate Service Leader and called as a Visiting Teaching Supervisor. Daniel and Joseph experienced live fireworks for the first time.

August was a busy month. Emily’s brother Daniel was married to Victoria on August 6th. August 9th was our 6th Anniversary. We enjoyed spending time with Emily’s family and extended family. Daniel and Joseph both started preschool. We attended our very fist demolition derby together as a family and loved it! That same weekend, Deborah, Stephen and Vincent came out for a visit. Emily attended a benefit concert for children in Africa.

In September Jason began taking some free courses on the DIR Floortime model for helping those with Autism become more engaged in the world around them from a local private school called Clear Horizons. We would love for Daniel to attend this school. Tony came out for a fun visit right around Jason’s 29th birthday. Emily was laid off from her job at Platinum Protection. Daniel began assessments at the BYU Comprehensive Clinic. And Emily attended the LDS General Relief Society Broadcast in Salt Lake at the conference center with some friends. Jason started his first courses at ITT tech and was called to serve as an Assistant Ward Clerk. Emily also experienced another 2 flat tires.

October brought a new job for Emily at ROI Solutions and shortly after another lay off. Jason began donating plasma. The boys had 3 days of Halloween fun, at school, at church, and in another neighborhood.

November rolled in with a new job for Emily at Humanvoice (FedEx Office Customer Relations). Our interviews for a genetic study by the University of North Carolina began. Thanksgiving was fantastic. Emily’s birthday turned out better than expected.

December, though it is not yet over, has been a long and quick month. We applied for SSI for Daniel so that we perhaps can afford to pay tuition for Daniel to go to Clear Horizons (it will be about 6 months before we get an answer). Jason completed his first quarter with straight A’s! And most recently, Daniel got staples in his head for a head injury.

The year has gone by extremely fast. Though we have had a lot of different jobs this year, and though we have made significantly less than other years, we have been able to stay afloat and pay our bills. The Lord has truly blessed us more than we could have imagined. Through our challenges and struggles we have formed deeper roots and have become stronger and more resilient. As for next year, we really have no idea what it has in store for us.

Autism Awareness