Christmas 2013, Mathematics Edition

Well! Fancy meeting you here!

Did you think the Neals fell off the edge of the planet? That we haven’t had many adventures?

Oh, my dear one–we’ve had more adventures than I care to even think about over the last year! But think about them I will so I can share a yearly update with you.

You may be wondering why this post is entitled “The Mathematics Edition.” That is because it has been a year of additions and subtractions.

Christopher has been in good health, with the occasional up and down throughout the year. For this we are eternally grateful. In December of last year we moved from North Hills, the church we had been attending since moving to California in 2007 and started attending Potter’s Wheel Assembly in Chino Hills. It is interesting how God moves. North Hills was conveniently close to home, while Potter’s Wheel is about 30 miles one-way from the house. But everything happens for a reason. We miss the relationships we found at North Hills, but the move was necessary. As to be expected, Christopher is very involved with the worship ministry among other things and in his role as an Elder there has been doing trainings. He also did a mock-up of a new logo for the church and is finalizing it as we speak. He is so very talented!

Khalil graduated from high school this past spring and was blessed to be accepted as a client of the Inland Regional Center. California is the only state (or one of very few states) that has a system in place that provides support for individuals with various types of disabilities (specifically cerebral palsy and autism; I think there is one more category but it escapes me at the moment…). We had been trying to get services for Khalil since early in our migration to San Bernardino but had not been successful; just prior to his 18th birthday we had a breakthrough and he started the interview process. By July, he had had the initial interview, a physical exam, and a full psychological evaluation; he was eventually accepted. He now has support services for the rest of his life should he choose to remain a client. His case manager worked with him and he is now employed at a supported work location called VIP here in San Bernardino. He gets picked up and dropped off each day and has a growing sense of financial freedom. If you have an account on I-Heart Radio, you might find him there; one of his big purchases (after some fly threads for work and church) was a laptop!

Andree’ started blogging in earnest last fall; she started on a WordPress-hosted space and branched out to her own self-hosted space this summer. You can find her daily ramblings at One Starving Activist. She also managed to write a novella in April during what is called Camp NaNoWriMo; National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) happens every November, but for those who can’t (or prefer) not to write an entire book in the month of November have the option to do so in April or July. The idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. There is a whole community and it is great fun–if you have a desire to write like Andree’ does! The novella (a book of no less than 17,500 words) is entitled Adventures in Cargo City and can be found at Amazon in both print and ebook form. This November, she wrote a book of short stories that was over 50,000 words! It is entitled From Reality’s Edge, Volume One and can be read one chapter at a time over at JukePop Serials. She would certainly appreciate you stopping by to read it; sign up for a free JukePop account, where you can save your favorite books (including this one!) to a bookshelf. And be sure to +vote each chapter as you read it! In her usual techie fashion, Andree’ has also created subdomains from her blog (this new Neal Family Adventures being one of them!), and offers writing prompts. It is called The Scribe’s Cave. She does all this writing in her free time, of which she has an over-abundance of since her employment contract with Azusa Pacific University ended on June 30.

There have also been additions and subtractions in the realm of the four-legged members of the family. Missy the cat vanished one day, so now there are two: PJ and Tigger. All of the Neals were heartbroken when it was discovered that Pi had a brain tumor and had to be put to sleep. While no one has recovered from the shock (he was just over two years old and in the end was suffering terrible from seizures), Sputnik has taken it the hardest. When it became evident that Pi might not have too much longer, Christopher and Andree’ went puppy-hunting; Sputnik would not survive on her own and so they wanted to have a new companion who would at least have some time to get to know Pi also and hopefully benefit from his big heart, gentle demeanor, and great spirit. Enter Woola, a shepherd mix (or so they were told).

On couch from left, Pi and Woola; Pi was gone about a week after this photo was taken. Sputnik, on the floor, is still not the same.

On couch from left, Pi and Woola; Pi was gone about a week after this photo was taken. Sputnik, on the floor, is still not the same.

Woola is a great edition, but no one can take Pi’s place.

Well, that’s about all from the Neals. We pray that you have a wonderful, fantastic, stupendous, and incredible holiday and look forward to what the Lord has in store for all of us in 2014!

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Wednesday, December 25th, 2013 Animal Chronicles, Annual Updates

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