Dear Family and Friends,
As Christmas approaches and 2017 nears its end, we wanted to send you our greetings for a joyful Christmas and Happy New Year. Here’s a brief look at what our family has been doing this year.
Jonathan is 15 now and in grade 10 at Kingston Collegiate & Vocational Institute. He is in the School-to-Community (special needs) classroom and seems to like being part of this supportive little community – at least judging from how eager he is to get on the bus each morning! We were happy that Matt, Jonathan’s Educational Assistant from last year, returned in September to work with him; but then at Thanksgiving, Matt unexpectedly left to take another EA position closer to his home. It was sad to see him go because he and Jonathan had made such a great connection last year, but Jonathan is adapting well. He likes his new assistant, Dylan, and they still go to the Y to swim and to the food bank to volunteer each week. When his teachers realized how skilled Jonathan is at basketball-shooting, they suggested he join the Special Olympics basketball team that practices at the school each week, so he’s doing that every Friday and may even be participating in a tournament in January. Also in the new year he is going to attend a vocal music class and participate in the school theatre class for a couple of weeks. So we’re happy with how the school is always seeking out new opportunities and experiences for him. He still enjoys going to Circle of Friends with Daddy, going to camp at Extend-a-Family, and attending Sunday School (our church is very flexible about letting him attend a class that, while not at his age level, suits his level of interest and understanding).
Allison turned 19 in August. After taking a year off, she enrolled at Queen’s this fall to begin her Arts degree. She has elected to study part-time and take only online courses, and this method of learning seems to be a good fit for her right now. She is taking English and Psychology and is finding them interesting. This spring she and I (Jeannie) took a train trip to PEI for a week. (This was in addition to our annual family trip in August.) We shared a sleeping car on the train and stayed at the motel near Dad’s while we were on the Island. This was a nice getaway for the two of us – although neither of us found it very easy to sleep on the train.
Richard continues to work at Kingston General Hospital as a registered nurse and at Queen’s as a clinical nursing instructor. He still runs and plays squash, soccer, and softball as time and seasons allow; and he volunteers weekly at Circle of Friends and with the Running and Reading Club at Molly Brant Public School in Kingston.
I (Jeannie) am still working as an online instructor at Queen’s. I’ve continued to work on my own writing too: I have had one poem published at Altarwork and two pieces published at The Perennial Gen (here and here), as well as guest posts for other blogger friends (here and here). I joined the Five Minute Friday writing community in January, and most of my blog posts this year have been Five Minute Friday posts. (You can find all of them at my blog, Little House on the Circle.) Writing has become an important part of my life, and finding community around writing has been great -- whether it’s the small writers’ group I’ve been part of for nearly 10 years (the group is small, not the writers, in case you’re wondering) or online connections. I also continue to sing on the worship team when needed at Bethel Church, and I am part of a women’s group there. This year Richard and I both attended a Bethel life group called Redemption Reel, in which participants examine their own life story in the context of God’s bigger story.
That seems like an appropriate way to bring this letter to a close, because at Christmas we take time to celebrate Jesus’ birth – one of the central moments in God’s big story of redemption. Whether you celebrate Christmas from this perspective, enjoy it as a time to relax with family and friends, or have different observances altogether, we hope that you will experience peace and joy at this time and that 2018 is your best year yet.
Love and best wishes,
the Prinsen family