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This Leads to…


Christy Sturm of Butternug Squash Designs delighted and surprised me with a free kit from her store… “Ribbet”, I chose the textured version… her textured papers/elements print up so wonderfully.

This gift led me back to her blog, which is not always for the faint of heart… but I am pretty sturdy, have enjoyed it in the past and was pleased to re-discover it… and that led me to discover Sophia Sarducci. (Christy is a designer there.) Totally cool rich fun fun fun designs… and this leads me to say, “Bad Bad friends, Angie and Melany .. you knew about this site and didn’t tell me!!!!” For me, the site fills the gap  left by the departure from the dig-scrapping scene of Iron Orchid.

Christy said thank you to me for the layout on Mary and Jenni… she said the layout was

“so beautiful & so encouraging to those of us who have children with special needs. The future is only limited by how short-sighted we are.”

Which is ironic to me… in this area, I have been generally shortsighted… Angie and Becky frequently tell me, I need to talk to this person or that person to dispense advice or encouragement…  which generally leads me to say, “Who me? What makes you think I have anything to say that they might want to hear?” I am such an amateur at all this. All new ground, still.

I remember sitting with Paul Benke, this genetics genius at the Mailman Center at the University of Miami, he didn’t even take us into an office, we sat in a waiting room. He referred to a small child we had seen with hydrocephalus and said, “she will probably be dead in a year, this is a fact of life, the way it goes. Get used to it”  We asked what did Down Syndrome mean for us, for Jenni?” Answer: She wont be as good in Math as others kids.” I cant remember if I actually said this or merely thought it, but my response was, “If that is all, then nobody would care about Down Syndrome.” Well, not entirely his fault, but that little session (and other encounters with him)  had a lot to do with my overall reaction… I refused to join Support Groups (he had suggested it.) I refused to do anything he had thought would be a good idea.

Now before anyone write me off as a mother, I had asked her pediatrician, a generous, wise man, Phillip Paul, if he would always be on her side. I was afraid I would be too selfish, too stupid, too wrapped up in me to look out for her. He promised me he would be her advocate, and for over 25 years he was just that.

And this brings us back to encouragement… I never set out to be an encourager, I resisted support groups and being encouraged by others, I had a few ideas about parenting, and Jenni shaped and formed some more ideas, but basically God took me by the hand and blessed me anyway. The irony is that I have become an encourager. I can say to people… you can be the stupidest, stubbornest person in the world and God will still bless you.

credits here  a layout from the Leaving Mary series…. made with Christy’s beautiful kit, Ribbet. (the hardest thing with this layout was figuring out how to spell the “words” from the Jaws theme.)

credits here

I am am going camping with Tony tonight… just the two of us… (little nervous because it has been about a million years since i have gone) I am getting my haircut today (I hope,) I am writing up a storm these days and it feels sooooo gooood, kids start school on Tuesday (still need some jeans for Emily, we struck pay dirt at Value Village yesterday for Katherine and Hannah,) Emily finished session 1 of gymnastics yesterday with a mark of “Mastered” all of the required skills for this first level (not “attempted” or “learning”.) She is so proud of herself, and I am so happy that she has something like this, and proud of her for working so hard.

11 Responses to “This Leads to…”

  1. sara ellis

    love the Jaws journaling

    and…yep, Sophia Sarducci has a fab site with super talented designers

  2. Victoria

    Sophia is great! You’ll be glad you found her and won’t be dissappointed!

  3. Victoria

    Here is the code to embed the prediction you tube on your site:

    You should be able to put this in your site html and it will work.


    The words from jaws are classic and I love how you designed the layout!

    I have a couple of things fro Sophia’s site by Antonio Rafaello. Pretty groovy stuff!

    I hope y’all have fun camping!

  4. Melinda

    Awesome blog, Mommy. and I love love love the lo of katherine. :o )

  5. angie

    I’m sorry. . . . I didn’t know there was a “sophia sarducci” sized hole in your scrapbooking world. (snort, snort)

    I agree with your use of the word “ironic” for you never cease to encourage me. . . even when you’re just venting. Or writing. Or re-telling. You’ve been where I am. . . and knowing that you have this seemingly endless amount of joy at the end of the day encourages me more than I can ever express.

    Watching your kids (all of them!) embrace you, Jenni, and each other. Well, that’s just the proverbial seven-minute icing on the red velvet cake of my life. (see what I did there?)

    Anyway, I love this post — but I am crying in my heart because you were given such a horrible view of life 26 years ago. I’ve run into a doctor or two that should be drawn & quartered, but for the most part, they’ve been so full of joy and life that we have embraced them — despite the diagnoses they sometimes deliver.

    Have a wonderful time, my friend. Far better it be you than me. I am not a camper. “Roughing it” to me means that the hotel doesn’t have a lobby, and the pool is outside, if there even IS a pool.

    I’m a priss. . . but this priss loves you!!!

  6. biancka

    Your blog is great……..and save your pennies for Sophia. Her designs are awesome !!



  7. Christy

    So I’m “not for the faint of heart”, eh? ::hee hee:: I try to be good. I really, really do.
    I’m so glad you love the Ribbet kit – you’ve done some beautiful work with it already! That 2nd layout made me weep.
    You TOTALLY are an encourager. Everytime you talk about, post about, do layouts about or otherwise acknowledge how Jenni is kicking butt at life & accomplishing things, you give a blinding beacon of hope to those of us who have little ones with DS. Those of us who are still worrying about getting our guy or gal to eat something other than baby food at almost 4. Or worrying when they might walk. Or wondering what the future could possibly hold for them. Who just need a little ray of hope that their lives will be good. Useful. Accomplished. Productive. Happy.
    I’m so sorry for the doctors you encountered. It’s disgusting that they would fill you with such hopelessness.
    Anyway. Thank you. Just seeing your Jenni helps me believe that my Henry will someday help send his brother & sister off to college – and perhaps even go himself. By the grace of God.

  8. Becky

    I LOVE what that doctor said because God’s light shines that much brighter!

    I can just feel the cold water in Kat’s pics…just feel it! Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Go Emily…Go Emily…Go Emily!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so proud!!

    :) :):)

  9. Mary

    oh i do love the layouts… awesome blogging.

  10. Tammy

    Awesome post and wonderful layouts. The saying bye to Mary ones touch me the most. Have fun camping. Many Blessings!

  11. angie


    An irresistable picture of “the girl” awaits you at my blog.

    Bwa ha ha ha!

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