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.)
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.