Confession time. This post was not intended to be a bonus, but the weekend got away from me and I didn't get my *Day 7* post done on time. Day 6, by the way was not really finished either. Oh well — it's a new day and a new week — what do you say we ALL lose the fretting over what we didn't get done and move forward determined to have a happy and productive day?
Here's an easy candy gift that kids will love to give and receive. Purchase a bag or two of M&Ms and little clear bags or boxes. Then pull out your ribbon and punches — and tie up some colorful, happy YUM.
I'm giving them to my cub scouts and Trey and Taft are sharing them with Sunday friends and teachers, with this poem attached:
Red is for Christ's Love and Green Eternal Life. But wait, before you eat … turn each candy to reveal a special treat … the 'M' becomes a 'W' an 'E' and then the number '3.'
These candies tell the Christmas Story — it's very plain to see.
The 'M' is for the Manger, where Baby Jesus slept that night.
The 'E' is for the East, where the star shone so bright.
'W' is the Wonder of Angels and the shepards that came.
And '3' is for the Wisemen bearing gifts to honor His name.
As you eat these candies and share them with your friends, remember the meaning of Christmas and the JOY that never ends.
cute huh? wait, there's more …
Friday I took Chase downtown to see our friend Ashley Potter. Ashley is a licensed speech language pathologist whom I met through Big Picture Scrapbooking and she graciously offered to introduce Chase and me to a very cool thing called Interactive Metronome. IM, developed in the early 1990s is being used to treat many learning and developmental conditions, including ADHD. We are in the process of starting a home program of IM for Chase.
In any case, while in her office, Ashley shared this gorgeous calendar with me …and was kind enough to say that I had influenced it's creation. I was unsure of what she meant. Here's the story:
Ashley took our 4Experts class with Allison Tyler Jones and developed her passion and skill for photography to the point that she was able to photograph twelve of the children she works with. All of these children fall on the autism spectrum and Ashley has joined forces with The Isaac Foundation to raise money that will provide treatment grants to families in the Spokane area.
Here's what Ashley told me and what she wrote in her dedication:
"When I volunteered to work on this project, I had no idea it would be as rewarding as it has been. I remember leaving my first photo shoot feeling very challenged, yet excited and incredibly inspired. I had shown a few of the images to the mom of the little girl I was photographing, and she had gotten teary-eyed as I scroled through the pictures on my camera's LCD screen. She explained how difficult it was to get good pictures of her daughter, and she was very grateful for what I had captured. Over the next six months of collecting the images for this calendar, I heard the same story over and over again from different families. My hope was to leave each photo shoot having captured a smile, a giggle, or a twinkle in their eye. I had a wonderful experience with each of these children and many of them taught me to be patient, to be present and not to be rushed …"
OK, so my influence was minimal, but as I sat listening to Ashley I was reminded again the ability women have to do great and good things. We are by divine design both creative and nurturing and we have such an astonishing potential to use these gifts in blessing the lives of others. As a professional therapist Ashley knows how to be with and love special-needs children and she has now taken this ability and extended it through photography. I wish you could see these images up close — the light and emotion in these "faces of hope" are beautiful. Ashley is hoping to do more in this niche of photographing special-needs children. You can learn more here.
So, the holidays are upon us. I don't know about you, but I am in a state of constant overwhelm and when I hear stories like this, I take heart. I know that I can't do everything, but I can do some things and those things will be influential in the lives of others and will (whether I know about it or not) have a ripple affect.
Be happy today. Be kind and be generous with your smile — you'll start some ripples.