Quote of the Week

"Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it." ~ John C. Maxwell

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It takes a village...

and a member of my son's village is moving on to new adventures. 

Today's post is hard for me to write but maybe if I get some of the tears out today doing this I'll make it out of the building tomorrow without completely losing my composure.  As some of you know my son has Down syndrome and as yet is non-verbal.  We have had many wonderful Speech Language Therapists over these past 7 years but no one has *got* Reece like Miss Amanda - NO ONE!  She can read his mood almost as well as I can, she calls him on slacking off when instead of work he wants to play and she has helped to give him a voice through PECS.  And now when he is on the verge of saying his first words she is leaving Elks Pediatrics.  Don't get me wrong we are thrilled she is embarking on a new chapter of her life and wish her only the best and I'm sure his school therapists will be glad to no longer hear - that's not what Miss Amanda does.   But...I can't help but, totally and completely selfishly, wish she wasn't exiting our lives not when we are so close to her seeing the culmination of her hard work.

And so the gift for Miss Amanda had to be as special as she is - no pressure there right?   I am not sure I pulled it off but I am pleased with the end result even though I see some things I would tweak here and there.  That said I don't think there has been a project I haven't felt that way about {wink wink}.  And now without further ado I give you Miss Amanda's Farewell gift...  

I found this tray at Fred Meyer and saw so much potential even before I knew my friend Alex had these awesome stamps.  Once I got it home I used black StazOn ink to give is some character then due to the tray being 14" long and not wanting to piece together a solid base I used 2 smaller pieces of My Mind's Eye Star Bright Paisley Pop from the Just Dreamy line.  Once they were glued down I applied several coats of Mod Podge. 

I then stamped the Sign Alphabet rubber stamp set from http://www.deafresources.com/ (thanks Alex).  I colored each finger a different color using Prisma pens (thanks April as I forgot mine at home).  They were punched out using a 1" circle punch which was then mounted on a 1 1/2" circle cut out of Bazzill using my Cricut (thanks Jay).  I then covered them in clear contact paper and hand cut those out (yeah I suck at cutting but it's clear so you don't really notice they aren't perfect - SHHH! don't burst my bubble).  They then had a piece of magnet place on the back so they would stick to the tray (thanks Nej for recommending the magnetic vent covers at Home Depot).  Here's a close up...

The thought is that Miss Amanda can use this from time to time with the kids she works with which is why I colored each finger a different color to help show what each finger does in each letter/number.  I made it to hang as, honestly it was the only tray they had and it was a tad warped so will not sit flat. 

This awesome image is courtesy of my friend Alex, who also colored it.  And it has very special meaning to all who know the story behind it...see that isn't just any little fairy - that my friends is the BRANDT Fairy.   Named after Alex's youngest who just happens to sign due to a hearing impairment.  And you too can get a Brandt Fairy at Paper Makeup .  And so it truly does take a village to raise a child and make a farewell gift for a special lady who means so much in his life and thereby ours.  

So thank you to Alex, April, Nej (who is also color consultant - even tho I didn't have time to recolor the images for this one I'm making a second set for Miss Amanda) and Jay for helping make this gift happen.

And THANK YOU to Miss Amanda for your years of work with Reece - for getting to know him, for giving him a voice, for helping him get to where he is and for just being one of the best SLPs we have had the honor of knowing.  May your new journey be rewarding, fulfilling and full of people as special as you are...


  1. It is just FABULOUS Betty. You are an amazing woman and this gift will be loved for years! Gorgeous and full of love! I can see it :)

  2. You did a fantastic job, Betty! I love it and I'm sure Amanda did too!

  3. What a wonderful tray and card- She will love it! And kudos to the designers for having these special stamps!