Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Magic and Marriage

Every year on campus we host a Christmas party for persons with special needs. Most of the guests live in group homes with a variety of mental and physical disabilities. It is my favorite day on campus. I believe it is the best thing we do all year. And I am proud to say we do many good things in the community. A room full of excited special needs adults, on a field trip, anticipating the arrival of Santa and his elves, live choir music and gifts from Santa - it is truly a magical day.

The list of names of those who will be attending along with their first and second choice of present is made available to staff and students. Students and staff take the name and wish list for an individual and select a name for purchasing a Christmas. The limit for expenditure is $10.00 per person. Here are some of the items that are being dreamed about for this Christmas: anything Iowa Hawkeye, University of Iowa Sweatshirt, warm socks, winter hat and matching scarf, beads, hand lotion, a soft blanket, an Iowa Cyclones t-shirt, a cooking pan, kitchen towels, a Faith Hill CD, a Tim McGraw poster...and the item that caught my eye? That would be Kelly C's, a male client at one of the residential homes. All he had on his list was 'fireman scrap booking items'. I've never met Kelly and I don't know what the relationship is for Kelly and firemen - but he evidently has a story to tell using scrap booking and I intend to get him just what he needs to tell that story. I'm looking forward to my trip to Hobby Lobby and possibly Michael's to scoop up all I can to make Kelly's Christmas a scrap booking delight!

These special guests are greeted by students and elves. Lunch is served by the students (the students volunteer a guest meal or two or three for the visitors). The full complement of 100+ college choir members will perform traditional Christmas carols, there will be a sing-along for the guests to join in, with the final song being 'Here Comes Santa Claus" - during which Santa magically appears! This year sophomore student Ethan will portray Santa - picking up each gift, reading the tag, and announcing the recipient. The student elves than scurry around the room delivering the greatly anticipated gift to each of the eager guests. They are frequently shocked that Santa knew what it was, exactly, that they wanted.

It is such a dear and heartwarming experience. I look forward to it every year and even more so this year as I will be purchasing paper craft items for someone's special adult child, Kelly.

Now...on to the card. Friend Mary Lee put in a request for two non-traditional wedding cards. She knows me well enough to know I don't do fru-fru, sentimental, mushy, or sappy cards. She also knows my palms get sweaty and I freeze up at the thought of making wedding or anniversary cards. Also this is a second marriage for both of her friends so a traditional card was not going to be the ticket. This request said something about her friends being up to the challenge of going down this road (marriage) for a second time.

I always have to really think about what to put together when Mary Lee makes a request. When my sisters ask for cards they simply state..."I need some birthday cards", or "I need a graduation card"...."do it"! They take what I crank out. My daughter's friend Jennie requests cards to give as Christmas gifts - all I need to do to make Jennie happy is to put lots and lots of bling on the cards. Daughter Amy's signature request for cards is anything with a cupcake on it. Mary Lee on the other hand...she makes me THINK!

For the first card I'm going with a 'journey' theme. Marriage is a journey...sometimes it is a 'wash-board' dirt road...sometimes it's a flower bordered cobblestone path. I'm confident Mary Lee will come up with an appropriate sentiment for the inside of the card.

Up to the Challenge
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Kraft
~Layer of Bazzill cardstock Herbal Garden Dark
~Three design papers from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology collection - all the edges smudged with ink
~Three Prima flowers with center metal brads
~Medallion metal brad
I Brake for Challenges - no white or ivory
Ladybug Crafts Ink - love and marriage

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa


  1. Wow that's an amazing card, your stamping is brilliant. Thanks for joining us at LCI this week.

  2. Wow this is just beautiful:) Sandra H

  3. Nancy, this is ONE GORGEOUS CARD! Love everything about it too. Just stunning!
    Oh how I wish I had something to contribute to the "fireman scrapbook" project for you! I just don't have anything I don't think that you could use! What a wonderful way to celebrate with special needs friends.

  4. Well I think Mary Lee is going to love this card Nancy...I would have defintely been stumped as I only seem to be able to make WOW wedding cards. Beautiful. Thanks for joining in at LCI this week xx


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