As some of you are aware one of the members of our team/my older sister has Down syndrome. When Jessica was in school she attended our local Special Olympics and competed with/against other students with special needs within our own school district as well as the surrounding districts.
This event has always held a special place in not only Jessica’s heart but in our family’s. If there is a Special Olympics local to you, you really should make a point to attend. Even if it’s just for an hour. This event is so fun but also so humbling. There are children and young adults of all ages from different schools and districts competing in various events (such as track, softball throw, long jump, etc) for place ribbons. Even though these young people are competing they are incredibly supportive of one another. You will see students standing on the sidelines cheering on their peers and sometimes kids that they don’t even know. For me as a child I learned a lot by being on the bleachers and cheering my sister on. Watching these kids support each other taught me what being a good and supportive friend was and also taught me about kindness and humbleness.
I attended everyone of Jessica’s Special Olympics since I was very young all the way up to Jessica’s graduation. When Jessica graduated high school she was no longer able to attend the Special Olympics since it is designed for school age children. Numerous years have gone by that we have not been able to watch her participate; as the years have gone by for one reason or another there is no longer a local Special Olympics so our school district and some of the surrounding districts no longer are able to participate.
Within the last few years the Life Skills teacher at our local high school from the Special Olympics back with the “Hawk Olympics” (our mascot is a Hawk) which not only includes the children within the district who have special needs but also the children who are in learning support classes. This event is not just for our district though; she has taken is a step further and included other districts in the day. So essentially; it’s the Special Olympics by a different name.
My younger brother is in learning support classes so he is able to attend the Hawk Olympics as an athlete. This year was Hank’s second year attending and our second year cheering him and his peers on. As the Hawk Olympics approached this year Jessica expressed a desire to want to donate or do something for the students of our school district. We eventually landed on the idea of making the students water bottles. So Jessica and I sat down and worked on making a personalized water bottle for each Hawk student who would be attending. We are both so proud of how they turned out and so proud of our school’s students for all their hard work and team work that they displayed during the Hawk Olympics.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Special Olympics you can check out their website here.
**Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored nor is it affiliated with the Special Olympics organization or the Hawk Olympics. The views expressed in this post are the views of the author.
So as some of you may or may not know, our Etsy shop is owned and run by myself, my mother Lisa, and my father Dennis. But what I’m sure many of you don’t know is that my older sister Jessica has been extremely supportive of our business and has also been eager to get involved herself.
So….meet my big sister Jessica!
She is a 30 year old young woman with Down syndrome.
I want to tell you a little bit about Jessica. She loves old tv shows and movies; specifically Westerns and Andy Griffith and Matlock, I Love Lucy and MASH. She loves to play video games specifically Wii Resort and dancing games (she can out dance all of us!). Jess loves to color, draw, read, and to write; as she’s gotten older these interests have grown and developed into the desire to make things for others.
Jessica loves to make crafts for her friends and her family and has recently shown an interest in expanding her DIY skills to be a part of the family business. We have begun the process of researching out ideas that she would be able to do to contribute to our little business and she is very excited to share all of her crafts with our customers and you guys!
Anything that is made by Jessica will come with a handwritten thank you note from her. She puts lots of love, care, and attention to detail in everything that she creates. Aside from wanting to be a more active member of our family business she has also developed a very deep interest in gardening and cooking (two interests I believe she inherited from our parents and our Poppop). Santa gave her her very own cookbook for Christmas and she’s already been receiving planting catalogs in the mail. Her goal for this summer is to build her very own driveway farm stand where she can sell some of her vegetables and flowers to the neighbors and family.
We have so many exciting things in store for Jessica this year; she is such an important member of our family and you’ll be seeing her pop up frequently throughout our blog posts as well as our shop.
Here are some pictures of Jessica with some of her creations!
I just wanted to take a moment to give you a heads up to a few exciting things coming up for Cherished Cottage!
We’re so excited to share with you some of the things we’ve been working on these last few months. Each and every one of you means a lot to us and your support and interest in our blog/store has meant the world.
We’ve taken a short break to really get some amazing projects underway and prepare new content for you!
Firstly, we just finished an entire cleaning series that we are so excited to share with you guys. There will be one post on this each week for the next few weeks. So stayed tuned for that! The very first post will go up this Thursday! We’ll be sharing a lot of helpful tips and tricks to make the cleaning process smoother and hopefully more enjoyable for you!
Additionally we’ve decided to start back up with reviewing Ipsy bags. We spent an entire year receiving and comparing Ipsy beauty bags and Birchboxes and have ultimately decided that Ipsy is the one we plan on sticking with. We’re going to have a whole post coming up to explain why we decided to choose Ipsy over Birchbox and the pros and cons of each company. We’re also going to have our review of August’s Ipsy bag; that will go up by the end of this month.
On top of those two exciting things we have a top secret project in the works that we’re hoping to be able to share with you guys by mid-September at the latest. We’ve been working really hard on this and cannot wait to share the news with you guys!
If you’d like to stay up to date on all of the exciting happening’s coming up for Cherished Cottage you can follow us on here, like us on Facebook, or favorite our shop on Etsy! You can also follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!
We’re adding some cool new content to our Etsy shop too so stop by and check us out!
I’m so excited to announce that one of our items has been featured on a blog.
Beth over at My Handmade Finds contacted me through Etsy earlier this week to let me know that our sea turtle necklace would be in her latest blog post. There will be two parts to this post and we are featured in part one. If you’d like to read the post and see what other wonderful jewelry is featured you can find the post here!
A little information about our necklace: the sea turtle pendant is made of sterling silver and has small rhinestones around the shell; the pendant is on a 24 inch sterling silver chain (which can be made longer or shorter upon request). If you’re looking for other fun jewelry check out our Etsy Shop.