or, "You're a full time homemaker? What do you do all day long?"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flowers From the Underworld

     This is a photo of my Cinnamon Sun sunflowers I planted from seed in early April mixed in with some Sun Samba sunflowers. My Cinnamon Sun sunflowers in particular have  produced abundantly and gloriously. I will probably cut at least 2 dozen more sunflowers from the massive 8-foot tall giants in my yard. I love their dark, rich, chocolaty-brown color with flecks of amber emanating from the tips. They're rather exotic and unusual-looking. I think they look marvelous on my dining room table. I smile every time I come in the door as they're sitting in their vase saying, "Look at us! We're gorgeous!" And they are. Fresh-cut flowers add such an inviting element to any room in the house.
     When Leanne, my 9 year old,  saw them in their vase, she commented to me, "Those look like flowers from Persephone's garden in the Underworld."  I laughed. It seemed a fitting description due to their dark color. Leanne was referring to her latest literary series addiction, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. She read all of the books - 100 chapters! - in one week. (She wanted me to put that in. The kid has earned bragging rights!) I have to chuckle at how much she has grown to enjoy reading. This child will read till late at night, at the breakfast table, in the car, when she's supposed to be doing chores, in the bathroom, etc. However, this was not always the case.
     Leanne didn't attend pre-school like my older girls did. But I worked tirelessly from about the time she was 3 or so helping her learn to identify her alphabet letters. We read lots of books, drilled through several stacks of flashcards umpteen times, used sandpaper letters, shaving cream on a plate, drawing letters on her back, writing them with pencils, pens, markers, crayons, etc., coloring in block letters and stencils, singing them, hopping on alphabet floor tiles.... Get the picture? I'm tired just remembering all my efforts.
     I finally decided, for various reasons, to put her into 1st grade in our local public school. Part of my thinking was, Let them have a crack at teaching her to read. She still can't recognize W and H. God bless 'em! Lo and behold, by November she was her 1st grade teacher's star student who had made the most dramatic progress of any student that year, despite the teacher's initial (no surprise there!) concerns. I was relieved! So grateful! My alphabet-challenged child was finally reading!
     She was just a late bloomer, unlike my sunflowers. Living things bloom on their own time table I guess.But when they bloom, watch out!

                                           (My giant Cinnamon Sun sunflowers to the right)


  1. Ben, my first born child, did the same thing! He went from struggling with reading to reading at 2nd grade level in about 3 months when he was 7. It seemed like he was delayed, but when he was ready it happened all at once. Beautiful flowers!

  2. Thanks, Carol! How are you? Miss you!