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A Sunflower for Chicky

On Tuesday, I showed you the Boo Boo Bunny I knit for Chicky.

Well, I was busy the last few weeks, and I knit her another surprise, which I delivered last weekend.

This is what I’m calling Sunflower for Chicky…

It was a quick knit.  I think I made it over the course of two evenings, but it could easily have been finished in one.

Sunflowers are Chicky’s favorite flowers (they’re mine too), so it was a joy to make this for her.  Her kitchen is adorned with various sunflowery items; I figured this might play nice with the other things.

I love surprising my girl because, whether she knows it or not, she lights up my life just like those flowers light up hers.

A Ray of Sunshine

As you know, I don’t exactly have a green thumb.

Previous posts have proven my point…

I do, however, enjoy watching flowers bloom, preferably in my yard, as you can see from pictures of summers past…

Let’s not discuss the fact that my grass is:   1) existent and 2) green in the above pictures.

This year, I was deep into my EPI classes when the weather became conducive for gardening.

Still, I had to wait…until around the end of May…before I had time to plant.

And plant I did…spreading out sunflower seeds and seeds of plants of which I don’t know the name of.

As of last week, nothing had bloomed.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t purposely watered my “garden” since the first week after I planted the seeds.

Apparently, relying on nature to water my plants whenever they get thirsty isn’t the best way to go.

Who knew?

Apparently I do…now, that is.

Anyhoo, I came home from errands one day last week and was struck by a spot of color in my front flower bed…

It was the ray of sunshine that I needed to infuse hope that my garden will produce more of such lovelies.

Mardi Gras Hodgepodge!

Well, I guess it’s that time of the year.  I really don’t keep up with Mardi Gras and stuff like that, so if Joyce says it’s party time, I’ll just go with it!

Either way, it gives us a fun way to title the weekly Hodgepodge post, eh?

Strap on your beads or whatever you put on to celebrate this holiday.  I’ll just kick back in my blue jeans.

1. The season of Lent begins on March 9th this year…do you participate and if so, in what way?

I became a Christian in May 1988.  Quite honestly, I’ve only participated in a Lent fast.  That was three years ago, and I gave up all drinks except for water.

This year will be different.  I will be fasting from television.  I actually blogged about this yesterday.  I encourage you to take a peek at what I wrote.  It came from the deep recesses of my heart.

I am a bit nervous about God telling me to give up one of the main ways that I relax.  However, I know that He has my best interest at heart, and I know that He desires a closer relationship with me.  The TV is standing in the way.

My church created a Lent Reader for the season.  This is no small reader, let me tell you.  It is big and thick, and it has a plethora of lessons (probably 40, if there’s one for each day of Lent).  I will be studying my Bible and the reader – and NOT watching TV.

2. Traditionally pancakes are eaten on the day known as Shrove Tuesday which is the last day before Lent (March 8th this year). So….butter and syrup? Blueberry? Chocolate chip? ewww, no thanks!! What’s your pleasure when it comes to eating pancakes?

When it comes to eating pancakes, I really like them to be prepared with chocolate chips in the batter served up with syrup on the top.  Butter does nothing for me.

3. Spring is coming. (It is coming, right?) What’s your favorite springtime flower and do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Two questions I know, but they’re lightweights.

First of all, I could not tell you what constitutes a springtime flower versus some other seasonal flower.  A gardener I am not (that would be my mom).  So, I’ll just tell you what my favorite flower is.

I love, love, love sunflowers.  I have grown them nearly every year for the last ten or twelve years…

Rooster took the next picture from inside the house…

Sorry.  I just couldn’t resist my photographic aria to sunflowers.

4. “Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves.” Author unknown. Agree or Disagree? Why?

Deep.  I’m doing way too much critical thinking in my classes to delve too deeply with this one!!  Ok.  Let’s see.  I would say that I disagree.  My opinion of people is totally dependent on what I see in them.  I have learned not to look at outer appearances and make snap judgments.  Trust me.  As a teacher, this can get you into trouble.  I wait to see what’s inside.

With that said, we cannot help but examine ourselves in the light of our experiences with others.  Our experiences with people shape who we are and change us.  They cause us to look within and see how we can improve ourselves.  This is human nature.  But, I do not think that my opinion of others is affected by what I see in myself as a result of knowing them.

5. Since it’s “March” and also the season of Mardi Gras….have you ever been in a parade? What’s the best parade you’ve seen?

I walked in two parades this year with the band.  It was fun to watch the kids play their instruments and watch the crowds react.  However, I’ve never been in a parade of my own volition.  Honestly, I just don’t get the allure of parades.  Call me a kill joy.  Whatever.   Being different is what makes the world go round.  😉

6. You would jump up and down and shout for joy right now if someone told you___________?

Oh boy.  I could fill in that blank with a lot of things!!  I would have to say that I would jump up and down if someone told me that I had completed my education certification classes.  I am so ready to take my brain on vacation.

7. How clean is your car on the outside? Inside? Is there junk in your trunk?

My car is not very clean on the outside right now because it is covered with pollen.  I am not about to complain, though, because I have warm weather and you probably don’t (neener neener).  The inside is fairly clean.  I do not like clutter and try my best to keep things straightened up.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My school has three more days until Spring Break.  I gave my final exams early — a very smart decision (and one that I plan to repeat next term).  Spring Break will not involve relaxing, though.  I have a lot of lesson plans to work on, and I also have to get a jump start on the assignments for my certification classes.  I just started my second round of classes, and they are going to be doozies.  I will have to do my field experiences (similar to student teaching) during the next eight weeks, and there are mounds of assignments that have to be done before, during, and after.  Life is going to suck.

The flip side is that God will get me through.  I know this.  Sometimes it is the only thing that gives me hope when I’m up at 1am working on assignments.

Speaking of hope…

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!  Let’s get this Lent season kicked off right by focusing our thoughts on our need for the Savior who came down to rescue us from the punishment we deserve – spending eternity separated from God.

Isn’t God merciful?!

My Week – In Pictures

My flowers are so sad...

My flowers are so sad...

To everything, turn turn, There is a season, turn turn...

"To everything, turn turn, There is a season, turn turn..."

This bee hung around for days on end.  Apparently Im not the only one who loves my sunflowers.

This bee hung around for days on end. Apparently I'm not the only one who loves my sunflowers.

Off to the next flower...

Off to the next flower...

Sunflower Graveyard (i.e. the Curb) - There are still a few live ones

Sunflower Graveyard (i.e. the Curb) - There are still a few live ones in my flower beds.

12 Free Bags of Dog Food -- My Favorite Buy of the Week!

12 Free Bags of Dog Food -- My Favorite Buy of the Week!

Cooper - Hes not mine...he belongs to the family that Chicky babysits for

Cooper - He's not mine...he belongs to the family that Chicky babysits for

Isnt Cooper just the cutest thing ever??!!!

Isn't Cooper just the cutest thing ever??!!!

My Week – In Pictures

A bag of eyelash yarn - a gift from the friend who I made chemo caps for last year (shes cancer free now!)

A bag of eyelash yarn - a gift from the friend who I made chemo caps for last year (she's cancer free now!)

Beach towels - 2nd washing this week - the kids used them at a natural spring and the beach (youth group trips this week)

Beach towels - 2nd washing this week - the kids used them at a natural spring and the beach (youth group trips this week)

Pele apparently had a hard day of napping, playing, and eating.

Pele apparently had a hard day of napping, playing, and eating.

Man, life is tough for the furry babies in my house!

Man, life is tough for the furry babies in my house!

Another angle...in case he didnt look too comfortable in the first picture.

Another angle...what a stinker!

Molly smiles a lot...especially when she knows a tummy rub is just around the corner!

Molly smiles a lot...especially when she knows a tummy rub is just around the corner!

Aubie says not to mind her...shes just taking a little snooze.  Shes older and has certainly earned that right.

Aubie says not to mind her...she's just taking a little snooze. She's older and has certainly earned that right.

This is Cooper...an eight-week old lab.  Chicky babysits for his mommy.  I had to visit for a snuggle.  Ahhh...puppy breath is divine!

This is Cooper...an eight-week old lab. Chicky babysits for his "mommy." I had to visit for a snuggle. Ahhh...puppy breath is divine!

Sock #2 of my newest pair...finished pictures to come soon!

Sock #2 of my newest pair...finished pictures to be posted soon!

Getting out early (6:15am) this morning my run...Week 3, Day 3 of C25K

Getting out early (6:15am) this morning to run...Week 3, Day 3 of C25K

My sunflowers are nearing the end of their bloom time...

My sunflowers are nearing the end of their season...

When a Teenager Grabs the Camera…

This is what you get…

A picture of Pele...taken from ground level...

A picture of Pele...taken from ground level...

One of my sunflowers...as viewed from inside the house...looking through the front window...

One of my sunflowers...from behind...as viewed from inside the house...looking through the front window...

My Week in Pictures

Pele lounges like hes a Roman god.

Pele lounges like he's a Roman god. He expects his servants to wait on him "paw and paw."

Sixteen stockings complete!

Sixteen stockings complete!

Fourteen blooms now!

Fourteen blooms now!

Sigh...this makes me happy...

Sigh...this makes me happy...

A new project...can you guess what Im making??

A new project...can you guess what I'm making??

After eating one of these, I was violently sick.  I hate being lactose-intolerant (and dont mention Lactaid.  Im immune.)

After eating one of these, I was violently sick. I hate being lactose-intolerant (and don't mention Lactaid. I'm immune.)

My own, personal gym...

My own personal gym...

Today I ran my three miles in 38 minutes, setting the treadmill to 6mph for the running segments. Progress!

Another coupon came in!  I see more running in my future!!

Another coupon came in! I see more running in my future!!

My grocery list.  Notice my notes?  I was dead on!

My grocery list. See my notes? I was dead on at the register!

All of this for $18.59!  I saved $42.75 today!  Woo Hoo!

All of this for $18.59! I saved $42.75 today! Woo Hoo!

Helping Rooster sell Dance Dance Revolution on Craigslist.

Helping Rooster sell Dance Dance Revolution on Craigslist...

Hes also selling his Game Cube and games.  Hes got mad photo skills...just like his mama!

He's also selling his Game Cube and games. He's got mad photo skills...just like his mama!

Wow, I’m Short

Part of my fascination with sunflowers is how tall they grow.

Years ago, when I grew my first bunch, the kids were little and were amazed that the flowers dwarfed them.  Of course, the kids were peanuts themselves.

For fun, I had Rooster take pictures of me beside the largest group of flowers.

Yeah, I’m short…even if I am on the concrete and the flowers are 1/2″ below in the dirt.

When I got in the dirt with them, the difference in height was even more obvious…

Notice how big that bloom is too!  I can’t believe something else is able to compete with my hair for air space!

I Feel Like a Sunflower

I feel a little like my sunflowers, which have been thriving this summer.

I am especially exited today.  You see, I have an interview tomorrow afternoon!

It is for a reading teaching position at the high school my children attend.

The last couple of years have been a time of nourishment and growth…getting fed through the classes I attended…being fertilized by the words of encouragement offered up by friends and family.

Just as my flowers are growing heavenward, so is my heart…reaching to God for strength through the dry summer while looking forward to a season of maturity.

Like my flowers, it’s almost time for me to bloom.

Very soon, I hope to emerge into a beautiful ray of sunshine…

I can only hope that I bring the kind of smile to a student’s face that this flower will soon bring to mine.

Gardening, the AuburnChick Way

And before you say anything, no, I’m not so addicted to my computer that I feel the need to take it everywhere with me.

Yesterday evening, I innocently went outside to water my flowers.  However, I got distracted (go figure) by the weeds in the yard.  So, I sat down to pull a few.

Pulling weeds is a bit like eating potato chips.  You can’t stop at one.

When I realized that I would be there for a while, I decided to get the computer and listen to Revive Our Hearts.  I’m catching up on last week’s broadcasts.

I’m so glad I didn’t skip them because she’s been talking with Randy Alcorn.  He began Eternal Perspective Ministries, which focuses on the message that Christians are to be focused on our eternal home.  Everything we do should be geared toward furthering God’s Word.  He stresses that there is joy in giving…whether it is financially or in some other manner.  He challenges us to ascribe to the fact that this is not our home.  We’re here temporarily, but we should be laying up treasures in heaven.

I encourage you to listen to this broadcast from Revive Our Hearts.  My jaw literally dropped.  His personal testimony is an incredible witness to how God provides…in the most dire of circumstances.  His financial principles are Biblically-based and are quite contrary to the things the world puts emphasis on.

It was good listening and kept my thoughts off of the mundane task of pulling weeds.

Afterward, I went around watering my new plants.  They are coming along nicely.  Look at my up-and-coming sunflowers:

I’m sparing you photos of the other flower beds.  Trust me…the sunflowers are progressing along nicely there as well.

I never realized that plants like water so much!!

Maybe that’s why I’ve been so unsuccessful in my previous attempts at gardening!

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