Saturday, March 12, 2016

Finding The Light

Growing up and living in Kansas my entire life, I have always loved sunflowers. Since Scott & I have been together, he has often given me sunflower bouquets. They are stunningly gorgeous, unique, brilliant in color, and timeless. In part, sunflowers define what I love about Kansas besides its flowing "amber waves of grain," our green, rolling Flint Hills, and the most breathtaking sunsets EVER which so totally -- hands down -- trump all other sunsets on Planet Earth without question. I love that we're known here in Kansas for this striking flower that eternally faces the sun & follows the light each and every day.

Oh yes, I love sunflowers.  And that is why I was so elated when our girls' teacher, Amy, told me that she'd be doing a sunflower project with the girls to celebrate Kansas Day this year. During the end of January, the girls worked hard several Fridays in a row to create their special painting with Amy's help. How awesome it is to have an art emphasis to help our girls learn!  Amy explained to me her plan for this picture and how the girls would use their hand prints and footprints to create sunflowers on a foot-painted sky and grass background. I couldn't see her vision initially, but I am so glad I was able to watch the picture unfold each week because it was magical!

I will always treasure this one-of-a-kind painting because it represents so much for our family.  It is a reminder of my love for Scott, my girls, my favorite flower, & my state. I see this painting and remember how hard the girls worked on this project to achieve this perfect finished result. I am in awe of their progress this year, and seeing their sunflowers is a physical symbol of all of their accomplishments. Most of all, it embodies the way we try to live our lives. No matter how dark life seems, we continue to find our light and keep our faces to the sun. It isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.

"Sunflowers" by Amy, Claire, Lola & Feta  ~  January 28, 2016

(Ignore Mrs. Pocket's attitude -- my girl was hangry!)

"Hey Chucko, that doesn't smell like mud."
(If you don't know what movie this is from, I'm not sure we can still be friends.  LOL)

Claire seemed to enjoy the feel of hand painting & seeing her finished gang signs hand prints!

Check out those long legs!  Claire is growing so tall!!!
Notice her yellow-fading-to-orange-fading-to-red footprints in the background?  

"Ummmm, are you really gonna stick my foot into that cold paint???  Who do you think I am?!?! Where's my tiara?"
Routine eye roll  ~  #divability

I love the way she is looking at Amy.  So incredible seeing such progress with her vision lately!

Feta could not be excluded... notice the "seeds" in the center of Lola's sunflowers?!
Yep, chicken scratches GALORE.

I see you, Pablo Bokasso!

Look how his little feet are tucked under as he is painting!!!!  I literally can't even.  And I still can't, for the life of me, figure out what the shit that means, but I simply can't.  Even.  Or whatever.  

In its new home!

Lola's flowers are on the left, and Claire's are on the right.  You will notice that the center brown sections of the sunflowers are the girls' hand/fist prints.  The yellow petals are their footprints.  Claire foot-painted the sky, and Lola foot-painted the grass.

What you WON'T see but PLEASE KNOW IT STILL EXISTS (!!!) is a rogue, white paw print located nearly dead center of the picture under a yellow petal.  They say that many great artists hide codes or secret messages in their artwork.  A certain large, white, apparently artsy-fartsy whippet, who had to be part of this project in his own little way, may or may not have galloped across said painting as it was drying after the girls foot-painted the background.  I'm not gonna
name names, but suffice it to say that it rhymes with "brash," "trash," and "gigantic horse's ash."  

Once again, we are SO GRATEFUL to have such awesome teachers & therapists working with our girls!
We could not be luckier to have Amy as part of Team Hooligan!
THANK YOU again, Amy, for one of the most touching gifts we've ever received.

“I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower.  For me that's because of the reason behind its name.  Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun.  During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky.  A satellite dish for sunshine.  Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it.  And that's such an admirable thing.  And such a lesson in life."

~Helen Mirren, from the movie Calendar Girls



MamaV said...

That's amazing! And I am impressed that the girls put up with so much paint on their appendages...

Amber said...

I love this!
I've done similar projects with my students ( I'm a teacher of kiddos with similar issues as your little divas). We just made Things 1,2 and 3 with their hands and feet!!

Unknown said...

This is amazing! I obviously don't know your girls personally, but do know that if they are Amy's kiddos they will do amazing things with her!:) As a mom of a special needs son, Amy is "the one" you always want for your child/children. Blessing to you & your family for years of "sunflowers" to come:)

Margaret said...

I love sunflowers too and this blog post moved me to tears. In a way, this entire post is synonymous of your beautiful heart - taking the crumpled fists of life that have been thrown at you and making something pretty out of them. I love the finished product, the hope that springs from your words, and feta - who is the most valiant of mascots and faithful of friends. I just love your blog and am grateful for your journey. You inspire me.

Unknown said...

You have two little darlings. It seems like society (especially in traditional places like Kansas) tends to think of positive life only being one way: Get married, have kids who are just like everybody else's kids, go to work, do housework, grow old, and die. And that is supposed to be the only "positive" and "good" way to go about life. I am not affected by what society has been trained to think as "normal" and the "only good way." I am sure you have had challenges with having Claire and Lola, but they are darling, they don't talk back, they don't do drugs or alcohol like so many teens, they don't threaten to commit suicide because their lowlife boyfriend dumped them. They are darling, good, happy girls. Just because they aren't the same as "everybody else" isn't a negative thing.

Unknown said...

I just happened upon your blog yesterday. So fun to follow your family. My Daughter Sarah is 25 years old and has microcephally.

Smith said...


Michele said...

Oh my I love these little girls so much my arms want to hold little Lola so much!!! I'd never let her go. Beautiful baby

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