Have you seen the daffodils, lately? I see dozens of fully blooming daffodils, along the highway and around every corner, I turn.

They are beautiful, aren't they? And I finally have daffodils, with flowers.

My three single daffodils are bright yellow and stand erect. They look like they have their mouths open singing, “It's spring. We made it.”

It has taken me some time to get the actual flower. For nearly a decade or so, all I could grow was the stem. Year after year, I'd have lots of green but no flower.

I learned, in order to grow a flower from a bulb, certain conditions must be met. The bulb has to be planted right side up.

Yes, initially, I did plant them upside down.

They need to be planted in the fall, not two weeks before spring, another mistake I made.

For a daffodil to grow, the soil must be prepared. Then, the bulb must be nourished. It must be fed, watered and it must have warmth and light from the sun. All of these conditions are necessary for a daffodil to bloom.

If I didn't do my job, the plant wouldn't die. It simply would not reach its potential and become a vibrant yellow flower.

After years of effort, I finally did it right. I have flowering daffodils.

I'm going to change tracks for a moment, so, stay with me.

This evening Putting Families First, or JC Family Week, is hosting the 2014 Jackson County “Family of the Year” reception and dinner. What a wonderful evening it will be, honoring 29 families!

I have had the pleasure of reading the nominations. Some make me laugh. Some make me cry. All of them make me very happy.

Just like the daffodil bulb needs water, a home, warmth, and light, a family needs attention for the family members to bloom.

May I share with you some of the elements needed to enrich the soil and make a family bloom? These are taken from the nominations.

“Kelly is one of the most unselfish individuals you will ever meet.”

“Although Michelle struggles financially at times she has created a warm and loving home for them.”

“Mary is a wonderful friend, and mother.”

“Daniel provides for the family financially.”

“David and Dane have started the Scouting adventure.”

“The Reillys’ example of high moral values is what every family needs.”

“After Richard was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2004 he decided his mission in life was to be the best grandfather he could be.”

“. . . because even, through all the trials and learning the different supports for autism, they have never given up on each other.”

“and his family was by his side the entire time to ensure he had what he needed, helped control pain, and at the same time meeting the other children's needs/attention.”

“Jeremy and Renee have ‘date night’ every Tuesday.”

“The Gonzales family enjoys going out for ice cream, helping others, and spending quality time together.”

“I cannot think of a more dedicated and under recognized family in the area.”

“Our dad, Brent, has had 3 heart attacks.”

“Even though the Eakers have very busy schedules, they make family time a priority.”

“Each evening we would sit down together for dinner and have a blessing on the food.”

“Luanuu is hard working for many, many people but first, for her family.”

If you want to be inspired, you really need to read these nominations.

It's been 16 years, reading family nominations and I can attest that not one nomination states, “the family is perfect.”

In fact, all families have hardships and make mistakes. The 29 nominated families have just focused on their family and done the best they can.

I must run, as I need to pick up dozens of balloons, 300 cupcakes, two hundred gift bags, engraved plates . . .

While I drive, I will enjoy the daffodils.

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com  or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org .