Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

Grandma and Grandfather Franklin were here from Illinois.

We ate.
We played.
We went to Mexico.
Christmas came.
Fun was had by all.
Christmas left.
I got to put the decorations away and de-clutter my house.

On to 2013!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Mommy" Time

I love spending time with my children.  I want my children to look back upon their childhood and remember that their mother put away her computer, she took them fun places, she read them stories, and she loved them.


Jared has been studying for an important IT certification so I decided to take the kids to dinner.  We had a little "Mommy" date.  I love this time!  We went to Little Anthony's Diner, and had an absolute blast.  The kids are learning how to behave in restaurants, which is always promising.  Plus, James can charm just about anyone.  Seriously.  That kid has skills.






Nothing Special...

Just a rainy day with my 2 beautiful children.  Looking for rainbows, frogs, and Jack Frost is always entertaining!




Sunday, December 9, 2012

My time is limited

I wonder how long he will love his mother like this.  How long he will just wander over and curl up in my lap and fall asleep.  How long he will snuggle with me in bed first thing in the morning.  How long I will be the only person who he wants to rub his back while he falls asleep at night. How long he will look at me with his chocolate brown eyes, and say "I love you so much, Mom."  How long he will want me to kiss him goodbye when I take him to school.  How long I will be the only girl of his heart.  But who cares how long I have?  Because for now, I have this...



I love my boy.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

V.I.P.

Sariah was selected as her class's VIP this week!  This means that her teacher noticed some pretty outstanding qualities in Sariah, and wanted to recognize her for them.  As the V.I.P., she gets to bring home this huge Mickey Mouse for the entire weekend.  This sweet mouse has come with us EVERYWHERE!  She also gets to be her teacher's special helper all week next week including taking the lunch count, being the line leader, and doing the calendar.  She seriously cannot wait to do the lunch count!  She takes this job very seriously and has been practicing with her stuffed animals all weekend long.  I will often hear her in her bedroom saying, "Who is going to have hot lunch?  No Hootie, I saw your lunchbox, so I know you don't get hot lunch today!"  Very funny.

So what did Sariah do to earn this honor?  In a conversation with her teacher, it was brought to light that Sariah always looks out for the little guy.  Her best friend is a little boy named Briscoe.  I got to meet Briscoe last week and I immediately knew what she was talking about.  Briscoe is a boy who has been through Kindergarten before.  He has a sweet lisp, his hair looks a little silly, and no one wants to be his friend.  But as I watched them together this last week, I could see that Sariah genuinely loves him.  When they got to the table that I was helping with, she saved him his spot because she wanted him to sit next to her.  When the other kids got a little frustrated with him for taking the pencil they wanted, Sariah promptly spoke up with "He found it first. You are going to have to wait your turn."

There are no words to describe the feelings that I experience when I think of the way Sariah is with Briscoe. We talk a lot about being kind, about trying to include everyone, and being friends with those who may not have any friends.  The following song out of the primary songbook is Sariah's favorite:

If you don't walk as most people do, some people walk away from you.
But I won't.  I won't.
If you don't talk as most people do, some people talk and laugh at you.
But I won't.  I won't.
I'll walk with you.  I'll talk with you.
That's how I'll show my love for you.

And within Sariah's little 5 year old self, she is living this most genuine, loving, Christ-like principle.  This is not something that can be taught - she was born with it.  Sariah, my girl, is incredibly special.  And with a heart like hers, which is now allowed to mature and take flight.  She is going to do amazing things, because of her undeniable love that she has for everyone.

What an example to me she has been.  She will never cease to amaze me.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tooth Fairy Magic

Last year, Sariah was afraid to go to kindergarten.  The only reason is because kindergarten meant losing teeth.  She was unsure about this adventure that life would be handing her during kindergarten.  To help combat this fear, we read lots of books and even watched a couple of TV shows about losing teeth, and the tooth fairy.

Time moved on, and she started kindergarten and had almost forgotten her fear...until her 2 bottom teeth started to wiggle.  But instead of being frightened, she was fascinated!  She was excited!  And she anticipated the day when her loose teeth would fall out.  Tuesday came, and she relentlessly wiggled her tooth during story time in her class.  At the climax of the story they were reading, Sariah exclaimed, "My tooth just fell out!!"  Her teacher was so good and sent her down to the nurse's office to help it stop bleeding.  They gave her a tiny little treasure box that kept her tooth protected until the end of the day.  When she hopped in the car that afternoon, she could hardly contain the pride in her accomplishment.

That night, she gingerly placed her tooth in her tooth fairy pillow and set it under her own pillow.  The tooth fairy came, and left her $1.  Oh my!  What would she buy with her $1?  She put it in her treasure box for safe keeping.  But anyone who knows Sariah knows that she challenges her self and constantly tries to outdo herself.

Since the other tooth was loose, too...she decided to get to work on that one as well.  Thanksgiving day, a mere 2 days after losing her first tooth, the 2nd one came out at my parent's house!  So guess who made a 2nd appearance that night?  The tooth fairy left her yet another $1.  That night at Thanksgiving dinner, she was explaining to anyone who would listen that she was going to make A LOT of money by losing her teeth!



I have 2 favorite parts of this whole experience.  My first favorite part is the lisp that she now has because she can't properly form some of her letters due to the gap in her teeth.  My second favorite part is the magic in our home when make believe comes to life.  Before I know it, my children will be grown up enough to know that these things don't exist, and the years I have to play these magical beings are very few.  



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Date with Mom!

Life is busy.  Really busy.  And as a mom with 2 young children, it is often difficult to spend quality one-on-one time with each of your children.  I want each of them to know how special they are, and how much I love them.  So one morning, while Sariah was in school, James and I had a date.  We went all over the place!  We even stopped at Paradise Bakery for lunch and he was in cookie heaven.

And then we went to Target, and he was in water fountain heaven!  He loves this fountain and insists on walking by it each time we go.



And last (but not least), we went to go get Sariah.


What a fun day I had with my boy!!  I am kind of glad that there will be almost 4 years between James and this little kumkwat because it gives me time with just him.  I will always remember the time I had with just him.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I'll be the first to admit it.  I don't do Halloween costumes.  I see these families with themes, and outstanding costumes, and I just tell my kids up front that I don't have that talent.  And you know what?  They love me anyways!

All Sariah wanted to be was Rapunzel.  I know she was Rapunzel last year, but she got a dress as a gift for her birthday and has been hanging on to it since July!  She knew from that moment that this is what she wanted to wear for Halloween.  No special shoes, no flowers in the hair - just the dress.


James is a different story.  There is a house down the street that has a HUGE blow-up cat on the roof.  Every time we left the neighborhood, we always drove by the house to see if the kitty-kat was on and working.  Ever since that cat went up, James wanted to be a cat.  No ears or tail - all he wanted was whiskers!

So I guess it doesn't really matter afterall that I don't have the desire, time, patience, or talent to put together these amazing costumes.  My kids probably wouldn't have worn them anyways!  


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Plain Cute

You know how sometimes you come across your children in the perfect situation?  One that describes them to a "T" without any words being said?

This would be that perfect place for James.  All wrapped up, snuggling his water and an animal, rocking in the rocking chair, probably watching a show. Perfect contentness.  Pure adorableness.  And no words needed.

I'm so glad I have my boy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Franklin Baby #3


Miracles happen.  And I'm growing one of them.  Baby Franklin #3 due around May 31!

This picture was taken the day I found out I was pregnant.  I was thrilled, excited, scared (how am I going to handle 3?!?!), and so many other emotions that can't be put into words.

My only frustration is this - my weight.  Here's the thing - I lost a TON of weight and then put almost all of it back on.  We finally figured out what was going on hormonally so I could lose it again (hormones are a crazy thing).  I had just started losing and bam!  I'm pregnant.  =)  But you know what?  Now that we know what's going on, I can pick back up where I left off after the baby is born.  Am I still exercising?  Yup!  I'm determined to be as healthy as I can possibly be.

But seriously - how can you not be happy about being pregnant?!

And for the record (as I did with James) - I think it's a girl.  We will find out in January!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tough Chicken


Last night at gymnastics, the following conversation occurred between Sariah and her gymnastics teacher:

Sariah: I'm a tough chicken!  But I don't lay eggs because I'm a human.  But I'm still a tough chicken!


Teacher: You are a tough anything you want to be.


Where does she come up with this stuff?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Siblings


Siblings.  Love one second, rivalry the very next.  Yet siblings are a part of the master plan for a reason.  We learn a lot from our siblings.  We learn how to love.  How to negotiate.  How to stick up for one another.  How to lead.  How to follow.  How to be sneaky.  How to share. How to conspire against Mom.  How to work together to accomplish something really hard.  Even how to go to sleep quietly so mom doesn't have to go back in one more time to separate you.

These two have been sleeping together lately.  It's A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. They argue and bicker so much during the day that sometimes I wonder if they will grow up hating each other.  We all know families where siblings argue so much when they are little and their relationship never gets past that.  So when I see these two curled up together, not wanting to leave each other's side, I am hopeful.

When I see them working together, I praise them and make sure it's known that I see it and it's good.  When I see them playing together, I let them know how wonderful it is to play with your brother/sister.  When I see Sariah teaching James how to do something - boy does she feel like she's on top of the world!

I love my offspring.

Now...if only I could get them to sleep in a little longer instead of waking each other up first thing in the morning...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Neglected Domestication




I have got to get my act together this week!  

1. Last week, I did all the laundry...but I didn't put it away.  Hehe!  So I have had piles of CLEAN laundry strewn across the house.

2. I haven't cleaned my house in...I'm not even going to admit.  We always pick up at the end of the day.  But scrubbing toilets and mopping the floors?  That's a different story.

3. I was under the weather Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and somewhat today.  Thus my neglected domestic state.  

4. Jared has done the dishes almost every day this week.  Not complaining!  But he's been a real man by helping me out since I'm just not feeling the greatest.

5. I only exercised 2 days last week.  Shameful.

But I have a very cute and sweet son who loves to hide in my laundry basket while I take a shower and get dressed for the day.  Sometimes, he hides in there and pops out like a Jack-In-The-Box right as I'm hopping out of the shower.  He thinks it's quite funny.  Me?  Not so much.

Now that I'm feeling better, it's time that my domestic area get put back together.

1. Exercise every day.  Curves T, Th, S.  Jog M, W, F.

2. Laundry (done AND put away!) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

3. Clean the kitchen and family room on Thursday.  Clean the bathrooms and bedrooms on Friday.  Why Friday, you ask?  Because Sariah is in charge of cleaning her own bathroom and bedroom, and she can do this after school on Friday.

4. Grocery shop on Saturday.

5. Date to see Jeff Dunham on Saturday with my bacon bringer.  I've had the tickets for several months and I can't wait!!!

I love that our children don't care if our toilets are scrubbed, or if their laundry is sorted just right, or even if they have mac and cheese or grilled chicken for dinner.  Isn't it wonderful to be a wife and a mom, and have a domestic area to call yours?  To be in charge of?  And to neglect when you want??

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Practice

Have you ever known someone who is good at anything they do?  School.  Crafts.  Cooking.  Sewing.  Singing.  Being tender with their children.  Finding the positive in people.  Multi-tasking.  Reading their scriptures.  Painting their nails.  Feeding their kids a good breakfast.  Playing an instrument.  Making friends. Being able to lose weight.  Budgeting.

I'm not.  There are two things that I know I do really well: bake, and play the piano.  Those two things come very naturally to me, and I feel good about saying I am good at those two things.

There are many other things that I'm alright at, but it takes a lot of work and practice!  When I was called in by our bishop a few years ago, and asked to play the organ for the ward...I knew I was in trouble.  I didn't know how to play the organ.  And in fact, they only asked me out of sheer desperation - they had no one and they knew I would be willing to give it a go.  But inside...I panicked.

I asked them to give me a key to the building, and a couple weeks to learn how, and I went to work.  I went up to the church every day, two tiny children in tow (James was not yet born so it was just Sariah and Emerson).  I learned how.  I wasn't all that great, but I was someone who could play so I agreed to it.

Fast forward to now.  I am a rotating organist - meaning, I play every 3 months.  We are lucky enough to have 3 people in our ward now who can play so I get to share this responsibility.  But you know what?  It still doesn't come easily.  I have to practice and practice and practice.  I take this very seriously because a good organ player can really set the tone for the meeting.

This morning was no exception.  I was up at the church, practicing.  Once I was done practicing, I hopped over to the piano to practice some music I am going to be playing for a fireside and a bassoonist.  Once I was on the piano, I saw this lovely sight::





Sariah is 5, and at the age where she's a real trooper.  She goes with me just about everywhere because she minds, doesn't throw fits in public anymore, and loves to help.  So when I said I was off to practice the organ and to the grocery store, she was in the car with her seatbelt on before I even had slipped on my shoes.  She's sneaky like that!

Last Sunday, she even sat with me up on the organ while I played.  She LOVED being up there with me.  She watched my fingers and feet move.  She watched the stops change with the mood of the song.  She loved seeing everyone in the congregation from the high point of the organ.  And...she was silent and still.  The perfect companion!

I want Sariah to know the value of practice.  When one practices something, they become better, and the attribute becomes solidified within them.  I hope that I am able to show her that even though you are afraid to do something, practice makes it easier to do.  My palms still get sweaty and I have to wipe them on my lap right before every song.  And this will be the case for probably as long as I live!!  But practicing makes it easier to get through.  Sariah sees that - she sees that it is not easy for me, yet I push through it.  There will be times in her life where things won't come easily and she'll have to push through.  This is life, and there is a purpose for that to be.

"Keep your chin up, Mom," is what she told me as I shook my hands in frustration after I biffed up a couple chords right in a row.  I tell her that once in a while...it must be sticking.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Namesake

My little James.  He is so sensitive, loving, snuggly, sweet, smart, wise, quirky, etc., etc., etc.  He loves his mother...but that is kind of an understatement.  Any moment he gets, he will curl up with me.  He loves to be held, to be snuggled, to be kissed, to be carried, to be...well, anything that has to do with contact with his mother.

James has slowly adjusted to Sariah being gone during the day.  He went from having Sariah and Emerson home all the time...to just him by himself!  He LOVES it!  To play with all the toys all by himself, without a sibling to bicker with?  He is in heaven!

But then he realized that his sister was gone all day.  Each day when we pick Sariah up from school, the first question he asks when she gets in the car is, "Sariah - can I touch you????"  He misses his sister, but loves the time that we get together.


James is in his own class this year - preschool with Miss Malia!  He feels so grown up, wearing his backpack and helping me make his lunch.  He is learning, growing, and finally gets to play with boys his own age!

As you can see in this last picture, it's a long day without his sister.  Classically, he falls asleep in the car when we go to pick her up from school.  

I am so lucky to be a mom.  I have 2 beautiful, healthy, wonderful children.  Each one teaches me something new every day, and I love the stages they are at.  I have always tried to enjoy each stage, and this one is particularly fun.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Aprons, Dishes, and Sass - Oh My!



Sariah has loved learning about service and loves doing things for other people.  To her, service means being sneaky!!  She stole my apron, and put the dishes away without me knowing it and she thought that was the absolute best thing ever.  She has even taken a particular interest in helping me make dinner and in cooking.

Next: laundry!

NOTE: Don't you all wish we could look so cute, posing in an apron?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kinder and Pre

First days of school.

I have a Kindergartner.  She thinks Kindergarten is her property to explore, and everyone else needs to get in line. Ha!

I have a preschooler.  He thinks preschool and Miss Malia are magic.  And they are.  I think James is in love.

Jared and I took Sariah to her first day of school together.  Watching her stand in line with all of the other big kids around her made my mind flood with questions: Did I teach her enough?  Will she be kind enough?  Will she listen enough?  Will she be safe enough?  Does she know I love her enough?


Alas, I could not pick her up from her first day of school.  I had to be in Phoenix for back-to-school meetings for the online school I teach for.  Thus, Jared took the day off so he could pick her up.  When he arrived, this is what he found:

She wears those glasses every day to school!  

Now on to James.  I thought I would have a 3 year old clutching to my leg, crying in agony at the thought of leaving his mother's side.  He loves his mother, and I love that he loves his mother so much.  Yet again - I was surprised!  He waved goodbye, and scooted on in to Miss Malia's like he knew he was expected.  

As I have written before, James has had 3 mothers all of his life.  How wonderful it is for him to be surrounded by BOYS, and they are his age!

As I left him in the care of his preschool teacher, the same questions flooded my mind.  In addition, some other questions were: Will he be brave enough?  Will he be strong enough?  Will he listen to his teacher enough?  Will he miss his mother enough?

I have learned that the answer is: never enough.  But we keep trying.





Friday, July 27, 2012

Think Positive!

Who wouldn't smile after this song???  We sing this song every night before bed, and every afternoon before naps.  In fact, James asked Jared to sing it for him one night and the following conversation happened:

James: Daddy, I want "If you chance to meet a frown."

Dad: But I don't know that one.

James: Yes you do. You make a frowny face (and demonstrated), and then it goes like this....

And he proceeded to sing the entire thing by himself. I cherish this part of this hard stage of life!

video

Friday, July 20, 2012

Millie - 60 pounds of love!

We have a new foster dog named Millie, for whom there are no words to describe.  Loves kids, loves water, loves other animals, just an amazing dog.  We will have a hard time giving this one up!




Monday, July 16, 2012

5! 5! 5!

Sariah, the amazing girl who made me a mom.  Today, you are 5. You are smart, ambitious, careful, thoughtful, nurturing, and very independent.  You make me smile every day, and you will make a difference in this world.  I love you, sweet girl!

NOTE: She had her birthday party at her gymnastics gym.  She invited some friends...and her favorite babysitters.  Quirky girl!