"Family ties are bound by love"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Memory of Chelsea Franklin

Rough week I know, but bare with us as we get through it... sharing thoughts and pictures.

Today is Chelsea's angel day, at least that is what we like to call it. Oh how we miss this girl of ours! How we wish we could here her voice, laugh with her, watch her dance, help her with homework and continue to watch her grow, but for now, we are temporarily separated.
So we do our best to press on and continue with faith, knowing she must be happy, working hard, having an amazing perspective on things and praying on our behalf as well. I have thought what would she tell us is of most importance if she could come back for just 5 minutes? I think we know..... we all know what is most important. Be your best, be kind, stand as a witness, be like the Savior!
Although that is not always easy, we must try!
People ask me if I feel her, or dream about her. I don't dream about her at night, but she is never far from my thoughts throughout the whole day! And I can really feel her with me when I go to the Temple. Special things have happened to me when I am there, and so selfishly, I go a lot to be with her.
Last year on this day, I went through the Temple for her. What an amazing experience that was. The kids did baptisms, and friends and family joined us on that special day. Tonight, Rich and I will go and embrace the sacredness of Eternal Families. What an incredible gift, and one that we will work to obtain.. for Chelsea, our Light on a Hill, is waiting for us.

They say a picture says a thousand words. So true!
Till we meet again Chelsea, our hearts and minds are with you. We love you forever and always.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chelsea's Birthday

Our beautiful baby girl was born 20 years ago today on April 27th, 1989 at 10:27 p.m. She was 8lbs and 21 inches! Sweet memories of that day.
I wonder how she will spend her birthday today? We plan on sharing our precious memories about her, pulling out the pictures, eating Shepherds Pie for dinner ( her favorite homemade dinner) getting Frosty's (a favorite treat of hers) and visiting the grave site to decorate with butterflies. We know she will be with us, as we think of her and continue to remember and be ever so grateful for her as part of our eternal family!
We love you Chelsea.. and wish you a Happy Birthday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dancing Queen

Friday night, Mckena had her solo dance competition. She choreographed it herself and has worked really hard on it. Well the hard work payed off, she took 1st place/Queen! We are so proud of her. She was first to perform in her division.. advanced lyrical/contemporary and then had 5 other girls go after her.
She was amazing, but I just love watching my girls dance, so I am probably a little partial!! It was a huge comp, she did not perform until 9:45 p.m! It was a late, but fun night. Since we had to come back the following morning for the team comp, we stayed at a hotel with some other dance friends.. so that was even extra fun! These are some of the dance moments my girls live for, it makes all the money we spend for it worth it!! They love it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday Boy

Yesterday was TJ's 18th Birthday! On Friday, he and I went to Park City to do some shopping ( he is a shoe freak and wanted to go to the Vans Outlet store) He found 2 pair of shoes, and a summer outfit in less than an hour ( he is quick shopper.) We went to lunch at El
Cantina, and then got a treat at the Chocolate Factory. I tried to take a picture to capture the moment, and the first thing he said was, "Please don't put this on Facebook." I had to laugh, he is kind of a private kid, so I promised him I wouldn't. I loved our time together, very rare these days to be one on one with him. It seems like just yesterday he was born. He was such a sweet little boy, who loved his mommy. He use to suck his two middle fingers while on my lap, and play with my hair. Chelsea loved TJ (as you can see in the picture, she is about to kiss him)
He will graduate in a few short weeks, and he can hardly wait. He has some big plans, and high hopes. As I reflect back, I hope that I have done my part in preparing him for his future. Have I taught him enough, does he know I love him and want what is best for him? I hope so. This letting go stuff is not easy. Although he no longer sucks his fingers, or plays with my hair, I think he still loves me, because I still get "I love you's and hugs. Not bad for a teenager.
Happy Birthday TJ!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

What a beautiful Spring Easter Day!

I absolutely love this time of year. Warm weather, budding plants, green grass and blue skies.
I don't know if it was for the amazing messages from Conference last week, or the fact that I had to teach part of the Young Women lesson today, but my testimony of the Savior and the Atonement and the Resurrection was overwhelming today! What an amazing gift to us. For all will be resurrected! "The young and old, bond and free, male and female, wicked and righteous.. to its perfect frame... That the mortal body is raised to an immortal body..that they die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies.. never to be divided; thus becoming spiritual and immortal." (Alma 11:42-45) What hope and comfort that brings, what joy I feel knowing that!! I truly have a testimony of this.

After church we enjoyed Easter Sunday dinner! I still had a little "umph' in me from our world travels, and felt the need to make dinner "egg"stra special. We had a honey ham, scalloped potatoes, rolls, and 7 layer salad. Yum yum. I had fun decorating the table too.

I found these paper lanterns at Dollar Tree and hung them above the table with fishing line.. it added just the right touch.
Even though the kids are teenagers.. we still had Easter baskets and an egg hunt. Rich made it very hard!! It took them forever to find the last few. Inside were treats, a few $1.00 bills, and some free passes for getting out of chores. But I also put in some, "treasures" or reminders that we can't buy.. "You are loved" " Heavenly Father loves you" "Our Family can be Forever" " "You are a Child of God" Then we talked about the importance of these truths and how they are the real treasures in our lives, but we have to look for and seek for them to KNOW for ourselves.
Great day, knowledge of blessings, a Savior who paid the price and is a perfect example, a forever family.. ( thoughts of being with Chelsea again) and enjoying family time together. Priceless.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fiesta Friday!

"Hola!" You were all sure today would be France Friday didn't ya? Well so did the kids, but nope! I had more stuff from Mexico, than France and Mexican food is one of our favorites. But since I already used up Monday on Maui, I did a twist on words and made it work.
Woke the kids up wearing my sombrero and poncho. (TJ actually laughed when waking up rather than growling like he usually does.) We enjoyed some breakfast burritos. So delish. Later we went to the market to do some bargain shopping. (The girls and I) Got 20 t-shirts for 5 pesos (kidding...got 2 for 20) and of course Nachos for lunch. That is about the extent of our fiesta because then it became a typical Friday evening... friends friends and weekend play. That is the beauty of really going on vacation.. I get them to myself. It is hard to let go.Teenagers have their own ideas of fun and plans, and so I let them go.
I thought at first I was doing this faux vacation for them, but I realized last night it was probably for me a way to keep them close to home and together. Trying to create home as a haven.
So our vacation has come to an end. It was fun, but I would totally opt for the real thing. Although I think the total cost of our world travel this week was under $49.99. Not bad!! "Adios"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thailand Thusday

I have to admit this one was a stretch, and my creative juices are drying up!! Not to mention, I could not find as much info on the Internet about Thailand. Anyway here is our day:
The kids woke up to me greeting them Thailand style which is palms together, bowing and saying "Wai" (They really think I'm loosing it at this point) Pancakes for breakfast..( just because it sounded good to them), Ramen noodles for lunch (very typical at our house)but then for dinner we had Lettuce Wraps. We sat on the floor with a very Asian decorated coffee table as our dinner table. We talked about some of the customs and traditions, and decided we are grateful to live where we do. For the activity.. I was going to have us all do some Tai Chi (is that even from Thailand ?) because it sounded good, but no one was on board with me. Hmm go figure :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Announcing the Arrival of the Queen

The Queen of Wales that is. For today's destination is Wales Wednesday, and I am Queen Wendy!! The Royal family awoke and was knighted and crowned. We had crumpets and tea (bagels and OJ) for breakfast in the beautiful (hand drawn on cardboard) palace kitchen.
Our activity was to play a round of cricket (croquet) on the grounds outside, but the weather did not permit it. So we went to the cinema and saw an American film. (Witch Mountain)
Our manners were put to the test as we had an etiquette dinner using our finest china, silverware, and crystal. We have some work to do!! Especially Prince TJ !
The message of the day is that we are of a noble birthright, our nature is Divine..... and we can be a family for eternity. That is something to cherish and work for.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Texas Tuesday

Howdy, and welcome to Texas. I lassoed (woke) up the kids this morning, in my cowgirl hat and pigtails.( They think I am crazy) We ate a BIG breakfast in out ranch house (kitchen) decorated with rope, spurs, and cowboy hats! For dinner we had a slab of ribs, fried potatoes, cream corn, Texas toast and of course sarsaparilla to drink. The activities for the day was to have a knot tying and bubble gum blowing contest. But the hard part about the faux vacation, is life and schedule still gets in the way :(
TJ had senior pictures taken, Shay had dance, and Mckena and I had a class to teach, and then of course we had to watch American Idol....and the girls had two friends sleep over, so we never did the activities, but it was still a fun day. I am regretting to say, I forgot pictures again.... ugh. The girls looked cute in their hats and Kena playing her guitar!! YEE HAW!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Maui Monday

We are all a little bummed that we don't get to go anywhere fun this week for Spring Break, so I am creating fantasy trips at home. Today was "Maui Monday". I decorated the house all Hawaiian like, set the deck up like a beach scene, beach chairs, towels and umbrella. We had grilled Teriyaki
chicken and pineapple, rice and Hawaiian salad for dinner. Dessert was fruit smoothies! For fun, we layed out on the deck, had a limbo contest, learned to Hula, and played island music all day. And of course, the girls wore flowers in their hair. I should have taken pictures of our faux trip to Maui today, but did not think of it till now. Oh well, I will be sure to take the camera on our adventure for tomorrow!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spiritual Preparation

Conference weekend~
L- O- V- E, LOVE IT! Not only do we get to watch conference from home, eating snacks, being comfy and playing our conference games.. but we get to be spiritually fed as well!

When the kids were little, we would play games to try to help them listen. We have been playing Conference Bingo for years now. But this year, we are going to try something new.
The kids get points and credit in Seminary for listening and taking notes, so I thought it would be fun to try to guess the Titles of the talks. We won't know who wins, or who is closest until the Ensign Conference issue comes out, but then it will be another chance to review what we heard at Conference. As the kids continue to grow physically, I want them to grow spiritually as well.
Unfortunately, this life brings challenges, but I believe that the more prepared we are, the stronger we will be, and our faith can be strengthened rather than weakened. But it must be strong because it will be tested! Three years ago, I remember as we sat in Chelsea's hospital room, trying to watch conference. It wasn't the same. We were being tested. I want to pass the test along with my family and those I love, so we will try to do out part, by listening to Latter Day prophets, and the counsel they have for us, and then apply that teaching!!

What a blessing~