"Family ties are bound by love"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Passionate about Dance

Caution: (this is a proud mom post)Once upon a time there was a girl who liked to play soccer, and the piano, she also enjoyed tumbling, but loved to dance! She started dance when she was three, on a comp team when she was 5 and ever since then she has not looked back. Being on the drill team at the high school has been a commitment like no other, and yet.... she still loves it. Mckena was chosen by her coaches this year as an All State participant. Coaches pick dancers to go learn a routine in a short period of time, and then judges pick an "All State" team. There were 200 dancers from around the state that were there. They chose 30 girls, and one of the 30 was Mckena! Her coach then highly encouraged her to compete a solo this year, as to help her with getting a scholarship. So she put her choreography skills to work, and made up a solo for herself. She competed it at the 1st drill comp at Davis High and took....... 1st place out of 7 girls! Whoo hooo!!
She competed again at Bountiful High Comp and took 3rd place out of 8 girls. First and second went to Bountiful High girls (they are in a league of their own!) We are so proud of our little dancing queen!
As a team they are doing well too. They received 2nd place at the first comp in all three dances, then at the next comp they took two 1st places and one 2nd. They have one more comp, then region, then State. Then we will be on to Shayla's dance comps who is a girl following in her sisters footsteps.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Hunting we will Go

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is going to cut down our Christmas tree. We go up Ogden canyon and hunt for the perfect tree. This was the coldest year ever, so needless to say, the hunting did not take long!Found it!! This is usually TJ's duty, but since he is on the Lord's duty this year, Rich had to do the honors.
Kena boo...
and Shayla too!
My family seems to be shrinking :( So weird to just have the four of us at home these days. hmmm. Thankfully we have many memories and traditions to keep us tied together.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Before and After

This is TJ about 1 week before he entered the MTC! Hanging with his buddies, thinking they are the coolest things ever! Then....
after just 3 weeks at the MTC, feeling the spirit 24/7 you get this!
and this!! This is his first companion in Alabama. Is it just me, or does he have a different look in his eyes? Wow, the wonder of a mission!
Elder Franklin & Elder Peterson

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Visit from Heaven

This is my new grand baby! Well, sort of. :) Let me introduce you to Kendelle Chelsea Cowsert.
This is Jadie's (Chelsea's best friend) baby. I was honored and touched when she told me she was naming her after Chelsea.
We could not get enough of this sweet little piece of heaven! It is so fun that Mckena and Markie (Jadie's little sister) are now best friends too.
Just call me Nana Wendy~
I felt a real connection with this little one. Maybe because she was just recently with my Chelsea and was bringing with her, her love.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mission Bound

The day I have anticipated for many years came on Oct 6th, 2010. Our only son was entering the MTC to serve an LDS mission. There were many times I wondered if this would ever happen, and now that it has I could not be more proud of him, yet, it was so much harder than I thought it would be. Saying goodbye.

TJ became Elder Franklin on Tuesday night when President Dale Cook and his counselors Pres. Benard and Pres Robb came to our home for the setting apart. Bishop Hill and his counselors Brother Grow, and Brother Westbroek came also. We had Grandmas and Grandpa there, along with two of TJ's good friends, and of course our family. It was wonderful. Stake President asked Rich and I, and Bishop, and Stake Counselors to bear our testimonies, and then for TJ to share his. Grandpa stepped in after Rich and asked if he could share his. The spirit was present and the feelings were so peaceful. Then the setting apart took place. It was almost as if Elder Franklin had been given actual armor. He was suddenly so much stronger, and he had a glow about him that made it difficult for me to not beam with pride. I didn't get the camera out, because it all felt too sacred. After the hugs and handshakes, and leadership had left,it was about 11:00 p.m. and TJ said, "I don't want to take off my suit, I am ready to go!" and did a right, left punch cross in the air. (boxing style)
Then the kids slept all on the living room floor together for the last time. Morning came and there was all sorts of feelings. We planned to go to breakfast before heading down to the MTC. Because of the new curb side drop off, we chose to take our pictures at home, since you are not suppose to take them there.
and this shall be my JOY
My favorite picture~ I was trying my best to hold it together.

We then went to Sills Cafe, enjoyed breakfast together, then headed for Provo. It was sort of a somber ride, but we reminisced about memories, talked about fears, and Rich shared some mission stories. We talked about some of the experiences TJ might have, and guessed who might be doing what, and where we will be when he gets home.
The minute we saw the gates to the MTC our hearts sank, and the butterflies fluttered. We still had a few minutes before our scheduled 12:45 drop off, so we drove up to the Temple. There were many others there, saying their goodbyes, crying and hugging. We didn't want to get out and do it just yet. So we drove and found another parking lot. We thought it seemed weird to get out and then get back in all upset, so we decided to just head in! As we drove through the gate, the directed us to the curb to the left. And then we saw this tender little mercy.... I HAD to take a picture.
There to help Elder Franklin with his luggage and escort him in, was one of his best friends from Jr High, who had moved to Washington a few years ago. Elder Ward entered the MTC 5 weeks ago, and will be serving in Mexico City. There are 19+ drop off stations, and we were right where Elder Ward was standing! There were many times the only mission these two were on involved TROUBLE! But now, here they are, ready to serve the Lord. Couldn't be more proud of them!
We then said our teary goodbyes, and hugs so tight you don't want to be the first one to let go. I was first to go, I stood on my toes to give him a hug, I whispered in his ear, I love you , I love you, I love you, and am so proud. He said I love you too mom, and I kissed him on the cheek. He then went to grandma, then Shayla, then Mckena, and then Rich. I wanted to sneak one more hug, but I knew it was time to let go. He picked up his backpack, and an older Mission host, shook his hand, put one hand on his shoulder, looked firmly into TJ's eyes, and with a big smile said, "ELDER, Welcome to the MTC!" TJ looked back at us, tears in his eyes and said, "Well, C'ya."
We got in the car and then really bawled! Rich looked back, and saw two elders with their arms around TJ as they walked with him. Comfort filled us, and we realized we were now turning our second child over to the Lord now. He was in good hands.
I cried the whole way home. Obviously because I was going to miss him, but also because the reality that my days of mothering that boy are for the most part over. He will come back a man! Sure I will always be his mom, but not the way I use to be. Did I do enough, what could I have done better, and will he be ok, are just some of the thoughts I was having.
As we came back home, seeing where they slept the night before, the things we decided not to pack, his picture, started the tears again. I was like... "Wendy, this should be a piece of cake compared to Chelsea's mission." But it had its own kind of pain, attached with goodness and it was truly what I wanted for him.
I wrote him that night, and it helped a lot. I know they encourage the missionaries to write home that first night too. So hopefully, I will get a letter Monday. Sorry for the long post, this probably should have been a journal entry, but I just kept going, and it was therapeutic.
We are blessed by good friends and family, who text us throughout the day, to send their love. And then to come home to dinner was pleasant surprise and wonderful act of service... I love you Miss Sarah!
So there you have it. All you moms with boys, we talk about preparing our boys for missions, but I think we need to prepare ourselves as well. It is a wonderful thing, but I need to take all my own counsel I gave to him!
*Be strong, don't think of it as 2 years, take one day at a time, work hard, turn to the Lord, pray, sheesh. I better get busy!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This week as we prepare for TJ to begin his mission, we have been doing "family stuff" as well as last minute preparations. Last Sunday, was TJ's Mission Farewell. He did a great job, and we had many friends and family over after. It is a wonderful thing to feel so much love and support from everyone. It meant a lot to me, but especially TJ.

I had another great "mom moment." The speaker before TJ has a son on a mission, and shared that they had gone to the Temple together as a family for their son to practice doing baptisms. I loved that idea, so yesterday we went to the Ogden Temple for TJ and the girls to do baptisms. TJ was able to confirm, be a witness, and baptize the girls for the dead. It was a choice moment. To see him perform such a sacred ordinances on two of my most prized possessions. It is a vision I hope to tuck away in my mind to never be forgotten.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Homecoming 2010

Ramon asked Mckena to homecoming again this year. She was happy to get to go!
This is the big group they went with.
Just the two of them
Friday's halftime performance!
(too bad the football team didn't perform as good as the girls)
Final score Syracuse 21 Fremont 24 OT

Nice leap Kena!!
Homecoming Assembly performance
Fun times!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Mckena

Mckena Age 17

Mckena Age 8
Sometimes don't ya wish you could just turn back the clock? :( This was 9 years ago at her baptism. Now that she is 17, she is hard to track down for a picture! She leaves at 6:00 a.m. for dance so I never got a 1st day of school pic, she was out with her friends all day and night yesterday for her birthday, so again... no birthday picture. But ironically, she got a camera for her birthday, so maybe she will take some of her own and share with me.
She is a joy to our family, even if she is a busy, on the go, enjoy life, laugh, no time to clean my room, constantly borrowing money kinda girl! We love you sis, and are so proud of the young woman you are, the wise choices you make, and the happiness you bring to our family. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quite Possibly One of the Greatest Days of Motherhood

Today we were able to go to the Bountiful Temple with TJ for him to received his endowment. The girls did baptisms, while we went through the session. It was one of the most rewarding moments as a mother. It has been a struggle to get to this point, but in that moment, everything was worth it, and family was the only thing that mattered. Suddenly I didn't care about his room that is never clean, or how mad I was when he had 3 cars at a time, or his obsession to own every shoe ever made. I was reminded of what is truly important. He has been a good kid, not without his mistakes, like most of us, but he has made himself worthy to enter the house of the Lord. I am so very proud of you TJ. It was evident to us too that our dear Chelsea was there with us. It makes the whole temple experience even greater when you have someone on the other side of the veil. I could feel how happy she was for TJ, and just as proud of him as the rest of us.
We were blessed enough to have Rich's whole family (minus one sister and brother in law), my mom, my Aunt & Uncle, and our good Bishop Hill and his wife share this day with us.
It is a day that I will never forget, and I hope that TJ felt all our love and support for him.

Ever since he was little, it has been hard for him to take a picture facing the sun! So cute :)
The suit he is wearing, is the same suit that Rich came home from his mission in!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Officer Shayla

Shayla's SBO officer sweater has finally arrived!
I'm a bit partial, but she has got to be one of the cutest officers SJH has ever seen! I love her nick name she chose for the back "Shazzam," because it really fits her. A small little package with lots of spunk. She is the only girl SBO, but she holds her own! (She probably has TJ to thank for that.)
Here is to a great school year!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What a moment

This much anticipated packet, showed up in the mail today~ August 25th 2010
It was addressed to this handsome YM, I mean Elder
Opening up the hot little packet~ the anticipation is intense
Reading, " Dear Elder Franklin: You are assigned to labor in the Alabama Birmingham Mission"

He had to take a seat when he read, " Report to the MTC on Wed. October 6th" (that is only 6 weeks away! also notice the proud dad.)
Checking out the map, and Kena texting the news to all her friends
Sweet Home Alabama! We are so thrilled, and proud of TJ. This has not been easy coming, but he has now jumped in with both feet! We have a lot to do before Oct 6th, but it will be fun to spend that special time with him. I already feel the blessings, and sacredness of our only son serving a mission! Best of luck to you TJ as you work hard, be obedient, serve the Lord, and share the gospel! We LOVE you and could not be more proud!

Friday, August 13, 2010

So behind...

One of the worst things about journaling/blogging is getting behind. I always struggle between catching up or just move on from here. So in an effort to try to do a little of both, here I go:

June was~ Trek, Shayla's b-day, Rich's B-day, Bear Lake Family Reunion
July was~Girls Camp, Youth Conference, and gone in a flash
August is~ Dance Teacher Convention in Vegas, Dance Intensives, & Back to School!

Our summer at a glance has been:
Cherry Hill, working more than I would like, roasting marshmallows in our new fire pit, laying in the hammock, going to a few movies Karate Kid, Inception, Step Up 3. Eating at Zupas way too much, it is our new addiction, and enjoying our time together.

Cherry Hill
Girls Camp
New Fire pit!
Lazy nights of Summer

Where has summer gone? I hate to see it go, even if fall is one of my favorite times of the year.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dance Camp

I was lucky enough to be a chaperon at Dance Camp for Mckena and Syracuse High Dance Line. It was a great camp with a bunch of great girls, and Diego! They worked hard for three days. Good Luck girls~ hope you have a great year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birthday Girl

Saturday June 19th was our baby girls 14th birthday! Even thought she is not our baby anymore, Shayla is too sweet to tell us to "stop calling her that!" Shayla is sweet, honest, kind and super smart. She loves to dance, shop, and be with her mom! I love love love that she likes to "hang~out" with me still. She is very responsible, and loves the Gospel and always tries to do her best at whatever she does. We love this girl, (who we thought was a boy while I was pregnant with her) she is such a blessing to our family. She has a little bit of each of us in her. She has her dads eyes and straight hair, mom's personality, Chelsea's feet, TJ's sense of gratitude, and Mckena's passion for dance, and yet she is unique in so many ways! We love you Shay~bay!

She had tryouts yesterday at Rhythm Works and she made the top team! Way to go sis!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's Going On

I am in desperate need of a camera, and without pictures... blogging just isn't quite as fun. But here is what is going on around the Franklin House.

June 5th~ Shayla and her friend Tavia, were able to attend a dance workshop with Russell, Mollee & Noelle from So You Think You Can Dance!
It was lots of fun and she learned some fun dances. It was a great experience for her.

June 10th thru June 12th : TJ, Mckena, Shayla and I all went on Pioneer Trek! What an experience that was. With the exception of Shayla, we had all been before, but it was nothing like this! The weather was terrible.. hurricane like! It was cold, wet, windy and we trekked A LOT. (22 miles) Our tents flooded, we had to sleep on the bus. And guess what? It was AMAZING! In the midst of it, I wanted out! I wanted to go home. But looking back I see that we all learned lessons we could not have learned had the weather been beautiful and pleasant. Truly those pioneers are so strong. We got just a small taste of what they went through, (and I so mean small) and we understand how incredible they were! I will do just a Trek post later. I am in charge of putting together a Trek Memory Book for our Stake. And hopefully I can get some pictures from other people.

June 14th~ Rhythm Works Dance Recital. Always a highlight of Spring. The girls LOVE to perform and show what they have worked so hard on all year. It was a great recital and we look forward to another year!

Rich has hit his 3 month mark at his new job! They want to keep him, so now the insurance benefits will kick in, and a little pay increase too!! Way to go babe!

TJ is working away. Getting up every morning at 5:30 a.m. Trek touched his heart, and he says he is ready to get his papers turned in. Bishop is still "testing" him on a few things (his hair, his obedience, etc) so we will see what the summer brings.

Friday, June 4, 2010

All good things must come to an end

The 2009/2010 school year ended today ~June 4th 2010~ for my girls. It was a great year filled with lots of fun, good memories, good friends and good grades! I am so proud of my girls, and feel so blessed to be able to be their mom.
End of year assemblies
Shay had to try to get a cookie from her forehead to her mouth~ very tricky!

09-10 SHS Dance Line~ Last performance together

Summer time... Here we come!