"Family ties are bound by love"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sadies 2012

I have no excuse for being so behind on blogging, except for the fact that life is too darn busy!! I am determined to do better in the new year! As for now, I came across these pictures on my phone,(ya too busy to even grab my camera)  and realized I had not posted them in our little family blog. So here they are, terrible quality and all.

Shayla asked Adam Johnson to go with her to the dance. They had a fun little group, all the girls are on the Dance Line. They got cute jerseys that had Sadies 2012 on the front, and then they guys last name on the back! Too cute right?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Growing Family

13 adults +21 kids +1 angel + 1 photographer + 34 opinions = a difficult task!
But also a family I am blessed to be a part of.
A few weeks ago we thought we better get a family photo while we were all at home. Nicolle would be leaving in a few days to serve in the Korea mission. So here we are... one big happy family.
Being the married to the oldest in the family, it has been fun to watch this family grow. To see each one meet and marry their spouse, to see each little one born into this world brings cherished memories.
 Hard to believe this all began when 2 people fell in love :) Thank you mom and dad!
 kids and spouses
 My family...
Family pictures are still difficult for me, because they feel incomplete. I know it might sound crazy, but I actually know she is there in the picture somehow, we just can see her with our earthly eyes. It is those tender mercies that bring me comfort. I feel her very near to us, and part of our lives, for which feel forever grateful and do not take for granted. But for now.. this is my family of what you see. 
Rich~ the love of my life and very best friend
Me~ the mother and wife to this crew
Mckena~ college girl, loving life and dancing for UVU
TJ~ working and deciding what he wants to be when he grows up
Shayla~ the baby, yet mature beyond her years. 
And there shall my joy be!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shayla's Turn

Being the youngest, Shayla has watched and waited for it be be her turn to get all dolled up and go to a dance. She also has a late birthday and didn't turn 16 until June, which meant more waiting.  But the waiting is over... Shayla was asked to Syracuse Homecoming Dance by Jace Webb. She had a great time and looked as dolled up as can be :) 

Mckena came home for the weekend to help her with her hair, and to see her off on her first dance! What a great a sister.

 Love this girl!

 And off they go!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Franklin Family Reunion

This year for our family reunion we chose to go to Bear Lake. We always love it and have a great time, and this year was no exception! Here they are, the grand kids in the Franklin Family!
 Our family
obviously being covered in sand makes you tough and cool :)
 Bathing beauties aka bff cousins

 What's Bear Lake without a Hawaiin Shaved Ice?
 And of course Raspberry Shakes!
 and of course these two still dancing, even on vacation~
 Having fun on the lake~
 Making memories like this are my among some of my favorite things to do!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Never say Never

Well as they say, "All good things must come to an end." The same is true with callings. Last month I was released from Young Women. I knew it was coming, just didn't want to believe it. After all, I have been in the YW program for about 19 years, off and on, but mostly on! Which means I have been extremely blessed to be in with my girls throughout their years in YW. Shayla will be going to camp as a laurel this year for the first time without me. I have loved it! So then comes the thoughts of..."Now what?" Where were they going to put me?? Well about 2 weeks ago, Bishop called me in, and extended a call to me. 
This is the face I probably gave him!
You want me to teach what?? Gospel Doctrine??!! It is a calling I always felt, and knew I could say no to. But... I felt the spirit and knew I needed to pray to find the answer from my heart, not just the answer that was in my head. Bishop was very understanding, and let me have some time. So as I prayed and went to the temple,  and the confirmation came that I should accept the call. Not because of what I know, but because what I will learn! How can I deny a chance to grow and learn and become more of what Heavenly Father expects from me?

 Simply put~ I can't, because..

So, I begin to prepare to teach my first lesson on the 15th. and thankfully the course of study this year is the Book of Mormon, and we are past compare Isaiah stuff! phew 
My motto is from Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which stengtheneth me. 
I know I will not be able to do this alone, so I will pray for guidance and direction as I accept this calling and will try to do my best.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dance Camp

The beginning of this week, Shayla and her drill team went to dance camp in Park City.  It is three full days of conditioning, dancing and lots of bonding! 
Day 1
Day 2 
Day 3

And I was lucky enough to be a chaperone mama once again! 
This is us in all our glory doing the "mom dance"
The 6 of us bonded as well. What a great group of women I got to know.

 Chaperone moms and their girls
 Shayla and I
Love spending all the time I possibly can with my kiddos! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sweet Shayla is 16!

Happy Birthday Shayla! 
Can't believe our baby girl is now legal to drive, and date. No, we are not OK with that, even though we trust her 100%! We sure love this girl. She is the little caboose to our family, and it would not be the same without her. She was the most difficult baby of the four....she cried alot! But she has since made up for it. She hardly ever cries, she is easy going, she is a great student, and definitely the most responsible one in the family. Shayla has earned her YW medallion, and is true to what she believes in. She has beautiful skin, that tans instantly, her hair grows like a weed, and her smile brightens our home. Shayla is soft spoken, but can really be quite funny at times! She hardly ever complains, she is a true friend and loves her family and the gospel.
What more could we ask for? LOVE YOU SHAY :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our friends told us about this sweet family, and it is hauntingly familiar. We ask that you pray for her and her family to help carry them through this difficult time, just as you did for us. We know that is what helped carry us through.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Class of 2012

 Mckena Franklin~ Syracuse High Graduate~ Class of 2012!
She did it! Even though we never doubted she wouldn't! 
Last night was Mckena's graduation commencement at the Dee Events Center. She was one of the 678 graduating seniors. We are so proud of her and all she accomplished these past 3 years in High School. We are excited for the adventures that are ahead of her, although that means letting go. 
That is not an easy thing to do.
 She is such a bright light to our family and brings so much happiness and joy with her.  
She is an example to all of us, and we are blessed to have her as part of our family.
TJ~ Mckena~Shayla

Sunday, May 6, 2012

And just like that we are Wolverines...

Last Saturday April 28th 2012, Mckena, along with 56 other girls tried out for the Utah Valley University dance team. She said it was one of the hardest try-outs she has ever done. Registration began at 8:00 a.m. and she was given the number 12. First they went across the floor doing leaps and turns and jumps etc. They cut 12 girls after that was over.. Mckena was still in! They they had 3 sets of 8 to show their strongest skills. Mckena did some turns, aerials, and some extensions and walkout. Another cut was made... but thankfully not Mckena. Then they taught the remaining girls 2 dance routines, they performed those in front of judges and then a final cut for the day was made, leaving 21... and Mckena was one of those 21. They interviewed all 21 girls and then told them the new team roster would be posted on the website by Wednesday, and they were excused at 4:30 p.m. Well, Tuesday night Mckena, Shayla and I  were at a Senior Recognition Night for the arts. Mckena was being honored as All State Dancer and performing her solo. While we were waiting for her turn, she leaned over and said, "A returning UVU dancer just requested me as a friend on FB."  We didn't think much about it until, 2 minutes later another returner sent a request. My mind told me it was not coincidence, and my experience was telling me that the list was up, she was on it, and the team members saw her name and was adding her. So I told her I bet the list is up, lets check it! She was like, not here!! I can't scream from excitement or cry from disappointment while we are here. So we waited until it was over. I wanted to look in the car, but she still wanted to wait. We decided to go grab a bite to eat, and she was ready to look. She took my phone, pulled it up and instantly put the phone to her heart and said..."It's up... but I can't look!" I said "yes you can... now find your name already!!" She slowly moved the phone away and scanned the list and then smiled a huge smile and let out a shrill ...." I MADE IT!!" I took the phone from her to see this: http://www.uvu.edu/spiritsquad/! She will get 1/2 tuition waved, a book scholarship, and discounted housing, and a few other perks as well. All while doing what she loves. So the dancing in our life continues, and we could not be more proud of her!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dear Chelsea

Disclaimer: This post idea comes from my friend Sarah Burke. I read her letter to her mom and knew that is just what I needed and wanted to do on this day so here it is:

Dearest Chelsea,

It has been five years ago today, that you left your earthly home to return to the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. A lot of things have happened in 5 years. We got a dog, we moved, TJ graduated and went on a mission, Grandma got married, we went to California twice and also New York, Mckena got her braces off and Shayla got hers on, and dad got a new job just to name a few. But you already know that because your somehow right here with us. You are never far from our thoughts or our hearts. We feel you with us often and I am so grateful for those tender moments.

Being the mom, I often wonder what you are busy doing. I am always comforted in knowing that you are happy and not alone.

Being human, I often wonder if you never left what you would be doing. I picture you in college pursuing your nursing degree and being successful because you are so smart. I also imagine you would be married, because any guys that would meet you would fall in love with not only your outer beauty but your inner beauty that would just radiate an entire room! I could possibly even be a grandma by now too, because most, if not all your friends have a baby or two, or at least one on the way. You will be an amazing mom. Being the oldest in our family and also the oldest cousin to 19, you were always taking care of someone. I picture you supporting the girls in all their dance activities and being the supportive big sister. Giving them advice and guidance, doing their hair for school dances, painting nails, all the girly stuff you use to do together.They wear your same perfume. Mckena and Shayla are so close, and the best of friends. I know it is because they have a clear perspective of how precious family is. They are often told how much they look like you. They just beam when they hear that. When I take pictures of the two of them, I imagine you standing right there with them, uniting in sisterhood! When they dance, they dance with an angel.... you. 

And then there is TJ, who always reminds me how much he misses your late night talks, and refuses to take on the "oldest" child role. Tells me all the time, that that was your job. Just like Nicolle won't claim the oldest cousin title either, because that too belongs to you. TJ needs you, so stay close to him and do what you can for him. Now he is the one we have to practice parenting with. I don't know how to parent adult children..so you can help me!
Dad took the longest to heal. Being the fixer that he is, couldn't fix this and felt a bit lost. He is better now and is amazed at the influence you have on others. He wishes you were here to help with the math homework, because as you know, I am no help at all in that department so it is all him!

Facebook has re-invented staying connected. Remember how you begged and begged for a myspace page?  I am confident you would have a facebook profile and would probably be tweeting too.

The Temple continues to be a place of refuge and peace for me. I selfishly go sometimes just because I know I will feel you there. And whoever says spirit bodies can't hug, hasn't felt one from you. I cherish those!  Thank you for being such an amazing example to our family. We love you so much and are so grateful for the time you were here with us. I can't begin to imagine how joyful the day will be when we are once again reunited. 
 Although for now, continue to be with us as we push on in this earthly life, doing what we can and should to be where you are. Thank you for making me a better parent, by teaching me what truly matters, and I try to be a better person by treating others as you did. Stay close to us.
Because of this trial we are surrounded by such good friends and family. It is a blessing we are forever grateful for and hope that we can pay forward all the acts of kindness. You are sure loved girl!!
As you know, this day is also Aunt Tammy's birthday. She sent me this email fist thing this morning:

I woke up this mornig to a "happy birthday" kiss from Paul and of course then thoughts of our dear, sweet Chelsea.  I just wanted to let you know that I am so grateful for her!!  Her time here on this earth was so very short, yet so very effective and meaningful to everyone who knew her, and especially those that loved her as we did.  Thank you Chelsea for teaching me such valuable lessons only you could so tenderly teach me, you are an angel and what I learned from you will always be one of the greatest gifts I will ever receive!!  We love you Chelsea:)!!!!

See what I mean? Well, I will let you get on with your day. I love you from the bottom to the very tip of my heart! I cherish each memory and honor each moment I have with you. So thankful for eternal families, because that means you get to be my daughter forever!!
Love, Mom

Friday, April 27, 2012

Celebrate With Angels

Today is my sweet Chelsea's birthday. Twenty three years old in our earthly time. Oh how I wish she was here to celebrate the day with, and yet somehow she is. I know in my heart she is celebrating and dancing with angels and is her happy little self! I love and miss her so much. This week is a tough one, with her birthday and her passing so close. But I too, have angels all around to help ease the sorrow and to feel joy with tender mercies at every tear drop. Happy Birthday Chelsea!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prom 2012

March 24th was Syracuse High Prom Night. Mckena was asked to go with her friend Tyson Williams. As I got to the home they were taking pictures at, this what I walked into.

Skylee and Mckena have been friends through the years, starting in 3rd grade. Diane (Skylee's mom) was taking this picture, and being the cry baby that I am, I started to cry as the years passed before my eyes of these two... and here they are Seniors, all grown up. (so to speak) Diane and I just sat there with tears in our eyes and we both had our little proud mom moments.
The Group

The "jump" picture!
The Girls
Trey, Bailee, Tyson, & Mckena
Tyson & Mckena

Friday, February 24, 2012

New York City

This years dance line trip was to NYC! When the coach announced this trip back in Sept. I doubted the possibility of both the girls and myself going. Due to the fact that it was more expensive than the last 2 yrs trips to California, and that it would be x3!
So I thought about sending just Mckena since it was her senior year, but felt like that was unfair to Shayla because that would mean Mckena would get to go all 3 yrs. So then I thought I would just send the 2 of them. But my dear sweet optimisitic guy I married, convinced me that I had to take advantage of this time and go with the girls. Not to mention the fact that the day they would leave would be the 6 year mark of Chelsea's accident, and I would be home alone. (That didn't sound fun.)
So we all worked a lot of extra hours and we were blessed with some extra work to be able to make it happen! And I am so thankful it did happen. It was so much fun, and one of the best trips we have ever been on, (minus the great guy I mentioned not being there with us)
Although there was sacrifices made, and it was finacially binding at times, it was truly a priceless time with my girls! WE LOVE NY!
Warning... lots of pictures below :)

9/11 memorial
The only surviving tree from 9/11 that was on the plaza
This sphere survived
Looking at Lady Liberty
The city that never sleeps

Church in NYC with Principal Davis
M&M store
Rockefeller center and ice rink
Top of the Rock
On the Ferry to Ellis Island
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Serendipity's Frozen Hot Chocolate... YUMMY!
While girls were at dance classes, we enjoyed a session at the Manhattan Temple