The Last 17th of 2012

Can you believe it?  The incredible year of 2012 is almost done.  When I was younger and had to pick a date that was out there, futuristic, crazy far ahead, I always chose 2012.  Makes me feel old to have already lived through this entire year (well, almost :)

Anyway, Christmas is in the air around here.   The front of our house hasn't changed much except for the Christmas tree on the porch.

The courthouse has a few decorations, as well as a half-mast flag to honor the children from the Connecticut tragedy.  For some of us, it serves as a reminder to pray for the families trying to heal from unbearable loss.

The rest of these pictures are scenery that God has decorated with fresh snow last night.  There is something magical about waking up to a white world.

Dry Bridge Park -  good sledding territory and the pond is just about frozen

The end of 9th Street

The view out toward unseen snowy mountains
I was hoping to catch a sunrise this morning, but the sun was hidden behind thick clouds mirroring the white of the ground.

First Avenue Park - a frosty playground

The First Avenue sidewalk filled with shoe prints and dog paw imprints
I hope all you readers are enjoying this season and taking the time to spread cheer and love to people that are not your typical circle.   Make the most of the fact that people tend to be more friendly around Christmas time.  That oddball conversation may turn into something that could change a life forever. And that would make a pretty awesome Christmas gift!  

Merry Christmas to you all.


The Mess and Christmas Decorating

Hello Friends!

A lot has happened since our last posting.

You all know that I turned 50.  Did you all know that last May I stopped coloring my hair?  Yep.  I did. It is still odd looking (or that could just be my look--grey hair or not.)

Speaking of grey.  Is it GRAY or GREY?????

But this post is about "THE MESS" and I am not referring to my hair.

Take a look.

This mess is all cleaned up now!

Here is the messy look from the sidewalk with a handsome guy hanging out at the top!

That scaffolding Steve is standing on is really wobbly.  Thankfully he doesn't ask me to bring his lunch up there!  I remind him that he is not a weeble!  You know, the kind that wobble but don't fall down!!!

Ok, on to the inside of this project house!

This is my lovely view when doing dishes!

Isn't it nice that our neighbor, Polly, painted her house red?  Makes for a great backdrop, don't you think?

I can see this window as well from my kitchen sink!

This is the dining room window seat!

The tree and pillow I got after Christmas last year on clearance.  I wrapped an apron I had around the base of the tree!  Rachel had given me all those cute little bulbs on the tree last year for a gift.

This is in our living room just to the left after you open the door!

This is straight ahead as you open our front door!

A little playful fun on the stair landing.  Just noticed how poorly the plug looks!  Hmmm!
I bought this little candle stand at a second hand store and it was PINK!  Steve painted it up for me all nice!  Thank you, Steve.

More bulbs that Rachel got me last year.  This doily is actually Kacey's.  The cup is a clearance item from Starbucks many years ago.

This is in the living room!

Now, we are in the middle of fixing things up.  Remember!

The mantel is done but the bookshelves are not!  That is why you see a blank wall next to the bricks.  And right above the mantel is going to be a nice window!

It is ready to be cut in.  But, I am stalling.  Ummm, the mess.  Not too sure if we will wait a bit...maybe after Christmas to get that done.

And the grand finale picture!

Our new window on the other side of the fireplace.

Isn't it just beautiful!

The mantel is bare but with construction and all...bare and clean is what we get and are thankful for.

We have a Christmas Party held here at the house to post about...hey, Ashley!!!!!

We also have family picture out takes to post about...hey, Rachel!!!!!

Lauren is coming to town next week and Ellie is practicing saying Aunt Lauren.

Oh, and we made a snow bunny...how about a post girls????!!!???

Tomorrow Ashley and Rachel are leading worship at church.  Yesterday, Ashley was down with a fever.  She is up today.  Not "fine as a frog hair" as they say.  We are praying for her.  Will you pray, too?



I went looking
looking through albums and albums of photographs on my computer
literally hundreds of pictures
looking for you

just you 
in the forefront and center
the focus on you

and as I looked through months and years of pictures
all of a sudden it hit me
and I looked again

there you were
in the background of handfuls and handfuls of photographs

smiling as you watched my little girlie posing for the camera with other relatives
making funny faces just to see that same munchkin laugh
your hands keeping her balanced as she tried some crazy stunt
a joy-filled expression on your face as you watched ellie meeting her baby brother for the first time

and I realized something...

you never were the center of attention
all those years growing up
and it was never all about you

it was about your Jesus
it was about your family
it was about your friends...
and I know they would all agree with me when I say that you always put others first
other's stories
other's hurt
other's needs

and as your daughters we knew that you cared for us more than the accolades of the world
or the bravo from other moms

you did what was best for us
regardless of what others thought or did

you were always in the background
cheering us on
motivating us to bigger and higher goals and life purpose

Mama of mine, thank you for letting us SHINE!
thank you for always being there...
still being there...
we are all grown up, but I know that I, for one, still need my mama

I may have two little ones of my own
but that just makes it all the more evident to me the value
of your wisdom and advice
your encouragement and moral support

and for all that, I say the most humble

thank you for being the best Mama a girl could ever have
I love you
Happy Birthday!!!


Over the last two days

From a sunny Thanksgiving to a snowy Christmas tree hunt, here is a pictorial walk-through of the epic adventures of the incredible Franks.

Late morning dishes before the awesomeness of Thanksgiving lunch - props to Mom for cooking up the best as always!

What? Don't you normally spend Thanksgiving on house projects like cutting off half a staircase?  No, you don't? That's odd. Or maybe we're odd . . . 
I'll have to look into that one.

Okay.  Food play.  I started cutting up an apple and pear to serve for lunch and a turkey kinda appeared!

Yummy pecan pie and look at that gorgeous sunshine.  No matter that it was a chilly 38 degrees outside, there was sunshine and it was beautiful.

My sister with the fall flowers.  Yes, I agree with you; we are odd.

My sister 24 hours later in slightly different circumstances.

We will find the perfect Christmas tree.  It's just around the next bend in the road.

Or maybe the next one? Come on, I've just got to see what's around that corner.

It wasn't until we walked a mile back to the truck and started driving back down the forest service road that we found it!  Only it was 10 feet down a steep embankment.   Dad roped down and then I took his saw down to him and we hauled that tree up and out.

Dad tagged it with the five-dollar permit he got from National Forest Service and we celebrated by getting toasty in the cab. 

And then we went to the Christmas parade down Main Street with some friends and saw the tree lighting at Depot Park. 

Mom spent the day de-fall-ing the house and transforming the house into a Christmas wonderland.  She is amazing that way.  

Then we had a second Thanksgiving with Kacey, Jay, Ellie and Hudson.  Mom's cooking was just as good the second time around.  She is amazing that way too!

Here is a bit of silliness from us girls on the way to cut the tree if you want to watch.



Happy Thanksgiving

A wonderful day 
to be full of thanks!

There was yummy food to fill the tummies.
Then some work to get done before dessert!

Looks like Rachel is working!
Looks like I am working!
What are you doing???
I see!
Taking lovely pictures!
That counts!
You may have dessert, too!

Smiles from all the yummy food!
Gratitude for health that allows us to work.

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving photos from Rachel!

Tomorrow the girls and Steve are off to the forest.
It's time once again for that "perfect" Christmas tree.

Ellie is ready. . .

Are you?


November 17th

As my mother said, "Today is a murky, muddy day."  I have this weird feeling that for the next 8 months that might be "as good as it's gonna get."    All I want is snow for Christmas; please, please, please.  You know, just a little blizzard or something. :)

The end of our cross street

Being a San Diego girl at heart still, I find it hard to be inspired by gloom.  I got up extra early this morning hoping to catch a beautiful sunrise over the mountains to fracture the monotony of these pictures, but the clouds were too thick and low to let the sun through.

Frost from the early morning - and notice the pond is just about frozen.  Skating soon!

But it was good to be up and at it this morning.  Saturdays tend to be a good day around here.  Getting work done, family time, gym time, but the best part is Saturday night church at Fresh Life.  One of the unexpected surprises about moving to Montana has been this church that is on fire to help those stranded in sin find life and liberty in Jesus Christ.  Their enthusiasm is infectious.

First Avenue Park 

First Avenue Sidewalk

Anyway, going to bed inspired and encouraged, often challenged, is awesome.  This weekend is the Operation Christmas Child drop off Sunday.  You friends of ours may remember that we have loved participating in this as a family since we were little girls.  So if you haven't packed a box yet, I'm sure Target is still open . . . 

Not much has changed on the front of our house.  I don't think we're going to get siding on before winter (too many work trips to San Diego), so we are all adjusting to turning a blind eye to the Tyvek, Tyvek, Tyvek.  Do you see the smoke coming out of the chimney?  We have been using the wood stove every day to keep the house habitable.  Now we rake the leaves and fill the wood room as almost daily chores.  Soon we will substitute snow shoveling, but probably not until after Thanksgiving.   

Speaking of, Thanksgiving is almost upon us!  My hope is that you find many reasons to be thankful this week.  I know when I start looking, the list gets overwhelming.  So, Happy Thanksgiving to y'all!