Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Seeing Clearly

I hate being away from blogging as I feel the ‘return post’ should be a high caliber read (and because I miss you all). Sorry to disappoint but this ‘return post’ will not meet up to caliber standards but may bring a few things into focus (you’ll get that pun as you read on—does my corny humor count for anything?)

A year ago Skyler began to complain that her eyes hurt. I like a good mom held out to see if the “complaint” was legit. When the headaches began to accompany the eye pain we decided it was time for an eye check. After many tests including dilating her eyes, which by the way was really freaky not to mention she kept bumping into things, it was discovered that my nearly 7 year old was a tad farsighted and would require glasses. Now that was a great example of a run-on sentence….didn’t think you would get an English lesson too did ya?

The past few weeks Skyler complained of pretty consistent headaches and technically I was supposed to take her for a check-up anyway. The result...a stronger prescription! Apparently her eyes are getting better yet she required a stronger prescription. Some mumbo jumbo about the eyes still growing…..not sure I understand but anyway. The tech asked Sky if she would like to keep her old glasses or pick out a brand new pair (she emphasized “brand new”). Um, hello she is a female; can you guess what her response was…. Brand new of course!!
Remembering my insurance covered every penny and knowing they would want her to look her best (ha) I decided to give the girl what she wanted.

The interesting thing about picking out the glasses was she seemed to go for a more mature pair last year yet this year she went for the metallic purple with glow in the dark flowers on the side, little girl ones. Despite my attempts to sway her to something different, I must admit she looked good in every pair she put on. She definitely does glasses well.

This is last year's look.....

Now the "new" look (thanks to our friendly health insurance)

I am glad she is seeing much clearer now and she is happy be sporting her new pair of spectacles. After all it is all about fashion now isn't it gals?!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Missed Marketing Op

One of my lovely, non-commenter, blog readers sent me this advertisement....

If you’ve read my tooth fairy posts you’d understand my laughter turned to UGH when I saw this. Why didn’t I think of that? Wait, I DID think of that right down to the fairy dust part, yet I only lost money in the deal I didn’t acquire any.

How many good ideas do we come up with in the day for someone else’s profit.....hummm?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thawing Out

My cyberspace absence is due much in part to the artic temperatures we’ve endured the past couple of days. It has been so cold here that I’ve been daydreaming about the life of a bear…umm a nice fur coat and able to hibernate through the winter. I actually should change my blog backdrop to a wintry one as fall seemed to come and go with record speed. They say it is only a cold snap but I am telling you it’s about done me in. I am a wimp in cold weather in fact I decided hell for me would be cold.

With no central heat….why you ask? For the life of me I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT and it tends to drive me a bit crazy so stop asking (hee)! We walk around the house in multiple layers and winter garb, to include but not limited to a winter coat, gloves, and a scarf.

These were recent must haves to keep things semi-bearable.....

We have multiple heaters but can only use a few simultaneously or we trip the circuit and it ends up not only cold but dark. So we flip coins to see who gets to have the heater on in their room at night. Okay so I am kidding actually we substitute with the layers mentioned above, warm bedding and hot water bottles. My kid’s love the water bottles as do I. Tori just got a little one with a cute elephant covering as seen in the photo. Fun to cuddle with and they do keep the bed toasty at night.

So while you are drinking ice tea in your shorts and slathering on the SPF say a prayer for the frozen Franzens! I’ll try to keep blogging but it becomes a bit difficult to do with gloves on.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fashion Friday

This post brought to you by my two year old.....

Tori adorned herself in this outfit. She is sporting what she calls “daddy’s shirt” as Rich brought it back for her from Madagascar. The skirt is an array of colors as you can see and you mustn’t miss the red gym shoes. Under her hat her hair is uncombed and has at least 6 different colored barrettes which she put in herself. As for the hat well actually it kind of matches the skirt. Hey, at least she knows that a good hand bag always makes a girl feel prettier never mind that hers is metallic pink and matches nothing of her rainbow attire.

As you can see she was quite proud of her eclectic arrangement....a nice little pose for the camera. Notice the leg up, head back and she was actually puckering her lips….not sure where she learned ‘to work it’ but she had the modeling poses down.

Well you know where to find us if you need any fashion tips!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

African Humor

Definitely my mood today....wish I was just lion around!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My favorite time of day

For me 5-7 p.m. seems to be the craziest time of day. With 3 young ones this period is filled with cooking dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up dinner (no wonder I am always looking for an excuse to order-in), baths, clean-up, making sure everything is ready for school the next day, and there always seems to be some sort of crisis to be solved! But by 7:00 p.m. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel….bed-time is right around the corner. Everyone is squeaky clean, bundled in jammies, eating their bed-time snack (an apple) and curled up listening to a story. Such a precious time of the day!

By 7:30, my 3 little angels are tucked into bed, prayers are said….we all hear Tori’s loud “AMEN”, and off to lala-land they go! Oh, I love spending time with my kids but by evening I am ready to kiss them goodnight!

So what is your favorite time of day and why?

Monday, May 14, 2007

A History Lesson

This is a celebration post as I FINALLY finished a children’s curriculum for our teams to use on ministry this summer. I emphasis finally as my husband expected it 2 months ago…I really used to be very efficient. This might be the time to explain my role in our mission venture. Besides blogging…oh, I guess that doesn’t qualify as ministry… ministry to myself perhaps?? Hee! Well, with 3 little ones and being the Family Research Assistant for Childhood Development (aka mom) it leaves me with little time for much else (I think most of you can empathize). Especially since one of the kiddos is not yet in school, I am pretty much chained to my desk so in turn do a lot of the administrative work for the ministry. That would include or did include “writing curriculum”. (In case you were wondering)

This curriculum correlates the famous, evangelistic, children’s ministry tool, the Wordless book with the South African flag. The SA flag has all the same colors so it is a cool cultural link that might help open the hearts of the African children to the Gospel…that and the Holy Spirit.

Anyway, I thought I would share what I learned about the SA flag and country. In case you are unfamilar with what the SA flag looks like you will see it portrayed above the obnoxious guy’s head as well as painted on his face. No, he is not related to me but I am convinced somehow there is a genetic link to Karen. Karen any Dutch in the genes by chance?

The SA flag was adopted in 1994 when the country achieved full democracy.
Yellow represents the country’s natural resources such as gold.
Red symbolizes the bloodshed it took to bring about that freedom.
Black represents the African people; White (White) the European people.
Green reminds us of the lush land and large farming industry in the country.
And blue is indicative of the blue skies that hover over the country most of the year.
The Y formation on the flag signifies the convergence and going forward as one unified nation of previously disparate groups in South Africa.

And lastly, did you know it is the only national flag in the world made up of 6 colors? Oh, the things that make you go hum.....hum!

If you are familiar with the Wordless book you can see how easy it is to bring in the flag colors. (Okay not sure why it took me 2 months) The color black drew the most difficulty as you don’t want to draw a correlation between sin and the majority color of the nation’s skin.

Anyway, just wanted to give you a glimpse of my culture and hey, if your child happens to have a school report due on foreign cultures/flags just delete my silly comments, press print and walla, a report to be proud of….not that I am encouraging plagiarism in anyway.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Somebody said it takes about six weeks for your body to get back to normal after having a child. That somebody doesn't know that once you are a mother, NOTHING is "normal".

Somebody said being a mother is boring. That somebody never rode in the car with a teenager learning to drive (excitement I have to look forward to).

Somebody said a "good" mother never raises her voice. That somebody has never had expensive earrings flushed down the toliet.

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and her hands tied behind her back. That someone never was a class Mom for 19 six year olds.

Somebody said a mother can't love the third child as much as the first. That somebody doesn't have three kids.

Somebody said a mother can find all her answers to her child-rearing needs in books. That somebody never had a two year old shove marbles up her nose.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery. That somebody has never taken their "baby" to Kindergarten.......OR watched them board a plane to South Africa with grandchildren in tow. (That one is for the grandmas!)

Somebody said your mother knows you love her so you don't need to tell her. That somebody isn't a mother!

So let me take the time to briefly yet from the depths of my heart express my gratitude and love to my Mom and Mother in-law. Thanks for teaching me what it is to have a mother's heart. Today especially may you hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant!"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

(Scary) Show and Tell

This seems to be a growing phenomenon in the blog world. It is based on the same premise as it was back in kindergarten. To show and tell about something unique, exciting and enjoyed. I however will add a different twist. Although mine is unique, it is not exciting or enjoyed (by me anyway) thus this post will be slathered in sarcasm and hopefully in the end it will bring you enjoyment. And NO it is not “the cake” again!

My Feature Choice = My Master bathroom

I heard you gasp! Puuurrty isn’t it? And yes, this really is my master bathroom. This closet like bathroom is adorned floor to ceiling in a lovely brown and avocado flower tile...

The basin has a matching avocado color seat...such a nice touch! Can someone say “70's”! (Michelle A, spare yourself and stop reading now as it gets much worse!)

As for the curtains they were left by the last residents and I just didn’t feel this bathroom deserving of new ones. As a whole this bathroom obviously has not earned an ounce of my attention…it is a rental and we are hoping and praying we will own someday soon thus my lack of motivation to upgrade.

Okay hold on to your seats (no pun intended) as this is my favorite feature….

Is that a picture of your cars you may be asking?

Well this lovely avo and brown bathroom comes with an escape route in the event you have the “runs”—HA! That is our garage and the ONLY entrance to the house from the garage is THROUGH OUR BATHROOM. Talk about a privacy problem! I won’t bore you with (or maybe I will) how many times I have been doing business and someone carts an arm load of groceries past me, a bat and ball to go out a play or decides to fetch some water for the dog (my son fills the dogs water bowl from my bath tub..nice eh?)…the list goes on.

When these intrusions come my husband always reminds me, “During the day this is not a bathroom it is a passage way.” How many of you have this double feature? Jealous aren’t you? I’ve just made your day haven’t I; for as bad of a day that you may have had you can at least rest in the fact that you don’t have a bathroom as ugly as mine. (wink)

I am not fond of my bathroom but I am grateful for it..well for the plumbing anyway and for a place to sit (at night) when business calls. I keep reminding myself, “It could be worse.”…not sure how much worse but at least it keeps me going. I am full of puns aren’t I…ha! I know you could easily add something else but just let it go“Go” there it is again….gotta love bathroom humor!

If you enjoyed this show-n-tell stay tuned as maybe next week I will feature the kid’s bathroom. It is lovely oatmeal and burnt orange. Until then remember… “In everything give thanks!”

Monday, May 07, 2007

Calling All Shoppers

Okay women and any men that are shopper savvy. I need your help! We have the opportunity to have some things brought over with teams coming from America. I like to take this time to stock up on food items that can’t be found here (chocolate chips, salsa, twizzlers…you know all those really important items that make the world go round…hee!) as well as birthday and Christmas items. Last year, I made my Christmas list out (well my kid’s list) in May. It was downright sinful! Products are much better made and much cheaper that side!

Anyway, I would LOVE a consumer report of sorts from you the American consumer on great new or relatively new (haven’t been back to the States in 2 years) American foods, toys, books, etc. One stipulation, items must be non-perishable and everything conducive size to align with airline regulations…okay so maybe that was two stipulations.

Let me give you some examples…My mother in-law brought over muffin mixes where you “simply add water” (I know totally pathetic but I love them when I am in a pinch and need something quick!). A good friend introduced me to COBigelow ultra mentha lip shine…my new favorite. This being the same friend that got me hooked on Burt’s Bees Wax lip shimmers. Another fun surprise that made its debut here thanks to a friend was different cake mixes and frostings….funfetti, orange, all inclusive fudge cake…etc.

I know most of my examples are food and unhealthy ones at that but I’d also love recommends on toys (my girls are 2 and 8 and my boy is 5), kids and family games, must reads, even healthy items…I love Trader Joe’s and even miss the Tyler Granary!

So would you help this deprived American family living abroad with some new pleasures?

What clever, new products do you and your kiddos enjoy?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tooth Fairy Part II

You may recall my post about my daughter’s expectation of a tooth snatching, composition writing tooth fairy. Well Skyler continues to lose teeth at a rapid rate. If this continues we will have to seek further monthly support (ha). And yes, the “tooth fairy” has been leaving notes along with the token 20 rand.

A friend summed up another one of Skyler’s stalwart skills so well with the following statement: “She was negotiating from the womb”. Skyler is a negotiator; always has been and always will be….inherited this trait from her daddy!

So now she not only got the tooth fairy to leave her notes but she is negotiating with her (I am assuming the TF is a her but you never know these days) for more money.

This week’s note that accompanied her lost tooth read:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
"Thank you for all the money you have given me and for taking the time to write me notes. I do want to ask you a question, Why do I only get R20 for a lost tooth? And don’t say that is what all the children get as I have asked my friends and they ALL (and yes, she capitalized this for emphasis) get more than me…some R50, some R60 and one even got R100. (Brief break for my comment to that--What are moms these days thinking setting the tooth fairy bar so high?) Skyler’s note continued.....Anyway, thank you but please remember to be fair to ALL children."
Love, Skyler

So did it work? Of course, she deserved more money for creativity alone and I am a sucker for that toothless grin. Here is my response as you must remember not to reply would result in a catastrophic outcome….

Dear Skyler,
"Thank you for your note. You are a very bright girl and I love your new pretty smile. To answer your question, every child has their own tooth fairy. Each tooth fairy has to pay for fairy dust in order to fly (see watching Disney shows can be beneficial got that one thanks to Peter Pan) and some fairies have to fly farther than others. I live very far away and have to pay a lot for fairy dust as a result. Usually, I am only left with R20 by the time I get to you however this time I tried a new route and saved an extra R15 for you. Oh, and be nice to your mom she is really cool!"
Love, The Tooth Fairy

I wish she still believed in Santa Claus, it was a whole lot easier than this tooth fairy thing!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Photo-less Wednesday

This is my first post since franzenfam conception not to have a photo. I am not sure what it is but I feel part of this blog thing at least for my blog is photos and every post must accompany a photo whether googled, stolen or actually captured with my own camera.

Why no photo then?....well I will shift the blame to my husband (don’t worry he is used to it and out of town so won’t read this anyway). He grabbed my camera for his trip leaving me the one without the right cables for my computer. I do have a cute picture of my kiddos all cuddled up in their jammies for my original post “Wintry Wednesday”….but staying warm! But it is on the camera and I can’t get it downloaded to my computer. Probably best as it was a cheesy post anyway and this one is so much better…hee!

Remember when one of the teams in high school couldn’t figure out what their team cheer would be so they just repeatedly yelled, "We ain’t got no cheer, hey!" And somehow that alleviated all the guilt? Well I am reverting back to my high school years (scary)……

“I ain’t got no photo, hey….I ain’t got no photo, hey….I ain’t got no photo, hey!”

Aren’t you glad my non-photo Wednesday didn’t keep me from blogging? (so sorry!)