Monday, December 24, 2007

Wishes to you from Africa!

Where ever this may find you our Franzenfam wish is that you would have a wonderful Christmas celebrating our Lord and enjoying family and friends!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wish List for Moms

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:
I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like finger print resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals or an oversized purple dinosaur. And a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes, Mommy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat in the living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It wouldbe helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children, healthy, safe and of course, young enough to always believe in Santa.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Victoria is ff-ree!

Despite the fact that Tori felt her being potty trained was the magical moment turning her ff-ree (three), today was her actual birthday.

What do I say about this precious little girl? She's been unique from the get-go. From a surprise beginning (I'll spare you the details) to a unique birth in a foreign country (click here to read about it) her uniqueness has filled these past 3 years with much joy.

Happy Birthday Victoria Amira, you are my precious baby girl and I love you dearly!

Oh and those permanent bags under my eyes are because of you!

Friday, December 14, 2007

An Early Christmas Present

Tori decided to give me a early Christmas present.............

..................NO MORE DIAPERS!!! Yahoo!!!

It is going to be a hard present to top!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Tour

My favorite guideline in the Sargent's Holiday Tour is NO creativity. Phew because all mine is zapped with entertaining my 3 kiddos and still dealing with sickness! So in compliance with the Sarge's instructions here is my holiday home tour........

Along with silver and red on my tree, I like stars and snowflakes. One of my main stars is featured in this shot...

Stockings are hung .....

The kid's tree. I prefer to think we have a kid tree and a me tree because I am a cool mom that let's her kids decorate their own tree opposed to the thinking that I am anal and want my tree my way......

The table no one is allowed to eat at (again this has nothing to do with my OCD)......

My own little creation....and hey don't knock it, it is hard to get the ornaments in the right place on the already assembled centerpiece (hee).....

One of my favorite decorations. My mother made this pretty little snow village....

Some of our favorite Christmas stories.......

Another portion of the "kid's corner" that is sweet. All decorations they have recently made and we are continuing to add too...the candles, the nativity, Skyler even created her own book version of the Christmas story....

And I will end this little tour (insert yawn here) with my African Christmas tree that I purchased from a street vendor last year. Thought it was kinda cool.....

Next year why don't you all come over for a personal tour...I might even let you help with the tree.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


School's out this time of year and it is summer break. Nov. 30 marked the last day of second grade for Skyler and preschool for Blake.

Typically it is a fun time of year to be out of school with all the Christmas activities plus warm, swimming weather HOWEVER we started it with much infirmity. All 4 of my kids (including the 6’2” one) are on antibiotics….and I probably should be….such a bummer.

Between coughs, naps and nose blows we are trying to keep our spirits up. Today helped as in staying with my Czechoslovakian heritage we opened our Christmas stockings. Every year since I can remember, we've hung our stockings on Dec 5 and Mikulash, “Santa” in Czech, came that night. My parents are in their latter season of life and they still fill each others stockings on the 5th….cute eh?!

I did some research on it once to understand the reason of the tradition and found that actually it is quite a European tradition and many countries observe (Santa, Sinter Claus-Holland, Father Christmas-England) on Dec. 5th. My logical thought would be perhaps he, being Santa, needs the extra time to make it all the way around the world so he starts early in the Europe. After all doesn’t everything start in Europe? hee!

Anyway, I thought it a fun holiday tradition so the Franzenfam is sticking with it. It also spreads out some of the Christmas wealth.

When in the states celebrating with Rich’s family, the non-Czech Grandma, fills the kid's stockings on Christmas Eve like most families. Not to mention Mrs. Czech Claus (my mom) sends the grandkids treats and gifts for Mikulash so on those years my kids get 2 (really 3 with all my mom’s additions) stockings. Out of control, I know!

My kid’s response to the whole stocking tradition….. “We’d like to go with the 2 stocking deal every year”. Yea, what kid wouldn’t?!

Anything fun or special about your stocking tradition?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Merry Heart

The first day in December on this side of the globe was a festive one. In fact it is one I look forward to all year long. Today marked our annual Christmas party in one of the squatter camps in which we work. It is a fun celebration for those that would not normally partake of the seasonal festivities we often take for granted. Beautiful children living in areas like this…….

So today was their day. And it sure was fun to spoil them with jumping castles, games, face painting, and crafts………..

Sweets, treats and faces full of food…………

Presents like this………………….

And of course the explanation of the REASON for the Season…………

Children left with arms full of goodies, yogurt mustaches and faces aglow......

The Franzenfam has had its share of infirmity this week but tis true a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. What a great day!