Friday, January 29, 2010


Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out.
So I never lose sight of your love, but keep in step with you, never missing a beat.

Ps 26:2&3 Msg

I’ve been pondering these verses as of late. I’m sure like many others January was “back to the gym”…time to start exercising something other than my jaw muscle. It was not a shock to hear that personal trainers are most in demand the month of January. Everyone is resolute in knocking off the holiday pounds in an attempt to get fit, and they want help and accountability to do so.

I’m sure like many others as well, I have a strong desire to “get fit” from the inside out. It is time to eliminate the excess, get hungry again, and strengthen my heart, mind and emotions. I view my God in many ways and call to Him accordingly… my Healer, my Daddy, my Protector..... and my Personal Trainer.

It's hard work, sometimes my muscles will ache, at other times I will feel I cannot go on but I rest knowing He is my PT. He is examining and ordering HIS battery of tests, a specific regimen designed just for me. He may have me use the same equipment as others- the weights of personal quiet time, the treadmill of bible study, the “spin” of prayer, the aerobic class of church, however my reps, times, and levels will be scaled specifically for my design and need.

I’ll sweat, hurt, want to quit and most likely cry but He’ll never push me beyond what I can handle. I’ll interact with others “in the gym” with similar motivations but I must refrain from comparing my fitness to theirs. I have a completely different “soul shape”.

My reason… not because it is the spiritual thing to say or do, nor another item on the “good Christian” checklist to tick, not even with the goal of some sort of blessing but “So I never lose sight of His love and keep in step with Him never missing a beat.”

What an awesome thing to train for, to set my sights on…. His love and keeping in step with Him. How great it would be to jump on the scale and see minus 10 lbs of self-absorbed thinking or to look in the mirror and see a new me sculpted in His Love.

I have a long way to go on my personal fitness program but I’m grateful I have my PT coaching me every step of the journey.

Hope to see you at the gym!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Tony

Hey 24 fans, this one is for you....

Apparently some people feel that if something happens to Tony Almeida and he doesn't come back to life this time that Rich could take his part.

So what do you think...look-alikes?

To be fair, it could be said that Mr. Almeida is 'easy on the eyes' however "My Tony" is just down right hot!

FYI.....we are a Season behind America and only just found out Tony has turned to the dark side so please don't divulge how long Rich's career as Tony's stunt-double may or may not last.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tori has a New Look

Not sure what it is with my monkey and this time of year. You may recall this happening last year on the first day of school.

I might mention we made it all 6 weeks in America without seeing a did not have so much as a sniffle. (PTL) We sailed through the first day of school this year without incident but would soon be putting our health insurance to work. When I picked Tori up on Friday she had just fallen from the Monkey bars and was holding her wrist delicately.

X-rays confirmed a small fracture wherewith we will have to take her to an orthopedic surgeon next week to assess if she will need a hard cast and for how long.

For now it is a lot of Motrin and TLC....might up my prayers around this time next year.

Oh and if anyone can tell me how to remove the highlighted orange text box with html instructions from the top of my blog I would be so grateful!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Proud Moments

Being a parent there are definitely many proud moments with regard to our children. I am sure all the parents out there would agree we have warranted bragging rights over our children. Many of those moments are monumental and often documented with photos or in a diary of sorts. They might include a child’s first word, first step, first lost tooth, first birthday, first soccer goal, first dance and perhaps even a first kiss…actually the latter might fit better on the "Concerned Moments" list.

I had one of those proud, monumental moments while we were in the States and thought it only poignant to document it….

Skyler’s first Starbucks!

Definitely a very proud parental moment for me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Last of Firsts

The kid's started a new school year today. Skyler entered grade 5, Blake grade 2 and Victoria grade R (or Kindergarten as my American friends know it). For Tori this will be her initial year at big school with her brother and sister.

Tori does not wear a school uniform until next year although her princess shirt has become like a uniform.

Skyler's day began particularly early as she had difficult sleeping, in part due to excitement (she loves school) and she is still recovering from jet-lag. Her excitement was contagious which was good for sister Tori as she isn't particularly comfortable with new situations.

After a few traditional pics...

Oh and on an important note, you can't see Tori's backpack but it is also features a Princess (Belle)...shocker I know.

...Sky and Blake were happy to initiate Tori in the 'drive to school antics'...singing with "their" music, teasing, and prayer time with Dad. Upon entering school grounds Tori's confidence was soaring.

Both Sky and Blake were thrilled with their teachers and even more thrilled that both their best friends were in their classes. I know God looks out for my kiddos but it is thrilling to get a glimpse of it as we did this morning.

It was finally Tori's turn to go to her classroom. Now that brother and sister were gone reality began to sink in and apprehension ensued.

Rich and I left Tori's classroom with tears in our eyes mainly due to seeing the tears in hers and hearing her pleas of"please don't leave me". Yes, it was a rip my heart out moment but as I returned to the car and gathered my composure I realized it is the last of the Franzenfam Kindergarten firsts.

Apart of me rejoices and apart of me is sad due to this last of firsts.

A little update....

I am happy to report when I returned to school to fetch Tori, I found a happy princess that already made two friends. Once again I felt a glimpse of God's goodness towards my family...and I am grateful. We celebrated a great last of firsts with chocolate crossiants. A yummy end to a super day!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

More Pillow Talk

We are getting ready to head to our last destination prior to departing for South last pillow before laying my head on my own.

We began our USA trip in Florida which now seems so long ago. We did so much I didn't have a chance to capture it in the franzenfam cyber diary then. So now I'll hit a very special highlight...pillow #3, the watery one.

My parents, Vern and Millie, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

Aren't they cute?!

I'm sure there would be no argument that such a milestone deserves to be celebrated in a big way. Due to the wonderful planning by my brother, this crew....

celebrated together on this....

There was lots of water fun on and off the boat....

We had 2 stops along the way, the first was in Grand Cayman. There the kids would snorkel with the stingray at Sting Ray City.

The big black shadows under the water are the stingrays..yeah, pretty big and a bit scary at times.

Our second stop was in Cozumel. There we spent the day at a beautiful national park, swimming and snorkeling.

Here is "Kelly's snorkel school", as my sister in-law, Kelly, was the first to take 6 of the 7 kids snorkeling.

Tori, kid #7, was content to play in the pool instead of snorkel.

Even non-aqua Grandma had fun watching the kids play and being smothered by their affection...

This was also the start of our over-eating marathon. We ate some great food and some firsts for a few of the crew...

Many of our evenings ended in a game or two.

And when finally retiring, exhausted to our cubicle referred to as a "room" our turn down included one of these fun guys

We even learned to make our own towel creations. Hey, you never know when making a monkey from bath towels might come in handy.

Like everything else, all good things come to an end. We disembarked full of memories of fun with family and Freddy.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

At the top of the list

The year is crisp with newness and I already feel like I am behind. So I'll work on "catching up" on the year-end activities.

We had more of this..

thus a lot of this...

We had a special visit from our dear friend Ray Ray (and her mom)

They helped us create this ginger bread house concoction

We've taken in our share of goodies; creating a NY's resolution to make use of this...

New Year's Eve brought a Chipmunk flick, MORE food, fireworks and failed attempts to make it to midnight...

Blake didn't even make it through the 9:30 fireworks. By the time the pics of the girls were taken he was tucked up in his bed deep into dreamland.

New Year's Eve fireworks were a first for Tori..she was so impressed she could not help but praise the Lord. With every burst of color in the sky she would proclaim, "God, I just love you so much and want to praise you everyday."

I love seeing things from a child's perspective. A reminder that the things that may have become expected or mundane truly are extraordinary...good gifts from a Father that loves us far greater than we could ever fathom.

Something I'll try (by God's grace) to keep at the top of my New Year's list.

Happy New Year...may you see it with a child like faith!