Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas From the Franks '08

Teething, toilet training and time-outs have been the theme of 2008 here in the Franks household. Our life with three toddlers can best be described as creative chaos. It will never cease to amaze me how quickly ‘artwork’ can appear on the walls, floor and children; how quickly cute and cuddly can turn into foreshadowing of the teen years; or how each of the girls visibly grows up with every blink of my eyes.

This year brought about a few momentous occasions for Nick. In July Nick and a few of his buddies were fortunate enough to have their ol’ ball-and-chains cut them loose on a ROAD TRIP!! Yankee and Shea Stadiums were the destination and I heard they were amazing. Nick could tell you much more about his adventures- but I choose to be blissfully unaware of the hi-jinx of that vanload. In September Nick put the finishing touch on his 10 year journey of pursuing preparation for vocational ministry. Nick passed through the accreditation process and can now look back on his schooling and training with contentment that choosing to persevere brought him to his goal. Oh, and Nick turned 30 in November. Waaaaaaayyyyyyy before me.

Isabella entered into the wonderful world of weddings this year with two flower girl gigs. In July she did a wonderful job at the Green wedding and bogeyed the night away on the dance floor. In November she once again sent folks into sugar shock with her cuteness at the wedding of Nick’s brother Andrew and his beautiful bride Mary. Isabella grew a lot over the past year both in stature and in intellect. It amazes me what she knows and it keeps me on my toes when she tries to trip me up to get what she wants.

Brooklyn has accomplished much this year. She has learned her ABC’s and begun to count. She is talking in complete sentences, usually telling someone what to do and her physical strength has become rather shocking. You can most often find her….well actually you can’t because she doesn’t sit still. However, you always know she’s around because she never stops talking. So much of Brooklyn can’t be put into words like her strut, or this great angry face she makes when she wants to bend you to her will.

Kathryn is now one and almost walking. She has a couple words, (‘mama’ and ‘baby’) and enjoys being upside down and tickled. It has been such a blessing to see the way her face lights up when her sisters pay attention to her. Often their playtimes end in dog piles, the three of them giggling and wrapped up in bear hugs.

This year I have had many opportunities to grow into my skin as a mom. We went through a few trying times, (like living without a vehicle for four months), and some great experiences, (like the Women’s retreat in September), which began in me a great refining work. I’ve been able to reconnect with my love of scrapbooking and been able to meet many wonderful ladies who share the same hobby. So many fantastic people have entered my life, and the life of our family, in 2008- we have been truly blessed.

This coming year is sure to be chockfull of growing experiences as we wait on God’s timing and for Him to reveal His plan to us. Nick is seeking a ministry opportunity and our family will grow once again as we welcome Baby #4 in June. The girls will continue to grow and the fall will find us entering the world of kindergarten.

We trust that this letter finds you happy and healthy and enjoying the Christmas Season.

With Love; Merry Christmas

Nick, Amanda, Isabella, Brooklyn and Kathryn

Friday, December 19, 2008

S'more Katy

A few candid shots from Katy's first birthday party. We just spent a quiet evening in with my mom and dad who were visiting. I had been quite sick leading up to the celebrations, so we didn't get to our traditional Teddy Bear cake. We will have one next year though- what's that you want an invite? ;) My grandmother makes these wonderful teddy bears. Each of the girls have one, (and I hope there's one in the works for Baby 4). Katy really enjoyed this teddy but wouldn't get too close as she definitely has a favorite cuddly.
She went right for the candles, hence Nick holding her hands back. She has no fear this girl. Is that a common trait of the third born?
Just like Brooklyn she is most happy when she has a full tummy and a messy face. Surprisingly she fell right asleep after all that sugar.
And this picture was from breakfast this morning, way too cute to pass up posting. This is really how she smiles, not her initial smile, but when she wants you to keep doing something that makes her happy. I just want to freeze it forever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Kathryn turned one last week. It's mind-boggling to me that it's been a year since she was born. Time really did start going quickly with the arrival of Isabella and Brooklyn; but Katy introduced warp speed to our lives. Not only did the days begin moving faster but the milestones began coming earlier and before I knew it she was a little lady instead of a baby. Instead of listing her milestones, trying to make the few pictures I have of her look like hundreds, waxing eloquent over her qualities or trying to put into words why she is the bestest Kathryn Elizabeth ever; I want to tell you about the one thing she has done differently than our daughters before her.

Before Katy came into our lives I had been a mother for 33 months. I had sacrificed my way through sleepless nights and breastfeeding woes and all that other newborn stuff. Welcoming a third baby girl into our family wasn't 'brand new' in the way welcoming Isabella was 'brand new', or how welcoming a boy would have been 'brand new', and yet it was a totally 'brand new' beginning.
Due to my current baby brain and other stresses in our life I just can't find the right words to explain how Katy made me a mom instead of a mother. When she was born my heart grew about four sizes; my love for Isabella doubled, my loved for Brooklyn doubled, I had love for this new person, and I began loving my new role as mom. I will be forever thankful for Katy, the timing of her arrival and how my life has changed since she has entered it.
Katy is amazing but even more than that she enables the amazing in everything else to shine through. There really aren't words to describe how amazing having her in our family is.
Happy Birthday Katy.