Saturday, September 4, 2010

Little house BIG woods for sale!

Hi all! We have been trying to sell our little house for a year come-November, and haven't had much luck! We moved out of state for Ben's job and had to leave our little spot. I put together a slide show of the house and land with a link to the realtor's listing. If you know of anyone that might be interested, or you have any insights other than "The economy is in the dumper," or "Mortgage crisis, blah, blah, blah," we'd sure appreciate them!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My parents came for their very first, in-person, celebration of Nehemiah's birthday last weekend. One of the gifts that he got was a Buzz Lightyear water rocket thing. He adores it! Here is a funified picture of the awesomeness that ensued. :)

Oh, and we made some fun 4th of July birthday cookies (originally found through the Crafty Crow)in lieu of a cake--they are fabulous and quirky and may be a new favorite for the 4th!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Craving Community

I am coming to realize the depths of my deprivation of community living in the country. Many people fantasize about and truly love such a life; I had hoped to be one of them...I am not! And it is good to know about myself.

It is a breath of fresh air for me to live in a neighborhood again. I can bake cookies and bring them to my neighbors (not saying I have, but hey, I could!), I can offer my assistance to one of the many elderly widows on our street, and they remind me of the wisdom and love of old age--love that I have missed since my GG passed away. My son can yell out the window to his friends across the street and say hi to passersby as they walk.

I hurt my knee badly--tore my ACL, at one of the worst foreseeable times to do so. And the Lord is wrapping me in community. He is using it to care for me. For my kids. And for my spirit. And, I know that when I am back at it again, there are going to be places that I am needed to reciprocate. I am going to be an important part of my neighborhood, and I love that.

Thank you Jesus for walking with me, and showing me your care, even when things are a bit rough. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for my street, and my town, and my friends, new and old. You go before me always, and for that, I am forever grateful!

Blog Alert!

On the recommendation of my new friend Amber, I looked up this blog by the wife of one of the members of Selah. Her name is Angie Smith. My word; what a testament to the Lord and His preservation in sorrow and in joy.

Read on, but not without a big ole' box of tissues and some serious time to devote...can you tell it is the first day campers are at camp? It's going to be a late night, and I certainly found something to do!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

God Bless Iowa!

Well, what can I say? It has been a very rough last few day's here in the Frank household. Not only have we been in the middle of moving for the 2nd time in as many months, and all that comes with that, the painting, the packing, decisions, and chaos, with 2 little ones craving a return to their routine, but summer camp is starting for Ben, which means the return of the 80 hour work week for him. And about two days ago, I fell down some slick stairs at camp, twisting my knee and blowing my ACL in my left knee--not fun folks, not fun! And I should know, as I blew the very same one in high school--uugh!

But there is a bright spot in all of this loveliness, and it has been what I termed the "Just Add Franks" community we are encountering. You know, sort of like the "Just Add Water" baking mixes that come together unexpectedly easily. We have had people who are just getting to know us offer all sorts of help. I have had 2 people watching our kids at various times and for appointments, and our new friends/landlords brought us 2 freezer meals and a scrumptious egg bake and beautiful fruit salad last night. Breakfast was fit for kings this morning, and it was so nice! There are more offers of help that I am going to have to accept as well, thankfully--even though it is kind of tough for me to do sometimes.

My mom mentioned that she had heard that Iowa was the best place to raise a child according to a host of variables, and from what I have seen so far, I would have to agree. Hopefully this mentality rubs off on me. :) Come to think of it, one of my closest friends in MN who could always be counted on for these type of things is originally from Iowa. Dependable, sincere, and sweet are the virtues I am encountering, and it is refreshing!

Thank you Lord and new friends for this provision, we need it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Auntie Erin!

This one deserved it's very own post...I'm now an auntie to a niecey! My brother John and sister-in-law Melissa, and their son Austin, welcomed a new family member this morning. Le joli petit bébé, Addison Rose! Addison tipped the scales at a whopping 4 pounds 15 ounces and is 19 inches long. I am psyched to have a niece, because I so enjoyed being one to my many amazing aunties! I am chomping at the bit to get a bigger photo than the one my brother texted me this morning, and when I do, I'll edit this post to include it. Pink and bows and flowers and nieces, yippee! *clicks heels while jigging*

Life is a little outta' control!

Dear blog,

Oh how I have missed you! I promise I didn't mean to neglect you or our fair readers, but sometimes life happens!

So, the fam and I packed up and moved from the big woods to the little city--a whole state away! We got settled into our rental in record time thanks to lots of help from family and friends. This rental fits us perfectly--the size, layout, even the paint colors complemented our decor, and if I do say so myself, it looked fabulous. Too bad too, because 2.5 weeks later, someone else thought the same thing and bought our new house! (Now if only that would happen to the one still for sale in the big woods!)

So now we are looking into our options for housing in the little city. It ain't easy--we don't know if we can get a loan to buy what with our other house, and rentals here are few and far between. There was a 100 year storm last summer, and the entire town lost 1/2 their windows and siding, which means it takes a lot of time to rebuild. Many people are temporarily living in rentals until their houses are fixed up, which makes it crazy to try to find anything with more than 2 bedrooms that will also allow kids and a dog! God is taking care of us though, and there will be something that comes through.

Other than the housing debacle, we LOVE our new town. Nothing makes you appreciate all of the teensy details of living in a town like living in the boonies for a few years! There are some amazing parks, two grocery stores, a post office, and various other untold wonders, and, be still my beating heart, all of them are within a 5 minute car drive or probably a 30 minute walk. Shut up! I know; it's rocking our world right now!

It's funny too, because people can tell. They always comment on having seen us outside, and how happy they are that there are new kids in the neighborhood, and how we go to the parks--they're almost always empty, but then again, it goes back to being deprived of all that for awhile. I'm sure we'll make good use for some time to come.

Oh, and another wonder? Pizza delivery. Yup, you heard right--we can now receive fresh, hot pizza on our doorstep in 30 minutes! The heavens have opened and smiled down on me!

And the people have been fabulous. We had a welcome reception with gifts and dinner, help moving in, some people stop by to mow our lawn, free babysitting, a meal dropped off in the chaos, play dates scheduled, connections made, a may basket with candy and encouragement, and other stuff I am sure to have left out.

All in all, I am puzzled about the housing, but I know this is where God has brought us, and that is thrilling.

Thanks for your prayers and kindness. I'm missing my peeps in the big woods, but it is great to be here too. I'll try to be better about keeping y'all posted!

Nehemiah lovin' on the play structure here at our rental--and look, no pacifier--we're so proud!

And Adelynne, now officially big enough to give Mama heart attacks by climbing to the top of the play structure to go down the slide by herself--oh my!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Someday this will all be mine--haha!

But who will teach me how to drive it?

Still waters run deep.

Chasing shadows

Pleased as punch.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day '10

My little leprechauns!

Addy--paddy girl!

Top O' the Morning to ya Mama!

"Look at the camera Ad-lyn!" says the oldest child.
"Whatchou talkin' bout Willis?!" her face says it all. :P

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Faithful

In our small group, we have been studying Deuteronomy and God's faithfulness to the Israelites as the went on their journey from Egypt, their wandering, and on the cusp of entering the promised land and taking hold of the inheritance that the Lord had prepared for them. One of the themes is remembering those faithful times with monuments for the coming generations. We are in such a time of obvious faithfulness...the Lord has and is moving on our behalf, and I have been encouraged to document it, so here goes.

We came to Minnesota a few years ago and moved to the middle of nowhere. It is beautiful and still and big and wide here. I know why I fell in love with it. I know even more why Ben did. But in addition to those things, it is too still. Lonely even. At least for me, who is the primary "at home" person. It is too far from what I really love. I have been blessed with amazing, out of the ordinary community here. And they have been my sanity in a lot of ways. However sometimes it feels like I see them from the other side of the fishbowl...the outside. You see when gas prices rise and little kids have naps to be taken and other concerns, it is difficult to access that amazing network. It takes an hour of packing up and driving to get to and from anywhere--which means I need to bring snacks, meals, and all kinds of things just to go out for a 15 minute errand! And the gas! A 15 minute errand? Yeah right! I learned a long time ago to bundle my errands, because we can't afford to go into town every day--I tried that. :) So as much as I have been blessed here, I was still having a hard time.

Ben has been so diligent in completing school while we have been here. He has worked his tail end off, and the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to move to Iowa, into a town, with Ben moving up as the Camp Director at Pine Lake Christian Camp.

It has been a possibility for almost 2 years. And we were eager to jump at it, but then the practical stuff started looking almost impossible! Turns out we bought our house at the absolute peak of the market. We cannot expect to sell it for less than a $30,000 loss. That's nearly 1/3 of it's value! I was so disheartened to find this out.

We went to visit at Pine Lake in November, and I remember the current director, Roger, praying for God to move mightily and reward our step out in faith. I thought--yeah, that would be amazing, but how will that work out? What could possibly keep that huge financial loss from happening? Well, never put God in a box! I know all the reasons it wasn't going to work, let me tell you now how it is...

Our bank agreed to a short sale, which basically means that they are going to suck up whatever is lost on the house instead of us...leaving our credit intact. They will mess with lowering the price and all that jazz. Then the Lord brought a friend back into the area looking for a place to rent, and our house is the perfect fit for her and her daughter! And Ben's dad offered to help do the handyman type stuff for them while we are away.

Then we found a house in Iowa for sale that we really liked but couldn't afford until our house sells...and we set up an appointment with a Realtor to look at one we might be able to afford. While looking at and deciding that it wasn't for us, we found out the house we liked was being rented. We asked when we got back if they would be interested in renting it to us. And their current renters were moving out the week before we need to move in--what timing!

Oh, and did I mention that someone approached us about buying our second car--the one we had decided to get rid of, because we won't need it when we live in town?! Crazy!

Everything about this has been so amazing! Proving the Lord's faithfulness again and again.

We are in the middle of getting ready to move, and it has been a zoo! Please pray that the moving and getting all the work done on our house so it is ready for our friend goes smoothly, and then that we are able to get plugged in to the community down in Iowa quickly. I'm positive that the Lord will continue in His faithfulness, but praying always helps!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Girl!

Here are some pictures from the computer has been with the Geek Squad for a long time--so more will be forthcoming! :)

Saying hello to her public while opening gifts.

Happy girl on a happy birthday!

Diapers are so fun!

Opening the pelican whose beak holds more than his bell-i-can!

Visiting the Grammy-made panda cake, in the panda sweatshirt from Papa and Meji .

This is not this girl's first chocolate--can you tell?!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More firsts

Adelynne is on her feet! She does a bit of walking when no one is looking, and here I caught her standing on her own.

Now and then there is a bit of tear free "rassling" that occurs--I can't believe I caught it!


We had a blast taking Nehemiah for his first bowling for an early Valentine's celebration.


So strong!

Gonna' make it?

Sweet success--rejoice!


Fun with photos

I have been lax in my posting lately, but I have been taking pictures! I will put up a few posts with fun recent happenings. :) This is one of the first times I caught the kids playing together.




Whatcha doin'?

Sweetie pie

Friday, February 19, 2010

Beauty and fun rolled into one!



Flying high!

I can hardly believe Adelynne's first birthday is coming up so fast! We sure are loving her more each day! Here are a few fun pictures from today. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Down Paris Goats!

Nehemiah got a little periscope with the penguins from Madagascar at McDonald's yesterday.

Today, he was attempting to master the word "periscope." The first thing we heard was Paris goat...the next? Pair of ghosts.

On the way to church Nehemiah dropped the toy behind him in the van, and though he did exclaim, "Oh my periscope!" What Ben heard was, "Oh my penis broke!" You should have seen Ben's face!

The hilarity of mispronunciation combined with the correct anatomical terminology accompanying the potty training attempts in process here. Say that 3x fast!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tales of a Bizarre Terrorist Banshee

Wow, there are times when you think to yourself as a parent, "Hmm...I believe we have entered the terrible twos." And then there are times when you reflect on those times and realize that you were dead wrong, because the current have no words for. Terrible twos doesn't even begin to explain it.

Fortunately the good Lord gives these creatures, err, I mean children (or in my book Bizarre Terrorist Banshees/BTBs for short) a heavy dose of imagination. This serves not only to keep the BTBs exhausted parents on their toes, but also breaking out into spontaneous fits of hilarious laughter--lucky for the BTB.

I shall attempt to put words to the past few days in order to aide other unsuspecting caretakers in identifying a BTB should it emerge from your otherwise normal child. I shall also beg, plead, and weep in an attempt to extract advice from others who have endured the wrath of this peculiar creature.

When we moved Nehemiah into his big boy bed in the fall, I expected that he would get up and wander around his room, and I wasn't sure exactly how to keep that from happening. Then we tried it, and no joke, he would not get off of his bed unless we came and got him. He would yell for us, but would wait patiently until we arrived for his extrication. This delightful turn of events is no more. He has discovered his freedom--in a BIG way!

I should also explain that we are in the throes of potty training, which entails, among other things, lessons on how to undress and redress.

In the last few weeks, Nehemiah has started waking up in the middle of the night. He is not groggy. He is up like he would be in the morning. It started out that he would call for us. One of us (usually Ben, or Adelynne will wake up screaming, because she immediately knows when my presence is missing) would go to his room and put him back to bed. Then we started to cut his naps down--now he takes a nap maybe twice a week and has quite time in his room the other days.

Last week, the moon was particularly bright, which causes Maltby to be a bit insane--he insists on going out to chase the Wererabbit. He barks and is very noisy--so Ben would also get up to let the dog out, and he started noticing that Nehemiah's bedroom light was on--at like 2 am. He was quietly in there playing or looking at books, but not sleeping. The next day, he would be very tired and irritable. We figured he would eventually get tired enough that he would quit the habit. A few nights later Ben came out to let Maltby out, and all of the lights in the house were on, and Nehemiah was standing buck-naked, banging on the heater, and yelling for Ben. It was so unexpected, and didn't happen again for awhile.

Then, this morning, after a glorious, uninterrupted night's sleep, Ben got up to find Nehemiah, with very poopy diaper removed, and naked, who had stepped in his poo, and was now jumping and dancing on the couch. We were fortunate that there wasn't more around, but it was a little shocking. Ben handled it very well--Nehemiah is quite fortunate that I was nursing Adelynne and not getting up. I don't do so well in the mornings--I'm definitely a night owl--I would have been quite upset, but Ben was so patient. I was very proud of him, because it was a better reaction, considering that Nehemiah is in the middle of so much learning--I don't think he did anything purposely, but my gut reaction wouldn't have taken all of those variables into account.

Anyway, with the midnight mayhem, we are exhausted, including Nehemiah, which results in much more normal "terrible two" behavior during the day. We've been trying to be more consistent with the Dear BTB as far as discipline is concerned, cutting nap time, transitioning from the high chair, potty training, etc. I think it is all just a bit much, so I am hoping when some of these skills are mastered that life will slow down a bit and get back to something resembling normality!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eat your 'Phil' of Punxsutawny Pancakes!

This is one breakfast I wouldn't mind eating day after day after day! ;) I found these cute little guys over at Gourmet Mom on-the-Go and couldn't resist making the winter doldrums a bit more special around here. They're not healthy for the body, but they do wonders for the spirit!

Love at first sight or bite?

The stare down.

It's alive!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It works!

This may seem trite, but I often decide to bake spur of the moment, and in the evening, Nehemiah likes to enjoy the fruits of his/our labor before bed--surprise, surprise! Anyway, it takes too long to soften butter to room temp in our chilly house (in the winter), so I went in search of an alternative, and wouldn't you know, I found one! We made a batch of chocolate chip cookies this way tonight, and it worked! I've done it with the microwave before, but I find the results to be inconsistent at best.

Photo credit:

Praise the Lord

This morning I woke up to find this picture of Keanan (from Haiti on Diplomatic Parole) greeting his daddy in Orlando. Praise the Lord and thank you for praying!

A few days ago I mentioned this situation from a blog I follow called, Rage Against the Minivan--I'm so glad that Keanan is home and some good is able to come from an impossible situation. The Lord is merciful in His provision for and salvation of His little ones.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Storming the Gates

I have come across a blog called Rage Against the Minivan in the past few months, and while there are things I don't have in common with Kristen (I mean come on--y'all have seen my minivan proudly tooling around town!), I want to focus on what we do have in common...a faith in Christ and a love for our kids. She was in Haiti with her baby girl visiting their son (who they have been in the process of adopting for the last 3 years) when the earthquake struck. She and her daughter have made it home safely--praise the Lord! Join me in praying for their son to come home. Here is some information she has given about the process of something called humanitarian parole--where Keanan, her son, may be able to come to the States and to their family until Haiti's infrastructure improves and it is safer for him to be there again--it has been extended to some; I am praying that her family will make the list. Kristen is one of many US parents waiting on their Hatian children. Here is a powerful music video by the talented Aaron Ivey, another one of that group.

Join me in praying for these children and families please.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Before and After

Along with my new camera, I have been doing more photo editing than in the past. Here are some before and afters, so you can see the difference between what my camera does, and what my computer does after. :) Fun stuff! PS--My new camera is a Nikon D-3000 and I am editing with free Picasa software.
Befores: Afters: