Like Manna from Heaven

March 31, 2010 at 7:18 am (Food, Makes me Smile, Uncategorized)

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my love for a certain Canadian margarine. Look what arrived in the mail yesterday:

Postal goodness from Canada


My dad sent this off to me before I wrote that post. It’s as if he is completely in tune but my margarine needs. For a split second I thought that I was getting some environmentally friendly boxed wine

What's hiding in th box?

, but then behold what to my wandering eyes appeared:

This should get me through the next year. There shall be toast in our home again … at least for me!

Thanks Dad!

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Mad Skills

March 30, 2010 at 6:30 am (Fun Stuff)

My attempt at "panning"

So, I signed up for the online intro to digital photography class. I have to say that these digital scrapbookers are intense. I can follow the lessons, and I can do the assignments, but I cannot keep up with all of these message boards. I’m not very experienced in the world of forums and messages, and it’s a little crazy to me.

Working with low shutter speed

I am however, learning a ton about my camera. I have no plans beyond taking better pictures of the family, but it is nice to know that the TV button on the dial isn’t actually for filming moving images!

Last week I learned all about shutter speed, and this week we’re on to apertures. I think I sound very official now! Of course, I have yet to hear the audio feedback from the first assignment. It’s a little nerve-wracking for me.

A random shot of cuteness!

I would highly recommend the Jessica Sprague online classes. If you do want to sign up, make sure you’re online waiting on the sign-up page 5 minutes before registration is about to begin. These scrapbookers are fierce and the fight to get into these classes is intense!

This is a shot of the boys checking out what’s cooking for franklyentertaining!

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The New Blog

March 29, 2010 at 7:48 am (Fun Stuff, Makes me Smile, recipes, Things I love)

I thought about calling this post, “Our new project,” but I thought some of you might get the wrong idea!

My sister Christina and I have created a new blog and we think you should check it out:

Frankly  Entertaining

That’s right, Frankly Entertaining … it’s a double entendre! I know it’s seems obvious because, frankly, we’re both so entertaining! It’s a mix of recipes, cookbook reviews, entertaining ideas, and just general kitchen happiness brought to you by the Frank sisters! We’re really excited about this new project, and we would appreciate any feedback that you might have. We’re looking forward to seeing you over at the new site.

One of Christina's delicious desserts!

Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting my random nonsense here. The other site is a more focused effort! So, hop on over and let us know what you think!

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It’s a Hard-Knock Life

March 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm (Family, Kids)

Well, now that Spring Break is officially over at our house we are trying to get back to some sort of schedule. Samuel was on the bus first thing this morning with his lunch, his library book, and his reading logs.

The other boys were also up early, but they didn’t quite know what to do once Samuel left. I decided against the gym because I was going to be watching a friend’s daughter (when the friend’s daughter got sick I stuck to my guns and stayed home!).

I will not lie, there was a little bit of PBSkids, but I also managed to get dinner in the crockpot, lots of laundry done, plus a load of dishes.

For some reason everyone seems a little cranky though. After lunch, William went to the backyard, while Ben and Afton went for their naps. William and I then worked on Reading lesson #24 (so much easier the second time around!).

At this point it was only 12:30pm. What to do now? William wanted to watch another show, but they aren’t on again until 1:00 (I know I can find them other places, but when I stick to the PBS schedule it helps limit the time my kids watch). I told William to give me 5 minutes and then I would turn on the spelling games on the computer.

Well, imagine my surprise when I went to look for him a few minutes later and I found this on my bedroom floor:

It's a rough life!

Oh to be four years old!

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Wherefore art thou Becel?

March 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm (Grrr!, Random Thoughts)

A love letter to my favorite spreadable margarine:

Dear Becel,

My love for you was nurtured in my home and native land. A spreadable margarine that is both heart healthy and tasty. Not to mention the miracle that is your ability to butter toast without making the toast soggy. Why do Canadians have a monopoly on non-soggy toast? Why do customs agents look at me like I’m crazy when I say that I’m declaring margarine? Why do I have to deprive my children of the goodness that is Becel because I never know when I’m going to get my next supply? Why oh why aren’t you available at a supermarket near me?

I have tried to replace you with American spreadable margarine, but nothing here has your je ne sais quoi. Even the Promise Spread with it’s near identical font was a disappointment. I was sure that Promise had to be America’s answer to Becel, but I was wrong. Even though, in theory, they are the same product, Promise lacks Becel’s magic.

I love you and I will always be loyal. Please move south of the border very soon.



ps:  I have just found a source that says it ships all kinds of Canadian goodness around the world. This could be my answer for Becel and ketchup chips!

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March 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm (Doug Stuff, Grrr!)


Last year, Doug and I were trying to simplify the Christmas experience. Trimming the number of gifts was supposed to make things easier, and it was supposed to help us appreciate our gifts more. Doug’s gifts to me were a cast iron skillet (this was something that I’d been looking at for a while), and … wait for it… Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. Now, I don’t fault Doug at all. He was trying to be very sweet. He knows that this is a game that I used to play a lot when I was a kid. He thought that I would have fun with this. What he doesn’t understand however, is that I don’t really enjoy the playing of games. I enjoy the winning of games! Unfortunately for our children, Doug and I both feel this way!

I have played Super Mario Bros exactly three times since Christmas. I don’t know if Doug and the boys have stopped playing it! Doug started out by saying that it teaches teamwork, and then he told me that it was bonding time for him and the boys. He told me that they were only playing it until they beat all of the levels and then we were going to put it away.

Then, late on night it happened. Doug beat Bowser , and the game was over. He told the kids all about his success when they woke up the next morning (for the family bonding, Doug couldn’t trust the boys not to get him killed during the final stages!).

I was very excited because that meant the end of playing this game every single day. Except, that the day after Doug’s success a friend came over to play. Somehow, Nintendo has not figured out how to prevent 5 year olds from randomly deleting progress. Oh, if I could have captured the look on Doug’s face when he came home and the game was back to the beginning!

It shouldn’t have mattered though, because he had already beaten the game. He had nothing left to prove. We should have been able to store Mario on the shelf. Alas, there was no proof that Doug had finished the game. Even though I know that he’s the most honest person on the planet, he was worried that someone might think he was lying. So, we started all over again.

I wish I could say that I was patient and long-suffering, but mostly I just suffered. Every night. Trying to beat the witch and the dogs and trying to overcome the challenge that is playing with two young boys who think it’s really fun to push Mario into the hot lava.

Well, last night at 9:45pm Doug went and got the boys out of bed so that they could witness the momentous occasion. Doug was about to, again, save the princess. Success! Woohoo! Everyone is happy. The game is over and the credits are rolling. We are done … aren’t we? Wait, what is that? They said the game was over. Why on earth is there a World 9 that shows up after the credits have rolled?

Late night princess saving!

Anyone want to buy a copy of Super Mario Bros?!

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Weekly Forecast

March 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm (Family)

Aah ... too much time on our hands!

So, it’s Spring Break at our house. Since this is the first year that we have a child in school, this is the first year that we are really affected by the Spring Break madness! Samuel woke up on Saturday morning shouting about how excited he was that there was no school. Apparently he forgot that he never has school on Saturday!

So, what are our Spring Break plans? Nothing really. We are a kickback kind of people. I hate the crowds during this week. So, there will not be any Sea World or Six Flags. I’m undecided about the zoo, but a trip to the library  might be in order. We have a couple of social things in the works, but would it be weird of me to just want to organize the house a little bit?

I  really want to clean out Afton’s closet, and my closet just makes me want to cry right now! I’m also working on some stuff with my sister, and I feel like I’ve been slacking a little bit.

This morning we made an 8:30am visit to the McDonald’s playland, so I think they’re good for today. Tomorrow they’re going to have a play date that should keep them occupied for a couple of hours. I though about the gym, but the afternoon is already here, and the baby is napping.

I think I better make a list for tomorrow  so I don’t spend the entire day thinking about what I want to do!

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Dream a Little Dream

March 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm (Makes me Smile, Uncategorized)




So, it’s Friday night, and we have big plans here. I borrowed La Vie en Rose from the library, and I will be dreaming of moving back to France … just for a little while.

Sometimes Doug and I talk about how much fun it would be for us to have a short term international adventure. I would love to spend a couple of years in Europe. I think it would be an amazing thing for our entire family. Lately I’ve been think about it more because I have a cousin who is moving to Chile, and my brother is considering a job in the middle east.

I also follow a few blogs that make me dream. Do you ever read Stephmodo? Her experiences renovating a house in the french countryside make my heart ache just a little bit. Then today I was talking to a friend about some photography classes that she’s teaching. She and her friend are planning a French Photo Retreat at Stephmodo’s house. How amazing is that? Could I convince my husband to send me to France for a few days to learn how to make the most of my fancy camera?( I already tried to convince Candice to let me tag along as her interpreter, but apparently her teaching partner speaks french) Could I convince him to let me take Candice’s online class by showing him what a bargain it is compared to the trip to France? Would it be weird to take an online class from someone that you know?

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Google Much?

March 11, 2010 at 8:19 pm (Random Thoughts)

Do you ever Google yourself?

I have been known to do a little personal research, but my name is a fairly common one, and I usually can’t make it past the first three pages to see if there’s something actually about me. My sister-in-law, Ingrid is very famous. If you Google her, it’s actually her that comes up!

Anyway, the reason I bring up the search engines is because WordPress has a fancy schmancy feature that lets you see the search terms that people use to find our blog. There is one phrase that appears more than any other. You’re probably thinking, “world’s best mom,” but strangely enough, that isn’t it. The phrase that shows up most often is: “Big kid diapers.”

This is a little depressing for me, because I thought I was about more than just diapers! Anyway, in case you all were worried, everyone who should be potty trained in my house is potty trained(and has been for quite some time!)! We are down to two sets of diapers, and perhaps one day we’ll be down to one set of diapers!

Anyway, I’m off to Google different versions of myself to see if I’m famous … even just a little bit!

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Turn Around Don’t Drown

March 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm (Random Thoughts)

When we first moved here, San Antonio was experiencing one of the rainiest Summers on record (for those of you in Utah, rainy just means a lot of “moisture!”). There was a lot of flooding. Our neighborhood is pretty hilly, so there was never a lot of flooding around here, Mostly we would just see the drainage ditches filling up. However, every day we would see warnings on the freeways.

Turn Around Don’t Drown

I always thought to myself that it seemed like a ridiculous warning. If a road was covered in water, you obviously wouldn’t drive through it. That Summer though, quite a few people died because they got washed away by the water.

I hadn’t really thought about too much until a few weeks ago when we went out for an afternoon drive. We took some backroads, and we were checking out some different neighborhoods. At one point we came up to a closed road. The road was obviously closed due to high water. The road was still impassable even though it hadn’t rained that day. I got the camera out to take some pictures when I noticed this:

What is wrong with this picture?

Then on Sunday I was a substitute teacher for the 14  year olds on Sunday School. The lesson was, in part, about Lot and his wife, and what happened to them as they were leaving Sodom. I would like to think that if God was out there threatening to rain down fire on my city, that I might be quick to get on out of town. But they didn’t leave quickly, and then Lot’s wife turned around.

So, it’s had me questioning myself a little. I’ve never had a huge warning like Lot, or a big flashing sign that I haven’t listened to, but there have been lots of little things that I have been warned about. For example, I know that no good comes from having my kids play as much Super Mario Bros. as they play. I know that our home is far more harmonious when it is tidy and yet I can’t keep it tidy for very long. I am also quite certain that no good came out of Doug and I going to the French Quarter during mardi gras a few years ago.

So, what does all this man? Nothing at all really. I’m just rambling, but this whole thing has been on my mind. How do we heed the warnings, both big and small? If we aren’t listening to the little things, will we be prepared when the big things come our way?

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