Monday, November 26, 2007

On to the big boy bed!

My November project was to re-do Owen's room and take out all the baby stuff. I finished the "construction theme" on the walls and painted his dresser early in the month. My parents let us have my old twin bed, and Owen loves it! He's enjoying his new freedom, and really likes reading stories and going to sleep in his own big bed- just like Kylee's. It's such a weird feeling to have the crib stored away, it's been a staple in our houses for 4 years. It definitely feels like a milestone to have both the kids happily going to sleep in their own beds! It's official, Owen is a big boy!
This was Owen's Nursery when we moved into our house in 2005
Here are the kids, jumping off the new bed!

This dresser was my mom's as a child, and my brothers and I all used it. It was wooden with circus clowns originally! I painted it the nursery colors when I was pregnant with Kylee (it's shown in the 1st picture.) Here's what it looks like today.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

So Thankful

Last weekend I was in Weaverville getting a slideshow ready for my Grandmother's funeral. My brother, John and I spent many hours on Saturday scanning and emailing photos and talking. It was a lot of work, and it was taking so long with us being so far apart. I woke up Sunday morning and realized I had to be with my family in Oakland. It's hard to be far away when my whole family is trying to cope with losing my Grandma, and I felt so useless. My family was taking my mom out to celebrate her birthday that evening, and Wes and I spent Sunday morning packing and making phone calls and getting things lined up so we could get down in time to surprise Mom for her birthday and spend the week in Oakland. Let me just say that Wes' parents are amazing- they totally understood us wanting to be with my family and said they would hold down the fort- since Wes and I both work for them. They even sent us off with candy and condolence cards for my family and my grandpa.

We spent the week helping get my parent's house ready for a big Thanksgiving, finishing our slideshow, and even had a chance to visit my godparents- which I haven't done in so long. My godfather has Multiple Sclerosis (sp)- and he and his wife our home bound. We never have a chance to get out and see them, and this week was the perfect opportunity. It was a very special visit, and the kids seemed to be a little less wild than usual, so I was proud of them for behaving.

On Wednesday, we said good-bye to my Grandma. Wes joined my brothers and cousins as a Pall Bearer, and my cousin, Mindy, and I were able to wipe away the tears and stand up to do the readings during the mass. My dad and three of his brothers stood up and honored my grandmother with beautiful Eulogies. After her burial, we gathered and had a big Franco reception- with tons of warm conversation and so many wonderful memories. The slideshow turned out beautiful, and my Grandpa, who is broken hearted after so suddenly losing his "bella" of 70 years, even had some smiles and laughs while watching it.

So, on Thanksgiving Day, my dad said a prayer for Grandma, and we were all thankful that she is in heaven. I also thought about how thankful I am for my daughter- who, at 4 years old, is trying so hard to understand where her Great Grandma is and why we left her at the cemetary. Kylee's sweet nature has given her an abundance of compassion- and the funeral was very hard on her and left her with so many questions. But, she pushed through it, because she loved Great Grandma so much and wanted to be there with us. She was my rock- constanltly wiping my tears and softly rubbing my arm through the day. She saved all of her questions for when we got home, and we could not have asked for a more well behaved child. Owen did very well too, he was loud from time to time, but nothing too disturbing. So, I am thankful for my kids being good listeners in very important situations.

I am extremely thankful for my husband, who decided that he wanted to do everything in his power to make thanksgiving stress-free for my mom. And he did- he was cleaning, and changing light bulbs, and fixing things, and doing food prep, and clean up- all with a smile on his face, cause he was happy to see my parents enjoiying themselves as they visited and relaxed with family. My mom even said "I don't know how I got so lucky to have a son-in-law like you." I am thankful every second of my life for my wonderful husband.

I am thankful for my parents, and how they raised me. For my brothers and their wives, and how they all have such love for my kids. I am thankful for my extended family, which is huge and full of amazing people who can come together and build each other up when times get tough. For my godparents, and their strength. I am so thankful for all that I have been given. Life is beautiful, and after a week like the one I just had, I won't forget to be grateful for all the little blessings I have been given.

Surprising Grandma Sue at her Birthday Dinner

Beloved Ellie's beautiful great grandchildren

Turkey dinner at the Franco's

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Loving Grandma Franco

Grandma in August, 2007

After a very sad couple of days, I am writing a quick post to honor my wonderful Grandma Ellie who passed away on Thursday after suffering a massive heart attack. She celebrated her 90th Birthday in August, and she and my Grandpa John just celebrated 70 years of marriage. My grandparents exemplify what it means to be truley committed in a loving relationship- and my Grandma has always been the picture of the strength of a mom. I have strived to be the loving wife and mom that my parents were to me, and their parents were to them. I feel blessed to have had Grandma Ellie in my world, and miss her tremendously. Please keep my family, especially Grandpa, in your prayers during this difficult time.


VALLEJO - Eleanor G. Franco passed peacefully on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007. Eleanor was born Aug. 14, 1917, in Bakersfield to John Marshall and Katherine Niccolls.She moved to Napa in 1929 and attended Napa High where she was a cheerleader and graduated in 1935. She married John Franco on Oct. 23, 1937 and she and John owned and operated Franco’s Market from 1957 to 1974 while raising five sons, all of whom also worked at the market.

A loving and dedicated mother, “Ellie” remained active in the lives of her children and their families throughout her later years, and they, in turn, cherished the time they spent with her. She was a devoted Catholic and worshipped at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

In retirement, Ellie remained an active fan of local high school sports, dabbled in the game of golf, enjoyed weekend trips to Lake Tahoe and Reno, and traveled cross-country to New England, New York, Washington DC, Virginia and to Hawaii on four separate occasions. But Napa was her home and her family was always foremost in her life.

She is survived by her husband of 70 years, John A. Franco; her sister, Dorothy Critchley of Napa; her sons, Ross (Suzanne) of Oakland, Jim (Lynn) of Buffalo, Mo., Les (Marsha) of Napa, Vic (Barbara) of Napa, and Bob (Angela) of Honolulu, Hawaii. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, Thomas (Devon), David (Sonia), John (Nicola), Peter (Sunita), Ann Marie (Wes Scribner), Paul, Deborah, Dinnies Butler, Dejean Eggers, Marcus, Mindy (Rudy Beasley), Matt (Carolyn), Alynda (Matt Davis), Karen, Miguel and Maria. She is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren, Kylie and Owen Scribner, Jessica and Alex Butler, Sean Eggers, Jaden, Jordan, and Kaia Beasley, and Zachary and Lucas Franco.

She is predeceased by three sisters, Elizabeth Raneri, Marsha Jaeger and Kay Ahlswede; and one brother, Charles Niccolls.

A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, with a reception at the St. John’s Hall following interment. A viewing will be held Tuesday, Nov. 20, 4-7 p.m., followed by a rosary at Richard Pierce Funeral Service, 1660 Silverado Trail, Napa. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. John the Baptist Church. Friends may offer their condolences to the family on-line at

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's just too hard

Owen has been using the potty every now and then- but we really haven't committed to starting "full-on" potty training. Yesterday, he let me know how he really feels about the whole idea of it. I must say, he's a cute little quitter!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Kylee's 4th Birthday

We woke up early on Saturday, and met up with Wes' parents as we all prepared to caravan down to Sacramento. Kylee was EXTREMELY excited for the day's festivities, and did not shut her eyes for a second on the 3 1/2 hour drive. We checked into our hotel, then headed to Arco Arena for High School Musical; The Ice Tour. Kylee was lucky enough to have both sets of her grandparents, some of her uncles and aunts, her brother, cousins, and friends join us for the event. It was a great show- very exciting for those of us who have memorized all of the songs, and even entertaining for the troopers who had no idea about the "High School Musical" mania, and were just there to see a VERY happy little Kylee!
The Kids who watched the show(minus Priyah and Jordan)

Cousins Brynn and Kylee sport their High School Musical party favor shirts
made by mama!
Kylee enjoys the show!Uncle Paulie and Uncle Johnny can't take their eyes off of the amazing performance!The FinaleBrynn, Shawn, and Kylee outside of ArcoCousin Priyah and Auntie Sunita hug the B-Day girlFranco Family representing!
After the afternoon show, we headed to Chuck E Cheese in Roseville. Kylee finally gave in to exhaustion, and took a power nap on the drive- before her dinner activities began at 7 pm. Along with the crew from the Ice Show, Kylee was happy to have her Godmother, Katie, and a group of Mom and Dad's college friends travel out to Roseville to celebrate with us! It was a ton of fun for the grown ups to watch the kids play all the games, and cool to compare Chuck E Cheese now from when we were little. It's funny to see how our lives have changed... many of those who came were the same ones we used to go out with at The Grad in Davis.
Saturday night fun- look at us now!

Uncle Paulie and Owen have some laughs
Kylee blew out her candle
Chuck E. takes time to sing and take a picture with the kids
Katie and Baby Jimmy love Kylee and Brynn's dancing skills
Uncle John wishes he were a bit smaller so he could fit in the ride, too!
Owen and his little buddy, Jimmy, hope to go for a ride together

It was such a fun day- thank you all for making Kylee's 4th Birthday absolutely unforgettable!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Somebody's Turning 4!

Singing to the Birthday Girl!

Yummy cupcakes!

We have settled down from Halloween, and are getting ready to head out of town for Kylee's birthday celebration this weekend. Her birthday is on Sunday, so Owen and I surprised her at lunchtime today with mini cupcakes for the class. They sang to her, and she was shy with all eyes on her, but happy because her birthday is FINALLY here! We can't wait to celebrate some more tomorrow at High School Musical On Ice!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween 2007

Decorating cookies with Great Grandma Joy

Wow- our little princess loves that black icing!

Motocross Racer and High School Musical Cheerleader leave
for preschool on Halloween morning

Kylee, Taylor, and Aliya at school before the field trip

Some of Kylee's class as we sing at the Convalescent Hospital

Grandma Linda, friend Shannon, Shawn, Kylee, and Owen are all dressed up at Grandma's beauty shop

Powering up with some with dinner at Burger King with some of our Weaverville buddies

Our group of Trick-or-treaters at Main Street

Last stop- Trick or Treating at our friend's, Joe and Tiff's, Haunted House and party!