Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sisters at Play

Madison almost 11 months, Kylee almost 6 years

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Little Man is 4!

Owen has been BEGGING to be 4 since his buddies started turning 4 last fall... and he is SO happy he finally caught them. When November rolls around we're gonna start hearing about how much he'd like to be FIVE now... but I'll take this nice month of peace and happiness with Owen being the big numero cuatro. I cannot believe it's been FOUR years since I became a mom to a son. I love what Owen has brought to our family, he's spirited, full of emotion, loves his family and friends, and is very good about learning and following the rules -as long as they are rules that he isn't currently the one breaking :). He keeps me on my toes, and keeps me laughing with his cute, witty comments all day long. I am amazed by his growth, and can't helped but stop and stare at the BOY he's morphed into. He is no longer my LOUD talking chatter box, goofy-grinning little toddler. I sat in preschool and watched him lead his class in their morning calendar routine last week (in English and Spanish), and I was just lost in the moment. His teacher looked at me, and said, "What happened to that little boy that used to toddle around here?" It's crazy, he insists on signing in his own name and date every morning- he's on the fast track to Kindergarten now... and I kinda just want to push the pause button and slow it all down. Hold on speed racer... just soak it up, preschool is awesome- let's focus on finishing this year up, ok, buddy? But, I love my little man and no matter how much I miss those sweet baby days, I am so proud of him and his never ending passion for growing, learning, and exploring life. Happy 4th Birthday, Owen.

Purple Penguins

That's right. We are the proud Purple Penguins. And our first game was awesome.

Coach Dad gives some last minute tips. Now which way is our goal?

Owen got in there with the bigger kids and held his own.

Kylee is a second year player- so she's one of the veterans on the team. She scored the final GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL of the game.

Great game- now tackle Coach!

Relay for Life 2009

This year our family participated in our 8th annual Relay for Life. This is a 24 hour event to raise funds and awareness in the global fight against cancer. Our county celebrated it's 10th year Relaying, and we had a strong turnout, as usual! We didn't do a lot of individual fundraising this year, with the economy the way it is. But, we did an awesome fundraiser at the event with our team- that was a huge success! We always walk a lot at Relay, because the goal is to keep someone from your team walking every minute for the full 24 hours. We learned of a "lap tracker" fundraiser that would have people keep track of how far they were actually walking by placing a bead on a necklace each time they completed a lap. We tracked mileage this way- and the biggest surprise was the enthusiasm the kids had for making their necklaces longer. I was shocked! My little Owen walked just under 4 miles, and Kylee walked 5 1/2 miles. I had no idea my kids could walk so far. My 8 year old nephew walked 13 miles! The children love being a part of Relay every year- and as they get older, they are learning more about why we are out there and why it's important to continue to walk for this cause. Here's some event pictures:

Kylee and Brynn sporting their shades

Our fearless captain, Linda, gives our teammate and SURVIVOR, Shirene, her 20 mile bead. She walked 25 miles by the closing ceremonies!

And, this year, there was some cause for worry at our opening ceremonies for the event. Our town's Lumber Mill burned to the ground. Bombers flew directly overhead shortly after the fire broke out- right next to our event.

This shot is from our site- our "Celebrating Life" Cake looks like we added some special effects in the background.
The mill is our town's largest employer, and they will rebuild... but it's going to be a rough road for a bit to get everyone back on their feet. Luckily, we live in an amazing town- every one really pulls together in times like these. Just like at Relay, where every year the American Cancer Society tell us- "we may be small, but we are mighty!"

Monday, September 7, 2009

August Recap and Labor Day Weekend

The past month has been filled with many milestones for all the kids. Documenting these wonderful moments in my children's lives seems to be harder and harder the more busy we get. But, I decided I need to start making time for the important things after a devastating loss this week. A close family friend died in his sleep from a heart attack at the young age of 27- and we spent the weekend saying goodbye with his family and mourning his very early departure from our life. His dad told us to treasure our kids everyday- and we are doing our best to be grateful for each day we are given with our beautiful, healthy children. Here are a few pictures to catch you all up on what we've been up to...

Daddy built the treehouse for the kids just before school started! It turned out like a nice deck, the kids sit out there in their chairs eating snacks, enjoying the view, and chatting about life. It's very cute.

August 18 was the first day of school, Kylee's in 1st Grade and Owen's in Preschool. We jumped right into the school routine this year. Wes starts work at 6:30, so I know I'm on my own with the morning rush, and have been super organized with my routine. Lunch is packed, breakfast is planned, and clothes are layed out the night before- when the kids get up they know what they need to do and I can focus on getting Madison ready. We are out the door and walking everyday by 8 am, we drop Kylee at her class, then Owen, Madison and I take a walk through town and have Owen to his school by 9. I get home by 9:30 and have some time with Madi before she goes down for her nap. I love my school mornings, and so do the kids!

I pick Owen up at noon, and we get to have lunch together and play a few games and have some quiet time before Kylee gets home at 3. Since she is a big 1st grader, she doesn't need a parent meeting her at the bus stop anymore, and takes the bus all the way to the bottom of our hill (The full 25 min bus route)- I still like to make sure she makes it to our stop- and wait eagerly with the kids as she gets off the bus and treks up our steep hill. Owen usually feels bad and runs down to meet her and help her carry her sweatshirt or backpack. They are such good buddies!

Homework is a part of our daily routine now! Kylee's pretty good about sitting at her desk and getting her work done right after school, before she heads out to play with Owen.

We had a few short weeks of school when we first started, and one week night Wes was able to go kayaking at the river with friends. Since we didn't have school in the morning, the kids and I went out to watch them. It was awesome.

Owen and Kylee at the river.

Madison is seriously mobile now. She is super fun, and LOVES playing with the kids. She loves playing music with them, making towers, playing in the toy kitchen, with race cars, trains- here she really wanted to build in Owen's workshop right before bed. And Kylee and Owen are really good about playing with her and keeping small items away from her. Even with Ky and O as my back up eyes and ears, Madi STILL finds googly eyes, sequens, stickers and all sorts of other small things that end up in her mouth. I swear I don't know where she finds these things!

And she's climbing... I found her trying to get up to Kylee's top bunk when I was out of the room for a second. She is too quick for me! Oh and Madi finally got her first tooth a few weeks ago and is working on #2! She is hitting all those milestones so quickly now.

And August ended with the birth of a new member of my Franco family! My brother, Pete, and his wife, Sunita, welcomed their first child, Annelyse into this world on Monday, August 31. She is a beautiful baby, and I cannot wait to meet my new little niece! I don't have a picture to post- but as soon as I meet her, I'll post a ton :)

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend we missed our reunion with our college Houseboat friends. We couldn't make the trip down, and be here with the family for funeral services. We were so sad to miss a chance to catch up with our good friends, but ended up having some much needed quality family time. Wes and I packed up the kids for a one night camping trip at the lake 30 minutes from our house. His parents came out and joined us for a campfire and s'mores, which was really fun. So, in honor of HB weekend, the Trinity County HBers had a drink for the Folsom Lake HBers. We miss you guys!
Kylee, Owen, and Madison love camping!

Owen and Mama watching the full moon light up our night

Kylee and Owen return from some early morning fishing.

Lounging in our chairs before our hike.

Owen and Kylee LOVE riding bikes together. They rode all through the campground, and are even working on doing tricks now that riding with no training wheels isn't cool enough for them. So fun!

All in all, we are doing well. We are looking forward to more family fun, as soccer season starts tomorrow. Wes is coaching Kylee and Owen's soccer team (with me as his assistant, YIKES!) and the kids are thrilled. There's nothing like family and we are so lucky for all the blessings we have been given. Sending our love to friends and family near and far- we miss you all!