Friday, December 29, 2006

Come on, you can do it.

Kelly at Pass the Torch has a corporate sponsor who has agreed to donate $1 (up to $500) to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital for every comment she receives on this post. So go, leave a comment!

Who doesn't need this during the holidays?

Prayer to Resist Overeating

Dear God, right now,
I surrender to You
my temptation to binge, to rebel,
to misuse the food You've blessed me with.
Fill me instead with Your Spirit and grace
and grant me the powerand will to STOP indulging
when I am no longer hungry.
Thank You that, by Your Spirit, within me,
I have the ability to resist
the urge to overeat today.

- Heather Kopp

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lesson learned.

AngelBaby is going through that … well … ummm … DESTRUCTIVE stage. Every single darned thing she touches is broken, torn, shattered or otherwise left completely destroyed.

To say that it is making me loopy is just an immense understatement. She is constantly touching things; even in her sleep she is reaching out for unknown breakable items.

Each day I find myself boxing up more and more of my treasured trinkets, sweet knick knacks collected through the years, inherited chochkies … yep, all in boxes.

My home no longer possesses cute little figurines, no ornate Candle-lite candle holders, there aren’t any sweet decorative bottles holding marbles, butons or stones, and there certainly isn’t a vase in the entire place. Heck, I even drink my wine from a plastic cup for fear of my wine glasses crashing to the ground.

So the house is pretty much cleaned out. Except, of course, for the window sill above the kitchen sink. It is home to: two angel figurines that I bought on my honeymoon, a large ceramic pitcher and a hand blown vase in the shape of an apple.

It is at least 4 ½ feet high and there’s a SINK in front of it. It has got to be a safe place right?


In case you missed it, the answer is NO!

Yesterday, I had one of those slow-motion moments. Where you see something happening and you think you can stop it but time is just fluttering by and you can’t seem to move with it.

You know something unpleasant is going to happen and you can’t change it … it might not always be life altering … but unpleasant enough to make you cringe.

Ok, so, I have no idea how she got there, but get there she did. I entered the kitchen to see AngelBaby in the sink (in the effing sink!) trying to turn on the water ‘I wash my hands MaaMaa’ she says to me oh so sweetly.

In the same instant I see my Angel grab one of my cherished Angels … and in no time she was dropping it – into the porcelain sink. Well, I suppose it wouldn’t matter if it was porcelain or stainless steel, the Angel would have been broken in any case.

I almost made it there, but not quite. Just not fast enough.

I made a hasty effort to grab and SAVE the second Angel, my intention was to put it in one of the HIGHER cabinet and out of harms way.

What actually happened is that I grabbed it, nearly sobbing, and opened the cabinet door only to clip my remaining Angel, thus causing her halo to soar across the kitchen … rendering both of my Angels broken beyond repair.

Lesson learned … AngelBaby can go anywhere, destroy anything, accomplish any desired mission … she is amazing and one day I will appreciate her tenacity for what it can be.

Lesson learned … hasty movements/decisions rarely work out well.

Lesson learned … cherish the people around you, not the things. The things can be broken, lost or damaged, but ultimately they can be replaced … but the people, well when they break the damage is far worse … when they are lost, you are just as lost.

Lesson learned.


Today's Quote Everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, it's not the end. -Unknown

It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving. -Richard Braunstein

[Jesus said,] "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

When Anxiety attacks!

*** it's long - sorry ***

I have, many times, heard the term ‘anxiety/panic attack’ ... although I have often felt anxious or panicky; I couldn’t quite understand what an actual attack was.

Until about two years ago.

I am not exactly sure when they started, because I don’t think I recognized them for what they were. I recall thinking that perhaps I had too much coffee, soda or something of that nature. But then it happened on days that I hadn’t had any coffee, soda, etc.

For a while I was convinced that I was having a heart attack or heart attacks, as the case may be. My heart would race, I couldn’t breathe, and my chest actually hurt – trying to suck in air was painful. I would get shaky, as if I hadn’t eaten anything even when I had. Sometimes I was dizzy or felt so nauseous that I would run for the bathroom … then the chills or hot flashes would start.

After repeatedly being told that I was just fine, I started to believe that I was just crazy. Not too surprising there, considering the year I had already had, the depression I was already experiencing and the migraines that were a constant source of agony.

Following the initial conversation with my Dr., I didn’t feel comfortable broaching the subject again, for fear that I would sound like a hypochondriac or worse a potential druggy tryin’ to score.

I tried to talk to friends, or family but only heard …’well it must be the hormones’ (2 kids in two years) or ‘buck up, you’re a strong girl, you can work through it’, ‘have faith, God only gives you what you can handle’ … how do you respond to those things? They were true … I was raging with hormones, pregnant and nursing for 4 years will do that to a gal … and I am a strong girl, I take life fairly head on and have been the one that most people turn to. Speaking of faith, yep, I have that too. I believe that God has a plan for me and all the trials and tribulations of life are just part of His master plan.

But still, as much as I tried to relax, as much as I tried to have faith, those pains just kept comin’ and the more often they happened, the more I withdrew from life as I knew it.

When you can’t talk about what is really going on in your life, and you aren’t a good liar/faker, what’s left? You step back. That’s it.

I did that for a while, people I promised to see or call ended up disappointed. The people that I worked with and for felt deserted and there is no doubt that my family felt neglected.

At some point I met with a different Dr., for other issues, and when she asked me some gentle probing questions, I let it all spill out. It was hard for me – I am the Queen of ‘Oh everything is just fine, I’ll handle it, don’t worry – got it covered.' Being even two-thirds honest with her was both liberating and terrifying at the same time. You’d think I would have taken the opportunity to be completely forthright, but I just didn’t have it in me, I needed to keep bits of myself.

I was already on Antidepressants and beta-blockers for my migraines, so when she prescribed an anti-anxiety med, I didn’t think anything of it. It was just one more tablet to add to the pile.

And do you know what happened?

It got worse.

So much worse.

I can’t really tell you much, I only remember bits and pieces … I remember the terror of knowing that I was indeed going crazy. Come on, if the medications for depression just make me more depressed, the migraine medications don’t stop the migraines and anti-anxiety med’s only make me more anxious, well then it must just be me. I must be broken. Unfixable.

And I felt completely broken. Completely, entirely unfixable.

I still do, most days.

Someday I'll tell you the story about how I stopped taking ALL of my medications at oncecold turkey. But it is too long of a story to go into now and I am afraid I don‘t have it in me to tell it anyhow … it still hurts to think about it.

The point though, is that I did stop. I stopped taking it all.

I won’t kid you, it was rough. My system had been saturated by so many medications and my body was NOT HAPPY that I stopped supplying it with the goods.

But I made it through.

And for a long time, I felt good. I felt whole, well at least partially. I had a bit of clarity and a renewed sense of hope.

It has been a long road, a troubling journey. At every twist and turn I am convinced that I will feel better. More whole, more complete, more calm.

And sometimes I do ... feel better, more complete, calmer.

But lately, I have been experiencing those same sensations … rapid heart beat, chest pains, hand tremors, nervousness, shakiness … oh you know, the gamut of things that I had almost forgotten.

In fact, this entire last week, I have been thinking to myself ‘Frannie, I think you are losin’ your ever lovin’ mind’ … ‘you better hush up or folks are gonna start to wonder about you’

Then I slowly, I am a little dim what can I say, I remember when I have felt this way before. I can recall how it started out slowly, just a glimmer of what was to come … and the rapid spiral into something I could never have imagined.

So here I am.

Medication free. A little concerned, knowing that a pill won’t solve this – not for me at least, but not knowing what will, ease it at least.

Knowing too, who I can lean on this time. Who understands and who doesn’t. Who might judge and those who won’t.

I have those anxious feelings again, but I am in a better place to ‘deal’ this time.

Well, at least that’s what I’m gonna tell y’all :)


My whole goal is to keep my spirit intact. If that doesn't happen, none of this is worth it. -Jewel

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-3

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's done, it's over.

**written at 12:01am 12/26/2006**

And I nearly didn't think I would make it.

I have a hard time with Christmas.

For many reasons, too many to name actually.

It makes me feel lonely. It always makes me feel sad.

Every year I think it will be different. I will sit back and enjoy my children enjoying the holiday - because it isn't about me afte rall.

And it isn't ...

I know that.

But yet the tender feelings of years long gone remain steadfast in my heart.

I do enjoy my children enjoying the day, the food, the fun, the reason for the season ...

But I know I am not alone in this one thought ... how can they all be so self centered? Is it just my children that tear through their carefully wrapped gifts, one after another, with complete abandon - not even recognizing what, who or how it is coming to them.

I mean there is the obligatory reading of the gift tag, the sweet tearing of the paper and the 'thank you' across the crowded room. But then each gift is swiftly set aside and the process continues.

We always try to do the gift opening in rounds; one person, one gift at a time. Each person reveling in the others treasures. Sometimes this works more easily than others ... toddlers don't do well waiting and when there area plethora of gifts, not to mention a vast number or participant ... well their ability to 'wait' is just no longer plausible.

This year I got my children each one gift. A gift I thought about long and hard. Something that wasn’t just wasted money, wasted energy … something that was unique to them personally. Again, a little more difficult with toddlers, but not as much with the older children.

I also asked friends and relatives not to go crazy on the gift giving thing … please, no more toys, stuffed animals or tiny plastic figurines. Buy them books, I said. They love them and will cherish them. Write a personal message, this will mean so much more than a toy that is sure to be tossed in a pile with glut of toys already littering our home.

I said it with a gentle voice … a request, rather than a demand. I said it knowing that I still cherish the few books I have retained from my tattered childhood. I no longer have any of the baby dolls or Barbie’s that I played with; certainly no stuffed animals or cute ceramic figurines.

My mother didn’t save those things, the few that there were … actually she didn’t save anything, but I think that is a separate post.

My issue; I want to save it all for my children, so that they will know how much they were love, how much they were thought of.

I am getting off course here, I know … but this is my space, my thoughts, my heart – so y’all get it in the order it comes to me. My apologies.

So, most people offering up gifts to my children observed my wishes; understood my desire to show my children the true spirit of the season.

Most …

Anyway, I so want them to know what Chistmas is and isn’t about.
I want them to appreciate why we are here and why we should be thankful.
I want them to know that they are loved for who they are, where they are.
I want them not to ask over and over and over ‘can I open another present?’
I don't want to hear them say 'is that It?'

I know that I am unrealistic. I know that my children (at least I hope so) aren’t so very different than any other child. They are well behaved (for the most part) caring and sensitive children. They have compassionate souls and understand the need for discipleship …

But still, when we sat down to supper, I asked them what they received today, what they were grateful and thankful for … and it was as if their minds completely forgot all of the gifts and blessing that had been bestowed on them in the past 24 hours.

They could name the most immediate gift, or the gift closest to them … but they couldn’t go much beyond that.

And here is kicker number 1, the things that they were grateful/thankful/appreciative of had nothing to do with God and all He has given them. The Lord Our Savior didn’t get mention.

Kicker number 2, the well thought out and labored upon gifts from their mother … yep no mention there either.

And now as I write that, I can’t help but ask myself if I am as self-centered as they are? I want them to know how hard I tried to pick the ‘right’ gift for each one of them … I want them to know that I spent actual time thinking about them individually so that I could express to them how very much they each mean to me. How much I would sacrifice for them.

Funny huh? I was hopeful that they would acknowledge me, and my sacrifices, my hard work … I want that for me … when they aren’t even able to give that to the King of Kings.

Yikes, who am I?

Maybe I am not capable of teaching them the things I want them to learn.
Maybe I want more of them than they are able to comprehend at this point. But darn it, I expect more of them … because they are so much better than I was.
And they have it so much better too.

Maybe they know that. Maybe they were just too overwhelmed by the day to give proper thanks. Maybe … maybe … maybe …

Or maybe I just want something that doesn’t happen. Or that is just too rare.

Or maybe it is just my past, my desire to do things so completely differently (better) that they were done in my childhood, which clouds my view of the whole thing.

I just know that it’s done. It’s over … 364 days until we try it all again.

Blessings my friends … many, many blessings. It’s late and I am going to go hug my sleeping baby.


The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart. - Helen Keller

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.- Church billboard in Kentucky

With light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, [the angels] began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angels called it "Good News," and it was. -Larry Libby

Simeon took him [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying: 'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.' - Luke 2:28-32

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Christmas Prayer

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and
open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be Thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us
to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus' sake.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm goin' down baby...

I can't even begin to tell you how tired I am.

Well first I will just say that I am NOT goin' to spell check or edit this post. that is just for starters.

I am a last minute sort of gal. That probably doesn't surprise you ... at least it shouldn't!

So today, I went shopping. Yep, for the first time this season. But considering I had just under $100 for all of my Christmas gifts, it felt a little defeating to go before.

so I went. It was hell! seriously. just getting to the mall was insane and then actually entering that mall was PAINFUL.

I only had to take AngelBaby, as I had pawned all of the others off ... but still, a toddler in the mall at Christmas it neither smart nor easy.

I had to be pretty creative with my gift giving .. and I think I did ok. I reckon we'll see Christmas morning.

And then .. I returned home to *make* the gifts for all of the other people ... friends, relatives, the people who have randomly gifted to us ... this year I thought I would go the homemade route. I havent' really ever done that before ...

So ... I made gallon upon gallon of BBQ sauce and marinade and jar upon jar of spice/marinate mixture. Hard work it was .. my back is aching and my hands are stinging from the many spices adn I can't stop sneezing ...

so there you go. now i am goin' down. Exhausted beyond belief.

Sending you love,

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear. -Maya Angelou

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing that's why we recommend it daily. - Zig Ziglar

[An angel of the Lord said,] "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:11-14

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Keep It Simple Sweetie (ok, that's my version & I'm stickin' to it!)

So, since I can't be creative in posting ... life is moving to fast, I decided to take Ffleur's lead and post the Christmas Meme ... thus keepin' it simple for myself.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog is YUCKY! Hot chocolate is ok. But I prefer spiced cider.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa doesn't have time to wrap. Plus, then he has to make extra sure that none of his paper matches mom and dad's.

3. Colored lights on tree/house? Depends on the year. Sometimes blue, but usually white.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not since Farmer baby #4 ... if ya know what I mean.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Depends on the year, the age(s) of the children ... no specific time line.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Stuffing!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: The Christmas party (for kids) at dad's work place. It was the best. They always had the coolest Santa, the best of gifts ...

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I can't remember at all. I am guessing it was young, I know it was before I was 12.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yep. Usually all of the gifts from other relatives are opened on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? see number 5.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? As an adult - I dread it.

12. Can you ice skate? Nope, not at all, never!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Nothing that comes to mind, sadly!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with my children.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I am not real sweets kinda gal. I perfer the starchy stuff ... and my thighs know it!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Driving atound looking at the Chritmas lights.

17. What tops your tree? An angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I love watching someone open something that I took time and effort to pick out. It is a bonus if they love it.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Silent night.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? on their own,Yuck. Good only crushed & topping ice cream or cookies. Also good for decorating. (copied from Ffleur, because it's the TRUTH!)


This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ. -Frank McKibben

While [Joseph and Mary] were [in Bethlehem], the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh man, I wanna ...

I do. I really truly do.

I wanna blog. I think about blogging.
Topics run through my brain ...
Moments of clarity transpire …
Wit and sarcasm run rampant …
funny things happen throughout the day and I actually think I might just remember them long enough to post about them - but at the end of the day, I am DONE.

If I told you everything that has happened in the last 48 hours - you WOULD NOT believe me. Plus, if I actually wrote it all down, I would be stealing T's thunder again and well ... I like her too much to do that.

So, like so many of my favorite bloggers, I just can't promise that I will make it back before Christmas. I'll try. I will.

I wanna ... I really, truly do!

~ Frannie

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.- John Burroughs, essayist and naturalist

While [Joseph and Mary] were [in Bethlehem], the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Outta the mouths of babes ...

AngelBaby is quite the talker these days. She just rambles on and on and on. Sometimes I can even understand her.

As she is learning to speak in full sentence, she is also learning the fine art of manipulation.

At various times throughout the day, yesterday and today, I would attempt to sit down and construct my daily blogging diatribe. Each time I sat at the computer, AngelBaby was right there, her arm snuggly around mine, staring up at me, pushing the buttons (mine, as well as the keyboards) saying 'iyuyoumommy'.

Well, of course, no matter what important musings are floating through my head, I sorta have to stop and give the little imp some lovin'.

It doesn't stop there though.

After, I don't know, 10 or 12 times of this particular action, I have pretty much had enough ... now don't get me wrong, I love AngelBaby, she is my final child and I cherish each and every moment - but I can only do that for so long and then mommy needs ... well ... some mommy time.

And so ... I finally pull out my ace in the hole - the Winnie the Pooh movie - not a short, a whole movie, we love this movie! Seriously, LittleMiss knows all the words and even SweetiePie and Heartbreaker will sit through at least 2/3rd of it ...

Do you know what my little punkin' says? Hmmm, do ya? Any ideas?

She says 'no mommy, I miss you, I miss you too, too much' ...

Hummm. Tell me what a mom is supposed to do with that?

Well, I struggled for about 30 seconds, I really had some witty stuff on my mind .. honest, I was even thinkin' about it at like 3am last night ... well ya know, I went and sat, once again, with my AngelBaby, letting her fall asleep on me, drool and all.

and I loved it.

so so much.

~ Frannie

Before I was married, I had a hundred theories about raising children and no children. Now, I have three children and no theories. - John Wilmot

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21

Friday, December 15, 2006

Putting life into perspective.

You know, I think, perhaps by nature, we cleave to our grief more firmly than our happiness.

In my case, and I think it is so for many people, I do not necessarily feel worthy of happiness. I want it. I crave it. I seek it out. But when it is there …I am just sitting back waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And it does. It always does.

I am not saying that what I have been experiencing this week isn’t genuine anguish … in a bigger way than I ever dreamt possible. For ME. For MY family.

However, I am keenly aware that my anguish and heartache is really nothing compared to the misery of others.

I know this and I weep for those in pain. Truly. I sit here at this computer and I read about little Jaymun's battle with acute myeloid leukemia. It is heart wrenching. Here is this little guy who is suffering so much each day. And his parents Dave and Jennifer Kaat - the Faith these people have is simply amazing to me. If you have any sort of Faith or you want to feel the Faith of another, just read Dave's December 13th post. If you don't get an inkling of Faith ... well I don't know what to say about you. David's Faith is Bigger than I could ever hope to achieve.

My friend T wrote about little Isabella's battle with Neuroblastoma cancer. The inspiration of this tiny precious girl and the endeavors of her parent to make this cancer known is astonishing. The impact on the family unit is huge. Bigger than most families will ever endure. How could I not weep when I read about them?

And, of course, in blog world there was the arrival of the Greek Tragedy babies. Lucas Beckett and Abigail Ruby, born to Stephanie Klein and her husband Phillip. 10 weeks premature, less than 3 lbs each, tied to breathing tubes, IVs, temperature controls, apnea alerts, feeding tubes. Even though we live in a technically advanced society, the fear these new parents have is certain. Look at the picture of little , weep with concern, weep with joy. He is a little guy who has a Bigger fight on his hands than his parents could have predicted. But he, and Abigail Ruby, have a Bigger force behind them - their parents, the prayer of hundreds ... and a God who takes time for the tiniest children and the most challenging problems.

Putting MY life into perspective. There are so many issues out there that are Bigger than mine, so many sadness’s that I can not even begin to imagine. And so much Faith that I just need to tap into.

I still need to convince myself that I am worthy of happiness. That sadness and trials will come, but I must embrace the happiness that I am given - embrace it, appreciate it, savor it and remember it when life throws me the Bigger dilemmas.

I still need to convince myself that I am worthy of happiness. That sadness and trials will come, but I must embrace the happiness that I am given - embrace it, appreciate it, savor it and remember it when life throws me its Biggest dilemmas.

In that spirit, I am thankful for:
* AngelBaby’s laughter, smile and kisses
* LittleMiss’s hugs, keen wisdom, and sense of compassion
* SweetiePie’s ability to forgive, sweet and gentle nature, and her undying loyalty
* Heartbreaker’s spirit, strength, drive and potential
* Mr. Farmer’s attempts of understanding, trustworthiness and his absolute love for his children
* That I am able to be a parent to my children, even when it is most difficult
* For blogging and the social network that has made my life richer, caused me to consistently reevaluate my thoughts, and added so many new friends to my life.
* That we have heat, water, power and food. We are taken care of, even if it is a stretch.
* We have our health. We are so lucky.

I am so thankful for a God that constantly reminds me how much He loves me, through all of my sins, my failures and my doubts. He Loves Me. I am Loved and Lovable. He is Bigger than this current heartache.

and I am worthy of happiness.

~ Frannie

Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.-Bono

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

The angel said to [Mary], "Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever." Luke 1:30-33

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Well, I was gonna do Wordless Wednesday, which would have been soooo much easier than Thursday Thirteen, but then I made the mistake of looking at my calendar and realized that it wasn't actually Wednesday.

So did ya know that there is actually a blog dedicated to Thursday Thirteen?
You can join the Forum, get the The Code and even hook yourself up to the Blogroll.

From what I can see, your Thursday Thirteen (come on, I dare ya - try and say or type that 10 times fast!) doesn't have to be specific. The ones I read today ranged from Why My Home Is So Chaotic to Thirteen Movies I Love To Watch At Christmas to Thirteen Reasons to go to the Family Reunion and finally (well that are a ton more, but I liked these) My nutcrackers are special because .... so, you can see the topics are vast.

I will also say that most of these ladies have kicka$$ graphics. I didn’t take the time to see who designed their blogs, but they were really cool. If I ever decide to get something more personalized I am absolutely going to check w/these gals to see who created their cool designs!

I don’t think that I will join the Thursday Thirteen group though. I doubt that I can actually commit to participating every Thursday, heck I can hardly commit to brushing my teeth daily … but I think it is sort of a neat idea.

And without further ado …my Thursday Thirteen …

Thirteen Questions I have

1) Why do I keep getting emails from Star Jones Reynolds ? I didn’t agree w/her opinions when she was on The View, I certainly don’t need to hear them now.
2) Where do the missing socks go? Seriously, I know it is an age old question, but it is making me c-r-a-z-y!
3) Why is it so hard for me to sit, read and concentrate on my Bible, but I could blog all day – if given the time?
4) Why is it so easy for some people to lie, cheat or steal? I can barely fudge it when fudging it is the right thing to do.
5) Why is it so darned easy to gain weight and so excruciatingly hard to lose it?
6) Why do antidepressants actually make you more depressed?
7) Why is it, when you don’t want to talk to anyone, your phone rings constantly?
8) How come no one ever just drops by when your house is clean, you have already taken a shower and you have a bra on? This is my life.
9) Who are the people that skirt through my blog daily, without a hello, pardon me or you suck?
10) Why are 80’s fashions popular again? Come on, they were ugly the first time, why do we need to repeat them?
11) How can I get so angry at someone I love so much, and yet have so much patience with someone that I care nothing about?
12) How is it possible that I drank six (yes 6) cups of coffee and two Diet Pepsi’s today and yet I am still tired?
13) Why does it have to get dark at 4:30pm in the winter? I hate it. It makes me want to take a nap, not make dinner. Maybe I have SAD. Yep, that’s it – the answer to all my problems … I just need more sunshine. LOL!

Wow, I thought this was going to be hard, but now that I got goin’ I have even more obscure questions on my mind – like how is it possible for children to watch the same movie 5, 6, 7 or even 8 times in a day and still be surprised by the ending?


~ Frannie

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. - Albert Einstein, physicist

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Luke 1:26-28

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I took the day off.

Thanks for your thoughts. They mean so much to me, I can't possibly express how much.


Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. - Mother Teresa

The poor are filled with hope, and injustice is silenced. Job 5:16

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Would it surprise you?

*** Warning: Self-centered Melancholy Post Ahead – Read at your own risk! ***

So, would you be surprised if I told you that Frannie is a moody person?

That while she puts on a sunshiny face … she really feels quite dark. It is more than likely that she suffers from depression, but doesn’t want to talk about it. (Please no advice needed, I know the drill, I’ve been down the road … today I am just venting).

That she thinks things that she would never repeat. But she wants to, just to get them out of her head.

Would it surprise you that a lot of people consider Frannie to be a success? But deep down inside she feels like a great.big.fat.failure.

Would it surprise you to know that she trusts no one, not even those she probably could?

If you ask her, she will tell you she in fine … but the words in her head scream ‘liar, liar, liar’ … but no one calls her on it. She has perfected her social act, but inside she is so overwhelmed that she doesn’t know how she will get through the day.

Would you be shocked if she said she didn’t really want to live? Not that she wants to die; just that she doesn’t want to live. I think there is a difference. Perhaps she just doesn’t want to face any more days like the last few.

Would any of this surprise you?

Probably not. I doubt she is so very different than most. That’s the thing about Frannie; she is quite average – ‘adequite’ as Lindsay Lohan would say. Nothing out of the ordinary; sometimes invisible, occasionally noticeable, but never really shining.

Y’all are wise, I know this. Don’t take this the wrong way. I know that I am wallowing in self-pity. But damn it, this is my place and it is the only one I have. Right now, I have no one to talk to … no one to repeat the occurrences of the last few days to. Even here, I can’t spell it out – but I can wallow. So, please forgive me.

Today, I will be looking for all things light and airy. In the hopes that tomorrow I will have something joyful to say.

I have my prayer book out … my Bible by my side. I am seeking answers in my handbook for life. They just aren’t coming yet. They will, I know – but it doesn’t change the sullen of today.

Funny, I am coming to a close here and I just don’t know how to end. I want to say – I am not going to harm myself, I am just so incredibly sad and I just don’t know how to over come it. I know that I should talk to someone but I can’t afford it and I am just not able to ask for help right now – I am sure it is out there, but to do so could cause even more detriment to my life … sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

How do you explain all of that?

How do you end your wallow?

~ Frannie

I know God has big stuff planned that ultimately doesn't have anything to do with me. -Michael W. Smith

Shut out all of your past except that which will help you weather your tomorrows. - William Osler, Canadian physician

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, ... that we might receive the full rights of sons. Galatians 4:4-5

Monday, December 11, 2006

Did you ever have a day ...

that changed everything?

A day that makes you stop and rethink all that you know?
All that you think you know. Thought you knew.
All that you are familiar with, maybe even comfortable with?

A day that you wish you could stop?
Turn back the time; unsay the words that have been said?
Undo that damage that has been irrevocably done.

A day that, although you know it is real and true, remains hazy - unclear, regardless of the number of times you replay it in your head?
You can speak the words, analyze the actions, the emotions, and yet it remains illusory.

I have had many of these days in my life.

The day I found out my parentage.
The day I learned my first real best friend was moving.
The day I told my first lie.
The day I found out the first lie was told about me.
The first time someone broke up with me, cheated on me, lied to me ... yada, yada, yada.

The day I learned I was pregnant with Heartbreaker. Certainly not a day I would want to stop or take back – but a day, that even all of these years later, just doesn’t seem real.

The day I got married - the first time.
The final day of our 'marriage'.

The day I said something insensitive to a good person.
The day I said something insensitive to a bad person. What, like they didn’t know that already, who was I to point it out?

The day I didn’t stand up for someone who deserved it.
The day my grandfather died.
The day I skipped my best friends, my cousin’s, my co-workers and the many other weddings I skipped because he didn’t feel like it.
The day I didn’t say what was on my mind, in my heart – a day that I will forever regret.


Yesterday was one of those days.
I didn’t do it. I didn’t cause it, not really I don’t think. Maybe, who can ever be sure?

But I wanna

Even as I type, I can’t even begin to come up with the words to describe how my life was changed yesterday. To be fair; it wasn’t just my life, by far. It was the lives of many. In so many ways. Unexplainable, forever ways.

Also to be fair, I should tell you that I am not going to write about it. I can’t. I want to. I would love some advice from those of you who are so much wiser than I … but I can’t. To do so would go against my own personal code.

Just know that I am down. I have fallen, but I will get up. I don’t want to be deceptive; it is so hard for me not to be truthful. I don’t do dishonest well. If you knew me, you would know that I am not good at lying … my lip quivers and sometimes I giggle. There are no surprise parties – or gifts for that matter – at my house.

I wear my heart on my sleeve; which usually causes me to retreat, become introverted, so that I don’t have to say what is really happening. That might happen now. I don’t know. To write happy-go-lucky posts just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. Because it would be a lie.

Yesterday, my life was irrevocably changed.
It will work out. It has to.
It could be worse, much worse. I know that and I am thankful for that. Truly!

But things will never be the same and that makes me so incredibly sad.

~ Frannie

If someone does you a favor, you never forget it; if you do someone else a favor, never mention it. -Arabic saying

The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Blogroll ... My Favorites

I finally (I think) got 'em up there ... over there -->
to the right. Well, and down a bit.
Do you see it now?

What, you don't see your name?
Hmmm ... interesting - I thought I had everyone.
Drop me a note and I'll add you, if you like!

~ Frannie

My computer is sooo *&%#@!^ s.l.o.w.

It is making me crazy. I would like to throw it out the window, but since it is the only one I have ... I guess I won't.

So, if there are any brilliant computer people out there that can tell me how to speed things up, I would really appreciate it. I know that I have the capacity to add RAM (? is that what makes it faster)or whatever it is that I was told I had the ability to add ...

So, I am reading my horoscope this morning, the one that is in my in-box every morning that I generally delete without even looking at, and it says something like ‘Use your soapbox sensibly … and letting go of the things you can not control…’

I read this and think to myself; is this really a horoscope? I mean, is this sound advice for this single day? Or is it a way of life? Shouldn’t I always use my ‘soapbox’ sensibly? Isn’t my effort to let go of the things I can not control.

In fact, it seems that most of the scripture that I am drawn to offers me this same advice.

1 Peter 5:7 tells me to ‘be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time …’

Matthew 6:25, 33
‘I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? …’
‘… But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.’

And my favorite; Philippians 3:12-14
I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

Perhaps this means that I should open my Bible more and my in-box less. The results may be similar but one will certainly make me feel better.

Happy Saturday my friends
~ Frannie

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer

[Jesus said,] "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ... This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:5,8

Friday, December 08, 2006

She lives.


Well, I am back on my feet. You can't have four kids and stay down long. I still feel like crud, I am so tired I can't believe it ... but I am movin'.

The good things about being sick – in theory:

Sleep – I didn’t get any extra, but some people do. Although I didn’t wander far from the loveseat …
Magazine – I have a ton, I don’t normally get to read them, but this week I did.
Books – I finished TWO!
** For One More Day (Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven) ... it was a good sick day book!
*** The Ice Queen (Alice Hoffman, author of Here on Earth, Local Girls and too many more to add) ... a strange, strange, strange book. But good.
Chicken Noodle Soup – Nothin’ says ‘I’m Sick’ better than Campbell's.
Sweet cards and notes – I got quite a few from the brood and friends. Not to mention a phone call or ten. (Miss church for a couple of weeks and people begin to wonder if you’ve turned into a heathen.)
A good excuse – to miss the Christmas party, candle party, jewelry party, makeup party … whatever … that you didn’t really want to attend in the first place.
Weight loss – well some people benefit in this way. Frannie –!
Ginger Ale – I love it, but normally shun ‘regular’ soda (Diet Pepsi only!) … but when you are sick 7UP, Sprite or Ginger Ale are must haves.

The down side of being sick:
Missing – all the juicy gossip in blog, celebrity, neighborhood lands.
Cooking – your family still expects you too.
Chills – I can’t seem to get warm enough.
Laundry – no one does it if MaaMaa doesn’t do it!
Feed a fever, starve a flu – I can never remember which … it seems that neither works anyway.
Bills – you still have to pay them, but your memory is so blurry you just might forget.
Tagging – yep, you wander off for a few days and people just come out of the woodwork and tag you with things like 'list 6 weird things about yourself' – thanks a lot Drew!
… just kidding, I accept your challenge ...

Here goes:

1. I have had 7 (or 8?) names, but I have only been married twice (divorced once) and I do not have any sort of criminal record (at all, I am really, really, really boring for someone with soo many AKA’s on her credit report).

2. I experience Déjà vu frequently. Even though I am fairly used to it, it can still freak me out when I go somewhere I have never been before and I know where the bathroom is.

3. I don’t like yogurt. I can’t stand the texture. But I can eat tapioca, couscous, cottage cheese – but yogurt really grosses me out. (I have a lot of other 'texture' issues as well; flannel, warm towels, playdough, chalk ...)

4. I actually worry about the chain mail karma thing. What if I don’t send it and something bad happens … I know it’s crazy, but true. I am getting better about not forwarding them, but now I wonder why I got so sick ... hmmm ...

5. I have an incredible memory for useless information. It is sad the things that I can remember about pop-culture, past indiscretions of loved ones, or the likes. But ask me about history or geography and I got nothin’.

6. I laugh when I am really nervous, scared or sad. I hardly ever laugh when something is funny – even if I think it is really funny.

There you do. Now I tag: Iris/Rissy, Mackenzie1975 ... and TTQ have you done it yet?

Peace my friends ~

I want kids to understand that strength doesn't come from what goes on around you. It comes from inside you, and that comes from Jesus Christ. -Willie Aames, a.k.a. 'Bibleman'
(ok, is this the same WIllie Aames from Eight is Enough?? anyone, anyone? just wondering here.)

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Still sick.

Got the tripe whammy (sp? .. I am not going to spell check or edit this .. so sorry!)

I have the crud, as previously mentioned.
I have a NyQuil hangeover. I don't do well with cold medicine.
And then I get *the visit*, which for me, is h-e-l-l!
I am crabby, bloated and nauseous. Did I mention crabby?

Be back soon!

Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else. - Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights activist

[Jesus said,] "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14-15

Monday, December 04, 2006

Can't say much.

Feelin' pretty cruddy!

So, here's a helpful (?) hint ...

Don't put your grease down the garbage disposal.
It just isn't a good idea because grease can solidify and block the plumbing. It can stay in the pipes and become rancid. When your pipes get messed up ya gotta call the plumber, which always happens on a weekend and y'all always end up spendin' double. So, if you wanna get rid of you grease, pour grease into a metal or glass container and place in the trash.
In most cities a lid is required on a container holding liquid grease. Containers that contain solid grease do not need a lid.
So, there you go, just in case you were wonderin' ...

Blessings ...

I do my best thinking by the ocean. As much as I enjoy church service, I've always felt closer to God by the sea. -Roma Downey

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I caught the crud.

I woke up this morning with a very sore throat, a plugged nose and the kind of headache you only get when have caught your children’s vile sicknesses.

So, not that you anticipated anything of substance today, come on .. I gave it all away in the last two days .. but I can’t begin to think about posting something fun or exciting.

Instead I will post a few pics … as I was readin’ through the readers of the blogs I read (whew, say that ten times fast), I saw Denial Renae's’s blog and found this cool site: - now I mentioned in my past posts that I have lost a little weight this year, so I did the virtual model thing and it was pretty cool! and actually pretty close.
Here is the before -- current -- and goal pictures

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pretty cool, but scary stuff. Much easier for me too look at after having lost some weight.


To be nobody but yourself- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.- EE Cummings, poet

Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I guess I spoke to soon!

After all my work yesterday, trying to be clever and truthful, it seems I got tagged by TTQ. So here’s more Frannie for y’all:
• A-Available/Single? Sooo married.
• B-Best Friend? Mr. Farmer and my best friend
• C-Cake or Pie? Pie
• D-Drink Of Choice? Coffee, Diet Pepsi
• E-Essential Item You Use Everyday? Mascara, computer, Q-Tips – oh there are too many to count.
• F-Favorite Color? Red, no wait brown, umm … green, blue, lavender. I love color.
• G-Gummy Bears Or Worms? Blech, neither.
• H-Hometown? I wish I knew
• I-Indulgence? Magazines, venti-half-calf-non-fat-peppermint-mocha-no-whip, books
• J-January Or February? February, it starts to get warmer and usually I have forgotten what I spent on Christmas.
• K-Kids & Their Names? Pepper (Heartbreaker), Angeline (SweetiePie), Pippy (LittleMiss), Vallantyne (AngelBaby)
• L-Life Is Incomplete Without? Faith, family, friends, and fun ... that and good coffee.
• M-Marriage Date? Heavens, you expect me to remember that
• N-Number Of Siblings? Again, I wish I knew
• O-Oranges Or Apples? Oranges
• P-Phobias/Fears? Water, clowns, quite a lot more than that ... but I'm afraid to tell you.
• Q-Favorite Quote? 'you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think' - Christopher Robin
• R-Reason to Smile? Happy family, good friends, good food, good spirits.
• S-Season? Fall
• T-Tag Three or Four People? T (T's World), Swishy (Waiting for My Real Life to Begin) and Ffleur (PINK DONUTS).
• U-Unknown Fact About Me? See yesterday's post.
• V-Vegetable you don't like? I don't think I have found it yet. It's all in the way you cook it.
• W-Worst Habit? Talking too much.
• X-X-rays You've Had? Just about every inch of my body, kids are dangerous.
• Y-Your Favorite Food? It would be a lot easier to ask what I don't like ... which would be - Pizza, root beer, sugar cereal, McDonalds and hot dogs (I forgot to add that to yesterdays list).
• Z-Zodiac Sign? See H & N

There you go, now you have more Frannie info that you ever hoped for ...

So, I will just address yesterdays comment about the *fasting* thing. I know that fasting, in general, isn't good for you. I should have written more on the topic. What I wanted to say was that I would like to do it once a year with purpose. As a sacrifice offering challenge ... well I don't know the right word, other than purpose, knowing that I was giving up something that has a lot of control over me. I wish I could explain it better, but obviously I can't ...

I'll try to come up w/something better tomorrow.

~ Frannie

"Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest." -- Georgia O’Keeffe

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. Hebrews 1:1-2

Friday, December 01, 2006

Trying again.


Well, I wanted to give it a shot yesterday but it just didn’t work out like I thought it would.

So I made my own …

Friday Fourteen.

14 things you may or may not know about Frannie

1) I love to cook. But don’t really care for baking; I think it’s because you have to follow the directions (rules) when you bake.
2) I have been a blonde, brunette and a redhead (along with a few other wild colors along the way). I think I prefer red.
3) I don’t like root beer, pizza, sugar cereals, or McDonalds. I have been told that this makes me un-American.
4) I actually like vanilla ice cream more than chocolate, especially if it is vanilla bean.
5) I have never tried cocaine, acid, crack, mushrooms, ecstasy, speed, or heroin. I have wondered if how different my life would have been if I had. (I stole and modified this from Manic Mom … just so you know).
6) I have food issues. Serious issues. I have been really heavy and fairly thin. I have been bulimic, but I have never been anorexic; although I really wanted to be and did some serious research trying to figure out how I could become so. In the end; I just like food too much to give it up completely. Sometimes I still fight the urge to purge, but mostly I am ok.
7) I have had migraines since I was barely more than a toddler. I have had every test (and more) associated with them, taken every possible medication available and still haven’t found anything that works. The kicker is; I have had more than one person tell me it was all in my head … ummm, duh!
8) I don’t like baths. I don’t like to sit in a tub filled with hot water and floaty things and I certain that no matter how clean the tub is, there will be floaty things. I do love to take a steaming hot shower, step into a robe and head straight to bed.
9) I have one tattoo. I waited a long time to get my first tattoo … I was in my 30’s before I did it and thought I was finally old enough to get one. Now I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. If I was thin, I would probably get one on the small of my back, I think that it's sexy.
10) I think that coffee, tea, wine and cigarettes are acquired tastes. I love coffee now and can hardly go a day w/out it, but never drank it until well into my 20’s. I am still trying to acquire a taste for tea – not a huge fan. Wine … well, I don’t know a mom that hasn’t acquired the taste, although I am sure there are the rare few. And cigarettes – been there, done that and I am not going back. I hope.
11) I have very thin lips and would totally get implants or collagen or whatever people do to their lips if I could afford it. In fact, if I had money, there are a number of procedures I would do – I have nursed 4 babies, need I say more?
12) I love to read. I could sit still and read all day. I have been known to finish large novels in a day. Ironically, I can not sit still in a meeting or classroom. I have tried to go back to school several times, but I just can’t sit through the classes and I am not disciplined enough to take online classes …
13) I wish I was a better person.
14) Last year I fasted for the first time ever. It started as an accident; I was sick but then I kept doing it for almost a week. It felt great. Since then, I have wanted to do it again, but I just can’t get the momentum. The funny thing is that it started a much needed life change for me … I have lost almost 60 pounds in a year. I would like to lose 5 more by the end of the year, but I don’t think I will … and I am finally ok with that.

In closing, I am sure that I have revealed too much ... that's me. I talk to much - even when I am not talking.

~ Frannie

The thing about creativity is, people are going to laugh at it. Get over it. -Twyla Tharp

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2 and 14

It's December already.

Jeepers, where did the time go?

ok, I am typing this and my mouse isn't working so every few minutes I manage to randomly hit the publish button, please don't ask me how because I don't know ... but it is pissing me off making me angry.

So, if you happen upon this garbly goop of crud that I am trying to turn into a post that might make sense, please accept my apologies and check back later for something more coherent.

In the meantime ... World AIDS Day and the (RED) campaign.