October 23, 2014

Grandpa is 72

My dad turned 72 this month.  It seems he will always be in his early 50's in my mind though.  I will always remember my 50 year old dad racing me up the front lawn after walking home from the store. His straight legs were churning so fast like scissors blades in a kindergarten classroom.  He won the race because I was frozen in my tracks out of pure shock that he could get himself going so fast.
My in-his-70s dad is really good at telling me it will be alright.  "It will all work out" had been his saying of choice lately.  I think I will remember my in-his-70s dad as trying to let things happen as they happen while offering encouraging words the best he knows how.  For a person who is naturally a worrier, his calmness can be very encouraging.

A birthday tradition for Grandpa is getting him an interesting bag of popcorn along with his other gifts.  This year we found "Big Papa's Pickled Popcorn" made in Waterloo, Wisconsin.  
YUCK!  Urban, Emerson and I did NOT like it.  Ida thought it was medium.  Dad said it was growing on him.  Watching everyone try it was the best part!
And a giant cinnamon roll from the local orchard topped off the night.  Happy 72nd, Dad!

October 13, 2014


We grew carrots this year.  The harvest was quite nice.

And delicious.  Thank you to our Uncle Mike for teaching me the way carrots are supposed to be eaten!

October 11, 2014

Orchard 2014

Here is some evidence that we were to the orchard this year.  The air was crisp and the donuts fresh.  It was a fun morning.
I found Grandpa's tradition birthday popcorn flavor for this year.  Can't wait to see how he likes it.

September 29, 2014


Ida is taking Jazz for the first time ever and she LOVES it!  I love taking her to class.  Her teachers have told me that she is a natural and they continue to mention to me that she should pursue more challenging classes.  I had no idea!  
I will also brag a little more because I am her mom and tell you that her instructors say she has dancers feet.  I am guessing that means she points her toes well.  Again, who knew?  

 Happy dance Monday to all!

September 23, 2014

one amazing story

Sit back folks, grab an apple or a beef jerky or whatever it is that suits your taste buds' fancy, and get ready to read one amazing story.

It all started when I decided I wanted a Hitchcock for our entryway.  I don't know that everyone calls these pretty wooden benches Hitchcocks, but that is the name that has stuck with me and rolls off my tongue most frequently.  I am pretty sure they are also called Deacon's benches or Amish benches. Even a spindle bench, if that is your type of thing.  But, whatever.  It's a Hitchcock around here, and I was thinking it would be a very fine thing to have one for our three vowels to use in the entry, so I set to work combing Craigslist with the hopes of finding one.
I ended up finding quite a few, actually, over the past 6 months.  Unfortunately, the measurements were consistently wrong.  Too short to be exact.  What was the point of having a bench if all three children couldn't sit on it together?  I continued looking until I found the perfect Hitchcock. According to the description it was solid maple, sturdy, and LONG!  "Perfect," I told myself.  Well, maybe perfect.  It was about an hour and fifteen minutes from home.  Our agreed upon radius for Craigslist purchases is a 30 minutes drive.  "We will have to break the rules, " I said to Josh. "This bench is too good to pass up.  I have contacted the owners so let's go and get it!"  I followed my request with a smile for good measure.  It worked and we packed the three vowels in the car and headed North on an adventurous, after-school-on-a-Friday outing.
When we arrived, a jolly man and wife came outside to greet us.  The man opened Urban's car door right away and started talking to him and unloading him from the car.  I shot Josh a look immediately....."weird," I thought.  Urban had no reservations and seemed to talk undeterred to this complete stranger.  I shot Josh a second look......."even weirder" I heard myself say.  Hand shaking followed, along with talking and more talking.  Finally money was exchanged and the gorgeous Hitchcock was mine!
While Josh loaded our new entry seating onto the trailer, Urban ran around the top of the trailer's guard rail like a balance beam in chase of his brother and sister.  After a quick glance in his direction, I voiced my opinion that what he was doing was potentially dangerous....like a good mother should, "Urban, please be careful.  Don't fall off of there!"  I thought nothing of what I had done until I looked at the jolly man's wife, who had her mouth hanging wide open. I gave her a smile to deflect what I had anticipated would be distaste for our son's name.

Jolly Man's Wife: "What did you just call him?"
Defensive Mom: "Urban."
Jolly Man's Wife: "U-R-B-A-N?"
Defensive Mom: "Yes."
Jolly Man's Wife: "In all my days, I would have never guess we would find another Urban.  Ron's (Jolly Man) middle name is Urban.  His dad's name was Urban."
No longer Defensive but SHOCKED Mom:  "WHAT?"
Jolly Man's Wife: "Yep."
Shocked Me: "What was his middle name?"
Jolly Man's Wife: "Urban John. His parents were really Catholic."
Shocked Me: "(pointing to Urban) His name is Urban John! And we aren't even Catholic!"
Jolly Man's Wife: "This bench that you are buying used to be Urban John's bench."
Shocked Me: "We are taking home Urban John's bench to Urban John's house?  Well, Urban just got himself a Hitchcock he will take to his house when he has children because obviously this bench was meant to be with us!."
Jolly Man's Wife: "It sure was."

So, the bench isn't called a Hitchcock anymore around our house.  We call it "Urban's bench."

p.s. Flowers will be gone asap.  I will either leave it wood or paint it black.

September 12, 2014

sometimes I sew

Urban has a boy doll.  It came about a few days ago when we cleaned the storage room in the basement and found Emerson's old boy doll I had made him during my doll making days.  Urban became attached.  He insisted that Emerson give the doll to him.  I didn't want that to happen.  Not that Emerson uses the doll at all anymore, but when he is older and moved out, I want to be able to give it to him.  One of those funny memories of childhood kind of things.  Then I said to myself, "I will just make Urban a doll."  An hour after I dusted off my sewing machine, Luke was here.
Leo, Luke
Urban named him Luke and I was like, "And so he is." I hadn't sewed a doll in a few years so I clearly wasn't accepting the idea that he was my best work but oh well.  To Urban he is.
And then I started thinking about making dolls again.  Then the thought left, but it came back again. We will see.  My goal these last few 6 months has been to go with the flow, so I am flexible with the doll making idea.
Anyway, here is Urban with his Luke.

September 6, 2014

First Day of School 2014

Emerson 4th, Ida 3rd
This first week of school has been the best of all the first weeks in the last 5 years of having kids going to school.  Even the first day.  It is amazing how easy the first day was compared to the nerves and anxiety of last year's first day.  I am so proud of these two for being eager to learn and willing to take on the challenge of a new year with optimism and excitement.  Their classmates are very lucky to have them and we are lucky to for the wonderful teachers that will be taking care of them this year.

September 1, 2014

Summer List 2014

Our awesome dad put the basketball hoop up over the weekend!  The children are extremely happy with him.  A friend from church gave us the old hoop.  The same friends who drove over to the house about three years ago with a truck full of sand and made a sandbox in our yard for the kids. They are such nice people. Getting the hoop mounted was on our Summer List 2014.  It's been a busy, nice summer and we were able to do almost every last thing on our list this year.

Summer List 2014
√ Ride a train
√ Make rock box under the tree fort
√ Camp in yard
    Blueberry picking.......there were no blueberries this year.
√ Strawberry picking
√ Go to the lake
√ Go fishing
√ Finish kid rooms: Ida's room √, Boy room....working on it
√ Ride a train
√ Spend the night at Granny's house
√ Go to the fair
√ Go to the parade
√ Zoo......We went to Field Museum instead
   Look at dogs (we want a golden doodle....this may be tricky)
√ 4th of July Fireworks
√ Put up the basketball hoop

August 28, 2014



This year we chose the theme BE TRUE.
Above all things, we want our children to be true to who they are, what they believe, and in their faith.
We desire for them to be true to humanity and an honest/true giver to the world in which they have been blessed with and in which they live.
Grilled chicken
Noodles with pesto
Corn hash
Chocolate creme cake
Pink lemonade
I embroidered BE TRUE on a pouch for the two older children and LEGOS on a pouch for Urban.  Legos are truly what makes Urban happy!  They also got a new water bottle and a zipper tag that says, "Families Are Forever."  We told the children that no matter what happens during the day to stay true to themselves and then come home to where they are fully loved and accepted.  No matter what, we will love them and give them refuge.

The Frakers Five.