Unka Joe

My brother has been in town the last month and we've had some good time hanging out. We were all blown away by his skills on the slopes; he's learned a thing or two skiing the Alps. But at least one thing remains the same about Unka Joe. He's a great gifter. This time out he took Cassidy to Toys R Us and she ended up walking out with Bride Barbie and Groom Ken, as well as outfits that transform Barbie into a nurse and an ice skater. Ken, well, he got a track suit. A turquoise track suit.
I have spent the last day and a half using my "Ken" voice and telling Barbie how much  I love her. Over and over again. Occasionally they change clothes and one of them is sick, or they go out to eat. Cass is using her little doll house (that Joe gave her when she turned two, I think) for the newlyweds, but it's no Dream House. A bit small. I hope this week we can make it over to my moms and find some of my old Barbies. I enjoyed many years with those girls and look forward to getting another girl so I can use a different voice.
It was nice to see Joe, to spend some chill out time with him in Colorado. Growing up I looked up to him as every little sister should and I'm thankful the L-RD gave me such a loving brother. Now that I think about it he set the ideal in my mind for an intelligent athlete. My brother is the smartest guy I know, and he played football at Nebraska. Our personalities are kind of similar and I know he and Wyatt would have been bosom buddies. I pray Cassidy gets to spend good time with him in the future, he gets rather silly around giggly girls. And he gives good hugs. We love you, Joe. Thanks for being a wonderful big brother.


Purim Spectacular

It's been a week, but what a week it's been. Very busy, recovering from Colorado and Purim, visiting with friends, getting the cast off and seeing Toy Story on Ice. I took a nice nap this afternoon and I'm ready to catch you up...
Queen Esther, Butterfly, and Zoro
(or the Dread Pirate Roberts)

Maasen as Paul Blake. The other day Paul
walked up to his office and I almost didn't
recognize him without his visor...

A Queen puts out a lot of fires;
good thing she has a trustworthy cousin.

Check out the footwear.

Seriously? Incredible.

Then Cass got a package from MeMe in Florida and boy was she excited. Thank you  MeMe for blessing Little Cass. She is excited about it all! We've done the puzzle several times, and she saves the princess pieces for herself and makes me and Maasen put together the pieces that have the prince on them.
See the determination?

The perfect puzzle for Cassidy!
Wednesday night we sat down to do Bible Study. Cassidy had her Bibles and notes and wanted to discuss Moses. Unfortunately we were finishing up Habakkuk, so our conversation was a little confusing. After gleaning all she could from us she excused herself from the table and went off to her room. About ten minutes later she appeared in this. She changed out of her clothes and put on, from head to toe: her new tiara, her very own pink(!) KU shirt, her new princess skirt, pink camo sweats and one fancy shoe. Priceless. I love this girl's sense of style.

And the highlight of the week: they took off her cast! We drove down to Children's Mercy which was not the highlight (thank you for your prayers), and waited our turn. When we got to the room Cass was completely calm. The nurse showed her the saw and then proceeded to cut up both sides of her foot and leg. Not a tear or a squirm, even though I'm sure it tickled her little foot. Then as soon as it was off she let the waterworks loose. She has been so brave this whole time, I think it was a release of stress.

We talked to the doctor, who informed us that after looking at the x-ray he could see the break went all the way through the tibia. He could see this because new bone was forming in the break. He said it might be a week before she'd walk on it, but she's been doing great since then. It's a bit weak, and sometimes she's a little hesitant, but she walks around quite a bit, determined to be the active girls we know. We are very proud of how brave and patient she has been this whole time. Now we pray for perfect healing, just as the L-RD designed her leg.
The banjo on her knee
Thanks for catching up with me. I love you all and I'm thankful to have you in my life. Maybe we can get coffee sometime...


Sunday morning we visited Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park for their Spring Open House. Big Cass has been preparing for this the last two months and we were excited to visit her place of business, once again.

Seeing this photograph reminds me of planting the garden last year. The kids helped me plant the carrot seeds. Wyatt was not interested in getting his hands dirty but Cass jumped right in.
I wonder how many times BC had to say, "Do you want white, light purple or dark purple?" I'm glad LC went with the light purple; it's very pretty.
Then she decorated a cup (styrofoam!) and with the help of Jessica and another lady she planted some grass. Supposedly it will shoot up in a few days.
The highlight (for me anyway) was having her face painted. This was such a fun little deal, especially since we were preparing for Purim that evening. Cass sat so still, as if she had a lot of practice at putting on make-up. The artist had a photograph of her son painted as a leopard. Last spring when Wyatt was learning about big cats I thought he would be a cheetah for Purim. We could paint the lines that run from the eyes to the mouth, a distinct cheetah characteristic and he could prowl around on all fours.
She was proud of her face paint and it stayed on quite well through her nap.
She finally pooped out at the end and I sat her down with some popcorn while Jessica got some pots for her growing garden. It's a lot of work to carry her around in that cast, I can't imagine how much work it is for her to walk. Thursday we go back to the doctor and I'm praying everything has healed well.


Wrapping Up

My brilliant mother brought Play-Dough along on the trip and the girls played with it every day. The kitchen had a "breakfast nook" off to the side and they enjoyed having their own space to be creative.
Even though Cass looks like she's in a saloon with that long glove on, I promise it's just a friendly game of "Go Fish" with Aunt Rachey. Friendly, as long as Cassie wins.
Unka Joe read "Olivia Goes to Venice" to Cassidy and taught her some Italian. She mostly cares about the word "gelato", which Olivia and her family eat a lot of in the story.
Then we made our way home again. Since our honeymoon this has been the standard pose for Tom. I don't have a lot of photos of just him, but I probably have half a dozen in this pose. With these glasses. But remarkably not this shirt, it's pretty new.
Cassidy is a great traveller. She enjoyed the moutain view on the way down but once we hit Denver her ears started hurting. I am pleased to say that was the only hitch on the whole trip, no big problems with her belly or her leg. She even took a nap.

We even got to see Sam on the way home.
Stay tuned for Sam in another disguise...


Winter Park

As I promised, some video and some sweet photographs of Joe and E.J. in the terrain park. Wednesday was incredibly warm and even though it was Spring Break the lines for the lifts weren't long at all. The most exciting thing for me was getting to ski with Tom. This was his second time skiing, ever, and the first time was at least 15 years ago. He picked it up fast and we moved to blues and even did a blue/black that morning. The scenery was beautiful, and the snow was fairly good for such a warm March, but by far the highlight was being on the mountain with my honey.

The Franz siblings weren't complete, but Sarah's board and boots were representing. Thanks, Bear!

In honor of the NCAA tournament here are E.J. and Joe with their versions of hang time:
E.J. in the Terrain Park
E.J. getting serious air
The second jump for E.J.
Joe's first air in the Terrain Park
Joe had a lot of speed going into the second jump,
and a lot of air
Here is one of Tom's first runs, which I found remarkable. I'm so proud of my soccer-playing honey. Skiis are a weird thing to have attached to your feet, especially the fancy ones Joel let him borrow. He wanted to get better so he asked Rachel for tips, and I'm sure if we go out tomorrow he'll be even better.
This is Mary Jane, one of my favorite runs. The first guy down the hill in the bright blue is Euro Joe, super fast! Then comes Rachel in green with great technique and then comes Thomas. I love this video because it shows different levels of skills. Joe skis the Alps and Rachel skis the Rockies all season long, so try to remember that when you watch the video.


Spring Break 2011

We drove out to Winter Park yesterday. This town is a special place for the Franz family. We vacationed here just about every year, Winter and Summer. The 12 hour drive was long and I vividly remember sleeping in some awkward positions, but the discomfort was always worth the adventure. We are blessed this year to spend a very inexpenisive time out here with my parents, Uncle Jack, Uncle Joe and Rachey and EJ and Abbie.

Cass was a trooper the whole way here, but she got anxious as the sun set and we still weren't "in Colorado". By that she meant she was still in the car and it was too dark to see the mountains. The pass was snowy and slow-going but we got here evenutally (thanks to Tom's patience) and it's beautiful. Just a few shots from the trip:

She was overjoyed at the ring pop. She kept
asking me to take pictures of her red tongue.

 Her thumb eventually turned red from sucking
it after the ring pop.
There was so much fog it was hard to see one of our
favorite sites of the trip.
The weather cleared up the further west we went
but the wind turbines weren't spinning. Malfunction
at the Hub Station, I suppose.
I got Fun Dip at this gas station stop.
Tom and I plan on hitting the slopes tomorrow, and I will definitely keep you updated on that adventure.


In case you haven't read Jessica's blog lately (, here's the update.

Tuesday afternoon Cassidy went to play with her cousins Abbie and Asher at Leaping Lizards with our friend Marjorie. About an hour into the playing I got a call from Marjorie saying Cass got hurt and wanted me. Apparently a larger kid ran into Cass in the moonwalk. When I got there she was still crying and upset and I wondered how much crying was due to injury and how much was due to a minimal nap. Anywho, I took her home and sat her on the couch. And there she stayed for the next two days.

I tried to get her to walk a little bit, thinking perhaps she was overreacting and milking the pampered lifestyle. She would scream and cry with every step. It became ridiculous and I asked Jess to come and take a look. There was no major swelling or bruising on her leg but her knee definitely hurt. After working through the details we decided to take her to Children's Mercy South where they have 24-hour Urgent Care.
When they say "urgent" they mean they address your issue according to how urgent it is. Cass wasn't in any pain so we waited a long time before getting anywhere. But once it was all said and done the x-rays showed she had swallowed a puzzle piece, just like Curious George! No, that's just what I think of every time I hear the word "x-ray". She has a buckle fracture on the top of her tibia and a possible fracture lower down, although that hasn't been confirmed. Nothing less than a whole leg cast will take care of this fracture so she is decked out in hot pink from her upper thigh to her toes. She was incredible the whole time in urgent care, from 6 to midnight and only cried once while getting her cast put on. Apparently the fiberglass wrap gets hot while it hardens and it made her little leg itch. It was right at the end, when our nurse, Ron, was going to put on the purple stripes, so she ended up in solid pink. Look out!
The cast stays on for almost three weeks and then we believe, if all goes well, she will be back to normal. We are praying for perfect healing and no issues with her growth plate, please! We will go to Children's Mercy Downtown, aka Jessica's hospital, to have the doctor look at it on th 24th. I am not looking forward to revisiting that place, especially on the 24th, but I believe we will leave with more joyful results than last time.

Highlights from the trip:
In the waiting room I gave her a chocoloate and peanut butter protein bar (in lieu of supper). She ate half the bar and then said, "I'm eating too much chocolate!"

Jess asked Cassidy who her favorite team is, KU Jayhawks or Barcelona. Without hesitating she said, "Barcelona."

We were stuck in the hospital for 6 hours with a few books, a sliding toy attached to the wall and minimal snacks. For about thirty minutes we watched a food show. She never complained, whined or cried. She did better than I did.

Whenever a doctor or nurse talked to her she put on her brave face and acted like a grown up. In fact, when the doctor came in and asked me what happened Cassidy went into her own rendition of the jumping accident before I could open my mouth.

As we walked out to the car she said, "Papa, Mama, thanks for taking me to the doctor."

While waiting to get her cast put on she gave Nurse Ron a ballerina bear sticker to put on his ID badge.

She enjoys knocking on her cast since it's so hard. Come on over and give it a knock, or draw on it. I've commissioned Big Cass to draw a banjo on her knee...



I have added another page for the March pictures, so if you're bored you can take a look at what's been happening.

Cassidy gets her cast tomorrow. I will let you know how that all goes.

Side note: I am missing my "a" button. It broke off  of the keyboard of my laptop Friday. So, please, appreciate the a's.