Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sharon Get's Into the 21st Century

This is all new to me. I've done photo albums for about 100 years (well actually, only 50 years), but my kids thought I should take the photo album thing into the 21st Century, so we'll give it a try. I love looking at our friends blogs, and keeping up with the latest news that way. Also I'm kind of a fanatic about writing Christmas letters so its just kind of natural that I figure everyone must want to see my families' pictures as much as I want to share them. So -- welcome to the Francis Family Blog. Most of our kids do their own blogging, so I'll just try to hit the highlights, and not duplicate what they are putting on, but since our kids are kind of our life, there just may be some duplicates. I hope you check us out from time to time and see what's new with the family, maybe you will try blogging too. And to all of you out there--Welcome to the 21st Century!!

Our new home away from home

For the past year we've spent a lot of time building a gathering place for our family. We found property in Fruitland, Utah (about 10 minutes East of Strawberry and only 1 hour and 15 minutes from our home in Provo) in December of 2007, and we began the next spring building our cabin. It's been a different experience than any other home we've built, but now that we have a pillow to lay our heads on, we think it was all worth it. We hope for years to come (actually generations!), we will all enjoy the togetherness that comes when you forget the everyday routine and get away as friends and family. There are fishing streams and lakes close by (a must for the guys), hillsides to four-wheel on (a real adventure for the kids, and kids at heart), a loft for the kids, and a game room for the rest of us. We spent Thanksgiving up there (2008) and even though we had only one bathroom that was working, and no doors yet installed we had a great time getting it all put together (thanks to Gram and Kristi who worked till wee hours getting beds made and dishes and everything else put away). From before Thanksgiving until way after Christmas we were moving box after box in, and at each moving visit we had to begin by cleaning, because in between visits the sub-contractors would be finishing up "one last thing". (This is the main reason there was no Christmas letter last year) During December I took the grandkids up, a few at a time. We made gingerbread houses and watched classic old Christmas movies. Since then we've had lots of fun visits with family and friends at the cabin (I'll post pictures of some of those visits later). We now have more than one bathroom working perfectly, and doors on every room. The fireplace works, and we've all even learned how to light a fire without setting off the smoke detector!! We'll be clearing brush and laying gravel, trimming trees and building sledding hills for the next few years, but we look forward to lots of fun times spent at our new home away from home.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kevin and Kristi

Kevin is a police officer and lives in Hurricane, Utah. He has four children and three step children. The three oldest children live in northern Utah with their mother. Chelsea is 13 and is quite the beautiful teenager. She has her own blog, her own face-book, her own cell phone, and since I've learned to text, I can talk to her, even when she's at school. Justin is ten, and enjoys skiing, hip hop and lots of friends. He still enjoys time with Grandma and having the cabin helps (doesn't it Justin?) Lexi is six, and I'm afraid the cabin doesn't help much with her. She really prefers day visits, so we always plan a day a week in the summer so we can stay close. Taylee is one and a half, and is kind of the apple of her dad's eye. Since she lives in Southern Utah with him, we just see them on visits up north. When Kevin and Kristi were married Trevor, Sage and Trysten joined our family and we added another 9 year old, another 7 year old and another 5 year old. So we have lots of grandchildren the same ages. Never a shortage of play mates when the cousins get together.

Rob and Sasha

Rob and Sasha dated in high school and while Rob served a mission (in Oregon), Sasha attended Beauty School in Provo. They were both raised in Orem, and this year when Rob took his new business to Seattle Washington, it was the first time the two of them have lived outside of Utah County. Well actually, Sasha isn't exactly in Seattle yet, but after she gets the house packed up, and Hallee out of Second Grade she will be joining Rob in Seattle. They were married in June of 1997 and have Hallee, who is 8 and was just baptized. Hallee is taking Spanish classes at school, and is a real natural gymnast. She can do flips and whatever else they do, better than lots of the older girls. Jack is a five year old "true boy". He loves Thomas, Nascar and being tough. The only thing soft about him is his gentle heart. Paisley is quite a little lady 3 year old. Sasha still does hair a couple of days a week, and I watch the kids some of that time, so I've had a chance to stay close to them. While she is in Seattle she plans to do a little bit of commuting to keep her clientele. You see, we think that is a great idea, because it means they plan to move back one day, and hopefully not too far off. We wish Rob good luck with this new venture, and send our love and prayers to Seattle with them.

Karen and Phil

This year marks ten years for Karen and Phil. They were good friends in high school, and wrote while he was on his mission (in Texas). They didn't actually date till after his mission and were married 9-9-99. They have three daughters and live in Provo. These are the girls that I babysit. Sierra is in First grade, and has her mother's coloring, Savannah is in Pre-school and has Nana Monaghan's brown eyes. Sydney is two and yes, she is a real two-year-old. Just try crossing her!! Karen is an escrow officer and has worked for her Dad since she was 15. Phil has sold and laid carpet until his knees started giving him trouble recently. This summer he is going to try his hand at sales, and leaves in a few days for Atlanta to sell for Apex Security Systems. We are all wishing him the best. Since four months away from the family isn't that much fun we are sure hoping he will do well and keep busy enough not to get too lonely. All the girls look forward to their trip in June to spend a few weeks with him. Good luck Phil, and we'll probably get to see a lot of Karen and the girls while their dad is away.

Scott and Kristi

Scott and Kristi were set up by Rob in the summer of 2003 and dated long distance until they were married in February of 2004. Scott was attending the Pam Am Flight School in Phoenix and Kristi lived in Orem. We all made a few trips to visit Scott during those courting days. I made several, Kristi's Mom made several. Scott and Kristi have the twins, Carly and Mason who are now 2 1/2 years old. They were the tiniest babies when they were born, but they are such busy (and normal) children now, we can hardly remember those first few months when they hardly did anything but sleep. They have just recently moved to Page, Arizona where Scott has his first "flying" job as a tour pilot at Lake Powell. He was very excited about the move, and the chance to clock additional flight time. Kristi and the twins are being very good sports about the whole thing (missing family and all) and even though it is a very small town they are in, Kristi tells me they are enjoying it because when Scott isn't flying a tour, he gets to spend his time with his family. We think the grandparents will be making a few trips to Lake Powell this summer. We miss you guys, and we'll be planning a trip soon.