Let's see... what has happened since last July? Um, A LOT. So, lets get rolling...
In August 2014, we took a road trip to Montana to visit Glacier National Park and Uncle Brian, Aunt Tia and cousins Dylan and Kai. The kids were great in the car - really, I'm not sugar coating. We stopped at a few hotels along the way to make the trip more enjoyable and it was a good call!
We took a detour and headed up north to Glacier National Park. Our first stop was at a small waterfall.
Ezzy taking it all in.
This is one of the many cool things we saw in the park.
Another cool thing! This guy was just laying there about 20 ft in the air on a bluff. He was only a few yards away from us and didn't mind being photographed.
A few years ago Grace & Dylan were the only kids in their families - now look at them! They have their hands full being big brother and big sister!
Mark and Brian took an ENTIRE day and went fly fishing together. Meanwhile, Tia and I took 5 kids to the Montana State Fair and enjoyed the 95 degree weather and super tired babies. It was a fair trade (sarcasm heavy on this one).
Ezzy LOVED 'driving' this jeep. He was quite confident in his skills.
Can't visit Montana without enjoying the beauty all around!
Family Hike time...
The trail got really steep towards the top, so Mark took Ezra & Grace and I stayed back with Luca.
The waterfall looked AWESOME!
This was our view from below
Hiking really tuckered Luca out.
Skull rock? Face rock? I can't remember the name. Something like that.
On the way home, one of the hotels had a small indoor water park.
Luca 'relieving himself' mid air- he's very talented.
Gracie enjoying some of the veggies we grew in our garden. DELICIOUS.
In september we celebrated Ezzy's 2nd birthday by throwing a way-over-the-top
"Circus" party for our 'strong man'.
I went above and beyond in decor & games with good reason - I have been interested in party planning for awhile now and I used Ezzy's birthday as trial run. here's what I learned: while it was super fun to plot, plan & prepare the decor & games, it was time consuming (like a full time job at times) and my family is too young for me to 'go to work'. Someday though...
Also in September, Gracie started the 2nd grade. She was very excited to have a 'boy teacher'.
"Glenn Beam!" (little inside joke)
While Grace was at school, I was left to fend for myself with these two hooligans!...
In October, we enjoyed all of the harvest festivities...
Grace entered a pumpkin contest at school and ... WON!
Mark and I dressed up like a roaring 20's couple and Grace rocked 'Crazy hair day' at school.
We even got into the halloween spirit at the gym! This is me with one of my favorite trainers.
The boys went as thing 1 and thing 2.
Grandma Jack went as the Cat in the hat to really pull the look off - thanks Grandma! :-)
I wore my gumball outfit and the kids were all decked out so I FORCED mark to get into his SWAT gear so he wasn't the only dork not wearing a costume.
In November, I turned 34!
And we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary at a seahawks game
and an overnight stay in a way too expensive hotel in Seattle. The jacuzi tub was ridiculously HUGE!
Also in November, I became an auntie again when my brother Andrew became a father of one adorable little Girl! YAY!
At the end of November, we hosted Thanksgiving here. It was a great day of food, family and football. Go HAWKS!
In December, Luca turned 1!
We hosted a small family birthday party - football themed, of course!
We gathered family at our place once again in December to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Christmas 2014 was a great event! The kids were super excited when they woke up and we thoroughly enjoyed watching them open up their presents. Looking forward to many more holidays.
In January we rang in the new year with class!
Toot horns and party hats and treats!
Even Grandma Francis got into the festive spirit!
Later that month we celebrated Gracie's 8th bday.
These are the pictures we used on her baptism invite.
She wanted a 'Rock Star' party and so that's what she got!
With everything including a stage!
"I'M PARTYING LIKE A ROCK STAR, MOM!"
I taught her everything she knows :-)
Oh, and did I mention there was a HOT bouncer there? Well, there was. Tats and all :-)
In February, we watched the worst Superbowl EVER! Such a depressing loss :-(
But, the boys didn't seem to mind.
In April (or was it the end of March? IDK) we celebrated Easter with some 'throwback flare'
To be honest, not much happend in March, April, May - the kids were sick A LOT. :-(
In June we were feeling better though!
We spent a Saturday afternoon at the Outback Farm in Arlington.
Mark became an accomplished reader! "Such a big boy!" So proud of him.
(He didn't appreciate my sarcasm then, so he gave me a face full of whip cream.)
Grace and her aunt Maddy held a lemonade stand and after a grueling 4 1/2 hours in the sun they made $5! Split two ways it was even less but the way Gracie beamed from ear to ear you would have thought she won a million bucks!
One day, the boys made it past the gate, and into the formal living room where they worked on their duet for several minutes (then they started fighting over the piano).
At the end of June Mark took annual leave and we started his vacation with a long day trip over to Sequim. Ezra loved the ferry boat ride and the kids were great in the car.
We spent the day at the Animal farm. How did the kiddos like it?
Well, Grace was an expert (she has been there a few times before)
Luca was in sheer awe at the animals and even more so at not being strapped down in a car seat!
And, like always, Ezzy was very cautious. Although, I have to say, that in the event that someone or something ever tried to attack me, my money would be on Ezra to fight them off! At one point an Elk stuck his face into the car and was really aggressive - Ezzy was sitting on my lap and he swatted the nose of the Elk and screamed "NO!" No fear. No hesitation. My boy.
Family hike to 'the spit'
sometimes they get along ;-)
Mark just taking it all in
On day 2 of our mini vacay, we stopped in a little town called Seaport. It was established 11 years ago. It was very cute!
apparently Ezzy already knows how to write! SOO smart!
Mark took his digging seriously. I won't go into details but lets just say that at one point he filled in a certain 8 year old's hole because she was getting too close to his. There were tears and an angry mama bear. If I could have put his massive body into time out, i would have.
At one point, Luca simply gave up on keeping the sand out of his clothes and just became one with it.
So did Ezra.
This year (like last week) we hosted a small family BBQ at our place on the fourth of july.
Mr. & Mrs. Francis
Our 18th Independence day together
My darling Grace. She is a very beautiful soul.
Luca was ready just in case all hell broke loose! :-)
Mark guarding our stash
Ezra (the cautious one) like the view from the bushes. Safer.
Luca rocking a pair of shades at dusk
Ezra leaving little "surprises" on the back of pop's chair :-)
His reaction after being caught - "cheese"!
And as they rode away, she yelled back "see you in heaven!"
They made it back. She is still alive. I didn't have to kill pop.
Now there you have it. One year in one post.
All caught up.