Thursday, February 8, 2018

January Newsletter & Slideshow

FAMILY: Happy 2018! The weekend of the 12th, Grandpa & Grandpa watched the girls and Heidi surprised Jason with 24 hours of kid-free time J They enjoyed sleeping in, going for a walk on the trail, going to the temple with friends, and going to 2 movies! The girls enjoyed hanging out with the Potts & the Simons were also in town! On the 14th, we FINALLY finished Little Women! It took over a year, but it was so wonderful. We are all going to miss hearing about the adventures of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, and the rest of the March family.The 15th was MLK Jr Day, and we decided to go check out Toquerville Falls. We’re glad we had the truck because it’s ROUGH getting up there. The girls mostly rode in the back of the truck on the dirt road. It was all so worth it, though, because they were beautiful! The water was freezing, but that didn’t stop all the girls from climbing all over the falls and having so much fun! Afterwards, we ate dinner in St. George. It was a super fun day J  On the 20th, McKinley & Kezia both tried out for the Cedar City Children’s Musical Theater’s Peter Pan. They both did a GREAT job! McKinley got the part of Tiger Lily and Kezia is Michael! We’re so excited to see their performance in February! That evening, Heidi & Jason went to a devotional by Elder Quintin L. Cook. It had snowed quite a lot that day, and on the way to the devotional, they got in a small accident. They are all okay and the van is okay, but it took quite a bit of time, and we missed most of the devotional L On the 26th, we celebrated Zhane’s half-birthday. It was fun to have her cake & ice cream that night, and it was movie night, so she chose Aristocats. It was fun! On the 27th, Kezia had her hot cocoa stand to raise money for hospitals that she’d been begging for. Mom baked some goodies (Kezia helped) and did the cocoa. Kezia, her friend Courtney, and McKinley stood on the corner & helped get attention. It didn’t take long! They were all sold out of the hot cocoa, snickerdoodles & sugar cookies within a couple hours! We live in such a great neighborhood. They raised over $65 – way to go Kezi! Another thing that our family started this month is EMDR therapy with Colby Backman. He comes to our home on Thursday nights and helps us work on our “big feelings.” We also have been enjoying having the Potts here – every Sunday they come here or we go there. They are spending 1-on-1 time with each girl per week and one week we put together humanitarian kids, too!

JASON: Jason was furloughed for about a half-day on the 22nd of January. We are glad it didn’t last a long time, and we also enjoyed the little bit of extra time we had with him on that Monday. He has been very busy at work, and also with his calling this month! He also helped Ireland a lot with her science fair project.

HEIDI: Heidi had fun surprising Jason in January with a kid-free day. They had so much fun living like retired people
J Heidi has been working on her belated beginning-of-year projects, including her new years’ progress ideas, vision board, and doing birthday cards for the year. For 2018, Heidi’s word is “connected.” She wants to feel more connected to her loved ones on the other side, on this side, to her body, her spirit, nature, etc. She excited about it!

-McKinley had a busy month with church! On the 6th, she did baptisms for the dead with the Young Women at the Cedar City temple, on the 8th she went to Panda Express to talk about her personal progress, and on the 27th, she had a regional devotional to go to. Oh, and she got called as the Beehive President
J We’re so thankful for the amazing young woman McKinley is.
-McKinley had her first official babysitting job this month! She watched the Oswald’s grandson while they went to the temple. He wasn’t feeling good so he went to bed early & McKinley pretty much had the easiest first job ever – and got paid $20!
-McKinley kept wanting to go ice skating with her friends, Karmiyah & Olivia. The first time they went, they weren’t open for the public skate. The 2nd time, there were so many people that they were out of skates
L So… mom suggested a Plan B – doing a scavenger hunt at Walmart. McKinley wasn’t so sure about the idea, but they ended up having a lot of fun finding things that started with A, B, C, etc.
-McKinley did so good at her Peter Pan Audition! Mom really enjoyed watching her sing and do her speaking part. We’re so excited to see her as Princess Tiger Lily! (and a pirate). She was so good to help & cheer-on her sister Kezia as well (it was her first audition).
-Mom took McKinley & Addison Bealer to the temple on a Wednesday morning. It was busy, but we were able to get 6 family names done (mom did them, too), and get home with enough time to relax & have some German Pancakes. It was a neat morning, and we hope to do them every week!
-McKinley hasn’t been feeling so great. First it was really tired-ness, and headaches. Then it turned in a hacking cough
LMom has been trying to let her sleep in more, but we hope she feels better soon!

-Ireland is enjoying gymnastics & has really improved! Her back-walkovers are getting really good and she has more power in her back-handspring. Way to go Ireland!
-Ireland spent a good deal of time this month with her 5th grade science fair project.  She decided to do it on “can water float on water?” where she put fresh water in one bottle and salt water in another bottle (both colored) and then put them on top of each other to see if they would mix. It was a cool project & when done right, the water did float! She got 3rd place & gets to go to SUU! Great job Ireland!
-Ireland had SUCH a fun weekend on the 19th! On Friday, she got to go on a field trip to SLC – they went to the State Capital and Aquarium. Then the next day she got to go skiing with Mahina! So much fun! Eric (Mahina’s dad)  says we should think about buying her equipment because she’s really good! Later on Saturday, Ireland had fun making a snow fort while the snow lasted.
-On the 24th, we finally went to the doctor for Ireland’s heel. It has been bothering her off & on for about 6 months now & lately has been so painful, she avoids walking on it. He took x-rays, but it looks like it’s just the growth plate that’s hurting her, which is pretty typical. She needs to wear more supportive shoes with inserts. Hopefully that will help!
-Ireland got to go ice skating with the activity day girls this month and had so much fun!

-Kezia came into our room one night, about 11:30. She walked into our closet and dad asked what she was doing. She said going to the bathroom
J Dad had to re-direct her to the correct location
-Kezia was so sweet this month – doing the hot cocoa stand to raise money for hospitals, and later that day she had a playdate where they wrote encouraging notes & put them on people’s doorsteps & ran away
-Kezia’s teacher called one day and was concerned about Kezia’s anxiety/perfectionism. Her meltdowns have escaladed & one day she got 1 wrong on a spelling test, and cried on the floor, and hid under a desk.  We are working with Colby and her to work through her big emotions. Mom is trying to do more meditation & connection with her as well.
-Kezia continues to get punches on her Soar cards, and this month she won a water bottle! Yay!
-Kezia did SO well on her Peter Pan audition! She sang really well & acted well too! When she sat down from her audition, mom said “Whew! I bet you’re glad that’s over!” Kezia said “No! I wish I was still up there!”
J Sounds like she’s in the right place. She even wanted the weekend to go faster so she could be at her play practice. We’re so excited to see her as Michael!
-She had fun at Activity Days this month, including “fishing” at her leader’s house, and ice skating!
-Kezia says she is going to have 3 kids when she grows up

We have enjoyed spending more time at Link’s bench this month, since we pass by it on our way to & from play practice. We have loved to stop & play with the cars, talk about Link, and remember. We are also talking a lot about Link in our therapy sessions. We are still trying to deal with his loss in healthy ways. We miss you, our sweet wonderful son. We love you!

-Mom & Noelle definitely have some interesting conversations in the car. Here are a few samples:
            -“Mom, if I eat my food good and drink my water then I will grow a baby doggy in my tummy.”
            -There is a song on the radio right now that says “Take me to church… and you can sharpen the knife.”    
            Noelle says “Mom, that song just said to shop in the night!
            -Another time we were listening to a song (Shut up & dance with me) that said “She took my arm…”
            Noelle asked incredulously “She TOOK his ARM??”
            -One day Noelle asked mommy how many kids she was going to have when she grew up. Mom said she          didn’t know. Noelle said “I think 10”
-We love Noelle’s descriptions. One night at dinner, Noelle took a bite of food and said with a pained expression, “this tastes exhausting!” Another night, she must have liked dinner, because she took a bite & exclaimed “this tastes adorable!”
-Noelle got to give a Primary this month! (she is a Sunbeam now!). We thought she might giggle the whole time into the microphone, but she did pretty good! She didn’t speak for a couple minutes, but then started repeating what mom was saying into the microphone. Great job Noelle!
-Another of Noelle’s sayings (in a sassy voice) “how do YOU know?”
-One thing that’s got us laughing out loud… whenever mom & dad would kiss, Noelle would say “awwww, yeah.” (comes from a Studio C episode). Sometimes she would say “dad, touch mom’s face” and say “awwww, yeah!”
-Noelle really remembers most of her dreams. One morning really early, Noelle came to mom in the living room and told her all about her dream in detail. She said we were all driving to St. George and we crashed and Link was there. Another morning, mom asked her what she dreamt about, and she said “I don’t know. My dreams were too sleepy to come last night”
-A couple more favorite Noelle sayings “What today is it?” and “Last day we…” (instead of yesterday)
-One day Noelle ran into the kitchen saying “Mom! Come quick – it’s raining in my bathroom!” Mom knew that was not good. The toilet was overflowing
-Noelle is really curious about geography. She asks about Utah, and St. George, and Salt Lake City.
-Noelle has learned to WINK! And it’s SO cute!
-Still working with Noelle on being nice to Daizy. She likes to put her hands in Daizy’s’ mouth and hold her tail

-Even though Oaklyn is not quite 18 months, they let her start to go to nursery. She loves it! And we are so glad we don’t have to juggle her in the 3rd hour any more
-Oaklyn was sick & fussy this month. She had a couple weeks where she really was sleeping awful.
-Oaklyn has started to say & sign PLEASE! It’s so cute! But maybe not AS cute when she signs please when her hands are covered in spaghetti sauce and she rubs it into her shirt
-She still says “Happy!” a lot and we love it when she says it when we sing her good-night song. One night she was fussy & crying when we were singing her song and we sang “You make us happy when we are blue” She was sobbing “happy, happy, happy” as we were singing.
-Oaklyn is good at high 5s, and just learned how to do knuckles. It’s ADORABLE!
-Her hair is finally starting to grow! Mom is able to put it in a tiny ponytail and the curls still slay us with cuteness!
-Oaklyn is still super picky with dinners. She LOVES pizza, pasta with red or white sauce, ramen noodles, and Indian fry bread. And most types breakfast (thought she doesn’t like eggs). But that’s about it. Anything with rice or lots of veggies, she won’t touch

Saturday, January 13, 2018

December Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter

December 2017

FAMILY: December was wonderful and hard! We had our traditional bought of pukies, thankfully this year it went through all of us the week BEFORE winter break, so at least we enjoyed the winter break a bit more J We had hardly ANY snow this year! Our first storm of the YEAR was 3 days before Christmas. We were SO excited! On the 2nd, we took a whirlwind trip up north for Logan’s baptism, and also so mom could go to a SIDS mom meeting. It was quick, but good. On the 6th, Grandma & Grandpa Potts came for the Homestead Pioneer Christmas, which we love. A bonus was that we got to see Mahina perform. It was a fun night with hot cocoa, popcorn, caramel apples, and visiting with Santa (Oaklyn was NOT a fan L ). The 9th was the big temple cultural celebration! We went to the church to watch the broadcast and tried really hard to find McKinley among 3,600 youth who were there to celebrate our Cedar City temple with song and dance. It was really awesome! McKinley was there ALL day and it was an amazing experience for her! The 10th was the dedication and President Eyring, Elder Holland, and other leaders were there to dedicate our temple. Dad & Mom got to go with the 3 older girls while the 2 littles played at the Petersens. It was a wonderful, special day and we are SO excited to be able to go to our new temple! It is a blessing that we will never forget & always be grateful for. It’s a Christmas memory to add to our special Christmases. We got to brighten a couple family’s lives as we helped with the 12 days of Christmas. We had fun dropping off our gifts & running away. As we were on our way to one of the homes, we found an AMAZING light display on a house – set to music and cool displays on outdoor TVs. It was a fun discovery. The 13th was the Ward Christmas Party. Mom stayed home with the sick littles, but daddy had fun with the olders, and McKinley played a musical number on the piano! The girls and mom worked HARD this month to finish our homemade gifts – the girls each made a story for one of the Checketts kids (Mc – Max, I – Maddy, K – Grace), we laminated them & had them spiral-bound & they turned out SO CUTE! Mom  worked on an ancestor ABC book & was so glad she got it done in time. The 17th was the last day of school, and mom took them all ice skating, including Mahina. The olders had a really fun time, and the littles played inside with mom (Noelle didn’t last more than 2 mintues J) After the snow came, we also such a fun afternoon sledding! And later on, we made HOMEMADE Gingerbread houses – it was a lot of work, but fun, too! Christmas Eve was on Sunday this year and the girls got to open their new dresses from Grandma Devenish that morning – they were beautiful! They only had sacrament meeting – and it was filled with wonderful music and the Christmas spirit. That evening, we had our fancy meal – ham, mashed potatoes & gravy, rolls, ceasar salad, frogeye salad, and chocolate pie. It was all very good & we really enjoyed it. We watched a little Jesus movie, talked about our special Christmases, and read the Christmas story, acting it out with the nativity set. Christmas morning came bright and early as Oaklyn was up at 6am (she must have known!), so we got the girls up at 7, and went downstairs to watch a Jesus movie while daddy made a yummy breakfast upstairs. We came upstairs, ate the yummy breakfast and opened our Santa presents. This year was extra fun because Truly was here for it all J We really had fun with our Santa gifts (our family gift was extra xbox controllers and a charger) and played with them for a while before we opened the sibling gifts (this year they drew names for each other), and mom and dad gifts. We finished opening by about noon and for the next few hours, daddy helped the girls find xbox games to get (they each got xbox gift certificates) and mom helped Ireland with her MP4 player (that wouldn’t play mp4s). Eventually, we packed up & left for SLC, getting there just after 7pm. We enjoyed our evening with the Edwards & Potts & finished off Christmas with loved ones. The Edwards had our name & Aunt Cindy did a cupcake decorating class with the girls, complete with personalized aprons. And she also crocheted them all custom hats and gloves! And she made Heidi & Jason a scrabble decoration with LINKIN and all of our names in his. The next couple days we hung out a lot at Aunt Trisha’s, went to see the Temple Square lights, and Grandpa even took us to see the movie Ferdinand. We loved being with family. Then it was off to Richfield to see some of daddy’s side of the family for a little while before we headed home. The 19th, we celebrated Truly’s half-birthday and enjoyed making & eating all her favorite foods.  New Years Eve was Sunday again and we headed down to St. George after church to spend time with GG & the Potts. We ate yummy food, played games (we each got to choose one) and came home to put the littles to bed. Mom read over an hour of Little Women (McKinley & Mom cried when Beth died), and then it was midnight & we got to ring it in with our loved ones. We are grateful for all our adventures and blessings in 2017, and also excited for 2018!!

JASON: It’s been so nice having daddy home more this month. He has enjoyed watching LOTR, Transformers, and playing our new Xbox games.  Jason was determined to get 100% home teaching this month, so he and his EQ presidency made cookies for each family! The girls helped him and he delivered them. Great job daddy!

HEIDI: Heidi loved having her children home for the holidays, even with the extra messes J  She was driven this month to FINISH her Ancestor ABC book, and she did. It was a LOT of work, but she learned so much about her ancestors and is committed to do even more next year for family history. At one point, she broke down in tears, full of gratitude for the amazing lives & sacrifices of these people she is honored & blessed to be related to. Heidi also spent A L O T of time with her primary calling this month, updating classes, re-doing binders and rosters. Then, she did all the bulletin boards in the primary room and next to the chapel doors. It was a ton of work and glad the most stressful part is done!

-McKinley is still LOVING her dog, Daizy, and Daizy loves her
J When McKinley opens the door, Daizy comes running & McKinley is ready! Daizy has already grown so much and is too big for her crate in McKinley’s room. We call her “Crazy Daizy” for a reason! When she gets upstairs or is let in from outside, she goes NUTS! Tail whacking, tongue licking, jumping up, she is a whirlwind! She loves to chew on our raspberry plants, paper, and cuddle with teddy bears. She has super-soft ears and is a beautiful puppy. We’re still working on potty training. She uses the doggy doors most of the time, but still has accidents (the front entry run, front room rug, and downstairs are her favorites. Not to mention mom’s wedding dress! McKinley (and all of us) love our crazy Daizy.  
-McKinley got to be a part of the temple cultural celebration & it was amazing! She went at 8am & didn’t get home till after nine. She was exhausted, but so happy and she directly followed President Erying’s advice to write the experience in her journal.
-McKinley got a 4.0 for the 2nd
quarter of middle school! Way to go McKinley J For her grades, and for finishing the Book of Mormon, mom & dad took McKinley out to Brody’s for dinner & then to Deseret Book , where she got the book “Cove.” We are so proud of her.
-McKinley had her holiday orchestra performance on Dec. 12th. Grandma & Grandpa Potts & Devenish came & she did wonderfully (especially for being so sick)
-McKinley finally turned in her Egypt book she’s been working on for so long – intricate colorings, patterns, designs and drawings. It was awesome!
-McKinley played the piano (Bring a torch Jannette, Isabella) for the ward Christmas Party – and did great!
-On the 14th
, mom came to McKinley’s class and read a Christmas story from our Christmas book, called “the Christmas I remember best.” It was short, but meaningful, and mom got popcorn to put in all her classmates’ stockings. It was fun J
-For Christmas, Santa brought McKinley a Bluetooth speaker that she listens to in her room. She also got… a Joann’s gift card, a Wonder shirt, a studio C shirt, a locket to put Link’s picture in, Brandon Sanderson books, personalized buttons she can clip on her backpack, a reading pillow, and Kezia got her a puppy calendar & another Jacky Ha Ha book.

-Ireland got to move on to the next gymnastics level – 3!! We’re so proud of her
-Ireland had some missing assignments but worked hard to get them done so she could go to the special waffle breakfast her teacher sponsored.
-We were watching a FHE showing a white, unblemished lamb ready for sacrifice. Ireland said “If I were a lamb, I would roll around in dirt and mud!”
-Ireland made tiny “ugly” sweater ornaments. In class. Only problem? They’re not ugly at all! Super cute!
-For Christmas, Santa got Ireland tons of earrings & 3 barbie movies. She also got an MP4 player (we had to return & get another one
L) and nice headphones, a cute skirt, some personalized buttons, books 1-4 of Harry Potter, and a cool snitch necklace that tells the time.

-  Kezia got TWO SOAR cards completed, each punch for doing something awesome. She’s entered into a drawing for a really cool prize. Great job Kezi!
-Kezi was so sad this month
L She worked hard to get ready for her Christmas program at school, but ended up being so sick with a high fever and throwing up L
-Kezia finally got her letter from her penpal in Spain, Manuela! She sent a super cute felt tree and a fun letter. She even sent her a video, too! It was so much fun to see her J
-For Christmas, she gave mom & dad a super-cute see-through ornament with her picture inside J
-Santa brought Kezia a Poloroid camera & some film! Kezia has had a lot of fun snapping pictures everywhere she goes J She also got a skirt, some personalized buttons, a Link locket necklace, Heidi Hecklebeck books, and a mermaid pillow (has sequins that she can make designs with). Ireland got her a pack of Poloroid camera film.

LINK: We always think of you so much in the Christmas season and wish so much we could see your face light up and spoil you with gifts. Instead, we talk of you… about that unforgettable year we surprised everyone by taking you home. How we loved to hold you and cuddle you. We see all the reminders on our Christmas tree of you – our Link bear heart ornaments, your picture ornaments, tiny shoes, and every angel reminds us of you. We also serve in your honor. We love and miss you, sweet boy.

-When it was the Sunday of the Cedar City temple dedication, mom asked Noelle to say the prayer, and mom asked Noelle to say “please bless that the Holy Ghost will be at the dedication of the temple.” It came out as “And bless the… dedication… of the…ghost.”
-Noelle LOVED Christmas this year! She exclaimed over all the decorations and loved to hear the songs, especially her NOELLE song J They each had an advent calendar this year, and Noelle, RIGHT when she woke up, would ask for her calendar to open. She was good to sit on Santa’s lap and asked him for a SUPER car and a SUPER plane!
-Santa delivered and brought her a bright orange remote control car, and a little fun quadcoptor to play with. We all loved playing with them! Santa also brought her an electric toothbrush and some watercolor paints. She also got a Dora outfit, a personalized quiet book, and a pack of safari animals! She also got some fun little gifts from her sisters as well.

-Mom was grocery shopping at Smiths, when all the sudden AAAHH! Oaklyn puked all over mom, the cart, and the floor. Mom went to the bathroom cleaned up, and finished shopping. But Oaklyn was sick after that for a few days
L She seems to have an awful immune system and gets sick if anyone within 30 feet of her is sick L
-Another strange thing that happened to Oaklyn was that her right hand fingers were super swollen. It looked like they had been smashed, but x-rays showed no bone damage, so they treated her for cellulitis with a lot of antibiotics. It was very sore, and she wouldn’t use her right hand for a couple weeks L After a few weeks, the swelling finally went down, and she didn’t act sore, but it started peeling.
-Oaklyn has started being a bit of a picky girl! She refuses much of what we give her to eat, and she doesn’t want you to hold her while you sit, she wants you to hold her while you STAND! She’ll say “nuh, nuh, nuh” and push it (or a person) away if she doesn’t want it.
-For Christmas, Santa got Oaklyn a mat she can draw on with water. She also got a cute purple jumpsuit outfit, some babylit books, and bath toys that are like tubes that she can connect. She also very much enjoyed all the candy

Monday, December 11, 2017

November Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
November 2017
FAMILY: November is over & it’s hard to believe we’re getting so close to the end of 2017! The 4th was a very special day this month! Kezia was baptized at the West Stake (our stake center was being used for the temple open house) at 10am and we had many family & friends there to support us. McKinley gave a special musical number and GG gave such an awesome talk on the Holy Ghost. Daddy gave her a beautiful blessing/confirmation.  After the baptism, we came back to the house, ate, and headed to the temple. We had to wait for over an hour in the strong wind and cold before we got in, but it was beautiful! And we loved being there with our loved ones. It was a sweet, special day. A MIRACLE that happened after that day was that the SD card with all the pictures from the baptism got lost! Mom was heart-broken and we didn’t find it for over a week, when McKinley found it in her Halloween pillowcase! Mom was SO SO SO thankful!  The 7th was Link’s 5th birthday. We love him & Miss him so very much. We sent some treats and toys to Link’s friends, donated to the Ronald McDonald House, went to the cemetery for a balloon release, donated to the Jubilee House, went to McDonald’s and ended at the Bealer’s house with an ice cream cake! We love celebrating our sweet boy. The 17th was a big day for the Hamilton Family! First, we went to the temple open house again, this time with Truly & Zhane. And we got a talking tour, so that was awesome. And then…  We got a new family member!! – Daizy Rose Hamilton. Born on August 6th, Daizy is not quite 4 months old. She’s about ¾ Golden Retriever & a fourth labradoodle. She is McKinley’s dog (after YEARS of begging and working) and McKinley has been in 7th heaven J She seems like a natural part of our family and we all love her very much! Now, we just have to figure out the potty training ;) The 18th was a garage sale/hot cocoa stand at the Vogts and the girls had a great time! They earned some money for Christmas and McKinley enjoyed showing off Daizy. On the 19th, we had grandma & grandpa Potts over to celebrate Grandma Potts’ birthday! We had beef stroganoff and GG brough cheesecake. In the middle of the month, mom & dad completed the Self Reliance course that the church put on. We’re so glad we did it! We learned a lot and got closer to the Savior, and each other. Thanksgiving was on the 23rd this year & it was the Hamilton’s year. We were here that morning, so we enjoyed doing the neighborhood turkey trot – McKinley walked Daizy, Ireland rode her bike, Kezia did her roller skates, Noelle walked most of the way, and Mom & Dad pushed Oaklyn. It was a GORGEOUS day and very warm (in fact we’ve had ZERO snow so far L). We enjoyed hanging out with our neighbors in the morning, watching the Macy Day Parade, and helping make some yummies for Thanksgiving. We headed to St. George about 1 and had fun with the Hamiltons and Devenishs (the Reeds were in Texas this year). There were LOTS of dogs (Our 2 dogs, Hamilton’s Jessie, and the Devenish’s new puppy Sophie and also Sam). We ate, talked, watched football, and went to the park. It was a lovely day and we have SO much to be Thankful for right now! Most of all, our Savior, Jesus Christ. The next day, we went to the Aquatic Center for  a swim and had a great time, then we headed to St. George again for family time!

JASON: Jason had a minor surgery at the beginning of the month. He took a few days off, got to watch a lot of football & eat goodies, and is recovering nicely J Jason has been an ANIMAL this month with the health challenge! He has gone from being in very last place to being 4th overall! He is serious about getting his workouts in and getting his challenges done. He’s down 8 pounds since we started 6 weeks ago. We’re so proud of him! Jason got to help at the temple open house – doing parking. The next day, he got to go to an SUU football game with the Elder’s Quarum. They had a tailgating party beforehand and SUU won! So, a great day overall J Jason got to do baptisms with McKinley in St. George and had a great time. Some sad news this month… Jason’s coworker and our family friend, Omar, died L Jason & Heidi were able to go to her beautiful service.

HEIDI: Heidi also has been doing the health challenge & working hard to get her time in and challenges done. It’s been hard and good! Grandpa Potts watched the littles one day so Grandma & Heidi could head to Alton to help out Lena for a few hours. We enjoyed our visit and hopefully helped a little bit to prepare her for her move.

-Like stated in the family section, McKinley’s big news -  She finally got her dog! We bought her from a family in Escalante (they were here for the temple open house) ¾ Golden Retriever, ¼ labradoodle, and ALL cuteness! McKinley named her Daizy (after Daisy in the book Wonder) Rose. She is about 15 weeks old. We are so happy to have her in our family! That first day or so, McKinley kept saying “I can’t believe she’s mine! I feel like we’re just puppy-sitting or something!” 
-McKinley did SO well the first quarter of middle school! 3.966! And she got into the National Honor Society! Great job – we’re so proud of you!
-At Kezia’s baptism program, McKinley finally got to perform “Baptism” on the piano – she’s been working on it for about 5 months. She did SO well! She got many compliments and Kezia gave her a big hug afterwards.
-McKinley got to go with her orchestra all day Saturday to St. George to perform and listen to other orchestras. She had a fun time! Especially getting to be with her friend Lizzy.
-McKinley gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting this month! It was on Choice & Accountability and she talked about making good choices and receiving direction from the scriptures. She shared about the time when mom was praying about homeschooling her and found a direct answer in the scriptures. She did such a great job! Grandma & Grandpa Potts came to watch, too J
-The Saturday after Thanskgiving, dad & McKinley went to do baptisms in St. George and had a wonderful time!

-Ireland continues to stay busy with school (math homework!!!) and gymnastics. She’s doing well in both and we love her!
-On the 13th, Ireland was in charge of Family Home Evening. She was so cute and made a board game called “The Path Back to God.” It included lots of squares like “you served a mission! Go forward 2 spaces.” Or, “You lied. Go back 3 spaces.” It was a lot of fun & Ireland put a lot of work into it! Thank you Ireland!
-This month was Ireland’s maturation program J Mom went with her and we got to learn all about the changed ahead as our beautiful girl grows up!
-One day while mom was reading Little Women, Ireland fixed her hair into lots of rose swirls. It was so pretty J
-Ireland has had a lot of fun with Daizy and loves it when she gets home and Daizy gets so excited J

-November 4th was Kezia’s special day and she looked so beautiful in her white dress and braided hair. So many people came to support her and she got wonderful gifts, including scriptures, a CTR ring (two actually!), a cute tiny white board, some journals, 2 CTR towels, and many other sweet things. We hope she always remembers the feelings of that day and keeps them close to her heart (and writes them down!). It was so special to get to have daddy baptize (twice J) and confirm her, McKinley give a musical number she’s been working on for so long, listen to GG give a talk, and get to go to the temple open house all on the same day! We are so thankful that Kezia has made this choice and have seen her choose the right many times. We’re proud of you our Kezia!
-There was a situation with one of our friends this month where Kezia was asked to do something very inappropriate. She said she felt the Holy Ghost and she said NO! And we are SO thankful and proud of her!
-Kezia bought some flowers at the store to have in our home for her baptism. They were starting to fade, but she wanted to share them, so she brought some to Bernice and Jamie. Kezia is so good at brightening people’s days!
-Kezia is reading Wonder (the deal is she needs to read it if she wants the shirt) J and she’s really loving it!
-Kezia’s Thanksgiving program was SO CUTE! She wore a little pilgrim hat and sang some songs in Spanish and was a narrator for a little play about a turkey that gets spared at Thanksgiving J
-Kezia was so sweet to get the breakfast all set out and write a note to each family member on the 27th J

LINK: Happy 5th birthday Link! We loved getting to send some treats to your friends this month, as well as donate to the Ronald McDonald House. The Bealers were so sweet to make you an ice cream cake. Oh, our sweet son. We love you! We wish you were here every day. Thank you for blessing our lives and providing love. We felt you close as we got to go to the temple open house. It was so neat and we look forward to doing much work there in honor of you.

- Noelle likes to say “Jinger bells!”
-We love how Noelle calls Oaklyn “baby cuteness”
-We had a really scary thing happen with Noelle at the end of the month. Mom and dad went on a walk. McKinley was cleaning out the van but we told her where we were going. About 30 minutes into our walk, mom got a call from someone in the ward – Helen Englehart. She said Noelle was at her house & mom said she would come to get her. Turns out that Helen lives at the very bottom of Ridge Road (like 3 blocks away from our house) and RIGHT next to Royal Hunte Dr. – a VERY busy road! She was without pants or shoes. But not scared at all! She was just chatting with Helen and another lady who found her when mom picked her up. We are so thankful that she was protected!! But never want that to happen again!!!
-At the swimming pool, mom was playing with Noelle and then Noelle said “Mom, hold your nose. I got to baptize you.” And mom plugged her nose and Noelle pushed her into the water JJ
-We just LOVE how Noelle LOVES sunrises and sunsets. One morning, our sunrise girl burst into our room and yelled “Daddy! Daddy! The sky is pink and blue! You have to come see! Heavenly Father gave us pink today! You have to come see NOW!”
-Noelle is starting to READ! She is sounding out more words in BOB books and she loves making 3 letter words on her magnet board with mom & dad before she goes to bed

-Oaklyn’s molars have been coming in this month & she has had a non-stop runny nose and much sadness L
-Oaklyn has started sitting on the regular barstools!
-2 of Oaklyn’s favorite foods – spaghetti and grapes. If she even catches a glimpse, she is reaching and whining! We’re still working on saying PLEASE!
-Oaklyn is talking more, though, and some of her new favorite words are HAPPY! (She will say it over & over again) and Daizy!! (so cute!)
-We finally eeked out a teeny-tiny ponytail in her hair this month. It was so cute! She still has some cute, cute curls in her hair & hope they never leave!

Monday, November 13, 2017

October Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
October 2017
FAMILY: On the 2nd of October, we decided to go see the temple as the lights came on. It was chilly, but SO SO beautiful! It was the first time we got to walk around the temple and it was so exciting! The girls all had their SEPs at the beginning of the month & they are all doing so well – we are so proud of them! On the 6th, McKinley watched the girls while Jason & Heidi went to the annual homecoming party. There was food, a live band, fireworks, and we got to see Truly and Zhane there! On the 7th, we went over to the lake at the hills & went fishing! Everyone caught something – Noelle was SO excited! On the 9th, Jason had the day off for Columbus Day, but the girls didn’t. We surprised them by going out to breakfast before we took them to school. After school we headed to Paragonah to go the Judd Pumpkin Patch where the girls picked some HUGE pumpkins & we had fun petting the goats, pigs, sheep and cows! On the 14th, we had a fire in the backyard & roasted s’mores and sang songs as a family & with Truly & Zhane. The 15th was the Primary Program. McKinley even was nice enough to participate even though she’s officially done with primary. They all did their parts well (Ireland even had a small talk) and it was beautiful. October 20-23rd was spent at the Benson cabin and we had fun riding 4-wheelers, roasting s’mores, playing games (including REALLY long games of both Lunacy and Phase 10), sliding down a huge slide, eating yummy food & visiting. On the way home we stopped in Richfield to meet the newest member of the Devenish family, Sophie, an Australian Shepherd puppy. She was super cute and the girls loved playing with her.  The 26th was Kezia’s 8th birthday! See her section for details on her birthday AND birthday party on the 28th! On the 30th for FHE, we did our annual pumpkin carving. They turned out cute and we had fun. Halloween was a bit crazy this year! McKinley went to her middle school Halloween carnival/dance, then went trick-or-treating with Micaela, Ireland went trick-or-treating with the Vogts and some other friends from school, Kezia went with Zhane & Truly & Truly’s siblings, and Jason took the little ones around the block a couple times. McKinley was Herminie, Ireland was a Native American princess, Kezia was a police officer (like her friend Macie), Noelle was a witch and so was little Oaklyn (though she REFUSED to have her witch hat on).  That night mom made mummy man spaghetti bread and homemade Butterbeer!

JASON: Jason had his performance review this month and got ABOVE excellent in every category. We are so proud of him and thankful for all his hard work. They are so lucky to have him J Jason agreed to join Heidi’s health challenge this month & also joined the gym. He has really gotten serious getting his workouts in! One night, he even took off at 9pm and walked almost 6 miles! He is doing awesome!

HEIDI: Heidi continued her hikes in October, hiking the top of the C and the Alpine Pond. It is getting chilly up there! But the leaves were sure gorgeous & she LOVES getting outside J Heidi read and listened to a couple books this month & they were both pretty good. Heidi spent a lot of October finishing Kezia’s birthday book and her baptism slideshow. She also was wanting motivation, so she canvassed friends & family & set up another Healthy Habit Challenge! It’s been really good & got her moving in the right direction!

-McKinley had an atom project due for science. It was a bit procrastinated & she & her dad stayed up till after 11 working on it, but it turned out awesome! She used balloons for the nucleus, wire for the rings & Truly leant her magnets for the electrons.
-McKinley had her last game for volleyball on the 6th of October. She learned a lot doing volleyball, had fun, & made friends!
-Another fun school project – McKinley did a poster about a book. She chose the 5 Kingdoms and made the corners look like swords. It was neat!
-On the 10th, McKinley had an orchestra performance. It was so fun to see her perform and their songs were all creepy Halloween numbers – cool!
-On the 18th, McKinley, Emma Beacham & mom went to the St. George Temple for Baptisms. They got in & out so quickly that they had time to go get something to eat. We headed to Kneaders & it turns out they give free French toast breakfast before 8 on MTW for those that do baptisms at the temple. We were there on Wednesday at 7:58 and had no idea! They were thick & yummy & the girls couldn’t even finish them! What a blessing J
-McKinley was exhausted one morning & not feeling well, so mom let her stay home. She enjoyed spending time with her!
-McKinley finished the entire Book of Mormon! She started when she was 8, so it took a few years, but we are SO proud of her!!! Congratulations McKinley!

-Ireland had a really hard night one night L She kept having bad thoughts, even though she came into our room, and even cuddled with mom. Finally dad gave her a blessing & she was able to sleep.
-Ireland got to do her art class this month! Every Wednesday after school she got to learn about how to draw animals, people, and objects. She’s gotten to paint, do chalk, and pastels. She’s learned a lot!
-Ireland got to go on a field trip to the STEM fair at SUU & had a great time!
-Ireland is really into comic books and Harry Potter lately! She has read about 3 comic book-style books and finished the 4th Harry Potter book on Halloween – over 700 pages! She is such a great reader!
-One day Ireland was very upset about mom asking her to clean her room. She was very upset. Mom went in and suggested maybe she should write out her feelings, like how horrible of a mom she has. She replied “You couldn’t even give me enough papers to write that!”

-HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEZIA!! 8 is great! On her birthday, she got Krave cereal, went to IHOP for lunch, and got Indian Fry Bread for dinner. She got a tablet from mom & dad as well as her purse that she picked at the Grand Canyon and best friend necklaces at Disneyland. Grandma Devenish gave her a porcelain doll and Grandma Potts took her shopping where she got flowers and paints and gifts for others J Her costume birthday party was that Saturday, the 28th. There was Macie, Sarah, Adelaide, Sage, Jade, Sunny, Courtney, Devyn, her sisters, Zhane & Truly and Addison Bealer came, too J We made 3 different food crafts – a reeses pb cup/oreo bat, a hoho Frankenstein, and an oreo  one-eyed monster. It was messy, but fun! Afterwards, there was musical chairs downstairs to Halloween music, then Halloween Pictionary. Then they watched the Halloween Grinch show, and Halloween Studio Cs. Then it was time for homemade root beer and the Beast pizza!! Yum! Then presents, and cake & ice cream. So much fun!
-Kezia’s other grandmas were unable to make it, so Kezia got to go to her Grandparent breakfast with her adopted grandma, Chris Marx. They had fun together & Chris was so honored to be there with her J
-On the 25th, mom and Kezia went to the Cedar City Temple to take baptism pictures in her new pretty white dress from Grandma Devenish. The sun was going down & we got some really pretty shots. Kezia set her new scriptures on the dash & the window was open. Mom made a u-turn and the scriptures went flying out the window! Thankfully no cars ran them over!
-One day Kezi was sick with a fever & had to stay home L
-We’re so proud of our Kezi. Not only did she get an OUTSTANDING review from her teachers (where one of them informed me she would adopt Kezia in a heartbeat J), she also got the East Elementary Catch the Vision Award! Way to go Kezi!

LINK: Our sweet, beautiful boy. We missed you SO very much this month. Mom couldn’t stop the tears as she sat behind the primary class that you should have been in and watched them sing and do their little parts. She so wanted to see you with them. But you have sent love notes this month and we are so grateful for them! The 15th was the annual Wave of Light and we remembered you, my baby boy and loved seeing your picture in a slideshow of many other angel babies. We love you, our duder-dude. SO much.

-Noelle was sick at the beginning of the month for a few days L
-Noelle is so good at potty training & she is proud of it! One day she shouted from the bathroom “MOM! I went a hundred poops!”
-One day mom was on a walk with Carmen Hillstead. Noelle said “Caleb, I have a crush on you!” Caleb said “But I have a crush on my cousin!” Noelle laughed & giggled!
-Noelle keeps saying “Mommy! I’m ready for snow!!”  (she’s the only one of us right now!) J
-For the primary program, they had the nursery kids come sing “Wise Man and foolish man.” She was so nervous & giggly and her eyes kept watering, but she did a great job & was so cute!
-One day in the evening we saw a jet in the sky. Noelle pointed & said excitedly “Look mom! A Shooting star!”
-Mom was helping Noelle get dressed one morning & she helped her into some cute pants. Noelle said “Grandma Devenish gave me these pants!” Mom said “yes, she did!” then Noelle said “Because they were too small for her.”
-Lately, Noelle has been trying really hard to speak Spanish like her big sister Kezia. She has come up with some pretty interesting words! J
-We are so proud of Noelle! She can write her own name!!
-Noelle talks so much about Link. She will also say “Link can hear me, right mom?” and she will talk directly to him sometimes <3 br=""> -Mom gave Noelle some chocolate one day & she said “Chocolate is my favorite food!”
-One of our favorite things Noelle is doing lately, whenever guests or Truly or Zhane leave, she follows them out the door (in any state of dress or undress J) and shouts “Have a good day!!”
-Mom was reading the Hungry Caterpillar with Noelle one day and she got to the part that says “Now the caterpillar wasn’t hungry anymore, and he wasn’t a little caterpillar, he was a big fat caterpillar. He built himself a small house, called a…” Noelle said “A Racoon!” J
-Noelle has been SUCH a big helper with mommy! She helps so much when we go shopping to load things onto the conveyor belt, she helps put the bags in the cart & even bring them in the house. Also, she is SO good at taking Oaklyn’s poopy diapers to the outside trash! And she even wipes Oaklyn’s boogers! Such an awesome helper!
-We love how Noelle calls Oaklyn “baby cuteness!”
-Noelle has started sleeping in her own room again with Oaklyn. She’s going to bed pretty well, but just like when she was in Kezia’s room, 5 out of 7 nights, she comes into mom & dad’s room in the middle of the night & sleeps on the floor. She is a loud sleeper too! And often cries in her sleep or calls out.

-Oaklyn has been more into getting into shoes lately  - she still hates wearing shoes HER size, but any big shoe is fun!
-She has been saying “Book” and “Ball”
-Oaklyn got her very first haircut this month! The top still is sparse, but the back was turning into a mullet. Mommy HATED cutting off those sweet baby curls, but thankfully she still has some curl in the back & it still looks cute!
-Oaklyn’s 1 year molars are coming through. Overall, she’s taken it pretty well, but still had some fussy nights L
-Oaklyn is so cute – folding her arms for prayers!
-Oaklyn is so opposite from Noelle when it comes to strangers. Noelle would not go to anyone but mom & dad, but Oaklyn will go to any random stranger she chooses. She ESPECIALLY loves dads & grandpas & will walk right up to one and reach for them to hold her!
-Noelle has started sleeping in her own room, with Oaklyn. So far Oaklyn has done pretty well with it for the most part!
-Oaklyn had fun on the 4 wheelers!
-Oaklyn likes it when Zhane & Truly come home. Sometimes, she’ll run right up & want to be held!
-There is definitely more of a dynamic with Noelle & Oaklyn. They have started to play together more, but also fight as Noelle does NOT like it when Oaklyn touches her car lineup or colors on her papers. She says “NO OAKLYN!” a lot. But Noelle loves it when Oaklyn goes downstairs and plays with her & even shuts the door so Oaklyn has to stay down there with her J

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September Newsletter & Slideshow


Hamilton Newsletter
September 2017

FAMILY: Great memories & great fun this month!! Labor Day weekend we were debating about going up to Richfield to the Devenish property, but Jason ended up getting sick and was down for pretty much the entire weekend L Heidi did take the girls, including Zhane up to the Iron County Fair in Parowan on Monday. It was HOT! So we all got some huge Tiki Shack shaved ice to help cool us down, but it was fun to pet the animals in the petting zoo, and see all the booths and crafts, etc. Kezi also went on a pony ride and so did Noelle (thanks to Ireland paying for her ride J) The 9th was a VERY busy day for our family. First and most important, it was McKinley’s 12th birthday!! She had an early morning wake-up because mom had signed almost everyone up for the trail run in conjunction with the Cedar City Half Marathon. Grandpa & Heidi ran the half (thank goodness the rain stopped – it was perfect weather!) and Jason & the 3 olders did the trail run, which was just under 3 miles. Mom told them the wrong starting line, so they ended up having to walk up the canyon and start late, but even with that Kezi and Jason both got 3rd place in their age groups! Great job! Heidi felt good about her time and enjoyed the run. Afterwards, we headed back, got changed and packed up & headed to St. George where Keeley watched the younger girls while Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and GG took McKinley to the St. George temple to do baptisms for the dead. It was SO SO neat!! Even GG did baptisms – and we all had family names. After that we picked up the little ones, dropped them off at Grandma & Grandpa Potts’ & headed to California! We got to our hotel at about 10:30 CA time (11:30 our time) and zonked. The next 5 days were spent having fun! The beach, Disneyland, California Adventure, and Universal Studios made for a BUSY week, but it was a lot of fun! Some fun memories include: lighting candles on Halloween cupcakes (& eating Klondike bars) & singing Happy Birthday to McKinley in the hotel room,  trying to go to church & finding out it was stake conference, Newport beach where we found LOTS of seashells, played in the ocean (dad even was fully swimming in the waves) & Ireland found a friend, seeing the Newport Beach Temple, Kezi’s bridal mickey mouse ears, riding the rides at Disneyland!, making waffles for breakfast every morning, waiting over an hour for the Roger Rabbit ride L, Splash Mountain – getting on fast & loving it, watching the show Frozen (awesome! – but had a malfunction in the middle), the HEAT the first couple days, going back 3 different times to see if the Pirates ride was fixed, swimming in our hotel pool pretty much every night, playing “guess that Studio C episode” while we waited for Soarin’ over the World ride, Ireland leaving her ears at the Soaring ride, buying lots of souveneirs. watching the Magic Map play while eating sausages and baked potatoes, having the Harry Potter ride malfunction for a few seconds, drinking yummy butterbeer, watching a wand choosing, the animal show (and McKinley almost getting chosen), the World of Color water show (amazing!), riding Screamin’ twice in a row, sharing a turkey leg while we watched the big Mark Twain boat, McKinley getting her caricature done, Mom getting emotional as we had the silhouettes done and found out she could include the little girls – and Link <3 22="" a="" allowance="" also="" amp="" and="" appreciated="" are="" at="" birthday="" but="" castle="" characters="" christmas="" did="" earn="" eating="" even="" food="" for="" frozen="" fun="" getting="" girls="" goofy="" got="" grandma="" grandpa="" had="" half="" having="" headed="" her="" kezi="" kezia="" kitchen="" lemonade="" littles="" lot="" lots="" mckinley.="" mckinley="" missed="" more="" much="" of="" olders="" on="" proud="" s="" saving="" see="" sing="" so="" sold="" spoiled="" stand="" sup="" the="" their="" them.="" them="" these="" this="" to="" trip.="" tuacahn="" watching="" we="" when="">nd
to see Newsies! Thanks go to the Hamiltons for watching the littles. It was an awesome play & we had so much fun. On the 25th for FHE we headed up the canyon. The leaves weren’t as bright as other years, but it was still beautiful & we stopped by Cedar Breaks – always breathtaking! The ward harvest party was on the 27th & we all enjoyed eating yummy food, visiting & playing with friends J The 27th was women’s conference & since Kezia was almost 8 she came & all 4 of us enjoyed it and the talks were fabulous – and so were the dilly bars afterwards J McKinley’s birthday party had to be scheduled late so most of her friends could come, but we had it on the last day of September & it was a book themed birthday party – so much fun! See her section for more details J Jason & Heidi are also enjoyed taking the self-reliance class every week at the church. We’ve learned a lot!

JASON: Jason was sick at the beginning of the month (esptein barr flare-up), but thankfully got better before our trip! Jason enjoyed taking some time off from work to head to California for some family fun. He enjoyed Universal in general, Radiator Springs, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Carribbean, the Disney train ride, the beach & swimming with his girls. At work he was busy with a forest POC for implementing a new enterprise-wide file/database system. He also called a new member of the EQ this month J

HEIDI: September was the fulfillment of lots of hopes & goals! She got to do another half with her dad. He needed to stop so she left him about mile 7-8. Her time was 1:47. Not a PR by any stretch, but she had a great time and was SO glad the rain stopped (it was really coming down when they left for the busses!) and it ended up being ideal running conditions. It maybe wasn’t the best planning on her part to have Disneyland only a couple days afterwards because her legs were pretty darn sore the first day at Disneyland, but she survived! J She’s just glad we were all healthy enough to enjoy the vacation and that it wasn’t too crowded. We made some great memories. She also really enjoyed the Newsies play! (although the movie is still better J) Heidi continues to enjoy her hiking Fridays. This month she did the red hills & the bristlecone pine trails. Heidi thought the thought that she had had her phone for almost a year & no cracks! And that’s all it took for it to fall flat and crack so badly that the screen was completely unresponsive L There were some other issues with it, so we ordered another one (though the requirement was that it had to fit in an otterbox J)

-McKinley continues to enjoy middle school, even though she is BUSY! She works hard and still hardly has any time for chores or screen time. We’re hoping that changes in October when volleyball is done and she will have more time on Monday, Wednesday & Saturday.
-McKinley was very brave and stood up in fast & testimony meeting to bear her testimony. She had written in down and did a great job. Mom & dad both got LOTS of comments about how people felt the spirit when she bore her testimony. We’re so proud of you McKinley!
-The plan was that McKinley would walk to & from school. Then dad took her to school. Then she wanted a ride home
J So… now not too much walking J
-HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY McKINLEY!! We are so excited for you to turn 12! It was SUCH a special experience to have so many people there to support McKinley when she went to the temple for the first time, and SO neat to have family names to take. We can’t wait to go back. For her birthday, McKinley finally got a cell phone (though she keeps forgetting to take it with her anywhere), and she got some earrings, and some make up! She looks so pretty with mascara on
J Her birthday party was a lot of fun. Addison Bealer, Lizzy (from her class), Micaela, Karmiyah, Truly & Zhane came! First we made our own rectangle “book” pizzas. Then we made bookmarks. Mom even took pictures and printed them for people to use as a bookmark. Then we played “act out your favorite books,” then we played book charades with books from a bowl, then we did gifts (McKinley got an Brandon Mull book with an awesome cover, some colored pencils and coloring book, and lots of candy J) and cake (mom spend a LOT of time and effort making a stacked book cake from homemade fondant) & ice cream, afterwards we watched Ella Enchanted (from a book – kind of).
-She had another “gift” on her birthday that involves turning into a woman
-McKinley’s favorite memories of California: Finding lots of seashells on the beach, California Screamin’, and World of Color.
-McKinley had a LOT of catch-up from the week being gone at Disneyland, even though she did a lot of it before we left or while we were driving. She stayed up really late a couple times!
-McKinley has started Young Women & is already having so much fun and loving spending time with the older girls. She has generously said she would participate in the primary program, though. Thank you McKinley!
-McKinley is getting better & better on the cello. We can’t wait to hear her perform at her October concert!

-Ireland continues to enjoy Mrs. Brown’s class. Mrs. Brown is very good about sending lots of updates & pictures of all they are doing in class, so it’s been great to feel connected to what’s going on. One day they had pirate day at school. Ireland put a bandana on her head & an eye patch on her eye
J They got to read to the younger grades in pirate-talk J Also, the 5th grade got to go to Mammoth Caves this month! Ireland talked about it a lot & wants to go as a family.
-Ireland’s favorite memories of California:
-Ireland also had quite a bit of catch-up work to do when we got back. One night she was up with daddy until 11:30 on her math
-Ireland has started wearing deodorant!
-Ireland started gymnastics again & was sore the first couple times, but is loving getting back into it and learning new things.
-One day listening to the girls in the car talk about what they want to be when they grow up. Ireland said she still wants to be a SUBmarine biologist
J or a vet.

-Kezia is still doing very well in her 2nd grade class & is trying to read a lot to win some prizes!
-Kezia was brave and got up to bear her testimony in fast & testimony meeting this month. Great job Kezi!!! <3 br=""> -Kezia got her initial assessment back. She is reading at a 6th grade level & on part of dibels she got 143 and the goal is 52. She is quite a smarty-pants! We love you Kezia.
-Even though their race started late, Kezia got 3rd place in her age division at the 5k race. Great job Kezi!!
-Kezia’s favorite memories of California: Her favorite rides were Soarin’ Over the World, Splash Mountain, and It’s a Small World. We were SO proud of Kezia!! She has not been a big rollercoaster fan in the past, but she did SO good and went on every single ride! Even the ones she really didn’t want to go on. She put her fear behind her and had a great time!
-For Daken’s birthday this month, Kezia put a lot of rice in a box along with a bunch of small items for him to find. She is such a great gift-giver!
-Another super-sweet Kezi moment was when she made dad & mom a romantic dinner downstairs. She make a yummy spaghetti meal, and even made dessert. There were candles, music, and a VERY LARGE fire projected onto the wall
J It was so sweet & mom & dad had such a great time.

LINK: Looking back over our pictures from September, you were with us so very much! In a carved wooden chain at the Iron County fair, in breath-taking sunsets, in books we read & conference talks we listened to (one talk said “Link” 4 times!), in our hikes, at the temple as your sister did baptisms for the dead with family names and your dad baptized her, in McKinley’s drawing about “linking families together,”  in the rainbow and silver-lined clouds as we drove to California, at the beach, at Disneyland, in Kezia’s drawings and Ireland story of her Link bear that she did for school, and at the St. George NICU, where mom went to go see her friend Lena who was there with her baby. SO many people remembered you Link!! It made that experience more sweet than bitter, so THANK YOU <3 and="" baby="" been="" boy="" cherish="" day="" every="" have="" love="" note="" o:p="" thank="" us="" we="" with="" you="">

-Noelle enjoys her time at home with mom and our mommy & Noelle times include lots of block building, car playing, coloring, painting, play-doh-ing, and reading. Mom also loves those times she can cuddle with Noelle & actually have her take a nap.
-While mom & dad & older sisters were at Disneyland, Noelle enjoyed her time with Grandma & Grandpa Potts in St. George (and in Cedar). They got to go to the park, and the HUGE sandbox (a volleyboll sandpit) and go on walks and have fun. One time she was playing with grandpa & he asked about his hair. She said it’s just playing hide & seek!
-Noelle is doing so good with her potty-training. She usually doesn’t say she needs to go, though. She’ll say something like “we have a potty!” or “they have a potty here!” or “I’m potty-trained”
-This girls still refuses to eat dinner 6 times out of 7
L And if I make an egg casserole for breakfast, she will go hungry rather than eat it!
-One day while we were driving, Noelle said “Kezia! Don’t take your seatbelt off or you will fly and die in the sky!”
-We went visiting teaching one day and across from her house was a log cabin-looking home. Noelle pointed excitedly & said “They built their house with sticks!” (She’s been watching the 3 little pigs
-One afternoon mom gave grapes & mac n’ cheese for lunch. Noelle said she liked her grapes in her mac & cheese & she did!
-Mom poured Noelle a cup of milk and then gave her some yogurt to eat. She said “But if I eat my yogurt than my milk will get soggy!”
-Noelle has been building a lot of rocketships lately. She will find empty toilet paper rolls, stuff tin foil in one end and color all over it. They are super cute & creative!
-Lately, every night, Noelle will take mom by the hand & say “let’s go watch the sunset!”
-At the breakfast table one day, Noelle said “Mom, I had a dream last night! And I went inside my dream and I had fun”
-Noelle got sick at the end of the month & puked & was tired for a day or two

-Our cute 1-year-old girl is everywhere! And she has just started turning the corner of naughtiness to be naughty. She has started doing things she knows she’s not supposed to do. She’s started pinching Noelle, too, and has already been in time-out once
L We are sad to lose our innocent girl, but she will learn by testing her boundaries and learning from us.
-Grandma said Oaklyn did really great while we were gone and was a fantastic sleeper (thankfully!!)
-Oaklyn has been pretty accident prone this month
L She hit her head once at home, a few days later at the ward dinner party (head first on the concrete L) and once at gym daycare. She is a CLIMBER and wants to get on everything!
-Oaklyn loves it when her sisters get home and she gets to run around with them!
-She still loves the outside swings and the sandbox.
-Oaklyn has started to try to communicate more what she wants. She hasn’t really learned much signing, but she has started pointing and doing a whiney – give me that! Sound. We’re working on the word please so we’ll see how that goes
-She enjoys entertaining her sisters and making them laugh – which is very frequently!
-She’s really getting a mullet in back. We are going to miss those sweet curls
-She’s up to about 8 teeth now – 4 on top & 4 on bottom.