Friday, July 14, 2017

June Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
June 2017

FAMILY: Oh Summer, how we adore thee!! J Good times this month as we made, learned, explored, and connected. For our make-it Mondays, we made lots of fairy house things, including a hot glue gun waterfall, a fairy house, & a fairy sign. For Taste-it Tuesday, we made jolly rancher suckers, homemade chaco tacos, pineapple whip cream, sand pudding, homemade slushies, and jello aquariums. For Water Wednesday, we went to the Tonaquint splash park (twice) J, we played in the backyard with water, and we went to Hillcrest Park with our friends and played water balloon baseball, which was so fun! For thinking Thursday, we’ve been to the park, had a Little Women read-a-thon, and done some fun learning websites. And for Field Trip Friday, we’ve been to St. George and Richfield J We hiked to Hidden Haven for Activity days on the 6th & it was lovely as always! On the 10th, we made a day trip out of visiting the Grand Canyon. It took a few hours to get there, but we stopped for about an hour on the way there at Jakob’s Lake Lodge & picked up a few yummy cookies. We stopped about 6 lookouts, and went on a few short hikes. We had a picnic with a full view of the beautiful canyon and we were all amazed at how enormous it is. It was a wonderful, full day full of beauty and amazement and on the way home, we stopped in Alton to have a short visit with the Barons. We got to see their goats, horses, cows, and chickens. We didn’t get home till 11pm, but it was a great trip & we’re so glad we went! The next day, the 11th, Jason & Heidi gave talks in church on eternal families. It was a neat opportunity and we got to talk a lot about our amazing son J On the 15th, we had a picnic at the Lake at the Hills. We flew kites. We played in the water. Oaklyn ate sand J It was a perfect evening. We headed up north the 3rd weekend in June. Saturday we spend half the day at the zoo. The lions were so fun to watch & the weather was perfect. We all had a great time. That evening McKinley & Michael watched the girls while Heidi & Jason went to Heidi’s West Jordan High School 20 year class reunion. It was good food and fun to reconnect with friends! Sunday was Father’s Day and we made yummy food for Jason and everyone met at Silver Lake for a Father’s Day BBQ. We loved seeing everyone & celebrating dads J On Monday during the day, we had a baby shower for Trisha at GGs house, and that night, mom & dad watched the girls while Heidi & Jason went to the Def Leppard concert that was Jason’s early 40th birthday present. We went out with Jeff & Keeley for dinner beforehand & then we headed to the Usana Ampitheater. We also got to see Joseph & Josie there. It was a great concert & we had a lot of fun! It was a terrific weekend J The 3rd Sunday in June, the Kenelli’s had us over for dinner on Sunday. It was great to meet their family & hang out! The 24th (after Heidi & Jason spent the afternoon sweating in the heat while putting in rock and stepping stones) was Jason’s semi J surprise party! He knew a little bit when the girls were mentioning things, but when he got the notification that a “Recently Upgraded to Version 40.0” shirt came in the mail, he knew. It was at mom & dad’s in St. George & the Potts were there, Cindy & her boys, the Devenishs, Jeff, Kim & her boys, the Bensons, the Sorensons, and the Kestersons all came to honor the birthday boy. It was good food & fun. Cindy made the “Crap You’re old” toilet cake and mom & the girls decorated for 3 hours the day before the big event with tons of “over the hill” signs & balloons. We also had the “40 sucks” suckers, “40 blows” bubblegum & “40 can kiss it kisses.”  The Bensons stayed till Monday and the Edwards stayed till Tuesday so it was a full house and we enjoyed visiting. We also went to the Tonaquint splash park with all of them while they were here. The other thing we were busy with this month was showing the rental – whew! Lots of time & effort, but we’re glad we found someone. On daddy’s birthday, the Strands stopped by! We had fun catching up with Jen, Anna & Ella J

JASON:  HAPPY 40th DADDY! We hope you know how much we love you. With all the festivities (Def Leppard concert, surprise 40th party in St. George), his actual birthday was pretty mellow, but we did all go out to Denny’s for dinner to celebrate. J His co-workers also decorated his office with happy birthday signs, streamers, and even “p’d” everywhere (they put P post-its everywhere) J We also enjoyed spoiling Jason for Father’s Day earlier in the month with French toast for breakfast, Dr. Pepper Pork for lunch (along with 4 choices of chips), and dark chocolate bark for dessert. We made a cute homemade monkey card for him & had fun going to Silver Lake with the other dads to honor him J He is such a fantastic daddy!

HEIDI: June was a busy month for Heidi with entertaining 5 children every day, prepping for Jason’s party, arranging and showing the rental, adjusting to her new calling (Primary Secretary), and getting the house ready for Joseph to come (though it didn’t happen). She enjoyed seeing some classmates at her 20 year class reunion and eating yummy food. She’s also been busy with Ireland’s birthday book.

-McKinley has been enjoyed the summer! She’s been going on walks with Karmiyah every morning and has also started taking some volleyball lessons with her, too!
-McKinley passed off her multiplication this summer & gets to have a date!
-McKinley’s goals for the summer are: to have Kezia’s baptism song down on the piano, read at least 2 books, have 2 songs down for cello, and practice volleyball. She has done well & will probably pass them all off by the time school starts
-McKinley was in charge of games for Aunt Trisha’s baby shower & she did a great job! We played the “baby item written on a card and put on your back” game where you had to guess what it was and also the alphabet baby name game. So fun – thanks McKinley!
-McKinley has turned into a crazy baking machine this summer! From cookies to brownies to cake, she is almost as good as mom now! (and also really good at fractions, too)

-Ireland’s summer has been full of playdates with Elli and Adelaide Price, riding her bike, and many hours playing in the sandbox.
-Big news for Ireland – no braces!! Her teeth look great and she loves to smile
J She has a retainer at night now & chose zebra stripes J
-Ireland really likes Princess & the Frog and says Tiana is now her favorite princess.
-Mom took Ireland to Walmart one day and let her look at the options for studs. She’s so excited to get her ears pierced next month!
-Ireland’s summer goals this year are: Finish all levels of dance mat typing and memorize her multiplication. She did both!! WAY TO GO IRLEAND!! She gets a multiplication date now!
-Irleand finished her book Pegasus & really liked it!
-Ireland & Kezia went on a hike one morning with Mahina & Eric – it was hot, but they had fun!

-Kezia’s been having a fun no-lessons summer this year and has enjoyed playing with Addi, Macie & Ruby.
-We have a famous daughter!
J Kezia’s picture was in the newspaper this month for reading 100 books in school!
-Kezia’s summer goals this year are: spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, memorize multiplication up to 5, tie shoes, and work on typing.
-Kezia is tying her shoes all by herself now! WAY TO GO Kezia!
-Ireland & Kezia went on a hike one morning with Mahina & Eric – it was hot, but they had fun!
-It hasn’t been all the time, but Kezia has been trying to remember to speak Spanish. Hopefully she doesn’t forget too much before school starts again!
-Kezia signed up to be pen pals with a friend in Spain. We still haven’t heard from them, so we e-mailed her teacher in Spanish & she said they lost her luggage with the letters & just barely got it back, so looks like there will only be maybe one or two letters this summer
L We are checking the mail daily!
-For one of our mommy & Kezia times, we did the disappearing eggshell trick. It was fun to see the eggshell disappear in the vinegar after a few days!
-Kezia is SO cute with her little sisters. She helps Noelle so much and was such a cheerleader when she was potty training. She made her a sticker chart & even used her own money to let her ride on the horsey at Walmart!!
LINK: We were so happy to talk about you in our talks this month, our baby boy. Mommy shared a lot of your story and many, many people commented, and even texted telling us how much they enjoyed hearing your story. You have touched so many people and we hope to continue to share the love we have for you!!  

-Our cute, cute Noelle-my-belle. Noelle is in such a fun stage. Though she is still plenty full of mischief, she says the funniest, cutest things. People still are amazed regularly that she is only 3. Such a big vocabulary!
-Noelle is loving having her sisters home all day! From helping her get dressed, to climbing over the gate at the top of the stairs, to playing in the sandbox with them, to playing with her sister’s friends, she is getting lots of attention and enjoying every minute
-As daddy left to work one day, Noelle shouted out “Have a crunchy day!!”
J Now, we all like to say that to each other as we leave for the day.
-Daddy did a FHE about family unity and he used popsicle sticks. He handed them out to everyone and Noelle looked forlornly at the stick and said “but where is the popsicle?”
-Mom was wearing her workout pants that are black with white dots of varying sizes. Noelle said “Mom, you are wearing your white noise pants today?”
-DANGER! Noelle now knows how to navigate mom’s phone! She doesn’t know the password yet, but once she’s in, she is everywhere!
-Whenever we have cereal, Noelle always wants the “Ice crispies!”
-One of Noelle’s current favorite phrases “What the heck?”
-It was chilly one days & Noelle said she needed her life jacket to go outside. We think she just meant jacket
-Noelle FINALLY got her hair chopped this month! She probably got a foot taken off. It is chin-length now & SOOO cute! It fits her personality so well. Everyone keeps saying how cute it is & she says “I know!”
-Noelle loved the zoo! She hasn’t been since she was one and loved walking around in her zoo dress and seeing all the cool animals.
-We were at a friends’ house for dinner. Noelle had 2 buns in her hair and they called her baby Princess Leia. They let her use a light saber & she was slashing around, saying “Don’t touch it! My sword is super powery!”
-We had round 2 for potty training this month. She did really well the first couple days but after about 4 days, she was having lots of accidents & begging for pull-ups again.
-One day we were having a treat & Noelle wanted some. Mom said she had to ask pretty please with a cherry on top. Noelle said “Pretty please with a… I don’t like cherries!”
-One day we were asking what Noelle wanted to be when she grew up. She said “a monkey doctor!”
-There was a fly in the house one day & Noelle angrily said “Shoo fly! Don’t father me!”
-One night while we were cuddling & mom was telling Noelle how much she loved her, Noelle said “Mom, I love you with all of my eyes. I love you with all of my eyebrows. I love you with all of my nose…” It was a whole lotta love <3 span="">J
-Noelle is SUPER close to being able to ride her tricycle all by herself!
-Noelle is really into play doh this month & wants to play almost every day.

-10 months old this month! And she is really starting to walk! She’s about 50/50 at this point. If she’s at point A & she wants to get to point B, she will crawl half the time (usually if she really needs to get there in a hurry) and walk half the time. She is so big!!
-FINALLY, finally, FINALLY Oaklyn’s teeth broke through! She is an original, though – her top one came through first (they were bulging for like 2 weeks), then her bottom one, then the other top one. Naturally, she’s been a bit fussy, but still such a good baby.
-Noelle’s favorite phrases lately – “Uh oh skettios!” and “Kezia”
-Poor Oaklyn had some nasty pink eye this month. We were hoping it was just viral & would go away, but after a few days her eye was so swollen and gunky that we finally took her in & got her some eye drops. Thankfully it cleared up really soon!
-Another favorite thing that Oaklyn is doing now – fishy kissy lips. SO CUTE!!
-Her favorite things to get into: the cup drawer, the plasticware cupboard, and the dishwasher!
-Oaklyn loves to hang out in the empty tub while mom does her hair

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

May Newsletter & Slideshow


Hamilton Newsletter
May 2017

FAMILY: Yay!! School is finally done and we are already enjoying summer! On May 1st, North Elementary had its final arts night in their old school. We all went and enjoyed watching McKinley play cello and sing and Ireland sing as well. On the 7th, the 3 older girls put on a fashion show for us – complete with beautiful dresses and fancy make-up J The 12th was Heidi & Jason’s 17th wedding anniversary. Grandma & Grandpa Potts were so sweet to come watch the girls so we could go have a little getaway in St. George at their place. We watched King Arthur in the DBOX seats (they move and vibrate with the movie) and we ate at Anasazi Grill, which was really yummy. That next morning was the Share Walk, so we left St. George early and headed to Cedar with our purple Share Walk shirts to go walk with the other families there to remember their babies. It was a wonderful morning. The 14th was Mother’s Day and Heidi was spoiled with jewelry, gifts, and yummy food (Jason even made an AMAZING nutella cheesecake. Oh. So. Good.) It was wonderful! Wednesday, the 17th, was North Elementary’s last day of school! So, McKinley & Ireland were pretty excited! They got out a week earlier than the rest of the school district because they were transferring everything to the new school. Kezia had one more week of school, but she didn’t mind a bit – she is missing her teachers! On the 19th, the girls had their earned late-over for staying in bed and helping to clean. McKinley had Micaela, Ireland had Elli, and Kezia had Ivy. We had fun playing, eating homemade corn dogs and  yummy stuff in the chocolate fountain, and watching A Dog’s Purpose downstairs. On the 20th, Heidi & Jason went to a parenting class at SUU in the morning while McKinley helped with the girls. It was a good time! That evening the Vogts invited us over for an end-of-school-year pizza party! It was fun and we all enjoyed visiting, eating yummy pizza & trying out Mahina’s virtual reality goggles J On the 26th, we started out Memorial weekend by heading to Richfield for Sedona’s high school graduation. She graduated with a 4.0 & got lots of scholarships! Yay Sedona! After her graduation and a get-together at the Reeds, we headed up north to Mapleton. We got there just in time to set up the tent and get to bed. Jason & the 4 older girls slept in our old trailer. Heidi & Oaklyn slept in the tent. Not much sleep, but the weather was SO nice & we enjoyed visiting with family, eating yummy food, going for hikes, petting the baby bunnies that Tucker brought, and just being in nature. We got home on Memorial Day and that evening we visited our baby boy and enjoyed spending some time in the cemetery. There was even a little ladybug that was crawling all over his bench and went to everyone in the family and tickled our arms & hands. J One other thing we worked on this month was the downstairs basement. After Noelle’s sharpie destruction, mom decided to re-paint the whole thing. She painted the entire basement, but the girls helped with the bathroom. Kezia got to pick the color – it’s a deep purple!!

JASON: He enjoyed seeing his family for Sedona’s graduation and has been busy at work and with his calling!
HEIDI:  Heidi is grateful school is done!! No more carpooling for a few months! It makes our mornings so much nicer J Heidi is going to the gym more for classes and running more outside. It’s been so nice outside. She got the garden planted with seeds this year – corn, peas, pumpkin, carrots. She still needs to get her flowers for the front planter & get her tomatoes in, but she’s looking forward to it! Heidi spent a solid week working on painting the downstairs. It’s been a LONG time since she’s done that much painting, but the downstairs looks SO much better – both because you can’t see Noelle’s marks anymore, and because the 2-tone paint looks much better than all off-white. She finished the 2nd book in the Ember in the Ashes series, which was very good. She also finished listening to the autobiography of C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy. And she is almost done also listening to Daring Greatly, which she listened to as she was painting.

-McKinley is done with 5th grade – and all of elementary school!!! Way to go McKinley!!! We are so proud of you!
-McKinley got all 4s (the highest you can get) on her SAGE testing and received a special award at school – AWESOME JOB McKinley!
-McKinley went to the open house at her new middle school – Cedar Middle School (CMS) with Jason. In 6th grade, they have a core teacher & class that stays together for all the other classes. Her core teacher is Mrs. Weeks. She is excited! But also sad because all of her friends have other core teachers. We know how good McKinley is at making friends, though & know she will find some good ones!
-McKinley did a great job with her cello performance at the North Elementary Arts night!
-McKinley got to go on a field trip to the aquatic center for her end-of-testing celebration!

-Ireland is now a 5th grader!!! She really enjoyed Mr. Sahagun’s 4th grade class, and will miss it, but she’s ready to be the queen of the school!!! She will be in Mrs. Brown’s class next year (she’s new to North)
-Ireland won a coloring contest at Menchie’s in St. George – way to go Ireland!
-Ireland has been on a Harry Potter kick lately! She plowed through book 3 & is now on book 4!
-Her class got to go to the aquatic center to celebrate end-of-testing
-It was fun to see Ireland perform for her arts night. They sang “Home” and did a great job! She also did space artwork on canvas with a working LED blub. So cool!
-Ireland went on a lunch date with mom to the Brick House. She got a yummy chicken sandwich and a molten lava dessert. Yum!
-Ireland gave a talk in Primary on baptism as part of choosing the right. She shared about a time when she could have gotten very mad, but didn’t. She also talked about Alma at the waters of Mormon. She did a terrific job!!
-Ireland found an origami craft in the Friend magazine & made daddy a really cute origami shirt that says “You’re the best dad ever!”
-On May 1st, Kezia got to go on a field trip to the St. George Children’s Museum. They asked for Spanish-speaking volunteers to go, so daddy came along! She had a lot of fun getting to spend the day with her dad
-Kezia got to go with her 1st grade class to the aquatic center & had fun swimming with her friends!
-Kezia’s friends, Macie & Ivy, had a lemonade stand, but Kezia chose to go to her friend, Sophie’s, birthday party in the park. She had fun.
-Kezia finished her soccer season this month & did so well! She usually makes 1-2 goals in a game and is getting better and both goalie and defense. Grandma & Grandpa Potts came to see her last game on the 13th. Way to go Kezia!!
-One day, Kezia was playing soccer with her friends at recess and she was trying to slide to the ball and she hit her head hard on the ground. Her pupils weren’t dilating properly, so she called daddy & he came & picked her up & took her to the doctor. Thankfully, she is okay!
-Kezia gave a talk in Primary on baptism as part of choosing the right. She shared about a time when she did something wrong & talked to her mom & dad about it. She shared the story of Jesus getting baptized. She wrote the whole talk out by herself & she did a great job reading it!!

LINK: Oh, our sweet boy! How we love and miss you! We’ve seen some beautiful rainbows this month & think about you ever time. Grandma & Grandpa Potts both talked about you in their church talks, and one of mom’s Share friends, Stephanie Neilson, also talked about you – Linking families together through temples. It is so heart-warming to hear your name spoken so much. On Memorial Day, there was a tiny ladybug that was crawling all over your cars. It went to each member of our family & tickled our hands and arms. It was so sweet & special.  We know it was a love note from you – thank you!!

-Noelle is obsessed lately with “the monster game” on mom’s phone. She wants to play it all the time! Good thing it’s educational!
-One day Lisa Riddle came over to give us some clothes. Mom & Lisa were visiting by the front door when Noelle walks over & gives Lisa a note that says “Need Help.” We both got a good laugh out of her “cry for help.” Turns out it was a paper that McKinley had made during homework the night before J
-Noelle now has chores! Mom made a little magnetic chart, where she can “close” the chores that she completes. Every day she needs to get ready for the day, clean her room & make her bed, put away the utensils, and do a choice chore. She has been really good at it!
-Noelle was talking a lot about Link this month. She wanted his picture to carry around. She would put it on the floor and build blocks around it. She said quite a few times “I miss my brother. I miss him so much.”
-When McKinley & Ireland were fighting one day, Noelle got into the middle of them and said “let’s not fight sisters!”
-One day Caleb Hillstead came over to play. Just when mom was thinking how nice they were playing together, she heard yelling from the backyard. Caleb & Noelle were screaming at each other “I’m the best!” and the other one would say “NO! I’m the best” Unfortunately by the end tears were involved
-Mom was visiting teaching & the dad came in and said “I asked your daughter her name & she said it was Noelle Christmas Eve Hamilton” J
-Noelle had a lot of fun camping at Mapleton. She found roly polys, ants, ladybugs, and LOTS of butterflies. She LOVED going on hikes!
-After Mapleton, Noelle got a fever. At one point it was 103.5
L We took her in and the doctor said her tonsils were VERY swollen and inflamed, so he prescribed antibiotics. Noelle HATES taking the medicine, though. Apparently it must taste horrible, because no amount of bribing would make her take it. Only through force would she get it down.

-At 9 months old, this cutie patootie is nonstop! She crawls everywhere, pulls up on everything & even has taken a couple steps (2 at Aunt Kim’s!). She’s starting to pull open drawers and cabinets & explore all the fun things inside.
-Still no teeth, but we think she is SO CLOSE to getting them now!
-Finally, finally she is starting to sleep through the night. It required a few nights of absolutely no going into her room to comfort her, which was really hard, but she is finally a solid sleeper. Hooray!
-Oaklyn says Uh-Oh! And she likes to play peek-a-boo, and it sure sounds like she’s saying peek-a-boo, too!
-It also sure sounds like she says Kezia!
-She eats more of what we eat now, but she still likes her baby food! Unfortunately, it backs her up a bit, so she’s been drinking lots of prune juice.
-Oaklyn’s first night at Mapleton was pretty brutal L She was up most of the night, but the following nights were much better. She had a lot of fun crawling around, getting filthy, and eating everything in sight.

-Oaklyn got sick after our camping trip. When we took her to the doctor, her temp was almost 104 L Thankfully, after a couple days and lots of ibprofin, she is doing so much better!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

April Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
April 2017

FAMILY: The first weekend in April was spent enjoying & learning from conference. Also, our family did a 24-hour fast for Uncle Joseph (he has cancer). We were so proud of all 3 older girls – they all fasted for the full 24 hours, even though it was really hard.  On the 6th, the Edwards, Hamiltons & Devenishs came to watch McKinley as Mrs. Mayor in Seussical. She did such a great job!! The Bensons came to stay with us that weekend as well. It was Noelle’s birthday on the 8th & we had fun celebrating & also going to the business/Easter expo at the Cross Hollows Arena. We had fun playing gabasketballmes, seeing Anna & Elsa & the Easter bunny, doing the climbing wall, getting faces painted, holding snakes, throwing basketballs & collecting goodies. We also played games on our xbox & watched Noelle’s new birthday movie, cars & of course had the Beast pizza, and cake & ice cream. It was fun to celebrate with the Bensons. On the 14th, Heidi & Jason went to the temple & got to do some family names! Thanks to Keeley for watching the girls. On the 15th, the Worths hosted an Easter get-together at the park. We ate yummy food, visited with neighbors & friends, played games like Pioneer, and did an Easter egg hunt. It was a lot of fun J Easter was the 16th of April this year & it was a great day J We had a devotional and talked about the importance of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, then we got the fun Easter egg baskets & had breakfast. Then we all got to (finally) wear our new Easter dresses. We had purple dresses with white lace & we took some pictures over at the Watson’s before church. After church was all done, we did the Easter egg hunt and got ready and headed to Pine Valley. We didn’t get there till after dark, but we got everything in & set up. We stayed at the Pine Valley Guard Station and had a great time. It was Spring Break for the girls, so we stayed until Thursday and enjoyed yummy food, riding bikes, going fishing, going on a (4 hour!) hike, playing in the amphitheater, going to Veyo to get a yummy pie & goodies, hanging out in the hammock, playing games (Phase 10!), eating s’mores, singing songs, and reading new books from Easter baskets. Great memories.  That Sunday we got a new bishopric – we will miss Bishop Keate so much, and are also praying for Bishop Davies and his councilors, brother Hillstead & brother Thomas. That next week Jason was in a meeting in Boise all week so Heidi took over & all the girls got a turn to sleep with mom. On Thursday, the 27th, Heidi got the girls out of school early & we headed to SLC. We went to Michael & Joshua’s play – Aladdin – that night & enjoyed seeing them! On Friday, we saw the Simons for a bit, went to Thanksgiving Point to pick up race packets, and Grandpa Potts bought tickets to see the 3D National Parks show. We got to see Joseph for a few minutes that night, too! Saturday, the 29th, was the races at Thanksgiving Point. Heidi & Grandpa did the half marathon and all the girls (except Oaklyn) did the 1-mile race. It was COLD, but fun. After the race, we went to the Tulip Festival. It was SO beautiful and the girls (and Joshua) all had so much fun rolling down the huge grassy hill. We headed back to Cedar that afternoon, but stopped at the McDonald’s in Beaver on the way home. It was good to get home & see daddy again J

JASON:  It was fun to have more time with Jason for Spring Break. He made some yummy biscuits & gravy for breakfast and helped the girls go fishing. He was going to wake up early and go fishing in his pontoon, but he had terrible allergies and was up most of the night L Then, he was going to go again when everyone was gone to SLC, but it was too cold. He did help a neighbor move, though & was able to get a worktable for the garage & a glass table for the patio. And some cute dresses for the girls J

HEIDI:  Heidi got one last 12-mile run in this month and was glad her training was over. The race went pretty good, until mile 8. Dad was struggling with his IT band and was just tired, so we did a walk/run combo when he was able & we finally made it in at 2:22. It was still a beautiful run, though, and she enjoyed being with her dad & running through the beautiful flowers. Heidi listened to Long Walk to Freedom – an autobiography by Nelson Mandela – for a lot of the month, off and on. It’s been interesting to hear his story. When we were in SLC, Heidi also really enjoyed going to the Draper temple with her mom, grandma & Cindy, then out to Kneaders afterwards. It was great.

-Everyone enjoyed McKinley’s play! She did so good! She had three performances in one day, at 3 different locations, so it was a big day, but she took it all well and did her lines and songs like a pro
J She’s glad to have more times (and not be a wife to Aydon any more ;)), but she will miss it, too.
-Zach really wanted to go for a hike while they were in town, and so Brent took McKinley & Zach & did Kanaraville Falls. It was late in the evening when they started & the water was freezing, so not the most enjoyable hike, but McKinley was a trooper & did great.
-McKinley tried out for intermediate orchestra at the middle school & made it!! Great job McKinley!!!
J We love watching you play the cello
-McKinley got to go to a field trip to Snow Canyon & had a fun time with her friends.
-For Easter, McKinley got a kite, a big chocolate bunny, some suckers, flip flops, a glow stick, a treble clef diamond key chain, and the book Jacky HaHa. She really ate up that book and finished it in a couple days while we were camping. Mom is looking forward to reading it, too!
-McKinley caught 2 fish while camping!

-Ireland had to do a book report book cover this month. She did it on an Ever After book and did a great job drawing an igloo castle on the front
-Ireland finished gymnastics this month and made it to level 2!! Hooray! We’re so proud of her
-For Easter, Ireland got a kite, a big chocolate bunny, some suckers, flip flops, a glow stick, a sparkly mermaid and whale pin, and a huge doodle book. She already has made some awesome doodles in it while we were camping.
-Ireland caught a fish at Pine View reservoir (on Kezia’s line)
-Ireland was really good at getting the campfire going and making sure we had enough wood.

-Kezia has been really busy with soccer this month! She’s missed a couple games with us being out of town, but daddy even got to substitute coach once, so that was fun for Kezi. She’s doing really good and usually makes at least a couple goals a game. We love watching her play. Great job Kezi!!!
-Kezia & Logan were so cute wanting to wrap all of Noelle’s birthday presents.
-For Easter, Kezia got a kite, a big chocolate bunny, some suckers, flip flops, a glow stick, a sparkly flamingo & whale pin, and the book Heidi Hecklebeck. She has had fun reading it and especially reading it to her own Heidi (mom)
- Kezi is really close to getting to her 100 book goal by the end of the school year! Only 20 more books to go!

LINK: Thank you for sending love notes on our family hike! From lizards to butterflies to deer, it was all beautiful. We love you & miss you every day.

-Happy 3rd birthday Noelle! It was fun having the Bensons here to celebrate. For your birthday breakfast, you got Dora cereal. For lunch, it was grilled cheese sandwiches, and for dinner – pizza! She had a yellow cake with chocolate/chocolate chip frosting. Her gifts included a walking dog named Max (from secret life of pets), a baby stroller, lots of color wonder markers, and a magnetic fishing bath toy. She got an outfit from her grandma Devenish with some money, and she chose a matchbox car hauling semi truck from grandma Potts. She had a fun day & loved opening gifts. The only problem is that she kept telling us that Santa was giving her the gifts :-/
-Noelle wanted to dispel any fantasy that now that she’s out of the “terrible twos,” life will be easier, so she caused MAJOR destruction downstairs with a sharpie. In fact, when we found the weapon, it was almost all the way dulled down to nothing. On the couches, the carpet, door jams, the slide, the cabinets, doors, and walls… so so many walls. It really is amazing the sheer amount of damage she did in such a short period of time. And although any number of magic erasers, tubes of toothpaste and gallons of rubbing alcohol were employed to undo the destruction, it was not enough. It looks terrible and, really, the entire downstairs needs to be re-painted. Here’s hoping karma will somehow give her a child close to her “creativity” J
-Noelle’s favorite shows are still Dora and Daniel Tiger. She also has added Blues Clues & has fun finding “clues” wherever she can
J One day we were eating lunch after she had watched Dora & Noelle said “I just want to go in the TV and meet Dora. And Boots.”
-One day mom asked what Noelle wanted to be when she grew up. Noelle answered “Yah, sometimes I throwed up and I puked on the towel” (I think she mistook grow up for throw up)
-Noelle is afraid of bees. Anytime she sees anything flying around outside, she’ll run in and tell mom there are bees out there.
-One of Noelle’s current favorite sayings – “what the heck?”
-After our camping trip, mom thought it might be a good time to potty train, being that Noelle is 3 now. Mom was wrong
J Noelle did go a couple times, but mostly she just refused to go, even when there was a treat involved, so we went back to pull-ups for the time being.
-Apparently turning 3 was important in one way, though. Noelle now thoroughly refuses to take a nap.
-One day, Noelle just started talking about her “brudder.” She talked about how he was there at her birthday.
-For Easter, Noelle a kite, a big chocolate bunny, some suckers, flip flops, a glow stick, a Minnie Mouse necklace, and an Elmo music book/CD.
-We probably went 4 miles on our hike when we were camping & we were so impressed with Noelle! Mom carried her on her shoulders for maybe a half of a mile, but the rest of the time, she kept right up!

-8 months old! Our cute cute cute baby is growing up so fast! This month Oaklyn decided to stop letting life pass her by & join in on the fun. She is a crawling machine now! She also pulls up on anything & everything & cruises around. Baby proofing is happening!

-Oaklyn got a kitty cat this month to sleep with. It’s very similar to Noelle’s doggy and Noelle claims that Oaklyn’s kitty is her doggy’s mommy and she takes her out of Oaklyn’s crib every chance she gets. Consequently, mom is constantly having to look for the kitty when Oaklyn goes down for a nap or do bed.
-Oaklyn has struggled with sleep pretty much all month long. We keep thinking she’s teething but so far she has nothing to show for it
-This month, Oaklyn has moved on to chunky food and eats the dissolvable stars. She’s getting pretty good at getting them into her mouth & enjoys the new food!
-When someone does something really great & we do hip-hip-hooray’s at the dinner table, Oaklyn gets so excited. She raises her hands in the air and tries to celebrate, too!
-Oaklyn says Mamamama!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

March Newsletter & Slideshow


Hamilton Newsletter
March 2017

FAMILY:  March was a fun month, as we enjoyed some warmer temps as well as some snowy days J Heidi’s birthday was on the 6th (see her section for more details) – it was a wonderful day & she felt very loved J We went to St. George on the 10th to celebrate Grandpa Potts’ birthday. Mom and Grandpa went to lunch while the girls and grandma had a picnic at Tonaquint Park and had fun at the Splash park. On the 11th, Heidi took the older girls to the Sleeping Beauty Ballet at the Heritage Theater – and for shakes at DQ afterwards. It was a lot of fun & the ballet was great! St. Patrick’s Day was fun this year with new shirts, Lucky Charms for breakfast, green drinks, and handing out mint brownies to neighbors. The evening of the 18th, the girls decided to play monopoly and daddy joined in. It lasted almost 3 hours before they called it quits, but McKinley won! We got some sad news that Sister Crandall from our ward passed away on her mission. We all attended her funeral on the 13th & it was neat to learn more about her. On the 25th, Heidi took McKinley & Ireland to women’s conference at the stake center & they went to Arby’s afterwards. It was a great night. The 26th was Link’s 4th angelversary. It was on a Sunday this year & we enjoyed going to church, visiting his bench, and stopping at the Cedar City temple. Also this month, sadly we got news that Uncle Joseph has cancer. We are so sad and are praying for him every day! We also watched Divit for a couple weeks so grandma & grandpa could drive to California and be with cousins there. She was good, except for not being able to resist diapers (even ones up high) and trashs :/  Also, we downloaded an app called Marco Polo which lets you take short videos and it has been fun catching up with the Bealers, Bensons, and all of Heidi’s family. Pretty much every day someone posts a video and we all love to see more of our family & friends. We took Sydney to the vet this month  - she’s been having LOTS of accidents downstairs. Thankfully, diabetes and UTI were ruled out, but it looks like Sydney’s kidneys are starting to decline. We are enjoying every day with her.

JASON: Jason has had a month of sickness (again). His throat was hurting and he was tired and after a couple weeks of that, he finally went into the doctor and was diagnosed with having the Epstein Barr virus, which is related to Mono. It has made him very tired and in pain, and there’s not much they can do about it, and they don’t have any idea how long it will last. L He’s missed some work this month and after he got the diagnoses, he brought his laptop home for a week to rest and work when he could. We’re hoping he feels better soon!  

HEIDI:  Heidi embraced her 38th birthday and enjoyed her time with family. The girls brought her breakfast in bed (Girl Scout cookie thin mint cereal – her pick J), they each made gifts for her – McKinley made a colorful popcicle stick picture frame with the 2 of them in it. Ireland made a glow-in-the-dark letter and decorated letter “H” and Kezia made her a nice card and a pot with seeds in it. Jason got her an external hard drive to plug into the xbox with. Unfortunately, it hasn’t work like she thought & the external hard drive doesn’t “see” all her files, but for now it’s good enough. Mom & Dad took Heidi to lunch at the Brick House, and they watched the girls so Jason could take her out to Rusty’s for dinner. Afterwards, we had chocolate Costo cake (yummy!) and ice cream. She also got lots of sweet messages & texts from family & friends. It was a truly wonderful day. On the 27th, Heidi got a call from the Share coordinator, telling her there was a family at the hospital who had an infant that they suspected SIDS & she asked Heidi to come. It was a very humbling experience – especially with it being only the day after Link’s angelversary, and in the same room in the ER. Heidi tried to offer as much comfort, compassion, and hope as possible. We are so sad for their loss.  Heidi continues to work out. She did a 10-mile run with the cedar city running club one Saturday, and that was fun J She has also loved watching her new daffodils and crocuses come up in the front J

-McKinley went with her dad to a cello concert at the local church and she was REALLY excited about it. She said they were VERY talented & it made her want to practice more on her cello J
-McKinley has been so good in the kitchen lately. She made dinner once, and dessert twice! They were all very yummy – thanks McKinley!
-McKinley is so excited for her upcoming play Seussical! She has been doing extra morning practices and is still going to her Tuesday/Thursday practices as well.
-Mom surprised McKinley on St. Patrick’s day & we went out to The Pastry Pub for lunch – it was yummy!
-On the 21st, mom & dad went with McKinley to New Beginnings for Young Women, since she starts YW this year. It was very good and McKinley got to sing a special song with the older young women. She did wonderfully, and we were all touched & impressed, though still astonished McKinley is almost old enough to go to YW!!
-McKinley went to the SUU Science Fair (with her “You Look Great in those Genes” project) on March 31st and had a lot of fun! She got to hang out there all day with her friends from North and even have lunch there, too. Mom and dad came to see her for a bit and are very proud of her!

-Ireland continues to do well in gymnastics and enjoys her teacher & her class.
-Ireland’s science fair project this year set out to see if watching screen time affects how much we remember things. She liked it because she got to watch screen time as part of her project. Aunt Trisha & Aunt Cindy also participated. We worked hard on analyzing the data & making the board look cute. Unfortunately, Ireland didn’t win (she was very sad and cried in the bathroom), but we are still so proud of her and know she did great.
-Ireland got to go to St. George and spend the day with Mahina as part of Mahina’s belated birthday present. Mahina could only pick one friend to take & she chose Ireland J They had fun playing at the arcades, the bumper/squirting boats, and going out to eat. She had a ton of fun!
-Ireland’s feet have been very itchy lately and she’s had to use some athlete’s foot medicine.
-One day, mom got a call from the Vogts that Ireland’s expander had come apart and was making her gums bleed. Eric went to pick her up and dad met her at the Orthodontists, but they were not there, so mom picked her up and went to the dentist, who pulled one of her teeth and got the expander out. It was very painful, but Ireland was brave. The orthodontist said she’s almost done with her first phase of braces – yay!!!
-Ireland has been going to almost all of McKinley’s Seussical rehearsals since she’s at school with her & waits to be picked up. She’s so familiar with the play, she could easily have been in it!

-Kezi has been so patient about letting Noelle sleep in her room. Finally, we made the little guest room downstairs more live-able. Mom stapled sheets on the sections of the ceiling that didn’t have sheetrock and we hung sheets between the room and the toy area. It’s really pretty cute now & Kezia has even started pinning things to her wall. J
-Kezia had a couple fun days with Adelaide. They played a lot and Addi & Olivia even stayed for a late movie night & we watched Moana.
-Kezi was sad to hear about Sister Crandall. She was her Primary Teacher for a couple years in a row & they even exchanged a couple letters while she was on her mission.
-One day Kezia asked mom “how do you get the ironic priesthood?” J               
-One night, in the middle of the night, Kezia ran into our room, went into the bathroom, and went back into the hall. Mom got up and it looked like she was going back downstairs, but when we kept hearing noises, dad got up to check it out. Kezia had her backpack on and was walking around the kitchen. Dad had to stand in front of her to get her to stop and then escort our sleep-walking girl back to her bed J
-At East Elementary, it was teacher appreciation week. Kezia took it VERY serious & made sure she had something for every day for her teachers, including strawberries and chocolates. The funnest day was crazy hair day when we spray painted her hair pink & she looked a lot like Princess Poppy from the movie Trolls!
-Kezia started soccer at the end of the month. She got a purple jersey – AGAIN! – 3rd time in a row! Someone must know how much she loves purple! She doesn’t know anyone in her team this time, but she is excited to get playing!

LINK: - Four entire years since you’ve left us, our sweet boy. Our duder-dude. We miss you SO very much. We are so very grateful for every love note you leave, every guidance you give, every protection you provide. We know we are watched over and we love you SO much! Please keep encouraging us and helping us with missionary work, compassionate work, and  family history. Thank you for being there in the hospital to help the family who lost their little 1-month-old baby girl. We love you and miss you EVERY day Link.

-Noelle continues to try even the most patient of persons J We were all watching a movie downstairs and didn’t even notice that she had taken a brown marker and colored ALL over the white carpet down there L And then on the couches. And the wall. It seems to never ever end. She also loves to get into the sugar. And the salt. We can’t ever leave them on the table.
-We love Noelle’s prayer. One day at lunch she prayed “And please bless Swiper to NOT swipe my jam!”
-One day Noelle was upset at daddy. She yelled at him “you are NOT my shining star!”
-Noelle says to mom “Santa Claus will bring you presents for your birthday!”
-One day Noelle just decided she was going to be a big girl like her sisters and take care of her plate after meals. She’s such a helper! Except when she puts paper plates in the sink or real plates in the trash or drips syrup all over the floor on her way to the sink or freaks out when we’re at a restaurant (the Brick House) & gets SUPER mad that she can’t take care of her plate J
-For some reason, Noelle is still infatuated with daddy’s bathroom drawer. It started with floss, then Q-tips, then pretty much everything else, including his cologne. We have to put it all up! For some reason, she doesn’t care much about mom’s bathroom drawer.
-We’ve noticed Noelle has a longer attention span now. She will sit almost through a whole movie (if it’s an animated one), and she is loving longer books, too! J
-Noelle was puking for a couple days this month L
-Noelle likes to say “last year” – like “Kezia! You get to go to school last year!”
-Noelle found an ant outside. She brought a cup out there with water & came in a few minutes later. She said “I sprayed the ant with water! He’s all clean now!”
-Bad mom moment with Noelle this month. One evening, she heard Noelle running around, and by the time mom found her, she had colored all over her face, arms, etc with a purple marker. The next morning, we were running late & wipies were not getting the marker off, so mom decided to try a magic eraser. There must have been a chemical in there because it burned Noelle’s face -L - even though we tried to rinse it off, it still looked so sad. Mom felt terrible. Lesson learned on that one L
-Mom wanted to have Mommy & Noelle time one day & Noelle didn’t want to. Mom asked “don’t you want to spend time with me?” Noelle answered “No – I want to spend time with Dora.”
-While watching a movie one night, Noelle brought everyone a drink of water all the way downstairs!! Thank you big girl!
-Noelle says “Please put some salt on my cereal!” (she calls sugar salt)
-One afternoon mom said “Noelle, do you want a tortilla or a sandwich for lunch?” Noelle answered “I just want mac and cheese for hours and hours.”
-Noelle has no regard for anyone’s water cups. She drinks freely out of everyone’s. One day she was drinking out of mom’s cup and she said “I’m just going to have one bit of your water, okay mom?”
-There was a small picture of Jesus on our dash & while we were driving, Noelle noticed it and said “Jesus is holding on mom! He’s holding on!”
-Noelle has quite the procedure for taking a nap or going to bed. She has to make sure ALL her friends (cars, teddy bears, stuffed animals, dolls, Link bear) are positioned just right and covered up exactly right before she can hop in. She also needs her “my own blanket” which has her name on it J

-Cute Miss O – We are all still overwhelmed by the adorable-ness of you!!!
-We have a really cute video of Oaklyn flailing her arms when Baby Signing Time comes on. It’s SO SO cute!
-She is also trying REALLY hard to clap her hands. She LOVES it when we all gather around her & clap our hands. She gets so excited and is really close to getting those hands together J
-We had to lower her crib mattress because she is pulling up on everything!! She also rolls all over her crib all night long. Sometimes she’s on her side. Sometimes on her tummy. Sometimes on her back.  Her favorite to pull up on  is the ottoman.
-Mom had a sad, scary night/day in the middle of the month. Oaklyn’s Snuza alarm went off & it wasn’t in the wrong place or anything. It went off at 6am, and mom was so shaken she couldn’t go back to sleep. Then that evening Oaklyn threw up a TON of prunes. It was ALL over her mattress, hair, sleep sack, everything. She had to have a bath & threw up twice more while dad was getting the new mattress on. Then mom was even more anxious and hardly slept at all that night. Thankfully, her Snuza hasn’t gone off again and she was only sick for a day, but it was really awful.
-Oaklyn is starting to really get around. She isn’t quite crawling yet, but she can get from laying to sitting easily, and then she gets on all fours. Lays down on her tummy, and sits up again. Not the most efficient, but she’s getting places & we’ll need to get the gate up soon.
-Oaklyn LOVES the swing outside. She just squeals and snorts and almost seems like she’s crying, but she’s laughing. It’s so cute.
-She continues to eat solid foods really great. The mac and cheese and sweet potatoes are still her favorite.
-She still is waking up 1-3 times a night, though she did have a few nights this week where she slept 5-7 hours at a time, which was really nice.
-No teeth yet, but we keep checking!
-Not only is she pulling up on everything, but she’s starting to try and let go with one hand. Eeek! She usually does well, but she has also fallen a LOT. Mom hears her hit her head and comes running L
-Oaklyn sure LOVES to eat her toes! One day when those teeth come in, she’s not going to be happy!
-Not completely sure if she knows what it means, but she has signed eat!

Friday, March 3, 2017

February Slideshow & Newsletter

Finally got this out before the middle of the month! YAY!!!! :)



Hamilton Newsletter
February 2017

FAMILY:  We had a busy travel month this month. First, we headed up to Idaho to support Burton at the funeral of his 1-month-old daughter, Krinn Meadow. It was a hard day & our hearts break for their loss. The girls sang I am a Child of God, and that was beautiful. The next day we laid Uncle Richard to rest beside his sister, Aunt Althea. It was hard to say good-bye to him as well and we will miss him. We went back to Cedar for a week & then back up to see Tiarra star in the play "Brave New World." It was an interesting play and very thought-provoking. We only stayed overnight & came back on Saturday (though we got to stop at the Bensons and have a visit, which was great :).  Then, on the 22nd, Jason took McKinley & Ireland and headed to Texas for Dustin's surprise 40th birthday party. They had a great time with family down there & McKinley & Ireland were excited about going on an airplane! They spent 4 days down southWe had a wonderful Valentines this month. Daddy spoiled all his girls again with roses and chocolate & mom had been heart-attacking each girls' door with a treat each day. Also, on Valentines morning, mom made heart cinnamon french toast & in the afternoon, we delivered heart peanut butter cookies to our neighbors with a note that said "We LOVE having you as neighbors - Happy Valentine's Day!"  The girls had a great time at school (Daddy kept his tradition with being a Valentine's Day Watchdog at North Elementary) with their fancy Valentine's boxes (see their sections for what each of them did), and Mom & Dad even got a fantastic evening at a nice restaurant while McKinley watched the girls (thank you McKinley) - and dad spoiled mom with new diamond earrings!!!! :) Even though we got a couple pretty decent snow storms, the weather has definitely been nicer. The girls all got out their roller skates & we went for a skate/walk on the pathway on the 20th.

JASON:  Jason had fun being the watchdog at North Elementary again this year :) Jason enjoyed going to Texas and being with the Bargers, and his dad and Ophie. At Dustin's 40th, there was good food, singing, dancing, and fun times. He also enjoyed going to Bill's, which has amazing fried catfish. Heidi asked Dustin to help Jason prepare mentally for his turning of the 40 this year :) On the way back from the Vegas airport, Jason noticed a Hispanic family stranded in the gorge with no cell phone service. It must have truly been the Lord watching out for them, because there was just enough room for their whole family in our van, and Jason was able to communicate with them in Spanish & get them to their St. George home. Jason is always so good at helping people. 

HEIDI:  Heidi enjoyed February and is hard at work at her healthy spirit, body, & mind goals :) She has been training for the April half marathon and is up to 10 miles (though that was a bit accidental, she meant to go 8 but thought the running app was off) and continues to frequent the gym for strength training classes, yoga, and the treadmill. One early, dark morning, Heidi was coming back from a 4 mile run and was close to home when her left ankle gave out and she fell into the asphalt. Her left palm was pretty shredded up and painful, but is starting to finally heal. Her left ankle, knee & hip are not too happy with her right now, but hopefully it will get better soon. She got to get together with her good friend, Anna, for lunch this month and enjoyed the chat. She read the Wonder Stories book that McKinley insisted on her reading & it was very good :) Heidi has also been enjoying reading The Love Dare with her sweetheart this month.

-McKinley didn't HAVE to do a Valentine's box, but she really wanted to, so she looked at Pinterest, made a list of about 15 ideas, and finally decided to make a baby grand piano. She really did the entire thing herself (complete with a small bench and person on it). the only thing mom did was spray paint it. It looked really cool! She gave out Seuss Valentine's cards with chocolate candy this year.
-McKinley has started rehearsals for Seussical & listens to the soundtrack a LOT :) We're so excited to see her perform in a couple months.
-McKinley had fun in Texas. Even though there wasn't really anyone her own age, she liked to hang out with the adults and visit. Grandpa Bill and Ophie even took her shopping in Witchita Falls & got her a pretty wind chime and forget-me-not seeds :)
-McKinley made (all by herself) chocolate brownies for her dad's Elder's Quarum meeting, as well as at Yvetta's house in Texas. They were very yummy! She also made fried mozzerella sticks which were yummy, too!!
-McKinley was so cute and made mom and dad each coupons for Valentine's Day - mom has even already used her babysitting coupon a couple times!
-One of McKinley's favorite things to say lately is "totally!!" (but dripping with sarcasm, of course) :)  
-Ireland got to go to Salt Lake City for a field trip this month! She was SO excited about it. They got to go to the state capital and Thanksgiving Point. Grandma & Grandpa picked her up from Thanksgiving Point since the rest of the family was coming up. They almost didn't connect before the bus came, but thankfully they did. She had a fun time!
-Ireland found a puppy picture that she really liked and she traced a puppy for each of her friends and gave them a paper that said "Happy day before Valentine's Day!" It was very sweet :)
-Ireland's Valentine's box had to involve a simple machine. She wanted to make a peacock. So, after MANY hours of work & playing around with ideas, we used a ruler to make a teeter-totter effect with the peacock's neck. We also used a cylinder for the neck and an Easter egg for the mouth, so it could "eat" small candy :) Ireland was sad she didn't win the contest, but she really did a great job and it was SO cute and creative! :) Ireland gave out Petshop Valentine's to her class this year.
-We didn't tell Ireland about going to Texas till about a few days before and she was so surprised! And nervous. She was so excited about seeing Kaydence, but she was worried about leaving mom and flying in an airplane. She did great, though, and really enjoyed flying. They didn't tell Kaydence that Ireland was coming and she was SO surprised! They were glued together the whole time, of course, and we're so glad that Ireland got to go be with her.
-Ireland gave mom a certificate for a message -and WOW! - she did a GREAT job! She messaged her back, feet, and hands and it was so heavenly! Thank you Ireland!
-Ireland also had a couple times this month when she let her anger take over :( She wrote some pretty mean (and creative!) notes to both dad and mom (separate times).

-Kezi had parent-teacher conference this year and we were again told how brilliant she is. She is double, and even triple in some cases her goals for the year. She has passed off all her sight words through 5th grade! We are so proud of her! She still has work to do on her Spanish, but is doing really well! The thing we need to work on the most is how she struggles sometimes with her emotional meltdowns. We are trying harder to take deep breaths and move on.
-Kezia's Valentine's box was supposed to be themed after a book that she could choose from a list. So, she chose "Sam and Dave dig a hole, which is about 2 boys and a dog that kept digging and digging and getting VERY close to huge diamonds, but never actually finding them. So, we used tape and spray painted over it and then took off the tape to make "tunnels" and then we made 3D-looking diamonds out of sparkly scrapbook paper. It looked really cool! Kezi gave cool 3D pet valentines to her class this year.   
-Kezi bought a special heart chocolate box and covered it in neon orange paper and wrote: "To: Briggs From: ?????" (5 question marks for each letter of her name). He figured out who it was, but she was okay with that :)
-Kezia came into our room one night crying because her throat hurt so bad. Mom gave her a strep test the next day, and sure enough!! She got some antibiotics and had to stay home from school for a day. We're so glad we caught it early!
-Kezi was pretty bummed about not getting to fly to Texas with her dad and sisters, but she had fun with mom at home, too. She got to have sleepovers with her every night, play games, and watch movies. She also got to sleep over at grandma & grandpa's house in St. George and go to the mall & ride the train and get a smoothie. It was fun!
-Kezi got to have separate playdates with Macie and Ruby. She had fun and painted nails with Macie. She painted them blue and then write a letter on each nail  "I (heart) Jay so much" (have you noticed that she has a crush on a FEW different boys?) :)
-Kezia decided one Sunday to make a piñata of coupons. She wrote out about 30 different coupons (from walking Sydney to cleaning countertops) and we all hit the box with a broom and mom ended up winning the most coupons (horray!) (she's already used her breakfast in bed one) :)

LINK: - We are grateful to know that Link was there to welcome both Krinn and Uncle Richard to the other side. Mommy read an article about how our loved ones from the other side connect with us, and it was very good. After reading it, she started noticing more "love notes" from Link, including specific songs and pictures that she needed right at that moment. She is so thankful for each and every love note he sends and cannot wait until she gets to hold and kiss him again.  

-Noelle still isn't sure just what Valentine's is all about but she liked all the candy!! She actually still talks about Christmas a lot and says "hey, that's my Christmas present!" (even when it isn't) and says she wants Christmas again.
-One day Kezia was sweeping & had swept up a glove. Noelle came over and yelled at her "Kezia - don't sweep up my hand!!"
-One afternoon, mom was laying down with Ireland in her bed for naptime. Noelle pointed at a picture of mom and dad & said "That's you and dad. I just miss my dad so much. (*making the I love you sign at the picture*) I love you daddy."
-Noelle has a new trick and it's called USING SCISSORS. We are afraid. Very afraid.
-When Kezi was home sick, she asked for a bowl. Mom asked if she needed to puke. Noelle said "ugh. don't say that word." Noelle piped up "PUKE! PUKE! PUKE! PUKE!!"
-Mom and Kezi were playing the game Spot It and Noelle actually got a couple matches!
-Noelle says the remote to her truck is her "projector" - it looks a lot like the xbox remote and she likes to "use" it with the projector & Xbox :)
-Noelle just says the funniest things. Mom wishes she could record them all. One day we pointed something out when we were driving and she said "Holy cow! That's not impossible!"
-Noelle calls people, animals, stuffed animals, etc her "best friend"s :)
-Noelle struggled again with sleeping at Grandma & Grandpa's house in St. George. She woke up at 4am and was wide awake & wouldn't go back to sleep till almost 5 :(
-Noelle loves to cuddle, but her favorite things when she's sleepy is when mom rubs her nose on her face and gives her butterfly kisses :)
-Mom got done running on the treadmill and went to get Noelle from gym daycare. She bent down and Noelle said "Are you crying mom?" (it was sweat) :)
-Noelle calls all teddy bears "Link bears"
-Noelle still loves cars and lines them up on the windowsill, puts them in her ride-on car, and stuffs them inside her little pink car.
-One day mom was dancing and Noelle was NOT in the mood to see her dance. She got really mad at her dancing. Mom got it on a video & it's a classic :)
-Noelle has grown very fond of the little Care Bear couch. She sleeps on it on the floor of Kezi's room a lot and drags it all over the house.

-Oaklyn is just Miss Cutest Ever. Seriously, so so so cute! We all just want to have her all the time.
-Oaklyn is a half a year old now! went by so fast!
-Oaklyn likes to put her toes in her mouth now!
-Her 6 month checkup went well - she is in about the 55th percentile for weight and 85th for height. She had to get a bunch of shots :(
-Oaklyn has decided to sit up all by herself now! She still sometimes tips over, but she likes to go forward mostly and thinks she will try to start crawling.
-Oaklyn seriously has NO appetite in the mornings! Even if she hasn't eaten in 5 hours, she just won't nurse! And won't eat much baby food either.
-She's also SUCH a distracted nurser now. Even when mom is by herself in a room, she just wants to know what is going on elsewhere. Hope it doesn't cut our nursing short!
-One night mom forgot to plug in the monitor and it died. Mom woke up at 4am in a panic and went to check on Oaklyn. She was thankfully fine. Mom actually got 6 hours of sleep that night! Oaklyn is usually up between 10:30-12 and again at about 4am. She usually takes 3 naps during the day, but it's still impossible to tell which one is going to be her long one!
-Oaklyn is really starting to like Baby Signing Time now. We turn in on and she giggles and squeals and kicks her feet!
-She says a lot of "da da da" but mom isn't admitting that it's her first word since she says it all the time, not just when she's around daddy.
-Oaklyn has started figuring out how to put her binky back in. We're HOPING that means more sleep soon!
-Her sisters are all still trying to get her to say their name - even Noelle!
-Oaklyn had a little "playdate" with our neighbor's baby, Charlotte. When mom gave the toy to Charlotte, Oaklyn would try to take it away. When we gave it back to Oaklyn & gave Charlotte another of Oaklyn's toys, she tried to take that away, too! She's also showing more that she really cares when Noelle takes one of her toys away from her. Eeek!