Friday, May 4, 2018

April Newsletter & Slideshow


April 2018
Hamilton Newsletter

FAMILY: April 1st was Easter. And April Fools’ Day. Fun combination! We were in Richfield with cousins, so that was even more fun. Kezia pulled some pranks of her own see her section), but the adults had some tricks, too, and the kids had a memorable egg hunt – some eggs were super-glued shut, some had veggies in it, some had empty wrappers. J They still managed to get plenty of candy and money, though, and their baskets all had books and goodies, too. It was also General Conference & we enjoyed watching it with family. Monday we stayed in Richfield (start of our Spring Break). We enjoyed going swimming in the Richfield pool l (they even had a floating obstacle course!), and just hanging out. Tuesday morning we got up and took off for Capital Reef. We stopped by the Visitor Center & watched a short film, ate lunch, and headed off to explore. We did the Capital Gorge Wash (pretty! But the water holes at the top were mostly dry), Hickman Bridge (fast hike, the bridge was awesome), and we stopped at Panorama Point. We ate dinner at a pizza place in Torrey. The pizza was yummy, but it was expensive!! Afterwards, we went to Days Inn & the older girls – including Noelle - went swimming. Oaklyn didn’t sleep well that night  (she only slept for 10 minutes in the hiking backpack), but it was nice to have breakfast taken care of the next day. So, Wednesday was driving over to Escalante. We really wanted to try the Peek-a-boo & Spooky slot canyons, so we headed that way. We knew it was 27 miles away, but didn’t realize that was all dirt road. Most of it was very washboard-y, so we either took it slow (which would have taken even longer than it already did), or just go fast & push through it, and feel like the van and all of our bones are being rattled apart J We finally made it and everyone did great with the hike. Unfortunately, Jason threw out his back a couple days before, so he wasn’t able to hike into the Peek-a-boo slot Canyon, so Heidi went with Ireland & Kezia. It was SO SO neat! We definitely want to go back one day. We did the other slot canyon that we could all walk in and that was really cool, too. By the time we got back to van, and drove back to the main road, it was time to head home. We were sad we didn’t get to do more in Escalante, but we hope to go back one day. We ate dinner & have a beautiful drive back, getting home about 10pm on Wednesday. Then we had a couple of relaxing fun days with friends to finish off our Spring Break. Saturday, the 7th was Noelle’s 4th birthday party at the aquatic center, and then we celebrated her real birthday the next day. It was a lot of fun – see her section for more details! That day, we also went to Brecken Bealer’s baptism, and Maddy Sobel’s reception.  The week of the 16th, daddy had his work meeting in Ogden. We had a fun girls week, painted nails, read, and rotated who got to sleep with mom. But we were so glad when he came home! On the 18th, the Potts headed back up north, not coming back till after their mission L On the 21st, the Foleys from our ward invited us for a get-together at their barn in New Harmony. It was so beautiful – a lovely evening visiting with friends, meeting new people, chasing chickens, eating hot dogs & s’mores.  We all even got to pet a huge snake! That next night, on Sunday, we had a fire in our backyard & enjoyed laughing & talking with Truly and Levi. We broke out the guitars and Truly got her Ukulele and it was a great time. On the 25th it was warm enough to break out Noelle’s plastic pool that she got for her birthday. We all invited friends and it felt just like summer! We can’t wait till the real deal! On the 27th, the Vogts had us over for pizza & we met a new family that just moved in the area. It was fun! In much less fun news, the past couple months, we have had some extra residents in our home, unwanted! We’ve been catching mice, and mom hated disposing of them, so each of the older girls earned $5 disposing of mice! They didn’t love, it, but EASY MONEY! Heidi also worked to make sure we all have working bikes & new helmets this year. Let’s go on some bike rides!

JASON We’re not sure how daddy doesn’t just tip right over with all the hats he’s been wearing lately! Employee/Boss – 2 week-long meetings this month and some major drama to deal with, Elder’s Quarum – In general conference, all the elder’s quorums got disbanded, and a unified Melchezideck Priesthood Quorum was formed. So, Jason’s respite was short-lived, as he got released, and then called again as the 2nd counselor of the combined Elder’s Quorum. He is such a great man and we support him in his new calling, especially glad to at least have him home most Sunday mornings now. Soccer Coach – Jason is Kezia’s soccer coach for U10. He has had practices once a week, and 2 games a week. He has done such a great job & it’s great to see how the girls trust him and have a great repore with him. Kezia especially is ecstatic to finally get her daddy as the coach. He is learning a lot with this since it’s his first time, but he’s doing so great! Daddy/husband – he still is great at making time for helping with homework, housework, and honey-do lists – he even installed 2 ceiling fans and put up some peg board in the garage! We love you daddy – thank you for all you do!

HEIDI: Heidi’s 8 (it’s really 7, though) challenge started this month after Easter and while she hasn’t lost weight yet, she has been doing good with her goals and getting around to some backburner items, including organizing, working on Family History, and just trying to be a better mom. She REALLY enjoyed exploring the national parks for Spring Break & hopes to go back and do more. The slot canyons were really incredible and it fills her soul to be out exploring.

- McKinley has been very busy with school, and on more than one occasion, she’s stayed up past 11 working on her homework. Her teacher assigned a unitl on medieval times. She has made a working parts triorama, from-scratch lemon tarts, and a huge family tree, complete with pictures. She’s also doing 2 written reports and is going to do a game with the class. She also has a lot of math homework, and has been doing SAGE testing (her favorite!! ;))

- For some reason we never knew before, but found out that Ireland doesn’t like potato chips. She likes corn chips, but not potato chips.
-One night this month, Ireland had a nightmare. When asked about it the next day, she hesitantly told us it was about barbies. Barbies who were chewing her sides. And while they were doing it, one happy Barbie asked politely, “On scale of 1-10, how much does this hurt?”
-Ireland finished gymnastics for this session at the end of April. She was really bummed she didn’t make it to the next level (4), but she only has a couple more things to work on & she will be there. We are so proud of the progress she’s made!
-Ireland picked out a new bike at Walmart & it’s super-cute! She’s had fun riding with Mahina.
-Ireland has also been playing more with Izi Newbold, and spend almost the whole Saturday with her.
-Ireland played Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bard Birthday Bash at SUU. She was nervous, but did such a great job!!  Daddy even came from work to see her.

-Kezia can’t let an April Fools Day go by without one prank or another. This year it was on Easter & we were at Grandma Devenish’s. She saved a brownie from the day before & grabbed some lemonade & made a very convincing “accident” that one of the dogs did. She got grandma, who laughed and went to get grandpa. Grandpa was about to beat the dogs, when we told him the joke. Another one was putting mayo & mustard in place of the filling of an Oreo (they were yellow spring Oreos). And she gave everyone some of her EMPTY can of Pringles. She’s a prankster for sure!
-Kezi started soccer this month & was so excited to have her daddy as the coach. While she says he calls her name too much, he really does a great job and she is having fun being a different color this year – yellow. They are the Golden Warriors! This year she is playing with older girls, on a bigger field, and there are goalies. She actually has done an awesome goalie job!
-  Kezia did reports on frogs & seahorses this month & learned a lot! She made the cutest frog with wax paint and her seahorse book was SO cute!
-Kezia got to go on a field trip to St. George! She also had a swimming pool field trip, and got to go to Courtney Riddle’s birthday party J

Our weeds have been popping up everywhere & it’s a big job to keep them at bay. There was what looked like a weed by our back door, but mom decided to wait & see. So thankful she did! It ended up being a forget-me-not! Daddy saw it and said “is that what I think it is?” Sure enough! What a sweet, sweet love note! Thank you our sweet boy! Thank you for all your love notes & being so close to us.

-Noelle usually exclaims “Don’t say maybe!” when we tell her maybe to a question she asked.
-Noelle was “playing” the piano & Kezia wanted to play. Noelle say “Stop! I want to plactice!”
-One day we had friends over & it was lunch time. Noelle asked for a hot dog. Mom replied that we didn’t have any. Noelle said “Then make some!”
-We have had mice in our house & Noelle is not having any of it! She is continually gathering all kinds of random items and proclaiming them to be mouse traps and coming up with various ways to kill them. One night she yelled “Everyone get their scary stuff!! We got to get the mouse!!”
-Noelle is SO so SO excited about going to see her cousins, Grace & Maddy in Minnesota. It’s SUPER hard for her to wait. She keeps gathering random things from around the house & telling mommy “I’m taking this to show Grace & Maddy!”
-One evening we were sitting around our backyard campfire and singing all the verses to “I am a Child of God.” We sang “I am a Child of God, and so my needs are great.” Noelle piped up “No, my knees aren’t grey!”
-Noelle LOVES to color – especially with the new smell-good art set that she got for her birthday. One day she drew a picture, handed it to mom and said she wanted her to send it to God. She drew lots of people on her drawing. She said it was the people that live with God J
-Noelle had a couple really bad allergic reactions this month. We’re still not sure what caused them, but the first one happened after a soccer game and we went to our SUU rental. Her eye was so red and swollen, she could barely open it. The other time, her face was all red and blotchy L

-Some of Oaklyn’s favorite phrases lately: “Go away” “let go!” “Look!” (pointing), and “watch this!” She’s also very adept at saying all her sister’s names now, and likes to take them things that are theirs.
-She LOVES singing – especially The Wheels on the Bus. We got it on video, but she will be crying and sad and if you start singing the Wheels on the Bus, she will stop crying & start signing. It’s so cute!
-Oaklyn loves making water messes!
-She usually takes a 2-3 hour nap each day about noon. Sometimes we have to wake her up so she’ll sleep at night. She still takes the binki for naps & bedtime.
-If you hold your phone up, or get the camera, she will smile and say CHEESE!!
-Oaklyn still loves nursery and gym daycare – we hope it stays that way!
-Oaklyn has been more into shoes lately – even mommy’s heels!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

March Newsletter & Slideshow


March 2018
Hamilton Newsletter

FAMILY: March was a good month for our family. The first weekend we went swimming at the aquatic center (Noelle had been begging to go!) The 6th was Heidi’s birthday & it turned out great J That night we all went to go see McKinley’s orchestra performance, which was great! Afterwards we had ice cream cake. The girls had school off on the 8th & 9th. We went with the Hillsteads to Red Cliffs Recreation area & hiked to a natural waterslide. It was gorgeous! We all had a great time and even Daizy & their dog Zeus jumped in the pool. On the 9th, Heidi got to go snow skiing with the older girls – and Mahina - at Brian Head. Jason watched the littles and had fun with them while we had fun on the mountain. That evening, McKinley watched the girls while Heidi & Jason went to a Bluegrass concert – it was excellent and fun! The 14th was Pi day, so mom whipped up a chocolate pudding pie with chocolate chips on top J On the 16th, Heidi, Ireland, Kezia & Noelle went to the play The Secret Garden. It was very well done and makes us want to read the book again! The 17th was, of course, St. Patty’s day. Mom made a deal with the girls that if they didn’t complain about chores and did nice things for each other, they could have a party. So, they each invited 2 friends and we had a St. Patrick’s Day party, complete with painting green nails, painting faces, going on a treasure hunt (to find chocolate gold coins), bobbing for green apples, playing minute-to-win-it with skittles, and eating Lucky Charms while watching Darby O’Gill & the Little People. McKinley & Kezia’s penpal, Belle, sent us many of the party supplies and we had a fun time. Easter was on April 1 this year, which was conference, so we all wore our new dresses to church on the 25th. It was a bit of a fiasco with the dresses because mom originally ordered all the same dress, but only McKinley & mom’s came, so we had to make a late-night Walmart trip for dresses – and shoes. That evening we went to G&G Potts in St. George & Aunt Trisha was also there with her crew. It was fun to see them for a bit! G&G Potts had just returned from Australia & New Zealand and brought back cute tiny Koalas for the girls. They also got to have their dog, Divi, back. We had her for almost a month & 3 dogs was fun, but a bit crazy! The 26th was Link’s angelversary.  It fell on a Monday, so we couldn’t go to the temple (mom went every day for a week before that, though). But we did go let go of white balloons and we watched his slideshow that night. We sure miss – and LOVE – our duder-dude. On the 29th, the Edwards came to spend a couple days of their Spring Break with us! We watched movies, went to the SUU science fair that Ireland was a part of, went on a 5-mile hike (Taylor Creek up Kolob Canyon. Aunt Cindy got a bad headache & was sick L), Michael & McKinley went to the temple, and we had pizza at the Pizza Cart. It was a lot of fun! We capped it off by going to Fremont State Park on Saturday and exploring there. What a fun month!

JASON: Jason has had some tough situations to deal with at work, but he handles them great. He also is super-dad and takes time off to help Heidi with appointments and being there for the girls. We love daddy!

HEIDI: Heidi had a great birthday this month! For her birthday, she got new Chaco hiking sandals and a new fitbit watch – both to help her with her desire to get out hiking more! Truly & Zhane got her a beautiful frame with their picture & a necklace. The girls & daddy got her candy and an awesome 8 picture frame! Jason was so sweet – made pancakes for breakfast, bought some CafĂ© Rio, and maker her Chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner! Heidi had some big changes this month. She got her hair done – blonder (unfortunately, it turned out very different than her expectations – especially after 4 hours and $130
L, but such is life), and she got 2 new front teeth! She likes them! – they seem to be a little less insulated than her last ones, though. Also, Heidi went to the dermatologist and got some dark spots frozen. It sure looked like she got hit in the face for a couple weeks.  Heidi went to the temple for a week before Link’s angelversary, and the day afterwards. It was a bit of a juggle to make it happen some days, but it was so wonderful. We got so much work done & she loved to do sealings with her sweetheart on Saturday.

-McKinley got to go skiing twice this month – once with the Honor’s Society, and once with mom & sisters. She’s getting good and enjoying it!
-She got to spend some time with her friends Jacie & Irene this month. She went to their birthday party at their house in Fiddler’s, and then they came to the St. Patrick’s Day party.
-McKinley did GREAT in her orchestra performance. It was a rock performance and was so fun!
-McKinley has done so great with the temple. She’s gone with a small group of friends, and she also decided to invite her whole Sunday School class, even calling the boys’ parents to invite them! She also got to go with Michael. We LOVE that she loves the temple!
-McKinley got to finally have a turn talking with our family therapist, Colby. They talked about Link and her role as the oldest child. We sure love our McKinley.
- McKinley went to the dermatologist this month with mom & we’re trying low-dose antibiotics and a cream.

-Ireland’s teacher really thinks the world of her! She was recommended both for the advanced after-school ICE program, and for a STEAM leadership program in California! We love our smarty-pants Ireland!
-At the beginning of the month, it was Dr. Suess Day. Mom got to come to Ireland’s class & read the Star-bellied Sneeches. It was a lot of fun
-Ireland worked with Colby this month, talking about some self-esteem  and friend issues. We are so proud to see her working so well through her big feelings.
-Ireland’s class is doing the Midsummer Night Dream play, and Ireland got a main part – Hermia!
-Ireland had a Sunday School class party at the Schaefermeyer’s. We’re sad they’re moving
-She got to be in the SUU science fair and we all got to come see her (including the Edwards). She got to be there all day and had a fun time
-Ireland got to go skiing 3 times this winter! It was so fun to go with her & Mahina this month.

-Kezia got to go on a field trip to see Tom Sawyer by the Shakespeare Playmakers. She had a fun time!
-Kezi got to go skiing for the 2nd time this year and she did SO well! She was flying down those hills and having so much fun
-For the St. Patrick’s Day Party, Kezi invited Macie and Angeles. It was fun to meet a new friend!  
-At the Secret Garden Ballet, Kezia ran into her castmates from Peter Pan – Wendy and Michael!

It’s hard to wrap our minds around 5 years without you. The 26th was a better day than most, probably because mom spent every day leading up to that day at the temple. Mom also did a facebook post about the sting of your death never going away in this life. We are so thankful for you in our lives every day.

-Noelle has had a definite naughty streak this month. Hiding mommy’s phone. Lying about it. Lying about eating an orange. Being mean to Daizy. Taking things from truly & Zhane’s room. Rubbing butter into our carpet. Hitting. Backtalking. Mom – and dad – have had their hands full trying to figure out why she is struggling right now, but we’re hoping it ends soon!
-One day Oaklyn had something Noelle wanted & she yelled “you’re being have-y!!” (selfish)
-One day in the car, Noelle asked mom “where is the real Link?” She wondered where the Link with eyes, feet, and hands were. Mom tried her best to explain!
-One time, in the middle of the night, Noelle came to mom & dad’s room. She was in tears, saying she had a nightmare. She said “My dreams keep saying Alakazam!!” She was really scared
-Noelle ran down the hall & into the living room, saying “I flush the toilet and rand away really fast so it wouldn’t flush in my face!”
-Sometimes when mom says “let me read you a book!”, Noelle will say “No! Tell me a STORY!”
-One evening as we were going to bed, dad found a huge mess on his side of the bed. Corn Starch all over the carpet! Dad tried to vacuum it up, and that clogged the vacuum. Daddy spent a lot of time taking the entire vacuum apart, cleaning it out, and putting it back together. We hope miss Noelle doesn’t do that one again!
-Noelle is into saying “mother” and “father” lately. As in “Don’t go into work today, my Father!”
-One day (typical) mom was walking around frantically looking for her phone. Mom hears Noelle say quietly “Heavenly Father, do you know where my mom’s phone is?”
-Noelle got a CUTE CUTE haircut this month (trying to hide her own haircutting experience from last month).Her hair grows so fast, but it’s so cute right now! Fits her personality.
-One night, both of the littles were having a really hard time sleeping. Finally mom went in, got Oaklyn out of her crib, opened the blinds and looked at the stars with Noelle & Oaklyn. We sang twinkle twinkle and cuddled. Noelle pointed at the stars and said “Is that how far heaven is mom?”
-We were talking about the bear in the movie Fox & the Hound. Mom said he was a grouchy bear. Noelle said “Sometimes I’m grouchy like that bear. But today I’m a nice one.”
-We were driving into Richfield & Noelle asked “Did we get to the Saint George World yet?”
-Noelle asked “When I turn 4, will I be a boy?”
-One of the cutest things Noelle says lately “that’s my FRAVRITE!”
-One thing Noelle has been doing lately: Turning her foot out, and putting her hand on her hip. Quite the sassy stance!

-Oaklyn is ridiculously cute.
-When we saw the Simons at G&G Potts in St. George, Oaklyn was INFATUATED with Rachel! She just kept hugging, and hugging, and hugging her! It was soooooo cute!
-Oaklyn’s vocabulary has really exploded! She is now saying 3-word sentences and can repeat almost any word. One favorite saying” Thank you Welcome!” whenever anyone gives her anything
-Oaklyn is enjoying drawing more. She decided to draw on the front room chairs and the couches and we are all holding our breath that her non-paper artistry is not as destructive as her older sister’s!
-When Oaklyn wants something that someone else has, she says “Share, Share!” and if they don’t share, she says “1…2!  2! 2!!!!!!”
-Oaklyn is starting to get the hang of prayers and is VERY good at saying AMEN! (even when others are in the middle of their prayer ;) )
-The way Oaklyn says snow is so cute. The “s” sound comes right from her nose
-Oaklyn loves showing off her belly button, and she loves seeing other’s belly buttons! She will walk around the room, trying to lift up people’s shirts
-Oaklyn still loves babies! A picture, a book, a doll, she says “awww!” and hugs them!
-Oaklyn says “baby!” when she sees Link’s picture, but she also just started saying Link!
-A couple frequent sayings from Oaklyn: “Hey!!!!” (like when someone takes something from her) and “Let go!” (like when her sisters are giving her too much loves.

Monday, March 12, 2018

February Newsletter & Slideshow


February 2018
Hamilton Newsletter

FAMILY February flew by and we kept really busy this month!  Kezia and McKinley had Peter Pan play practice every weekday for 2-2.5 hours, and then had their performance on February 17th & 19th! Kezia was Michael & McKinley was Tiger Lily – they did so great! Grandma & Grandpa Potts & GG, and Uncle Burton and 6 of his kids, along with Truly, Levi, Zhane & Lex came on Saturday the 17th & Daddy & the girls came on the 19th (daddy’s side of the family were supposed to come, but there was a bad snowstorm L). On Sunday Feb 4th, Irealnd made an enormous chalk-drawing on the driveway & her sisters helped outline it in tiny pebbles. It looked so cool! We finally got to watch the movie Wonder as a family on the 11th – we bought the movie – it was so good! Valentines Day was wonderful, and daddy spoiled us with roses and chocolate. Mom also had put hearts on the girls’ doors every day with a little treat & given daddy a big treat every day until Valentines. Daddy was a watchdog for the last time at North Elementary with Ireland. That night, mom & dad went on a date to Alfredo’s and it was so yummy J On President’s Day, we hung out inside & stayed warm, and then headed out to go sledding and had a ton of fun J On Friday, the 23rd, Heidi & Jason went to a marriage conference with John BytheWay & others in St. George while mom & dad watched the girls. We had a wonderful time & learned lots! Divit came home with us that evening as the Potts are heading to Australia/New Zealand for a month! At the end of the month, we did Family Home Evening at Brookdale and we asked them family history questions. It was fun, though the little ones were a bit irreverent. Another fun thing for us this month was getting a new STOVE! Our other one was all cracked and breaking and a safety hazard. So, we got a double-oven, gas stove & we are all LOVING it! Another fun thing this month was cheering on the USA in the winter Olympics. So fun!  The girls started their own “Hamilton Sistas” club this month, patterned after the Little Women book. So cute & fun!  J Daizy has lived up to her Crazy Daizy name… she likes to take stuff from inside and bring them outside. We have found boots, stuffed animals (she doesn't chew them up, she just brings them outside), a computer mouse, teeth whitening kit, coats, toilet paper rolls, cups, oven mitts, gloves, flashlights and hats. If you think you're going nuts because you set something down & can't find it a minute later, check outside! She is also quite stealthy at stealing cheese from the countertops. She also loves stinky diapers.

JASON: Jason continues to be busy with his work & calling, but he took a day off to be a watchdog at North Elementary.

HEIDI: Heidi caught a bad cold in February. It started with a sore throat, then a runny nose and headache and cough. Then it went into her ears. After about 10 days, she finally went to the doctor because her ears were hurting, and sure enough she had an ear infection & sinus infection. 10 days of antibiotics helped, and finally she is feeling better, but not hearing 100% out of her left ear yet. It was about 2 weeks of feeling awful and not getting much done, but she is thankful for getting sick, because it made her REALLY appreciate breathing out of both her nostrils & hearing out of both her ears
J She finished the Voice in the Wind book, and A Man called Ove (so, being sick has its benefits J ). Heidi has also been involved in prepping for the Share Walk in May, so she’s been working on that. Also, her goals for February were to re-scan pictures, and so she spent a LONG time scanning probably a thousand pictures! It was fun to walk down memory lane, but she’s glad that’s done!

-McKinley was SUCH a great Tiger Lily in the play. We loved to hear her sing about how girls can be strong and powerful! McKinley is such a great example of this!
-McKinley got to go with daddy to The Piano Guys on the 8th!! They said it was wonderful, amazing, fun, and funny!
-McKinley got to go to Micaela’s party this month, pizza at her house & then to see The Greatest Showman (she’s been waiting to see that one!)
-McKinley’s class has been studying Greece, so they held a Greek shop & McKinley dressed up and “sold” her mint cookies! She had fun
-This is the first year McKinley hasn’t exchanged Valentines’ at school, so she was a bit bummed, but dad spoiled all the girls with goodies!
-McKinley has made it to the temple to do baptisms almost every week this month! We LOVE that she loves to go! Once she even got to go with Grandma & Grandpa!

-Ireland is registering for middle school soon! She’s debating between playing the flute, the violin, and doing art.
-On the 6th, Grandma & Grandpa Potts came to go with Ireland to a grandparent breakfast at North Elementary. They also bought her some books at the book fair!
-On the 12th, mom & Ireland headed over to SUU to cheer on our gymnast Thunderbirds! We didn’t end up winning the meet against USU, but we had a great time!
-For Valentine’s, Ireland made a STEM project – a box with a pulley. It was so creative & cute!
-Ireland got to go skiing with the Vogts & had so much fun!
-Ireland got to go to another breakfast at school when she went with daddy to “Dudes & Donuts.” They had fun!

-Kezia REALLY enjoyed the Peter Pan play and was SO disappointed when it was over. In fact, she said she didn’t like the weekends any more because there wasn’t  play practice on the weekends. She was SUCH a great Michael! We LOVED to hear her say her lines so well and see her AMAZING smile! She is a natural & we hope we get to see her in lots more plays.
-Kezia was so cute and wrote, in masking tape, on the front door “We Love you Daddy” <3 br=""> -Kezia got to go to the Ninja Warrior place for Macie’s birthday party & had a lot of fun
-Kezia has had fun with Activity Days lately – she got to write thank you letters for teachers and have treats.
-Kezia got the blue award for reading this month & mom got to come see. It was cute. The lady reading the awards had a difficult time pronouncing Kezia’s name & the whole class in unison said “it’s KEZIA!”

We love you so much, our duder-dude. We miss you every single day!

-Noelle likes band-aids. A lot. One day mom watched her bite her own finger & come tell mommy “I need a band-aid!”
-The inevitable finally happened. Noelle cut her own hair
L It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and mom has been able to hide it for the most part, but still sad.
-On Valentines’ Day, mommy & Noelle made heart rice crispy treats & took them around to Noelle’s little friends
J And her friend Sam brought her a sucker from preschool!
-Noelle was sitting on Truly’s lap in church & felt a vibration (Truly’s phone vibrated). Noelle looked at her wide-eyed and asked “was that me, or you?”
-Noelle & mommy like to try to out-do each other with how much we love each other. One day Noelle said “Mom, I love you ALL THE SATURDAYS!” Mom had to admit that was a bunch
-Noelle had a dream where she was taking lots of pictures and making HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS! (maybe she’ll be a photographer?)
-For Noelle’s choice chore one day we were cleaning the window. Mom said we needed to clean off all the fingerprints. Noelle said “And all the tongue prints, too!”

-Oaklyn is still just DANGEROUSLY adorable. Her scrunchy-nose smile when she titls her head to one side, along with her curly blonde hair (which has really started to grow now!) and hazel eyes are just too much sometimes!
-Oaklyn’s vocabulary has really taken off this month. She repeats a lot of what we say & will even answer “yeah” when mom asks if she has stinks.
-Oaklyn loves babies.
J At the gym daycare, she always has one or 2 babies in her arms, and she loves her babies at home, too. She says “baby!” and cuddles them J
-Oaklyn thinks its SUPER fun to flush the toilet
-One of the favorite things Oaklyn says is “THANK YOU WELCOME!”
-Oaklyn has become super picky about food and binky’s. 3 out of 4 times, she pushes dinner away & won’t touch it. And her binky, she won’t take it if it’s in her crib. She wants you to get it from under her crib & give it to her before she’ll take it.
-Oaklyn loves head, shoulders, knees & toes & knows how to point to all of them. She also LOVES to point to her belly button!
-When you ask her how old she is, she says “ONE!” and holds out one finger & wants to touch it to your pointer finger.
-When you ask Oaklyn where someone is that she doesn’t know, she puts both hands in the air & it’s adorable!
-Oaklyn is also signing more & will sign APPLE, BIRD and FISH
-Oaklyn gives 5 AND knuckles now! It’s so cute!

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!