Thursday, September 13, 2018

August Newsletter & Slideshow

August 2018
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY: The beginning of August started in Brian Head for the annual Potts Retreat! It was nice to have it so close :) We stayed in a cabin with the Edwards and Josie & Andrew while the other cabin had the Potts, Checketts, Simons & GG. Some memories for this years’ retreat: Doing arts & crafts in the Potts cabin, that first night being HOT (heater kicked on!) and everyone getting very little sleep, going to Mammoth Cave (really cool! - and we saw antelope on the way there), swimming in the pond at Brian Head - moments before it started raining!, playing Mad Gab (our team won!), trying to keep Max & Oaklyn contained :), moving all the rugs for GGs dog Petey, kids watching Meet the Robinsons, girls night complete with masks & painting toe nails, Michael & Tiarra teaching McKinley how to play Solitaire, celebrating Oaklyn’s birthday, going to the family center at the Alpine Pond trailhead where the kids all made sediment bottles, hiking to Alpine Pond, going to the Greenshow in Cedar, driving to Brian Head Peak and watching the stars all come out (breathtaking!) and on the other side there was an amazing lightening show, taking family pictures at Cedar Breaks, eating yummy food, playing ping pong, foosball & pool, and Aunt Trisha’s surprise 30th birthday party! We loved spending time with family. When we got back we tried to cram in as much as possible before the “s” word started! We made homemade ice cream and waffle bowls, went to the St. George Children’s Museum & splash park & got ice cream at Iceberg afterwards, embroidered, hiked the Bristlecone Pine Trail, played at the Woods Ranch playground, had a primary party with a huge water slide, and had a friend late-over where we watched Enchanted and then roasted s’mores and played a get-to-know-you game. The last day before school started, we had kid-driven fun! McKinley chose to go to the library and the bookstore, Ireland chose to go to the park & get ice cream at Hermies, and Kezia chose to go to Petsmart to see the animals. It was  fun day! Alas, we could not stop it from coming, though. School started on August 14th this year - McKinley (7th) & Ireland (6th) - both at Cedar Middle School, Kezia (3rd) at East Elementary! On the 17th, Heidi & Jason worked downstairs to get a temporary wall put in the unfinished room so Ireland could have her own space. It’s very rough, but it’s nice that Ireland has her own space to put her bed and her things. Jason was called out to a fire in Northern California on the 18th of August and we were sad to see him go - he was gone for almost 2 full weeks. Our renters moved in on the 18th (Jessie) and 19th (Dalace) and we have loved having them! Kezia’s back to school Luau at East was on the 20th & Jessie came along, too. We had fun hula-hooping, getting prizes and eating pizza & Tiki Shack. Earlier that day we got to see Zhane for the first time in a few months! And the next day Truly came to say hi, we were so happy to see her! On the 23rd, Dalace & Jessie watched the littles while Heidi & the olders went to see Cinderella at the Tuacahn. It was so much fun! On the 25th, we went out to eat at IHOP and then had a girls night complete with painting nails, doing masks and nose strips, and then watching Princess Diaries. Fun times! On the 27th, Noelle started preschool! Now 4 of our girls are in school - so crazy! On the 28th we (kind of) watched CCCMT’s the Lion King! It was so well done! It was just that no one could watch the little ones, so we brought them with us and they were super tired by intermission, so Heidi, Ireland & the littles missed half of it, but what we saw was awesome! Life has gotten busy with school starting, but Wednesday is by far the craziest day - the middle schoolers have late start, Kezia has early out, and Noelle goes to preschool till 3. It’s nuts!

JASON : Another month, another fire! We’re so thankful for Jason’s sacrifice to go on these fires and have extremely long days and sleep in a tent and breathe in smoke. He is learning a lot and this money will help our family. Daddy is our hero! He flew into Medford, OR and drove down to Hoopa, CA (an indian reservation). He said it was a beautiful drive. He is always good to Marco Polo with us and keep in touch when he can.

HEIDI: Another 2 weeks without her hubby was rough, but with the girls back in school, and Noelle starting preschool, it was nice to have a couple hours to recuperate :) Heidi listened to Harry Potter book 2, and started listening to the Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage.

-McKinley dog sat for the Hillsteads & did a great job!
-McKinley finished this intricate Owl with gel pens & it looks awesome! She even let mom help a little bit.
-McKinley is in 7th grade! This is the first year she has all different teachers, and she is liking it so far. She really is having fun in her career preparation class, and she has friends in lots of different classes. McKinley has real P.E. this year, complete with a locker!
-Since Jessie moved in, McKinley’s cello practicing has skyrocketed! She loves to go downstairs and play with Jessie & Jessie has helped her with her technique. She switched her ¾ cello for a full-sized one, so it’s been fun to see - and HEAR her play her advanced orchestra music.
-McKinley & Kezia are now taking piano from Michelle Willis. She’s different from Jan, but McKinley is learning some theory and doing well.
-McKinley decided she wanted to run for student council. She really debated about which office to run for, but she finally settled on Service Captain. She ended up being the only one that ran for that office, but she did the full deal! She made super-cute posters “Don’t miss your shot to vote for McKinley Hamilton” (from the Hamilton play), and “PAWS what you’re doing and vote for McKinley Hamilton” - with a picture of her and Daizy. We’re so proud of her & know she will do awesome with it!

-Ireland & Sariah decided to spray paint their hair orange! Thankfully it washed out of her hair, but she still had it on her hands and in her scalp for a while!
-Ireland colored a very detailed fox with her gel pens & it look so amazing!
-Ireland is in 6th grade! Middle School! Mom is still wrapping her mind around it :) Ireland has the same teachers McKinley had, with Mrs. Weeks being her core teacher, and Mrs. Johnson & Mr. Atwood as her other teachers. She has  been working so hard and doing great. She decided to try the flute this year and has done well. The only problem is the flute we bought doesn’t work well & keeps having to be fixed :( We’ll have to try & get her a different one!
-Ireland gets to walk to and from school with Mahina & Sariah & McKinley. It’s nice for her to have that time with them, since she doesn’t get to see either of them in her classes.

-Kezi is in 3rd grade this year! She has Mr. Neibar for English and Senor Niles for Spanish. We know Senor Niles from our last ward. She was a little nervous about having boy teachers, but she likes it now :)
-At the East Elementary back-to-school Luau, Kezia & Macie won 3-legged race! Yay! They said they’d been practicing since last year & it really paid off! They were so cute when they won :)
-Kezia finally has an email address! She’s been waiting & waiting & now that she has one, she’s wasted no time in e-mailing family & friends!
-Kezia started piano lessons this month! She rides her bike with McKinley & learns from Michelle Willis. It’s fun to hear her play - she’s already learned a few songs!
-Kezia’s latest entrepreneur idea is selling dog treats. She found a pumpkin dog treat recipe online, did a cookie cutter heart for them, baked them & even put them in cute baggies with a doggie ribbon. She’s sold 4 so far! Great job Kezia!

This month you would have started Kindergarten, our sweet boy. Mom was trying to avoid knowing the exact date, but found out accidentally anyway and she felt like she was struck in the heart :( It was a hard day. How we would have loved dressing you in some new clothes & backpack, taking your picture & walking you to class. Maybe you would have had Mrs. Ekker, like Kezia and Ireland? Maybe you and Caleb Hillstead would have ridden next to each other on the bus? The milestones are hard. You definitely sent us some love notes, though - our forget-me-nots bloomed! And beautiful sunsets. We love you duder-dude, and hope you know how mcuh we miss you.

-Noelle had a lot of fun at the Potts Retreat - she loves playing with Caden & being around the big cousins!
-Noelle had her preschool assessment with Mrs. Shirley before preschool started & she did very well. She knew almost everything that Mrs. Shirley asked her. We just have to work on getting Noelle’s name right every time. At the end of the interview, Mrs. Shirley asked Noelle “are you excited for preshcool to start?” Noelle replied “Maybe.” and then a few seconds later “Maybe usually means no.”
-Despite what she said, she really has enjoyed preschool, especially when her friend Sam Potter gets to go on Tuesdays & Thursdays (Noelle goes 4 days a week). She loves to hear stories, play at the playground, eat snacks, and play with the Pirate Ship and the pterodactyl dinosaur. But her favorite part is the Skittle at the end of the day! :)
-One day mom was putting chicken in the slow cooker. Noelle asked if it was a real chicken. Mom said, yes, it’s a real chicken that we’re going to have for dinner. Noelle asked “But can it still lay eggs?” :)
-For Sam Potter’s birthday, Noelle got to go to his house & paint rocks and then go swimming at the aquatic center with him. Yay!

-Happy 2nd BIRTHDAY OAKLYN!! This year we were at the Brian Head cabin for your birthday, so we got to celebrate with family! Aunt Cindy made ebbelskeevers for your breakfast, we had mac n’ cheese for lunch, then we had corn dogs for dinner! Mom made the cake & Aunt Cindy decorated it with a sun. For your gifts you got color wonder paper & markers, a broom & mop that are just your size!, and a baby that can go potty! You also got a balance bike. Happy birthday our sunshine girl! We love you so much!
-Just as we were packing things up & getting ready to head out to the Potts retreat, Oaklyn comes upstairs with poop all over her. It will forever be known as Oaklyn’s pooptastrophie. She was downstairs when she had a poopie. She must have had a lot of fun becuase it was EVERYWHERE! On the carpet, on the walls, on the furniture, all over herself. UGH! It was awful! Daddy went and bought some onesies right away so we could keep that diaper contained!
-Oaklyn’s hair is getting long enough to put in pig tails! It’s so cute!
-Oaklyn was in heaven at the Potts Retreat! Not only did she have her grandma & grandpa, but she loved GGs dog Petey, and she got to play with her cousin Max too!
- Oaklyn has had a hard time sleeping lately. One night she was crying & mom went to get some ibprofin. When she opened the door,  Oaklyn wasn’t in her bed. She also wasn’t on the floor, then mom looks up and there she is, silently rocking herself in the rocking chair!
-Oaklyn decided to sit on the potty more this month & even went pee & poop a couple times! Great job Oaklyn!
-One day Oaklyn was playing with the letters of our “FAMILY” sign. Somehow, she knocked down just the ride letters so it read FAIL!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

July Newsletter & Slideshow

July 2018
Hamilton Newsletter

FAMILY: At the very beginning of July, Jason got called out on the Pine Valley fire. ­­­­At the time, the girls & mommy were in SLC to spend time with family & friends. So, we came home to an empty house. For the 4th, mommy & the girls headed to Richfield for the day. We saw the parade, played at the park, ate yummy food, did fireworks, watched the Richfield fireworks & came back home. Daddy was gone for 10 days, but he DID get to come back & surprise Ireland for her 11th birthday! He got special permission and surprised her while we were sitting down to eat at the Brick House. What an awesome daddy! The 2nd weekend on July, we headed up north for Parker’s baptism. Kezia even made him an action baptism congrats card 😊 Later that day we had a combined birthday celebration for Ireland & Joshua. Yay! The Worths invited us over for FHE one Monday and we we enjoyed eating and visiting with them 😊 On the 16th, Joseph came to sleep over for a night since he had a job in St. George. It was good to see him – he even took the girls out for ice cream! On the 21st, we went to Kolob Reservoir for the day. No fish were caught, but it was nice to be out of the heat and enjoy the outdoors. Our make-it-Mondays this month included tape/paint canvas creations, funny t-shirts, and plastic pull cards. Taste-it Tuesday: lemon cream puffs, sand pudding, homemade apple pie (from the apples on our tree), pineapple lemonade, and Reeses rice crispy treats.  In addition, we made all kids of apple creations with our apples this year: apple leather (the favorite), apple pie filling, apple sauce, apple juice, apple crisp, and apple pie. Water Wednesday: St. George splash park, playing in the rain (our monsoon season lasted quite a while this year), and playing on the slip & slide and hot tub at the Simons.  For thinking Thursday, we had 2 read-a-thons complete with popcorn and hot cocoa, and a math-a-thon! Forest Friday we went to Hidden Haven (the trail was SO washed out from the fire & the rains!) & the Thunderbird Gardens. We also had a picnic at Link’s bench and Noelle, Ireland & Kezia slept under the stars in the back of daddy’s truck 😊 At the end of the month, mom took each older girl back-to-school shopping! We also got to meet one of our downstairs renters, Dalace and her parents.

JASON : Jason got to go on the West Valley fire at Pine valley for 14 days. He slept in a 1-man tent, worked in a yurt, and had 16-hour days. It was exhausting and we are so thankful for his sacrifice. We were able to replenish our savings from our vehicle expenses that we had to pay for last month. Thank you sweetheart! Jason’s also been busy doing ministering interviews for Elder’s Quarum. At the bookstore in MN, McKinley convinced daddy to buy Eragon. And he’s actually been reading it! πŸ˜‰ But most of his “extra” time has been playing our new Xbox game, Orey.

HEIDI: Heidi has done a few more trail runs & is still enjoying it! She even got a hydration vest to get a bit more “serious” 😊 She’s glad she’s done being a single mom, hopefully for a while. 2 weeks without daddy was draining! But she’s glad it worked out that he could go.  Heidi finished listening to Mere Christianity and it was wonderful.

-McKinley made illustrated cards and homemade tulip bracelets, along with cookies for EVERYONE that went to girls camp! Mom helped her make & deliver them and it was so sweet & she did a great job 😊
-For her make-it-Monday shirt, McKinley’s said “My brain is 95% music lyrics” 😊 It was very colorful and cute!
-McKinley & Noelle got to go to an epic water balloon party at the Bealers! So fun!
-McKinley got to go to a pool party with Emma Beacham, and to the Aquatic Center with Lizzy (and she saw Addison there). Fun times with friends!
-One night mom leaned down to kiss McKinley goodnight & Daizy leaned in and kissed mom instead!
-HAPPY 11th BIRTHDAY Ireland! This birthday was different than other years. Daddy was on a fire and Grandpa Dave was sick, so we only went to Richfield for the day on the 4th, so we weren’t there on Ireland’s birthday. It was still a fun day, though! For breakfast, Ireland chose Crave, for lunch we had sandwiches & for dinner, we went out to eat at the Brick House. We hope it’s a birthday she never forgets, though! Her dad came and stood right by her and she thought he was a stranger and it creeped her out 😊 But she was so happy that he got special permission to come back from the fire just so he could be with her for her birthday. Also on her birthday we went and saw Incredibles 2 and the 3 older girls got to play laser tag! She got a gymnastics mat and a speaker for her birthday. She had an ice cream sandwich cake – yummy! Happy birthday our Ireland!
-Sariah continues to be over almost every day, and they’ve had lots of fun together.
-Ireland got to decorate her own cake with Aunt Cindy at Grandma Potts house. It was green and had a shamrock on it. It was super cute!
-For her make-it-Monday shirt, Ireland’s said “If you can read this, my invisibility cloak isn’t working” 😊 She did really cool block lettering and it looked really cool!
-Ireland, Kezia, Adelaide and Noelle put on a “performance” on the block fence and on Emmy’s trampoline and mom recorded it. It was super-cute!!!
-Ireland was also cute making tiny hamburgers, hot dogs, etc with clay at Grandma’s house.
-One evening, Ireland came in crying. She had falled off the backyard wall and got all scraped up
-On Pioneer Day, Ireland was so sweet to help mom hand-wash and dry all the dishes. Mom loved that time to work alongside one of her favorite people and visit. Maybe our dishwasher should be permanently out of order 😊

-Twice Kezia baked cookies and brought them to neighbors. So sweet! Also, she made “live action” cards for Parker’s baptism and Joshua’s birthday 😊
-For her make-it-Monday shirt, Kezia’s said “I’m a LEADER not a follower. Unless it’s a dark room. Then you’re going first.” 😊 She made it colorful and super-cute!
-Kezia earned a date this month and she got to go to Wingers and then to watch Hotel Transylvania 3.
-When we did the tape/paint canvas craft for make-it-Monday, Kezi was so sweet & made a canvas with a favorite book saying for McKinley & a gymnastics silhouette for Ireland.
-Ireland, Kezia, Adelaide and Noelle put on a “performance” on the block fence and on Emmy’s trampoline and mom recorded it. It was super-cute!!!
-Kezi got to go to Sarah’s birthday party – they had fun making bracelets and decorating cupcakes! Kezia bought her a fun popping toy.
-Kezia made a hat out of cardboard & tape – completely by herself. Then she painted it blue, painted beautiful flowers on it, and put a real crown (that she bought at Walmart) on it. She did this all for a girl she’s never met, but will be our renter, Dalace. Kezi is just so thoughtful!

We loved having our annual picnic at your bench this year. It was a warm day, but we loved feeling close to you and including you in our summer fun.

-One day it was storming and raining really hard. We were driving by some farms and mom asked Noelle what she thought the cows did when it rained. She said “The farmer lets them in his house because they’re scared of the lightening.” When mom said maybe that the farmer’s house wasn’t going to be big enough, Noelle said “Well then, the cows go in their coops.”
-Noelle woke up one morning and told mom all about her dream. She said our whole family was at the church. Our whole family. Then there was a big storm. And she blew away. And Kezia blew away, too.  Noelle said “We didn’t know where to go. The church was far away. From us. Really far away.” And then she talked about how Paige (Kezia’s friend) let her use her car, but they didn’t know how to drive.
-Noelle got to sleep in the back of daddy’s truck one summer night. It was such a nice night. We were all watching the stars and Noelle said “I can’t see the milky shake!” (way)
-McKinley & Noelle got to go to an epic water balloon party at the Bealers! So fun!
-The older girls were watching the littles and playing with a toy ball that talks. It says “I’m a friendly dog and I like it when you pet my head.” Noelle was singing along “I’m a friendly guy and I like it when you cut my head!”
-Our new downstairs renter came to meet us with her parents and the girls were excited. Noelle & Oaklyn were drawing pictures for them while we talked in the living room. Noelle brought one of them to Dalace’s mom and she said “great job- what is this a picture of?” Noelle calmly replied “Satan”
-Noelle told McKinley & Karmiyah “I hate cats! I’m going to growl them out of the world!”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

June Newsletter & Slideshow

June 2018
Hamilton Newsletter

FAMILY: June started in Minnesota! We were so happy to finally be there after such a long drive & ready for fun & adventures 😊 Some fun memories in MN: Grandma, mom & the aunts went for lunch and pedicures, going to “The Works” Childrens Museum where we built cars, played with gears, made castles with huge foam blocks, and had so much fun on a rainy afternoon, Mall of America – 2x. Once for lunch (it was too crowded & Kezi accidentally burned daddy with a pizza slice) and another time for rides. The girls – and Grace – all got to go on 3 rides and we walked around for a while – amazed at American Girl Doll store where they charge $25 to get your doll’s hair done! And Noelle got to meet Dora and Marshall from Paw Patrol! Professional photo shoot in the Checketts backyard, Church with the Checketts – Grandma & Aunt Tiffany bore their beautiful testimonies and it was so wonderful to be there, Park at the Mississippi River – so beautiful!, Duluth – 2.5 hr drive North – fun train ride on an old train where we could open the windows and let the breeze blow our hair, lunch at DQ, walking to a lighthouse & learning about Lake Superior, watching the bridge open (and almost getting caught on it while it did so!) and playing at the beach – we could have spent days there!, Walking to the “Wall of China” with the Checketts – then picnic at the park and watching the Goose & goslings, going to the “Wild Rumpus” bookstore after they picked up Aunt Cindy from the airport – where they each got to pick a book, and having ice cream afterwards. Other memories: Backyard memories! The Checketts have such a fun backyard – lots of grass (something we always miss!), a trampoline, a small pool, a bounce house, and a swing set (daddy even helped Uncle Adam set up a new one!), the kids mostly slept downstairs on blow up mattresses & got to have a couple sleepovers with Maddy down there, too. One night was fun when we were all settling down to sleep when “Enter Sandman” starts blaring on their nice speakers. Pretty soon, Adam comes down with his air guitar and daddy joins in and Maddy is headbanging and it’s a party! Took us a little while to get to sleep after that, but so fun 😊 Adam & Tiffany were so generous and had amazing BBQs with yummy meats and food. Tiffany also had activity bags for each of the girls! Another funny/not funny memory – Oaklyn dumped out almost all of Tiffany’s pure vanilla. Mom had to buy more! Kezi & McKinley were sad to leave early with the Potts, but we ended up meeting up with them in Grand Island, NE because Grandpa ended up having a car problem. It was a LONG driving day the next day, Saturday. 12 hours to SLC, then  having to leave Kezi behind so we could take the truck. We missed her for the 4 days she was with the Potts, then the Devenishs! When we got back, we promptly got into our summer routines – including chores, active time, and our daily summer activities! For make-it-Monday, we made pull-string art, hidden message cards, and shrinky dinks. For taste-it-Tuesday, we made churros, chaco tacos, and frozen lemonade, for Water Wednesday we went to Lake at the Hills, the Gregerson Pool & the Bluffdale splash park. For thinking/thoughtful Thursday we went to the library, did science experiments, and wrote a thank you card, For Forest Friday, we hiked around Navajo Lake (& almost lost Sydney – we’re so thankful we found her!), and Alpine Trail. Other fun June Memories: Father’s Day & Daddy’s birthday (see his section for more details), face painting in the backyard, getting a frame for our swing so we can finally use it on the back porch!, roasting s’mores in the backyard, mom recovered the ugly barstools, Grandpa Potts stayed with us for a few days while he worked at the rental & then Grandma came & we went to the Folk Life festival at the Homestead Museum. It was a lot of fun! Then, the next week we went to stay with them in SLC while mom visited with friends, mom & McKinley went to Studio C, and we got to hang out with cousins! The saddest part of June was when Rainbow Truck died. We had a service for him in the backyard where we shared lots of memories. We will miss him so much! Our AC died, but got fixed!

JASON : Happy Father’s Day & Birthday daddy! He turned 41 this year!! For Father’s Day, he got lots of cards & gifts from his girls, Kezi even made him a tie & he got all the meals he wanted. For his birthday, we decorated his truck with signs like “It’s my BIRTHDAY!” and “Caution! Old Man Driving!” Then we put a bunch of balloons in his truck and sprayed it with silly string 😊 He got his 1-2-3-4 cake and we all enjoyed spoiling him. In MN, Jason enjoyed hanging out with Adam, and the Cheketts. He enjoyed Mt. Rushmore, too. Jason had an overnight meeting in Escalante this month.

HEIDI: Heidi LOVED getting to go see her sister, and she really enjoyed the journey, too! She thought Mt. Rushmore was neat, and was giddy about getting to go to Walnut Grove, MN & see the actual Plum Creek and eat at Nellie’s CafΓ©. She will always remember the beautiful evenings sitting it Tiffany’s backyard, watching the little ones play as the sun was going down. It was such a precious time. She’s had fun with the girls at home all day and doing all our summer activities. Heidi went on her first trail run at the end of the month – Ghost Flats – and is craving more! It was an early morning run and she got to see the sun rise over the mountain. The views and workout were amazing! And Daizy had a great time, too! Heidi also LOVED connecting with friends in SLC- she got to visit with Robyn Matthews, Anna Packard, Gayla Perkins, and the cheerleaders – Kristen, Tina, Heidi, & Rochelle. She also LOVED going to Studio C with McKinley – it was SUCH a blast & she hasn’t laughed that much or had that much fun in a long time. Definitely a highlight of the summer!

-McKinley’s favorite MN memories: Mall of America (she really liked the Airbender ride), she liked Mt. Rushmore & getting to go to the Laura Ingalls Museum.
-When we were in MN, we watched a special broadcast from President Nelson, urging the youth of the church to join the youth battalion, helping to gather Israel on both sides of the veil. It was a special talk with some very specific things he asked the youth to do, including making a sacrifice for 3 weeks, having a social media fast, etc. McKinley has been praying & pondering about how to do her part in this amazing initiative.
-McKinley had the opportunity to go to the Heber Valley girls camp the 18-22nd. It was the first time one of our girls have slept over with non-family and we couldn’t communicate with her either, so we really missed her, but she had such a great time her first year of camp. She loved the missionaries up there, had fun singing the songs, was challenged (but succeeded) in the challenge courses, and felt the spirit in the testimony meeting they had. She loved it & we love that she loved it. She even spoke in church about it on the Sunday following camp & did a great job!
-McKinley was SO excited to go to Studio C! She & grandpa (what a great grandpa!) went at 9am to the broadcasting building to get our tickets. They were the 2nd in line and got to kind of meet Dalton while they were waiting. We got amazing seats – 2nd row – and McKinley & Mom were yelling & screaming so lout we could hardly talk afterwards. Definitely a once in a lifetime event! (our e-mail was picked for tickets out of 10,000!!)
-She got to go to the temple with Addison and hang out for the rest of the day.
-McKinley is having some anxiety already about her upcoming school year

-Ireland’s favorite MN memories: Mall of America and Duluth.
-Maddy still very much is Ireland’s shadow. She loves to be near her constantly and talks to her and asks all sorts of questions. Ireland was very cute with her and is such a great big cousin.
-Maddy had a gymnastics mat and a beam & Ireland had a fun time playing on them!
-One day Ireland went with Mahina to ride bikes on the pathway by Walmart.  It was a very hot afternoon and on the way back, Mahina threw up. Ireland told her to sit down while she got help. She ran all the way to the running store and asked to use their phone. She called mom 3x before she picked up (didn’t recognize the #). Eric went to pick them up. Eric called later that day to say how glad that Ireland is Mahina’s friend and how brave she was to help Mahina. We are so proud of her – she is such a great person & friend!
-In SLC, Ireland got to go to a huge bouncy house place. She had a lot of fun, but also was a great sister. Grandma said she stayed with Oaklyn the whole time & made sure she was safe & having fun.
-Ireland’s friend, Sariah, has been over almost every day!

-Kezia’s favorite MN memories: Seeing cousins, Mall of America, and Lake Superior (she got some sand & rocks while we were there)
-Kezi was so sweet to volunteer to stay behind with Grandma & Grandpa Potts while we went home in the truck (we don’t all fit & the van was in the shop). With Grandma Potts, she made cookies & gave them to their Chinese neighbor, went to the new park by their house, Made crafts, like Father’s Day cards and gifts. At Grandma Devenish’s, Kezi got to hang out with the Reeds a lot, and went to the water park and miniature golfing. She also loved playing with Sophie & Sam (grandma’s dogs). We’re glad she had so much fun, but were sure glad when we got our Kezi back!!
-When we were hiking by Navajo Lake, we couldn’t find Sydney. Kezi said she said a prayer and right afterwards she found her!! Such a blessing. Thank you for your faith Kezi
-When we went to SLC at the end of the month, mom went to meet her friend Anna, and her 2 daughters came, Hailey and Cami. After a bit, Kezi & Hailey really hit it off and had fun exploring and trying to solve the mystery of this group that was there at the park that day. Hailey asked to play with Kezi again and they had a playdate at Hailey’s house. It was fun to see them get along!
-Kezi was determined to have a lemonade sale. She mostly did it by herself – Addie helped a little & so did mom, but she baked the strawberry lemonade bars & made the lemonade by herself & set it up. She was there from about 10am-4pm!! It was a hot day and she was very tired by the end, but so determined! She made $102! (which she shared with her helpers) Way to go Kezi!
-The 25th of June was a hard day for everyone, but most especially for Kezia. She found her loved bunny, Rainbow Truck, had died in his cage. She was very distraught for a long time. Many tears. Mom and dad tried to comfort her the best we could. Daddy suggested we have a service for him, and even made a really nice program. Mom printed out some pictures of Rainbow, and we all shared memories of his life, which were a lot! Rainbow was with us for almost 5 years and we really enjoyed our memories with him. We are certain he is up there with Link and Tundra, hopping everywhere and eating LOTS of carrots and apples!
Our beautiful son and brother… we love you so much. Mommy got a text about a family here in Cedar that lost their baby at almost a year old. Oh, how our hearts go out to them. It is so very, very unimaginably hard.  Mommy enjoyed visiting with Anna, her friend who also lost her son to SIDS. We hope you are up there with her son, Charlie, having fun and encouraging us on this difficult journey. Thank you for always watching over us!!

-Noelle’s favorite MN memories: seeing Grace & Maddy, (she was SO excited to see them & decorated the car on the first day with probably 30 post-it notes to give to them when we got there), going on the train ride and riding the rides at the mall.
-Noelle & Grace got along pretty good, although a lot of the time they did their own thing. One night, though, we let them sleep in the same room. HAHA! They didn’t get to bed till after 10 and woke up at like 5:30am! Crazy girls!
-One time we opened the car door on a hot day and Noelle exclaimed “It’s freezing hot in here!”
-Noelle is OBSESSED with worm hunting! In MN, she begged & BEGGED her daddy to take her every single night. Finally he did, but they weren’t lucky that night Still, she wrote on her father’s day card that she LOVES going worm hunting – so they can go fish hunting 😊
-When Noelle noticed that Kezi wasn’t with us when we got home,  she was very concerned. We told her she was with Grandma Potts still. She exclaimed “Well, what are they going to do send her in the MAILBOX!??!!”
-One evening Noelle went outside while mom & dad were rocking on the front porch. It was way past her bedtime & mom kept telling her to go back inside. She wasn’t interested & kept walking around. She was rocking mom on the rocking chair when her toes got to close & mom rocked right over her big toe She cried & cried & cried for probably an hour before she could go to sleep. It was so sad & we thought she might have broken her toe, but in the end she just lost her toenail.
-One night we were watching a movie for movie night, and it was kind of a sad part & the main character said “Guess what?” and Noelle shouts “CHICKEN BUTT!” Good thing we weren’t in a real theater!
-Noelle cried when Rainbow Truck died, she was very sad, and she felt guilty & thought it was her fault that he died. We assured her that it wasn’t & gave her lots of loves. She will sure miss him, too. Some interesting things she said:
              “Mom, how is Kezia going to play with her bunny Rainbow Truck when he’s DEAD!?”
              “Here Kezi, I found this (cilantro). Give it to Rainbow Truck when he stops being dead.”
              “Mom, Rainbow Truck likes to eat green things! …. Except when he’s dead.”

- Max & Oaklyn got along pretty well for 2 almost 2 year olds! Max was always trying to hug Oaklyn, which was so cute – mommy really had to watch Oaklyn around the pool, she kept trying to climb in, but was also pretty contented to take their little watering can & repeatedly fill it with water, then dump it out. Fill and dump. Fill and dump. 😊 She was SUCH a champ on this trip! She didn’t cry at all on the trip, slept every night in every pack & play and just did SO great! We are so thankful for this girl!
-Oaklyn has had many doors open to her this month – LITERALLY! She has learned how to open every door – even the front door! One time mom found her in the middle of the road! We are trying to keep them locked now. Also, the fridge. Water messes. Every day. Also, she has learned how to climb out of her crib & naptime and bedtime have been rough to say the least! Finally mom put the white thing over the knob to keep her in her room and it’s worked…. So far. This girl has been saying she’s 2 for months now & now she’s acting like it!
-Some of Oaklyn’s frequent words: “NO!” “WHY?” “YOU’RE WELCOME!”
-Mom was grocery shopping with all the girls and we were almost done when Oaklyn puked. All over the floor and herself. We tried to clean up the floor the best we could, but it was pretty nasty. That’s the 2nd time she’s puked in the grocery cart!
-Oaklyn has also learned stools. She LOVES to take a stool to the kitchen sink, turn on the water, and play there for hours! It’s usually worth it so mom can get stuff done – especially dinner – but she and the ground are sure wet once they are through!
-If you say “COPY GAME!” Oaklyn will do the actions and you copy her and she LAUGHS and loves it so much 😊

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

May Newsletter & Slideshow

May 2018
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY: Yay for May!! It’s pretty hectic with all the girls’ assemblies, assignments, tests, field trips, and end-of-year wrap up stuff (see their sections for more details), but summer is so close we can taste it – and we’re SO excited! One sad part of May, though, was having to say good-bye to our downstairs renters, Truly & Zhane. We really love them & will miss then & hope they will always see us as family.  Saturday the 5th we went to see Kezia’s soccer game, got some Tiki Shack and a pizza & had a picnic at the Main Street Park, did some yard work and had a movie night. The 12th was a busy Saturday. That morning was the annual Share Walk and mom helped out more this year, going early to help set up. It was chilly, as usual, but neat and we’re glad we could be there to wear our Share shirts and remember our Link. After the walk, we headed over to Bicentennial Park to watch Jason coach Kezia’s last game. They won! And had a great season. The 12th was also Heidi & Jason’s 18th year anniversary, so they went to a temple session, and then out to eat at the Lighthouse. It was good food, though the service was slow. The 13th was Mother’s Day & mom got spoiled with everyone’s gifts. She wanted to spend the evening at the cemetery and we enjoyed walking around for a while & finding the oldest marker (1796!). Daddy fixed an amazing meal that night with marinated pork chops and loaded mashed potatoes. On the 18th, the Vogts invited us to the open house of their brand new church – the Sonrise Church. It was a beautiful building and we enjoyed worshipping with them that evening. It was a new experience and the girls learned a lot and enjoyed meeting new people. The 19th we spent time mouse-proofing our home (they are still trying to take up residence here), and get our water lines working (Daizy chewed them all up). We are so proud of all our girls and how hard they’ve worked in school this year – and we are excited for a summer of traveling & fun! The 23rd was the girls’ last day of school & they were so excited! It was also Camri’s graduation from HS, so we went down to St. George to celebrate her special day. On the 24th, Heidi & Kezi both got cute summer haircuts – yay! On the 26th, we headed to Mapleton. In waves.We had intended to take the van to Mapleton and then on to Minnesota, but there were issues getting the timing belt replaced, and the mechanic called us to tell us the bad news. So, we had to go to plan B – Heidi took the shuttle up to Springville where Grandpa picked her up and took her to Mapleton while Jason took the girls in the truck. Mapleton was good – we were tight in the tent with a cot and a pack & play, but it worked out well, and although it rained a bit, we stayed dry. It was great to visit with family. Monday we went to the Potts, got cleaned up and packed up and Tuesday morning we headed out for our grand adventure to Minnesota, us driving the Potts’ red car and them driving their silver car with Kezi & McKinley. The drive to MN was really great – the first day we stopped in Martins Cove for a couple hours, then on to our hotel in Casper WY, which was very fancy and had a great pool for littles. Also great breakfast! The next day we went to see Mount Rushmore! It was neat and we got to have lunch there and yummy ice cream. That night’s hotel wasn’t fancy but the view of the Missouri River was gorgeous! (funny story – there were water buckets above the pool and daddy turned them on, dumping all kinds of stale water and bugs into the pool with the girls) 😊 The third travel day we stopped for few hours in Walnut Grove, MN & got to eat at Nellie’s CafΓ© and go to the Laura Ingalls museum. Very very neat!! Heidi was in heaven. We got to the Checketts about 6pm and were greeted with hugs and kisses, yummy bbq, big hugs, treats bags for the girls, and yummy treats for the adults. We were SO happy to finally be there!

JASON : Jason had a great time coaching Kezia’s soccer team and they really loved him. They gave him a huge bag of Swedish Fish and signed a poster for him. He even threw them an end-of-year party at the bowling alley (one of the girls’ grandparents own it) and brought pizza, soda & ice cream for them. Heidi & Jason went to the Barn for the coach appreciation dinner & even won a shirt and a Subway gift card. It was fun to go, eat, visit and watch a slideshow of the soccer season. Jason also spent a good deal of time the past couple months with the contractors who are building a housing unit behind our SUU rental unit. He wanted to make sure it was all fair considering we were basically giving up our water shares to the canal water. They ended up agreeing to install a full sprinkler system at our rental, as well as put up a fence. One Thursday morning, Heidi surprised Jason by showing up at his work. Diane had the littles, so Heidi & Jason got a mini bonus date at Tropical Smoothie CafΓ© – and home. It was awesome J

HEIDI: Heidi is almost done with the 8-week challenge and hasn’t lost any weight J But feels healthy and continues to work on important goals, she’s almost done transcribing Grandpa Tew’s history. She also spent a good deal of time putting together an anniversary book. She only got to year 8, but it was so fun to see the pictures of our anniversary vacations and read old journals. She also made the banner for the Share Walk and she’s excited about the beginning of hiking season & has already done a couple hikes – the Red Hill and the East Canyon Trail. The flowers are so beautiful right now. Speaking of flowers, she did pick out her barrel flowers at  Ladybug Nursery and is excited about them – Lavender, Daisys, and Snowtopia Bacopa white trailing flowers. She also got some hanging flowers for our back patio and they all make her smile!! One frustrating, yet miraculous thing this month: Daizy chewed up one of Heidi’s new Chaco sandals’ straps. Heidi contacted Chaco, and ended up talking to multiple people, finally concluding that they would pay shipping, but we would have to pay $37 to have both Chacos fixed because they didn’t have the same webbing design. She was frustrated & posted about it, and someone dropped off a card at our home with $37 in cash with a card that said “for your Chacos” – amazing!! Heidi got pulled over this month for going 8 over, just a warning, thankfully!

-McKinley continued this month to put in long hours working on homework (some nights till midnight), missing temple trips, time with friends, and other fun things so she could finish up. Of course, she did amazing at got anther 4.0. We’re proud of your hard work McKinley!
-at the beginning of the month, McKinley put together a temple group, inviting everyone in her Sunday School class. Unfortunately only a couple could come, but we are so proud of her leadership and inclusion gifts. She is such a loving person.
-On May 8th, McKinley had her last Orchestra performance for intermediate orchestra (she made it to advanced orchestra next year!) and she did so well. It was fun to see her perform and Grandma & Grandpa Devenish came to watch, too J
-She did a book report for Time Jumpers  - doing an encyclopedia for each letter of the alphabet. It was fun to help her and she did a great job illustrating!
-McKinley got to go on a field trip to Veyo – she swam with her friends and looked for crawdads. She had a blast! The only bummer was that her bus broke down on the way back & they had to wait for another bus to pick them up.
-On the 11th, Jacie & Irene hosted a get-together at their house & invited McKinley. They all made slime and watched Greatest Showman, and played games.
-McKinley has been thinking about possibly joining Suzuki & focusing on cello instead of piano.
-At the end of the school year McKinley came home with her book of schoolwork. One of the last activities they did was passing around a paper where you wrote something you liked about that person. Here are a few things people wrote about McKinley: “you inspire me to work harder.” “You never give up.” “You are very smart” “You are a great friend” “”You are hilarious and make everyone smile.” But the most common sentiment was how KIND McKinley is. It makes us SO proud as parents to read these comments. More proud that any 4.0 she could ever get. We are so proud of her and so thankful for her amazing example at home and at school.
-McKinley had her second babysitting gig (though she did it for free) watching Sam Potter while his parents had a date.

-The 7th was Ireland’s last STEAM night at North Elementary! It was fun to go there as a family and watch her sing and see all her artwork. Mom and dad let everyone have a dollar and pick something from the bake sale, and afterwards we made marshmallow bridges to test against an earthquake and played outside on their awesome playground. We’re going to miss coming to North Elementary and supporting our Polar Bears!
-Ireland was SO cute with the koala bear grandma & grandpa Potts gave her after they went to Australia. She made a full house for the Koala out of paper, cardboard and other items. There was a bed, a couch, a table and chairs. It was so cute!
-Ireland went on a bunch of fun field trips, including watching a movie, going bowling, and going swimming (twice!)  She’s had a lot of fun enjoying this last month of school with less schoolwork and more fun.
-Ireland got her middle school schedule – she has the exact same one as McKinley did this year! Mom & dad weren’t sure about having Mrs. Weeks again. We’re still praying about it, but right now it’s looking like she’ll give it a try. Sariah Bailey and Jenna Davies in our ward have her, too, so that’s good!
-We are so proud of Ireland! She was one of 4 students in her school to win the DARE essay contest. She got a medal and a gift certificate to Wal-mart. Great job Ireland!
-Ireland’s teacher, Mrs. Robyn Brown, sent a letter in the mail for us regarding Ireland. It talked about what a great student Ireland is and how she has loved having her in class. She said “Ireland is positive, hard working and caring towards the other students. Ireland is always on task and completes her assignments with ease. I am so happy to get to be her teacher.” We are SO proud to be Ireland’s parents and will also miss Mrs. Brown –she’s such an amazing teacher. Great job Ireland!
-On the 25th, Ireland got to go to a unicorn party at Mahina’s house – she made unicorn magnets, slime, and other fun crafts!
-Ireland got to hang out with a new girl in our ward, Sariah. They had a lot of fun!

-Kezia is sad soccer is over, she wrote her dad a special thank-you note for being her coach. She did great this season – especially with being one of the younger girls and playing on a bigger field. She learned a lot, had fun, and made memories with her dad. Great job Kezi!
-Kezia REALLY spoiled mom this year for Mother’s Day, giving her about 20 different gifts, including beautiful artwork, poems, cards, flowers, and treats. Thank you Kezi!
-Kezi got to have a soccer team end-of-season party at the bowling alley – her daddy even let her play on the arcade machines and win some prizes.
-Kezia did awesome in 2nd grade! She has surpassed all her DIBELS test scores and is amazing. We are so proud of our Kezia!
-Kezi looks SO cute with her new summer haircut!

In the electronic newspaper about the Share Walk, your beautiful new poster was front and center in one of the pictures. It made our hearts so happy to share your story with others. We love you SO much! Thank you for the ladybug that we got to hold and the beautiful flowers and hummingbirds and thank you for being in the temple with us. We love & miss you every day!

-Mom was getting dressed one morning in her closet and Noelle came in and contemplated for a minute before asking “Why do you put those pumper on you?” – she was pointing at her bra J
-Noelle always wants to be the first one up in the morning (yet another reason she’s our sunrise girl). She will ask mom immediately upon waking, “was I the first one awake?” if Oaklyn beat her to the punch, apparently it’s already a sad day.
-One Saturday Noelle was standing by mom as she opened one of the doggie doors. It slipped from mom’s hadn & landed directly on the side of Noelle’s foot L Oh, how she screamed. It immediately swelled up like a golf ball & she had to wear flip flops for a few days. After the swelling went down, it turned into a huge bruise. Poor girl.
-We went to McKinley’s orchestra performance this month. By the end, Oaklyn had to go out, so mom took her outside. Noelle tagged along & they played in the small puddle outside the door. Mom went back in to take some pictures & when she came back out, Ireland who was watching them, exclaimed – in her most mortified tone – that Noelle had apparently decided she needed to go potty, and dropped her skirt and peed right there in the puddle as everyone was exiting the building J
-Noelle has been doing so well with her tricycle, but she isn’t good at staying to one side of the street. One time she was riding in the middle of the road & mom was on the other side when a vehicle came. Mom was shouting at her to hurry, and Noelle rode over to her and exclaimed “Well, that worked! I didn’t die!”
-One day Noelle’s stuffed frog must have been EXTRA bad, because Noelle told mommy “This frog was being bad so I’m having the Lamanites come to get him.”
-Noelle is doing so well with swinging!! She usually just needs one big push to start and she’s off!
-One day we were hiking & Noelle was coming down a pretty steep part. Mom told her to go slow & be careful. Noelle yelled “It’s okay mom! God will protect me!”
-Instead of saying “am not,” Noelle says “No I am’t mom!”
-Noelle still loves playing with friends, and usually has playdates at least 3 times a week. Usually Sam Potter, Kaitlin Bealer, Caleb Hillstead, or James Petersen.
-We found out this month that Noelle got into South Preschool next year with a grant – what a blessing! – and she’ll go 4 days a week in the afternoon.
-One day mom found Oaklyn in the bathroom. Dipping a comb in the toilet. Which had pee in it. And combing her hair with it.
-Oaklyn likes to sweep and mop!
-Oaklyn LOVES yogurt! We have yogurt almost every day. Mom has to really watch her or she’ll make a big mess. One day mom turned around and there she was, dipping her hands in the yogurt and “washing” her hair with it!
-One day mom saw Oaklyn in the pantry (uh-oh), but she had just found a matchbox car & put it in the mopping basket and was pushing down on the handle so it would spin around and around. It was so cute
-Oaklyn loves mommy’s hydroflask. She’ll take a good, long sip, and then say “Mommy’s turn!” Good thing she got her very own Hydroflask this month – red!
-Oaklyn loves playing outside in the front yard with the ride-on toys, but she really needs shoes. One day mom saw her toes and they were all bloody from her dragging them on the concrete – but she didn’t cry or anything!
-Oaklyn often says “look mom!” or “watch mom!” – she likes to show off her pictures or her hanging on things skills.
-Some more of Oaklyn’s regular sayings “why?” and “no!”
-Oaklyn is learning how to ask for help. She says “help mom!”
-Oaklyn’s 2-year-old molars are coming in and she has had a hard time sleeping at night
-Oaklyn is so cute with her prayers! She is really getting it now & repeating words & saying her own & still loves to say AMEN at the end!

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!