Thursday, June 6, 2019

May Newsletter & Slideshow

May 2019
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY:WE SURVIVED MAY!! Really, there were moments when we wondered! (huge projects, concerts, field trips, etc) But YES, we are on the other side & SUMMER is here! :) On the 4th, Kezi had a soccer game, and it was the annual Share Walk. It was a beautiful morning, mom helped with the walk, and the olders helped run their bake sale. In the evening, mom & dad got to have a nice dinner for their 19th wedding anniversary at their favorite italian place. Mother’s Day was wonderful & mom enjoyed her time with her treasures & sweetheart.  The 18th was Truly & Levi’s wedding & it was just beautiful! Heidi got to be Truly’s escort for her endowment and on her wedding day. It was amazing! They also asked Jason to do the ring ceremony in the evening before their reception started, and he did a wonderful job. It had been cold & rainy, but the day of their wedding was beautiful and they were beautiful & we’re so happy for them! It was a long day, but the girls helped a lot and now they’re living in our SUU rental, so we get to see them :) The 22nd was the LAST DAY of school for the girls! Hooray! That day we headed up to SLC, stayed with Trisha that night, and headed to see Tiarra’s graduation at 9am the next morning. Then, her luncheon that afternoon. We made a crown and rings out of dollar bills for her, and we’re excited to see what the future brings for her! After the luncheon, we gathered our things from Trisha’s & headed to Richfield. We stayed with Grandma & went to Payson’s graduation the next day. We gave Payson a pizza box with “You can’t live on pizza alone, so here’s some dough” on the lid along with a bunch of dollar bills looking like a pizza. He also had a luncheon where we enjoyed visiting with Payson & family. The next day, we headed to Mapleton. We had to get a new tent because we couldn't find poles from our old tent and it was pretty much on it’s last leg anyway, so we set our our new quick set-up 9-person tent & enjoyed our moments with family. It was strange not having grandma & grandpa here this year! But we got to play with the Simons and the Tews and enjoyed eating yummy food, going for a hike, roasting s’mores and being together. The weather wasn’t too bad, either. We had quite a bit of rain on the last night, but our tent held up nicely :) After Mapleton, we drove to Vernal & checked into the Quality Inn where we had fun swimming & watching Disney Channel. Then to McDonald’s & Cafe Rio before bedtime. The next day was Jason’s Aunt LuRae’s funeral. It was good to see so many family members we hadn’t seen in so long! And remember sweet Aunt LuRae. It was a long drive home, but we made it & were thankful to sleep in our own beds after a week of being gone. After that, our summer really got started - extra chores (our home is so much cleaner!), but also lots of fun. We’ve already done churros and the library and drawing and a hike (the red hill). We are doing 2 reward programs this summer - teamwork tickets (for when they help out - to use in a fall store), and puff balls (to try & earn a Lagoon trip). So far they are working well & we’re excited to see how many they’ll get. It’s been a cold, wet month. We didn’t turn on the water or air conditioner at all this month!  The saddest part of this month was saying good-bye to our Sydney dog. She was really struggling while we were gone & she was ready to go. It was hard to say good-bye, but 16 years is a good long life for a dog and we loved our time with her.

JASON : Jason loved getting to see so much family & be back in Vernal, we haven’t been for probably 8 years or so. We hope it’s not that long till we can go again.

HEIDI: Heidi was feeling pretty overwhelmed at the beginning of the month - helping with the Young Women’s dinner while Jason was a lot of work ,and she also helped a lot with this years’ Share Walk, they added her to the Share board & are thinking about doing a 5k next year, so she’ll be involved in that. Both of these, along with helping the girls with all their end-of-school-year projects and assignments was stress inducing!  but even though we didn’t get to rest until a week or so after school let out with all the traveling, she’s SO glad that summer is finally here & intends to make the best use of the time with trail running, hiking, outside yoga, and just being outside with the kids :) Heidi really loved getting to be Truly’s escort for her endowments and wedding. It was TRULY ;) a privilege & honor. Heidi finished the book “Before we were Yours” which was horrifying, heartbreaking, and inspiring all at once. She also read Peter Pan, which she LOVED!

-McKinley was sick for a couple days in April & it seemed to throw everything off with her homework, and then the RISE testing started and they were pulling her out of classes for that and she was having SO much homework. Finally, we decided to pull her out of the RISE testing at the end because it was testing or grades and she chose grades. She did end up pulling a 4.0 for her whole 7th grade year - she got a plaque for that and also a trophy for math! Way to go McKinley!
-McKinley had lots of fun things the last weeks of school, too, including going to the movies & to the bowling alley!
-McKinley also went on a field trip to SUU to be a “college student for a day” - her favorite class - Chemistry!
-McKinley’s final orchestra concert for 7th grade was wonderful!
-McKinley got her schedule for 8th & was excited to get tutoring, but sad not to get teacher aide. She got journalism, which wasn’t on her list at all, so we’re hoping to change that!
-McKinley had a lot of fun at Mapleton with her cousins. She went for a long hike up to the snow with Michael, Tucker & Talon. And had a couple long games of Phase 10, too :)

-We’re SO proud of Ireland - she finished all her huge projects this year, including becoming a “Queen” for her Quest medieval project, which included being able to watch a movie with popcorn, soda & candy. She also finished her ABC book report for Michael Vey, Battle of the Ampire (and got 100%), and also did her Switzerland country report. She got a 4.0 last quarter!
-Ireland had LOTS of fun end-of-school-year activities, including going to the movies, swimming in Veyo, swimming at the Aquatic Center, and Field day. So much fun!
-Ireland did terrific on her last concert for band - they have improved so much since the beginning of the year!
-We got some new flute music for Ireland to keep practicing this summer!
-Ireland has been reading Michael Vey and listening to Harry Potter this month.

-Kezia is done with 3rd grade! Yay! She was sad, though, and is going to miss her teachers. She bought them candy and an American flag. She also wrote them very sweet letters.
-Kezia got LOTS of pesos this year from Senor Niles and was able to “buy” a jewelry dresser at the end of the year! And a toy and a lot of candy.
-It was cold & rainy, but Kezia still had fun at her 3rd grade field day, hula-hooping, basketball, bean-bag tossing, disc-throwing, batting caging, and 50 & 100-yard-dashing :)
-This was Kezia’s first year taking RISE testing, and she thought it was Meh. She liked the Math portion, though & felt she did good overall.
-Kezia got to be a lunch worker this month! She didn’t like her job (stacking trays), but she made it fun by saying to everyone that gave her their tray “Thank you for shopping at Wal-mart!”
-Kezia had her last soccer game on the 11th! They did great & Kezi scored some goals this month! She will miss her classmates/teammates and friends. When it was our turn to bring treats, Kezi was cute and tied them all up with ribbon!
-Kezia went to a birthday party at Del Taco this month for Amy. She had a lot of fun & got lots of Mexican candy!

We always love remembering you & sharing your story at the Share walk every year, our sweet Link. This month we saw one of the brightest rainbows we’ve EVER seen! It was almost too bright to look at! We are so thankful for these sweet love notes.

-Noelle had a field trip at the farm! She got to hold a lamb, see puppies, horses and cows! It was going to be chilly that day & Noelle’s teacher reminded them to wear a jacket & no sandals. Noelle kept reminding mom, but apparently that wasn’t enough because she told Alexa to remind us, too :)
-At preschool, Noelle made a shrinky dink of her hand and was SO excited to give it to mom for Mother’s Day. She even put it in a bag decorated with all kinds of dinosaur, flower & sparkly star stickers. She couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks :)
-Noelle finished preschool this month & her graduation was SO so cute! She sang the cutest songs & smiled so big. Jason was able to come from work and watch her & she even had a cap and awesome sunglasses. She is missing her teacher & friends, but is also loving all the time with her sisters at home, too :)
-Noelle went to James Petersen’s 5th birthday party this month and had a lot of fun. Mommy stayed to help & it was fun to watch her interact with all the boys. She didn’t like it when they didn’t let her be the boss ;)
-Noelle was apparently fascinated with sticks and she decided to see what would happen if she stuck one in our mailbox key slot. She admitted to what she’d done, and mom & dad both tried to get the tiny stick fibers out, but in the end they just got shoved in more and we had to end up paying $40 and waiting 2 weeks to get the lock changed :(
-One rare day, the littles and mom were just hanging out in mom’s room, sitting on the bed, listening to the rain & watching the wind blow the trees. Mom decided to have Alexa tell a story & she told a long story about King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the round table. Later on, mom asked her what the story was about to see if she rememberd, and she said it was about the Lamanites :) (Laman-KNIGHTS)? :)
-At Aunt LuRae’s funeral luncheon, we were waiting in line for food & passed by cookies. Noelle liked a few & put them back!
-Noelle started swimming lessons at SUU this month - she is having a lot of fun! There’s even a girl in her class named Kezia

-At McKinley’s orchestra concert, Oaklyn saw someone carrying a violin & said “mom - look at that little cello!”
-Oaklyn is happy to have her sisters home so much & mom is happy that her sisters can watch her while she runs errands or takes Noelle to her swimming lessons.
-Oaklyn still alternates between sleeping on the bed and sleeping on the floor, with the former being the preference lately. We don’t really care where she sleeps, but it is hard when she wakes in the middle of the night & wants us to help her move locations!
-Oaklyn REALLY hates it when Noelle gets ready for swimming lessons & she doesn’t get to go. The minute Noelle gets in her swim suit, Oaklyn gets in hers and we’ve had to resort to letting her “swim” in the bathtub a lot.
-Oaklyn calls the nose your BOOP a lot. She will point to your nose & say “that’s your boop!” One time at church she loudly said “I touched your boop!” But boop sounded like another word :)
-It FINALLY got warm enough to put our new hard tub in the backyard and now EVERY day after breakfast, Oaklyn runs outside, strips naked, and jumps in her little pool. Uncle Burton asked mom if Oaklyn’s Zodiak sign was one with water because she kept pushing the button on the water jugs, and mom is thinking it must be because she does LOVE water!
-When we were staying at Aunt Trisha’s, mom laid down with Oaklyn in bed, thinking she’d fall right asleep. Boy was mom wrong. Oaklyn stayed up and talked, and talked and TALKED! It would have been adorable if she wasn’t supposed to be asleep! One time she kept saying I love you, I love you! Mom said she loved her too. Oaklyn replied “Stop talking! Go to sleep!”
-Oaklyn has been having more playdates with Charlotte Price this month. It’s SO cute to see them together. It’s like they were best friends in the pre-mortal world. They sometimes fight, but they hug a LOT and talk about each other. It’s so cute!

Monday, May 13, 2019

April Newsletter & Slideshow

April 2019
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY:APRIL! What a month! The 1st was April Fools & miss Kezia was up to her old tricks! See her section for more details :) The 6th was a Saturday & the girls had fun swimming at the Aquatic Center & having a s’more roast with friends that night. The 8th was Noelle’s birthday and she is a WHOLE HAND now! Happy #5 Noelle! We left for our big Spring Break Oregon trip on the 12th! Here are some memorable moments: LONG driving - 8-9 hour days. The girls did really good for the most part! We called our van the “Germ-mobile.” There was a symphony of coughing and sneezing, with about 5 of us sick. Mom had the chills and was achy & pretty out of it the first day of driving &  Noelle especially was hacking stuff up & spitting it out all over :(  Driving by the Great Salt Lake & salt flats - it was fun to see that people had put “sharks” & “crocodiles” in the salt flats by the road. Stopping by a beautiful lake by Mt. Shasta for a picnic lunch, skipping rocks, Kezia catching a pretty lizard that let her hold it, and Daizy catching ticks :( We had to stop by the PetCo in Grant’s Pass (where Olaf Potts was born) to buy tick removal items. Stopping in Myrtle Point for dinner at the Kozy Kitchen Cafe, having the locals tell us not to take the route we planned because the road was washed out from all the rain. Saying a prayer, driving the windy back roads by the Coquille River, in the foggy darkness, listening to John Bytheway CDs as we try and find Bandon & our cabin. Cabin was great - 5 beds in the loft - 1 for each girl, and no fighting! Hearing ocean from the front yard. Beach days - Whisky Run beach - dogs in heaven running on beach, finding LOTS of cool rocks & shells, sandcastles, yellow flowers, finding crabs, dad wandering off on his ocean walks & mom not being able to yell to him. People panning for gold where the river met the ocean. First 2 days rainy. Myrtle point - HUGE waves, seeing surfers & seals. Roasting hot dogs & s’mores. McKinley & Kezi get in the ocean in the rain. Tried to get Daizy in. Seals showed up to play. We threw balls to them, but they just floated away. Couldn’t find Sydney late one night, Jason & McKinley drove to find her, said a prayer, both felt prompted to come back & they found her. So thankful - miracle! Movie nights - popcorn, licorice, candy - watching Sabrina, spy kids, bugs life, League of their Own, Kids baking show. Cabin carpet - looks like hardwood, but was carpet. Day at Redwoods - gorgeous drive along the coast, HUGE trees, fun hike,  couldn’t find a DQ so we waited to eat till 9pm in Bandon.  Ocean day - mom got in, girls mad that she was in so deep. Coquille Point - magical! Tidepooling, finding hermit crabs, shishy barnacles, and starfish! Watching the waves crash into the arch in the rock, beautiful views from the top. Staying up late one night, turning on mom’s phone flashlight & seeing which rock were transparent. It was so cool! Bandon Creamery - ice cream cones - yum! Ireland tummy hurt on last day :( Shopping in Bandon - Cranberry sweets (yummm!), daddy gets seafood from the crab shack, Washed ashore art exhibit where we helped put together some things for their next art project. Saying good-bye to the ocean, Kezi finds a full sand dollar! Left at 6am to get to our hotel in Hawthorne, NV only to find the pool was closed :(  Overall, though, even with the sickness and a few disappointments, our spring break was a HUGE success! We LOVED exploring the Oregon coast and spending time as a family. Sunday, April 21st, was Easter (late this year!). In the morning, we did all the resurrection eggs and learned about the last part of Jesus’ life. We all got matching dresses. Sadly, daddy had caught something from our “germ-mobile” and stayed home with a couple more sickies, but we did have a great egg hung and the Easter bunny brought them all books, candy, flip flops, and art supplies :) We’ve been having Jaden over for Sunday dinners when we can. Jaden is a man who is homeless, Jason has helped him find a job and get him back on his feet. Oaklyn is cute with him & likes to have him read her books and cuddle with him.

JASON : Jason was at the Redwoods last year on a fire, so it was nice to have his knowledge with what trails to try. Jason loved to take long walks on the beach :) And enjoyed eating the fresh seafood and the Cranberry Sweet candy - he even tried the ghost pepper chocolate! Jason finally (we’ve had it since December) started using his Galaxy s7 this month & he’s enjoyed it. The girls have enjoyed it, too, since it takes pictures with all the silly stickers. It’s nice we can video call, too.  He was sick at the end of the month, but got some antibiotics that helped him knock it out before he had his fire training in Denver the last week of April.

HEIDI: Heidi has ALWAYS loved the Northwest and has wanted to visit the Oregon coast. It was such a heavenly time. All the green, the moss, the ocean… she was looking up real estate by the end :) Heidi was very busy with the SUU rental this month - getting the DS apt painted, finding new student renters for the basement, and dealing with drama with the upstairs renters (breaking their lease & not wanting to pay). Also, dealing with huge homework projects for the girls, the stress of doing the publicity for the Share walk as well as the Young Women’s fundraiser dinner wanted to make her run back to Oregon :) But, she was not oblivious to all the blessings that overshadow the stressings. Spring has been GORGEOUS this year! All the moisture of the winter has just made all the colors pop and the smells are amazing! She has loved to get out for a run or walk most days of the week!

-McKinley was sick for 2 days before spring break, and we took a day off to drive, so she missed 3 days that week, and you’d think it was a month with all the catch-up work she had to do when she got back! Poor girl, she worked hard to bring back up her grades!
-McKinley loved the ocean and was not afraid to get in, even when it was raining! It was so fun to see her swim with the seals! It’s amazing how zoned out she can be while driving, though - just like her dad. She sat & stared out the window for hour after hour with zero entertainment.
-McKinley is all signed up for Oakrest in July - and Addison gets to be her roommate! Hooray!
-McKinley’s orchestra was in a competition at the Heritage Theater & they got all superiors! Way to go!
-McKinley & mom got to go to a devotional the the SUU Center with Elder Ballard speaking. It was inspirational, and actually pretty humorous, too (who knew Elder Ballard told so many jokes?)
-McKinley has been spending lots of Fridays & Saturdays with Micaela and Karmiyah. They hole up in McKinley’s room and laugh a lot :) They have candy code names for their crushes (Skittles, snickers, etc)

-Ireland got 100% on her Europe geography quiz - way to go girl!
-She got to go to Raquel’s birthday party before she moved and they got Pizza Cart & pedicures!
-At 9pm one night, Ireland informed mom that she had to dress up for a Renaissance Fair the next day & it was part of her grade! We scrambled to find a costume (used an old Halloween one) and the next day she woke up at 4:30am (!) to shower and make sure her hair was right :)
-Ireland has had 3 HUGE end-of-year projects that she’s had to work on, a country report (she did Switzerland - someone else took Ireland. We made Zopf bread and Swiss stickers), the QUEST Medieval project (150 points to be a queen - she colored elaborate dresses, hand-tailored a dress to a soda bottle, and stayed up till midnight making a castle out of popsicle sticks), and an ABC book report. She has been begging mom to pull her out of the last part of school, she’s been so overwhelmed. We’ll all be so glad next month when it’s done! 
-Ireland made it to the next level in gymnastics! Way to go Ireland! For next year, we are asking her to commit to working on her skills more at home as well as the gym.

-We have all learned NOT to trust Kezia on April 1st! This year her antics included making “orange julius” for her little sisters (which was actually a mac n cheese packet with water), she covered the mouse sensor with paper, put a party popper over mom’s door, glued a quarter to the sidewalk at her school, and had fake poop in the hallway!
-When we were walking to the store, Oaklyn asked Kezia to hold her hand. And she loves to say “My Kezia!” so cute.
-For activity days, they had an etiquette luncheon. She and Addie Price dressed to the nines and had so much fun! The next day, Kezi put her new etiquette skills to use and set a fancy dinner for us at the table!
-One of the reasons Kezi was sad about not going to North Elementary with her sisters is that they didn’t have the Watchdog program at East, but she got her wish this year & daddy got to be a watchdog at the beginning of the month! She was so excited!
-Kezia continues to be busy with soccer this year - she has been an awesome goalie and made 2 goals as well! Go pink tigers!

We love you Link! Thank you for always watching over us and keeping us connected. We sure missed you on our Spring Break trip, you would have LOVED the ocean!

-HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY NOELLE! We can hardly believe she is a WHOLE hand now! She had a fun birthday - mom & dad got her a metal detector, binoculars, a star glow pillow, and a toy volcano. McKinley got her a huge marble maze that she’s had tons of fun with! Ireland got her starburst. Kezia got her a handmade dinosaur journal and skittles and grandmas & grandpas got her money to spend! She also got a unicorn purse and jewelry from mom & dad & mom made her a unicorn cake. She was SO excited to take applesauce and cupcakes to her preschool class to celebrate!
--Noelle had Kindergarten registration at the beginning of the month & did great! She’s so excited to be a Kindergartner with her friends!
-Also on her birthday, Sam Potter came over with some daffodils and a card. He sheepishly gave them to her and said “I gave these flowers to you cuz… cuz… I love you!” it was SO cute!
-Noelle LOVED the ocean! And she had been waiting so long to come, asking mom constantly when we were going to the beach. Finding seashells was her favorite!
-One day we were walking on the beach barefoot, and Noelle said “Watch out mom! This part is stick-y” (as in, there were a lot of sticks) :)
-Noelle found Ephedra on the beach (bamboo-looking plant) and said “I’m keeping this in case any panda bears come!”
-One day mom asked Noelle if she was changing her clothes. Noelle responded “Indeed I am!”
-Noelle has been getting out of bed in the middle of the night a lot and jumping in bed with Kezia.
-Sam came to play one day and Noelle yells out “Sam! Come look! These snails are marrying!”
-One day mom was fixing Noelle’s hair and Noelle told mom that she believed in God. Mom was so happy to hear that. Noelle said one night she was sleeping in Kezia’s room & something dark came out of the closet, and she said a prayer in faith and it went away.
-Noelle had something in her eye one day & she was crying and crying and wanting a band-aid.
-A recent Noelle-ism is “Kaboom!” as in “Kezia didn’t get me an apple and KABOOM, my tummy was hurting!”
-Noelle’s preschool had chicks hatch! Noelle was so excited to come home & talk about how the cute babies came out of their shells!

-When you call Oaklyn’s name and she responds with “NO!” - that’s a good indicator that she is somewhere making an enormous mess and it’s in everyone’s best interest to check it out ASAP!
-Oregon was Oaklyn’s first time to the ocean! Her first experience wasn’t so wonderful, though. Mom was walking with her in the low tide, but a sneaker wave came and completely knocked her down and soaked her, fully clothed :(
-We have been REALLY good about cleaning up immediately after meals lately because of this girl. She has dumped entire bottles of ranch, applesauce, sugar, etc out
-Oaklyn said a prayer “And thank you for all the bad guys… and thank you for bad guys all dead.”
-A few Oaklyn-isms: “Meanie!” “Spank your bum” “I love your face!”
-One day Oaklyn was outside with mom while she was spraying weeds. She turned to mom and said “Mom, Jesus loves you!” It was sooooo sweet.
-We were playing at main street park after the library one day & mom was watching as a little girl about her age sat down & cried. Oaklyn came right over to her and gave her a hug :)
-Oaklyn’s nights haven’t been too fantastic lately. She still sometimes wakes up multiple times. One night, after 2 other episodes of her waking up & wanting something (like to be switched from the bed to the floor or visa versa), we heard her door open again. She walked in our room (it was probalby 2am) and said “Goodnight, goodnight, see you in the morning!”

Sunday, April 7, 2019

March Newsletter & Slideshow

March 2019
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY:What a month! So many fun, hard, and good things happened! On Friday, March 1st, we headed for “game night at the Bealers,” but it ended up being a huge surprise 40th birthday party for Heidi at the Bealers’ church! Jason put so much work into it and it was wonderful, complete with amazing decorations, yummy food & cakes, and a slideshow with music! Mom knew her sisters were there when she old the “old hag bag” on the stage, and sure enough, they came! After the fun, they whisked Heidi away for some sister fun in St. George. It was wonderful! The next weekend was Heidi’s big Half-Ironman race in Long Beach, CA. Grandma Devenish was so good to come stay with the girls so Jason & Heidi could go & focus on the race. We left early Friday & got back Sunday afternoon, so, quick trip!, but Heidi did better than expected in the race and she was so grateful for all the support everyone gave her. That next week, the girls had Monday & Tuesday off, so we had fun going sledding, finishing Girl of the Limberlost, watching movies, drinking hot cocoa, playing with friends, etc :) On the 16th, we all headed to Gunlock Reservior to check out the waterfalls. They were amazing & incredible! Gorgeous! We even watched some crazies do some cliff jumping while we were there. We probably could have stayed all day! We also loved stopping at Veyo on the way there for some pie :) The next day was St. Patrick’s Day, so we all got dressed in green. It was also Sunday, and also Camri’s farewell! She did a great job & we loved getting to spend time with family that day :) The 26th was Link’s 6th Angelversary & we had over 40 names to write on stips of paper & form a chain around Link’s bench. Mom, Dad, McKinley & Ireland all went to the temple that day. At night, we watched his slideshow. On the 30th, mom & dad went on a snowshoeing date up on the mountain - it was beautiful! Mom and Dad have been pretty busy with the rental lately as well. One thing that’s kept us laughing this month is the “Marry me Rebecca” on YouTube. It’s pretty hilarious - and all of us, from Oalyn to daddy, have been quoting it! MIRACLE: Our dryer’s plug blew out & we were worried we’d have to have a major repair on our hands. Thankfully, our neighbor came & helped us replace the cord & outlet & we were good to go!

JASON : Jason was just the husband of the decade this month with Heidi’s surprise party & slideshow and Heidi’s race. He was such a huge support to Heidi for her Half-Ironman. She couldn’t have done it without him! The race was over 6 hours and he was there the whole time. It was wonderful to have that drive there, back, and at Shannon’s house together. Jason has had Elder’s Quarum interviews this month and also been busy at the rental & doing taxes!

HEIDI: Heidi was so beyond grateful for all the love & support this month - both with her 40th birthday, and with her race. She can’t imagine anyone more blessed than she. Heidi is also VERY thankful that the race went so well and that it’s OVER :) It really did consume a lot of mental and physical energy and she’s thankful to be able to re-direct that :) Heidi had a goal to do yoga every single day in March, and she accomplished it! She hopes to continue because it’s been awesome! She also started a health challenge on the 20th, and it goes till mid-June, so she’s excited about that. Heidi has also been busy at the rental, finding student renters for the basement, getting bids to paint, etc. Heidi finished a couple books this month - The Glass Throne, and Harry Potter book 4. She has also been quite involved with her calling, in charge of 2 activities and 2 lessons. She was so thankful about how the picture of Jesus turned out for our combined YW. They each had a square to paint and it was so neat when it all came together as the red-robe Christ.

-McKinley had a big day on the 5th. She went on a ski trip to Brian Head with the Honor’s Society, then came back to the school and got changed for her orchestra concert. It was wonderful!
-McKinley got a 4.0 last quarter - we are thankful she is such a hard worker!
-McKinley got to go to Fiddler’s Fun Center for Warrior Pride - fun!
-CMS has been doing a Harry Potter themed year and their big end to it was a huge Harry Potter night, complete with movies, games, etc. McKinley went with Karmiyah & Micaela & they all had fun!
-McKinley was blow-drying her hair one day and the metal part that protects from the fan was gone & her hair got sucked in!
-We love to hear McKinley’s insights when we do Come Follow Me. One week she did a whole chart to help us learn from the parable of the seeds and the different types of grounds. It was great!
-Mom got to take McKinley out for a lunch date. We went out to Pizza Factory and great food & a great chat! Love my time with my oldest girl!

-Ireland got a 4.0 last quarter - she is a hard-worker & we have seen her focus improve so much this past year - way to go Ireland!
-Ireland got to go to Fiesta Fun Center in St. George for Warrior Pride, and she had a fun time!
-She had another book report due this month, she did a game board, but it was made out of sheet metal and the pieces were magnetic - way cool!
-When we went sledding, Ireland hiked to the very top of the hill & spent most of the time making a really cool snow cave!
--CMS has been doing a Harry Potter themed year and their big end to it was a huge Harry Potter night, complete with movies, games, etc. Ireland went to Mahina and had a ton of fun!

-Kezia is still in full-on-in-love-mode with her chinchilla! She brings Wolf to the table at breakfast & goes to her cage right when she gets home from school. So far she’s been pretty good about taking care of her - cleaning out her cage, etc. Which is good, because Wolf poops a LOT! :) She really is cute, though, and we’ve all had fun with her.
-Kezia’s Spanish teacher, Senior Niles, has been out with pneumonia for almost 3 months now. He’s finally come back & Kezia was so cute to welcome him back with a cute note.
-Kezi & Addi have been having a lot of playdates this month - in the sandbox, at Addi’s house, and one time mom took them to Wal-mart so they could do the ABC challenge. They got all 26 letters in an hour
-Kezi started soccer at the end of the month. She gets to be with 2 of her classmates - Sarah and Carissa. They are all blondies. It’s fun to see them play together. They are pink this year!
-Kezia was watching the littles for a bit, and when we came home, Noelle & Kezi had a treasure hunt all set up for us! With clues like “the next clue is where it gets hot. But where it gets cold, it is not” :) So cute
-We went sledding this month & there was a Hispanic family sledding that only had one sled, Kezi was cute and told them in Spanish they could borrow our sled.
-There is often fights over who gets to sit in the middle seat of the van. One day, there was a handwritten note on the seat “This seat is reserved for Kezia Hamilton” :)
-One morning we all woke up to a wonderful surprise! Our kitchen had turned into “Chef Kezia’s,” complete with a menu written on the whiteboard. We could choose pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, yogurt parfaits, etc. It was awesome! Kezi is just so thoughtful and cute.

Our sweet, beautiful boy. 6 years seems like so long, yet we know it’s the tiniest moment in time compared to eternity. We are so thankful for eternal families. Thank you so very much for your presence in our lives and hearts. Watching your slideshow is always hard, but so important, to re-live those precious memories, and so your littles sisters can know just how beautiful and amazing their brother is. We love you!

-Before Heidi & Jason left to California for Heidi’s race, Noelle asked “Mom, are you swimming to England?”
-Mom ran out of rubbing alcohol and was going to add it  to the shopping list, but Noelle yells “Alexa, add alcohol to my shopping list!” and Alexa repeats “Alcohol added to your shopping list” :)
-One day, Noelle was acting very naughty and sassy in front of one of mom’s friends. Later, while we were having yogurt time, mom explained to her that she was very disappointed in Noelle. Noelle asked “Are you so disappointed in me that you’re doing to throw me into a VOLCANO?!”
-Noelle is so inquisitive. She keeps asking what words mean. She is also constantly asking about volcanoes, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
-Noelle has had some anxiety lately as well. One time she had a meltdown about going to the grocery store without socks on. She was SO worried about getting blisters! Mom told her to take all that worry and fear and put it in a box and close the lid. About 5 minutes later (mom thinking she was a genius), mom said “mom, someone keeps taking the lid off!!” Mom peeks back there, trying to see what lid has come off, Noelle said “the lid with my worry!”
-Noelle earned a date & got to go to the movies with mommy! We saw Lego Movie 2, it was so much fun :)
-Noelle’s question one day “If you die in a volcano, do you not go to heaven?”
-We went to St. George (Costco) one day and coming back Noelle just screamed & screamed (and threw things) “Mom - my yawn is stuck in my ear!”
Mommy asked Noelle what she wanted to say for the newsletter, so her it is: “My mom I want my mom to get me a toy dinosaur. With a volcano. I want to get my mom for her birthday a beautiful picture. That’s all.”

-Oaklyn is a cutie, and a mess-maker! She’s definitely in the 2’s!
-Oaklyn had a couple days of pukies this month :(
-We were in St. George for Camri’s farewell, and Oaklyn had a super-tough time. She started crying during sacrament meeting & wouldn’t stop. Mom had to eventually take her to the van. She kept screaming and screaming. She finally yelled that her ear hurt, so we made an emergency trip to get some liquid ibprofin. Finally she calmed down and slept for a long time. We alternated who stayed in the van with her. Poor baby.
-Oaklyn calls pens (that you draw with) pennys :)
-Oaklyn used to be infatuated with knowing what time of day it was. Now she has switched to “what day is it?” Like, 20 times a day. And even once she woke up crying & mom went it & she tearfully asks, “What day is it?”
-We have a book called “One” about bullying. Oaklyn likes to read it a lot. She calls it the “Stop Laughing!” book
-One day everyone was giving daddy a hard time about his long hair and everyone was chanting “cut it, cut it!” Oaklyn just started crying and hugging daddy and saying “NO! I love my daddy!”
-We have all been quoting the “Marry Me Rebecca” on YouTube, but the funniest was when we were driving & mom hears Oaklyn whisper “I hate you so much”
-Oaklyn is so cute when mom does her yoga, she comes & joins her & says “let’s do downward dog!” and she does the cutest down dog you've ever seen :)
-When lots of people are talking, but Oaklyn wants you to focus on HER, she will take both hands and move your head to look directly at her :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

February Newsletter & Slideshow

February 2019
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY:February flew by! It was fast, but we still had fun. On the 2nd, we headed down South for Camri’s first time at the temple. It was wonderful! We are so excited for her upcoming farewell! That night mom & dad went to the Bealers for a late-night game night. It was so much fun! On the 4th, mom and dad went to see Elizabeth Smart at SUU. It was interesting, and thought-provoking and we had some discussions with the older girls when we got back. We got QUITE a bit of snow this year! At least 3 really good storms, and at the end of February, still snow on the ground. We’ve loved it! On the 9th, we went up to Woods Ranch to sled and had a blast! There was almost too much snow to sled with anything but a tube, but we still had so much fun - sledding, drinking hot cocoa, and exploring all the amazing snow caves! Ireland even made her own snow cave! On the 11th, we did Family Home Evening at Brookdale & it was a lot of fun. The older girls all played a song on their instruments and even Noelle sang a song with mommy. We talked about scriptures having to do with love, and we enjoyed visiting with the residents. Afterwards, we headed to Laurie Hansen’s retirement open house. She has delivered half of our children and we love her. Excited for her new beginnings. Valentine’s Day was lovely - Mommy did the heart attack thing on the doors every day, and daddy spoiled us all again with roses, chocolates & stuffed animals. Noelle, Mommy & Oaklyn brought sugar cookies to their friends, and Chris Marx even brought over a huge bag of chocolates. Truly and Levi stopped by to say hi, too! That night, mom & dad went to Milt’s and had a great time :) The morning of the 16th, we headed up North, but stopped by the Creamery in Beaver on the way. Yummy lunch & ice cream! We got to Aunt Cindy’s by about 6 that evening and enjoyed hanging out with them! We brought the dogs, so it was quite a dog party with 4 dogs! That evening, we took Aunt Cindy & Johsua & Michael to the movies - we went to Aquaman - it was fun! On Sunday, we went to church with them and after church, Jason gave the priesthood to Joshua. It was a wonderful blessing. That evening we had a birthday get-together/dinner for Cindy’s birthday & got to see Becka and Joseph and Andrea. It was neat and we were thankful we could be there that weekend to make her birthday special. Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr Day and we headed back home, but not before stopping by the town of Rocky Ridge and getting Kezia a Chinchilla! She was over the moon excited! Wolf the Chinchilla is the newest member of our family and has been so fun so far. :) On the 23rd, Jason took Kezia & Ireland skiing for the day and they had a fantastic time! Mom took the littles swimming that day, too, and we had fun as well. Another thing that happened this month, a guy named collin kartchner came to CMS & did a presentation about cell phones & social media. They had us watch one of his TedTalks and we decided, as a family, to not have social media until they are 18. And to get phones without internet access. Too many scary things associated with them!

JASON : Not that we need any more evidence of how awesome of a dad Jason is, but one morning McKinley could not find an important paper for school. We searched high & low & finally Jason went out & dug through the outside trash & found it. Seriously, super dad!! Heidi had fun again this year giving Jason a different note & treat for every day leading up to Valentines. She’s so blessed to have her sweetheart and her best friend in one!

HEIDI: February is the last month of Heidi’s full training & it’s definitely been hard with all this cold & snow - even St. George got snow! She got her last peak brick in at the end of the month over by Sand Hollow - 51 mile ride & 9 mile run. It was hard but good! She is still nervous about the race, but excited, too & ready to be done :) She enjoyed getting together with Cindy this month & has also enjoyed getting to know her new Beehives better.

-McKinley got to go to a late-over for Micaella’s birthday. They had pizza, laughed, talked, and even watched the Suessical that they were in together.
-McKinley registered for the 8th grade this month! Crazy! It was the first year she actually got to decide on some electives. She chose to be a teacher’s aide and a tutor.
-McKinley got to have a late-over this month - she had Micaella and Karmiyah over. They talked & went for a long walk in the cold!
-McKinley has been practicing cello a lot to try out for a solo!
-We were so sad for McKinley. She was all ready to go to Youth Conference at Bryce Canyon with the stake, but ended up getting sick :( She was so tired and had a fever. She ended up missing 2 days of school as well.

-Ireland has had fun in Young Women’s. She loves going to all the activities & it’s fun for mom to get to be with her more!
-Ireland got to have a late-over with Sariah this month. They talked, laughed, and watched a movie together.
-Ireland got to go skiing with Kezia and daddy this month, and Mahina just happened to be going on the same day & they skiied together for most of the time. She said the snow was awesome, but boy did she come home burned!
-Ireland got 100% on her math test!!!! We are so proud of her & know how much work she has put into it.

-Kezia made an awesome chinchilla Valentine’s Day box! (little did she know she was going to get a REAL chinchilla soon!) She gave out a variety of chocolate candies this year for Valentines :) nmkj
-Kezia’s year long dream finally happened this month! Mom wishes she would have recorded her walking up those steps with her bucket full of cash, and then the look on her face as she went down the steps with a cardboard box containing a small, fluffy, grey chinchilla. She was SO happy. On the way home, the smile was just plastered on her face and she said “I’ve never felt like this before in my my life!” and “Somebody pinch me!” :) She has had a lot of fun getting Wolf’s cage set up and showing her off to all her friends - she has had Addie, Sage, Jade, Emmy & Hailey Schoppman, Ana & Karmiyah, and Macie over to see her new baby :) She loves to take her downstairs to the barbie house & let Wolf run around. She thinks being chinchilla momma is an 11 on a scale of 1-10! (Oh, and the name Wolf came about on our way to MN last summer, we stopped at Nellie’s cafe in Walnut Grove & while we waited for food they were each taking turns making up a story and somehow a story got spun about a chinchilla named Wolf) :)
-Kezia got to go skiing with daddy & Kezia. Daddy was good enough to put sunscreen on, but missed some spots & she came home with some interesting burn lines!

On the 2nd of this month, I was SURE you were close Link! It was the day of Camri’s baptism. In the morning, the lamp kept flickering (which it never does), there was a rainbow on the way to St. George!, DeeAnn talked about that day she took out her endowments & there was a ray of light, Dave wore his tie bar that I had made with the links, and that night when we played a card game with the Bealers, one of the cards said Link. THANK YOU SO much for being with us that day our beautiful son! We love you SO much!

-Noelle is still loving preschool! Mom had her assessment with her teacher this month and her teacher said she’s a wonderful girl & very smart! She has passed everything off & is ready for preschool!
-Noelle is having a harder time keeping her glasses on her face. She keeps taking them off random places or forgetting to put them on in the morning.
-Noelle is getting pretty good at her chores in the morning - she puts the dishes away, cleans her room (and/or helps me put away her laundry), gets her hair fixed, and does a choice chore. Way to go Noelle!
-Noelle has sure been asking a lot about Satan again this month. She keeps wanting to throw him in a volcano or “punch him in the face.” Mom said the best way to punch Satan in the face is to be kind to each other and obedient to her parents.

-Oaklyn seems to still wake up at least once a night a few nights a week. One night we gave in and let her sleep in bed with us. Somewhere in the night, she was yelling in her sleep. She said “Noelle!! You have to share Noelle!”
-One day mom asked Noelle what her favorite animal was & she said “My Link Bear” :)
-For some reason, Oaklyn has demanded that she not sleep on the bed with Noelle, but the floor. Almost every night, no matter what we do to try to get her on the bed, she wants to sleep on the floor.
-Still one of my favorite things Oaklyn says that mommy can’t hardly ever turn down is when she says “let’s rock and roll!” (meaning, rock in her rocking chair with mommy) :)
-Oaklyn always called McKinley “Kinley Lou” :)
-Oaklyn has really enjoyed our huge Book of Mormon puzzle. She is constantly getting it out and asking people to do it with her. Whenever she figures out where a piece of the puzzle goes, she shouts “I did it, all right!”
-Noelle & Oaklyn have been doing this thing where they pray for each other - a lot. It sounds sweet, but they know it annoys the other person. Oaklyn will say “And thank you for Noelle. And thank you for Noelle. And please help Noelle” till Noelle can’t stand it anymore. It’s funny, but also a source of contention!
-Another thing Oaklyn has been constantly asking - what time is it? Like, a hundred times a day. We think she’s after “what activity are we supposed to be doing right now?” Like, “what time is it mom?” “It’s yogurt/lunch/play time”
-We’ve had a lot of fun with the tea set that Oaklyn got for Christmas. She is SO CUTE pouring out tea into the cups! We go through a LOT of rags, but it’s totally worth it to see that smile :)
-Poor Oaklyn - all the rest of the family can get Alexa to do what we want, but Alexa really hasn’t gotten Oaklyn’s little voice down yet. She will sit and yell at Alexa “Alexa, turn on Tumbleleaf!” But, no response :( She gets quite frustrated, but we are glad that she isn’t quite there yet :)
-Oaklyn is getting SO good at remembering books now! She knows a lot of “Share Bear” “The Hungry Caterpillar” and “Green Eggs and Ham” - it’s sooooo cute!
-Oaklyn is getting out the blocks from the ottoman at least 3 times a day. She LOVES building with the blocks and pulls mom & dad onto the floor to help out.

Friday, February 15, 2019

January Newsletter & Slideshow

January 2019
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY: Happy 2019!! Levi and Truly came to visit at the beginning of the month. It was so good to see Truly! They asked us to be a part of their upcoming wedding in May and we are so happy to take part! On the 5th, Jason took the older girls skiing up at Brian Head. They had a great time! Jason was scheduled to go back to work on the 3rd, but ended up being furloughed. It ended up being the longest furlough in our nation’s history. :( Thankfully, he got back pay, but ended up going without 2 paychecks. We are thankful for our savings & grateful also for the extra time we got to spend with him. Early in the month was Diane Bealer’s birthday & we had a wonderful time going with them & friends to the temple, then out to Chilies.  On the 9th, mom, dad, McKinley & Ireland went to the temple for Ireland’s 1st time! So neat that these 11 year olds get to go to the temple now! On the 13th, we had something happen that has never happened to us before - the fire alarm went off at church! We had just started in on the 2nd hour of church when the fire alarm went off. It ended up being something wrong with the furnace, but we only had one hour of church that day. That evening, we had quite a few people over for dinner - Dalace & Jessie, Lex & Zhane, Levi, and the sister missionaries. We enjoyed visiting with all of them and had a short lesson from the sisters that was neat. We are thankful we get to have so many awesome people in our lives! On the 14th, we hit Dairy Queen for a CMS school fundraiser. It was fun to go out as a family :) On the 19th, we met at the Hamiltons for the big opening of Camri’s mission call. She is going to Sacramento, CA! English-speaking, leaving on March 20th. We are so excited for her! The 21st was Martin Luther King, Jr Day & the girls had it off school, which was nice because we had a huge snow storm that day! It was so fun to play in the snow and relax by the fireplace :) McKinley (played Maleficent) & Kezia (Snow White) had their CCCMT Once Upon a Time play on January 26th & 28th. On the 26th, the Hamilton family all came for pizza & to watch the show. Also, Truly and Levi.  On Monday, Mom, Chris Marx, GG Tew, Zhane, Michaella, and Dalace came. It was so fun and great!

JASON : Well, Jason had about the whole month of January off work with the furlough! He went skiing about 5 times, did some honey-dos and worked out more. It was nice to have him home to help out with carpooling and errands, too. He’s a good daddy & we’re glad he got to have some fun and also get some to-dos done. We’re grateful he was able to go back to work.

HEIDI: Heidi is excited for this new year and decided that her word for 2019 is COURAGE. She hopes to get out of her comfort zone more often and do hard things. One of those hard things is training for the half ironman. She’s gone on some pretty long rides and done some interval work, too. She was riding down in St. George when her back tire shredded. She knew how she was watched over because just at that moment, a guy and his family from Hurricane came to help. Eventually, they had to go to Hurricane & he was so kind - gave her a new tire, tube, and CO2 cartridge. Added 10 miles to her ride and a lot of time, but she is just so thankful for the help. At the end of the month for some cross-training, Heidi went cross-country skiing up the canyon with Daizy. It was a such a beautiful day & she definitely wants to go back! Heidi read Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer this month & started Huck Finn. She finished listening to The Boys in the Boat - the story of the 1936 Berlin Olympic rowing team, and she also watched 2 Charles Dicken’s shows. She has really enjoyed growing and learning!

-McKinley enjoyed the Once Upon a Time play and being with her friends. Some favorite memories from the play: McKinley & Faith (the Evil Queen) - getting in each other’s faces & trying not to laugh. Seeing Truly & Levi at the end of her play and being so excited. She did a great job with her evil voice and her singing voice - the only thing she didn’t do was her evil laugh :) We all loved watching her, though. She did a great job memorizing all those lines in such a short period of time.
-McKinley got the rainbow kindness award at school and we are SO proud! They called her down to the office and she got some rainbow candy.
-McKinley had to do some PowerPoint mazes for CCA (College & Career Awareness). She had a lot of fun and made some really hard mazes! We all tried them and they were hard & fun.

-On Jan 9th, Ireland got to go to the temple for the first time! It was pretty busy, and a bit stressful to get done in time for school, but it was a great experience & we are so happy to have her go with us!
-Ireland started Young Womens this month! Mom is excited to get to spend more time with her. She loves to wear her torch necklace & she’s talked a lot with McKinley about personal progress. She’s also having fun going to the activities every week. We’re so excited for her :)
-Early this month, Ireland babysat the littles and when mom got home, she was so impressed! Ireland had gotten the littles all ready, including their hair fixed, made cookies & muddy buddies, and she had cleaned the whole kitchen! It was amazing! Great job Ireland!
-Ireland has been more conscientious of looking nice for school lately. She’s been waking up early & taking a shower, blow drying her hair and choosing her clothes more carefully. She has even been learning more how to curl her hair! She’s doing a great job - she just unfortunately burned her eye one Sunday. :(
-Ireland sliced her foot on some nails on Kezia’s floor and it was super sad :(
-Ireland had a science project due this month & she chose to do a rock collection and learn about each type of rock. She borrowed most of them from Kezia and it turned out great!

-Kezia’s rock tumbler finally finished with the first set of rocks at the end of the month! They were really cool! It was fun to watch them go from rough rocks to super nice rocks.
-Kezia had a lot of fun for the Once Upon a Time play. She loved laughing & acting with the other princesses. Her comedic timing is so great & she is such a great actress!
-Kezia got to have extra 1-on-1 time this month with mom - for her earned date, we went bowling & had treats afterward. Then, on the last day of January, mom took her out to the brand new Golden Corral. Kezi especially loved getting to choose as many desserts as she wanted :)
-Kezia was in charge of one of the dinners and she made tacos. She was so cute and had a tablecloth and for the taco toppings, she MADE dividers out of construction paper and tape, and put 3 different kinds of toppings in a bowl. It was so creative and cute :)

Another year has started without you by our physical side. We miss you SO much Link!

-Mom was so proud of Noelle. She asked her to be nice to a new little boy in church & his mom told me afterwards how grateful she was. She said she asked her son to sit next to her and was so nice to him. It was the first time he’d stayed for primary, so Noelle really helped him feel welcome.
-Noelle is such a good example of prayer & faith when something is lost. If someone is walking around trying to find something, she asks “have you prayed? Heavenly Father will help you find it!”
-Noelle LOVES knock knock jokes :) Usually on the way to or from preschool, or at the dinner table, we are entertained with numerous make-up knock knock jokes :)
-Noelle is doing so well with her sight words. She’s passed off about 15 & working on more!
-Noelle LOVES to play/torment Daizy. Both her little UFO toy from Christmas and the remote control car she got fascinate and scare Daizy, so Noelle will just SQUEAL and laugh with delight as she tries to engage Daizy.
-Noelle had a cold at the end of the month :(

-Oaklyn seems to still wake up at least once a night a few nights a week. One night we gave in and let her sleep in bed with us. Somewhere in the night, she was yelling in her sleep. She said “Noelle!! You have to share Noelle!”
-One day mom asked Noelle what her favorite animal was & she said “My Link Bear” :)
-For some reason, Oaklyn has demanded that she not sleep on the bed with Noelle, but the floor. Almost every night, no matter what we do to try to get her on the bed, she wants to sleep on the floor.
-Still one of my favorite things Oaklyn says that mommy can’t hardly ever turn down is when she says “let’s rock and roll!” (meaning, rock in her rocking chair with mommy) :)
-Oaklyn always called McKinley “Kinley Lou” :)
-Oaklyn has really enjoyed our huge Book of Mormon puzzle. She is constantly getting it out and asking people to do it with her. Whenever she figures out where a piece of the puzzle goes, she shouts “I did it, all right!”
-Noelle & Oaklyn have been doing this thing where they pray for each other - a lot. It sounds sweet, but they know it annoys the other person. Oaklyn will say “And thank you for Noelle. And thank you for Noelle. And please help Noelle” till Noelle can’t stand it anymore. It’s funny, but also a source of contention!
-Another thing Oaklyn has been constantly asking - what time is it? Like, a hundred times a day. We think she’s after “what activity are we supposed to be doing right now?” Like, “what time is it mom?” “It’s yogurt/lunch/play time”
-We’ve had a lot of fun with the tea set that Oaklyn got for Christmas. She is SO CUTE pouring out tea into the cups! We go through a LOT of rags, but it’s totally worth it to see that smile :)
-Poor Oaklyn - all the rest of the family can get Alexa to do what we want, but Alexa really hasn’t gotten Oaklyn’s little voice down yet. She will sit and yell at Alexa “Alexa, turn on Tumbleleaf!” But, no response :( She gets quite frustrated, but we are glad that she isn’t quite there yet :)
-Oaklyn is getting SO good at remembering books now! She knows a lot of “Share Bear” “The Hungry Caterpillar” and “Green Eggs and Ham” - it’s sooooo cute!
-Oaklyn is getting out the blocks from the ottoman at least 3 times a day. She LOVES building with the blocks and pulls mom & dad onto the floor to help out.

Friday, January 11, 2019

December Newsletter & Slideshow

November 2018
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY: We had a little snow at the beginning of the month & the girls had fun playing in it - it melted quickly, but we got more on Christmas day! McKinley, Ireland & Kezia also went ice skating, even though it was freezing! They also got to go ice skating with friends later on in the month. On the 7th we headed for the Homestead Museum for their Christmas festivities. We loved hearing stories, looking at Christmas villages, visiting the shops, watching a movie, eating popcorn & hot cocoa, and of course seeing SANTA! :) On the 9th we celebrated our renters’ birthdays. It was Dalace’s actual birthday, and Jesse would be gone for her birthday for winter break, so we had fun making their favorite meals and having an ice cream cake. The 13th was a busy day - it was Ireland’s first band concert, and also Heidi & Jason went to see the Oak Ridge Boys in concert. It was a lot of fun! On the 15th we headed to SLC for some wonderful family time. Tiffany was in town and we had a pre-Christmas celebration, complete with a talent show (McKinley played the cello, Ireland played the flute, Kezia sang a spanish song and played a song on the piano, and the littles sang jingle bells with mom). It was so fun!  We also had a FHE/farewell for Grandma & Grandpa Potts. They both talked and shared experiences & it was a beautiful, sweet memory. As per tradition, we had some sickes for Christmas Break, which was a bummer & we didn’t even up traveling after Christmas like we had planned, but we still had a lot of fun, including watching Christmas movies, drinking hot cocoa, going sledding, having a snowball fight, making gingerbread houses, and working on homemade Christmas presents. On Christmas Eve we went swimming at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center, which was a LOT of fun! Christmas Day was wonderful & relaxed. Santa brought our family new sleds, which were a blast to try out! We were blessed with gifts and also grateful to share with others as we did 12 days of Christmas for 2 families. We also were blessed to receive a nativity 12 days of Christmas and loved to hear the doorbell ring each night with a new piece to our set. On the 29th after church we headed to SLC again for a really quick trip. We had dinner at Grandma Tew’s home and the next day we woke up early, had breakfast with the family at Village Baker, and met Grandma & Grandpa Potts at the MTC for one last good-bye hug! We will miss them so much but we know they will bless the people of Missouri and be an instrument in the hands of Heavenly Father. We did go to some stores afterwards in Provo, including a pet store where we got to hold some ferrets, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. We also went by Crispy Creme donuts! That night for New Years Eve, we played some games and just enjoyed being together. Our 2018 Family Goals went really well and we are so proud and grateful that we read/watched the simplified version of the Book of Mormon, and all of the Bible, too! And we went to the temple 75 times! Such blessings! We are really looking forward to all that 2019 will bring!

JASON : Jason got some action hero movies for Christmas & has had fun staying up and watching them. He also got an Encho Dot & worked hard to set up all the Echos in our home so we could all communicate with each other :)

HEIDI: December was busy for Heidi with Young Womens (especially with the new announcement - 11 year olds come into Beehives next month!), training, traveling, and getting ready for Christmas. She also completed President Nelson’s challenge in October to read all of the Book of Mormon, and underline each reference to Jesus Christ, by the end of the year. What a life-changing, testimony-building, heart-touching experience! At the end of the month, Heidi lost her phone when we went sledding :( They couldn’t find it for a week, but got a text a week later & we got it back! We’re so thankful for this miracle!

-McKinley babysat for Becca Donahoe again this month & earned more money to help our 12-days of Christmas families. We’re so proud of her!
-McKinley spent SO much time making her gifts for the Simons, including a superhero pillowcase for Parker, a bookmark for Aunt Trisha, and some puppets she made on her sewing machine for Caden & Rachel. It was so sweet!
-McKinley’s Christmas Orchestra concert was wonderful! Grandma & Grandpa Devenish came & were very impressed. Grandma said they sounded like a high school orchestra!
-McKinley was a big part of helping us meet our family goal to go to the temple 75 times. Thank you so much McKinley! We love you!
-She had a student council and NHS Christmas party this month! One of them was a sock exchange!
-McKinley got a 4.0 this last quarter!
-McKinley was sick toward the end of the month :( She was supposed to do a solo in the ward choir on the 23rd in sacrament meeting, but was too sick :(
-We met with the dermatologist and are trying out some new medicine - we’ll see how it goes!
-For Christmas, McKinley got Wacky 6 (a game), some Brandon Mull books, a long dress & birthstone jewelry, some socks and John Bytheway talks. The Potts also got her the Dragonwatch book! And she got a lovely dress from Grandma Devenish!
-McKinley wrote a beautiful poem for Christmas all about Jesus Christ:
Christ is the reason for this season.
Hallelujah we sing and praise His name.
Reindeer take Santa to houses to give presents, and even Santa knows that the best gifts are given with are given with thought and care.
In this Christmas time we love, we give, we sing Christmas songs, and old Christmas memories we relive.
Some things at Christmas time seem insignificant, but really it's their meaning that's important.
Tiny or big, acts of service is one thing everyone can give.
Mary & Joseph were the parents of all mankind's king, we may sing of them as we go caroling.
And as Buddy always says:" The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"
So this holiday season don't forget why we celebrate Christmas, it's not for the presents we get, but what we give. It's not about who can sing the best Christmas song, it's about praising Jesus with our music and cheering our neighbors. It's not about making the best gingerbread house it's about how many meaningful memories you make. And most of all it's about Him

-Ireland got to go to a Christmas movie party at Mahina’s house. They had so much fun and she came home with a holiday watch which she has loved wearing. At the party, Raquel’s knee popped out of place and she was in a lot of pain. It was all very scary, they almost called an ambulance before she was able to pop it back in place.
-Ireland was really busy in school this month! She did a book in a can book report and finished her egypt book. They both turned out great!
-Ireland got a 3.9 this quarter!
-Ireland’s first band concert was this month & she did so well! She is in advanced 6th grade band and they really sounded great! We are so proud of how far she’s come with her flute. She’s very good at making practicing a priority!
-For Christmas, Ireland got some 3D earrings, Harry Potter socks, Echo Dot, 3D drawing pen, Sisters book, glow pillow, and jewelry holder. She also got a beautiful dress from Grandma Devenish.

-Kezia finally finished her SUPER SIMONS book after working on it all year. It was SO cute!! She even made badges and masks for each of the Super Simons!
-Kezia’s Christmas Program was super cute, as always! She had to try really hard not to laugh when she saw mom in the audience dancing :)
-Kezi was fighting a cold & bad cough this month :(
-For Christmas, Kezia got Poloriod film, a stop-motion claymation kit, an Echo Dot, a rock tumbler, a Why? Book and a Real Friends book. Grandma & Grandpa Potts got her a rock organization box, and she finally got her beautiful blanket and pillow set made my Grandma Devenish!
-For Christmas, Kezia also got $25 for a pet. We got to go to the Baldwins and hold Sugar Gliders. Also, when we were in Provo, we got to go to a pet store and hold Ferrets, Chinchillas, and guinea pigs. She has worked on writing papers for each animal she’s considering. And she’s done pros and cons. Now, she just needs to pray and figure out which pet is right for her as she continues to take care of the dogs and earn money.

Christmas time is always a bit harder without you here, our sweet boy. We feel like you were close, though, mom saw (twice!) bright, beautiful shooting stars this month. We love you and miss you!

-Noelle got to have pajama day at preschool and also have muffins with mommy!
-One day daddy asked Oaklyn to say the prayer at dinner. Noelle was upset & said “Why does Oaklyn get to say the prayer?? Is it because she’s the perfect daughter?”
-Noelle apparently has been watching a lot of the Epic movie because mom heard her say “Bye Flat-face!”
-Noelle often says “Why did Heavenly Father ___________?” (want us to go to church, make Link die, give us itchy tights?”
-Big changes for Noelle this month - she got glasses! She chose super-cute blue sparkly Hello Kitty glasses. She looks so cute in them! She has loved showing them off to friends & family.
-Before we left the place to get her glasses, the guy said “Now you’ll be able to see the whole world!” On the way home, Noelle asked “So, can I see Africa now?”
-Noelle got to go to Gunner’s Christmas party! She had so much fun! Decorating cookies, playing games, getting a stocking with candy, reindeer antlers, and watching a movie!
-Noelle had some hard times this month with “itchiness.” One day she tried on every single pair of pants and, in tears,  declared ALL of them TOO ITCHY. She wore shorts that day.
-Noelle says she’s going to have lots of kids. She told mommy she’s going to have 8 daugthers. Mom said “what if your huband only wants like 2 kids?” Noelle thought for a minute & said “Well, then I’ll just put them in a line and only 2 of them can go to him together.” :)
-For Christmas, Noelle got a kinetic sand dinosaur kit, legos, smelly markers, a Paw Patrol Fire truck, a seek and find book, and a UFO toy that flies and she can move with her hand. She got a beautiful dress from Grandma Devenish!

-Oaklyn hasn’t had a binky in 2 weeks! She now usually asks for her Link bear when she wants a cuddle. :) Good job Oaklyn!
-Oaklyn calls her baby “Baby Bumblebee” :) (she gets it from the song we sing at our music class)
-Oaklyn fell off her chair at breakfast and got a bad fat lip :(
-One day we were singing Jingle Bells in the car. Mom was singing “Oh was fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, hey!” in the pause, Oaklyn said “Got any grapes?” Hahah - from the Duck Song.
-Oaklyn is still NOT a fan of Santa. As we were waiting in line she kept peeking at him and clinging to mom and dad. We said “Don’t you want to see Santa?” And she kept saying “No thanks!”
-McKinley was saying a prayer & said how cute Noelle was in her new glasses. Oaklyn interrupted the prayer saying “NO! I’m cute!”
-We watched Frosty the Snowman & mom would ask “What does Frosty say?” and Oaklyn did the BEST impression, saying “Happy Birthday!”
-Oaklyn had some rough days this month where she did NOT want to nap!! She even figured out how to take the door handle things off :( Eventually we had to turn the door knob around in her room so she would stay in there!
-One day we said “You’re Oaklyn Alice.” She said - No! I’m not Dalace!
-Daddy was praying for Noelle to feel better (she was crying). Noelle kept saying she wasn’t sick! And Oaklyn kept yelling “YES YOU ARE!”
-For Christmas, Oaklyn got lots of play doh and play doh toys, socks, a cool magnetic board, a tea set, Zoom cars that go in a tube, hair styling set, and she got a doll bath set, and a beautiful dress from Grandma Devenish!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

November Newsletter & Slideshow

November 2018
Hamilton Newsletter
FAMILY: Happy Gratitude month! Our family is full of gratitude - and the peak of that gratitude lies in the incomprehensible blessing of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. He is central to our faith and our lives.  November 3rd was our big Snow Canyon race day. Mom did the half marathon and Daddy & the girls did the 5k. It was a beautiful day and we all worked hard and had a great time! That evening the Worths invited us to a surprise birthday party for Sherri at the church & it was a lot of fun! They played a bunch of games, ate yummy food, danced, and played with all the balloons! Good times! We got to see Uncle Joseph a couple times this month - he stopped by for dinner on his way to or from his jobs in St. George, it was great to see him! November 7th was Link’s 6th birthday. We went to the cemetery, wrote letters to him, went to McDonald’s, and had cupcakes :) We got to have Grandma & Grandpa Potts stay with us twice this month - once at the beginning of the month, and then at the very end. We are cherishing all the time with them before they leave on their mission. They even watched the girls at the end of the month so mom & dad could go on a quick St. George getaway for a couple days. Thank you Grandma & Grandpa! The 12th was Vetran’s Day & daddy had the day off work. We took the littles to get donuts at Lin’s & then went to visit with some insurance agents. The weekend/week after the 17th was a bit crazy! First, we drove to Springville where Sandy (Keeley’s mom) watched the girls while Heidi & Jason went to the Payson Temple with the rest of family to watch Sedona take out her endowments. It was really neat! After the temple, we grabbed the girls from Springville and drove to Richfield for Sedona’s farewell the next day. It was a wonderful farewell and we enjoyed being with family. That evening we packed up again and drove to SLC so we could see Kearns’ Cinderella play where Michael had a main part. We were going to stay with Cindy, but she ended up getting strep throat and so we stayed with the Simons. The girls had fun playing with them & daddy was closer to his remote work location. Monday was also Grandma Potts’ birthday and the girls and mom went over & helped for a few hours to get their home ready for their renters. Tuesday we went to a jump house (fun!), Wednesday we went and helped at Aunt Cindy’s home - cleaning and daddy helped Michael put the roof on their playhouse outside. Afterwards, Grandpa took the 3 older girls ice skating! Thursday was Thanksgiving at GG Tew’s home. It was all wonderful & we enjoyed visiting afterwards! And the girls were so good to help clean up! We left for home on Friday morning, having been gone for a full week. We stopped by an Orem McDonald’s & ate with the Bensons, it’d been a year since we’d seen them. Finally we made it back -  It was good to be home & start decorating for the holidays!

JASON : Jason was the 1st stroller across the finish like at the 5k - great job daddy! Jason was so good to take some time off for all our traveling this month. He is staying busy with his calling and his job!

HEIDI: Heidi felt good about the half marathon, finishing in 1:50. There were quite a few hill the last 5 miles, so she is happy with that time. Also, one of her shoes had a good-sized tear in the side and she had to safety-pin it and hope for the best! The completion of the half marathon also marked the beginning of her half ironman training! She bought a bike trainer, got her bike tuned up (and a new saddle), got new shoes (after the old ones tore out), got a couple new swim suits and a punch card at the local gym and started in! Her longest ride so far is 3 hours. It was a cold ride! But beautiful! She’s excited to push herself and really get in good shape for March’s race. She really enjoyed all the family time this month and continued her tradition of writing gratitude items each day. She found SO much to be grateful for!

-McKinley was so cute - one day she told Noelle she would give her candy if she would sit good & listen to her read books. McKinley read like 10 books to Noelle. She’s such a great reader & is going to be a wonderful teacher one day!
-McKinley got a couple babysitting jobs this month - one with the Potters and a couple with Becca Donahoe. She’s made a lot of money! And we are SO proud of her that she is putting most of it away to help a couple families in need this Christmas!
-McKinley & daddy went & did baptisms at the Cedar City temple on Link’s birthday <3 o:p="">
-McKinley gave a talk in church at the end of the month - she did a great job - and called out her dad, telling him that it was time to start listening to Christmas music! (he is a grinch with Christmas music)
-For one of her classes she had to write an essay about something she really liked. She chose to do it on Studio C. It was a great essay - and she even chose to do a blog all about Studio C for extra credit!

-Ireland was so cute & creative & made mom slippers out of paper & bubble wrap!
-Ireland got to go to see the Harlem Globetrotters with Mahina & her family & their church. She said it was super-cool!
-Ireland had a lot of fun in SLC - she really enjoyed the bounce house & mom helped her do some backhandsrpings & she had fun jumping off the “cliff” onto the big pillow.
-Ireland is getting better & better at the flute & it’s fun to hear her play Christmas songs!

-Kezia’s class earned the most for the walk-a-thonn and they got to have a piniata party!! Later on in the month, the whole school got to have a GLOW PARTY with tons of glow sticks and music. So fun!
-Kezia did a hot cider stand with Addie Price & she made $39!!
-She was sick with a fever & headache for a few days :(
-Mom signed up to help out with Kezia’s class field trip to the Homestead State Park. Mom was in charge of the “Graces” game where you threw a hoop to each other with 2 sticks. Sadly, they ran out of time & Kezia’s group never got to come to mom’s game :( It was fun, though & Mom got to take her home.
-One morning Kezia got up super early & made the family pancakes! Thank you Kezia (unfortunately, there was a bit of smoke and the rest of the family got a fire-alarm wake up call)
-Kezia got a reading award in school! Way to go Kez!
-Kezi officially joined the ward choir and has had fun so far :)

Happy 6th birthday our sweet boy. We enjoyed picking out cars and a Star Wars Lego set to send to the boys your age. We hope they enjoyed them as much as we know you would have. We donated to both Ronald McDonald Houses in your memory. We hope you could read our birthday letters to you. We love and miss you SO much!

-Noelle earned a date this month! She & mom went to see The Grinch in the theater! It was a lot of fun :)
-We got a letter from Noelle’s preschool saying that she didn’t pass her eye exam. We thought maybe she was just being sassy or didn’t understand their questions, but we made an appointment with Dr. Albrecht and she actually is far-sighted, especially in her right eye. Dr. Albrecht asked Noelle “what do you think about getting glasses?” Noelle replied “Oh, I don’t need glasses! I eat carrots!!” :)
-We were reading Jungle Book one day & Noelle asked “Why is that boy wearing panties?”
-Apparently a boy hit Sam at preschool and Noelle stood up for him. Sam’s mom was so glad he has such a good friend! Way to go Noelle!
-We were at the Post Office one day, waiting in line to mail Link’s friends’ gifts, when a worker came up and called out “Does anyone have any questions or something else I can help with?” Noelle looked up at mom & said “I have a question! Why is the wall all yellow?”
-Jamie, who carpools to preschool with mom, sent this text to mom:
I picked up Noelle & she said “Do you want to take a picture of me or not?” Jamie said OK & took it. Then Noelle said “Now text it to my mom!”
-One night, Noelle came out of her room & mom was exhausted, but Noelle said “I can’t sleep! Frankenstein is under my bed!”
-When we were at the cemetery for Link’s birthday, Noelle said “Mom! I felt Link in my heart!”
-It was really cold one day when we got in the van. Noelle asked mom to turn on the air conditioner. Mom said that would make it cold. So Noelle said “then turn on the WARM air conditioner!!”
-Noelle asks lots of interesting questions, like “Why did Heavenly Father give us sugar bugs?” And “Why did Heavenly Father make dinosaurs?”
-When Noelle is unhappy with the way someone treats her, she often says “You made my feelings feel bad!!”
-One day Noelle said “It smells hot in here!”
-We love it when Noelle shares her dreams with us at breakfast. One morning she said a mean robot turned her into the letter Q. She said she got out of it by doing a Hulk jump!
-One day mom was making a slow cooker chicken recipe. Noelle asked if that was chicken. Mom said yes. Noelle asked incredulously “Did someone cut its butt off??”

-Oh our adorable 2-year-old! How you keep us on our toes!
-One day mom was looking everywhere for Oaklyn & finally peeked her head into the pantry to see an adorable 2-year-old curly, blonde with a mouth stuffed full of marshmallows
-One of Oaklyns current sayings “What the heck?”
-One day Oaklyn was totally on her game. She cracked about 10 eggs on the countertop, and then later she dumped non-washable white paint in a big glob in the pantry. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if the dogs hadn’t gone in there to eat and tracked white paint all over the upstairs!!
-Oaklyn loves to help bake & cook. She will immediately pull up a stool to where mom or dad is at the stove. One day she was helping mom with spaghetti sauce. Mom went to grab something & saw that Oaklyn had dumped half a bottle of paprika in the sauce!
-Sacrament was not so reverent one Sunday when Oaklyn got a piece of bread, chewed it up in her mouth and then opened wide and said loudly “LOOK!” It didn’t get better with the water. She drank half of it and then dripped the other half into other cups on her way to putting it in the slot.
-When we were at the Simons, mom came up to look for Oaklyn and saw that the fridge door was open. Mom feared it had been open all day & went to shut it, when what should she find? But a 2-year-old who was trying with all her might to undo the rubber band around the large package of shredded cheese!
-The day we were leaving the Simons, we had almost everything packed up. Daddy put Oaklyn in the van while he went to grab the rest of us. When we all came out to leave, we found that Oaklyn had locked the van from the inside - with it running! So, here we all here trying to get her to push the buttons and let us in. It was quite comical. At first she only figured out how to unroll the window a couple inches, but finally she got the unlock button. Thank goodness!