Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Blessing

I was going to title this post "Christmas/(Kezia's) Blessing," but I decided that it worked just like it is - because Christmas truly was a blessing this year. I really think that 2009 will be a Christmas to remember - one we'll look back on and cherish. One that will change all future Christmas' because we will work harder to bless others the way we have been blessed this year.

From all sides, generosity came pouring in. We have never had such bounteous gift-giving. Christmas morning was truly exciting because there were many presents that were absolute mysteries. We had no idea what was inside. They didn't disappoint! The sub-for-santa gifts were wonderful, thoughtful, and delightful. Thank you again to our "Santa." As far as the going-down-the-chimney Santa, he brought McKinley a princess bike (she LOVES it - rides it around and around the kitchen island all day long), Ireland got a portable DVD player (OK, so she wasn't that stoked about it now, but I'm sure on our trips to Richfield, she will be LOVIN' it!), and Kezia got a cute toy.

We got to Grandma & Grandpa Potts house a bit late (OK, OK - 45 minutes late - sorry!). We had a great time this year - it was so wonderful because all the gifts were so thoughtful! We had the Edwards family for gift-giving and we had an agreement that we would spend nothing on the adults and under $10 on the kids. We got the kids some toys and got Cindy some DVDs that were transferred from tapes, gift certificates for babysitting, more DVD transferring, and digital scrapbooking. I also put together an 11x17 homemade picture with a butterfly poem and the footprints of each of her children made to look like butterflies.

Cindy was AMAZING! In between all her studying, preparing for her own Christmas, & being a single mom to 4 kids, she was able to make each of my girls fairy dress up costumes (from sentimental material, no less!), get each of them red & black dresses with matching flower/bows, make me LOADS of bread-maker ingredients in a bag, mom's hot chocolate in a bag, and probably the most meaningful of all - a day-by-day thought book made from my mom's old one. She typed each thought (all 365), printed them, cut them each out (had to be in a circular shape), and pasted it. I LOVE it, Cindy! We also got hand-made moccasins from Mike - they're way comfy -thanks Mike! Also, Kalli was cute & gave us a sacrament book for the girls and Tiarra was SO SWEET - she handmade gifts for all of us - clothespin dolls for the girls, a handstitched bookmark for me, and she even made a tooth bag for McKinley's first tooth. Tiarra- you rock! I seriously loved this year because everyone was so much more thoughtful and creative.

We also loved (as we do every year) Uncle Richard's amazing bag of candy for each person. And we're not talkin' little bite-sized pieces. No - I'm talking POUNDS of king-sized candy bars, jerky, etc. Awesome. Also, THANKS goes to mom & dad who got each of us a 9x11 digital photo frame. I've always wanted one!!

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the company of family (& especially the Checketts & Joseph who we don't get to see much), watching movies (Star Trek, Coraline & old home movies), going to the theatre (the boys went to see Sherlock Holmes), and eating tons of yummy food.
What an amazing Christmas! Here's a few pics (more in the Dec slideshow to come):
McKinley with her new bike!

The girls with their morning "loot"!

Kezia in her new bumbo!

My favorite gifts of all!

The crazy Potts girls
Kezia's blessing was the Sunday after Christmas. It's supposed to be on a fast Sunday, but with my sister & brother in town, we were able to have it the Sunday after Christmas. It was a beautiful blessing. Kezia was gorgeous in her dress (with the hand-crocheted overdress from Grandma Tew that all the Potts great-grand-daughters have been blessed in). She did so great the entire day & it was so neat to have both sides of the family at our home to visit, eat good food, and share in the celebration of our sweet new baby girl.

Before church (see the dresses that Cindy got for McKinley & Ireland & our cute matching bows?)

The girls (doesn't Kezi just look like a little doll?)

Her namesakes

the boys.

Now... here's a comparison of all my girls in the same dress...
McKinley - Oct 2005

Ireland - Sept 2007

Kezia - Dec 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hamilton Christmas Card 2009

So...I guess I am "non-traditional" in the sense that I have done a Christmas webpage instead of sending out Christmas cards, for about 5 years now.
It's not that I don't love getting Christmas cards in the mail - I do, I do! I guess it's just that it's more convenient for me to just e-mail a link - plus I get to put more pics & info.
I try to send out personalized e-mails, too, so hopefully that makes up for it a bit.
In case you didn't get an e-mail with the link, here's our "Christmas Card" for this year.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank you...

I was sitting under the Christmas tree tonight, reading a book called "God bless your way" to the girls for their bedtime story.

The doorbell rings.

I assume it's Jason coming back from scouts and I have McKinley open the door.


There are a bunch of presents on the doorstep - for each girl and gift cards for me and Jason - from "Santa." Beautifully wrapped & labeled.

I am surprised. Shocked.
Times are tough for everyone...and yet, someone did this for us.

I could barely finish the book about baby Jesus. My eyes were full of tears & could not focus on the words. My heart is filled with gratitude for someone who is truly full of the Christmas spirit - who is truly honoring the babe in the manger who's birth we celebrate.

The generosity of others truly astounds me at times. It is an amazing, humbling thing to be on the receiving end of such giving.

Thank you "Santa." Truly. Thank you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

November Slideshow & Kids stuff!

Holy Cow! Where did November go?? Hmmm - must have gotten lost in the newborn-baby-fog!
Below is the slideshow from November (pictures from Kezia's 2-week photoshoot are at the end - so sweet!) & a random little vid with the girls & then below are the usual crazy/cute things that my girls say & do!

-McKinley sure loves her new baby sister – she loves reading to her, singing to her, and holding her (after she washes her hands – she is so good at remembering!)
-She has had a hard time going to preschool this month. We made the difficult decision to pull her out anyway because of our financial situation, but they love her so much, they are letting her go once a week for free.
-In the car, McKinley loves to play “I spy…” She is really good at it & loves to help Ireland and Kezia find things to “spy,” too.
-McKinley & Ireland were in some kind of altercation when McKinley says “Mom – Ireland is not getting any toys this year, huh? Because she’s being naughty!”
-In the car, McKinley was excited to spot the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. Then she said “I can’t find the guy with the flute, mom!” It took mom a little while to realize that she was talking about Moroni on the top of the temple.
-McKinley is into talking about twins a lot lately. She thinks that if you have the same hair color, or are born in the same month, or have the same color of bowl, you are twins.
-McKinley was drawing her friend (and apparently future husband), Jack. She said she was going to draw him with spiky hair (like her daddy) because he was a daddy in the picture.
-We were driving to grandma’s house at about 5pm & the sun was going down. McKinley said “The sun is going down already! This is a teeny-tiny day!”
-McKinley was supposed to be cleaning her room. She came downstairs & told mom “My room is all clean!” Mom said “Great! Let me go check…” to which McKinley said “No, No! I was just pretending that it was clean!”

-Ireland has been learning to share. She still has a long way to go, but it’s so cute when she gives a toy to someone and says “here ya go!”
-Mom had pulled out the rack to check on a dish in the oven. Ireland came over and fully grabbed the 425 degree oven rack. Poor girl. She screamed & cried for quite a while & had quite the blisters the next few days.
-Ireland is so excited when she draws & likes to point out when she draws pictures of daddy, mommy, dogs, etc. Of course, there is absolutely no resemblance yet, but we’re taking her word for it at this point.
-Lately when we have caught Ireland getting into something she shouldn’t (which is quite frequently), she will point at you, and then scream “NOOOOO!” followed by “You’re a bad guy!”
-Ireland has started to contract her sister’s inquisitive nature. She’s started saying “But why mom/dad?”
-Ireland is into the preschool shows & has started to really interact. She will say her name when they ask what it is & try to say the letters. It’s so cute!
-Ireland is quite adept at getting naked given any choice of outfits. She’s also getting good at getting dressed by herself as well.
-For some unknown reason, Ireland gets a big kick out of biting all the erasers off any pencils she can find.
-We keep waiting for the novelty to wear off, but Ireland still cannot get enough of Kezia. When she is awake, all she wants to do is kiss her, hug her, talk to her & just be RIGHT THERE in her face the whole time. Kezia usually tolerates it pretty well, but she will let us know when she’s had enough.

KEZIA: Heidi always says that the last month of pregnancy is slow-motion, but from then on out, it’s fast-forward. It seems to be more true with each baby. Can’t believe she is 5 weeks!
-On the 30th, Kezia truly smiled for the first time. We’d seen glimpses before, but what an adorable, precious smile she has! Her daddy is especially good at getting her to grin!
-Kezia is healthy & strong & about 10 lbs already!
-She usually wakes up at about 2:30am & 5:30am. Not too bad!
-She is our little snorter – even before she got this little cold. She will always snort when she cries.
-She is also SUCH a hiccuper. She was in the tummy, too, but really it’s 4 or 5 times a day and they last for quite a while.
-She got her 2-week photoshoot at our home and she did really well. We got to play with lots of props, bows, and accessories.
-She did GREAT on our trip to & from Richfield. Slept the whole way!
-She had some issues w/ thrush & we both took niacin medicine for it. Not fun, but it seems better.