Friday, December 31, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia

Remember this post where I mentioned that we were reading the Chronicles of Narnia? Well, today we FINISHED! Yes - in 2010 my girls & I read the entire (not abridged) 7 books in the Chronicles of Narnia. It wasn't even a goal I really set for 2010, but we were so close that I decided to read the last 6 pages today. No - we haven't seen the movies yet. I'm not entirely sure I want them seeing all that violence, so if you know of a Narnia movie series geared to the little ones, let me know.
Can even say how much I love these books? Love. them. And I am so thankful that my children love them, too. It was our nap time/quiet time ritual the past year to cuddle up & read a few pages of this beautifully illustrated, amazing adventure. At first I just read to McKinley, but then I decided to read to both of them as Ireland was going to sleep. Now Ireland often asks for Narnia every time she lays down for bed.
I could seriously do an entire blog for this series, but I wanted to jot down a few of my favorites:

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe: I can never read this passage without tearing up - feeling the endless deep hurt & humility: "The Hags made a dart at him and shrieked with triumph when they found that he made no resistance at all. Then others - evil dwarfs and apes - rushed in to help them, and between them they rolled the huge Lion, over on his back and tied all his four paws together, shouting and cheering as if they had done something brave, though, had the Lion chosen, one of those paws could have been the death of them all. But he made no noise, even when the enemies, straining and tugging, pulled the cords so tight that the y cut into his flesh. Then the began to drag him toward the Stone Table."

The Horse & His Boy: Aravis & Shasta get chased by lions. Aravis gets attacked by a lion outside of the Hermit's lair. Later Shasta meets Aslan and Aslan says: "I was the lion. I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a mat sat, wakeful at midnight to receive you."
This gives me the chills & I remember getting teary-eyed as I read it. Aslan laid out how He had always been there - watching over him - even though Shasta didn't recognize Him. And some events that Shasta saw as great trials were all part of a big plan & meant to teach him. It gives me such comfort to know that Jesus has been watching over me my whole life & I'm sure I will be amazed in the end to see Jesus in all the places, twists, turns, trials, events that have been meant to shape me.

The Silver Chair
“Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream
then."
"There is no other stream," said the Lion.

The Last Battle: Even though the dwarfs were on the other side of the door, in the "real Narnia", they refused to be "taken in" They said they were still in the stable. They said all the could see was darkness. They said all they could smell was mucky stable hay. And yet they were in a wide open country. Bright, beautiful sky. Delicious smells. But no matter how Lucy & Jill & the others tried, they refused to believe it & would not be "taken in". Later, Aslan explained "You see, they will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out."
Oh, this rings so true in our day & age - and in my own life. Even if you say you believe in Jesus, fear often gets in the way of truly letting Jesus take us out of our own selves, our own pains, our own hurt and see the big picture. The blessings! The amazing promises He has for us if we would just stop being so skeptical.
And another favorite phrase that was repeated in The Last Battle - especially when everything appeared hopeless: "...take the adventure that Aslan sends us"

I hope to re-read this series in a few years when they will understand more. Now, I'm thinking of the next series to read that will be wonderful for my girls. Any suggestions?

P.S. The cute bookmark above the book was a hand-stitched Christmas present by my cute niece, Tiarra. We used it all last year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Junk

I don't know about you, but the week after Christmas is sometimes hard. The excitement of the holidays is over.
And let me be honest here... there's just a lot of junk.

junk candy all over the house
junk toys littering the floor
junk in my inbox
junk in my trunk

seriously.

I just sometimes wish this week every year I could hire someone to roll in, clean out all the junk and hand me back a nice, clean, organized home, a cleaned-out inbox & computer, and while they're at it, take some of this "junk in the trunk", too :)

I am looking forward to the new year & have some optimistic thoughts to come. But it felt good to get some of the junk out. Thanks!

Merry Christmas to all!

We had a nice Christmas this year. Apart from McKinley & Ireland waking up at 5:30 am - too excited to sleep - and Ireland puking right as we were going to go downstairs to see what Santa brought, it really was great! Christmas Eve was at my cousins and was busy as always. Christmas day was busy as well. We were hoping to get on the road to Richfield by noon, but I was worried that Ireland was sick & we weren't sure (it turns out, she just drank waaay too much water on an empty stomach when she got up that morning). McKinley & Ireland LOVED their new magnetic toys that Santa brought! We also were given the Canon HD camcorder we've been wanting! I have had lots of fun taking great vids.
Christmas morning everyone fixed such a nice breakfast. Our hearts were all hurting that Aunt Althea wasn't there & would never be. We sure missed her - but there were many things to remember her by - Cindy made beautiful ornaments with her picture on it. I gave a collage picture along with a Hawaiian calendar since she loved Hawaii. The gift opening was more hurried than usual, but everything was thoughtful & wonderful. My FAVORITE gift was a beautiful, personalized jewelry box from my sister Trisha. It had pictures of our family on it, and would you know? Inside there was a homemade watch from her & some earrings! Not only that - she put together these adorable clip art pictures (that she hand-colored) that had songs/nursery rhymes on the back. How cute is that? We also enjoyed our time in Richfield. We had fun opening gifts, eating yummy food, playing the Wheel of Fortune game on the TV, visiting, watching the older ones play the Just Dance game on the Wii, playing Dominos & doing puzzles. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful, blessed Christmas! There were too many pictures to upload on blogger, so I put together the slideshow. Please click & take a look!



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hamilton Christmas Card Blog

If you didn't get it in your inbox, here's a link to our holiday newsletter.
Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

November Newsletter & Slideshow

Better late than never, right? We had a great November, complete with a morning at Wheeler Farm, a trip to Richfield, a field trip to the homeless shelter and the Church History Museum, a stop by to visit old Herriman friends (the Matthews & Warrens), going to Heber to see the Hoffmans, sledding, the theaters to see Tangled, and a wonderful Thanksgiving (even with missing the Checketts, Simons, Uncle Richard, and especially our Aunt Althea).


video

McKINLEY:

-One night the girls weren’t going to bed & mom came in to see why they were still up. McKinley said “but mom, I was just trying to complain to Ireland that there aren’t any monsters!” Hmmm – we think she may have meant EXPLAIN.

-One morning, mom went to wake up dad for breakfast. He groaned & murmured “but I’m so tiiiired…” Mom went upstairs then to go get McKinley, who was still asleep. It was déjà vu when she said “but mom… I’m sooooo tired…” Like Father like Daughter!

-One night @ the dinner table we were having chicken. McKinley looked at it & asked “Mom – what comes from chickens?” mom answered “chicken.” It was a defining moment as McKinley realized she really was eating a chicken. She said “but I don’t want to eat a chicken!” Mom said “yes you do.” She looked down & asked “is this it’s wing?” So… we talked about chicken breasts after that. And – you know what – she DOES like chicken!

-McKinley earned 6 points, so she got to go on a fishing date with her dad to Settlement Canyon Reservoir. He went to wake her up at 5:30 & she had a hard time getting up until he said “McKinley! The fish are waiting for us!” Jason caught 4 fish & McKinley caught 3 fish. Even though it was cold, she didn’t want to leave, even though it was 3:30. They had a great time together!

-McKinley loves to play the copy-cat game lately. She tries it on her mom a lot, but soon her mom starts copying her and the game ends soon J

-After someone does something wrong, McKinley will often interject with “Well, that’s why you shouldn’t _____” Like when Joshua used permanent markers all over the downstairs, McKinley said to her “Well, that’s why you should watch your kids more.” Also – one time mom couldn’t find her camera. After looking all over, she finally found it. McKInley said “Well, that’s why you shoulda looked right there!” We had a talk about how this makes people who feel bad already feel even worse.

-McKinley was brushing mom’s hair one day while she read The Chronicles of Narnia. She had a comb & apparently attempted to “curl” mom’s hair by wrapping it up in the comb. Needless to say, it would not come out and after 3 people attempting to release it, we finally had to cut some of her hair. Good thing her hair is long & thick or it would have been pretty obvious! Next time, we are strictly using brushes for hair J

-McKinley’s big news this month is that she LOST her first TOOTH (teeth actually – she lost her 2 bottom ones). The first one was pretty loose, but we still thought it would take a while… well, we were all surprised when she was eating an orange the next day & it came out! She was counting seeds from the orange & at first she thought her tooth was a seed! After it came out, she walked around saying “I can’t believe I loosed my first tooth!!” The 2nd tooth was loose for a week or 2 before she finally just popped it out herself! The tooth fairy came & brought her a dollar for each tooth!

-Grandma was having singing time w/ McKinley one day & asked what her favorite song was. McKinley answered that it is the song that mommy sings her at bedtime…”McKinley Lou, I love you. Yes I do. Yes I do…”

-McKinley was reading mom’s scriptures one Sunday afternoon. Mom overheard part of it: “And I say unto you…Amen”

-On Thanksgiving, McKinley was SUCH a big helper!! She did decorations and spent an hour or more helping grandma set out the plates, chairs, and food. Thanks McKinley!

- Dad stayed home with Kezia while McKinley, Ireland & Mom went to see the new movie “Tangled” at the theaters. We called dad on the way home & dad asked McKinley how the movie was & what it was about. Not a lie: She was talking non-stop the entire 15-minute drive home about all the details of that movie. It could have been a commercial for unlimited mobile minutes. So cute.

-One day McKinley decided she would sweep. She was getting exasperated that she was the only one working (hmmm – I wonder where she gets that from?) Finally, she put down the broom & said “Am I going to be the little red hen?”

-Mom was lovingly singing McKinley’s bedtime song “…I love my sweet pea, I love my girl…” McKinley interrupted & said “Mom – what does that mean? Like…(with motions) sweet PEE?”

-McKinley has really been thriving with homeschool and she really loves that Tiarra can do it at the same time – she really looks up to her. McKinley has already memorized a scripture (Alma 34:38 – a long one!), and is reading really well, and learning about the Book of Mormon and Character qualities. She is learning her skip counting and reading bigger words. Great job McKinley!!

IRELAND:

-Ireland & Joshua have really been partners in crime lately. One day, they locked themselves in the bathroom & when we tried to come in they would yell “Don’t come in here!” They were in there for about 20 minutes. We couldn’t find a key. Finally we had to unscrew the door & found out the reason that they didn’t want us in there. They were basically bathed in hand sanitizer!

-We still had the pumpkins from Halloween on the front porch, but they were looking pretty wilted & sad. McKinley came up & stomped on one and Ireland said “Oh dear! Oh my dear!”

-For some reason, Ireland really gets into cutting bananas. She won’t eat it unless she can chop it up for herself.

-We have a few different kinds of milk in this household: Skim for McKinley & mom, Whole for Kezia, and 1% for everyone else. Well, it just so happened that the Walmart kind is pink & even though it was skim, it was the only kind Ireland would drink. She said “Mom – the blue (1%) is for the boys and the pink (skim) is for the girls!” Well… why didn’t I think of that! J

-Ireland has had some regression in the potty training department this month. We’re not sure why, but we’re trying to stay positive & upbeat & hope she gets back on track soon!

-Mom walked into the girls room one morning & said “it’s time to get dressed!” Ireland apparently had changed from her original PJs to some dirty tights and another PJ shirt. Mom gave her a hug and was going to ask her to change again, but Ireland said “you’re welcome for getting dressed!” and off she goes…

-When Kezia is sad or crying (especially in the car) Ireland will sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” really fast. It’s so cute.

-One day when Ireland woke up from a nap, she was cuddling with mom & asked “where are all the kids?” mom said “like who?” She said “like… Joshua & Aunt Cindy!”

-Ireland is still loving her preschool & wants to go everyday. She’s getting better with recognizing her letters and trying to read.

KEZIA:

-Kezia is walking pretty well now! She is up to about 20 steps! Great job Kezi-boo!

-Mom has been putting Kezia in the sink to fix her hair, but that’s in the past now that she turns on the water every time.

-Kezia still loves to sign. She added “more” , “ice cream” & “banana” to her repertoire this month. Her favorites are still “hot” and “baby” though.

-She is also saying lots of words and added “banana” and “tiara” to her vocabulary

-Kezia is big into saying UH-OH now & knows what it means. We’re pretty sure she thinks the dishwasher is called “UH-OH” because that’s what mom says every time she comes over to get those knives out.

-When Kezi meets a stranger & they talk to her, she’s started to do this shy-turn-my-face-into-mom’s-shoulder thing. It’s kind of cute & funny.

-Kezi loves little chairs. Any little chair. She has toppled many times, but will get right back on there & sit like a big girl!

-She is growing up so fast! She still takes 2-3 naps a day. Thankfully, she usually sleeps really well at night now & mom is able to feel more human.

-Kezia is officially weaned as of this month! It was kind of rough on mom for a little while, but now Kezi takes sippy cups like a champ & loves her Ovaltine milk.

-Kezi had a really hard time with constipation this month. Thankfully, her system seems to be handling things better now, although we still give her molasses once a day. She was pretty sad there for a couple days, though L

-Kezi had her 1-year appointment with Dr. Daynes this month. He said she looks great & is in the 20th percentile for weight & 72nd for height. She had to get 3 ouchy shots, though. Poor baby L

-Kezia switched her SVT medicine from propranalol to Atenolol, which she only has to take twice a day. She also doesn’t have to take as much, so we are all happier!

-Kezi loves the princess sit-on toy that she got from Grandma & Grandpa Potts. She has such a fun time sitting on it & scooting it around. She also loves pushing it.