Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hamilton Holiday Blog 2011

In case you hadn't seen it...
Our version of the Christmas Card. Merry Christmas from the Hamiltons!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Video Gems

I took these videos this morning.

The first one is McKinley showing her "about me" book that she made.

The second one is Kezia singing her cutest rendition of "eensy weensy spider"

The third one is Ireland talking about a picture she drew while she was in time-out this morning. :)

Enjoy!! ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Tree & Shop with a cop

Beware. It's late. Everyone is asleep. And I'm just sitting here thinking that my blog has been kinda lame lately. I guess I'm not sure what to write.


I'll just let my thoughts ramble & see what happens - OK? This may end up being more of a journal entry than an events entry.

Well, I'm sitting here under the glow of our Christmas tree. I love to squint my eyes & see all the fuzzy colors. This year, for the first time, we have colored lights. We've always done the white lights because I always thought they looked classier. Well, I guess that tells you. We're more interested in making our kids happy than being classy. And you know what? It's OK with me right now. We had an adventure today cutting this tree down. We drove up Parowan Canyon. Hiked in the snow with the girls. And my manly man trekked farther into the forest & the deep snow to bring back the Hamilton Family Christmas Tree (we were making Griswald jokes the whole time). We had a good time, but were downright cold by the time we were done.

I'm glad our tree is finally up. I LOVE waking up in the morning for time with my Maker and kneeling under the glow of the tree. I LOVE reading books to my kids in the evening by its light. I LOVE cuddling with my darlin' at night as we are mesmerized by the soft glow. I love the smell. I love the memories it brings.
McKinley asked if she could sleep under the tree tonight & my first impulse was to say no, but I stopped myself. Why not?

It seems life has been too rushed lately. Too many decisions to be made. Too little time for the fun stuff. We still have big decisions ahead about building our home. And insurance. And budgets. And on and on. Maybe that's another reason why I love the Christmas tree. It seems to slow things down a bit. Ahhhhh...

This morning - before 7am - I went to Walmart. Not to shop...though I still have plenty of that to do. It was the shop with the cop program. What's that? Well, I'm sure I couldn't tell you a week or two ago, but after today, I know a little more. Policemen, firefighters, etc - come to Walmart and get to shop for Christmas with a child in need. When I got within a block of Walmart, I saw flashing lights & blaring sirens. It looked like WWIII for sure. There had to be 50 fire trucks, police cars & ambulances in that parking lot & street. It was really amazing to see. Really. Amazing. The Young Men & Young Women in our ward came (along with many other youth groups) to help wrap the gifts forthese children. I can't tell you how neat and fun it was to participate in that. Truly. To see those children's eyes light up as they tell you how excited they are for Christmas & how important they feel with this policemen? Pretty awesome stuff. Really put the Christmas spirit in my heart. Here's a video of the entrance, though it doesn't do it justice:

We've still got lots of white stuff on the ground. It's still pretty downright chilly. But beautiful blue skies. LOVING no smog here, people. Loving it.

Well, there's a rant for you :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

November Newsletter & Slideshow

Here ya go! Happy Holidays!!

FAMILY: This November, we have much to be grateful for. It was a wonderful month. The 3rd was when we headed down to St. George to go to the temple. We are always so grateful to the Hamiltons for watching our girls so we can go. Jeff also spent some time looking over our plans with us. On the 4th we got a decent storm & had fun playing in the snow! On the 5th, we went to Del Taco so the girls could get out their energy in their play place On the 7th for FHE, we put together a care package for Uncle Joseph in Afghanistan. The girls had a lot of fun coloring pictures & we all put in some treats for him to enjoy. On the 10th, the library had a special story time – a Princess Story Time! Ireland was at preschool, but McKinley & Kezia got in their princess dresses & headed over. McKinley was SO excited that her princess (Belle) was there & Kezia had fun talking to them as well. They read stories & sang sons & the girls had fun. The 11th was Veteran’s Day & Jason had it off, so we went to the CC Aquatic Center & had some family fun, then we headed to St. George for some shopping (Best Buy & Kid-to-Kid) and then ended with a trip to McDonald’s. On the 12th, the kids were dropped off at the Bealers with Hannah & Tiarra to babysit while Heidi & Jason & the Bealers went to adult Stake Conference. Then out to Dairy Queen. It was very enriching & fun. The girls also did a GREAT job on the 13th during stake (regional) conference. On the 18th, for Friday Fun Day, we headed to Discovery Park & had a great time in the sandbox & playing on the slides & swings. We had the whole park to ourselves! Saturday the 19th, we went to the Tree Jubilee at the Hospital & the girls got to walk right up to Santa & sit on lap & tell him what they wanted for Christmas! Then we got to see some beautifully decorated trees. Afterwards, we headed to the Talons Craft Fair at Canyon View High School. The booths were fun to see and we also enjoyed the live entertainment. We got to see Grandma Tew twice this month! She stopped by in Enoch to see our lots on her way to St. George – and she stopped by on her way back. It was so great to see her! The 21st was our 5th annual Gerald the Grateful Turkey FHE night. We had a lesson, made our turkey, ate treats, and recorded what we’re thankful for. It was great. We headed to Richfield on Thanksgiving morning & enjoyed helping grandma with preparations – peeling potatoes (McKinley was a big help!), setting the table, etc. Grandma even got out her nice china & silver! It was a wonderful, yummy meal & great to be with family. The rest of the weekend in Richfield was spent watching movies & football, doing puzzles, playing farkol & Yahtzee, going to crazy Black THURSDAY shopping at Walmart at 10pm (crazy is an understatement), looking at plans, hanging out at the Reed’s new home, going on walks, going to the park, playing in the backyard, doing crafts (gingerbread men and coloring), reading, playing video games, and of course – EATING and visiting with loved ones. It was a wonderful weekend. We took the long way home through Marysvale & it was a beautiful Sunday drive. In other news, our fish have all pretty much died. We have a sucker fish and LOTS of snails (we think they’ve multiplied) but no other fish. On the home-building front, we’ve been finalizing our plans and meeting with 4 different builders, so hopefully soon we’ll be able to decide who we’re going with (or if we’re subbing it out ourselves!). The girls are in a good routine with school & play. Mondays are play group & FHE, Tuesdays are school for both girls and mom has Young Women’s at night, Wednesday is short day with McKinley’s school, Thursday is lunch with daddy, and Friday is fun-day. Grocery shopping day is also fun because mom stands by the fridge & pantry & the girls get to throw the groceries to her to put away. Fun teamwork!!

From December 2, 2011

JASON: Jason enjoyed having 2 days off this month & spending them with family. He’s spent a lot of time going over plans and reviewing what we want in a home. He has really been consistent with working out this month & stops by the Aquatic Center gym every night before he comes home. He likes to do the bike & the elliptical. He’s also enjoyed watching Netflix movies at night with his wife

From December 2, 2011

HEIDI: It’s been a nice month for Heidi. She got to read 2 books – Ella Enchanted & The Cross Gardner. She liked them both – in different ways. She’s staying busy with the Young Women’s & had some fun activities this month, including a trip to the cannery and YW Night of Excellence. She really enjoys spending 1-on-1 time with the girls while the other one is at school. Heidi’s unintentional Black “Thursday” trip to Walmart at 10pm with her nieces & Payson & Keeley was quite an interesting experience. It was incredibly crowded & we were in line for about an hour and a half!! Not sure she’ll be doing that again next year! Heidi has enjoyed getting out for more walks with the girls this month. She loves going on the new pathway.

From December 2, 2011


-McKinley continues to excel in her schooling and her handwriting is really getting great!

-McKinley still LOVES to write notes. After she goes to bed, she will slip notes under her door for mom & dad & they LOVE getting these sweet pictures & notes. Also one day, she surprised the family with a necklace. It was made of yarn and she had punched a hole in a little piece of paper & attached it to the yard. Each piece of paper (there were about 5) had something that she liked about that person & she made one for the whole family. She is so so very thoughtful.

-We were listening to a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song one day & McKinley asked “Did you have that in the olden days when you were a kid?”

-Another one of our fish bit the dust and Mom told McKinley that the little fish was dead. McKinley said “No it’s not! It’s eyes are still open!”

-After going to the store one day, mom said that all they needed now was Mapeline. McKinley asked from the back seat “Why do we need Make-Believe?”

-One day, McKinley didn’t get off the bus. Mom talked to the bus driver & then called the school. She was in tears in the office L She was with Addison & somehow missed the bus, so mom had to come pick her up.

-Mom peeked in Kezia’s room one day to find McKinley & Kezia in the rocking chair, McKinley reading to her in the cutest way. It was SO sweet.

-One night, McKinley was in an experimental mood & daddy was good enough to work with her & make their own cookies. McKinley called them her “creative cookies.” They weren’t bad!

-McKinley had fun when Addison came over for a while – they played picnic & grocery store for quite a while.

-McKinley also has fun with our new next-door neighbors, Ella & Anna. She talks about them a lot.

-She is truly mommy’s helper at the grocery store. She can push a full-sized cart all by herself and she helps me do math on mom’s calculator. She’s also great with putting things on the conveyor belt & bringing in the groceries. THANKS McKINLEY!

-McKinley colored such a cute picture for Uncle Joseph – she drew & colored him in his camo – shooting a gun – with a flag, too.

-MckInley was SO excited to see Belle at princess story time and did such a good job listening to the stories and doing the songs.

-Whenever we go swimming at the Aquatic Center, we’re always impressed at how well McKinley is learning to swim. Before long, she’ll be able to go the whole pool length by herself!

-McKinley had a lot of fun playing with her cousins and doing crafts with grandma. She also learned how to play Yahtzee!

-McKinley lost her 5th tooth this month! Her daddy pulled it out & she got a dollar! Her class also sang to her the missing tooth song!

From December 2, 2011


-Ireland says the funniest things. Mom is only able to capture a tiny part of all the funny things she says. After drinking hot cocoa one day, she said “My tongue is getting warmed up!”

-Ireland is so funny when she gets mad. She scowls a horrible scowl, folds her arms across her chest & stomps off to her room. And she locks the door. But – the thing is – the lock is on the other side of the door, so when she’s done being mad & wants to come out, she has to wait till mom unlocks the door.

-One day while going on a walk with mom, Ireland said she was cold. Mom told her to put her hands in her coat pockets. She said “But mom – I don’t have a pocket for my whole body!”

-Whenever there is an event coming up and we tell Ireland something like “You get to go play at Eliza’s tomorrow!”, she will say “Is it tomorrow?” or “Is tomorrow right now?”

-One day in the car, Ireland told mom that she had died. Mom asked her more about it & she insisted that she had died & seen lots of people, including great-grandpa.

-Mom was talking about Cinderella one day & her fairy godmother. Ireland said “what’s a modguther?”

-Ireland is just such a creative little girl. Her drawings and colorings usually involve lots of shapes and a full rainbow of colors. They usually have elaborate explanations as well – animals, machines, people. So – mom had to laugh one day when Ireland showed off a drawing of hers. Mom asked what it was & Ireland just looked at her & said “Uhhh – it’s a paper that has lines & dots.” And walked off. Oh.

-Ireland moved into Kezia’s room this month. There’s been some rough nights where Kezia hasn’t gone to sleep well or cried, but Ireland has been patient for the most part and they’ve done well together.

-Mom & Ireland have been having lots of fun Mommy & Ireland times this month. We usually work on her reading or writing her name (she’s getting pretty good at the I R E L)! Sometimes we do a puzzle. Sometimes we’ll play a game. Lots of times she will have me print out a paper to color. One time, the printer was making noises & Ireland said “the printer burped”

-Ireland LOVES to get tickled. She’s especially ticklish under her arms. Daddy’s really good at hitting the ticklish spot & she will just squeal and scream and giggle. One time she said “Dad – you made me pee a little bit!!!”

-Ireland got invited to her first birthday party this month – for Eliza Rasmussen – a girl in her Sunbeam class. It was a princess party & she got to dress up as Snow White. Ireland was so excited to talk about it afterwards. There was a piniata & cupcakes & crafts. So much fun!

-Ireland is still loving her preschool class. She loves to pick things to take for show & tell. She had a fun Thanksgiving meal at preschool one day – and another day she had a pajama party. She does such fun crafts & she loves going with her friend Shaylee & seeing her other friends, including Adele and Cabree.

-Lots of people tell Ireland’s mom how funny she is. Shaylee Johnson’s mom says she loves to take her to preschool & hear her talk about things. Another teacher said in Primary, they asked what they eat in Thanksgiving & Adele said turkey & Ireland shouted “Candy Canes!!” and then Adele & Ireland got into an argument about when your’e supposed to eat candy canes.

-It’s also been fun to hear her answers at night as we’ve read the words at the back of our scripture book. It’s so funny when we ask something like “Ireland – what is sin?” and she will say “It’s a place where it’s dark and there are these tigers that will jump on you and eat you up!!”

From December 2, 2011


-Kezia is still working on saying she’s 2 instead of 1, but she’s doing a great job. One day, mom asked “What’s your name?” and she said “I’m TWO!!”

-When Kezia sees a McDonald’s, she points & says “chicken nuggets!” (we think she thinks that’s the actual name.)

-Kezia is done having milk in a sippy as she goes to bed. Yay!

-When mom changes Kezia’s diaper, she says “ewww! That’s gross!”

-Mealtimes are always fun with Kezia. She really enjoys entertaining her sisters & will do almost anything to get a laugh out of them – including making strange noises or saying funny words (who’s got de butta butta butta?) or pretending to burp.

-When mom called her Kezi-boo one day, she said “No! Just Kez, kez, kezia!” (like her good-night song)

-She also says strawba-ba-ba-ba-berry (like strawberry shortcake)

-McKinley had something Kezia wanted & Kezia ran over & said “Give it to me!! 1…2…”

-A couple other things Kezia has been saying lately “I just kidding!” and “I know!!”

-McKinley has been reading to Kezia in the rocking chair & it’s so sweet.

-For some reason, Kezia LOVES the Disney book we have that has a page for each character. She has almost the whole book memorized & can tell you almost all the characters – most of the movies she’s never seen.

-One day, Kezia came to mom & said OW! & held up her wrist. She had probably 20 small elastic bands on her wrist & her hand was turning purple!

-Kezia has been loving her leap jr. Reader. She can put it on her 2 books & it will read to her.

Monday, November 21, 2011

5th Generation Gerald

FHE tonight was our annual Gerald the Grateful Turkey activity. I love that the girls look forward to this every year. We traced McKinley's foot for the body (this year we used cardboard because I couldn't find any brown construction paper) and then we traced everyone's hands in various colors & wrote the things we were thankful for. It's fun to go back and compare turkeys - seeing how some things we're grateful for have changed (5 years ago, Ireland was thankful for mommy's milk, this year she's thankful for swimming :), and others stay constant - like family.
Here are some things our family is grateful for this year (with my "expanded version" at the end)...

KEZIA (the first three were what she said & I helped her with the last two):
-Jesus (she actually said this twice)
-Halloween Candy (yup... :)
- Books
-Teddy Bear & Piggy

-Beach (??)
-Heart that's happy


-Dirt Bike
-House & Job
-Fishing & Food


-Living in Cedar. Actual quote from my blog back in January of 2009: "Saturday morning we took off and went through Beaver, Parowan, and Cedar City. This was getting a little too far away from my family for me and I'm not as much of a fan of the red-rock-cedar-trees-sagebrush area, but there were a few lots I might consider."
It's amazing how moving to a place that you never saw yourself or your family can change you. I still do greatly miss my family. That is a heartache. I wish they would all just move down here! And - at the same time, I am truly growing. I am loving this place & the people here. The mountains, the clear air, the stars at night, and - yes - even the red rocks have seeped a bit into my soul. And... really... how can you NOT love a place that looks like THIS?:

-Jason's Job. This kind of goes along with living in Cedar, but really, it needs it's own recognition. For the past 8 months, we've been able to live in our own place and buy our own food with our own money. That sounds kind of simple, but it hasn't always been that way & I cannot say how thankful I am that we are in a place of self-sufficiency - and even able to start paying forward the generosity we've been given the past couple years. It's a double-blessing that Jason really enjoys his job and the people he works with and the flexibility and & benefits his job offers. I am also thankful that his job allows me to stay at home with the girls. So - so thankful for this.

-My daughters & husband. I am in a place right now that I am truly enjoying watching my girls grow. I enjoy their individual personalities. I enjoy being with them. I am SO thankful for their presence in my life. That Heavenly Father trusted me to take care of them and raise them and teach them and love them. I love & am thankful for McKinley's thoughtfulness. Ireland's zest for life. Kezia's sweet little voice. Life with them can be a roller coaster, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride :)
We have a picture frame somewhere in a box (lots of stuff still in boxes over here) that says "Best Friends" and has an engagement picture of Jason & I in it. I can't say how TRULY thankful I am to have married my best friend. There is nothing I cannot tell this man. To be able to cry with him, laugh with him, pray with him, dream with him... well - it's truly one of my greatest blessings on this earth.

-Prayer. For Christmas last year, I got a book I've been wanting - "The Power of a Praying Woman," by Stormie Omartian. It has really opened my eyes to what I've been missing in my prayers. It's helped me to see what may be holding me back from a closer relationship with my Savior. And it's really helped. I am SO thankful for the opportunity to spend time with my Maker each day and gain strength, patience, perspective, humility, and trust. My heart is changing as I try to look at this time in prayer with anticipation rather than a "to-do" kind of feeling.

-Internet & Cell phones. The other day McKinley made some kind of comment about the "olden days" - referring to the time when Jason & I were kids. I laughed, but as I thought about it, I realize that it's true. We kind of lived in the "dark ages" - no internet. no cell phones. no digital cameras. How did we survive? OK - we survived just fine & I know that there are plenty of times that technology does more harm that good (and honestly, there have been plenty of times I've wanted to throw a computer or cell phone out the window), but I am still thankful for the good stuff. I'm thankful for Skype, where we can see & talk to family. I'm thankful for cell phones - they make me feel safer as I travel - and they make coordinating life a lot easier. I'm so thankful that SO much information is at my fingertips. Remember when you wanted to find something out & you had to either go to the library & check out a book on that subject, or ask someone & hope what they said was true? yeah... I'm glad it's not like that now. I'm thankful for catching up with old friends, sharing pictures with people near & far... oh - I could go on, but the bottom line is that I am thankful I live in this day & age with so many opportunities and advances.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

LOTS to talk about!

Well, I mentioned it in the newsletter, but it deserves its own post. We bought 2 lots! I guess it's been about 3 weeks ago. The lots are in Enoch and we had looked at various homes or lots in that neighborhood the entire time we were searching. I loved the neighborhood the first time we saw it. It just so happened that the 2 lots we were looking at went into foreclosure & after much discussion & prayer, we made an offer & it was accepted that same day. So- we are the proud owners of 2 beautiful lots.
We're not absolutely sure if we'll be building right away with the snow flying so much already, but it's SO nice to stop looking & have a light at the end of the tunnel. We are at the end of finalizing our building plans & we've been up WAAAY too late at night, trying to make sure the plans have all that we want in there. Each lot is a little over a 1/2 acre, so we will have plenty of room. The lots are side-by-side at the end of a cul-de-sac, so we're not sure we'll be using the other one, or just keeping it as an investment. They back up to a huge farm field and a gorgeous view of the mountains. Our soon-to-be neighbor said that he saw a fox and a badger in his backyard just a few days before, so that will be exciting & fun. The other nice thing is that it will be about 6 minutes to Jason's work. Hooray for having him home at lunchtime!
Anyway, we are SUPER-excited! Here are some pics...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oct Newsletter & Aug-Oct Pics

Okay. I think this is how I'm going to do my newsletters & slideshows from now on. I'm going to do my regular newsletters and then just do a Picasa slideshow each month (this month I have a slideshow from Aug-Oct since I hadn't posted those pictures yet). I will do a quarterly Muvee Slideshow for myself, since it's too big to upload. I'm sad you won't be able to see it with the music & everything, but this way, you can download any pics you like (and there are some cute ones from the Aug-Oct pics).
SO - there you have it. Here is October's Newsletter & the Picasa link (warning 3 months of pics= a LOT). Okay - and I guess I have EXCEEDED my limit for pictures on blogger. Wow. I'm pulling them from Picasa, but not sure how it's going to turn out.

October 2011

From August-Oct 2011
FAMILY: What a fun-filled month October was! It started in Salt Lake. We were up there attending Mike Johnson’s wedding. That weekend was general conference & we enjoyed listening at the Potts’ & Edwards’ homes. On Saturday afternoon – between sessions – we had a birthday party for Kezia. Cindy made a cute cake & everyone brought something for a yummy BBQ. That night, we had a girls’ night with the sisters while the boys went to priesthood session. We painted nails, watched a movie & just gabbed. We left for home Sunday morning, stopping to visit and eat lunch with the Bensons in Provo. On Sunday the 9th, we had a very nice dinner at the Bealers. They got out the China & everything! They are great friends & we had a great time with them. The 10th was Columbus Day & Jason had it off work, so we took a hike up at the top of Kolob Canyon – the Timberline trail. It was just a beautiful, perfect morning & a fun hike. The 11th was our Ward Night of Music & our family went. The Young Women performed our camp “Pioneer” song & we also got to hear lots of other neat numbers- and eat cookies afterwards. It was fun! Our BIG news this month is that we bought 2 lots in Enoch!! They are in Legacy Estates. We walked through 3 homes this month & nothing felt quite right. We had been looking at these lots since we moved here, but they just barely went up as foreclosures & we were able to get a really good deal for them - $35k for a little over an acre all together. It all went very fast. We made an offer one day, the bank made a counter the same day, and we accepted. Then we closed the next week. We are VERY excited & are currently working on finalizing our home plans! J We don’t think we’ll be able to really start building before the snow really flies, but we are excited to be moving forward! On the 14th, we decided to go camping overnight. We had just fixed our truck ($350) & weren’t wanting to push it or use too much gas, so we went over to 3 Peaks Recreation Area in Enoch. It was really fun & nice. Kind of warm & dry, but tons of trails for Jason to ride on & a perfect spot to camp. We invited the Bealers over for dinner that night & had fun eating chili, roasting hot dogs & marshmallows, playing games & just visiting. That night, Ireland was sick a few times, so that wasn’t fun, but it was still worth it to get out in the trailer one last time this year! On the 20th, the Bensons came to visit for fall break! What a wonderful time we had: throwing together a birthday celebration for Brent J, trying to get the kids to bed every night (they were SO excited to be together!), having grown-up get-togethers after the kids went to bed – in one of our bedrooms – playing games (Cranium – boys cheat!), talking, laughing, Plenty of Hiking: Cedar Breaks, Cascade Falls, Kanarra Falls (The daddies took the oldest child), and Timberline trail up Kolob Canyon, Date night – dinner & a movie, Discovery Park, CC Aquatic Center, Logan & Kezia’s 2nd birthday party, Karaoke party, etc. It was a tight fit in our little 3-bedroom twin home with all 11 of us, but we made it work & we loved having our best friends over. On the 25th (while mom was at YW), daddy took the girls to SUU to get free ice cream, meet Thor the Thunderbird and see some basketball. They had fun! The 26th was Kezia’s 2nd birthday! See her section for more details, but it was a fun day & we love our little 2-year-old! The 28th was McKinley’s school’s Halloween Carnival, so the girls got dressed up in their costumes and we supported the PTA & bought tickets & played games. It was pretty crowded, but we had fun running into friends & the girls had fun playing games & earning prizes. On Saturday, we were going to go to the Livestock & Heritage Festival & got all ready & into the van, but a couple houses up from us, they were having a yard sale. We stopped & found out it was a lady in our ward that had passed away, so we stayed to help clean out her home & make trips to the D.I. They were very generous & gave us (for a VERY small price) a twin bed, 3 solid wood dressers & lots of other odds& ends – including a tank & goldfish that they didn’t know what to do with. 3 of the fish died by the next day. We bought some more, 2 of which have died. So – as of right now, we have 1 big goldfish, 2 small ones, a sucker fish, and a golden snail. Let’s hope they hang on! Also on that Saturday, Jason took the older girls to an SUU football game & we had neighbors move in on the other side of us, so we helped them move in. We’re excited that they have 2 girls that are close to Ireland & Kezi’s ages! On Sunday, the 30th, we carved pumpkins & roasted seeds. On the 31st it was Halloween! McKinley was a Batgirl, Ireland was a witch (with a light-up skirt) and Kezia was Stinkerbell (a combination of a skunk & tinkerbell) The girls had fun trick-or-treating with daddy this year. They got lots of candy & unfortunately, we only had about 15 trick-or-treaters, so we were left with a lot of extra candy.

From August-Oct 2011
JASON: Jason worked a lot this month on getting his truck fixed & his bike fixed, so he could go ride. He had a lot of fun riding at 3 peaks & hopes to go back & do some more exploring. He also has been busy working with Heidi on the details of their home plans. Jason has gotten to take the girls to SUU to get free ice cream & see basketball & also to a SUU football game. Fun times!! He also had fun hiking with McKinley, Brent & Zach & taking the girls trick-or-treating this month!

From August-Oct 2011
HEIDI: Heidi has enjoyed some time off from training this month – sleeping in on Saturdays J Things have gotten into more of a routine with the girls school & she’s thankful for that. She’s LOVING the weather this month. Just perfectly beautiful and cool. On the 13th, she went down to St. George with the young women & young men to the temple to do baptisms. She got to hand towels to the girls. It was really neat and a lot of fun. We went & got fries & ice cream afterward! She also was in charge of a Perosnal Progress pumpkin-painting with popcorn and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies night! J She really enjoyed having the Bensons come down – especially date night. She read a fun book – Stardust – this month, and was working most of the month on finishing Kezia’s birthday book – which is finally done & here! Now she can focus on the upcoming holidays!

From August-Oct 2011
McKINLEY: -McKinley had a fun month at school. She went on 2 field trips – one to the Parowan Pumpkin Patch and the other to the SUU Art Exhibit. Fun! The 2nd week was red ribbon week & she got to have crazy socks, dress like a rock star, wear red, and have crazy hair, too. Lots of fun! And at the end of the month, we got to go to her Halloween Carnival at school (she won a book there!) & she saw lots of friends and her teacher there & got to show off her costume, since they don’t allow costumes at school. Mom got to help out in McKinley’s classroom on Halloween afternoon & watch some of the things she does in class & help with her Halloween party. It was a lot of fun!

-McKinley loves to cut vegetables for her choice chore – and put them into our veggie tray. She’s really good at it, too! She did cut her thumb one time, but has been very careful ever since.

-We are working on McKinley’s temper this month. When she gets angry, she scrunches her eyes up, her head starts shaking & she tends to growl at her sister or mom. She’s been getting a bit more cayenne pepper this month & has learned to curb her anger before she says mean things.

-McKinley loves surprises. She is so good at them. One day McKinley got it into her head that she was going to do a surprise for the family. She planned it the night before & even did a checklist that she wouldn’t let us see. The next morning, mom woke her up at 7am, like she asked & she wouldn’t let anyone into the kitchen till she was ready. When we went in, she had breakfast all set out, cereal, bowls, etc – and had made everyone a glass of chocolate milk. It was so sweet. Thank you McKinley!!

-McKinley has had a couple interesting dreams this past month: 1. She dreamt about Grandpa Tew. She said he had black hair, so she wasn’t sure it was him, but she didn’t think he knew she was there. 2. One morning at breakfast, McKinley wanted to find out everyone else’s dreams before she would tell hers & then she wasn’t sure she wanted to. But she finally did. She said in her dream, there was a big meeting with Jesus and lots of people were there. She said Jesus was on a big stage. And there were angels all around. McKinley didn’t think her mom was coming & was worried, but then mom finally got there & she was so glad & she cried. Then we went in the van to get the rest of the family and we drove up to heaven (and we had either Zach or Michael in the van, too). And we didn’t get to see heaven, but we were driving there. (what a sweet, special dream!!)

-At the ward night of music, one man played the accordion & invited kids to come dance. McKinley & Ireland were the only ones from the ward & they were kind of shy, but they did a great job & danced a cute little jig!

-McKinley & Ireland were also in the primary program at the end of the month. McKinley did SUCH a great job!! She just beamed up there – smiling & singing – and said her parts into the microphone really well. We were cheering her on in the congregation. GREAT job McKinley! We’re so proud of you!

-The people that sit at McKinley’s table at school are Elliot and Jared. McKinley likes to talk about them a lot and about playing princess at recess and about how Mrs. Jones says to write her letters J

-McKinley was Batgirl for Halloween & had fun running around trying to save everyone. She got LOTS of candy!!

From August-Oct 2011

-Ireland had quite a rough month. At the beginning of the month, she thought it would be a fun idea to walk around on all fours and rub her nose on the carpet. She even got McKinley to rub hers a little bit, too. Mom warned her it would hurt, but she kept doing it & then afterwards, her whole nose was raw. It took a couple weeks for it to completely heal L And – trying to explain what happened to her nose. About a week after the “nose incident”, after we had put the girls to bed, there was a screaming cry. Ireland walked out of her room with lots of blood streaming down her face. We quickly cleaned her up & found where the blood was coming from – a cut on her head. She said she had been trying to jump down off the little table in their bedroom & bonked her head. So – she had a red, raw nose, and bandage on her head for a few days L We’re just thankful she’s OK.

-One day after Ireland woke up, she sniffed & said “Mom – I have strong boogers right now”

-The girls were playing with the lemon juice in the fridge one day & mom decided to let them see how it tasted. She squirted some into Ireland’s mouth & she got the funny look on her face & said “I don’t like it! It’s too Sprite! I like sweet!” (she seems to call sour things sprite-y. Maybe because of the lemon & lime on the side of the Sprite?)

-Ireland had to give some money from her piggy bank this month to help pay for glue and toothpaste that she wasted & made a mess with.

-When we were camping & were in the trailer, Ireland said she would keep an eye on Kezia for me. Mom said that was great. Then she said “Which eye should I use mom?”

-We were shopping at Walmart and got some trick-or-treat bags for the girls. Ireland wanted to hold hers. At checkout, Mom was putting things on the conveyer belt & focusing on paying, when she looked over & saw Ireland “trick-or-treating” from the candy section at the checkout. There were about 20 things in her bag that we had to put back! J

-Ireland is still loving preschool & mom has been working with her more on reading – especially with BOB books. She knows most of the sounds, but sometimes has a hard time focusing. She is really good & quick at putting the sounds together, though! She also is learning the sight word “the” and can sound out “It” and “Is”. She gets SOOOO excited when she puts sounds together. She will sound out “I-t” and then scream & jump up & down & say “Mom –I read ‘it’! I can read! I can read!” And she does that for every word or phrase! J She is one excited learner!

-Ireland LOVED it when the Bensons came to play. She spent a lot of time with her good friend Sienna!

-One morning, we found one of our fishes dead & we were sad. Mom was getting breakfast out & Ireland said “mom – I don’t like them to get dead.”

-Ireland was in the primary program at the end of the month – along with McKInley. Ireland had a hard time sitting still and facing forward, but we did see her try to sing a couple of the songs & she did a great job saying her part into the microphone. Good job Ireland!

-Ireland was a witch for Halloween & her skirt had fiber-optics on it, so she told everyone “I’m a light-up witch for Halloween!” She had a preschool party the Thursday before Halloween & had so much fun & got lots of candy. She also got lots of candy on Halloween night & everyone thought she was so cute. She even got to wear some of mom’s make-up!

From August-Oct 2011

-Happy #2 Birthday Kezi-Boo! She woke up way too early on her birthday, but we did sing to her & let her “break-through” to the next year and daddy made her pancakes for breakfast. It has snowed about 3 inches the night before her birthday, so it was COLD! She loved wearing her sparkly crown. That morning we went to the library and got lots of books. Then it was naptime and then after daddy got home, we went to McDonald’s to play because it was too cold for the park & had chicken nuggets. Then we went home for cake & ice cream. She got lots of fun gifts, including some blocks, books and a ball from mom & dad, and clothes and coloring things from Grandma Devenish, and a Dora guitar from Grandma Potts, and some cute Owl PJs from the Bensons. Happy Birthday beautiful girl!!

-Kezia LOVES pointing out tractors, fire trucks, and airplanes.

-We’ve had to put Kezia in time out a few times this month. She keeps thinking it’s fun to climb up on the counter and get into the vitamin/medicine cabinet. We’ve also had to put a lock on the fridge.

-One night, Kezia kept getting out of her crib, so we had to lock the door. She finally fell asleep – with her fingers poking out the bottom of the door. We went to open the door & had a really hard time getting it to open with the little straight key. We were worried about not being able to open it from the outside – and she didn’t know how to open it from the inside. After much prayer, the door finally opened & we were able to put her back to bed. After that we switched the lock to the outside.

-From the neighbors, we got a twin bed for Ireland, so we decided to finally move out Kezia’s portable crib & have her sleep in the toddler bed. The first few nights were pretty rough & she kept getting out, but she has gotten used to it & has done really well now! Good job big girl!

-Kezia still is getting into the upper cabinets, even with time-out. One day, Mom came into the kitchen, finding Kezia with the chocolate chips out and eating them.

-Kezia, just like her daddy, LOVES Wheat Chex. Even when she can choose between a sweet cereal & Wheat Chex, she will choose Wheat Chex.

-Kezi likes to say “guess what?” over & over. She never really has a response when you say “what?”

-Kezia needs to eat 2 bites of dinner before she gets a fruit for dinner. We usually have peaches. Kezia didn’t want to eat 2 bites of dinner, but she went & got cans of peaches out for mom to give her anyway.

-On the day after Kezi’s birthday, McKinley told her it wasn’t her birthday anymore & she got very upset, yelling “NO! It’s MY birthday!!”

-The day after Kezia’s birthday, we had a bit of a scare. It was the morning & mom heard crying from Kezia’s room. Ireland & Kezia had been playing in there & mom comforted Kezia, but she was really clingy afterward. Finally, mom sat her down on the leather chair & said “Kezia, I love you – you are 2 years old now & I can’t be carrying you around everywhere.” When Kezia got off the seat, she noticed blood on the back of the seat & asked where it came from. Ireland said “Kezia!” Mom looked at the back of Kezia’s head. It was COVERED in blood. The back part of her hair – her jacket – her shirt – were soaked in bright-red blood. She looked like she was ready for a gruesome Halloween party. Mom gave her a bath & found the source of the bleeding on the back of her head. She called Jason & he came home & checked it out. He cut the hair around it & made sure it was clean & we called his sister, Kim, to make sure we didn’t need to go to the ER. It ended up scabbing & healing, but was sore for a couple days & she didn’t want to lay down on it. We’re so thankful she’s OK!!

-One morning mom was doing her scripture study. It was 6:15am. She heard a door slam and little running footsteps. It was Kezia. Running. She got to mom & said “Pancakes!!” Did I mention it was 6:15am?

-Whenever you ask Kezia what she dreamed about, she will say “Teddy Bear & Piggy.” (the stuffed animals she sleeps with)

-Kezia is sad most times when she doesn’t get to say the prayer. After someone else says it, she will bow her said and say in a sad, crying voice “Heavely Father… thank thee” and if no one folds there arms, she will sob some more and say louder “Hevnly Fater – thank thee!” We are working on patience & taking turns J

-Kezia was Stinkerbell for Halloween. She had black clothes, skunk ears & a tail, green wings and a wand. She didn’t like to wear her costume for more than 5 minutes, but she was sure a cute Stinkerbell while it lasted! She went with daddy trick-or-treating for about an hour before she wanted to come home.

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve 2011

It's daddy's year to take the girls trick-or-treating, so while I'm waiting for the doorbell to chime, I figured I could make a quick post about my 3 little ghouls :)
It's been a fun Halloween season this year. The girls have made many school Halloween creations that we've taped to the wall. Ireland had a preschool Halloween party last Thursday. McKinley had a school Halloween carnival last Friday & then a Halloween party at school today that I helped with.
Pumpkin-carving & seed-roasting happened last night - and today I made another batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm....

Here they are - oldest first:
McKinley: wanted to be bat girl this year. She LOVES to save her sisters from imminent danger and their mother's wrath :)

Ireland: Mom convinced to be a witch after she found this adorable costume. You can't tell from the pictures but the skirt lights up with fiber optics.

Kezia: She's....
Can you guess?....

Wait for it....

skunk+wings & wand=

STINKERBELL! Yes... she is not cooperative with the costume after 5 minutes, but I think she's an adorable stinkerbell - don't you?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kezi-boo birthday #2

Today marks #2 for my baby. It made me a little sad & melancholy yesterday to think that she is already so old - past so many of the milestones. Oh - I know she has plenty to go, but she is definitely growing up too fast.
I love her SO much. It's hard to remember a time without her in our family. Her sisters adore her & brag about their cute baby sister to their friends. Her daddy is absolutely wrapped around her finger. She's definitely been the hardest child to discipline. She's just so sensitive and if you even talk about putting her in time out, she will start to cry. I guess we're a little lenient on her, too, because she's had some heart problems & we know how fragile life can be.

Happy Birthday, my bright blue-eyed, blonde hair, smile-to-there, little one. Please, please stop wanting to be as big as your sisters and let me enjoy your toddler-hood. :)

Here are some of the digiscrap pages I did for her birthday book. Can't wait to get it in the mail!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Exploring with the Bensons

Our best friends, the Bensons, came down from Provo to spend fall break with us & it was great! I was a little worried about our family of 5 plus their family of 6 fitting into our 3-bedroom, 1300 sf home, but it worked out all right & we had a great time. Plus - we were out exploring more than hanging around at home.
We had a terrific time & saw some things we haven't seen before!! Here are some fun memories:

-Brent's "impromptu" birthday party! We hurried & got the decorations out & I had made some peanut butter chocolate bars that we used for a cake :) Happy Birthday Brent!
-Getting the kids to bed every night. That was always fun :) they were just so excited to be together that they had a bit of a hard time going to sleep.
-Gabbing & playing a rousing game of Cranium (boys cheat! ;) late at night.
-Cascade Falls. We went around through Parowan (Cedar Canyon road had a major landslide a few weeks ago), stopped at Cedar Breaks & down to Cascade Falls We had a picnic when we got there & then had a beautiful hike to the waterfall. It was just gorgeous & perfect hiking weather. The kids all did great.
-Date night! We hired a couple YW from the ward to watch the kids while we had a date night. We watched Contagion in the the theater. Wow. Pretty depressing, but also fascinating & great acting. And just great to get out. I was trying to remember the last time we'd seen a movie in the theaters...We went to Applebees afterwards & had a yummy meal (which was yummier because we had a gift certificate :) Fun date-night!
-Jason & Brent took McKinley & Zach to Kanarraville Falls early Saturday morning. They were supposed to be back by 10, but had so much fun, they didn't get back till 11:30. The rest of us had a great time hanging out & then going to Discovery Park. Afterwards, we met up at the Cedar City Aquatic Center. The kids all had a blast there!
-Kolob Canyon. We drove to the top & hiked the Timbercreek trail & saw some awesome views & a beautiful sunset.
-Pizza Party! We celebrated Kezia & Logan's 2nd birthday (their birthdays are about 12 hours apart) & the kids had fun helping decorate the cake & helping them open gifts.
-Ebbelskeevers Sunday morning & having to say see ya next time.

Even with all the beauty, we still couldn't convince them to come move down here! We loved our time with them, though & hope to see them real soon. Love ya Bensons!