Thursday, May 26, 2011

Great Riches

My girls watched a VeggieTales yesterday. I can't remember the title, but from the tidbits I gathered as I was coming & going, there was this big blueberry lady who was really rich and wanted everything in this store. She had carts & carts of stuff & she just kept getting more. It reminded me of my last trip to Walmart. Seriously. I was getting stuff for camping and 2 weeks worth of meals and snacks and I had 2 HUGE, FULL carts of stuff. By myself. Lugging them around the store. I was getting stares and comments and felt like I should be going home to feed a family of 20, not 5. Anyway, after waaay too much money spent and NO help getting to the van and loading all this stuff, I'm gonna be honest - I kind of had a little meltdown. ANYway, at the end of the VeggieTales movie, after watching a few people, she realizes (in true Grinch fashion) that happiness and true riches don't come from a store. In the end, she found true happiness in the simple things in life - the people she loved and the world God gave her.
Yesterday we were heading to the park for our picnic with daddy and McKinley saw a plane & asked if we could buy one. So... we got on the topic of wealth and money. I told her about someone I know who is very wealthy but doesn't have a spouse or children. And so I told her in my opinion, I had the greater riches, with such beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband. Our park time was magical... 70 degrees... sunshine...picnic...family. One of my favorite things to do is to lay down under a tree & look up through the leaves at the sky. I forget how a simple thing can make me feel so peaceful and loved. Then I looked around at my children & husband and, really truly, felt that no one on this earth could be richer.




video

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sin City

Last weekend we got to go on a belated anniversary vacation! Friday, we dropped the kids off at Jeff & Keeley's in St. George (have I mentioned how much I love being close to the St. George Hamiltons? :) and headed down south.
I enjoyed the drive. Jason & I have been reading the book Heaven is for Real. It's a true story about a little boy who went to heaven and saw Jesus - among a myriad of other amazing people and things. Quite a neat/interesting/amazing book to read/discuss with your sweetheart. We also read some of the Duggar family book.
We got to Vegas around 6:30 & checked in. We were basically starving by then & we had heard from a number of people that the Rio Buffet was excellent. It took a while to get in, but it really was great! Wow! Made me wish at the time that I had 3 stomachs. There was food from all over the world - and the dessert bar... wow. Jason ate like a 2-foot-tall pile of crab legs. Which is good for him because he would never get me to make anything like that! Afterwards we walked the strip & saw the Bellagio water show & the Treasure Island show.
Saturday we slept in (one of our FAVORITE parts of vacations!), ate the bruch buffet at Circus Circus & had fun riding rides at the Adventuredome. Afterwards, we walked around & through Cesars Palace & then back to Treasure Island for a quick pizza dinner and the Mystere Cirque Du Soleil (wow. I wonder if ANYone can type that without looking up how to spell it first) show. The show was - well, amazing. We'd never been to a show like that - comedy, acrobatics, music, gymnastics, lights, effects. It was really awesome. I wish I could have been at the table where they thought up some of that stuff.... "I know! At the end, let's have this gigantic inflatable tie-dyed snail! That would be sweeeet!" LOL! Sorry if I ruined it for anyone who hasn't seen it. It really is awesome though. We trekked back to our hotel, but Jason said he'd never been in the Stratosphere, so we went a bit farther & took the elevator to the top. If you go, just be aware that it DOES cost money just to go up there. $13/person. I gawked at the price, but we had walked all the way there & Jason had never been to the top. It was really neat. Back in my crazy college days, me & my roommate & a couple other friends drove to Vegas on a whim. We rode the Big Shot(a ride that shoots you straight up & back down) twice. It is terrifying. Now they have 3 new rides (OK - new from 1997) - one that shoots you over the edge & pulls you back, one that basically swings you over the edge, and one where you JUMP OVER THE EDGE. I am talking 108 stories up. Craziness. Let's just say that I'm not terrified of heights, but not too fond of them either. I was already feeling a bit sick to my stomach just looking out over the glass. But intentionally going off the edge... well, I just don't think so.
Sunday we took off (checking out was a madhouse!) & on our drive home, we finished reading our book. About heaven & Jesus and angels. What a contrast. I had such a wonderful time being with my husband. The environment, however, was not so wonderful. I don't know if its because I have become a parent since the last time I was there - or if it really has gotten worse (they are really working the Sin City/What happens in Vegas theme...), but sometimes it was hard to really enjoy things because everywhere I looked there was pornography. I mean - everywhere. I couldn't look up - there were billboards & hotel signs, I definitely couldn't look down - hard porn pamphlets littered the ground. And looking straight ahead wasn't a safe bet, either - the way people were dressed... wow. I hate to say it, but all that filth did kind of put a damper on our weekend away. Just too much junk. It just weighed me down. I felt like I was staying in the "Great & Spacious Building." I know it sounds funny, but it's true.
Still - we had a great time just being together & celebrating 11 years. Just the extra sleep was worth the trip! :) Here's some pics from the weekend.

World Buffet at the Rio - Jason enjoying his crab legs!

Our hotel


TI's pirate show

Adventuredome fun!...



Hmm - waaay too much food.


Water Show at the Bellagio- pretty cool!

Circus Show

Cesar's Palace

Mystere

Top of the Stratosphere Tower

Crazy people ride

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Random

It seems like I've only been posting events lately & not taking time to write some of my thoughts & feelings. For what they're worth, here's some thought nuggets that have been banging around my brain lately:

-Cedar. I am still REALLY loving living here. I drove to my good friend's (Lena) house a couple weeks ago & drove over the mountain, past Duck Creek Village & down 89. I mean, I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road. It's SO beautiful up there! Anyone want to buy me a cabin up there?? Pleeeeease?





-Weather. Well, darn it. It must be spring in Utah. Last week, my girls were running through the sprinklers with their swim suits on & today we have to wear warm jackets. Our closets are bursting with both winter & summer clothes. Can't wait till it decides to be warm for good! (course then it will be hot & I might just complain about that ;)







-Routines. It took a while after all our trips in April, but I think we finally settled down to where the girls aren't fighting their morning chores as much and are acting better in homeschooling. We have a pretty good system where we have FHE on Mondays, Tuesdays are playgroups at the church, Wednesday is picnic in the park with daddy, and Fridays are Friday Fun Days, where we go to playgroup & usually another "field trip" somewhere. We've been to the park a lot lately.




-Camping. I can't say exactly why - maybe it's because we didn't hardly go camping at all last year - but I am REALLY craving some time in the mountains. And guess what? We bought a camping trailer! I'm so excited. I am really looking forward to a lot of camping trips this summer. Who's game?




-Buying/Building. After we got the trailer, this has REALLY been on our minds lately. We have walked through probably 10 houses. We have driven to see dozens and dozens of lots. It's getting a little stressful because we have this house on a 6 month lease and we've already been here for 2+ months (wow - really?). If we're going to build, we're a little behind the game here. But anyone can tell you that we don't make decisions quickly - and especially something of this magnitude and importance. We really want to be where the Lord wants us. We just need to figure out where that might be - Hamilton Fort, Cedar, Enoch, Summit, Parowan? We have started looking at home plans & my mind gets boggled by all the options and things to consider, but it is exciting to think of all the things we've been wanting to incorporate in a future house.


-McKinley's schooling. This is also still a decision that is very much in our minds and prayers. At this point in time, I am leaning more toward homeschooling. I'm not going to list all the reasons right here, but I'm sure I'll do a post in the future once we've decided for sure. I'm also trying to decide how much homeschooling we'll do in the summer.






-Summer Plans. I'm looking forward to this summer. This weekend we are going to Vegas for our anniversary weekend. We're planning on heading North for Memorial & going camping with family. A race in June. 4th of July in Richfield, Ireland's 4th Birthday, Potts Family Reunion in August, and another race. And in between - swimming lessons, camping, hiking, and exploring. I'm very much looking forward to this summer!




-Girls growing up. Lately it seems I've been able to get outside of the moment-to-moment enough to really see my girls growing up. McKinley's hair has been getting so long. I catch glimpses of her & just can't help but see what a beautiful girl she is - on the outside & inside. She still is our never-ending question-asker, but I try to be patient and explain things minus all the exasperated sighs :) Ireland... almost four years old. The past 2 days with her have felt like a dream. Don't know what has happened, but she has done her chores without complaining - folded an entire basket of towels this morning and put them all away. She'll say I love you out of the blue and is always there when I'm cooking something so she can help. I'm sure we're not completely done with tantrums and throwing fits, but I think we might be getting closer! Kezia - wow. She really is a little girl. She's starting to put words together - make sentences. She's also started to be picky with what she wants & she can express it now enough for us to understand - but now she is having a hard time learning that even though we know what she wants, she can't always have it :( It's a difficult thing to learn. She is sucking in so much from her sisters.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

11 and counting!

I am so thankful this morning. Thankful for the beautiful sunshine (we've missed it over the past few days!). Thankful for my girls not fighting me on their morning chores.

And today, I'm so, so thankful for my husband. Today we celebrate 11 years of marriage. This morning we watched our wedding video. Have I mentioned that we got married in the Salt Lake Temple at 7:40 in the morning? 7:40 A.M!! Can I just take a moment here & THANK all the people who showed up at 7am in the morning for our marriage? Seriously. I am looking at the video, thinking, wow - these people must really have loved us. I mean, I am lucky to be dressed by 7am, let alone be somewhere & ready for pictures - let alone get my children ready. And an especial shout-out to my sister & sister-in-laws with babies to bring. My youngest niece was only 2 months old at the time! Keeley - you are an angel to have been up with Camri the night before & then to the temple at 7am. If my sister told me she was getting married that early and I had to get myself and my children ready & to the temple by 7am, I MIGHT just have laughed in her face. Hmmm - apparently, we were a bit desperate! ;)
Love you people that were there.
And love the ones that were there that are no longer here.

As for my hubby, I loved watching his face in the video. So handsome. So loving. So eager. I glance over at him now & wonder where the time has gone, but realize that I had no idea really what love was at that point. And 10 years from now, I'm sure I'll look back & think the same thing about us right now, but the point is, that I am looking forward to that. To growing old with this man. To the laughing, the loving, the changes, the children, the love.
So - here's to you babe. And all the people loving & supporting us these past 11 years.
LOVE YOU!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To my mom:



I love you. And thank you. Forever.

Friday, May 6, 2011

April Newsletter


Whew! Could April have been any busier? Not sure it's possible... :)

Family Fun: Included looking at homes, land, and trailers to buy, watching general conference as a family (and having a girls night with popcorn and nail-painting while daddy went to priesthood session), Salt Lake fun with cousins, aunts, and grandparents, Cindy & Mike's ring ceremony, San Diego & Disneyland for a week (see this post for details), Salt Lake again for Heidi's 1/2 marathon with Chelsea, celebrating Dave's birthday at our home with the Devenish's & Hamiltons, yummy pre-Easter meal at the Hamiltons, opening "Resurrection eggs" 2 weeks until Easter, fun Easter egg hunting, easter baskets & new dresses, having the Bealers over for dinner, going to the temple (THANKS Keeley & Camri for watching the girls! :)

JASON: Jason continues to enjoy his new job & is learning a lot! He even got certified with CPR & they gave him a work cell phone. He was really close to going on furlough the day we left for Disneyland, but Congress approved a budget at the last minute. . Jason enjoyed his first vacation to Disneyland – he loved to go on rides with McKinley & loved to see how the girls lit up when they saw the characters. He also had fun on the big Screamin’ roller coaster ride he could go on with Heidi. And he liked the Bug’s Life 4D movie. Jason got called to be the Elder’s Quorum Secretary at the end of the month & is looking forward to that calling.




HEIDI: It was a lot of work with all the packing, unpacking, laundry and cleaning to basically be gone for 2 weeks, but it was all worth it. So many wonderful memories. So great to be near family that we hadn’t seen in a month. She had a fun time shopping with Trisha at Kohl’s & Target while they were in SL (thanks mom for watching the girls!) Heidi’s also really enjoyed being closer to the St. George Hamiltons. Keeley & Jeff are so great to have us over – seems like we’re there every week! Heidi enjoyed the ½ marathon and is looking at doing a triathlon and maybe another race this year. Heidi also has enjoyed meeting the activity day girls & McKinley, Ireland & Kezia have enjoyed coming to the activities as well! Heidi still goes to the ward playgroup 1-2x a week and enjoys visiting with the other moms J



McKINLEY:

- When we went to Salt Lake for Cindy’s ring ceremony, McKinley snuck into the back of Cindy’s van. Cindy didn’t know till she was at the turning light that McKinley was back there. We had quite a talk that night with McKinley about trust.

-McKinley earned her Leapster from doing her chores on Handipoints – just in time for us to leave to Disneyland! She has enjoyed learning games on it.

-McKinley wanted to go swimming the SECOND we got to San Diego & didn’t stop asking about it for 2 days until we could go to the beach & pool.

-McKinley says her favorite ride at Disneyland was the Dumbo ride. She really loved the beach, too – and loved to be near her cousins. And, of course, she loved meeting all the princesses & dressing up. When she was Belle, she got so many comments about how beautiful she was.

-One day McKinley was throwing her purse in the air & catching it. She said “I’m a genius!”

-McKinley said that when she gets to be a mom that she would get 2 dogs and she would name one Tundra and one Sydney to remember her dogs growing up. And then she said that they would have puppies, but they would have to get married first.

-One afternoon, mom was watching a documentary on God in nature and it was quoting scripture & talking about the power of a storm. McKinley said “Wow, Mom – Satan should read the scriptures.”

-Just before bed on the 19th, daddy pulled McKinley’s top front right tooth out! It was pretty wiggly. It bled a little, but a new little tooth was already popping through. She got a dollar from the tooth fairy! And she’s still waiting for that other wiggly front tooth to fall out!

-McKinley is pretty good at sounding out words when she writes things, but she also likes to spell them right, so she asks mom sometimes how to spell something. One time she said “Mom – how do you spell OK?”

-McKinley got quite a collection of quarters from the Easter Bunny eggs this year. She was counting her stack & said “Mom – does the Easter Bunny know about tithing?”

-Then, later, she was counting all her money in her room. She came out while mom was reading to Ireland & Kezi. She said “Mom – I’ll entertain these girls. Will you please go in my room and see if I’m rich?”

-McKinley’s homeschool was a little lacking this month with all the traveling, but she still managed to memorize Alma 26:1 – and we learned about Aphids for our character quality. She continues to do really well with reading. She knows a lot of sight words. Her challenge is that she is tired of sounding things out, so she tries to just sight-word-read & ends up looking at the word “grill” and saying “girl.” Mom has to constantly remind her to slow down & look carefully at words.

-McKinley continues to make friends & enjoys playing with Addison & loves playing with Parker at play group.

-On Friday fun day at the end of the month mom asked what McKinley wanted to do. She thought for a minute & then said “Drive to Disneyland!!”

IRELAND:

-Ireland was almost as excited to see her friend Sienna Benson as to see her cousins and grandma & grandpa. She sure loves playing with Sienna. She was happy to see Joshua, too, and it took almost 30 minutes before they fought over something!! J

-Ireland wasn’t sharing too well at Grandma’s & mom told her she needed to share. She said “NO! Everybody just has to share with ME!!”

-On our way to Disneyland, Ireland saw the Excalibur castle & got excited. She said “LOOK Mom! It’s the temple!”

-Ireland really had a good time at Disneyland. She really loved all the Characters and would hardly eat because she’d be looking for them coming. She loved the rides, too, but was a bit scared on the Pirates of the Carribbean and the Bugs Life 4D show.

-Ireland LOVED swimming at the San Diego hotel, but the pool was just too chilly. She kept getting in, teeth chattering, hopping out, getting her coat on, getting warmed up, and hopping back in. this happened about 4 times before she finally stayed out!

-One night, Ireland put her head on the pillow and with a sigh said “Mom – Jesus loves me.” It’s moments like those that are truly treasures in a mother’s heart.

-One night, Ireland was having a really hard time & was crying & Mom blew her nose & went to throw away the tissue & Ireland launched into another fit, screaming “You took my germs!”

-Ireland was not doing what we asked & mom said “I’m the mom!” and Ireland said “But I’m the Ireland!!”

-We were talking about the country that Ireland is named after. She likes to look at pictures online of “her country” and when we drive through new places she will say “Mom – is this my country?”

-One night driving home from a long day of looking at lots, Ireland was cranky. She was just crying & wailing & screaming that she wanted this or that. Out of nowhere she starts screaming “I want to go to the dentist!!”

-The previous entries make it sound like she’s always difficult, but really her worst moments are when she is tired. She’s really usually a good little girl. She recognizes most of the letters of the alphabet & now mom is teaching her what sounds they make & how to identify numbers. Ireland is a helper & is always the FIRST one ready for bed – the FIRST one ready to get out the door – the FIRST one to pop out of bed. She has so much life & energy in that tiny body. We sure love our Ireland!!

-Often when we ask what Ireland dreamt about, she’ll say “Sienna!”

KEZIA:

-Kezia is so expressive right now. She’s really learned a lot of words and can tell you now if she hurts or if she wants an apple or if she’s stinky. If you read her a book, she will point to almost everything on the page & say its name. She loves to try to sing A,B,Cs and when mommy is threatening time out & counting to 3, Kezia likes to join in.

-Kezia is able to start repeating after the prayer words. So cute!

-Mom was in the living room & couldn’t see Kezi, but heard her making noise in the kitchen. Mom said “Kezi – are you making a mess?” Kezi said “Yeah!” Seriously!

-Kezi loved to see her grandma & grandpa. It took her a minute to take it all in, but once she did, she was so excited & wanted to just cuddle with them.

-Kezia had fun at Disneyland. She wasn’t so sure about the Characters at the beginning. Her match, Sleeping Beauty, was a little frightening to her for some reason, but by the end, she was running up to them saying “hugs! Hugs!”

-She enjoyed the slow boat rides, but really didn’t like the rides or shows that puffed air or water at you. She also was a bit scared on Pirates of the Caribbean.

-Kezi did really well at Disneyland for being stuck in the stroller so much. She fought it, but by the second day she was pretty good about zonking out in the stroller. She would NOT wear her cute mouse ears, though L

-Kezi still has some disgusting infatuations. She still loves the toilet and we have to constantly watch her so she’s not into the toilet water or putting various things in the toilet.

-One day Kezi was playing outside with her sisters. Mom opened the door & she walked right in, holding a piece of dog poo in her hand. YUCK!!

-When we pick her up & hold her, she likes to put her head on our shoulder and put her arms down the front of her between us. It’s so cute.

-When we sign I love you to each other, she tries so hard to make the sign, but ends up just kind of scrunching her fingers together.

-She knows a lot of animals & the sounds they make. She loves to say “Cow! Mooooooo!”

-Kezi is having a hard time learning how to share. Her version of sharing is coming up to a child, taking the object from them and saying “SHARE!” And if anyone tries to take ANYthing from her, she says “MINE!!” Sigh… we’re working on it!

-Kezi sure loves the dog. She has even learned to take control when Sydney jumps up on her – she says “NO! and pushes her away.” One day the dogs were fighting/playing & Kezi was shouting to them “SHARE! SHARE!”

-Kezi went to the nursery for the first time this month. Her first time went pretty well, but we were just a couple minutes late picking her up & when she saw the other parents leaving with their kids, she started screaming. The next week was a bit more difficult, but after 3 times of going out & coming in, she stayed & was fine.

-Kezi also loves looking at pictures from the family. One of her favorite things to do is sit and watch mom’s screensaver & name all the people in the family. It’s so cute. She also loves to call family, but she has to see their picture on mom’s phone to talk to them.

-Her hair is getting so long we have to pull it back everyday just so she can see.