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!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Surprise Girl

I just love my McKinley. Not sure where she gets it from, but McKinley LOVES doing surprises.

She loves putting treats in her daddy's work bag for him to find later, throwing parties for her stuffed animals, sending letters & e-mails to her friends and family, leaving treats for neighbors, and writing notes, notes, notes. A little note for someone feeling sad, a note for someone's birthday, a note to say she's sorry, a note to say she loves you, a note with a drawing on it, a note just because.

The other night, McKinley got it in her head that she wanted to do a surprise for our family. She wouldn't tell us what it was & even though we didn't try to guess, she kept asking if we thought we knew what it was. We assured her that we didn't. She asked me to wake her when I woke up. I told her that would probably be a BIT too early (5:30am), so I told her I'd wake her up at 7am. The next morning & 7am, she got right up & went into the kitchen and wouldn't let ANYone in there till she said it was ready.

Finally, at the risk of Jason being late for work, she let us in. The table was all set - bowls out, spoons out, cereal out, and chocolate milk made for every person at the table. I could have been frustrated by the fact that she used most of the milk & chocolate in the process, or that 3 of the cups of milk spilled within the first 5 minutes, but I decided that it really didn't matter. She was so thoughtful to do this for our family.

As I was cleaning up, I found this "to-do" list :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Family Pics 2011

I don't think I'm necessarily a demanding person. But when it comes to getting our family pictures taken, I really don't compromise. Sometimes Jason scoffs at having to pay someone to take our pictures, but they turn out so much better than I could ever take them. And - I always remind him - we can never go back in time & take these pictures.
We took these pics in St. George. I never pictured myself as a red rock girl, but I'm finding myself embracing it all. We live in such a beautiful place.
Now - if only I could have all the canvas prints I wanted...

Here are some of my favorites:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

September Newsletter

Can you believe we're into October already? I'm looking forward to the coming fall/winter holiday months :) Here's what we were up to in Sept:

September 2011

FAMILY: Our family attended a full spectrum of events this month: a blessing (Maliyah Benson), a baptism (Zach Benson), a wedding (Mike Johnson), and a funeral (Grandpa Tew). Grandpa Tew’s funeral was on September 1st. It was a wonderful service & so neat to hear stories from so many aunts, uncles, and cousins about our dear Grandpa Tew. We had a good time in Salt Lake, enjoying our family (though Heidi was so sad that she left her camera in SLC & had to take the rest of the month’s pictures with her phone L. We left for home on Saturday morning, stopping in Orem to attend the blessing of Maliyah Benson & baptism of Zach Benson. Congrats our good friends!! We also went through Panguitch on our way home & spent the evening visiting at the Goobler’s antique home there. The Devenish’s even stopped by for a visit. On the 5th (Labor Day), we had a great time swimming at the Aquatic Center with the Hamiltons. Then we had some pizza and ice cream & visited at home. Not our normal Labor Day weekend, but good to see both the Potts & Hamilton sides of the family! The 9th was McKinley’s 6th birthday!! We had a lot of fun! See her section for more details, but that night we went to Funtime Inflatables and all had a blast. On the 10th, Hannah Blackwell watched the girls while Heidi & Jason had a date night attending the Iron County Festival of Homes. It was neat & fun to see some of the designs & layouts. On the 13th, Ireland started preschool! Yay Ireland! That evening, we went to St. George to attend the temple and have a September birthday party for McKinley, Daken & Jeff. Thanks Hamiltons for making it a great night! J On the 16th, Heidi picked up her Cedar Half Marathon packet & enjoyed running into an old friend, Gayla Perkins. Then we all went to the SUU homecoming party, complete with free food and live music. It was also fun to hand out with Bonnie & Dallas Jones there. The only downer was the on & off rainfall all night. We headed home about 9 & got the kids to bed right before a massive thunderstorm hit. It was pretty loud & intense & we all didn’t get a lot of sleep that night. The next day, the 17th, was Heidi’s Cedar Half Marathon. She felt good about it & got a time of 1:35 & placed 1st in her age division! She loved having her cheerleaders there at the finish line & we all had a great time seeing friends there – the Clawsons, Jones, and Hooks. That evening we were invited to come to Ruthann Hook’s sister’s block party. McKinley had SO much fun reuniting with her friend Alyssa & we all had fun visiting, listening to the DJ’d music, eating yummy food & watching the BYU/UofU football game. Just a fun,neat night. Thanks so much for inviting us Ruthann! On the 23rd, we went over to Discovery Park & had a fun time digging in the sandbox & meeting new friends. McKinley even found some (plastic) gold pieces! That night, we headed back down to St. George & had our family pictures taken. The sneak peek of the pictures were great & we can’t wait to see all the rest! Grandpa & Grandma Potts were also in St. George & we met them at the Pitts’ home & enjoyed visiting before we had a late-night drive home. Saturday we drove around looking at lots for a couple hours & then Jason took the girls while Heidi went to a wonderful Women’s Conference. We took a Sunday drive on the 25th to go see the leaves & it was SO beautiful. We drove up past Cedar Highlands & walked around for a while & got to pick some gorgeous leaves, smell the crisp air & see the breathtaking sunset. We feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place!! On the 27th, McKinley was given the Catch the Vision Award at her school assembly. We are SO proud of her!! Great job McKinley! On the 28th, we went back to Discovery Park to play with our friends, the Bealers. The afternoon of the 29th, we headed up to SLC & dropped the kids at the Potts (thanks Tiffany, mom & dad!!!) while we went to a wedding dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for Jason’s cousin, Mike Johnson. It was a yummy meal & so fun to walk around downtown together & visit with family. That night, Heidi & Jason used a gift certificate & stayed at the Armstrong Mansion Bed & Breakfast. It was so nice & relaxing– THANK YOU mom & dad!! The next morning, we had a nice breakfast & headed over to the Salt Lake Temple to witness the Johnson sealing. It was beautiful & the sealer spoke many words of wisdom. That night, we attended the reception as well. Congrats Johnson family! As far as homes go, we’re still waiting to hear back on the Short Sale home in Parowan, but it’s not looking as promising because the owners wanted to rent it out & we were not willing to move in unless we had a guarantee that we’d be able to actually buy the place. We’re also still looking for lots. Hoping to find where God wants us to be. MIRACLES: Heidi could not find her phone anywhere & thought it had been stolen at the Aquatic Center, but found it buried in her purse. Kezia almost got burned from boiling water, but thankfully didn’t. Jason was driving the truck & it died in the intersection. We’re so thankful he didn’t get hit. We’re truly hoping it doesn’t cost much to fix.

JASON: Jason gave a beautiful family prayer before they closed Grandpa Tew’s casket. Grandpa & Jason were close. Jason said he had a feeling that Grandpa was leaving the day before he died. Jason had a great time getting to see his family more this month – especially some extended family he hasn’t seen in a while. He’s still enjoying his job & was able to get in some overtime this month on a litigation project. He went shooting guns with the Elder’s Quorum on Saturday the 24th & had a lot of fun with the guys. He’s also helped out a lot with people moving this month.

HEIDI: Between taking McKinley to Kindergarten & Ireland to preschool, Heidi stays busy most days J She’s thankful she can switch off with Diane Bealer & Heather Johnson. She’s also thankful that the girls’ school schedules give opportunities for more 1-on-1 time with each girl and more time in the afternoons to get things done. The 17th was her Cedar Half Marathon & she was really pleased to do so well – 1:35 & 1st in her age division. She really was pushing herself, but felt great until about mile 9. She had to dig deep those last miles, but was thankful she met some fast girls who let her run with them & motivate her. She was a bit disappointed in the prize (just a framed certificate), but the best part was the beautiful day (she was so worried they’d get rained on!) and getting to see so many friends – Cindy Clawson, Bonnie Jones, Ruthann Hook, & Gayla Perkins. She’s glad to be done training for a while & hopes to be able to do more varied workouts. She finished The Host this month & is now reading a couple inspirations novels. She really enjoyed Women’s Conference – especially Elder Uchtdorf’s talk on Forget-Me-Nots – especially since that’s her favorite flower. She’s also still loving Young Women’s. The girls were so sweet & threw a pizza party for us leaders – complete with gift bags with our favorite candy bars. Also – we went shooting for one of our activities & that was a lot of fun. She’s also been spending her afternoons re-doing McKinley’s birthday book and starting Kezia’s.


-McKinley is still loving school & her teacher thinks she’s great, which is why she picked McKinley for the Catch the Vision Award that she got in front of the whole school. Most everything is really easy for her, but we’re trying to keep her challenged by giving her harder books and perfecting her handwriting. She is doing great & loves her friends – Addison, Ella, Elliot, and the twins she gets to sit by on the bus.

-McKinley turned 6 this month!! That morning, she got to “break-through” to a new year, do the hide& seek present find, and eat what she wanted for all 3 meals – ebbelskeevers for breakfast, ramen noodles for lunch, and corn dogs for dinner. She wore her crown to school and they made her a crown, too. We brought cupcakes for the class & they also made her a special birthday book, which each classmate drawing a picture for her. That night we had a strawberry shortcake cake & ice cream & then we went to Funtime Inflatables & had a blast playing on the inflatables. Some favorite gifts: A special note from Addison Bealer, Dolls from Grandma Potts, shoes & slippers from Grandma Devenish, some fun puzzles & coloring books from Aunt Trisha, a movie night to see Kung Fu Panda II w/ Michael from Aunt Cindy, cookies from our next-door neighbors, and lots of books, crayons, markers from mom & dad, along with a very special Mount McKinley picture that they hope she will keep for a long time.

-One day after mom asked her to do something – or wouldn’t let her do something, McKinley was upset & said “You’re ruining my life EVERY DAY!”

-McKinley got some candy bars for her birthday & since our neighbors gave her some cookies for her birthday, she wanted to return the favor, so she wrote a note & gave them her candy bars.

-McKinley did a FHE this week on something she learned in her Primary Class – Daniel & the Lion’s Den. She had colored, cut out people to tell the story & even made some of her own to supplement. We were all so impressed about what she knew! Great job McKinley!

-One day, McKinley said “I wanna be a rock star someday!”

-One night, we were looking at the stars on the girls’ ceiling & McKinley said “Look! It’s the big scooper!”

-McKinley has been LOVING the Magic Treehouse books that mom ordered. There’s a magic tree house that takes 2 kids to different places & we’ve read about Dinosaurs, Knights, and Mummies!

-McKinley had a dream one night that she shared with us at breakfast: She dreamt about a T-Rex (just like in the Magic Treehouse book we’ve been reading), and then she & Michael were at a Party for Daken & there were doors & she opened one thinking that she could get to Narnia, but there was just a baby crib & baby stuff. And Michael found a compass.

-McKinley’s imagination is so fun to see. One day she decided it was the (puppet) elephant’s birthday party & the elephant was so sad because no one remembered. But secretly, McKinley made a huge party for him, complete with decorations, gifts, a cake, and confetti. All her animals & dolls were invited. It was so cute.


-Ireland started preschool this month & is LOVING it! She goes with her friend, Shaylee Johnson, and loves to see her teacher Miss Meili, play with her friends, make lots of crafts, and learn colors, shapes, letters & numbers.

-Ireland has seemed to inherit her love of note-writing from her older sister. Most nights after she’s put to bed, she will come out after a few minutes with a note for mom or dad or both. She loves to draw animals, shapes, and she LOVES to use a rainbow of colors. She does such a great job & we love all her works of art.

-Ireland likes to negotiate with time. She will ask for something & then say “for 5 minutes, OK?”

-Ireland had a rash around her nose earlier this month & it got really bad, so we took her in & it turned out she had a staph infection. She was on oral and topical antibiotics for 10 days. Thankfully, it’s much better, but she had to miss her first week of preschool L

-Ireland loves pregnant women for some reason. She gets so excited when she finds out they have a baby in their tummy. She was talking to Diane Bealer about her baby & asked where the baby was & Diane pointed to her tummy & Ireland asked “Did you eat him?”

-Ireland had a very descriptive dream this month, too. She said “My dream took me to a diffferent cabin. There were lots of people there. There was a princess in a yellow dress with a mirror – but it wasn’t magic until her dreams came true. Mommy was there and she had a puppy in her purse & it said to go look at all the potties. And it wanted some food – some goldfish crackers – and I wanted to go home, but I didn’t know how.”

-One day, mom came in the kitchen to find Ireland bringing rocks inside. Mom asked why & Ireland said “Because the rocks are scared of the thunder!”

-For some reason, Ireland thinks it’s great fun to untwist all the door stops, so we are finding them all over.

-Ireland was walking down the sidewalk (going to meet McKinley’s bus) & talking to her dad on the phone. Mom hears her say” Well, I have a dress on. What are YOU doin’ daddy?”

-One day, Kezia was really sad & crying. Ireland walked over to her & said “Do you want a blessing Kezia?” and proceeded to put her hands on Kezia’s head & give her a “blessing”. Kezia wasn’t really interested & starting walking away, but Ireland just walked along with her hands on her head, giving her a “blessing.” J

-Later that day, Ireland & McKinley were taking a bath & mom hears this from the other room from Ireland “Okay I’m going to baptize you.” And then (after a splash) “There! You’re baptized!”

-Ireland has really been on a scissor kick lately. It’s good because she’s getting more & more coordinated with the scissors, which is a good skill to have –especially since it’s harder being a lefty. But – the downside is that there are little pieces of paper strewn all over her room & the house – and one afternoon she decided to use her scissors on the tip of Tundra’s tail L

-Ireland had to recite the 10th article of faith for sharing time in primary, so mom came in to help her. She had a sign that had the words on it & she just kept holding it up & bringing it to people, saying “article of faith!!” She was beyond excited. When she got to the microphone, she yelled into it “ARTICLE OF FAITH!!” Then she got the giggles & just laughed & laughed till mom told her to take a deep breath. Then she was able to (somewhat) repeat what mom told her. She did a good job, though J

-Ireland keeps saying “I want another mom (and/or) dad.” At first, mom was sad. But then dad clarified that what she really wanted was MORE moms & dads. Daddy asked her how many she wanted. She said “Like a mom & dad and a mom & dad and 10 times!!” (with her big, wide eyes & enthusiastic voice). Dad asked what she would do with all those parents. Her answer? “HUG THEM!”

-One day in the car, Ireland said “Pleeeeeease can we go see grandma? For just 5 whiles?”

-One day Ireland was helping me in the laundry room & there was bedding on the ground. She said “Mom – the floor is really sheet-y.”

-Ireland loves to get toilet paper, get it wet, scrunch it into a ball, “bake” it in her oven, put it in a sandwich bag, and offer everyone her “cookies.”

-One day in the bathtub, Ireland said “Mom – I wanna ask you something” (we think she meant TELL you something). Then she said “I really like your husband.”


-We love our blue-eyed, blonde-haired almost 2-year-old girl. She sure keeps us on our toes! She has really been mastering the English language and is even starting to boss people around and tattle-tell. She says “Go in time out!”, “Don say DAT!” “Take your bowl!” (to Ireland who hadn’t taken her bowl to the table) “Mom – put the (milk) lid on!” “Shut the door!” “Mom – Ireland/McKinley hit me!” “Sydney jumped on me!”

-One morning, Jason wasn’t feeling good & was still in bed. Mom asked Kezia if daddy was sick. Kezia said “He’s grumpy!”

-Mom wore a green swim suit for the aquatic center & Kezia saw her & said “Alien!”

-Kezia demands hugs & kisses for bedtime & goodbyes. When we dropped McKinley’s friend Addison off at school, Kezia said “KISSES!” to Addison.

-One morning mom came in to get Kezia & she had taken her diaper off & THEN had proceeded to poop in her crib.

- Kezia is still our sympathetic child & will say “I’m sorry Mom/Dad/Ireland/McKinley” when we are frustrated or upset.

-Kezia is SUCH a big girl now! She won’t sit in her high chair, won’t wear a bib, and can get up and down from the kitchen stools.

-She went pee pee in the potty 3 times!!

-Kezia apparently needs to make it known whenever she toots. She will even come into the room where mommy is & say “Mom – I tooted!”

-Kezia is climbing all over everything. She climbs on top of the girls’ bookshelf & loves turning on & off the light. And she can scoot the barstool, stand on top, walk on the countertops & retrieve whatever mom has put on the fridge that she doesn’t want the girls getting into! She also pushed the bread maker off the countertop. We’re hoping it will still work!

-Kezia is a big helper & is pretty good about cleaning up messes. If she makes a mess, she will ask for a rag. McKinley spilled one morning & Kezia climbed off her chair, got a rag & brought it to her.