Thursday, January 5, 2012

December Newsletter & Slideshow

What a wonderful past month this has been. Hanging out with family & reconnecting with friends. We feel truly blessed. Here's what our December looked like (WARNING: Me+new camera+busy month anyway= TONS of pictures. Seriously. You probably don't think I edited any out, but I REALLY did!!)

December 2011

Wow! What a month! We got to spend time with so many WONDERFUL family & friends & feel truly blessed. Let’s see if we can even begin to capture all the fun we had this month: On the first (and a few days after), it snowed quite a bit. All the windows had frost & snow on them. The girls had a lot of fun playing in the white stuff J On the 6th, we went to the ward Christmas Party. It was fun to see the girls sing a few songs & watch a slideshow with them dressed as members of the nativity. Also – they enjoyed getting to sit on the “big man’s” lap. He took his time & talked to each one of them – although Kezia didn’t want anything to do with him. On the 7th, we headed to St. George for Camri’s band performance. She did great – and it was also fun to see Grandma & Grandpa Devenish there too! The older girls had lots of fun in school this month & brought home many Christmas Crafts. We also had lots of Christmas count-downs this year: GG Tew sent us an adorable digital Christmas Countdown Santa, we had our traditional tree with the Santa that moves to each pocket – that was given to us from Grandma Devenish, Grandpa Potts sent her traditional chocolate Advent calendar - and a count-down chain, McKinley made a count-down chain at school, and every night we read a story, scripture & song from our book that Grandma Devenish gave us. So – the girls had LOTS of reminders that Christmas was coming!! J On the 10th, we went & found our Christmas tree up Parowan Canyon. It was a fun outing. We got to do some hiking & sledding in the snow & daddy found a beautiful Hamilton Family Christmas tree. We had fun decorating it that next day (even though daddy wasn’t feeling well L It was neat to get out our decorations, though, since they had been in storage when we were living at Grandma & Grandpa Potts’ home last year. On the 11th, we did gingerbread houses & McKinley was SO excited about it. We “cemented” them in the morning before church & then decorated them after we got home. It was messy, but a lot of fun & they turned out cute. On the 14th, Heidi & the girls drove to “Candy Cane Lane” to see the lights. It is a cute “Night Before Christmas” story book of homes & lights here in Cedar. Fun! On the 17th, the girls got to open Grandma Devenish’s gifts – Christmas dresses. They all looked so darling when we went to church J On the 20th – (after a broken camcorder & finally getting a refund through Best Buy for it) Heidi got something she’s been wanting for a LONG time – a DSLR camera! It’s a Canon Rebel T2i & she has been playing with it so much, she used an entire memory card in 4 days. She loves it & wants to learn so much more about all the different features. Already, though, the picture quality difference is amazing. Yay! We packed on the 22nd & woke up at 6:30 on the 23rd so we could get on the road to SLC. It was a beautiful drive – but cold – one point was -4 degrees. And the girls just couldn’t WAIT until we got to SLC to see their cousins & family! We got to SLC in just enough time for Heidi to help the girls get dressed, fix their hair & then go to Tiffany’s baby shower. We are SO excited for her to welcome baby girl Maddy into their family in the next couple months! The evening of the 24th, we went over to Leah’s home for our annual Tew Christmas Eve party. Good food, wonderful family, and fun presents made the evening great & we were able to get back to Grandpa Potts’ in enough time to Skype with Joseph in Afghanistan, open our PJs, and open Grandma’s long-awaited & worked-on mini-books with genealogy information for both parents for each grandchild. It is such a precious gift. Grandpa did the bible reading and candle-lighting & we sang songs around the Christmas tree. By then, it was 10:00 &off to bed for little ones. The next morning, we woke to crockpot breakfast casserole and we watched some Christmas Mormon Messages. Then we headed downstairs to see what Santa had brought – he was very good to us this year! He left the older girls razor scooters and Kezia a wiggle car. In our stockings we got too much candy, along with some DVDs, CDs, and jewelry J After enjoying our Santa gifts for a little while, we all got ready for church in our new Christmas dresses & headed over to the stake center. It was a very good service – lots of wonderful talks and songs. Afterwards, we headed back to grandma’s & got to hang out with the Checketts & Simons & eat and open some more gifts. The Edwards came in the afternoon & we caught a pic before the Simons had to leave. The rest of the day was wonderful. Good food. Wonderful conversation. WAAAY too much spoiling (G&G Potts & Joseph got the girls a Kindle Fire Tablet & us an IPAD!). Also- when we got home from our trips, Santa had left a Wii & 2 games. McKinley was EXSTATIC! All-in-all, it was a wonderful day and we’re thankful we got to spend it with our loved ones. The rest of the Salt Lake City trip consisted of sleepovers with cousins, having a pizza/game night, hot-tubbing, going to the park to play with their new scooters, a Herriman trip to visit with the Matthews and Warrens, a temple trip with mom & the Edwards, a trip to temple square with the Edwards, a Potts’ girls breakfast at Tiffany’s J, a wonderful gourmet lunch at GG Tew’s, and more cousin fun. It was a wonderful trip up North. We left from Murray on Friday (30th) morning & headed to the Bensons & then to the cabin. It was a lot of fun - they are so good to let us come. Wonderful memories with wonderful friends. We all had fun cuddling around the stove, playing games (bingo, uno, pig game, Blurt), doing puzzles, eating yummy food & drinking hot cocoa, snowmobiling (Heidi got the snowmobile stuck! – and then McKinley stepped into a stream bed & her foot came out without her boot on. It was stuck under the snow!), sledding, watching movies, and staying up till midnight to have a HAPPY NEW YEAR toast. McKinley was the only one besides the adults who made it to midnight. HAPPY 2012!!!

From December 2011
JASON: Jason is still enjoying his job & thankful that he could take the time off this year to enjoy the holidays. He’s enjoying his daddy-daughter time on Tuesday nights when Heidi goes to YW. He also had fun taking the girls sledding while Heidi was at Super-Saturday. He had a lot of fun with

Brent out on the snowmobiles & pulling out his wife who got stuck J He continues to be consistent with his workouts and goes to the Aquatic Center most every day after work. Jason seems to have continued stomach issues & was sick for a few days this month. L Jason got a Bluetooth stereo system for the van & he’s excited about installing it! He’s also had fun playing with the tablets that we’ve gotten.

From December 2011
HEIDI: December was a wonderful month for Heidi. She didn’t get all she wanted done in time for Christmas, but still felt like it was an enjoyable time & loved to watch the girls anticipate the upcoming holiday and time with family. The first Friday of the month, Heidi got to go watch the new Twilight movie with her hubby & had a terrific time. Heidi went to super-Saturday for the Relief Society at the beginning of the month & signed up for 3 sets of wooden letter blocks & bows. It was fun to chat with the other ladies, but she was in way over her head & didn’t even finish one set before the 4 hours were up – and she didn’t finish one bow. She had to take them home & finish the blocks at home. Heidi truly enjoyed her time up North – especially since she hadn’t seen her family in 3 months – and she hadn’t seen her HS Cheerleading friends or Herriman friends in years! So – it was really neat to get together & reconnect. She enjoyed running with her dad, doing some girls-only activities with her sisters (Baby shower & breakfast @ Tiffany’s), and enjoying the company of her mom like they used to when we lived there. She also loved to go to the cabin with the Bensons & bring in the new year!! She’s had so much fun playing with her new camera as well & used up an entire 16 MB memory card in 4 days! She can’t wait to learn more about it. For Christmas, Heidi got a bunch of CDs she’s been wanting, some kitchen tools, a dress, some jewelry, a Bluetooth headset for her phone, and a roaster.

From December 2011

-McKinley sat on Santa’s lap at the end of November at the tree Jubilee & then when we were in line to see the Santa after the ward party, McKinley said “Mom – do you think he’ll remember what I asked him for the first time?”

-For Power Half-hour at school, McKinley made a picture of our family eating daddy’s pancakes & the next week, she was chosen to tell about the picture she colored. She was so excited to tell everyone about her daddy’s yummy pancakes!

-McKinley was making bracelets out of pipe cleaners for people & Ireland asked McKinley if she was going to make a bracelet for Michael. McKinley said boys don’t wear bracelets. Mom said some boys do. McKinley said “Mom – only boys who don’t know Jesus wear bracelets!”

-McKinley & Ireland had a lot of fun this month pretending to be Mary & Joseph & acting out the nativity story.

-McKinley was SO excited to get to be with her cousins. She made a count-down chain for how many days until she got to see Michael.

-One day while mom was fixing McKinley’s hair, McKinley asked (very seriously) “Mom – do you think I’m on the nice list?” She was concerned about it a lot this month. Possibly because mom & dad were constantly reminding them.

-Every morning, Mom tells the girls the date, ending in 2011. One morning, McKinley asked “When is it not going to be two thousand any more?”

-McKinley went on a special date with daddy this month for earning enough points. Her daddy left work & met her at McDonald’s for lunch and they had a great time. Then he dropped her off at school. She LOVED that time with her dad.

-The girls each got a bout of sickness this month. McKinley puked early one morning but went back to bed. She was tired for a day or so, but thankfully perked up after that.

-After sleeping over at Michael’s, Kalli offered to do McKinley’s hair. It turned out so beautiful, but unfortunately McKinley burned her finger pretty badly – accidentally bumping against the curling iron L

-At the Tew Christmas Eve Party, McKinley was so cute with Great Aunt-Cindy. She sat & talked to her about her gifts & Christmas. Itw as so sweet.

-McKinley asked Santa for a razor scooter & then changed her mind later & wanted a Wii. Mom & Dad said it would be doubtful she would get both. She loved her scooter she got from him at Grandma’s & then when we got home, she was SO surprised to find a Wii wrapped under the tree. She was one HAPPY little girl!

-McKinley was cute & wanted to make a present for Michael. She decided to color on a lid to an oatmeal container & call it a decorated Frisbee. When she was wrapping it, she asked mom if she thought Michael would open it & ask “what’s this?’ Mom said yes, but he would understand & love it soon.

-McKinley also made & wrapped a hand-painted wooden ornament with her picture in it that they made in school.

-McKinley is so very much like her daddy. From her hair needing to be washed almost every day to her difficulty waking up to long showers, she takes after him in so many ways.

-One day mom was making sandwiches & had the Miracle Whip out. McKinley asked why it was called Miracle Whip. Mom said she didn’t know. After a few minutes, McKinley said “I think I know, mom! It’s white like the temple & that’s where miracles happen!”

-McKinley’s big gifts were her Barbie razor scooter, the Wii (!!), 2 pillow pets, a microscope, a charades game, some new black church boots, and a mini art easel.

From December 2011

-Ireland sings “Have a Holly Charlie Christmas!” (think Charlie in an English accent)

-Ireland has been drawing a lot of machines lately. One time mom asked what her drawing was & she said “it’s a machine that spits out pie right here & chocolate right here!!”

-One day Ireland asked mom “Is Santa & Jesus big? Do they talk to each other?”

-Here is a dream that Ireland explained one morning: “Kezia was getting breakfast out & I was on the roof. Then breakfast blowed away. Kezia had cookies & I was Santa & then Santa came & ate breakfast. The rainbow came & wished away. And then we drove the van to the make-up land & got LOTS of make-up”

-Ireland earned a date this month! She & mom went out for frozen yogurt & then went swimming! We had so much fun playing tag, froggie, going down the big slide like 10 times, jumping into the water & running around. It was so much fun!

-Mom was in another room & Ireland came running in with her new Christmas dress on. She said “Mom – I look like an angel! Daddy said so!!”

-Ireland got put into time-out one morning for being disobidient & whileshe was in there, she ran out & got some paper (which added another minute to her time). When she got out, she showed me the picture she drew & explained that it was a machine that had “whackers” and pulls MOMS up in the sky & puts them in time out. And it will give them cayenne pepper if they are loud.

-Ireland has been saving her pennies from her “yes mom”s. One day she dumped them out & was counting them. She then exclaimed “I have SO much money! I think I can go on a ROCKETSHIP!”

-Mom loves her 1-on-1 time with Ireland & her reading has improved so much & she can count to 30 now!

-We were hoping Ireland wouldn’t get sick, but it hit her the night of the 23rd – she was up puking & down most of the day (she was sick on Christmas Day last year). Thankfully, she was feeling better by the night-time & all better by Christmas Day!

-Ireland was taking a bath@ Grandma Potts & mom hears her singing “Baby there’s a shark in the water!”… then later mom tells her it’s time to get out. She said “Nope. I'm gonna scrub & dub a little bit longer.

-Ireland got to have sleepovers with Joshua & Sienna. She did really well & had a blast!

-Ireland’s big gifts were her scooter, a complete Dora bedding set for her new bed, some new clothes, a pillow pet, a mini-castle with accessories, and some crafts & puzzles. .

From December 2011

-When daddy leaves for work, Kezia says “we miss you!!!” and she also randomly says “I love you, too – a little bit!”

-We were looking at a picture of Kezia & mom said “it looks like she’s saying ‘Yo!’” – and Kezia says “Yeah – YO GABBA GABBA!”

-Apparently, there was a bag of icing left out after we decorated our gingerbread houses. Mom walked into the kitchen to find Kezia “painting” her toe nails with icing!

-Kezia has really decided that she is not a baby girl. Mom tried say that she was her baby girl one day & Kezia says “I’m NOT CHO Baby Girl!”

-Kezia has been very decidedly determined to say the exact opposite of what you are saying. Mom says “We’re not having candy” Kezia says “Yes we are having candy!” Mom says “This is a CD” Kezia says “This is NOT a CD!” Mom says “We’re almost home.” Kezia says “We’re NOT almost home!” and on & on…

-Kezia knows a lot of her letters & she knows that Kezia’s name starts with K, Ireland’s name starts with I, and McKinley’s name starts with M.

-Usually the only way mom can get Kezia to sit still to get her hair done is to put her on the counter & have Kezia pick a song to sing. Usually it distracts her long enough to get it done. She usually wants twinkle twinkle, eensy weensy spider, or ABCs.

-Kezia can count to 13!

-Kezia has a fear of loud noises. We went through the drive through while we were in SLC & she was terrified. She covered her eyes with her arms & yelled “go daddy go!” and was crying L She was also really afraid of getting on the snowmobile & mom had to hold her tight to get to the cabin.

-Kezia has a leap jr. reader & she calls it her “robot.” She loves to sit down with her 3 leapfrog books & have it read them to her.

-The Second Kezia hears the garage door open, she is booking it to the garage door, screaming “Daddy’s Home! Daddy’s Home!!”

-Kezia has such a fun time whenever we get to stay at Grandmas. She loves cuddling with her Grandma & Grandpa & Divit. She kept wanting to go back to Grandma’s for the first couple days after we left.

-Kezia’s big gifts were a wiggle car, some clothes, a big bag of mini care bears, a pillow pet, and some books.

-Kezia loves to wake up & come cuddle with mom & dad in the morning.

-Kezia is our pickiest eater & if she doesn’t like the look of it, she won’t touch it even if there’s a bribe involved.

-We are working with Kezia & her scream. If someone takes something from her, she will do a high-pitched scream that hurts the ears!

-We went to the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to see the lights & we were all enthralled & taking pictures, when a woman is asking if anyone is missing a 2-year-old. We looked around & couldn’t find Kezi. Thankfully they had her & she was safe!

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