Tuesday, August 28, 2012

School & Chores

So - today was Ireland's first day of Kindergarten. I was a bit melancholy when McKinley left for first grade, but no tears, so I was totally unprepared when that bus rolled away with my Ireland & the waterworks started! She said she had a great day, though, and she was glad McKinley was there on the bus with her & to walk her to class because she said she was a little bit afraid. Now it's just me & Kezi-boo in the mornings & I'm going to try & come up with a little bit of a plan so we can spend some quality time together before the baby.
As a follow-up to my post about chores, THANK YOU for all the input - on Facebook & on the blog. Right now this is what we're going to try for McKinley & Ireland:

-EVERY DAY chores: *the basics (clean room, make bed, get ready, etc) - done in the morning,
*choice chore (to be no more than 15 minutes) for after they get home from school & finish homework.

-WEDNESDAY (their early day): McKinley will be expected to clean the bathroom & we'll have a bigger chore for Ireland, too.

-WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY: they will have the opportunity to do larger chores & earn more $.

ALLOWANCE: If they complete all their every day chores, choice chores, & big chore for the entire week, they will get a small allowance.

That's our plan & we'll see how it goes & I'll update the blog.

Here's some pics of our school girls. Growing up SO fast! Sigh...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


We were Moabites for a few days this past week/weekend. It was our annual Potts Family Retreat. Honestly, we weren't looking forward so much to being in Moab in August. H E A T! It was hot, but thankfully there was a pool and so what did we do? We just kept swimming, swimming, swimming! ;) Oh - and we went hiking, and played games, and watched movies and talked. Love my family. Sure miss them, so it's precious time to be with them. And, of course, the girls can't get enough time with their cousins. Thanks mom & dad for another great year!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Advice - chores & routines

So - this week McKinley starts first grade. And in another couple weeks, Ireland starts Kindergarten. It's going to be a bit strange having just Kezia & I at home in the mornings. Part of me thinks of all I could & should accomplish. The other part of me just wants to hang out with my youngest while she's still my youngest. Hopefully I can do a bit of both & find balance :)
Anyway, McKinley starts school on Thursday, so this week we are trying to get into our school routine - going to bed at the right time & waking up at the right time. We're not exactly morning people over here, so it's going to take some getting used to. This morning was a bit rough getting going.
As we were eating breakfast, I was thinking about this new schedule & how much it's going to change everything over here. We've always had "morning things" and the girls have completed their chores in the morning. Of course not EVERY morning, but that's been our schedule.  I just don't think there's going to be time for anything other than making beds, getting dressed, eating breakfast, fixing hair, brushing teeth, getting lunches together (McKinley will eat lunch at school for the first time!), and getting them to the bus stop by 8:29. Seriously 8:29 AM. And even if by some miracle this goes smoothly for the first month or two, a baby in November will ensure that I should not try & add anything in the morning.
I could have her do her chores after she gets home & we talk & she does her homework. But then I feel bad. When does she have time to just be a kid? And what if I put her in lessons? Chores on top of all that seems rough. I was thinking maybe we should just give her a couple weekly chores instead?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am going to try & get everything together as much as possible the night before (backpacks ready, outfits laid out, lunches put together as much as possible), but I'm still worried about getting it together in the mornings without feeling crazy & feeling like my kids never do chores anymore.

Monday, August 6, 2012

July Newsletter & Slideshow

What a busy, fun month for the Hamiltons! Sorry so many pics. Just lots going on!

FAMILY: For the Hamiltons, July was spent 4th of July-ing! (bike parade, yummy food, parade, fun at the park, water party, BBQ, cake & ice cream & gifts for Ireland, sparklers, and fireworks), enjoying Ireland's 5th birthday (see her section), a couple trips to St. George - one for a birthday party for Jason's friend, one for a temple trip, having an open-house BBQ with friends from the old ward, camping at Kent's lake (and seeing the Johnsons up there!), camping again at Yankee Meadows with the Bealers, 24th of July fun (including a family fun-run, watching the parade, BBQ with friends, and watching fireworks), and having the Edwards come stay with us! (Hiking, swimming, shopping, Shakespearean Festival-ing, playing at the park, playing games, painting nails, watching movies, cake & ice cream-ing, and watching amazing rainstorms and beautiful rainbows and sunsets). We've been unpacking, re-arranging, and settling into our new home, neighborhood & ward. We've also had fun watching the Olympics this month. GO USA! 

JASON:  There was a fire that broke out at the top of Cedar mountain on July 2nd  & Jason took the opportunity to get into the game & learn what there is to know on supporting a fire. He worked late on the 2nd & came up to Richfield with Keeley on the 3rd (Heidi was already there with the girls). We came back the night of the 4th & for the next week or so, Jason was putting in very long hours – leaving at 5:45am, getting home around 10pm. He did learn a lot and we were able to get some overtime, which we are thankful for. He’s also had fun camping & working on our new home.  On the 26th, he went to work late so he could go see the girls’ last day of swimming lessons. They were so happy!

 HEIDI: Heidi is glad to be in our new home & sometimes has a hard time just believing we’re here. She still has plenty of unpacking to do, but feels good about what’s been done. Overall, she’s still feeling good, but her carpal tunnel has really started kicking in & she wears her braces at night to sleep better. She has fun feeling baby move, kick, and turn. She was able to go up to girls camp for the old ward on the 11th & it was fun to see all the girls & get lots of hugs & smiles & just be with them. She rode back with Diane in a red jeep & had fun seeing a family of skunks and 4 HUGE elks on the way back – not to mention just the fun on riding in the back of a jeep J Heidi had been wanting to see Les Miserables for a while, so it was SO fun to go with her sweetheart and see the play. Awesome. She also re-read about a fourth of the book before she saw the play & loved that, too. She enjoyed all the festivities of the 4th of July, Ireland’s birthday, 24th of July & camping. It has been a fun month & fun to see our home come together & meet new people.

-McKinley poked mom one day & said “your bra is getting ready to milk.”
-McKinley got to feel her baby brother moving & she was SO excited. She is constantly coming up to mom now & asking her if the baby is moving. She even got to go with mom to her prenatal appointment and hear the heartbeat. She’s going to be a great big sister!
-McKinley had lots of fun at swimming lessons this year & the very first day they moved her up a level because she was so good. She was in level 2 and her teacher was Ben Rischard. He checked off everything & she gets to move on to level 3! Here’s what he wrote on her paper: “Awesome Job! You are a way strong swimmer and did very well!”
-McKinley got registered for 1st grade & found out she has Mrs. Robb – the same teacher as Parker Johnson! She’s excited to start at South Elementary next month & she’s excited that she’ll know someone in her class.
-Her new friends in this ward are Brenna Dixon, Olivia Price, and Kirsten Correy. Mom got to teach McKinley’s class one Sunday & McKinley was so excited!
-McKinley & Ireland went early to church on the last Sunday of the month. They got to be greeters and pass out the sacrament program. Daddy went with them & said McKinley did a great job & smiled a lot J
-We’ve been reading The Wind in the Willows at night.
-McKinley has had fun opening our moving boxes & finding some things that have been in storage for the past couple years – decorations from Primary and things from her preschool days.
-After watching the Olympics, McKinley is convinced she wants to do gymnastics!
-McKinley has been asking to do a race for a long time now & when she did the Main Street Mile with the family, she did great! Didn’t stop once!

-Ireland KEPT asking when her birthday was going to be. Almost every night for a month she would ask “Is my birthday in the morning?”
-2012 was Ireland’s magical birthday! She turned 5 on the 5th! The fun started on the 4th with the annual cake, ice cream, presents & water party at Grandma Devenish. Then on the 5th, she got pancakes for breakfast & she got to help crack the eggs! In our family, it’s a rite of passage that you need to be 5 to crack eggs. She was VERY excited & daddy showed her just right how to do it. She did the sing & seek of presents and got to go to the store to pick what she wanted to eat that day & her cake. She wanted sandwiches for lunch and corn dogs for dinner & then we headed to the Aquatic Center for a party! Ella Strand & the Bealers came & we had fun swimming, opening presents, doing the piñata, and –of course – eating cake & ice cream! It was a fun day. MUCH later in the month when the Edwards came, Aunt Cindy also make a treasure chest cake for Ireland & Joshua. Some favorite gifts: pop-beads from grandma Devenish, lite bright from mom and dad, clippety-clop shoes and a Barbie from Grandma & Grandpa Potts, a singing card from Aunt Kim, and a huge Dora coloring book from the Hamiltons. She had a GREAT birthday!!
-We were talking about fire-fighting and Ireland asked if the fire-fighters wore helmets. Mom said yes. Ireland said “Yeah! Cuz if you didn’t have a helmet then you’d burn your head up!!”
-There was a book we got from the library that showed a little brother squirting his little sister with the hose. Mom asked Ireland what she would do if her little brother did that to her. She said “I would take the hose away from him!... (pause) and then I’d SMACK him in the head!”
-Ireland is getting much better at writing. She’s doing better with her name & one day she wrote the entire alphabet!
-Ireland is just a fish when it comes to swimming. She can’t wait to jump in the pool. The first week of swimming lessons, there was another girl in her class (Tots 2), but the 2nd week, she had the teacher all to herself! Private lessons! He was very impressed with her swimming. He wrote on her paper that on the back glide, instead of doing 2 body lengths, she did 5! And he said “father than anyone else I’ve ever taught!” and his comments on the back were “I’d suggest level 1 next! (she’ll be with older kids) She was really great! Listened & learned quickly!” GREAT JOB IRELAND!
-Ireland got registered for Kindergarten & she’s in Mrs. Ecker’s AM Kindergarten class. She’s so excited because Shaylee Johnson will be in her class, too!
-For some reason Ireland has been spitting a lot lately. She says she has bubbles in her mouth & she needs to spit them out. She’s also had a harder time using words instead of hands. She’s bit, kicked & hit this month & we’ve had to take away some privileges
-Ireland’s tags are really bothering her lately. She has cut out almost every tag in her pants.

-At the beginning of the month, Kezia decided she wanted to wear panties like her sisters. She’s done REALLY well! The last week of the month, she regressed some, but overall she’s really done great & we are SO SO proud of her. Way to go Kezi-boo!
-While her sisters were at swim lessons, Kezia had fun (for the most part ;) playing with the younger Bealer boys – Brecken & Owen. They did play-dough, painted, played with toys, and colored. Mom got the jumper down for Owen & Kezi had lots of fun when Owen was done with it. She even fell asleep in it once!
-Kezi is definitely growing into a big girl. She was fighting her naps so much that mom decided she’s big enough to go without them every other day or so. She’s done really well & slept better at night, too J
-Mom came upstairs one day & Kezi was up there with just her Winnie the Pooh underwear on. Mom asked why she only had her panties on. She said “I’m showing Winnie the Pooh himself!” (she had a toy Winnie and she was showing him the one on her panties.
-Kezia’s drawings are really getting good! She’s doing lots of circles and lines & you can now tell where the head, eyes, and body is. She loves to draw her family members!
-Kezia really loves all her little “friends.” Stuffed animals, littlest pet shop animals, etc. She carries them around in purses, in buckets, in boxes. She feeds them, changes their diapers and gives them water. She comes to mom and dad in the middle of the night worried about them. She sure loves them!
-Kezi’s done pretty well in nursery. There were just a couple weeks that she wouldn’t go, but overall she loves it.