FAMILY: June was a busy month. We were able to visit with LOTS of family and friends this month and that was wonderful. On June 4th, the Circus came to Cedar City! We weren’t sure if we were going to go, but we decided to go as a celebration for finally finishing the Book of Mormon as a family! The circus was great! Clowns, Elephants, adorable dogs doing tricks, tightrope walking, juggling with fire & knives, the balancing chair guy, a quick-change wardrobe show, and plenty of hanging acrobatics - the girls are still talking about it & can’t wait till they come back! On the 5th, the Riddles hosted a BBQ & the Corrys were also there. The girls had fun eating, jumping on the trampoline and we all had a great visit. We are so thankful for good friends. On the 7th, we went to the cemetery to support Kylee Low & her husband. Their son, Clutch, had his 1st Angelversary. He is buried close to Link and we had a good time eating cupcakes and letting go of balloons for Clutch & Link. Jason & Heidi were busy moving sand & top soil for the first part of June – it took hundreds of wheelbarrow loads down our steep hill and into our backyard before we were ready for sod, but the 8th was our big day! The sod was delivered in the morning & we had a few families come help us put it in & within 45 minutes, it was completely finished! We were SO HAPPY! After much watering and waiting, Jason finally let the girls run and play on it & they had SO much fun! We are LOVING having grass back there! Sydney is also in heaven. She runs back and forth and rolls around on it like crazy. She acts like a puppy! Now, we just need to get the stairs & slide from the bottom deck and get our fence put in, so we can really play back there. June 10-14th, Heidi went to SLC with the girls to see family and friends. The 10th, we went to Herriman and had a BBQ at the Warrens house. The Matthews and Hooks were there, too, and it was so great to see them and the girls had fun playing and seeing our old home. The 11th, we went to visit Great Aunt Cindy in the morning, then to IKEA for lunch and shopping, then to Bluffdale to visit some high school friends – Marianne & Gayla. It was so good to see them & visit with them. That night we had movie & hot tub night at the Potts. It was fun! On the 12th, we went to Wheeler Farm with the Potts, Edwards, and Simons in the morning – Kezia LOVED to feed the cows & horses – and then headed to the new Cottonwood splash park. There were a lot of people, but the girls and their cousins had a great time! That evening, Heidi and Kezia went to meet an angel mom in Sandy – Anna Packard & her daughter, Haylie. Anna’s son, Charlie, died about the same age & in the same way as Link died. He died about a year before Link. It was so great to connect with someone who knows our pain so closely. She brought dinner for me and a beautiful quilt. We hope to get to see her & her cute family again soon! The morning of the 13th, we went to Trisha’s house & played with bubbles and Aunt Cindy’s rats that she’d brought and we made father’s day cards. We had lunch there, too, and enjoyed visiting. That evening, we headed up to Park City for a get-together with our friends up there – Molly, Shannan, Anna, Erin, & Britany. The moms had fun visiting while the kids had fun playing. It was a bit chilly, so we headed to Molly’s house afterward & had more fun catching up with each other & sharing our blessings, trials & experiences. We headed for home on the 14th, but stopped by for a picnic at the park with the Bensons & had a lot of fun. The 16th was Father’s Day & daddy got to go to a treasure hunt in the morning with clues on little ties. He found a new tie, plates that the girls made for him, a cup-full of M&Ms from the ice maker J, an oil vial, recommend holder, a tie tack, and a picture collage of Link for his work. Also – later he got a big framed picture that had the letters of Daddy with pictures of the kids in each letter. On the 21st, we got to hang out with the Reeds – Payson had a baseball game. We went to cheer him on and visit with their family. June 22nd was a very special day. Sedona & Camri watched the cousins while the adults went to the St. George temple to support DeeAnn on her first visit through the temple and to watch her get sealed to her parents. It was a very spiritual time and we knew Link was close – even the pictures have a single ray of light coming down. We are so happy for DeeAnn & the family! After the temple, we went to the Hamiltons for some great food & conversation. The last 2 weeks of June were McKinley & Ireland’s swimming lessons. They did a great job & had a lot of fun! The 27th was Jason’s birthday & he got his favorite cereal and is going to get a Camp Chef for his birthday. That evening, the girls went to Ranel Sobel’s house & they had a neighborhood outdoor movie night – such fun! – while Jason & Heidi had dinner at Sizzler & then watched a Batman movie at home. It was nice! The last weekend of June, we decided to meet Grandma Tew, Grandma Potts, and the Edwards for the Manti Pageant. We left Friday about noon and dropped our trailer off at Palisades Reservoir (we were thankful to get a spot – mom got us the last one!) and then we went to Manti for a tour of homes that Grandma Tew grew up in or her ancestors built. It was neat to see those old buildings still standing –especially the building that used to be the store that the Barton family owned. After the tour, we had the famous Manti turkey dinner & then met at the temple for the show. It didn’t start till 9:30, so we hung out, visited, and played while we waited. Finally, it began and it was neat. Kezia fell asleep after about an hour. Ireland & McKinley stayed up till the end (about 11:30), but were pretty tired. We headed back to Palisades that evening and the Edwards stayed and played with us at Palisades for a few hours before heading back. We had fun playing in the water, taking naps, eating out at Manti, going fishing (daddy got out in his pontoon & caught about 4 fish), & playing in the playground. We stopped at Grandma Devenish’s for a while on the way back & enjoyed our visit with them, too. Heidi started reading The Chronicles of Narnia to the girls this month & they are loving it. They keep begging for Narnia! We also got to have dinner & FHE at the Bealers the end of June – and we got to have them over for dinner, too. They found out they are having a girl – yay! MIRACLES!: Our bishop – Bishop Keate - went to the scout camp Jason was at (Jason came back early to be to the temple for his mom) and we got a call late Saturday night that he was missing and search and rescue had been called. Jason immediately went to the bishop’s home and tried to help & give them any information he could give. He came home close to midnight & we said some VERY fervent prayers. Finally, about 3am, we got word that he was found and walking out of the canyon by himself. We were SO thankful! He didn’t even get home till about 5:30, but was at church the next day! MIRACLE! The next day our friends, the Hoffman’s little boy (Eli), drank a bunch of his sister’s muscle relaxant medicine and had to be life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital. It was very scary for a while – he was unresponsive and was not breathing well. Again, many MANY fervent prayers were offered for their sweet family & he was able to go home in a couple days. We are SO thankful he is okay as well!
JASON: Between getting the backyard put in, fixing things around the house, work, and scouts, Jason has been SUPER busy this month. The morning of the 20th, he headed to scout camp at Kolob Reservoir and he got home late on the 21st. They went on a long hike and Jason was able to go fishing, so he had a good time. He was happy to see the sprinkler system he worked on so hard doing its job and see his grass getting greener & taller. He also worked on the upper deck – getting it ripped up so we could get it refinished. Getting to see his mom go through the temple was an awesome experience for Jason. He felt Link and the spirit very close.
HEIDI: Heidi still feels like she’s living in a fog of grief, but it’s getting a little better. She’s still running with Krista Corry & LuAnn Keate & that has been good. She read Beauty – a retelling of Beauty & the Beast – by Robin McKinley this month. It was a fun read. She was thankful she got to take that trip to SLC and see her good family and also visit with so many wonderful, amazing friends. They truly buoyed her up and gave her strength and love. For the most part, she is loving being home with the girls. She loves the more relaxed mornings as schedules and she’s loving to try new things and have fun with them. It’s also nice because they’re more consistent with chores & they help with meals. For a week straight in June, she spent probably 6 hours a day working on Ireland’s birthday book. It is certainly not as fun and fancy as her other birthday books, but at least it’s done! She’s praying it will get here by Ireland’s birthday. On the 27th, Heidi was able to get together with the SHARE women here in Cedar and help with making outfits for stillborn babies. It was great to do service and visit. McKinley even helped!
-The 6th was McKinley’s lemonade stand that she’s been begging mom for. She and Olivia Price spent about 3 and a half hours in the driveway selling lemonade and cookies. She said it was boring, but they did earn about 32 dollars all together & split it between them. They did have fun dancing to the music and waving at all the cars.
-One day mom noticed that down the street at the assisted living center, they were having an old car show – like the ones that you have to crank in the front to get started. Mom told McKinley to come see from the back deck. She saw them & said “were those the cars they had when you were young?” Mom said “yeah, right! I’m not THAT old! Those were the cars they had when GG was a baby!” McKinley looked at mom with wide eyes and said “They had CARS when GG was a baby?”
-McKinley had fun at her swimming lessons. She learned to swim the freestyle stroke better and also learned how to do the backstroke and diving from her knee. Her teacher said she’s ready for level 4!
-McKinley has been creative this summer – she’s tried embroidery, balloon animal-making, treasure hunt-making, card-making, food-making, etc. She’s also been over at her friend’s house – Lindsay Brown – for some swim parties.
-Mom asked what her favorite part of our trip to Salt Lake was & she said getting to be with her cousins and go to the splash park.
-McKinley wrote out a story to the Friend Magazine about Link. It’s very great & she talks about staying with her grandma and having her name over the loudspeaker at school the day he died. She’s working on typing it up to send to the Friend.
-McKinley says “I like to go swimming and I had swimming lessons – oh, and I can’t wait until I’m 8!”
-Irleand’s been having a really hard time lately with dresses on Sunday. She doesn’t want ANY of her dresses. She either wants McKinley’s purple dress (that’s WAY too big for her) or Kezia’s funeral dress (which is too small). She has about 10 dresses, but doesn’t want them. We’ve been late to church about 3 times because of her dress tantrums.
-Ireland & Kezia still LOVE to play My Little Pony upstairs – and watch it on Netflix.
-Ireland has REALLY had a case of the “NO FAIR!”s lately. She has to compare herself with everyone around her and she is constanltly complaining that someone else has something or gets to do something that she doesn’t get to have or do. We are really trying to get her to see all that she has and be content.
-When we were in SLC, we passed by IKEA and Ireland said with a sigh “I wish we could live in IKEA.” J Don’t we all, Ireland. Don’t we all.
-When we were in SL, Grandpa Potts was watching The Mummy. Ireland was supposed to be in her room asleep, but she came out and watched the movie from the hall. After that, for almost THREE WEEKS, she was terrified. She wouldn’t go to sleep on her own. When she finally did get to sleep, she would wake up after an hour or two, crawl into bed with mommy, shaking and whimpering, and would STILL not fall back asleep for hours. It was pretty rough for everyone involved. We tried having her listen to primary songs. Having her draw the scary mummy with silly things on it. Praying with her. A priesthood blessing. Finally, after a few weeks, she seemed to calm down a bit. That will be the last time for a LONG time that she watches a scary movie.
-One day, Ireland put on a new dress, came to mommy and said “I’m planning a good-bye party for Link.” We all proceeded to get dressed nicely and we went in Link’s room. We all sat quietly and Ireland said we could each say something to him, so we each talked to him about how we miss his chubby cheeks and we can’t wait to see him again. It was sweet.
-Ireland was looking around – trying to find her scooter. She came in the kitchen where mom was & proclaimed “I am BRILLIANT!” Apparently, she found her scooter.
-Ireland had a great time in her swimming lessons. She learned how to do the front stroke, bob in the deep water, and roll.
-Ireland took a couple Walmart cards at the Walmart in Ephraim when we were there. We didn’t find out till later, so she had to go and return them to our Cedar Walmart. We took them to customer service and she was scared, but she apologized. We hope that she won’t make that choice again.
-One day Ireland decided to get creative & make a kite! She cut out the diamond on the paper, taped the string to it & even got it to fly for a few seconds!
-We are so proud of Ireland for saving up her penny points. She wanted some princess work gloves, but they were $6. We told her that was six HUNDRED penny points. Every day she would ask if she had earned enough yet. It took about two months – and some self-discipline because her sisters were using their penny points for things like candy – but she finally earned them! She was so happy she wouldn’t take them off for about two days.
-Kezia is probably the family member that talks the most about Link. She still finds clothes for him at the store. She tells people about her brother. She draws pictures for him and says “I’m sending this picture to Link, mommy.” She also said she had a dream where she got to see Link and he went fishing with Jesus Christ. (she never just says “Jesus” – she always says “Jesus Christ”).
-Kezia has really taken to our neighbor, Mahina, who is Ireland’s age. She prays for her constantly that she will get to come play. And one Primary Day when asked how she knows that Jesus loves her, she replied “Because of Mahina who lives by us.”
-Kezia got into Ireland’s play make up one day & put the eyeshadow all over her. She came to mom & said “I think dad’s gonna like my rockstar knees!” (they were blue)
-One day, mom asked Kezia to throw away some pull-ups that were on her floor. She said “But mom – there’s nothing in there!... well… maybe there’s probably some toots in there still.”
-One day when Ireland was using a grouchy, mean voice to Kezia, she came to mom & tattled “MOM! Ireland sounds like Lehi & Lemuel!”
-The Bealers were over one day and the girls were putting on a fashion show – changing clothes & coming out with dresses to show them off. Kezia didn’t want Jaxon to feel left out. She said “Jaxon – come put on a dress!” Jaxon said “I’m a BOY!” Kezia said “Yeah, well, we’ll find a boy dress for you! Let’s go look in my daddy’s closet!”
-Kezia was really good while her sisters did swim lessons. Mom was worried she would be sad, but she was pretty content just to play games on the Kindle.
-At the Manti Pageant, we saw some people dressed as Lamanites with big feather headdresses. Kezia said “Look mom! His hat is static-y, right?”
-She sometimes has a hard time going to sleep at night. One night, she came in mom & dad’s room about 10:30pm and said “I can’t go to sleep. My closet is ignoring me!”
You are still so very much a part of our family, baby boy. Even if people can’t see you, there are still six members of our family. We know you watch over us. We knew you were there as the “Link” in Grandma Devenish’s family chain came together on June 22nd. Thank you for being there. Thank you for shining your ray of light down on us from above. We FINALLY got your headstone ordered. I wanted the sides polished, so it is going to take longer. I am praying it will be here for SURE by your birthday. You can read in your sisters’ sections how each of them have thought of you this past month – McKinley wrote a story about you for the Friend. Ireland threw a goodbye party for you. Kezia dreamt about you and is still finding cute clothes for you at the store. Dad felt your presence strongly at the temple. Mom knew you were there, too. Please keep sending butterflies, warm breezes that tickle our cheeks, rays of light, and most of all the peace to know you are happy and well. We miss you so much, our baby boy. We love you.