Wednesday, January 8, 2014

December Newsletter & Slideshow

Sorry so late! Had a little adventure with McKinley in the hospital. Hopefully I will get around to blogging about that, but in the mean time...

FAMILY: We are glad to have made it through 2013 and looking forward to 2014! December was filled with Christmas activities, including putting up decorations (it was the first year we put up Christmas decorations in this home because we were in Philadelphia last year, so it took a while to figure out where to put everything), gingerbread house-making, seeing Santa at daddy’s work, the ward Christmas sing-along party (the “Hamilton girls” were called up to the front to sing some songs J, going to see ELF at the theater with daddy’s work, ice skating, playing games & drinking hot chocolate, and doing service projects to put in Link’s stocking (see Link’s section). Grandma and Grandpa Devenish stayed overnight after a concert they went to – it was fun to eat dinner & visit with them. Also – we got to hang out with Grandma and Grandpa Potts as well. They stayed for a couple days on their way to Vegas & grandpa took Heidi and then the girls to the movies and out to eat. Grandpa also took the girls ice skating which has become a new favorite for them! On the 21st, we headed up to Salt Lake for the holiday. That evening, we went to the Ronald McDonald house to sing Christmas songs, then Jason & Heidi went to the Salt Lake Temple & afterwards, walked around for a bit to see the beautiful lights. The big Tew Christmas Eve Party was at the Simons this year & it was great to see lots of family, eat yummy food, and watch the white elephant game. Jason fixed some yummy egg casserole in the slow cooker & we had it for breakfast on Christmas morning (yum!) before we headed downstairs to see what Santa had left us. He was very good to us this year and we stayed downstairs for quite a while enjoying our new presents. The Simons came for a bit in the morning & brought their gifts for us, the sweetest of which were two huge signs for our home – one that reads “FAMILY: A Link to the past, a bridge to the future”, and the other reads “Because someone we love is in heaven, there is a little bit of heaven in our home” – with a picture of Link and his dates. They are beautiful & Trisha really was very thoughtful in all of her gift-giving (as always). She also made all us girls homemade, glitter-monogrammed aprons – they are so cute J Uncle Richard & The Edwards came and opened our gifts to them. It was a very laid-back, wonderful day to appreciate gifts and loved ones and Jesus’ birth. We made our way south on the 27th & we stopped at the Bensons & ate lunch with them and had fun watching the kids run around together. Then we headed to Richfield & stayed there for a couple nights. We enjoyed our time with them and on Saturday, we tried out the bowling alley & the arcades & had a lot of fun. On New Years’ Eve, McKinley had strep, so she & mom stayed home and played Headbandz, Battleship, and her new snap circuit game while Daddy, Ireland & Kezia went to the Bealers for some fun. They came back home & we all played Spot It & then celebrated the New York New Year before the girls headed to bed for some sleep. There was some bad news this month: 2 of our friends had to take their kids to Primary Children’s Hospital - & Katelyn Bealer still has heart issues that they are trying to solve. Also – a good man in our ward passed away – Roland Brown, from cancer. We attended his memorial here in Cedar and feel blessed to have known him for a short while. With all the bad news, we are grateful for the chance to start a new year. Happy 2014 everyone!

JASON: A funny Christmas tree story – Jason & the girls had gone to Panguitch Lake to pick out a Christmas tree and when we got home to put it up, realized it was about a foot too tall for where we wanted to put it. So – instead of the hassle of having to drag the tree outside to chop it up, he decides to bring the chainsaw to the tree – INSIDE. We proceeds to chop the bottom of the tree off as chainsaw smoke is pouring out and every alarm in the house is going off & there is a huge mess on the floor. We had to open up all the windows and doors to the freezing December temps to get the alarms to stop. We are thankful no neighbors assumed that our house was burning down J  Jason enjoyed taking some time off work at the end of the year and spending some time with family. While in Salt Lake, he got to go see The Hobbit – which he’s been itching to see.
 HEIDI:  Heidi had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year and  had a bit of a meltdown right before we left for Salt Lake. Grief really took her to a dark place and it was difficult to function for a few days. A big part of her wanted to simply call off Christmas altogether. It was so hard to face without Link here. And with all the memories of last years’ miracle Christmas. Thankfully, by the time they made it to Salt Lake, she was able to find a little more perspective and she truly enjoyed seeing the girls open their gifts. Heidi was able to get together with some Cheerleader friends while she was in town and enjoyed catching up. It was great to see them. Heidi read 2 great books over the holidays – Divergent and Cinder.

-We were going outside in the cold and mom told McKinley & Kezia to get some hats on. They both came back with their Disneyland Mickey Mouse Ears hats on J
-One morning McKinley decided that daddy deserved breakfast in bed, so she brought him some! J
-One of McKinley’s favorite sayings lately: “I know, right?”
-McKinley has consistently been scoring 100%+ on her spelling tests & she brought home a math test, too – over 100%! Great job McKinley!
-One day mom said something about a “lunatic.” McKinley said “Is that someone who studies the moon? Cuz – luna means moon in Spanish.”
-Mom & Kezia came into Mrs. Hardin’s class to help with their Christmas party. Mom had fun meeting McKinley’s friends and helping them make gingerbread men.
-McKinley  was really excited to GIVE gifts this year! She helped a lot with our service projects (see Link’s section), and made a list of ideas for her cousins. The cutest was the lego picture frame she made for Michael and a lego bracelet that she made for him. She also wrote out Link’s story to give out, and she bought barbies for her sisters’ gifts.
-McKinley worked hard on memorizing and singing “Jingle Bell Rock” for the Ronald McDonald House. She did great!
-McKinley must have been good last year because she got a sewing machine for Christmas! Aunt Cindy & Grandma have helped her set it up and taught her some basics – she has done some sewing mazes, hemmed some pants and started a pillow! Other fun gifts for McKinley this year: A snap circuit set – learning about electricity, a yummy science kitchen set, some dresses, a cover for her tablet, some cash register money,  and Aunt Trisha gave her the most awesome craft set – about 12 gallon sized zip-locks with print-outs and materials for craft projects. It is great & will definitely keep her busy!
-After much questioning and badgering from McKinley, mom and dad finally talked to McKinley and she is aware of Santa’s role in Christmas.

-Ireland’s favorite saying lately – “I tell you!” as in, “It looks fabulous, I tell you!”
-Ireland got to make gingerbread houses AND go to the movie theater for school one day!
-Ireland still HATES getting her hair brushed in the morning. It’s a morning ritual for mom to brush and for her to scream and whine and complain. One morning mom said “why don’t you try singing a song?” and Ireland said “I can’t when you’re hurting on me!”
-Ireland also got lots of fun gifts for Christmas: Santa gave her some VERY nice, expensive clippety-cloppety, REAL cowgirl boots J She tried them on immediately to test out the clippety-cloppety-ness of them and was very satisfied. She also got a cowgirl hat from mom and dad. She would just watch herself in the mirror to see how cute she was J She also got a Barbie movie, a sparkly sweater, a pretend makeup/nail kit, and a spirograph kit. She also got a sparkly jump rope & she is up to 50 jumps in a row!  Aunt Trisha made rocks with pictures on them so she can make a story!

-Rainbow truck was missing one day. We all searched & searched for probably an hour & couldn’t find him. We thought maybe he had gotten outside somehow & we wouldn’t see him again. Mom suggested we say a prayer, so we knelt down and Kezia said the prayer. Unfortunately… she forgot to actually pray to find Rainbow Truck. So – she said another prayer & prayed specifically to find him. Within 10 minutes, daddy found him downstairs. We’re so thankful!
-It was Kezia’s turn to go on a lunch date & she decided to go to IHOP, so she & mom headed over there. She was determined to get the smiley face chocolate pancake. When it finally came, mom didn’t think she’d be able to eat all of it. It was huge! So – mom asked for a little bite, but it wasn’t the bite that Kezia wanted her to take & she was VERY upset. She cried for a little while & told mom that she was going to tell “that girl” (waitress) on her, but finally she calmed down and she actually finished the whole thing!
-One day Kezia was playing with her ponies while mom was working. Mom asked her what was going on. Kezia said “Well, Rainbow Dash has to go in the ambulance because she bumped her head when she got baptized.”
-Kezia has LOTS of Christmas dresses to choose from being the third girl. She loved to wear them. But when mom vetoed her wearing it to preschool, she yelled “But it’s BORING when I don’t get to wear my Christmas dress!”
-Kezia got to go to Anna Strand’s 4th birthday party at 5 Little Monkeys. She had a great time!
-Kezia has become quite a horder of candy. When she’s given candy, she doesn’t eat it. She saves it and puts it in the fridge. Her sisters will come home with candy & she will beg them for some, but she won’t eat her own candy. One day, mom gave her ½ of a candy bar when we were done grocery shopping & she saved it. Mom asked why she does that. Kezia said “I realized that when I don’t have candy, then I’m sad.”
-Kezia’s current  favorite colors are purple and pink!
-One day at lunch, Kezia said “I’m FOR SURE going to marry Luke, mom!” (Beacham)
-One day, Kezia brought mom part of her candy and said “Give this to Noelle!”
-The girls were all talking together at once & Kezia said “Girls, Girls! Calm down.”
-One day Sydney jumped up on Kezia and she was crying. Ireland said “she doesn’t know any better Kezia.” Kezia said “Yes she does! She’s ten!”
-Kezia wanted My Little Pony things for Christmas & Santa brought her 6 ponies and a shirt, so she was happy! She also got a VeggieTales movie, an outfit, a roll of butcher paper and a bunch of paints, and a little shopping cart with pretend food. Aunt Trisha made her a tiny mouse in an altoid box. It was so cute. She also got a Hello Kitty airplane for the Tew white elephant gift exchange, so she was a happy girl.

Link was definitely not forgotten this Christmas season. We decided to do service projects in his name to put in his stockings. Here are some things we did: brought treats to the PD and FD, sang Christmas songs at the Ronald McDonald House, gave out toys for people who needed them, shoveled someone’s driveway, left quarters on the machines at Walmart with a note saying “take one! Merry Christmas!”, went through the drive through & paid for the car behind us, donated food to the local food bank, & donated to a refugee in Utah. Aunt Trisha also made glass ornaments with “NICU – December 2013” & tiny footprints etched on them. She donated them to the local NICU with a sweet poem in honor of Link.
-Our tree was filled with reminders of our sweet baby boy: The lady that made our Link bears also sent heart ornaments made from his clothing & we put them on the tree. For FHE we made a color chain for the tree & on each Link there was a memory of him. We loved remembering all those moments! We also had 3 glass ornaments on the tree – remembrance ornaments. On one was Link & Tundra, another one had Richardson grandparents on one side & Potts grandparents on the other, and then the last one had Grandpa Tew and Uncle Bart. It was so neat to see all these things that remind us of our loved ones!
-Mom ordered a stocking for Link this year & we loved seeing it & knowing he will always be a part of our family.
-Mom had a really rough time missing Link this month – right before Christmas. She spent a few days just watching videos and missing him. We know he would have been trying to get into the decorations and gifts – but also mesmerized by the lights and feeling the excitement of the season. We missed him a lot L
-Someone that Grandma Devenish knew had to come to the hospital here in Cedar & stayed at the Jubilee House. She was so touched to get one of the bags that we donated for Link’s birthday that she sent Grandma a card. So very sweet & heartwarming to know they are being loved.
-For Christmas this year, Heidi made “Link” earrings as well as printed pictures for each family with Link’s picture and a quote from The Message, along with a copy of McKinley’s handwritten story of Link’s life.

-The BEST gift for Link this year was his bench! It’s FINALLY done!! We got to see it on our way back to Cedar and we are so happy to have it finished! 

1 comment:

Molly Preston said...

I remember our first Christmas without Jovi... so, so hard. And, we didn't have memories from the year before with her to compare to... I'm so sorry Christmas was so black and so dreary. I will pray 2014 brings you more joy than you thought possible. Think of you and your sweet Link, often!