FAMILY: 2014 started out with McKinley going into the hospital for appendicitis. It was a bit scary, because her appendix had already been ruptured for at least a couple days, though we didn’t know it. She hadn’t complained about it till the day before. She had to stay in the hospital for a couple days, but we are so thankful that she is okay and acting like herself again J For more details on her hospital stay, see her section. We joke that she was just wanting to give us a jump start on our healthcare deductibles for the year. J Thankfully, she was feeling good enough to head to Salt Lake on Friday, January 10th. The Checketts were in town with their latest addition, Grace. It was neat to be able to meet & hold our new niece/cousin. She is beautiful. There was also a little baby shower for Noelle and we celebrated Grandpa Potts’ 60th birthday with a “surprise” (he knew about it) party. Also – little Grace Checketts was blessed on Sunday at Grandma Potts’ home. We were thankful to be there for all these wonderful milestones & events. We enjoyed seeing family & visiting. On Saturday, the 18th, we decided to head down to St. George to check out the new Children’s Museum. There were a lot of people, but it was really fun & there was so much to see! Also – it is free, so that is even better! The girls had fun “milking cows,” changing tires, acting on stage, exploring electricity, making their shadows freeze, & playing basketball – just to name a few! Afterwards we had pizza & headed to the temple with Jeff & Keeley. It was a great time down south. The 20th was Martin Luther King, Jr day and we decided to go for a little hike as a family – with our good friends, the Bealers. It was a beautiful day and short enough that even the little ones could make it. We have had such a dry winter. It has been nice, but the ward asked us to pray for moisture & the Lord delivered. We had quite a snowstorm at the end of the month & we are enjoying the white stuff. Another miracle was that the internet wasn’t working one day & Jason found out that Rainbow Truck had chewed the internet cords. It was kind of funny, but also sobering considering if he would have chewed a power cord, he probably wouldn’t be here right now. So – we are thankful for that. On the 29th, our family went into the dentist. Looks like Jason & McKinley have a few to be filled & we got a referral to an orthodontist for Ireland L On the 31st, we headed down to St. George to celebrate Keeley’s 40th birthday. We enjoyed Café Rio, ice cream, & good company. Happy Birthday Keeley! It was also Maddy’s birthday & we called her to sing – Happy 2nd Birthday Maddy!
JASON: Jason was very supportive with his oldest daughter in the hospital. He left church and came to gave her a blessing – then he stayed in the hospital at nights to help her. Thankfully, he could work from his laptop for a couple days & make up on lost sleep. We renewed our aquatic center membership & Jason has started working out again. He had fun this month with the Scouts this month at an assisted living center – singing songs around a piano for the residents. Jason’s truck wouldn’t start after work one day & after a bunch of calling around, we decided to take it to Amen Diesel. Thankfully, they were able to fix it fast & somewhat reasonably priced. Thankful to have 2 vehicles again!
HEIDI: It was pretty nerve-racking when McKinley went through her hospital ordeal. Memories of both Link’s death and his birth were everywhere. And her longer-than-expected surgery had Heidi pacing the floors. However, she is so thankful that Link was there to watch over McKinley, the doctors, and nurses working with her. She is so thankful for her beautiful McKinley & grateful to see her running around again J Heidi enjoyed her time in Salt Lake. She enjoyed putting together a short slideshow for her dad’s 60th birthday celebration – it was fun to see some old pictures. She was also able to go to Olive Garden & then to the movies (The Book Thief) with her dad & sisters & then that evening she met up with a couple local SIDS moms. It was great to be able to visit openly with them. Heidi has been reading more and also started “working out” again. She would like to be in at least moderate shape when this baby is born. The 3rd trimester woes have begun and she finds herself waking up with carpal tunnel or sore hips. Also – sciatic nerve pain has shown up. Heidi decided to go see a chiropractor in our ward – Becca Whittaker. She’s only been once, but hopes after a couple more sessions, she’ll see a big difference. She blogged about their plans for Link’s angelversary & she’s excited to do more temple work in the next couple months!
-Saturday, January 4th, was our primary meet and greet at the church. We all went in our PJs & had fun meeting our new teachers. McKinley wanted to play with her friend, Olivia, after the activity, so she went over there and they played for a couple hours. When she got back from Olivia’s, about noon, she started complaining about her tummy hurting. Mom advised that she try & eat something. She said it was still hurting, so mom told her to go lay down. After a few hours, she started throwing up. We thought it was the flu at that point and had her stay in our room for the night. She threw up about every hour and was moaning. In the morning (Sunday), we gave her some ibprofin & she took a bath & seemed better for a little while, but then she was hurting even more than before and finally mom decided to take her to the ER. We got there about noon & it took till 5pm for them to confirm that it was appendicitis. The surgeon did an exam & told us he really didn’t think it was her appendix because it wasn’t localized or inflamed. He thought it probably was the flu or something else & suggested we keep her there for a while to rehydrate her, but a nurse that worked there (Kim) really suggested we do some more testing because McKinley really was in a lot of pain. Her flu test came back negative & the x-ray didn’t show anything, so we proceeded with the CAT scan. About 10 minutes after she got back from the scan, Kim came in & told us it was appendicitis & they would be doing surgery that evening. At that point, we updated family & friends & asked for prayers. She went back to the OR about 6 & didn’t get back until 8. We were pretty worried, but found out it was because her surgeon (Dr. Munford) told us it appeared the appendix had already been ruptured for at least a couple days. McKinley stayed in the hospital for two more days, taking antibiotics and pain medicine through IVs. She had just had strep throat the week before, poor girl – so LOTS of antibiotics! She had wonderful cards, letters, phone calls & visits. The bishop kept checking on her, Krista Corry, Dr. Dowse, Lisa Riddle, The Bealers, The Hamiltons, Sister Beacham, and Mrs. Hardin all came to see her – and they all brought sweet gifts and things to keep her busy. She was in a lot of pain for about a week after she came home from the hospital. One time, she was hurting so much dad took her back into the ER just to make sure nothing else was going on. After about a week, she started to feel a lot better, though, and could get up and down without help and without pain meds and was eating better. Within another week, she was running around again. We are SO thankful she is okay & has guardian angels to watch over her! Everyone joked that she just wanted to extend her Christmas vacation (she ended up being out of school for about a month!)
-McKinley must have been spurred by creativity and missing her sisters when she got feeling better. Here are some fun things she did this month: She put out breakfast one morning & wrote a note to Kezi from one of Santa’s Elves telling her that he was watching her & that he liked her. She had a “McKinley Store” one day and when dad came home, he found various things on the living room floor for sale – including his 2 other daughters, dressed as dolls. She also woke up early one morning & had a “circus” - drew circus animals and had circus music and spun her sisters on Link’s exersaucer for fun. She is so creative, loving & giving.
-McKinley & Ireland both went to the symphony for a field trip!
-Mom got some bamboo cooking utensils for Christmas. McKinley told mom “you shouldn't have gotten these bamboo spoons. Now the pandas won't have enough to eat.
-McKinley was student of the quarter for math – way to go McKinley!
-McKinley says “The part I liked best about January is going to grandma’s house & getting out of the hospital. I like Ashten, Taylor, and I might be related to a boy in my class named KC Barton.”
-There are a bunch of vinyl quotes on the walls of McKinley’s school – most of them are from famous people like Albert Einstein. A FEW of them, though, come from students. McKinley is one of them. Her quote says “Remember to think what will happen at the end.” Great thought McKinley! We’re so proud of you!!
-Ireland has LOVED the sparkly jump rope she got for Christmas. It’s in our living room and almost every time she passes it by, she picks it up & starts jumping. She’s gotten to 50 in a row. She can even jump backwards on one leg!! She is getting pretty tricky & it’s fun to watch her!
-Ireland was pretty worried about her big sister when she had her surgery. When Ireland was at church, Sister Beacham (the primary president) asked Ireland how she was. Ireland replied “My life is over! My sister is in the hospital!” After the shock wore off & we knew McKinley was going to be okay, though, Ireland got a bit jealous of all the gifts & McKinley missing school. She was glad when McKinley got to come home & life got back to normal J
-Ireland was a lucky girl this month. She got to go to Dennys for a lunch date with dad and Arctic Circle for a “date points” date with mom. We enjoyed our time with our spunky 6-year-old.
-Watching the girls play “store” one day, Ireland took a Barbie as was using the cash register’s conveyor belt as a treadmill J
-Ireland prays at night “And PLEASE bless that we WON’T – with a ‘T’ at the end – have bad dreams!”
-McKinley & Ireland both went on field trips to the symphony this month!
-Ireland got student of the quarter for Math. Way to go Ireland!!
-At assemblies, they do the “we will rock you” chant with the students banging on their legs. Ireland likes to do this at home, too, and sings “WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU!” as she bangs the table.
- When we were on a date, we saw a policeman chasing a car on the freeway. Ireland asked “Do those fast guys go in the dungeon when they get caught?”
-One day Ireland was doing a characteristic wardrobe change & she had a dress on. She kept asking where the umbrella was. Mom asked her why she wanted it. She said “I just want to see if I jump off the couch if my dress & umbrella will poof out and I will float like Mary Poppins.”
-Ireland didn’t have any cavities at the dentist (yay!) but her permanent teeth are coming in all crooked (boo!). Her mouth is just so tiny, so it looks like we’ll be doing a combination of roof expanding and pulling teeth. We need to get her into an orthodontist (already!)
-Ireland found out her cousin Joshua learned to tie shoes, so she is working on it! She’s almost got it!
-Ireland also went through a paper airplane phase. Daddy taught her how to make them & she made about 50 to “sell” to people.
-Ireland says “I like Isabella. I liked when I got to see my cousins. The end.”
-Kezia loves preschool and says “I wish I could go to preschool every each day.”
-Mom heard some fighting in the other room & then Kezia yelling “CTR McKinley!! That means you have to be nice to me!”
-Kezia is always trying to get her “grandpa that doesn’t like peanut butter” to change his ways. When we were over at their house, she grabbed a glob of peanut butter & came over to grandpa & said “Open your mouth & close your eyes!” He refused… maybe it was the smell or the patch of peanut butter on her face that gave her away.
-Kezia has been asking to go fishing a lot lately. Soon Kezi!
-Kezi & Adelaide Price play almost every Tuesday & Thursday after preschool. They usually get along great, but sometimes have disagreements. One day on the way home from preschool, Kezia was crying. We got home & mom asked what the problem was. Kezia said that Addie said “Let’s have a staring contest! … I win!” Kezia didn’t like losing and was crying. She turned around and yelled at Addie “Let’s have a crying contest... See! I win!!”
-Kezia got to have a Teddy Bear picnic – she decided to take McKinley’s Snoopy Dog she got from being in the hospital.
-Kezia & Adelaide love to see this horse on the way home from preschool. Every day they look for her. They named her “Crystal Gem Gray Brown White.” One day Addie said “I am happy, but if I am sad it’s because do you know why? What if our horse is dead?”
-We went to St. George to celebrate Keeley’s birthday & found out when we got there that Kezia had gum stuck in her hair. Luckily it was at the bottom of her ponytail & with some peanut butter & shampoo, we got it out. Whew!
-Kezia says “I hope you have a great Valentines. I love you. I love you all. I love grandma & Link. Hope you put Valentines stickers on.”
-We really feel like Link watched over his sister while she was in the hospital. We are so thankful for such a loving guardian angel!
Mom had a dream about Link in January that went something like this: “I was on a long field trip. He had been with babysitters all day. I was so anxious to see to him, I ran all the way there from the school. There were 3 little old ladies at the house & they raved about how good & polite he was. I went back there to see him sleeping in a playpen. He had a cute, little robe on. He woke up & sat up when he heard my voice. I picked him up & held him. So happy to be with my chubby-cheeked little man.” Mom loves dreaming of Link… though it’s hard to wake up.
-Heidi blogged about Link’s angelversary coming up and plans to “link” families together. We are excited to do more family history and head to the temple more in the next couple months!
-It’s so nice to go to the cemetery and enjoy his bench instead of just the temporary marker. We love seeing his face & playing with his cars.