Monday, June 2, 2014

May Newsletter & Slideshow

FAMILY:  Whew! May is over & we survived the last month of the school year! Hooray! May was filled with end-of-year school activities – field trips, homework, projects, programs, and the mini mall. And all that with trying to keep up with the needs of a newborn. We sure love our Noelle and have enjoyed her so much! The Share (pregnancy & infant loss) group of Southern Utah had their first walk of remembrance & hope on May 10th & we are so thankful for the support we received from our family! The Edwards & Potts drove down and the Hamiltons & Devishes drove up. There were probably 250 people there & it was a humbling, wonderful tribute to the babies we have lost. Heidi put together a poster and a shirt transfer for Link. After the walk, we came back to our house for pizza and visiting – and Jeff helped Jason install some shelves in our garage – thanks Jeff! Later that afternoon, our family, the Edwards & Potts drive down to St. George to visit Uncle Fred & Sandra. Then Heidi, Jason & Noelle stayed in St. George to have a little getaway for their 14th wedding anniversary. Thanks Edwards & Potts for taking care of the older girls! Heidi, Jason & Noelle went out to eat and just enjoyed spending time and relaxing. The complimentary breakfast was also very good the next morning, which was Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, the Edwards and Potts who were at our home in Cedar City didn’t get such a good breakfast. A huge snow storm hit Cedar City and left about a foot of snow on the ground as well as knocking out the power for a few hours. Thankfully they were able to get heat from the stove and fireplaces and by the time Jason & Heidi got there about noon, the power was back on. It was still out at the church, though, and church ended up being cancelled. The Potts & Edwards got on the road quickly, but it took them 5 and a half hours instead of 3 because of the weather. The girls were very sweet on Mother’s Day & showered Heidi with lots of homemade cards and gifts. It was very sweet. The 12th was Heidi & Jason’s anniversary, but also a meeting for McKinley’s upcoming play and an arts night at the girls’ school. It was very cute – McKinley & Ireland both did a little performance & we got to see some of the art they had been doing. On the 14th, we headed to St. George to catch Camri’s band performance & a little of Daken’s baseball. Afterwards, we headed to DQ for some yummy ice cream! On the 16th, we had a BBQ/water party with the Bealers. Good times J The 23rd was the girls’ last day of school for the year – hooray! Heidi sent them to school with bag lunches that said “Ireland/McKinley’s last lunch of the 1st/2nd day!!” After their last day of school, we decided to go summer shopping! We went to the D.I. & got some summer clothes, then to Famous Footwear for some nice running shoes for all the girls. After all that shopping, we had a pizza/ice cream party. Yay for summer! Heidi rolled out about 8 feet of butcher paper & let the girls write things they wanted to do this summer. We have quite the bucket list! Mom shouldn’t ever hear the “bored” word J That next Saturday we (mostly dad) worked hard getting the side yard ready – leveling out all the dirt and finishing the retaining walls. Now it’s all ready for our garden boxes!! That evening, we went to the Hillsteads & enjoyed a yummy BBQ and visiting.  On Monday, we went swimming and to the cemetery. We met with Jason’s co-worker who very recently lost his son and we also saw our neighbors there. Afterwards, Jason took the girls fishing & they had a fun time. After Jason finished work on the 29th, we headed to Salt Lake for a quick trip. Friday, the 30th, was Heidi’s cousin Ivory’s wedding dinner in Mapleton. Saturday the 31st, McKinley & Kezia did a 5k walk with the Potts’ stake and then later we headed to Lehi for Ivory’s wedding and reception. It was very beautiful, the food was yummy, and it was wonderful to visit with family.

JASON:  Jason had a busy month with scouts – working with the young men to get their eagles completed before their missions, and also helping with their mission prep. He attended an Eagle Scout court of Honor for Mitchell Beacham and was given an Eagle Scout Mentor Pin. Way to go!! He is such a great leader & mentor. He was also busy at work and assisted in heading up an intense budget meeting at the end of the month. Here at home he stayed busy – fixing sprinkler heads that his wife broke while mowing (sorry babe!) and working very hard to get the side yard ready for garden boxes.

 HEIDI: Heidi is still in the throes of newborn-mommy brain fog, but she is truly enjoying the time she spends with Noelle. She has decided to only check facebook on Fridays now, so she can focus on her new baby girl and her other children & husband, and that has helped a lot to free up time and priorities. She has started running again and is up to five (very slow) miles currently, working on getting ready for the half marathon in September. She enjoyed meeting new people at the Share walk and reading stories of so many babies taken too soon. She enjoyed making Link’s poster and shirt transfer and sharing his story. Mother’s Day was different with church being cancelled, but it was wonderful to spend time with those that made me a mother. For Mother’s Day, she got a maxi skirt from the Share Walk. We also had a little mother’s day retreat in Salt Lake at the end of the month, with a waffle breakfast, shopping at Gardner Village, and ice cream at Cold Stone. Heidi has also been spending her time working on Ireland’s birthday book and she FINALLY FINISHED transferring grandma’s VHS & Hi8 tapes. YAY!!!!!

-McKinley worked so hard at the beginning of the month on her Activity Days Mother’s Day program. She practiced “Be our Guest” almost every night and she made a beautiful pillow. It was so special to go with McKinley to the church and have yummy food, play games, watch her sing “Be Our Guest,” make bracelets, get our pictures taken, and just be with her special, sweet, beautiful daughter. Thank you McKinley for such a special day!
-Another testament to McKinley’s thoughtfulness was teacher appreciation week. Not only did she write a sweet note for Mrs. Hardin, her teacher, but she wrote probably 8 other notes for other teachers, secretaries, and even janitors!
-McKinley did a special performance at the Randall L. Jones Theater – it was a math/arts presentation and she was the leader of a small group of her classmates doing a dance about the tasks of the day – going fast or slow. She did a great job!!
-At the North Elementary Arts Night, McKinley’s class did a rendition of Persius in Greek Mythology. She was Athena, the goddess of knowledge. She also played a mermaid. She was wonderful!
-McKinley did an animal habitat report & chose to do it on the tundra J She made animals out of play doh and made a snow scene from a cardboard box.
-McKinley still has fear of being alone at night, so her sisters still sleep with her. She also has fear of taking showers alone. She had a nightmare about mom and dad’s room, so she doesn’t want to take a shower in there, and she says the swirls in the cultured marble of the girls’ shower remind her of witches and things, so she doesn’t want to take a shower in there!
 -McKinley worked hard this month on the mini-mall for her school. She made LOTS of neat bracelets, caramel popcorn balls, and she bought some candy to sell. She did really well! She sold all her bracelets, all but 3 of her popcorn balls, and just a handful of candy. She said she made over 500 liMe tickets! She had a lot of fun and also learned some lessons, like charging more. A guy in the booth next to her bought a lot of her bracelets for 2 tickets each, then sold them for 4 tickets each!  We will be charging more next year J
-McKinley got to have one last playdate with her friend MJ (Mary Jane) before she moved to Oregon L She will miss her friend!
-McKinley did such a great job this school year and we are excited for the upcoming years. They assigned her to the 2nd/3rd grade for next year and we are checking into that – we want her to be challenged for the next year, too! McKinley is sad that her teacher, Mrs. Hardin, is going to a different school and she won’t be able to see her after school L
-McKinley is still loving her baby sister and is so good to help with bringing her to mom, putting in her binki, getting her a blanket, reading a story to her, or just smiling and talking to her.
-McKinley is excited for the summer & especially her play rehearsals, which start next month!

-Ireland got to go on lots of field trips, including going to the park to see some hawks and eagles!
-Ireland’s art night performance was so cute. First, they sang a cute song about what it is like to be a teacher, a parent, and an old person. Then they did a math play, where the audience had to come up with the answer to their equation that they acted out. Ireland was a fairy with beautiful wings and she did a wonderful job!
-Her class was learning about animals and they had to choose an animal to do a report on. Ireland chose the cheetah – “because they’re SO fast!”. She worked with mom on her poster and her oral report. At the end of the report, she said a joke – “what animal do you not want to sit by in a test?... a Cheetah!” J
-Ireland had fun at the mini mall at school. For her LiMe tickets, she bought a beautiful face painting, she got her nails painted, and she bought candy J
-Ireland had a “portfolio party” at the end of the school year & mom got to come in and see many of the science, arts & math projects Ireland had been working on this past year. They were awesome – great job Ireland!
-Ireland got the award “class peacemaker” – we love that & are so proud of her!
-Ireland had a fun playdate with Isabella at her new house – they played for 6 hours!
-One morning Ireland was playing with Noelle on the floor. She looked up at mom & dad and asked “When Noelle dies, will we do a Noelle chain instead of a Link chain?” We were a bit stunned by the question, but explained that we are really hoping that Noelle will not die. Ireland is so cute with her still and will lay by her and talk to her and kiss her repeatedly. We still have to try and convince her that even babies need space.
-We were doing our summer bucket list and we had lots of fun things on there – the park, flying kites, riding bikes, going to the movies, etc. Ireland added “Disneyland.” Hmmm- we don’t quite have the budget this summer for Disneyland J so mom changed it to Disney movie week. Ireland changed it back.
-Ireland is sad that her good friend, Mahina, is going to be gone for the summer L
-When we got to Salt Lake, Ireland woke up the next morning with an eye swollen shut and pink L Dad took her to the instacare & we got some eye drops for her, but now it’s spread to the other eye!
-Ireland is starting gymnastics next month – she is SO excited!
-This summer Ireland is looking forward to camping and her birthday!

-Kezia got to go on a field trip to a local farm – she saw lots of animals & even got to hold a baby lamb!
-Kezi’s end of year assessment was wonderful! She has mastered all the skills they had for her – and more!
-Kezia is sad that preschool is over and she won’t get to see Callie anymore. She was also in tears about not seeing her teacher Lynette as well.
-We went to the park one day and mom asked why Kezi wore her dress. She replied “Because I wanted to show everyone my twirls!”
-One night she came into mom’s room complaining of a sore throat. She said “I think my throat hurts cuz I ate strawberry seeds and then kissed dirt. And then I drank water.”
-Kezi missed church for pinkeye one Sunday. Mom read that breastmilk can cure pink eye. So she got an eye dropper and gave it to her a few times a day. She wasn’t cooperating, so mom told her she’d get an M&M. Kezi said “That’s too short of a treat!”
-One night, for some reason, Kezia INSISTED on wearing pajama pants on her head to bed.
-Kezia continues to be so thoughtful – coloring multiple pictures & writing notes & drawing hearts to give to others. Lately, her thing has been to say she’s going outside to write with chalk, but the doorbell will ring and mom will find all sorts of cute notes on the doorstep. One day, the doorbell rang about 10 times, each with a note from Heidi’s “sisters” and a cute saying on it with hearts J
-Mom and Dad went on the back deck to enjoy the night after they put the kids to bed. After 20 minutes or so, we could hear loud crying. It was Kezi – she couldn’t find us and was so scared. We let her come out on the deck with us and she calmed down as she looked at the night sky. She said “look – there’s a rocket ship! I can see it moving!” Then she asked “Dad – which one is the Peter Pan star?”
-Kezi has decided she likes to wear her pants backwards lately.
-This summer, Kezi is most looking forward to seeing her grandparents, cousins, and going to Lagoon!

We thought about Link a lot this month. It was so neat to honor him at the Share walk at the beginning of the month and we all wear our Link shirts with pride. Also at the end of the month, it was neat to go to the cemetery with so many others for Memorial Day and remember our baby boy. Heidi put some QR codes on the top of his headstone, so people could scan them and it would take them to her blog that tells about Link’s story and also his bench. We love the “magical hour” of the day – about 7pm – when the rainbows come through the windows and we think of Link. One day, mom was heading out with the girls to run errands and she looked up in the sky to see a cloud in the perfect shape of a heart! Then later, she heard Link’s song and she felt his love. Also – a lady from Hawaii contacted Heidi as she found the picture of the Link’s bench’s forget-me-nots online and talked about how touched she was to read his story and asked permission to use the picture of his forget-me-nots for a little book she’s doing for her grandkids.

-Noelle is almost 2 months old now! She is getting cuter and more fun by the minute! We all adore our baby sunrise girl.
-She is starting to really smile consistently. She loves it when we stick out our tongue at her, sing to her, make clicking sounds, and monkey noises.
-Noelle is really starting to talk! It’s so adorable – she coos, goos, and does and excited shriek J
-She rotates during the day from the carpet in the living room, to the portable swing, to her vibrator chair, to the big swing, to the cow chair, and – of course – to her carseat when we have to go anywhere, which is quite frequently.
-She has started sleeping longer at night – the longest she’s gone now is 7 hours & we are enjoying the extra sleep for now! J
-She is eating well and starting to fill out. She still eats every 2-3 hours & has grown out of her newborn things.
-Noelle still has LOTS of dark, dark hair. It gets pretty crazy-looking sometimes –especially in the morning. She takes after her daddy J
-Noelle loves to stare at the pictures of her brother, Link, on the wall. We sure wish she could really talk and tell us about her experiences with him!
-The old overhead jungle gym broke L so we bought one that was as close to the old one as possible (which was harder to find that we thought!) with things that hang down that she can hit and the music will go off. She is starting to really love it and is getting good at hitting the things and making the music go. She will smile and talk as she hangs out under there. It’s so cute.
-So far, she’s been a pretty good traveler! She was fussy here & there, but overall did really great on our trip to Salt Lake!
-She still doesn’t have a lot of strength in her legs, but her neck is getting pretty strong!
-She is still so loud & we hear every sound because she sleeps with us – hiccups, snorts, grunts, coughs, and everything in-between. She is a loud sleeper!
-Noelle is finally not spitting up as much as the first month or so. But she still does every so often. When we were in St. George (and a couple more times, actually), mom fed Noelle & then patted her on her chest & Noelle proceeded to puke right down her shirt!
-She still gets the hiccups quite frequently!

-Noelle is SO loved by her parents & sisters (& brother). We love our time with her and to see who can get her to smile and talk. She is sweet and usually very good-natured.