Wednesday, April 8, 2015

March Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
March 2015
FAMILY:  Lots of traveling & fun this month! The 6th was mom’s birthday and the girls surprised her with breakfast in bed and lots of homemade gifts. She had a surprise for THEM, though, when she told them – after they’d already gotten ready for school – that they in fact WEREN’T going to school & we were all going to go up to SLC & Grandma & Grandpa were taking them to Disney on Ice! We really should have recorded their screams J They were SO excited! It took us a little bit to get out the door because we had to leave it show-ready, but we finally got on our way and headed North. We stopped by in Fillmore at the Garden of Eat-In for lunch and it was fun and yummy. We made it to the Potts in time to eat some dinner and head over to Tiarra’s play, Guys and Dolls. We were so happy to make it to her play – she did FANTASTIC as Adelaide! And was very entertaining.  Afterwards there was a cake & ice cream party at the Potts. So much fun J Saturday, the 7th, we headed over to Trisha’s for breakfast and a little more birthday fun as we also celebrated Uncle Richard’s 60th birthday. Grandma & Grandpa took the grandkids to Disney on Ice that afternoon & they all had a great time. That evening we went to the Simon’s and had fun playing games with them and the Edwards.  We came back on Sunday after going to the Murray Ward and stopped by the Bensons. Quick trip but packed with fun!  On March 14th, we finally had our Sibling Share Day (the last one was cancelled because of the snow). It turned out neat – Mom & McKinley read some stories, we went around and talked about our angel brothers, then we did some crafts – candles, bracelets & coloring. It was a neat day. That evening we headed to the park for some pizza and fun on the playground. The 17th was St. Patrick’s Day and the girls had fun eating Lucky Charms, dressing green, and finding people to pinch J The 26th was Link’s angelversary. Grandma & Grandpa were so sweet to come down and spend the day with the girls while Jason & Heidi went to the temple. The St. George temple was closed for maintenance, so they drove to the Manti Temple and had a wonderful time doing sealings and an endowment session for family names. We all met at the cemetery after the temple to put our chain of family names on Link’s grave and release balloons. It was chilly, but beautiful. Afterwards we came back & watched his slideshow. We love our baby boy and while our hearts still ache to have him here, we know he is doing great things where he is at. The 28th was the Sunday before conference, which was on Easter, so we put on all our pretty dresses the week early and headed to church. After church, we headed up North again. We made it in time for Sunday dinner and watching Into the Woods with the family. Monday, the 29th, Jason headed to Ogden for a budget meeting and Heidi & the girls stayed with Grandma. Their spring break was that week & mom let them have a couple extra days off ;) Monday evening we got together with the Simons for FHE and toured the conference center, which was really neat to do right before conference. And then we hiked Ensign peak just as the sun was setting. It was wonderful, beautiful & fun! Tuesday was Spencer’s birthday and so we headed out to the new Children’s Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.  Grandma Potts & GG came too! It was so much fun and there was SO much to see and do! We all had a great time. Wednesday, the 31st, we hung out with Michael & Joshua at grandma’s. The girls had fun playing in the backyard and we also went to the Murray Park, which was fun! Thursday we visited Great Aunt Cindy in the morning and went to Classic Skating at night. It was a wonderful spring break with family & friends! In between all of our month events, we had quite a few showings. Every week, we had 3-4, sometimes 5 showings. We received a full-price offer on the first day it was on the market, but they wanted a 90 day close and rejected our counter to put in a 72 hour clause, leaving it on the market. We had another offer from a couple from Holladay (their bishop is John Bytheway). We countered and although they still talked to us and kept looking at the home, they never countered. About that same time, a couple from California saw our FSBO sign and stopped by. They came three times to see what it would take to finish our basement to be able to accommodate their large collection of juke boxes (we actually went to their warehouse to see them – pretty neat!). Finally at the very end of the month, we got an offer from them of 320k. They are cash buyers , can close in 30 days and can put 10k down, so even though we had other offers that seemed forthcoming, we went ahead and accepted their offer and as it stands right now, we are scheduled to close on the 30th of April. What a blessing!! Another thing intermixed with all our happenings was sickness L It started Jason getting strep throat. Then Ireland had a sore throat, then pinkeye. Then Noelle had pinkeye and was just acting really sad. We got eye drops for both Ireland & Noelle, but had to end up giving them to the other 2 girls as well. Also – Heidi had a really sore throat and just felt yucky for a couple weeks. Hope we’re done with that for a while!
JASON: Jason has been good about helping out and getting ready for showings when he’s here. He’s also been really good about working with agents and potential buyers. Work has been busy as well, and he’s had a lot of planning projects he’s been working on – even having to stay up and work on them well after his meetings in Ogden. No word yet on the fleet job he applied to.  
HEIDI: It has been a busy month with all the showings and life in general, but Heidi is grateful for all the help & support of her family and grateful that we hopefully won’t have to show it anymore!!! She is reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul book about angels on the other side sending love notes to earthly loved ones. It’s been SO neat! She also read “Fairiest” – the 4th book of the Lunar Chronicles, which was good. Heidi also finally started training for her triathlon. She got her bike all tuned up and has gone on a few rides since then. She’s also gotten back into swimming & trying in general to just get back to basics in her training. She must be a little nervous about race day because she keeps having dreams about her race and forgetting to bring her bike or stopping to talk to someone & realizing she never did finish the race. Hopefully things will work out better than that!  Heidi did have a few really rough days before Link’s angelversary. Lots of tears and anguish. She misses her baby boy so very much – and she felt much like she failed him with not getting as much family history done as she had hoped for him. His angelversary day was very special, though, and she felt his love and joy. That helped so very much. Another thing that was really good was getting to visit with a couple other angel moms – Cindy from SHARE met Heidi at a park & shared some really special experiences with her. Anna, her SIDS mom friend, met her for a hike when they were up in SLC & it was very therapeutic and healing. Another exciting thing that happened this month is that Heidi finally got everything planned & reserved for her & Jason’s 15th wedding anniversary! Since it’s during school, they aren’t going till August, but she is SO excited to go to Prince Edward Island!!!
-We had Parent-Teacher conferences at the beginning of the month. When I sat down with McKinley’s teacher, Miss Heap, she said “you must just really look forward to coming to McKinley’s conferences. You always know you will hear how wonderful she is.” McKinley is really doing well and is constantly bringing home 100%+ tests. Her teacher also talked about what a great writer she is and she did very good with her persuasive essay writing.
-McKinley’s science fair was the first part of the month. She decided to do it on the eyes. Her friend, Addison, has a genetic eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. We researched it and learned about how the eye works and then made a pair of glasses to simulate what it would be like to have Addison’s condition – with black blinders on either side, cutting off her peripheral vision. We all tried them on and it was very interesting – and sobering to understanding a little more about her condition.
-McKinley planned and cooked (with minimal help) 2 meals (enchiladas, sloppy joes & mashed potatoes) and a dessert (marbled brownies) this month – and they all turned out really yummy!
-McKinley really loved doing scripture study with Michael when we were in SLC. She came to mom and talked about how she wished she could skype with him every night. She learns so much from her cousin, which we love. One thing that was kind of hard, though, was that Michael had the day off school to spend with McKinley & the girls, but they couldn’t seem to find common ground.  Michael wanted to play outside & do sports-type things. McKinley wanted to do dress up and write a story together. In the end, they did a little of both, but it’s becoming harder for them to do something they both enjoy L
-When we were in SLC, McKinley decided to write a persuasive paper about why dogs are better than cats as pets. She didn’t have to do it, but came up with the idea herself and did a great job!!
-Ireland’s parent-teacher conference went well and her teacher, Mrs. Willden, really loves having her in her class and is so impressed at her reading skills. She was already at a 4th grade level at the beginning of the school year, so they aren’t re-testing her.  She also seems to breeze through the spelling tests as well. We are so proud of our Ireland!
-Ireland’s science fair was also at the beginning of the month. She decided she wanted to find out the different factors that would affect how ice freezes – hot water, cold water, room temp water, vinegar water, salt water, water with metal & water with plastic. It was an interesting science project & took a lot of the day to record information, but it turned out really cute and we used the movie “Frozen” as the theme for her board. It turned out cute & fun!
-One day Kezia ran to mom & said “Ireland is being mean! She gave me two choices – being punched or getting told on & I didn’t like either one!”
-Ireland missed 3 days of school for pinkeye L It was kind of nice to have her home, though & get to cuddle with her and have her help out.
-Ireland and Joshua had a lot of fun getting together this month. They don’t always get along, but mom was proud of them for working things out on their own and apologizing when they argued. They did a lot of make believe dress up games and playing outside.
-We went to IFA & saw the cute chickies one day and Ireland & Kezi LOVED letting them nip at their fingers. They just giggled & laughed and laughed & didn’t want to go.

-Kezia had parent-teacher conferences, too. The first thing her teacher, Miss Clara, said was “I love having Kezia in my class. She is NICE. She is smart, too, but she is NICE. And that is so important.” That statement just made mommy’s day. She loves how kind and loving Kezia is. One day at the park, mom watched as she helped other kids on the merry-go-round and then pushed and pushed them. She never even got on, but was happy to help others. That makes us SO proud of her. More even than the amazing reading, math and vocabulary skills that Kezia has. Kezia got registered this month for Kindergarten at South Elementary. We saw some of her friends there & she was able to test with Mrs. Ekker (Ireland’s teacher), so that would be fun if she had her!
-Kezi did a FHE about choosing the right and she did a great job! Also – she helped mom make a cookie cake with whipped cream and strawberries for afterwards. It was yummy!
-Kezia saw McKinley’s section about meals & she wanted to make sure that everyone knows that she knows how to make sandwiches, quesadillas, and macaroni and cheese. J
-Kezi had a lot of fun in SLC with her cousin Parker. They were so cute when they walked down the Ensign Peak trail hand in hand.
-At the Museum of Curiosity, the girls were playing in the playground & we couldn’t find Kezia. For 15 minutes we all walked around looking for her. Apparently, she was up in the playground, but no one could find her. She said she was talking to some boys!
-Kezia cavorted with Grandma & came up with an Easter egg hunt for mom and grandpa. It was so cute & sweet.
-We are so proud of Kezia – she got her CTR ring at the beginning of the year & she still has it almost 4 months later. Great job Kezia!
-Kezi was really good at helping mom this month. She was almost always around when there was a showing & mom had a lot to do to get ready. She was such a helper to be able to grab things & get out the door. She was also great at being flexible when we had to leave the house & go somewhere. Usually it was the library and a couple times we even caught story time! J
Our sweet baby boy. It’s incredibly hard to accept that it’s been two years since you left this earth. We are so thankful for the gospel and the knowledge that you haven’t left our family, though. You are so much a part of us and we still talk about you every day. Mom started a Facebook page called “Link’ing Families Together” that is a family history page. On Tuesdays, she issues a family history question. On Thursdays, she posts a picture of an ancestor. Sometimes she gets a lot of response to her page. Other times, not. But there are over 100 “likes” and she hopes that it helps a tiny part of fulfilling your mission, sweet boy. We did get to do some family names this month and it was wonderful. We hope you know how much you are missed. How hard it is for us to go on without you. But most of all, how much you are LOVED. A couple tender mercies: When the girls’ went to Grandma Potts’ ward, McKinley said the opening song was “Give Said the Little Stream” (your song tune) and then she said a boy named Lincoln said the opening prayer. Also- daddy’s cousin again raised money for the Ronald McDonald House in your name when her son had his birthday this month. In addition, on your angelversary, there was a flock of geese that flew directly overhead – and there was a rainbow (of sorts – a sundog) in the sky as we drove home and sat at your grave. We LOVE YOU!

-We really have to keep a close eye on Noelle now days as her curiosity, courage, and mobility increase. She can open drawers and cabinet doors and is getting REALLY fast at crawling. One minute she’s there & the next she’s gone!
-She took a couple steps this month! Her first steps were at Grandma Potts’ in her basement right before she turned 11 months. She still isn’t so sure about the walking thing, though. She mostly just sits down & starts crawling, but a few times she has ventured to take up to 3 steps, so if she can be convinced that walking is better than crawling, we know she’ll get walking SOON! In the mean time, her pants are filthy whenever we are outside :/
-Noelle is finally done breastfeeding and has done SO well! She transitioned to cows milk wonderfully and while mom misses the cuddles, it’s also nice to have freedom for both of us.
-She is really getting more into books & getting better & better at turning pages.
-Her new phrase: UH OH! So cute J Also- NI-NI! (Night-night) Her language is definitely getting more pronounced and distinguished. She will be talking a million miles an hour like her sisters soon!
-Noelle continues to love Signing Time & now knows “More” “Milk” “All-done” and “eat”
-Noelle’s cries have also transitioned. Instead of just crying when she’s hurt or tired, she’s started crying and yelling when she can’t reach something or she’s frustrated.
-Her Snuza alarm went off a couple times this month, sending mom into a panic. There have been so many issues with trying to order the “breathable mattress.” It has been so frustrating for mom, but FINALLY it came and is giving us lots more peace of mind.
-Some of Noelle’s favorite foods: Milk, German Pancakes, Mac n’ cheese, grapes, and cheese.
-Her sisters LOVE to make her laugh and can get her into quite the giggling fest!
-We’ve gone to the library quite a bit this past month with showings & Noelle loves to crawl around and play with the toys & puzzles. She also has really started people-watching and will just stare at someone as they go by.
-One super-cute thing Noelle has been doing this month is playing peek-a-boo! Give her a light blanket & she will bury her face in it & then pop out & give you a huge grin. Sometimes she even says peek-a-boo!
-Noelle had some real scares this month L Mom accidentally closed the van door with her foot in it. It wasn’t broken or anything, but was really bruised L The other really sad thing happened after mom took her to the instacare to make sure she didn’t have an ear infection or anything because she was acting in pain a lot. Mom took her out to the van and put her in her car seat. Then she threw the keys to the front seat (like she’s done lots of other times & shut the door. It locked. Noelle was inside along with the keys, mom’s phone, everything. All the windows were rolled up. She tried & tried to get in, but couldn’t. She used the instacare phone to call daddy again & again, but he wasn’t answering (he was talking to a potential buyer of our home), so mom had to end up calling 911 & the police had to open the van door. By that time, Noelle was crying & hot and mom was crying, too. It was a traumatic experience for both of us. Hope it never happens again!!

1 comment:

Diane said...

Oh how I miss you all! We love you and miss being a part of your lives. Hugs and kisses! I wrote a blog post about Link but I never posted it! We think of him often and we wish we could hug all of you!