Friday, September 4, 2015

August Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
August 2015
FAMILY: How is it possible that August has already come & gone? August started in Salt Lake City for Joshua's baptism. It was a wonderful day and we loved seeing family. Congratulations Joshua! That evening, we met some other SIDS families at Sugarhouse Park. It was wonderful to visit and share about our sweet babies. Afterwards, we stopped to feed the geese at the park. There were quite a few! On August 2nd, we went to the Potts' ward and had dinner at GG Tew's that evening. Aunt Cindy was so sweet and made a Beauty & the Beast cake for McKinley since she wouldn't be there for her birthday in September. On Monday, the 3rd, we went to 7 Peaks water Park! Unfortunately, mom did not take one picture! :( But it was very fun & we got to meet the Bensons there, too. Monday night we went to see Tiarra in Shrek the Musical. She did a great job & it was a fun play :) On Tuesday the 4th, we went to the Daybreak park again - the one with the ziplines & stream - with the Edwards & Simons. The girls had fun playing at the park & with their cousins. Then we went to do sealings with the Potts & Simons at the Jordan River Temple. It was wonderful & we were able to do family names!  From August 6-14th, Heidi & Jason went to Prince Edward Island to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. They had such a an amazing, rejuvenating, fun, peaceful time! Some favorite memories: a gorgeous rainbow from Link on our first night - welcoming us to the island, Enjoying the quaint dairy shed turned guest house that they stayed in at French River & getting to know the Owners - Rhoda Moss & her daughters, learning about the history of Yankee Hill (the hill they stayed on - and visiting the Yankee Hill Cemetery) as well as the history of the owners' home which is said to be the place that L.M. Montgomery based her last book "Jane of Lantern Hill," spending lots of time down at "our" beach - Jason walking the shoreline finding crabs, jellyfish, hermit crabs, shrimp, and searching for clams, Heidi swimming in the ocean, having dessert with some "Maude ladies" as Rhoda would say - experts on L.M. Montgomery, going sea kayaking over by Cavendish, visiting about 6 different lighthouses, reading "Anne of Avonlea" to Jason in the car - being able to truly visualize what she was writing about, driving by all the beautiful farmlands, old churches & cemeteries and relishing the vibrant colors, the FOOD! (I don't think we ate at one bad place. They were all authentic & YUMMY!), driving to the South side & seeing confederation bridge & going to Chelton Beach, Jason's lobster, lobster bisque & lobster pizza, going to all the Anne attractions: Anne of GG Museum (Silver Bush), the Lake of Shining Waters, L.M.M Birthplace & Cavendish Home, & of course Green Gables, including walking on the Lovers Lane and Haunted Woods trails, attending church service on Sunday & meeting some nice people, drinking LOADS of raspberry cordial, going to the Blue Moon Tea Room which was owned by a Japanese couple (Terry & Mark ) who were friends of the owners, COWS ice cream!, sleeping in & hot chocolate every morning, driving down a secluded lane by French River and seeing a home with miniature castles & buildings, night-time phone calls with the girls (they had a shared line, so that was interesting!), Biking for 4 hours on the Confederation trail and through small French towns to have a picnic by the ocean, driving through the national park and having an adorable fox walk right up to us! (we fed him beef jerky, but don't tell anyone!), sleeping with the sea breeze blowing through the windows at night, acres of wildflowers everywhere, walking through some of the Garden of Hope, spending a rainy day in Charlottetown going sight-seeing with wet shoes & learning about Canadian History, and seeing Anne & Gilbert the Musical (really fun & good!), driving by a potato factory and smelling potato chips for miles on our way to Kensington, running from mosquitoes, and trying to figure out all the signs (or lack of). Usually a sign to go a certain place would be a mile before the turnoff & so it was a bit confusing, but all part of the adventure! Getting home was also an adventure as we missed the cutoff for check-in by 15 minutes & were told we wouldn't be able to get home till the next day at midnight. thankfully, guardian angels helped us along the way & we got back at midnight that day instead. It was a WONDERFUL trip! We loved their welcome home signs, candy bar poster & welcome back balloon & we are SO thankful to the Potts and the Edwards for watching the girls while we went. We got back & hit the ground running! School started for Ireland & McKinley on August 20th. The day before mom decided to take the day off from her to-do lists & let the girls run the show. McKinley decided to have a fancy tea party with friends & their new Anne dolls, Kezia wanted to go to the dollar store, and Ireland decided to have a picnic at the park with daddy. It was such a perfect day & evening, we didn't want it to end, but alas! School was upon us. Soccer, too! Ireland & Kezia are both in soccer & that has been a learning curve, but fun! For activity days at the end of the month, we had a pool party at the Gregerson's. So much fun! Couple other things this month: Our garden is doing well! Lots of cherry tomatoes & regular tomatoes & cucumbers! Also - we are SO excited about the temple! They broke ground while we were gone & we've been able to see so much progress!  one really neat thing: The girls each got to write their favorite scriptures on small rocks. Those rocks will then be crushed & made into the foundation of the temple. So neat for them to be able to say that their favorite scriptures form the foundation of the temple! And a lot of our time has also been spent trying to find a new renter for the upstairs apartment in our rental. It was SO busy because there is a housing shortage and there are SO many students this year, so my phone & grandma's phone was ringing constantly with people wanting to see the apartment. It was kind of crazy. We ended up going with a single 27-year-old engineer from Minnesota who is here on a temporary project. She seems great & we hope it will all work out.

JASON:  Jason said his favorite parts of the PEI trip were just the beautiful scenery, walking in the ocean, looking for sea creatures, and going to the cheese store. One funny memory from the trip was when Heidi sprayed Jason with "bug spray" which wasn't actually bug REPELLANT spray, but like a fog spray to kill bugs. Oops! Jason has been really good with waking up at 6:30 every other day to go walking/running with McKinley! Jason has enjoying cheering/coaching on his girls in soccer & is learning more about the game from Larry Daniel. Jason finally had time this month to fix the moped! It's running great now - GREAT JOB!

HEIDI: Going to PEI was truly a dream come true for Heidi. It was such a wonderful get-away, but then to add such beauty, fun, history, and Anne things, it couldn't have been more fabulous. In fact, since they've been back she keeps having dreams of being there again. She hopes one day they will be able to go back - and maybe even be able to take the girls. It's hard to choose a favorite part of the trip, but the day they went to Green Gables was really amazing. And she loved eating at the Preserves Company. Just being able to throw out her to-do list and just soak it all in was incredible. Because her to-do list this past month has been pretty hefty! Between getting ready for the girls to go back to school, doing things for the rental, fulfilling 3 church callings, keeping up with memory things (newsletter & McKinley's birthday book), all the packing & unpacking and all the regular day-to-day things, she has been busy! Heidi read most of Anne of Avonlea when she was in PEI, which was so much fun. She hopes to read "Jane of Lantern Hill" very soon! She's also been working out with her friends Carmen Hillstead (strength training) and Jamie Petersen (running), so that has been really good & helpful to wake up consistently at 5:20am. The evening after we got back from PEI, Grandpa & Grandpa took Heidi to the Shania Twain concert! It was so much fun and she was so glad to go since this was Shania's last tour. Thanks mom & dad!      
-McKinley was so brave at 7 Peaks and went down the steepest water slide they had! She is quite the dare devil!
-McKinley had fun staying at Grandma's & Aunt Cindy's. She especially loved getting to learn & play Magic the Gathering with Uncle Mike & Michael.
-GG gave McKinley a plastic owl FULL of pennies because McKinley is named after her! And some pennies were even really old!
-McKinley is SO excited to be in Mr. Sahagun's class! She says he is super-funny and keeps saying "I'm sorry, McKinley, I keep forgetting your name!" She is in a 4th/5th class and gets to be in there with her friend Maddy (who is in 5th), so she is really loving it. Mr. Sahagun has certain jobs to do - like feeding the fish, helping with books, etc, & McKinley is super excited to help out!
-McKinley is doing SO well with piano! She is almost through her book and is ready to move on to learning basic primary songs. So exciting! Her teacher says she is learning fast! And mom never has to remind McKinley to practice. She is so good and usually practices longer than she's supposed to :) Way to go McKinley!
-McKinley gave a wonderful talk in primary on Miracles. She talked about Jesus' miracles, healing miracles in our family history (Warren Stone Snow), and our own miracle of getting to take Link home at Christmastime. It was a very wonderful, sweet talk!
-One Sunday McKinley decided she wanted to bake! We had some old bananas & she followed a recipe to make banana bread! Dad says the bread was soooo good! Great job McKinley!
-Mom substituted in Primary one Sunday and they were working on Primary Program Songs. Sister Pearson asked McKinley to come lead the signs for "I know that my Savior loves me" and she did a great job!
-McKinley had someone come talk to her class about not doing drugs, smoking, etc., so McKinley did a FHE on that, complete with handouts for everyone and good activities. We all learned a lot & signed a paper saying we will stay away from those things!

-Ireland had a blast at 7 peaks & she loves that she & Sienna have matching swim suits!
-Ireland is pretty sensitive when mom & dad leave. She cried a lot the night we said goodbye & she cried the first few nights we were gone. She
was so sweet & happy when mom & dad got back!
-Ireland has enjoyed the new teacher Mrs. Strother so far. Can't believe she's in 3rd grade now! She just can't wait until Mahina comes back to play with her at recess!
-Ireland has enjoyed soccer so far! They've lost their first couple games, but as a team they are really learning and growing. Ireland is learning how to be aggressive & stay with the ball. She's also learning endurance & staying energized even in the heat! Their team is TEAM AWESOMENESS! :) Her friend Isabella Daniel and McKinley's friend Lindsay are on her team.
-Ireland does NOT like oatmeal. And when mom makes oatmeal in the morning ,Ireland takes it as a personal insult and is grouchy all morning :(
-Mahina told her that one time the "hair fairy" visited her one night & brought her a treat. Poor Ireland has been ripping out her hair and putting under her pillow, but to no avail. Apparently the "hair fairy" does not exist at our home.
-Ireland's coach wants to have practice on Mondays evenings. This is the first conflict with FHE that we've had in our family. After some discussion & prayer we decided that Monday family night needed to be the highest priority, so we did tell her coach she wouldn't be there on Monday nights. It hasn't been easy, but we believe the Lord will bless us for this decision and Ireland will be a better player because of it.

-Kezia loved being at grandma's & sure wish we still lived there :) She did miss mom & dad, though, & made a plethora of notes and crafts for us to enjoy when we got home :)
-Kezi was really sad when her sisters went to school about 2 weeks before she gets to start Kindergarten. She didn't even want them to talk about school in front of her because she didn't think it was fair she had to wait. She got to spend lots more "Mommy & Kezia" time, though, and we had fun making a popcicle basket, waffle brownies, printing memories, etc.
-Kezia started soccer this month & mom was worried about her not being very aggressive because her personality is sensitive, not aggressive, but she has done really well for her first time! Her first game, she scored one goal & her second game she scored 2 goals. It's fun that Laura Spencer is on her team and a girl that's going to be in her Kindergarten class - Macy. GO TEAM PURPLE PRINCESS BUTTERFLIES!
-Kezi earned a date this month & got to go to Arctic Circle for a shake & then to the movie, Minions with daddy. They had the whole theater to themselves!
-Kezia had a talk in Primary this month on miracles. She did a great job and lots of people commented on what a fantastic reader she is!

Our beautiful, noble son. We miss you so!! Mom had a really rough day or so this month - heavy with missing you. Heavy with wondering all that you would be doing right now if you were on the earth. McKinley gave a primary talk about you & the miracle it was to be able to bring you home at Christmastime and surprise everyone. That time will forever stand out in our family as one of the most special, amazing gifts we were ever given. Mom had a dream about you this month! It's been soooo long & it was so sweet to see your little face. We know you are so busy on the other side, and are so thankful when you send us love notes like the rainbow on the first day we were in Prince Edward Island. Mom has tried to get back into your Link'in families together page this month & back into family history more. WE LOVE YOU! We MISS YOU!

-Such a busy girl and SO fun! Her attitude and understanding just seems to have blossomed recently. We LOVE our Noelle-my-belle!
-Grandma & Aunt Cindy said Noelle was really good for them for the most part while we were gone (whew!)
-Noelle has a mouth full of teeth now! 10 teeth to be exact! She's quite the little eater when she likes something. Her favorites are german pancakes (she will eat almost as much as her sisters!), spaghetti w/ spaghetti sauce, popcicles and ice cream. Oh - and she LOVES suckers! If she sees anyone with a sucker you'd better watch out! She will try & take it from you!
-Noelle says LOTS of words - probably at least 30. And she's started to say her sister's names. Like Ireland she says "Iiiiii!" :)
-Noelle still loves books, but she really loves to go at her own pace. You can't just sit & "read" a book to her. she will skip ahead 5 pages & then come back 2 & so on. She doesn't like chronology.
-She has liked shoes more lately & will often bring us shoes to put on her feet. She's still mostly gone barefoot all summer, though :)
-We discovered CHU CHU TV on Youtube this month. It's a cute channel with lots of songs & nursery rhymes. Noelle loves it - especially the head, shoulders, knees & toes song. Nice to have something she loves besides Signing Time!
-Noelle says Hi! Sometimes she whispers it again & again. Sometimes she does this really loud, high-pitched HI! So cute :)
-Noelle can point to eyes, nose, ears and mouth!
-Mom was just thinking how Noelle hadn't been playing in the bathroom that much lately (so glad we're past THAT phase!) then one night mom was hearing sounds in the bathroom & went to investigate. Noelle had her doggie that she sleeps with and she was dunking it into the toilet again & again. What a mess! Mom took the dog away to wash it & daddy cleaned her up. She cried quite a bit - both because she's starting to realize when she's done something wrong and because mom took away her doggie.
-Noelle is so cute when she dances. She nods her head & squats her legs and jams!
-Noelle really loves going to her sisters' soccer games. She loves walking around - talking to people, trying to take their food & drinks, and kicking stray balls around :)

1 comment:

Patricia Potts said...

Ah, it was so fun to read your newsletter. I think I was gone when it came out!! It was fun to walk to Edwards Island and to hear about the before-school-dates. I loved the temple update and love that Jason is a dad-coach. Golly, I didn't realize you have 3 callings!!! It sounds like you and Trisha are both doing the "second mile" exercising. wow!! It was neat to hear about Mckinleys piano and talk. How is she doing now with the piano? I'm proud of you for standing up for MONDAY NIGHT... I'm impressed. I'm also glad Kezia is doing well in Soccer. I hope they can show us in a few weeks.
I cherish the escellator memory at the airport. It was incredible.
Sounds like Noelle knows how to do the doggy-dunk!!!!

I love you!!