Friday, March 4, 2016

February Slideshow & Newsletter

Looks like Google Photos has completely taken over Picasa, so I don't think I'll be able to embed the slideshows anymore, so I'll just copy the link to the pictures here for you to look at. Let me know if you can't see them please!

Hamilton Newsletter
February 2016
FAMILY: February started with a SNOW DAY! It was the first one in over 60 YEARS in Iron County, so it was a big deal! Daddy made pancakes & was able to work from home. The girls built snowmen, made snow angles, and just played in the snow a lot. We watched movies and enjoyed our extra day - it was fun! That day we also celebrated Sydney's 13th birthday! In dog years, that's 91 in dog years! McKinley even made treats for the neighborhood dogs to celebrate :) On the 5th, Jason took the McKinley & Ireland skiing for the first time! They spent a half-day at Brian Head & even though the first run was hard, they said, afterwards they got the hang of it and had a wonderful time! The only sad part was that mom forgot to send them with sunscreen & they got burned :( A fun Activity Days that we did this month was to hand-stitch Valentine's Pillows. McKinley, Ireland & Kezia all got a pillow to work on, so we have 3 small pillows that say "Be Mine."  On the 12th, Jason got to go to North Elementary with McKinley & Ireland and be a watchdog for the day! On the 13th, we all went for a walk on the parkway as a family and it was a fun, beautiful, warm day. Valentine's Day was full of hearts and fun. Daddy made heart pancakes in the morning before church and he got each of the girls a heart full of candy and a rose. Mom had been "heart-attacking" each family member's door each morning with a heart saying one thing she loves about them. After church and naps, the girls were so sweet and set up a masseuse area downstairs. We got relaxing music, lotion, snacks, and lots of good messages. They were so cute to do that for us. The 15th was Presidents Day & we voted to explore Zions on our way to St. George to see Grandma & Grandpa Potts, who were there. We finally were able to use McKinley's free 4th grade pass, so that was nice! We stopped to explore for a while and found a waterfall and some mountain goats! Then we decided to hike to the overlook and that one took longer than expected and we didn't have the hiking backpack, so it was a bit of an ordeal, but we made it through and the view was gorgeous. We stopped for food and ice cream in Springdale & got to St. George about 4pm. It was fun to see the Potts and eat some pizza & visit. All-in-all, it was a fabulous President's Day! Things went downhill from there :( First, McKinley got fevers and headaches. Then, a couple days later, Ireland got the fevers, headaches & then started throwing up. Then it hit Noelle. And finally Kezia. We were one sicky family. Mom also got a cold and dad had a couple days of yuckiness, too. That was almost 2 weeks of yuck and the girls missed plenty of school :( We're glad that's over with & hope it doesn't return for a good long while! The 27th was Mahina's birthday party at Brian Head. Once again, we had a wonderful time sledding, swimming, visiting and snacking. We had to leave a bit early because Noelle was super-tired by 2pm, but we did have a great time and are thankful for good friends. For one of mom's FHE, we talked about the contention in our home and how to deal with anger. Mom also put out a jar for us to fill with jelly beans, each one representing a kind act we did for each other. Our motto is to "KILL CONTENTION WITH KINDNESS!" So far, we have quite a few jelly beans in the jar. It will take a while to fill, but we know we'll get there!

JASON: Jason continues to be very busy - between his detail job and Elder's Quorum. This month, they had a "Manrichment" at the Petersen's home, where they played games, ate food (Jason made sliders), and watched Tim Hawkins. He had fun going to the girls' school to be a watchdog and taking them skiing as well. He also had to (with McKinley & Ireland) do the FHE we had planned for Brookstone - the assisted living community. They sang songs and played Jeopardy. In between all of that, he was very good at helping take care of all the sickies here, including Heidi who was still pregnancy-sick. He helped with the house and all the throw up and is such a good hubby and daddy :)

HEIDI: Heidi finished reading the Count of Monte Cristo this month (good book!) and started Wonder at McKinley's insistence. Mom loves to read books that McKinley has read. Heidi is now 17 weeks pregnant & still working on feeling better. She still throws up every few days and her nights are still a struggle. It's better than a month ago, but we're all hoping it gets much better soon. On the She has started trying to walk more - both outside and on the treadmill. She started a Netflix series while she walked - When Calls the Heart - and got quickly addicted. It's based on the books by Janette Oke, and she has loved watching them. She also watched The Paradise on Netflix, a BBC show. In between all of that, she took care of a lot of sickies and did a lot of laundry and cleaning to try to get all the germs away.

-McKinley continues to read the family The BFG and we all love how she does the voices for the giant & little girl.
-Daddy went to McKinley's SEP Conference with Mr. Sahagun. He had great things to say about McKinley and wants her to read harder books. So - the librarian suggested Boston Jane, which she is enjoying right now.
-McKinley had fun making her Valentine's box with her friend, Tazia. She decided to do a dog house and have Tundra on the front with a mouth that opens when you pull his tail. It was really cute.
-On the 20th, McKinley & mom went to a Stake Activity Days event at the stake center. We had fun, learned a lot, passed off faith in god things, and McKinley even got to do a FHE about scripture heroes that we learned from that activity. It was fun.
-McKinley wasn't so sure about skiing at the beginning, but she ended up having a good time!
-McKinley missed a full week of school because of sickness this month :(
-McKinley missed a lot of piano this month because we were out of town or Jan was out of town or McKinley was sick, but she still managed to practice a lot and she played the opening & closing songs for our FHE at Brookstone - an assisted living community. We are so proud of her!

-Ireland said she was a "natural" at skiing and loved every second of it :)
-Ireland LOVED having daddy at school to be a watchdog! She had been asking about it since school started, so it was a v e r y long wait for her, but she finally got her wish!
-At Ireland's SEPs, Ireland did very well. Her test scores are good. We just need to work on sentence structure and making sure she is reading harder books. We got her a Fablehaven book, which she seems to enjoy so far.
-Ireland had real issues sleeping in her own room in January, but it's been much better in February. We got her a white noise machine, and that seems to help, as well as just consistency - and continuing to read her Book of Mormon.
-One night mom was putting Ireland to bed and asked her why she always takes the elastics out of her hair at night. She said they were way to uncomfortable. Mom pointed out that she almost always wears an elastic in her hair at night & Ireland replied "Well, that's because I have different hair spines that you!"
-Ireland is still enjoying her gymnastics, but can't wait until they teach her harder tricks. She is REALLY close to getting her middle splits though!
-Ireland probably got the brunt of our sickness. She got the fevers, the headaches, a sore throat, AND the throwing up. And - even after a few days of feeling better, she started throwing up again :( Poor girl. We hate seeing her sick.

-Kezia got to have some fun playdates this month, with Adelaide and Ruby. She loves playing with friends!
-Kezia's SEPs were this month, too, and the main theme was to make sure that Kezia is being challenged, which we know is a challenge :) Her test scores were crazy, like for the Diebels nonsense word test, she got 109 out of 17. We are still working toward getting her enrolled for dual immersion at East Elementary next year so she can have some challenge.
-Kezia was VERY much looking forward to her Valentine's Party at school this year, but it was kind of a rough morning. Sydney followed her and she was really worried she might try to get on the bus with her, so she tried to take her back, but the bus was coming, so the Spencers took her home. Unfortunately , in the chaos, she set down her basket full of Valentines and left it there. Mrs. Ekker called mom that morning, explaining that Kezia was VERY distraught about the Valentines. Thankfully, mom was planning on coming anyway to help with Kezia's Valentine's Pary, so she found her Valentine's & brought them. Mom could tell Kezia had been crying & it had been a difficult morning for her. But once she got her Valentines & got to see mom & Noelle, she brightened & mom had fun helping at the Valentine's Party and meeting Kezia's little friends :)
-While daddy took the older girls skiing, mom & Kezia had fun playing outside, going to the dollar store, coloring, and making oobleck.
-One day we were driving back to Walmart and Kezia asked if they allowed dogs in the store. Mom answered "only service animals." Kezia said loudly "Only CIRCUS animals?" :)
-Kezia has been so sweet and made so many cards & signs for mom & dad & sisters. She is quite the list-maker lately & mom finds her lists of "to-dos" all over the house :)
-Mom made Kezia promise not to get sick like her sisters, but she finally gave in & got the fevers and throwing up for a few days and had to miss school & church. No fun :(

Our sweet boy. We sure miss you. Finding out we were having a girl wasn't so bad, but realizing that we wouldn't ever get to raise a boy in this life was heartbreaking for your mommy. She did a lot of crying and praying and finally felt peace, knowing that this is God's will and trusting in His plan for us. Also knowing that you will ALWAYS be our boy. We went hiking in Zions on President's Day & Kezia pointed out a "rainbow" in the rock and mommy smiled as she thought of the ways you show us your love :) We know you are doing great things where you are at and we ask for your help as we try to get back into family history and do our part to help our dead. We love and miss you with all our hearts.

-Noelle wakes up talking and doesn't seem to stop all day long! Whether it's pointing to things and naming them, or singing songs, or asking questions (where are we going? is that Kezia? Where is daddy), we constantly get to hear her cute, sweet little voice and we love it.
-Noelle knows probably 3/4 of the alphabet and a lot of the numbers up to 10 as well. She loves to point to the letters & numbers on keyboards.
-One thing her brother sent her with is a love for all things cars! She especially loves this red car & this green car & wants to carry them everywhere & sleep with them. When we drive places, she will point out all the cars & try to figure out their colors.
-We are still working with Noelle to color only on PAPER. One day mom came in the living room and she came to her with a pen and said "Good job!" mom looked down at the couch and saw pen all over it and said "No! That is NOT a good job! We only color on PAPER!" Now, whenever we hear her say "good job" we check on the situation immediately :)
-Noelle's sickness seemed to linger for a while. She would really cry when she would first eat in the morning & we really wondered if she had strep throat or something, but she seems a lot better now.
-Noelle still loves Signing Time, Chu Chu TV, and Dora, but she has expanded a bit to Daniel Tiger and Curious George!
-This girl LOVES naps & bedtime! The minute we say those words, she usually RUNS to her room & tries to climb her crib to get in!
-Noelle also LOVES selfies! If she is grouchy and we turn the camera to selfie mode on our phones, she will immediately calm down and start smiling at herself and laughing. We have a LOT of selfies of her on our phones :)
-Noelle knows how to sign the letter L and the letter a.
-She is big lately on putting things to "bed." she will grab a blanket and put it on a person, or a stuffed animal, or a phone, or a shoe and put it to bed :)
-It is SO much fun seeing her watch for Kezi or her sisters to get home. She gets SO excited!
-Driving or walking by a park is dangerous. Noelle will say "SLIDE! SLIDE!" and start crying till she gets her way!
-She also LOVES the outside. She will stand by the door, trying to open it, saying "outside! outside!" We can't wait till we get the fence fully finished so we don't have to worry about her getting to the street.
-Noelle's prayers are so precious. She will say "bless Noelle, bless the cup, bless daddy, bless sisters" etc, etc. She can keep going for a while if you let her :)