Monday, October 10, 2016

September Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
September 2016

Family: September was school and lessons and family and friends and cooler weather :) Over Labor Day weekend we went swimming, flew kites at the park, roasted s'mores in the backyard, did a Snow Canyon hike to explore some lava tubes, and went to Iceburg to get some shakes & we also ran into Merri Tew and her mom, Sandra. It was a fun weekend :) McKinley turned 11 this month! Happy Birthday McKinley! See her section for more details. On the 15th, a BIG thing happened for our temple - we got our angel Moroni! It wasn't publicly announced, but our friends & neighbors, the Petersen's, gave us a heads' up (he's the main contractor on the temple) and we headed over. He said 10:30 am, but it ended up being more like 1pm. Which was good because Grandma & Grandpa Potts and even GG were able to see it! Jason came from work and waited the whole time until it happened. We got some cool video and pictures. What a neat thing to see! On the 17th, while daddy was at a church training, mom took all the girls to the parkway. We went almost 4 miles - mom pushing the double stroller and the girls riding their bikes. It was a beautiful morning & they all enjoyed it :) On the 18th, we had lots of family come over for Sunday dinner/Sept birthday celebrations. The Hamiltons came from St. George (minus Jeff - he was in Alaska), Grandma Devenish and the Reeds came from Richfield, and the Potts even came on their way down South. It was a full house, but lots of fun. We had roast, mashed potatoes, salad, homemade bread, and cake & ice cream. Yum! Our garden harvesting is still going strong with LOTS of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, broccoli, and raspberries. Our honeydew melons finally ripened, too, & were SO yummy! Now, just waiting on those pumpkins to finish ripening for jack-o-lanterns next month! On the 22nd, the Simons came to town and mom took the girls out of school to go to the St. George Children's Museum with them. They all had a great time together - and Grandma Potts also paid for them to go on the carousel at the adjoining park : ) Afterwards we went to Grandma's for lunch and mom watched the girls and the Simon boys while Grandma took Trisha out shopping. Then we headed home & got ready for the Edwards to get to our home, which wasn't till 11. Saturday afternoon, we hiked Spring Creek with the Edwards and enjoyed it! It is so beautiful there & we saw so many butterflies and beautiful red rock. Afterwards, we came back, relaxed & then had pizza before all the girls 8 & up went to the women's conference. There was GG, Grandma, Trisha, Cindy, Tiarra, Heidi, McKinley, and Ireland. It was SO neat to enjoy the conference with so many amazing girls and women!! Afterwards, we went to Pop n' sweets & tried some hot cocoa floats and sodas :) The Edwards & Simons slept over on Saturday & on Sunday we all went to church & watched the girls in their primary program, which was wonderful - as always :) Afterwards we ate and then sang happy birthday to McKinley & ate the cute cake that Cindy made for her. Also this month, we got together for a picnic at the Hillcrest Park with some of our old 19th ward friends. We brought Frog Eye Salad & others brought some yummy food & we enjoyed our time visiting :)
Jason: On the 17th, Jason had a special church training. It was just for bishops and Elders Quorum presidents and he got to see Elder Ballard and a few other general authorities speak. He said it was really neat & even got to shake Elder Ballard's hand :) Jason was so good about having so much family over this month. He helped so much with food and watching kids and driving. He has also been so good at helping with homework - specifically Ireland's math homework, which has taken sometimes multiple hours at night.
Heidi: Heidi continues to adjust to having the 2 little ones at home and juggling carpooling and other demands. Overall, she is loving it, though. She enjoys her time with her "littles" in the morning and her "olders" in the afternoon. Heidi has started slowly back into running again and is up to 4 miles. She also enjoys her walks & many mornings after she drops Kezia off at school , she will walk on the East Canyon parkway, which is so beautiful, especially in the fall.  She joined an fitness facebook group & is enjoying that, too. She read a couple books last month, including When Crickets Cry and Ember in the Ashes, both very good. She got to go to a Share dinner at an Indian restaurant and visit with some wonderful ladies. It was so good to catch up and also be able to talk about her sweet son.
-McKinley started back up with piano and is doing wonderfully. She also started the cello this month! We told her to choose between a cello and a play & she chose the cello. So - she is in the 5th grade orchestra and is already self-teaching herself more than they do in class. Her piano teacher just says music in general just comes naturally to McKinley. We'd agree! :)
-McKinley turned 11 years old on the 9th! Her tablecloth is really starting to fill up with hands! She chose Krave for breakfast, grilled cheese & tomato soup for lunch (daddy came & got her & brought her home for lunch), and then we went to Panda Express as a family for dinner! Her gifts from mom & dad were her birthday book, a locket that glows blue in the dark, a coin purse,  some lotion & chapstick, a Mt. McKinley license plate, some music note earrings, and a fitbit. Mom & McKinley have had fun comparing steps every day :) Kezia got her some Butterfinger bites and a nice card. Ireland gave her some handmade gifts. Grandma Devenish came to take her shopping & she got a cute shirt & some jeggings. Then, later in the month, Grandma & Grandpa Potts came to take her shopping & she ended up ordering (and getting) some roller skates, which she really wanted. She is working on learning how to use them.
-On the 27th, McKinley got to go with the other members of the leadership team to do a presentation for the Iron County school board. She gave her part and did wonderfully, and we are so proud of her! :)
-One Sunday McKinley decided to host a sister swap and gathered up all her things she wanted to swap and put them on the table & her sisters did, too, and they even had rules and all. Lots of fun trading happened :)
-McKinley is part of a special drama group at her school, made up of exceptional readers. So, while other kids work on reading, McKinley gets to do some fun drama things. The bonus is that it's with Orlando (her crush) :)
-McKinley & Ireland have been so cute at night. Ireland will come into McKinley's room & McKinley will read to her. They read all of The Twits and now are reading James & the Giant Peach. Sometimes they also craft and things :)
-McKinley was kind of disappointed that she didn't make the "Be Proactive" skit at school. She auditioned, but she said Orlando was there and it made her mess up :(

-Ireland continues to enjoy Mr. Sahagun's class. Although, his class this year has turned out to be quite different than last year when McKinley was in it. She has a different math teacher (Mr. Carter) and comes home with math homework about 3 times a week. Dad has been so good to stay up and help her with it - sometimes 2 or more hours a night - to make sure she understands.
-Ireland continues to enjoy gymnastics. Paige & Laura are going this year, too, so we now have a nice carpooling setup :)
-One of Ireland's assignments this month was to do a book bag report. She was to color a picture for the outside of the bag, decorate it, place 5 things about the book inside the bag, and give a presentation about it all. The book she chose was The White Dolphin, by Gill Lewis. It was a bit of a scramble to get it ready on time, but it turned out really cute & she got a great grade! Way to go Ireland!
-One day playing outside, Ireland got her hands on some rope & used it to rig up a cool line that was tied at 2 ends of the fence.
-Ireland got to have a disco party, including ice cream sandwiches, for being in the top 10 Alecs (math) students in her class. Awesome job!
-McKinley & Ireland have been so cute at night. Ireland will come into McKinley's room & McKinley will read to her. They read all of The Twits and now are reading James & the Giant Peach. Sometimes they also craft and things :)

-Kezia continues to enjoy the dual immersion program at East. Even though she still complains about not being with her sisters, she enjoys both her teachers and has made new friends, like Ivy and Canyon :) She also has done really well with her homework, Spanish or English, consistently bringing home 100% papers. She definitely is one smart cookie!
-Kezi is so good with getting puff balls for our family. She is by far the #1 contributor to help us earn a trip to Lagoon this year. She helps out so much with Noelle, especially, and is patient with her even when she is being really mean. 
-Mom got it out of Kezia that her new crush is named Briggs. She says he is cute. Mom is making sure he is NICE, too :)
-One day Kezi was having time. She plopped down by mom and said "Everything is going everybody else's way this morning!"
-Kezia's teacher mentioned it was her anniversary the next day, and Kezia's ears perked up. :) She picked flowers from our front yard and even had mom buy her a candy bar and she took them both to school. She is quite a sweetheart. She also loves sharpening pencils for her teachers and a couple times was late when mom came to pick her up!

Noelle had to go to your bench this month, baby boy. She loved playing with your cars. Every time we pass the cemetery, she wants to go see you. Also got so see a few beautiful rainbows this month and you know how I LOVE my Link Rainbows! It's hard to see all the pictures of people's kids going to preschool, knowing you would be going this year. Oh, how I would love to watch you go to preschool. Miss you EVERY single day, my sweet boy. We all do!
-Noelle continues her streak of mischief. It's a weekly chore just to clean her markings off the furniture & walls :( But thankfully, she also has continued to love on & be gentle with her baby sister, so we will be thankful for that!
-When I was taking Oaklyn's 1 month pictures, Noelle wanted her picture tsken, too. She posed, smiled & said "Mom, cheese me!"
-Noelle pointed to her freshly graffiti'd wall  & said "Sydney drew on the wall!"
-One of Noelle;s favorite new sayings: "guess what?"
-Noelle found some pennies & nickels one day. She showed mom & said "I have $50!!"
-Ever since Oaklyn was born, Noelle doesn't want to go to nursery anymore. Before the closing hymn is even done, she will start crying & saying she doesn't want to go :(
-Noelle is TERRIFIED of thunder. Not sure if she got that from a Daniel Tiger episode, but if she even sees dark clouds, she will come running to mom, so scared. One time she was playing with the white noise machine while mom was feeding Oaklyn & she pushed the rainstorm button. Wow - was she terrified! She ran to mom & wouldn't stop shaking till mom turned it off.
-One day Noelle asked for a cup of milk. Mom said "what am I waiting for?" (as in, waiting for her to ask nicely, saying please). She said "You're waiting for Link."
-Another fun Noelle phrase: "don't worry, mom!" (wherein, mom immediately starts worrying)
-Noelle loves to hear McKinley play the cello (and often wants to touch, too). One day McKinley was practicing & Noelle said "show me that stuff!"
-Noelle is possessive if someone not in our family tries to touch Oaklyn. She will run over & say "Hey - that's MY baby!"
-Oaklyn is doing really well & we are so happy that she is a part of our family! We all can't wait until she wakes up in the morning to get her smiles and we all want to hold her at night, too. She is starting to get a little bit fussy in the evening, but not anything that a little cuddling can't fix :)
-Once she was 6 weeks, she really abruptly stopped pooping. It was almost 4 days and then she had a massive blow-out. After that it's been better, but it's more like every 3 days instead of multiple times a day.
-She is starting to sleep better at night & will go from about 8-3am and then she'll wake up between 6 & 7, so it's really not too bad. Her naps in the day are sporadic, but she's starting to get into more of a routine.
-Poor Oaklyn really has to love her carseat. Many days she's in it 5 or 6 times with all the running around that mom has to do. Life of the baby!! She usually does just fine - especially when we're moving, but she doesn't like the stop & go.
-Noelle is possessive if someone not in our family tries to touch Oaklyn. She will run over & say "Hey - that's MY baby!"
-Oaklyn is smiling more & more. She loves it when we stick out our tongue or make clicking noises.
-She is starting to "talk" more, too, and we love to hear her coos and ooos and other sweet baby noises.
-She is definitely grown out of the newborn clothes :( and now is in size 2 diapers!
-Oaklyn has started being able to hit the dangling items on the overhead jungle gym and make the music go! She also is loving the blue chair with the hanging farm animals. We put her in there & she immediately starts smiling and talking :)
-Her legs are getting more & more strong & she's able to put weight on them!
-She doesn't love tummy time, but we are still working on it!
-Oaklyn REALLY loves to have her face in mommy or daddy's shirt or a blanket. :( She also LOVES when mommy's hair is touching her face & she sleeps so well that way :)
-She's almost too big for the swaddlers that we use with the vibrator chair. She keeps getting her arms and hands out!

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