Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September Newsletter & Slideshow


Hamilton Newsletter
September 2017

FAMILY: Great memories & great fun this month!! Labor Day weekend we were debating about going up to Richfield to the Devenish property, but Jason ended up getting sick and was down for pretty much the entire weekend L Heidi did take the girls, including Zhane up to the Iron County Fair in Parowan on Monday. It was HOT! So we all got some huge Tiki Shack shaved ice to help cool us down, but it was fun to pet the animals in the petting zoo, and see all the booths and crafts, etc. Kezi also went on a pony ride and so did Noelle (thanks to Ireland paying for her ride J) The 9th was a VERY busy day for our family. First and most important, it was McKinley’s 12th birthday!! She had an early morning wake-up because mom had signed almost everyone up for the trail run in conjunction with the Cedar City Half Marathon. Grandpa & Heidi ran the half (thank goodness the rain stopped – it was perfect weather!) and Jason & the 3 olders did the trail run, which was just under 3 miles. Mom told them the wrong starting line, so they ended up having to walk up the canyon and start late, but even with that Kezi and Jason both got 3rd place in their age groups! Great job! Heidi felt good about her time and enjoyed the run. Afterwards, we headed back, got changed and packed up & headed to St. George where Keeley watched the younger girls while Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and GG took McKinley to the St. George temple to do baptisms for the dead. It was SO SO neat!! Even GG did baptisms – and we all had family names. After that we picked up the little ones, dropped them off at Grandma & Grandpa Potts’ & headed to California! We got to our hotel at about 10:30 CA time (11:30 our time) and zonked. The next 5 days were spent having fun! The beach, Disneyland, California Adventure, and Universal Studios made for a BUSY week, but it was a lot of fun! Some fun memories include: lighting candles on Halloween cupcakes (& eating Klondike bars) & singing Happy Birthday to McKinley in the hotel room,  trying to go to church & finding out it was stake conference, Newport beach where we found LOTS of seashells, played in the ocean (dad even was fully swimming in the waves) & Ireland found a friend, seeing the Newport Beach Temple, Kezi’s bridal mickey mouse ears, riding the rides at Disneyland!, making waffles for breakfast every morning, waiting over an hour for the Roger Rabbit ride L, Splash Mountain – getting on fast & loving it, watching the show Frozen (awesome! – but had a malfunction in the middle), the HEAT the first couple days, going back 3 different times to see if the Pirates ride was fixed, swimming in our hotel pool pretty much every night, playing “guess that Studio C episode” while we waited for Soarin’ over the World ride, Ireland leaving her ears at the Soaring ride, buying lots of souveneirs. watching the Magic Map play while eating sausages and baked potatoes, having the Harry Potter ride malfunction for a few seconds, drinking yummy butterbeer, watching a wand choosing, the animal show (and McKinley almost getting chosen), the World of Color water show (amazing!), riding Screamin’ twice in a row, sharing a turkey leg while we watched the big Mark Twain boat, McKinley getting her caricature done, Mom getting emotional as we had the silhouettes done and found out she could include the little girls – and Link <3 22="" a="" allowance="" also="" amp="" and="" appreciated="" are="" at="" birthday="" but="" castle="" characters="" christmas="" did="" earn="" eating="" even="" food="" for="" frozen="" fun="" getting="" girls="" goofy="" got="" grandma="" grandpa="" had="" half="" having="" headed="" her="" kezi="" kezia="" kitchen="" lemonade="" littles="" lot="" lots="" mckinley.="" mckinley="" missed="" more="" much="" of="" olders="" on="" proud="" s="" saving="" see="" sing="" so="" sold="" spoiled="" stand="" sup="" the="" their="" them.="" them="" these="" this="" to="" trip.="" tuacahn="" watching="" we="" when="">nd
to see Newsies! Thanks go to the Hamiltons for watching the littles. It was an awesome play & we had so much fun. On the 25th for FHE we headed up the canyon. The leaves weren’t as bright as other years, but it was still beautiful & we stopped by Cedar Breaks – always breathtaking! The ward harvest party was on the 27th & we all enjoyed eating yummy food, visiting & playing with friends J The 27th was women’s conference & since Kezia was almost 8 she came & all 4 of us enjoyed it and the talks were fabulous – and so were the dilly bars afterwards J McKinley’s birthday party had to be scheduled late so most of her friends could come, but we had it on the last day of September & it was a book themed birthday party – so much fun! See her section for more details J Jason & Heidi are also enjoyed taking the self-reliance class every week at the church. We’ve learned a lot!

JASON: Jason was sick at the beginning of the month (esptein barr flare-up), but thankfully got better before our trip! Jason enjoyed taking some time off from work to head to California for some family fun. He enjoyed Universal in general, Radiator Springs, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Carribbean, the Disney train ride, the beach & swimming with his girls. At work he was busy with a forest POC for implementing a new enterprise-wide file/database system. He also called a new member of the EQ this month J

HEIDI: September was the fulfillment of lots of hopes & goals! She got to do another half with her dad. He needed to stop so she left him about mile 7-8. Her time was 1:47. Not a PR by any stretch, but she had a great time and was SO glad the rain stopped (it was really coming down when they left for the busses!) and it ended up being ideal running conditions. It maybe wasn’t the best planning on her part to have Disneyland only a couple days afterwards because her legs were pretty darn sore the first day at Disneyland, but she survived! J She’s just glad we were all healthy enough to enjoy the vacation and that it wasn’t too crowded. We made some great memories. She also really enjoyed the Newsies play! (although the movie is still better J) Heidi continues to enjoy her hiking Fridays. This month she did the red hills & the bristlecone pine trails. Heidi thought the thought that she had had her phone for almost a year & no cracks! And that’s all it took for it to fall flat and crack so badly that the screen was completely unresponsive L There were some other issues with it, so we ordered another one (though the requirement was that it had to fit in an otterbox J)

-McKinley continues to enjoy middle school, even though she is BUSY! She works hard and still hardly has any time for chores or screen time. We’re hoping that changes in October when volleyball is done and she will have more time on Monday, Wednesday & Saturday.
-McKinley was very brave and stood up in fast & testimony meeting to bear her testimony. She had written in down and did a great job. Mom & dad both got LOTS of comments about how people felt the spirit when she bore her testimony. We’re so proud of you McKinley!
-The plan was that McKinley would walk to & from school. Then dad took her to school. Then she wanted a ride home
J So… now not too much walking J
-HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY McKINLEY!! We are so excited for you to turn 12! It was SUCH a special experience to have so many people there to support McKinley when she went to the temple for the first time, and SO neat to have family names to take. We can’t wait to go back. For her birthday, McKinley finally got a cell phone (though she keeps forgetting to take it with her anywhere), and she got some earrings, and some make up! She looks so pretty with mascara on
J Her birthday party was a lot of fun. Addison Bealer, Lizzy (from her class), Micaela, Karmiyah, Truly & Zhane came! First we made our own rectangle “book” pizzas. Then we made bookmarks. Mom even took pictures and printed them for people to use as a bookmark. Then we played “act out your favorite books,” then we played book charades with books from a bowl, then we did gifts (McKinley got an Brandon Mull book with an awesome cover, some colored pencils and coloring book, and lots of candy J) and cake (mom spend a LOT of time and effort making a stacked book cake from homemade fondant) & ice cream, afterwards we watched Ella Enchanted (from a book – kind of).
-She had another “gift” on her birthday that involves turning into a woman
-McKinley’s favorite memories of California: Finding lots of seashells on the beach, California Screamin’, and World of Color.
-McKinley had a LOT of catch-up from the week being gone at Disneyland, even though she did a lot of it before we left or while we were driving. She stayed up really late a couple times!
-McKinley has started Young Women & is already having so much fun and loving spending time with the older girls. She has generously said she would participate in the primary program, though. Thank you McKinley!
-McKinley is getting better & better on the cello. We can’t wait to hear her perform at her October concert!

-Ireland continues to enjoy Mrs. Brown’s class. Mrs. Brown is very good about sending lots of updates & pictures of all they are doing in class, so it’s been great to feel connected to what’s going on. One day they had pirate day at school. Ireland put a bandana on her head & an eye patch on her eye
J They got to read to the younger grades in pirate-talk J Also, the 5th grade got to go to Mammoth Caves this month! Ireland talked about it a lot & wants to go as a family.
-Ireland’s favorite memories of California:
-Ireland also had quite a bit of catch-up work to do when we got back. One night she was up with daddy until 11:30 on her math
-Ireland has started wearing deodorant!
-Ireland started gymnastics again & was sore the first couple times, but is loving getting back into it and learning new things.
-One day listening to the girls in the car talk about what they want to be when they grow up. Ireland said she still wants to be a SUBmarine biologist
J or a vet.

-Kezia is still doing very well in her 2nd grade class & is trying to read a lot to win some prizes!
-Kezia was brave and got up to bear her testimony in fast & testimony meeting this month. Great job Kezi!!! <3 br=""> -Kezia got her initial assessment back. She is reading at a 6th grade level & on part of dibels she got 143 and the goal is 52. She is quite a smarty-pants! We love you Kezia.
-Even though their race started late, Kezia got 3rd place in her age division at the 5k race. Great job Kezi!!
-Kezia’s favorite memories of California: Her favorite rides were Soarin’ Over the World, Splash Mountain, and It’s a Small World. We were SO proud of Kezia!! She has not been a big rollercoaster fan in the past, but she did SO good and went on every single ride! Even the ones she really didn’t want to go on. She put her fear behind her and had a great time!
-For Daken’s birthday this month, Kezia put a lot of rice in a box along with a bunch of small items for him to find. She is such a great gift-giver!
-Another super-sweet Kezi moment was when she made dad & mom a romantic dinner downstairs. She make a yummy spaghetti meal, and even made dessert. There were candles, music, and a VERY LARGE fire projected onto the wall
J It was so sweet & mom & dad had such a great time.

LINK: Looking back over our pictures from September, you were with us so very much! In a carved wooden chain at the Iron County fair, in breath-taking sunsets, in books we read & conference talks we listened to (one talk said “Link” 4 times!), in our hikes, at the temple as your sister did baptisms for the dead with family names and your dad baptized her, in McKinley’s drawing about “linking families together,”  in the rainbow and silver-lined clouds as we drove to California, at the beach, at Disneyland, in Kezia’s drawings and Ireland story of her Link bear that she did for school, and at the St. George NICU, where mom went to go see her friend Lena who was there with her baby. SO many people remembered you Link!! It made that experience more sweet than bitter, so THANK YOU <3 and="" baby="" been="" boy="" cherish="" day="" every="" have="" love="" note="" o:p="" thank="" us="" we="" with="" you="">

-Noelle enjoys her time at home with mom and our mommy & Noelle times include lots of block building, car playing, coloring, painting, play-doh-ing, and reading. Mom also loves those times she can cuddle with Noelle & actually have her take a nap.
-While mom & dad & older sisters were at Disneyland, Noelle enjoyed her time with Grandma & Grandpa Potts in St. George (and in Cedar). They got to go to the park, and the HUGE sandbox (a volleyboll sandpit) and go on walks and have fun. One time she was playing with grandpa & he asked about his hair. She said it’s just playing hide & seek!
-Noelle is doing so good with her potty-training. She usually doesn’t say she needs to go, though. She’ll say something like “we have a potty!” or “they have a potty here!” or “I’m potty-trained”
-This girls still refuses to eat dinner 6 times out of 7
L And if I make an egg casserole for breakfast, she will go hungry rather than eat it!
-One day while we were driving, Noelle said “Kezia! Don’t take your seatbelt off or you will fly and die in the sky!”
-We went visiting teaching one day and across from her house was a log cabin-looking home. Noelle pointed excitedly & said “They built their house with sticks!” (She’s been watching the 3 little pigs
-One afternoon mom gave grapes & mac n’ cheese for lunch. Noelle said she liked her grapes in her mac & cheese & she did!
-Mom poured Noelle a cup of milk and then gave her some yogurt to eat. She said “But if I eat my yogurt than my milk will get soggy!”
-Noelle has been building a lot of rocketships lately. She will find empty toilet paper rolls, stuff tin foil in one end and color all over it. They are super cute & creative!
-Lately, every night, Noelle will take mom by the hand & say “let’s go watch the sunset!”
-At the breakfast table one day, Noelle said “Mom, I had a dream last night! And I went inside my dream and I had fun”
-Noelle got sick at the end of the month & puked & was tired for a day or two

-Our cute 1-year-old girl is everywhere! And she has just started turning the corner of naughtiness to be naughty. She has started doing things she knows she’s not supposed to do. She’s started pinching Noelle, too, and has already been in time-out once
L We are sad to lose our innocent girl, but she will learn by testing her boundaries and learning from us.
-Grandma said Oaklyn did really great while we were gone and was a fantastic sleeper (thankfully!!)
-Oaklyn has been pretty accident prone this month
L She hit her head once at home, a few days later at the ward dinner party (head first on the concrete L) and once at gym daycare. She is a CLIMBER and wants to get on everything!
-Oaklyn loves it when her sisters get home and she gets to run around with them!
-She still loves the outside swings and the sandbox.
-Oaklyn has started to try to communicate more what she wants. She hasn’t really learned much signing, but she has started pointing and doing a whiney – give me that! Sound. We’re working on the word please so we’ll see how that goes
-She enjoys entertaining her sisters and making them laugh – which is very frequently!
-She’s really getting a mullet in back. We are going to miss those sweet curls
-She’s up to about 8 teeth now – 4 on top & 4 on bottom. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

August Newsletter & Slideshow

This is super-late & I lost most of what I wrote down for this month when I had to reset my phone :( But, here it is...

Hamilton Newsletter
August 2017

FAMILY: The summer went by too fast! But it was a great one with lots of memories. Here’s what we were up to: The 3rd was Oaklyn’s 1st birthday! We are SO thankful she has blessed our family for an entire year! See her section for more details J On Friday, the 4th, we headed toward Richfield, but stopped for Cove Fort Days. It was so neat! There was free hot dogs, chips, and ice cream. A live band. And pioneer games & festivities. We were glad we went and thankful for all the pioneers that have gone before us. Saturday the 5th was Canyon’s baptism. It was short and sweet and we are so proud of our nephew/cousin! After his baptism we headed to the park for family pictures. On the 7th, for make-it-Monday, we had fun painting rocks J On the 8th for taste-it-Tuesday, we made homemade fruit roll-ups. They took forever, but they were YUMMY!! On the 9th, the girls had a “Great Sister Bake-Off” – They each decorated cupcakes & they were really yummy. The 11th was the ward primary water party. There was a jumpy slide, a slip n’ slide, water balloons, and hot dogs and ice cream sandwiches. It was fun to be with our ward friends and have a great time! Also that day was a GORGEOUS rainbow!! Thank you Link! <3 14="" monday="" sup="" the="">th
was our last day of summertime freedom & mom again let them each choose something fun they’d like to do. Kezia chose to go to the pound and look at dogs. It was kind of sad, but neat to pet the dogs and the MANY cats. Afterwards we went to the other petstore & saw the other kittens and the fish. Then it was off to Bulloch Drug for ice cream. Ireland’s request was making chocolate mint cookies & they turned out way yummy. McKinley wanted to play games, so we played Lunacy & Frozen Uno. The 15th was the big back to school day! McKinley to 6th, Ireland to 5th, and Kezia to 2nd. We have missed the older girls during the day – and we’ve especially missed our laid back mornings. J Since the girls have gone back to school, Mommy & the littles have spent our Friday mornings hiking. First it was the Lichen It Trail, then the Thunderbird Garden/Ghost Flat trails, and finally we hiked a little of the Rattlesnake Creek Trail. It’s been so fun to explore! On the 18th, we had the first of 2 of our student renters move in, Truly. We have loved having her! She’s so cute with the girls and is a bonus addition to our family. Zhane, the other student renter moved in on Wednesday, the 23rd & we have loved her, too! It’s been like having 2 bonus big sisters in our home and we love it J Sedona is also going to SUU and we’ve loved getting to see more of her, too! The 21st was the day of the big solar eclipse. Heidi waited in line for 20 minutes to get the special glasses, but it was all in vain. The sky was super-cloudy and rainy all day and we didn’t catch a glimpse L We best we could do was watch it online, but that was really cool! On the 23rd, Heidi went to the parents meeting at SUU and also got to go to the President’s desert night, which was awesome & yummy! Jason went to the “high 5” ceremony at SUU where the students walk under the bell tower (the last time they’re supposed to walk under the tower until they graduate). So – we’ve got lots of Thunderbird pride over here now J On the 25th, we headed up north and the next day we headed over to Trisha’s to meet our new niece/cousin, Rachel. She is beautiful and sweet & we are so excited for them. That evening McKinley & Michael watched the kids (THANK YOU!) so Heidi & Jason could go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple with Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt Cindy to do endowments for family members. It was a sweet, sacred experience. Then afterwards we went to the Olive Garden for some yummy dinner. It was a great night. Rachel’s blessing was the next afternoon and it was great to be there to see family & support their family. The 28th was Kezia’s East Elementary Luau and we had a great time eating pizza & Tiki Shack shave ice, watching performances, and doing all the booths & crafts. On the 29th, daddy watched the girls so Mom & the olders could go see The Little Mermaid put on by CCCMT. It was VERY well-done & we loved every minute! We even got to see a couple people from our ward, too. So much fun! The next night, the 30th, Heidi watched the girls so Jason could take McKinley, Ireland, Zhane & Truly up to Cedar Breaks to see the Utah Symphony. It wasn’t the strings L But it was still beautiful up there & they enjoyed it.

JASON: Jason got some sad news this month, learning that a RHS classmate, and fellow Forest Service worker, had died. He attended the viewing and the funeral and hurt to see so much sadness. He did enjoy connecting with some classmates he hadn’t seen for a while. Jason has been waking up earlier to take McKinley to school in the morning & it’s nice having him home earlier as well.

HEIDI: Back to school time is always a bit stressful for Heidi, and this year with all 3 older girls going to 3 different schools, in addition to needing to get scriptures in and McKinley out the door an hour earlier than before, it’s pretty crazy! Hopefully she survives this year J Heidi had a good running/reading month. She finished Mrs. Dalloway and To the Farthest Shores. She enjoys running on Tuesday mornings with Diane and she got a good 11-mile run in with her dad in Salt Lake. She also painted all the downstairs cabinets & put on new hardware! Heidi is loving her Friday hikes with her friends & the littles.

-McKinley is now in MIDDLE SCHOOL! It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around that, but in the mean time, she is doing great! Mrs. Weeks is her core teacher, and while she doesn’t have any “known” friends in her core class, she has LOTS of “on-the-brink” friends
J She does alternate at lunch between Karmiyah, Micaela, and Olivia. She is doing very well and already has As in all her classes. It’s been a bit of a wake-up call, since she’s had it pretty easy with homework the past few years, but she is doing fantastic and learning a lot.
-Her first day of school was a tiny bit rough since she forgot her folder. She had to call mom and use up her “free pass” for mom bringing forgotten things. But the rest of the day went well. Early that morning Karmiyah came over to get ready together and they both looked so cute heading off to school. McKinley did walk with Karmiyah to school every day, but now dad takes her most days and she walks home most every day.
-McKinley is a BUSY girl! Practicing cello and piano, and now she is in volleyball. She is working hard, but enjoying it and we are excited to watch her first game soon!

-Ireland is in 5th grade now & queen of the school! She has Mrs. Brown and is really enjoying her class! They are doing a flexible seating arrangement where they have different kinds of chairs to sit in and it’s really fun.
 -Ireland was not very happy to give up her bedroom for the student renters, but she has LOVED being with Zhane & Truly & sees them as bonus big sisters now
J Truly even did her hair for church & Ireland loved it!
-Ireland did the sack race twice at Kezia’s school luau and on the 2nd try, she WON! Congrats Ireland!

-Kezia is in 2nd grade now! She’s in Senora Bryant/Mrs. Bunker’s class in the azul group. Her friends Macie, Sarah, Jade, Devyn, and Sophie are in the blue group, too! Her first day of school was a bit rough because she didn’t like the way mom fixed her hair and almost didn’t go to school
-Kezia says her favorite animal is a tie between a dog and a parrot.

LINK: We miss you every day duder-dude. This month we saw a GORGEOUS, vibrant rainbow and even a red-belted bee came to visit for a few days! Also, some beautiful sunsets! Thank you for the love notes baby boy!

-Noelle has had fun on our Friday hikes, although she’s only good for 30-45 minutes. After that, she complains of being tired and wants to get back to the van as fast as possible. She did love having Caleb Hillstead along for a couple of the hikes though!
-Noelle also loved getting to spend time with Caden while we were in SLC for Rachel’s blessing. She’s been sending him lots of Marco Polos, too

-HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY OAKLYN!!  We are so happy that you turned one! But this past year truly flew by and we will miss your tiny-ness. For your birthday, you got puzzles, a home-made rattle (from Ireland), some balls (from Kezi & McKinley) and some other fun toys from your extended family. You were a PRO at smashing your birthday cake and made quite a mess! We love you SO much and are so thankful you came to our family our sunshine girl!
-One sad part of Oaklyn turning 1 was her shots
L She had to get 4 shots at once and her little leg was swollen for over a week L
-Oaklyn was also sick with a really runny nose this month

Friday, August 11, 2017

July Newsletter & Slideshow


Hamilton Newsletter
June 2017

FAMILY: July flew by but we sure did enjoy it!! Some of our adventures for our themes (make-it Monday, taste-it Tuesday, etc) were making silhouettes with everything we love drawn in them, making homemade cookie dough ice cream sandwiches, strawberry lemonade bars, and going to the DUP Museum and library. The 4th in Richfield was fun as always. We did the parade, water balloon fun, and yummy BBQ. And of course watching the great fireworks! This year was a bit more adventurous than most as we watched the neighbors’ fireworks start a fire not once but TWICE! The firemen & police were involved – we’re just glad everyone was safe. On the 5th (Ireland’s birthday!! – see her section for more details) we had lunch at Winger’s (Ireland’s choice) and then headed up to Fishlake! We stayed in a tiny cabin by the Lakeside store. It was pretty rustic J but we had a great time fishing, roasting marshmallows, going to the Fishlake Lodge, reading books, going for drives, hikes, and of course more fishing J We even rented a little aluminum boat for a half day and everyone caught fish! It was a lot of fun. One interesting adventure was the potguts that were all over by our cabin. The girls loved to chase them around into their holes & under the store. One day, we had TWO wander into our cabin and it was interesting trying to get them back out!  We stayed until Saturday, then went back to Richfield, picked up Sydney, and headed back to Cedar. Trisha had her baby girl, Rachel Lucia on July 10th – welcome to the family Rachel!!  In other BIG NEWS – the Bealers moved back!! We got together with them for some ice cream after we got back from Fishlake & Heidi has enjoyed getting her running friend back & McKinley has enjoyed having her good friend, Addison, back. On the 13th we went to the annual Renaissance Fair and it rained like crazy, as usual! On the 15th, McKinley & Kezia did a lemonade stand / bake sale (strawberry lemonade bars & chocolate PB bars) on the corner of 700 S. & Ridge. They did SO well! Earned almost $80!! They are saving up for Disneyland and will have plenty of money for souvenirs! On the 18th we went swimming at the Gregerson pool with the Hillsteads & had a bunch of fun! Mom & Dad went to the temple twice this month – once we alternated days doing initiatory. Then on the 20th, Keeley watched the girls so we could go do an endowment session. We didn’t get out till after 10! But it was awesome and we are so excited to get some of these family names done!! Mom took all the olders on back-to-school dates to get some new school clothes. It was fun to spend some extra one-on-one time with them! On the 21st, we met daddy at the cemetery and had our picnic at Link’s bench. Mom made a special yummy salad & we had lots of fruits, veggies, and lemonade. We loved spending time there – and there was a cute little rolly polly that said hello to all of us.  Afterwards, we went to the DUP (Daughters of Utah Pioneers) Museum. It was neat to see all the relics and learn more about the Cedar City pioneers. Mom even bought all the olders a pioneer bonnet. After that, we walked in the heat for a few blocks to Palette Creamery for some yummy ice cream. On one of our thinking Thursdays, the girls made an EPIC fort downstairs! It stretched from the couches clear to the cabinets and they used pretty much every blanket, pillow, and chair in the house! After it was done, we turned off the lights and had a read-a-thon. Then we all did little oral book reports on what we read. It was fun! On the 22nd, after working in the yard and downstairs, we headed to Parowan for some yummy cinnamon rolls and then up to Brian Head for some live music & car show. It was a bit cold & rainy, but we had a lot of fun! Pioneer Day, the 24th, was the annual ward breakfast & then parade. The girls wore their new bonnets J We tried to live like pioneers as much as possible, not using electricity, batteries, or the internet. We even turned off the AC. That afternoon it rained quite a bit, but after the storm, we headed to East Canyon park where we played in the stream and puddles and enjoyed ourselves immensely J On Friday, the 28th, after a week of getting to bed by 9:45pm and not complaining about chores, the girls earned a campout/late-over. McKinley invited Micaela, Ireland invited Mahina, and Kezia invited Macie. We set up a tent and the girls had fun playing in the tent, roasting hot dogs, smores, and starburst, and mom even set up the projector outside & we watched Boss Baby with our friends. It was a lot of crazy fun J The older girls all slept outside that night and had fun. On the 31st, McKinley & Kezia got a HUGE package of goodies from their penpal, Belle Haines, including bead-os, Shopkins stuff, and new markers. So fun!  Also this month we put our basement room on the internet for college & had LOTS of response! In the end, we decided to go with a couple cute girls – Zhane and Truly. We are excited for this new adventure and hope that it goes well. Also this month, our garden was producing well – we got lots of peas and some raspberries (not as many as we’d like), and at the end of the month, we got to eat some yummy corn and the tomatoes are just starting to ripen up, too! We love peeking out the back window to see the “girl corner” – with the Prices, and the Schoppmans, and our girls all hanging out, walking on the wall, jumping on the tramp, playing in the sandbox, and just laughing and having a great time. Unfortunately, our air conditioner has not been doing well this month L Most every day, the temp inside gets above the set point & the AC freezes up. We had someone new come look at it and he suggested a new unit ($3k+) L We will survive this summer, but we may look at doing it next summer.

JASON: Jason had a great July this year getting to do some things he loves – he got to do a lot of fishing at a place that holds a lot of memories for him – Fishlake. He also borrowed his brother’s side-by-side and went on a long ride with some guys in the neighborhood/ward. He played hard – and he worked hard, too. At the rental, he & grandpa Potts spent about a full day putting in the AC units, putting in a new washer, and some other miscellaneous things. He also worked in the yard at our house, too. One day an old retired Forest Service worker came to Jason’s building. Jason walked him around, listened to him, and was his friendly self. Later, that man wrote a letter & cc’d many important people, praising Jason. We are so proud of him, too <3 o:p="">

HEIDI: Heidi enjoyed the time at Fishlake, unplugged, and read a couple books including Jackie Ha-Ha (a book McKinley has been wanting her to read) and the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet. She also read Ever (a book Ireland wanted her to read). She’s still trying to get into her groove with her new primary calling and all the changes that continue to happen. She’s been trying to get more miles in as well & is up to 9 miles, trying to get ready for the upcoming Cedar Half.

-McKinley continues to walk with Karmiyah and has fun being creative with her – playing games and doing volleyball.
-McKinley continues to bake yummy treats!! She and Kezia made super-rich brownies for their teachers and all their church classmates.
-McKinley got to go bowling twice this month! Once with her primary class – the Whitney’s took them – and once for earning date points! She and dad went bowling one night and he even filmed her getting a strike!
-We are so proud of the hard work that McKinley & Kezia did to put on the lemonade stand this month!
-McKinley gave a talk in primary (mom forgot to tell her until the day of the talk :-0) Thankfully, she pulled it off beautifully and even looked through mom’s newsletters & shared the story about when Rainbow Truck was missing & we said a prayer & found him. Everyone got a kick out of hearing about Rainbow Truck
-McKinley was so sweet and wrote letters full of love for each member of the Edwards family and mailed them. They were happy to get them
-McKinley & mom have been butting heads a bit lately about personal progress. Mom thinks she should wait until she turns 12 to begin her personal progress. But Karmiyah is already doing it and the personal progress leader is not discouraging it, though she has told the girls to get their Faith in God before they do their personal progress. One Sunday, though, McKinley was so mad about it that she was refusing to go to church. We are thankful she changed her mind and ended up coming.
-McKinley was first to go on a 1-on-1 school clothes shopping date with mom. They went to the D.I. first and had lots of fun looking at crazy clothes & trying things on. She got quite a few cute shirts & pants. Then we went to Walmart & picked out her first day of school outfit. It’s really cute!

-Happy 10th birthday Ireland! We can hardly believe our girl is double-digits now! She got lots of fun gifts in Richfield, including a green fidget spinner & candy (from Kezia), a Barbie & candy (from McKinley), a mermaid adult coloring book (from Aunt Keeley), a porcelain doll (from Grandma Devenish), and 100 gel pens, virtual reality goggles, and a Princess Ireland Barbie from mom & dad. Grandma & Grandpa Devenish had already gotten her some sparkly black shoes. For breakfast she got Krave, for lunch we all went to Wingers, and for dinner we were up at Fishlake and roasted hot dogs. Her “rite of passage” of getting her ears pierced didn’t happen until we got home from Fishlake on the 10th.  All the sisters came to see & Mahina came, too. She chose green butterfly studs and a matching necklace. She was pretty nervous and flinched a bit when the Walmart lady pierced them. But she didn’t cry at all, though she said they were warm and throbbing. She did a great job, though, and has been counting down the days till she can wear new ones
-Ireland read the entire first 3 books of Little House on the Prairie! Mom loved that she loved these books and even had some time reading them together for mommy & Ireland time.
-Mahina invited Ireland & Kezi over for an exotic tasting party at the Vogs, with cuisine from all over
J They had a great time!
-One day Ireland was very mad about needing to do more mopping after she thought she was finished. She slammed the mop down hard and broke off the head. We had to buy a new one
-Ireland’s friend, Elli, invited her to go swimming one Saturday and she had fun at the Aquatic Center with Elli & her siblings.
-Mom & Ireland got to go on their lunch date this month & she chose The Brick House again. It was yummy & mom loved the company!
-Since Ireland turned 10, the other “rite of passage” is that they get to learn about the facts of life
J Over 4 nights, Ireland got to have LOTS of mommy & daddy time, talking about the changes she is going to experience in the next few years, how babies are made, and how Satan tries to tempt our bodies in unrighteous ways. Ireland was very attentive and asked lots of questions. We prayed that the spirit would teach her and help her understand the sacred nature of the discussions we were having. She is a beautiful daughter & we are so thankful she’s ours <3 br=""> -Mom had fun with Ireland on her 1-on-1 school clothes shopping date. We got her lots of leggings and she picked out a VERY bright pants jumper outfit with some zip up sandals. She is going to look really cute J

-There is a popular song right now with the lyrics “I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight. I love cheap thrills!” Kezia thought it was “I love cheese curls!” So… now we always sing it that way
- McKinley and Kezia were so sweet one Sunday & made super-rich brownies for their teachers and all their church classmates.
-One night, Kezia was in her room, looking over her birthday books. She was reading about 2012 & 2013, the year that Link died. As she read more and more, the tears started coming. Daddy was listening to the Spirit and went down to check on Kezia & found her in tears. They talked for a long time. Kezi really misses her brother. We know Link watches over & loves Kezia very much. We are all so very sad that we had to say goodbye to him.
-Mahina invited Ireland & Kezi over for an exotic tasting party at the Vogs, with cuisine from all over
J They had a great time!
-We are so proud of the hard work that McKinley & Kezia did to put on the lemonade stand this month!
-Mom read a book this month, called Ever by Gail Carson Levine, where the main character was named Kezi!! She had dark hair in the book, but was beautiful, loving, and selfless, just like our Kezi! And in the beginning of the book, she was 7, too!
-We had some fun mommy & Kezia times this month, including making oobleck & marshmallow paint!
-Kezia got to go 1-on-1 back to school shopping with mom & was really into blue. She picked a blue dress with some bright colors and some cute blue sandals.
-Kezia’s letter from her Spain pen pal FINALLY came! Her name is Manuela. It was fun for her to read her letter with daddy & work on writing her back.
-Since we got Noelle a mattress to go with her toddler bed, we thought Kezi could have her room back. Unfortunately, Noelle still wants to sleep right next to Kezi. But Kezi is so infinitely patient. We are so thankful for her. She’s good about letting her sleep with her. They often have trouble staying asleep, though, and end up coming into mom & dad’s room & sleeping on the floor.
-Kezia has been cute about setting out the table for breakfast.
-She also decided she wanted to help Aunt Cindy with her classroom, so we called up Aunt Cindy & she gave us some projects. Kezi is so cute to help.
-One day they were singing a song in primary and Sister Petersen wanted to sing it in different languages. She knew Kezia knew Spanish, so she asked her to come up. The Vernons helped her, but she wasn’t really prepared and was nervous & tried to sing it and she ended up crying
L She really did do a great job, though, and everyone was impressed with her Spanish!
-One Sunday evening, Kezia decided to make dinner. She made a REALLY yummy spaghetti sauce and we all ate it outside with the fancy tablecloth & dishes. It was so cute & she did an excellent job!

LINK: We have all been missing you this month, our baby boy. The Chromecast broke on our TV and we miss seeing all the pictures of you every day. Kezia especially was missing you this month as she read her birthday books from the time you were here & the time you left us. We have also been missing the rainbows this year, but we have been seeing more little bugs around that seem to want to say hello and we love that. We loved having a picnic at your bench. Our family seems so much more complete when we are there together.   

-We got Noelle a mattress for her toddler bed, and we put it in Kezia’s room, but she still doesn’t seem to want to sleep in it – she wants to always sleep right next to Kezia.
-Noelle doesn’t love loud noises, like thunder & fireworks. When they come, she yells “PUT YOUR EARS ON SO THE THUNDER CAN’T HEAR YOU!” and proceeds to put her hands over her ears
-Even with the noise, she did love the fireworks this year & mommy loved sitting by her, hearing her exclaim “That’s my yellow!”
-One day Noelle wasn’t wanting to take a shower. Mommy said “I’ll let you play the monster game on my phone if you take a shower.” She said “But… it will get wet!” (I probably should have said AFTER you take a shower)
-Kezia spent a lot of time making peanut butter bars and when mom came from the other room, she caught Noelle smashing it and pouring salt & raw eggs all over it
L Needless to say, we had to re-do them L
-Noelle was trying to use a mechanical pencil one day and was struggling. She turned & said “mom! Help me turn it on!”
-Noelle usually comes into mom & dad’s room at least 4 times a week in the middle of the night
-Noelle & Oaklyn seem to be not getting along very well lately as Oaklyn finds her independence & wants things that Noelle has or gets mad when Noelle takes her things away. One day mom came into the room to find Oaklyn crying. Mom asked if Noelle stepped on her hand. Noelle responded. “No, I didn’t step on her hand!! I just kicked her in the face!”
-But Noelle does love her baby sister, too. We were at the park on the 24th of July and Oaklyn was playing in the puddles in the volleyball sand. A boy came and was talking to her & touched her shoulder & Noelle came over & pushed him gently & said to him “Don’t. Just… don’t”
-One morning Noelle apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed. At breakfast, she had a full 10-minute crying session because she wanted her sugar back and she couldn’t see it in her milk.
-Noelle is pretty much obsessed with the hose. She wants her “jet spray!” and she loves to squeeze the trigger & spray anything & everything she can – including her baby sister.
-We know Noelle will sure miss her sister when they go back to school next month. They (especially Kezia) are so good to play with her and include her and let her have fun with them. 

-Almost one year old! We can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. We are SO thankful for our Oaklyn!
-Oaklyn is saying all kinds of words! Some of the cutest are “blah blah blah” (like Hotel Transylvania) and she is pretty good about saying “Hi!” to everyone and doing her cute pageant wave
-An open dishwasher is never safe with Oaklyn around – she LOVES to pull everything out and stand on it. She has fallen off a couple times, too
-She has gotten the hang of going down the stairs the right way. Hooray!!
-She is pretty much running everywhere! It’s still kind of a sumo wrestler run, but she’s running! She just HAS to be right up there with her sisters.
-Oaklyn LOVES watermelon. She will eat it for dayzzz! Another favorite – beans.

-She is getting very good at sleeping through the night & we are SO very thankful! She also did really well sleeping through all the noise on the 4th & 24th this month.
-Oaklyn loves to point everywhere. & she does that thing where she takes something & shows it to you like she wants you to take it, but she really just wants to show it to you.
-She has the CUTEST curls in the back of her head. Especially when she gets out of the bath, the curls are so adorable. We don’t think they’ll stay, but we will cherish every minute we get with them.
-She still does the scrunchy-nose smile that we all love so much
-Oaklyn actually LOVES using utensils and is getting pretty good at it!
-Diaper changing continues to be an adventure as she is FAST and will get away from you lickety-split!
-She loves sleeping on her tummy – and usually with her bum up in the air!
-Oaklyn LOVES books! She wants to “read” any and every book she gets! The problem is that she’s VERY destructive with the paper ones & has ruined more than one library book
-She has started to show a lot of interest in the potty!!!
-Her favorite drawers to empty are the bowls, plates and plasticware drawers. The floor is often messy in the kitchen! She also LOVES to find, pull out, and eat all the toilet paper or tissues she can find!
-She loves to hang out in the halls at church with her friend Charlotte
-Grandpa Potts came through town a couple times and Oaklyn was just SO happy to see him! She would sit on his lap, give him loves, and follow him around everywhere. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

June Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
June 2017

FAMILY: Oh Summer, how we adore thee!! J Good times this month as we made, learned, explored, and connected. For our make-it Mondays, we made lots of fairy house things, including a hot glue gun waterfall, a fairy house, & a fairy sign. For Taste-it Tuesday, we made jolly rancher suckers, homemade chaco tacos, pineapple whip cream, sand pudding, homemade slushies, and jello aquariums. For Water Wednesday, we went to the Tonaquint splash park (twice) J, we played in the backyard with water, and we went to Hillcrest Park with our friends and played water balloon baseball, which was so fun! For thinking Thursday, we’ve been to the park, had a Little Women read-a-thon, and done some fun learning websites. And for Field Trip Friday, we’ve been to St. George and Richfield J We hiked to Hidden Haven for Activity days on the 6th & it was lovely as always! On the 10th, we made a day trip out of visiting the Grand Canyon. It took a few hours to get there, but we stopped for about an hour on the way there at Jakob’s Lake Lodge & picked up a few yummy cookies. We stopped about 6 lookouts, and went on a few short hikes. We had a picnic with a full view of the beautiful canyon and we were all amazed at how enormous it is. It was a wonderful, full day full of beauty and amazement and on the way home, we stopped in Alton to have a short visit with the Barons. We got to see their goats, horses, cows, and chickens. We didn’t get home till 11pm, but it was a great trip & we’re so glad we went! The next day, the 11th, Jason & Heidi gave talks in church on eternal families. It was a neat opportunity and we got to talk a lot about our amazing son J On the 15th, we had a picnic at the Lake at the Hills. We flew kites. We played in the water. Oaklyn ate sand J It was a perfect evening. We headed up north the 3rd weekend in June. Saturday we spend half the day at the zoo. The lions were so fun to watch & the weather was perfect. We all had a great time. That evening McKinley & Michael watched the girls while Heidi & Jason went to Heidi’s West Jordan High School 20 year class reunion. It was good food and fun to reconnect with friends! Sunday was Father’s Day and we made yummy food for Jason and everyone met at Silver Lake for a Father’s Day BBQ. We loved seeing everyone & celebrating dads J On Monday during the day, we had a baby shower for Trisha at GGs house, and that night, mom & dad watched the girls while Heidi & Jason went to the Def Leppard concert that was Jason’s early 40th birthday present. We went out with Jeff & Keeley for dinner beforehand & then we headed to the Usana Ampitheater. We also got to see Joseph & Josie there. It was a great concert & we had a lot of fun! It was a terrific weekend J The 3rd Sunday in June, the Kenelli’s had us over for dinner on Sunday. It was great to meet their family & hang out! The 24th (after Heidi & Jason spent the afternoon sweating in the heat while putting in rock and stepping stones) was Jason’s semi J surprise party! He knew a little bit when the girls were mentioning things, but when he got the notification that a “Recently Upgraded to Version 40.0” shirt came in the mail, he knew. It was at mom & dad’s in St. George & the Potts were there, Cindy & her boys, the Devenishs, Jeff, Kim & her boys, the Bensons, the Sorensons, and the Kestersons all came to honor the birthday boy. It was good food & fun. Cindy made the “Crap You’re old” toilet cake and mom & the girls decorated for 3 hours the day before the big event with tons of “over the hill” signs & balloons. We also had the “40 sucks” suckers, “40 blows” bubblegum & “40 can kiss it kisses.”  The Bensons stayed till Monday and the Edwards stayed till Tuesday so it was a full house and we enjoyed visiting. We also went to the Tonaquint splash park with all of them while they were here. The other thing we were busy with this month was showing the rental – whew! Lots of time & effort, but we’re glad we found someone. On daddy’s birthday, the Strands stopped by! We had fun catching up with Jen, Anna & Ella J

JASON:  HAPPY 40th DADDY! We hope you know how much we love you. With all the festivities (Def Leppard concert, surprise 40th party in St. George), his actual birthday was pretty mellow, but we did all go out to Denny’s for dinner to celebrate. J His co-workers also decorated his office with happy birthday signs, streamers, and even “p’d” everywhere (they put P post-its everywhere) J We also enjoyed spoiling Jason for Father’s Day earlier in the month with French toast for breakfast, Dr. Pepper Pork for lunch (along with 4 choices of chips), and dark chocolate bark for dessert. We made a cute homemade monkey card for him & had fun going to Silver Lake with the other dads to honor him J He is such a fantastic daddy!

HEIDI: June was a busy month for Heidi with entertaining 5 children every day, prepping for Jason’s party, arranging and showing the rental, adjusting to her new calling (Primary Secretary), and getting the house ready for Joseph to come (though it didn’t happen). She enjoyed seeing some classmates at her 20 year class reunion and eating yummy food. She’s also been busy with Ireland’s birthday book.

-McKinley has been enjoyed the summer! She’s been going on walks with Karmiyah every morning and has also started taking some volleyball lessons with her, too!
-McKinley passed off her multiplication this summer & gets to have a date!
-McKinley’s goals for the summer are: to have Kezia’s baptism song down on the piano, read at least 2 books, have 2 songs down for cello, and practice volleyball. She has done well & will probably pass them all off by the time school starts
-McKinley was in charge of games for Aunt Trisha’s baby shower & she did a great job! We played the “baby item written on a card and put on your back” game where you had to guess what it was and also the alphabet baby name game. So fun – thanks McKinley!
-McKinley has turned into a crazy baking machine this summer! From cookies to brownies to cake, she is almost as good as mom now! (and also really good at fractions, too)

-Ireland’s summer has been full of playdates with Elli and Adelaide Price, riding her bike, and many hours playing in the sandbox.
-Big news for Ireland – no braces!! Her teeth look great and she loves to smile
J She has a retainer at night now & chose zebra stripes J
-Ireland really likes Princess & the Frog and says Tiana is now her favorite princess.
-Mom took Ireland to Walmart one day and let her look at the options for studs. She’s so excited to get her ears pierced next month!
-Ireland’s summer goals this year are: Finish all levels of dance mat typing and memorize her multiplication. She did both!! WAY TO GO IRLEAND!! She gets a multiplication date now!
-Irleand finished her book Pegasus & really liked it!
-Ireland & Kezia went on a hike one morning with Mahina & Eric – it was hot, but they had fun!

-Kezia’s been having a fun no-lessons summer this year and has enjoyed playing with Addi, Macie & Ruby.
-We have a famous daughter!
J Kezia’s picture was in the newspaper this month for reading 100 books in school!
-Kezia’s summer goals this year are: spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, memorize multiplication up to 5, tie shoes, and work on typing.
-Kezia is tying her shoes all by herself now! WAY TO GO Kezia!
-Ireland & Kezia went on a hike one morning with Mahina & Eric – it was hot, but they had fun!
-It hasn’t been all the time, but Kezia has been trying to remember to speak Spanish. Hopefully she doesn’t forget too much before school starts again!
-Kezia signed up to be pen pals with a friend in Spain. We still haven’t heard from them, so we e-mailed her teacher in Spanish & she said they lost her luggage with the letters & just barely got it back, so looks like there will only be maybe one or two letters this summer
L We are checking the mail daily!
-For one of our mommy & Kezia times, we did the disappearing eggshell trick. It was fun to see the eggshell disappear in the vinegar after a few days!
-Kezia is SO cute with her little sisters. She helps Noelle so much and was such a cheerleader when she was potty training. She made her a sticker chart & even used her own money to let her ride on the horsey at Walmart!!
LINK: We were so happy to talk about you in our talks this month, our baby boy. Mommy shared a lot of your story and many, many people commented, and even texted telling us how much they enjoyed hearing your story. You have touched so many people and we hope to continue to share the love we have for you!!  

-Our cute, cute Noelle-my-belle. Noelle is in such a fun stage. Though she is still plenty full of mischief, she says the funniest, cutest things. People still are amazed regularly that she is only 3. Such a big vocabulary!
-Noelle is loving having her sisters home all day! From helping her get dressed, to climbing over the gate at the top of the stairs, to playing in the sandbox with them, to playing with her sister’s friends, she is getting lots of attention and enjoying every minute
-As daddy left to work one day, Noelle shouted out “Have a crunchy day!!”
J Now, we all like to say that to each other as we leave for the day.
-Daddy did a FHE about family unity and he used popsicle sticks. He handed them out to everyone and Noelle looked forlornly at the stick and said “but where is the popsicle?”
-Mom was wearing her workout pants that are black with white dots of varying sizes. Noelle said “Mom, you are wearing your white noise pants today?”
-DANGER! Noelle now knows how to navigate mom’s phone! She doesn’t know the password yet, but once she’s in, she is everywhere!
-Whenever we have cereal, Noelle always wants the “Ice crispies!”
-One of Noelle’s current favorite phrases “What the heck?”
-It was chilly one days & Noelle said she needed her life jacket to go outside. We think she just meant jacket
-Noelle FINALLY got her hair chopped this month! She probably got a foot taken off. It is chin-length now & SOOO cute! It fits her personality so well. Everyone keeps saying how cute it is & she says “I know!”
-Noelle loved the zoo! She hasn’t been since she was one and loved walking around in her zoo dress and seeing all the cool animals.
-We were at a friends’ house for dinner. Noelle had 2 buns in her hair and they called her baby Princess Leia. They let her use a light saber & she was slashing around, saying “Don’t touch it! My sword is super powery!”
-We had round 2 for potty training this month. She did really well the first couple days but after about 4 days, she was having lots of accidents & begging for pull-ups again.
-One day we were having a treat & Noelle wanted some. Mom said she had to ask pretty please with a cherry on top. Noelle said “Pretty please with a… I don’t like cherries!”
-One day we were asking what Noelle wanted to be when she grew up. She said “a monkey doctor!”
-There was a fly in the house one day & Noelle angrily said “Shoo fly! Don’t father me!”
-One night while we were cuddling & mom was telling Noelle how much she loved her, Noelle said “Mom, I love you with all of my eyes. I love you with all of my eyebrows. I love you with all of my nose…” It was a whole lotta love <3 span="">J
-Noelle is SUPER close to being able to ride her tricycle all by herself!
-Noelle is really into play doh this month & wants to play almost every day.

-10 months old this month! And she is really starting to walk! She’s about 50/50 at this point. If she’s at point A & she wants to get to point B, she will crawl half the time (usually if she really needs to get there in a hurry) and walk half the time. She is so big!!
-FINALLY, finally, FINALLY Oaklyn’s teeth broke through! She is an original, though – her top one came through first (they were bulging for like 2 weeks), then her bottom one, then the other top one. Naturally, she’s been a bit fussy, but still such a good baby.
-Noelle’s favorite phrases lately – “Uh oh skettios!” and “Kezia”
-Poor Oaklyn had some nasty pink eye this month. We were hoping it was just viral & would go away, but after a few days her eye was so swollen and gunky that we finally took her in & got her some eye drops. Thankfully it cleared up really soon!
-Another favorite thing that Oaklyn is doing now – fishy kissy lips. SO CUTE!!
-Her favorite things to get into: the cup drawer, the plasticware cupboard, and the dishwasher!
-Oaklyn loves to hang out in the empty tub while mom does her hair