Monday, December 11, 2017

November Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
November 2017
FAMILY: November is over & it’s hard to believe we’re getting so close to the end of 2017! The 4th was a very special day this month! Kezia was baptized at the West Stake (our stake center was being used for the temple open house) at 10am and we had many family & friends there to support us. McKinley gave a special musical number and GG gave such an awesome talk on the Holy Ghost. Daddy gave her a beautiful blessing/confirmation.  After the baptism, we came back to the house, ate, and headed to the temple. We had to wait for over an hour in the strong wind and cold before we got in, but it was beautiful! And we loved being there with our loved ones. It was a sweet, special day. A MIRACLE that happened after that day was that the SD card with all the pictures from the baptism got lost! Mom was heart-broken and we didn’t find it for over a week, when McKinley found it in her Halloween pillowcase! Mom was SO SO SO thankful!  The 7th was Link’s 5th birthday. We love him & Miss him so very much. We sent some treats and toys to Link’s friends, donated to the Ronald McDonald House, went to the cemetery for a balloon release, donated to the Jubilee House, went to McDonald’s and ended at the Bealer’s house with an ice cream cake! We love celebrating our sweet boy. The 17th was a big day for the Hamilton Family! First, we went to the temple open house again, this time with Truly & Zhane. And we got a talking tour, so that was awesome. And then…  We got a new family member!! – Daizy Rose Hamilton. Born on August 6th, Daizy is not quite 4 months old. She’s about ¾ Golden Retriever & a fourth labradoodle. She is McKinley’s dog (after YEARS of begging and working) and McKinley has been in 7th heaven J She seems like a natural part of our family and we all love her very much! Now, we just have to figure out the potty training ;) The 18th was a garage sale/hot cocoa stand at the Vogts and the girls had a great time! They earned some money for Christmas and McKinley enjoyed showing off Daizy. On the 19th, we had grandma & grandpa Potts over to celebrate Grandma Potts’ birthday! We had beef stroganoff and GG brough cheesecake. In the middle of the month, mom & dad completed the Self Reliance course that the church put on. We’re so glad we did it! We learned a lot and got closer to the Savior, and each other. Thanksgiving was on the 23rd this year & it was the Hamilton’s year. We were here that morning, so we enjoyed doing the neighborhood turkey trot – McKinley walked Daizy, Ireland rode her bike, Kezia did her roller skates, Noelle walked most of the way, and Mom & Dad pushed Oaklyn. It was a GORGEOUS day and very warm (in fact we’ve had ZERO snow so far L). We enjoyed hanging out with our neighbors in the morning, watching the Macy Day Parade, and helping make some yummies for Thanksgiving. We headed to St. George about 1 and had fun with the Hamiltons and Devenishs (the Reeds were in Texas this year). There were LOTS of dogs (Our 2 dogs, Hamilton’s Jessie, and the Devenish’s new puppy Sophie and also Sam). We ate, talked, watched football, and went to the park. It was a lovely day and we have SO much to be Thankful for right now! Most of all, our Savior, Jesus Christ. The next day, we went to the Aquatic Center for  a swim and had a great time, then we headed to St. George again for family time!

JASON: Jason had a minor surgery at the beginning of the month. He took a few days off, got to watch a lot of football & eat goodies, and is recovering nicely J Jason has been an ANIMAL this month with the health challenge! He has gone from being in very last place to being 4th overall! He is serious about getting his workouts in and getting his challenges done. He’s down 8 pounds since we started 6 weeks ago. We’re so proud of him! Jason got to help at the temple open house – doing parking. The next day, he got to go to an SUU football game with the Elder’s Quarum. They had a tailgating party beforehand and SUU won! So, a great day overall J Jason got to do baptisms with McKinley in St. George and had a great time. Some sad news this month… Jason’s coworker and our family friend, Omar, died L Jason & Heidi were able to go to her beautiful service.

HEIDI: Heidi also has been doing the health challenge & working hard to get her time in and challenges done. It’s been hard and good! Grandpa Potts watched the littles one day so Grandma & Heidi could head to Alton to help out Lena for a few hours. We enjoyed our visit and hopefully helped a little bit to prepare her for her move.

-Like stated in the family section, McKinley’s big news -  She finally got her dog! We bought her from a family in Escalante (they were here for the temple open house) ¾ Golden Retriever, ¼ labradoodle, and ALL cuteness! McKinley named her Daizy (after Daisy in the book Wonder) Rose. She is about 15 weeks old. We are so happy to have her in our family! That first day or so, McKinley kept saying “I can’t believe she’s mine! I feel like we’re just puppy-sitting or something!” 
-McKinley did SO well the first quarter of middle school! 3.966! And she got into the National Honor Society! Great job – we’re so proud of you!
-At Kezia’s baptism program, McKinley finally got to perform “Baptism” on the piano – she’s been working on it for about 5 months. She did SO well! She got many compliments and Kezia gave her a big hug afterwards.
-McKinley got to go with her orchestra all day Saturday to St. George to perform and listen to other orchestras. She had a fun time! Especially getting to be with her friend Lizzy.
-McKinley gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting this month! It was on Choice & Accountability and she talked about making good choices and receiving direction from the scriptures. She shared about the time when mom was praying about homeschooling her and found a direct answer in the scriptures. She did such a great job! Grandma & Grandpa Potts came to watch, too J
-The Saturday after Thanskgiving, dad & McKinley went to do baptisms in St. George and had a wonderful time!

-Ireland continues to stay busy with school (math homework!!!) and gymnastics. She’s doing well in both and we love her!
-On the 13th, Ireland was in charge of Family Home Evening. She was so cute and made a board game called “The Path Back to God.” It included lots of squares like “you served a mission! Go forward 2 spaces.” Or, “You lied. Go back 3 spaces.” It was a lot of fun & Ireland put a lot of work into it! Thank you Ireland!
-This month was Ireland’s maturation program J Mom went with her and we got to learn all about the changed ahead as our beautiful girl grows up!
-One day while mom was reading Little Women, Ireland fixed her hair into lots of rose swirls. It was so pretty J
-Ireland has had a lot of fun with Daizy and loves it when she gets home and Daizy gets so excited J

-November 4th was Kezia’s special day and she looked so beautiful in her white dress and braided hair. So many people came to support her and she got wonderful gifts, including scriptures, a CTR ring (two actually!), a cute tiny white board, some journals, 2 CTR towels, and many other sweet things. We hope she always remembers the feelings of that day and keeps them close to her heart (and writes them down!). It was so special to get to have daddy baptize (twice J) and confirm her, McKinley give a musical number she’s been working on for so long, listen to GG give a talk, and get to go to the temple open house all on the same day! We are so thankful that Kezia has made this choice and have seen her choose the right many times. We’re proud of you our Kezia!
-There was a situation with one of our friends this month where Kezia was asked to do something very inappropriate. She said she felt the Holy Ghost and she said NO! And we are SO thankful and proud of her!
-Kezia bought some flowers at the store to have in our home for her baptism. They were starting to fade, but she wanted to share them, so she brought some to Bernice and Jamie. Kezia is so good at brightening people’s days!
-Kezia is reading Wonder (the deal is she needs to read it if she wants the shirt) J and she’s really loving it!
-Kezia’s Thanksgiving program was SO CUTE! She wore a little pilgrim hat and sang some songs in Spanish and was a narrator for a little play about a turkey that gets spared at Thanksgiving J
-Kezia was so sweet to get the breakfast all set out and write a note to each family member on the 27th J

LINK: Happy 5th birthday Link! We loved getting to send some treats to your friends this month, as well as donate to the Ronald McDonald House. The Bealers were so sweet to make you an ice cream cake. Oh, our sweet son. We love you! We wish you were here every day. Thank you for blessing our lives and providing love. We felt you close as we got to go to the temple open house. It was so neat and we look forward to doing much work there in honor of you.

- Noelle likes to say “Jinger bells!”
-We love how Noelle calls Oaklyn “baby cuteness”
-We had a really scary thing happen with Noelle at the end of the month. Mom and dad went on a walk. McKinley was cleaning out the van but we told her where we were going. About 30 minutes into our walk, mom got a call from someone in the ward – Helen Englehart. She said Noelle was at her house & mom said she would come to get her. Turns out that Helen lives at the very bottom of Ridge Road (like 3 blocks away from our house) and RIGHT next to Royal Hunte Dr. – a VERY busy road! She was without pants or shoes. But not scared at all! She was just chatting with Helen and another lady who found her when mom picked her up. We are so thankful that she was protected!! But never want that to happen again!!!
-At the swimming pool, mom was playing with Noelle and then Noelle said “Mom, hold your nose. I got to baptize you.” And mom plugged her nose and Noelle pushed her into the water JJ
-We just LOVE how Noelle LOVES sunrises and sunsets. One morning, our sunrise girl burst into our room and yelled “Daddy! Daddy! The sky is pink and blue! You have to come see! Heavenly Father gave us pink today! You have to come see NOW!”
-Noelle is starting to READ! She is sounding out more words in BOB books and she loves making 3 letter words on her magnet board with mom & dad before she goes to bed

-Oaklyn’s molars have been coming in this month & she has had a non-stop runny nose and much sadness L
-Oaklyn has started sitting on the regular barstools!
-2 of Oaklyn’s favorite foods – spaghetti and grapes. If she even catches a glimpse, she is reaching and whining! We’re still working on saying PLEASE!
-Oaklyn is talking more, though, and some of her new favorite words are HAPPY! (She will say it over & over again) and Daizy!! (so cute!)
-We finally eeked out a teeny-tiny ponytail in her hair this month. It was so cute! She still has some cute, cute curls in her hair & hope they never leave!

Monday, November 13, 2017

October Newsletter & Slideshow

Hamilton Newsletter
October 2017
FAMILY: On the 2nd of October, we decided to go see the temple as the lights came on. It was chilly, but SO SO beautiful! It was the first time we got to walk around the temple and it was so exciting! The girls all had their SEPs at the beginning of the month & they are all doing so well – we are so proud of them! On the 6th, McKinley watched the girls while Jason & Heidi went to the annual homecoming party. There was food, a live band, fireworks, and we got to see Truly and Zhane there! On the 7th, we went over to the lake at the hills & went fishing! Everyone caught something – Noelle was SO excited! On the 9th, Jason had the day off for Columbus Day, but the girls didn’t. We surprised them by going out to breakfast before we took them to school. After school we headed to Paragonah to go the Judd Pumpkin Patch where the girls picked some HUGE pumpkins & we had fun petting the goats, pigs, sheep and cows! On the 14th, we had a fire in the backyard & roasted s’mores and sang songs as a family & with Truly & Zhane. The 15th was the Primary Program. McKinley even was nice enough to participate even though she’s officially done with primary. They all did their parts well (Ireland even had a small talk) and it was beautiful. October 20-23rd was spent at the Benson cabin and we had fun riding 4-wheelers, roasting s’mores, playing games (including REALLY long games of both Lunacy and Phase 10), sliding down a huge slide, eating yummy food & visiting. On the way home we stopped in Richfield to meet the newest member of the Devenish family, Sophie, an Australian Shepherd puppy. She was super cute and the girls loved playing with her.  The 26th was Kezia’s 8th birthday! See her section for details on her birthday AND birthday party on the 28th! On the 30th for FHE, we did our annual pumpkin carving. They turned out cute and we had fun. Halloween was a bit crazy this year! McKinley went to her middle school Halloween carnival/dance, then went trick-or-treating with Micaela, Ireland went trick-or-treating with the Vogts and some other friends from school, Kezia went with Zhane & Truly & Truly’s siblings, and Jason took the little ones around the block a couple times. McKinley was Herminie, Ireland was a Native American princess, Kezia was a police officer (like her friend Macie), Noelle was a witch and so was little Oaklyn (though she REFUSED to have her witch hat on).  That night mom made mummy man spaghetti bread and homemade Butterbeer!

JASON: Jason had his performance review this month and got ABOVE excellent in every category. We are so proud of him and thankful for all his hard work. They are so lucky to have him J Jason agreed to join Heidi’s health challenge this month & also joined the gym. He has really gotten serious getting his workouts in! One night, he even took off at 9pm and walked almost 6 miles! He is doing awesome!

HEIDI: Heidi continued her hikes in October, hiking the top of the C and the Alpine Pond. It is getting chilly up there! But the leaves were sure gorgeous & she LOVES getting outside J Heidi read and listened to a couple books this month & they were both pretty good. Heidi spent a lot of October finishing Kezia’s birthday book and her baptism slideshow. She also was wanting motivation, so she canvassed friends & family & set up another Healthy Habit Challenge! It’s been really good & got her moving in the right direction!

-McKinley had an atom project due for science. It was a bit procrastinated & she & her dad stayed up till after 11 working on it, but it turned out awesome! She used balloons for the nucleus, wire for the rings & Truly leant her magnets for the electrons.
-McKinley had her last game for volleyball on the 6th of October. She learned a lot doing volleyball, had fun, & made friends!
-Another fun school project – McKinley did a poster about a book. She chose the 5 Kingdoms and made the corners look like swords. It was neat!
-On the 10th, McKinley had an orchestra performance. It was so fun to see her perform and their songs were all creepy Halloween numbers – cool!
-On the 18th, McKinley, Emma Beacham & mom went to the St. George Temple for Baptisms. They got in & out so quickly that they had time to go get something to eat. We headed to Kneaders & it turns out they give free French toast breakfast before 8 on MTW for those that do baptisms at the temple. We were there on Wednesday at 7:58 and had no idea! They were thick & yummy & the girls couldn’t even finish them! What a blessing J
-McKinley was exhausted one morning & not feeling well, so mom let her stay home. She enjoyed spending time with her!
-McKinley finished the entire Book of Mormon! She started when she was 8, so it took a few years, but we are SO proud of her!!! Congratulations McKinley!

-Ireland had a really hard night one night L She kept having bad thoughts, even though she came into our room, and even cuddled with mom. Finally dad gave her a blessing & she was able to sleep.
-Ireland got to do her art class this month! Every Wednesday after school she got to learn about how to draw animals, people, and objects. She’s gotten to paint, do chalk, and pastels. She’s learned a lot!
-Ireland got to go on a field trip to the STEM fair at SUU & had a great time!
-Ireland is really into comic books and Harry Potter lately! She has read about 3 comic book-style books and finished the 4th Harry Potter book on Halloween – over 700 pages! She is such a great reader!
-One day Ireland was very upset about mom asking her to clean her room. She was very upset. Mom went in and suggested maybe she should write out her feelings, like how horrible of a mom she has. She replied “You couldn’t even give me enough papers to write that!”

-HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEZIA!! 8 is great! On her birthday, she got Krave cereal, went to IHOP for lunch, and got Indian Fry Bread for dinner. She got a tablet from mom & dad as well as her purse that she picked at the Grand Canyon and best friend necklaces at Disneyland. Grandma Devenish gave her a porcelain doll and Grandma Potts took her shopping where she got flowers and paints and gifts for others J Her costume birthday party was that Saturday, the 28th. There was Macie, Sarah, Adelaide, Sage, Jade, Sunny, Courtney, Devyn, her sisters, Zhane & Truly and Addison Bealer came, too J We made 3 different food crafts – a reeses pb cup/oreo bat, a hoho Frankenstein, and an oreo  one-eyed monster. It was messy, but fun! Afterwards, there was musical chairs downstairs to Halloween music, then Halloween Pictionary. Then they watched the Halloween Grinch show, and Halloween Studio Cs. Then it was time for homemade root beer and the Beast pizza!! Yum! Then presents, and cake & ice cream. So much fun!
-Kezia’s other grandmas were unable to make it, so Kezia got to go to her Grandparent breakfast with her adopted grandma, Chris Marx. They had fun together & Chris was so honored to be there with her J
-On the 25th, mom and Kezia went to the Cedar City Temple to take baptism pictures in her new pretty white dress from Grandma Devenish. The sun was going down & we got some really pretty shots. Kezia set her new scriptures on the dash & the window was open. Mom made a u-turn and the scriptures went flying out the window! Thankfully no cars ran them over!
-One day Kezi was sick with a fever & had to stay home L
-We’re so proud of our Kezi. Not only did she get an OUTSTANDING review from her teachers (where one of them informed me she would adopt Kezia in a heartbeat J), she also got the East Elementary Catch the Vision Award! Way to go Kezi!

LINK: Our sweet, beautiful boy. We missed you SO very much this month. Mom couldn’t stop the tears as she sat behind the primary class that you should have been in and watched them sing and do their little parts. She so wanted to see you with them. But you have sent love notes this month and we are so grateful for them! The 15th was the annual Wave of Light and we remembered you, my baby boy and loved seeing your picture in a slideshow of many other angel babies. We love you, our duder-dude. SO much.

-Noelle was sick at the beginning of the month for a few days L
-Noelle is so good at potty training & she is proud of it! One day she shouted from the bathroom “MOM! I went a hundred poops!”
-One day mom was on a walk with Carmen Hillstead. Noelle said “Caleb, I have a crush on you!” Caleb said “But I have a crush on my cousin!” Noelle laughed & giggled!
-Noelle keeps saying “Mommy! I’m ready for snow!!”  (she’s the only one of us right now!) J
-For the primary program, they had the nursery kids come sing “Wise Man and foolish man.” She was so nervous & giggly and her eyes kept watering, but she did a great job & was so cute!
-One day in the evening we saw a jet in the sky. Noelle pointed & said excitedly “Look mom! A Shooting star!”
-Mom was helping Noelle get dressed one morning & she helped her into some cute pants. Noelle said “Grandma Devenish gave me these pants!” Mom said “yes, she did!” then Noelle said “Because they were too small for her.”
-Lately, Noelle has been trying really hard to speak Spanish like her big sister Kezia. She has come up with some pretty interesting words! J
-We are so proud of Noelle! She can write her own name!!
-Noelle talks so much about Link. She will also say “Link can hear me, right mom?” and she will talk directly to him sometimes <3 br=""> -Mom gave Noelle some chocolate one day & she said “Chocolate is my favorite food!”
-One of our favorite things Noelle is doing lately, whenever guests or Truly or Zhane leave, she follows them out the door (in any state of dress or undress J) and shouts “Have a good day!!”
-Mom was reading the Hungry Caterpillar with Noelle one day and she got to the part that says “Now the caterpillar wasn’t hungry anymore, and he wasn’t a little caterpillar, he was a big fat caterpillar. He built himself a small house, called a…” Noelle said “A Racoon!” J
-Noelle has been SUCH a big helper with mommy! She helps so much when we go shopping to load things onto the conveyor belt, she helps put the bags in the cart & even bring them in the house. Also, she is SO good at taking Oaklyn’s poopy diapers to the outside trash! And she even wipes Oaklyn’s boogers! Such an awesome helper!
-We love how Noelle calls Oaklyn “baby cuteness!”
-Noelle has started sleeping in her own room again with Oaklyn. She’s going to bed pretty well, but just like when she was in Kezia’s room, 5 out of 7 nights, she comes into mom & dad’s room in the middle of the night & sleeps on the floor. She is a loud sleeper too! And often cries in her sleep or calls out.

-Oaklyn has been more into getting into shoes lately  - she still hates wearing shoes HER size, but any big shoe is fun!
-She has been saying “Book” and “Ball”
-Oaklyn got her very first haircut this month! The top still is sparse, but the back was turning into a mullet. Mommy HATED cutting off those sweet baby curls, but thankfully she still has some curl in the back & it still looks cute!
-Oaklyn’s 1 year molars are coming through. Overall, she’s taken it pretty well, but still had some fussy nights L
-Oaklyn is so cute – folding her arms for prayers!
-Oaklyn is so opposite from Noelle when it comes to strangers. Noelle would not go to anyone but mom & dad, but Oaklyn will go to any random stranger she chooses. She ESPECIALLY loves dads & grandpas & will walk right up to one and reach for them to hold her!
-Noelle has started sleeping in her own room, with Oaklyn. So far Oaklyn has done pretty well with it for the most part!
-Oaklyn had fun on the 4 wheelers!
-Oaklyn likes it when Zhane & Truly come home. Sometimes, she’ll run right up & want to be held!
-There is definitely more of a dynamic with Noelle & Oaklyn. They have started to play together more, but also fight as Noelle does NOT like it when Oaklyn touches her car lineup or colors on her papers. She says “NO OAKLYN!” a lot. But Noelle loves it when Oaklyn goes downstairs and plays with her & even shuts the door so Oaklyn has to stay down there with her J

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.