Friday, March 3, 2017

February Slideshow & Newsletter

Finally got this out before the middle of the month! YAY!!!! :)



Hamilton Newsletter
February 2017

FAMILY:  We had a busy travel month this month. First, we headed up to Idaho to support Burton at the funeral of his 1-month-old daughter, Krinn Meadow. It was a hard day & our hearts break for their loss. The girls sang I am a Child of God, and that was beautiful. The next day we laid Uncle Richard to rest beside his sister, Aunt Althea. It was hard to say good-bye to him as well and we will miss him. We went back to Cedar for a week & then back up to see Tiarra star in the play "Brave New World." It was an interesting play and very thought-provoking. We only stayed overnight & came back on Saturday (though we got to stop at the Bensons and have a visit, which was great :).  Then, on the 22nd, Jason took McKinley & Ireland and headed to Texas for Dustin's surprise 40th birthday party. They had a great time with family down there & McKinley & Ireland were excited about going on an airplane! They spent 4 days down southWe had a wonderful Valentines this month. Daddy spoiled all his girls again with roses and chocolate & mom had been heart-attacking each girls' door with a treat each day. Also, on Valentines morning, mom made heart cinnamon french toast & in the afternoon, we delivered heart peanut butter cookies to our neighbors with a note that said "We LOVE having you as neighbors - Happy Valentine's Day!"  The girls had a great time at school (Daddy kept his tradition with being a Valentine's Day Watchdog at North Elementary) with their fancy Valentine's boxes (see their sections for what each of them did), and Mom & Dad even got a fantastic evening at a nice restaurant while McKinley watched the girls (thank you McKinley) - and dad spoiled mom with new diamond earrings!!!! :) Even though we got a couple pretty decent snow storms, the weather has definitely been nicer. The girls all got out their roller skates & we went for a skate/walk on the pathway on the 20th.

JASON:  Jason had fun being the watchdog at North Elementary again this year :) Jason enjoyed going to Texas and being with the Bargers, and his dad and Ophie. At Dustin's 40th, there was good food, singing, dancing, and fun times. He also enjoyed going to Bill's, which has amazing fried catfish. Heidi asked Dustin to help Jason prepare mentally for his turning of the 40 this year :) On the way back from the Vegas airport, Jason noticed a Hispanic family stranded in the gorge with no cell phone service. It must have truly been the Lord watching out for them, because there was just enough room for their whole family in our van, and Jason was able to communicate with them in Spanish & get them to their St. George home. Jason is always so good at helping people. 

HEIDI:  Heidi enjoyed February and is hard at work at her healthy spirit, body, & mind goals :) She has been training for the April half marathon and is up to 10 miles (though that was a bit accidental, she meant to go 8 but thought the running app was off) and continues to frequent the gym for strength training classes, yoga, and the treadmill. One early, dark morning, Heidi was coming back from a 4 mile run and was close to home when her left ankle gave out and she fell into the asphalt. Her left palm was pretty shredded up and painful, but is starting to finally heal. Her left ankle, knee & hip are not too happy with her right now, but hopefully it will get better soon. She got to get together with her good friend, Anna, for lunch this month and enjoyed the chat. She read the Wonder Stories book that McKinley insisted on her reading & it was very good :) Heidi has also been enjoying reading The Love Dare with her sweetheart this month.

-McKinley didn't HAVE to do a Valentine's box, but she really wanted to, so she looked at Pinterest, made a list of about 15 ideas, and finally decided to make a baby grand piano. She really did the entire thing herself (complete with a small bench and person on it). the only thing mom did was spray paint it. It looked really cool! She gave out Seuss Valentine's cards with chocolate candy this year.
-McKinley has started rehearsals for Seussical & listens to the soundtrack a LOT :) We're so excited to see her perform in a couple months.
-McKinley had fun in Texas. Even though there wasn't really anyone her own age, she liked to hang out with the adults and visit. Grandpa Bill and Ophie even took her shopping in Witchita Falls & got her a pretty wind chime and forget-me-not seeds :)
-McKinley made (all by herself) chocolate brownies for her dad's Elder's Quarum meeting, as well as at Yvetta's house in Texas. They were very yummy! She also made fried mozzerella sticks which were yummy, too!!
-McKinley was so cute and made mom and dad each coupons for Valentine's Day - mom has even already used her babysitting coupon a couple times!
-One of McKinley's favorite things to say lately is "totally!!" (but dripping with sarcasm, of course) :)  
-Ireland got to go to Salt Lake City for a field trip this month! She was SO excited about it. They got to go to the state capital and Thanksgiving Point. Grandma & Grandpa picked her up from Thanksgiving Point since the rest of the family was coming up. They almost didn't connect before the bus came, but thankfully they did. She had a fun time!
-Ireland found a puppy picture that she really liked and she traced a puppy for each of her friends and gave them a paper that said "Happy day before Valentine's Day!" It was very sweet :)
-Ireland's Valentine's box had to involve a simple machine. She wanted to make a peacock. So, after MANY hours of work & playing around with ideas, we used a ruler to make a teeter-totter effect with the peacock's neck. We also used a cylinder for the neck and an Easter egg for the mouth, so it could "eat" small candy :) Ireland was sad she didn't win the contest, but she really did a great job and it was SO cute and creative! :) Ireland gave out Petshop Valentine's to her class this year.
-We didn't tell Ireland about going to Texas till about a few days before and she was so surprised! And nervous. She was so excited about seeing Kaydence, but she was worried about leaving mom and flying in an airplane. She did great, though, and really enjoyed flying. They didn't tell Kaydence that Ireland was coming and she was SO surprised! They were glued together the whole time, of course, and we're so glad that Ireland got to go be with her.
-Ireland gave mom a certificate for a message -and WOW! - she did a GREAT job! She messaged her back, feet, and hands and it was so heavenly! Thank you Ireland!
-Ireland also had a couple times this month when she let her anger take over :( She wrote some pretty mean (and creative!) notes to both dad and mom (separate times).

-Kezi had parent-teacher conference this year and we were again told how brilliant she is. She is double, and even triple in some cases her goals for the year. She has passed off all her sight words through 5th grade! We are so proud of her! She still has work to do on her Spanish, but is doing really well! The thing we need to work on the most is how she struggles sometimes with her emotional meltdowns. We are trying harder to take deep breaths and move on.
-Kezia's Valentine's box was supposed to be themed after a book that she could choose from a list. So, she chose "Sam and Dave dig a hole, which is about 2 boys and a dog that kept digging and digging and getting VERY close to huge diamonds, but never actually finding them. So, we used tape and spray painted over it and then took off the tape to make "tunnels" and then we made 3D-looking diamonds out of sparkly scrapbook paper. It looked really cool! Kezi gave cool 3D pet valentines to her class this year.   
-Kezi bought a special heart chocolate box and covered it in neon orange paper and wrote: "To: Briggs From: ?????" (5 question marks for each letter of her name). He figured out who it was, but she was okay with that :)
-Kezia came into our room one night crying because her throat hurt so bad. Mom gave her a strep test the next day, and sure enough!! She got some antibiotics and had to stay home from school for a day. We're so glad we caught it early!
-Kezi was pretty bummed about not getting to fly to Texas with her dad and sisters, but she had fun with mom at home, too. She got to have sleepovers with her every night, play games, and watch movies. She also got to sleep over at grandma & grandpa's house in St. George and go to the mall & ride the train and get a smoothie. It was fun!
-Kezi got to have separate playdates with Macie and Ruby. She had fun and painted nails with Macie. She painted them blue and then write a letter on each nail  "I (heart) Jay so much" (have you noticed that she has a crush on a FEW different boys?) :)
-Kezia decided one Sunday to make a piñata of coupons. She wrote out about 30 different coupons (from walking Sydney to cleaning countertops) and we all hit the box with a broom and mom ended up winning the most coupons (horray!) (she's already used her breakfast in bed one) :)

LINK: - We are grateful to know that Link was there to welcome both Krinn and Uncle Richard to the other side. Mommy read an article about how our loved ones from the other side connect with us, and it was very good. After reading it, she started noticing more "love notes" from Link, including specific songs and pictures that she needed right at that moment. She is so thankful for each and every love note he sends and cannot wait until she gets to hold and kiss him again.  

-Noelle still isn't sure just what Valentine's is all about but she liked all the candy!! She actually still talks about Christmas a lot and says "hey, that's my Christmas present!" (even when it isn't) and says she wants Christmas again.
-One day Kezia was sweeping & had swept up a glove. Noelle came over and yelled at her "Kezia - don't sweep up my hand!!"
-One afternoon, mom was laying down with Ireland in her bed for naptime. Noelle pointed at a picture of mom and dad & said "That's you and dad. I just miss my dad so much. (*making the I love you sign at the picture*) I love you daddy."
-Noelle has a new trick and it's called USING SCISSORS. We are afraid. Very afraid.
-When Kezi was home sick, she asked for a bowl. Mom asked if she needed to puke. Noelle said "ugh. don't say that word." Noelle piped up "PUKE! PUKE! PUKE! PUKE!!"
-Mom and Kezi were playing the game Spot It and Noelle actually got a couple matches!
-Noelle says the remote to her truck is her "projector" - it looks a lot like the xbox remote and she likes to "use" it with the projector & Xbox :)
-Noelle just says the funniest things. Mom wishes she could record them all. One day we pointed something out when we were driving and she said "Holy cow! That's not impossible!"
-Noelle calls people, animals, stuffed animals, etc her "best friend"s :)
-Noelle struggled again with sleeping at Grandma & Grandpa's house in St. George. She woke up at 4am and was wide awake & wouldn't go back to sleep till almost 5 :(
-Noelle loves to cuddle, but her favorite things when she's sleepy is when mom rubs her nose on her face and gives her butterfly kisses :)
-Mom got done running on the treadmill and went to get Noelle from gym daycare. She bent down and Noelle said "Are you crying mom?" (it was sweat) :)
-Noelle calls all teddy bears "Link bears"
-Noelle still loves cars and lines them up on the windowsill, puts them in her ride-on car, and stuffs them inside her little pink car.
-One day mom was dancing and Noelle was NOT in the mood to see her dance. She got really mad at her dancing. Mom got it on a video & it's a classic :)
-Noelle has grown very fond of the little Care Bear couch. She sleeps on it on the floor of Kezi's room a lot and drags it all over the house.

-Oaklyn is just Miss Cutest Ever. Seriously, so so so cute! We all just want to have her all the time.
-Oaklyn is a half a year old now! went by so fast!
-Oaklyn likes to put her toes in her mouth now!
-Her 6 month checkup went well - she is in about the 55th percentile for weight and 85th for height. She had to get a bunch of shots :(
-Oaklyn has decided to sit up all by herself now! She still sometimes tips over, but she likes to go forward mostly and thinks she will try to start crawling.
-Oaklyn seriously has NO appetite in the mornings! Even if she hasn't eaten in 5 hours, she just won't nurse! And won't eat much baby food either.
-She's also SUCH a distracted nurser now. Even when mom is by herself in a room, she just wants to know what is going on elsewhere. Hope it doesn't cut our nursing short!
-One night mom forgot to plug in the monitor and it died. Mom woke up at 4am in a panic and went to check on Oaklyn. She was thankfully fine. Mom actually got 6 hours of sleep that night! Oaklyn is usually up between 10:30-12 and again at about 4am. She usually takes 3 naps during the day, but it's still impossible to tell which one is going to be her long one!
-Oaklyn is really starting to like Baby Signing Time now. We turn in on and she giggles and squeals and kicks her feet!
-She says a lot of "da da da" but mom isn't admitting that it's her first word since she says it all the time, not just when she's around daddy.
-Oaklyn has started figuring out how to put her binky back in. We're HOPING that means more sleep soon!
-Her sisters are all still trying to get her to say their name - even Noelle!
-Oaklyn had a little "playdate" with our neighbor's baby, Charlotte. When mom gave the toy to Charlotte, Oaklyn would try to take it away. When we gave it back to Oaklyn & gave Charlotte another of Oaklyn's toys, she tried to take that away, too! She's also showing more that she really cares when Noelle takes one of her toys away from her. Eeek!