Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Brooks!

Brooks turned 6 years old on March 24th. I can't believe it!  He is getting so big.  He has always been our "fresh water" and continues to be that refreshing little man in the midst of our chaotic family.

He loves his little brother LIKE.A.BOSS!

He is so considerate and affectionate with his mama.

He adores his big brother and sister.

He loves playing "tickle monster" with his daddy.

He is already drawing up basketball and soccer plays in his mind and on paper.  He just "gets it" when it comes to sports.  He is flat fun to watch.

He still needs to snuggle (thank the LORD).

He loves his LEGOS, his guns, his swords, his bow and arrow, and anything related to castles and knights and wars and tanks and heavy machinery.

He enjoys playing soccer, baseball, and basketball.  And he is already asking to play football.

He is learning to read.  Working on the long vowel sounds at the moment.

He is about as pleasant as a human can get.  Truly.

We love you Brooks! Happy Birthday!

It was a LEGO birthday.

Hugs for cousin Heather after opening her gun.

He got the LEGO CASTLE!

Showing everyone all the details.
He has researched every square inch of that castle.

What could this big present be?

(Check out Kervens' sweet smile)

A motorcycle!

Rode it like a PRO!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Daddy Daughter Dance

Daddy wrote a letter to his "Little Bear" a few days ago and asked her to go on a date with him.  They got all "gussied up" and headed to the Fairyland Club for a night of dancing, food, ice cream buffets, and dress up fun.  She said...
"It was probably the best night I have ever had with my daddy!"

Way to go daddy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas Trip of a Lifetime

We decided to do something a bit different this year for Christmas.  We wanted our children to receive memories instead of stuff.  So, we set off on a skiing trip to Colorado...Winter Park.  About three hours into the first day of skiing with four children, 11 years old an under and all newbies to skiing, Eddy and I looked at each other in complete amazement that we thought this would be fun to do!  What were we thinking??  We were sweating by the time we got all four sets of boots and bibs and hats and gloves on these humans.  And by that time, there were no less that two of them crying and one of them needing to pee.  Did I mention "what were we thinking?"

But somehow, in the midst of the piles of snow and snuggly nights in our condo reading books and playing games, that magical Christmas "thing" happened...

By day four of skiing, our Haitian born 4 year old was demanding that we not touch him...not on the lift, not down the slopes...not ever.  He got it!

In the meantime, our 5 year old and 11 year old were re-introduced to the family after four days of skiing as we NEVER saw them past the first two seconds of instruction on that very first day.  "Well, hello, what is your name again?"

And then there is our sweet and cautious female in the tribe.  And by the second half of day two, she took off with the rest of 'em.

So my dream of skiing down the slopes as a family in Winter Park came true.  We ate, we laughed, we loved, we sipped hot chocolate, we sang, we played, we skied, we threw snowballs, we sledded, we tubed, we hung out with friends, we ice skated, we did it all.  And to quote our oldest son, who initially had the hardest time wrapping his brain around a ski trip in lieu of getting Christmas presents...

"This was the trip of a LIFETIME!  I would do it all again, cuz I really don't need anything anyway.  I would much rather come out here and go skiing!"

That quote was worth it all.  =)

Brooks and Mama on the lift. 

Tubing with the Posse!

Tubing with daddy.

Tubing with Shug.

Smiling big as our kids ski circles around us.

I mean...do you get any cuter than that?

Winter Park 2013

Kenzie playing the role of the Clydesdale. 

Warming up with some hot chocolate.

Brooks and Kervens got to rock climb.  Do you think he looks up
to his older brother?  Just a bit.

Kervens on the lift...doing his thing.

A treasured memory for this mama.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gettin' Caught Up...May-September

We all looked forward to a big birthday celebration.  For two Mays, I have dreamt of celebrating this little boy in our presence.  And it finally happened.  We got to actually watch him turn 4!  He was so excited and very much aware that it was HIS special day.  Just two weeks after he arrived in our home, his big brother Brooks had a birthday, and that was kind of hard for Kervens to understand (though he handled it like a champ).  But this was HIS day, and he loved opening his presents and playing with all his new toys.  And in true Kervens fashion, he immediately invited his siblings to take part in his new toys.  

Then the middle of May brought a trip to Disney World.  Of course we had to introduce Kervens to one of our favorite places on earth.  Though he was not a fan of the characters, he took the place by storm.  The higher and faster the rides, the more he liked them.  And he was within one centimeter of that crucial 40" height that gets you into most of the bigger rides.  So, depending on the worker and the measuring tool they used, he would be allowed access to the bigger rides from time to time.  And each time they gave him the "go ahead", he would scream at the top of his lungs..."I'M BIG ENOUGH!"

This is the closest he ever got to a character.  Rare moment indeed.

Then Shelley decided to get a new puppy, so we spent days just enjoying that sweet little Zoe.  She has been such a joy to Shelley and all the Hilger children.

Trips to the mall to play at the indoor playplace.  Two male siblings only one year apart brings out the energy we never knew existed in Brooks.  Oh boy!  Where did this crazy energy and "boyness" come from?  I guess now he has an outlet for the wrestling and running and jumping and kicking and punching...and all other things "boy".  Multiple times a day this thought crosses my mind..."What did Brooks do all day before Kervens came along?"  I can't imagine one without the other now.  Inseparable.  And they play incredibly well together.  Needing very little intervention from me.  Already best friends.

Kervens continues to work on his fear of big dogs.  Who better to lessen his fear than Shelley's precious Barkley?

Then, it is off to Birmingham for tonsils and adenoids removal.  It has been a long time comin', and we finally made the decision to do it.  Oh what a horrific 8 days post surgery.  Kenzie could not eat a single thing.  Meds were impossible to get down her.  She lost 7 pounds in 8 days, and she did not have 7 pounds to lose in the first place.  Not our favorite memory of the summer.  But, got 'er done.

Jackson got into fishing and catching big bass.

Linnie and Kenzie rescued a baby bird, we named Ziggy, and nursed it back to health.  Which we found out later is highly illegal to do!  Oops!  What did they want us to do?  Just leave it in the middle of the road?  Not my Kenzie...she is going to rescue that thing!  Even if it means going to jail.  

And we celebrated daddy's birthday.  What an amazing man!

Jackson, Brooks, and Kervens start their soccer season.

Check out that form!

Then we revisit our favorite beach spot, Rosemary Beach.  An early birthday surprise for mama.  I came home from teaching on a Tuesday, and there was a treasure hunt waiting for me.  The hunt ended at Starbucks, where the worker behind the counter handed me an envelope.  Inside was a hangman game that led me to realize we were going to the beach...in four days!  Better get packin'!
Perfect weather.  Perfect week!