Sunday, January 6, 2007


We had a busy holiday. After Thanksgiving, we were full-speed ahead with Christmas activities. MeMaw and PawPaw came for a visit the week after Thanksgiving and we took some time off to visit the parks and see Santa.

We spent a quiet Christmas at home, then hit the road for our semi-annual WVA/VA visit. We decided to drive this year (33 hours of quality car time... actually Kai and Sierra did great).

The many pictures below provide a pretty good picture of our hectic, but fun holidays. We officially can't remember life before kids (must have been boring).


Fall Preschool Pictures

Kai and Sierra had their class pictures taken in November. They turned out pretty well (amazing how well they cooperated with the photographer.. I guess all the practice in front of Mom's camera is paying off).

"Pre-Christmas" Festivities

We found plenty to do this holiday season. Even though it's hot at our house, there were plenty of places with festive decorations and music to put us in the Christmas spirit (the weekly toy store sale ads did it for Kai).

To wrap up our fall activities, we went to a carnival near our house. Sierra can't pass up anyone in a costume, so when she saw this piece of Papa Johns pizza, she insisted on getting her picture with it. I'm sure we were the only "pizza photo" of the day, but Sierra was happy.


An inflatable Dora and Spiderman were our prizes for the day.


This is one of Sierra's famous faces. She practices in the mirror to get it just right.



Spiderman had fun on the Merry-go-round. Kai tried a roller coaster on his own prior to this ... it was a little intense for for him, so we went on slower rides the remainder of the afternoon.


Every Sunday was just as exciting as Christmas Day. Kai would come running in Mom and Dad's room, yelling, "Did a new toy magazine come?" He saved all of them and we even had to tape a few that tore back together (after Christmas, Mom was finally able to toss them in the trash can...although he just came and asked where they were yesterday).


Here is one of many sale ads Kai "shopped" prior to Christmas. He carried them everywhere, even in the car. He was definitely prepared for his Santa visit.


Kai and Sierra's Thanksgiving parade at school. Sierra missed it.. she was home sick. Two days before Thanksgiving, she came down with a virus (fever/vomiting). When we picked her up from school, she said "I had a big sneeze" (referring to the vomiting). She had never thrown up before, so sneezing was her only frame of reference.



This is Sierra's Thanksgiving outfit. She decided to wear her boots with her shorts and a cowboy hat (thank you Cora for the hand-me-down).


Kai and Sierra are practicing for the cold weather up North (our vacation to WVA/VA). We had snowsuits and warm hats/gloves/boots. Unfortunately, we didn't see snow, but got to wear our warm garb and boots in the cold and mud.


Yeah... it's time for Daddy's Christmas decorations.



Christmas at SeaWorld.


Shamu Santa was pretending to be a Power Ranger with Kai.


SeaWorld turned the Polar Bear Exhibit into the Polar Express.





Our 1st Santa visit was in the Polar Express exhibit at SeaWorld (we saw Santa 6 times in December). We were thrown for a loop when Kai saw this one and said, "he's not real." We had no idea what he meant. Once we saw the Santa at the mall, we learned it was because the one at SeaWorld didn't have a real beard.



Kai and Sierra riding The Flying Fiddler with Mom and Dad.


Go faster, faster, MeMaw (on Swishy Fishy).


"Yeah, I found another new character at SeaWorld."



It was alll business at the water guns! We must win two stuffed animals to call the day a success (MeMaw can't pass up the water guns... and usually wins. Although, PawPaw gives her a run for her money).


"MeMaw and PawPaw won us 3 stuffed animals each (Rudolph, Christmas Shamu, and the Abominable Snowman) - Thanks (Mom and Dad never do this)."


"We bamboozled PawPaw into riding The Flying Fiddler while Mama and Daddy were at work."


Here we are, waiting for the Shamu Show with MeMaw.





Our 2007 Christmas Card.


"Yeah - we saw the real Santa and he knows exactly what I want." (Kai took a Spiderman brochure with him to show Santa some samples of what he would like.)


We couldn't resist buying Sierra this shirt ("Dear Santa, Define Good." It is very characteristic of her. Kai's said, "Official Present Opener" (which was fitting for him).


"We went to the petting farm with MeMaw and Pawpaw. Memaw caught us a duck to pet."


"Be careful.. don't squash the baby chickens and ducks."


"We caught out own chickens" (thank goodness for anti-bacterial gel).


We had a picnic lunch at the farm.


Kai and Sierra are riding the old-fashioned tractor. Sierra had fun commenting on all the odors. Any time/place you put the word "stinky" in front of a word, it makes it hilarious.


Here we are riding the Green Meadow Farm Train (PawPaw was our trip photographer).


"Yawl come back now..."


"Kai, this is an awesome ride, don't you think?"


"Hang on Sierra, we're going up (he doesn't say YaYaw much anymore)."


"Hang on, here comes the hill."


"Memaw is nice."


"Ride em' cowboy"


Kai's joystick made the plane go up and Sierra's made it go down. They stayed flat most of the ride because they were working against each other (but still liked it).


"Hey look, here's another person in a furry costume." Sierra saw this tiger and a hippo while riding the merry go round at Busch Gardens Tampa. She wanted to jump off and go get them, but Memaw made her finish the ride first.


Here is the Busch Gardens Hippo (no clue who it's supposed to be.. Sierra doesn't care).



Our 3rd Santa Visit was at the neighborhood "Christmas in the Park." Santa came through the neighborhood on a fire truck and ended at the park, where there were activities for the kids.


Kai's homework assignment was to write what he wanted for Christmas and then draw a picture. He chose "Power Rangers." Mom wrote it on one line and he wrote it on the next one.


Sierra chose "Backyardigans." She wrote the word below Mom's line and then colored each of them in the white space.


Our 4th Santa Visit was at the local Walmart Supercenter. While PawPaw was distracting Kai and Sierra via the toy department (Mama and MeMaw were shopping), they announced over the loud speaker that you could get your picture with Santa for free in the lay away department. You can see Kai wasn't happy seeing the "non-real" Santa wearing a hat that still had the tag on it, but true-to-form, Sierra was thrilled by the guy in a costume.


The Disney castle this Christmas.. looks like a big icicle.



Kai found his "First Christmas" ornament while we were decorating our tree.


Sierra loved decorating the tree this year. She found all the ornaments with her name on them. She helped until the end, whereas Kai burned out after hanging a few.


"Daddy, that looks great."


"Ta-da... we're done."


Sierra and Christmas Eyore.

"Merry Christmas Pooh."


Kai came back for a picture with Tigger.


Piglet and Sierra.


Here is our Christmas count-down Santa. Kai and Sierra rotated who moved the candy cane. Kai got even days, and Sierra moved for odd days.


"Yeah.. Daddy finished the Christmas lights."




Our 5th Santa Visit was at the Zoo's Brunch with Santa.


Santa came around and gave all the kids a stuffed goat.


Sierra made the goats a palm leave stuffed with cinnamon applesauce.

Kai and Sierra are working on a a palm/fruit ring for the goats and llamas.


Here are thecrazy Higgins faces at the Osbourne Family lights display.

"What are you looking at?"


"Thanks for my chair, Bud. "


We had lots of goodies at the school Christmas party.


"This is our last day of school before Christmas and vacation...woohoo"



"I'm going to miss my best friend Mia when we move classes." Mia and Kai will be moving to Ms Tiffany's class after the holiday. Sierra will stay in Ms Nakita's class. So far, Sierra seems ok with the move, but Kai isn't very happy. We'll see how it goes.


Our 6th (and FINAL) Santa Visit was at the school Christmas party. Sierra told Santa again that she wanted Backyardigans (in case he didn't remember the 5 times before).


Kai made sure Santa knew he wanted Spiderman, Power Rangers, and Transformers (he was allowed to ask for three things, so he chose "Spiderman stuff, Power Ranger stuff etc."


Christmas is finally here!

Christmas Day was a lot of fun this year. Kai and Sierra "got it" more this year. On Christmas Eve, we went to church (some funny anecdotes on that below), then came home and opened one present. Afterwards, we then made sugar cookies (because those are Santa's favorite) and laid them out with carrots for the reindeer (in Santa's letter this year, he asked that Kai leave him cookies and Sierra leave carrots for the reindeer). We tracked Santa on Norad ( up until bed time, then waited. Everyone fell asleep because when we woke up, Santa had come! Here are some pics from our special day (after a little note on the Christmas Eve service):

Christmas Eve service

  • After a few songs, the preacher spoke for a short while. After about 5 mins (everyone is quiet at this point), Sierra shouts out, "He's talking long!"
  • A little bit later, the preacher makes reference to "Jesus saving grace." Sierra doesn't seem to be paying attention, and all of a sudden hollers out, "Jesus saved the Grinch?"
  • Finally, the preacher is wrapping up, looking at the sky, talking about what he sees in the beautiful sky (it was supposed to have rained so we were fortunate to have the nice weather). Sierra looks up and says, "Do you see Santa?"

Christmas Eve after church, we tracked Santa on Norad's Santa Site. We saw when he passed Cape Canaveral and the Space Shuttle.

Then, he flew over our house. Fortunately, Kai and Sierra were in bed so he brought them presents.


Here are Santa's cookies and the reindeer's carrots.


"Geez, they were hungry."


"Yeah, he came!"


Santa brought Kai a few Spiderman things, some Power Rangers, and a Transformer.


Santa brought Sierra a new desk, the Backyardigans, a new pair of pink cowboy boots (Tasha is wearing) and a Nemo Stamp set (early in December, she asked Santa for some "Nemo stuff.")


"Woo hoo, he came" - Kai and Sierra came running to the tree Christmas morning. After Kai took inventory of his Santa gifts (which were unwrapped), he asked if he could open his other presents (all his presents from Mom and Dad were wrapped in Spiderman paper and Sierra's were wrapped in Dora paper... for easy reference).



Daddy helping Sierra unwrap.


Wow - I got a new stamper set (Sierra likes to use these for "body art"... luckily it's washable ink)


After Kai unwrapped all his gifts, he moved them all to the hallway so he could spread out and take inventory of his stash.


After opening a few presents, Kai went up to Daddy and asked "Who gave me these presents?" Jim replied, "Mama and Daddy." Kai threw his arms around Jim's neck and kissed his cheek, then said "Thank you for my presents." He didn't skip a beat.. he was right back to opening his gifts after that.. it was a tear-jerker moment.


"I love my desk."


"I have to get back to work."

Putter, Flossie and Dick came over for Christmas dinner. Sierra chased Putter around until he stayed still long enough for a picture (her request).


This is our cool new educational TV game from Putter, Dick and Flossie.


The game even has an interchangeable mouse pad which comes in handy for us since Kai is a lefty and Sierra is right-handed.



Post Christmas Trip to WVA & VA

After months of looking for flights, we couldn't find anything reasonable, so we decided to drive. The kids did great. We left the day after Christmas and drove to Aunt Nancy's house in Charlotte. We had a nice dinner, played Carly's toys/books, then hit the road the next day. Aunt Nancy and Carly followed us to Grandma's house. We were hoping to see snow, but no luck. It rained and even melted the man-made snow at the local ski resort so we'll have to wait for next year. We had a good visit with everyone. Here are some pics:

West Virginia

Sierra and her cousin, Carly loving on Mick.


"Kai, you're so funny."


Sierra kept asking to have her picture taken with Mick every day. Mick did great considering he's not used to being around little people.

Sierra posing for another Mick picture (Pat in the background).


"Say cheese again."


"Ready to get muddy?"



"Aw Ha ha... I'm going to go fall down in some deer poo."



The Deer Poop Power Rangers (that's what they called themselves). They got sticks and went through the field looking for deer poop to poke at... we don't get to do this at home.

"Here's my deer poop stick."


"Let's go Kai... we've got deer poop to squash."


Here is Uncle Mike and our cousin Evan.



We had to get a family picture for Grandma's new digital frame. We missed seeing Ryan (he's still in Iraq), but his fiance', Stacy came over so we could meet her.


Stacy was fun.. she helped us make a mess with the spare change all over the floor.


"Hey, how do you work this thing?"


Evan showing Kai a few notes.


This is our last family photo before hitting the road for Virginia.



We got in late to VA. Our first day there, it poured down rain, so we went to Chuck E Cheese to wear the little people out.


Daddy even played so we'd get lots of tickets for a miniscule prize.


Hunter was helping Sierra play a game.


Kai settled right in like he owned the joint.


Skee-ball.. this is Mom's favorite.

"Yeah - Chuck E Cheese came out to see me."


"I love Hunter's nerf guns" (Mom wasn't real high on them, but the kids enjoyed playing with them for a few days).


Kai was playing the "Dive in Stuffed Animal Mountain game".


Here is Kai and Sierra's new cousin - Baby Forrest


The sun finally came out, so we went to the zoo.


Within 5 minutes, Sierra had fallen in a mud puddle and gotten her pants all wet and dirty. We told her she looked like a little pink piggy so we couldn't resist taking her picture with one of the pigs.


Kai feeding the goats with MeMaw.



See Spiderman and the spider (don't know which one is which).


"These little monkeys are awesome, but they smell like urine."


"Say cheese."


"Let me tell you a secret."


Here are the three muskateers climbing the big termite mound.


"You can't find me in this little cave."


"I'm just hanging around."


"Hey, I'm on a rhino horn."


Hunter is getting taller, but still small enough for a piggy back ride (which he insisted on after seeing Kai and Sierra get one).


This was our New Years Eve bonfire by the river (at Uncle Jeffrey/Aunt Kit's house).


This is the kindling crew, on a break.

Kai is roasting hot dogs for dinner with Daddy and Bud.


MeMaw is on Baby Forrest duty.


Happy 1st New Year little man.


Kai and Sierra's little Florida bottoms were freezing, so Sierra came up with a plan to warm up.


Cousin Amanda was helping Kai roast marshmallows.


Uncle Jeffrey got sparklers for all the kids. Kai and Sierra were mesmerized.


PawPaw gets a turn holding Forrest. He was snug as a bug in a rug.


Uncle Jeffrey was getting some assistance from Kai, Sierra and Hunter for the "magic powder" for the fire. They waved their hands over it and then when he poured it on the fire, it magically turned blue.


Mommy was hanging around the bonfire with Cousin Amanda.



Aunt Kit finally got Baby Forrest back.



"Hurry Daddy... how long does it take to put a marshmallow on a stick?"


"It's my stick... no my stick"


We have more sparklers.


Here are Uncle Jeffrey, Aunt Kit, Hunter and Forrest chillin' out on New Years Eve.


Daddy is helping Sierra ride her new razor scooter (she didn't last long).


Kai was racing Daddy on his scooter. He was really patient and caught on pretty quickly.


PawPaw took everyone on the roof for a picture with the blow-ups.


Kai decided to go 4-wheeling on New Years Day.


"I fell on my bottom in the leaves."


"I'm a riot"


Here come the 4-wheeling Higgins'


The boys rode the big one.


The girls rode Hunter's (he got a smaller one for Christmas).


Here are more Daddy/Sierra crazy faces.


Uncle Jeffrey is going fast.


Brrr, it's cold on the river.


Hunter is showing off his new present.


"Watch out, here I come."




Forrest is getting a kiss from his Mommy .

"Cousin Seth, stop tickling me."


"You can tell, we've had practice in front of the camera".



"Smile for Colt and West.. hopefully they'll see this all the way from Japan." Happy New Year guys!


"Hey, my belly is showing."


"Mommy says I get a cookie, if I smile. How's this?"


"Amanda, you are so funny, girlfriend."


Here is Bud with his newest great, great grandson (Jeffrey and Kit didn't want Kai and Sierra holding that title, so they had Forrest.. ha ha).



We had a great visit... and are sad to leave everyone. Baby Forrest will probably be crawling when we see him again (unless his mom and day bring him for a Disney vacation this year ... hint, hint).


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  A Jim & Carla Creation - 2004