Thursday, April 7, 2016

Brenson's Fourth Birthday

Just one week after his baby sisters marked their first birthday, our Brenson-man turned four year old! I think the week between Brooke and Brecklyn's birthday and Brenson's birthday was a looooong one for him, but for Momma it flew by! 

Because they are exactly a week apart, the twins' birthday and Brenson's birthday will always fall on the same day of the week. That meant that Brenson, too, had a Wednesday birthday this year. 

We set Bren's gifts out for him the night before, and stayed with our tradition of opening them first thing that morning. Of course, we had balloons hanging in the doorway of his bedroom, on his chair at the dinner table, and with his stash of gifts. My kiddos LOVE balloons! Bren was very excited to get to the gift opening and a little annoyed that Momma wanted pictures first. Isn't that like a boy?!?

The first gift Bren opened was a pair of safety scissors. He was pumped! He had been wanting his own pair for a while.

The next gift he chose to open was his "big" one. Chris and I were certainly most excited to see him open this one, and his reaction did not disappoint!

What is it? It's a toy weed trimmer! He had been really wanting one of these for a while and thought "it was the best!"

He also received some clothing . . . this didn't impress him much, but he sure looks handsome in them. 

I love this face of anticipation!

Yay for more track pieces to build with!

On Wednesdays, we generally go to story time at the Library. However, although Bren really enjoys story time, he didn't really want to do that on his birthday. What he really wanted to do was eat breakfast at McDonald's and spend the day at the zoo, so that's exactly what we did. He also really wanted Brianna to be with us, so we let her skip school for the day (and Daddy took the day off from work) and we went to the zoo as a family. We felt like Brianna would learn more on our outing than she would learn in school, anyway :-). 

Bren LOVES pancakes, so that's what he wanted to eat at McDonald's. Of course.

We arrived at the zoo around 10am, and while it was a gorgeous, cloudless day, it was also very chilly. We pretty much let Brenson dictate which exhibits we visited at the zoo, and he decided we should start with the chimps. 

We enjoyed watching this Momma and her baby. Even Brooke and Brecklyn were fascinated by them!

After visiting the chimps, we headed to the Wild Life Trek.

One of the kids' favorite parts of the Wild Life Trek is Life in the Water.

Brianna's favorite water exhibit is the seahorses. Daddy was showing her the tiny baby seahorses in the tank. 

This is the first time that the babies have really enjoyed the animals, and it was so much fun to watch them!




I loved looking up to see my crew watching the lizards and snakes. <3 p="">


Brenson loves animals and was so interested in everything they were doing. We were able to see lots of activity this day, so that was great!

I'm so thankful that the babies are good to ride in their stroller. It makes life much easier!

However, they LOVE to be down, so we do let them out to run free when the crowds aren't bad (which they weren't at all this day!) It was starting to really warm up and turn into a beautiful day!


When Brooke runs, she puts her arms behind her like she's going super fast. It's the cutest thing, and we love it!

(Brianna and Brooke)

Momma holding Brooke with Brianna and Brenson

We have annual zoo passes AND live fairly close to the zoo, so we visit often. This is so nice as we don't feel like we have to stay for hours and enjoy all the exhibits every time we go. I personally kind of hate the petting zoo, so more often than not we skip it. Well. On the day that the four year old was dictating where we go and what we do? There was no skipping it. Not a chance. 

This was Brooke and Brecklyn's first time ever going in, so of course we let them pet the animals. 

It took Brooke a minute to decide that touching the animals was okay.

Once she did it, though, she thought it was pretty great!

It surprised me when Brecklyn immediately touched the goat. It generally takes her some time to warm up. 

However, I was not surprised when she decided that one touch was enough, ha!

Brianna has always been an animal lover!

This is not a good photo of the big kids, but I like the shadow . . .  Two little babies each with two little pigtails :-). 

(Brianna and Brenson)

(Brecklyn and Momma)

(Brenson, Daddy, and Brianna)

Our zoo has this old wagon and it's one of my favorite places to take photos of my kiddos. This is the first zoo wagon photo of all four :-). 

(Brenson, Brooke, Brianna, and Brecklyn)

After the wagon photos, our guide decided that the next stop would be lunch. This was entertaining to me as we had eaten breakfast just a little over two hours before. Oh well . . . the dining area wasn't crowded at all and it was nice to warm up a bit. 

This boy . . . our four years with him have been such a JOY!

We packed lunches for everyone because Bren had requested a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his birthday lunch. That boy LOVES peanut butter sandwiches, so we were happy to oblige. After lunch, it was back to seeing the sights of the zoo!

(Brenson and Brianna outside of the Rainforest exhibit)

(Brenson and Brianna inside the Rainforest exhibit)

By this time, the babies were getting really tired. They had missed their morning naps completely, so they were content to ride snuggled up in the stroller. The little pointing finger is something we saw often. 

(Brianna and Momma)

One thing that we pretty much never do is play on the playground at the zoo. I figure that we can play on a playground anywhere, so let's see animals when we're at the zoo! The kids always want to play, though, so this day our guide decided that the playground was a must!

(Brooke and Daddy)

Another must was taking a ride on the zoo train. We love our zoo train! It actually circles the perimeter of the zoo, and we always see lots of animals on our ride. Family of six selfie = difficult task!

(Brianna, Brooke, and Momma on the train)

(Daddy, Brecklyn, and Bren on the train)

(Brianna, Momma, and Brooke on the train)

I always like to take some photos of the birthday child on their birthday, so after riding the train I decided to take some shots of Brenson. My handsome boy.

I was happy that he was cooperative, but it didn't last long! He wanted to see more animals! 

We rarely see the big cats, but this day the tigers were in perfect position to view. I was even fortunate enough to catch this one yawning. Look at those teeth! Eeeeep!

One thing we've never done before is climb this rock wall that's at the zoo. However, our guide wanted to do it, so we did it this time. And by "we", of course I don't mean me :-).

(Brenson, Brianna, and Daddy)

To finish off our trip, we rode the carousel. As I mentioned before, the zoo was pretty empty this day, so when a zoo employee offered to stand with the babies (in the stroller) so I could ride with Brenson, I took her up on the offer. Of course, they were right where I could see them the whole time. I was thankful for this time with my boy!

Brianna and Daddy rode together. 

Those two are a MESS, haha!

On our way out, we almost always stop by this tiger statue and take a picture. It always makes me think of my Granny Tiger and brings a smile to my heart.

It was about 2:00pm when we left the zoo, and all of the kiddos fell asleep in the car on the way home. It worked out nicely as we were able to swing by the store and pick up Brenson's cake and let them all get a little bit of a longer nap. 

Since it was Wednesday, we had Bible class that night. Bren's class was actually having a class party before services, so we had to be at the church building an hour earlier than normal. We spent just a little time at home, then loaded up to head to church. 

We took Bren's cake with us to share with his class. Bren had told me he wanted a paw patrol cake, so I also brought along a few of his paw patrol figurines to add to the cake. 

He was super excited about his colorful paw patrol cake!

Not so sure about those candles, though . . . 

That didn't stop him from blowing them out like a pro!

We had such a great day celebrating our four year old! Our prayer for Brenson is that he always knows how special he is to us and to God, and that this knowledge allows him to shine bright for the Kingdom.

Happy birthday, Brenson!

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

What an amazing wonderful and jam-packed day you guys had! I love that you let him guide your day! We do something similar, although it is harder as they are older and in school. But we let them pick their birthday breakfast, dinner, and dessert. They get to decide where to go to eat or what they would like me to fix. They also get to have a party with their friends in a seperate day, usually the weekend closest to their birthday. We don't get them as many gifts as you guys do, though. They normally get one thing, or a couple if it's something small or inexpensive. I usually let them pick out what they would like on Amazon, or someone's show me if its not something I am familiar with. We try and let their day be as special as possible, because the majority of the time in a big family, there is a lot of compromise and going with the majority. This way they know they at least get one day where they get their say on most of it. This works especially well if they pick a dinner or resturant someone else isn't fond of, everyone will be agreeable because it's a special day!