Archive for December, 2012

Big Announcement

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

In August of 2008 we found out we were pregnant with Mikayla.  In October of 2012 we found out we were pregnant with our second baby.  Baby Kickert #2 is due on July 4, 2013.  Mikayla is excited to be a big sister and even got to join us for the first ultrasound!  We will post more details soon.

Tags: ,
Posted in Parenting |


Saturday, December 29th, 2012

On Christmas Eve as we were celebrating as a family and enjoying a relaxing day, we got a call with some devastating news.  News that a parent or friend never wants to hear.  We got word that Simo, one of the twins we had kept last year after first arriving in Swaziland, had been killed when his house fell in on him.  A young life tragically taken before his time.  Nosipho, his sister, was in the house as well but escaped with only a few minor scrapes.  It hit me really hard and I found myself holding back the tears as I thought about him for the next few days, especially during the Christmas season. 

twins day 1 007

In case you forgot Simo’s story, here is a quick recap.  Cabrini got word about two twins dying on their homestead from malnutrition about two years ago.  As an organization we immediately took action and had them taken to a local hospital for emergency nutritional care.  After they recovered sufficiently from severe malnutrition they came to live at our hostel.  After just a short time at the hostel it was time for the children to go home for a school holiday, but we were wary of sending these guys home so soon since they were still recovering. 

Messy Eaters 008

Messy Eaters 056

Enter the Kickert family who had just arrived in Swaziland, we invited them to live with us for the school break and never looked back.  We enjoyed a month or so of nursing them back to health, watching them grow, and spending lots of time playing.  During that time Mikayla, Ben and I fell in love with these two African babies.  They were still very weak and well behind their developmental stages.  They were almost two and not crawling, walking or talking.  Simo in particular was well behind the growth curve even further behind his sister.  As time went on Nosipho began crawling, walking and even doing a little talking.  Simo on the other hand, was struggling to pull himself up and figure out the whole crawling thing.  They were both developing into their own little personalities and smiling and laughing more each day. 

Tea parties, baths and Gogos 040

Tree pictures with twins 062

The first time I saw Simo walking I almost cried.  It was a beautiful sight, one that I didn’t think we would see for a long time, if ever.  He matured so much in the last year and really grew into a healthy young boy.  A young boy who if you saw him a year and a half ago you wouldn’t think he would live past the two year mark.  Instead he enjoyed a prosperous last year and for the last year enjoyed a full life as a healthy young boy. 

Twins last week 125

So on this day we mourn for Simo, but we also rejoice for the second chance at life he got over the last two years.  We will forever remember Simo and his goofy grin, the way he would constantly stick his tongue out when looking at you and his strong desire to succeed just like his sister!

Twins 2nd visit 008

Twins 2nd visit 018

Tags: ,
Posted in Life |

London Round Two

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

In keeping up with posting old pictures, here are some from our return trip to London.

Mattingly time, BG 078

Mattingly time, BG 084

Mattingly time, BG 091

Please ignore her crazy outfit.  We lost her jacket on the plane and forgot to pack socks.  It was a little chilly to say the lease.  Ben ended up pulling out a pair of his dress socks for her to put on her legs and feet!

Mattingly time, BG 094

Mattingly time, BG 104

The real London Bridge.  Not very excited compared to other bridges in London.

Mattingly time, BG 109

Mattingly time, BG 127

Mattingly time, BG 135

We found a really cool playground that we hung out at for a couple of hours.  Despite the rain and cold Mikayla had a blast!

Mattingly time, BG 142

She climbed to the top by herself, and then got scared and couldn’t figure her way down.  Ben head to climb up and get her!

Posted in Life |

Mattingly Time

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

In looking back through some pictures the other night I stumbled across the pictures I took while Mikayla and I were staying with our friends Lylah and Lara.  I realized that I never posted those anywhere and they were so fun I thought I would go ahead and do it now.  Better late than never.  We had a blast on our few days with these dear friends, and Mikayla asks often when she can go back and play with Lylah and reminisces on our time there!

Mattingly time, BG 003

We had a movie night one night and Lara had this genius idea to make snack necklaces.  The girls spent time lacing different foods (i.e. fruit loops, cheerios, pretzels, gummy rings) onto string and then wore them during the movie to snack on!

Mattingly time, BG 006

Concentrating hard!

Mattingly time, BG 011

Cheesy toddler grins.

Mattingly time, BG 021

Making pizza for our movie night.  Please note that Mikayla is not really helping out, but licking her spoon!

Mattingly time, BG 023

Enjoying the movie (The Lorax) and having a picnic dinner.

Mattingly time, BG 029

One of the local farms was having a fall celebration so we hit it up.  Mikayla loved riding the horse.

Mattingly time, BG 030

Especially with her best buddy!

Mattingly time, BG 034

Aren’t they sweet?

Mattingly time, BG 043

First face painting.  She was so serious about this.

Mattingly time, BG 045

Trying to get a good picture of two toddlers is almost impossible.

Mattingly time, BG 049

Pumpkin picture fun.

Mattingly time, BG 055

Love this face!

Mattingly time, BG 059

Mom it is so heavy!

Mattingly time, BG 065

One of my favorite snaps of these two crazy girls!

Tags: , ,
Posted in Life |