Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve 2007

I am really lousy about making resolutions and keeping them. I think it is mainly because I am a little ADD and can't maintain my focus. . . I get bored! But, I just love feeling like it is a fresh start. So here's a little list of my hopes and dreams for the new year.
  • I am going to work on planning for the future, but living in the moment.

  • I want to eat less sugar. It gives me headaches.

  • I am going to help at least 30 people write/scrap their important stories.

  • I will not complain about sorting socks. I will rejoice that we have socks.

  • I will practice being thrifty in order to survive the pay cut that we will take for the next several months.

  • I am going to be happy at least 95% of the time! (This will be easy!)

Hope that you have a Happy New Year, too!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

I have always loved Christmas. I love the decorations and the special baking. I love attending church and reading the story of the first Christmas. I love the stories of Santa Claus and serving others. I even enjoy shopping and wrapping presents!

I thought that the best Christmases would be those when my children were small and the excitement levels were high. They were certainly fun, but small children also get tired and cranky! I think that this was our best Christmas ever. The boys, all three, came barrelling into our room at about 7:30. Between the boys and the dogs, our bed was full!!!! We spent the morning slowly opening our gifts and having cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy. It was amazing to look outside and see the snow falling and piling up. Everyone knows that Christmas snow is the very best snow of all!

After shoveling, plowing and sliding at Mitchell Hollow, we enjoyed naps (mine with Lewis and Clark laying on top of me!) and we watched Mamma Mia. It was just a pleasant day.

Our Christmas Eve was just as wonderful! We had a feast of ham and all the fixings. The boys all voted on ham. At 7:30 we had our family Christmas Program. I read a story about Huckleberry Hound that was mine as a little girl. My sister-in-law, Susie, found it when they were moving and sent it to me. It was fun to share it with the boys. Colby played guitar and Reed sang Silent Night. Jim did a little schtick of carols with altered lyrics. He was absolutely hysterically funny! Parker and Ed read "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus." Then we read the Christmas story out of the New Testament and sang several carols. It was a lovely evening and all the kids fell asleep early since they had been up very late the night before.

All in all. . . I couldn't have asked for a better celebration with my family. It was a Merry Christmas, indeed.

Review: Marley and Me

Moxie the Ice Princess (November 1996-June 2007)

We went to this movie this afternoon thinking that it was supposed to be really funny. For sure, it had its funny moments, but it was far more serious than we had expected. In my opinion, it was appropriate for children, but pretty heavy. The movie is the story of Marley. . . from puppyhood. . . through his death. It was a little too much for me after losing two wonderful dogs last year, and I cried through the last 15 minutes. So, although this is a decent movie, I won't be buying it on DVD!

Myth Buster (October 2006-November 2007)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Reed!

I cannot believe that my baby is eleven years old! And here I am. . . only 29! We celebrated this morning with breakfast at McDonald's. It is also the last day of school before Christmas Break, so all the boys were happy to have a mini-celebration.

One of our weird traditions is that we don't really celebrate Reed's birthday. We will go out to dinner and have a cake tonight. . . he wants a cheesecake. . . and he will get one present (which hasn't arrived yet). Then, on June 19, when the days are hot and sunny, we will have a party with friends and he'll get a few more gifts from us. Since we have been doing the half-birthday "thing" for so long, it is no issue. In fact, last summer we had "Reedfest" when both Colby and Parker were gone for his half-birthday week!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Lights

Every Monday night our family has Family Home Evening. This is an opportunity for us to teach the Gospel to each other and to just enjoy being a family. Tonight we were able to watch a beautiful video put together by Travis Greenwood that featured the song "Mary, Did You Know?" with lots of images of Christ's birth and life. It was really well done and we enjoyed it. Afterwards we had the opportunity to go to Thanksgiving Point where we saw the reindeer, found some Christmas ornaments in the Emporium, and warmed up by the fire. Notice that Colby is not wearing a coat. It was 27 degrees fahrenheit! He thinks that he is half Eskimo.
(I know it is shocking to see three teenage/tween boys smiling in a photo. Do not be alarmed. All is well. I took several photos and photoshopped the smiling faces together!)
After getting some refreshments, we drove through the lighted area. It is amazing to see so many animated, lighted displays. What a perfect evening! The snow was falling gently and it was beautiful!
We then drove around for a while looking at all the lights. We were at the "dancing lights" house in Highland when they turned off for the night and we headed home. At that point we had lost Reed and Parker to dreamland! I ended the night playing with the exposure lengths on my camera- this was my favorite "light candy" photo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family of the Year

We have been named the Family of the Year! We are very honored, but a little embarrassed because there are SO many families that are more worthy! We received a beautiful clock, passes to Thanksgiving Point, passes to Liberty Land, and some other treats and treasures! This is the picture that was on the front page of the Lehi Free Press and following is the article.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Cathy Allred - North County Staff
Two beautiful water spaniels, three good looking boys, a mom and a dad, one home, a cabin and a Thanksgiving Tree -- a simple portrait of a loving and important family, the Collins family of Lehi. Lehi Community Council Family Week Committee members chose the Ed and Kaye Collins family to honor during Lehi Family Week as a family that has contributed a great deal to their city.
Kaye was responsible for reviving the Lehi Silver Band, a city band more than 100 years old not counting its several year hiatus of inactivity. She was also Lehi High School band teacher part time and now owns Scrapfast working out of her home.
"I can think of them individually like Kaye," said former Lehi mayor, Ken Greenwood, a friend of the family. "She almost rescued single-handedly the (high school) band from oblivion. I think she started out with six students and kicked two of them out on the first day because she had expectations."
"Actually, it was 15 and I invited seven to broaden their horizons elsewhere," said Kaye and laughed.
Laughter is a sound often heard in the Collins home.
"The hardest part about being a member of this family is Mom's bad side," said 12-year-old Parker. "Don't get D's or you are dead."
He said his favorite things to do with the family are their slow-motion karate fights, mosh pits and jumping 4 wheelers at their cabin getaway.
"The other night we were having (a karate fight) and Parker and I were just rounding the Thanksgiving Tree when someone answered the front door, and it was a kid in the ward," said Kaye. "His eyes went 'Whoa.'"
Their Thanksgiving Tree is a tradition begun as a compromise. In its second year, the tree has ornaments of family photos and other memorabilia hanging from its branches.
Fifteen-year-old Colby likes the travels the family takes frequently. They have a goal to visit all 50 states and have managed 38 so far.
"I don't think we are going to make it to all 50, but it's been fun," Kaye said.
Colby said he thought the most memorable trip was when the car "broke down" in Illinois.
Reed loves the fact (so he says) that his brother Parker is his friend.
"He has taught me how to do a back flip in less than 5 minutes, but most of the time he teaches me stuff I can't do and I hurt myself," the 10-year-old said smiling.
Fun is part of the package with the Collins family, as is service. Both parents were taught about service at a young age.
"We have a tradition of service and that didn't start with us that started with our parents," Ed said. "Kaye's parents were service everything, many community organizations, charitable groups, chambers of commerce, hospital and church groups, youth groups. You name it."
The rest of her siblings were much older than her so she was pretty much the only child at home.
"I was dragged everywhere," she said. "I went everywhere, banquets, meetings."
The Collins family serve at the LHS Booster Shack during football season, everyone is in the Scouting program either as a Scout or a leader, and they are very involved in their church organization. As a family, they additionally contribute to Toys for Tots each year.
And then there is the father of the family, Ed Collins, who is the bishop of their LDS ward. Previously, his responsibilities extended to caring for the city.
"The citizens of Lehi will never know," Greenwood said. "He saved the citizens of Lehi literally millions of dollars as a city administrator with his unparalleled expertise and knowledge of all aspects of city government."
It was his administration that brought in Cabela's, Micron, the first round-about, Smith's, Costco according to Greenwood. Ed has been on the Intermountain Power Agency board of directors and has been on the UAMPS board of directors many years.
"He has made a stamp on the city," Greenwood said. "I've watched him work. They are transplants of the city, but they have just kind of taken our Lehi as their town. Their passion is unbridled for their city and its well being."
He said the largest place where Ed Collins saved most of that money was in power and in bonding for different projects.
"Every child who goes and slides down a slippery slide, every (slide), Ed Collins picked them out," he said. "Those parks, it started with him."
The Collins family -- Ed, Kaye, Colby, Parker and Reed -- were to have been honored at the Lehi concert Tuesday evening at Willowcreek Middle School. They said they plan on being there.
"Probably on top of that they are wonderful parents," Greenwood added. "They have three very wonderful young men and they haven't killed them yet. They are going to wait until after Lehi Family Week."