Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Card

Here is our Christmas Card - sorry for it being so tiny, but this was the only way I could get it on here for some reason! Thanks to Rachel for the gorgeous pictures of the girls! One of these days I'm going to change my background and header to reflect Christmas instead of Thanksgiving!



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ROLL TIDE and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record so I won't say it, except to state the obvious that I am playing catchup! Bare with me as I try and quickly post the "big" moments in our house lately:

~Our new puppy now weighs a whopping 50 lbs (as of last night) and you can almost watch her grow
~Our elf, Snowflake, is back in action (more on that at the end)
~Sam and I and my parents were fortunate enough to get to go to the SEC Championship Game and celebrate the big win for the weekend (thank you Aunt Kate and Big Will for keeping the girls for us especially being almost 8 months pregnant!)
~My niece shot her first deer (yes, we live in the South and girls hunt!)
~I've been slowly getting my Christmas decorations up - I normally have everything out and completed by Sunday night after Thanksgiving, but have been very slacking this year.
~Cut WAY back on our decorations AND Christmas presents this year!
~Let the girls totally decorate our tree (with Daddy's help of course for the high spots) and have resisted the urge to rearrange" it the way I want it - I mean, who cares that the 1 string of colored lights is only on one side of our totally white light tree? And who cares that there are more ornaments in one spot than any other? That's where they wanted it and that's where it will stay this year!
~Finished my Christmas shopping - ALL ONLINE! I totally took advantage of "Cyber Monday" and got some really awesome deals!!! Don't have the time or patience this year to go to the stores!
~Made a huge decision regarding how we celebrate Christmas this year - after losing my grandmother on Christmas Day last year and with the money situation being a little tight, we decided to forgo our annual Christmas Eve Chili and Cheer that my family has been hosting as long as I can remember! Instead, this year we will be attending church, making cookies for Santa, riding around our neighborhood to enjoy the luminaries that we never get to see because we are too busy getting ready for the party, eating Chili (can't quick that tradition), watching Chirstmas movies in our PJ's, going to bed early so that Santa can get back to the North Pole early, enjoying the excitement of our girls at this magical age, and hopefully creating some NEW traditions until the girls get older and don't believe anymore!
~Crossing my fingers that we MAY get to go to Pasadena - Sam got his tickets, now I just have to talk Sam into going instead of selling the tickets!
~Booked tickets to take the girls to see Cavalia - it's a horse show that's created by the people that create Cirque du Soleil - MM is sooooo excited. I will definitely post pics of that!

SNOWFLAKE:

So, as I said above, Snowflake is back!!! He accidentally showed up in one of our boxes of decorations (oops, forgot that's where I stored him last year) and MM found him! So far Snowflake has gotten himself tangled in the colored lights while trying to "help" us decorate since it was taking so long. Then, while we were at the SEC game, he got into the girls closets and had strewn every piece of Alabama clothing they had all over the kitchen table. MM said he must have been trying to find something to wear to watch the game! Then, he made a mess with pinecones in the den. Then, he and the Grinch had a "snowball fight" in our pantry with marshmallows. And today, he magically got into MM's school bag and is "watching" her at school! I will post pictures of some of these later, but for now, this is all you get!!!!


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Slacker!!!

Just call me Slacker!! I cannot believe that it is almost Thanksgiving and my last post was about Halloween! Yikes! I guess it just shows how busy we've been with the daily stuff! Nothing much has really been going on here, hence the lack of posts! But don't worry, although I've not posted anything new, I have been keeping up with everyone else! We did have some awesome pics taken by Rachel a couple of weekends ago and I still have not decided which ones I will use for Christmas Cards so I will not be showing them yet, but trust me, we got some realllllly good ones! I was so shocked at how well they did (with a little incentive). I had to bribe them with going to have a picnic at the big horse show in town (yes, Anna was just as excited) and that they could wear whatever they wanted to AFTER the pictures! A huge thanks to Rachel and Karlley for the gorgeous pictures! I'm having a hard time choosing!


This past weekend officially commenced the busy holiday time of year! I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR, but it wears me out! Sam's sister and her family came in town Friday and we had a baby shower at my house for this younger sister. My SIL and nephew flew in yesterday, but we will not see them until tomorrow probably, but in the meantime, we have already eaten several wonderful family meals at the lake and will continue every night until the weekend is over! The rest of my family will be coming in on Thursday and staying through the weekend.


Saturday is also my Dad's 60th Birthday and while he insisted on NO PARTY!!!, we are still on a mission to celebrate this wonderful day (more to come on that later!).


Today was the girls' annual Thanksgiving Program at school. They were so cute, but it made me really sad for 2 reasons: 1) this is the last year that MM would be in it and 2) it is the only year that both girls would be in it together! A's class were little turkeys and they sang 3 songs. I video'd it because Sam had a meeting out of town and I will post it later. She was hard to see since she's so little, but she performed exactly like they practiced it (only sticking her fingers up her nose just once!). MM's class were the Pilgrim's and they had several speaking parts and some songs and she got to do a special part. As some of you know, she is not very fond of performing in front of crowds, but she did great!


That's all for now, but I just can't resist posting at least one great picture!


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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween!!!

Obviously, I am a little behind in announcing the winning pumpkin! Congratulations to my sweet husband (who thinks I am little nutty) for carving the best Alabama Elephant pumpkin this year. I have to admit that the last 2 years I have not been creative in my own sense and have used a template for my pumpkins (the easy way out), but stay tuned because next year I will create a masterpiece of my own creation! I better start working on ideas now!

We had a fabulous Halloween this year. It was so nice being on a Saturday because it gave us all day to prepare and slowly get ready for the night. The weekend started out with a date night for Sam and I. We went out to dinner, then shopped a little bit, and then went to see Couples Retreat. It was so nice and like the old days (before kiddos) to just walk around the stores, taking our time, without any meltdowns or whining to tend to. We stayed out until midnigh, but both agreed that we had the most fun that night and should take advantage of more nights like those. The next morning, Sam went to help his sister and her husband move while me and the girls just messed around the house. The horse barn was having a costume contest and party at 2:00, so I took MM to that while Sam let Anna finish her nap. MM got to dress up one of the horses she has riden (Jimmy) and then "show" him for the contest. Unfortunately we did not win, but she had a great time seeing all the other horses dressed up.

Halloween continued that night with our annual neighborhood parade and pizza party. This parade is infamous in our town and people come from all over town to participate in it and see it. We have a huge neighborhood so people also come here to get as much candy as possible in 1 neighborhood! We loaded our family on the golf cart in our costumes and blankets (it was COLD) and adult beverages and headed to the parade! All the kids have so much fun running around the streets with their friends and trying to figure out what everyone is dressed as. We then grouped up with some of neighbors/friends and began the trick-or-treating together. We managed to cover about 3 full streets before heading home with baskets overflowing with candy and all of our appendages frozen solid! This was the first year that both girls really "got it"! The funny thing about them at first was that MM and her little friends would run up to the door and start yelling "Trick-or-Treat" over and over again until we realized that they had not knocked on the door nor rang the doorbell. We died laughing! Thank goodness that Emily remembered glow sticks (I am usually loaded down with them, but that item slipped my mind this year) because we eventually had to tie different colored sticks to their baskets so that we could keep up with them and know who was who - they were running from door to door faster than we could keep up with them. And poor Anna and Ellen only got to about half the houses because they were having a hard time keeping up the pace of the older kids!

We finally made it back to the house, ran inside, put on our warmest fleece PJ's, started a fire, turned off the porch lights, turned on the football games, and ate soup and enjoyed the rest of the evening on the couch cuddling with everyone! It couldn't have been a better weekend! We normally have people over for soup after trick-or-tricking, but we opted not to do so this year and it was kind of nice for a change! So here come some pics from the week. . .

Anna - Flower Gnome

I was dressed up as a 60's housewife - curler, glasses, and wine!

MM and her cute little friends!


Sweet Sisters ready for the parade


MM with Carly and Jimmy


Silly Face


Hannah Montana Cowgirl!


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Is In The Air

****I just realized that this post never got posted! Is this any indication as to how crazy our lives are this time of year? So I apologize that this is so late, but I must record it for my personal reasons!****

You know what Fall means to the Collins Family?



Fall in our house only means it's time for our Annual Pumpkin Carving contest. It's a sort of new tradition in our house that started last year - some of you should remember! We had such a fun time and the girls loved it so much, that we could not wait to carve our pumpkins this year!



So with no further avail, PLEASE VOTE for your favorite pumpkin in our poll on the sidebar! Just like last year, I will not tell who carved which pumpkin - to keep it fair, since Sam claims I stacked the votes last year! We will keep the poll going until Halloween night - so what are you waiting for? VOTE, VOTE VOTE!!!



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Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We finally made it to the Pumpkin Patch Saturday after all the rain, the cold, the church group canceling the trip. We were supposed to be going with my SIL's church group, but they decided to cancel the trip Friday morning. So, me being the determined Mommy that I am (knowing the disappointment my girls would experience after talking about it ALL week), I called the farm myself and asked if they would be open or not since it was so wet and muddy. You know, a little persisitence goes a long way, because the owner of the farm said that they would indeed be open to the public. Yipeee! It was hopefully going to be a great day for the Pumpkin Patch, just a little wet and muddy! A little mud never stopped us Collins's! So, we continued on with our plans to pick the girls up from school and drive to Fayette to spend the night with Sam's brother and family. Sam and Matt had planned a long day of putting out 1300 lbs of fertilizer and rye grass (and who knows what else) to get ready for deer season that is rapidly approaching (BOO!). And we were planning on getting up and out the door to the Pumpkin Patch since it was about an hour away from Fayette (in Tremont, MS). So, we layered clothes, loaded blankets and coats, packed a picnic lunch and headed off to MS. We had a ball and they had so much to do at the Pumpkin Patch - we could have stayed all day, but Heather and I had had enough after about 3 hours. Not to mention it was COLD!!!! So after giving up after 10 minutes in the corn maze (a little hard with young kids and especially since Anna would not walk), a hayride, picking our pumpkins, playing on the HUGE slide, playing in the corn box (like a sand box, only full of corn), climbing on the hay bales, and eating lunch, we were DONE!!! It was so much fun and I'm sure we will go back next year! I'll be glad to give anyone the name and address if you're interested - it was well worth the drive! With no further ado. . .

That is MM and my niece at the top - yikes!

All the girls (minus Anna, of course) climbing hay bales

MM making "corn angels" in the corn box


My Sweet Girls!
Meredith's "Prized" Pumpkin


MM's "Medium" Pumpkin

This one totally cracks me up!
Anna's Outlook on the whole day - she hates cold, hates getting dirty, hates being outdoors which equals NOT A FUN DAY FOR ANNA!
MM hunting for the perfect pumpkin
The beginning of the Corn Maze
Group Shot - See Ya Next Year!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Birthdays and Makeovers

Anna's room BEFORE

Anna's Room AFTER
I found a precious hot pink chandelier thing that will be over the chair in the corner.MM's Room AFTER

Last week was a very busy and fun week for us. It all started on Sunday when we got to attend and celebrate our neice's baptism at their church in Fayette. I can't believe how old she is and so grown up. I remember her 1st birthday which was not long after Sam and I started dating. She is so good with our girls and it is so nice to be able to let her "watch" them both (mostly Anna) when we are all together. She always lets me know that she is going to babysit for us! It won't be long before she really can babysit, FOR REAL! That night, Anna started running a fever. She had had a runny nose and all week so I was not really surprised. Long story short, after being up all night trying to get her fever to break and listening to her cough (or bark - yep, croup!) and MM waking up with fever on Tuesday with fever, I took them to be tested for the flu. Thank goodness it was negative. Both girls ran fever off and on all week. I finally let them go back to school Friday - mainly so that I could get ready for MM's birthday party.

On Thursday, we scheduled to have Anna's new "big girl" furniture delivered. We have been prepping her for this day for a while because she really liked her baby bed and REALLY still loves to be rocked at night before being put down (she calls it Rock-Rock). We really built it up that she was getting her new princess bed and she was the first to tell anyone and everyone about her new "pwincess" bed that Daddy was building (or so she thought). I had spent the whole week before painting her room to get it ready for the furniture and it turned out perfect! I included a picture of MM's room too because I couldn't remember if I ever posted the completed room.
Saturday was the MM's big Horsey Gymnastics party. Yes, I was not sure how to incorporate horses into a gymnastics party, but we had the decorations, cake, etc. with horses. It was just what she dreamed of (that's what she said). We had a huge turnout for the party. We invited both 4 year old classes at her school and then a few extra friends that don't go to school with her. A total of 29 kids showed up and ran around having a ball at the gym.

Saturday night (after opening presents, napping, and watching the Bama game, we had planned a surprise birthday party for Sam's dad's 60th birthday. We had it at the lake house and it ended up not really being much of a surprise, especially after PawPaw called him to ask what time they were supposed to be there for the party -OOPPS! All of Sam's siblings and children and spouses were all able to come as well as several friends and extended family. He is not much of "party" kind of person, but he told us later that night that this was the best birthday ever!

This week has been a little more low key, but we may go to a Pumpkin Patch in MS this weekend so I will be sure to post pictures if we make it.


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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Mary Mac

I cannot believe that our first born is 5!!! Wow how things have changed in 5 years. It feels like it was yesterday and at the same time a million years ago.

To Mary Mac:

You are our little ray a sunshine and our Little Sweet Pea. You have grown up so quickly in the last year.

This day 5 years ago is a bit of a blur to me because Mommy had been so sick for the past couple of weeks. After being sick for 2 weeks, you decided that you may want to make your Grand Entrance a little early. I guess you were tired of fighting in there. After trying to stop you from coming for several days, the doctors finally figured out what was wrong with Mommy and decided that the best thing for both you and Mommy was for you to be born, even though you were 6 weeks early. So late the night before your birthday, they gave Mommy medicine that would help my body along in your delivery. We, and I mean the whole family (Gran, Pop, Nanny, Pop, Daddy, Uncle Tyler, etc.), were all VERY scared. We did not know what was going to happen to you or Mommy. After several hours of trying to deliver you, the doctor decided that we needed to get you out NOW! After lots of tears and hugs and prayers with our family, they rushed me to the operating room with Uncle Tyler in tow (thank goodness for Mommy. . .Tyler will never know how much that meant to Mommy and the comfort he brought me) and you were born 27 minutes later at 1:37 am at a tiny 4 lbs 4 oz!!!

I was not able to see you for the first time until the next afternoon and it was a feeling you will only know when you become a Mommy. It was Wonderful! Daddy was so sweet and was so in love with you as soon as he met you! I remember him just staring into your sweet little eyes and smiling with pride from ear to ear. You had to stay in the NICU for 8 days. You were such a little fighter and determined to prove everyone wrong. They just wanted you to gain a little weight before you went home - that's a battle we still fight daily with you. You are such a gift to Mommy and Daddy and have made life such a joy!

Today, you are so sweet and kind, but with a little spunky side that keeps us on our toes at all times. You are already so independent and have always been able to entertain yourself anywhere and anytime (unlike your baby sister). You may be tiny (you only weigh 33 lbs), but you are the strongest little thing I've ever seen. You are easy-going most of the time, but get really irritated if someone disturbs your territory. I also call you my little tornado. You can turn your playroom upside down in minutes and then complain that it takes too long to clean up. It has been so much fun playing with you and learning with you. You are starting to enjoy things that "big girls" enjoy and it is so much fun! I cannot wait to see who you will become!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!!!


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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Texting and Driving

I confess!!!! I am a habitual (no, not just casual) texter while driving addict!!! Ah, I feel so much better admitting this! Seriously, though, I have realized that this really is a problem. I know that I use this blog to keep a "journal" of our girls' lives, but I am using it today as a sort of accountability, so please feel free to ask me anytime you see me or comment anytime on the blog to ask how I am doing in this area of my life.

So here it is . . . AS OF TODAY, I AM GOING COLD-TURKEY AND WILL NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING ANYMORE!!!

What made me come to this admission? Well, let's just say that after all the studies and reports and news stories of people having tragic accidents while texting, I have decided that it is definitely in the best interest of my children (and others on the road) to stop this ridiculousness immediately! My family's lives are WAY more important than texting with my friends and family. For those of you know me personally know that I am not a phone talker, so texting is a perfect means of communication for me. This is will be a huge challenge for me and I've already tried to "test" it the last couple of days. I know I can do it! So, if you are trying to get in touch with me via text, just know that from here on out, you may not get an immediate reply if I am driving! Ok, if it's an emergency (such as trying to get a tennis match together for the next morning - just kidding!) and I feel that it requires an immediate reply, I will be pulling over FIRST! So, if you see me swerving off the roads here in town every couple of miles, now you know why! I know I'm being humorous, but I am seriously committed to this change in my life!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Weather

Just a quick post to brag about how wonderful it feels here today. Hopefully Fall has finally arrived and the long, hot, humid dog days of summer are behind us. As a matter of fact, I think I may take the girls to the barn to ride a little this afternoon since it is so nice.

Also, I almost forgot to post about my tennis team's trip to the state tournament last weekend in Gulf Shores. We took 8 people down there, but Jennifer and I had to play every match for our level because we were the only ones down there. Jennifer have definitely had better days on the court than this past weekend, but I will say that I think we ended up 3rd in our flight despite the fact that we (Jen and I) only won 1 match out of 5. We should have (and could have) won more, but just couldn't get it together. Thanks to our team for the other wins! Regardless of the results, we all a FABULOUS time and it was a great girls weekend with lot of laughs and memories!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Painful Learning Experiences

I apologize for the lengthy post, but this one is priceless!

I'm sure we are not the only parents that battle the cleanup issue with young children! Let me just say that this little lesson MM learned this past week was almost as difficult on Mom as it was on her. I call her my tornado because she can come home to a perfectly clean room and within minutes she has pulled everything out and scattered it all over the floor. For those of you who have never been to our house, we have a great playroom, I mean a fabulous playroom that is huge and full of anything and everything that any child could possibly want. To say we have been over-indulgent when it comes to toys is a huge understatement. It is actually embarrassing to me! But, with grandparents who buy them whatever they want (and if they buy one child something, they have to buy the other child something as well), a daddy who travels a good bit (and always promises to bring a surprise - I keep telling him that they would be happy with a pack of gum or candy, no need for extravagant gifts), and well, yes I admit it, a mom who loves to buy stuff (anything!). Our playroom is strategically located off to the side of our kitchen so that I can keep an eye on them and continue my job as a referee without being too far away. With that location, it is really hard for me to NOT complain about the mess because I do have to look at it EVERYDAY.ALL DAY! I always said that I could just close the door and ignore it, BUT WHO REALLY DOES THAT ANYWAY?

So, with all of that said, I have been threatening my oldest tornado MM that if she didn't start keeping the play room clean that I was going to throw anything and everything away if it was not in its place, at a moments notice! Now picture this, I've made a deal with MM that she could wait and clean up after dinner: 1) so that Anna can help because she was napping and 2) she thought it would take FOREVER! (her words). Dinner comes and goes and I remind them both that it is time to clean the playroom. You would have thought that I had just sentenced them to solitary confinement for life! I go and get a huge yard size trash bag and go in the playroom instructing them to put anything that is on the floor in the bag. Ok, so I may have lost my cool a tiny bit, but I was determined to make a point here. MM breaks down into a total meltdown complete with real tears, sobbing, etc. She tells me (between sobs) that I was throwing away her favorite Hanna Montana doll and Miley Cyrus doll and Bluejeans the horse. . .oh my! After making a clean sweep of the toys on the floor, I marched that trash bag right outside to the . . . third garage! It broke my heart watching her have to throw away her truly fave toys - I actually got a little teary-eyed watching her so distraught. I know, we/she shouldn't be that attached to "stuff" and I try not to make a big deal.

Anna, on the other hand, thought it was just great fun to throw all of the toys away. She actually got waaayy too much joy out of it. I'm not sure why: 1)she is a tiny bit of a clean freak and likes to have things neat and tidy 2)none of the toys being thrown away were hers or 3)she just enjoyed watching the torture that her big sister was experiencing. I'll let you decide that one, but I'm leaning more towards the 3rd option.

You ask, how long did I let this charade go on before giving all the toys back? Oh, a whole day. I know that doesn't sound like a long time, but if you could have seen my normally happy-go-lucky child moping around, you would have done the same. But, I did turn it into a learning experience and one that we can always refer back to as a threat for future issues with a clean playroom. I betcha she never forgets this one! It was quite traumatizing for her, but if you could have seen the smiles when she walked in from school the next day and all of her thrown-away toys were on the kitchen table! And, you better believe she was more than happy to take all of her toys and carefully put them in their place in the playroom - one at a time! She was so cute later that night. She looked at me out of the blue with her little grin and said, "mom, you were just pretending when you threw my toys away, weren't you?"I sweetly replied, "Yes ma'm, but next time I really will let the garbage man take them away!"

Happy Parenting!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Roll Tide Roll!

This past weekend we took both girls to the AL game. Granted, it was a night game and I was not sure how long we would make it, but we forged on regardless, knowing that if we had to leave early, this would be an ok game to leave early from. So we dressed in our loyal colors and the excitement was gradually building as the day went on. Sam was busy that morning working in the deer fields (yes, it's that time again!) so we were a little late getting to campus and did not have time to let the girls play on the Quad or take them to the A Club room. We did, however, get a chance to see the new "look" of the Alpha Chi house and it looks FAB! We loaded up the double stroller and left it at the sorority house while we walked into the stadium. Both of our girls have a "thing" about loud noises (must be genetic) so I packed our headphones in my bag, just in case it got loud - thank goodness I was thinking ahead because they were used the whole game and they fit right in with all the crazies who are at the game but still feel it necessary to listen to the radio broadcast! We finally got to our seats, Dip N Dots in hand, and of course MM had to go to the potty - never fails! So back down the stairs we go and the video below is what we found when we got back to our seats: Anna loving every minute of the game, the people, the music, etc. Hope you enjoy! Sorry for the poor quality - this was taken with Sam's phone.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sad To See Summer Come And Go

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. It should be a time to relax, unwind, sit on the porch watching the girls play, grilling out, going to the lake, going to the beach, etc. etc. etc. It seems though that lately, summer is just as busy as the rest of the year and it FLIES by in the blink of an eye. So here we are, getting back to the daily grind and our usual fall activities. . .school, gymnastics, and FOOTBALL of course! I was certainly excited to see Tide roll over Va Tech this past weekend and really looking forward to our first home game this weekend.


As for last week, thanks for all the prayers! We made it smooth sailing with no sickness and with everyone being out of town and having to come up with hundreds of ideas to keep a 2 year old and 4 year old entertained for 5 days while it rained outside! I have to admit that I got really creative and we all had a blast! Saturday, my SIL and I took all 4 of our girls to McWane Center in Bham. They all had so much fun and I'm not sure if we even got to do everything that was available. Considering that both my SIL and I are a tad bit germaphobes, we carried around hand sanitizer in our hands the whole time and just laughed at how ridiculous we were. I really don't care what people thougt about us, but we did make out of there without Swine Flu! Another fun part of the weekend was getting to watch the new Hannah Montana Movie about 5 times! I had purposely saved watching this until Sam was gone. So Friday night, I bought mini pizza crust and all the "makings" of pizza (or at least what I knew the girls would eat). They both got to make their own pizza and then we watching the movie on a pallet (for those of you not from the South, this is just several layers of blankets on the floor) and watched the movie together and ate our pizzas! I have to admit that I even really enjoyed the movie too! Yes, it's one of those things I said I would never do or watch, but we had such a fun "Girls Night" and it was all worth it!


Monday was the last day that the Country Club pool was open for the season and the girls were very sad, but we certainly took advantage of the last day and swam until we just couldn't swim anymore (and the water was freezing from the rain all weekend!). All the kids were having a ball having a water fight and running around screaming and I guess the lifeguards (and parents for that matter) just let all the rules go out the window since it was the last day!


A funny Anna story (well, maybe it shoudn't be funny, but I just couldn't help it): with Sam out of town during the game Saturday, the girls "tried" to watch it with me, but it was kind of late and it had been a long day already. So I was watching the game and apparently I had made several comments like "Ugh!" and "Geez!" when the team was struggling a bit. Not really thinking about it, I took Anna upstairs to rock her and put her down for bed and turned on the game in her room while I rocked her. Well, something happened in the game and I just kind of moaned out of frustration and Anna sits straight up and yells, "Jesus!" I laughed so hard (I know I should not have laughed because now she thinks its funny to do) I was crying. I guess I really need to watch what I say, even though I was only saying Geez.


Oh, and sorry for the poor quality of the picture, Sam took my camera on his trip and I was camera-less all last week so this was with my iPhone. This was on Friday - they have Fan Day every Friday at school during football season. BTW, MM was not excited (contrary to her smiling face), that she was having to wear a dress! Also, please ignore the lovely tennis shoes MM has on with her dress. We no longer have a kids shoe store in town and she has outgrown her Keds. Anna, on the other hand, only loves dresses!


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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What are we up to?

So, you ask, what are the Collins Clan up to these days? Well, let's just say that I am enjoying this little bit of a break between shows. I am taking full advantage of not being tied to my desk and able to go get the girls early from school and spend some quality time with them. We have played at the park, played with the puppy, cooked yummy goodies, taken our first (first for Anna) gymnastics class, etc. etc.

On the subject of gymnastics: I had signed both girls up for the preschool class at the same time to save me only trip. From past experience in this class with MM, I thought that they would break the class up into age groups so that they wouldn't actually "be" in the same class, but when we got there, they had put them both in the same group. Poor MM was so much older and bigger than the other little girls (who were all Anna's age); I kind of felt bad for her, but she seemed to enjoy the class none the less. Well, being the tiny bit competitive mom and watching the other classes going on at the same time, I decided to go and have a talk with ladies up front about moving her. Well, of course, as I suspected, her teacher told us after the class that she DEFINITELY needed to move up to Level 1 because she could already do most of the things that the girls in Level 1 are learning! Yea! MM was so excited and so was this Proud Momma!

Anna had the time of her life in gymnastics. Everytime she would do something, she would look to the see if we were watching and just grin from ear to ear! I think the part she loved most about gymnastics was her sparkly leotard! She was so proud of it that when I was picking her up from school, she would not let me put anything over it so that she could "show" everyone! She is such the girly-girl! I'm not so sure about her athletic ability, but she likes to "look" the part for sure!

Wish me luck and prayers for patience this week. As you all know, I am very fortunate to have so much family close by to help me anytime I am in a pinch. BUT, this week may be the test for me. Sam left this morning to go to Texas on his annual hunting trip with his dad, brother, and uncles. My parents are leaving today to go see Tyler, Molli, and Blake for the weekend. And Sam's mom is supposed to be going to Baton Rouge to help Sam's sister with the triplets while my BIL moves his office. So, yes, that leaves me and the girls for 5 days - they have already planned the whole week and weekend. And you better believe that a couple of those items on that list is to watch the Hannah Montana movie, have a pizza party, and sleep in Mommy's bed! I'm just praying that none of us get sick this week. I know, I'm spoiled to have so much help and to be worried about our week alone! I'm really looking forward to having this "girl" time with my girls!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Trip

This past week, Sam and I had to go to Boston on a business trip for a week and Sam's parents, once again, were so generous to keep them both the whole week. They had a fabulous time and got to do all of the things that Mommy and Daddy don't normally let them do. Needless to say, they have had a hard time this week getting back to Our rules, but we're getting there.

When we got home Sunday afternoon, the girls were so excited to see us, and the feelings were mutual! We missed them so much! Anyway, that night while at the dinner table, we were telling them both how much they had grown while we were gone. Anna really did mature a lot while we were gone. She is trying to be so big. Maybe I will try again on the potty training? oh, maybe not! Then I looked at MM and told her "I think you have grown, like, a whole foot!" Yes, I realize that the "like" is very confusing to an almost 5 year old! Well, she starts laughing and tells me, "Mom, I don't look like a foot!" How funny! We laughed forever about that one.

Last night, while playing with the puppy in the backyard, MM had been playing with the puppy's tennis ball. She was throwing it up as high as she could and then letting it hit whereever it landed. Well, you guessed it, one of those times she threw it in the air and WHAM! right on the forehead! Again, we laughed forever on that one. I mean, what are the chances of a 5 year old throwing a ball high in the air and (while watching it the whole way down) it smacking you right in the head!

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Our Family Prayers and Yoga

I have a few funny stories that I have forgotten to tell on the blog this summer and I'm afraid I'm going to forget them, so here goes. . .

Back earlier in the summer, Mary Mac spent the night at the lake house with Sam's brother and his wife and girls. That night, our neices were saying their prayers and they told MM it was her turn. She proceeds to tell them and my SIL that her parents would not LET her say her prayers! What?!!! Well, to preface this "story" of hers, the night before we had forgotten to say her prayers, so in an effort to postpone bedtime, she hollers down the stairs (an hour later, no less) that we forgot her prayers. Sam hollers back at her that she can just say them herself and does not need us to do it. Now, back to the lake house. . .Isabella (our oldest neice) is so upset and worried that we won't "LET" MM her prayers. Of course, my SIL thinks it is hilarious and cannot wait to tell us the story. Fast forward to the next night. . .I am determined to make it an obvious point of saying our prayers and MM helping me so that she will "know how to" next time if we are not there. So I begin, "Now I lay me down to sleep. . . " I get to the part where you say "If I should die before I wake" and MM sits straight up in her bed, eyes wide open, with a death-grip (no pun intended) on my arm - "Mom, I don't want to DIE!" I almost fell off the bed laughing so hard. I realize that was probably not the best reaction, but after telling her it was just part of the prayer and that I would improvise (with the part about the angels instead), she was ok with it and is now learning the prayer all by herself! Yea - mission accomplished!

YOGA, you ask? What does this have to do with prayers? Well, we are in the process of potty training Anna and she is just NOT HAVING IT! She told us she really just wants to stay a baby and not tee-tee on the potty. Who can blame her?! Anyway, one night I was just determined to get her to go on the potty ONLY because she had been dry since her nap and all afternoon. Perfect chance to have a little "success" since I know she was about to pop! So I sit her on the potty while MM is taking a bath. We sit there and sit there and sit there for 45 minutes!I have tried everything I can think of and I could see it on her face when she was about to start "going" and then she would tense up and start whining. It was like the sensation was just freaking her out. Then the Aha moment - what can I do to help her relax? YOGA!!! Picture this, me on the floor, Anna on the potty, breathing deep breaths with our arms going up and down like a bird. In my attempts to help her relax, I then start saying (while breathing our), "Let the tee-tee out!" She got a total kick out this AND it WORKED! Well, I should say it only worked that one night - NO success since then. But, it has provided her teachers and our friends countless laughs and giggles! Oh my, Anna! What will we do with you girl?



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Friday, August 07, 2009

Baby Collins #3. . .

I thought that would be a great (and funny) lead in to this post today. Admit it, how many of you gasped and thought, "Oh my goodness! After her last post about taking a break from diapers and babies?!" Ha Ha - joke's on you! Scroll down for pictures of our newest addition . . . Sophie. We just picked her up yesterday afternoon and I don't think her big puppy paws have touched the floor for more than 30 seconds since we have been home. Mary Mac is in awe of her and will not let her out of her sight. Anna, you ask? Well, let's just say it is going to take some getting used to for her. It is evident that she is not in favor of being a middle child at this point. She has always been timid of dogs and Sam has been on me about getting a pet/puppy for the girls so that Anna would hoefully get over this fear of four legged friends! We shall see! Sophie is the sweetest puppy and so cute. If you couldn't tell, she is a Blue Weimeraner. My family had one when I was in high school and my parents had to give her up several years ago due to her age and declining health, so this new puppy is bitter sweet for my parents, but (I think) they have already fallen in love with her. I know we certainly have fallen in love!




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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

StingRay City



As Cayman myths go, 7 years of good luck for kissing a stingray on the nose! Let's hope it works!



Nurse Shark (we did not actually see this one, it was a picture that our guide had taken earlier in the same location that we were snorkeling.
Green Morey Eel
Iguana
As promised, picture from StingRay City in Grand Cayman. Yes, iguanas run around the island as commonly as we see dogs and cats and birds. It was really cool and the pictures turned out great too. When we first got in the water with the stingrays, you could hear people (mainly women) screaming like little girls. We quickly realized why they were screaming. Although these animals are very large, they can sneak up on you so easily. You will be standing there and then all of a sudden you feel this soft slimy thing brush against your legs from behind you out of nowhere. It is crazy feeling, but so awesome! In an attempt to cool our Croc Hunter fears, our guide held on up and put the stinger barb in his mouth to prove that they were not dangerous and that the only reason Steve Irwin was killed by one was that he was holding it from behind (where the barb is) and the camerman was in front of it. The stingray was trying to get away from both of them and swatted its tale and the barb caught the Croc Hunter right in the heart and he pulled it out which left a nice whole in his heart.
Now that everyone is jealous of our adventures. . . go ahead and book a trip. . .well worth it!

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