Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Originally uploaded by Leigh Collins
Yes, you're eyes are not deceiving you! We are pleasantly surprised to announce that we will be adding to our sweet little family! I say surprised because we had decided that we were done and happy with our 2 sweet girls, but God had a different plan for us. As a matter of fact, we had already had a consultation and appointment set for Sam to have a vasectomy, BUT, the weekend before he was to have his procedure, we received the shocking news that we were expecting! After the shock wore off (finally), we are really excited and the girls are beyond excited! They have already come up with many many names - some, not so great! The good news we found out today was that it is only 1! Yea - although Anna will be so sad - she really wanted twins!

We are only almost 9 weeks along, so we are continually praying for a healthy pregnancy (and first trimester)! And, just so you know, this pregnancy has already wreaked havoc on my body - could this mean it's a boy, OR, does it just mean that my body is OLD! Our family has mixed feelings on this one! As Sam has said, there are advantages to both - if it's a girl, we already have anything she could want or need, BUT, if it's a boy, well simply, it's a boy! So, stay tuned...

Friday, September 17, 2010

School Days

No pictures with this post, but a couple of funny stories of the girls and their first days of school:

Anna: Her class in preschool is working on learning to write the letters of the alphabet. Each week those focus on that one letter and everything they do that week involves that letter somehow. So a couple of weeks ago, she was just singing and playing around the house and I heard her saying this one thing over and over and I couldn't figure it out. So I asked her, "Anna, what are saying?" And her reply was, " Mommy, we are learning the letter B this week. And my teachers told us that to learn to write it, all you do is straight line down, belly on the top, belly on the bottom!" I mean, how cute and creative is that! I am so blessed that we have such a wonderful preschool that prepares our kids both spiritually AND educationally!

Mary Mac: Well, her favorite part of school is lunch and PE! Go figure - I think she gets that honestly from Sam and I both! Fortunately, we just had our parent-teacher conference and were told that she was waaaay beyond the majority of the class in all areas (which we already suspected)! So proud! Again, thanks to such a wonderful preschool experience! Anyway, the other day they were supposed to be serving Beefaroni (yuck in my book) for lunch. Our rule when we started school was that she had to "try" everything in the lunchroom and if she found something she really did not like then I would pack her lunch - so far I have only packed 2 lunches! Woohoo! She had been looking forward to the Beefaroni day all weekend, so when she got home, I asked her how the lunch was. Her reply: "Mom, we DID NOT have Beefaroni today - it was FISH!" My reply: "Well, how was the fish?" MM: "What is the word that ryhmes with "ducky"? Me: (thinking she was searching for the right word) "Um, I don't know, yucky?" She pointed her finger at me and said "You got it!" I almost pee'd in my pants laughing so hard. She is such a funny girl and the older she gets, the funnier she gets!


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Random Summer Fun Pictures

Here are a few pictures from our fun summer we had! Hope you enjoy!

Lake Nights!

First Lessons in hooking a cricket to fish with!

Waiting patiently!

Yea - our first fish caught at the lake! (learning how to hold it)

OOPPSSS! Yea that little dark spot at the bottom is a the fish! We let it go!

Bowling With Gran!

Playing in the rain at the lake house!

There is no better saying, according to our families! Just FYI... may parents lake house and Sam's parents lake house is only about 2 minutes from each other - it has made for a really FUN summer for all of us!

Anna on the Dancing Porch (that's what she calls one of the porches at the lake house).

All of the summer fun has caught up with Anna - we found her like this in the playroom at the lake!

Sophie - our lake dog!

One of the few times we actually got all cleaned up for church this summer - we took a sabbatical with Dr. Durham!

Redneck (backyard) version of a waterslide! I came home from the grocery store to find this little amusement park in our backyard!



Anna's New Class

Ok, so I realize that Anna's first day of preschool occurred a week before Mary Mac's, but here are Anna's pictures from her first day as a Friendly Frog! Her favorite thing about being a Friendly Frog is being able to play on the "big kids" playground instead of the baby one.





New Adventures In The Collins Clan

Yes, again, I am waaayyyyy behind in posting this, but Mary Mac started kindergarten back in August and it was a huge month for our house! On top of starting "real" school, Mary Mac also has her first loose tooth! Wow, I really can't believe that I have a child in the same school that I went to and with our first loose tooth! It seems like seconds ago that I Sam and I were married and that we were delightfully (after the shock wore off) surprised by that positive pregnancy test after only 7 months of married life!

Not only has it been a huge adjustment for Mary Mac (which, by the way, she LOVES kindergarten), but it's been a HUGE adjustment for me and Anna too! Anna is having to adjust to being at preschool without her Big Sis there to comfort her when she's having a rough morning. And I am having to adjust to EARLY MORNINGS, early pick-up times, and homework (a little). Man, I didn't realize that 2:30 pm came so fast until this year! I have had to set my phone to alarm at 2:20 just so I don't forget to go get her! She LOVES her teachers, PE, Lunch, and Extended Day (although she doesn't get to go as much as she'd like)!

Since the first day of school, we've already experienced PTA night and a hugely successful school-wide fundraiser for Promethean Smart Boards for every classroom in the school. This is HUGE because at the start of school (4 weeks prior), only 7 boards existed in the school and the parents would have to raise the money for the remaining boards because we are not federally funded school (those of which already have one in every room - go figure - we basically have paid with taxes and donations for our school PLUS the other schools!). In 4 short weeks, the amazing parents, donors, and grand-parents were able to raise $63,000 for every class to have a board! I am SOOOO proud to be a part of this amazing public school (and alma mater) Verner Elementary! I have never seen a public school rally around and become almost like our very own private school!








Dinner With Old Friends

Several weeks ago (sorry Mary and Jay it's taken so long to post this), we had some friends in town and they came over for dinner with their 3 sweet kids who are close to the age of our 2 girls. We had many laughs at old times and laughs at what our lives have become - none of us ever imagined we would be where we are now when we were all single and college-aged, but I think we've all done pretty well! Our oldest girls were born about 5 days apart and we all got a big kick out of taking their pictures on this night and that hopefully this would be a great picture to hang on the wall of their dorm room at Alabama as freshmen! Ha - you think we're a little ahead of ourselves? They all had a great time playing together and making homemade mini-pizza's for themselves. You should have seen the way they decorated them all! It was a great night and hopefully something we can do again real soon!




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wow Time Flies!

Well here I am again apologizing for no posts in over a month! We have had so much going on and I really should not have any excuses except that WE WERE BUSY!!!! Since my last post (yes, over a month ago), we decided to take a last minute family vacation to the beach. And when I say last minute, literally, last minute! On Sunday night as we were getting in bed, Sam looks at me (he's just gotten home from a trade show) and says, "So do we have any plans this weekend?" "Well, of course not! Why?" was my reply. Sam:"Why don't we go down to the beach?"Me:"Ok, so like when do you wanna go?" Sam:"Well, I can be ready Wednesday." Me: (internally)YIKES! "Ok, well let me see what all I get done over the next day or so at work!"

So, being the beach-lover that I am and the endless begging each and every night from the girls, I was a mad-woman at work getting tons of work accomplished in a few short hours and getting all of our clothes washed and packed. Before you knew it, we loaded the car on Wednesday afternoon (after Sam came home to cut the grass first) and were on our way! This was the first trip that we made with both girls where we left in the afternoon and drove into the night, arriving about 10:00 pm. Keep in mind that I have a HUGE show that was coming up in August (another reason I've been really busy).

Very rarely do we get away on vacation where NONE of our family is with us. Ok, I realize that we are VERY spoiled in that way, but on the other hand (and we LOVE our families - don't get me wrong) it was sooooo nice to have just the 4 of us! Needless to say, our last minute family vacation was the BEST EVER!!!! We spent 5 days at my parent's condo (ah...the luxury of family owning a place down there). While we packed, the girls energy was out the roof, so I sent them into the playroom to illustrate (i.e. draw, which is MM's favorite activity) all of the things that they wanted to do at the beach! It was so cute and we made sure to do all of the illustrated activities!

***Ok, quick funny I type Anna is totally torturing MM in the playroom. I can hardly stop laughing! Anna keeps blowing on this deer whistle thingy and MM screams every time she blows it. Of course, Anna continues to blow it just to make her scream! Is that cruel that I think that's kinda funny? (Molli, I can read your mind and I know that you are on MM's side on this)***

Ok, so back to the original post! At the beach, we had picnics on the beach, swam (BTW, no oil), built sand castles, hunted for shells, hunted for crabs, and went out to dinner (yes, I claimed I was on vacation from cooking!). So, here are some of my fave pics:



There were many more pics that I cherish from that much-needed vacation so if you are interested, click here!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Girl Day

Two Words...Mission Accomplished! I made another last minute decision this morning (after my tennis was cancelled) that I would go ahead and make today Anna's school supply shopping day. Like I said yesterday, I had already scoped everything out, so her trips were a much quicker (and fewer). And, even better, she opted for Wal-Mart instead of Target - you think that says anything as to what she will be like as an adult - I mean I've already designated her as the best money saver between the two girls! And, since I had already checked out the school supply section at Target, I agreed that we would do her shopping at Wal-Mart, especially considering most of her "supplies" were things like paper towels, plates, utensils, tissues, etc. and you can definitely get those much cheaper at Wal-Mart! We then ventured on to buy her 2 new outifts - it was a really tough choice for her though since she loves clothes. She was so funny and kept pulling out stuff and saying, "Oh, Mommy, isn't this so cute?" And, yes, she was right, but I had a limit of only 2 new outifts (not to mention she has more hand-me-downs than we can fit in her closet)!!! After her day (or half day) of shopping, we met Gran at Ruby Tuesday (that's a little more along the lines of what I consider a "nice big girls lunch" than a deli) and she had her favorite, fried cheese sticks! YUMMY! Not very healthy, but then again, it was "her" day! It was another GREAT girl day with my youngest! I do have to admit that it is soooo nice that I can finally do things that like for both girls (separately and together) and actually enjoy our time together!

So, as I said in the first line...mission accomplished! All of our supplies are bought and ready for the first days of school!

Man, though, I really wish these years would SLOW down! I feel like I'm on a treadmill of life watching my girls lives fly by me as I'm just casually jogging along, all the while, huffing and puffing to keep up with them!!!! I really have to remind myself to just STOP and take it all in because it all goes soooo fast! I cannot really grasp that my first-born baby is starting kindergarten. In a weepy sort of way, I feel like our "fun times" are over because once real school starts, it's just another rat race to help her get to her ultimate dream, whatever that may be, even though she is only 5! Sorry for the sappy-ness, but it's just the plain and honest truth!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mid Summer Fun

While the summer is totally flying by, I realize that I have not really been keeping with up with the girls are doing this summer (aside from the BIG stuff). As many of you know, I decided to keep the girls home this summer in hopes of creating some really great memories of her last summer before starting kindergarten (maybe that was a pipe-dream on my part). I had arranged for several activities and camps and trips for June and then we have 2 incredibly sweet college-age girls (twins actually) that babysit for us and agreed to keep them everyday during July (which, by now, I'm sure they are rethinking this decision) so that I can work. I know this probably makes little sense, but MY thinking was that at least the twins could take them to the pool, movies, playground, etc. and not have to be contained in a classroom! At the end of June, I realized that maybe I had been daydreaming about how "wonderful" this time would be and that I AM DEFINITELY NOT MADE TO STAY HOME!!! And some of those feelings could stem from the fact that while I was not at the office everyday, I still had to get some work done somehow someway - which usually meant taking the girls with me to the office - UGH! I guess I shouldn't complain b/c at least I do have that option. At one point, I looked at Sam and said, "So who's bright idea was this to keep the girls home for the summer?" ~ Well that would be me!

With all that said, July could not come fast enough...and the girls have had a ball with the twins so far this summer! They have gone swimming (a lot), gone to the playground (in this scorching heat), gone to the movies, gone to the bookstore, played on the Slip N Slide DAILY (no joke), and who knows what else! And, their favorite part of the week is Friday b/c the twins take them to get a "treat" (i.e. toys) if they've been good all week.

Even with all of the fun things the girls have done, they are both getting on each other's nerves and are craving their friends. They can drive us all crazy with copying each other (yep, I remember doing that as a kid and I now realize how annoying it is), making loud noises just to annoy the other sibling, sit in each other's desginated chairs - you name it, they have fought over it! But, I guess that's what being a sibling is all about and, in fact, that's a lot of what I remember as a kid during the summer - getting on my brother's nerves ALL.THE.TIME!

But as the summer is quickly drawing near, I decided that I wanted to do our school supply shopping done BEFORE the mass crowds. And, since the girls are craving alone time with Mommy, I decided I would take them both separately and have their own "day"! So today was Mary Mac's day and she was sooooo excited - so much so that she was up at 6:30 am and ready to get dressed (in "cute" clothes which was our deal - she did not fight it this time)! So we made our way to Starbucks (because all "girl days" MUST begin with a coffee/chocolate milk trip) and then to Target, where I allowed her (against my inner dialogue) to pick out all of her supplies, including her lunchbox which, of course, she chose iCarly (ugh!). We also visited a local clothing store and she picked out 2 "cute" outfits that she wanted for school. Luckily, since we live in the deep south, it is still so hot during the beginning of school that we can wear summer stuff and this particular store was having a 50% summer clothes sale - so we got 2 for the price of 1! I had already ordered her backback (horse-themed of course) from a catalog so we didn't have to look for that AND I have to confess that once I got back to the office, I did order a "regular" lunchbox in hopes of her changing her mind on the iCarly one. Fingers crossed on that one!!!! The funniest part was that I promised her a Big Girls Lunch whereever she wanted (thinking DePalmas or somewhere kind of nice), but she insisted on Momma Goldberg's Deli - yep, sandwiches! But it was well worth it - while we ate, she looked at me with this silly grin and exclaimed that this had been the best girl day EVER!!! AHHHH - now that's what I want to remember about this summer!

Now, Anna's day is next! This should be interesting! Although, again I must confess, that while out today shopping with Mary Mac, I was scoping the stores out for the items that I think we need to purchase and I can "gently encourage" her - fingers crossed again! She definitely has her OWN IDEA about EVERYTHING! I now know what stores to visit and which ones we will not!

I do admit (and you can ask my mom), there is something about school supply shopping that I LOVE!!!! I always have and I always will and now I'm creating little school supply shopping lovers in the girls too! So fun!!!


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Happy 4th of July 2010

This year, Sam's entire immediate family decided to spend the 4th weekend at the lake and between our new lake house and his parent's lake house...well, let's just say we had a "full house!" Lots of cooking, lots of eating, lots of laughs, lots of swimming (interpretation: too much sun and TIRED kids), lots of boat rides and tube rides, but it was a great weekend all in all! And since we were all going to be together (which is rare these days), we decided to put my new camera (and my beginner photography skills) to the test and take family pictures. Surprisingly, we got a lot of good ones (and a lot of out-takes which are funny) considering we had 8 kids under the age of 9 and 8 adults. Obviously, we coordinated and all wore white shirts. I have to admit, I was impressed with myself! I am experimenting with a trial of Aperture and editing, but here are a few that did not really need much editing.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame

Several months ago, Sam got a call that he had been the selected as one of the youngest athletes to be inducted into the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame. Here are a few pictures from the ceremony. Congrats Sam - you were always a "Star" in our eyes!


Disney Do Da

Originally uploaded by Leigh Collins
Here was our final picture from our day at Disney. We were all pooped! And in case you're wondering, this is a test to figure out how to post my Flickr picture directly on our blog. Hopefully this works b/c I have TONS of great pictures that I've taken with my new camera but have not been able to post them yet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Making Salsa

Originally uploaded by Leigh Collins
So as you can tell, I love to make homemade salsa! It's a bit of a large task so I have to be sure I have time to do it, but it is well worth the time. So yummy, even if I do brag on myself! And if you're wondering why the lack pictures lately -well, simply put, Blogger says I've used all of my storage space so I'm exploring other options (which is the reason for this random post - experiment!).

This picture is my new sauce maker (we actually sell this stuff). It works like a charm to seed and skin tomatoes and other foods. Hopefully I can figure out how to add more than 1 picture per post via Flickr - if you have any ideas, I would greatly appreciate the advice!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Time

Did I really say that I was looking forward to Summer? Well, maybe that was a little delusional on my part. I think I had visions of everyone sleeping late, no school, no where to be, playing in the backyard in the sprinklers (happily and together), spending hours at the pool, etc. NO WAY! Let's just say that nothing really has changed except that I am trying to fit in a few hours of work in the morning and trying to keep the girls entertained and happy (and getting along) the rest of the day.

This week we've had Vacation Bible School for MM (which she has loved) and I put Anna in school (her old class) for the week so that I could have a little time to get stuff done. It was a much needed break for all of us! The girls had been on each other's nerves from too much time together and they got to see and play with their friends. Next week MM has tennis camp and A will have a ballet camp in July. This weekend we have a family reunion so we have not slowed down AT ALL!

I may have forgotten (in my absence of blogging) to tell everyone that we (meaning my parents and Sam and I) have just become rightful owners to a little lake house here in T-town. It is nothing special but very SPECIAL to us as we are so looking forward to the memories we will surely create in this little peace of HEAVEN ON EARTH. We all love the beach, but it's just getting harder and harder to get to the beach as much as we would like. So now we have a refuge much closer to home! We have spent many nights there already and will spend many more over the summer (and year around, I'm sure). In addition to the house, Sam and I surprised the girls and my parents last weekend with another toy for the lake - a SeaDoo! It is so fun and we have all enjoyed it so far (except for Mom who is NOT a water-lover by any means!).

And I almost forgot...I am posting this blog via our new Mac computer. I am so pumped to finally have a computer at home that works! Up until this point, I've only been able to use my "work" computer to post. I cannot wait to upload my pictures (yes, that means more posts to come) when I have more time to upload them to Blogger.

My next mission this summer is to learn to sew. You may remember that my parents gave me a sewing machine for my birthday 2 YEARS AGO!!! It has collected dust until now...I am determined to learn how to at least fix the girls clothes, and maybe a few more things! I'll keep you posted on those projects too!