Tuesday, June 30, 2009

$20 Target Bribe...

Are you saving money YET? Don't you think it is time to start?????

I'm having a $20 Target gift card giveaway on my other blog... Frugalityville.

Don't be shy or proud! I'm paying YOU to learn how to save money!!!! ;)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mousey mousey, won't you come out of your little wee housey housey?


That is the first line of a poem that my mom used to recite to me all the time when I was little... I LOVED that poem. I'm not such a lover of actual live rodents however. My dad, the prankster, caught a mouse in a trap once in our very first house in the United States. He took the mangled, dead, bloody body and put it in a sandwich baggie, then placed the sealed baggie in my older sisters bed for her to find when she went to sleep. I still remember hearing her scream. Good times.

Mike & Mike went to a camp out this past weekend with the boy scouts. Before they went to sleep for the night, Mike Sr noticed that the trash bag was right next to the boys tent, so not wanting them to have any uninvited visitors during the night, he put the trash bag in to the trunk of his car. (Aw, what a good leader!)

The next morning when he opened up his trunk, to his utter amazement he saw a big fat mouse scurry away under the piles of junk he had stashed in there. (I hear he screamed like a girl by the way!) He pulled everything out, but alas, the mouse was no where to be found.

Hoping that the mouse had somehow escaped, the boys loaded their stuff in to the back seat of the car with themselves and traveled home with the music blaring trying to petrify the mouse if he was still in there. They shook everything out vigorously to make sure they weren't bringing the little booger into our home and then Mike shut the trunk and hoped that if the mouse hadn't escaped he would at the very least die of starvation or of lack of oxygen.

Four days past and still no sign of the mouse. There was no smell indicating that an animal had died. There was no sound of rustling through the trunk. Mike blared the music every time he drove to stop the mouse from running across his feet and causing an accident.

I myself was hesitant to believe that the mouse had gone knowing that there was enough dirt and crumbs in Mike's trunk for that little thing to live for at least a month. Then yesterday a sign of the inevitable. Mouse droppings on the floor. Mike rushed to Target to get mouse traps and set them all with peanut butter in various places through the car. DeAnna moaned and groaned about killing the "cute little mouse" but I noticed she hasn't driven in that car since they got back... so we weren't overly worried that she would be traumatized.

This morning, success! Ding dong the mouse is dead. The car is being vacuumed and disinfected as we speak... Hurrah for leather seats!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day...

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad
-Anonymous




Happy Father's Day
to the TWO best Dads!!!
I love you both :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Photo Software...

I ran a couple of posts about photo imaging software on my Frugalityville blog that some of you may be interested in. Check out this post on Google Picasa which is completely free and this post about a good deal on Photoshop Elements 7 (as well as information about where you can get free online classes including ones on digital photography!)

Do you have favorite photo imaging software that you use? I have an old, but complete version of Adobe Photoshop that I have used for a few years, however I am looking to upgrade and have downloaded the free thirty day trial of Photoshop Elements 7 to see if it might be a little simpler to use than the full blown Photoshop. I have heard good things about it, and with it available for about $60 right now... well, that is a steal for anything Photoshop related.

I am interested to hear comments and reviews on various software from people I know though, so let me know! :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Love is...

  • giving someone your heart, knowing that they can destroy your whole world when you do that, but trusting that person not to do that. - The I-conscience

  • everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it...It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more. - Erica Jong

  • an ideal thing. Marriage is the real thing. - Goethe

  • like war: Easy to begin but hard to end. -unknown

  • an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. - Peter Ustinov

  • like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever. - unknown

  • friendship set on fire. - unknown

  • like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties -Jules Renard

  • the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. -Robert Heinlein

  • the harmony of two souls singing together. -Gregory J. P. Godek

  • being stupid together. -Paul Valery

  • saying 'I feel differently' instead of 'You're wrong.' -unknown

  • when the other person's happiness is more important than your own. -H. Jackson Brown


  • pride in a job well done.

  • knowing everything is all better

  • time spent out of the house, together.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

All Clear...

We got the all clear from the Dr yesterday. We are officially out of quarantine and everyone is 100% healthy. Luckily none of the rest of us got it. I attribute that to my husbands tireless Lysol-ing, washing all the towels and sheets, and even going around daily with Clorox wipes and wiping all the door handles etc. Thank you honey :)

So no need to leave a 50 foot radius around us if you see us. (I feel like we have big scarlett letters on us right now. LOL) I promise, we wouldn't have left the house unless we were sure! And we have worked really hard to keep it contained, so if you do get the swine flu, it won't have been from us :)

I also just want to say a huge thank you to the wonderful ladies who left dinner, games, books and treats on our doorstep. I was deeply touched by the show of love we received from you. Thank you so much. :) You made a very tough time a little brighter. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I SWORE I would never do it again... Am I totally insane???


Where will you be on September 29th? I will be at the Miley Cyrus Concert at the Energy Solutions Center. :( I tried everything to keep the news from my daughter that she was coming to concert. I even begged my dear friend NOT tell her when she was dying to, but dang that Miley World Fan Club. They emailed her about the concert tickets pre-sale which took place this week for members of her fan club.

I tried with every ounce of passion to get my hubby to take her. He wouldn't. But sure, he will take Mike Jr to the Warped Tour and to see Blink 182. :( Am I completely nuts? The only good thing is they are making this a paperless ticket concert which means you get in only by swiping the credit card you purchased the tickets with... that means tickets cannot be sold on Ebay or scalped which means everyone who goes pays only regular ticket prices... plus they won't have the money diggers buying up all the tickets and trying to resell them. They are genius!

We did get excellent seats in the section just to the left of the stage on the front row. She is way excited. Oh good... a whole night of screaming little girls to look forward to AGAIN.

If you aren't in the fan club, I believe tickets for the Salt Lake City concert go on sale to the general public this Saturday, June 13 at 10am. I sincerely hope you have to go too!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On second thoughts... STAY AWAY!!!!

Ironic that one day after inviting you all to come over and hang and be part of our "clique", we have to write another post shunning you away... at least for this week!

Mike Jr came down very sick Saturday afternoon. All of a sudden he had a fever of 103.5, (that was an hour after taking Motrin), a nasty cough, a splitting headache and all he wanted to do was lie down and sleep.

Mike Sr decided to take him to the instacare where they said they had seen 50 people with similar symptoms that afternoon but they went ahead and tested him for swine flu just in case. I was 99% positive that was not what it was if that many people were showing similar symptoms in one day. It must be a 24 hour bug! They put him on Anti-Viral Medicine just in case, sent him home and told us to keep him home and away from people for a few days as a precaution, but told us not to panic or to raise panic in anyone else. They would have the results of the test by Monday. By the next morning he seemed almost good as new, still, I felt very strongly that we should stay home from church. Our ward has close to 200 primary kids and I don't think that includes all the nursery kids either. I didn't want to risk getting any one sick with whatever it was.

Monday rolled around and I felt I should work at home even though he was doing fine. School is out for the summer so I just had him rest. We didn't hear anything all day so in my mind I was telling myself that no news was good news. Come 6pm we called to double check but were told that they were just starting to make the phone calls. At 7:23pm we received a call from the instacare. Mike Jr tested positive for the swine flu.

I was absolutely speechless. Where on earth did he get this from? After receiving all the instructions from the nurse, I put down the phone and just stared sat the wall for a few minutes. I haven't heard much about the swine flu on the news recently, so I really hadn't thought about it much. Now here we are having to deal with it.

Luckily for us, Mike Jr got on Anti-Viral medicine the first day he showed any symptoms. That medicine seems to be working great, because to see him you wouldn't think he was sick! They have asked us to keep him away from people for 7 days. We also have to watch for any respiratory duress in which case we take him straight to the ER. Dehydration is another big issue to watch for, however, my little guy hasn't had any problem eating or drinking.

Mike Sr works in the health field and contacted his work straight away. He will most probably be on mandatory leave for the next week. I too am advised to work at home this week. DeAnna has cancelled three babysitting jobs as well as her music lessons. Basically we are quarantined to our house in an effort not to pass this on to anyone. If none of us are showing any symptoms by Saturday, we should be in the clear.

What has concerned me however is information we have learned since Mike has gotten his diagnosis. Apparently there have been quite a few cases of the swine flu at the middle school my kids were attending up to Friday or last week. We had two girls who were here at our house on Friday who I later found out were not well... one of which had been out of school for most of the week. Why would parents send kids to my house who had been sick all week? And then there is the issue of parents sending their kids to school sick because they don't want to take a day off. Another thing mentioned in an article that I read this morning is that many people who are diagnosed with the swine flu are not heeding the doctors orders to stay away from people. This is not the time for any of us to lack in our precautions when our children or ourselves are showing symptoms of being sick. Our family is living proof that the swine flu is alive and right here in West Jordan. I am so glad we listened to the spirit on Sunday and kept our family home. I would have felt awful if we had exposed our ward to this.

At this point I am praying that we didn't pass this on to the family we saw Saturday morning before we knew anything. I am also praying that Mike Jr will continue to recover at the rate that he is and that none of the rest of us get it. It is completely driving us crazy to be home bound. Today is the 4th day we have been stuck inside. However, we are trying our best to do our part to keep this epidemic from spreading.

My friend Ruthie just sent me over the hymns for Sunday. I had to giggle when I saw she had chosen "Count Your Many Blessings" as one of the songs. But it is times like these that we need a good reminder. I'll make sure my next post is about all the good things that have come out of being quarantined to my house :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Collins Clique, where everyone is welcome...

"The Collins Clique"... it's pretty ironic that this is the name of my blog and you too would think it was funny if you were inside Mike and I's heads. You see, it was sort of an inside joke when it was named. We have always abhorred the idea of cliques. Personally, I have always felt they were childish... immature... so High School! Maybe it is because of my ever increasing age but they just seem so silly to me! Why would you limit yourself to just a few certain friendships? There are so many absolutely wonderful, totally cool people out there. I would never want to limit what I could learn or how much fun I could have. :)

I remember certain cliques in my high school. The self proclaimed popular kids who either accepted you or tormented you. I was very blessed never to be tormented, but I knew kids that were and I saw some of the damage that was caused to their self esteem through the cliques cruelty. :( Mean nicknames that stuck with them through high school, reputations that never left them though never true to start with, practical jokes that were only funny to the offenders and beautiful girls who never saw themselves as such because of snide comments and remarks.

Cliques are not always deliberately formed. Sometimes they are habit, sometimes just the safe thing to do. In my previous ward, (of which I was a member from the age of 11 to just two years ago), we had a large overturn of military families. Because we were so close to Walter Reed Army Medical Center many families moved in and out ever year (serving in our area 1-3 years before they were reassigned.) Very early in my marriage there was a time that several Army families that moved in together over the summer. The wives became very close and had their own so called "clique" which got together to do all sorts of things quite frequently. There were some sisters in our ward who felt they were excluded from this group because they weren't doctors wives. They were bitter towards this group of friends because they felt that the women thought they were better than them. I have to say that I never felt that way. I actually, (though probably mostly because of my Relief Society calling), put forth an effort to get to know these women and found out quickly that this was simply a group of several women who moved in to a new place and found easy, instant friendship with other women who were in the same situation as them. No one was meant to feel excluded or inferior. I enjoyed my friendship with these women who accepted me (even though my husband was not a doctor, lol), and I got to know and love their children too, many of whom I taught piano to.

During the past few weeks, three separate women in our current ward have mentioned the clique factor and their genuine efforts to make friends with women who are either insanely oblivious or so caught up with their own friends that they ignored/passed up the opportunity. I hope for the sake of all the women involved that it was obliviousness because knowing these three amazing women as I do, I would say that the other women have definitely missed an incredible opportunity.

Perhaps I have a heart of stone because I have never been offended that I wasn't invited to something. Maybe it is because in our former ward there were not many couples our age and we became sort of self sufficient in providing our own entertainment. In our current ward we have both served in the youth program pretty much since we moved here which means frankly that there are still a lot of people we really don't know! Additionally, we are actually within the minority of couples who don't have kids in primary. (I think we may actually be one of the 10 oldest couples if you can believe that!) It's all A-OK with me, but I know that not all women are as "cold-hearted" as me.

It can be hard not to hurt peoples feelings when it comes to activities and social events. I am not naive enough to think it is possible to include every woman in every event that you host... but I will definitely be more aware of sisters that don't feel included. I also will tell you right now that if you ever want to come hang out, you are always more than welcome. I know we don't have little kids, but we love them! We have a enclosed trampoline and a b-ball hoop that we are happy to share. I am also not opposed to some one letting me know that they heard I had people over for smores or a BBQ and to give them a call next time we do it. Or if you see people at my house and you want to come join the fun... come on over. More than anything, I don't want anyone to ever think that I am deliberately excluding them from what they think may be my "clique". So if you are feeling alone, left out, or just want to hang... come on over to the "Collins Clique"... where seriously, everyone is welcome! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Choose your battles...

My sons hair has been driving me crazy. I admit it... I like a clean cut boy. This long hair stuff has made me have to bite my tongue. The only reason I have endured it is because my wise mother told me I needed to choose my battles. "Hair can be changed, tattoo's can't... be glad his rebellion is his hair."

They are wise words. Still, I couldn't help do the happy dance on Sunday when I heard him say he wanted his hair buzzed. Really? Today??? BUT IT'S SUNDAY!!!! What if he changed his mind before I could take him to the barber shop on Monday?

Thank heavens for friends with clippers. Dad did the honors. Here are the before and after pics:


Hitting golf balls with Dad on Friday... this is what was left
of Dad's club when Jr got a hold of it. LOL

Today... My cute little boy is back. I just want to pinch his cheeks. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nothing is as easy as it looks...

I have always had short nails. I sometimes try to grow them out but all it takes is one nail biter of a movie and mine are literally ripped as low as they can get... ALL OF THEM!!! Well about three weeks ago I was tired of having short stubby nails so I figured, what the heck, i will treat myself to tips so my own nails can grow out underneath and I can, (for once), have neatly groomed finger nails and not hide them in a fist every time I am sitting next to someone.

Let me start by saying I have NEVER had tips put on in my life, so I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. So off I went to the nail salon with DeAnna... a perfect mommy daughter date... pedicures and manicures... what a fun, relaxing morning! I told them to make the tips short since I play the piano, but even as short as they were, I left the salon literally feeling like Wolverine. Here I was with these big, indestructible prongs sticking out of my fingers. I even had trouble getting my bank card out of my wallet to pay for the dang things.

In fact, I have had to get help doing a variety of things that I usually have no problem with. I wasn't able to rip the top off the bag of shredded cheese or open other packages of food to cook with... and don't even talk to me about cans with flip tops! If something flat fell on the floor it had to stay there because no matter how hard I tried i could not pick it up. The piano was frustrating... but Sunday was a nightmare trying to play the organ and I had an even harder time typing at work. Usually I can type about 80-90 words a minute but I doubt I got above 65 and I kept hitting the wrong keys!!! Trying to load and unload the dishwasher was painful to say the least. I have nearly cussed about 20 times when I catch one on something and it threatens to pull my finger off. And I have sliced my own body several times just trying to bathe.

I am telling you I do not know how women function with these things on their hands!!! How does the housework get done? How are their little children not scarred from head to toe. At one point I even tried to get them off myself. THEY DON'T COME OFF!!!

Well, at the advice of friends I am giving it a little time to see if I can get used to them, but I am not hopeful... I don't think I am the glamorous lady type. I am a short, stubby finger nailed, put your shoulder to the wheel type of woman. So unless by some miracle I can learn to function with these things on, I will probably be back to holding my hands in fists when sitting next to you glamor gals. Just please don't judge me! ;)