Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas...

This year we went on lots of outings with friends and family to see various lights so we could just have fun and get in the Christmas spirit.  Here's a few of the things we did:

Went to Gardner Village to see the elves... took Dee's friend Kyle along...

Made our annual trip to Winder Dairy with the Hottons... (epically, this was the first year that no-one spilled hot chocolate on Dee!)  We also walked around Christmas Street in Taylorsville and ended up playing domino's at the Hottons where a cupcake war broke out between a certain husband and wife...

A new tradition which we will certainly go back every year for... Hogle Zoo Lights!  We went on 1/2 price night so the line to get in was a little longer than usual, but it was so worth it.  Once you actually got in, it didn't seem crowded at all!  Nana & Pops treated us to hot chocolate, hot dogs/corn dogs & fries.  That was the BEST corn dog I have ever had in my life... no joke!  I could have stayed here all night...

Christmas eve was spent delivering gifts, eating yummy food and watching movies.  Christmas Day started at our house for our present exchange, then we went over to Nana & Pops' for the day.  The food was as usual, amazing... roast beef. ham, turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, horseradish carrots, brussel sprouts, corn, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls, mincemeat pies, jam tarts, & all kinds of cookies and bars...

We did our family toast where we all toasted the things we love with non-alcoholic bubbly and Nana had several HUGE boxes of wrapped up presents that everyone could open any time the timer went off... a huge hit with the kids.  The boys did their annual hike up the mountain with Pops in the snow, but amidst all the excitement, I forgot to take ANY pics at Nana & Pops' house. :( 

I hope each of you also had a very merry Christmas filled with family, friends and fun.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flashback Friday...

This video makes me smile every time I watch it.  It was taken on our way to California this summer. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tis The Season...

A new tradition we started last year was to meet at Temple Square on one of the Mondays before Christmas.  My two lame sisters totally bugged out this year, (excuses, excuses...), but we had a great time with Nana & Pops. :)  Nana brought bags of M&M's for us to munch on while we were walking around... what a fabulous idea!  She and Dee also decided at one point that it would be funny to walk around arm in arm singing carols at the top of their lungs...  that is when I decided I would walk a little bit ahead of them!  We did manage to get some fun pics of the lights...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deck The Halls... Part 2 & 3

The halls have been completely decked for over a week now, but of course I am just getting around to posting about it!  It's a tradition for the grandchildren who live near to go over to Nana & Pops' to help decorate their tree.  The kids are older now, but they still enjoy it.  It's also tradition to hang ornaments from ears instead of branches.  Dee actually threaded hers through her pierced holes... and I was banned from posting the one of my Dad with them stuck in his nose.

Doing Mum's tree got my kids in the decorating spirit.  I have found that the trick to getting them to help more is to just flat out refuse to decorate.  This way they drag all the stuff up from the basement, move the furniture, vacuum and put the tree together. :)  Much less work for moi!  We now put up two trees... Our regular green tree which has no reason or rhyme to it at all... in fact it is a covered in mismatched ornaments that we have made or received from friends... (we LOVE it because every ornament on there has a story), and a smaller Dallas Cowboys tree that goes in the front hallway.  It's amusing to note that Mike Jr is banned by his sister and his father from putting any Colts ornaments on the Dallas tree even though they are blue too.  :)  This year after the sales I will definitely be shopping for a big pre-lit green tree.  I love how easy the white one is to put up!

Now if I could just get the shopping and baking done...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck The Halls... Part 1

The week before Thanksgiving we found out a big snow storm was coming in, so we quickly put up lights outside the house.  This is the first year we have ever attempted to decorate outside, and it was good fun even though we almost froze to death.  (The snow literally started within an hour of us finishing.)  My hubby, (who is a big scaredy cat when it comes to heights), got Kyle, one of Dee's friends, to climb on top of the roof and secure the highest lights.  (We only did the first level for this year.)  And all it cost us was a bag of fast food... A steal!  Ya gotta love teenagers and their willingness to work for cheap. :)

I was so nervous while Kyle was up there that I didn't get a pic of him on the roof...  I was too busy situating the rest of us around the roof in case he lost his footing.  The only pic I got was of these two goofballs getting the ones they could reach via ladder.

I lost the battle on the colors... I wanted red & green, but I was outvoted 3-1, so red & white it is.  I have to admit, they do look festive though. :)  Our porch is still looking quite dark since I need to use all the decor from there for our Relief Society Christmas Program on Saturday, so no completed lit-up picture yet... 

How about you?  Have you done any decorating?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Miami Heat Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers...

I like basketball.  You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I actually played varsity for my High School.  One of the great things about now being in Utah is that the NBA games come on two hours earlier, so I get to watch a lot more than I used to when I lived on the East Coast.  It's definitely good times. :)

Tonight hubby and I were watching the Heat/Cavaliers game, and I have to admit I have not been a huge Heat fan.  I pretty much root against them just because there has been so much hype about how great they are going to be this year with their big three... LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

However, tonight I found myself actually rooting for this team!  Why you may ask?  Well to be completely honest, I was pretty irritated and disgusted by the Cavalier fans and their treatment of LeBron James.  I get it... they are mad at him for leaving when he became a free agent, and fine, boo him when he comes out.  But to chant "a-hole" over and over was pretty crass.  Add to that the fact that there were posters and tee-shirts all over the place that disparaged, belittled and made fun of him and I actually felt really bad for the dude.  I just wanted to tell those fans... Really?  GET OVER IT!  I understand that you feel you have gotten a bad wrap in the sports world, but LeBron gave you 7 good years and put your team on the map as far as I am concerned.  Be thankful and move on.  I have never seen such a bunch of haters in my life.  Sad times. :(

Consequently, I have never been so happy to see a team get dominated than I was tonight.  I frequently root for the underdogs unless it is my fav team playing, but tonight I was happy to see LeBron score 38 points, (even sitting out the whole fourth quarter), and his team crushed the Cav's 118-90.  Miami literally played their best game of their season, finally pulling it together after looking pretty mediocre this year. 

Of course, I am not a Miami Heat fan now, and I will still root against them in the future I am sure, but I was impressed that despite the fans treating him like crap, LeBron took the higher road in his post-game interview and when given the opportunity to give a message to the fans, he just simply said "7 great years. Loved every part, loved every moment.  From the growth when I was an 18 year old kid to a 25 year old man... and we tried our best... as a team we tried our best to bring a championship to the city and, you know, just tried to play hard every night... I have the utmost respect for this franchise and the utmost respect for these fans..."

Of course, his game tonight spoke for itself.  You go LeBron. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why I Married Him...

When we lived in our apartment back East, Mike was one of the engineers which meant every time it snowed, he and three other guys had to completely clear all the sidewalks in the neighborhood.  We lived in a neighborhood with many elderly people, so once he was finished with shoveling the walks, he would go and dig out the cars of some of his favorite neighbors who he knew would struggle.  It used to warm my heart to know that he cared about people that way.

Now that we live in our own house here in Utah, he doesn't have to clear every sidewalk in the neighborhood, but he always looks for a couple of people he can lend a hand to.  Over the course of this weekend my good hubby shoveled 6-7 driveways at 1-2 feet of snow a piece.  Sometimes it does a soul good to remember the reasons we fell in love with a person in the first place. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Michael Lingo...

Two years in to our marriage, my cute hubby made the grave mistake of buying me a blender for Christmas.  His intentions were noble... "look sweetie, now you can make your own baby food just like you've wanted"... but it was a blender none-the-less.  Every person who asked me what I got for Christmas cringed or giggled when I told them, and innocent hubby (who got a lot of crap from people), swore he would never buy me an appliance as a gift again.  It has been an ongoing joke every time that a birthday or Christmas comes along.  This year a few months before my birthday was not any different, except for my reply... I added "well, unless it's a kitchen aid mixer, haha."  After all, what gal doesn't want one of those?  Or maybe it's just me with my Food Network Obsession.  I have seriously drooled over those things for years.  But the price tag?  Yikes!

Well, I didn't think much of it at the time, but can you imagine my giddy surprise the day before Thanksgiving when this was delivered to me in bed the morning of my birthday?

Yes ladies... that is a beautiful, professional Black KitchenAid mixer.  And to sweeten the gift, he paid HALF PRICE!  I did mentally question his choice in getting me the professional model... after all, I am not a professional cook in any stretch of the imagination... (except maybe in mine when I am doing my own cooking show when no-one is around...), but I figure he took the Johnny Lingo approach to it...

Do you know the movie?  It is AWESOME!  Johnny Lingo, one of the most desired bachelors and a trader in the south pacific islands decides to bargain for a wife.  He goes after one of the homeliest girls on the island, (Mahana), and offers a record price of eight cows for her.  Of course, this causes quite a sensation on the island as people joked about him paying only 1/2 a cow, or her father having to pay out cows for anyone to take her.  A year after the marriage, Johnny and his wife return for the first time and all the islanders find that Mahana is extremely beautiful and very confident.  Johnny explains that by paying eight cows he proved that she was worth more to him than any other woman on the island. He gave her a great gift, that of self-worth.

So I figure hubby's thought process is similar to Johnny's... "if I buy her the professional model, she WILL BE a professional cook."  (Just like Mahana became the 8-cow wife.)   Whatever the reason for him indulging me, I am in heaven and look for any excuse to use it... so if you get cookies or other goods delivered to your door, now you know why. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We spent the day with all our Family who live in Utah and it was absolutely lovely.  We had Herb Stuffed Turkey, Spiral Ham, Roast Potatoes, Cheesy Funeral Potatoes, Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes, Apple/Cranberry/Walnut Stuffing, Parsnips, Green Bean Casserole, Corn, Brussel Sprouts, Orange/Cranberry Sauce, Bread Sauce, Pink Salad, Rolls, Gravy, Pies, Cookies, and Trifle.  What a spread!

My favorite part, (other than the fab food of course), was when we all went down in my parents basement and danced to the oldies. YMCA, Dancing Queen, Hot Stuff, I Will Survive and many, many more!  The kids absolutely loved it.  It will most likely be a new Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition for many years to come.  :)

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.  Mostly because there really isn't any commercialism.  It's just time to enjoy family and think of all our blessings.  Here are a few of the things I am most thankful for this year...
  1. Family:  There is nothing on this earth that is more important or more beautiful than family.  I thank my Heavenly Father every day for my hubby, my kids, my parents, my siblings and all my extended family.  Nothing brings me more joy than to spend time with them.
  2. The Gospel:  How could I get through the tests and trials of life without the Gospel?  How could I be with my family forever?  How could I be forgiven for the many things that I do wrong?  I am thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven.
  3. Miley (Miles):  That little puppy has brought so much love and joy in to our lives since we got her in January.  I can't imagine our life without her.
  4. Home:  I am so grateful that after 18 years of marriage, Mike and I were finally able to buy our own home.  It is not the biggest or grandest in the neighborhood, but it is our castle, and we love it. :)
  5. Friends:  When life throws you lemons, we are told to make lemonade, but I firmly believe that friends are the ones who help by adding much of the sugar that makes the lemonade so sweet. 
  6. Utah:  I never knew I could love living somewhere so much.  I love the landscape, the air, the people.  It is an amazing place to live and raise a family and I have never regretted the decision we made to come here.
  7. Good Jobs:  In this economy, who could not be grateful for good jobs with good benefits. 
  8. Music:  My parents knew what they were doing when they bought Mike & I a piano for our wedding present.  My mum told Mike that it would be as much a gift for him as for me since I take all my frustrations out of that thing. :)  Singing, Piano, Organ, Flute, Guitar, Drums, CD's, I-Tunes/I-Pods... they are all big parts of our family that we are grateful for.
  9. Football:  I know, I must be crazy to put this on the list right?  But this sport really brings the fam together... cheering, crying, friendly competition... whatever it is for the week, it gets my hubby and my kids excited and talking to each other.  Not to mention it brings friends and extended families together too.
  10. Electronics:  I'm a techjunkie... Computers, Cell Phones, Camera's, anything tech related... I love it all.  Especially because it can bring family that live far away in to our living room at the touch of a button.  Texting, blogs, facebook, email.  They help keep us all connected. 
Those are just a few things... there are so many more, but I love to count my blessings this time of the year.  What are you most thankful for?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Incredible Fun...

Michael had his football "banquet" this week.  Really it is just an end of the year party, but this year was the best one ever!  No three hour speeches, no football politics... just the boys having fun at a place I never even knew existed!

They had it at Incredible Pizza and seriously, this place is a good time for all... especially if you are 12 and older.  It just opened over in the old crappy Draper Outlets building and they have go-carts, bumper cars, bowling, laser tag and an all you can eat buffet with salad, soup, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, desserts and lots of other foods.  Because we had a group of 10 or more, we got all that unlimited fun and food for four hours for $12.99/person.  The only thing it didn't include was the arcade games.  Not bad!  I'm definitely thinking we need to see how much it would be to get a group of couples together for a fun night out.  Anyone interested? :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween :)

We had lots of spooky fun this weekend walking around Gardner Village
and joining in the trick or treating fun in the neighborhood...

Dee & I sat out on the porch all night dressed as a fortune teller and a witch.

We had the fog machine, strobe light, Halloween music and lots of creepy decorations going on...


Here are just a few of the cute trick or treaters that came by...

Hope you had a BOOtiful Halloween too! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

You Know You Are In Wyoming When...

Do you remember that I told you about Mike Sr & Jr going to the Utah/Wyoming game on the day I was taking those cute pics of Dee at Gardner Village?  Well they took my other camera and here is one of the pics I found when I was unloading the card...

Apparently this guy goes to every game and wears nothing but this barrel... Oh well, to each his own I guess!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spooky Eyeball Tacos...

Oh how I wish my kids were little again and I had awesome ideas on what to do to make things out of the ordinary for them!  Last year I posted about THIS easy idea from Kraft Foods.  This year Kraft has not disappointed!  Just look how cool these Spooky Eyeball Taco's are...

Click HERE for the recipe! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Merry Christmas...

True to Utah form, we got our first snow this week.  I'm debating whether to put up Christmas decorations or Halloween decorations for the trick or treater's this weekend...  What do you think???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Did YOU Know???

Dee loves gummy bears, however, she only eats the red ones (strawberry, raspberry, cherry, watermelon), and then gives the rest away.  I don't remember how it came up today but we were talking about this at work and the guy in the cubicle next to me says "well, you know the Haribo Gummy Bears secret right?  The green ones are strawberry."

I thought he was pulling my leg.  Dee buys those gummy bears all the time, (the gold bag), but she never eats the green ones.  Turns out he was right.  Haribo makes their green gummy bears strawberry flavored.  The red ones are raspberry.  I almost peed myself laughing thinking of all the strawberry gummy bears Dee has given away.  When I told her she was almost cussing... almost, which made me laugh more. 

Did YOU know the Haribo Gummy Bears secret???

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Girls Day/Night Out...

Saturday my hubby and son drove up to Wyoming for the Utah/Wyoming football game.  This left me and Dee with a whole day and night together to have some fun.  We met friends at Yogurtland, shopped, had dinner at Olive Garden and walked around Gardner Village.  Dee looked so beautiful that I decided I would take the opportunity to grab a few updated pics of her while we were out together.  I think they turned out so wonderfully...  I can't wait to get them printed!

Friday, October 15, 2010

No Ordinary Family...

Have you seen this new show on ABC?  It is about a family who survive a plane crash and end up with super powers.  The mom is super fast, the dad is super strong, the daughter can read minds and the son becomes super smart. 

If I could choose a super power, I would LOVE to be able to fly, but I have to say... the super speed that this mom gets wouldn't be a bad thing either.  My house would certainly be a lot cleaner. :)

What about you?  What super power would you like to have?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Right Now I Wish For...

Peanut Butter M&M's or Reese's Pieces
My carpets to be cleaned
A weed free front yard

I am a very simple woman. :) 

What do you wish for right now?... Just for you...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Mike Jr!

Where were you on October 1st, 1996?

I can tell you exactly where I was! I was in Holy Cross Hospital giving birth to my second (and last) adorable child, Michael Paul Collins Jr. (He didn't actually get that name till a couple of days later, since his Dad and I couldn't agree on it. Dad won... as usual.)

Michael was TWO weeks late. What made it even worse is that he was born in a completely different month from when he was due. (Talk about killing a pregnant woman's morale!) We tried everything to get him to come. Some are unmentionable, but the ones I can talk about include my husband driving me over pot holes all the way to Washington DC, and my husband making me walk around Brookside Gardens several times. DeAnna even joined in the effort by taking off down the sidewalk EVERY time we walked outside so that I had to run (or waddle) after her! Nothing worked. He came out in his own due time, and he has been doing the same thing ever since! (The boy moves slower than molasses.)

There are so many things I love/make me laugh about Mike. Here are a few of them:

  • He always has something funny to say and he does the funniest impressions of people...

  • He isn't afraid to give me hugs and kisses... even if his friends are around! He even announces quite loudly that he loves me when he leaves the house or car.

  • He'll squeal on anything or anybody for a quarter.

  • He completely rearranges his room every week

  • If he knows I will say no, he will skip me and go straight to Dad.

  • He takes just enough time to eat his dinner so that the dishes are already done by the time he is finished.

  • He has never done anything to have me called into school by teachers or principals. (Knock on wood.)

  • He'll volunteer to say family prayer if Dad assigns me or himself. (Apparently ours are too long.)

  • He always apologizes for anything he has said/done during the day that he doesn't feel right about just before he gets a goodnight kiss.

  • To him, everything that happens in his life is DeAnna's fault. :)
I cannot believe that my youngest child... my little baby... has just turned 14. He becomes a teacher, (Phew!) And I cannot imagine him and his friends at church dances.  I apologize now to all the YW.

It seems like just yesterday that he was;
Making his grand entrance into the world

Showing us his first smile
Starting to crawl

Chewing on his pacifier

Taking his first steps
Going to kindergarten
Making happy trees with the snow

I just like this one :)
Losing his teeth
Getting baptized
Learning to swim daddy's way
Learning to play drums
Becoming a boy scout

Joining the football team
Meeting his best bud Tristan


You've changed so much over the years,
but one thing always remains the same!

We love you :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Interesting Sundae...

My kids went to McDonald's tonight to get an ice cream sundae after the high school football game... here is what they gave my son...  This might possibly be the worst ice cream sundae I have EVER seen! It makes me laugh every time I look at it.  :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday To My Hot Hubby!!!

I figured I would dedicate today’s post to my BFF. I never really had many BFF’s. I had one or two “best friends” in Elementary school, but I quickly figured out that it was much better to just have a group of friends than to dedicate yourself completely to one good friend. Once I got in to high school I was more friends with boys than with girls... mostly because I only ever trusted a handful of girls.

Now the problem with having mostly boys as friends is that at some point, you either have to marry them, or they marry someone else and you pretty much have to stop being friends. No way I was gonna let that happen to me, so I went ahead and married mine. This year we will have been BFF’s for about 20 years… and married for just over 18. Now just because we have been BFF’s for all those years does not mean we haven’t had our share of struggles… but being BFF’s is about working through things, and letting the friendship prevail in the end.

So what makes a good BFF? Yes, there are the standard answers… always be there for each other, put each other’s needs first, blah blah blah. Here are the top ten real-life reasons my hubby is my BFF.
  • He will let me vent to him… even if it is in bed… at 12:30am… and he won’t go to sleep until he is satisfied I have said everything I need to say.
  • He will hold the trash can for me if I’m puking…
  • He does more than his fair share of the cleaning.
  • He’ll miss a football game to take me to see my mom and dad.
  • He always backs me up in front of the kids… even if he doesn’t agree with me.
  • He will go out at Midnight to pick me up any newly released book he knows I want to read even though he knows he may be standing in line for an hour with a thousand obnoxious, screaming women.
  • He will massage out any kink in my back, no problem, any time.
  • He isn’t afraid to buy me "women products"… (and doesn’t even care if they price check).
  • He will be completely honest with me if I ask him how something looks.
  • He takes me out at LEAST once a week… just us.
Today is my BFF's birthday, so...
Yes, it is true you are an old fart, and you are now TWO years older than me (at least for the next two months), but I love you and hope to celebrate MANY more birthday's with you... now and forever more!
Sept 27, 1971

What a cutie!

Always a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Outdoor Ed


Dating... what a lucky guy!! ;)

Baptism Day

Wedding Day

Becoming a daddy

Forcing the kids to be Cowboys fans.

Becoming a daddy... again!

Disney World 2000... with his FAVORITE Disney princess

Universal studios 2002

Daytona Beach 2006

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 2010...
and just as handsome as the day I met him :)