S: Collins Family 2012
FC: Collins Album 2012
1: A fresh new year Is bringing, one by one, Unopened days, Each laden with a miracle. In countless ways It's gifts will lift our spirits And make us sing. What can I bring the fresh new new year, Oh what to bring? Greet the year with courage and trust, A wealth of love;and, oh, you must Bring wonderment and a grateful heart, A spark of humor; then impart A glowing warmth, free from fear, And gladness for each day all year. -Mabel Jones Garbott | Clear tingling air, a bright blue sky, Fresh snow, so clean and white- they beckon us to look outside Upon the fortress of God's light. It's sacred walls and tapered spires Lift eyes and hearts and dreams T'ward heaven's opportunities. A new year brightly beams! -Theresa Collins
2: Our favorite Getaway! | There may be snow up north, but our golf stars blossom in the Southern SUN!" | January
3: Happy Birthday Jeremy! | Breakfast at Hidden Valley with the family
4: Cookie Creations with Hege ...to ultimately be enjoyed by our missionaries with first approval given by our resident cookie critics! | SLEEPOVER with Oma & Opa! | February
5: Valentine's Day FONDUE Theme: "Queen of Hearts!"
6: January 2012 "I have never planned with the spirit like we do in this area! We invite Heavenly Father in everything! The goals we set are the desires of our hearts and when they are righteous desires the Lord will allow us to do his work because they are aligned with HIS desires!... I know the Lord is real because I feel him every single day! I see tiny little miracles that make me look up and smile! I love the people here in Grants Pass and the spirit of missionary work is strong in this area with the members! The book of Mormon is true. I know that because I have seen it change people's lives and I have felt it change MY life! "Angels speak by the power of he Holy Ghost; Wherefore they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3. I love this work and I love you!" February 2012 "During the lesson in Zone Leader Council, one of the Elders asked, "How has coming on your mission changed your priorities?" I loved that question because how has it NOT changed my priorities? Everything is looked at in a different light when your view goes past today or even this life. In my Patriarchal Blessing it says that I will be blessed to look at the eternal aspect of things and that couldn't be more true. I have found that the joy in life comes when the focus is no longer on myself and my worldly desires. When we set our priorities first to the Lord, then our family, then to ourselves, things fall into place..." -Elder Collins | Excerpts from our Missionary... We live for P-day when we can share in this Great work!
7: Oma & Opa bring Family Home Evening to Jordan & Amanda's in Britt & Jeremy's downstairs apartment... The kids loved making Abe Lincoln stovepipe hats like the one that hid his important papers. They repeatedly re-enacted him walking under the rope that teasers would string across the street in order to spill it's he contents... Pretzel & chocolate log cabins made good munchies while potty training was in FULL Swing! Let's just say- Macie caught on a bit more quickly! | President's Day
11: It was quickly important to us to visit all the old stomps... Our house on Davidson St., EC Brooks Elementary School, No. Hills Pool...
12: I don't know what you been told Daddy Knowles is Gettin' old! At the age of 75 We're just lucky he's alive Sound Off, 2,3 Sound off, 4,5 Lucky to be A-LIVE! Freight trains in the room at night "Causing such an awful fright Just daddy sawing logs at night! Snoring with the risin' moon Sends Pat to the Gingham Room Sound off, 1,2 Sound off 3,4 1,2,3,4 (snort, snort) Mulligans are really great, But not 4 times the standard rate. While dad hooks right off the tee Pat loves her sweet priv-a-cy. Bogie, Birdie, Par or Ace Glad he's in his "Happy Place" Hole in one sure takes the cake Even though "Greggy jumped the wake" Sound off, 1,2 Sound off, 3,4 1,2,3... FORE! (duck) Hot tub really helps you soothe But your speedo's lost its groove! In the Buff or Boxers red Some things better left unsaid! Sound off, Don't tell Sound off Don't look 1,2,3,4 That's YUK! | If a curb jumps up at us We fall down without a fuss "Ouch","Flip", "Oh bleep", makes us sad. Not our fault- we blame our dad! Sound off, "My Heck" Sound off, "Fiddlesticks 1,2,3,,4, "Oh Shiz!!" Kept us safe with Tae Kwon Do' But now there's something You should know... Concealing this is one great feat, Better watch out, he packin' HEAT! Blackbelts 1,2,3 were great Now best-ed by a '38! Sound off, BANG, BANG Sound off , Chop chop 1,2,3,4 You're dead! You'd think with four-score minus 5 Birthday plans should come A-live. Don't you dare to make a mess Pat's keeping secrets- must confess.. "I cant do squat-cant you see? "Cause I'm getting a colonoscopy!" Sound off, "Step back!" Sound off, "Put it back!" 1,2,3,4, "BACK OFF!" Our dad is really Kool and Keen! He gave us all his SUPER GENENS. Surprising him was quite a shock We wan'' im to know we love 'im a lot! Sound off, Handsome! Sound off, Really Smart! LOVE YOU DA-DY--YOU ROCK! | MILITARY 75th Birthday Rap
15: While CHANGE is something I embrace with tremendous enthusiasm- it was shockingly comforting to return home where so little had changed! | Sooo many laughs- sooo much fun! Besides the feeling of going "HOME", being there for "BIG E" & being spoiled to the MAX- the best memories will remain our time with Dyan and her family after all these years and watching my grown up -all too serious brothers -finally able to RELAX with delightful humor, healing & bonding! | The whole Motley Crew! | Mike, Pat, Dad, Dyan's Tyler & Katie, Chuck Theresa, Dyan, Heather, Debbie (dubbed)
16: One of the highlights for the 4 of us was to attend the ward that we grew up in & the people who loved us! Greg Snyder, one of my ward buddies my age...was still there! | My dear Mama Houghtaling was the one person I was determined to find! Heather found Sis. Harper, & the boys their former Bishop & YM leaders. Wow! | We were touched to learn how each Sunday after we kids left for church, Pat had made a deliberate effort to prepare an extra special meal for us to return to. She said it was her way of honoring the worship & devotion she could not share any other way. This time was no exception as she proudly made her first pan of lasagna ! It was DELISCIOUS!
17: Before church the four of us checked out of our adjoining hotel rooms, then shortly after dinner, Mike had to leave for the airport. Chuck reluctantly began his long drive back to Virginia some time later. Heather & I were privileged to stay another day & sit under our tree sipping tea in the sunshine & continue the reminiscing we had reveled in since we arrived! | A hand made B-day card from Parker found a permanent home on the kitchen wall! | On our way to the airport we made one final stop at my Jr. High on Six Forks Rd. And one more drive through the blossoming trees we wouldn't see for another two months or so at home... | Final Day... | AIRPORT
18: St. Patty's Day | Luncheon | with some dear friends!! We shared creative GREEN FOOD & learned the art of scarf tying for the dawning Spring! | "The spirit teaches and opens minds and hearts up to new ideas and pockets of knowledge. I've decided the gospel is like an onion. It has layers :0 when you think you understand the basics of it and there isn't much more to learn, the Lord opens it up to a whole different layer of meaning." - Elder Collins
19: With plans to celebrate BIG TIME on an ALASKAN cruise in Sept., we head off to our "Happy Place" for a simpler celebration now...YEAH for St. George! | Happy Anniversary Baby | 30 | April Conference sweet rolls... Best ones yet! | Wonderful Years! | 3 packs dry yeast w/ 1 cup water & 2 Tbsp sugar. Stir in 2 C scalded milk, 2 sticks butter, 1 C sugar & 4 tsp salt. Add 4 beaten eggs & yeast mixture in Bosch. Mix in 7 C of flour. Add 6-7 more C flour one at a time. Knead the 7th C of flour on floured surface. Let rise until doubled. Spray four 9x12 pans. Mix 1 C butter, 2 C brown sugar & 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Divide in two, roll out flat. Brush with butter & sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll into loose jelly roll- cut into 2 inch slices. Lay over brown sugar mixture in pans. Let rise 30 min. Bake at 350 for about 20 min. Turn upside down. Cool. Turn over & Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting: 1 pkg softened cream cheese & 1 cube softened butter, 2-3 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. | Stephanie Olsen's Recipe
20: & the ultimate | Fake Out...
21: The ultimate April Fools Dinner! | The boys thought it was awesome, but Macie was a bit concerned... HAMBURGERS: Buns: muffins, Burgers: chocolate cookie, Lettuce: green coconut, Ketchup: red icing FRENCH FRIES: Apple strips rolled in cinnamon CAKE: Meatloaf covered in died mashed potatoes with cherry tomatoes DOGGY FOOD: pretzels MR. MC GREGOR'S GARDEN PATCH: Salad SWAMP WATER: Green Sprite with plastic frogs in the ice cubes SLUDGE: Gummie worms in Chocolate Pudding
22: with at Ben & Lisa's in Logan | Easter
24: Easter Baskets get us ready for in two months... Let the COUNT DOWN begin!!!! We missed Macie's reaction on camera when she first saw her Minnie Mouse dress- but she nearly stopped breathing... We can only imagine her reaction when we finally get there! | Disneyland | Back at home...
25: Oma & Opa gathered up the 3 oldest kids for our first MOVIE Day at the MegaPlex in Day Break to see Doctor Seuss's the LORAX With a huge refill bucket of POPCORN & DRINKS to share, we taught the kiddos the extremely important life skill of laying a napkin in their laps to hold their own popcorn. Of course that only worked as long as they sat still...Another life skill! ;) | With the merger of Smith Barney & Morgan Stanley, Rick & Jordan re-locate to the new the Millrock Park Complex in the offices behind the windows to the right on the ground level. | Britt & Jeremy's family soak up a sunny spring day! | Big band night while we babysit the gang... | BROTHERS!
26: While Rick & Zach already drove the moving van from Texas to Round Rock, they now get to move into a rental home in North Hollywood CALIFORNIA!!! (Only about 11 hours away! YIPEE!!!!) Oma flies out: helping to watch the kids at the hotel, building forts,playing at the park & swimming at the pool with all the "Hollywood kid star wannabees"... | No. Hollywood
27: ...& helping to unpack at the new house. Walks with the kids keep us close to home in this rather scary neighborhood, but the goal is to take a year or so to find the perfect place to buy again. In the meantime they charm the house with their impeccable sense of style!
28: We met up with Jeremy for dinner when he happened to be attending "Farmer's University" at the same time nearby. Gone for a week, Jeremy was thrilled to have the company of his nephew & Oliver was thrilled to have time with his "Best Buddy's" dad! | The front yard has the only grass, but is also fenced in so kids are safely tucked in! Kate loves helping mommy put together daddy's new desk! | Their fenced backyard is super small, but features fruit trees with an abundance of Kumquats!
29: know what my sons are teaching." At first he did little with it, but then Elder Nelson and I stopped by with a poster about 4 months ago that had a couple of scriptures and questions to keep in mind while reading every day for a month! We couldn't get a hold of him for 3 months after that and pretty much thought he'd fallen off the earth. Then one day we had a strong feeling to knock on a door while on our way to another appointment. The guy at the door yelled at us and told us to go away. I was pretty confused as to why the lord would send us to the door of someone who wasn't even interested. But little did we know it was about timing! As we walked toward an intersection, Tom"just happened" to be driving up the street and saw us. He honked his horn and called us over. We set an appointment for two days later and found out he had finished all the scriptures on the poster and had started reading the Book of Mormon up to Jacob! Not only that, but he hadn't had any alcohol for the last 3 months and was ready to know for himself that it was all true. What if we had not listened to the prompting to knock on the cranky man's door? We would have missed Tom! But wait there's more... After pleading with the Lord to prepare Tommy and give us the words all week, we came to our next appointment with the intent to challenge him to baptism. We started teaching and immediately the spirit entered as we read from 3 Nephi 17 & 19 about how the people wanted the Holy Ghost. The prompting came to ask him if that was something HE desired. He took 30 seconds to answer and said, 'Yes, that is something I want," then we invited him to be baptized...The spirit was soooo strong as we waited for him to speak. He fiddled with his book and said, "Ya' know, I've been thinking about that a lot this week, and I'd like my son Sterling to baptize me." We all broke down crying. Tom had been prepared for this moment! ...His son doesn't come home from his mission in Guatemala until December, but two days later, after showing him the talk by Elder Bednar from the priesthood session and asking him what he took from it that could apply to his life, he said, "I feel like I shouldn't wait to be baptized." Our jaws dropped and we said, "Is that what the Holy Ghost is prompting you to do?" He said "Yes!" We suggested he write his son and ask him what he thinks.... The Lord has been working in ways that I could never ever imagine! If Tommy Brown is getting baptized, there is no one in the world that the Lord cannot change! BIGGEST MIRACLE EVER! His son wrote back a week later and said," Dad, it would be selfish of me to make you wait for me to get home...so like the NIKE slogan, "JUST DO IT!" He also said it was the happiest day of his life. "I have never felt so much joy in my heart than at that moment when I heard that his son said, "Dad, this is the happiest day of my life!" THAT IS WHAT JOY IS: Seeing families coming together! I LOVE IT!"Tom was baptized April 19th & Confirmed April 20th. | April 2012 TOM BROWN has the most amazing conversion story. Both of his sons are serving missions right now and the missionaries before me and Elder Nelson had a very strong feeling to knock on his door. He's an alcoholic and very against any religion, but he opened the door to them and said, "Yeah, I'd like to
30: Hidden Valley Golf Course | Warm SUN and Warm HUN! | Rick and Theresa spend a GLORIOUS DAY together at | The first Spring Day on the course !! | April 11, 2012 "The Zone has caught on fire! I'm not sure what got into them, but immediately after leaving the whole Zone a mass voice mail to challenge them to invite one more person to be baptized this week the work has exploded! In 4 days they set 8 baptismal dates! We have a total of 14 in the Zone now and still growing. I'm so happy for all of them and the work they are doing. I don't know how I got to be so lucky being put in this Zone, but we are definitely doing our best to lift the mission from the bottom! ;) And mom, to answer your question about hitting the one year mark, I'm trying not to think about it ;) and there is nothing more you can do to support me better. I swear I have the best support group in the world! You're letters encourage me and don't bring me home and I love them so please don't change anything! I love you all! - Elder Collins | Elder Collins "HUMP DAY" One Year Mark!
31: Lunch and exploration around the newly opened CITY CREEK shopping area down town with friends! | From Theresa's journal April 23, 2012 "I heard something so powerful in sacrament meeting yesterday. It has stayed with me since... The speaker asked a series of "WHAT IF's". WHAT IF you woke every morning and told the Lord you loved him so much you wanted him to walk next to you all day... WHAT IF you told the people around you that you loved them, WHAT IF... etc. The one that really got me though was, "WHAT IF all you had when you woke up in the morning were the things you'd thanked Heavenly Father for the night before?" | My heart nearly swelled to bursting last night when dad and I knelt down to pray together. I thought about all the things I knew I would e devastated to loose the next morning if they were gone and it was the most heart-filled prayer I've uttered in a long while. I told Him everything I was thankful for and why. We really are so blessed! We have EVERYTHING of what really matters!" | What If...
32: With Zach & Lisa here, the whole Gang is together at the at Thanksgiving Point | D I N A S A U R MUSEUM
33: Spoiling Lisa on her Birthday April 27th | Oma works feverishly to finish painting the Elmo Reading Room under the stairs...
34: Oma's with Macie May | to Temple Square... the newGateway... | And the Home of all things Princess... | The DISNEY STORE!! | Day Date
35: Disneyland Here we come!!!! | MAY | Brittany's family shares a suite with Zach's. Oma & Opa share another with Jord's family & Grandmama!
36: "DON'T EAT PETE!" game is introduced & is now a FAVORITE! | Opa' tells spellbinding stories in our suite. | Birthday celebrations for summer kids!
44: M O T H E R S D A Y ! | ...and SKYPE with Ethan on his Mission!! | Our trip ends in St. George where Papa joins us & we get to celebrate Mother's Day together | So FUN to be with grandmama on this Special Day!
45: Parker's Preschool Graduation May 22nd | Oma & Parker go to Schmidt's Pastry for a treat afterward. | YUM! | Parker introduces himself when receiving his diploma & says he wants to be a "PALIENTOLOGIST when he grows up! And he probably WILL be!
46: Melissa's Middle School Musical May 27th | May 27th Jordan is back in a Bishopric. First with the 8th Ward, then the 13th ward and now DayBreak 3rd Ward with Bishop Losee. | June | Brittany and Jeremy move into a rental condo in Cedar Hills... | Lou Chant & Theresa share their obsession for FONDUE with another neighborhood's Cooking Group. | Our new FAMILY FAVORITE ..."S'MORE Cookies!! | Melissa, BryanandStephen (said like one word) with Jaxon & Nash | Baby Shower gift-
47: Macie Turns | 3 | A Princess Party even the boys can love... Mom finds a killer deal on a CASTLE bounce house rental to the delight of every child! | 3 | 3 | 3
48: Country Western Carnival with our Auntie Janie... | D A D | Father's Day | Favorite title...
49: Elder Collins Dearly missed, but doing sooo much good!
50: Amanda's Birthday | Alyssa's 1/2 B-day | Annabelle's Birthday | Massive Family Birthday Barty | Starts out at Amanda's house with her parents. 2 cakes.. SCORE!
51: Rick'''' s Birthday | Inauguration of the Pool Table | And a very unexpected visit from Grandpa Collins
52: Neighborhood Western BBQ in our backyard with some little helpers manning the costumes...
53: Yes, there were neighbors too, but none who captivated the camera like these ADORABLE Damsels & Dudes!!!
54: NAPA Reunion June 27th Laura & Dar's back yard
55: Karaoke Night began with Jaxon BravelyVolun-teering to be FIRST NO FEAR!!
56: Smith Family Reunion | We hang with Cousins on Friday at Laura's & the next day meet at Nibley Park for the first time in YEEEEEARS to be with Nana's sibling's families. June 28th | Cousins Brian, Mark, Paul & Sandra
57: Uncle John | Aunt Fleda | Uncle Harold | (Our Nana)Patty'sFamily | Fleda's Family | John's Family | Harold's Family | Margaret's Family | Martin's Family | Missing are those from Pete, Sam & Julia's Family
58: July | Zach & Lisa are here for a family reunion and we get to hang out together at the water park. While there, fire breaks out in Alpine near Britt & Jeremy's house where we have a front row seat to the tragedy. It will be days before it is under control while those in Sun Crest above us are on alert to evacuate. It appeared to some that the area around the temple would be next prompting some to pack their things just in case... Our area was spared, but others not so lucky.
59: We | After a picnic and ice cream in the yard we wait for dark and break out the flags! Since a firework ban exist for those of us in the benches, we once again take ours to the circle in front of Grandpa C's house and easily wow our little gang of 7... | 4th | of July
60: This week the zone's numbers have tripled and in some areas quadrupled! The challenges that we left with each companionship pertaining to their efforts in "finding" plus our own have really expanded their view of how much time can be used to be more productive. One thing that I felt was very important, and it was you that taught me this dad, is that every challenge we gave to the 10 companionships we have also taken on ourselves. I have seen the inspiration of someone who leads by example and I, myself, cannot ask someone to do something that I have not already done and have a testimony of. Thank you dad for that amazing example in everything you do and have pleaded with ME to do ;) ...It was amazing to me how comforting it was to calmly and confidently say, "It will be over when Christ says "the work is done". I know that we are supported out here by hands that are unseen, but definitely felt. I know that we are strengthened by inaudible words of comfort and peace. And I know that we are protected by legions of angels as it talks about in 2 Kings. If only our eyes could be open to see the concourses of flaming chariots we would not fear. And I am finding that the more I pray to love the amazing people of Oregon, fear is cast out. Moroni 16-17..."Behold I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth our all fear. I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love... | FROM ELDER COLLINS 7-9-12 | FROM MOM 1-13-12 | Oh my how we enjoyed your letter this week! I've read it over 4-5 times. I am so blessed knowing and feeling the confidence you have earned through the spirit! The love you have for the people of Oregon is evident in every letter, but particularly this one. I loved your scripture reference of how LOVE, not just preparation, drives away doubt and fear... It never ceases to amaze me to witness the love our Savior has for each of us. I read about it in the countless examples of his servants in the B of M who each ask us to "REMEMBER" I experience it in my own life and scramble to write it down so I can keep the memory of it and witness it in the lives of my family. I hope that THEY will strive to "Remember" for themselves what they have felt and known! It's interesting what fades and what remains after time. Some of the sweetest memories become lost until an experience or a smell or a picture or an event triggers them again. I do hope you've found your own unique way that works for YOU to keep those sacred experiences of your mission alive forever! When dad and I returned from Holland the first time together, we took with us his journals and read from them each night. Tears wet his pillow at night as it brought back a flood of emotion. Even now, as he remembers, he will find himself dreaming in Dutch or walking the streets of the land among the people he gave his heart to. These times will always be yours son! They can never be taken from you! The challenge makes the triumphs and the highs that much more exuberant! Don't shy away from the discouragement when you feel it because, as in life, it's real and only highlights the tender mercies of a living Father when they are re-read in the context of the "Big Picture!"
61: I had lunch with some girlfriends I hadn't seen in years. We covered every subject imaginable from the ridiculous to the trivial, but found ourselves ending with sharing the tender mercies we'd all experienced. To have shared only the challenges would have been an unfortunate slant on our lives. In fact we hadn't really spoken of trials until we began sharing the "God Winks" as one called them. Only then, did it reveal the difficulties, but in the context of how we'd made it through them, not that we'd HAD them. What a wonderful gift we ended up sharing with each other and a treasure to have been able to remind ourselves of them as well. President Eyring tells that when we ask ourselves each day how God has manifest himself to us that day, we will cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude that will bless us forever! I know that to be true! My computer is FILLED with recorded experiences as are volumes of hand written journals since my childhood. I don't know how much value they would have to anyone else since they were primarily a very private opportunity to look inward, often discover my own thoughts, see my own lessons and recognize God's hand. I hope that I have shared enough of them at appropriate times with my children that they will at least see, hope and recognize, as I have, that God really does care about the smallest of concerns and will find a way to bless us when we are humble and ready! Your dad and I participated in a prayer circle last night that I have seldom experienced. The prayer that was offered was the most tender expression of loving devotion I've ever heard. I wish I could remember the words precisely, but the feeling will not soon leave me/ The sentiment was much like the hymn"More Holiness Give ME." I had no over powering concern or plea of my own at that moment, but was swept up in the yearning to improve, to more fully devote my heart and my life. I wanted to be better, to love more completely, to trust more deeply! It was extraordinary and so reflective of what I've been asking for in my own personal prayers of late. Give me more strength to do they will, help me to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to feel your promptings and to increase my desire to be more tomorrow than I am today. I wonder if everyone in the room felt it or if it was just those of us in the circle, but of course when I looked in your dad's eyes before we sat back down, we were both tearful and later we agreed we'd never felt anything quite like it before! I DO want to be the person I promised I'd be. I DO want Father to trust me and use me as an instrument! I DO want to leave people better than I find them and I want my family to know that I know this is a gospel of hope and second chances and that the Savior's love can heal any pain, any heartache, anything broken or tired or scared. My memory tells me that as does my daily life when I'm looking for it. And my heart sores with gratitude that he blesses me so abundantly! Thank you for being our missionary, for being such a shining example and for sharing your testimony each week. It matters and it carries a great power! I love you and feel it a privilege to support you on your mission. Go to work Elder and know we are ALWAYS praying for you! | Continued...
62: Elder Jake Gutke's Farewell July 29th Called to San Antonio Texas | Gutke Family
63: Few of us would recognize Jaxon without some sort of Super Hero costume- Often like this one, made by his mom! | We were ecstatic to join him at our own DRAPER TEMPLE | August 8th After being set apart as a full time missionary, Jake stops to say goodbye to Rick and Jordan at work while on his way to the MTC | August | While attending USU, Jake was intent on making it to as many Utah temples as he could before leaving...
64: Family Home Evening up American Fork Canyon! The idea was sprouted by Jaxon who wanted to have a "Camp" Night. We enjoyed Tin Foil dinners, SMORES, hiking and impromptu stage performing...
65: Parker turns | With the Summer Olympics just concluded, an OLYMPIC themed party was just the ticket! | 5
66: Amanda gets her wish!!! A Grand Piano in her newly remodeled room... | Rick surprised Theresa by resurrecting her favorite Birthday tradition to SUNDANCE THEATRE. | Parker & Oma share Birthday dinner & cake before family enjoys the acoustics of the new room from UNDER the Piano!
67: Macie and Parker on the same soccer team! For Macie, it was her first introduction... She would only participate as long as her daddy held her hand and ran with her toward the ball, but when Oma and Opa came to watch, something came over her and she BURST from her daddy's hand and attacked the ball like a pro! Parker, on the other hand, had long since mastered the art of SUPER JOCK! As self- appointed GOLIE, he figured out that he could BOTH take the ball to the other end to score AND hurry back to guard his goal! Look out ladies, this Kindergarten heart breaker is also reading Harry Potter! | Rachel's YOUTHLINC Humanitarian trip to KENYA We had a special FHE Aug 27th with our two families to hear her amazing stories & see these precious pictures & many more... A trip of a life time!
68: Alaska | SEPTEMBER | We FINALLY get to fulfill a dream to go on an ALASKAN CRUISE for our 30 year ANNIVERSARY! (Which was technically in March, but it was too cold to go until now...) We boarded in Vancouver & headed straight for top side sun while they readied our room & brought up luggage! | I had to have this picture of Rick entering the gangplank of the ship because it's soooooo Rick... What other person on the planet would take his briefcase on a cruise-especially an outdoor wilderness destination! Yep- that's my man! It looked like a spy case; hard sided & silver like the kind you leave in airports with a bomb inside... I was sure authorities would strip search such a shady character, but somehow we managed to slip through!
69: JUNEAU | Mendenhall Glazier
70: Fish Hatchery & Salmon Bake | JUNEAU | Under a fairly steady rain we arrive at the Salmon Bake & Salmon smoking on the grill. Quite honestly the local entertainment was terrible & the Salmon over-cooked, but the CHARMING location tucked in the forest was a worthy destination! | During the days at sea Theresa takes advantage of each of the Microsoft photo & movie classes they offered by Tony. An unexpected bonus!
71: The next day we awoke on the approach toward Glazier Bay. After a good work out in the gym, we bundled up to go deck side & take in the views. Our captain was Dutch so we were treated to "Snert" (Pea soup) and endless mugs of Hot Chocolate! Breath taking scenery!
72: the | of a Life Time!
73: GLACIER BAY
74: We spent the whole day in the Bay watching in awe as craggy ice towers buckled and creaked above us in a great force of nature before crashing to the ocean before our eyes. Truly magical!
75: SITKA This was the scene we awoke to ... Breathtaking views from our balcony! A quick breakfast & we tendered into an exquisitely quaint & charming village. No excursions today- We picked out a trail & headed peacefully into a fairyland rain forest...
76: Our wandering quickly took us into the heart of PARADISE! Heavy clouds bathing fern & moss in a fine mist of intrigue & beauty! Every step was a unique discovery!
77: After several hours our hiking took us back to the bay where we lingered as long as possible before reluctantly boarding the ship again. God's finger print is everywhere!
79: ZIP LINE through the Rain forest
80: It's impossible to adequately describe the impressions of this trip to ALASKA. Surely, there is beauty in every quarter of the earth, but the week we spent along the shores of this icy wonderland was as glorious and God affirming as any we could ever hope to see! | Our trip concluded in Victoria, British Columbia where we did a short bus tour, wandered the streets on our own through the markets with fish throwers, & pastries & flower shops & then to the very first STARBUCKS location. Now since Rick had never darkened their doors before, he was determined to have his first sip come from the original location. We waited in line for nearly an hour to order the famous "Salted Carmel" flavored Chocolate Milk only to have Rick toss it in the trash! Cracked me up! Apparently even fame can't cover his dislike for dark chocolate. THEN we found out the original Starbucks was actually 2 blocks down. Oops! :) The lights of the city brought us back to the streets after dinner. | The burning question now is how we'll survive without chocolate on our pillow & a towel animal hanging in our closet every night... | Finally we dock in Seattle and head straight for the space needle before arriving at the airport for the flight home! | Victoria | Seattle
81: One PERFECT Fall Day! VTing Partner Fay Rigonto & I surprised Hege Farnsworth & Margaret Arnold with a spectacularly lovely luncheon up the trail behind our house... Astonished to find us tucked into the trees, were an occasional mountain biker & even a man on horseback. But the most envious were a group of women hikers who gave us an enormous thumbs up to see such a thoroughly unexpected pleasure!
82: Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey CIRCUS | Sept 22nd
83: Professor Blau (Uncle Ben) has a write up in the USU Alumni Magazine as favorite Professor. We sent the article to Ethan & at this point he thinks he'll be going there & taking classes from him when he returns home... Perhaps another Aggie????? Regardless- we're sure proud of Ben!
84: Spooky Claw Craft Day with Parker and Macie... | OCTOBER | Spooky Spider Cookie Day with Jaxon...
85: Pat's birthday is always such a fun excuse to have a themed party & with plenty of help from the great grand kids- the tradition lives on!
86: Stephen found he had the skills AND the thrills for POWER TOOLS! Could Home Depot become his favorite store too? | VROOOOM! | Feeding the Power Tool FIX Refinishing Heather's Bathroom Cabinets... | 10-8-12 "These (mission experiences) have changed my life. The Lord has blessed me to be an instrument in bringing many people to Christ, and I pray many more as we continue, but the one I am most grateful for is the one that looks back at me in the mirror. " -Elder Collins | MISSION MOMENT...
87: Elder Collins Representing the Lord so well with much love & success!
88: Mueller Canyon Birthday luncheon When it came time to leave, we discovered we had a dead battery & no cables... Apparently we looked trust-worthy because a mountain biker just tossed us the keys to his car down the road, instructed us where to find his cables, use & return them, hide the keys & NOT steal his car! We had nothing to thank him with but flowers on the windshield! Of course we laughed ourselves silly!
89: October 9th Papa's kids gathered for a session together in the Logan Temple, then met with the rest of the family for a lovely luncheon together. Ben prepared a sideshow of our studdly Papa as a young athlete & an Army Mortar Platoon Sergeant in the Korean War. We're sooo proud of him!
90: Simmons Family Pictures taken by Oma at a park in Cedar Hills
91: A few days around the "Hood" with "Action Jaxon" & Nash "We dus luv each udder." -Jaxon
92: After our Company Retreat to Arizona, we hopped a flight to California to visit Zach & Lisa's family in their rental home. | So many wonderful memories & activities with our kiddos... Roaming through a Pumpkin Patch ...
93: Flying Kites on .....Beach... Eatng out... Making Halloween Cookies & Crafts... Filming Video clips for Christmas movie...
94: AND... DISNEY LAND!!!!! | We WORE them OUT! Sooo FUN!!!
95: Jordan & Amanda's Precious family!!!
96: Oma & Opa had a sweet conversation with Parker this week when he told us he was missing his uncle Ethan. He asked us why he had to be gone soooo long. Opa asked him if he understood the Law of Tithing. He proudly explained to us that he knew that if he had 10 pennies, he could pay one of them for tithing to help Heavenly Father help other people. Opa said, "That's right, and do you think that's a lot of money to give him?" He quickly shook his head. "It's NOT a lot," he responded, "because you have so much left over." Next, Opa asked him if he knew what 10 percent of 20 was. Parker thought about it and accurately answered, "Two!" "Well," said Opa, "Ethan loves Heavenly Father so much that he is giving a tithing of his TIME!" Two years for his twenty years so far. Does that sound like a lot?" Parker thought about it and agreed it wasn't so much because he had so many other years he'd be home with us. Suddenly he was willing to let his uncle stay away a bit longer and wasn't so sad anymore. In our letter to Ethan, Oma told him about Parker's breakthrough and joked that he didn't have to worry about paying an EXACT tithing though. (He's turning 23 in two weeks and two years is LONG ENOUGH!) Besides, we've heard they don't even grant extensions anymore! Of course the first thing he said in his letter back to us was..."Correction mother... They DO have extensions! :)" AURG! That was NOT funny! His nephew's not the ONLY one missing him! | our SHAMELESS countdown... Only 6 months left...
97: While Jordan and Amanda are on a long awaited Anniversary cruise- we get to keep the kids & run them to school & other activities which on this day included KARATE!!!
98: We played in the freshly fallen snow,filmed a lot of segments for video, played in the FINISHED Elmo Reading Room, Made cards for Elder Ethan, and attended the ward TRUNK or TREAT! But the SPOOKIEST Trick was to come...One morning about 2:00 am. Opa awoke with a feeling he was being watched. As he slowly became more aware he saw two little legs straddling his head... It was Macie May patiently starring down at him at the top of the bed. Startled, he asked her what she was doing. She matter of factly replied, "Opa, I just can't sleep!" Though we'll never know if she actually went back to sleep, she stayed there the rest of the night! FREEKY
99: NASH turns With J & A's kids at grandma Julies for the weekend- we have a quiet celebration with plenty of Brittany's amazing MONSTER Cupcakes to share!! | 1
100: Annie | The whole Family | Nash | Famous House draws a huge crowd! | Princess Mae | On their own | Minnie Mouse | Bishop Losee | Talking Tree | Jaxon | Ready to GO! | Mr. Carl Fredricksen | HALLOWEEN in Daybreak Neighborhood! An Annual Tradition! | From the movie "UP" | Just plain FUN!
101: Jaxon & Nash help Oma Plant bulbs for spring time... | NOVEMBER
102: 11-7-12 Wednesday morning as Elder Hendricksen and I were having companionship study we started roll-playing teaching the Plan of Salvation for an investigator. He was getting kinda frustrated because the words just weren't coming while he was trying to teach of our Heavenly Father and I knew from experience I wasn't gonna help at all by jumping in and saving him. We sat in silence for about 3 minutes and the Spirit began to fill the room. Tears started streaming down our faces as it testified to us the reality of a FATHER who created us. I asked him, "Elder Hendricksen, Who is God...really? And why is what we teach so powerful?" Silence again filled the room and the spirit taught both of us something. God is not an intangible object. He is not a blob of nothing that has no form or emotions. God is my literal Father in Heaven. He created my spirit and my body in His image. So I look kind of like Him. I have the ability to be like Him and He wants nothing more than for me to receive everything He has. He once was like me, and though the world thinks this is blasphemy it is only because the true relationship of God and man has been distorted over time by the adversary. Elder H and I sat there testifying to each other about the amazing reality that HE has a body of flesh and bones like ours that is perfect and immortal. He weeps with us, He rejoices with us. I have found a new strength knowing that I am worshiping a God that knows exactly what I am going through and He wants me to be happy. I know these words might not seem like much, but I wish you could have been there. ...The next morning in my personal study I felt impressed to read the Book of Moses. As I read I received the same spiritual witness that God LIVES! Moses spoke with Him face to face as a man speaks to another. I have found new purpose to teach people. Heavenly Father wants to bless us with everything He has! And there is a prophet that restored everything we need to do to experience all of those blessings. This was something I always knew, but after being taught by the spirit this weekend, now I KNOW! -Elder Collins
103: 11-12-12 A lady in our sacrament mtg. said something interesting that made me think... She told a story about how she made 3 identical night gowns for her 3 grand daughters and she got 3 different reactions to these gifts. One didn't care, one gave a fake "Thanks Grandma!" and the last Loooooved it! Then she pointed out that it was then that she realized that God has not given us the ability to show gratitude because HE needs the support, but that He gave us the ability to be grateful so WE could experience joy. If life throws you things that you could put on a sour face about- just say thank you and be grateful and you will find joy in the smallest things. Anyway, it made a big impact on me. I have always tried to be an optimist, but that doesn't mean that I have been grateful for everything that has happened to me. And I see how I have gypped myself of some of the simple pleasures because I had a bad attitude. Life is given to have joy, but how could we have joy if we are never satisfied with anything. :P Go out & be grateful for something today! -Elder Collins | Gratitude
104: M O V E I N D A Y S T G E O R G E | Some folks have to SING for their supper... We had to MOVE IN for our supper! Everybody pitched in to move out of the old house & set up beds! | ThanksGiving | Opa doing the TURKEY DANCE!!!
105: It's nothing short of a miracle that we started moving in Tuesday night and are eating a FULL Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings by Thursday afternoon! That's TEAMWORK! That's Cool! Jordan was still recovering from falling down the stairs w/ Macie. Louis Rankin, our newly widowed LaJolla Hills neighbor, agreed to join this crazy bunch for dinner.
108: The Saturday after moving OUT of La Jolla Hills & IN to our new ST G home- we moved Britt & Jeremy OUT of Cedar Hills & IN to our basement... Thats a Holy Baloney lot of moving, but worth every bit. Waking up & going to sleep & everything in between with those darling boys is a joy, a gift & a blessing! | Every Sunday for choir practice, Jaxon was convinced the GRINCH was there JUST FOR HIM! | Our Ward Christmas Party starring The GRINCH and ALL his sidekicks! (The Johansen Family) | DECEMBER | ... And maybe he was!
109: Makin' music with the Palmers Doug and Joan! | And by going BONKERS! IN OVER MY HEAD...I tried to create a DVD FAAAAAR beyond the capability of the software I was using.. After hundreds of hours & months of planning, scripting, preparing, filming & editing the movie I intended for ALL on our Christmas list- the finished product would NOT render for copying. Devastated & running out of time, Britt and I tried filming the film, but the quality was horrible! Finally we had to embrace the imperfections and trust the message would come through. If nothing else it solidified for the children the importance of service and allowed them the opportunity to experience the joy of giving with lasting memories. It was worth the time for that alone, but... never again! | Supporting Ethan's best friend Kameron & Cloe Jensen marry in the SL temple | Finished product- ready to ship | Home from the post office...That's how I feel buddy! | Preparing for Christmas... | My "resident" right hand, Brittany, earns the "Patron Saint of Draper" title for her tenacious & creative attempts to save the project long after rational people had gone to bed! | by cozying up with the "BIG GUY" himself...
110: Our Family Video to friends & neighbors to inspire & foster a spirit of service | Some of many ways our grandchildren found they could "Give Themselves Away"... | Which brought extra special meaning to our Christmas and an enthusiasm to serve all year!
111: Gifts of e r v i c e Gifts of e l f | Christmas 2012 | S | S
112: Toll House cookie s'mores A new family Favorite! | 12-19-12 There are lot's of missionaries that are super homesick and hate Christmas out here, but is it bad that I'm super excited for it?! I lOVE CHRISTMAS! Yes, memories of home are flooding in every time I see a Christmas decoration, but that only fuels the fire! I know why I'm here. I know how happy this has made me. I know how incredible my family is and I will see them again soon. I've got my whole life of holidays left to spend at home. I have one more Christmas to spend with Christ and that makes me happy! -Elder Collins | INGREDIENTS: 1 C butter, softened 3/4 C brown sugar 3/4 C white sugar 1 tsp vanilla 2 eggs 2 C flour 2 C graham cracker crumbs 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 C chocolate chips 16 oz mini marshmallows | DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter a jelly roll pan or 9X13 pan. Beat together butter, sugars, add eggs and vanilla, beat. Stir in flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Press half the cookie dough in the bottom of prepared pan. (Will be very thin) sprinkle marshmallows over the top , then chocolate chips. Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the top. Bake 18-22 minutes o until golden brown and cooked in center. (if using 9x13 pan, bake 22-26 minutes.)
113: Christmas Eve Feel the Magic... | Polar Express | A GOLDEN TICKET to ride the Polar Express w/ the "Conductor" to see Christmas lights and sip hot chocolate!
114: Christmas Morning | Christmas Day
115: Grand Mama's B-day the 28th Of course eating and shopping were involved! | The Day After Christmas we head down to St. George- through New Years! To be joined by Nana & Papa, Heather and the boys! | Oh, What FUN it is! | And there's nothing finer to Jaxon & Nash than to have Brian & Stephen to themselves!
116: No time in St. George is complete without some red rock hiking and touring of the exquisite Snow Canyon! Totally new vistas for the "peeps" from up NORTH! | Stephen over came his fear of heights lo keep up with the grandpas and get his blood pumping. A great alternative to standing and freezing!
117: Happy New Year !!! | It's not the ashes, but the embers we claim When we Trust in God- His blessings to gain. Faith builds on the past, never longing to stay. It seeks to be LEARNED from, not LIVED-IN today! It points toward the future, transforming our dreams, However distant or far they may seem. For a life looking FORWARD finds hope void of sorrow And God's Tender Mercies in today AND tomorrow! -Theresa Collins | Another