S: Collins Family Album 2009
BC: Family | family
FC: Collins Family Album | 2009 | Collins family album
1: A year characterized by spiritual dedication, unique challenge, personal accomplishment, family growth, blessed survival and intense joy! | 2009 | This book is dedicated to the family who brought us through it all !
2: Draper Temple Open House January 04- March 14 | January
3: The first week of the Temple Open House was for VIP's , Visiting dignitaries, Religious Leaders of other faiths, Government Officials, General Authority families and Media. Daily during this busy time Rick was asked to accompany or guide the tours. himself. In each case during the first week, individuals and groups were free to take their time and ask questions. Rick was able to personally escort a group of three Muslims from Turkmenistan who spoke only Russian. The church was able to find a return mission Pres from Russia to translate after each sentence of the film as well as his tour. He was thrilled at their enthusiastic and [positive response.. Another tour which stood out was one of a Catholic from California who had given huge sums of money to the BYU Law school and wanted very much to go inside. He was able to thoughtfully ask many deep questions about doctrine and principals and was totally enamored. Troy and Allen Battles were perhaps the most memorable in his heart because it lead to missionary discussions in our home and later to Allen's baptism. In each case, while escorting members of other faiths, a genuine spirit of respect and appreciation were fostered. He also had the privilege of acting as guide for the family of Sheri Dew and Elder Sybrouski with his kids and grand kids. among others. Once the public tours began we personally hosted Teri, Jim and TJ Mitchell, Gina and from work and Eric and Mom. It was an exciting time. | : The view from our house as buses ran every minute or less past our house, 14 hrs /day! For a majority of the over 800,000 visitors to the temple, the tour began at one of three meeting houses in Draper with a video followed by a bus ride to the grounds where they could step directly into a heated tunnel which lead them into the temple. Tours ended in a reception area inside the stake center with refreshments before boarding buses again to return to their cars. The whole process could take up to 1 1/2 hours. WE just walked across the street! with our guests! At one time there were as many as 12 buses lined up along our street to drop off visitors. Once a bus broke down for five hours in front of our house, forcing a complete re-direction of traffic flow. protesters were an annoying, but common part of the scene as well.
4: Joan & Doug Palmer and Theresa were privileged to prepare for an hour program on two different occasions, January 24th & March 5th. A lengthy journal entry dated !-24 details the experience. | Music for public Open House... | Before this opportunity, Theresa had always gotten by learning only the notes she needed for the one selection she might be playing. THIS program required HOURS & HOURS of practice to play every key signature comfortably for one full hour. Little Parker lost no time joining in with HIS flute, He even had to have his own stand and pencil to mark his music.
5: - Partial Journal entry January 24th, 2009 - As is often the case in life, the preparation for something important or difficult is often a greater blessing than the achievement of it. Such was the discovery I made on e evening in January.. Being asked to play for the Draper Temple OpenHouse for a full hour presented a terrifying challenge to this self-taught flute player. For the first time, I had to actually learn every note and comfortably move between a variety of key signatures. My soul longed to be worthy of this sacred assignment... To my great surprise it was not the thrill of doing well, of "making it through" or even of over-coming the tremendous fear that will mean the most to me. I think my faith and past consecrated experiences had made me expect the "performance" to be the big thrill; the big pay-off." I have sung in chorus where during the performance I could literally feel angels join us and magnify our devotion. I have played my instrument and felt as if some one else guided my fingers through the passages of music. that did not happen in any manner this time, but it enough! In the end, it was not the performance that I treasured. Instead, it was the process of preparation; the quiet devotion, the sincere and humble pleads for help, the hymns that now permeate my every waking hour and fill my dreams at night. It was knowing WHO I wanted to do this for and WHY. It was the time on my knees and the time in practice "doing all I could " before asking if He to whom I offered myself would make up for my inadequacies. It was understanding that we were not "playing for an audience," only trying to maintain the spirit that permeates such an occasion. It was seeking to trust that my offering, while shabby at best, was all that was required to be received by my Savior for it was in HIS name and for HIS cause that I sought to give all I had. I am infinitely grateful to belong to a church which allows the untrained, the unprofessional, the inexperienced to participate in the Lord's work and glory. Even as I write this, treas fill my eyes as I ponder the wonder of His call to the humble and the meek. It is not about being the best- it's about BECOMING the best. How blessed we are that He assists us in that process. That he allows us to DO what we are capable of doing and that in the DOING we are made better through Him.
6: (RICK) "We welcome you to the Temple . The room you've just left was called the Celestial Room. It is symbolic of life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. The other rooms in the temple are symbolic of a journey that began before this life and continues through the necessary experiences of mortality and CAN culminate in returning tot he presence of our Heavenly Father. The room you are in right now is called the Sealing Room. In order to understand the significance of this room it is important to know that Jesus Christ gave to his apostles the "Sealing Power"...To Peter, he said,"And I shall give unto thee the keys of the kingdom and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven." (Matt 16: ) It's in rooms like these that a bride and a groom are brought to knell at this alter and ,by someone who holds those keys, are bound or "sealed" in marriage, not only in this life, but through out the eternities. And children that are born to that union are sealed to their parents as well" (THERESA) " Twenty eight years ago in March, my sweet husband and I knelt across an alter similar to this one in the Logan Temple and there made covenants that would bind us and any children we might be blessed with together FOREVER.. Even from a very practical stand point, that Unique ETERNAL perspective CAN and SHOULD inspire families to quickly and lovingly resolve conflict, nurture relationships they would WANT to have continue beyond this life and work more diligently now to provide a place of refuge with in the walls of their own homes. That has certainly been the desire for our family as we have navigated this life together. Like Elder Holland, I can not imagine a heaven that hoes not include my dear husband and children. " (RICK) "I have the blessing of living close to this temple and I can see it every day. Temples have become, for me, a symbol of everything I hold dear in this life: The love I feel from my Heavenly Father and the relationship I have with the Lord Jesus Christ, The love I have for my wife and my children and grandchildren- which I hope can continue into the next life. We hope you have enjoyed your visit tot he temple this day and that you have felt a spirit of peace and a measure of God's love for you. This concludes the formal tour and if you'll follow the ushers out his door, you'll be guided to the reception area where representatives will be available to answer any questions you may have. Thank you again for being here. " ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. | The 3 1/2 minute Testimony Rick & Theresa shared in the Sealing Rooms of the Temple | A tender mercy was the time we were assigned a sealing room and just happened to have all nine of our children and Parker take the last seats in OUR room . We were able to share those things that mattered most to the people who mattered most! . Parker was so reverent as he waved and whispered our names through the back of the chair.What a glorious, emotional GIFT!
7: The cultural hall of our Stake Center was transformed into a beautiful reception area to hosts the nearly 9,000 guest after their temple tour. Visitors were greeted by volunteers and full time missionaries., Simple refreshments,uplifting live music, numerous pictures of he Savior, maps and pictures of the 100 + temples through out the world, and a spirit of peace which were an extension of that which they had just experienced. | President Rudolfo Franco President Patrick Holmes President Richard Collins | As the Agent Stake in charge of the entire Open House, These man had the privilege to be fully immersed in every detail.
8: "TOOL TIME" Primadonna's Lynn Gutke moved into an condo downtown and needed a little magic. So the sisters, too nieve to doubt themselves, took on the renovation of the old fireplace and were as tickled with the outcome as Lynn was! We had to tear off the existing and rebuild a new box, | beef up the mantle, add crown molding, deco molding, replace base molding and caulk and paint the pookey out of it all to cover all our the NEW imperfections.. But the BEST FUN of all was using the POWER TOOLS!!!! AAURG! What's next? | February | From THIS... | To THIS!
9: Then they left for Boise to spend some time before Sylvia's baptism. Heather, Rae, drove separately. We made it there just fine, but on the return trip it was nine year old Stevo who saved the day when he noticed the mile markers going UP instead of DOWN! The first oppor-tunity to turn around was a t a rest stop where we discovered we were heading for Idaho Falls instead of S..L. so now we strap Stephen to the front bumper wherever we go. Who needs a "tom Tom' when they have "Steve Steve!" | Parker is too smart for his britches! At 19 months, he is already wearing BIG BOY PANTS! | Brittany announces her pregnancy- Due Sept 13th! | Mom & Eric made a special trip to attend the Temple Open House February 5th. | # 4
10: TEMPLE DEDICATIONS | Four Sessions a day on March 20 -22nd
11: This is the Temple Box we purchased for the Francos to keep their mementos . While it was unknown to the rest of the stake, we were aware that President Franco would be made a General authority at our April Conference and because of the immense amount of personal dedication to this temple, we could not think of it with out thinking of him. It seemed only fitting that a personal gift be given he and his wife, so I painted a picture of our beloved temple inside the lid of the box and hand-stitched the handkerchief as a token of our tremendous gratitude. for his tireless service. | March | The session we were able to attend in the Celestial Room happened to be sitting next to them and they just happened to use our hankies that day! | The Temple Box we gave the Franco to safe guard their mementos.
12: CORNERSTONE March 19th , the committee members were invited to view the contents as they were placed in the corner tone box inside the Temple Foyer. Powerful testimonies were born! Bright and early the next morning , March 20th, Ethan & I joined the throngs to watch the placement of the cornerstone by the Prophet. Much to our surprise we were spotted in the back and brought to stand inside the porch where the brethren passed by., then were mercifully with in feet of the prophet as he placed the mortar and warmly interacted with the crowd.
13: Monday, March 23rd, a very special First Temple Session was held for the Stake Presidents with in the district at 2:00 p.m. We were able to attend the second Temple Session held for the rest of the Presidencies and all those on committees at 4:00 p.m.
14: Four of our kids were able to attend with us on Friday for the fist day of dedications in the Aspen Room. Rick and Theresa attended together Saturday in the Celestial Room and again Sunday in the Baptistery .
15: Journal entry 3-21-09 a.m. While attending the 2:00 dedicatory session in the "Aspen Tree" endowment room with four of our children, Elder Anderson of the seventy made a remark that fully woke me early this morning as I lay reflecting upon yesterday's events. He remarked that it had been 47 years ago that he and his wife had knelt across an alter in the S.L. temple and begun their eternal life together. Due to his being set apart to do sealings in that same temple,he has returned many times to the same sealing room and reflected on the blessings that union has brought. While the carpets, alter cloth and chair covers have likely changed over the years , every time he looks in those mirrors he sees evidence that he is not the same man she married those many years ago. To which he added, as best as I can recall..."I am grateful I am not the same man and neither is she the same woman. We have grown up in the Lord and are better than we began." Jordan asked me privately yesterday afternoon if I had any promptings that Rick would be called as Stake President when Pres. Franco was released in April, a fact that only he is aware of. I said I did not, and neither did his dad, but what was strange is how at peace he is with the idea, should i it be what the Lord wants. Jordan added that his dad had told him the same things, adding that he wasn't afraid because he knew the Lord would help him. We both tearfully | recalled the tremendous growth that has taken place in the last year. He is not the same man! And upon reflection this morning, neither am I the same woman! Whenever we consecrate ourselves to the Lord, we are changed! A fully consecrated heart is made better, stronger, deeper. More capable, more understanding, more full of mercy, love, patience. More intertwined with the heart of the Savior, enabled, enlightened and magnified to do his work. This year of such concentrated, heartfelt, preparation for the temple open house and dedication, while still attending to the ministry of the stake has changed every one involved. It has certainly changed me, who has had only a side line view of the establishment of the most significant edifice we could ever have witnessed. I hope it has changed everyone with in it's shadow! The members of our stake have been given the richest gift any of us could have asked for in a life time! To the degree we have received that gift into our hearts, we have been changed. We have heard of those in the valley who have chosen not to use their tickets and attend the open house with their family because they heard how long it took to ride the buses from the various stake centers. Similarly, the temple was not filled to capacity yesterday because, for whatever reason, those who had tickets, chose not to use them while so many others would have done anything to be there.
16: Over the three days of dedication Rick was able to escort many, General Authorities as they arrived. He and President Holmes were literally outside in the cold wind for three days! He would stumble into bed at night with a smile on his sun/wind-burned face and tell me what wonderful things had happened that day. There was never time to write anything down as he went from sun-up to sun-down, but fortunately some memories are etched deeply in the heart. While preparing this book some time later, I asked him to tell me some of the stories again so I could write them down for him in his own words. When I asked Rick if there was a favorite highlight or a "stand out" memory during the whole temple Open House and Dedication experience, without hesitation he shared the following encounter with President Holland,,, "President Holmes and I were assigned to the parking lot for the 3 days of the dedication. Our job was to escort the General Authorities into the temple and to the holding room where they could change and prepare for the next session. When elder Holland arrived, I helped him form his car and asked if I could show him in. "Certainly," he said warmly. He introduced me to his daughter who was accompanying him and then took me buy the arm and talked easily about the day as we walked in. When I got him to the preparation area and just before I let him go he turned to me, looked directly into my eyes and said, "Thank you brother, I love you!" It's hard to describe what it feels like to hear an Apostle say those words to you, but I imagine it's what it would be like to hear the Savior himself telling me. It was not a "Thank you for your service or sacrifice" kind of "I love you" not a general "I love you," but a sincere expression to me-the-person. The message went right through me. It meant so much to me to have that more than any other place. I will always treasure that moment when an Apostle said those three words." Two other encounters stand out to him as well. One with Pres. Eyring and one with Pres. Uchdorf. It was good to hear them again. So simple, yet obviously so sweet to him... | Rick's favorite Dedication memories
17: I remember when I greeted President Eyring . He was with his wife. As I escorted them toward the doors, President Eyring kept pausing to take pictures of the temple with his I-phone. I thought it was funny that Sister Earing kept walking as if she knew it would take him a while. I couldn't leave him, so I waited. He paused to take another angle with that eternal grin of his and then explained that he sent a daily email to his children and grandchildren and one of these shots would become his "picture of the day." On the second day of the dedications, President Uchdorf saw me inside the temple and noticed the star pennant I wore on my lapel. He asked me what it meant and where I got it. I explained that they were to identify those on the TEmple Dedication Committee so we could pass freely around the temple. He said, "I would like to have on of those stars." I started to take mine off and give it to him, but he stopped me and said, "No,no, I'll be back tomorrow." I quickly told Pres. Franco who arranged to have one for him the next day. The following day, he came up to me again and I said, "you got your star!" He was beaming! It's ironic really that these experiences and so many others, while so unique they could not be taken for granted, became so abundant over the three month period that they were impossible to keep up with. THese were times that will never be duplicated in our life time, perhaps never duplicated by our children or grand children wither. For a a short time, it was as it might have been back in the early days of the church. We lived them in wonderment and feel they need to be recorded. We would have been hungry for these little tidbits of information and feeling from our family whose daily lives and associations with the prophet were so commonplace they were not deemed important enough to record. It's the simple steps through life, the small footprints of information and emotion that give it meaning while it's being lived and that we hope will have value in the years to come. How we felt about what we saw and experienced is a important as the event itself. there will be newspaper clippings, general ward, stake and church histories to record the proceedings, but some events are so uniquely ours that they would never be known if not shared by us and the insights and emotions tell far more than the event- they tell what we personally find of value.
18: The comment was made over and over by volunteers and others that they could not imagine missing the once in a lifetime opportunity to be in attendance and participate in ANY way in these events! To the degree that peoples efforts have been absorbed in their hearts, they have had a transformation of testimony which ought to be profoundly better than they began. I hope all with in this temple district are different today because of our devotion to these two & half years of temple building! As i have expressed in journal entries these past two plus years, I have not always had a deep abiding testimony of the temple. Previously, I had been obedient in attending and always tried to understand and devote myself while there, but a deep heartfelt love has not drawn me to its doors as it does now. I made a concentrated effort to acquire that testimony, if you will, by regular weekly attendance. It was impressed upon my heart when we moved across the street from what would eventually be this beautiful edifice, that having a temple so close would only be as precious as was my testimony for it. I deliberately sought to gain one! I sensed that I must strive to have the spirit of the temple enter into ME , before I could enter IT. As I sat in the endowment room yesterday, awaiting the start of the dedicatory session, I knew that my efforts | had indeed changed me. I had actually known that for a long time. The Lord had given me more and more as I have given him more and more, but sitting there yesterday in quiet meditation and expressions of gratitude, served as an end point of sorts by which to compare. Not and end, however to my learning and enlightenment, nor to my love and yearnings to be there. For those, it is only the beginning! But a beginning, whose preparations have blessed me beyond my expectations! In December of last year, we held a special family home evening and asked the kids to share a scripture or a song that represented the year they had just passed through. At that time, I shared the song that speaks the words of my heart as I look forward to the coming year. It is y new years resolution of sorts... "More Holiness give me ,More strivings within, More patience in suffering, More sorrow for sin, More faith in my Savior, More sense of his care, More joy in his service, More purpose in prayer. " Whatever the year brings, with Rick as President of not, whatever the capacity, whatever the choices of our children, I know that we will be different, better than the previous year as we give "more" of our holiness and wholeness of heart! Ethan shared a quote with me today as we walked around the temple grounds that I love... "Every day is a gift-that's why they call it the PRESENT." | Theresa's reflections from Journal excerpt 3,23,09
19: Britt passes State Board Exams! | Mom came along because she had the good sense to birth her! | Only one problem with a pedicure- Britt's feet are the most ticklish part of her body... | We laughed ourselves silly between the seat vibrator and Britt's ticklish feet.. . FUN DAY! | Family Night at the Bowling Alley! | So we're off to the SPA!
20: April | Conference Weekend | We decided the "Ladies" deserved the monetary equivalent of a game of golf so the "Belly Beauties " were treated a bit of pampered bliss at the SPA while the"Gents coached Parker in The Gentleman's Sport.! No Conference.down south is complete | without swimming, sweet rolls & sun! | Saint George
21: Easter | in Logan
22: BYU College of Engineering and Technology April 23rd & 24th | Zachary Austin Collins | Tau Beta Pi Baccalaureate Degree
23: Brittany Ann Simmons | Baccalaureate Degree Utah College of Dental Hygiene | April 27th
24: Lisa Christine Collins | May | Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health Utah Valley University College of Science & Health | May 1st.
25: Baby Shower May 3rd A warm gathering of Favorite Friends and Family! O.K. Baby Oliver- We're ready for you Now!
26: New Stake Presidency named May 3, 2009 | "...the world is in need of your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you." President Thomas S. Monson Theme for unprecedented Rescue effort in Draper Utah South Mountain Stake | President Patric kHolmes President Richard Collins President Steve Willis
27: The Lord has provided an unexpected, but remarkable opportunity to learn to wait on the Lord. And in all things he leads and directs the affairs of His Church. Pres. Franco shared with Pres. Holmes and Rick on separate occasions that he had been called as an Area Seventy and therefore their presidency would be released at the next Stake Conference in May. It was natural to ponder about who would serve in his place and naturally Rick took a prayerful inventory of his own heart and potential readiness, eventually telling the Lord he would do whatever was asked of him and feeling certain that He would qualify him for any responsibility required of him. Rick's words... "Finally, it was announced in each ward that there would be a change the following Sunday. The visiting authorities were to be Elder Price and Elder Kikuchi, both of the Seventy. Each of the candidates interviewed were to fill out a detailed personal biography and on the bottom of the form list two people who we would recommend to fill the position. Try as I might, I could only come up with one name.- Pres. Homes.Logic, experience and spiritual attributes put him there. "I don't remember much about the interview. It was very short and done by both of them together. they asked about personal worthiness, my relationship with my wife and children and what we felt the most pressing needs of the Stake were. I remember saying something about the need to increase the commitment to covenants, callings and spouses- something I feel very strongly about. At the end of the interview I shared a particular private circumstance within our family in case it might have an effect upon their decision. Elder Kikuchi paused , looked at me and said, "Brother, there will be other opportunities for you to serve." It seemed right then and there that this was the end of the journey for me. I came home and put on my PJ's and tried to relax while participating in family activities with Theresa's parents and mine who were visiting and while tweaking my talk for later that night, but I was pretty preoccupied. I had such a strange mix of emotions." Days later we were told, through Elder Franco, more about the calling of the new Presidency. Apparently the answer as to who the Lord wanted to serve hadn't come easily. Normally after completing interviews around 11:00 the two authorities will break for an hour lunch without speaking once about the individuals or the interviews. Upon returning they will pray individually and write 3 names on a piece of paper. The first time Elder Franco participated in this process it was extremely intimidating. Elder Franco had expected to discuss the individuals first or at least to have received instruction as to the process. Instead he was asked by his General Authority companion to share the names on his paper. He had had enough of an impression to write the names, but doubted himself under he circumstances. WEhn he pushed his paper reluctantly forward his companion simply smiled and asked him which name he felt was to be the President. Feeling the burden of this question, he prayerfully looked again at his paper. He had had a slightly greater feeling about one name during the interview, but again wondered if it was enough of one to to make such a choice. When he said the name, his companion smiled again and revealed his own paper. The same three names appeared with the name for the President the same Elder Franco has shared. "Now let's pray together for confirmation," he said. It was a remarkable first time experience as the Lord did indeed confirm their decision. He testified it is impossible to come away from such an occurrence without knowing it has been under the direction of the lord and that the keys of the ministry are bestowed to the capacity they are needed in order to carry out His work. | Rick recounts the call...
28: By 12;30 or 1;00 they will issue the call of President to the brother they have felt the Lord has chosen and will give him an hour or so to prayerfully provide the names of his counselors, When he returns with his names they are remarkably the same as had been revealed to the visiting Authorities. The councilors are issued calls by 1:30 or 2:00. This same process and similar timing has been repeated the same way each time. The Lord has revealed his will to both men individually first, then together and then again to the newly called President. For our Stake, it was the timing that was so different. Elder Franco jokingly said that for whatever reason, Elders Kikuchi and Price had struggled to learn what he had always known. Of course he was not part of the process in this case, but because he was the outgoing President he was outside the room waiting to assist them when they concluded. He said it was not until 3:00 that they emerged with an answer and asking to be taken to President Holmes house. President and Sister Holmes told us they too had assumed the time was past and had changed their clothes and begun to deal wit their emotions. President Holmes said ti was especially hard for him since he had felt the distinct impression that he would be called as President. He had knelt in prayer and felt the prompting of who were to be his c councilors as well. like Rick, the timing had caused him to question himself. A few minutes after 3:00, one of their kids was coming down the stairs and saw the three brethren coming up the walk toward the front door.Jennifer said they looked at each other and went white as sheets. She raced up the stairs to change from her sweats back into a dress an called to her children to gather.They had no time to straighten the several Saturday projects the kids were involved in or to prepare an atmosphere that didn't already exist. It was a complete surprise to have a personal visit. When the door opened,k they brought with them a calm and serene spirit. Realization of what was happening came as fast as the clothing change. They extended the call to President Holms and told him he could have 10 minutes to give them the names of his councilors.. He retreated for some privacy and prayer and emerged 10 minutes later with the names of President Collins and Brother Willis of the High Council then accompanied them back to the church where they met to prepare for the 4:00 leadership session. Meanwhile while Rick was home watching the clock tick away. "As time went on, it felt I wasn't going to be involved in the new presidency despite my impressions otherwise in the previous weeks. Admittedly I felt a bit of relief mixed with self doubt. It made me re-examine my value over the last year. What a ride it had been and a blessing in my life I never could have imagined. An opportunity to work with faithful fearless men of God, an opportunity to lean that the Lord would be with me and qualify me for any assignment, an opportunity to participate in the temple building and more importantly in building people for the temple. It had been an amazing year and I didn't feel done. I wanted it to go on, but it didn't' seem that was going to happen. By 3:00 I knew I wouldn't be involved anymore and quietly cleaned out my notebook trying to imagine it was over. i At 3:30 i got a call to come to the church to make final preparations for the 4:00 meeting. We made last minute plans and heard instructions which I was quite focused on because I was conducting and wanted to get it all right. As I was walking out of the office, President Franco asked me to call Theresa to have her come over before the 7:00 meeting. I did and told her I thought they just wanted to formally release us and thank us for our service. We went into the leadership portion and once again I felt that melancholy mix. When it came time to meet with Theresa, she was already in the chapel practicing with the choir so at the appointed time I signaled her to wait with me in the foyer outside the President's office. President Homes and Brother Willis and his wife Lisa were also standing in the foyer. I thought, wow Brother Willis will be an awesome Councilor! I knew President Holmes would be the new President and as I had felt all along. the door to the President's office was closed so we figured they were meeting with one of the other councilors or it was one of the executive secretaries already in the foyer with us. The minutes ticked by, with the time fast approaching the start of the 7:00 adult meeting. To our surprise at 6:50 we saw President Franco and Elders Price and Kikuchi
29: waling toward the doorway. from the parking lot. They hadn't been in the office after all. Apparently the delay in answerers had also delayed their break for a meal and they were just now returning form one. Only when they asked President and Sister Willis and us into the same meeting room did it enter my mind what was happening. President Holmes had walked around the table with the General Authorities and President Franco.. It was now 6:53. Elder Kikuchi , directing his question to Theresa and Lisa said, "Sisters are your husbands worthy to serve?" They both looked at one another and answered aloud together, "Yes!" "Well then," he said, "We have a meeting that is starting. " We all got up and walked toward the door marveling at what had just happened! As we walked out the door to the stand, Elder Kikuchi added, "Oh yes," and pointed first to me and then to Brother Willis, "You're the first Councilor and you're the Second." That was it. It was done! I was so stunned, but I had to speak and we knew nothing could be said about it until the next morning when it was announced before the congregation. I could hardly concentrate, I was so taken aback!" It was an extraordinary conference. Rick gave a masterful heartfelt talk. I could not see his face, but I could hear the tenderness in his voice. It was surely a battle over emotion to conduct the meeting and speak after what had just transpired and especially after he had resigned himself to being released. Sunday began with the release of President Franco and the sustaining of the the new Presidency. From where I was sitting in the choir seats I could look out into the faces of the congregation and see the nodding of heads and the tears in peoples eyes. It was really special to see Rick's mom watching her son with such emotional pride. I couldn't see Rick's face of course but I knew he was tender. While it had all unfolded in a most unusual time frame for President Franco's short experience, it is remarkable that the same process was followed as always been with revelation being confirmed at least three times. It's comforting to know that they never proceed until they are certain it is the Lord's will. Perhaps the calls from t he Lord battled logic as President Holmes has such a young family and has already served a long while,k but there is absolutely no doubt tht=e Lord has chosen the right man. It has been confirmed to us over and over since his call. he is a powerful teacher, a Lion's testimony, a righteous leader, a remarkable missionary and a dedicated servant! Likewise, the Lord has seen fit to further bless the Stake with two capable and dedicated councilors. It is the Lord's church!
30: Our Three Graduates | were ready to | so we celebrated their great accomplishments with a LUAU Complete with flank steak, "Ooey- Gooeys", Music, Hoola Hoop, Bacci Ball & our favorite Island wear! | Party | May 4th
32: Gardner Mill | Our Semi- Annual Lunch at | May 6th
33: Mother's Day... | Our "Mommies-to | ... MOMMIES ! | Be" are anxious to BE
34: Ethan, Rick and Theresa take the day off work to lend a hand at a remodel in Rose Park with Smith Barney employees May 13th. It was hard & stinky, but worth it! | HABITAT FOR HUMANITY | Oliver Jackson Collins Born May 14th at Orem Community Hospital 7:28 a.m. 6lbs 70z & 20.5 inches Our little Oli was born by C-section after it was discovered hei was breech Unlike any other birth, we knew exactly when the little guy would arrive. After Zach and Lisa donned their "space suits" they walked down the hall to the surgery room where familyl watched wide eyed as Oliver was rather rudely plucked from the womb into the bright lights. The whole delivery lasted only 10 minutes .Sadly, with in the hour, before anyone had a chance to hold him, hel was whisked away to the NICU for the next 5 days where he had an IV placed in his head to keep his blood sugar regulated. Visitors were allowed to enter one at a time, but could not hold him until he was released. Father's bl;essings and many prayers were offered for our little guy. How happy we were to get him home and properly "mauled!"andremained of the time. until his blood sugar could rise to a safe level.
35: Oliver Jackson Collins Born May 14th at Orem Community Hospital 7:28 a.m. 6lbs 70z & 20.5 inches Our little Oli was born by C-section after it was discovered hei was breech Unlike any other birth, we knew exactly when the little guy would arrive. After Zach and Lisa donned their "space suits" they walked down the hall to the surgery room where family watched . | As family members gathered they watched the video Zach had taken of the birth. which Lisa was blessed to have been oblivious to until watching it herself. | watched wide eyed as Oliver was rather rudely plucked from the womb The whole delivery lasted only 10 minutes .Sadly, with in the hour, before anyone had a chance to hold him, he was whisked away to the NICU for the next 5 days where he had an IV placed in his head to keep his blood sugar regulated. Visitors were allowed to enter one at a time, but could not hold him until he was released. A Father's blessing and many prayers were offered for our little guy. .
36: Home at last! | It was a relief to get Oliver home where every one could love him up and down and all over! | He looked like our little Cabbage Patch Doll!. So tiny that even newborn cloths were too large. | Oh my Golly Oli!
37: Farewell Dinner at Cucina Toscana Restaurant with Elder Franco and Christine along with members of the new Presidency. | Parker had always been traumatized by those evil buzzers. refusing to let anyone cut his hair.. But after helping give his daddy one, he suddenly declared he was ready!. Bravery comes at the most unexpected moments! | First trip to Oma and Opa's | May 22nd
38: 1st Annual Golf Tournament Sponsored by the S.B. COLLINS GROUP | Despite Amanda's due-date being 5 days away, she was able to bring Parker to join us for a day of swimming & shameless show- offs. The tournament & luncheon proved a huge success thanks to Jordan's skillful planning. | Held at the Homestead,Midway, Utah May 28th
39: Macie May Collins | June | Born May 2nd at IMC in Murray at 6:27pm 7lbs 6 oz. 20 1/2 inches Big brother couldn't have been more proud! Amanda did so well and the relief was evident that Macie had arrive safely.. How could we be more blessed than to have received another little angel. | Our little princess is Here!
41: Oliver's taking calls from fans... | Oma's going to need more hands! | The babies were always on the go... | But Parker handled them like a pro!! | We just have to keep pinching ourselves!
42: Gilligans Island | Just sit right back & we'll Tell a Tale... | Neighborhood Splash!
43: Opa's & Amanda's Birthday | Homemade Banana Cream Pies and Snuggle Time... That's pretty much Everything! | 49
44: Rick's 30 yr Mission Reunion June 26th Netherlands
45: Alan responded to Rick's invitation to take the missionary discussions in our home. His two kids and their spouses flew in to celebrate the joyful result! | 3 blocks from Jordan & Amanda's house. They arranged to get a bulk of tickets distributed to family and friends to attend together. | Alan & Troy Battles at Alan's Baptism June 27th | Open House for the Oquirrh Hills Temple So. Jordan, UT | Our Precious babies...
46: Oliver's Baby Blessing July 5th | BBQ in park with the whole gang! | JULY
47: Draper Days Rodeo & family BBQ July 11th We Celebrated Heather's B-day before dawning our cowboy hats for a little "Mutton Bustin'
48: Blau Family Reunion July 17-18th
50: Baby Shower for Britt & Jenn!
51: FHE with the Dennings July 27th | Moving Day for Zach & Lisa Aug 1st | August
52: Macie's Blessing Day Aug 2nd | AUGUST
53: Just Shameless baby braggin' !
54: Excerpt from journal entry 8-8-09 I'm sitting here at B the computer at 12:12 a.m. Technically, it's August 9th, but to me these next few days will likely be one very long day and for some reason sleep has left me and numbness is settling in. I left the house at 7:30 to pick up Christian in Provo and get her to a job interview and of course watch Payton. We re-opened her bank account, needed to jump start my carat the bank, made it 6 minutes late to her hour long interview, faxed her bank info for child support direct deposit and went to the DI for a new wardrobe worthy of job interviews. Rick called me around 2;30 to tell me he was headed home early, but when hear how busy I was didn't tell me why. By the time I finished up with Christian and picked up Lisa and Oliver and drove them back home to Draper for the night, it was 4:45. Rick had been home along long enough now to have made himself sick with worry over the news he had yet to share with me. While Lisa nursed Oli, he took my hand and pulled me into the bedroom telling me he needed to tell me something and asked me to sit down..I should have guessed what it was about, it had been 4 days, but i didn't. He was so serious when he took me by the hand and looked into my eyes with such a weary intensity, I could only beg him to tell me fAST because I could not bear the seconds of not knowing what was behind the pain. ...He swallowed hard. "I got the test results back from my biopsy 4 days ago... I have Prostate Cancer." ...The realization of what he had really said, came like a slow motion second wave that fit into a fraction of a moment. His eyes nearly sucked my heart into despair, but clam command immediately took it's place. I went straight into "sergeant" mode. "Honey, I love you. we're going to get through this whatever it is, we'll do it together! O.K? Now tell me what you know.." ...Lisa knocked softly on the side of our open door, not sure what shw was interrupting when it was time to leave Oliver with us a few short minutes later. We came from the room a bit blurry-eyed, but strong. Rick scooped his grandson up from the couch and | CANCER! | held him facing him on his lap. I took Lisa to the mudroom to get the car keys and glanced back at the cooing couple. Tears shot to my eyes and emotion was banged at the door of my my freshly calmed heart. I took a step back into the mudroom to shield the pain. He held that baby like ti would be the last time. I could hardly abide what must have been going through his mind. It took my breath and I closed my eyes to gain composer. Lisa was looking back and forth a bit bewildered. "are you O.K>? Should I not leave him?" I debated for seconds what to share, looked back at the two of them and walked her out to the car.- I'd told her about the biopsy when I helped her unpack from Saturday's move so I simply said, "I'm so sorry, of course we can take Oli. Rick just shared with me his test results from the biopsy. It's going to be O.K> we just don't know what it all means yet, but they say he has cancer and the full results will be given to us at n apt. tomorrow afternoon." Her face went ashen. What can I do?" she asked. "We're pretty good about not worrying about what we don't yet know and we'll get through this with your prayers and faith. Just say a prayer that we can keep the calm we feel now>" Oh I hated sending her off that way, but I knew we'd utter a prayer and begin building our safety net of peace We had an hour together before Rick had to go conduct a huge 2-hour missionary meeting with all the Bishoprics, Hp leaders and elders Quorms of the Stake in Pres. Holmes absence. Oli and I followed him around while he got ready. We both remarked how clam we felt. For me, it was an absolute confidence that the Lord was in charge, that we could literally turn the whole thing over to him. As we spoke about it neither of us
55: feels an insecurity that we must quickly change our path or square our hearts to meet this challenge or to petition heaven's help because we are already walking that path- a well worn and familiar path of late. It feels as if there is nothing blocking our conduit to heaven's help. We have complete trust that whatever he gives us in this out come will be for our good and will work or th good of our family! IF there is one thing my own illness taught us- it was that. Complete trust! The difference this time is that we'll not have to waste time in doubt of ourselves to fully access the peace that can come only from faith in our Heavenly Father. ...What does worry us, if not the end result, or the trust along the way. Rick looked at me and said, "It's not death I fear. My spirit is strong now. It's what my body ill have to go through between now and then. I just want to be equal to the challenge. I don't want to shrink." ...True we don't yet know what we are facing- surgery at the very least. We are waaay past being able to "watch and see" and radiation most often follows these surgeries. That's the pain, that's the challenge. It's the brutality to the body, but imagine battling the spirit as well. We'll take it this way thanks. Because this way, like Paul, we feel "troubled on every side, but not distressed, perplexed, but not despaired, cast down, but not destroyed...:" ...." For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound( return or effect change) to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward.man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction which is but for a small moment, worketh | for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory... (2 Cor 4:8 ) ( 2 Cor 4: 15-17) As I shut the door on Rick leaving for his meeting and Oli was then asleep, I wondered if I might burst into tears now that I was alone. No doubt they will come, but to my surprise, I closed the door, leaned against, took a deep breath and uttered a one sentence prayer. "Dear heavenly Father, we trust you - please be with him!" Another breath and breath and a peaceful smile. How odd. I'm O>K> We're going to be O>K> Just then Oliver awake and cooed from eh bedroom. I went and leaned over him. His eyes flashed in recognition. He smiled at me and looked right into my eyes. I said, "You didn't want Oma to be alone die you." He grinned his crooked little grin again, lifted his eye brows and I scooped him up and held him tight. "Thank you" I said, "Thank you." We spent the rest of the night together with him in my arms awake and asleep. My little angel. When Jordan called to talk, his voice broke with emotion and I realized once again that this would be a family affair. He told his dad this afternoon when Rick came into his office,shut the door and said the "C"w word for the first time, "You couldn't have a more supportive cast around you to go through this dad. You won't be alone." I cannot imagine what a gift that was to have Jordan there to share the initial shoc wave. I was not available for 2 1/2 more hours. so to have Jordan there was a blessing. I know He will carry a huge burden. He works with him daily, his heart is so tender, he "feels"things so deeply and worries like a true Collins, but there could be no better friend, advocate and supporter. All our children will be that as well! ... ..
56: Family celebrates Parker's 2nd Birthday August 14th 6th: Rick told he has cance7th Dr Labasky 9-15th mom & Eric visit 12th Payton gone -Christian moves in 19th Dr Mangelson 20th Dr. Dechet
58: Theresa's 30 th. Reunion East High | After taking the day off to join Theresa for a day of Education Week classes, he surprises her with tickets to her favorite spot from the past.- a hike to the top of Sundance for a BBQ & Musical! Party w/the family at Jordan's & Amanda's home. | August 14th East High 15th Merrick Wright's Home
59: Our Old neighborhood offered to give Britt and Jackson a baby Shower at Andi Zimmerman's House. It was such a treat to see all the old friends and get so much Lovin'' ! | Britt's Shower!
60: Dr. Mangelson works his magic taking the prostate AND the cancer, sparing the nerves. | When Rick found himself in a frightful & concerning mess. w/ no chance of Theresa getting released, Lar & Dar just" happened" to come to the house at the very moment he needed them & were among the VERY few he would have accepted help from in his condition. We consider it a tender reminder that the lord was mindful of us! | Rick's Surgery Day August 24th | he best medicine is always seeing his grand babies! | Our Angels of Mercy | Ass a direct nswer to prayer!Theresa had to have her infusion & was forced to leave 3 days after surgery | Rick ... s
61: "OOEY- GOOEYS" | Sept. 7th Family BBQ | SEPTEMBER | ATTITUDE!
62: When he awoke he was mad he wasn't on the ground.... | Parker showing his stubborn streak insist on napping ON THE BARE FLOOR!. After he fell asleep I pulled him up on the pad. | Christian finally got a job at Harmons Deli Sept 1st. Driving school began the 10th. Rick & I earned purple hearts for bravery while teaching her to drive a stick shift. when She'd NEVE even driven a car before! | We picked enough peaches for 28 quarts of peaches each. 10 hours of canning later that is! | Having a sister who over sees ElderTingey's Orchard while he's on a mission has its perks... | Payton on one of his weekly visits.
63: "I yuv to see da' tempo I going dere some day To feol the howy pirwit to wisten and to pay. For da tempo is da house of Dod, a pace of yuv and booty. I pepare myself why I am young. Dis is my secwed duty!" | "Peleeease can I go inside now Oma?"
64: Jax arrived right on his due-date!.all on his own even though Britt was scheduled to be induced the next day after her share of false alarms.. He swallowed | Our 3rd Gift from Heaven this summer! | Jaxon Mark Simmons | born September 13th at 6:13 am | Utah Valley Regional Hospital | 6.7lbs 19 1/2 inches | some "nasties" during birth so it was a bit of a scare getting him enough oxygen during the first hour. The first | hour. Ethan & Opa were in the room during the birth, but BEHIND the curtain.
65: Jaxon comes home...
66: with Ethan. Zach, Lisa & Oliver | Killer Monopoly Game like the old days. This is the first time mom used frozen sweet rolls to simplify, but NEVER AGAIN! Just for the record...Homemade is the only option!!!! | St. George for October Conference | OCTOBER | Oct 2-5th
67: Parker & Macie help Oma clean out a giant pumpkin, but Parker's not so sure about scooping the "goop!" | Photo shoot for Nursery Rhyme Book to come... wife to "Peter Pumpkin Eater"
68: Dad/Pat visit Oct. 7-15th | kids are watching themselves in the "Monster Mash" on line.
69: We love it when the Gutke Famly joins us! | Night Night everybody... | Motley Crew!
70: Gardner Mill | Shopping in the village with Britt & Lisa | and of course "Witch Watching..." | Christian passes her drivers test and moves out Oct 15th
71: A Utah visit from great grandma & grandpa Simmons & aunt & uncle to meet Jaxon
72: The COLLINS FAMILY | Becky Jackson took our Fall pics down hill from Ramblin' Road so we could get all the babies ready at the same time. It was Parker who decided "hiking" was a more pressing need & OFF he went. up the hill.
73: The PHOTO SHOOT continued at home... | The moment we walked through the door- the babies continued to pose while the adults shamelessly hovered & clicked away! We're not proud!!
74: Oh Peleaeeease- Can they get any cuter? | Ethan's Birthday
75: Trick-Or-Treat in Daybreak neighborhood. | (The real question is whether or not Jordan & Amanda are in costume?)
76: Parker chases his shadow... | To save $$$-we stained our doors & put metal c lavos & handles.ourselves. | It was so worth it to see the look on his face when the lights came on! | ...and to his chagrin, he never seems to catch it! | Our tree goes up a bit early with fall decor. | Primary treasure hunt ...
78: NOVEMBER | Good Bye Provo...Hello Orem! Britt, Jeremy & Jax make the move with lots of help! November 7th
79: We were blessed during our "off" year to have two sets of parents join us. It's been ages since we've been together with Heather and Mike's family too! Janet and Christian top off the group. Lucky for us the younger kids were eager to provide the entertainment!
80: Mom & Eric visit Nov 23-27th FHE on Gratitude Parker handed out feathers as each person shared what they are grateful for and then sang a song of his choosing in between..
81: Baby Blessing | There were so many babies born in their ward that Britt & Jeremy waited until December 6th to bless little Jaxon back in their old ward. The air temp was waaaaay to cold to gather the family 'round for a group picture, but the support was amazing as everyone gathered back at Oma & Opa's house for food and celebration! The last gift of summer is named & blessed! | December | Jaxon's
82: We've officially out grown the house! | ...and this page!
83: Blau Christmas Party.
85: Piniata, basketball, white elephant, FOOD, nativity, chimes, and more gifts than you could shake a stick at! But MOSTLY FAMILY LOVE. It's hard to believe there are so many of us! | December 11th.
86: Temple Square lights and a visit to Aunt Janet's | Zach wins the Royster Award for the Acoustical Society of America through BYU!!!!
87: Winter Festivities !
88: Christmas Eve | surprise visit from Grandpa "C" | Starts with family time and a
89: Our First Nazarene Dinner... | and maybe our last...The idea was to eat simple foods that the Savior might have eaten , but as cool as it was it will be remembered as il the meal that nearly poisoned the family! Within an hour as we were trying to sing songs and do the Nativity, everyone but Brittany and | Oma were dashing to the bathroom with stomach cramps. Eventually the offending contributor was determined to be the cravats we pured the grape juice from. A departure from clam chowder we ate Cheese, cracker bread, grapes, pomegranate, fish,artichoke, herbs,olive, dates, honey comb .
90: The Nativity | This year we had precious Shepherds & a new baby Jesus
91: Our one tradition of opening a gift on Christmas Eve lives on... Oma gave each family their book of Nursery Rhymes starring each of the grandchildren. A complete surprise!
92: Christmas Morning!
93: Karaoke Christmas! With a few uninhibited souls!
94: Lisa throws a PARTYfor ZACH's birthday | including old friends & lots of family!
95: Grandmama celebrates her 71st with her two girls at Ruth's Diner up Immigration Canyon
96: Mysteriously, the hand that creates all, that constructs a perfect newborn, that personally joins other hands to heal the infant, completely vulnerable yet trusting. That hand, is seen by few. The hand that nourishes all, that allows malady to teach greater lessons, curing cancer, making an invisible disease more transparent, is seen by few. | The hand that governs all, that see sacrifices and rewards an hundredfold, that makes an impossible budget stretch, unveiling new opportunities, unseen income, is seen by few. The hand that sows all, planting families to learn from, spouses to lean on, and examples to look o. is seen by few. The hand that gives all, bruised, broken, suffering for second chances, being nailed to a a tree, is seen by few. This hand, growing more glorious, wonderful, is beginning to be seen by me. | The Hand of the Lord -Zachary COllins, 2009
97: 2009 | Thanks for the memories! | And so many more to come...