Friday, December 30, 2011

The Recaps: Christmas Eve

Every Christmas we head to the ranch in East Texas. It would not be Christmas eve if we did not set out food for Santa'a reindeer, each one got his own plate! Campbell and Joel had a good time

 And a very rare pic of our whole family!
Just after Christmas eve service 

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Real Christmas gift

The following is the most recent post from my best friends blog. He is going to be be a bone marrow donor on January 8th. Now that is the true spirit of giving and I could not be more proud to call him my best friend. I'm also happy he has his sweet wife Amanda by his side to support him during this journey and her selflessness to offer her husband and her time to save a life. 

From Anchored Down and Horsing Around

"Bone Marrow Donation

I was recently informed that I was a match for a 74 year-old woman with leukemia in need of a marrow transplant.  It's a huge honor, but I'm confused why people keep acting like I'm doing something extraordinary. I agree that it's a good deed but if you found out that you could save someone's life, wouldn't you do it?

Its not like they are not going to have to drill into my hip or cut my leg off, so why not?  I'm going to be given a medicine for 5 days that increases my red blood cells and on the 5th day they take out the cells the same way they take plasma or blood.**

As a matter of fact if you are interested in getting signed-up, here is the link.  Be The Match

So after I found out that I was matched to someone in need of a marrow transplant I was asked to go by the local blood bank for additional tests, which consisted of a couple of tubes of blood being drawn.

A week or so later I was told that the recipient and I were a good match and asked to drive down to Houston for a physical and more blood tests.

So Amanda and I drove down to south Houston to start the process for the bone marrow donation.  We met with a woman at the blood bank that took a couple of blood samples and showed a brief video describing the process that is in store for me and while I am not being paid for this donation, I will not be out any money for the process.  (I'm being reimbursed for travel, food, and lodging as needed.)

After the blood bank, we were sent over to the hospital for the rest of the physical which included a UA, an EKG, and a chest x-ray.  All in all, the whole process only took about 3 hours and it didn't feel like we were there that long.  Everyone involved was really nice and anytime we needed or asked for anything that were right on it.

Now I just have to wait until January 8th to start the medicine and the donation will take place on the 12th.

**The side effects of the medicine include flu like symptoms (headaches, body aches, nausea) and they said that those effects wear off after a week or so."

Go here to follow Chucks amazing journey

Merry Christmas from the Collins

This was my favorite card yet! 

Card and design by your truly at 
and a big thank you to Kelly W. for the picture

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Picture is worth 1000 words

Such a sweet moment in time, piano lesson with Great Grandma Lizzy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All Aboard!

The Polar Express will came to life at the historic Texas State Railroad this holiday season. Inspired by the award winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, the Texas State Railroad invites you to come experience the magic of The Polar Express!

The Polar Express gives families the opportunity to experience their favorite holiday classic come to life on this magical ride to the North Pole. The ride starts off with the resounding “All Aboard” call made by the train conductor, the families boarding the train with all the starry eyed kids dressed in their pajamas unable to contain the excitement of all the fun they are going to experience in the magical ride to the North Pole. Read along with the story as the train makes a roundtrip journey to the North Pole, then meet Santa and enjoy caroling, hot chocolate and a treat!
We sure enjoyed it! 

We had 2 servers on our section of the train. I sure wish I could get my hands on the video that involved high kicks but until Laura Ann sends it to me you will just have to enjoy the singing! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Wish list for Santa

Campbell’s Christmas wish List! 
THE BIG THING SHE HAS TOLD ME SHE WANTS, Over and Over and Overfor all of 7 months (and thast a long time in the toddler mind) Miss C has been telling me she wants Princess Celestia’s Castle. So I know most of your a going Huh? 
Well My Little Pony has made a big come back thanks to the Hub Network. No complaints here I really kinda enjoy he show. Here is the 
Hasboro has not actually created a Princess Celestia’s castle to buy. Seriously, how dumb are they? But good ‘ol Disney has come to the rescue and made a Disney princess castle that that I’m going to be turning into what is better know in our house as the “PCC” The Castle is not a hug part of the plot but since when has a toy maker not maxed out every merchendise opertunity ? Just my luck. 
Seriously it really does look cool!
After MUCH research I learned this is actually called Canterlot Castle 

Just for fun, some different drawings of the castle. Yes I'v been googling this for 7 months! 

THE substitute
(Hiding in Daddy's office...shhhh)     

What else in on the list? 

A kids Camera
Twilight Sparkles Hot air balloon

Rarity's Carousal Boutique
Pretty Much Anything My Little Pony

Easy Bake Oven. She is OBSESSED with baking. She even bakes for her my little ponies 

V.Tech V.Reader Carriages
*By the way moms, I LOVE this thing. The V. Reader is more than an ebook reader though. Kids can play games that help with learning and they can also interact using the keyboard, entering words of their own Each story has eight games that help with understanding core concepts and comprehension of the story. You can download ebooks and games from the website, as well as reward certificates for completed ebooks. The system easily connects to to your comuter via USB. The V. Reader has an SD card slot for added storage space which is very handy!

Happy Holidays,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christmas Affair 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

We went to East Texas for thanksgiving to my Family's Ranch. The weather was so nasty but we did not let that stop us! Turkey day boring bright and early Ganny, Rodney and I went to the 1st annual Palestine Turkey Trott.

Then it was off to Grandmother's house we go for lunch...

 And what is thanksgiving with out massages and acrobatics? 

 Then an afternoon to visit the Herrington side of the family. It's always nice to catch up with this side of the family we only get to see a few times a year. 
Cousins. Yes thats one big age gap! 

Then back to Austin for a little R & R! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ryker turns 5!

Happy 5th Birthday to my 1st baby, Ryker. You have been with us threw it all lil guy. Even when you don't want to be your the most popular guy in the house. You let Campbell drag you around on a leash, put bows in your hair and sprinkles in your food. With age you have grown calmer and more tolerant of you 2 legged & 4 legged sisters. You have also stopped being a "runner", well at least for me but not so much for Dad.
So on your birthday we are going to let you do your two favorite things: hang out the window of the car and sleep!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Look Who's back!

And it looks like our friend Merkle has a love interest!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from our Family to Yours

Wishing you Love and Many Blessings this Thanksgiving! 
The Collins

Our little pumpkin (3 1/2)

Campbell & friends playing at the Pumpkin farm

Fall fun with mommy in a funny hat! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This may sound Corny

But that's some cute corn!
Miss C made this at school as one of her art projects.

The students made there very own vegetable soup in class today! They read the children's book "vegetable soup" then everyone was assigned a veggie to bring to class to contribute to the making of there very own vegetable soup. Miss was in charge of.... Corn of course!