Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas - thank God! We had Christmas with my sisters on the 13th, then Christmas in the cottage 16th, Christmas with the Sawyers 23rd, Christmas at home 24th, and Christmas with the Hucks 25th! Going back and forth to Columbia was worth it especially when we woke up at home to find the fireplace doors opened and toys all around on Christmas morning. Despite some evil bug that luckily for me was a jump start for my New Years diet, all was as close to perfect as can be. The four Hucks were in our first Christmas play (with about 25 other folks) at church and three of our cottage girls got to take part as well. Elissa shared her memorization passage from Matthew several times and even brought a few of us to tears. And as for presents... well we all got more than we deserved. Now if I can manage to give away more than half of what was already here I'll be happy. Thank you family! Thank you God for every good thing!

Friday, December 19, 2008

December with the Hucks

[OK well the Picture messed up loading it and I have to wait until I'm back at the cottage to load it... sorry!]

Wow... this month has held a lot of special events and Christmas is a week away... there are pictures of Adam and Elissa taking pictures of each other around our little tree. There are pics of Isabella at gymnastics observation. There are pictures from the 5K Reindeer Run where I ran with my pals Cynthia and Laura and had my greatest fans bundled up on the sidelines. There is also a quick pic from Elissa's Christmas Program at her 4K where she recited a large passage from Luke along with her class. It was great! The girls also tried a tough picture ala James Bond???

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lake Days

Here we are on beautiful Lake Murray! We had a really nice day with Mona, April and all of our girls. It was nice to hold on to summer for one more weekend. The girls swam and played and we snacked and hung out. It was a terrific day and we all slept very well that night!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

(Click on the pic to see it bigger and better)
This is our day trip to Folly Beach! The weather was beautiful - It was a good outing and we all enjoyed it quite a bit. Isabella and Elissa both love the ocean - Elissa the sand and Bella the water... all of our big girls still enjoy it too and we were thrilled to get in one more beach trip before the summer starts to fade.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

check out the Collins blog...

Under Team Hucks (on the left), check out the Collins Family 3 blog for a ton more pics of our vacation! Thanks to our cool teammates for a lot of hard work!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy First Day of School

What a great day! Isabella was thrilled with her first day of 1st grade! She prepared the night before by reading one of her very favorite books, Chrysanthemum. Wouldn't you know that the book of the day for the first day of school was none other than Chrysanthemum. She even got to color a picture of her. She made new friends but her favorite was Jeremy, a boy she met at VBS this summer. Some might laugh at me seeing God in every little thing but my prayer has been that Bella would meet a friend that was honest and kind. A kid from VBS is a good start :)

Elissa struggled with it a little today. She asked where the girls were, Bella especially. She said she wanted to go to school too. She starts K4 next Monday so she will be very happy soon!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation blog...

Check out the Berkele Blog at because I am too tired to write anything right now :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Vacation... as a parent what does that mean? as a mom it means cooking in a weird place where there is never something you need... it means having a lot more people around your kids to watch and be wary of... it means wearing your kids out and trying to remember that you were responsible for their crankiness... it means paying too much for the silliest things...

- OR -

it means seeing your little girl's face light up when she gets the beautiful water filled (super cheesy)dolphin she wanted that you raced across the park to find since you promised it to her and almost forgot it... it means being thrilled that you lived through a ride (Incredible Hulk) that you waited 2 1/2 hours to ride to make 3 of your big girls happy (and that you were too old to be on in the first place)... it means thinking Spiderman is the coolest ride ever and being thrilled to have all of your girls to remember it with... it means getting chill bumps when you see Shamu in person for the first time... it means finding your baby fallen asleep kissing the stuffed dolphin (that her daddy told her is able to kill sharks)... it means watching your little girl sit like a statue with a smile all for having her face painted like a princess... it means remembering why you think your husband is the best husband in the world because he takes the girls to all the rides they want to go on and has the patience of Job... it means walking around a tourist packed amusement park in prayer, thanking God that this is your life!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last stop... Orlando!

So... we made it through the beach trip and enjoyed time with family! The girls thoroughly enjoyed their far away cousins and seeing everyone. Adam got in some good guy time with his dad and brothers-in-law. I finished a terrific book and got to eat crab legs 2008!
It was a good time and as always it was nice to be back home for a couple of nights before heading to our other home at Berkele. We miss our girls there and will enjoy planning as we head for Orlando on Saturday.
We have 10 days and will be talking with our teammates and working out what everyone wants to do! It is so good to have such awesome, thoughtful and considerate teammates - thanks God! To Orlando we go!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

so.... the summer so far

We kicked it all off with about fifteen birthday parties - all for Isabella and Elissa's 6th and 4th, respectively. They were mostly small gatherings and there were some squirming fish involved but nothing too weird.

We had a week at Bethany Summer Youth Camp. The little girls went to the morning camp and my big girls went along with me to the overnight, sleeping in tents all week camp. It was a blast and we really felt like God blessed our time there.

Then... we hit the fourth of July and watched fireworks at the Whitten Center right outside of our little town. For a small town show, it was 30 minutes of very decent fireworks so we were pleased.

Then... we headed to Camp Hope (Dahlonega, GA) for a week. It was a great time too. Adam stayed very busy with his role as Co-Activities Director and I was sort of busy and sort of not at times...

now we are back in Clinton and trying to catch our breath. We are on duty and have three cottage girls at the moment plus our little ones. Five kids really isn't a big deal during the summer. We go off Tuesday night and will head to Columbia and then the beach to hang out with the Adam's family :) I mean Adam's family!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The girls family and some friends birthday party!

Bella got a haircut!

Bethany Summer Youth Camp Little Ambassadors

Wow - we are surviving!

That is about all I can say for right now... we are surviving. We have made it through two camps of our own, numerous camps for our cottage girls and a few VBS's for the little ones. It has been a great summer and I'm sure great memories will be stored away! We hope to post some photos soon...

Friday, April 18, 2008

To be a bug...

Being a bug isn't as bad as one might think. I felt like a bug for a few days.... we tent camped for three nights and four days on a primitive site (no water, electricity or showers) at Lake Greenwood last week. It was a lot of fun. I spent my time in the same clothes (as a pact with another courageous and stinky friend) all four days and couldn't have cared less. Smoky clothes are smoky and a shower doesn't help much so I was happy. Isabella and Elissa changed and so did Adam a time or two. Not everyone can love adventure (or stink) as much as some of us.

We ate some of the finest camp food around. Steaks on our last night had to be the highlight. Or... maybe countless (although some kept count) marshmallows were another terrific memory. The Po Boys were fun and that first cup of coffee was a life saver. All in all it was a terrific outing and one we look forward to again sometime.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy 9th Anniversary!

This April 10th saw our 9th anniversary come and go. It was a lot of fun and was spent in the woods, camping with friends (post to come soon). It was as special as any anniversary and we both stopped to acknowledge how good God is and how blessed we are. A book I am reading explains (whether correctly or not) that love is the skin of truth and truth comes with knowledge. I think that is fun to consider when you think about your significant other. I still love him tremendously and definitely know him better and with all of his victories (thank God there are many) and failings (comparably small numbers it would seem) our love is still incredible. Knowledge has only made love better. Praise God!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Break!

I love the Spring and our flowers are finally all in bloom. It is a yucky day but we probably need the rain. My dad recently reminded me that even if it isn't very pretty, God knows what He is doing so don't complain about the rain. He is an awfully wise man :) He should be considering he just had his 70th birthday, April 3rd. I was so excited about it for some reason. It means I'm getting older too so I don't know why I think it is so cool, but I do. He seems like a young 50 to me - still strong, smart and more loving, patient and full of grace and forgiveness than ever. He isn't perfect but he is pretty wonderful in my eyes.

We have been on duty for a few weeks now but it has been a nice time. Our girls in the cottage are all doing well for the most part. They enjoy time off from school (well not the older ones because they'd rather be around their friends - sad, I know). Today we are going to GattiTown and eating as much pizza as our faces will hold. It is a lot of fun and great for a rainy day! Tomorrow we go to Columbia to light up D's with 70 candles or so... glad everything is wet outside just in case of fire.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

He is Risen!

He is risen indeed! I love Easter and I love celebrating our Savior! Unfortunately, (as goofy as it sounds) it came too fast this year and I am still surprised that it has passed. Maybe it is just me but I am shocked that it has come and gone. Anyway, we enjoyed some Easter egg hunts and talked about what it meant in an effort to acknowledge the tremendous gift we received. Thank you, Lord! Here was a picture of the girls at First Baptist.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Murrells Inlet Community Vacation

What a fun thing it is to have such easy going friends... to be able to live among each other for several days and have great memories all the way home. We had a great week last week with good friends as we picnicked on the beach, hid from the wind, played some incredibly insightful games, waited on the whims of fiddler crabs and small children, ate mounds of yummy eats, snacked into the dawn, devoured some Papa John's, tossed the football from the pier until we were booted, ate some overpriced seafood and grill food, watched one lady single handedly eliminate the crab population at Philip's, visited Klig's, watched master kite flyer's and rock climbing children. It was a great trip and we hope/think fun was had by all! Thanks again Nana and Papa

Friday, March 7, 2008

sun and fun

Well... not quite yet, but we are getting excited about a beach trip planned with friends next week. We are heading to Murrells Inlet for 4 days or so and will pile into Nana and Papa's house for some games, music and movies. Then eat out, go play in the sand and maybe fly some kites too. It should be another terrific memory to add to the many special memories we already have of that peaceful place.

This week has been interesting. Elissa had a fever of 102.6 on Monday night and we prayed (and worried a little) over her until that passed. The rest of the week she has been pretty cough-y but is doing much better. My sister Mona had her gall bladder removed yesterday - praise God she is doing well and healing already!

Last thing, a special friend of ours from Clemson is now working in Ethiopia and sends occasional mission updates. Her latest email had this quote inserted and it is part of their theme for the work they are doing there. Pray for her, Sarah Brown. As any of us serve the Lord, this quote applies and the verse with it makes it real! It was such a terrific quote and it just seemed really special to me:

"Royalty is my identity.
Servant hood is my assignment.
Intimacy with God is my life source.
So, before God, I'm an intimate.
Before people, I'm a servant.
Before the powers of hell, I'm a ruler,
with no tolerance for their influence."

~ Bill Johnson
"And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." ~Ephesians 1:22

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Reedy Rive Race

We are so proud of Leah for training for and running in the 2008 Reedy River 10k in Greenville. She has worked hard to get in race shape and it paid off. She finished in the top 50% overall for women as well as in her age group. She ran with a friend from Thornwell, Cynthia, and they spurred each other on through their training and during the race. Our Berkele Cottage family came out to support them too! It was a beautiful day weather wise and after Leah accomplished her 10k goal we headed to falls park for a day in the sun - and grass! It was one of those days that you treasure and give thanks for.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Life in the fast lane

Is anyone's life not in the fast lane these days? Ours flies by and we have no idea how many days have passed by the time we come up for air. We had a nice Valentine. Nothing crazy, but nice time off together. Then, Adam went camping with some pals at Calhoun Falls. His agenda: throwing some football and eating as many little Debbie's as he could consume outside of his wife's presence. I went to see my family in Columbia and tried the famous Hudson's Smokehouse with my parents and Mona. It was good eating. Then I went to my sister, Suzy's for her birthday. That was a nice relaxing visit also and the girls had great times with their cousins.

Now we are back in the cottage and having a good time. Our girls are looking forward to seeing a movie out this weekend and eating some of Mrs. Leah's famous frozen (and then heated) pizza. Seriously, it's just a good cheap pizza, but we'll love it! One week from tomorrow is my big 10k so I'll try not to eat too much :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Amazing kids!

I have some awesome little girls and sometimes they blow me away so much I don't know how to express it. Yesterday Isabella made my heart melt like never before. She was doing her homeschool work and I was working on dinner for later that afternoon. She sat at the counter and offered occasional comments and asked about 894 questions. At some point she got quiet for a minute and then just said "Mommy, thank you". I stopped, seriously wondering what she was talking about and asked "for what?". She was slow to answer again and said something like "thank you for all that you do for me"... what a moment! (Considering that I was 28 years old with a newborn baby, and had put my mom through a whole lot more before I realized I needed to thank my mom for all that she had done.) To have my five year old offer such a grace filled moment for her mommy was incredible. I hope she always sees when nice things are done for her and remembers more hugs than pops on her bottom. I hope she also knows how incredibly special she is, but don't worry... we tell her all the time.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Sunday!

This past Sunday was the XLII NFL Super Bowl. We had a gathering of friends, little and big, lots of food and glee from me and Adam! For some reason without making any pre-game decisions, we started pulling for the Giants and were thrilled to see the outcome. Much better than that, we had a good time with friends and Isabella and Elissa had a great time running around with their pals too! Clean up was fast and easy and we hit the bed rather worn out.

We have seen Eli Manning on Disney several times since then. Elissa will say "that's Eli Manning, he won the Super Bowl"! It's pretty funny because his comment about going to Disney World is something they can connect with :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tiny Dancer or Kung Fu Fighting?

On one of our days off...Isabella and Elissa wanted to do some ballet and so we put some classical music on and they put some tutus on....The rest is history.

Bumps & Bruises

So our two princesses were spreading their joy through the house very quickly and after two prompts to stop running, the corner of the couch decided to put a stop to it. Here is a progression of her bruise. You can see the color changes and for some reason a side effect of the bruise is food around the mouth...go figure.

February is upon us!

Wow - we are 1/12 into the New Year! That is pretty scary considering our Christmas spending still haunts us :)

Elissa is suffering from a scary bump on her head. Actually, it is all but forgotten now, unless she looks in the mirror and sees the purple bruise on her lobe. She ran into the couch in the cottage after running laps through the house. She and Isabella had been told to stop, but at 3 and 5 walking seems so boring. The bump was pretty traumatic for us all. Elissa cried and cried. Isabella cried like she was the one who had the bump. She took responsibility for the incident but we tried to convince her it was just an accident. She sat with her while we put ice on the goose egg. She prayed over her and gave her lots of kisses. The other girls in the cottage seemed worried about her too and checked on her.

Anyway, praise God we are all okay and survived a weekend that seemed like it would never end!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What a laid back time. Yesterday we laid around and played video games all day with our friends. Actually, we invited some folks over for lunch and then we started a game of fusion frenzy. Isabella and Elissa had friends over so they were very happy. I didn't play much of the video game so I could make cookies and run around checking on kids, but I loved it.

Today we had a long home school time and Isabella really did great. She is doing so well with addition and so we started on some simple subtraction. She aced it so we have to bump it up a notch. We also reviewed all the Bible verses from this year and she did great there too. We are so pleased with all that she is doing and feel much better about where we are. Now, our prayer is do we do first grade at home or not??? Pray for us :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

off again on again

So we are off duty again and have a couple of days free to ourselves. We'll probably piddle around a little and take a little time to rest. The weather is supposed to be rough tomorrow so we'll be glad to snuggle down and keep warm. Movies and hot chocolate are the theme I think. We are having friends over tonight and look forward to laughing a little with them and letting our kids play together. We may try to pop down to Columbia before we go back on duty. We miss the family and so do the girls.

I have started some new things this new year. I am trying out Bible Study Fellowship. It seems to be a very good investment. I am also studying the Bible with some ladies on our campus and am excited to get to know them better and have one more day of focus on the Bible. Another slightly nutty thing is I had a friend approach me about doing the Reedy River 10K Run with her so we started running together today. I love those kinds of goals so I am very excited about that one too.

Adam is in the men's Bible study on campus and that has been a blessing for him. I'm so proud of his commitment to try and be there, study God's Word and enjoy the Christian fellowship. They are a great group of guys. He has also kept up playing basketball at the YMCA and I'm proud that he is taking care of himself.

Isabella and Elissa are incredible as ever. They are such big girls. As much as I am told how fast it all flies by, I think this is the age I just want to stop and watch them for a while... soak it in even. Unfortunately I let lots of other things get in the way, but we love to read, snuggle, tickle and laugh together as often as we can.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Adam is 33!

Today is Adam's 33rd birthday and we have started it off with a bang. Isabella is sick to her stomach and cuddling a trashcan... Elissa had to work on writing her name to sign her daddy's card... I worked on getting his birthday cake finished... and he slept in and woke up to a hot cup of coffee. Now, we are just hanging around and slowly getting ready for the day. Isabella seems to be doing better and she and Elissa both did homeschool this morning. Isabella's sight vocabulary recognition is coming along well and I am glad to be back on track with that. Elissa gets bored easily with anything school related, but she is 3 so we try to be reasonable. Alphabet puzzles and her new learning computer are a lot of fun.

This afternoon we are heading to the mall, one of Adam's favorite outings. Then we are going to drop off the girls at Adam's little sisters for some Aunt Ali and Uncle Chad time :) Adam and I are heading out to eat in downtown Greenville for a feast :) I can't wait!