Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tis the Season

Well, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone and the Payne's are in the Christmas spirit.  We had a great time at Thanksgiving visiting with family and there is nothing I look forward to more than my mom's awesome dressing.  I don't like most of the stuff in it by itself, but mixed all together and cooked, it is DELICIOUS!!  Colleen got to see her cousin's Kayle and Shelby, who she just loves to death!


Right before Thanksgiving, we decided to beat the crowds and visit Santa early.  Colleen was ready and had her list of what she wanted planned.  There was no fear and she sat in his lap and visited while we checked out and paid for the picture!

Putting up the Christmas tree is now a family event as well and Colleen is excellent at decorating!  She was so excited when it came tree time.  She wanted to help get it out of the storage shed and be involved in every aspect of the tree!

I am looking forward to a great Christmas, so stay tuned for more postings and pictures!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Colleen School Pictures Fall 2010

I have never been so in love with school pictures as I was this time.  Usually, school pictures are around Colleen's birthday and I have birthday pictures done and the school pictures are just "ok".  Well, this year, we decided we were going to combine birthday and family Christmas pictures, so no actual birthday pictures.  But, no worries as the school pictures were FABULOUS!!!  Not only did the photographer get one good pic, but they got THREE AWESOME pictures!  I had to order the CD to have them!  Check them out below!!




Halloween 2010


What a Halloween this was!  Although we didn't get to take our little fairy princess to all the festivities we had planned thanks to what appeared to be food poisoning and dehydration, she had a great time with what she did do!  The first activity was her school party.  Colleen took over photographer duties at this event most of the time and snapped away pictures of her friends.  I did manage to squeeze the camera from her and snap a few of her and her friends.  Below is a slide show from that party.

Next of the agenda was our church's Fall Festival.  The church had carnival type games where the kids could win prizes...aka, CANDY!  Boy, did she rack up on some candy!  By the time we got there, the festivities were winding down, but there was lots of candy left, so Colleen usually got to take as much candy as she wanted with each game!  Some of the folks manning the games even taught Colleen a trick or two to help her "win" at the games!  It was at the church that dehydration set in for me and we had to head home.  I am thankful our church has paramedics that are members and were at the fall festival and helped me recover enough to make it home!  Below are the pics from the school party and the church Fall festival I did manage to get!

Last Soccer Game

Well, soccer season came and went and boy did we learn alot!  Russell and I never had any experience with soccer, so we learned alot about the sport.  We met some really great people and kids and look forward to many more soccer seasons ahead of us.  Not knowing much about the sport or really about the Huntsville YMCA, we didn't know what to expect coach or team wise.  But, I have to say - we sure got lucky!  We got a coach who has played soccer since the age of 7, and even played it in college.  She was a wealth of information, but was also extremely patient with the kids.  She just didn't teach them to kick the ball in the net, but she worked with them on true techniques of the game.  Luckily for us, her youngest son is the same age as Colleen and we will hopefully have her as a coach for many more years!

It was a great experience for Colleen as well!  She not only learned about soccer, but she also experienced teamwork and learned more coordination!  It did "toughen" her up a little bit too!  She took on the challenge of goalie during most games and although she saw very little action because her team kept the ball on the other side of the field, she still had an awesome time. 

Russell ended up being the team photographer!  At the last game, coach Dena told Russell she wanted pictures and boy did he give her pictures...almost 170 of them!  Below is a slide show of all the pictures from the last game...so sit back and enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cubbie of the Month

You have probably read in another post that Colleen has started AWANAs.  For those that may not know what AWANAs is, it is kid's bible study.  The kids are divided by age group and each age has it's own name and they have a book and a vest that has their lessons and projects in it.  Each week, they have a verse to memorize and a project to complete.  It is not a requirement to complete the project or memorize the verse, but the kids get points and other rewards like patches, stickers, stamps, etc when completing the tasks.  Colleen has really enjoyed AWANAs and all that it encompasses.  We were so excited to find out on Friday, that Colleen had earned the Cubbie of the Month for September and was recognized at church this week.  The following slideshow shows her vest and her getting her "award" during church.  You will also notice a few pictures of her drawing on the kitchen floor.  There was a project where the parent was to trace the child and let the child "decorate" themself.  Well, I didn't have any paper big enough, so we used the kitchen floor since we knew crayon would come right up!  Needless to say...she had a very fun time doing this one!

I am sure we will be adding pictures along the way, so enjoy!

Colleen Turns FOUR!

Well, I cannot believe my baby girl is now FOUR!!  Where did this time go!!  As you may know from previous posts and pictures, Colleen loves music, dancing, and singing!  So, what better way to celebrate her turning four than a rock-n-roll birthday!  I was able to borrow a Wii, two guitars, a drum set, and the game Rock Band for her and her friends to rock out at the party!  AND BOY oh BOY did they ever!  Colleen had 13 of her closest friends over and the house was a rockin'!  Rockin' so much at one point, we had to take the party outside!!  Check the pictures below to see all the action!!



Thanks to everyone who came and made the party so much fun for Colleen!

It's Soccer Time

Well, after much talk about dance...we ended up doing soccer instead.  It is through the YMCA and only for 3 and 4 year olds.  This has been a great experience for us and Colleen.  When Russell and I grew up in Jasper, there was NO soccer.  No little league soccer, no junior high soccer, no high school soccer - NO SOCCER at all, so we went into this with no knowledge on how to play the sport except knowing you want to kick the ball into the net and no touching the ball with your hands!  She is learning great coordination, teamwork, balance, and it is even "toughening" her up some!  She enjoys playing the goalie MOST of the time.  She has gotten better with each game.  I look forward to watching her progress in the sport!

I have a couple of slideshows from two of her games.  The first slideshow is from the first game on September 25, 2010.



The next slideshow is from her most recent game on October 16, 2010.



Stay tuned for more game updates!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Well, Hello There...Again

So, it has been over a month since I posted and I had to make a list as to what all I should post on!  I have so much information, I will break it down into several posts.  I will start off with the whole "kids say the darndest thing" piece with funny things that come out of Colleen's mouth!

Colleen has started saying "Mommy (or Daddy), you crack me up!" and breaks out in laughter!

I started Colleen on a multi-vitamin a couple of weeks ago and I told her she would get big and strong from taking them.  She ate the first one, immediately looked over her body, then looked up at me and says "Mommy, am I bigger yet?"  So cute and so sweet!  She now asks me most days if she is bigger yet and I tell her she grows a little bit each day! 

Since she is getting bigger, she is changing clothes sizes.  Being four now...she is not only in 4T clothes, but just plain size 4!  This becomes nice because usually that means they make jeans and pants in SLIM sizes so they fit my SLIM girl, but are also longer than the regular 4T for my tall girl!  Plus, when you venture out of toddler sizes, your selection of clothes becomes much bigger and it is much more fun when shopping for her!  Sometimes there are too many options to pick from though!!

She is involved in AWANAs at our church and one of the recent projects involved using some baby pictures.  I found one picture where she is just a few months old laying on her tummy on a black cloth with a black backdrop.  She looked at it and said "Look mommy, I was flying in space as a baby!"

Also, with her and our involvement with church, it has made Colleen want to be more like mom!  For her birthday, she specifically asked for a bible just like mom...but pink!  Needless to say, she got her wish!

Since turning four on October 2, she has decreased saying MOMMY and says MOM more and more!  I am NOT happy with that and want my baby that says MOMMY back!

This past Friday, she had her 4-year old check-up.  If you have friends with children, you may have heard that the 4-year check-up is a horrible experience and boy are they right.  It started out great with a hearing and vision test...then came the needles - FOUR of them!  It took three of us holding down our little 35 lbs girl to give her these shots and the entire time, she is yelling "MOMMY, DON'T LET THEM POKE ME"!!!  It was brutal, not only for Colleen, but also for mommy.  I almost started crying with her!!  But, she is doing great.  She is holding to her 75% on height and 50% on weight. 

Well, cutting it off for now!  I hope to be back tomorrow for the next update!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Things Kids Say

I thought I would dedicate a small post to just a few of the cute or funny things Colleen has said lately!

We were driving the other day and traffic was horrible.  Lots of cars and one person was slowing all folks down down because they were driving so slow.  Colleen told me to go faster and I told her I could not go faster because of one of the cars in front of me.  She told me to JUMP over the cars.  I told her I could not jump over the cars, I was in daddy's truck.  She says, "Well a bicycle could jump over the cars".  I told her we were not on a bicycle and she told me again that a bicycle could jump over the cars!

Later on, she told me her feet had "sprinkles" in them...I finally figured out she was saying her foot was asleep.  I thought that was super cute.  I guess that's how her feet felt - like they had sprinkles in them!

Today it was raining and she started singing "Rain Rain go away, come again another day"!  It was pretty cute too. 

Russell went outside to mow to tall grass, so it wold not get too tall to mow after this next round of rain.  So, Colleen wanted her "tractor" (aka...her pink 4-wheeler).  So, she put her stuffed sheep on the "tractor" and gave the sheep a ride around the inside of the house.

Yesterday she told me I was a great cleaner and today she told Russell he was a great cooker because he made pancakes for her.  She ate the same amount as Russell and I did combined!  And she specifically ask for maple syrup!

She is growing up so fast these days and actually missed being at school today because she enjoys school so much.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing like FREE Entertainment

Something is in the air with Colleen because the last week or two, she is more comical and entertaining than the usual!  BEWARE!  LONG POST because of all the humor she has provided recently!!

About two to three weeks ago, Russell thought he would try something with her.  He found the dualing banjos song from some old movie, which title has left me at this very moment, and thought he would see what she did.  Well, like the banjos, she started slow dancing and then got faster and faster.  I finally managed to get video of her "dancing" to some of the fast part last night.  Because it is dark and she is moving so fast, it is not of the best quality, but it will give you the idea of how we laugh constantly!  Enjoy!

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He has also found the song "Jump Jump" and she asked for it by name and that is exaclty what she does with it...Jump, Jump!  Maybe I can get video of that soon!

She has started asking when she is going to get to drive!  She knows she has to be a big girl like mommy, but I think she may be thinking when she turns FOUR in October, she becomes a big girl!  Driving has come up on more than one occassion in the last week, so let's just hope it is a phase!

Like her momma, she enjoys pro football too.  I was watching a game the other night (unfortunately it was the Texans and the Cowboys were on and thanks to leaving in a Houston area, if the Texans are on - that is the only team I get to watch).  I told her it was getting late, she needed to go start picking up her room and settling down for bed.  She said, "But I want to watch the football game".  I asked her if she wanted her TV on the game and she said yes, so I turned it on for her.  In a few minutes, Russell walked into her room and thought she had changed it or I left it on that by accident and tried to change the TV.  She quickly told him to NOT change the channel, she was watching the football game!  Russell was not real sure what to say, but just walked out! 

Speaking of sports, Colleen has been running around the house kicking a ball around.  She actually does pretty good and hardly ever misses kicking the ball (better coordination than I had for sure!).  I said something about soccer to her and she said, "Look at me, I'm good at soccer"!  She is excited to sign up and play a little soccer through the YMCA this year.  Should be interesting to watch a group of 3 year olds playing soccer!!

Colleen has also come to enjoy the show "Wipeout".  If you have not watched at least one episode, you should!  It is a show of "obstacle courses" I guess you could call them, but usually involves people looking and acting crazy.  If you go on that show, you have to know millions of people are at home watching and making fun of you because you will most likely end up falling into a pool of mud, then water, getting stuff like mustard and ketchup shot at you, dropped in whip cream, and all in all worn out and out of breath!  But, it is so funny and Colleen just loves watching these people.  Last night, she asked for the "water kids" and I couldn't figure out what she was talking about and she finally pointed to the TV and said, "you know, where people fall off in water and get wet"!  Oddly enough, it came on last night and she got to enjoy another episode!

On the way home from school yesterday, Colleen gasped and says "Oh my gosh"!  I asked her what was wrong.  She pointed to a new apartment complex that is being constructed and says, "Mommy, that man was on the roof.  We are not supposed to be on the roof-es, he might fall off and bump his head."  Glad to know we have taught the fearless wonder a little about safety!

I think I mentioned in the last post that Colleen had started what I like to call pre-pre-K (you know, the year before pre-K!).  Well, she was not in the best of moods, so wasn't real interested in having her picture made, so I did the best I could with what she gave me to work with!!


Colleen is falling in the footsteps of Russell and myself and has a love of technology.  She loves my iPhone and I have several apps she enjoys playing (which are actually educational, so learning can be fun!) and she knows how work my iPhone and get to the apps.  She is also starting to enjoy her ClickStart keyboard (by LeapFrog) more.  It connects to the TV and the child can play educational games with it while learning how to use a keyboard and mouse.  Colleen was playing with hers last night and I managed to snap a quick pic!

Also, as mentioned in a previous post, Colleen added a few tricks for the swimming pool.  I finally managed to get videos of those too!  Sit back and enjoy!

First, we have the Jump and Sit (this was actually not one of her bests because usually she gets her feet more parallel to the pool, but you get the idea!)

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Next is the Jump & Tuck!  She thought she would be cute and look at mommy during this jump!

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Next, we have the Jump & Spin (love how she holds her nose when going in!)!

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And last, but not least, we have the trying to hold breath in water, and swim a little.  She gets better and better at this and is trying longer amounts of time each time.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Fun coming to an end, School has begun!

On Monday, Colleen promoted to what I like to call pre-pre-K!  You know, the class before pre-K!  It's known at school as the 3 year old class, but I think pre-pre-K sounds better!  ;)  We loved Colleen's class last year and her two fabulous teachers and this year is no different (well...one minor bump in the road, but that problem has been resolved already!).  She has a great teacher in Meme and is in a class with about 13 other 3 year olds.  This school year will have a more "academic" focus with learning letter sounds and writing letters.  I, of course, am happy to say that Colleen already knows how to write some of her letters, so some of this may just be a refresher course for her!!! 

It is so fun to watch her develop and learn more and more each and every day.  I love the things that she says and many times she provides me great entertainment with the words and phrases that come out of her mouth.  At times, it seems she is such a mature little girl - until she goes into silly  mode.  Which for some strange reason, seems to occur right at bedtime most nights!  She picks up on things Russell and I say, and sometimes uses our own words against us!  But what else is a 3 year old, or should I saw almost 4 year old, supposed to do!  It's all part of growing up.

We have been going to our pool lately and Colleen has added a few more tricks to her list!  She now does the jump and spin, jump and sit, and jump and tuck!  Each one requires such precise timing and movement - JUST KIDDING!  She still does each jump from the top step of the ladder and once we saw the jumps and named them, she will do a jump by name on demand!  It's so funny.  I haven't managed to get them on video yet (I know, shocking for some of you)!  But I will try before swimming pool season is over.  She is also becoming more comfy in the water with attempts to hold her nose and put her face in.  You would think since she goes completely underwater with the jumps, that putting her face in would not be a big deal, but she has yet to attempt it until recently.

Well, I think that's about it for an update!  Check back soon for more!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Baby is Growing Up

So Colleen is so expressive and we never know what will come out of her mouth.  I have said time and time again, it seems like her vocabulary grows with new words EVERY DAY!  But also, new phrases and sentences, and longer words, phrases and sentences too!  She just amazes with what she says and does.  Not only does she amaze me, but she provides me with a lot of laughter as well!  Colleen has commented on cars being pretty and always wanting to go faster or pass someone.  One day on our way to work, she all the sudden said, "ohhhhh, pretty"!  I asked her what was so pretty.  She said, "that green car up there" pointing to a green volkswagon bug in front of us.  Then she says, "Mommy, I want in the white car up there" (it was in front of the green bug).  I told her we couldnt get in the white car, it was not ours.  She said, "Mommy, I want to buy that white car".  I asked her why...her response, "Because they are going faster than you!"!  Gotta love her. 

She is also putting concepts together.  I have been driving Russell's truck lately, and she told me I needed to be careful driving daddy's truck so I didn't hurt it b/c daddy might get mad if I hurt his truck! 

She will be promoting to a new class at her school on Monday.  I am happy and sad at the same time.  Not only is it an indication my baby is growing up, but it also means she will no longer have the two fabulous teachers she has had this last year.  Ms. Patty and Ms. Amber are amazing and we have been so lucky to have had them.  However, she will be getting another awesom teacher in Mimi.

Colleen & Ms. Patty

Colleen & Ms. Amber

Seaworld 2010

Go me...multiple posts in a week!

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to take Colleen to Seaworld. When talking to her about the trip beforehand, I told her she would get to feed the dolphins, she had told me "I don't want to feed the dolphins, I want to feed the sharks"! I had to break it to her that she could not feed the sharks, but she was then super excited to feed the dolphins.

We had taken her two times before, but it seems since the last time, she had really grown and matured I guess you could say. So, we thought this year was going to be a great time for her - even more so than in years past. Boy, were we right! She had a BLAST! She got to feed the dolphins, see three shows, incuding the new Azul and Shamu Rocks show, and many animals. AND have her picture made with the penguin character. She was so excited to do it all. She talked about it non-stop from the time we told her we were going to the time we got there and throughout the day there. If she knew we were going to do something, like feed the dolphins - she asked about feeding the dolphins until we did! We were at Seaworld from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm. She took about an hour nap in between shows in the evening. She had her picture made with a couple of the skiers from the Cool Vibrations ski show (I think mom and dad have a picture of me with some skiers when I was very young too!). All the heat and waiting in line for stuff was so worth it seeing the smile and laughs on her face! Below is a slide show of the over 100 pictures taken from throughout the day.



Funny story time...The following day as we were loading up the truck, we all took one load of stuff down and while Russell arranged the truck, Colleen and I went back to our room to get the rest of our stuff. As we are walking in the hotel, two teenage girls are running into the hotel (they forgot something). Colleen looks at me and says "Mommy, they should not run, they may fall and hurt themself". I said, "I know baby" We got into the elavator, and ended up in the elavator with these two girls. Colleen looks at them, then turns towards them and tells them, "Don't run". They just looked at her like she was crazy and I am trying not to laugh hysterically b/c my 3.5 yr old just told these two teenage girls not to run! Needless to say, we ended up back on the elavator going back down and I was anxiously waiting for Colleen to tell them that again, but she did not!

Can't wait for next time!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bigger & Better Things (maybe some rambling too!)

Okay, so the previous post was a little on the dreary side, so I thought I needed another post that was on the positive side. What is a better subject than my hubby and my Colleen! On June 29, 2010, Russell and I celebrated 14 years of marriage. Yes, you read that right - 14 YEARS of wedded bliss. If you know my age or the whereabouts and start trying to do the math, yes, I got married at the age of 19. Some people may not agree with the decision, but I would not change a thing. Russell and I waited 10 more years to bring the joy of our life into this world. Once again, nope, I would not change a thing. That 10 years gave Russell and I a change to grow and have "OUR" time with each other. It allowed me to get two degrees, both of us to get good jobs or at a good place in our job. It allowed me to build time to take 3 months off when Colleen was born and bond with my little angel. People may think some of our choices were wrong...but to each their own. I don't regret any decision I/we made for our family.

Within the last six months, Russell and I also found a church home for our family - Second Baptist Church in Huntsville. Colleen has been going to the preschool there for two years and we decided to try the church service out in January. It didn't take long for us to realize that this was where we needed to be. In early January, we had some medical news that kinda sent me into a state of shock and it took me some time to work through it. It was with the help of the church and God that I got through it and focused on other things. I was also reminded that although I may have a plan for my life, someone else has a plan as well - I just may not always know that plan. Sometimes my plan and God's plan just aren't the same and you just go with God's plan and figure it out along the way. The people at the church are great and the pastor is fantastic. No one is afraid to admit mistakes, no one judges, no one is perfect, and it is all okay.

Colleen is growing so fast and speaking and singing like such a big girl. Sometimes I can't get over the memory of that girl and I am just shocked at what she says and how well she speaks and completes sentences. She is an amazing little girl and I love watching her grow up every single day. I love watching her develop and learn. I love to watch her teach me new things. She sings, she dances, she kicks, she throws, she plays, and so much more. Russell and I have been blessed with such a good child. As with all kids, she does have her moments, but as we see kids in public places and watching parents struggle, I realize how lucky we are to have such a good child (98% of the time!). Colleen is a true joy to me and I cannot imagine my life without her now.

Okay...I think I am done with random thoughts for the night. I will try to get better at this blog thing so my future posts are not so long. Thanks for "listening" and check back again soon!

Random Thoughts (& Venting)

So, I have not posted anything in a month...A couple of reasons for this is because I am not sure I have a tremendous amount to say (I know...shocking), haven't had time, or wondering if my thoughts are something that I should post. But as I sit in a hotel room the last night of a conference, I think - what the heck...just blog away! I am watching HLN News tonight and they are talking about the dramatic weight loss of Jennifer Hudson (former contestant on American Idol for those who don't know) and how she went from a size 16 to a size 6. Apparently Jennifer has been criticized for this weight loss and commented about how she will never be "skinny"! Really people, since when is a size 6 not skinny! The girl looked fantastic! I wonder what in the world is thinking when a size 6 cannot be classified as skinny - just ridiculous. A 6 should be considered healthy. These super thin models that are like size 0 and 2 should really think about the image they are creating and what defines healthy and skinny!

Speaking of models, also on HLN, they discussed supermodel Gisele's recent comments regarding breastfeeding and how there should be a law requiring breastfeeding! REALLY! Seriously! You are a first time mom who got knocked up by her football player boyfriend who had just another kid by another woman and you want to give parenting advice that involves changing or creating laws! Some people can not breastfeed for various reasons, so before you make these comments, you may want to do a little research.

Then you have a Judge that wants to overturn a vote of the citizens of California. How is that possible?? The public voted and there was a majority. If the decision could be overturned by ONE person, what was the point of a vote of the people. Just ask the judge what he/she wants and let them change the law. If the decision of the public can be overturned so easily, I have to wonder other laws and decisions that are made by the public can be overturned by one person. Just doesn't seem to make sense or be remotely right for the American people.

Okay, I think that is it on the venting and random thoughts from the news of today. Now onto bigger and better things...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vacation Bible School, Father's Day, and Summer Begins!

WOW!  Guess I need to learn to get a little better with this blogging thing!  Well, it's been a while since I have blogged and we have been busy.  So, today is catch up day!

First thing to report on is Colleen's first experience at Vacation Bible School.  Colleen had a great time singing, dancing, crafting, meeting new friends, and most importantly - learing about God.  She talked about VBS for several days after it was over and even told us how happy she was because she loved God.  Others enjoyed Colleen too - such as the preacher and his wife.  On the Sunday afterwards, they told us how much fun it was watching her dance and enjoy VBS and the final program!  Below is a slide show of pictues taken at VBS and some videos from the final program.  Enjoy




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Next up was Father's Day.  Colleen's school did a Father's Day program and it was great!  You can see from the videos that Colleen started off a little shy, but once she knew momma and daddy were there - she was good to go!  We have learned that she can multi-talk with ease...not only was she singing, but she was helping her friends find their mom and dads too!!


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Lastly for Colleen is that Summer is well under way and she is definitely enoying it all. We (well Russell actually!) finally have gotten the swimming pool clean and usable (Fall and Winter did a doozie on it)! Colleen could not wait to get in the water; however, once she got in the water...it took her a little while to adjust - BUT NOT LONG! She started off swimming slowly across the pool, but has gotten pretty quick and now jumps, rolls, and anything else she can figure out. On the jumping, she started jumping from three steps down, then two steps down, and the last time we were in the pool, she was jumping off the top step and has even done belly flops! Too bad it hasn't stopped raining to go back in!  Enjoy the slideshows and videos of our start to Summer 2010!



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As you can see, the first swim was a little slow...she just needed a warm up though!  This was the last time it was that slow!

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Hey mom...Look what I can do - CIRCLES!!  Silly girl

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Let the jumping begin!  Started off on 3rd from the top and worked our way up.

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Getting a little braver!!

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The BELLY FLOP!!

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SUPER BRAVE!!  I couldn't tell you how many times she did this!  Too bad it's rained almost every day since this to do it more!!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the show!  I hope to be better about updating this thing next time!




Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Sometimes we take for granted the liberty and freedom so many unknown fought for. We always think about our families and friends helping and fighting for us, but we never really think about those that we don't know and never meet fighting for us. They are fighting for our freedom to say what we want and believe in what we want, and allow us to protect ourselves. These are things we cannot physically see, hear, or touch...just things we feel in our heart. We don't realize how lucky we are until we don't have it and that's a feeling we never want to feel. Please make sure and take some time to think about and realize the freedoms we have and thank those who have served or are currently serving in our armed forced. THANK YOU

Sunday, May 23, 2010

So Much to Say, So Little Time

Well, it has been a while since I had time to blog much, so I will be catching up on lost time with this one!

First, I was in Savannah, GA for several days for work.  I work with the Association for Paroling Authorities International, and their Annual Training Conference was in Savannah.  Savannah is a beautiful place; however, I did not have much time or energy to explore it.  Our hotel was on the river and so the view was wonderful.  I did have pictures; however, they were taken on my phone and I had a mild catastrophe with my phone there and lost all but one picture.


This picture was taken after a short shower one afternoon.  Throughout the day, it had rained off and on, but this was the first rainbow I had a chance to see.  So pretty!


Less than 24 hours after getting back from Savannah, we left for Dallas to see my wonderful future sis-in-law, Kaitlin, graduate from Northwood University.  Russell, Colleen, and I had the opportunity to meet Kaitlin's family and they may be a rowdy bunch, but they are very entertaining, and great to be around!  They are actually from the Kirbyville area and are owners/operators of a meat market in Jasper.


On our way to Dallas for the graduation, we ran into an awful hail storm that did some minor damage to my car with dings and cracked my bug shield.  We ended up pulling off on the shoulder along with around 10 or so other cars to minimize the impact of the hail.  After getting going again, Russell looked in the rearview more and we saw a nice big rainbow.




After the graduation on Friday, we drove to Tyler on Saturday, so Russell could shoot a field tournament.  While Russell was shooting, I got to meet up with an old neighbor and her two kids.  Brooke (Barrington) has two young kids, an almost 3 year old and a 5 year old.  Colleen had played with them a couple of times before and they always have a great time.  Brooke told me about a great place called Brookshire's World of Wildlife Museum.  They have lots of animal mounts and a nice playground for kids of all ages.  Colleen had a great time!  She climbed things very tall without fear and one woman commented on her determination to try and reach some monkey bars by finding a huge rock and moving it under the bars to step on to reach them.  I have always called her my "fearless wonder" and she continues to hold that nickname!








I will end this post with one more picture and comment.  I am lucky to have one of the best daycare teachers there could ever be in Ms. Patty.  She always takes great care of my Colleen and keeps me in the know of all she does.  Every once in a while, Ms. Patty finds time to take pictures and send them to me.  This past Thursday was the first water day at her school for the summer and Colleen LOVES water day, as you can tell (thank you Patty for this great pic!).




Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mommy's Day Love

Mother's Day 2010 started off fantastic with the dedication of Colleen during the church service this morning.  Our church has two services - a contemporary service at 9 am and the traditional service at 11 am.  We have been going to the contemporary service since we started going and really enjoy it.  The band is wonderful and really loves what they do.  Well, usually Colleen is in the preschool area learning about the Lord with others her age during this time, but due to the dedication, she was with us for a little while.  I couldn't help but laugh while we sang b/c Colleen was just a dancing to the music.  There is no doubt Colleen has my love of music and dance as it doesn't matter what kind of music it is - she will dance!  Then it came time for the dedication portion of the service...After we had been called up to the front of the church with the other families dedicating their children, Brother Gary started going through our commitment to our child for the dedication, Colleen decides she needs to go POTTY!  Thank goodness the preschool director was near and Colleen knows her, she stepped out quickly to take her potty.  The church gave Colleen a wonderful children's bible and Colleen started looking through it as soon as we took our seat again.





Colleen has danced for me, sang for me, made my laugh by telling me daddy hurt her feelings, colored, practiced writing her letters - but also typical three year old stuff.  You know the doing the stuff you tell her not to do and not doing stuff you tell her to do!  OH the joys!



Friday, May 7, 2010

Start of Mother's Day Festivities

We are lucky to have Colleen in a preschool that loves putting on programs for the families of the children in the program - that preschool is Second Baptist Church. We were guided to this program almost 2 years ago and became members of the congregation of the church in February. We love every aspect of the preschool and church. Over the last couple of years, the school has done 2-3 programs each year ranging from a Thanksgiving and Christmas program, to Mother's Day this year. At each program, the kids from each class (including the infants) participate in one, sometimes two, songs and then enjoy lunch with the kids. Each program brings the mystery of "is my kid gonna be the kid that cries the entire time, sings as loud as they possibly can, shies away, runs away, and the many other thoughts that go through a parent's mind!

Colleen has always been kinda
in between all these. She does look around for mom and dad and she has kinda sorta sang in the past - but we have been lucky and not had the one that feels the need to run with horror from the stage or cries during the entire performance! Today, I had my first "scare" that one of these things was gonna happen! She has been practicing her song in the car and at home for about two weeks now.



In the video, you will see her looking around and then spotting me and waving. I wave back thinking, she is comfy now b/c she knows I am there. THEN, she attempts to come to me. Thankfully, Colleen has the best teachers there are and Ms. Patty (who likes for people to think she is mean, but we all know is one of the sweetest people with the biggest hearts around) stops Colleen and gets her back on stage. AND just when you think Colleen is about to loose it on stage, Ms. Patty hugs her and says something very sweet to Colleen that keeps Colleen on the stage and not crying. She actually sings, but with her hands at her mouth the whole time. That's okay though...Later on, Colleen actually sang the song for me and I got it all on video!

The first video is from the program.
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Now, this is the video we did at home later this evening of her singing the Mommy song...OMG, isn't it just precious!


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Seems like I have a few things to update! One week ago I got an iPhone! YES, I LOVE it! Well, Colleen loves it too and has her own page of apps and games! She has figured out how to unlock it (thinking I may have to set a password for it) and how to get to her page of apps and get out of an app to pick another one! Scary, huh! I will leave this for now..watch for more to come soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Future Champion in the Making!

Well, I knew it would happen knowing Russell...Colleen would have a real bow early in life! Well, this past Christmas, guess what she got - A REAL BOW! Well, it took us a little while to get arrows with components that would work with the bow. Thanks to Toby at Double B Archery, Colleen got some Easton Jazz. However, those still didn't work off the shelf. So, we had to order some different pieces for the arrows to make them work for her...BUT, Russell made it happen. After thinking it over for a little while, he decided to cut the arrows off like he would for an adult bow and they just be passed the rest...so her arrows in turn, ended up being about 14" long!


Well, it rained most of the morning, so the ground was pretty wet. Russell has been doing some fine-tuning to his equipment and everytime he went outside to shoot, she wanted to go! After a little while, she finally got her turn. After telling her she couldn't shoot in her dress-up shoes, we finally got her changed and outside and boy did she do great for the first time. She seemed to do well with Russell giving her some pointers on where to place her fingers on the strings and not letting go of the bow when you shoot it! Our only hiccup was when we started working with her on holding the bow arm up more to get the string closer to the face...the string got her arm and it did not go over well! Needless to say, next time, we will have a sock for an arm guard on! As you can see, she didn't do too shabby!


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