Happy Birthday LUKIE!

January is birthday month and today it is Luke's turn! If I could use one word to describe my Luke it would be resolute. He is determined, he sees things in black and white, he is a little stubborn and yet still has the most wonderful whit about him. He is pleasure to be with and is always willing to accompany me on my errands. He is friend has a very special way with young children. Oh, what a great big brother he is now and will be to this new little baby!

Highlights from 2013:

  • Took last place in his last pinewood derby ever. Cool way to go out as he took 1st place overall in his first pinewood derby when he was 8!
  • Competed in the Knowledge Bowl for Westfield Elementary
  • Made the ALL class
  • Joined the local swim team and took 2nd in the backstroke
  • Took his first overnight backpack trip with his dad
  • Turned in piano lessons for the bass - yay! It has been so fun watching him play this year
  • Still loves his geckos Jack and Michael
  • Finish his Webelos award and Arrow of Light
  • Started 5th grade and joined the school orchestra and Battle of The Books team
  • Learned to snow ski, bowl and stand up on a paddle board while being pulled by a jet ski!
Such a fun year! Here's to an even better 2014 (can't wait to give you your gift tonight...it is one of those dream-come-true type!!)


Did I hear 7?

While I am not a fan of odd numbers, we decided to break out of our comfort zone and turn this family of 6 into a family of 7! Yes, we are having a BaBy! We were oh so certain that Eliza was the last. Could you ask for a more perfect caboose? However, this idea came to me about 2 years ago and try as I might, I just couldn't shake it. We don't own a single baby item in the world and are not sure if we still remember how to change a diaper, so I guess you could say it is like we are starting all over. The best part is I am due on my sister's birthday and she is due with her own little package 3 weeks before. I told her they better be good friends because I am near certain this will be our last and "it" is going to need a buddy.

Here's a picture of the little passenger!

We have a teenager in the house!

It is hard to believe that we have a teenager. How about a year in review plus birthday tribute at the same time?

2013 proved to be one of the best years of Eden's life. As you can see she is one flexible mama and is in love with dance. Dance here, dance there, dance everywhere. On the kitchen counter, at the lake, in the wilderness, at the park...she loves to move. One thing we love about it is her ability to live a well balanced life. She joined the ranks of the Young Women in 2013 and was able to participate in baptisms for the dead the same week. Additional highlights from the year:
  • received superior rank in her flute federation
  • audition and won a place in Symphonic band as a 7th grader
  • graduated from 6th grade and received the... (2 awards that I can't remember the name!)
  • switched from The Point to High-light dance. She has never been happier...anywhere...
  • participate in the stake Trek which proved to be a life changing experience for her. Walked 32 miles in the heat. Developed a love and testimony of the pioneers and has had a thirst for genealogy ever since
  • ran a 24th of July 5k in under 30 minutes
  • got a cell phone...yay!
  • great big sister and an amazing daughter. Here's to 2014!


A look at 2013

Let's start with Eliza! Wrapped up an amazing Preschool year with Ms. Carrie and Kathy.

 Love sports - spring soccer, 1k with buddy Cannon and first bowling experience!


 Special over night outing with grandma and grandpa...
Started harp lessons with mom's teacher, Shru De. She loves it and has the best little hand position!

Turned 6 this year. Making a cake with grandma and party!

First tooth out just in time for the New Year!


Spring Break 2013

StayCATION 2013!

Easter 2013 - only the girls wanted to pose! We had a grand Easter Egg hunt at our house on Saturday and then enjoyed Sacraments talks at the Ence's ward and a light lunch after. We then visited Great Grandma Chappell and played the harp for her in her HealthCare Center. Very sweet day.

Monday: We put our house in order and then enjoyed a FAB visit from our wonderful Maple Valley neighbors.

Tuesday: To Kneaders for french toast madness - we ordered 5 and really should have only ordered 3!

Thanksgiving Point Museum. Poor Tucker outlasted everyone - he could have stayed all day.
While we were out enjoying the museum and a movie, dad was back home setting up the trampoline.
Day 3 brought the FLU --- yuck, yuck! Day 4 jumping, jumping, jumping!
Day 5 we took the kids to Temple Square and visited the Church History Museum. A first and very delightful experience for all.
 The BEST part about being around the "Square" at conference time is running into people you haven't seen in ages. Love and miss these guys:(!

 Eliza making a wish before throwing her money into the fountain!
 No better way to end a good week than with a wonderful conference session. We spend our conferences in our pajamas eating sweet rolls making crafts wrapped up in warm, fuzzy blankets!


Welcome To Alpine


We packed everything we own into this garage, and then shut the door on it for one week. I wish I had a better shot of all the furniture stacked on top of each other. 

What do I love the most about being in Utah? THE SUN. We have been outside non stop. 7 Peaks water park, bike rides, running, hiking, swimming. We can't get enough - it is wonderful!

This is the view from the parking lot of our church. It doesn't do this cute little town justice. We are tucked into the far northeast corner of Utah county. Even though I grew up with these mountains, I am still in awe of their beauty. 

There are still boxes lingering, but here are a few pics to get you started.
Family Room

Entry way
Eden's room


Living Room (music area)

Who knows what led us to this area, but I am in love. This little town is just about the cutest thing ever. We live about one block from City Hall and every day, during day light hours the town bell rings on the hour. People and children flood the streets with bikes, roller blades and wagons. Our children haven't made a lot of friends yet (except Eden, our social butterfly) and so Dave and I have become the main source of entertainment. It has actually been a blessing in disguise. We don't have any real commitments right now and have really enjoyed board games, basketball, bike rides, trips to the local shaved ice stand, parks and more with the kids. I've been craving an organized home for sometime and had no idea that it would take move across the states to make it happen. We dejunked and only brought the essentials into the home.
Life is good. HOWEVER, I think my son Luke said it best. "Utah is just about the best place on earth, only one thing would make it better - if all of our friends from Maple Valley were here with us." Amen Luke.


After 6 LONG months of anticipation, moving day finally arrived. You'd think that with that much time to prepare that I would have had a grip on my emotions. Not so. Just as we were about to drive away, the heavens opened and cried with us. I clung to my best friend until the very moment I had to drive away in the car. I felt so very hollow leaving that neighborhood - we have amazing friends,a wonderful home and neighborhood. We had so much help with our move. Countless men packing the truck, friends and family cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, wonderful meals and so much love. 

HOWEVER, that hollow feeling was quickly replaced with panic as we found out that our truck had mechanical issues. We had to haul the entire family along with 2 moving vans to a city that was 15 miles away. Fortunately it was a quick fix but it did set us back about 3 hours. Approximately 1 hour into the drive, my van mirror on the passenger side door fell off - OK, didn't completely fall off, but it was hanging by a thread, which by the way caused the mirror to smack into the window every time I went over a bump. I am sure the drivers behind me got quick a kick out of us! Dave met me just before Yakima to duck(t) taped it back together. After two LONG days, we made it safely to Alpine and our sweet family was waiting there to help us unload our trucks. The house we were moving into wasn't going to be ready for another week and so we had to try and attempt to get 2, 26' trucks full of our life and pack them into a small, 2 car garage. No words can describe the craft that went into this effort. Pictures coming...
No move is complete without an injury (or two) I took a chunk out my achilles with a table, but my dad patched it up with some alcohol (not to drink, but that would have been nice...) and some cool yellow band-aids. #2 Tucker was sitting on Eden's lap and got thrown off a tire swing after he had been twisted and turned several times. He went into the house (that we are not supposed to occupy until next week) and threw up ALL over the bathroom. Last but not least,  it only took Liza 10 minutes in the new yard to get a reprimand from our 92 year old neighbor. See, no matter where we live, the Collings will always be the same!

Stay tuned for more of our adventures from Utah.

PS - you know you are in Utah when the local grocery store is selling CTR and Articles Of Faith stickers at the checkout stand...


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