Monday, December 29, 2008

Waterford, Michigan (near Detroit)

Mom, Dad, and I made the drive up to their home in Waterford, Michigan, Monday afternoon/evening. We made sure that no pipes were broken, the cats were still alive, and the plants were adequately watered. ;) Haha. This brings me to remembrance of my favorite physical Christmas present. Well, I don't know if it is my favorite favorite, but I got the David Archuleta CD from Pete and Mindee. I listened to it the entire drive from Richmond to Muncie, Muncie to Richmond, part of the drive from Richmond to Detroit, the entire drive from Detroit to Cincinnati, Cincinnati to Richmond, and Richmond to Indianapolis. Obviously, I like it a lot. He has such a beautiful, smooth, mellifluous voice that it never gets annoying or grating. The songs are varied enough that it never gets boring. At least it hasn't yet! ;)

While in Waterford, I got to see my Uncle Geoff and my cousin Alison, along with her husband, Shane and son, Brennan. This was my first meeting with Brennan, and I had been warned that he has recently become very shy with strangers. Hehe. Maybe he could sense the baby in my belly or motherness about me, because from the start he was definitely leaning toward me in longing haha (While You Were Sleeping, anyone?). Once I finally got him, he became shy, but he quickly got over that! ;)

Here is my dad and his big brother, Geoff, who claims that my husband, Jeff, spells his name wrong. Of course, neither of them had much choice in the spelling, as that was all up to their parents. So much to blame/credit to parents!

So, this is Mandy. I found her while I lived in Brazil; she was starving in a Wal-mart parking garage, and we scooped her up, put her in the trunk (she had poop and throw up on her), and took her to the vet. They got her all healthy again, and she's been mine ever since. That was in 1994, so she is getting older, but she's still a spry kitty! She's mellowed out through the years and has recently become very used to being the queen of the house now that my mom treats her like an only child. Haha. Poor Bubbles (the other cat at home). Mandy remembered me though! She slept with me all night. I miss my cat. She's been with me through a lot of tears and laughs. She used to follow me when I would sing around the house, and she would always climb onto my lap when I was crying. She's the perfect cat. She only poops and pees in the litter box, and she never throws up in the house. She doesn't bring wild animals home, and she is sensitive to your moods. I don't know if I'll ever find a cat like her again.

Richmond, Indiana

If I have a first home, then Richmond, Indiana, is my second home. Theoretically, I suppose Fountain City, Indiana, would be more correct to say, but it's so tiny, and we always say Richmond. Anyway, I had the privilege and delight of going there three times during break!

My grandparents have lived in the same house that my grandpa and five uncles built back in the 70s right after my mom graduated from high school I believe. I have lived in six different states, so it has been kind of a rock to always have their home to visit every year and have everything be wonderful and the same.

'My cousin Tina and her beau, Marley

My sister Amy and I with Tina. Amy and Tina were two of my bridesmaids, and Tina and I were Amy's bridesmaids. We were also the founders of our not-so-secret club that met in the barn in Tina's backyard. One of our main purposes was to put on skits. We also collected little cards with paint colors on them and recited Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Bear a lot. This was a very exclusive club. You also had to put in your hours at the torture tree to gain admission. ;)

My grandma and grandpa Homer—my mom's parents

A special, unexpected treat was a visit from my Uncle Cam and Aunt Kathleen and cousins Connor, Kirsten, and Kyle. They live in North Carolina, so I don't see them a whole lot, but they were visiting Grandma and Grandpa at the same time! It was a full house. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Muncie, Indiana

So, everyone was gathered in Indianapolis on Thursday. Then on Friday, Dan and Rachel and Mindee, Peter, and Mindee stayed at their homes in Indianapolis. Mom and Dad; Jeff and I; and Amy, Devin, and Hallie drove down to Richmond. Then on Saturday, Amy, Devin, and Hallie went up to Lafayette for Amy and Devin to visit their Purdue friends. I went to Muncie to visit my high school friends. Jeffrey drove down to Cincinnati to spend time with his best friend from high school, Chinh Nguyen. Mom and Dad stayed at my grandparents. So, Saturday was the day of grand departures and separations. :)

Once in Muncie, I went over to Emily Burton's house and then over to Chelle Belle's parent's house where we had our annual Secret Santa party. We've been having them since sixth grade (I think), and I hadn't made it to one since 2004. :( It was really fun to catch up and see how everyone was doing. Two of us are married, three are finished with our graduate degrees, and two are still in school. One is pregnant, one is getting a master's, one has her dream big girl job, and one is working her way to become a nurse. Hehe, can you guess who has which? Anyway, seeing the girls together is a testament that the posse has and will continue to "just keep swimming" and hopefully remain best friends forever.

Courtney Workman (C Work), Michelle Collett (Meems), Briana Alexander (Bri Girl), Michelle DeWitt (Chelle Belle), and Emily Burton (Ems)

After leaving Chelle's, I picked up Amanda and went over to Aaron's. I forgot to take pictures with everyone there, so not shown in this picture are Sarah, Jesse, and Avery Jenkins, Brett Noble, and Jacob Jackson. Spending time with this crew of my church friends proved again that some things never change and once you love someone, you always will. :)

Adam Heath, Amanda McCartney, Michelle Collett, Joe McCullough, Aaron McCullough

I spent the night at Amanda's house, and since Jeff wasn't there, I got to have a real sleepover! :) Of course, we're both older, and I can't make it through a night without peeing four times, but we did get lots of good talking in before we both dozed off. Thanks, Amda!

Sunday was spent going to second ward and seeing lots of friends. Joe McCullough gave his home coming talk. A favorite quote from was "I feel like a short cow in tall grass . . . udderly tickled to be here!" He said he had been waiting two years to say that, because it just didn't make any sense in Spanish. ;)

After church, I spent time with Jacob Jackson and the Jenkins before driving back down to Richmond. Exciting new news is that Jacob is dating a cute, sweet girl name Jami Ullrey, and Sarah is pregnant again! Yay! Avery (her daughter) will be 2 this August, and Sarah thinks her due date with her current baby will be sometime in July. Her husband, Jesse, is currently applying for medical schools. So there is a lot going on for them right now!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Family on Christmas

One of my favorite aspects of Christmas is that everyone tries really hard to make it work to see each other. The best gift I got this Christmas was to see all of my family members (and all of Jeff's on New Year's, except for Ryan on a mission).

Yes, I did some bad photoshoping on this picture. Anyone who has a spare hour and would like to teach me how to get better at taking things out of pictures, please comment and volunteer yourself to my cause. :)

Front: Phil and Vickie Boling
Middle: Jeff Collett, Rachel Boling, Jeanie Lambert, Devin Rose
Back: Mimi Collett; Dan Boling; Annibelle, Mindee, and Peter Boling; Amy and Hallie Rose

I love you, and I can't wait until we're all together again.

Christmas Day

Well, Jeffrey and I beat Santa Claus in Christmas morning. Denver tried to delay us, but it still wasn't too bad. My dad picked us up from the Indianapolis airport, which has been completely redone by the way and is amazing looking! Christmas celebrations were at Pete and Mindee's house in the suburbs north of Indy.

Here is the beautiful tree. As you can tell, Santa had come by this time.

Left to right: Rachel, Jeanie, and Amy. Rachel is my sister-in-law (Danny's wife), and Jeanie is her twin. Amy is my sister. Mindee (my other sister-in-law, Pete's wife) thought of having us wear these cute matching pajamas.

Here's my cute, cute momma. She decided that the bows from the gifts belonged to her!

I finally got to meet my beautiful niece, Annibelle Collette Boling. She belongs to Pete and Mindee.

Here's Hallie Rose! She belongs to Amy and Devin (featured below). Hallie is the proud owner of eight teeth! Isn't she a big girl?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ave Bellows!

So, the Bellows have moved. In honor of them, I have created a montage of their last three or four days with us.

Ryan and his beloved bouncer.

Jeff has decided that Ryan is ready to walk. Ryan is not as sure, but he's happy to try!

Such a happy camper!

Okay, there is Ryan's real family. :) Ryan loves his mommy and food. And Zach. Hehe. I just didn't get a picture of Zach.

Good-bye! We miss you already!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Am I psycho?

I just signed up my unborn baby with a gmail and facebook account. I've toyed with giving her her own blog, but I think my blog will suffice for my whole family at this point . . . I mean, I know I have my journal, and she can read that, but now I can write her e-mails and tag photos of her. Okay, I'm a nut, but I'm telling you! This is the future. ;) Hehe. I even chose an e-mail address without Collett in it in case she doesn't keep her maiden name 20 to 30 years down the road when she gets married. Oh my.

Although on a less cheerful note

New York Birth Certificates
We are still losing ground with traditional families. In New York, birth certificates now have room for two moms and two dads. I love that to accommodate their lifestyles, we will ignore the fact that it is impossible to have two biological mothers or two biological fathers. At least leave that off the birth certificate and put it on an adoption certificate or something.
Here's the article.

Lesbian Couple trying to keep baby
A court case is happening in West Virginia that could set up quite a precedent for matters such as this in West Virginia. A lesbian couple were the foster parents for an infant with an unknown father and a drug addict mother. The mother's rights to the child have passed, and now the baby is up for adoption. The judge ruled that the baby would best be suited in a family with a mother and a father, but the lesbian couple is fighting hard to keep the baby in their care. We wouldn't have this mess if they weren't allowed to be the foster parents in the first place.
Here's the article.

Children do benefit from living in religious, mother/father homes
Many, many studies have shown that the benefits to children who grow up with their biological mother and a father are great. Another study has been done that shows the same thing. You can go to this website and download the PDF with the information on the article. Sadly, the study found that in the US, only 58% of children aged 6–17 live with their biological parents. That's a lot of divorce and unwed births. Some, presumably are from deaths, but I'm going to say it's not a very large number.

England giving out birth control without prescription
It's getting easier and easier . . . In England, they're working on a plan to make it so you can get birth control after a consultation with the pharmacist. The spokeswoman for the Department of Health said, "We want to improve women's access to contraception and help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies without undermining patient safety." Hm. Abstinence would do that as well, be a lot cheaper, and improve the emotional and mental health of the woman. Too bad the government can't encourage that old fashioned notion anymore.
Here's the article.


Dr. Laura on Mormons

It's always nice to hear someone say something nice about my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Too often, we're insulted by people who know very little about us.

This is a very short little blog post, but it's nice, and I liked it: Dr. Laura's Blog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family Picture

This was taken at our ward Christmas party. After I got online and purchased proofs, I received an e-mail saying the digital versions were all available for free. I was kind of sad. I'm glad to have the digital version though and not having to worry about the ethics of scanning the ones I paid good money for.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Beautiful Baby . . .

Welcome to the world, Jill Halley Collett!

My due date is in question. It was May 1, but then my baby measured small at the first ultrasound, so it was moved to May 8. Now, she's measuring big, but the doctor says the first one is usually more accurate, so he's undecided. My ultrasound technician said she wouldn't be surprised if my baby came the end of April!

Even with the later due date of May 8, I'm over 20 weeks and half way done! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Belly

Everyone's favorite question so far is if I'm showing yet, so here is a belly shot. :) I am pushing out a bit, but the belly is definitely starting to show!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas is coming :)

Our ward had a Christmas party this evening at Aspen Grove. The facilities were beautiful, and the food was excellent. There was a very large turnout as well, so that was great. I wish I had taken more pictures of every one there.

All smiles after that tasty food. :)

The Bellows

Here is our tree, courtesy of my parents, and the decorations, courtesy of Jeff's parents. :)

Rachel's Bridal Shower

My friend, Rachel, is getting married, so I threw her a bridal shower. We had muffins and fruit and played some fun games. I can't wait until she becomes Mrs. Dew!

Rachel's creative roommate, Lisa, made her a wedding dress out of trash bags. I think Rachel will stick with her other wedding dress, but it is pretty! Hehe.

Here are some of my Heritage girls: Holly, Rachel, Brienne, and I.

More of Rachel's roommates and friends: Jillian, Becky, and Tessa.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

John Anderson McGrew

The McGrews were blessed this week with a brand new baby boy! Abby ended up having a C-section, because after 20 hours of labor, she had not progressed very far. All ended up well though, and here is a beautiful baby! I was lucky enough to go visit them at Timpanogos Hospital. They named him John Anderson McGrew and call him Andy.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chantilly Victoria Poulton

Aaron and Brittany welcomed their beautiful baby girl into the world this week after a surprising but safe and uneventful C-section: Chantilly Victoria Poulton. I believe they plan on calling her Tilly. Brittany had to have a C-section, because even though Chantilly dropped two weeks ago, she apparently decided to flip and was feet first all of a sudden. Silly Tilly!

We were lucky enough to go visit them at Orem Hospital, which is where I plan on having my baby, too. It was fun to check out the facilities. :) The best part was meeting Tilly of course!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


"This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help. . . . We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."
—Thomas S. Monson, "An Attitude of Gratitude," Ensign, Feb. 2000, 2

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Make Me

I found this cool website on my friend's blog. :)

This is what it predicts our children will look like . . .

Daniel Wells Collett

Jill Halley Collett

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving :)

Well, I missed having a big family Thanksgiving; I've never been at one this small before. All in all, it was still wonderful. I did the dishes about 6 times, and Jeffrey basically made all of the food that was our contribution.

Jeffrey did the turkey and created a delicious marinade for it to bake in. He also made mashed potatoes from potatoes instead of a box, along with homemade rolls, funeral potatoes, and stuffing. My contributions were turkey gravy and jellied cranberry—haha. The ham, corn, apple pie, and cheesecake were contributed by Jason and Amy.

We played Euchre, Aggravation, and Settlers, and we had a grand ol' time. Funny story, Jason preheated the oven and spent all morning trying to determine the best way to bake his ham, and then he finally was ready. He opened the ham to plop it in the oven, only to discover it was already baked, and he needed a new plan of action. :) His glaze was delicious! And Amy's homemade apple pie was scrumptious. Jeffrey's grandma (Scherer) had a tradition of eating slices of cheddar cheese on her apple pie, which Jeff and Jason love, so I gave it a go. :) Jason searched the internet and discovered it's German thing. I don't know if I prefer the cheese to vanilla ice cream, but it was good.

There we are, quite full of food and content.

They look pretty happy too, although Amy might be in danger of a punch . . .

The evening was rounded out by watching some Colbert Report and The Cosby Show, and of course some football.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's Wrong Right with Teens Today?

I read this article on one of my favorite sites, and I was really impressed.

What's Wrong Right with Teens Today?
By: Bob Smithouser

Are you tired of hearing people talk about Generation Y in terms of Generation Why? "Why are so many kids sullen and apathetic?" "Why are test scores falling and dropout rates rising?" "Why do teens harm themselves, disrespect adults and shoot classmates?" These are valid questions if we hope to turn things around, culturally. Still, not every teenager fits the "Gen Why" profile. Allow me to introduce a few young heroes I've read about recently.

You won't find many teens more selfless than Terry Miller, a 15-year-old boy who came to the rescue when a propane-fueled explosion set a neighbor's mobile home ablaze. A badly burned, panic-stricken woman stumbled into the yard, pleading for someone to help her children. Terry raced inside not once but three times to find and retrieve her 4-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son. Blinded by intense smoke and heat, he succeeded by homing in on the children's cries.

Then there's Trevor Robinson. While walking through a parking lot, the 17-year-old high school track star noticed a car veering toward him and his friends. He shoved two girls out of the way and took the full impact himself. Trevor survived significant injuries, but his promising track career didn't fare as well. Just days after the accident, he had to miss a big race that was won by Tim Carr. Carr, aware that his winning time was several seconds slower than Trevor's previous best in the same event, visited Trevor in the hospital and graciously gave him the gold medal.

Here's more reassurance that teenagers haven't gone to the dogs. When T.J. Moehler (16) saw a large pit bull attacking a 10-year-old boy, he sprang into action despite having a broken arm. The vicious animal's jaws were leaving deep wounds in the child's legs and feet when T.J. pulled the dog away, pounding it with his cast. Then it turned on him, biting T.J. and forcing him to seek sanctuary atop a parked car. His arm re-broken, he would need a screw inserted in his wrist. But T.J. considered it a small price to pay to help someone in need.

Elsewhere, a Greyhound bus carrying 38 children careened off the highway when the driver suddenly passed out. Fortunately, 16-year-old Laura Simpson was sitting several seats back. She'd never operated a passenger car, much less a Greyhound, yet Laura grabbed the wheel and straightened it out, managing to rouse the driver enough that he let up on the gas and stopped the vehicle.

And don't forget Michael Evans, age 13. He and 10-year-old pal Dustin were playing behind a palmetto scrub when Michael felt an unmistakable sting in his flesh. The boys had wandered into a rattlesnake pit. Immediately, Michael hoisted Dustin onto his back and carried him more than 60 feet to safety, suffering three more snakebites along the way. He nearly died during a three-week hospital stay yet blushes at the term hero, stating, "To me the heroes are the men who died and tried to save lives in 9/11." Isn't that just like a hero?

Ryan Hreljac's noble act wasn't birthed from a sudden crisis and rush of adrenaline, but there's no telling how many lives he has saved. As a 1st grader he learned that millions of Africans lacked clean drinking water, so he created the Ryan's Well Foundation. Ten years later, it's still going strong. Ryan (16) has raised nearly $2 million and dug more than 300 wells in 14 countries. In addition to providing clean drinking water, his foundation works with the locals, emphasizing sanitation, health and hygiene.

We come into contact with teens every day. Most won't make headline-worthy sacrifices or risk their lives to save others, but many are heroes just the same. For telling the truth. For keeping a promise. For deciding that an extra hour of studying beats peeking at a classmate's test, or that sex is a precious gift worth saving for marriage. They're young people of character, and they're all around us.

Coincidentally, as I sit writing this column on a snowy morning, I've noticed our teenage neighbor shoveling our driveway. Not for cash. Not for praise. Just to be kind.

There's a lot of talk about what's wrong with teens today. I'm thankful for young people who show us what's right.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

BYU Lost

So, the Utah/BYU football game was today. It was a let down. I hoped to see some really good football, but it didn't happen. I watched my Cougars mess up repeatedly and the Utes take full advantage of all of our foibles. Oh well. There's always next year. I feel bad for Max Hall. Not the best way to end your regular season. I hope we'll still go to a Bowl game, even if it's not a BCS Bowl.

Ryan and Brooke

The pregnant wives: We were there for the food, win or lose. :)

Zach is still fully invested. :)

Aaron plying his skills.

Jeff is coping with the loss by pouring his misery into billiards.

Despite the loss, Ryan remains in good spirits.

Someone creative made this video about the BYU/Utah game. It's funny, but then it's kind of weird, because it's Hitler, and well he's scary, not funny. But if you put that aside, my favorite lines are "We've never lost a fireside" and "Where's our reward for righteous living?"