Sunday, March 8, 2009

Valentine Serenade!

Sorry it's been awhile posting this, but we are embarressed to say we are still trying to figure out our Flip.

As some may know, Rich's father (Opi) is an active member of a local chorus and quartets of barbershop style singers, the famous Hilton Head Barbershoppers. For Valentine's Day, the group delivers Singing Valentines throughout Hilton Head. This year, not only was Opi co-chair of this event, but he treated us with a private show at Omi and Opi's! (Omi, thanks for sharing your special Valentine with all of us!) Making the moment even more memorable, the group sang a special song to little Mae that we tried to video here.

We apologize -- it seems that most of the time the video starts to freeze part of the way through. Also, we are still figuring out how to maximize the sound, so you will have to max your volume to hear it. It was so beautiful in person! We hope you can enjoy it!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good Luck, Daddy!

Finally some CURLING! This weekend, Rich and a team from the Club are headed up to NJ for the PCC Stone, a men's bonspiel. We miss our Plainfield friends very much, so the rest of us will be thinking of you while we get better!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow... in March?

Snow in NC seems rare enough, but in March?!?!?

Tough to blend in this time of year.

I know, some of our extended family was really hit with it in this last storm and we shouldn't be complaining (we really aren't, because we love the white stuff), but it wasn't even good snow! You couldn't make snowmen or snow angels; just the stuff that keeps the kids inside.

View from upstairs bedrooms

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our "Fellow"

While this blog is focused on Collins' family fun, we are really excited to share in Kirsten's brother Will's big news: Will was selected for a Scattergood Emerging Scholars Fellowship for the spring semester.

He was selected based on a detailed proposal he submitted to create and execute an activity on his HCC campus to promote physical fitness and positive mental health, with a secondary purpose of distributing and making available to students information from local mental wellness associations and organizations on campus and within the community. He came up with the event entirely on his own after joining the Active Minds club on campus last fall, of which he is now the club's president.

We don't want to brag, but Will's was the only fellowship awarded to a community college student, and his project advisor is the executive director and founder of the national Active Minds organization, Alison Malmon. We are so proud of Will and his success in getting the fellowship -- and the funding -- for his event. We wish him the best with the event this May!

To read more about Will's project, visit his profile on the organization's website.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Splish, splash!

Bathtime just got more fun, now that we put two babies in the tub.

Why should Ben's first real bath be alone? The tub's so big. And Mae loves to play in the bath (not always to bathe), so she could be a good influence on him. This was out initial reasoning for the group bath, but turns out it was a great success. The kids love to splash each other and throw around their growing army of rubber duckies!

And it really makes sense. Whether one kiddo or two, there's no more or less water getting splashed on Mommy. Not sure what we'll do when they realize boys and girls are different, but for now we'll enjoy their general silliness about the water.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elmo!

Rich, Ben, Elmo, Lulu/Jenn, and Mae, excitedly decked out in their Sesame Street gear (Mae is holding her Elmo hat behind her)

Mae and Ben were "invited" to Elmo's 3rd Birthday Party at our local Borders bookstore this weekend. Aunt Lulu was so excited, she even tagged along! We heard great stories about Elmo and Sesame Street, and played a great Elmo trivia game where Aunt Lulu won Bert soccer stickers for being so Sesame-smart! We even had some wonderful frosted birthday cookies (sorry, none for Ben) and got cool Elmo-birthday coloring sheets. The children's section at our Borders did a great job and made it lots of fun. Not only was it fun, it was fantastic!

Afterwards, we decided to keep on celebrating next door at Monkey Joe's (not to be confused with our "Monkey Will.") For those that have not been, Monkey Joe's is this awesome indoor center with all these cool inflatible funland things for kids to just crawl all over and through and around. This was our second trip (we went with Pop-pop when he visited last month), but Mae got to test out more of the "big kid" inflatible with Aunt Lulu (who is more "kid-sized" than Mae's parents). And with extra adult hands, even Ben got to get his bounce on!
A special thanks to our friend, Sherri, who told us about the birthday party!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In "training"

As many may know, Kirsten is not exactly an athlete. Certainly, she doesn't think of herself that way. And all things considered -- she is certainly not one who aspires to ever be a runner.

That was, of course, until she found her newest adventure: the Krispie Kreme Challenge. She missed it this year, but it gives her nearly a year to "train." For those not familiar with this Raleigh-event, participants start at NC State campus and run 2 miles to the Krispie Kreme store, eat a dozen donuts and run the 2 miles back in 60 minutes. And the event raises money for a good cause, the NC Children's Hospital. What perfect incentive for someone like Kirsten? (Actually, there should also be donuts at the finish line, too, but we'll work on that.)

So, now she is in "training." And she is convinced she has an advantage to the majority of participants in training. By her estimation, they are runners that are trying to strategize the donut part; whereas Kirsten is a self-proclaimed "donuteer" -- a conneussier of donuts with a particular affection for the hot, glazed Krispie Kreme variety -- that is trying to strategize the running part. But now that we've put this on the blog, we are holding her to this. We don't know the date of next year's Challenge, but we'll keep you posted.

Here's the N&O article that inspired it all: Runner's Gorge, Gut It Out

This should be a fun year.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A breakthrough!

Tooth! Tooth! We have a tooth! Ben is very proud to show off his very own pearly white! Pictures are difficult to get (we learned this with Mae), but we'll post some as soon as it becomes more visible. You'll just have to take our word that it's there!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Playing along

Mae was fascinate by Opi's beautiful piano, but then when she discovered it made music she had to get up and see it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's to all our friends and family! Valentine's is one of Kirsten's favorite holidays (but who are we kidding, Kirsten seems to love most holidays - especially obscure ones), so she and the babies have been hard at work making a variety of holiday surprises for some family that we are finally able to share (assuming folks have gotten theirs!).

Wreaths for the grandparents (Mae decorated the papers, and then both kids lent a "hand" or two)

Thumb-ful Valentines to aunts and uncles

Mae's V-owl-atines for her big sister (Robyn's sorority mascot is an owl)

Ben's sole-ful Valentines to Robyn and Rich

(last year, Mae made a similar picture for Rich) and Cheerio hearts!

We had a lot of fun this year! Not sure if we will be able to keep this up every year, but we are so happy to have been able to make these crafts and show our love!