Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Florida Trip Pictures

We had a great time with our families! The week flew by and was not long enough, but it was so nice to be with family! The kids just had so much fun... the adults did too! :o) Here are some pics that sum up our vacation...

We started and ended the week with Dusty's parents... Here's Pop with Charlotte and Ella! Ella is blessed to have two little girlie cousins her age!
Our niece Rebekah,a budding photographer, took this picture in Gramma and Papa's yard!

Anson loved the beach! He loved running in the sand and chasing the sand pipers!

Ella's first trip to the beach... she loved the water and sand!

We took the kids for a train ride from DeLand to Winter Park. They had a blast!

Proud grandparents in Papa's workshop

We went to see Amy and Andy's new house (still under construction)... beautiful!

It was so much fun watching Emily and Ella interact!

The whole family!
Left to right... Amy and Andy, Mom and Dad, Aly, Brad and Emily(11 m0), Arin and Ella, Dusty

Rebekah(8), Laura(6), Joshua (4), Rachel (10), Anson

Dusty took Anson for a canoe ride on his parent's lake

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Florida Fun!

Well, we are having a great time! I haven't downloaded any pictures yet but I will soon. We had a great time visiting Toto and Pop on Saturday and Sunday! We even got to see Mel, Megan, Gavin, Chad and Amber, and Jared, Brittany and Charlotte! And congratulations are in order for Charlotte, who will be a big sister in May!!!! (Congratulations to her parents, too!) We are so excited to have another Rollins baby to love!!:o)
Then Sunday we went to my parents house and got ready for Aly's family to come. It is so good to be with Aly and her family after TWO years! The kids are having so much fun together! Anson is getting so much attention from his big cousins! And little Emily is such a cutie pie! She just smiles all the time! It was my first time seeing my niece and she is 10 1/2 monts old!
Monday we stayed close to home and the kids went swimming in Gramma and Papa's pool. We took them out for ice cream after dinner. It was a good day to get settled in.
Today we went to New Smyrna Beach! It was so much fun! Anson and Ella loved the sand and water! When I first put Ella down, she had a look on her face as if to say "What IS this stuff I'm standing on and squishing between my toes?" Then she smiled and squealed when the water came over her feet. Before long she was sitting and playing in the shallow surf. Anson ran everywhere! He loved running from the waves coming in and back and forth from the soft sand to the wet sand. He found some shells and a dead jelly fish with Gramma! He came running up to me and said "Thanks for taking me to the beach! This is so fun!" He is really enjoying playing with Joshua and the girls... he's learning a lot about sharing! Tomorrow we're taking the big Amtrak train from DeLand to Winter Park (Orlando suburb) just so the kids can all ride on a train. They will love it! I just wanted to jot a few things down before I forget what we did all week! Talk to you soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Off to Florida!!

Hi all,
We are getting ready for our trip to Florida! We are leaving in the morning and I am trying to get everything ready to go. Anson is so excited he can hardly contain himself! My sister Aly and her husband Brad are driving down from Maine as I write this... with all five of their kids!! Their oldest is 10 and the youngest is 10 1/2 months! Please pray for sanity on the road for them! I haven't seen Aly in two years so I am sooooooo excited! It will be so much fun to see all the kiddos playing together. My nephew Joshua is 4 1/2 and Anson can't wait to play with him. And Emily and Ella will have fun crawling around together!
Here is our itinerary:
Saturday: Drive to Melrose to see Toto and Pop (and any of Dusty's siblings that are around!! I hope we get to see everyone!)
Sunday: In Melrose until noon, when they leave to go hear Sarah Palin in The Villages! Gavin, who works for the Republican Party, got tickets! Exciting!! Go Sarah!
Sunday afternoon: Go to DeLand to my parents house! I'm not sure what time Aly and her gang will get there, but sometime that day.
Monday - ? Stay in DeLand and do a plethora of fun things with the family.
Thursday: Dusty will join us for the weekend! He has a big job starting on Wed or Thurs. in Valdosta so he will get the crew going there and then come on down and join us. My sister Amy and her husband Andy will also come for the weekend which will make our whole family complete! I'm going to pin everyone down for a picture!
Then we will also be going to Melrose on our way home, too!
So we are very excited about our trip and will blog all about it next week! We will miss you in cyberspace!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not much new...

Ella went for her 12 month check-up yesterday and was just fine. She did have 4 shots and a finger-prick test for anemia (which was fine). She did not enjoy the shots, of course, but she calmed down fast. She weighs 20 pounds and is 32 inches tall!! She grew 3 inches in 3 months! No wonder she is eating so much! She is above the 95 percentile for height, which has Dusty worried that she will be freakishly tall. :o) It is so funny what Dads worry about!

Anson went with me and he had fun eating Ella's lollipop and getting a sticker. He has a passion for lollipops and is always glad for the opportunity to have one! Here is a cute picture of Anson getting a special surprise in Ella's Birthday package from Gramma and Papa(which included a couple lollipops!). Thanks again! Toto and Pop also sent him a lollipop in their package! Grandparents do know how to make their granchildren happy! :o)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birthday Pics...

The big cake

Her party stuff

Enjoying her pizza!

Digging into her cake

All done!

Anson giving Ella her new toy!

The birthday girl

Well, Ella had a very Happy Birthday! Thank you to everyone who sent packages and well-wishes and called to sing happy birthday!!! It was a fun day and I was exhausted at the end. I can't imagine how I would have made it if I had thrown a big party! It turned out to be just our little family so we ordered pizza for dinner and then had her cake. You can see by the pictures that she thoroughly enjoyed both! And then Anson gave her a little present that he picked out for her and they both liked playing with that. It was a fun day! Here is a video clip of Ella enjoying her special little cake...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy First Birthday Ella!

One year ago today, we got up very early and went to the hospital for our sweet little girl to be born. It was really neat knowing th exact time and date that she would be born so we planned and planned. It could not have turned out happier! We are so thankful for our Little Ella Baby (As Anson has always called her) and can't wait to see her grow into a beautiful young lady!

Minutes old
1 week old
First trip to park -2 weeks
2 months
The dreaded brace-3 months
First snow - 4 months
First Valentine's Day - 5 months
Easter - 6 months
Getting a personality - 7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months One Year Old!! Happy Birthday Little Princess!

I still can't believe that my baby is one year old today! From the day she was born she has been a blessing to our family and we all enjoy her so much! Anson has already sung Happy Birthday to her a few times and helped me bake her cake this morning. He's so excited that it's her birthday so that adds to the fun! I'll post pictures of her first cake later! Have a great day!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A night out

Tonight Dusty and I actually went out! Our friend Cyrl from church came over at 5:00 and fed the kids and put them to bed for us so we could go to a dinner downtown! We were invited to the Peachtree Club (which is on the 28th floor of the 999 Peachtree building in Midtown) for a Friends of Wycliffe get together. Dusty attended Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and I worked there when we lived in Oxford. It is a Theological training school for the Church of England, named after John Wycliffe and a permanent private hall of Oxford University. We had a great time talking with others who also support God's Word being studied and preached throughout the world and reminiscing about our days in England. And we had a great panoramic view of the city, with the sun going down and the lights coming on!! The food was also GREAT... I had a lobster dish with asparagus and risotto (and they MADE me have the Chardonnay!) and Dusty had a flank steak and the Argentenian red wine. Yum! So we had a date night (with 12 other people)! Dusty and Cyrl are still up talking politics. He did a great job with the kids! Now I have to get ready for my baby's first birthday! We'll be blogging all about Ella tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A lot to catch up on...

Anson enjoyed meeting some Spanish girlies!
Amy being blessed with Holy water

Us with Hugo and his wife Sulie and daughter Amy

I almost don't know where to start! It has been a very eventful time since our last post a week ago...

On Friday and Saturday we went to Nashville. Dusty's head painter, Hugo, invited us to go to his daughters Catholic Baptism at his family's church there. We were very honored to be the only "gringos" invited and had a great time! He has a very large family and he actually bought and butchered a whole cow just for the occasion! So after the baptism we went to his family's house for the feast. It was really good! They filleted a lot of the meat and grilled it for fajitas, which we ate on tortillas with black beans and fresh salsa. Yum! We left there Saturday afternoon to come home for the Florida game at 8:00pm. We got home in plenty of time, only to find that we had a huge storm and we had no phone service. Not good news for people whose only connection to the modern world is through the internet! Dusty was all set to watch the game online and was very depresses to find out they would have it fixed by Wednesday! (Keep in mind it was only Saturday!) Hence the reason I have not posted for a week! But finally this morning they fixed the line and we are back in cyberspace! Yea!

But wait... I forgot to tell you what happened Tuesday afternoon. It was nap time at the Rollins house and everything was quiet. All of a sudden I heard a strange noise coming from my closet. I hesitantly opened the door to see a steady stream of water coming through the ceiling from the attic!!! I quickly moved a few important things out of the way and began to mentally troubleshoot. Was it a roof leak? Nope... it's sunny outside. Oh NO!!! The hot water heater is very conveniently placed in our attic directly above my walk-in closet! So I called Dusty in a panic and asked what to do. I hung up with one task... turn off the water at the street. Luckily we have a water key from our building days so I got it out of the shed and ran to the street. Now, we live on a very busy 4-lane road so I had to wait until traffic passed to stick my head nearly in the road to reach down into the water meter. Well, I dug and dug through dirt and worms and what ever else was in there and could not find the shut off! Dusty was on his way home so I crawled into the attic to see what I could do there. That is when I realized the problem... the platform that the water heater was sitting on had given way and it was leaning to one side. It had broken the emergency drain connection in the mean time and was draining into our closet ceiling. At this point my knight in shining armor appeared! Dusty tipped the water heater up and I propped it up with a board which allowed us to connect a hose to drain it outside. All was well. Until... All of a sudden the whole connection broke and water came gushing out instead of the nice trickle and the ceiling came with it! So now we have a gaping hole in the closet ceiling with water pouring in all over everything in the closet. Dusty runs to the street to turn off the water and finally manages to do so but there was still 40+ gallons that had to drain. So bucket after bucket was filled until it finally stopped.

The good new is that, again from our building days, we have connections! Our plumber got here in 5 minutes and helped Dusty cap off the connections so we could turn the water back on. In the mean time I was able to get the kids fed and in bed. Then our next knight in shining armor came! Hugo and his wife came and helped us clean everything up! Hugo does everything at full speed so we had everything hauled out of the closet, water sucked up with the shop vac, carpet pulled out, padding thrown in the garbage, sheetrock pulled of the wall and ceiling, heaters going to dry out the wood, and all the contents of my closet strewn around the house by 9:00 PM! Dusty and I would have been there all night so we were very thankful for his help!!

As I am writing this the electrician has arrived to wire up the new water heater UNDER our house in the crawl space and the plumber is coming at noon to hook it all up! When we finally sat down to rest last night, we thanked God that this did not happen while we were gone over the weekend and that of all places, the closet was the best! We also realized that we have accumulated a bunch of junk so our close will be so much cleaner now! So today is looking much brighter!

(I was too depressed to take pictures of our huge mess so you will just have to imagine it! :o)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ella's Hip Update

Thank you for the adorable outfit, Uncle Calvin and Aunt Keidi! :o)
"See? My hips are just fine!!" - Ella just had to show off her perfectly aligned hips!

Today we went to our last and final check-up at the orthopaedist! He has released her and said she has the hips of an average 1 year old... if not better! After looking at the x-ray, he said the hips are actually perfectly aligned (and many people will have slightly uneven hips). So we never have to go back! What an answer to prayer- God is good! We were very excited to hear the news and share it with you!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Birthday Preview

I am experimenting with taking my own pictures for Ella's 1 year pictures. Here is a preview... for some reason she was really into sticking out her tongue that day! But it made for some cute poses!
Not much going on here this weekend... Dusty enjoyed watching the Gator Game on our new computer on Saturday! Go Gators!! And yesterday we went to the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. It is an annual art festival in the park near our house. Anson really liked it... well, he liked the food! We ate and walked around until it was nap time for the kiddos. Then they both took a 3 hour nap! We went to the mall today because Dusty had to do some work. Hope you had a great Labor Day!