Thursday, July 31, 2008

This week in pictures...

Dusty took the day off to spend with us on Monday so we went to the zoo in the morning! Fun as usual! Anson rode in his own seat on the train for the first time!

Fun on the carousel

Tuesday was an exciting day for Anson! He got to watch the bulldozer clear the land next to our house! Our walls were rattling all day but it was exciting! Here he is on the phone telling Daddy all about it!

And I have a new helper in the kitchen! Everytime she hears the dishwasher open, she comes a-crawlin'! She loves to play with the spoons. Thanks for her little skirt outfit, Auntie Amber!!

Here is some of Anson's latest artwork...

"Mixed media" -paint and crayons. Can you find the otter and the fishie??

Anson continues to bring a lot of energy and excitement to our family! He loves to jump (off and onto anything), dance, and run! And he has a very vivid memory and imagination. He can remember things from before Ella was born! He will tell me, in the car, "that is the road that goes to the park!", or "We went to that playground and Sagan gave me cookies" - which was back at Christmas! He is a lot of fun. Oh, and yesterday he was playing around with Dusty and he said, "You have to listen and obey or I will tan your hide!" Dusty jokes with him, using that phrase and he remembers everything! :o)

We are going back to Savannah tomorrow (Friday) and coming back Sunday. Dusty's Grandma Rollins has an upcoming cancer surgery and we all (Dusty's brothers and sister) wanted to go spend some time with her before the surgery, so we are heading down and staying at a hotel for a couple nights. We are looking forward to spending time with the family!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She Stands and He's Potty Trained!

Standing! (Try to ignore the drool!)

Miss Mischief

Painting a piece of the tree that was cut down

What a big day for our two kiddos! Today Ella stood all by herself! She was sitting near the couch and just decided to stand in the middle of the floor with nothing to hold onto. It was slow and did not last long, but she stood! And later when I set her down on the floor I expected her to sit down like always but she stood up... I counted 15 seconds that she just stood there, very sturdy! Then she very gingerly sat down and crawled away. My little 10 1/2 month old will be walking very soon, I think. (As I am witing this, she found a packet of wipes and pulled them all out one by one, crawled into the bathroom and turned on the tub, emptied the little garbage can, and pulled my alarm clock off my night stand... I'm really in for it!)

And I say this very carefully, in full knowledge that there will be accidents here and there, but ANSON IS POTTY-TRAINED!!!!!! He even wakes up in the mornings dry! This has gone on for over a week now. And for the past few days we have gone out with his big-boy underwear on instead of pull-ups. And I must say he looks so cute in his little underwear. He has Thomas, Mickey Mouse and Spider Man ones. He loves using public restrooms (yuk!) and asks to "go" everywhere we go now. My little guy is growing up!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tree Hugger?

Don't worry, I have not become a tree hugger! But for a few hours today I could briefly and very slightly understand them. Our home is situated next to an empty lot where a house once stood and will soon be built again. Today the big trucks pulled up and a crew got out and started their chainsaws. Limbs started falling and soon trunks came down with a crash. And for a brief moment I was sad for our little furry critters that made their homes in the trees. The big oak right in front of our kitchen window was my favorite... everyday around lunch time a squirrel would actually lay down on a low branch and take his nap! He was adorable! (Yes, I spend a lot of time standing in front of the sink staring out the window!) Then there are the robins, the cardinals, and the woodpeckers who frequently ate from our birdfeeder(when I filled it once a year!). Oh how sad to see their home disappear in a huge chipper/shredder machine! But then I realized that squirrels can be relocated to the back yard and we can still see the birds in the other trees around. But the real upside? No more leaves to rake in the fall or gutters to clean! And Anson had a geat time watching them work today! Yes, we'll miss the big oak tree but such is life in the big city! Here is the picture of our squirrel friend, no doubtedy the one with whom Anson has had many conversations!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Big Weekend!

Ella meets her great-grandma, Helen Rollins
Fun with Pop and Toto, and adorable cousin Charlotte!

The kids had fun playing with Auntie Amber and Uncle Chad!

The guys were pretty wiped out after their annual day of exercise!
Dusty, Gavin, Jared and Chad

Anson playing in the ice bucket

The Rollins ladies!
Brittany, Amber and Charlotte
Mel (Our adopted Rollins!) Toto and Ella

Jared and Anson

Near the Old Cotton Exchange in Savannah

Forsyth Park

All tuckered out!

We had a great weekend! We had a Rollins Family reunion just outside of Savannah, GA on Saturday. We had so much fun spending the day with all of Dusty's family (Except Megan who had to work... we missed you!). Everytime I looked up, Anson had disappeared with one of his uncles. Thanks for playing with him, guys! He always has so much fun with you! And he got plenty of loving (and treats!) from his aunties, too! Ella got plenty of attention, too, and had a nice nap with Toto (Dusty's mom) in the chair! All the men played a game of soccer and the ladies cheered them on until it got too hot. And Anson had fun playing in a big bucket of ice! It doesn't take much to entertain him!
It was also our 11th Anniversary on Saturday! We can't believe that it has been 11 years already! And you'll be glad to know that we both said we would do it all over again! What a blessing to be married to your best friend!
And then on Sunday, our little family toured around Savannah. What a beautiful little city! We had fun walking down by the river and going to Forsyth Park. We ate at a cute little restaurant there and then headed home. Both kiddos were tired out and slept half the way home! It was a nice trip and both Dusty and I were encouraged about how the kids did on this trip. They have not been the best travelers in the past but they did great! Anson had so much fun meeting new people and seeing new things. He is in that stage of wonderment and everything is fascinating. We'll do our best to keep him that way!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun at the Pool!

These are the best swimming aids! My parents got him this at Wal-Mart and it really keeps him up in the water!

Thirsty girl

Climbing the walls!

This afternoon we met our friends at the neighborhood pool for the first time. They just did a major renovation project and have a gradual pool for toddlers (it starts at 1 inch deep and goes to 4 feet gradually - very cool!), a sprinkler play area with shade cover and an Olympic size pool. And it only costs $2! We had a great time. Anson was cautious about going in at first. I think this is the only area where he is cautious! But in a way I am glad because I didn't have to worry about him jumping in or swimming off. He stuck by me in the shallow parts for a long time then he started going out deeper and deeper. He finally got out to where he could barely touch, but he had his swimmy/vest thing on and he did fine. My friend Sharon swam out with him and her little girl, Sagan, while I stayed back with Ella. Ella loves the water! She splashed around with her hands and feet and was very content to lay in the water with me. Each time Anson gets in the water he gets more confident so we plan to go a lot this summer. Next year we'll probably have swimming lessons. I took a few pictures before my batteries died...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Outside time and a new video...

Little buddies

Yes! I found some hair bows for Ella that will stay in her fine baby hair! I found one in every color so you'll be seeing these a lot! One of the joys of having a girl!

Bubble blowing buddy

He insisted on wearing his spider man slippers outside in 90 degree weather!

I love days like this! Nowhere to go... nothing that has to get done... (Well, except for the bookkeeping, the laundry, the dishes, and 100 other things on my list! :o) Just some time to go outside and blow bubbles and run around chasing them. Naptime is my time to get a few things done and as you can tell, I am writing on the blog instead! OK back to work. Thanks for checking in on us! Have a great day!
I had to add this tonight...
Anson and I were reading his Bible before bed and He started to "read" all by himself. He knows many of the stories by heart, and this is one about David and Goliath. Here are the words that he says (almost word for word from his Bible!) :
Goliath wants to hurt God's people with his spear and sword. David is using a slingshot to throw a stone at Goliath. David knows God will help him! The stone hit Goliath on his face and Goliath fall down dead. And God's people be safe!

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them as you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth." Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Cabin

Downtown Clayton

Anson "helping" Dad and Chad

Anson, enjoying climbing up and down the ladder to the loft

Yesterday we went up to Dusty's parents cabin in the North Georgia Mountains (Clayton, GA) to visit Pop and Uncle Chad who were hard at work finishing the ceilings. It's looking great! It was a fun time despite the rain that drizzled down. We found tons of wild blackberries and I would have picked a whole bushel if it weren't for the rain coming down. Dusty doesn't really like blackberries but he said he wanted some just because it was fun to see me picking them in the rain! :o) I don't have many pictures (again, because of the rain!) but here are a few...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Company!

Anson had a surprise when he woke up on Friday morning! His Pop and Uncle Chad (Dusty's Dad and brother) came in late Thursday night and spent most of the day with us on Friday! Anson kept them hopping with endless requests for horsey rides and forts to be built! He had fun drawing with Chad too! Dad and Chad were on their way to the cabin in Clayton, GA to do a little work. Thanks for stopping in and spending time! We had a great time!

We're looking forward to the Rollins family reunion in Savannah next weekend where we will get to see everyone! I'm sure I'll get some great pictures to share.
Happy Anniversary Mom Dad! 39 years today!!! We are so thankful for such wonderful parents!
We love you! (And as Anson wished you this morning, "Happy Annivarsity" :o)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy Girl...

Ella is just growing by leaps and bounds! Yesterday in the car I was sure that she said "thank you!" OK, so it was just a babble that sounded like it but it was close! Today I was doing a little sewing and I turned around to see her trying to eat a piece of Bella's food! Yummy! And just as I am typing this post, she has gotten into the little garbage can under my desk 3 times! Watching Anson try to teach her things is so precious... yesterday as we were eating dinner, Ella was doing her normal babbling and Anson said "That's not the way we ask... we say "More, please" and he showed her the baby signs for more and please! Speaking of Anson, the other day we had just gotten in the car to go somewhere and I had misplaced my car keys so Dusty was using the spares. We were "discussing" our system of how we ALWAYS put our keys in the dish on the bar when Anson interrupted and said, "You two, stop talking so loud up there! Let me pray for you!" And he proceeded to pray "Please help Mommy and Daddy not to shout or whine or complain. In Jesus name, Amen" Then he said, "See we're all happy now!" So now we have a 3 year old marriage counselor too! What more could we ask for? Happy times!

I took the kids outside after a big rain today and we had a little ride in the wagon. I just happened to take the camera out and get a few shots. Anson doesn't enjoy pictures as much as he used to. He is also not into kisses as much as he used to be! If you kiss his cheek, he wipes it off! I didn't realize he would be a "boy" so soon! :0( But if you pretend to cry, he kisses your cheek to make you smile!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th on the 7th! *Recipe added!*

Fun with Mark and Gina!

On the Uncle Mark swing!

Anson tried to give the goat a hug and got a friendly head-butt instead! Luckily he has a hard head!

Two little monkeys!

Fun with Auntie Amy and Uncle Andy

Inside one of the subway stations...

A favorite Atlanta eatery... the Varsity! Ella fell asleep as we were crossing the road to go here!

Centennial Olympic Park

Warm Chocolate Fondant

Hi all! We had a great week last week with lots of company! I look forward to summer because that is when we seem to have all our company! First we had Dusty's Uncle Mark and Aunt Gina visit from the Chicago area and then my sister Amy and her husband Andy from Orlando. Anson loves having company and is going through withdrawal today! :o)

On the 4th, we went to the zoo in the morning, the Penang restaurant in the evening, and had our own little fireworks show at night. It was fun! Then on Saturday we took the subway downtown to the Centennial Olympic Park, the Varsity, and then to the Lenox Mall and home again. It was a fun way to travel with company because we didn't have to take two cars everywhere and we could chat along the way! (I don't know why I didn't think of it before!)Saturday night I took advantage of having a professional chef in the house (Uncle Andy!) and we tried a Gordon Ramsay recipe for Hot Chocolate Fondant. It was warm, chocolatey, goodness! I guess that sums up our week. We had a great time and hope you did too!
Hot Chocolate Fondant
Serves 2
4 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa to dust
2 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate ( 60-70% cocoa solids) in pieces (Ghiradelli makes some)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup superfine sugar (Dixie makes extra fine)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
Heat oven to 325. Grease two large ramekins (3 inches in diameter) then dust liberally with cocoa.
Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a small metal bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off the heat and stir until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Using an electric whisk, whisk the whole egg, egg yolk, and sugar together until pale and thick, then incorporate the chocolate mixture.
Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in, using a large metal spoon.
Divide between the ramekins and bake for 12 minutes.
Turn the chocolate fondants out onto warmed plates and serve immediately!
I doubled the recipe and it made five. I also baked mine on a metal pan which added 4 or 5 minutes to the baking time. Run a sharp knife around the ramekins before turning them out onto the plate. The inside should be hot and melted when you cut into it for your first bite! Yummy!
This recipe comes from Gordon Ramsay's cookbook entitled "Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy".
Let me know how yours turns out! :o)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My new hair!

Here is my fancy new hair-do! (Well, not very fancy) I tried to have Anson take my picture but it was hilarious! So I had to do it myself with the timer while the kids were sleeping. I haven't had my hair pulled one time since I got it cut... so mission accomplished!

Here is my newest laundry "helper"! I was trying to fold clothes on the bed and she kept pulling them out one by one. So Dusty (my biggest "helper") put her in the basket. She loved it and kept trying to get back in! Well, I didn't get the laundry folded but we had fun!

Uncle Mark and Aunt Gina (Dusty's uncle) are here for a couple days and we are having fun getting caught up with them! Uncle Mark taught Anson how to make omlets this morning! They were yummy! I'll post more pictures tomorrow when us ladies are not still in our pajamas! :0)
Tonight I asked Anson to go put the clothes from the dryer into a basket and bring them to my room. I knew he could do it but I didn't know if he would, having only asked him once. In two minutes, he was pushing the basket of clothes to my door with a smile... and he even cleaned out the lint filter!! Way to obey, Anson! "Fast, happy and all the way. That's the way that we obey!" (A little rhyme I learned in my Mom to Mom class at church) He's getting it!