Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Family Update!



The Rollins Family

The Camp Family

Instead of trying to fit this into every Christmas card, I decided to post it on our blog! Here is our family update in a nutshell!

Merry Christmas! We hope you are having a wonderful season! We LOVE this time of year! This year is is especially nice being so close to our family! As you probably know, we moved to DeLand Florida in the beginning of June. I feel like we are still settling in! It is somewhat of a culture shock to be back in a small town after living in the big city for so long but we love DeLand.

After many years of talking about it and praying about it, we finally decided to move back to Florida. We had lived in Atlanta for 12 years, the longest Dusty had ever been in one city! We realized that we could run our commercial painting business from anywhere (the crews travel so much anyway) so why not be close to our families? In DeLand we are 10 minutes from Arin's parents, an hour from Amy and Andy (Arin's sister) and 1 and 1/2 half hours from the majority of Dusty's whole family! Arin's sister Aly is still in Maine and she and Brad have six children now!!! We just enjoyed a visit from them at Thanksgiving!

When we decided to move we started looking for a house in DeLand big enough for our family and at a price we liked. We were able to find both! After some pretty extensive renovations, we now live in a 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath, 2 story home that was built in 1925! It has a lot of "character" and is perfect for our family. So now for the family part of the update:

Dusty is still running a commercial painting business out of Atlanta. He does not have to go to Atlanta as much as we had anticipated. Business is going very well and God has blessed! We recently hired an assistant to help with office work and we rented an office in Downtown DeLand. Having an office outside our home has helped Dusty get connected in our new town and meet some people. He also has time now to develop his insurance business which he has been working on for a few years now. He is very excited about this! We also live very close to the ocean and the St. Johns River which allows Dusty to go fishing when he gets the itch!

Arin is still staying at home with Anson, Ella and Asa. And since we hired our assistant, Kristen, I actually have time to home-school Anson who is in Kindergarten this year! Kristen is doing much of what I had been doing... bookkeeping, scheduling, calling, faxing, website and trying to keep Dusty in order! :o) She is much appreciated! Since moving back to DeLand I started playing my clarinet again in a group based at Stetson University called Southern Winds. We had our first concert in November and it was so nice to play in a wind ensemble again. I had not played since I graduated from college! I love being able to stay home with the kids and I learn so much as a Mom every day. They are as much fun as they are challenging!

Anson turned 5 in June! He was supposed to start Kindergarten this fall but we are keeping him home. We needed some time to get acquainted with the schools in the area before deciding where to send him. We have since found a very nice Christian school where we will pursue enrollment for 1st grade. He is such a fun kid! He is full of energy and passion for life! Everything is exciting to him, especially dinosaurs. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he will say "a paleontogolist" (pronounced the way it is spelled!) He learns things very quickly and remembers everything! He also loves going fishing with his Daddy, playing outside, and watching dinosaur and nature shows. His favorite toy right now is his big box of animal figures which he plays with every day during nap time. He is allowed to play quietly while the others rest. He is a very sweet boy and we are so proud of him!

Ella turned 3 in September! She talks up a storm all day long and loves to sing and tell stories that all begin with "Once upon a time ago..." She gives new meaning to the phrase "filled with the dickens"! You just never quite know what she is going to come up with! Just recently her Papa was talking to an older gentleman and he said that he has 9 grandchildren with brown eyes but she was the first to have blue. The man asked Ella to show him her eyes. He said "Oh my, you have beautiful eyes!" and she instinctively cocked her head to the side, tossed back her hair and batted her eyelashes at him! :o) Like I said, full of the dickens! She is so much fun! She loves to play with her dolls and has a favorite stuffed doggie that goes everywhere with her. Her favorite colors are purple and green and she loves princesses and castles. We have been to visit Cinderella at Disney a few times this year... one of the perks of living in Florida! Ella adds flair to our little family and we are so thankful for her!

And our baby Asa was born on January 25th! He is the sweetest, happiest baby! He has the most adorable belly laugh that you have ever heard. He attracts a lot of attention when we are out and people just can't help but laugh when they hear him! He is our little peanut of the bunch and was born just shy of 7 pounds. He is rolling and scooting and getting up on all fours but not quite crawling yet. I am in no rush to have him mobilized! He is still quite bald which makes him all the more adorable and has bright blue eyes. Anson and Ella adore him and love to hold him. Asa is a blessing to our family and we are so thankful for him!

So to sum things up, this year we thank God particularly for sending His Son Jesus as the greatest gift, for quality time with our family, continued good health, and our happy home in Florida! We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy 2011!

Dusty, Arin, Anson, Ella and Asa

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cousin Fun!

Ice cream in the "bus" after the beach. Yes, Aly drives a 12 passenger van! :o)

New Smyrna Beach (Canaveral National Seashore)

The boys!

Asa and Zachary are only a month apart!!

Ella and Emily are a month apart, too!

Laura, Zachary, Emily, Anson, Joshua, Ella, Rebekah, Asa, and Rachel!

My sister Aly and her family came down from Maine for a visit and we have been having so much fun! Anson, Ella, and Asa have been having a blast with their SIX cousins!! Aly's last 3 and my three are very close in age so it has been fun seeing them interact. And eveyone is getting along well! :o) So far we have gone to the beach, gone shopping, and done a lot of eating meals together. They are going to be here for Thanksgiving and for the first week of December. What a great way to start the Christmas season!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Here is a conversation that just took place between Anson and Ella...
Anson: (sitting on the couch side by side, each with a huge backpack) Hold on Ella, here we go!
Ella: Wait, there is a baby gaffe! Come back here baby gaffe!
Anson: Ella, there are no giraffes here... we are in the patacious time period!
Ella: No, Anson, I am just tepending!
Anson: Well, pretend that there are no giraffes! Only dinosaurs!

Ella is really into "tepending"! Anson loves pretending with her except they even fight when they pretend! He will say "can I have some tea, too?" And she will say "No, it's all gone" and he will say "please, Ella? I am really thirsty!" and so on...
So what do you do as a mom, pretend to punish them for pretend fighting? :o)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Animal Kingdom

"Oh yuk! Kisses!"

Walking through Africa...

Ella wasn't fond of anything dark but evidently Charlotte was having a ball! :o)

Waiting for the "Bug's Life" 3D movie...

Flash forward 11 years! I don't even want to think about Anson driving just yet! Hold on Charlotte!

Aren't these Minnie Mouse ears barrettes adorable?? Auntie Brittany made them for all the girls! She's so clever!

Asa is his safari outfit ready to go on his first jeep safari! Yes I am that corny! When in Disney you must dress the part! Ella's Minnie Mouse dress is getting too short so I'm on the look out for a new pattern!

Since we purchased our Disney Passes last month, we are determined to go to all the parks before the end of the year! This week we went to Animal Kingdom and had a great time! Jared, Brittany, Charlotte and Naomi went too! There was entire area of the park devoted to dinosaurs which Anson loved! And the animal safari ride was really neat. I think we saw all the animals... giraffes, elephants, deer, antilope, hippos, rhinos, tons of birds etc. Disney just does things right! And Anson and I rode the Mt Everest roller coaster together. He was very brave... it was not a kiddie ride! He didn't like the dark part but he did great! And Ella managed to disappear for probably 30 seconds which felt like an eternity to her frantic parents! We turned around and she was gone! We were in the bat exhibit and she just walked out the doors all by herself! SCARY! We had a big talk about how you never leave your Mommy and Daddy's side!!! After that we did not take our eyes off of her!

So, Jared and Brittany, Epcot next?? :o)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rollin' Asa Rollins

Asa is now 8 months old! Where has this year gone??? He is just now starting to get more mobile with the rolling and I'm sure scooting will be right behind! I will risk sounding like a braggart here, but Asa is just the sweetest baby! He rarely fusses, sleeps great, wakes with a smile, and doesn't stop smiling all day! He *loves* Anson and Ella and laughs when they look at him. He has just started giving me "kisses" when I ask him. His favorite food right now is bananas (least favorite - green beans) but he will eat just about anything I give him. And he is a finger sucker... his first two fingers on his left hand which are the same fingers that Dusty sucked when he was a baby! I weighed him yesterday and he was 16.5 lbs. Getting bigger! We are all enjoying Asa and just think he is the cutest little guy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Ella!

This was just before she sat on her cake! :o) Graceful!

Ella's 3rd Birthday was actually well over a week ago... running a little behind with these posts! This year Ella looked forward to her birthday ever since Anson's birthday in June! Right now she is into princesses, castles, everything purple and green, and tinkerbell. Her favorite princess changes daily but she will usually say Cinderella or Snow White. And since we live so close to the best castle in America, we took a trip to Disney for Ella to see the castle and as many princesses as we could meet. It was great! She loved every minute! (So did we! Enough to buy yearly passes!) Jared, Brittany, Charlotte and Naomi went too and they also bought passes so we are looking forward to going to Disney quite a bit in the next 12 months! Ella got to meet Cincerella, Jasmine, and Sleeping Beauty. When I asked Ella who she liked the best she said "Cinderella... but I didn't like Jasmine" When I asked her why not, she said "because she didn't have all her clothes on!" Way to go Ella! You just keep that view as a teenager and we'll be alright! :o)

Then on Saturday the 11th we had her birthday party at our home. She had a lavender and green decorated cake with little castles and flowers and I made lavendar and green tutu's for Ella and her friend Grace to wear at the party with their pretend tieras. It was a nice little party and she received many wonderful gifts fit for a princess! We are so proud of Ella and can't believe that she is growing up so fast!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Princess Ella - and other musings of Anson

Auntie Aly just sent Ella a smocked dress that was Rachel's when she was a little girl. Ella couldn't wait to wear it because she thought is was so pretty. When I put it on her for church this morning, Anson said "Oh, Ella, you look just like a princess!" What a sweet big brother! Ella said "sank you, Anson!" as she twirled around a few times. So thank you for the dress Aly! Maybe it will fit Emily in the spring and we can send it back to you! We managed to get through lunch at church today without getting anything on it! :o) I can't believe how grown up Ella looks... and she is still just 2!

She loves princesses and castles so, of course, a trip to Disney is on order for her birthday! When we told her we were going to see Cinderella's castle for her birthday she said, "I want to meet a real live princess too! One in a big dress!" So let's hope we get to see at least one "real live princess" while we are there!

This morning on our way to church, we were talking about... going to church! Anson said "sometimes we don't go to church, right?" and we said "yes, when we are sick we don't go to church" and Anson said "or sometimes we don't go to church when we aren't in the mood"! Seriously, where does he get this stuff?? :o)

Lastly, (I have to get these on the blog or I will forget!) we just bought Financial Peace Jr. by Dave Ramsey to teach Anson and Ella about money. Dusty sat down with Anson (Ella doesn't quite understand all the concepts yet) and explained to him that he could work for commissions (instead of allowance) and laid out a few jobs he could do. One of them was to sweep off our sidewalks. If he sweeps off the sidewalks he earns a quarter. The kit came with a money pouch that clips to your belt and he wore it over to my parents house to show them. He explained to Papa that if he sweeps the sidewalks he will earn a quarter in commissions. Papa said "so if I go to your house and sweep off the sidewalk, could I earn a quarter?" Anson thought for a second and said "No, Papa. But I will pay you a penny!" I think he has the entrepreneurial mindset of his Daddy after all! Who knows, Anson may have his own business soon! :o)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Before and After - Kitchen and stairway.

The stairway in our home is in the kitchen.
The "lovely" carpet that used to line the stairs...

Carpet ripped up and stairs sanded down.

Stairs and risers painted. The treads were painted to match the stain of the floors upstairs and have a sandy texture so the kids don't slip in their socks!

Stairway complete!

The old kitchen had green tile floors, over lanoleum, over wood floors. The old wood flooring couldn't be saved.

The door in the distance lead to the exterior breezeway between the mother-in law suite and the main house. The floor had so much water rot under the sink that we had to replace most of the sub floor.

The walls/flooring being ripped up.

more demo

And our new kitchen! Terra cotta colored tile and Sherwin Williams shade of "Pennywise" paint on the walls. We really wanted a shade of orange somewhere in the house and the kitchen was the perfect place. Kitchen cabinets and counter tops were designed and made by my Dad and Mom!

Plenty of cabinet and drawer space in my little kitchen!

With the space we had to work with, I am thrilled at how it came out!

To the right of the fridge are two skinny pull-outs perfect for storing baby food, spices etc and a tray storage compartment above! Every space used wisely!

Some Before and After Pics - My Office

This room was full of mold which scared many buyers away from the property...But Dusty knew what to do and who to call and we had the moldy wall completely removed properly. The house is now joined together with the mother-in law suite throught this room we call the breezeway. (Arin's office!)
The breezeway being joined to the house... moldy wall removed.

The breezeway in progress

Standing in the kitchen doorway looking into the breezeway. This doorway used to go directly outside via a breezeway between the mother-in-law suite and the main house.

almost done...

And thanks to my Dad who is an awesome cabinet maker, I now have space to be organized!

I made my bulletin board...

So now my office is between the kitchen and the master bedroom/Dusty's office. The perfect place to do art projects with the kids, work on the computer, and sew!