Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rainy Weekend Fun

This past weekend was another rainy weekend and when it was not actually raining, it looked like it would rain at any moment. So, you ask, what does the Collins Clan do on rainy days? Here you go. . .
1) Picked up my Organic Quarter Cow: I've been talking about doing this now for a year and I finally bit the bullet and made my purchase! I'll let you know my reviews! Check it out for yourself - it supports our local farmers and it's organic!

The 4 full boxes = 1/4 cow!

2) Made a trip to the local produce stand and here is my purchase(s): I love this time of year when you can get fresh, local, yummy fruits and veggies! Beans, peas, corn, onions, peanuts, etc.

3) Began my annual freezer stashes of fresh veggies. I do this gradually throughout the summer so as not to make it such a huge project and expense. This weekend I put about 6 quarts of peas up and another quart of beans and several ears of corn. This year I had a great "little helper" (Anna). I would have taken a picture of her but our hands were a mess and didn't want to risk leaving a 2 year alone with a table full of peas! She loves keeping things orderly and cleaned up so her job was to collect as many peas as she could in my measuring cup and then we would pour it into the bag. We only had a few peas to hit the floor, but once they are cooked, no one will ever know the difference (hopefully, haha!).

Drying the peas on the kitchen table
The finished product! Headed to join my cow in the freezer!!!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Work Work Work

Well, sorry for the lack of posts lately, but if you read my eariler post about our change of plans at work and if you have read my post of what we "do" at work then you can probably imagine what I have been doing the last couple of weeks. I am just now starting to feel like my brain is wrapped around what all I have to do before August 17. It has been pretty tough trying to manage my time with my new responsibilities and still keeping up with my previous duties - Sorry, mom, I've not been very good at it at all so far! I promise that I can do it and WILL do it! It will help when the girls start going to school full time on June 1. As much as I am sad about not being able to spend that extra time with them in the afternoons, I know that this is a sacrifice I have to make - that's what a family business is all about. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful dad that allows me to do all that we do and wants us to spend as much time with our family that we can! He and Sam work sooooo hard and I am forever grateful that they make this sacrifice for all of our families!

Anyway, other than work, we survived the 3 week stretch that Sam was out of town - Whew! I think the girls sensed my stress and they were so good and played so nicely together that whole week with very few fights - it was so nice - I pray everyday that they will be the best of friends one day and learn to love to be together. I have no idea what it is like since I do not have a sister so it's so hard to help them understand. They are so different, which I am so glad for, but their differences are what make them argue - all.the.time!!! I keep telling myself, "this too will pass!"

This week has been a big week for the girls too. First, MM had a great week at horseback riding and is loving it again - it is so wonderful to see her comfortable with the horses that she loves so much. I think she was really struggling internally (and therefore, it was being exhibited externally in other ways - pitching fits, being ugly to friends, etc.) with how to handle being a little afraid and hesitant of the animal (horses) that she loved so much and to learn to respect that they can be unpredictable. This week she finally loosened up and rode just like she was doing before her fall and I could see it written all over her face how proud she was of herself and that her confidence in herself had been restored! Praise God! I was struggling too - only I was struggling with how to help her through her own struggle! It was such a fine line of being too overbearing and making her ride every week and just letting her give it up, which in Sam's book was out of the question until she got over her fear! Also, the pool opened Thursday at the club and we had planned on going until the weather looked a little "ify" and Anna was diagnosed with Roseola. She was not contagious anymore, but I can just imagine the look on parent's faces as I let my little rash-infested child into the sess-pool baby pool! Oh, we would be the talk of the town! "Can you believe her? Exposing our children to whatever that little girl has?"

The last big thing is that the long-awaited playground at the school that backs up to our neighborhood finally opened this week!!!! YAY!!! It is also a community playground when school is not in session and it has been PACKED all week in the afternoons! You would think that there is not a playground anywhere in our town just by seeing the crowds out there. We have been so deprived - just kidding! These are pics of the girls on the playground - sorry for the quality - it was on my phone and it was about to rain.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So you like my signature? This is just a test to see if it looks ok and is right. I will probably tweek more later, but I'm exhausted and have been working on this for a while now!


Up To No Good

We have been enjoying our time together as a family the past couple of weeks. Sam has been out of town during the week for the past 3 weeks, so to say that I am exhausted is an understatement. I don't realize and probably don't appreciate how much he really helps out at home until he has a stretch of traveling such as the last several weeks. He has been to North Caroline on a business golf trip, then to Las Vegas for a show, and now he is working another show in Gatlinburg. He will be home Thursday and I'm not sure who is more excited - me, him, or the girls! With him being gone during the week, we have spent as much family time together on the weekends.

As for Mother's Day. . . woke up normal time, did our normal morning routine, took MM took horse back riding lesson (had to makeup for the rainy day), and then were going to have a picnic at the park to celebrate Mother's Day before Sam had to hit the road. Unfortunately, the weather did not hold out for the picnic - right after we decided to forego the park and just have a picnic at home, the bottom fell out! It was still fun and a great time with my family.

As for work. . .we've had a bit of a change of plans at work. Samantha (who has been with us since she was still in college) turned in her notice to go back to school this summer and fall. And you ask, what's the big deal? Well, the big deal is that I get to take over most of her responsibilities in addition to what I already do! She has a HUGE job of getting all of "stuff" together and coordinate our biggest trade show of the year. While I am a little nervous having to take this on, I am comforted by the fact that I did this same job prior to her being hired - we have only quadrupled the size of the company since then!!! So wish me luck! The girls are having to start back to school full time in a couple of weeks though so that I can have the time I need to get it all done. I just hope that I am able to take some half days like I've been doing so that I can take the girls to the pool!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sorry for the post overload, but as you can see we have been pretty busy around here and I wanted to make sure I documented it all for my own memory!

Fuller Festival

Nothing like pure blue sugar swirled onto a stick!

Here in T-town this past weekend, was a wonderful festival called Fuller Festival, in honor of a little boy (same age as MM) that was diagnosed with Leukemia 2 years ago. He is doing great now and so his parents wanted to host a festival that raise money for Children's Hospital in B'ham to show them how appreciative they were for everything that was done for them. It was a huge success and a great turnout. They had all the wonderful bouncy things, slides, carnival games, carousel, little "rides", music, food, etc. all day long. ALL of their friends, our friends, neighbors, etc. were out in full stride! It was total mass kid chaos, but they were having a ball! All you could see was children running around in sheer glee playing on all the fun stuff. The key for the parents was to kind of stay in the middle so you could just watch them from place to place. It was also exhausting! As you can tell by the pictures, Anna pretty much just stayed with us (eating junk) and MM was on and off every ride and activity with her friends - you think this is any prediction of how they will be when they are teenagers? The pirate ship ride was so funny. All the kids were really wanting to ride and as you can see on their faces they were not sure they really liked it once they were moving. Well, it finally stopped and they all got off and I asked, "So, that maybe wasn't your favorite ride, was it?" They all just screamed and shouted, "IT WAS SO FUN AND OUR FAVORITE!!!" Oh, sorry, I couldn't have been able to tell judging by the looks on your faces!

Spring is Here!

You see those cute little yellow specs? Ah yes, blooms!
My 3 plants that have grown so much!

And you ask, "why is she posting pictures of plants on her blog?" Well, quite simply, this is my sure sign that Spring really is here. These are my Hydrangea bushes that I had planted as a "trial". I have always loved Hydrangeas (guess I get that from my late grandmother), but always heard that they were very hard to grow and take care of. Well, for those of you that know me, know that I have a brown thumb but strive (and it's paying off) to be the avid gardener! So this is year 3 with my hydrangeas and I am obsessed with them - they have done so well so far and I cannot wait for the first blooms to erupt. As I said above, these were also my grandmothers favorite flowers to grow and enjoy, so I cannot wait for the first blooms to pop so that I can take them to her grave in honor or her life and legacy! Her gardending motto was that she rarely cut her flowers because she wanted to "share" them with the world and people around her. So, even though this is soooo against her motto, SHE will be the one I honor with these first blooms because I would not have formed my love for them without her.

Quick Beach Trip

MM claimed she was King of the Mountain!
Little Miss Priss - what are we going to do with her?

Picking flowers (not sure if this was ok or not, but we did anyway)

MM Showing off her flower

How can you not love that smiling free-spirited sweet girl?

After the brief visit in Mobile, we decided that since we were so close, why not just make a quick drive over to the condo for a couple of days. Mary Mac was so excited becuase that meant that we got to through a tunnel - the same tunnel that she

has previously SCREAMED going through in the past. I guess she really is growing up! The pictures are from a day that we spent at Destin Commons and let the girls play on the coolest playground in the world (according to Mary Mac). It has all these toys to climb on that are squishy and the ground is squishy (no other way to describe it)and then there is a water pad fountain to play in. The girls had a ball, no doubt! It was a quick trip, but we were able to do just about everything on the girls list of favorites. . . go to Baytown, play on the coolest playground, swim, look for shells, go to the "shark store" (that would be Bass Pro Shops), shop, and just hang out!

Art Show 2009

Last week was also the Annual Art Show at school. I've talked about it before, but it is really amazing how they do this and it makes you realize how much your child has improved and learned throughout the year. They collect tons of art projects that they work on all year and fill the Family Life Center walls (literally every inch of every wall is covered in art). The teachers make a mad dash to "reserve" how much space they need for their class once the director gives them the go-ahead. I have taken pictures each year of every single piece of artwork from the girls, but I will save you from that misery and just post these pictures.

60 Years!

Last weekend my mom and I took the girls down to Mobile for a quick trip to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more AND (more importantly) to celebrate my grandparents 60th, yes you read that right, wedding anniversary. We had the best time and my aunt and uncles put a lot of hard work into making this party so perfect. They invited family and friends from all over and put together a slide show of old (and I mean old photos) and a video of their 50th anniversary party. It was bitter sweet watching this because it brought back so many wonderful memories of growing up and seeing how much has changed in just 10 years. In the video my grandparents (mainly my Mimi) was up and cutting a rug to the music and now she is not able to do that anymore. 10 years ago, I was single, in college, and only dreaming of the life that I have now - a wonderful husband and 2 very special healthy girls! It is amazing how in one quick vidoe clip you realize how quick those 10 years went by and it makes me cringe to think that another 10 years will go by just as fast and I can do nothing to make it slow down. I say this all the time, but I just wish I could scoop up the girls and squeeze them so tight just to try and see if it will slow the time I have with them at this age slow, even for just a second! Being able to celebrate 60 years of marriage is so rare these days and I pray that Sam and I have my grandparents "little secret", whatever that may be, to carry us through at least that many years together! The Happy Couple
Mimi and Papa and all the grandkids (minus Tyler) and great grandkids

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