Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eleven Things in Twenty Eleven

These are Eleven things I am committed to doing in 2011
1. New product monthly in my Etsy shop
2. Always carry a book and my crochet hook
3. Go Dancing
4. Lose 62 pounds
5. Ventura!!!
6. Transfer all pics on my hard drive to disc
7. Read for an afternoon in my backyard
8. Visit my mom and sisters for 2+ weeks in the summer with the kids
9. All my printed pictures sorted/organized/filed or in 3-Up Albums
10. Set aside a full day monthly, for crafting alone or with a friend
11. Write 10 songs with Bryan

Extra possibilities:
Bellevue CK with Trish
Camp at Nehalem Bay with Kelly
Reno with Joshua and Kim for a weekend
Road Trip with Kristen - hit some diners and antique stores

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Celebrations 2010

While Grandma Brockway was in CCU, we gathered as we do every year, at her house. Kelly made Clam Chowder, we took turns holding Beth and Joey's newest creation, Lorelai, and we exchanged gifts and watched Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Dad, Janet, Chris, Flannery, Cannon and I went to New Heights for our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight service.

Cannon fell in love with Woody...

Santa brought Flannery a Wii...

Christmas afternoon, we celebrated with the Collins family and our new fireside DVD.

Nick and Maya are some of our favorite family...

The day after Christmas, we opened the 3 boxes my mom sent us. This was Chris' favorite gift: the original LIFE magazine after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

Today, we played games, watched football, had gluten free pizza and tidied up a bit. I love this time of year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas Twenty Ten

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

This has been a fun year for the Collins family. We still live in Seaside and love it here so much. It’s just far enough away from friends and family to make those visits even more special, but not so far that we feel isolated. A trip into town is just 75 miles, and that has become just a blink for us.

Chris commutes to the National Weather Service in Portland 3 – 6 days a week, depending on his schedule, and doesn’t mind the drive. We love visiting the local library weekly and he’s found many books on tape for the car.

In February, Cannon turned 2, and we did a simple celebration at my dad’s house with ice cream sundaes and lots of pictures (of course).

In March, we went back to Disneyland to celebrate Chris’ 35th birthday – just Chris, Flannery and I – and it was so much fun. We figured out a great system for our gluten free issues; bringing our own food, preparing it at the motel, and taking it into the park worked out great. Melissa kept Cannon for us, as she did the year prior, when we took Flannery for her 8th birthday.

Flannery turned 9 in May and we hosted a huge party with all of her classmates entitled, “Rain or Shine, Flannery’s Nine.” We had pizza and watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Chris had intended on demonstrating the tornado machine, but some of the kids were so rowdy, he called it off. They had enjoyed it so much when he came to their class for their weather segment in science. Well, it was a learning experience, to say the least!

Also in May, we gathered at Cannon Beach Conference Center for our annual retreat with Chris’ mom and husband. This has been a tradition since Chris was an infant. We used to meet together every September, during Labor Day weekend, but Leon and Jennifer felt such a call to minister at the annual “X-Fest” in the gorge, we moved it to Memorial Day weekend. Years ago, Kevin and Linda, Leon & Jennifer and I all had performances at TOM Fest during Labor Day and we moved it to the July 4th conference that year. No matter when we meet, our time together is so sweet.

July was the Relay for Life, where I am co-director of a team called Good Grief along with Laurie Wakefield. Laurie is a 5 year cancer survivor. As you may recall, I was her “chemo-buddy” during her fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We have such a love for those afflicted and touched by cancer and we feel we have to give back. So, all year, we raise money for our team and in July, turn it into Relay for Life and The American Cancer Society to help with research and that one day we will find a cure.

In September, Flannery transferred from Cannon Beach Elementary to Seaside Elementary. Cannon Beach didn’t have the funding they needed this year, so they had to cut the boundary exception students. Flannery has adjusted very well and met a new BFF, Cori. They are attached at the hip and love being together. And, BONUS, her parents are fantastic. Whew! Her mom scrapbooks. Talk about divine intervention. I thought I’d be a scrapbooking hermit here forever!

We found a church! We attend North Coast Family Fellowship, pastored by Glen Maiden, here in Seaside. It reminds me of New Heights in Vancouver; groups for everyone, Bible teaching and upbeat worship music. The preaching is relevant to today, and he doesn’t mince words. Love it. Flannery attends their Wednesday night AWANA program, and I am currently in a women’s group on Thursday mornings, going through a Beth Moore study on the patriarchs. It’s a rich time for me. It feels good to be ministered to by a group of women.

A couple days before Thanksgiving, we had some snow at the beach and we all went outside to experience it. It was very cold and we huddled together near the garage to watch it in the street light. Without realizing it, Chris opened the garage and I saw a Honda emblem. I began to scream. Flannery began to scream. Cannon looked concerned but also started to scream as we realized that daddy had brought home a Honda Odyssey. And, it was black, Cannon’s favorite color! We’d been shopping for a minivan for a few months. We decided we needed one to make our trips to Disneyland more comfortable. Chris surprised us a month before when he made us annual pass holders. We’re able to make the trip so inexpensive with our own food and a no-name hotel; it ends up being a really affordable vacation that we all love.

So…the day after Thanksgiving, we took our maiden voyage to Disneyland, this time with Cannon! He loved it. It was just as easy with him as it was without…during his nap every day, I pushed him through the park and sipped my coffee while Flannery and Chris hit some heavy rides…then when he woke, Chris took him while Flannery and I played. It worked out great. Oh! And this was my first trip wearing the ShapeUps. My feet were a little sore at the end of the day, but not in a way where I couldn’t walk, like my experience the last 2 trips. And after the pedometer read 28,000 steps in one day, I realized the ShapeUps were a great investment.

Well, Christmas is upon us and I hope you are able to reflect on all of the many blessings in your life as this year comes to a close. Peace, joy and clarity to all of you!

Merry Christmas!
XOXO – Erin (for the Collins Family) & Chris, Flannery & Cannon

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Crafty Longings...

I wish I was downstairs right now, in my craft room, creating more stuff for Christmas. But, I'm sick and although even sick crafting sounds appealing, Chris is sleeping off his graveyard shift and Cannon isn't yet old enough for me to just take off downstairs for a spell.

I brought up my crochet bag, but my skin feels dry and I hate that combination. So, I recline in my La-Z-Boy, watch football and drink coffee and just rest in knowing that the room will still be there on Chris' next day off.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baja and Cannon

My daddy came and stayed with us for a few nights in November and I found these 3 photos when I uploaded the Disney pics...we visited FRILLS, the best little cupcake & yogurt shop in Seaside, and Cannon was determined to share with "Baja." So sweet!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Disneyland November/December 2010

First of all...the Honda Odyssey ROCKS. Here are Cannon & Flannery using the wireless headphones that Chris bought along with an Alpine DVD player that he splurged on and had installed before bringing the van home. The DVD player was fabulous for this trip.

We drove to Stockton the first day and stayed in a Motel 6 that was crap, but the shower was good and after a bit, we got used to the smell that hit us when we opened the door! It was just a quick night's sleep and then off to our destination: Anaheim!

Seriously. If you can visit Disneyland after Thanksgiving but before New Year''s a MUST.

I think I took more pics of the decor than anything else. It's a Small World was FANTASTIC and visually incredible! It was the standard song intertwined with Christmas standards. Every land was decorated according to traditions in that particular country. Gorgeous. I had to make a separate folder on my desktop just for Small World pics!

The other thing that was so great was the transformation of The Haunted Mansion. It became The Nightmare Before Christmas bright, colorful and pumpkins galore.

Cannon loved it. His first ride was Winnie the Pooh, and he loved everything in Fantasyland, along with Pirates of the Caribbean. He sweetly covers his eyes on the first drop. He doesn't clench up or anything, he just doesn't like the dark part. Then his hands are down and he points out the seagull on the skeleton guy, the pirate ships, the kitty, the pigs and the dog. He loves it! We even kept one of our 3 reservations at The Blue Bayou, though quickly ordered dessert and nothing else. There was no way Cannon would have lasted through dinner! Chris and I had the Creme Brulee and the kids had vanilla ice cream. It's the whole theme we love about that place. The atmosphere is fantastic.

Every day around 2:30, Cannon would doze in the stroller and I would push him through the park and do some shopping while having my coffee.

Chris and Flannery would hit rides during his naps...after his nap, Chris would take him and Flannery and I would have some fun. It worked out great. I never felt like I was missing out on anything having Cannon along this time, because we have done everything already on our last 2 visits. Other than taking a little longer in the mornings to get ready, it was pretty great!

Flannery FINALLY went on Tower of Terror with me. I was SOOOOO excited! And she not only tried it, but went on at least another 10 times. Then, the next day, she decided she was going to go on Splash Mountain (my favorite ride) with me. She has been on once each time we've visited, but she hates the last drop and the fear of getting totally soaked and scared has made her refuse to ever do it again. Well, it was a success! I talked to her though the ride, told her what to expect and told her to just enjoy it. (She rides California Screamin' ALL THE TIME, so I wasn't being unreasonable wanting her to go on this with me!) She got used to it and went on it another 5 times in one night. I was so excited. She beamed, "Now I can go on every ride with you, mom!" My little dare devil.

Main Street was gorgeous...

One of my favorite pics from the trip...Flannery sporting her new Jack Skellington scarf. She is becoming quite the camera girl...loving her new pose she's been working on!

The trip back, Chris drove straight through - 15 hours. Did I mention he drives a tad bit faster in this wonder-van?