Sunday, December 27, 2009

Graham Cracker House Building

Graham Cracker House Time! It's our favorite time of the year!

It is an annual tradition to head to the Duerr's home each Christmas break to build and decorate Graham Cracker Houses. First the battle is to use the frosting and crackers to build the most unique house one can design. Then the challenge is on to find the fun decorations to make your creation one of style and pizazz! Everyone succeeded this year once again to build their own fun creation with graham crackers--and they even survived the trip home!

Another afternoon was spent decorating our own Ginger Bread House and decorating it with icing and candy goodies to make a lively and festive house ready for the winter holiday. Timmy the creator enjoys this challenge along with Amy the designer and Sarah the eater--oops, I mean decorator!

A Collins Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Collins!

We celebrated Christ's birth with a beautiful Christmas Eve Service and supper with cousins followed by a time of prayer and worship to God for sending us His son.

Christmas morning came and the girls quickly woke up Mom and Dad so they could open their stockings and presents from one another.

Dad's highlight was receiving TWO Patriotic Bronco T-shirts!
Andrew's highlight was a Razor to zip around the college campus and another Magic Mountain season pass!
Timmy was thrilled with Wrangler jeans and a western shirt and pocket knife while Sarah delighted in a Polly Pocket snowboarding/skiing set and her own MP3 player!

Grandma was blessed with a one cup coffee maker, pierced earrings, the Julie and Julia movie and a gift for house cleaning. Can't beat that one!

Sylvia received her dream--a working kitchen light and new frying pans! I guess this will be another year of cooking in the kitchen!

Wise Guys and Starry Skies

Grace Bible performed a delightful performance of Wise Guys and Starry Skies portraying and excellent version of the wise men seeking baby Jesus.
This musical was directed by the best, Tricia Harriger, and after months of practice came off spectacular! Sarah was a "wise guy" entertaining the audience with a few solos and trios and singing loudly about our Savior's birth.

Even Amy and Timmy participated with a few speaking parts which added to the story line. Everyone enjoyed the three kings following the star to find baby Jesus. And yes, we had a real baby Jesus and mother Mary who delighted the audience with a beautiful song.

Grace Bible church never ceases to amaze us with the talents and gifts God has given. This year's Christmas program was one of our favorites!

Christmas Melodrama

Amy acted in her school's Christmas Melodrama titled The Santa Clause Conspiracy. It was a cute little play actually written by one of the students. She starred as a reporter trying to find information about the mad professor and his new machine. After the show, the kids entertained everyone with Christmas carols with a little twist. A fun night was had by all.

Christmas Parade

The Bakersfield Christmas Parade was a big event for the Collins family again! We joined a friend from church, Twinkie Winkie the Christian Clown, as she paraded through downtown Bakersfield.

Sarah had the opportunity to play Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the parade while Amy walked behind Twinky Winky the Clown. Timmy and Sylvia drove Twinkie's car and followed the nativity scene. The saddest part of the event was that we forgot baby Jesus (Sarah's doll) on the kitchen table. We rolled up a blanket and Sarah carried an empty blanket through the parade--no one even noticed!

The weather was a little cool but not bad for a Bakersfield December evening. There were over 100 entries in the parade this year so it was fun being in the middle of one of Bakersfield's best holiday events.

Merry Christmas from Sarah and Twinkie Winkie!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fair Time

We exhibited items in the Kern County Fair once again. Our last minute decision to enter an outdoor garden scene was successful due to the creativity of Timmy, Amy, & Sarah. With only one day's time and efforts (and a lot of items found in the back yard) the kids created a remarkable outdoor scene that fit in with the fair's theme, "Best in the West." They improvised a bit by using an old outhouse door with a cowboy touch titling the exhibit "Best 'Rest' in the West" and it earned them a 1st place ribbon! With some rocks from the back yard, Grandpa's milk can and cream can, a few pumpkins grown in our garden, some wheat and a hand made fence by Timmy, it appeared as country as one can get. A trip to Home Depot added the necessary color and Amy finished it off by designing a map labeling all the planted greenery by name. A success story for the Collins Kids.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bob's 50th Birthday

Bob celebrated his big "50" birthday at El Portal Mexican Restaurant with friends and family. He enjoyed a delicious Mexican dinner followed by Spanish singers treating him to a "Happy Birthday" song in Spanish and a traditional Mexican dessert.

Bob enjoyed opening his 50 birthday cards from friends and family around the country. It took him more than 50 minutes to open and read his collection of cards. He was surprised to receive so many birthday cards from so many friends. A delightful surprise I must add.

The kids all got together and wrote out 50 things they learned from Dad so that was a special treat to read as well.

The night ended with Bob opening his own "Bob the Builder" Scrapbook showcasing all the remodeling projects Bob has mastered in his wood working career! It was over 20 years of work all in one photo album. It was a pleasant surprise and will be cherished for years to come.

A fun evening was had by all.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Quail Valley

We're always up to exploring new territory and this summer we found out about a great little camping place only one hour away--Quail Valley Resort! It's nestled away only 60 miles NE of Bakersfield. Some new friends and their three little girls joined us for a weekend of camping up at Quail Valley. A beautiful little creek circled the campground and was found to be hours of entertainment. Even some delicious blackberries were picked near the flowing creek.

A short drive found us to the giant redwoods where we took the Trail of 100 Giants and explored the forest and saw many of the big, or shall I say huge, redwood trees. Our creator is amazing in making such humongous trees--His beauty never ceases to amaze us!

Fishing in the pond provided an opportunity to get out the fishing poles and bait the hooks. Almost everyone had a tug on their line and pulled in a fish before the weekend was over!

Hume Lake Camping

Our summer would never be complete with out a camping trip with our friends from church. As often in the past, Hume Lake was chosen as our destination for this summer camping. We had some new families join us which was a blast!

A week in the mountains is a vacation that everyone needs now and then. The smell of pine, the warmth of the fire, the splash in the lake as the canoe tips are all part of life at Hume.

Campfires, canoeing, walks around the lake, and fishing where enjoyed by everyone. Some even ventured into paintball and the zip line--which was a treat almost everyone enjoyed.

Mike & Liz Bussell and their two girls joined our group so stories of life in Africa and music from Mike filled our evening campfire. What a joy to have the Bussell family share in our camping experience. Sarah loved outdoor time with Lily and Abby--exploring, canoeing, running, playing.

Amy & Timmy's biggest challenge was to "get up" on the floating log--it's a lot harder than it looks! After much trial and error they both succeeded--well at least for a few seconds. Timmy enjoyed canoeing and exploring up the river and Sarah was the lucky one to catch the only fish--a beautiful rainbow trout while out canoeing.

Summer memories of the Collins kids will always include Hume Lake--a beautiful mountain vacation--and fortunately there were no bears seen this year!