Thursday, November 6, 2008


This year was very fun. We had a Halloween party during lunch at our Friday Homeschool Co-op school. Then we went to the church and had chili and apple juice for dinner. Then we did a Trunk or Treat. For those who do not know what it is: Everyone backs their car in a circle and decorates their trunk and hands out candy. It is safer then traditional trick or treating. Then we went to see our honorary grandma "Grandma Casto" and trick or treated at her house, then off to Grandpa's (krista's dad) to show off the costumes and get LOTS of candy.

Ben was a pirate. He decided what to wear. I tried to help him but alas, he is becoming independant.

Sonny was the guy from Monopoly. He is 12 so he is not into dressing up too much anymore.

Julianna was a fairy. I had lots of fun curling her hair and putting in the flowers and the butterfly. She has sparkles on her face.

Brian and I went as their parents.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We are still here.

Well, canning season is not quite done,we still have a bunch of apples left to do but thought that we would post a little update. We are all doing fine. Krista's mom is retiring in November and will be over here for good at Thanksgiving!! We are all just doing the same old same old stuff.


Monday, September 15, 2008


Well, we are finally finished with pears and peaches. Here is our tally!

Peaches~ 58 quarts

Peach jam~ 28 pts & 55 1/2 pints

Peach pie filling~ 7 quarts & 9 pints

Pears~ 34 qts & 6 pints

We also did tomatoes~ 36 pints.

We still need to do more tomatoes this week.

We are also going to try zucchini pineapple.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

This past week

Well, school went went well. Both of the boys were excited and happy with thier new books and courses. TEACH went well on Friday. It is always fun though. On Monday I gave them a challenge to make a least one new friend at co-op. Ben made a new friend named Zac. Sonny said he did not get a chance to yet.

Brian was off on Wednesday so we went to an orchard out past Greenleaf and picked 100 pounds of pears and 275 pounds of peaches. 50 pounds of the peaches were for my neighbor. They were $9 for 50 pounds. It tooks us 2 hours.

So now until the end of time I will be canning pears, peaches, peach jam, and peach pie filling. I have done two batches of peaches and 2 batches of jam so far. I also canned a bunch of tomatoes the other day.

Anyone out there that would like to try to home can stuff please see your local extension office for correct canning methods. I do not want anyone to become ill.

No cooking tonight ~ we are going to the opening social for our local LDS homeschooling group.


Friday, August 29, 2008

We start school on Monday!!!

Well, it is that time of the year again. It seems like I have spent the entire summer getting ready for our new school year. I guess I have. I took the month of June and researched curriculum, July I ordered, and for this past month I have been doing scheduling. I schedule everything through December. During Christmas break I will schedule the rest of the year. I really do enjoy this time of the year though. We get to make new goals for the year and learn new things. We also have new curriculum. The boys think it is like Christmas.

This year Ben (2nd grade) will be doing:

3rd grade Math
3rd grade Social Studies
3rd grade Science
Language Arts

This year Sonny (7th grade) will be doing:

Western Hemisphere
Language Arts
Life Science
Keyboarding~1st semester
Into to Computer Technology~2nd Semester
Young Living

Julianna (preschool) will be:

learning to write her name
basic ABC & 123's
Lots of other fun stuff.

We also go to a co-op on Fridays. (see

This is going to be a fun and busy year.

I am currently working on a new devotional schedule it will include:

Scripture reading/studying.
Learning about the prophets and general authorities and their talks
A good uplifting story
Pledge of Alligence
Word of the day

We did not do word of the day last year and the boys missed it so I will be bringing it back.

As a family we also do a character trait a month. On the first Mondayof the month during devotional I introduce the trait and then a couple days a week we talk about it, play games, role play etc... On Sunday after dinner we give out awards to the child who did the best at that trait for the week. Sometimes it has been candy bars, time with mom or dad, or a special ice cream treat. Every month is different.

Well, I will post next week what a day at the Collins Academy looks like.

Dinner tonight:

Chicken Fajitas


Monday, August 25, 2008


Well, since it will undoubtedly be another very busy day (we are cleaning out the garage this morning) we will be having hot dogs (yes ~ YUCK~ but my children will eat them) and homemade jojo's, with mixed veggies. I think I may cook chicken for me or saute zucchini since I am really not a huge meat eater and I really do not care for hot dogs. Only when I am pregnant (at least with the last two) and they have to be the polish kind from Costco with lots of mustard, onions, and sauerkraut. I know weird. Well, I better get back out to the garage before Brian thinks I abandoned him.



We have been very busy this last week. We have been "spring"cleaning~ in the summer. Anyway, we got the homeschool room organized. That was a HUGE task. On Thursday we went and visited my dad. Brian set up his home theater for him. Last night dad came over. He babysat Benjamin and Julianna while Brian, Sonny, and I went to the broadcast of the Twin Falls dedication at the church. When we got home we had dinner~ lasagna and salad.
We did not make it to the discovery center Thursday so we are going to try and go today. We have been so busy with other things that we need to take time for fun.

I will try to post a picture of the new inproved room later.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

I know, I know

Okay, I have been very busy. I am sorry I have not been posting.

Tonight I made up a crustless quiche recipe. It has sausage, zucchini (of course) and cheddar cheese. Then I made cinnamon sticks to go with it.

We had a garage sale yesterday. It was sooooo HOT. I think it was in the 100's but do not really know. I got sunburned on my face. I can not believe I forgot to put sunscreen on. I do not like to tan or burn. No skin cancer for me thank you.

My dad is all moved in and trying to find his bearings. He is driving around to see where eveything is.

Brian is off this Thursday through next Tuesday. We were going to go camping (we LOVE to go camping) but decided we were going to stick close to home and do a couple of fun things around here. On Thursday I have an Orientation meeting for our co-op (TEACH-see then we are going to go to the Discovery Center in Boise. For those out of towners the Discovery center is like a children's science museum. It is very fun. The kids really like it. Of course Sonny would he love science stuff. Julianna likes the little shopping store where the kiddos can pretend to shop and be a cashier. Ben likes the bubbles. You can blow HUGE bubbles.

Brian and I will be going out on Friday evening for our weekly date. We have been busy for the past little while that we have missed them. We feel it is important to get out with each other even if it is a bike ride or walk. We are going to dinner- maybe Macaroni Grill since we have never been there and have a gift certificate. Next week we will be going to the temple and then the Elder's Quorum is having an ice cream social afterwards.

Well, I will try to post more often.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well, I am not feeling really well today (and Brian has to work late tonight) so it was sandwiches for dinner.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

oops~ dinner

I forgot to post dinner on the previous post.

Bean burritos



Well, I had a WONDERFUL visit with Karin yesterday. It was so nice to reminice and catch up. We miss each other so much. She just graduated 2 weeks ago with her nursing degree from BYU-Idaho. Whe will take her boards in September in Boise, so I will get to see her again.

My dad is moved in and my mom is helping him unpack. She flies back home to WA on Saturday.

We are starting school on September 2nd. Sonny will be in 7th grade and Ben will be in 2nd grade, but doing 3rd grade work. Julianna will be doing preschool stuff. I plan on starting her on Kindergarten stuff next year. So, for the next few weeks I will be planning our year out.


Monday, August 4, 2008


We had chicken Caesar salad wraps for dinner. We had Ruffles and cantaloupe also.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tonight's din din

Well, our friends from Pocatello did not get here last night, but they did stop by for a bit today. My parents came in too and we were all able to visit together. Then eveyone left. We decided just to have burgers and potato salad. We had lots left so it made the most sense. Sorry it was not something new.


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Well, I did two canners full of apricots. I have 13 Qts and 4 pints. I have tons more to do but ran out of narrow mouth lids and walmart was all out so I need to go somewhere else and get some. Probably Winco. I also did one batch of apricot freezer jam and three batches of cooked jam. I still have to process them today.

We are having some friends from Pocatello come for dinner tonight. Their children were the first ones I ever babysat. I learned how to change diapers on their daughter, Laura. Laura is now married and has two babies herself. It will be fun to see them.

Tomorrow my parents will be here to move my dad in to their new house. My mom will probably retire in December. She is living with her mom, my grandma Emily in the meantime.

Then on Monday my dear friend, Karin, from Rexburg will be visiting me. Her children will not be here so my children will be sad, but she is going to bring her step-daughter so Julianna will have someone to play with.

Tonight's dinner is

Cook out night!

Potato salad
grilled zucchini (of course)
angel food cake-(I think that is what I will make for dessert)


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dinner tomorrow

I am afraid I may not get to the computer tomorrow because I will be canning apricots all day. So for dinner tomorrow it is:



We always have breadfast for dinner a couple times a month. With tomorrow being a busy canning day I needed some thing easy~ although making waffles is not that easy. Anyway, my husband loves waffles and it is something my kids love too. I think they are good if they are cooked a little longer and are really crunchy. I make our syrup. I do 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil add 1 Tablepoon mapleline and presto! Syrup. I usually do a 5 times batch or so and store in qt jars in the fridge. Two years ago I did strawberry syrup when I was canning strawberry jam. It is really good too. We might have that.

dinner anyone?

Here it is:

Baked Potato Bar
fresh apricots

No zucchini tonight.

I know not very exciting.


Apricots & Pickles

We went and picked apricots yesterday. We picked two and a half 5 gallon buckets full. I will be making jam~both freezer and cooked, canning some, and I think I will try apricot nectar this year. I will post pictures when we are finished with them.

We also have gotten enough pickling cucumbers from our garden to do one batch of pickles. I will be doing dill and bread & butter ones this year.

It is so staisfying to see all the jars lined up on the counter when you are done.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the Menu this Evening

We are having:

Pasta with red sauce
Italian sausage
sauteed zucchini
Cottage Cheese

We do not normally have this in the summer, but I have a goal to use what is on hand for the next two weeks. Kind of a food storage practice. I did buy milk, eggs and bread today. I have been too busy to bake bread for the past couple of weeks. I do have dry milk too but keep forgetting to make it at night because it is not the instant kind and you have to let it sit overnight. My kids really can not tell but I can. We really use a lot of eggs so I can not be out of them too often. So I figured that is all I will buy (Oh I did buy bananas today too) for two weeks. So, you will probably see lots of zucchini because we planted a TON and have lots.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Krista's Parents

Krista's parents have built a house about 15 minutes from us in Caldwell, ID. Her dad will be moving in this weekend and her mom will be staying in WA until she retires hopefully in December. It will be nice to have family in the area. We have not lived near family since we lived in WA, seven years ago next month. I will post a picture of their house as soon as we take one.

Dinner Tonight

Well, my dear friend, Tami, thinks that posting my daily dinner menu is a high mark to reach. She knows me too well. Anyway, I will do my best. So, to prove her wrong here is tonight's menu.

Grilled Chicken
Grilled Zucchini (from our garden~ yummy)
Brown Rice


Monday, July 28, 2008


Here is our Ben. One of Ben's namesake is in the background (Krista's Dad, Benjamin) his middle name is William and Brian's dad's middle name is William too. This picture was taken at Krista's grandma Emily's house in Olympia, WA where Krista spent most of her growing up years.

Ben is a child of a thousand faces. Ever since he was a baby he always has funny faces. He loves to ham it up in front of the camera. He makes us laugh a lot.

When we were in Ocean Shores at the beach and found this great "little river" the kids liked to play in it.


Here is our oldest child. I can not believe he is 12 (he is only 11 in this pic). This is at Ocean Shores, Wa.

On our way home from Washington we stopped in OR and Brian took the boys on a bike ride through an old car road by Hood River. This is Sonny before the ride.

Princess Julianna

This is Julianna and Rosie in our
home in Idaho.

This is our beautiful Julianna. She loves having her picture taking and is always willing to smile.

This is Brian and Julianna at Ocean Shores, Wa. We went there in August 2007 for a weeklong camping trip. We also visited with Brian's brother, Gary, and his parents. We were also able to see Krista's parents, grandma, and uncle Gary.

Dinner Menu

I thought it might benefit someone if I posted everyday what we are having for dinner. I know I am always looking for new ideas. So for tonight we are having BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with homemade jojos and green beans.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

A bit of History for you from Sonny

Here is a paper Sonny wrote for his Constitution & Freedom class in our Friday Co-op. (for more info on our co-op go to ) Enjoy!!

John Dickinson
By Sonny Collins

John Dickinson was an amazing person. Born in Philadelphia P.A. November 13, 1732, he went to London to study law. Later, he became a lawyer. After his return, he alerted town people the Townshed Acts. The people got very angry. Some were sons of liberty and caused the Boston Tea Party which led to the Intolerable Acts. John did not like this. Later, he wrote the most detailed account of the Boston Massacre.
John also wrote other articles such as, Letters of a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the British. Some of his works were printed and taken by Ben Franklin when he went to see the King of England. Some copies are in French and Italian as well as others. He also co-wrote A Declaration of the Right to Bear Arms. Although his writings were against the British, he did not want independence from them. Instead of war he thought the king would settle the acts of the British on the Americans.
Much later, after the Declaration of Independence was signed, he was put in the army as a Brigadier-General. He didn’t stay long in the army. Once the war was done he was called to continental congress to represent Pennsylvania. He wrote the first draft of our constitution. He wrote more things such as a series of 9 essays, using a pename, Fabius.
John Dickinson retired from public life, in 1797, to his home in Wilmington where he later died on 14 February 1808. Later, in his memory a college was named after him and his wife. The college was first a grammar school. Its original name was John and Mary’s College. It was changed to Dickinson’s College. Today, many students are taught there. Some might even become writers like John Dickinson.

About Us

Hello to our friends and family!

Brian is the head of our family. He is currently a manager at RC Willey. He has a B.S. in History from Brigham Young University-Idaho. He is working on getting his teaching certificate so that he can teach secondary history. He is currently the first counselor in the Elder's Quorum Presidency at church.

Krista is a stay at home mom. She is very busy homeschooling our children. She loves to read in her spare time. She is currently a Relief Society teacher teaching from the Joseph Smith manual. She is also the Wolf Den leader.

Sonny (Brian Jr.) turned 12 this year and received the Aaronic Priesthood. He is an active member in the Boy Scouts and has just earned 5 merit badges and is working on 8 more. He is currently working on becoming a First Class. He is an avid reader. Whenever we can not find him he is somewhere with a book in his hand. Sonny is still pursuing the violin. He took last year off from private lessons, but has been playing since he was 7.

Benjamin will be 8 in November. At that time he will be baptized and join the Cub Scouts. He is our little comediean. He loves to work. He is one year above grade level and is reading 3 grade levels above where he should be. He is continuing his pursuit of the piano. He has been playing for 2 years.

Julianna is our little princess. She is three but thinks she is 16. She loves to dress up and put nail polish on. She is a handful, but she brings a ray of sunshine into our home. Her favorite color is pink.

Husky is our guinea pig. He is 2 years old. Sonny got him from a friend for his 10th birthday. We decided to start with something small. Husky's favorite food is celery. He loves to be petted.

Rosie is our 2 1/2 year old Basset Hound. She is a sweet dog~ for the most part. She hardly ever barks but does get too excited for her own good. She loves to sneak into the boys' room and sleep on their bed. She loves all food.

Thank you for visiting our blog.