Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One of the Good Ones

This is one of my former students. I had her when
she was in 7th grade. She was an amazing kid then and an even greater person now. She is now 25 and a teacher herself. We manage to see each other a couple of times a year and I just love her to death.

Quote for the Day

“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” -- Joyce Brothers

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monkey Biz


With the Christmas holiday behind us it was time for a playdate so today we headed out to Monkey Biz where the kids could run around and play. Unfortunately every other parent decided to go as well because the place was very busy.


We stayed there about a hour and a half and then a few of us headed to lunch. It was nice to get out and we love being with our MWCC family.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sleepover


Keara and Kailei had a sleepover with friend Sam on Saturday night. The kids all played hard all day and watched a couple of movies complete with popcorn. They went to sleep well but to my surprise Keara and Sam woke up at 3:30am in the morning. I found them downstairs with their flashlights, and blankets watching cartoons. Naturally I told them it was way too early to get up so I herded them back upstairs and eventually they fell asleep again.


Sam attended church with us Sunday morning and then played a little more with Keara and Kailei. It wasn't too long before their tiredness began to show but they really had a great time overall. Sam is a sweet girl and we love having her over. I hope all sleepovers are this easy.

Christmas Day


Christmas day began with a 6:30 am wake-up call from Keara. Bright eyed and bushy tailed she was anxious to see if Santa came. She immediately woke up Kailei and after Mom and Dad got their cameras ready we headed downstairs to see what Santa brought.

Santa was good to the kids and the kids were grateful for all they received. It is so much fun to see them light up with even the littlest gifts. Kailei received a HUGE stuffed puppy, a leapster, makeup, a cheerleading outfit and lots of puzzles among other things. Keara got clothes, makeup, a charm bracelet, a razor scooter, and a Karito kid doll.

Naturally they wanted to play with everything right then and there but we managed to tear them away after a little while so we could go to Grammy's house.

Breakfast at Grammy's is my favorite part of Christmas. As I've said in the past, there is just something about it that I love.

After we fill the kids tummies we had them open more gifts. Grammy and Poppy always spoil them and we have great fun watching them open their gifts. Sydney loved her stuffed horses, Nic got tons of Star Wars stuff, Kailei got Barbie she really liked and Keara got the cupcake maker that Santa was supposed to bring but missed. Mom still spoils us grown-ups with gifts too so we opened them as well.

Later that day we had a great turkey dinner and played some board games. Gotta love Christmas!
Next year Kevin's family will be with us and we look forward adding our new cousin/nephew to the Archer holiday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nic's Special Christmas Present

Once upon a time there was a boy named Nic who had two cousins named Keara and Kailei. Nic loved his cousins and his cousins loved him.

Recently Keara and Kailei’s Mom and Dad decided it was time to take a vacation so they have planned one for March 27th – April 2nd, 2009. They wanted some place warm so they decided to head for California where there is sun, surf and lots of places to have fun. Now California is a big state so they were a little unsure where to go. After doing some research on the internet they decided they will fly into Los Angeles.

The best thing about Los Angeles is that it is near Anaheim and Anaheim is near DISNEYLAND. Keara and Kailei’s parents are pretty sure they will have fun if they go to Disneyland. Who wouldn’t?

And because your Aunt, Uncle and cousins love you very much you are going on the trip with them. So start saving your money because you’re going to Disneyland Nic.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Love,
Aunt Chris, Uncle Zeb, Keara and Kailei

Christmas Eve


Christmas Eve we traveled to Kiowa and attended church out there. It is a much smaller venue and more casual since we are out in the country. The kids looked great in their holiday dresses. I spend half the mass taking Kailei and Sydney to the bathroom which would not have been so bad if we didn't have to cross in front of everyone in the church. :) When they are this age, when you gotta go, ya gotta go. At the end of church a lady suggested I get their earlier next year so I could be closer to the bathroom.


After church we went to Tracie's house for a short while. The kids were wound up as the idea of Santa was drawing nearer. We ate, played and then headed out so Santa would be sure to come.


It was nearly impossible to get all the kids together for a picture so I don't have any good ones to share but there was a good one of Uncle Mark and Kailei.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Out on the Town

OK, I know it might sound weird but the Archer's have a tradition of going out to eat together around the holiday. For some reason we don't do it any other time. Perhaps it is money or time and while we eat together throughout the year quite often, we just don't do it at a restaurant.






Sometimes we tie it to a trip downtown or ice skating but it was very cold this year so we just decided on dinner. Unfortunately Mark was not able to join us but we had fun anyway.

We went to Mt. Fugi this year which is a Japanese hibachi restaurant so they cook it at your table. And while Nic is often a very picky eater, he state that he wanted to go back. The kids are always amazed at what the cook can do and we all enjoy eating the food.

Just another part of the holiday tradition.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cookie Day!


Every year around Christmas there is "cookie day". Started long ago when Lynn and I would get together and bake cookies and it has been a tradition ever since. I really look forward to it each year. Lets just say that working in a kitchen is not exactly our forte' but we sure have fun. We figure if half of everything we make turns out, we are doing good. Five hours of baking and we had piles of cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, sugar, split seconds, chocolate, rice krispie treats, chocolate haystacks, gingerbread and peanut clusters).


The kids helped us for a short time. I think they only participate in hopes of getting to eat all the cookie dough but who can blame them. Nic and Sydney were over so joined in the festivities as well.


Already looking forward to next year.




Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kids Singing and Dancing

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MWCC Video

Each year I do a video that captures our MWCC highlights. The one I showed at the holiday party is actually too big to share here but here is another version I did.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Wonderlights


So Keara got a head start on her holiday break and had the day off. While Kailei and I were very jealous, we endured one last day of work and school. Keara on the other hand spent the day with friends Frances and Lucy. She is lucky to have them nearby and they've been so generous at letting her come over when she has the time off instead of hanging around home while Daddy works. She always has a great time with her friends.


Keara had dance tonight so Kailei and I took advantage of the time and to have a Mom/Daughter date and went with the Wyman's to the Winter Wonderlights. Basically there is a path around the Wildlife museum that is lit with holiday displays. It ends with a visit to Santa and the girls had no fear. We also watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on the extreme screen. Kailei thought the lights were "gorgeous" and both Lucy and Frances enjoyed talking with Santa.

It was a great way to kick off our holiday break.

I did discover that Santa might be in a bit of trouble this year as Kailei made an addition to her holiday list (Barbie and her Diamond Castle). Santa is done for the year so it could be an interesting Christmas morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

MWCC Christmas


It was a busy weekend for us because following the Davison Christmas was the MWCC Christmas celebration. I can't remember if this is our third or 4th year but we sure have a good time. We draw names for gifts for the girls and the moms. Everyone brings a little food. Add some holiday music and a few Christmas crafts and you have a pretty good party on your hands.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Davison Christmas


Since Zeb's parents were already up watching the girls they just continued their stay through the weekend and we had the Davison Christmas. It was held at my house this year and while we missed Curtis and Amy, we enjoyed the time together.

The girls were showered (spoiled) with gifts and they had a great time giving them this year as they got to do their own Christmas shopping at the Dollar Store.

I cooked a big dinner (yes, shock should set in) but it turned out OK if I do say so myself. I cooked a ham for the first time in my life and now my mother can go to her grave knowing I can cook both a ham AND a turkey.

A few of Zeb's aunts and uncles joined us for desert and we really just had a glorious time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

DC Trip

I recently attended a conference in Washington D.C.. As luck would have it (the school district was paying), Zeb accompanied me on the trip. We were fortunate that Grandpa and Grandma Phyllis offered to stay with the girls so we left them in great hands.

D.C. was a bit chilly at times and while I had to attend much of the conference during the day were were able to squeeze in a little fun at night.

Sunday night we went to Cirque du Solei's Kooza. It was in a tent which wasn't the preferred venue but we enjoyed it anyway. So many of those folks can do such amazing things. If you've never had a chance to see one their shows, you really should put it on your list of "to do's".

Monday night Zeb's brother Curtis drove up from Richmond to visit with us. He has been out in Richmond a couple of months so it was nice to have some time to catch up.

Tuesday night we ventured into DC. I was focused on being able to go to the Holocaust Museum. I've been there before when I escorted 8th graders but we always just saw Daniel's Story and never really saw the rest of the museum. Unfortunately their was a misprint in a publication we had and while we did get there, we had to race through as we only had a hour before they closed. Nevertheless I enjoyed what I could see and was moved beyond words.

Ironically this was one of the warmer evenings so we walked over to the Washington Monument, the World War II memorial and over to the White House where we enjoyed carolers in front of the National Christmas tree. We really had a great time and I'm glad we were able to be there.

The hotel we stayed out was very swanky so we couldn't help but enjoy ourselves.

The girls were well taken care of back in Colorado and we were grateful to Zeb's parents for watching them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving


Well, I've fallen a bit behind in my blogging but hope to catch up on the highlights.

Thanksgiving was spent with the Davison clan. Typically we drive down to Walsh each year and spend a couple of nights. While the drive can be long, we always enjoy ourselves once we are there. Mitch's family made it down as well and the cousins had a great time. As usual, Phyllis went out of her way with the food she prepared but we can't say that we didn't enjoy it.


We were especially grateful this year for continued health, and the fact that we both currently have a job during these tough economic times. And as always we are grateful for the love of our family and friends.

Monday, November 24, 2008

So Proud....


We are once again smiling from ear to ear. Keara received the "Principal's Excellence Award" today. Not to bad for someone who just started school there this year. She does not like to be in the limelight at all so we were doubly proud that she had the courage to go be up front and shake the Principal's hand.
Kailei was a little jealous so we took the opportunity to share that doing her best in school and being a good listener might one day earn her an award (we really emphasized being a good listener). We'll see how that pans out in years to come.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Keara's Report Card

Keara received her first report on Friday. Not surprisingly she did very well. She is often very hard on herself so I think it was good for her to see that she was doing just fine. She is an excellent reader and is academically on target with all her subjects. We are so very proud of her.

Report cards mean cupcake parties in our house. Zeb took her to King Soopers and she picked out some fancy cookies instead. She insisted we take them to Greeley with us on Saturday when we got our haircut and she shared her treats with Shari, our hair stylist, and the rest of the family.
Keep up the good work Keara!

One Way To Keep Yourself Quiet




Kailei For President

As we waited for the election results a few weeks ago, Kailei and I were having dinner together. I told Kailei that it was an important day because today we would know who the next President would be. I told her that one day she could grow up and be President and that she could do anything she wanted to do and be anything she wanted to be.

The next morning Keara was asking us who won the election. As Kailei heard us say that Obama had won, she burst into tears. Unsure of course why, I asked what was wrong. "But I wanted to be President!", she said with her feelings hurt. I cracked up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Scared


This evening I asked Kailei what she wanted for Christmas. She replied, "A cell phone. Everyone has them Mom." As I choked on my taco, I asked her what else was on her list. She replied, "A computer. A real one Mom, not just a play one."


I'm scared.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween






As seems to be becoming tradition, the Wenzel's and Grammy and Poppy came over for Halloween. We ate pizza and then went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The weather was amazingly warm so I volunteered to take the girls out while Zeb stayed home to hand out candy. (I'm really a fair weathered parent when it comes to trick-or-treating.)


It was a riot to see the kids run from door to door. Sydney surprised us all and was quite assertive in getting her candy. They were all too cute.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kailei's Tap Dance

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Another Zoo Day


The weather has been absolutely perfect this week. I'm so glad I had the time off to enjoy it. Today we decided to go to the zoo. I took Kailei out of school again and we went with Sam and Sheryl to the zoo. Again, it was very relaxing. I think I could have plopped myself down with a book somewhere and stayed there all day. Alas, we had to get home to meet Keara but we sure had a great time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Playdate




One of the things I love to do is just hang out with the MWCC mom's. It truly is relaxing and the older the kids get, the more enjoyable it is to watch them play together. So Tuesday, I hosted a playdate since I was off of work. I kept Kailei home from school and both the Wyman's and Lawrence's were able to come. We just chatted it up most of the day while the kids played and decorated some cookies. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Visit to the Country

Since Kailei doesn't officially have a vacation, I decided to keep her home from school a few days this week and spend some time with her. Today we decided to venture out to Kiowa and see Aunt Tracie and Sydney. Kailei appears to be Sydney's hero these days so she was excited to have us going out to her place. We enjoyed lunch over there and kids played well together. Later that afternoon Sydney returned home with us for a short time so my sister could get some work done. We went to the vet for Maya and then came home and played.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Carving Pumpkins



Sunday, Zeb and kids went up to his friend Bruce's house for pumpkin carving. Keara and Kailei both enjoy visiting with Elizabeth and Brandon and look forward to seeing them. They made some great pumpkins this year. Keara did a ghost (with no help from anyone) and Kailei (actually Zeb) did a Finding Nemo pumpkin. Mom got to spend the day at home reading a book and enjoying some peace and quite.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Keara's Last Day of Vacation


After two weeks off, Keara is wrapping up her vacation and I'm about to start mine. I took Friday off so I could spend it with her. I'm slowly losing my appeal as friends gain a stronger one. So on her last day she decided she wanted to have her friend Sam over to play. It was also the opening of High School Musical 3 (the movie) so I took the girls to see that. They both seemed to enjoy it and had a great deal of fun playing together later that afternoon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Beautiful Weekend

Well, we took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and the girls did a day at the zoo this weekend. Grammy, Keara, Kailei, Sydney and I drove into Denver and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the animals. It was fun to just have the girls together and they sure had a good time. I took advantage of the fall leaves and made them take pictures all over the place. It was just gorgeous and a great way to spend the day.


Friday, October 17, 2008

A Little Lotion


So after bath we routinely lube up Kailei with lotion because her skin gets so dry. She is used to the routine and generally complies. The other night however, it became a little too quiet around here. As we rounded the corner to Kailei's bedroom, we discovered her administering her own lotion. Only in actuality it was Desitin and she put it all over her face. Her surprised face was priceless and I wish we could have gotten that on film. We laughed out loud and naturally she got embarrassed so we couldn't even get any good pictures but it sure was funny so had to share.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keara's Hair - A Funny

So Keara asked me to fix her hair the other day. She had a very specific look she was going for. Apparently I did not meet her expectations because when I asked her what she thought, she responded by telling me with a sigh, "I'll just tell everyone my Mom did it". I wonder what else she tells them? Hmmm...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In Memory


Today we walked. We walked in memory of Zeb's mother Barbara who was lost to us way too soon. We walked in memory of Aunt Caroline who was just as much a Grandmother to the girls as Barbara would have been. And we walked in memory of all those lost to breast cancer in hopes that one day there will be a cure.


(And Keara says we walked in memory of Uncle Carl too!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch


I love the fall and there is nothing better than being outside enjoying the beautiful color of the leaves, enjoying a slight snip in the air and spending it with friends.

Today we went to the Pumpkin Festival with the MWCC gang and every one of the gang members were actually there (all of the girls that is). It can get hairy trying to manage everyone's schedules and every child's needs but somehow the stars aligned and we all made it to the fall festival today if even for a short time. It is so fun to have all the girls together and there is hardly every a dull moment.


Lydia and Lily made scarecrows while some girls decided to do the horse rides. Playing in the pumpkin patch was fun and then we had to eat the annual hotdog lunch provided by vendors as the park. Arts and crafts, panning for gold and face painting rounded out the day. The girls had a great time. Kailei's allergies kicked in but after some medication she seemed to do OK.


The weather started to take a turn late this afternoon so I'm glad we were able to enjoy the sun while it was here.


Thanks everyone for a great time!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Pooped Puppy




Monday, September 15, 2008

Too Cute!

Both Kailei and Keara have started religious education.  It will be a significant year for Keara as she will make her first communion in early May.  Keara attended last year but this is Kailei's first year. 

Fortunately both girls really enjoy it and lately we have enjoyed all the little songs Kailei comes home singing.  They end up sticking in your head but guess you could have worse.  


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Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Remember

I remember I was in the computer lab
I remember the word spreading like wildfire
I remember watching the TV in the media center
I remember a surreal feeling
I remember crying
I remember a sense of panic as I thought about family back east
I remember thinking of my new infant and my own family
I remember the pain and suffering I felt for every person 
I remember the revived patriotism in our country 
I remember walking the streets of Ground Zero 40 days after
I remember feeling sick
I remember courageous people
I remember healing with the passage of time
I remember and I won't ever forget

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Church Carnival


We went to the church carnival on Sunday with our friends the Wyman's. It had an international theme with games to play, food to eat, and plenty of entertainment. Really it was quite enjoyable and reasonably priced.

Keara won a cake at the cake walk and was very excited. She is lucky when it comes to cake walks because this is not just the first time she has won before.

Kailei enjoyed the jumping castles and slides.

We had a nice time and the kids came home pooped and ready for a nap.

Grammy and Poppy Are Home!

Yeah! Grammy and Poppy finally made it back home after five week vacation. We missed them very much and are glad to have them back.

MWCC Annual Picnic


Well, Saturday we had the annual MWCC picnic (not that we don't picnic together all the time) but this was the "official" one. We went to a nearby park in Parker. It was nice until dinner time when about a million mosquitoes showed up and began to eat everyone alive. Who knew?! Despite the cloud of mosquito repellent we still had a good time. The kids are just too darn cute and we love our MWCC family.

We Have Butterflies!



Well, the butterflies were born on Saturday. We were very excited to have them around even for a short time. My fear is that they won't live long once we set them free due to the cold but I also don't want them to lay any eggs either so they are flying free as I write this.


Kailei loved the whole process of growing butterflies. Perhaps we have a scientist on our hands?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Goodbye Uncle Curtis



Zeb's brother Curtis left town today. He is moving to Richmond, Virginia and while we will love the opportunity to visit him, we sure are going to miss him around here. Goodbye Uncle Curtis. We love you!

Growing Butterflies



Kailei received a great birthday gift this year that is allowing her to watch caterpillars turn into butterfly's. She is absolutely loving this. We watched the tiny caterpillars grow big and fat and now they are in their chrysalis stage. She talks about them all the time and we are enjoying her excitement. Anybody know what butterflies eat? :)

Labor Day

Still trying to squeeze in some relaxation, I took the kids to the pool this morning and met Britt and the girls there. It was probably the most crowded I've ever seen the pool but enjoyable nonetheless.


At the last minute, I decided to call the Wyman's and Lawrence's for a spur-of-the-moment bbq which was great. Nothing fancy but the food and company were great.


All in all, we had a FANTASTIC labor day weekend.


Now, back to reality. :)

Labor Day Get-a-way

Well, we managed to get a condo up in Copper Mountain for the weekend. It was free so we really could not pass it up. We headed up late Friday night so we could get an early start on Saturday and make the most of everything.

Turns out we were slow moving around so got a later start than we wanted but it was relaxing to just puz around the condo. When we finally made it out, we walked around the Copper Mountain complex. It is a nice ski resort area. There was a country music festival of sorts going on so we got to visit some booths and enjoy some music. We ate some of the vendor food found at the festival for lunch and found outselves back in the condo and seeking a nap. The girls sleep well while I read a book on the patio and Zeb went for a bike ride. Very relaxing for everyone.

Around 3:30pm Tracie, Gary and cousins came to join us for an evening. Naturally the kids loved to see other and it made it special to just be out of town for the weekend. Of course when they arrived, it started to rain which was a bummer but didn't damper any spirits. The rain was short lived so we found a place to have dinner and came back for a movie and popcorn night.

Sunday the kids woke up really early which meant we all woke up early. We headed off to breakfast and then enjoyed some time in the sun sitting by a creek. The kids had fun throwing rocks in the water and looking for fish. Not surprisingly, Kailei took a dive into the creek. Oh boy, was she upset and the water was very cold. Zeb was right there to catch her but she was not a happy camper. We made a quick trip back to the condo to change Kailei's clothes and then headed out to partake in some activities around Copper Mountain. The kids were dying to do this bungee jump trampoline thing so we bought them all tickets for that and they had a great time. We then went up the chair lift that took us to the top of one of the mountains where we walked around and enjoyed the view. Trying to beat any rain that might come in we headed down the mountain shortly after and headed to Frisco. It is a small town just east of Copper Mountain. We were hoping to rent a kayak but they were all taken so we had a picnic lunch, rode our bikes and walked down by the marina. As the rain came in once again, we took the kids swimming.

We decided to wrap up our stay in Copper Mountain late Sunday night as we wanted to try and beat traffic.

It was a great get-a-way and we really enjoyed our time with the Wenzel crew.

See here for pictures of the trip.

Copper Mtn web

Friday Kick-Off


We kicked off the weekend by squeezing in some pool time. The Wyman's, Lawrence's, and Suter-Trautman's joined us for some fun in the sun and some pizza for dinner. We love when the dad's come to the pool as they are great entertainment for the girls. No one really plays as well as daddy does and the mom's enjoy our time gabbing.


It was a great way to kick of the weekend. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yikes!



A little too close to home for our taste but an amazing sight to see nonetheless.

Life Happens


So already I'm getting behind. School has started, hours get longer while the days seem shorter, work load increases, kids start their activities and it is all a blur.


We did have a great weekend though. Our friend Sam came over and spent the night. Sam seems to think Keara is a "real princess" and Keara naturally eats it up. Sam spent quite a bit of time questioning Keara about what princesses do. "Do princesses eat cereal?" Do princesses wear pants?" It was too cute to listen to. Kailei can give or take the whole princess thing depending on her mood but this weekend she went with the flow.


We took the princesses Amazing Jakes and had a great time playing games and riding rides. Then typical of a slumber party, the girls stayed up later than they should have and the giggles were certainly contagious.


Bright and early the next morning a tea party was organized by the ladies of the house (note...I was still sleeping). Again, they had a great time and shortly after we went to the pool with our friends Frances and Lucy. Soon the pool will close so we are squeezing in what we can.


All in all it was a great sleepover for everyone involved. Once upon a time, I thought it would be more difficult but I've actually discovered that having a sleepover pretty relaxing overall.