Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Wonderful Family

Here's to 2012

Celebrated the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 tonight with sparkling apple cider and brownies.  Doesn't get better than that.  :)

Our favorite memories from 2012...
Kailei - the trip to China and seeing the panda bears
Keara - she like the whole year
Zeb - the trip to China and seeing Kailei's ayi's again
Chris - the trip to Breckenridge with Aunt Carla and riding the Alpine Slide

Our resolutions...
Kailei - exercise
Keara - eat healthy
Zeb - exercise more
Chris - spend more time with family and drink more water

Family Dinner

Our annual family dinner had to be postponed until after Christmas this year due to our busy schedules but we made it happen tonight.  Got together for dinner at Mt. Fugi.  Food was great but it is more memorable to be out to dinner with everyone.  Looking forward to next year already. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Escaped with friends Scott and Britt for an early New Year's celebration.  We headed to Maggiano's which is a great Italian restaurant.  Enjoyed great food and even better company.  I don't have any pictures of us but trust me when I say that we all looked great.  :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Archer Christmas

My favorite tradition...breakfast at Grammy's house.  I eat a hard roll and sausage so I'm not sure why it is my favorite thing but it is.  We all converged at Grammy's around 10am and enjoyed all her fixin's.  Once again she spoiled us all with gifts.  Each year she says it is a bad year, that she is cutting back etc but we find that really isn't the truth.  Enjoyed all of our gifts.  Some of the highlights include the Bronco horse head that Sydney gave Mark, the hand-carved Indian arrow that Mark gave Dad, the computer Dad got from us all, and all the gifts the kids so carefully picked out for everyone.  We missed having Kevin's family with us but we got to skype with them so that was fun. 

Christmas Morning

The girls didn't wake up too early which was good.  They were excited to see what was under the tree this year.  Kailei actually said she wished there were 8 days of Christmas (but her parents are glad there aren't).  The big gift this year for the girls was a kindle fire.  Apparently it was a good one because they have been on it non-stop ever since.  Both girls got clothes, books and American Girl items.  I'm pretty sure they were happy with their gifts.

The girls also gave us some neat gifts as well.  Zeb got some basketball cards and a flashlight from Kailei.  I got some notepaper that she made.  Keara was just as thoughtful.  We loved our gifts.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Phyllis joined us for Christmas Eve this year which was special.  As usual we went to church an hour early to get a seat.  Thank goodness for that because the priest started 15 minutes early.  Never had that happen before but I guess he thought he might as well start since the church was full. 

After dinner we headed over to our house for our traditional "party food".  Mitch and family joined us as well as my friend Judith.  It is always nice to have even more folks to celebrate with. 

We weren't organized enough to get any group shots this year.  Maybe next?


I love getting to celebrate the holidays with our friends as well as family.  Had the Wymans over for breakfast this morning.  Zeb made snowman and butterfly pancakes.  The kids exchanged gifts and were all thankful.  We are lucky to have this family to share in the good times and bad. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Santa Express

I've been waiting forever for this day.  Long ago I bought these tickets for The Santa Express which is a train ride through the Royal Gorge complete with elves, Santa, cookies, hot cocoa and lunch.  I was so excited and we didn't tell the girls anything.  They had to endure a two hour car ride down to Canyon City and it was not easy keeping things a secret.  Naturally the girls were thrilled when they found out what we were doing.  I was excited because I also booked upper deck where there was a view all around us.  We had lunch on the train and enjoyed a slow ride up the canyon.  It was beautiful but I think I would like the Santa Express even more at night.  Kids get to wear their pj's and the Christmas lights make for some great atmosphere as stories get read to us and dancing occurs in the isles.  The girls got to visit with Santa and it was all just plane fun. 

The Davison Christmas

Christmas was bittersweet as we had our first one without Zeb's dad.  Phyllis drove up and Mitch hosted.  As usual, Lieu cooked up way more food than needed but we managed to put a dent in it.  The kids had a blast and enjoyed being with each other.  John, Margaret and Paula joined us for dinner and then we watched a bunch of old slides Mitch found.  It was fun to see just how cute Zeb was when he was little. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Our Hairstylist

Shari is a part of the family.  I've been having her cut my hair since college (which is getting to be a long time ago).  Enjoy the girl's time each month on our trek to Greeley.  Thanks for making us beautiful Shari!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookie Day

Christmas came way too soon this year and with little time for preparations.  Quite honestly, cookie day was in jeopardy but without cookie day, there are no cookies at the Archer's on Christmas day so it had to get done.  Lynn, my partner in crime, agreed to come over today after a long day at work for the both of us.  In hindsight this was not my best idea.  We had lots of baking mishaps.  I started by trying to make a cornflake wreath and following a recipe off the internet.  The amount of butter in the recipe pretty much make it marshmallow soup so I just had to toss it.  I then asked Lynn to make the snickerdoodle cookies and because it was Grandma's recipe and Keara didn't exactly write down all the instructions, Lynn just mixed everything together at once which resulted in a pile of clumpy, unusable dough that had to get thrown out.  Then I wanted to make coconut haystacks and I quick mixed up a batch of chocolate and threw it on the coconut.  It wasn't until the middle of the night when I realized that I forgot to cook the coconut. Lynn said, "It was a cookie day for the books."  We laughed lots and managed to make a couple of usable treats for Christmas day.  Our helpers were there for the sugar cookies but then bailed on us.  We still look forward to the day when they make all the cookies and we just watch.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kailei's Piano Recital

After another year of piano, Kailei participated in a holiday recital.  Students picked their favorite Christmas songs to play.  Kailei chose Joy to the World and Little Drummer Boy.  We heard it a million times prior to this evening but it is always special on recital night.  Kailei was nervous but I told her that it didn't matter if she goofed up, that she just needed to do her best, and that we would still love her no matter what.  I loved when she responded with a simple, "Thanks Mom."  Poppy and Grammy joined us and were of course very proud grandparents. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winter Wonderland

So Keara has been working for a quite a while on a geometry project in school.  Basically students had to use their geometry skills to build something out of cardboard.  Keara chose to build a veterinary clinic.  I had heard about it occasionally but today we got invited to the school to view the products.  I was pleasantly surprised to be entertained by a choreographed light show and a visit through the winter wonderland that the students created.  It was amazing!  I love these kinds of projects and Keara did a GREAT job with her building. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Nutcracker

Lucy and Frances were in The Nutcracker this Christmas so of course we had to get tickets.  We went last year and enjoyed the show at our local theatre.  This year would be even more fun knowing a few cast members.  The girls did great as gingersnaps.  We just might see Kailei involved with the show next year.  Who knows?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

JCCC Party

Ended the year with a little party in Kailei's Chinese class.  She is fortunate to still have her friend Catie in class with her.  She has a great teacher this year and they did a little skit for us.  Wish I knew more Chinese. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Keara's Choir Concert

After practicing before school twice a week, Keara had her choir concert.  She did awesome!  We are so proud of her.  Grammy and Poppy enjoyed her performance as well.  We were packed in like sardines but it was worth it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kailei's Ballet Class

I tried desperately to get her into hip hop but no luck.  She is in ballet and loving it.  We got to sit in on the class today and watch the kids in action.  Fun!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

MWCC Holiday Party

It was amazing!  The entire Mom's with Children from China group made the holiday party this year.  It was soooo nice to everyone together.  The kids are getting so big.  The weather was great so the kids got to be outside for a while and then we had our traditional potluck dinner. 

I put together a highlight video again so enjoy if you have the access.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Christmas Carol

The school theater department put on "A Christmas Carol" tonight.  I generally take the girls to the shows at school and they always love going.  I was afraid Kailei might get scared but she was fine for the most part.  Of course at one point she grabbed my arm and when I looked at her she said, "I'm not scared, I'm just snuggling!"  Only she knows the truth.  :) 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Shortly after Thanksgiving, we went down for the count.  I got sick on Sunday with the flu.  I NEVER get sick so you know it was bad.  Zeb got even sicker and then Keara got sick.  So not fun!  When both parents are out of commission it makes things hard.  Kailei just didn't understand and kept saying that all she wanted was a "friend to play with."  We have all had different versions of the illness so it has been weird.  Kailei was the last to get sick but she has more of a cough and congestion thing going on.  Anyway, I stayed home for two work days and I'm sooo behind.  This holiday is creeping up fast.  Keep your fingers crossed we don't get sick again. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


So I was dancing with Kailei in the kitchen and out came the following...
"If you were in 6th grade, you'd never be getting to high school with those moves!"


At Kailei's Halloween party she did not want me to go so she said..."But wait Mom, I want to remember this moment forever."


"There was a bowl of candy on the porch but no note so I just took two. "


Keara told Kailei she was Irish and Swedish. So Kailei told Keara she was Chinese and "Sweet-ish."

"Mom, do you ever just get the urge to rock-n-roll?"


On the night of the election, we were going around the table stating who we were voting for.  When it came to Kailei, she stated Romney.  I asked her what was her reasoning for voting for him and she said, "Well, he just kept calling the house a lot."   

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Castlewood Canyon

The temperatures this week have been amazing.  Hard to believe we have been in the 60's and it is November.  Had to take advantage of it again and we headed down to Castlewood Canyon with the Wyman's for a hike today.  Loved it!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beauty Lou and the Country Beast

The girls tried out for another Missoula Children's Show this week and they both made it!  They were thrilled and even more excited to be playing actually people instead of animals.  It makes for a crazy week with the rehearsals but it is always worth it.  Today the girls performed two shows and they did a great job.  It was even more exciting today because their cousins from Texas got to come.  Grammy, Aunt Jess, and Aunt Lynn came too.  They will be signing autographs at Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tea Time

Escaped for a short while and had some tea/coffee with my mwcc group.  So very thankful for these women in my life. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pretty as a Picture

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kailei's New Look

Kailei has been having a little difficulty seeing lately so we took her to the eye doctor and sure enough she needs glasses.  She is very happy now that the world is "crystal clear."  And of course she looks cute as a button! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Keara's Foot

Poor Keara.  She has bad luck with bones but was a trooper.  She apparently hurt it on Monday but really didn't complain enough about it until today when Zeb mentioned her riding lesson.  The thought was just too much for her and she just lost it so off to the doctor she went.  Found out she has a fracture in the growth plate of her left foot.  She will be a foot boot for the next few weeks.  She was a little disappointed it wasn't a walking boot so Dad ironed on a little bling for her. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Kailei's Artwork

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our New Car

It doesn't happen too often so you have to celebrate when you can. We turned in our old Subaru and came home with a new Honda CRV. So exciting!

Friday, November 2, 2012


One tree can start a forest,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One word can frame the goal,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits, choice can change your life.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Had a nice Halloween.  I was off work so got to go to the girls Costume Parade at school which is always fun.  I just love seeing all the costumes.  I then split my time between Keara and Kailei's class parties.  I really liked the crafts that were being done in Kailei's class and Keara's class was having pumpkin shaped pancakes and decorating them.  Not a bad way to start the day.

The rest of the Archer crew joined us late in the afternoon for pizza and trick-or-treating.  Nic's costume was hilarious and he really got into playing the hippy part.  Keara was Athena, Kailei was a princess and Syd was a racoon.  As usual they got a ton of candy.  We could hardly keep track of Kailei as she ran from house to house.  It was also a beautiful evening which made it even better. 

I'm sure Mom and Dad thought their years of taking kids trick-or-treating was over but they are troopers and join in the fun.  We left Mark to answer the door.  Pretty scary, huh?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


As I was prodding my daughter to get to bed, she responded with "Can't you just give a woman a moment?!"
"I am _so_ going to rock school this year!"
"I switch up my earrings every morning.  Small, then big, then beautiful." 
Me: "Can you be a little neater?"
Kailei: "Mom, you know that's not one of my subjects."

We were trying to figure out what an inscription read on a watch we found. It was tiny and we were having a hard time. Kailei offered her assistance and said, "Let me try. I have small eyes."
"How are babies made if they aren't adopted from China?"  
"and when I eat the brownie it goes into my vault of wonderfulness." 
"I think I just burped up tofu." 

MWCC and YMCA...a great combo

While it wasn't officially planned, the majority of the MWCC group ended up in Estes park for the weekend to enjoy their fall festival. It was a struggle for me to prepare for this but we managed to get up there late Friday night so we could at least start the morning with everyone. It was a busy day. Cookie decorating, crafts, and pumpkin carving took up the morning followed by some play time and some roller skating in the afternoon. The evening was spent square dancing which was loads of fun. I was hoping for better weather but such is life in Colorado. It was in the 70's last weekend and down to the 40's this weekend. Might not have been so bad but the wind was wicked up there. The girls did not want to leave today but we assured them it would not be too long until we see each other again. So nice to have these times together.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Break

This week was fall break for the girls. I was hoping to take a day off but having missed a week earlier, I decided I better be there. Both of the girls enjoyed a day at school with me. Kailei admitted she really comes for the candy however. my co-worker Jeannie has won them over so I know they enjoy spending time with her. She is much cooler than mom.

Keara was able to see her friend Sam so she enjoyed that time. We all went to see Hotel Transylvania and that was just pretty darn cute. Could have been better, could have been worse. My break comes in another week and I am currently living for it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Decided to go for pizza tonight and since it was so nice we also decided to ride our bicycles.  Zeb however has a broken bike that needs fixed.  Rather than walk beside us, he hopped on Kailei's old bike and rode it.  We were all cracking up.  I just had to capture the moment. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Botanic Gardens

We took advantage of the absolutely beautiful weather and headed down to the Denver Botanic Gardens this weekend. it was a great escape and nice to have some time with the family. I constantly forget how much I enjoy it there. Keara and I talked about how much we would love to come down there with a book and spend the day. we will have to make that happen sometime. we topped off our day eating greasy burgers and onion rings at Gunther Toody's. it was delicious.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The last few weeks have been a roller coaster. On September 28th Merle was taken to the hospital in Kansas with chest pains. he had been in and out recently so we didn't think too much of it. On the morning of the 29th they were talking about transferring him down to Texas so he could be with his oncologist. By noon, Zeb got a call that things had taken a turn for the worst and we needed to go. I was up in Greeley when Zeb called to tell me the news. We quickly wrapped up our hair appointments and headed to Denver while Zeb began packing. As soon as we got there we headed to Kansas. It was a five hour drive and the time seemed to crawl. Zeb continually received updates on Merle's status and it wasn't looking good. We arrived around early evening and felt blessed that he knew we had arrived and were there. As is typical Merle was trying to crack jokes but admitted he was not feeling well. He didn't look well and was in and out of consciousness due to the medicine they had him on. It was extremely hard for the girls to see their Grandpa this way. My sweet Keara wears her heart on her sleeve and cried until there were no tears. Kailei internalizes her thoughts and pain and remained stoic for a while. Around midnight I decided to take the girls to the hotel for some sleep and we got a call around 2pm that he had passed. We were heartbroken. It seemed surreal at times. We were however grateful to be there those last few hours. Zeb and his brothers were there with him, as was Phyllis, Sue and Carla who had made the drive. Alva and John, Merle's brothers, we're also there and it was helpful to be surrounded by family. The next week was spent taking care of funeral arrangements, crying, thanking all those that stopped by with condolences, food and flowers.

Merle's funeral was a wonderful tribute to a great man. it was sad but inspiring to see how many lives were touched by this man. he lived his life for the lord and we take heart in knowing he is there with him now.

Please pray for those that survive him that their hearts heal quickly. we find ourselves worrying about Phyllis. it is not right to have to live though something like this twice but we hope she knows how much she is loved and we know the people in Walsh will take good care of her.