Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elf for the Day

As all elementary school teachers know, the Christmas season brings more than just Christmas trees, shopping, caroling, and family get togethers. For teachers, Christmas means homemade Christmas ornaments, Christmas picture books, and of course the class party. In my 11 years of teaching experience, I have never quite had a Christmas class party quite like the one I had today.
It all started last week with the annual Nat Williams PTA Elf Contest. Students are encouraged to bring money and donate it towards the teacher of their choice. The teacher that has the most money donated into their "account" has to guessed elf costume. A hideous, ridiculously large, green and yellow elf costume.
Up until this year, I have never had more than $2.00 donated to my name. Therefore, I was not one bit concerned when it came time for the Elf Contest this year. I didn't pay any attention to it until one of my students brought $12.80 to my desk on the first day of the contest. Wow, I thought to myself...that's kind of a lot of money to donate on the first day. For the slightest moment the dreadful picture of ME in that hideous, ridiculously large, green and yellow elf costume popped into my head. No way....Not gonna happen. The next comes $15 more dollars. That's when I started to sweat and feel a bit nauseous. Fortunately, by the end of the week I was only fifty cents ahead of one of the male teachers in our school. My fear subsided because we all know students love to see men have to wear tights. I knew the students would show up on Monday, the last day of the contest, with all their pennies, nickels, and dimes ready to give it all to the other teacher.
I was half right. They definitely did show up with all their pennies, nickels, and dimes.....$26.00 worth just from my class.....and they put it ALL on my name. By the end of the day on Monday, I was ahead by $25.00 and the announcement was made. My students cheered like crazy, and I reluctantly picked up MY hideous, ridiculously large, green and yellow elf costume and took it home.
As you can imagine, Presley was beside herself excited. She was so proud that her momma was going to have to dress up like an elf at school. However, Jim may have been even more excited than her. In fact, the only one who was NOT excited was the elf herself. I don't mean to be a Scrooge, but come on.....Nothing says cute like a PREGNANT ELF!!! Luckily, I had Tuesday to "get used to the idea".....(put my big elf panties on and deal with it.) I knew how excited my students were and that there was no backing out of it, so this morning I woke up with a smile on my face (well, almost), put on my elf suit, and headed to school....BUT not before making each one of my students a matching elf hat to wear, too. :)
As the bell rang, I braced myself for the heckling of 430 or so students that was sure to come, and of course, did come. My students were good sports and put on their elf hats so I wouldn't feel "alone." Honestly, I think they loved every minute of it. Besides the fact that I was sweating like crazy under the ridiculously large, green and yellow costume...oh, yes, and it was hideous....I would say that I survived being an elf for a day. I can't even believe that I am posting these pictures, but if this isn't "blogworthy" what is?? Besides, all of you would not believe just how hideous, etc, etc, it really was unless you see it for yourself. Just remember the costume puts on at least 20 pounds....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Post Long Overdue

This actually feels nice. Sitting down at my computer, in a quiet lamp-lit house. Both kids are asleep and the hubby is out studying God's word with his buddies. It does feel a bit foreign since I have not updated my blog in over two months...actually it will be three months next week since my last post. It's not that I haven't had anything blogworthy to post about...No, that is definitely NOT the case. So many blogworthy things have been happening that I haven't had time to post them! Everytime I had a moment, I realized that I was so behind on my blogging that I didn't even know where to start, so I just didn't.
Well, that is changing today. I am finally feeling like I can breathe again. We have been out of town almost every single weekend for the last six or seven weeks. When we have been home on the weekend, we have had some kind of all weekend commitment. While we have loved every opportunity that God has blessed us with this fall, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the next few weekends of being in Lubbock. I am so looking forward to everything about the holidays, too....beginning with Thanksgiving next week. I have so much to be thankful for. So, for my own sanity, please endure this semi-quick list of things that have been going on in the Archer World. Also, know that it is killing me not to post a picture with each item....but my goal is to finish this blog tonight. Besides, the last picture is worth a thousand words!

1. Jim and I rocked our faces off at the U2 concert in Dallas. It was amazing, and we had so much fun being together on a road trip. We needed it because that marked the beginning of our CRAZY fall semester!

2. Jim and I got to participate in a marriage retreat at a ranch in Boerne. It was super relaxing and was amazing to just get to breathe in God's awesome creation and to celebrate our marriage.
3. The whole family traveled to Carlsbad for a Shepherd Blind reunion. It was so much fun getting to hang out with the band. We got to spend time with Nathan and Tessa and sweet Sarah.

4. I have a brand new absolutely adorable nephew. Crew Braden Colley was born on October 19th.

5. I got to spend all weekend with 7 freshman girls for the Bacon Heights D-Now. I felt so honored to get to teach them and relieved that they didn't think I was too old or uncool.

6. Grayson let one of his buddies at daycare shove a rock in his nose. After an hour of trying to decide if he really did have a rock up his nose (which included a flashlight and lots of tissues), and after calling the pediatrician, he did indeed blow out a dime-sized rock from his right nostril. I was so proud of myself that I managed to get it out without a trip to the ER. Is it weird that I kept the rock...? Perhaps.

7. Presley is like a reading machine. It thrills my soul to see her nose buried in a book. She even asks if she can go to bed early to read. I pray that this love for reading will only grow!

8. School has been eating my lunch this semester. I have a super sweet class, but I have struggled to keep my head above water. I have been bringing so much stuff home to work on and only getting a fraction of it done. However, last week, I finally begin to feel like things are on track. Yes, its taken 12 weeks or so, but I am finally feeling caught up. Yeah!

9. Presley and Grayson had a great Halloween. Presley was Dorothy and Grayson was Batman. Due to the fact that a lot of our family was at the Tech game that day, we missed some of our favorite Trick-or-treating stops. So, my favorite Halloween moment was when we took the kids trick-or-treating on November 8th. We even went to our new next door neighbor's house (no worries...they asked us to). Presley hid her face as we walked down the sidewalk...she was totally mortified that her friends might see her dressed as Dorothy AFTER Halloween. She did decide that the treats were worth it. It was great!

10. The biggest thing that has been going on with the Archer's lately is actually only two inches long. Introducing Archer Baby #3.....Due June 2, 2010!
We are absolutely thrilled about this new addition! I am 12 weeks along and feeling great! Presley is so excited she can hardly stand it, and Grayson affectionately calls our new baby "Sweetie." We are incredibly blessed and I will continue to update you on our adventures in a more timely manner! If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Sweetest Things

Is there anything sweeter than........
A snaggle-toothed little girl?
A little boy who takes self-portraits of himself while Mommy isn't looking?
A little girl who is so excited about first grade she can hardly stand it? A big sister and a little brother who love each other? (Well, most of the time anyway) A little boy who loves chocolate ice cream?
A Daddy who rides the kiddie roller coasters with his kids even though they make him sick?

Life is so good. I can't believe I have a first grader. Presley is loving school and is already back into her routine of getting up with her alarm clock and getting ready by herself. I have seen a dramatic improvement in Grayson's mood and behavior since getting back into routine as well. He is very excited about starting pre-school at Calvary on Tuesday. Jim's classes start back Monday and I have survived the first half of the official first week of school. It is going great so far. I thank God for all the sweet things in life that he lets me enjoy everyday.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


From Lubbock to Brownwood and back.....484 miles
From Lubbock to Galveston and back........1246 miles
From Lubbock to Branson, MO and back...1416 miles
From Lubbock to Dallas and back................692 miles
An hour of jumping on the trampoline in our backyard with Jim and the kids, with the moon and the stars overheard, surrounded by the contagious giggles of Presley and Grayson......................
No doubt about it we have had the most amazing summer of our lives. We have loaded the car and hit the road for a grand total of 3,838 miles just on the highways of America. That doesn't even count Jim's trip to Morrocco or the miles of ocean Jim and I traveled on our way to Cozumel and Progreso. I thank God for his safe keeping and protection over the last couple months. Jim and I have dreamed of the day that he would be able to be home in the summers with me and the kids. It finally came true. God has truly blessed this time we have had together. Not only have we had the opportunity to travel together, Jim has been able to use the talents God has given him to develop his counseling practice, write songs given to him by God, and focus on his position as worship leader at The Heights. God has given me those special moments of waking up almost every morning to Grayson's little face in mine whispering, "Mommy, help me up so I can snuggle with you." He has allowed me to cheer Presley on at the swimming pool as she dives off the diving board. God has reminded me of how amazing my husband is and how incredibly blessed I am to have a husband who loves me and our kids only second to his heavenly father.
We have definitely experienced adventure this summer and made so many incredible memories. I am grateful for all of the experiences we had this summer on the road. However, as we pulled into the driveway last Saturday night, returning from our last road trip for a while, I breathed a sigh of relief to just to be home. Actually, I have learned that "home" is a relative term. I have experienced "home" in many different places this summer. As long as I am with my family, I am home. As long as I am in the presence of God, I am home.
As I begin my last full week of summer, I am tempted to be filled with dread and disappointment as I begin preparing for the school year. However, God is quick to remind me that His blessings, His protection, His grace and His mercy, and HIS JOY are not seasonal. He intends for me to know this joy year-round. I am reminded of how blessed I am to have a job that I love. I am so blessed to have a healthy six year old daughter that gets to come with me to my job every day so that I can be involved and watch her grow and learn so much. I am so blessed to have a healthy three year old son whose face will light up when I pick him up after school, and I will rejoice as I hear him talk about all the fun he had with his friends. So blessed am I to be able to come home every night to a faithful, God-Chasing husband who delights in me. I pray that through every season of this upcoming school year that I would know the same joy that God has shown me over the last few months....even on those extra long, extra frustrating days!
I'm sure the summer of 2009 will go down in the Archer history books as one incredible, memorable summer! However, it is not over yet....So, I'm off to jump on the trampoline with my kiddos!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On the Road Again....

We just got back from another Archer road trip! For my birthday, Jim bought me tickets to the American Idol Live concert in Dallas. Before this year, we had never really watched American Idol. We are hooked on it now! The concert was super fun, and the weekend as a whole was incredible! The best part was that we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. Jim's Aunt Lana has "connections" and was able to get us a great deal. If you haven't heard of The Great Wolf Lodge before (I hadn't), it has a huge indoor waterpark complete with a great kiddie area, a wave pool, lazy river, and several large slides. The kids had a blast and so did we. I was so proud of Presley. She braved almost all the large slides and would have done all of them if she was just a few inches taller! I really think Jim and I screamed more than she did. Grayson still doesn't LOVE to get his face wet, but he enjoyed swimming in the kiddie area and shooting the water guns. The best part for all of us was getting to spend time with Aunt Lana. She spoiled the kids rotten, but I guess that is what Aunt's are for, right? Anyway, here are a few pictures of our weekend....We were so busy in the water that I didn't get as many pictures of the kids swimming as I would have liked to!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

K-Kauai 2009

Surfs Up! We returned home late Sunday night from an incredible, fun-filled seven days at Kanakuk Family Kamp in Branson, MO. This was our second time to attend K-Kauai, and I have to say that this year was even better than last year! My whole family has spent every day since we got home from camp last year waiting for it to get here this year....Really, it is that wonderful! It was such a blessing for our family to get to spend an entire week focusing on one another. It was also amazing to get to enoy it with 8 other families from Lubbock. Before I tell you any more about our week, let me just do a little free advertising for K-Kauai. I seriously couldn't dream up a more well-balanced, relaxing vacation for the whole family. The week allows time for you to spend as an entire family, time to just be with your spouse while your kids are being loved on like crazy, time to relax, and time to do fun activities, all while being in a Christian environment with a focus of loving God and loving others. How can you beat that?
We started the trip out by loading a charter bus full of 16 adults and 22 children. Sounds like a nightmare, right? I have to be honest, I was totally dreading it. However, it was great! The kids acted perfectly and the trip there went fairly quickly. We did stop overnight in Tulsa, which was helpful. I felt like a little kid as we pulled up to the campus in Branson. I was so glad to be back! My all time favorite moment of the trip happened within the first 15 minutes on campus. We were walking to our room, and I heard someone call out Presley's name. We all turned, and there was Nick, Presley's teacher from last year. He remembered her from a whole year ago, and of course, she remembered him and was so excited to see him that she ran up and gave him a huge hug. About 10 minutes later, we ran into two other staff members, Jennifer and Mallory, who had also returned from last year and were so excited to see Presley and Grayson. Jennifer still had a picture on her digital camera of her and Grayson from last summer! Out of all the fun things to do and the beautiful accomodations, my favorite thing about Family Kamp is the staff. I loved getting to see some of them from last year and getting to know the new staff. Most importantly, I loved the way they took care of my kiddos and made them feel so special and important. They truly ministered to my family and my kids in so many ways.
Some of the fun things we did at camp were going bluff jumping and intertubing at the lake, canoeing down Taneycomo Lake, playing putt-putt (the course was right outside the door of our cabana), swimming at the gorgeous pool, going down the many water slides, hanging out in the lazy river at the water park, relaxing in the hammocks with a good book (okay, so I was the only one in my family who actually did that, but it might have been my favorite part), worshipping together, dressing up for the theme nights each night, and many, many other things. It really was a great, great week. It was hard to choose which pictures to post, but these are some of my favorites. I hope we will be able to return to K-Kauai next year. You should check it out, too!

Presley and Nick in 2008
Presley and Nick 2009 (These pics are exactly a year apart....weird)
Grayson and Mallory in 2008
Grayson and Mallory 2009
Going on a boat ride to the bluffs
Presley and Jud on the tube
Pirate Night
Presley and Me at Sunset Cove
Grayson getting some sun
Date Night
Canoeing past Branson Landing during the water show!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wedded Bliss

Last week, Jim Bob and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by taking a 5 day cruise to Mexico. We left the babies with the best grandparents in the world and hit the road to Galveston. We had the time of our life! It really was the best vacation we have ever been on together. It was so nice to be able to focus on one another, relax together, laugh hysterically, make new friends, and just remember how important our marriage is and how much we love each other. It felt like we were on our honeymoon. I missed the kids terribly, but when I called to check on them, they were having so much fun that they did not even want to stop what they were doing long enough to talk to us! As hard as it was to leave them for several days, I sometimes think the best gift we can give our children is to make our marriage a priority. I feel like we came back refreshed and restored as spouses and parents. Plus, it was all worth it to see Presley and Grayson standing on the front porch jumping up and down when they saw our car driving down the road. They couldn't wait to tell us all about the adventures they had while we were gone, and we couldn't wait to show them the pictures of our cruise! They were mesmerized by the picture of me with snorkeling goggles on! Here are my top 10 favorite moments of our cruise...not in any particular order.
10. Catching up with each other on the road trip to Galveston.
9. Watching fireworks on the Kemah Boardwalk the night before we left.
8. Waking up every morning to a beautiful (very bright) sunrise over the ocean.
7. The omelet station every morning, the towel creatures in the evening, and the mints on our turned down bed every night.
6. Our waiter, Fernando, doing magic tricks for us each night at dinner and singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane" on the last night of our cruise.
5. Taking hip-hop dance lessons on the Lido Deck. (However, Jim got sunscreen in his eye and left me to do the "performance" with 20 strangers up on a stage. I later found him taking a nap in our room.)
4. The wait staff singing Happy Birthday to Jim Bob and bringing him a cake. Even better, they knew we were celebrating our anniversary, so a large group of international waiters sang "Happy Versry to you....kissy, kissy."
3. Laying in the hammock for hours and getting a massage on the resort beach in Progreso.
2. Getting to meet and sit with two great couples at dinner every night.
1. Standing at the very back of the boat and watching the sunset while holding my honey's hand.
Yes, I definitely find myself in wedded bliss even after 10 years. It just keeps getting better!

We head out for another adventure on Sunday. This time we're taking the whole family. Actually, we are taking about nine whole families with us...on a bus, no less! We are headed to Family Camp in Branson, MO! I can't wait! Updates and pictures to come!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A FAUX Slumber Party

Last Friday, my baby girl turned 6 years old! I don't know why, but I feel incredibly older myself just knowing I have a six year old! Presley has always dreamed of the day that I would allow her to have a slumber party. I'm not even sure how she knows what a slumber party is, but I do know that it will be many years before we have REAL one. That doesn't mean, however, that we couldn't have a FAUX Slumber Party. So began the planning....

We made some cute invitations.... We were really surprised that every girl we invited was able to come except for one. Presley is so blessed to have so many good friends. It was a fun friends, church friends, and lifelong friends all together! The girls all showed up in their favorite pajamas and, of course, had their favorite stuffed animal or doll. As the excited little girls arrived, they jumped on the trampoline. Once everyone was there, we got busy decorating pillow cases. I am so glad I had my mom there to help me with this activity! This didn't go exactly as planned because the pillow cases were ginormous. You really do get your money's worth at Dollar Tree, I guess! Anyway, the girls all decorated the cases together and everyone wrote their name on each one of them. Let's just say they Next we ordered pizza and had a feast. We also played some games. We put all the stuffed animals or dolls in the center of the room, and then we blindfolded each girl one at a time. They had to find which stuffed animal belonged to them. They were so cute! I love the sound of little girls giggling! Of course, our Fat Friday (see previous post) had to be combined with Presley's birthday party, so we had chocolate cake and ice cream, and then Presley opened presents. We put a movie on, but the girls were too excited to really watch it, but they did get still enough for me and mom to paint their fingernails and to snap a few pictures! The three hour party ended with a wild and crazy dance party. Thank goodness for Jim Bob...he kept the girls entertained. As you can see, I had to provide some entertainment myself with my awesome dance moves....Thank goodness there is no video!

At the end of the party (9:00), we sent the girls home ready for bed (well, maybe a little too wired to go to bed, actually) with a goody bag filled with a package of popcorn, a toothbrush, and some fingernail polish, along with one of the pillowcases they decorated. I think everyone had a great time....I know Presley had a blast!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 12th--My Luckiest Day

On June 12, 1999 my greatest dream came true. I married the man of my dreams. Ever since I was old enough to think about getting married one day, I had this picture in my head of the "perfect husband." He would have a wonderful sense of humor, he would love to laugh and have fun, he would be handsome, of course, and he would be incredibly romantic. This "perfect man" would rescue me from spiders and tornadoes and he would hold my hand when we were driving in the car. I imagined that this man would love music and would maybe even sing to me sometimes. I pictured a man who loved and respected his family and would be an excellent father. I knew that this "perfect husband" would love the Lord with all his heart and that he would encourage me to grow in God's Word.
As I got older, I began to doubt that this image I had in my head could possibly exist. Even if he did exist, I certainly didn't deserve him. In September of 1997, Jim Bob Archer came into the Love Shop where I worked and asked me on a date. I remember rushing home that very night and calling my mom to tell her to pray, pray, pray. I already knew that this guy was different and I'm pretty sure I told my mom he was "perfect." We were married on June 12, 1999 at 7:00 pm at Second Baptist Church in Levelland. Ten years later, I am still overwhelmed by God's love for me....He gave me Jim Bob.

As if our wedding wasn't enough to make June 12th my favorite day of the year, four years later Jim and I were blessed with our first child. Presley Laine Archer was born at 6:15 pm on June 12, 2003, just 45 minutes shy of the exact time Jim and I were married! She weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and I literally felt my heart expand the minute I laid eyes on her. I remember every single detail of that incredible day, and as I think back, a slideshow of memories plays through my mind. Is she really already six years old? Did she really just finish her first year of school? Is that sweet baby girl that I used to dress in ruffles and bows really the same little girl that waltzes through my house picking out her own clothes, getting her own snack, and becoming so independent? Presley is one incredible little girl, if I do say so myself. She is compassionate and is learning that the most important things in life are to "Love God, Love Others." She has such a joy that shines out of those green eyes. I love to watch her dance around the room or hear her sing at the top of her lungs in her bedroom. Her infectious smile draws people to her, and she makes friends so easily. It has been amazing watching her draw closer to God. She has always had such a spiritually mature outlook on life for her age. I learn things from this child every single day. She makes me a better person. I am so blessed to be her mother. Again, what a perfect picture of God's love for me....He gave me my children. June 12, 2003Presley's 1st Birthday/Our 5th AnniversaryTwo Years OldThree Years Old4th Birthday5 Years OldMy Birthday Girl

June 12th....What a glorious day! Happy 10th Anniversary, Jim Bob! Happy 6th Birthday, Sweet Pea!