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!