Saturday, December 27, 2008


Last year we really enjoyed walking around Naples and looking at all of the Christmas lights so we knew we wanted to do it again this year. We took our friends Pam and Mike with us because they had never been before. We all had a nice night. There were people out caroling and handing out hot chocolate. It was overall a really neat experience.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Well Christmas is officially here and I can't believe it. I tried to send Christmas cards to everyone whose address I had, but if you didn't get one of our awesome cards, take a look at what we sent out this year...Plus a couple of other pictures :)
We had so much fun putting this together. Kevin's mother did my hair and make-up and took the photos for us. Thanks Linda for your help. They turned out great!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Golf Cart Parade

Kevin's parents live in a senior community along a golf course. Every year the residents of this community invite their children and grandchildren to come and watch or participate in the golf cart parade. This was our first year to join in the fun. There were so many of us that we entered 4 carts in the parade. Everyone did such a good job of decorating their carts and there was a warm, welcoming feeling as we drove through the streets. Everyone greeted us with a "Merry Christmas" and looked so happy to see us. It was fun passing out candy canes to the children and seeing the excitement on their faces. Overall it was a really nice experience. I didn't get many pictures of the actual parade, but here are some pictures I took that night.
Here is the whole family.

Clint, Kirsten and Kerry
Kevin and MeWendi and JustinParker

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas traditions

I think most families have some sort of holiday tradition. I have heard of several different ones ranging from Christmas caroling together, acting out the nativity, and I know of a couple of families that get new PJs every Christmas Eve.

Growing up my family had a couple of little traditions. One was cooking hot dogs in our fire place on Christmas eve. This apparently transpired because one year (before I was born) there was a power outage and my family improvised a holiday meal. After that they decided to do it every year. I remember LOVING this growing up and it wasn't because I loved hot dogs, it was the sense of family bonding I felt. I have never heard of any other family doing this and so I felt like it was something that only our family could understand.

My mom and I also started making homemade sugar cookies together. It was fun cutting out the shapes and putting the sprinkles on together and of course I am a huge fan of the finished product. I remember one year I was away from my family on Christmas. Instead I went home with a good friend of mine and spent Christmas with her family. I had mentioned to her in passing that I missed my mom and was disappointed that I wouldn't be making cookies that year. My sweet friend surprised me by buying me some cookie cutters and offering to stand in as my mom that year. It was such a thoughtful gesture and definitely made me feel like I was at home.

Now that my family is spread out and we have started families of our own we don't get to spend every holiday together. Which means no more hot dogs or sugar cookies, but my mom has started a new tradition that I really enjoy. She makes us all homemade ornaments. I look forward to getting these every year. I would say her ornaments make of 95% of the decorations on our tree. I just wanted to show you the ones that kevin and I got in the mail this year.

Kevin's family has a tradition of having their own stocking with their name sewn on. I was very excited to join in and this year I received my very own stocking. I think it is so cute so I wanted to share what it looks like. I have never seen a stocking with little stockings on it. Also, since we don't have a fireplace, Kevin's mother gave us these cute little stocking holders that we placed on our book shelf.

I just wanted to say thank you to our moms for giving us such thoughtful gifts!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Something to be thankful for

On Wednesday, November 26th Kevin and I prepared for the worst. We made sure to pack lightly, fitting everything in our carry on baggage and we arrived a little over an hour early to make sure we could make it to our gate on time. Then we walk up to the ticket counter. No, I mean we literally walk right up to the ticket counter get our boarding pass and walk to the security area. No line there either! We couldn't believe it. The airport was pretty dead. Thanksgiving weekend is notorious for being one of the craziest time to fly, but not this year. we had the easiest most stress free travel experience ever.

Our final destination was Cookeville, Tennessee. It is a small town about an hour outside of Nashville. Both my sister Lezlea and my brother Brent's families make their home there. I was really excited to take this trip because my family hasn't been all together like this since my wedding two years ago. The only one that couldn't make it was my sister Tamara, but that's a whole other story.

One thing I love about my family is that we like to play games together. I had seen a board game based on the TV show "Don't forget the lyrics" and I thought that would be perfect for the Archer clan. We split up into two teams (brent and I on opposite sides of course) and had a blast.

Another activity we did was play laser tag as a family. Most of us showed up in black shirts ready for war. My dad kept teasing me that I was going down and he was going to be the one to put me there. The way this particular game is set up each player is assigned a code name. Mine for example was superfang for one round. These names allow the other players to see who they have been hit by. I kept getting shot by the "Hammer". I was getting so frustrated and when it was all over I asked aloud "Who the heck was the hammer?" I look around and my mother raised her hand and said "I'm the hammer." I thought that was awesome. Sure, my dad may have beaten me, but my mom beat us all! it just goes to show it's always the quiet ones you need to watch out for. :)

There has been two new additions to my family since my wedding two years ago. So I was excited to get to meet them. One was my nephew Adam. He is Brent and Dana's youngest and right now the only next generation namesake. (No pressure Adam :) He is a real cutie. It took him a while to warm up to me, but when he did he sure became a cheeseball. The next addition was my new brother-in-law Ted. He and Melissa got married this past April and since they put it together so quickly we weren't able to make it out to the wedding. Ted had to work through the Thanksgiving holiday, but drove all the way from North Carolina just to meet Kevin and I. We only got to hang out for a few hours and then we flew out the next morning. I thought that was really nice of him to put forth such effort just to meet us. He is such a nice guy. He treats Melissa so well and I can tell he makes her really happy. We are gonna have to go visit them sometime so we can get to know him better.

I was sad when it was time to come home. Not because I don't like my life out here in California, but because I love and miss my family so much. Hopefully, we can all get together again next year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Magic Mountian/Twilight

First I wanna say that I'm glad I'm able to post again. We have been without a computer for a few weeks, but Santa brought us a new one a little early and now we are up and running.

Well... I can't believe it actually happened. To tell you the truth i don't think the reality has sunk in yet. The Joyce family has moved to Missouri, but before they left we were able to spend one last weekend with them.

It started off at Six Flags Magic Mountain. I grew up going to the six flags in Georgia and I have always loved rollar coasters so when David and Sarah invited us to go I was pretty excited. For the first couple of rides I was doing ok, but after the Tatsu I got so dizzy I thought I was going to pass out. That has NEVER happened to me before. I felt terrible, but I had to sit out for a couple of rides. When I felt somewhat normal again I decided I would try another one and see how I react. So we went on the Colossus. (Side note: apparently kevin's dad helped do some of the welding for this track) When I made it through that just fine I determined that it had to be the pressure from the other rides going upside down that messed me up. I still don't know what was officially my problem, but I haven't had any other episodes since.

The next day we went to see the movie Twilight. I had gotten Sarah into the series as well so we knew we had to go see it together. Like I said in my previous post about the books...I don't read many books before watching the movie and I was pretty excited/nervous to see how it was going to turn out. I think overall it turned out well. If you go and see the movie without reading the books there is a lot of stuff that you won't catch. They did a good job at keeping it true to the book. Just remember that it is geared towards teenagers. :)

Then there we were in the movie theater parking lot saying goodbye until who knows when to our good friends. We took one more picture together to capture the moment.

We love you guys. Good luck in Missouri. Come back soon!