Friday, November 25, 2011

Discovering Thanksgiving

Through the grapevine I had heard that Thanksgiving was a big deal at Savannah's new school. Still, I had no idea the production in store for the kids and parents until I arrived and the annual Thanksgiving Day Festival.

Festivities began with Savannah's class reciting all of Psalms 100 in front of a sea of Native Americans spotted with a few pilgrims. That's right, all students, teachers, and some parents dressed the part for the day. Some of the costumes were very elaborate.

Then the kindergartners put on an adorable short play telling the story of Thanksgiving. And then we were sent off to learn and play.

The first stop for us was Thanksgiving art where they made authentic tie-dyed turkeys just like the pilgrims did! Just kidding, but it was a craft that Savannah greatly enjoyed. Here she is with her classmates and teacher.

The final product which now hangs on our fridge.

From there the class went to snack time where they learned about what the pilgrims probably ate that first Thanksgiving and were able to try a few new foods. Afterwards they got to Pet a few live animals and learn what the Native Americans and pilgrims would have used them. Thrown in there as well was storytime hosted by someone's grandmother who was absoulutly charming! She was the kind of woman you wanted to call Granny the first time you meet her even though she wasn't your granny.

At this point the children were on a pilgrim high and it was time to bring them back to the deeper meaning of the holiday, thanking God for all His amazing blessings. Music time served just that purpose with old hymns and modern praise songs. There is nothing more moving than a room full of children praising God with their voices. We adults stopped singing for a while and just took in the heavenly sound.

The last stop on this Thanksgiving train was game time which was highly entertaining for the parents. The kids played turkey dodge ball. Basically a group of kids were selected to be turkeys and had to stand in the middle of the circle by the tee pee. The other kids were the hunters and tried to nail them with the balls. Circular dodge ball! It looked more like a turkey slaughter house and had the parents laughing their heads off.

The game got so intense at one point I saw my usually non-athletic daughter pick up the whole bucket of balls and run with the chucking a new ball at her victims with each step!

The funniest part was when they played girls against boys and the girls were the turkeys. They all hid behind the tee pee (the parent in charge was smart enough to make this round uni-directional instead of circular). When is was the other way around we had to keep telling the boys that turkeys are not allowed to throw balls back at the hunters. Just more evidence that boys are meant to go out and hunt for our food (and use up some of that testosterone!) while girls are smart enough to figure out how to solve a problem and keep themselves safe.

With each field trip and event at Savannah's school I become ever more thankful for the opportunity to be apart. This place has been a true blessing!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Heights

This past summer Savannah conquered her hindering fear of heights and I could not be more proud of her. Last May the same girl who can be seen in the picture below scaling a 3 story high wall, would not walk up an open staircase.

In the picture above my nephew Burton is on the left (he just likes gliding down off the wall and who could blame him) and my niece, billy-goat-Ella is on the right conquering a difficult course with ease.

Below Savannah is on the left and Ella is on the right. My little climber made it just a few feet shy of the top (3 stories high!). Through several attempts she wore herself out by the time she developed the skill and courage to go higher. And she is determined next time she will make it all the way to the top to ring the bell.

Almost there...

Did I mention we were in Aspen during this triumph? Here we are at ACES on Archer's first hike where he fell into the lake. I knew beforehand it was only a matter of time. My guess was that he was going to fall into the River Walk in San Antonio the week before. Luckily he waited and fulfilled hi s destiny here.

Every summer since Savannah was 1 year old she has played in the little stream that runs through the downtown area of Aspen. You would think the being surrounded
by nature that a child could find more exciting things to occupy their time. Maybe the tiny stream is just their size. Who knows why, but kids love it. I couldn't find the pictures of Savannah when she was in the stream at age one but here she is at the age of 2.

And here are the kids this summer (we've added a few since the early picture). George wandered off and missed out on this picture but he joined us later.

Ella and Savannah...I hope they always remain close in spite of the miles.

Monday, August 8, 2011

All Aboard!

A few weeks ago my good friend Rachel and her son Dealey rode the train out to my house for a visit. I took a few shots us playing on the trains at the station but for some reason I never captured Dealey or Archer???? I am fairly sure they were with us.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Sunday August 7, 2011.

Outside my window...cicadas are announcing the extreme temperatures as if we had not noticed already. But the sun is setting and the mercury has dropped below 100 providing relief.

I am thinking...that I have not written a day book in months and have missed it. I romanticize the "simple life" and stay very busy trying to achieve it. Somehow this small weekly habit slows my run-away-train-brain down.

I am hoping...that all goes well when our new classes start at church. It just hit me tonight that I will have all high school girls by myself instead of just 11th and 12th grade. I'm sure God has a plan (perhaps someone waiting in the wings reading this now with a desire to work with youth??? Anyone???) but I must admit that I'm a little nervous. I love my small group of girls.

From the kitchen...shredded meat from grass-fed short ribs on open faced toasted sandwiches with blue cheese, arugula, and sauteed red onions in balsamic vinegar. Adjectives do not do this meal justice. And for dessert a summertime family tradition, lime ice cream made with hand-squeezed lime juice and fresh cream from local grass-fed cows. Yum.

I am creating...many things. This is the time of year I get a bit restless. My mantle has been redecorated, several things moved to new locations around the house, things are being recovered, painted over, and preparations are being made for large painting projects and removal of a wall or 2 depending on my mood. Mark is currently hiding the sledge hammer from me for fear of what he may find when he comes home from work. On a smaller scale, I just made 2 fun wreaths out of burlap at my friend Lee Ann's birthday party. Did you catch that? I got to go to an adult birthday party and make a craft that did not involve glitter! Good times.

I am thankful for...the busy summer we have had. We have been home very little with non-stop fun, family, friends, and travel. It's been an adventure but I am equally as glad to be home.

Around the sweet little boy is sleeping (he's always sweet when he's asleep) and 2 other family members who shall remain nameless can be heard from across the house slurping up a second helping of ice cream. The slurps are audible.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Archer Edward Peteet picking blackberries June 2011 and savoring every bite.

Friday, July 22, 2011

In Search of Gators

My dad, step-mom, and step-brother came to town a few weeks ago in search of gators. It seems everyone I know is obsessed with the show Swamp People. And who wouldn't be with cajuns, gators, and guns? We couldn't resist and old fashioned steamboat ride on Caddo to see if we could find a few swamp critters ourselves.

Archer was captivated by our boat and others passing by. He was oblivious to the captain's story telling and history lesson. But he enjoyed himself no less.

Savannah asked a million questions as usual (which if she had been listening to the captain instead of talking she would have heard the answer:) and was intrigued by the moss hanging from the cypress trees. She even got a chance to drive the steamboat for a bit.

We were lucky enough to be there when the lily pads bloomed and the smell was intoxicating. We didn't spot any alligators but I think we will try one of his Full Moon minnight rides and see what happens.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Random Summer Fun

Silliness with Daddy.

Savannah's new favorite spot to watch T.V.

Laughing at fireworks out at Papa's farm.

Could not care less about fireworks, loves only things with wheels.

Playing dress up and dancing in the living room.

Using a big boy swing instead of a toddler swing.

Savannah painted a picture of a photograph I took of her in our backyard under the grapevine.

Diving into the world of art through finger paint.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Marathon of Fun!

After our Memorial Day weekend of fun (all of the pictures on are my mom's camera so I won't be posting them) we headed to my aunt's house for a few days. My sister, her kids, and my kids along with my grandparents and my mom all invaded my aunt Dot-Dean and Uncle Raymond's house. Great aunts and more cousins dropped in leading to an impromptu family reunion.

Although the kids loved swimming in the pool, I think fishing takes the cake as everyone's favorite memory from our trip. The younger kids seems to enjoy playing with the caught fish in the bucket more than catching them. Archer hovered over the bucket saying "pish, pish, pish, pish, pish..."

Before our trip my little man had made up his mind that he did not like water of any kind unless it was served as a beverage. This just would not do. We are warm-weather, water-loving people. His uncle Jeff tried to persuade him with a boat ride. We could hear him screaming from the other side of the lake.

Patience won out and eventually he settled down. Now LOVES boats, swimming, lakes, ponds, swimming pools, sprinklers, and anything else wet. This boy does nothing half way. It's all or nothing.

Our main goal while fishing with the kiddos was to keep them from falling in. You can imagine with all those little ones how ambitious we were with such a goal (all little ones are not pictured below. There were many.) Notice Ella in the far right hand corner trying to fall in at the same time Archer is trying to escape in a different direction?

Here is Savannah and my cousin Jeff fishing. I don't know where Savannah gets her competitiveness ;) but she wanted to catch the biggest fish every time. She dropped her bait lower and patiently waited for the big ones and was successful. She got a little hard core about it. The other kids would leave to swim and Savannah would hold her post. She even upgraded to a real rod and reel instead of a barbie pole.

This is my cousin's son Caden's first fish ever (my little cousin Justin's kid for those of you who remember him). His expression is adorable in this picture with his Grammy that he calls Mimi.

Mom, Dawn, and I took a sunset paddle boat ride. It's rare the 3 of us get a moment together without the kids.

Next up (as if we need more excitement than swimming, fishing, boat rides, grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, and farm animals) 4 wheeler and mule rides with cousin Jeff.

And then we all came inside and crashed. I do not think it would have been possible to squeeze one more fun thing in. We had such a great time that we decided to make it a yearly event. Luckily my aunt and uncle agreed!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good Times

Almost three weeks ago I picked Savannah up from her last day of school (which I cried like a baby with the teacher because we will be moving on to a new school next year) on our way out of town. And we have been on a Grand Tour ever since.

Ample photographs have been taken to document this marathon of fun but I have no idea if I will ever have time to post them (our marathon of fun has yet to end!). So here is a brief recap.

Say goodbye to friends, teachers, and school, cry all the way to Dallas (me, not Savannah) visit with family, cousins, siblings, limo rides, fancy dinner, shopping, giggles, cooking, cooking, and more cooking (lot's of folks means lots of food) kids playing, kids crying, swimming, date night, still out of town at this point but moving on to next location, mini family reunion, swimming, fishing, extended cousins, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, 4 wheelers, laughter, visiting, sewing with my grandmother, learning from my elders, kids crying, cousins sharing (notice sleep is not listed), say goodbye, drive to family reunion for Mark's side, camping, more cousins, dirty happy kids, farm living, swimming in a pond, fishing, sun, 4 wheelers (Archer's favorite), good friends, relaxing, lawn chairs, and then home for 36 hours.

Back to Dallas, more visiting with family (we are on week 2 at this point), sister shopping, fun with Cindy, late night chats, up early with Arch, swimming, cooking, kids playing with cousins, my sister and I get our business up and running, wean Archer (sniff sniff), visit with more family, and then back home. Wedding an 1 1/2 hours away, lot's of family, good times, back home, birthday party, decorate for vacation bible school, (we are on week 3 now) then a week of teaching crafts for 150 kiddos, set up new business for myself (I have an office for private counseling now! woohoo!).

I think that brings us up to date. Did you catch all that? If not here is a summary: lot's of fun and visiting with cherished friends and family, no sleep.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sisters at Play

For as long as I can remember my sister and I have wanted to into business together. We dreamed of opening up various shops, restaurants, tea rooms, and bed and breakfasts. But childhood dreams seems unreasonable once we became adults and over 2,000 miles separated us.

Amongst the mounds of laundry and dirty diapers that this stage of family life brings my sister and I found ourselves in desperate need of a creative outlet, time together, and a chance to use our brain for more than schedule planning. So Sisters at Play was born and we now have a shop on

As of right now we have sun catchers for sale but we have other products made and in the works that will be added later this summer. If you haven't heard of sun catchers you should check them out. They can be used in a sunny window or as yard art. I love them because they are fun, whimsical and unexpected no matter where you put them.

My friend and graphic artist, Rachel Maples created our logo, tags, and business cards which we are very happy with. She is also the creator the banners on my other site,

Here are a couple of examples of our work. To view our store and learn more about our products click here.

You cannot imagine how gorgeous this amber stone looks in sun light. I kind of hope this one doesn't sell so I can keep it!

Handcrafted with a dose of nostalgic style and a touch of modern whimsy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today May 23, 2011.

Outside my window...the air is as thick as butter. At times you think it's beginning to rain but in reality its just the feeling of humid air on your skin. But I'm not complaining, I love this time of year.

Around the house...children are drifting off to peaceful sleep.

From the kitchen...homemade pizza requested by the family. It's not something we make often but man is it good! We also had a spinach salad with farm fresh ingredients.

I am thankful for...bedtime rituals. Stories, questions, discussing of the day, giggles, and cuddles are a great way to end the day.

I am reading...a book by Zig Ziggler and a book about being the mom God wants you to be. I've read so many informative things over that last few months that I thought I would take a break and check out some fiction from the library. Instead, I turned to these books. Maybe I will try a magazine over the holiday weekend.

I am creating...curtains for Archer's room, finally. Soon I will begin an art project to be hung over my desk. We began the process of remodeling our office over a year ago but this wall space has stood blank. An idea struck yesterday afternoon and the necessary items are now being collected.

One of my favorite things...old friends. My childhood friend Rachel come out to visit be this past weekend. We met in church at the age of 3 and are still able giggle like 3 year olds when we are together. She sat in on my Sunday school class and as the girls spoke we would catch each other's eyes and smirk both going back to the same memories from our teenage years.

A few plans for the rest of the week...welcoming in summer!!!

Here is a picture I am sharing with you...

Archer Edward and his living name-sakes.
Mark's dad, William Edward, Mark Edward, Archer Edward, and my grandfather, Gene Archer. The Edward name continues back more generations on Mark's side. On my side I also have a nephew and cousin whose middle names are Archer in honor of my grnadfather.
Little Arch (or little Ed as his Papa calls him) is blessed not only to be named after great men but he is also blessed to be raised around great men.
Can you tell from the picture that Mark's dad is smitten with this boy?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Senior Sunday

Today was senior recognition day at our church. All of our high school graduating seniors stand in front of the church while our youth pastor lists their accomplishments followed by their hopes and dreams. My job as their Sunday school teacher is to hand them a gift from our church and then I give them a big hug and try not to cry.

At the end of my first year of teaching 12th grade girls I found my inaugural senior recognition Sunday to be a little emotional. I had only one year to get to know these girls but in that time they left a huge impression on me. We are talking about gifted young ladies who love the Lord so much that He shines from them through all their God-given talents. Beautiful, beautiful young ladies. Inside and out. I still miss them.

You could say the next year was a little harder because I had more time with this group. And the year after that... even tougher. I squeezed one of my past seniors who was home from college today so hard that she squeaked!

These young ladies bless me so much that I almost feel selfish in teaching them each week. They are at an age that we can discuss real issues and sometimes they take me deeper than I had planned. And other times we giggle and talk about hair and make-up!

The one blessing I didn't expect from teaching is the wisdom I obtain from their parents. What a great spot for a young mom to view godly parenting. I glean wisdom from the parenting of these girls as they talk about how they were raised, life at home, and I even learn from the things they complain about. The products of 18 years of parenting sit before me and I take notes!

Yesterday I saw another group move on. The 9 & 10th grade Sunday school teacher and I often combine our classes and do fun things together from time to time. Because of that I have had the opportunity to hang out with these girls since they were freshman. Through slumber parties, shopping trips, and Sunday school I have been able to share the past 4 years with them. Now they are moving on.

I'm excited to continue to watch these ladies grow into amazing women. But, I am starting to think this yearly graduation thing is not going to get an easier.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Show Stoppers

In the excitement and busyness of so many wonderful events at once I've failed to post pics of Savannah's dance recital. She took tap, ballet, and jazz but with much wisdom her dance teacher decided one costume change per recital was enough for 6-year-olds. So they had two numbers in the show, one tap and one jazz. Savannah however is very excited to add ballet to the show next year because that means one more "beautiful costume!"

I love these pictures of Savannah and her good buddy. I think most of my pics last year were of these two together.

Jazzing it up!

Back stage.

My little dancer made a lot of progress this year and we are very proud of her. She inherited my coordination but with hard work and prayer we think she will overcome it. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Davy Crockett has replaced Barbie

I spent much of last week marinating in Texas history, politics, and pride. One might think this is because I went to Austin to testify in favor of the raw milk bill (details here). But in reality my participation in state politics was only a small part of it.

Savannah has been learning about Texas history in school this past month, just in time to coincide perfectly with a trip to the capitol. Now I have always been a lover of all things historical but even I cannot fathom how they have taught Texas history to this age group in a way that Davy Crockett has now surpassed Barbie in a young girl's heart.

Savannah fell in love with Austin and the capitol building. Every cannon we passed she asked if it was from the Battle of Gonzales where the Texas Revolution started. If you don't know the story of that famous cannon, google it cause I'm not telling it again!

We spent 11 hours at the capitol building last Wednesday. In between site seeing and waiting to testify we spent time on the beautiful grounds outside. We even had a tree that was "our" tree to hang out under. I think that's when you know you have been there too long.

Representative Brian Hughes welcomed us with open arms to Austin. He even gave Savannah his business card and when we walked away she said, "I am a six-year-old kindergartner and I have Representative Brian Hughes card. How cool is that!"

Savannah even bonded with one of his staff members. She helped to make it a good experience for Savannah.

I was suppose to testify for the bill sometime after 4 but the session ran long and I did not testify until 11pm. At that point things around the capitol kind of slow down and Savannah started feeling right at home. She was never bad and was even more patient than myself at times. Eventually our committee hearing started and she fell asleep in my lap. After testifying I carried her 300 or 400 yards to the car at almost heels.

The next day we went to the Texas State History Museum which was wonderful! Show me another museum where kids learn to ride side saddle!

And it was the museum's 10th birthday so everyone got in free.

After reading every monument and children's book about the Texas revolution we drove home listening to The Yellow Rose of Texas, The Eyes of Texas are Upon You, And Deep in the Heart of Texas ALL the way home. All the way. By the last hour of the trip I started feeling like I needed a little time in Colorado! No seriously, our girls trip was a blast.