Happy Halloween!  Alyssa was Alice in Wonderland, Taft was a firefighter and Joel was a skeleton.  It was Taft's first time going around to each car at the Trunk or treat to collect candy.  He was very shy and uncharacteristically quiet but managed to walk around to each car and slowly held out his bag so that people could drop candy in it.  When offered the ability to pick a candy, he always just held his bag out.  His hands were full, bag in one hand and miniature crowbar in the other.  A firefighter isn't good for anything without a tool!  He did great, considering the huge welts on his head from tripping earlier today. Alyssa was perfectly cute as Alice.  She also enjoyed Octoberama today which is Matthew's Elementary School annual fair.  This morning she ironed the apron herself.


A View of Life From Erik's Phone: January 2017 - July 2017

This is the second post in our feature "A View of Life from _____ Phone". To give you a more complete picture of what we have been up to in 2017 from January to July. It starts here at the top in July and goes to January...with a few random pictures out of order! Read this in combination with our previous post and you will see what 2017 has been about thus far!

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Life is messy sometimes, but we have fun!

Anna and Ryan Jensen stopped in Vicksburg. We participated in Cow Appreciation Day! It probably took me longer to make the cows than cook dinner, but we had fun!

Taft loves my water bottle and the ice inside of it!

circa 2011

A typical 4th in the Archibald household would not be complete without patriotic pancakes!!

Taft loves the keyboard! He likes to turn on the prerecorded songs and rock out!

We went to a balloon festival in Ridgeland/Jackson area! They had lots of balloons set up for a light show.

This is what the clan does while I am trying to use all my mental energy to shop!

Taft and his spork!

Future wedding announcement picture! Hahahahaha...the placement of her hand kills me! We went to Baton Rouge to see Jacob (not pictured) be sealed to the Stephens! It was a wonderfully fun experience! We are so grateful for their friendship and example!

Sophie can be the maid of honor...

Another temple trip took these three to the old Louisiana State Capital.

More pictures from Louisiana.

Taft at work with Dad while Mom does violin lessons. Rock on!

A pretty river boat docked along the side of the river in Vicksburg with pretty girls from the Archibald family!

A memorial day parade!

Kleenex anyone?

A bird's nest in Erik's shoe!

Taft driving the truck! He loved loved loved the truck...more than Erik or I ever did!

More Baton Rouge, LA temple trip adventure pictures.

Erik's library that he took to the PE. He passed! He is officially a professional engineer!

Taft and Alyssa with Goldie, one of our little lady chickens.

We went to Jacob and Katie's wedding and this is us, the pretty ladies!!

Visiting BYU on said visit to Utah for Jacob's wedding.

Our one and only trip to New Orleans with the LeMontes and Lauren!

Alyssa feeding Taft his antibiotics, which he LOVED! He's kind of a medicine addict.

My birthday and the cake Alyssa and Erik made for me!

Erik...and his cake - ON FIRE! Just how he likes things.

A house that burned down during bishopric meeting that perhaps could have been saved if Isaac had noticed it when he drove by on the way to the church and called 911...but it was arson so the owners were probably glad it was BURNED!

A birthday present from my mom that Alyssa wrapped!

Don't we all wear heals while we ride our scooters to church?

Erik biking somewhere...maybe Utah?


Because It's Been That Long - A View of Life From My Phone

We are 3 weeks or less away from being a family of 5. We are 4 weeks away from being Texans. And we are 3.5 months away from the last update. To enjoy this post in its full splender, please scroll to the end and read up. This way you can get a chronological picture of what we've been up to!

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And now we've reached today. July 23, 2017. Alyssa made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and decorated the platter with peaches and bananas. She learned this from Erik and she implemented it by herself today! It was a beautiful Sunday breakfast!

Taft is learning how to use utensils and will eat things that he wasn't previously eating if he has a fork in his hand. He is also really liking yogurt these days! He is so passionate about his food!

We said good bye to our ladies yesterday. Goldie, Reddy Scarlet, Sarah, Pip, and Claire have found a new home. They were wonderful chickens. I think we were most surprised to find out that raccoons had been hoping in their coop at night to eat the chicken food before we shut the door! I was always so worried about them killing the chickens, but the feed was easier prey!

Taft loves his sunglasses and Alyssa is so fun and growing so much! The year from 5 to 6 is a huge transition in maturity and in body development!

We let Taft have full access to the keyboard. He quite enjoys it. He knows how to turn on the demo songs and as soon as they come on he starts dancing!

Alyssa made a pioneer wagon out of food!

Taft got a real hair cut. He needed it, but he is not as red as he used to be! The back of his head is completely blonde now!

We joined the YMCA this summer to swim. We go at least 3 times a week. I am able to do a water aerobics class and then we all swim together. I love doing things with older women. They are so funny! My favorite conversation we had was the most desirable Siri voice on the iPhone. Apparently the New Zealand man is far preferable over the lady voice! They have all been very interested in my pregnancy and they love seeing the kids! I hope I'm a snappy older lady! "Press away." and "Little lifts!"

Slow homeschool/summer afternoons = books + naps. Another thing I don't want to forget, especially since Alyssa is not napping as much and we are taking a break from homeschooling for a year.

A Sunday afternoon. Bible movies and Princess in Black...Taft's the one reading.

Alyssa learned how to make pancakes all by herself and does an excellent job. One morning while I was studying my scriptures this was my view. I want to remember days like this because they are important in our growth and development as a family.

Taft is adorable and puts hats on.

For our last poetry co-op class we had a poetry picnic! It was a blast! We ate a brunch picnic and the kids recited 5 poems we memorized over the course of the semester. We all enjoyed reading poems together afterward! I think the favorite poem of the year was "Boa Constrictor" by Shel Silverstein with "Keep A Poem In Your Pocket" by Beatrice Schank de Regneir as a close second.

Grandma came for the poetry picnic but then it got delayed because of a water outage in Vicksburg! So we enjoyed Grandma for a week even though she didn't get to see the poetry recitation and picnic. She sewed new dresses for Alyssa's mini Kirsten doll and played with Alyssa and Taft. It was wonderful having her around! 

I believe these are pigs that Alyssa drew on the white board.

Sometimes when Alyssa practices her violin she has to pretend like everyone is naked so she doesn't get so nervous...

Uncle Ben has not disappointed this summer. There has been much watching of "black and white" (The Andy Griffith Show) - complete with kettle corn. He convinced Alyssa to let him read her Harry Potter. They are half way through the 2nd book. And though I cursed Donna (the Jeep) by praying that she would expose all her follies while he was here before he had to drive home in August, he has worked diligently to fix her and she has been running swimmingly since!

Alyssa participated in her first field day with her co-op group. They had sack races, water relays, marshmallow spittning contests and pop the balloon contests. Alyssa made some good friends and had so much fun doing co-op!

Ben arrived for the summer and brought Claire with him. We went to the swamp in Jackson, did lots of oragami and played with dolls, barbies, etc. Claire is Alyssa's best friend. And Claire is a wonderful friend to Alyssa. She is always willing to do things with her even when she has been doing things with her nonstop for the past 8 hours!

Many afternoons this spring consisted of playing with friends and chickens. Our sweet chicken ladies went through a lot in their time with us. They would slide down the slide, swing, and play "laying" eggs. They were the perfect pet - no allergies and minimal care required!

We went to the zoo with our friends Lauretta and Atlas. They had a fun dinosuar exhibit. The dinosaurs were terrifying to Taft and fascinating to Alyssa. We also went to Cool Al's, which is the best hamburger joint evah!

We visited the Baton Rouge temple for the 2nd to last time. We also visited it in June when Jacob S. was sealed to his families. We have some really good pictures of that, but they weren't on my phone. You'll have to wait to see Erik's perspective of life for the last 3.5 months from his phone! Taft did not want his picture taken. 

Alyssa celebrated her 6th birthday! She got a fun new art set! She has spent many days coloring pictures, particularly those printed from the internet. Taft also enjoys coloring. He sits at the table and colors while Alyssa colors. I am surprised how long it will hold him captive for such a young lad. 

In April we enjoyed some general conference. Alyssa and Erik made a conference center out of legos. Olaf is the organist!