Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pack Family Reunion 2014

Our trip to Provo (for the beginning of the Pack reunions) began with a stop at the newly remodeled Ogden Temple.  Hyrum summed up our feelings when he said, "Is this Jesus' house?" "That's why it is so beautiful!"
 New Ogden Temple Open House

Our first reunion?  The Don Elbert and Harriet Malin Pack Family (in other words, Dad's cousins and their descendants)  Our family had the biggest showing since we were in charge of the festivities.
Wes Pack Family (mostly Deloy's descendants)
Gavin in his shades
Alissandra getting her beauty sleep
THE PACKS (Cousins galore!)
Mom presenting the history of Rockford, Utah (now Rockford Reservoir) 
Kenneth working on his skill at can stilts
Reminiscing (Sherri, Nikkala and Ben) 
The second family reunion (second day)?  The John Pack Family met at This is the Place Heritage Park.  Ben captured it with me cleaning up the place. (We've been there so many times that other pictures didn't seem necessary.  You'll have to go "back in time" to see what it is like.)
Chris getting her fill of reunions
Neal's Baptism was the highlight for all of us, though.  The double chocolate cake was a close second!
Neal excited to dive into the chocolaty delight.
The third reunion (the third day)?  The M. Deloy Pack Family in Idaho.  Everyone followed us home to Idaho and we spent Monday (the fourth day) enjoying Yellowstone.  Well, at least some of us did.  It was amazing weather, but it's hard not to push it to the limit.
Old Faithful, still as faithful
Nature-made teeter-totter
Kayla given her cousin (Gavin) a little lovin'! 
Shake, shake, shakin' with Joseph and Jarom
(Joshua in the background) 
Look Sammie dressed to match!
Our hike to Mystic Falls (Hyrum's face describes the sentiment of some)
More cousin lovin'; This time it's Benji and Grace 
Big Jud's Famous 1 lb. burger...mmmm...good
The fifth day we recovered from our day at Yellowstone with good food and a family meeting.

We took advantage of having us all (well most of us) in one place to have a photo shoot. (Hardys, all the Packs [Jon and Preeti not pictured], Thomsons, Roger Packs, Dad and Mum, Roger Packs :P, Ben Packs X2 :P, and all the cousins)

Don Aslett's Museum of Clean was the grand finale (the sixth day).  The best part? A personal tour from the man himself! And it is a ton of fun for the kids.

Mrs. Clean vs. Mr. Litter, starring Brent 
Gregory likin' his back rub
Another good rub for Neal 
"Chim-chiminy-chim-chim-cheree...a sweep is as lucky as luck can be."
I think a few of the kids actually enjoyed washing THE window.
"Wet FlOOr"
Cleanest Knight in shining armor (we can only hope she snags one!)
(Day seven and eight) We spent some extra family bonding time with the Thomsons.  They couldn't resist the army tanks and Blackfoot's baked potato.  It was complete with ice cream at Rupes!

Rupes' ice cream stop
It was a fun-filled seven days.  See you again in three years!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Caramel Popcorn

6 quarts of popped popcorn (usually eyeball by almost filling my large Tupperware bowl; leaving room to stir popcorn with caramel sauce)
2 2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Popcorn has been popped and is set aside in a large bowl.  

Place brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a medium sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture is boiling.  Add sweetened condensed milk and cook five minutes, stirring constantly.  

Pour caramel over the popped popcorn and stir until it is well-coated. You can eat it right out of the bowl, just don't forget to share. OR you can spread on a nonstick surface to cool and then place in an airtight container. OR you can form into popcorn balls and wrap individually.

Chewable goodness....ENJOY!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cream of the Crop

This year to motivate the kids to read the Conference issue of the Ensign, I used an analogy.  I explained to them that the cream of the milk was always the most prized part of fresh milk.  This, along with other high quality farming goods, gave the saying "the cream of the crop" a place amongst American cliches.  When we use this cliche we are describing whatever is "the cream of the crop" as the best of the best.

General Conference (where the entire body of the Church meets together to listen to the prophet, apostles, seventies and other general officers; occurs bi-annually) is like the cream of the gospel.  While we are learning all the time from the scriptures and Sunday lessons, we get the most important, pertinent counsel for our time in Conference. 

"The Lord will tell you what he wants you to do with your life...the Holy Ghost carries the word of The Lord unto our hearts in terms we can understand...listen to these things, as if from the mouth of The Lord...live them.  He has spoken to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence." (Elder Robert D. Hales, Oct. 2014)

We set our goals and a date to have them completed by.  Once complete we all get to take part in an ice cream feast. Sundaes extraordinaire will be served with all the toppings imaginable!  

The best part is the motivation it gives me.  (I am part Robinson, ha!)  I love the gospel and I love ice cream--this way I get the best of both!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I realized last night as I made these delectable flautas that food is a very important part of my happiness, or at least the happiness of my stomach.  It's a winner with everyone else too.

Chicken Flautas

Saute in a pan with 2 T shortening:
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine and stir in:
1 T cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Mix well.

1/2 c. chicken broth
2 1/4 c. chicken, cooked and chopped
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies

Cook until thickened and remove from heat.

Spoon mixture into center of flour tortilla, roll up and fry in 1/4" hot oil.  Cook until lightly browned and crisp.

These are best served while hot.  Enjoy them with guacamole, salsa or sour cream.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Zucchini Galore

I'm sure you'll all be able to relate to the too many zucchini thing.  This year we are no different, as you can see...
I've decided that one family needs only one plant. Or maybe one neighborhood needs only one plant?  I'm amazed by their colossal size.  We found a few yummy recipes.  This one is a hit with Ben and me (from my mom's old Mormon Country Cooking)...
...though the kids prefer things like chocolate zucchini cake or double chocolate zucchini bread from Lion House. Oh, and my friend said she liked Zucchini Chili Nachos. I'm sure there are an endless amount of recipes.  I would LOVE your comments and you can share your favorite way to use zucchini!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Raspberries Galore

When we bought this house we knew we'd also be getting big raspberry patches.  Little did we know how many raspberries could come out of them.
This week, so far, I've picked enough to make 8 batches of raspberry jam (freezer and boiled). That doesn't include those harvested by two sets of neighbors before that.
I got the frozen raspberry jam recipe from my wise neighbor:
  • To 5 c. crushed raspberries add 1 box of MPC pectin and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Stir 3 1/2 c. sugar plus 1/2 c. corn syrup into berries and cook until "blood" or "bottle" warm. (Just to dissolve sugar. DO NOT BOIL.)
  • Pour into freezer-worthy containers.

The raspberry jam recipe comes from my mom:
  • To 6 c. crushed raspberries plus 2 c. crushed blackberries (or more raspberries) stir in 1 box MPC pectin and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Measure 8 c. sugar in a separate bowl (later you will need to add it all at the same time).
  • Bring mixture to a boil stirring continuously.
  • Add all of the sugar while stirring, to avoiding clumps, and return to a rolling boil.
  • Turn down temperature to maintain a good simmer (I learned the hard way that if it is not rolling then the jam doesn't get cooked good enough).
  • Boil for 8 minutes.
  • Test jam by putting some on a cold dish; if it "sets up" then it is done.
  • Pour into clean jars, wipe jar rims, top with heated canning lids, screw on band hand-tight and turn jars upside down. Leave for ten minutes, then right the jars and let stand. You will hear the lids begin to pop/seal.  (Note: because I don't bathe the jars the jam may not last as long on the shelf, but at my house it never lasts long enough to worry!)

This morning I used the rest of the leftover raspberries in raspberry-blueberry muffins. They turned out fabulous. A good way to spoil the family after all the hard work put into making the jam!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

thursday thoughts

It seems the Pack family has been adjusting well to Blackfoot, Idaho.

Hyrum "loves doing his homework as long as he gets Mommy to bribe him. When he's behind a week the big kahuna-bribe has to come out--extra time on Mommy's iPad! (Can't really take a photo of him playing on my iPad, but you get the picture.)

Ally made me promise not to post this one, but it is so Ally! She must be feeling comfortable to come out with her creative drawings like this one.

And Benji, what more can I say! (He loves playing Monopoly. He got Monopoly Deal for his Christmas present and loves it too.)

Daddy captured the essence of our holidays with this picture. We have become TV-holics where Psych, Once Upon a Time, Studio C or Sue Thomas FB-eye are involved. Before you get hot and bothered let me just tell you that the cold here will drive you to do things like this. ;)

I must say that this was another vision of our holidays as well. See, the TV didn't swallow us up entirely....

We've loved having so much time together as a family, even on a day to day basis. We appreciate Ben's sacrifice and love the blessings that have come with having each other through this change. We miss our friends and family but have so enjoyed not being "distracted" by an overly busy, friendly schedule.

Here's to many more family days!