Monday, December 27, 2010

Gifts One to Another

(I must preface this one by introducing you to Cookie.  She's Kayla's new pet.  Our only pet!  She's soft and adorable until she kicks to get you to let go and then the scratching is somewhat painful.)
After the excitement of Santa wore off, I discovered my favorite part is when we all trade gifts as a family.  (The gifts can be purchased for under $5, homemade, or hand-me-downs, and small or not so small; so we get all kinds of reactions.)  I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!  Have a fabulous New Year if we don't see you before then!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays from the Packs

If you are reading this, it is probably because I gave you the link on the back of our Christmas cards or added it to an email I sent to you.  In any case....WELCOME!!!  This is us.  

Self-posed portrait of the nice variety
Self-posed portrait of the crazy variety
Hyrum (3, showing off his preschool art) 
and Sammie (6, super excited about her new Webkinz)
Kayla (9, wishing this "pet" was real)
Ally (11, self portrait--she's a budding photographer)
Benji (~13, yep! the bass IS much larger than him)
Chris and Ben (before the MoTab/Archuleta Concert)

Back row: Ben, Chris, Ally
Front row: Kayla, Hyrum, Benji, Sammie
and to all a goodnight...zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Popcorn and the Prophet

You are probably wondering what these two things have in common.  Well, today as I contemplated sitting together as a family for the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) the memories came flooding back of complaining or disruptive children as we've tried listening to the same fireside in years past.  Then I thought, hey, we could start a new Christmas tradition!  Why don't we string popcorn for our "Mr. Krueger's" tree while we listen.  

I quickly popped four batches of popcorn in my WhirleyPop and we got down to business!  "Did it work?" you ask.  Yes, it did!  We all got to listen to the messages without a single complaint.  (Oh, and I must let you in on a six-year-old [in pink] was the most dedicated to the project.)   
 All of us stringing popcorn

Benji and Ally getting into the festivities
Here is our finished Mr. Krueger's tree
(The candy canes have to be out of Hyrum's reach.)

I couldn't end this entry without telling you about our tree.  For several years now we have cut down a tree from our backyard "tree farm" (that was planted from seedlings by the previous owners).  This year's tree is sparse in quite a few places (note the popcorn swags).  I didn't feel like whipping out all the usual ornaments with no place to put them.  Over the next few days I contemplated what to do.  Our good friend walked into our home not long after and noted how simple and quaint our tree looked with only one strand of lights (we could only find one strand working).  "It's the 'in' thing this year," she explained.  Well, okay, if you say so, I thought.  Without much further ado, we left it with one strand of lights and, just today, put our few candy canes and strands of popcorn on it.  

It reminded me of Mr. Krueger's tree in it's simple splendor.  I believe that it will also be a poignant reminder of our new priorities this year--make it meaningful, make it about family,  make it about the Savior and finding room for Him in our hearts.

As the First Presidency so eloquently expressed, Christmas isn't about the material things or even the decorations, lights and parties.  It's about our Savior and His eternal gift.  It's about showing others His love.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm thankful for...

  • my health and my family's health,
  • my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ,
  • the bounties of life,
  • warmth and comfort on especially cold days in Utah,
  • homemade baked goodies,
  • the rainbow of colors I see that abound on this earth--red, yellow, blue, orange, purple, green, 
  • friends and family,
  • the peace I feel while sitting in the temple and the assurance of living forever with my family,
  • a husband who is patient and kind,
  • children who light up my life,
  • a Savior who lifts me when I feel I can't get back up,
  • living prophets and apostles who see "things as they really are (Jacob 4:13),"
  • good people all over this world who move the cause of values and moral standards,
  • miracles,
  • generous hands that have thought about and helped us during our economic struggles,
  • parents who taught me correct principles and how to find happiness,
  • siblings (including in-laws) who bear with my weaknesses and love me despite them,
  • the seasons,
  • the lessons I've learned through out my life and lessons other people have taught me,
  • being a mother five of God's children,
  • life!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Misty California

I still can't believe that I went on my own personal get-away.  It was the farthest thing from my mind, seeing that I have never been away by myself (for that long) since I went to Girl's Camp my first summer married.  It was also not exactly the best timing as we are unemployed and money has been tight.  Then things just started falling into place.  I was able to secure a cheap-next-day-deal flight (at 11 p.m.) and I was on my way by 4:30 a.m.

Deprived of sleep, crazy nerves and having eaten a not so healthy dinner the day before, I spent the entire ride to the airport feeling like my insides were trying to weasel their way to the outside of my body.  Luckily it subsided before I had to get on the airplane.

As we flew over the coast, the mountains were covered in blankets of clouds.  Little did I know that I wouldn't see the sun for most of my stay.  Fortunately, the company (Dawn and, don't forget, the "zoo") and fun outweighed the dreary conditions.  Take a look!

Commuter flights rule, because you don't have to deal with the crowd.

Eating with part of the "zoo"!

Gotta love the LDS chapels that fit right into the landscape.

Nothing like sand and salt water between your toes!
Dawn and I

Dawn strolling the beach

Are we having fun yet?

Palm trees are amazing (Can you see Dawn posing at the bottom?)

Is this a palm bush?

I guess you've gotten the hint that food is a must!
Oh, pioneer
Mormon Battalion Visitor Center
Dawn, I thought I warned you.... 

The beautiful San Diego Temple

What's a trip to San Diego without some Mexican food? Yummy!

The last of the tranquility :)

Until next time!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Enter if you dare...

...but beware...
 ...there's a cute little pig wandering...
(It all began with the ward Halloween party.)
 ...and a dog-loving dragon lurking about...
(Preschool Buddies hugging after the grade school's parade)
 ...What is that? a "Costume," I see...
(Adobe's Halloween tradition with live entertainment while you wait)
 ...oh, and a very scary looking monster bee...
 ...Peter Pan will save the day with the poofy-pink magic flower...
 ...who's been trapped? they don't look like mice...
(the Adobe employees really go all out, like this automated "mouse trap")
 ...whew, I was worried the wicked witch of the west would be slightly larger...
(Pack family Halloween party)
 ...and vampires blood is really red marker?...
(lastly, getting ready for our not-so-spooky haunted house) you didn't know that eyeballs are really green...
(Spooky vittles)
 ...and you'll probably agree that Ben is the scariest monster you've ever seen...
(Haunted garage man)
...okay, I guess it's not so much in the tricks to scare you but in the treats.

One month late, but Kayla, You're Great!

It's been over a month since Kayla's birthday.  (I'm in blog-backlog mode.)  She turned NINE back in September.  And well, never fear, Kayla is here!  

Kayla is very photogenic--her smile captivates.  She is enjoying her 3rd grade year and especially likes to help her class reach their goals, like good behavior for a movie party and doing her best on her writing to earn the "Chefs of Good Writing" activity.  Kayla and I enjoy reading books out loud to one another.  We just finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.  She likes to play tennis, tumble, and play with her friends.  

Kayla wanted a Rainbow cake--lemon drops for the gold, Laffy Taffy® strands for the rainbow and white yogurt-covered pretzels for the clouds.

Kayla invited the Linford family over for the festivities.

Becca her friend made her this cute package.  So fun when friends make things with love!