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.