Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CHRISTMAS 2010

Christmas was good to us this year...the kids were surprised, the family was all together (eventually), and we survived the grandchildren's excitement, which translates into screaming, running, and all talking together at the top of their lungs! (wonder where they got THAT from...)
Here is Michaela with her "college" stash of goodies to get her started on her new adventure of heading up to BYU-I. Kira got herself the same stash...
Mom (au natural) with what she has wanted for a very long time, but never really asked for - her total body gym. I was definitely surprised with this one, as I had only mentioned it once in passing to Kevin. What a guy! He DOES listen after all...
The four kids pooled their money and got Kevin and I some beautiful artwork from Deseret Book. We love getting things like this that makes our house even more home-y. (Thanks Kira, Michaela, Tibi and Landon)
I think Tibi and Landon were to most surprised this year. They each got cellphones that mom told them they would NEVER get. They have proved themselves pretty responsible, and actually, WE need to know where they are now that their lives are so crazy busy! So all I can blame is myself for this gift. They are happy though, and I suppose that's what really counts. (Not that I believe gadgets is what makes us happy...okay, you see my mental dilemna with all this -)
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Then it was our annual breakfast with the Chappells, and then packed up and headed over that lovely new bridge over Hoover Dam to Arizona to see our other kids and grandkids. (I swear we saved at least an hour getting there!)
Opening their new pajamas from grandma.
After sewing for 5 boys, it sure is nice to get to throw together a nightgown for a sweet little girl!
All the girls (including little Eden)

Opening our name exchange gifts. Kira was pretty excited about her "Beatles" glasses. (She's secretly in love with Paul) This year grandpa and grandma got different family gifts for the grandkids. Connie's kids got a large floor puzzle, and Lexie's boys got a huge floor roadmap for their cars. This way, the kids can go play at each other's house and have something different to play with. ( Grandma and Grandpa are getting pretty smart!)

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All five grandkids (next Christmas we will have our sixth!) Lexie and Shar are due with another boy in May. After having all those girls myself, we never thought we'd end up with so many boys. Little Eden needs a girl cousin someday. She may be waiting for a while by the looks of it...

Until next year...Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 6, 2010

'Tis the Season!

With the weather turning cold early this year, it only seemed fitting to get-a-move-on and get our lights up and decorate the tree. This is probably the earliest we have done this for a few years, although we always have good intentions. It's always the kids who get "ants in their pants" in regards to getting things done in a timely manner. Actually, Michaela is the biggest culprit (and I mean that in the nicest way!) She is the "Christmas Guardian Angel" - for everyone! Here she is helping dad string the lights on the house. (Dad's around the corner on the ladder)
This year the biggest problem was trying to find a night when everyone was home to decorate the tree. Between Landon's basketball games, and Michaela working till 10 at night most nights, it ended up being Saturday night for it to happen. And it's only December 4th! Yay for us...
The kid's favorite ornaments, by far, are the ones that Grandma and Grandpa Packard gave us through the years when he was a congressman back in Washington D.C. They each pick out their stash of White House ornaments to put up and place them where they want them. Of course, they all have an opinion on where they all should go!

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Michaela putting the "star" on the tree. We have never had a real star, but this big bow has become a cool tradition. They won't let me buy a star - I know, because I've tried to and I get shot down every year. I'm okay with it though because this is how it should be...

Kevin picked up this little 6 footer last year to put in our front window. My kids think it reminds them of Target because it's red and white. They don't want any other ornaments on it. At night it looks pretty celestial, it's so bright.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THANKSGIVING 2010

Sorry about all the pictures, but this is for Kira and Lexie who didn't get to make it to Willard reunion this year. Thanksgiving time is reunion time for Kevin's side of the family. This is the only Thanksgiving my children have ever known, and has been happening even before I married Kevin. The kids look forward to it every year, as this is about the only time they get to see most of their uncles, aunts, and cousins. Every family has food assignments, sleeping arrangements made, and an itinerary in hand. Our food assignment every year is to make the fruit salad for the big dinner, so here we are chopping apples, peeling pomegranates, and dumping in the canned fruit! (While Penny makes her stuffing...)
Connie, Penny, Aly, Randy, and Vicki
Randy is the brother that is closest in age to Kevin. They are a year apart. We spend Thanksgiving weekend at their house. We wouldn't have it any other way...I hope Penny feels the same way!
Heading over to Bob's house to prepare for our dinner on Thursday. We meet and mingle, while the other's finish their food assignments. We have already met that morning for a big breakfast at the church, the first gathering of the weekend.
Vicki, Lauren, and a friend she brought. (Plus little Henry!)
Last minute fixings in the kitchen.
Hazel, Parry, Randy, and Bob (sister-in-law, and all brothers to Kevin)
Everybody else can't wait to eat!
Tibi, Michaela, Landon, Connie, and Levi
The little kids even keep themselves busy till it's dinnertime...
(plus mommies Victoria and Dana)
Still mingling...
Jeff, Tibi (big Tibi), Rachel, Audrey, and Joe (Rachel's husband)
Yay! Food to the tables...
Marnie, Parry, Penny, and Melissa
Kevin can't resist taking pictures of pretty girls!
Katie, Rachel, Jensen, Natalie, and Jorgen
Kevin's only sister, Teressa. She is the youngest in the family, after 7 boys!
About ready for a blessing on the food...
Randon (looking a little scruffy), and his new wife, Kylee
Jonah took more vegetables on his plate than anything else. He enjoyed playing with his red pepper and mixing his jello with it!
Now we're full and can't move!!
But we are happy!
Evidently, no more pictures - but that night we had family night (missionary reports, family additions announced, family history stories, etc.) On Friday, we met at Bob's house instead of the park because it was so cold. We ate lunch, shot off rockets, had a treasure hunt for the toddlers and young kids, and ate Aunt Linda's toffee! Yum... Then we hung around, some went shopping, until meeting at the temple for the Christmas lighting of the grounds, then back to Bob's for our traditional Canneloni/Breadsticks (all homemade) dinner and Silly Song Night. Our family rocked (of course!) with an awesome personalized family version of "Bust a Move". Check out Connie's blog (down the sidebar) for a "live version". It's probably about the only rap song that I will ever enjoy listening to because it turned out so funny...AND TRUE!
Until next year...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

HOMECOMING 2010

From this...(and I would call that "holding" in my book)
to this...
This whole week the kids have been involved in Homecoming activities. Float making, powderpuff football, movie in the cafeteria (instead of the football field this year because of lightening), football games, and the Homecoming parade all happened on different days (although float making happened on EVERY day). Tonight is the end of the festivities, with the dance finishing up the long list of fun they have been having. And boy, am I tired! It has been a week of late nights, early mornings, missed Seminary, and Kira moving to back to Utah. This year for Homecoming, they decided to make the dance a semi-formal event, instead of having it after the Varsity football game. I, for one, thought that this was a better idea, as "dress up"dances are always better than "jeans and t-shirt" dances...

I wish I would have taken a back shot of Tibi's hair. It was beautiful. Michaela was a trooper and hung around to do it for her. She sacrificed her OWN fun night for her sister. Tibi owes her...

Here's Tibi with her date for the day, Brendan Watkins. He's a cross-country running buddy, and a very nice boy. They look pretty festive in their orange and black!

Landon took off to the dance also, but didn't want his picture taken, even though I thought he looked like a dreamboat! He went to boogie with all the girls who were too young to have a date. Man, I'd love to sleep in tomorrow, but it's off to choir practice at 9 a.m. instead. Maybe I'll get a Sunday nap for once. I usually don't need one. Tomorrow may be a different story...

Friday, October 15, 2010

One Big Head!

This last week has been a doozie! Lexie and her two boys AND cousin, Karena, and her three boys came for a visit and a list of things to do when they got here. Karena brought her very first quilt she made with her to be quilted by a valley quilter (thanks Pat!) and Lexie brought her composed songs to have strings added. That was the easy part, although my brain was fried by the time we were done composing. It was all those cute little boys and the noises they made, the messes they made, and the running and getting hurt (including feelings) they ended up with. Well, they all left today (hense, no blogging for a week) and it is quiet...a little too quiet. Dad, Landon, and Tibi are at the varsity football game in Vegas tonight, which I was way too tired to even consider going to. Kira and Michaela are over at a house painting the theater room walls, and I am here by myself. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE being by myself every once in a while, but especially tonight. By the way, I just got my phone call (mandatory) letting me know that Lexie made it home alright. I can now enjoy the rest of my lonely night! In all of the boy's roughhousing, this is the last (I think) thing that happened before they were about to head home. This big head of Phoenix's...

did this to my table! The craziest thing is that he never cried. That kid has one big head!! So the table glass is gone until a new one can be ordered and made...in the meantime, if we're not paying enough attention, our glass of water will end up on the floor through any one of those holes!
(I still can't believe that a 2 year old's head could break 1/4" glass)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Night Singing

Today was a big day. We spent the day with our good friends, the Chappells, because of Britney and Chad's little baby girl's blessing. After going to their 9 a.m. Sacrament Meeting, we headed over to their house for a luncheon and some hanging out - mostly cuddling with that cute little baby Kembrie. After we finally got home, had dinner, settled in, put some kids to bed, we sat around and did this:

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It was a blast, brought back memories, and even gave us all a chance to hear Kira's song she wrote. I have some pretty talented kids, if I say so myself! (and dad's a great listener himself :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

FINALLY!!

It is October 4th, and it is finally cooling off. We got dumped on today. Not quite sure which way it was coming from. At times it was heading in from the north, then later it was coming from California. Actually, I don't care where it comes from, as long as it comes - and come it did! All day! What a great day it has been...

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It was a day of homemade bread and a yummy pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. We've waited all summer to have a dinner like this!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

General Conference Loves

As the men and boys are off to General Priesthood Meeting, I have decided to use my time wisely and blog, since I am overdue - and it's better than watching TV, which I don't really like to do anyway. I have been reading Mockingjay the last few days and need to finish it, but I rarely get the computer to myself for an extended, uninterrupted amount of time, so I thought that now is the best time for that.
There are so many things I love about General Conference. First of all, when conference is in October, that means that our weather is finally changing, and today is a day of change. It is still warm outside, but we are having dark clouds that look like they could either flash with lightening and thunder, or could dump on us at any time. I love this season, for SO many reasons. Right now I have a new pumpkin recipe cooling on the counter. There's one reason. I also love the new autumn candles that are burning in my home. The smells of fall are the best! I also love that I can sleep with my windows open. (For those of you in Utah, you will not understand this)
I am also grateful for many things today. I'm thankful for a husband that takes our son to General Priesthood meeting, that they both go together out of habit, and not because they should be there. That is such a blessing in MY life. I am grateful to hear our sweet prophet speak, as well as other general authorities that I respect so much. I am thankful for the talks of encouragement, the moments that make us all laugh, and the tender times when I tear up. Conference brings out everything in me, and I am grateful most of all, that my family is right there experiencing those same things with me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Relaxing Sunday Night...

So let's just say that the missionaries spend A LOT of time at our house. Don't get me wrong...these guys are awesome missionaries. They are hard-working and have had a lot of success out here in our valley. They came over tonight to spend a little time here before they are shipped out and transferred to their next stop. Hardly ever in Logandale have both missionaries been transferred on the same day, but these two are either doing too well....or not! (smile) With Kevin being the ward mission leader, they have spent many dinner appointments here, stopped by to turn in reports to him, and checked in for a cool drink every now and then too. Here they are devouring a cake that we needed to get rid of pronto! What better way to spend it than on missionaries...who will eat anything! Good luck guys.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm Hooked!

Look at all this stuff! I had heard about "Bountiful Baskets" from friends and a recent newspaper article in our local paper, but I never knew how profitable it could be until today. Yes, today was my first "official" pickup day for my very own bountiful basket, and look at all I got! At least $25 worth of fruits and vegetables for only a $15 contribution. The good news is that they are going to start coming weekly instead of every other week here to our elementary school which is just down the street from me. So if I miss a week because I'm out of town or something, I won't feel like I have to wait forever to get this yummy, fresh produce. Here in the desert, we are definitely fresh fruit and vegetable "deprived". Yay for me...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Good News...and the Bad News

I guess we'd better start with the bad news. This news involves Landon and his football game in Hurricane. I really don't know why we have to play Utah teams...they are bigger and have more kids to choose from, which means that they are better football players, or at least bigger than our guys. It also means travel time (try playing Delta sometime, yucky travel time), and time change because Utah is an hour ahead of us. This is where the whole problem started for us yesterday. Somewhere along the lines, the ball was dropped on making sure our athletic program was in sync with THEIR team on when the game was supposed to start. To make a long story short, we got a phone call as we were heading into the gorge that informed us that the game was starting right then, an hour sooner than we had planned. We knew that Landon was starting as quarterback for the first half, which meant by the time we would get there, he would be done with his half and we would end up missing him as quarterback. Needless to say, we were not happy. Who messed up on that one? And we were not the only upset parents. In the end, we found out that it was OUR school's fault, so we couldn't blame Hurricane, which is what we would have WANTED to do...To make matters worse, Landon was hit hard in the hips and had to take himself out of the game. So not only did we not see him play, we didn't even get to see him get hurt! What a waste of a drive...We ended up leaving to take him back to Logandale so that our wonderful chiropracter, Dr. Askeroth, could check him out before he was leaving the next day for a Labor Day weekend. Man do we love that guy! Landon has been walking around like a 90 year old, but is moving better than yesterday. This is the only picture I got of him, which is his "lounging around the house like the doctor told me to" shot. Good thing it's a long weekend. I guess if you can't PLAY football, you might as well WATCH it.The good news is that we got to watch Tibi run in her cross country meet in Vegas this morning. She was in the last heat, which put her running IN the heat (10 a.m.), but she did her best in spite of not feeling her best (darn those female problems!)
Here she is coming up right behind her teammate (in yellow)
Pushing to the end...

Here's to the start of another sports year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Landon!

Today my "baby" turned 15 years old! Man, I remember SO WELL when this little guy was born, and it doesn't seem like that long ago. And now he is going to be a sophomore in high school this year. I am so grateful that I had these two last kids instead of stopping after the four girls (like I thought I wanted to). It was not a very eventful day for Landon, but he is still thankful he at least got a cake. Last year he didn't even get that, evidently. Bad mom...
He was also lucky to have his sister Lexie visiting at the same time as his birthday!
"Come give your mother a nice birthday kiss!"
I deserve one after all...this kid weighed 9 1/2 lbs. when he was born and about killed me!
Everyone joined in on eating the cake, of course. Right before dinner...good timing for a birthday celebration!
Marce thinks this is a good idea.
Phoenix is alright with it too...
Happy Birthday Landon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wedding Weekend

Okay, so our "plan" was to have a nice, leisurely ride down to Carlsbad for a great weekend of wedded bliss. (And fun with the family) Everything was going great, until we reached Corona. Someone had placed a nice, big (huge) pothole right in the middle of the fast lane. Needless to say, that pothole took a bite out of our car and made the right tiebar sheer right off the wheel. It sounded like an earthquake was hitting right beneath the car. We were able to pull it over off the freeway, but the car was rendered undriveable, so we sat there at 9:30 p.m. trying to figure out what we were going to do. We had a 5:30 wakeup call to get to the temple for a 9 a.m. sealing the next morning. To make a long story short, this is ME at 2 a.m. the next morning, the morning of the sealing, FINALLY at mom and dad's house. (The look says it all...)
So with 3 hours of sleep, we get to the temple where these crazy Chappell kids end up "freezing." (I don't get it...)
Here's Parker, Jordan, and Britney (ready to give birth in about 5 weeks)
The sealing was beautiful, and grandpa (dad) did an amazing job, as usual. My sister, Lisa, and Connie are just waiting for everyone to get outside afterwards.
If any of you know my brother Jeff, you know that he LOVES to ask questions, all kinds of questions, questions that tell him everything there is to know about you. So here he is drilling Grandma and Grandpa Chappell (Val & Sharla) on what he needs to know about them. Ya gotta love him for it...
Still waiting... Grandma Packard, my brother, Chris, and his wife, Dianna. (looking at SOMETHING)
Okay, this is going to be confusing for those of you who don't really know my family, but hang in there. This is Jack, Peter's brother, and his wife Kathy. Peter is married to Connie, our oldest daughter, and Kathy is my brother Chris' daughter - which makes the brothers brothers-in-law, and the girl cousins sisters-in-law. Does that make sense?! If you didn't get all that, then just remember that Jack and Kathy were the ones who came and bailed us out on the freeway that first night, which means that they didn't get home till 2 a.m. also and had to get up at 5:30 the next morning too. That is probably easier to digest, but not quite as fun!
Here we are at the back of the temple (the freeway side that looks the coolest) waiting for the happy couple to emerge for picture taking.
The kids were waiting too. They had to wait longer than we did because they had been outside the whole time we were in the sealing.
Still waiting...
And here they come...They'll probably have to see these pictures to remember any of this!
Oh happy day! (but not quite over yet)The relieved dads. (plus Jeff)
We can go home after all pictures are taken. And that means a picture of just about everybody.
The Chappell kids, including Heather. Yay!
The grandparents. (a good-lookin' bunch)
The Willards (best friends with BOTH families, how lucky is that?!) Tibi and Landon missed this trip to California because of either not wanting to take another trip, or football lock in. You figure out which child goes with which reason...
Gotta love these father/son shots! (suck it in guys)
What a treat for Kevin and I to be a part of this day with our best friends. And to go home to do it. AND to have dad do the sealing. AND to get out of the heat. AND...
We finally left, headed back up to Carlsbad to The Hunter, where we had a delightful luncheon.
Hey, how did this picture get in here?! This photo didn't happen till Saturday night when we were finally able to sneak in a game or two. (pretend you don't see it until after the reception)
So here we are at the reception, and it looks like some good-looking guy has already found Michaela. (j/k) They actually met at a Single's activity earlier in the week. This is Sterling, who with a bunch of other friends came to California to play. They were from Mesa, Arizona and just happened to be there when we were, which ended up being a great time for these two to meet.
Having some yummy food at the reception.
Brock and Heather's cake was beautiful. (That guy on the left is Gregg going back for his 2nd...no 3rd...no 2nd....I lost count, piece of cake!)
It was a long day, especially for Kevin, Kira, and I (AND Jack and Kathy) but we made it without falling asleep in the middle of something, and still had energy to stay and clean up a bit until they threw us out. What a day...