21 December 2008

New Scarves for the Special Olympics

JJ and my Mom donated a scarf each. I just wanted to showcase their workmanship here before I send them off to Headquarters. Amazing aren't they!! The picture does not do them justice. Mom's has a lot of texture in her pattern and JD approves of JJ's color variation and tassels.
I don't want to darken their gifts with sadness, but there has been a turn of events in next years World Special Olympics. I don't know all of the details but it sounds like economic events in the country have put a huge damper on the games. But Bogus Basin and Brundage Ski Resort stepped up and are graciously hosting the alpine skiing events anyway. A local Boise bank is providing medals. Too bad for all of those hockey, ice skating, and etc. participants. I saw a volunteer coat on Ebay last month, sign of the times.

Thank you for your help Mom and JJ. Some skier will be cozy, warm and so excited!

12 December 2008

Christmas Miracle

Now, I know you are thinking the miracle is that I have posted to my blog, but I am happy to announce that it is SO much more than that. Drum roll please...the kids have learned how to take off the empty roll AND replace it with a new one!!!Evidence #1: Notice that the new roll is backwards (flap going backwards). Such a small thing when it comes down to it. The replacement alone is advanced housekeeping, we can overlook the misdirection. I know what you are thinking - how do I know it isn't JP going around the house replacing empty rolls....
Here is JP's powder room. Notice the empty roll just below the new one? Ya, ya, ya, it's my empty roll too, but still evidence #2.
Evidence #3 is the standard way a new roll should look if I had anything to do with it. Notice the flap coming forward? The triangle fold comes from three months at Three Bear Lodge. Good times...
Any way, I hope that you find your Christmas miracle just as I did. It doesn't matter how small or inconspicuous. Find it and be joyful. Make your Christmas AMAZING! Merry Christmas!!!

26 November 2008

Snow! Sort of...

So last week we had our first sort of snow. It started out as a sleety rain and gradually turned into ginormous soggy cotton balls and started to stick. The girls were so excited they headed out in flip-flops and Ts. They back tracked quickly and redressed more appropriately, their own idea - it is amazing what an inch of slush will make you do. BK admired their bravery from the doorway.

They made it about 15 minutes and then trudged in with heavy shoes and soggy socks. We are so ready for winter! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

22 November 2008

Red Ribbon Week

Sock it to Drugs (Crazy sock day)
Red-y to always be drug free (wear red)
Make Drugs Walk the Plank (pirate dress - prelude to that nights Fall Festival Theme)
We also had Hats off to being drug free (hat day). It has just been a fun reminder and good dialogue starter for keeping our kids drug free.

Pirates Don't Cry or Do They...

Change is always a big deal in our house. I have tried springing it on them and I have tried the gentle persuasion and reminder of upcoming events but it always comes down to the same thing. Tears.
We started early this year with our Halloween costume finding. The girls wanted to be witches (not the scary/ugly ones but the pretty ones like princesses), we had a spider for JD and BK didn't care. So we found suitable witch costumes, and happened across a pirate costume. IT WAS AWESOME!! It was such a great find because BK to Daddy could fit into it. BLEE had pirate day at school for Red Ribbon week and was able to use it then and then BK could use it at several Halloween occasions.

When we finally got it on all he wanted to be was a Pooh Bear (a suggestion from his older sister). So we tried Pooh Bear. Thank you C & W! Though the tears streamed in that one also. It did help when the candy started flowing though. Someday he will look back and ask why it looks like he was crying in all of his Halloween picts.

12 November 2008


I would like to think of myself as an optimist. This is why I get Blee ready for school with my mask pushed up on top of my head and one eye closed. It could happen. I could get her ready for school and quietly slip back in bed for a few more zzz, couldn't I?
The issue has become sleep deprivation. This week JP and I took the opportunity to push JD out of our nest. He is 7 1/2 months old. He hasn't been excited about the move and it takes him awhile to calm down.

It was especially tough for him last night. JP just went back to work after being home for a week. So we started out late-late even for me. Then at 5 am EEP and BK came creeping, panicked into my room. A robot with "grabber" hands was coming after them. Their night light was out and I had just put the last bulb into JD's light.
So my empty nest quickly filled with whispers, grinding teeth (Princess EEP), quiet giggling, and finally soft snores. This was followed by a 6 am feeding and a jarring alarm soon after. So I am optimistic. There will be a nap in today's itinerary.Tonight should be better. JD's bottom teeth finally came in!!!

05 November 2008

Who's Who?

So can you figure out which one is Bk and which is JD? The teeth will always be the give away for me. JD is 6 months in his picture and BK is 8 months in his. Highlight the area underneath each picture to find out which is which. JD

02 November 2008

Fall Festival

I just wanted to put down the finer points of the PTA Fall Festival before the sieve is empty. The Fall Festival is a free carnival-like party at our school given in thanks for all the support of our PTA fundraiser. This year we ran with a pirate theme so the kids could dress up. It was October 30th from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. If you have pics email them to me and I will add them to my blog.
Some of our PTA mommies that have absolutely nothing better to do on an afternoon than plan a shindig for hundreds of people.

We ran five game booths, 1 craft booth, and the ever popular DJ NIX (who will be having a baby and won't be able to be at our Spring Carnival). We also served free chili for the whole family, a bake sale, and sold school T-shirts.

Our games were:

Bowling for Skulls - 6 2-liter soda bottles covered with skulls and a b-ball, Eyeballs Everywhere - red plastic cups duct taped to the bottom of a small kiddie pool and ping pong balls colored like eyeballs,

Walk the Plank - a balance beam that the kids had to walk down and back (I was skeptical but BLEE loved this one the most and said that it was very challenging),

Trolling for Treasure - fish pond,

Creepy Crawly (?) - cooked spaghetti noodles with plastic spider rings.

Our craft booth was a coloring contest. It worked out really great and kept kids busy. We gave out Starbursts for the top three pictures in 4 and under, 5-7, and 8 and up groupings. We had planned tootsie pop spiders, but couldn't find the pipe cleaners. I choose to do the coloring next year too.

We spent $25 on the orange punch from McDonald's - 24 gallons ($8 dollars off regular price). They check out their 10 gallon igloo and seriously JP was busy, let's never do a 5 gal. We did do a 5 gallon igloo for water (full time job). We opened 36 1-gallon cans of Chili served with tortilla chips (two or three boxes ?) and sprinkled with cheese (20lbs) - $350 (including some cups, bowls, plates (bake sale) and tootsie rolls for booth prizes).

We paid the lunch ladies to serve the chili and DJ NIX to do her thing ($$$ WELL SPENT on both parts). I don't believe we have to pay the janitors but after learning how to run the automatic mop we didn't need them for anything else.

For our next function we will need to buy more prizes for booths we usually get those bulk from Oriental Trading or the like. Plastic bracelets and tattoos and candy always go well. I'd like to steer clear of choking hazards...they just end up in the trash as soon as we get home.

The bake sale was sensational. Lots of donations. Cookies, cupcakes, and goodie bags seem to sell the best. Larger items that are more pricey sit until the very end. The bake sale was with the t-shirt sales. They were the only things that cost money. We brought in a huge amount of money. Next year I would like to keep record for how many shirts we sell so we can see what the profit is (we make no money on t-shirts). It would be fun to see what our kiddos bring in on a well stocked sale.

This was our third festival that the board has done this together and I think that it went really well. We really couldn't have done it without the men in our lives though - THANK YOU! High fives all around.

I am glad that it is done and went well. For me the best part was running the automatic mop. I so need one in my house. I wonder if they make the like of it for toilets...

26 October 2008

Watcher in the Woods

As a child I steered into scary stories (not movies they were to vivid afterwards). I enjoyed making them up, the scarier the better. I even won young authors in 5th grade for one of my ghost stories. I liked the thrill, the adrenaline rush. But I am over that now. I am an adult that likes the safety of safety. Halloween is cool, but like my daughters I choose princess witch over hag any day.

So you know that creepy feeling that you get when you are being watched? The hair on the back of your neck stands on end, you get goose bumps, you scan the room for all exits and grab the nearest thing that could do some damage. My weapon of choice is usually the pen from my journal and my 20 Questions hand held game, a pair of scissors is also nice if available. I figure if it came down to it I could huck the game and gouge out the predator's eyes...never mind that for athletic as I grew up, hitting the broadside of a barn was never in my repertoire.

Any way, this is a feeling I have been getting a lot lately. It is especially nerve killing when JP is not around. I am a night owl in every sense of the word - though I don't do mice (I miss you Gilwell!). I enjoy that peaceful time when the kids are dreaming, the house is finally clean and I get to think about grown up things like NOTHING. So it is quite discombobulating when I get that creepy feeling...

So I grab the pen and the game, ears alive and stealthily roll over...only to be met by this:Once I have eye contact with my assailant instead of gagging and torturing me, he giggles, he coos, and he blows raspberry kisses. Frightening, I know. It is 3 in the morning! It is becoming a habit of JD's. I am getting better at not letting my gargantuan imagination ahead of me, but still I may already be out of like, ten years of life for it.

I guess it could always be worse he could be awake and crying or it could actually be the scary one legged man from Thump, Drag.

22 October 2008


EEP just came up to me and called dibs on her photo albums. Now I don't have a problem if she takes her things with her when she goes but seriously, why does it have to be attached to my impending death?! Should I tell her about the estate sale and foundation for blind snails now or just let her find out at the reading of the will?

Like Mike

It has been warm recently and we have been taking advantage of the weather to get our yard ready for winter. The kids have loved all the outdoor time. EEP seems to be less and less effected by the sun this summer. Hopefully her photosensitivity will soon be a thing of the past.No, JD is not just blinking. He actually fell asleep with his tongue out. Apparently it takes some effort to get to sleep in the Packer household. He certainly isn't doing any slam dunks, but twenty minutes of shut eye is just about as exciting. JD has had such a tough time teething that he really doesn't sleep longer than 30 minutes. It is almost creepy how you can set your watch to it. Between him and BK the stock in sleep has skyrocketed.

21 October 2008


So because this month has been so harried I am faking my Treasure Hunt Tuesdays - sorry Jenee, I will do better. I am still the photographer and these are even new this past week they just have no artistic value what so ever. The fence before the project began

Our fearless leader power-washing the old stain off.
We had to redo the fence stain. JP and I both thought that we could stretch it out for another year but our CC&Rs said that it was time.
Silver to cedar with just a little water.

Freshly washed fence.

The help - they excepted payment in bubblegum...which we later cut out of their hair.
JP spent three days taking the old stuff off and it took us about two hours to put it back on. I didn't want it to need it but the results were amazing. Perspective can always change from beginning to the end. Thank you JP!

19 October 2008

The Little Things

So this month has been a little overwhelming. I have had meeting upon meeting (don't forget the one in Spanish) and LOTS of training meetings that I am over through both Scouting and Primary. PTA has had their cookie dough fundraiser ($10,000 less this year than last) and now we are off to thank everyone's support with a free Fall Festival. I just have to make it to the holidays... For those of you that think that we over-active mommies are superwomen my house and meals have reflected those abilities. Let's just say without JP none of this would be possible.

So realizing that I am not superwoman (though I am divine by birth-learned that at one of my meetings) I have come to a crashing halt. This morning I rolled out of bed (please don't ask what time) and made it just in time to breath and slap on my happy face before the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program started. As a Stake Primary Representative I get to go to them -7 total - the other women in the presidency took pity and I was assigned just my own ward. Knowing that none of them would be dragging all of their children to than much church I grabbed and ran with that suggestion.

I always love these programs and recognize the intense efforts that go into planning and executing them. It can be very intense, especially when your stake does TWO a year and have any amount of Sunbeams (the three and four year olds). So bravo to all those leaders involved.

Any way, after a beyond crazy month I got to see my 7 and 5 year old twirl and dance their way through another awe-inspiring program (no - twirling and dancing is not actually part of the program, it's just what you get when the Packers are on stage). The real tear-jerker was when my 3 year old stood up by our pew and started singing all the songs with the primary! I think that Book of Mormon Stories was his favorite. We were sitting next to the music leader and he was doing all of her actions fervently. He has now found the woman with the real power. After I Love to See the Temple (of which he sang every word with robust) he turned to me and said, "Mom! Mom! They know your favorite song!" He is so ready for primary next year.
They are why I do all this craziness and in the end they are what keep me sane.

14 October 2008

Super Powers

Seriously. I really am having a hard time say more than that, though if you know me I don't give up that easily. I am just completely in awe.

I keep hiding every pair of scissors that we own and more keep popping up. My number three baby has this super power to find them. He is like a magnet. This month he has cut every piece of paper that he has come in contact with and then some. Some have been important but most have not. He gave himself a pretty amazing haircut after which I was positive he would have been scared silly to touch the things again.
But I confess to being overconfident in my persuasion skills. He has found them again. This time it was his shirt. It was a sweatshirt and red to boot (he pretty much will only wear red and it is quite chilly now so the need to have warm red shirts is mounting).
Now for those of you that are wondering where the mother and father are in this picture that I have painted of a three year old shredding his shirt they were front and center and even talked with him about his picture he was drawing (monsters and a pirate map, very ferocious). I just wonder what it was like raising Clark Kent...

06 October 2008

Treasure Hunt Tuesdays

The theme for this week was "Fall". Here in Idaho we usually don't get much of an autumn. Things go from green to gross quickly. The last few years it has been amazing to actually see a color change. It must be all of that global warming.
So I went with nostalgia vs. the norm even though we do have some spectacular colors this year. My best memories of fall have always been the crisp air coming into a hot humid house full of the aroma of baking. My Mom is an amazing artist in the kitchen. I remember quite literally hundreds of donuts dripping from dowels at harvest time, the lid popping on jar after jar of peaches late into the night, and scores of pies - mostly apple with a dusting of those special pecans pies just for Grandpa. It was a breathtaking sight that put the senses into dizzying spirals of joy. This week we made four peach pies, not the apple of my childhood, but then peaches were held with reverence and a jar was not opened until the first snow flake flew. Words can't do the aroma justice and it can't be captured in picture so close your eyes and see where your senses take you. No special ingredient needed.

05 October 2008


Do not proceed if you have a weak stomach or are easily grossed out. I have pictures that may be offensive.

I have a bit of a foot fetish. I love pedicures. There is something amazing that happens in a tub of hot soapy water. I love it. I walk around in slippers or barefooted most of my days and shoes that are open in the back (sandals, flip flops, clogs) the few times that I have to leave the house so you should only have to imagine what my feet look like - but I will show you.

The green comes from mowing the lawn in my flip flops. It actually gets into the cracks and won't come clean. I know OSHA would not approve, but the neighbors don't care as long as the lawn looks manicured. The deepest crack is actually quite painful, it is deep enough to actually hit nerve. I can't feel anything through the callous. I know, my diabetic husband has better looking feet.

JP is a good sport and very supportive when it comes to taking care of my feet (mostly because he is terrified that I may kill him one day by rubbing him to death with my rough feet). So he recently purchased a PedEgg for me. I had wanted one, but I am really no good at going beyond the coveting stage, I'm just no good at shopping. The first time I used it I went into the procedure (removing that much of yourself is a procedure) a little skeptical. But I must admit I was WOWed! I had pink skin and everything. The PedEgg is easy to hold and the best part about it is that it collected the 5 pounds of callous that shaved off and I was able to toss that rather than hope I vacuumed it all up before JD rolled into it. The most amazing thing was that I actually had sensation back in my heals. It was crazy amazing.

Only about an hour has lapsed between foot photographs. You can still see where the two deepest cracks were, but I but everything else is gone.

So for those of you that have been on the thresh hold and been holding out for proof consider it delivered with ribbons and bows. Buy it, love it, live foot happy.

02 October 2008

¿Dónde esta el baño?

Okay, so most of you all know that I speak fluent "Dora" Spanish. I have also retained quite a bit of high school Spanish, but drop me off in a Latin country and I would only be able to find the bathroom and stinky green cheese. Keep this in mind.

Any way, I am the 2nd Councilor of the Stake Primary Presidency and I am required to attend a few meetings, some of which are meetings about meetings. One of said meetings was last week. It had been a long day and I dreaded leaving the clutches of my 6 mo. old. It would also require that I apply make-up and a dress, both of which require the use of heavy machinery.

So I put in a real effort, kiss my ninos adios, and head to the meeting. The meeting lasts a mere 90 minutes or so and was chased with refreshments. Not bad...except that the whole meeting was in SPANISH!

Now for those of you that roam the earth and check into church in whatever language, knowing that the spirit will be the same, you at least have the heads up that you are going into a situation that requires a different ear. It is like watching Evita for the first time thinking that you are going to see an action movie about the revolutionary Argentina only to find out it is a craptastic OPERA! You keep watching to find out when the cast is going to drop the bravado and just speak, but they never do. It is a little traumatic.

So I sat through this meeting, it is late (it started at 8:30pm) and all I can understand so far is a word that I would swear was ice cream (helado). We had been prepped that we each might need to say a thing or two as well and I was wondering the whole time if they would get the spirit of what I was saying (some say that I convey more with my hands and eyebrows than all the words in the world). Luckily the meeting ran long and we did not all have to do our part. But in the future I will be a lot more sympathetic to those people with glazed eyes in meetings. Maybe we just aren't speaking their language and hopefully they will get the spirit of the message.

29 September 2008

Scarves #3, #4, #5

Okay, so I have finished five scarves to date. I hear that at least two more on in the works as we speak. I can't wait to see pictures of them! This has been so much fun and pretty relaxing. It has even been fun unravelling a scarf (it was a foot over the measurements, seriously some people should just not start too early in the day).
This is number one. It was an experiment just to find out how many rows I needed (20) to get to the needed width. I am not crazy about it but it has no real character flaws.
I liked these two much better. The consensus is that the more blue the better.

I just finished with these last two and loved both of them. The kids asked if they could take them to bed. Apparently I am making at least two more in puffy pink next...
Everyone in the house has had fun with this project. It has been a real family affair.

26 September 2008


So Sunday I was subbing in the Valiant 10 class. These are nine and ten year old boys. I walked in and the class was empty and the lights were out (no windows). So I promptly went looking - no way could that many boys be gone on the same day right?

I talked to the primary secretary again and we started peeking into classrooms and restrooms (not me a male teacher). I ran into the parents of one of the boys and they assured me that their boy was ... somewhere. I checked the room again, still no kids, no lights.

Ten minutes into class I decide to go set up any way. I found four boys strategically hiding behind chairs and tables, absolutely still and quiet. I recognized their prowess and named them king of the hill and proceeded to teach them the gospel. They are good kids and followed along and asked and answered questions.

The lesson was on Jesus Visiting the Nephites. At one point we were talking about how the Nephites were so happy that they cried. The boys so did not relate to this. They could not fathom how the two reactions could happen together. We discussed it some and then one of the boys remembered a time when something "exactly like that" happened to him - he had laughed so hard he had wet his pants. Since it was the closest to what we were talking about the perspective stuck and suddenly all the boys understood. The Nephites must have been really happy.

I do believe that a gentleman out in the foyer had a coughing fit at this point (I had the door wide open). I don't have all the answers and it is good when they can relate the world around them to themselves. I do believe that they will remember 3rd Nephi for awhile at least. We left it at that.

24 September 2008


Can I tell you how much I love my husband?! He just stayed up almost all night because he couldn't put down Breaking Dawn (Twilight, Stephenie Meyer). It was so cute. Granted we usually don't go to bed until two but still, it has been fun sharing this experience. Next we start on Brisinger...

23 September 2008

Treasure Hunt Tuesday

So I have a little case of agoraphobia, not really, I just don't get out much. This week's theme of buildings was really tough for me. I got out to get the mail, milk and go to church.
So we started looking around the house. Living in a cookie cutter home in the heart of suburbia doesn't offer up much.
So when I saw the tower I decided it didn't get much better. We call this demolition day (kind of like a theme in our house).