Friday, December 17, 2010

Drowned Rat

I FINALLY got the Christmas lights up outside.

By myself.

While it was raining.

Actually, it was quite fun.  But now I am wet.  And I need some hot chocolate.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I've been sitting here reading blogs for, well,  probably too long, and I'm feeling guilty about the length of time that has passed since my last/first post.  When I got around to writing that one I felt like since I had finally broken the ice it would be a piece of cake to be "a regular". 


Oh, I think about writing all the time.  I think about things I want to write about all the time.  Why oh why can't I turn that thinking into digital images???

So tonight as I was thinking about writing again I decided to STOP thinking and just start typing.  So if this all sounds thoughtless...

Anyway, it is too late for something profound, or precocious, or poetic.  But I've broken the ice, again, so hopefully there is hope for me yet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I want to be a runner again. I want a runner’s body.

I want a runner’s lung capacity.

In the back of my mind I have always wanted to run a marathon.

I want a runner’s euphoria - you know, that moment when you no longer feel your lungs or your legs. When you recognize all that is good and beautiful around you. When stress is erased and solutions to problems become clear and all is right with the world.


I just have one problem. Well, two, technically.
My knees are lame. Literally and figuratively. I blame it on several factors.
Heredity (more on that later).
And some kind of injury (meniscus I’m guessing) incurred last summer when I first decided to reclaim my running glory days, and that I keep irritating every time I think it is healed and try to run again.
I am a slow learner, but have finally reconciled myself to the fact that I cannot be a runner.

So, I have decided to be a biker.
In the Schwinn sense, not the Hog.
I guess cyclist is the more accurate term, but don’t you think it sounds a lot better to be a Biker Momma than a Cycling Grandma? I do too.

So Biker Momma it is. I have found a 2 ½ mile circular route in the neighborhoods around my house that suits me pretty well right now. How much time I have to exercise determines how many laps I do. There are a few moderate hills to keep things interesting, and not much traffic to keep things safe.

FACT: I am a little paranoid about cars. It is justified.

One of the teachers at the high school has broken bones twice in the past year after being clipped by cars while cycling. So while I hope to feel more comfortable around cars in the future so that I can venture down by the beach, for now I love the solitude of the neighborhood.

FACT: While the definition of my bike says otherwise, you will NOT find me on any mountains. I value my knees, elbows, and face way too much. (If you know mountain bikers you know what I am talking about.)

FACT: You will NOT find me racing. Think much more turtle, much less hare.
Slow and steady. My knees seem to be okay with this. Not completely thrilled, but pretty happy to be off the pounding pavement.

So, hopefully, soon I will have a biker’s body. A biker’s lung capacity.

Is there a biker’s euphoria?

I think it is the moment when my ride is finished and I lift my backside off the seat.


Monday, October 4, 2010


Some people - okay just one daughter had the guts to say it out loud - have told me that it is lame to keep putting up posts about our trip last spring. (Especially, she says, since Dad has already described even the most minute detail of every day to everyone.) I get that. However, I refuse to feel bad about the posts, including one more to come of our last few days in Nauvoo. The posts were really only written for the benefit of those of us who went, because we believe the quote Annie has on her blog by Anais Nin. “We write to taste life twice - in the moment and in retrospection.” We wanted to remember all the fun, funny, awesome, awe-inspiring and spiritually uplifting things we saw and did, and by doing so remember the bonding it created for us. We have taken many family trips over the past 30 years and we have written very little about them down. Big mistake. We have fond, vague memories, but nothing that brings a vivid recollection of a glorious day viewing God’s creations or of a tender moment between siblings. So we wrote down all the details we could remember about this last trip, in order to “taste” it again and again and again when we get hungry. So humor us one last time, and then we will try to be less lame.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wed 4/14

We woke up EARLY and reluctantly left Columbus for Nauvoo. We left Alisha behind because she had to fly back to Provo for work.


After Sunday being such a wonderful day we felt rejuvenated, well at least I did.

We woke up some what early (no surprise) visited the Peter Whitmer Farm and Visitor Center there.

After a few hours we continued on to Nigra Falls. There we were able to get tickets for the Maid of the Midst. TOTALLY AWESOME!! Mom, Dad, Alisha, and Sarah stayed at the very front of the boat and got pretty wet. Adam wasn't too excited about being at the front,  not only because of the moisture factor but because he couldn't see as well, so they went to the top and still got soaked. It is amazing. When you think about THAT much water in such a short amount of time, it's crazy, but beautiful.

Okay so this was another HILARIOUS MOMENT:
If you can't see it, the bottom says "Butt Depot". Adam is one Funny Kid!

After we drove to Kirtland, and had dinner at Cracker Barrel. Definitely a different restaurant, not like one you would find in California, but it was Yummy :) Plus, we needed a Home Made type meal.

After stuffing our faces we found a Ramada Inn, got a room, found numerous problems with the room, changed rooms, the kids went swimming, and got into bed early. It was a good day.


This was a Wonderful day:
We woke up and went to church, which was conveniently a few hundred feet away from the Inn, then had lunch meals which we had bought the night before. (Good idea! We were so tired of sandwiches) After we had filled our bellies we piled up in the car and went sight seeing. We visited the Grandin Press, Erie Canal, the Temple, the Smith Family Farm, the Sacred Grove, and the Hill Cumorah.


  My favorite part? Obviously the Sacred Grove.

We had gotten a tour of the Smith Family Farm then were allowed to walk the Grove. Not only was it Sunday, which is a spiritual day as it is, but we were on grounds with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ had been. Each of the Girls; Alisha, Michelle, and Sarah walked on their own and Mom, Dad, and Adam walked together. I can't tell you the things I felt and the words I heard because  I could never do justice, but I will tell you this.

God Lives. His son and our beloved brother Jesus Christ suffered and died for you and me, that we may return to our loving Father who is trying so earnestly to help us get back to him. I know the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith and instructed him to not join any church but later instructed him to be an instrument in the Restoring of Christ's Church on the earth today. I testify of God's love for his children and all the many blessings which we can not even begin to understand. He is always with us, will never leave us, and will never forget us, even if we forget him.
In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saturday 4/10

Once again we woke up early, packed up the car (by now we were able to do it in record timing) and drove to Boston.

In Boston we parked near Bunker Hill and walked to Freedom Trail.

 For those of you who have no idea what the Freedom Trail is: It's a trail marked by gold bricks in the sidewalk which goes through the entire town leading to all of the Historically significant areas. WAY COOL and very informative and fun. There was a company that gave tours, but those cost money so we toured ourselves, but we did somewhat follow one tour guide. He was tall, big , black, loud and funny! He made alot of points about the history which made it more real. He didn't sugar coat anything, which often people do when talking about American History.

The last part of the Freedom Trail we saw was the USS Constitution.

The day had been going perfectly until Mom fell down. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I just remember looking back and Mom not being on her feet. After a minute of resting she was the tough cookie that she is and continued on. I love my Momma!  

            Haha This Cracked the WHOLE Family up... This is how we entertained ourselves for the half an hour wait to tour the ship... O man it was funny

After the USS Constitution the family decided(everyone but Michelle) that it would be ridiculous to be in Boston and not get Claw Chowder so we asked around for the best place to go and were referred to the Warren Tavern.

This place is OLD!There are records saying some of the Revolution Leaders ate and talked there! CRAZY!

So we found this outside an Ice Cream Shop along the Freedom Trail and it fit us PERFECTLY so we made sure to get a picture. If we had a photo album of the trip THIS would be the cover :)

After Chowder we walked back to the car and then drove, getting to Palmyra New York at 12:30 am.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fri 4/9

Though we had gone to bed early that morning, we decided the sooner we woke up, the sooner we could be seeing all the fun things the city had to offer. Now I don't remember what time we woke up, I just remember feeling like I got a nap instead of rest and rejuvination.

We returned to Liberty Park and took to first Ferry to Ellis Island.

When planning the trip all the kids were excited about Ellis Island thinking Grandma Packard had gone through there, but while waiting for the Ferry Dad called Grandma in curiousity. And Grandma said??? She did not go through Ellis Island...... and there went most of the appeal. Yes, we still took a minute to think about the thousands of people who went through, but it wasn't as fascinating with no personal connection. So we got off the Ferry so we could say we were ON Ellis Island, then got back on and headed toward the Statue of Liberty.
There was a High School band on our boat..

So this was the funniest thing. Adam was a little bit.. let's say testy and didn't want anyone to talk to him. So he walked the the middle of the boat and sat down. Then he realized we could see him, so he shoved his hood down.

 He tried to shove sarah away, but she wouldn't budge. She was tired, he was tired, so they slept :)

After being about to go INSIDE and up a level of the Statue we got on Another Ferry and traveled to NYC. Here our adventure started again. This time: Subways. We went to Union square and Grand Central Station, where we ironically bought California Oranges and a Baguette to share. YUMMY! The oranges weren't as good as right off the tree but what is?
(On the subway) We get on quickly and they jump on these seats with Michelle sitting across from them. Two seconds later Michelle BUSTS up laughing.. Can you see why? IT WAS PERFECT!

We continued on to Central Park where one of my favorite things happened. Apparently when in college Alisha and her roommates were in Love with Enchanted the movie, and promised eachother if anyone of them ever went to Central Park they would sing "How Do You Know". So after walking in the park and finding an area with a limited amount of witnesses, she DID IT! It was SO HILARIOUS! Michelle video taped it as proof and hopefully the video will upload. If not, just imagine it. However hilarious it in your mind, it was even more hilarious.

After Alisha's ummm.. song, we kept walking and found some swings. The second we saw the swings the little kids in each of us SHOT out and ran. Luckily there were enough swings for all the "kids" (meaning Dad didn't get one, but he pushed us).

From the swings we found a playground and though the kid in all of us did not come out, we decide Adam needed his "kid time" so we found a bench and relaxed and planned the rest of the night while he got is play on. A good half an hour after later we were heading to the subway and on to China town for dinner. Adam once again was unwhiling to think he would like the chinese food in New York, so we stopped by a Mcdonalds for him, then continued on to find a good resturant. After walking around China town for a good 15 minutes, not really knowing where to look, we found a small little resturant, ordered our food and enjoyed. Now I ate a ton because that's what I do at Chinese resturants, and everyone else was quick to fill up, but Adam was hesitant. But to no surprise after taking a few bites he was hooked and fighting for as much as he was allowed. He reminded me of me.. I loved it.

After Chinese we decided we had seen enough and really just wanted to get into bed early so we headed back to the ferry. Michelle and Alisha took this opportunity to prove their Subway Skills. All day Dad had been deciding what subway and to where and had made one or two minor mistakes, so Michelle and Alisha wanted to take a whack at it. Within two minutes they had a perfect plan to get the family to the other side of town. After successful navigating through the system they smiled in their accomplishment. They were on top of the world: They had figured out the New York Subway System :)
Because of where the ferry was we still had to do some walking and were actually able to walk by Ground Zero. We weren't that close but you could see all the construction. Definetly close enough to take the time to remember all those who's lives were lost and who showed remarkable amounts of selflessness and bravery.

Though we were in our hotel by 7 we didn't fall asleep right away. Did we get to bed earlier than the night before? Yes. As soon as mom and our bodies would have liked? No