Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Little Update

 We didn't get Christmas cards out this year, AGAIN! Things get too crazy and I always leave myself little notes for next year not to do certain things. I didn't heed my own warnings! Next year WILL be different. But for those of you who we haven't seen for a while, I thought I'd give you a little update. I know you're going to freak out about how much has changed in the last TWO years!
Here's teenage Isaiah. He is full-force, 100 percent adolescent! Complete with IPOD and obsessive about checking everything NBA. He LOVES to play basketball and is really involved with school right now. He's in a homeschool co-op that is learning all about the Medieval Times through different "lenses:" Leadership, History/Geography, Imaginative Arts, and Math/Science. He's also in a Youth 4 Freedom group where he sharpens his leadership and speech skills. He'll compete next month in Mock Trials where he is part of producing a court case in a real court room with a real judge and everything. They compete against other local high schools. Last year his group got 5th place in the state. It was very challenging, but fun too! He is also in a speech/debate club where he is learning the skills of impromptu debate. It would scare me to death, but he is getting good. A little too good for my taste! His interests still include US History, Government, and saving our country from Obama! He loves to play basketball constantly and is a huge JAZZ fan (much to mine and Nate's dismay!) He is also the president of his deacon's quorum and is getting tons of merit badges and rank advancements in scouts. He's a very busy guy!
Grace is always our little actress, except that she's not so little anymore :( She has been in multiple plays this year. Fiddler on the Roof (a family favorite), A Christmas Carol, and most recently Les Miserables. She enjoys every minute of being on stage! She often sings in our sacrament meetings too. I'm pretty sure she is the only girl her age (or even close) who has no fear of getting up and belting out a solo in front of 300 people! She is enrolled in an online middle school this year and enjoys making friends from all over the world. She is in humanities and leadership. She wasn't so excited about humanities at first, because it covered all of the boring political stuff...but she's come around and is now very knowledgeable about the political process. She even went and took an exit poll at our local polling office. Grace loves everything english and hate everything math (even though she's good at it!) She is playing the piano very good now a days and even makes up amazing piano pieces! She's always a great friend to EVERYONE and is a great older sister to those two little girls!
 Ah...here's our Miles. He's just a great kid. He has such a tender heart and is enthusiastic about learning everything. He is most excited about scouts and soccer. He played in a competitive soccer league this year and continues to blow us away with his improvements. His team even played an indoor soccer session this winter and it was fun and challenging for him. Miles has become quite the reader. He's a very slow and methodical reader which has kept him from liking it well in the past, but he's gotten over that and has learned so much through reading! He loved learning about American History last year and has developed a true love for our founders, George Washington and John Adams, to name a few particulars. His favorite subject is math (just like his mama!) and also loves hands-on science stuff. He's been involved with a book club and has been learning the art of sword fighting there. They have a great time! He's a great helper and an amazing brother. He's the little service elf at our house and ALWAYS thinks of others first. An example of this is last year our family got 3 Jazz basketball tickets. I knew that Nate needed one and that left just 2 more to divide up between the three boys. With tears in his eyes his said that Moses and Isaiah could go. I told him that we could just flip a coin or something. He said, "No, I'm trying to be benevolent mom!" At least my values lessons have been working on somebody! What a sweetheart!.
HERE'S MOSES...Mo makes life exciting for everybody. He loves making everyone laugh and has the very best smile! He enjoys playing any electronic gadget. It's too bad because we limit those around here! He spends time playing soccer with his friends on a local team and playing around in any sport with his brothers. He can play a mean game of chess and loves to play games. He could spend ALL day playing games! He's super quick witted and all of his teachers at church speak highly of him. Apparently he is the most reverent kid almost every week. That is shocking to his parents! He LOVES to build things...legos, lincoln logs, magforms, you name it, he builds it. Right now his favorite interest is Lord of the Rings. We recently read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring as a family and he is obsessed! Everything around here has something to do with Bilbo or Frodo, or Golum. He always convinces everyone to play Lord of the Rings and he chooses characters for everyone...but he always has to be Bilbo or Frodo! He doesn't enjoy school as much as mom would like, but he's extremely bright and when he puts his mind to something it gets done amazingly. Did I mention that he is one of our most thorough cleaners?
 Here is our sweet Ella-Bella. She is always making us smile. She is SOOOOOO dramatic. Sometimes I don't know if she's pretending or not. She'll be crying in the car and I'll turn to see what is wrong and she informs me that she's just acting! Oh no, another actress. Grace, Ella, and Liberty all have their rendition of Fiddler on the Roof''s Matchmaker down! It is so cute to watch! She likes to sing and dance and play with friends. Did I mention that she likes to play with friends? Sometimes I think she wants to live across the street! Ella is learning to read and write and is practicing being very patient. She has informed me that she isn't going to LIE ever again, and I believe her because she has held true to her word. She vacillates between torturing Liberty and telling me that she is "choosing the right" today and then gives Liberty whatever she wants! She is the queen of "potty talk," much to her mother's dismay! She loves to be read too and snuggled with. I don't think I'll ever tire of doing either of those things with her...
 Here is our Libs! We intended to nick name Liberty, Libby, but right after she was born Ella started calling her Libs and it stuck! This little girl lights up our lives. She has decided that she doesn't want to speak. Now, that doesn't mean that we can't hear her, because she makes PLENTY of noise, just not words. Out of her mom's desperation she has learned sign language, along with everyone else in the house. A typical meal is everyone testing each other on their sign language skills. I know that one day Liberty is just going to start talking and never stop, but we'll enjoy her little signs right now. She even lip syncs everything perfectly. She'll lip sync songs and even lip syncs words when she plays. It is the funniest thing seeing a little girl playing with her toys and just moving her lips like she is having a discussion. We are always wondering what is going on in that little head of hers. She is found putting anything on her body that she can. In the last two weeks we've gotten Elmer's glue, rubber cement, lip stick, and hand soap out of her hair and off of her face. She also loves to draw on herself with markers. No matter how hard I try to keep her away from things, she always manages to find them. Everyone spoils and loves her at our house and she's a fun one to have around!
 Nate and I are somehow holding it all together. Nate is super involved in the Bishopric and his work as an art teacher. He has dreams of opening his own business or being involved in entrepreneurship in some way. He tries to build his business in his limited free time. He's the best read aloud dad that there is, and the kids get excited when he's home. They are probably so sick of being with their mom 24-7! I am attempting to put my full trust in my Heavenly Father with our kids education. I fall short a lot, and I just keep remembering that He asked us to do this, so it'll all work out in the end! I have my favorite calling ever right now...teaching Gospel Doctrine. I never thought that would be my favorite, but I've enjoyed being in my scriptures so much!  The teaching part is a little scary, but I'm getting less nervous each week. One of my greatest desires is that I miraculously could survive on no sleep! I have a stack of books to get reading a mile high, and no time to get through. I am enjoying learning WITH my kids though and we try to keep things interesting. I'm enrolled in and institute class right now and that is my sanity! I'm trying to improve our families health habits which gets shut down with every turn from my family...we'll keep trying though!
We miss spending more time with our family and friends, but hope that you all know you are missed and loved. We have a CRAZY life right now, but it'll all fly by faster than we know it. My mission is to try to enjoy the journey (just so you know, I'm not so good at that!) I've been trying lately to relax more and it's been great! I LOVE my family!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OUR Little Liberty

Disclaimer: I haven't updated in a while, but I thought I would start now and try to work my way back before I have to print a blog book for our family Christmas present. But, what post to welcome us back to the blog world.
Introducing...drum roll please...Liberty Pack. Born on August 18, 2010 at 7:55am weighing 8 pounds flat and coming in at 20 1/2 inches long. The labor went as well as could be expected (apparently my doc didn't want to break my water for three HOURS because he hadn't had any sleep all week). New developments with this labor: mom's low blood pressure, having to be on oxygen most of the labor, puking up my guts the whole labor in front of everyone (very embarrassing), and having a 7 hour labor instead of a 4 hour labor because of the above mentioned information. Of course after my water broke she came out a mere 40 minutes later. Other than that it was pleasant having my mom and Nate as company. I didn't suffer any pain and Liberty came out in one big push (she has a tiny head!) The verdict is in and we all think that she looks the most like Miles, but we'll have to see how things develop. Could I finally have a brown-haired child? I have waited for like 5 kids now!
This is a rare cry from Liberty. She didn't even cry when she was born. The nurse took forever trying to get some squeal out of her so we all new she was alive. She has been a huge blessing to our family. I need to knock on some wood and hold my breath as I say this, but if she continues to be so peaceful and happy I think I might be able to raise six kids! I have to wake her up to eat. When she does wakes up on her own, she just opens her eyes and stares at all of us. I wonder if she is so overwhelmed by our crazy hectic family that she has decided to just come and enjoy the ride. By the way, don't you just love the scrunchy nose! I keep thinking that she looks like one of those wrinkly faced dogs.
I have to share this little tid bit because I am scared for Liberty's life. The minute that Nate handed Liberty to Ella for the first time these are the words that came out of Ella's mouth: "Dad, don't touch the baby. She is MY baby." Yep, we are all in trouble!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January -- New Announcements

A new year is bringing new announcements from the Pack family. First of all, we have been prompted to home school our kids. We have been exploring and praying about the idea for the last several months and about the beginning of November we decided that it was what the Lord wanted us to do. I'm still freaking out about the idea, but trying to have faith.

The other announcement is that we are expecting a new baby to be due in August (right when school starts)! So, January wasn't so fun at our house. I was pregnancy sick 24-7 the whole month. I've never had it this bad. Also, poor Ella did catch the chicken pox from the Whitmore home. At first it didn't look so bad, and then after a few days the pox quadrupled. Literally only these 3 pictures were taken in the whole month.
Here is poor Ella with her chicken pox in full force. She got them the worst on her face and in her hairline. She was a trooper throughout the whole thing.
Here is Grace organizing those drawers that become a catch-all for everything! Look at all of that garbage on the floor. It all collects in those drawers!
Moses' new fascination is Indiana Jones. He has come up with his very own costume out of his own closet. Not a bad job! Everything is Indiana around here right now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St. Thomas, Nevada

Another historical site close to Overton that we visited was the flooded city of St. Thomas. Nate's brother-in-law, Dennis, had an ancestor who was the postmaster of St. Thomas back in the day. He was one of the last ones out of the city before it flooded, apparently trying to get all of the mail posted. The city was flooded with the building of the Boulder Dam in the mid 1930's. Most of the people settled in nearby Overton after their city was covered in water. That is how Dennis' family ended up residing there.
This is the sign that tells you something is out there. You would never know there was ruins of a city down in the valley below. I guess the area is only dry during drought seasons, which apparently is now. It has only been dry, not covered with the waters of Lake Mead, since 2002.
Here is what it looks like from the parking lot. Not much down there, I was thinking.
Here our some of the ruins. We had a map of St. Thomas and were trying to guess what the ruins were. I think we thought this was the hotel, or the school house.
We believed this to be a well, which was behind someone's house.
We were searching for the post office the whole time. I can't remember what we presumed this to be, but I think it was a residence with a soda shop in the front. Our kids were trying to look for lost "treasure" the whole time we were there. That's what kept them going on this long adventure. The only thing the kids found that they thought was of value was some glass.
The hike got a little long for Ella, so she hopped on her dad's back. Actually mid way through the hike Nate took her back to the car because she still wasn't feeling so great.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hiking in Overton

This was our second annual trip to Logandale, Nevada to visit Nate's sister, Erika and her family. We have made quite a few after Christmas trips down to see her, and we decided this year to make it an annual thing. The kids have so much fun together and look forward to spending a whole week together with sleepovers and everything! Logandale is about 45 minutes away from Las Vegas. Typically we go to Las Vegas to entertain ourselves throughout the week, but this year we just hung around the Logandale/Overton area. There's not much to do, but there is a lot of hiking in the Valley of Fire State Park.
If you know my kids you know they love to climb. They climb wherever we go, even if they are not supposed to (like on the temple grounds!) We've had so broken limbs from climbing at our house, but rock formations like these are the perfect place to get the climb out of them!
Here is Grace and her sweet cousin Eden. The are inseparable the whole time they are together, and they email regularly to stay in touch.
Here is Miles climbing up high. He looks kind of scared way up there!
Here is Nate with all of the kids. We make quite a scene wherever we go because between the two of us we have 11 kids. Not a good adult to kid ratio when you're out on the town!
The kids spent the majority of the time at this park trying to catch chipmunks that were running around. They found these holes, which they thought the chipmunks lived in. Nate told them if they caught a chipmunk they could keep it for a pet! This is what drove their obsession to catch the darn things. They did get pretty creative in their contraptions to catch the creatures. They also used left over lunch scraps to lure the chipmunk into a chip bag, which they got pretty close to catching!
Here is Ella with her cousin, Brigham. They had a fun time together this week too. Ella actually wasn't feeling good this day. She ended up throwing up that evening. Poor thing. Also, Erika's 3 kids had the chicken pox this week. Ella was exposed, so we'll see if anything happens. The rest of us should be safe.
After lunch we headed over to another hike through Petroglyph Canyon. It lead us to a famous site called Mouse's Tank. It was really cool to look inside. First, we past all of these petrogyphs on our way up to the site. When we got there the rock formation was such that it looked like a "tank." The rock was surrounding a huge hole that went pretty deep. We explored inside too and had a hard time getting back out. I'm sad I didn't get any pictures of the actual tank. Our batteries ran out of our camera.
The legend has it that a Paiute Indian named Mouse hid out in this area from the "white man." He was apparently very upset the the white people were taking over all of his people's land. I guess he stole a knife from one of the whites in the area and became a huge target of whites in Southern Nevada. It is fun to learn a little history on our trips!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day!

Welcome to Christmas day at the Pack's. We don't take many pictures because the video camera usually gets all of the footage, but I happen to take a few pictures of the kids with some of their presents!
Here is Isaiah with his new skateboard. One of Santa's "elves" painted the bottom to suit Isaiah's interests. He loves it!
Here is Grace in her Hannah Montana getup. She also got 2 web-kins and gave one away to Miles who decided on Christmas morning that he really wanted one too. She is such a sweetie!
Miles really wanted a lot of Lego's for his birthday and Christmas and Santa didn't disappoint. He also got a camera and some books.
Moses was a hard one to buy for this year because all he asked for for Christmas was a black bow tie. He got that plus a camera and a "light-up" light saber.
Little Ella was surprised with Wonder Pets stuffed animals. She played with them all morning and was so giddy and excited. Tuck immediately went for a swim in the toilet. I had to wash him right away. She was very creative and found a little shoe box that became the Fly Boat. Such a big girl with a BIG imagination!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Traditional Christmas Eve Pictures

One of the traditions that we have is to get pajamas for our Christmas Eve present! We have our little Christmas Eve program and then open up a gift from mom and dad. Surprisingly it is always PJ's.
It has become increasingly difficult to get a good picture with 5 children in it. Here was our best one. Moses and Ella are just constant little movers, especially with all the excitement of Santa and presents.
Just wanted to show that events in our house are always filled with drama...
and someone always gets hurt!