Sunday, December 7, 2008
So, for your viewing enjoyment, here is a photo record of the big time.
Receiving instructions from "Boss G"
Dinner. Yummy Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza, breadsticks and 7-Up!!
You might notice in the preceding photo that there is a PARENT still there. She was politely asked to vacate the premises.
Movie Time!! Arthur's Perfect Christmas and Shrek The Halls
Making and decorating cookies
After movies, cookies, yummy pizza and general over-all FUN, "Helper G" was sent upstairs to help Caleb go to sleep. "BOSS G" and the rest of the kids worked on cool Santa hats in the basement. Then it was off to sleep. "Helper G" and Caleb were already having visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads upstairs. Here is the result of the late night craftiness.
Now it was off down the street to the church and our ward Christmas Brunch. Yes, we walked.
Here's some pictures from the brunch
It was a fun time. We hope the kids had a good time. They were great. We sure did miss the five who couldn't come. After all is said and done, "Boss G" and "Helper G" just have this to say, We love you all, but don't call us, we'll call you, at least for a couple of days. We need to recuperate.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
We recently got a USB Turntable. What is a USB Turntable? you ask. Good question. A USB Turntable allows you to play an album, with a USB connection to a computer and save it to an MP3 file, which can be listened to on the computer, ipod, MP3 or even saved on a CD.
Your next question may very well be "What is an album?" Back in the day, when we wanted to have the music of our favorite artists and enjoy it at home, we purchased for about $5.00, an album, a 12" diameter piece of vinyl with grooves in it that you play on a phonograph. They came in 45's (that's what they played on the radio) which had one song on each side, and 33 rpm formats. The 33 rpm or LPs had a whole album.
That's the way it was in back in the day. Albums were eventually replaced by cassette tapes and then by CD's.
With the USB Turntable, it allows us to be able to enjoy once again all of the albums that we collected in the early days . We have dozens that we have kept over the years and now can finally enjoy them again. (It's a good thing that I didn't store them at Grandma Packer's or they would now be in the landfill with my baseball card collection.) Just kidding, Mom!! (And yes, I still have issues regarding my baseball card collection)
Anyway, to get on with the story, each album came in a cardboard cover, or jacket. Inside the jacket, holding the album itself is a paper "sleeve" or dust cover that gives the album extra protection.
While converting "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, I came upon the following printed on the dust cover. I thought you might find it interesting and probably amusing.
Here's How Records Give You More Of What You Want!
- The Best For Less. Records give you top quality for less money than any other recording form.
- They Allow Selectivity Of Songs And Tracks. With records it's easy to pick out the songs you want to play, or to play again a particular song or side. All you have to do is lift the tone arm and place it where you want it. You can't do this as easily with anything but a phonograph record.
- They're The Top Quality In Sound. Long-playing phonograph records look the same now as when they were introduced in 1948, but there's a world of difference. Countless refinements and developments have been made to perfect the long-playing record's technical excellence and insure the best in sound reproduction and quality available in recorded form.
- They'll Give You Hours Of Continuous And Uninterrupted Listening Pleasure. Just stack them up on your automatic changer and relax.
- They're Attractive, Informative And Easy To Store. Record albums are never out of place. Because of the aesthetic appeal of the jacket design, they're beautifully at home in any living room or library. They've also got important information on the backs--about the artists, about the performances or about the program. And because they're flat and not bulky, you can store hundreds in a minimum of space and still see every title.
- It It's In Recorded Form, You Know It'll Be Available On Records. Everything's on long-playing records these days...your favorite artists, shows, comedy, movie sound tracks, concerts, drama, documented history, educational material...you name it. This is not so with any other kind of recording.
- They Make A Great Gift. Everybody you know loves music. And practically everyone owns a phonograph. Records are a gift that says a lot to the person you're giving them to. And they keep on remembering.
And Remember...It Always Happens First On Records
Ahhhh, the good old days.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Sharon and I met with my oncologist, Dr. Nasfat Shehadeh this morning and received the news that my Lymphoma is in complete remission!!! The recent bone marrow test came out negative and as Dr. Shehadeh told us, we got "a complete response." We are thrilled with the news and are anxious to get on with life.
The next step is that I will have blood tests every 6-8 weeks and possibly a CAT scan every 4-6 months. I also need to continually check for enlargement of the lymph nodes on my neck, abdomen and groin. Sharon has graciously consented to check for lumps on a regular basis.
I want to express our love and appreciation to everyone who has been so loving and supportive of mom and I this past year. It's been a real journey. You kids have been the greatest, always being there to help out with the stuff that I was unable to do. Our sweet grandchildren have been a great strength and source of joy to both of us. Everyone has been just fantastic and I want you all to know how much it has meant to us.
I know that it isn't over. The cancer isn't cured, just in remission. People who have had the same cancer, with the same treatment that I just completed have been in remission as long as 5-7 years. I expect that someday it will come back and then I will be looking at a bone marrow transplant, but until that happens, we will move forward. Maybe in the meantime, there will be a cure or at least an alternative to a transplant. We can only hope and pray.
I have been truly fortunate to have been treated by the best in the business. Dr. Shehadeh is amazing. His PA, Mike Cole has been the greatest.
Then there is Charlotte, my chemo nurse, Mary, the phlebotomist, Trevor, Sarah and Ricky the MA's that I have worked with, and the two ladies at the front desk, Beverly and Stephanie (who has used all of my co-pays to fill her closet with new shoes). All have been great examples of professionalism and compassion.
FINALLY, I NEED TO THANK MY SWEET WIFE AND COMPANION FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME AND HELPING ME THROUGH THIS YEAR. ALWAYS HAVING HER OWN HEALTH ISSUES TO DEAL WITH, SHE HAS BEEN THERE FOR ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY AND HAS SHOWN ME WHAT TRUE CHRIST-LIKE COMPASSION IS. BEING THE "TOUGH GUY" THAT I TRY TO BE, I HAVE LEARNED A GREAT LESSON ON WHAT IT MEANS TO PUT OTHERS' NEEDS AHEAD OF YOUR OWN. I HOPE THAT I CAN BE A MORE COMPASSIONATE AND CARING PERSON IN THE FUTURE.
With that said.......LET'S PARTY!!!!!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
SCI-FI MOVIE NIGHT is a tradition that my son-in-law Dave established a few years back. It involves seeing a science fiction movie, late at night, preferably at the dollar theater. When I am in Colorado Springs working, Dave and I try to see a sci-fi thriller on occasion, giving us the chance to see a movie that Melissa and Sharon would never go to (we ain't talkin chick flicks here)
Some of the movies we have seen include "The Day After Tomorrow"
"I Am Legend" "Iron Man"
and "JUMPER." By the way, Hayden Christensen does his best work when wearing his full Darth Vader suit. At least then his questionable acting ability isn't quite so obvious.
We have also seen some dogs, the titles of which I can't and really don't want to remember.
Dave and Melissa are in town this week, so last night was SCI-FI MOVIE NIGHT!!
We ventured into the night, to the Sugarhouse 10 theaters to see a dollar movie (actually it was $1.50). Starting time was 9:45 pm with the classic SCI-FI thriller ending about 11:30 pm.
I wish that I could forget the name of this movie, as it was truly forgettable!! It was produced by the same guy who did "The Day After Tomorrow." He should have quit while he was ahead.)
What movie was it? I thought you would never ask!!
And yes, IT IS available on DVD and Blu-Ray disc for your home viewing pleasure. At least watching at home you don't have to worry about laughing out loud and waking up those around you because you'll probably be sitting there watching it alone, unless you can coerce someone into watching it with you.
Flicks like this are what makes SCI-FI MOVIE NIGHT such fun.
TILL NEXT TIME...........
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
The Birthday Cake is a traditional part of birthday parties. It has been an integral part of the birthday tradition in Western cultures since the middle of the 19th century. The Greeks were some of the first to celebrate birthdays with cakes, however these were the birthdays for gods and goddesses. The celebration for the Greek moon god, Artemis included a cake topped with lit candles
The cake or sometimes a pastry or dessert, is served to a person on his or her birthday, and is often decorated with small novelty candles. The phrase "Happy Birthday started to occur on birthday cakes when the song "Happy Birthday To You" was popularized in the early 1900's.
With that said, here is a sampling of past Packer family birthday cakes, at least those in 2008, many made by Sharon. She is very talented, if I say so myself.
Apologies to those whose cakes aren't shown
THE PRINCESS CAKE--What can I say? Princesses get Princess cakes.
GRANDMA VOORHEES--83rd Birthday
RAND'S 5th Birthday--pretty amazing. It almost fell apart on the trip to Sartoga Springs
REBECCA--A Packer family favorite--White cake, cream cheese and raspberries We had a family birthday dinner for Rebecca and Spencer. Rebecca objects to the fact that she has to share her birthday with someone else. In her mind, March 2nd should be a national holiday.
SPENCER--Grandma Packer used to make cream cheese pies for family get-togethers. She would always make an additional one for Spencer and give it to him on the sly for him to eat at home. Bryan isn't very happy that this happened, and doesn't let us forget about it. He also got a Costco cake.
CALEB'S 2nd birthday--Really cool Elmo cake. Those 'sticks' of butter in the background are cake too. Caleb really loves butter.
THE RESTAURANT BIRTHDAY TREAT--Who doesn't enjoy going to your favorite restaurant on your birthday and being serenaded by 5 or 6 strangers who can't sing? At least you get a free dessert. At the Red Robin, you used to get the big dessert free, but now they give you a sundae. We had to pay for Nate's "Mile High Mud Pie". Caden and I ate the chocolate sundae. It was delicious.
AMBER--April 28th--Birthday cupcakes are always a hit, especially with the kids.
THE MOTHER OF ALL CAKES--When I was growing up, my mother always made us a "Mother's Chocolate Cake" for our birthdays. The frosting is the key to this cake. When done right, it is smooth and chocolaty and totally good. When not done right it has a grainy texture. Mom always got the frosting right on. Sharon hit a home run with the frosting. It was perfect!!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
If I had a 'bucket list' which I don't, going to a NASCAR race would probably be one of the things on that list, so I can now cross it off the list that I don't have.
Blair (older brother) was bitten by the NASCAR bug several years ago and has attended races in Las Vegas, Phoenix and at Lowe's Motor Speedway (somewhere in North Carolina I think). Last summer he extended an invitation to go to the Subway Fresh Fit 500 held this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ.
The 500 part is a misnomer. You would think that in the good ole US of A where rednecks rule that it would be a 500 mile race. NOT!! It was a 500 kilometer race!! What's with that??? Anyway, the 312 mile race was appreciated because that is a lot shorter than 500 miles, and yes, I figured that out all by myself.
The adventure started on Friday, when I flew to Phoenix and met brothers Barry and Blair, along with nephews Curtis, Chris and his wife Heidi. We checked in to our hotel in downtown Phoenix near Chase Field and US Airways Center, after which we had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.
The weekend featured two races, with the Nationwide Race (NASCAR's minor league) on Friday night and the Sprint Cup race on Saturday night.
We headed for the racetrack out in Avondale, about 15 miles west of downtown Phoenix and in the same area where Nate went to school. On the way we stopped off at a vacant lot where there were several trailers and tents with white trash selling NASCAR stuff that is cheaper that you can get at the racetrack. Chris bought a Jimmie Johnson jacket so he will now have matching jackets with his two boys.
We got to the racetrack and walked down a big area with 40' trailers, all selling memorabilia. Every driver and sponsor either had their own trailer or shared one with another driver. Some, like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had FOUR trailers. There was even a trailer for his dad, Dale Earnhardt, who has been dead for six years. It was amazing. Lots of places to spend lots of money for stuff you'll probably never wear (unless you're Uncle Blair...see photos below). Don't worry, nothing I say can offend Blair.
The Nationwide race was 200 miles and ended up in a duel to the finish between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Both are Sprint Cup drivers who also drive in the Nationwide races. Kyle pulled off the win.
For you unfortunate souls who don't follow NASCAR, Kyle is the one on the right.
We stopped again at the redneck swap meet/flea market and then on to PIR. The raceway seats around 125,000 people. At the Nationwide race on Friday night, there might have been 50,000 people there. On Saturday, it was PACKED. It was a total zoo, and a people watcher's bonanza. It's definitely not the type of crowd that you will see at a baseball game, a Jazz game, or even General Conference!!! All I can say is you have to see it to believe it.
The race got underway a little bit before 6:00 pm after all kinds of introductions, Air Force jet flyovers, skydivers, an opening prayer and the national anthem.
One guy on the row in front of us and to the left didn't remove his hat and really caught a bunch of crap from another guy sitting behind us. Man, talk about white trash. Driver loyalty is very intense in NASCAR. (And I thought BYU fans were bad) Dale Earnhardt, Jr is by far the most popular driver in NASCAR. He drove the #9 Budweiser car last year and the majority year and the majority of the fans would be wearing red #8 gear. He changed teams this year and is now driving the #88 AMP/Mt Dew/National Guard car. There is hardly a red shirt in sight anymore. All of those people got rid of the red and bought new stuff. The guy who wouldn't take off his hat was a Jr. fan and was a total jerk all night. Whenever Jr. was leading the race, he would stand up and clap every time the #88 passed by us. Problem is, when he was standing up, he totally blocked our view of turn four, so we couldn't see the cars coming around turn four to the front stretch unless we stood up too. I don't think his momma taught him no manners. It got worse toward the end of the race when Jr, who had been leading the race for a long time, lost the lead and then ended up back in fourth place. He was leading, and then just lost it. This really frustrated the #88 fans. By the way, Dale Jr. hasn't won a race in his last 65 tries.
This was our view of turn four for the last 1/4 of the race. Once Dale Jr. lost the lead, this guy wouldn't sit down at all. I hope he didn't take it out on his wife when he got home.
It was an exciting race, especially at the end. Mark Martin in the #6 had the lead at the end, but was afraid that he would run out of gas, so with about 9 laps to go he pitted for fuel and Jimmie Johnson in the #48 took the lead. He was tossing the dice and taking the chance of not pitting with the possibility of running out of fuel himself. With the other leaders getting gas, he had a 20 second lead on Clint Bowyer and with his crew chief telling him to slow down to conserve fuel, he won the race by 7 seconds, and then ran out of gas on his victory lap and had to be pushed into victory lane.
This made everyone happy, especially Uncle Blair who some would say likes Jimmy Johnson more than he likes Aunt Lynda!! (just kidding, Lynda) But then again, he doesn't wear clothes with Aunt Lynda's picture or number on them does he???
Anyway, we had a great time. It's definitely an event to remember. In closing, all I can say is....boogity, boogity, boogity.
Here's some more pictures.