Thursday, March 31, 2011

Faith...Promoting or Perfecting

I have wondered why sometimes our blessings or our prayers are not always answered in a way we had hoped ?  I was scanning through the April Ensign a couple of days ago and came across this....In an article about "Faith and Infertility"

“When someone has an ailment or an illness and they are healed as the result of a blessing, their faith is being strengthened. But for those who aren’t healed but continue faithful, their faith is being perfected. The first is a faith-promoting experience. The second is faith-perfecting.”

Read entire article HERE.

For me this was a light bulb moment. I had never thought of faith in this way. .. As I have come to terms with the heartache of losing one parent to mental illness and watching another in its grasp...There has always been the question of why? I don't know that that answer will every come. But the thought of a Faith-Perfecting experience provides me great comfort. My experiences have solidified my faith and left me with a sure knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and that we never walk through our trials alone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dallyn, Pyjamas? Seriously.

Dallyn came home from school today wearing WASN'T pyjama day.

 Why on earth are you wearing pyjamas Dallyn??

I wore them under my snow gear. (Dallyn was cross country skiing with all the Grade 5's today)

What? WHY??

So it has yet to be determined whether Dallyn chose to wear pyjamas or forgot to put on REAL pants....

Oh no another parent of the year moment...I wonder what his teachers thought. What kind of mother would let their child wear pyjamas to school. Let is the operative word. I did see him before he left, all decked out in his snow gear, made sure he had mitts and a toque. But never thought to check what was underneath.....

None of us could contain our laughter by this point...Sure, we were laughing with you Dallyn ;)

Let's hope Dallyn won't do this again...At least next week I'll know to check undernearth.

Chore Charts and Snowbirds :)

One of the rug rats changed all the names on the dishes chore chart....

Grant was changed to "Mr Man Cold",  made me laugh out loud....I love my funny kids.

This years first fly by....The Canadian Forces Snowbird Team is back in the Valley for a month of training.I never get tired of watching them practice out our living room window :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Here's Proof

Thanks to the advent of technology ( Michelle's iPhone) We have visual proof as to why Ibuprofen was my best friend for the last week :)
Here is the graph of the elevation changes and distance travelled for our "leisurely walk in the woods" a.k.a. the Powell River Hike.
From sea level to 124 meters (406 feet), back to sea level.
Three times in 10 kms

I would have never even tried going if I had seen this first....
Sometimes were are asked to do hard things. Sometimes knowing what lies ahead isn't a good thing.
Sure it was hard. Sure my shin still hurts. But I accomplished something,(with a little help from my friends).Something seemingly impossible. We are all stronger than we think, sometimes. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Girls

Holly wasn't quite five when we welcomed Alex. Four daughters in five years. I teased Grant that it was his fault (we didn't have boys)....He said my eggs were sexist....

Their first years with the addition of Dallyn, were a blur. Like I tell them the 90's are pretty fuzzy :) Please don't ask me what their first words were or when the cut their first tooth, no idea  (I know bad mom).

I remember wishing,  for the time when they were older, it seemed so far away. In what seemed to be the blink of an eye, that time has arrived....

As I have now watched them all  grow into pretty amazing Young Women, mostly in spite of me. I am honestly humbled. Having almost four teenager girls is at times challenging but the fun and blessings sure make up for it. Attending the Powell River Hike and the General Young Women's Broadcast(minus a few sickies) has caused me to reflect on how blessed my life is because of my daughters. As President Henry B Erying said The Young Women are a BRIGHT HOPE.

I have learned much from my girls...

Video from YW Broadcast....

Hope and Healing

I remember reading this article in the Ensign a couple of years ago at a time I was struggling....It was read as part of our Relief Society lesson today. Whether are families are touched by the burden of addiction or other burdens, its a great reminder that we never need to walk alone....There is always Hope and Healing....

 Name withheld "Lesson from a Milk Jug", Ensign, July 2008, 48–49

 Life was starting to look better. Although the last few months had involved severe illness for our newborn baby, a bout with postpartum depression for me, and a sudden layoff for my husband, it seemed that our family was going to make it through the wave of trials we had encountered. But that soon changed when I returned home from helping an ill sister in our ward to find my husband engrossed in filth on the Internet.

I had returned earlier than he had expected, and he was caught off guard. I learned that this had been going on for years and that it had been accompanied by other serious sins. I was devastated. The man I had kept myself clean and pure for all of my life had not done the same for me. My heart was broken. I was empty. I was hurt. I was angry.

 When my husband went to the bishop and the stake president to begin the repentance process, I was embarrassed. And then I became numb.

As a matter of routine, I continued to read scriptures with my children and by myself. I continued to have family prayer and family home evening and to say my personal prayers. But they were nothing more than habitual. There was nothing left inside me. After a while, I became tired of being numb. I wanted to feel again. I wanted to be strong for my children. I wanted to love my husband. I wanted to forgive. I just didn’t know how.

 All the Relief Society and Sunday School lessons on forgiveness had not prepared me for this pain, and I didn’t know how to overcome it. But I was determined that I would. Time went by, and despite my desire to forgive, I was still bitter. Then the simplest thing happened.

 I was unloading the car after a trip to the grocery store, and our three-year-old daughter was helping. She was carrying in loaves of bread and cartons of eggs and was doing just fine. Then she decided that she was going to carry in a gallon of milk. After some struggle, she pulled it out of the car, and it landed with a thud on the driveway. She gripped the handle with both hands and heaved it. It barely budged. I offered to help, and she snapped at me: “No! I do it myself!” She strained and grunted but made no progress in lifting the milk. After several minutes she looked up at me with tears welling in her eyes and said, “Too heavy. Can’t do it.”

As I looked at my sweet, stubborn little girl, I saw in an instant what Heavenly Father must see in me—a well-meaning but stubborn child who wouldn’t accept His help. A scripture I had learned in seminary came to my mind:

“Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. “Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; “And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost” (D&C 50:40–42).

The significance of this is obvious, but the lesson became even more profound when my daughter’s eyes brightened and she said, “Mommy, you carry me; then I carry milk.” I scooped my little messenger up in my arms. I carried her, and leaning the jug against my arm, she carried the milk. In tears, I deposited my precious cargo inside.

Later, on my knees, I admitted to the Lord that my “jug of milk” was too heavy and that I had been proud in trying to carry it on my own. I asked forgiveness for my anger, my stubbornness, and my pride. I begged the Lord to carry me. I knew I was the one who needed to forgive, but the burden was too painful and too heavy. If the Lord would carry me, though, I could do what I needed to do. I begged Him to lift me, and He did. He helped me not only carry my burden but also cast it away. Our trials have not all ended, but with Heavenly Father’s help, we will make it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Positively Sick

Some viral-ly flu thing has hit our house with a vengeance. We got back from Powell River Wednesday night and by Thursday morning I had four super sickies. Fevers, Coughs, Lost voices and one master puker. DR says its a really nasty virus going around.

It looks like a slumber party gone a rye around here. Every couch has a passed out rug rat on it and they have gone through their body weight in Ginger Ale and Gatorade.

You know your rug rat is sick when....
You tell them to go to bed , and they do.
You offer pizza and they ask for Chicken Noodle
While picking Gatorade flavours you are trying to decide which one will be least likely to stain the carpet.
An Ice Cream Bucket has become a fashion statement
You have said "Who puking now?!" more than once in a twenty four hour period.

You have to ask whether its Dallyn or the dog barking??

The positives....

When nobody feels like eating....My kitchen is spotless

With two out of five who can only whisper....Screaming and yelling is almost non existent.

This too shall pass...I hope, quickly.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now That's A HIKE :)

Several weeks ago the Powell River Branch invited the youth from our area for an all day hike during Spring Break. I was excited for my girls to be able to go and see a part of the country they had never seen before. Things worked out and I was able to go with the girls at the last minute.... Thirty eight youth and leaders made the 7:15pm ferry for the hour and fifteen minute ride over to Powell River....A school bus picked us all up for the quick ride up the hill to the Powell River cream and then back on to the bus. Boys went to one house girls to another. We all settled in for a cozy but surprisingly comfortable albeit short night :)

The Chapel
{The Powell River Branch has about 45 attend on any given Sunday,to host 38 was quite the undertaking They were wonderful, gracious hosts}

Our Yellow Limo

We were back on the bus at 7:15 am and back to the chapel for a hot pancake breakfast and devotional....

Breakfast in the Basement

Back on the bus for a half hour drive out to Saltery Bay. Our hikes starting point.....

North Island, Powell River and Qualicum Branches and Courtenay and Campbell River Wards YM &YW

The HIKE begins!!! Its probably a good thing none of us knew what we were in for. The fact that the first part of the hike was called the escalator should have given us a clue...

The scenery was beautiful and peaceful. Only the sound of the Texada Island Ferry and the occasional sea plane broke the silence. Sunshine and a warm spring day made for perfect hiking weather.
Our kids did great. I realized pretty quickly that I was well beyond my hiking comfort zone. Its not that I can't do it it just takes me considerably longer than most. My feet have a total lack of muscle tone. Its like walking on loose sand even when on flat solid ground. Add the quick elevation changes, slippery moss covered rocks and gravity and I turn into the equivalent of a drunk toddler :)...
By the time I realized I was in trouble it was too late to turn back. I was humbled by those who were so willing to help me. I was so determined to do as much as could and not give up. Someone was never more than a foot or two away with a hand, determined to make sure I didn't fall. After three hours and a call a head on the trail to Holly (gotta love technology). Holy confirmed that the trail was still hazardous for me. I had done all I could, fearing I would not be able to get back to the bus in time to make the ferry. Michelle and I turned around to head back, soon joined by others. One step at a time I made it. Only a hundred more steps to the top of this ridge, you'll make it....Look how far you've come....

I was the recipient of selfless service that day...No one judge me or made me feel lesser for struggling to meet my goal. They just helped, encouraged and saw me to the end. I guess we all need that sometimes.

Me & My Girls

It's always a privilege to spend time with my girls, our youth and my dear friends.
Waiting to get back on the Ferry
We made it back to the ferry in time. By then I realized that I was definitely going to "feel it" the next day. I never hit the ground that day and only had two slips...

Battle Scars....
Me + Gravity + Rock = don't get along. A blistered toe and a bruised shin. Just proof I really did it.

What a great day and yes I do feel it, but for some reason I'm okay with it :)


As Grant picked us up off the Powell River Ferry yesterday, he leaned over and whispered... "The Doctors office called...they want to see me right away...they said it was marked urgent. They have to see me tonight." My heart sank.

We dropped everyone off, ran home so I could change out of my sweaty, muddy clothes and ran over to the clinic. For the first time ever there was no one waiting so we went right in to a room. My heart was racing as every possibility went through my brain. The doctor was in the room in less than three minutes.

We had never seen Dr S before. He looked at Grant's chart, then acknowledge that we must be quite worried by being called in like that. He asked for a minute to review the chart, after a few hums and ahs he said."Oh, Its just a bladder infection"

Instant relief. A bladder infection we can deal with. I instantly saw the colour return to my Superman's face and for the first time realized just how worried he was.

An instant reality check. For that half hour nothing else in the world mattered beyond my Superman. All our trivial troubles had vanished, I hadn't even notices my aching bleeding toes from that day's hike from H-E double hockey sticks. Sad that it takes a slight scare for me to be reminded of what truly matters in life. So Glad you're going to be ok honey :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Return To The Darkside....

People probably think we're crazy (ok who am I kidding we're totally are crazy, and everybody knows it) but Grant was asked to go back to graveyards shifts and he actually jumped at the opportunity. In his seven years with Wal-Mart he has spent more than four on nights. The perks far out weigh the cons for us right now, so it made the decision easy. Weekends off, evenings home and a wage increase.

Believe it or not I am not Wonder Woman (I know , shocking!)and having a bunch of teenagers at times makes my head spin.... The absolute worst time of Day in Casa De Kramer is between the hours of 4-7 pm, if the wheels are going to fall off it is then. Having Dad (the level headed parent) home then, should tremendously increase the odds of any peace treaty being successful :)

So I fully support my Superman's decision to return to the DARKSIDE :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Too Much Public Schoolin'

Our Dallyn, sweet, innocent Dallyn I've said before... I think stand up comedian is in that boy's future.

We drove a bunch of kids home from the Bishops Youth Fireside tonight. In the process of making the rounds we picked Dallyn up from his friends house. From the moment that kid got in the "loser cruiser" he never shut his trap.

Some where in the middle of his droning, Dallyn asked some question regarding human sexuality(leave it to a Kramer kid) I'm sure it was more for effect than information....One of his sister's said "How do you even know what that is?" Dallyn, not missing a beat said...

I go to public school, I know more than you think....

Less than a minute later, as we are passing a cop car with some one pulled over, Dallyn pipes up....
"Its the po po!!! Everyone act natural!
The entire van erupts in hysterics....pretty sure Dallyn achieved his desired effect.
As we dropped off Bryan, the last kid on our route. Bryan says as he's shutting the door....
"Thanks for the ride, I guess what happens in the "loser cruiser", stays in the "loser cruiser";)
Public school?? Too much t.v.?? Who knows?? But I have never been in the running for parent of the year, now have I?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It Never Fails...

We sat at the clinic today for no less than 3, yes 3 hours today....My Superman's "Man Cold" has driven us all crazy and he was still complaining of kidney pain, so I made him go in. Why must men act like they're four? I knew instantly we were in for a LONG wait. Oh Joy!

It never fails...Why do the worst behaved children always show up at the same time we do??? You know the kind... the mom thinks their offspring's antics are cute and entertaining....everybody else thinks the annoying and obnoxious....I would like to thank "Cale" for reaffirming my decision to quit procreating. :)

By the time Grant was seen I was ready for a psychiatrist not just a physician....I guess Grant has more going on than just a Man Cold...Looks like it might be kidney trouble again :( More tests on Monday...lets hope its an easy, quick, remedy.

Note to self : never google medical symptoms....out of 50 possibilities I always assume the worst case scenario...a trait I inherited from my mother :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Great Toilet Paper Debate

Grant and I were married right out of high school and neither one of us had much experience with domestic life. There were so many things we had never realized before....stuff like...the oven doesn't clean its self....a menu of KD, Hamburger Helper and Pancakes gets old, fast and the fact that toilet paper doesn't come with the house.

Ever since realizing we had to buy our own toilet paper, the great TP debate has raged in Casa de Kramer.....




I am of the philosophy of "the cheaper the better " you would be to if you went through the amount of TP we do. Grant on the other hand wants the creme de la creme TP, I think he'd order it from France if he could ;)....

This discrepancy has caused some pretty heated discussions in the paper products aisle, at our local Wally World. (Have you ever contemplated running over your spouse with a shopping cart?, I know bad wife) I usually win out and load the cart with the cheap stuff. But Grant does have a secret stash in our bathroom. That nobody dares touch. He always brings home a pack of the kooshie stuff when he's fears he might run out. I'm pretty sure the TP debate will rage on 'til the end of time or at least 'til the rug rats move out :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Man Cold

As I was putting the last few things together for last nights dinner when my Superman called from work..." I think I have kidney stones again, I'm getting a ride home" Like a good wife my first thought was "You've got to be kidding me, why now?!" Grant got home and immediately took meds...This happens enough that we are prepared. Thank heavens things calmed down. Only thing is the Man Cold he's had for a few days has now really kicked in (yeah me)....

This clip discribes the Kramer house to a T......
I LOVE the Man-Cold. I told my Superman that if he asks me to sing "Soft Kitty", on more time I'm outta here. Feel better soon sweetie :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dinner is Served

Anyone who has ever planned a RS Dinner knows this..... "It will ALWAYS work out." Some how, some way it always does...

Yesterday morning after many phone calls, I mean like A LOT, my faith was really beginning to waiver. I was starting to think that we would have more YM serving dinner, than sisters eating it. All the calls were legitimate reasons for not attending and I totally understand that LIFE happens.

As I arrived at the Church I said a quick prayer and took a deep breath...."If we make a difference for one sister tonight...its worth all the effort we put into it." was the thought that instantly came to my mind. "It will all work out", was my second thought.

We had many sisters and friends attend. The food was perfect. The YM serving as waiters were nothing short of charming. And a chance to visit with friends was just what I needed....

After a couple of last minute replacement readers....Our program started.....readings, scriptures and quotes highlighting the three purposes of RS (Faith, Families & Relief)With three musical numbers.... I Know That My Redeemer Lives, Love At Home, and Where Can I Turn for Peace? Michelle, Holly & Michelle you guys are rock a spiritual kind of way. Thank you.

As I sat and listened, I felt nothing but gratitude for Relief Society. Gratitude for our sisters, and gratitude for the love our Saviour has for all of us. All the concerns and worries from earlier that day had disappeared. It all worked out just as it was intended to. I honestly think sometimes things have to fall apart in order to come together.

The last quote in the program.....

President Thomas S. Monson said:
" My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."

I love Relief Society it is humbling to serve amongst my dearest friends.

One the menu...

Chicken a la King , Oven Baked Rice , assorted salads, and buns. With Black forest brownies (any pan of brownies, iced with cream cheese icing, with a drizzle of cherry pie filling) for dessert. Shhh don't tell any one, I hadn't tried any of the recipes before tonight...they just looked pretty, so I assigned them out. All the sisters did an amazing job of cooking everything and it was super yummy. I would recommend these recipes to anyone, planning a big dinner.
Click HERE for that evenings program.

They're Back!!!

I'm a nature lover, I don't think you could help it living where we do. But, I would never qualify as a tree hugger or granola head just in case you were worried that Island Living had gone to my head ;).... Pacific Tree frog

Last night as I was desperately trying to drift off to sleep, I heard it. Barely above the sound of Grant snoring, the hum of the house and the occasional car passing.....Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit....Is that what I think it is? The frogs. They're back! That can only mean on thing....IT'S SPRING!

I said a silent prayer of gratitude and drifted off to never-never land. I love Spring.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's A Disorder

I'm addicted to paper crafts and I especially love the smell of a hot glue gun and/ or laminater....I know, its weird. But it does come in handy sometimes. Our RS Birthday Dinner is Wednesday night so I made these for the table centre pieces. Table center pieces are a Relief Society trademark so I have been honing my skills for almost two decades.... Scrapbook Paper, Pinking shears, shish kabob skewers, mason jars, raffia, Easter grass (the stuff is normally outlawed in our house) and a hot glue gun (may I suggest the low melt variety, I doubt if I still have finger prints). I hate to admit it, but the only thing I had to buy was the Easter grass...hence the disorder :)

Blue and Yellow are the RS colours.

The banners...I also love print shop. I know I need help :)

How To Annoy Your Sister

Target Practice and.....

Piano Practice at Casa de Kramer....Yes, and like a good parent I took pictures first before telling him to knock it off :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pay Backs....Hilarious :)

I have until noon tomorrow to pay off the YM service is over-rated

So here's our pay back :).... I hope small denominations are okay:)
And an expression of our appreciation....

Stake Conference Isn't Just For Old People :)

This weekend was our Stake Conference (a meeting of all the Mormon congregations in a particular area, ours includes Nanaimo, north on the Island) Conference is something I really look forward to....Although as a child and teenager I thought Stake Conference was just for old people (you know any one with grey, silver or blue hair or over 30 ;).

In the last couple of years I have come to love conference. Its gone from something I merely sat through to something I just can't miss.

Its a weekend I come away from with a renewed since of purpose, a hope in the future, and a feeling that I am needed, valued and loved. Making the six hours in the car and the four hours of sitting worth every single second.

Here are the points that stuck out for me:

"I doesn't really matter who gets there first"
(as long as we are working on it)
-a young brother who had never spoken in church before gave his first talk ever at Stake Conference. He spoke on the fact that we are all STRIVING to become better...he gave his talk with the use of a computerized braille reader. What an amazing young man.

"I feel like a ballerina in gum boots"
-a sister from our ward talking about making changes and learning new things.....I think its sign worthy :)

Then Brother R gave a presentation on all the positive uses of the Internet in our lives.....I learned tons. The following quote is one he shared that amazed me....(I had to look it up, I can't write that fast)

Spencer W Kimball said on April 4, 1974.......
Technology will help spread the gospel. We need to enlarge our field of operation.… The Lord will lay in our hand inventions which we can scarcely conceive whereby we will be able to bring the gospel to the peoples of the world…. I have faith that the Lord will open doors when we have done everything in our power. I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse….We shall use the inventions the Lord has given us to awaken interest and acquaint people of the world with the truths, to ease their prejudices and give them a general knowledge. We shall need to answer specific questions, and perhaps that can be done by two-way radio and TV perfected to a point beyond our present imagination. It is conceivable that such a program greatly perfected could be multiplied ten thousand times in ten thousand tongues and dialects in ten thousand places far and near…. Tens of thousands of young missionaries endowed with the power from on high will follow up the proselyting."

Internet, iphones, FB, Blogger....Yup pretty sure that has and will still happen. Its humbling, all the things we've been blessed with.

"Keep your feet moving!"
President VH says this often. It reminds me of something my Grandma Beena always said "The cure to any worry is work." Life requires us to keep moving forward on step at a time. Its going to be hard sometimes but keep putting one foot in front of another and things will have a way of working out.

"Living is a real luxury if you take the urgency out of it"
President VH encouraged us to take the busy-ness out of our lives....Don't live like you are always heading to a four alarm fire :)

"Stick to the Church, until it sticks to you"
President VH to the youth... I'm glad I stuck it out until it finally stuck.

Nope, Conference isn't just for old people anymore...its for me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pitty...Table for One.

Okay here is my confession...

I'm a whiner...a big one at times.

Sometimes my kids really annoy me. Sometimes I expect people to be perfect when I am far from it myself. Sometimes I'm a "crisis counter" instead of tallying the greater blessings. Sometimes I have my very own party...Pitty....Table for one. Often I need a big old kick in the hiny.

This last week I have had a few instant reality checks, you know the kind, when you hear of someone else's heartache or sorrow or turmoil and you realize instantly that your "problems" are really no big deal...

This quote came to mind...
"When, for the moment, we ourselves are not being stretched on a particular cross, we ought to be at the foot of someone else’s—full of empathy and proffering spiritual refreshment." (Neal A. Maxwell, "Endure It Well", April General Conference, 1990)

In other words we (Robin you) should never be so caught up in our own troubles that we are unable to reach out to or notice someone's heartache.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Make Cake :)

One of our Sister missionaries lent Madison her flashing Happy Birthday pin sweet. So this afternoon I set about making Maddie a Birthday Cake...Mother of the year redemption:)

It was several years into married life that I discovered you can actually make cake from scratch and not from a box....but by then I was set in my boxes it is and because I didn't have two of the same flavours I settled on marble.

We all know its the frosting that makes the cake is the best recipe I have found so far....

I added a little orange zest and juice (yes how Martha of me) yummmm.

Okay so they cracked...I was in a hurry and took them out of the pan will still hot, nothing a little frosting can't fix.

Done...cut letters out of cardboard freehand and hot glued them to tooth picks....Madison thought it was cute so that's all that matters. Tonight is mutual and Grant works late so we won't sing Happy Birthday to Mad Dog until 9:30 pm....Nothing like cake right before bed :)

While I was finishing the Cake.... 3 fire trucks went racing up the street.....

I ran up the street to make sure it wasn't our ward member's wasn't, just across the street though. My heart always sinks when I see this. Scary for any one.

Looked like a chimney fire. Hopefully there wasn't too much damage.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy One-Five Mad Dog :)

Madison turns FIFTEEN, yes fifteen tomorrow....It's all been in the blink of an eye....From Grandpa Bruce's MAD DOG...

to the great INSTIGATOR :)
Madison our
Slightly SILLY
Can't keep a straight FACE, ever
Amazingly STRONG
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADDIE!!! We love you ! :)

FREE Service is Over-rated :)

We live in a really fun Ward, nobody around here takes themselves too seriously and here's proof....

I sent off an email to our Young Men's President this morning....taking the YM up on their offer to help out at our RS Birthday Dinner...

Hi Bro. S,
I was hoping to take you & a few YM up on your offer to help with serving and clean up at the Rs Birthday Dinner.
We need you there Wednesday March 16 @ 5:30 pm until 8 pm or so...Let me know if this will work for you guys.

Thanks so much
Robin :)

He is Bro. S reply....

This will not be a problem at all, would love to help. Just what to let you know that giving service for free is way over rated , so the YM and myself are going to change that policy. We will be charging $10/hr per person ( this is a very cheap rate,so count yourself lucky ) We will have 3 YM their and myself , so the approx bill will be as following
4 workers @10/hr approx 3.5 hrs------ $140
traveling time Min. 1hr--------------------- $ 50
supper suppled------------------------------------ n/c
Total $190
Hst $16.8
Amount owning $206.8

To be payed in cash only and to be payed by March 14 . Please note that it must be payed by 12 noon on the date indicated ,or find an other origination that you can suck in to clean-up .
PS. If you keep us past 8:00 Our over rate will kick in at $25/hr per person at a min charge of 1hr.
You are a very lucky RS to have the YM in the same ward because if we were not in the same ward or in the same church,our hrly rate would be 25/hr per person. You have saved $160 for this event alone .
PSS: please watch the dead line to pay (March 14 , I would hate to see the RS to miss out on that big saving )
YM for money

I am still laughing...... and looking for Canadian Tire money, anybody want to donate ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let Him Eat Cake

Ours didn't look quite this pretty...but tasted just as good :)
The other night my superman had a hankering for Black Forest Cake....only thing is he could find one and I don't make cake. So he decided to have the kids try to make one. He came home with the cake mix, cherry pie filling, whipping cream....

Holly found this site and they went to work(good thing your kids love, eh Grant)....

The best part was how simple the frosting was:

1- 500ml carton of whip cream

1-vanilla pudding mix

1/4 cup icing sugar

whip together, took all of 30 seconds and was super easy to spread and tasted yummy....I'm sure it would be great on any cake.

In less than an hour and a half Grant had his cake and was kind enough to share with all of us. And yes, I picked all my cherries out first:) I love simple, straight forward recipes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Getting Dirty

I spent two hours waiting with Bailey at the walk in clinic this morning (Bailey now has two puffers & me a great appreciation for prescription coverage)....I love people watching, and our wait gave me a greater appreciation for how uncomplicated my life is.... I was also shocked at how rude some people are to medical staff....its not their fault there are 10 people in front of you and yelling at them will never help your cause. Just saying.

The bright spot today, SUNSHINE, glorious SUNSHINE. Realizing that this might be the only day this week, I was determined to spend at least an hour in the flower beds. I spent more than three, digging in the dirt. And it was heaven. I'd rather do yard work over house work any day. Spending the afternoon in the sun was just what I needed. Glad I took the chance because guess what?? It's now raining :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

One of THOSE Sundays

There are a few Sunday mornings when, by the time we get to Church I am ready for a nap. This was definitely one of THOSE morning. Me not being able to find tights or nylons that didn't resemble Swiss cheese should have been my first clue. If I had shaved my legs I could have avoided this problem all together, but that's besides the point.

A daughter, who shall remain nameless, was now in the middle of full on melt down. Reason, her skirt wasn't "working". Now locked in her bedroom, refusing to go to Church, I am trying to "calmly" explain that a fashion emergency was not a justifiable reason to skip Church.

Dallyn is being Dallyn, and I finally noticed that he's sitting on the speaker, nearly knocking over the TV, As I tell him to get down, one of his mothers, I mean sisters chimes in. I say he only needs one mother and I'm sitting right here. But loving sister won't leave it alone, and then mentions that if I parented, she wouldn't have to...have I ever mentioned that teenagers are obnoxious....

Some how we all made it to Church...after my leadership meeting one kid had "disappeared" with a friend..."missing kid" walks in just as the meeting is starting. I give her the "you're in hot water" glare. Just as the announcements start I realize Dallyn is playing with a toy. As I try to confiscate it, it falls and breaks...Dallyn is now crying.....I give Grant the "these are YOUR children" glare. The opening hymn starts....

At least it wasn't "Love At Home", now that would have been funny....

Taking kids of any age to church every Sunday, can be a daunting task, but why do I do it?

More than a decade a go we were living in Raymond, the rug rats were all under seven and my Superman because of injury and heartache was taking the "home study" version of Church ;)...I had taken all five kids to Stake Conference mostly because President Henry B Erying was visiting....

Elder Eyring shared the following experience about growing up in a small branch in New Jersey....

There was no building, no gym, no stake center, and so we traveled to a hotel ballroom for what must have been a district conference. I was sitting on a folding chair somewhere near the back, next to my mother. I must have been very young because I can remember putting my legs through the back of the chair and sitting aft instead of forward. But then I remember hearing something—a man’s voice from the pulpit. I turned around and looked. I still remember that the speaker was at a rostrum set on wooden risers. There was a tall window behind him. He was the priesthood visitor. I don’t know who he was, but he was tall and bald, and he seemed very old to me.
He must have been talking about the Savior or the Prophet Joseph, or both, because that was all that I remember much of hearing in those days. But as he spoke, I knew that what he said came from God and that it was true, and it burned in my heart. That was before scholars told me how hard it was to know. I just knew of certainty—I knew it was true.

As I listened to Elder Eyring's words I looked down the bleachers (and you thought metal chairs were bad) at my small children and came to this realization. It didn't matter that they were too young to understand what was being said, they were not too young to feel the spirit and that was what really mattered.

So even now when they are old enough to understand what is being said, it is the spirit that they can feel that is most important, and that is why we take them to Church, even on the days when I want to wring their necks:)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sunday Learning

I got the affectionate nickname "Kramer the Laminater" just a month or two after moving to Courtenay. I laminated my handouts for the first RS lesson I taught here and the nickname has stuck ever since. These are the handout/fridge magnet for my RS lesson tomorrow and here's the shock. They're NOT laminated :) (you can't laminate corrugated cardboard).

Here are the links to the two articles that I am using for my lesson, both are great reads

Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come", Ensign, Nov. 2006, 28–30

Jeffrey R. Holland, "Lessons from Liberty Jail", Ensign, Sept. 2009, 26–33

Ears Lowered

Friday morning my Superman went in to get his hair cut. We always go to the "no appointment necessary" places because we are too unorganized to schedule anything.

I ran to the dollar store next door to kill time.... When it was taking longer than usually I went back to see what was up...

I instantly realized the problem, Grant got the hairdresser that talks with his hands. As I watched I couldn't even kind of keep a straight face. Each time the guy had something to say to Grant he stopped trimming and was waving the scissors and comb around like he was warding off an attack.

When Grant finally stood up I just lost it... Hand talker guy had cut Grant's hair way too short on top, Grant looked just like a hedgehog, seriously. He quickly paid and left. While I was doing a terrible trying to contain my snickering.
We got in the car and drove across the parking lot to Winner's, Grant ran in side and bought the first hat he could find....

So the cheap hair cut was now expensive....Don't worry honey you won't look like Mr. Hedgehog and I promise to stop laughing eventually :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh Yes I Did :)

One of the things I swore I'd never do as a parent, make my kids perform.

My mom used to make my sister and I perform in ward and school talent shows. Her favorite piece "The Doctor Is In" from "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" Kelli was Lucy and I was Charlie Brown (I drew the short straw). We even had a card board set and a giant stuffed Snoopy to drive home the fact that we were complete losers. Kelli and I hated it, I mean really hated it. But, I can still sing my part " I'm not very handsome or clever or lucid, I've always been stupid spelling and numbers"...No wonder I'm damaged. So I swore I'd never do it to my own offspring....
Well, I have broken my cardinal rule a couple of times at Sacrament meeting, but that was usually someone elses asking.

This week I totally pulled the "I pay for piano lessons, don't I" card, and yes, I'm making Holly play a piano solo against her will at the RS birthday dinner. Have I ever mentioned that free agency doesn't kick in around here 'til your 18. She's not too happy about it, but she'll thank me someday, right??

She's playing the Kramer theme song "Love at Home" ;)...fitting isn't it.

"There is beauty all around, when no body's home...." Sorry I couldn't resist.

here's the link to the piece, Holly will play.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Six Week Shelf Life

My Superman and I are going on 18 years of marriage, but try as we might there are a few things that just don't survive in the Kramer house.... GOLDFISH....Apparently feeding fish on a "regular" basis is required to sustain life. Ours are usually floating within weeks.(please don't call the SPCA) The only reason Tater survives is that he bangs his paws on his metal bowls until somebody feds and waters him.

HOUSEPLANTS....No mater how pretty they are when they enter our door. The are doomed,I am know as the plant slayer. Its the water thing again ;)
WATER GLASSES....well anything glass really...we have a tenancy to break things. Now when I shop for anything I am always thinking... "How long will it take the rug rats to dismantle or destroy this??? It keeps me from getting to attached to too much stuff :)
So please if you are ever thinking of gifts to bestow on the Kramer clan....goldfish, glass or green things should not be included, Just a heads up :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's a ??? Day!

Last night we ended up with a surprise snowfall (it had been snowing less than an hour when we took this shot) Tuesday 10pm 14 hours later it looked like this.....
Wed 2pm
School was cancelled this morning...because there were 8 or more inches of snow with standing water on top of it, side streets had not been plowed and the winds were 70 km/hr gusting to 100 km/hr and forecasted to get much stronger. The were expecting massive power outages.
None of which happened, by noon the streets were clear and the wind had died down considerably. By 3pm the sun was shinning.
I will gladly be sending the kids back to school tomorrow :) Entertaining them on an unexpected day off is annoying. By this time last year I was mowing my lawn, had put away all the winter clothing and was planting my flower pots. We live on Vancouver Island 'cause we are snow phobic...What's up spring??