Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Try To Get Out of a Talk in this House :)

Sacrament Meeting Talk July 31,2011

Okay so I’m not going to lie, it’s been a really tough week and the last thing I wanted to do was write this talk, much less give it. I tried several times to get out of this, but every time I whined to Grant, he just added to the length of time, I was assigned to speak….so I quit whining, while I was ahead.

Elder Quentin L Cook shared the following story in General Conference in October 2008…..

My youngest son, Joe, was three years old, and my son Larry was six. We were traveling by car from San Francisco to Utah in June. The weather had been very good.

As we started our ascent to the Donner Pass summit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, suddenly and without warning an enormous snowstorm hit us. None of the drivers was prepared. A semitruck in front of us had jackknifed and was spread across two lanes. Other trucks and cars had slid off the freeway. One lane was open, and many vehicles, including ours, were desperately trying to gain traction to avoid the other vehicles. All traffic then came to a halt.

We were not prepared for this blizzard in June. We had no warm clothing, and our fuel was relatively low. I huddled with the two boys in an effort to keep us warm. After many hours, safety vehicles, snowplows, and tow trucks began to clear up the massive logjam of vehicles.

Eventually, a tow truck hauled us to a service station on the other side of the pass. I called my wife, knowing she would be worried because she had expected a call the prior evening. She asked if she could speak to the two boys. When it was the three-year-old’s turn, with a quivering voice, he said,

“Hope ya know, we had a hard time!”

Like Elder Cook’s three year son, we are all faced with times in our lives where we to say to our Father in Heaven “Hope ya know we had a hard time. Sometimes we become discouraged because of life’s minor disappointments and other times we are hit with the tidal waves of grief associated with the loss of a loved one, depilating illness or wayward child.

Elder Cook continues……

We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our good and are suited for our own personal development. We also know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. It is also true that every cloud we see doesn’t result in rain. Regardless of the challenges, trials, and hardships we endure, the reassuring doctrine of the Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ includes Alma’s teaching that the Savior would take upon Him our infirmities and “succor his people according to their infirmities.”

In Philippians Chapter 4 verse 13 we read: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I would like to tell you about my Great-Grandmother Ellen Matilda Ash who, along with her father John, mother Sophia and infant sister Elizabeth, and more than 500 other saints, left their home in Birmingham, England, to walk to Zion in the very first Handcart Company. I am not sure I truly phantom the faith and courage that took.

On March 21, 1856 he left England aboard the ship Enoch Train with 534 Saints, arriving in Boston on May 1. From there the emigrants traveled by rail to Iowa City, where they camped for over a month awaiting completion of their carts.

Finally, on June 9, the great handcart experiment began. With buoyant spirits and an enthusiastic send off, they set out across Iowa. There were about 280 people, including a man age 71 and the youthful Birmingham Brass Band. Each traveler was allowed only 17 pounds of luggage . If they had additional baggage, they had to pay for it to be transported later by ox-trains. Those who could not afford the freight costs sold what they could and simply abandoned the rest. The wagon assigned to the handcart company hauled supplies. There was a tent for each 20 people. The first day the emigrants traveled only four miles.

Initially their progress had been slow, but the pace increased. They averaged seven miles a day the first week, almost 13 miles per day the next week and hit their stride before reaching Florence at which time they were covering up to 20 miles a day. Hunger, fatigue, fainting, and illness were commonplace. Daily food rations for adults were between one-half and one pound of flour, plus two ounces of rice, three ounces of sugar, and one-half pound of bacon per week; children got less.

Prairie thunderstorms were terrifying;. The road was sometimes muddy, often sandy and hilly.

Even through the mountains, where they were beset by cold and thunderstorms, they averaged over 20 miles per day. Proving their fitness, they climbed up and over Big Mountain in less than three hours. They camped at the foot of Little Mountain and the next day, September 26, entered the Salt Lake Valley.

The following is an account of My Great grandma’s company entering the Salt Lake Valley…..

Having learned that Capt. Edmund Ellsworth's company camped at the Willow Springs on the evening of the 25th inst., on the 26th Presidents Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, Lieut. Genl. D. H. Wells, and many other citizens,…left the Governor's Office at 9 a.m., with the view of meeting and escorting them into the city.

Within about a mile and a half of the foot of the Little Mountain, Prest. Young ordered the party to halt until the hand carts should arrive, and with Prest. Kimball drove on to meet them. Ere long the anxiously expected train came in sight, led by Capt. Ellsworth on foot, and with two aged veterans pulling the front cart, followed by a long line of carts attended by the old, middle aged and young of both sexes.

Much credit is due to Capt. Ellsworth for having walked the entire distance, thus cheering and encouraging his company by example as well as precept, and the saints with their hand carts, aided by Capts. Ellsworth……, and guided and sustained by the Almighty, have preached to the ungodly a sermon louder than the voice of many thunders. And thus has been successfully accomplished a plan, devised by the wisdom and forethought of our President, for rapidly gathering the poor, almost entirely independent of the wealth so closely hoarded beyond their reach.

Herein is exhibited a portion of the faith and patience of the Saints', but will the world heed the lesson?........

Sixteen persons had died. Some had questioned the ability of women and children to travel by handcart. Numerous children walked the whole way and Ellsworth said that women withstood the rigors of the trail better than men of comparable age.

The First Hand-Cart Companies," Deseret News [Weekly], 1 Oct. 1856, 236.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868: Company: Edmund Ellsworth Company (1856) ,(Narrative)

While my Great Grandmother and her family arrived safely in the Salt Lake Valley, Their family experienced great tragedy in the decade that followed. Three of six children passed away and Sophia my Great, Great Grandmother passed away in childbirth. They were a family well acquainted with heartache. My Great Grandmother had eight children and lived the rest of her life in Cache Valley, Utah.

While I never knew my Great Grandma Ash (she lived to be 99) I knew her daughter...My Grandma Beena. Grandma Beena was spunky, quick-witted, drove a '63 Buick Wildcat 'til she was 95(quit when the walk to the car became to difficult),walked faster, with a cane, than I could without, dressed impeccably, saw three centuries, loved the colour red, never forgot a birthday or anniversary, and gave me the best advice I have ever received. "Raise your kids so other people can stand them!"

She could sure tell a story and usually had you in stitches by the end...hanging her wash inside on Sunday, hiding the coffee pot from the home teachers, hoping she didn't die in the bathroom like her neighbour, hitching the horses to their first car because the crank start wouldn't work….

Like her mother and grandmother, she was well acquainted with heartache and trials, losing her only daughter and then her youngest son. ...Even through her continued heartache she would often say "the cure to any worry is work..." A testament to her heritage.

Grandma Beena was the only 103 year old that you could say died unexpectedly... While some would say my Grandma Beena was an unconventional Latter-day Saint, I knew she was a woman of great faith, and thus I think I had a glimpse into the faith and tenacity that her mother and grandmother had to have had to continue on the the trail to Zion.

From Jeffery R Holland’s article “Faith to Answer The Call” in July 2011, Ensign

What are we seeing in these examples of faithful pioneers? It is what we have seen down through the dispensations of time and certainly down through this dispensation. We are seeing what we saw when the Saints fled New York and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Missouri and then fled their beloved Nauvoo across an ice-bound river with the temple soon burning in the distance. It is what we saw when those same people buried their dead in large numbers at Winter Quarters, followed by leaving isolated graves, sometimes as tiny as a bread box, in Wyoming near Chimney Rock or at one of the many crossings of the Sweetwater River or in a snowbank at Martin’s Cove.

What we saw then and what we see now among the blessed Saints the world over is faith in God, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in the Prophet Joseph Smith, faith in the reality of this work and the truthfulness of its message. It was faith that took a boy into a grove of trees to pray, and it was faith that enabled him to get up off his knees, place himself in God’s hands for the Restoration of the gospel, and ultimately march toward his own martyrdom scarcely two dozen short years later.

Little wonder that faith always has been and always will be the first and abiding principle of the gospel and of our work. It is the heart of our conviction that the work not only should go forth but that it also can and will and must go forth.

I don’t know how else mothers and fathers could leave those babies in those makeshift graves on the plains and then, with one last look, weep their way forward toward Zion. I don’t know how else a woman like Belle Smith could set her children at the edge of a cliff and muscle her wagon down the perilous incline. I don’t know how else Samuel Claridge could sell all he owned and head off to build Zion in the desolate Muddy Mission. The fundamental driving force in these stories is faith—rock-ribbed, furnace-refined, event-filled, spiritually girded faith that this is the very Church and kingdom of God and that when you are called, you go.

Elder Holland continues:

I issue a call for the conviction we all must have burning in our hearts that this is the work of God and that it requires the best we can give to the effort. My appeal is that you nurture your own physical and spiritual strength so that you have a deep reservoir of faith to call upon when tasks or challenges or demands of one kind or another come. Pray a little more, study a little more, shut out the noise and shut down the clamor, enjoy nature, call down personal revelation, search your soul, and search the heavens for the testimony that led our pioneer parents. Then, when you need to reach down inside a little deeper and a little farther to face life and do your work, you will be sure there is something down there to call upon……

There is work to be done. We cannot say that every one of our neighbors has deep faith, that every one has a strong family, that every one near and far has heard the gospel message and has become a believing, teaching, temple-going Latter-day Saint. The world is getting more wicked, and the times ahead will try the best of us. But the forces of righteousness will always prevail

We all need to build a deep reservoir of faith. So when the trails come, and we all know they will. We can with courage continue in faith

Just like my Great Grandmother Ash, walked all the way to Zion, on step at a time, because of her faith and the faith of her parents. I can surely follow their example and put one foot in front of the other, in faith, in the face of my own trials and adversity.

I will be forever grateful for the legacy of courage and faith my pioneer grandparents have left me.

From the great pioneer hymn, Come, Come, Ye Saints……

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;

But with joy wend your way.

Though hard to you this journey may appear,

Grace shall be as your day.

’Tis better far for us to strive

Our useless cares from us to drive;

Do this, and joy your hearts will swell—

All is well! All is well!

2. Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?

’Tis not so; all is right.

Why should we think to earn a great reward

If we now shun the fight?

Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.

Our God will never us forsake;

And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—

All is well! All is well!

During this past week, I have continually seen the hand of my Heavenly Father in our lives. Tender Mercies of Comfort, peace and reassurance have come. While I am still learning to turn all my fears into faith, I know with certainty that we are never left to walk alone.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dallyn's Packin' Heat =/

World's Most Annoying Lovable Kid.....

World's Most Annoying Toy!!!!

This is what happens when the kids go to Nautical Days, unsupervised and with their own money.
Time until this toy will be confiscated.....1 minute and 43 seconds :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

He Still Has A Heart.

Monday was nothing short of a reality check....
I tend to be a doctor cynic, its nothing personal, its just my experiences have not always positive. As the significance of what Grant was facing, Monday, set in, I was just hoping for something beyond a band aid solution for him.

We have not had a family doctor since moving here, they are hard to come by. Being at the mercy of the walk in clinic has driven us crazy. The DR's there are great, but there is a lack of continuing care, something we desperately need now. So Monday when we got home, I called and found a clinic with several new DR's accepting patients. I picked the first name.and set up the meet and greet. We now had a family DR, but couldn't be seen for a few days.

Grant needed to be seen that day so we headed to the Walk In.... We were seen by a super friendly, super compassionate, super thorough, doctor that validated Grants situation and took it seriously.... Today we met our new family doctor, he is also cut from they same cloth. I am so relieved.

Grant is doing better, he is being sent to a couple of specialist, has had a myriad of tests and our whole family needs to make some significant lifestyle changes....But we know two thing for sure.

He still has a heart and we still love him!

Wolf Lake

Sitting around waiting for Doctors to phone was driving Grant and I mental, seriously just ask the kids. So with the house reaching its boiling point we decided to take the kids for a short drive and find a new swimming spot.....Wolf Lake is twenty minutes from our doorstep. On a logging road, off the road up to Mount Washington....
We got slightly lost trying to find access to the lake and found this hut.

Loved this sign

The hut didn't look very water tight, but the view was amazing.
We found the perfect swimming hole

My kids are such dare devils, they obviously didn't get that from me.
I did draw the line at head first

We then found a place to have a campfire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.
All the trees around the campfire ring had faces carved in them, once I noticed, I found it rather creepy

Tater begging for marshmallows, he's weird, he cared less when they were roasting hot dogs.
Wolf Lake
The doctor told Grant to rest and relax...I think we found the perfect spot, don't you??

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Phone Call You Never Want to Get....

Well I hope that that never, ever happens again......

My superman was called into work last night, ending his holidays early. Grant called about 1:30 in the morning to say he wasn't feeling well, but I really thought nothing of it.

I fell back asleep and was awaken by the phone just after 7:30 am.

"What's up with Grant??" It was Grant boss calling from home.
"What do you mean, he's at work.
"Nobody phoned you?" she asked
"No what's going on?"
"I just got an email that said Grant had been taken to the hospital in an ambulance...." She quickly said
Hanging up
I was now shaking so much that Madison had to dial the phone for the hospital....
After more than thirty rings someone finally answered, I was originally told they had no one there by that name, after being put on hold they told me he was emerge, I was again put on hold for what felt like an eternity. (I still had no idea why he was even there)

Finally a nurse came on the line and told me he had been brought in with chest pains and breathing trouble, they were running more tests and observing him. "What time was he brought in?" I asked. "Before 4 am" "What?!?! Four hours ago!!!!" I said "We thought his work had contacted you." she said

I felt sick. Shaking uncontrollably.
I made arrangements for Grant to receive a blessing and made my way up to the hospital. I was meet there by dear friends who where able give Grant a blessing immediately. I was so thankful for the instant sense of peace and calm that filled the room. But seeing your husband hooked up to all the monitors is really unnerving.

They kept Grant for several more hours, running several more tests. Around noon we were cleared to go home. Grant was told to rest and follow up with the DR tomorrow.

I guess nobody ever really knows what tomorrow will bring. Scares like this provide instant clarity on priorities. Family and friends are a treasured gift and should always be treated as such. I heart my Superman. Hopefully I will stop shaking soon :) And thanks so much for all your prayers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Okay so the conversation went something like this....

Superman: So the bishop called he wants to meet with both of us tomorrow.
Me: Both of us. What the heck for?!?!
Superman: You'll find out tomorrow
Me: Well can't you give me a heads up?
Superman: Nope
Me: Come on, you've got nothing???
Superman: Don't worry you'll still be happy....

Before Grant started serving in a bishopric....A phone call from the bishop would only mean one of two things...A new calling (serving in various positions in a ward, like teaching the three year olds on Sunday, etc) or the invitation to speak in Church. First of all, I don`t like change. And second, speaking in Church makes my right eye twitch.

I`m not a rocket scientist but it didn`t take much to figure out it had to be a calling.

So I spent the next several hours trying to figure out if Grant meant happy as in happy or as in ha ha (your sentenced called to the nursery) happy. Me over analyze things. Never.....

When we met with the Bishop the next day, I was released from Relief Society and called into work with the Young Women.

Phew... The Superman meant happy, HAPPY!

I have loved serving in Relief Society and will truly miss it. I am really looking forward to getting to better know the amazing YW in our ward. The fact that all four of my girls are in YW right now makes me even happier...them... they`ll come around ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Last Day of Vacay

When the Superman was asked this morning to end his vacay a day early we decided to spend the day as a family :) and  go somewhere we had never been before. We headed to the end of Forbidden Plateau Road and hiked in to find the Medicine Bowls on the Browns River....
Pictures don't do it justice. It actually freaked me out. The power of the water was amazing.

The current has created perfect circles in the rock.

I think the kids took great pleasure in freaking me out as they inched closer to the edge for a better look. I was a total chicken.

It was breath taking but I was glad to get every one back to the trail safe and sound.
The Superman then decided we should find the end of Forbidden Plateau Road......

It ends up at an old abandoned Ski Hill.

The ski lift with chairs attached are still there.

The view was amazing, Courtenay, Comox, Hornby & Denman Islands, Powell River (BC Mainland)

Comox Lake and Cumberland

Dilapidated Ski Rental Hut, with a view of the Comox Valley and Georgia Straight. On the way down the hill Grant had a great chat with the kids about which Holly responded "Thanks Dad?! Way to pull a Brother Anderson" :) 

A few minutes down the road look what crossed the road in front of us......
First Black Bear we have seen since leaving Port Alberni

 It was a great way to end the Superman's vacay....So sorry you have to go back to work [snicker, snicker, snicker]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tin Foil Dinners

While camping I realized nobody in my family but me had every had TIN FOIL DINNERS. I was shocked. So last night my Superman demanded that we make them. We went down to Goose Spit and started a campfire, while Holly our kitchen guru (she is way more neurotic picky than the rest of us, and refused any help, trust me, I'm not complaining) made them.

Wet Newspaper
Hamburger patty
sliced potatoes
sliced onion
seasoning salt

make a well sealed packet

Place on hot coals
flipping every 5 minutes (only pick up from ends)

Ours took about 30 minutes

Open and eat straight from the packet. So unbelievably good.
It was a beautiful evening with friends.

Alex's new pet rock....what can I say?!?!

We headed home as the sun was setting. I'm sure we will do tin foil dinners again and again and again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Adventures in Camping

The Superman, the kids (minus Bailey, she was faking sick) and I went camping to Miracle Beach with another great family  from church.(Thanks Brad and Loni) We always invite people to join us to keep the Superman and I from fighting because its way more fun that way :) Here's the low down from our 24 hour adventure in camping.....
Apparently they MEAN it!

Heading down for a little sand, surf and sun (yes it was really shinning)

Hux chasing Alex

First run on the skim boards this year

Doesn't everybody play in the sand with socks and runners on??

Building sand castles never gets old

Dallyn caught this snake on the way back to the campsite.

Boys are sooo GROSS!

Enjoying the campfire

Bringing our own blue sky with us.

Okay we win...Most stuff brought to a campsite for 24 can you tell we have teenagers? :)

We had a great time and here's the shocker...Kramer's went camping for 24 hours and not one of them required a band aid...crazy I know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter Outsider

So I got drug go to Harry Potter tonight. By my relentless loving family. Harry Potter is not really my thing. Too much reading. Only problem is my entire family, Superman and the offspring included are die hard Potter nerds. They have all read all the books and watch every. single. movie a thousand times. They try to out smart each other with Harry Potter trivia, while I ask over and over again "What's the no-nose bald guys name, again?" I totally know its Voldemort. I just like to watch my Superman's eyes roll :)

So tonight I really tried to pay attention to the movie, but I mostly felt like a monkey with a math problem. I really had no idea what was going on but thought that the popcorn was unusually tasty tonight. My nerdy surroundings were solidified when the Superman shed a tear or two and all the offspring were clapping and cheering during the wand battle thing at the end. I guess I will always be the HP outsider and somehow I'm ok with that.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alex the Hairdresser

So Alex wants to be a hairdresser????

Those are some SKILLS!!!!

or Maybe its just genetic???

Like Mother

Like Aunt (I love you too, Kelli ;)
Rockin' the hair, perm (thanks Mom!) and all :) 1988

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Building Castles in the Sand

We love it when the cousins come to visit.
This was the only break in the weather in four days.

But it was just great to spend the time together.

Holly insisted on setting up our new sun shade (it was windy and cloudy?) funny, maybe we should have lent a hand, but watching was much more entertaining :)
Thanks for a great visit. Love you guys!