Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Haul

I really dislike Halloween, but since the Superman had to work I decided to make the best of it.....
I even made a last minute banner for the house.

Our teenagers and some of their friends, I know they're a tad old but there are worse things that they could be doing than trick-or-treating....

The haul....okay kids it's time to pay the Candy Tax. Pay up now or we will steal it while you are sleeping :)

Can Anybody Give Me An "A" ??

Breaking News!!!
The Superman was right!!
 (But, shhh don't tell him it might go to his head.)
I even got a letter from the government to prove it.....

Back story....
Alex , our fourth girl in a row,was named the by Superman. I looked at Grant right after Alex was born and said "I don't name her." Which he promptly did. Grant even filled out her birth registration and paper work....

Fast foreword five years...
Alex starts kindergarten in Port Alberni, about a month after school starts I get a call from the school secretary telling me that Alex's name is misspelled on her birth certificate. What? Really??..Sure enough the "A" at the end of Alexandra was actually an "E" and I had never noticed. So at that time I did make a phone call but never followed through (I know bad mom)...It came up again when we moved, still didn't follow through, ya I know really bad mom....
So about a month ago I decided to send an email to see what I could do (the school called again). So I had to write a letter, to the Alberta government explaining the problem and send a copy of the misspelled certificate and they would investigate and let me know where the mistake had been made....

So after wondering for nearly a decade if Grant had misspelled his own daughter's name on her birth records, we now know.....He did not! The government had made the error. We got a letter today saying Alex's correct birth certificate is on its way....after 13 years! :) Once I have it, Alex can actually spell her name correctly at school (it's still Alexandre there.)

Sweet heart you were right...well isn't that special.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

West Coast Weekend

The Superman and I had the opportunity to spend the weekend here....
I know, it sucked ;)...Our dear friends said their back yard was the Pacific Ocean and they weren't kidding. 
Considering this is the home of the same Seminary teacher that Grant tied up in a volley ball net as a teenager, we are just thankful they forgave him :)

We experienced a little bit of heaven on earth. Falling asleep to the sound of waves and waking up to the barking of seals, is the best therapy anyone could ask for and exactly what we needed.

A sunrise like this makes it sure hard to leave.
1906 Lighthouse

Our gracious hosts.

We made a quick stop at Wickaninnish Beach as we left.

Storm season is the best !

We had the beach entirely to ourselves.

Waves were amazing.

Sea foam is not just a paint colour :)

Beautiful friends in the most beautiful part of the world. Yes...
Thanks A, L, and K for sharing your little bit of heaven with us. We heart you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where's the Bacon?!?

My Superman has the day off today, as he walks in the door from taking the kids to seminary he says....

What's for breakfast???
Me: What ever you make honey.
Him: What is there ?
Me: Eggs, bacon, pancakes.....

3 minutes later, from the kitchen....

Him: We don't have  bacon!
Me: Its in the freezer?!
Him: Nope!

Okay so my Superman is one of the smartest men I know {except when he's looking for something in our house}
So just for fun, how long does it take you to find the {non-existent} BACON ????

In his defense, It was upside -down and in the plastic mesh from Costco....

I wub my Superman :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Foundation

Growing up I was always that irreverent teenager in back of the Sunday school class, laughing at all the inappropriate times, okay I'm still kinda that way. But I've matured ever so slightly....

Tonight was the adult session of our Nanaimo Stake Conference, which is always my favourite. The night largely focused on the importance of the family.

There were many beautiful things shared but it was the words of the intermediate hymn that really touched my heart. We sang: How Firm a Foundation. A hymn that I've sung hundreds of times before. The hymn we used to call the "bra hymn" , I told you I was irreverent...Tonight the words meant so much more.

In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,

In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—

As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,

As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

 Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,

For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose

I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,

I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Our family has found great strength in our knowledge that we all have a loving Savior who is there to help us. I am so grateful for such a sweet reminder tonight. We do not walk alone, we weren't supposed to...

Trivia you know what the word/phrase "to succour" means? We see it often in the scriptures. Its literal translation means "to run to". What a beautiful way to describe the help our Savior offers us. Its now one of my favorite words.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You Don't Want a Dog

If you have a weak gag reflex you might want to skip reading this....

So you think you want to get a dog, trust me YOU DON"T!

Tater the wonder dog was sleeping at the foot of our bed early this morning. The next thing I hear is said dog trying to heave. So I lay there hoping the Superman will deal with it. Superman doesn't move. {We used to play this same game when the rug rats were babies} With the culprit now whining at the door I figure I better deal with it.

It is then in my pre- dawn stuper, I now realize that the wonder dog has actually puked, Right, in front of the closed door. I now have a dilemma. Nothing in my room to deal with the puke, if I open the door the saucer size deposit will turn in to a rather large smear.....After a second I realized the opening the door was my only option...

So do you still want a dog can have mine.

Look For It.

I usually blog about all the funny, crazy, hilarious things that happen around here, trust me the material is never in short supply. Dallyn even made some funny comment last night about how "Halloween is a free first class ticket to Candy land" and  then turned to me and said "Now that's funny right there you should put that on the blog"

Our family has had alot on its shoulders recently and over the last several weeks I have found it increasingly harder to stay positive and not become angry and bitter for circumstances we didn't chose. Its been easy to find all the depressing negative things that happen in a day or over the week and some how feel short changed, or forgotten about. Who am I kidding, I have felt down right sorry for myself....Then Monday after a great visit with a dear friend. A talk I had heard a few years ago at General Conference came to mind....
President Eyring shared with us that he had been keeping a daily journal for his children for many years......

" Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.

More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.....

....My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies......

President Henry B Eyring. O Remember, Remember. October 2007
Have I seen the hand of God in our lives over the weeks? Yes. Absolutely.
*A friend who came completely out of her way to share a birthday dinner with us.
*A seminary teacher who called and said we'll pick your kids up.
*The friend, who drove up just to have lunch and listened without judgement.
*A beautiful sunset after a rather rough day.
*A calm heart amongst all the commotion, and the constant thought "hang on, keep moving, it will all work out."

If I really look our blessings have been endless. I am not alone. My attitude is what I choose to focus when I share the blessings I have seen on a day. You'll know its where I really need to keep my focus.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crafting Snobbery :)

Okay so here is actual proof that I need to get a life.....
Friends have been bugging me to join PINTEREST, like a need another online addiction and frankly it took me a while to get the whole concept...(its a place to keep all the neat ideas you find online. Home decor, crafts etc.)

Well it didn't take me long to really like all the awesome ways to feed a slight paper craft addiction. This is my first attempt at a project....
Paper roses. I used old sheet music, but anything would work.

Super time consuming but actually pretty relaxing...don't worry I know I'm weird. Secretly I find satisfaction in out crafting my friends...Fellow RS sisters seem slightly shocked that the unconventional me is actually a craft snob :) But I dare you, go ahead and try to out glue gun me :) 

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Kind of Weekend

This weekend was full of awesome, the good not the sarcastic kind. We chaperoned our youth at the Nanaimo Dance Friday Night, Went to a baptism Saturday night, and had our dear friends hang out at our house Saturday and Sunday. It was a busy weekend and we loved it.
Here are some of the wonderful things we learned:

1. Going through a check stop with the loser cruiser and a bunch of rowdy teen is extra fun.

2. 1:00 am when you are thirty something isn't as nearly as fun when you are sixteen

3. Baptisms are awesome no matter how old you are ....Way to go Tavie!

4. I love having a house full of kids (I`m serious) Something about all the laughter and chaos warmed my heart.

5. Whoever called it a sleepover was wrong...cause there was very little sleeping happening around here.

6.I can get kids ready for church with out crying or swearing. The 9 of them were super helpful and made it pretty easy.
7. High Council Sunday for once wasn`t`s what we learned. Men look like dorky wimps when they cry and its annoying "IF" hypothetically you have a wife that chews ice. Actually it was on honouring your parents, prayer and Patience. (See I can actually pay attention if I want to).

8. We also learned that our Missionaries Elder Watson and Elder Smith.....really can sing and not just in the "isn't that special" kind of way. They did an amazing job of Because He Lives. I love the power of music.

A weekend full of fun, faith and friends...Yup its my kind of weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inappropriate Dinner Conversation :)

If you're a prude you can stop reading now...if you want a good laugh keep on readin'

I think I could write a book just on the conversations that happen around our dinner table. I have to admit its my favourite time of the day and I don't even mind the lack of decorum  or manners. As long as we have a good laugh without a food fight then we have reached success....

Tonight was no different....

So here's the whole story.

Someone brought up the fact that the Superman and I started dating at 17 (The same age Holly is now). Holly says "That's so gross!" (teenagers will always keep you humble).  Then the fact that we got married super young. (18 &19) came up. This always makes the Superman and I slightly uncomfortable, we are not ashamed of this fact, we totally beat the odds, its just we know how much harder it can make life, and really don't won't them to experience the same hardship. So we have always been very open and honest with the rug rats, hence they have no problem bring it up...I think they love watching us squirm.

So Holly says "I'm a honey moon baby." Dallyn asks "What's that?" Superman says "It means we got pregnant with Holly right after we got married." Holly interrupts and says "Honeymoon! You didn't make it from the courthouse to the car!" "HOLLY!!!" the Superman and I say in unison. Trying desperately not to laugh and hoping it flew over Dallyn's head.....that is until Dallyn pipes up a second later and says "If there is giggling there is wiggling!" What?!?!

We'll just blame that on his public education ;)

Ok, so I guess it's time to have a little refresher of "the talk" with that boy. Inappropriate or not, I love our dinner table.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home Teaching Apples

Our home teacher brought over two huge buckets of apples (so I guess we'll let them come back next month ) It was even the first Sunday of the month (over-achievers;)....
Even with force feeding the kids apples at ever opportunity, we had barely dented the first bucket. So I realized I had to do something with them.
So I found this recipe for Freezer Apple Pie Filling and went to work.

Don't act like your surprised, I can be domestic when I wanna...I just don't wanna to often ;)

Cutting up apples takes a long time, but at least Dr Phil & Ellen were on.
The recipe was pretty simple, but next time I'll use my stock pot, the dutch oven is really too small.

I froze in zip loc bags but next time will use containers. (way too hot and messy).
At least the house smelled heavenly.


My Gratitude List
A day late 'cause that's my style ;)

A-Alex, Answers to Prayers
B-Bailey, Beaches
C-Comedians, Cherry Pie
D-Dallyn, Do-overs
F-Friends, Fall (the season, not the act)
G- Gardens,
H-Holly, Hot Chocolate, Hope
I- Ice Cream Cones, Individually, Integrity
J-Jokes (the lamer the better)
M-Madison, Music
N-Nieces and Nephews
O-Ocean, Opinions
P- Public School
R- Raspberry Jam, Rain Forests
S-Superman, Sisters, Sunsets
T-Teachers, Twinkies, Thrift Stores
U-Unicycles, Unicorns (ok its the best I could do :)
V-Visiting Teachers
W-Washing Machines, Waffles
X-X-ray vision (totally kidding!)
Y-Youth, Yawning
Z-Zeal, Zebras

Monday, October 10, 2011

What's for Dinner???

<====So this rugrat
                                                       And this rugrat ======>

Had the following conversation on their culinary skills.....

Madison: I think I'll make spaghetti for dinner

Dallyn: Well your spaghetti kinda sucks, Maddie

Madison: Sure, coming from the boy who can only make Mr. Noodles.

Dallyn: Yeah, I know I suck at cooking too!!

Man I love my funny kids!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't Ask...It's Been H*LL :)

Today was a really hard day for me, which I find kinda weird because, Things are really improving for us and I really do have so much to be grateful for....So please bear with me :) If you are already rolling your eyes please stop reading *HERE*

Have you every sat in a room full of people, amongst friends even, and felt completely ALONE?? It's happened often for me over the last several months and is a complete refection of where I am at and not that of those around me.

My Superman got really sick this summer, but the really personal nature of his struggles made it difficult to share our pain with anyone, even those most close to us.

Things are much improved with a lot of Patience, prayer and competent medical care and a crazy specialist or two. I have no doubt that we will be okay. But that doesn't change the fact  that when people say "How are you?" and I say "fine", What I really want to say is "We've been to HELL and back, but thanks for asking!!"

You never expect or plan these things in life, and they really aren't talked about much, especially when we have our Sunday faces on.

Sometimes I find the silliest things bring such tender feelings for me....

Seeing my Superman at church, you see the loving, caring man, I also see a humble man who is winning a battle.

In RS today we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever", I didn't make it through.....Nobody knows the work and sheer determination it has been to keep our family together. Even with all our knowledge about the blessings of eternal families, there were moments when none of us knew what tomorrow would bring. My heart aches even admitting that.

Watching my Superman don the shirt and tie and head out the door to work. I see triumph.  Even a month ago I wasn't sure if this would ever happen again.

We have lost friends and felt distanced from family because of this, I don't blame them but that doesn't take away from the heartache. I wouldn't know what to do with us either. The reality of an illness caused us to close ranks, focusing on family, feeding said family and only those things of absolute necessity (ie. feeding the dog). There are those who simply didn't understand. For that I am truly sorry.

Its been so HARD and I have spent the last several months trying unsuccessfully to convince otherwise. But who am I kidding it has sucked. It is just going to take some time to get my feet sturdy again. My heart is full of gratitude for those who have reached out to help us. Your kind words and actions have sustained us more than you know. So I really do know that I am not alone....even in my HELL (Sorry HECK, I almost forgot it's Sunday) ;)

I have written a private blog about our journey "In the Quiet Heart" (don't judge blogging is cheaper therapy). Let me know if you would like an invitation to read it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If She Could, So Can I

Ellen Matilda Ash my Great Grandmother

The washer flooding the laundry room caused me to come across some family history records I had never seen or read before....

I have heard many stories about my Great Grandmother Ash from my Grandma Beena and my dad, but I have never before read her personal account as it appears in the "The Daughter's of Utah's Handcart Pioneers - Logan Camp" her personal account as told to her daughter  Ada Peterson England (my Grandma Beena's sister).

She was a toddler who sailed across the Atlantic on the Enoch Train and then came across the plains with her Parents, infant sister and Grandmother. In the very first Mormon handcart company (Edmonds Ellsworth 1856).

Grandma Ash rode in the hand cart, with her mother carrying her infant sister the whole way. "Mother said that being out in the sun, wind, storm and wading through streams for weeks, the skin peeled off her face, her feet and her legs would bleed to her knees".

After arriving in Salt Lake City they eventually settled in Richmond....

"Several times while living in Richmond we went to Salt Lake to Conference. With an ox-team it took several days for the trip both coming and going.One time we camped in the canyon in the place now known as Dry Lake. The oxen were turned loose to graze and strayed away. Father looked and walked until he was tired out. Mother had a pair of beaded moccasins made by the Indians. She took them over to a cabin near by and offered them to a boy, who had a pony, if he would ride and find the oxen. This he did and we were soon on our way again."

Grandma Ash's family was well acquainted with tragedy, losing two sisters and a brother in the few short years after their arrival in Utah. But Grandma Ash's biggest heart break was losing her mother...

"In November 1863 another baby came to our home and in one week my mother died. Well do I remember the events surrounding her death. She knew well she was going to die and shook hands with friends and bid them goodbye just like she was going on a journey. I shall never forget how she hated to die and leave us children. I remember going up to her bed and she straightening my bonnet and said "My poor girl, what are you going to if your mother dies." She gave me her wedding ring and asked me if I knew the hymn "The Resurrection day" ...When I told her I did she asked me to always it and whenever I sang it to think of her"

Life changed drastically for her after her mother died. At thirteen she was sent to Salt Lake to live with a family....
" Father thought I would be well taken care of . They took little interest in me. I had to work hard and did not go to school. The family lived on State Street and I remember seeing  hundreds of loads of Granite being hauled by oxen and mules for the construction of the Salt Lake Temple."

Construction of the Salt Lake Temple 1875

She returned home after a year and her father remarried at that time. She said her step mother was a good woman and wife to her father. Life improved.

Grandma Ash's adult life was full of triumph and tragedy, she was married twice, raised eight children and lived to be 99 years old.

I love family history. I have found great strength and wisdom in the stories of my pioneer ancestors. I will never complain about driving an hour and a half to attend Stake meetings when Grandma Ash spent weeks travelling by handcart.  Or having to sit in a stake center or my living to watch conference, when Grandma Ash travelled for days by oxen team to do the same thing.

I know the heart ache of losing a mother, but not that of a child or sibling and not in such a short amount of time. Grandma Ash's strength sustains me in my worries, heartache or trouble even generations later. What an amazing example of faith and fortitude.

I can feel of the importance of the temple to a young girl then and know that the temple is just as important now. What a blessing it is in my life.

Ultimately as I read the pages of Grandma Ash's personal history my thoughts are, If she could  persevere with courage and faith SO CAN I....Who knew so much help and hope could come from 150 years ago? Thank you Grandma Ash.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Resuscitating the Washer

We should be one of those test lab places...The kind consumer reports uses to test the longevity and durability of stuff. Cause if there is one thing the Kramer family knows how to do its break stuff. If something can last longer than six months around here, its probably worth the money.

In the last few days....the living room window cracked during last weeks wind storm (so not really our fault), then Bailey's masterpiece fell off the wall and put not one but two holes in the drywall, and on Sunday morning my washer conked out and five minutes after that I realized that said washer had actually flooded the laundry room.....{Of course I would never do laundry on the Sabbath, that's the washers job;)} Don't judge :)

If there is one appliance I simply can't go a minute without, its the washer...I instantly had visions of myself being consumed by Angry mountains of laundry resembling Jabba the Hut. Then all I saw was dollar signs and tried to wrap my brain mystical art of making money appear out of thin air. Stuff never breaks when its convenient, its always the day after all the monthly expenses drain out of our account. SIGH. I'm thirty seconds into my full blown panic when the Superman tells me  "knock it off, I'll look at it after conference..." {I would never over-react ;)}

So the Superman pulled the front panel off the washer.....30 SECONDS washer is once again running."The drive belt just fell off, its fine. See all the panic for nothing!" my Superman  would never say I told you so, now would he.

Grateful that the Superman is kinda handy....Grateful that the flood forced me to totally clean my most hated room....Grateful that our washer was resuscitated :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Birthday Blessings

I guess you never truly understand wanting something until it is just out of your grasp. My parents prayed for, planned for, and paid for parenthood for years and years before that blessing became a reality in their lives. I don't know if I could have stayed the course the same way they did, but then again parenthood became my reality before it was even planned for or prayed for.
My sister and I came more than eleven years into my parents marriage. From the beginning we knew we very much wanted, that we were miracles, we knew that there had been countless procedures and fertility drugs, we knew about the bed rest and a precarious pregnancy and the blessing of two preemies.

I surely will never understand the patience and heartache the must have endured. But what I do have is a great respect for the sacrifice they made to become parents.

So on my birthday I say thank you to a Mom and a Dad who gave everything they had for a blessing many of us take for granted. Because of you I am a Quirky, irreverent, happy, funny, mother of five who will joyfully continue the tradition of embarrassing my offspring and always remembering the blessings of birthdays.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm With Stupid

Dallyn wasn't feeling well last night something about his stomach, no head, no back okay so this bad busy mother doesn't remember... Dallyn actually feel asleep on my lap{that never happens anymore} So when I was ready to go to bed I went to move him to the couch and happened to notice this....
I'M WITH STUPID (with an arrow pointing up) written in sharpie on his leg. He did it himself....the rest is self- explanatory. SIGH.

BINGO! It's Confernce Weekend

This is General Conference Weekend...As a kid I didn't like this weekend much. It meant going to the huge Stake Center, sitting on cold metal chairs and constantly trying to avoid the "behave or die" glare my mother was a master at.....

Thanks to the advent of modern technology, we are able to watch General Conference in the comforts of our home. Today we decided to take a laid back approach and bribe encourage our rug rats to watch with us.

The Superman and I were up early so he could check on the broadcast equipment at the Church, as we were driving home I said donuts, Grant donuts....that'll get them up!

We stopped and picked up a dozen of still hot honey glazed and I grabbed skittles and nibbs for Conference Bingo.  The fact that the candy was fruit flavoured made at least me feel better...If I had known how quickly donut deprived kids will bound out of bed, I would have tried this a LONG time ago!!!

Conference Bingo, the game is simple but the Kramer kids can make anything compicated.....

We had to tell them that playing the game during the opening and closing prayer was prohibited.

We had to stipulate that the words had to come from the speakers in conference and not from "Alex say atonement, Alex's says atonement, Dallyn yells bingo"

The could eat the candy whenever, but once it was gone it was gone....Then the could use the write-on markers.

We had to prohibit using the markers to colour Tater.

Tater is not a big fan of hymn singing....a howling dog is really disruptive, funny, but disruptive.

Buying nibbs and skittles is a bad idea when your dog has a fruit flavoured candy fetish. Tater kept sneaking around and stealing the nibbs off the kids bingo sheets. Which was amusing until Maddie "Yells, Tater ate my Jesus!" right in the middle of President Monson announcing new Temples.

Okay so the bingo game was less effective than I had hoped but we did make it through the entire two hours all in the same room and nobody stormed off crying which is an improvement over last year....

What I did LOVE was  the announcement of new temples, Elder Packer's talk specifically directed to our youth, the arrangement of I Am A Child of God the choir sang and President Uchtdorf closing words. I am not sure that my kids as of yet appreciate Conference weekend , I never did at their age. But I sure do now, so many answers come from listening to the words spoken at conference. I always come away with a renewed since of hope and confidence.