Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Milkshake Talk

Holly just bribed the thirteen year old to write her (Holly's) sacrament meeting talk for her. The bribe a Milkshake. Not sure whether to high-five her for her ingenious ingenuity or scold her for the shirking of duty.....regardless I think its dang funny.

Holly's  been begging me to help her all day....but there was never any mention of a milkshake, so I told her she was perfectly capable of doing it herself.....

So my first born was left with no other option than to bribe my fourth born to write....

Alex (with the help of Sarah) wrote the following....

Good morning brothers and sisters.  Today I was asked to speak on how I much I loved young womens and what it has meant to me over the years.  I just totally love the young womens program, like ya.  It has tought me soo much stuff but I’m like to blonde to remember so… like totally ya.  The young womens program was totally neato and I like, am so gonna miss it but I don’t won’t cry because then my make up will like totally start running and that would like be like totally not rad. Also I just totally love my younger sister Alex, she is like totally my favorite person ever.

This made me laugh, hard....and no I would never condone such irreverent behaviour. (It must be superman's fault)
Apparently Alex's first attempt was not milkshake worthy....So a not too shabby talk was quickly authored and the milkshake handed over.

My girls make  me so proud!?!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Praying for James

I'm sure Wednesday morning started like any other for our dear friends....but in an instant everything changed. A parents worst accident and critical injuries. My heart sank when the call came. First we prayed and then we offered help here at home. Little things, phone calls, errands and welcoming a few extra teenagers into our home...I feel honoured to be in a potion to do something, but what has been most amazing is witnessing the out pouring of love and support from our Church family and our community.

So as most in are community are praying and fasting for James today....We feel honoured and humbled to join them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Creative Kramers

We found out on Friday that my sister is having a little girl ....So excited for them. So when I came across a free baby booties pattern on line...I had to try it....

turned out cute, but super finicky to make, so I will be looking for a simpler pattern. Okay I probably will never make these again.

Dallyn has been talking about his Cell Cake project for weeks....But in true Kramer style, he left it 'til last was due this morning. I told him he needed to do it himself...

But I'm pretty sure Madison hijacked helped with the project. He was very pleased with his work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grad Dress Adventures

This last weekend had been slated for the acquiring of our first born's grad dress for some time.....
Anyone who knows me even slightly well knows that grad dress, dress, clothes shopping in general is a stretch for me. Okay getting out of my sweats before noon is a stretch...

So when we woke up Friday morning to heavy wet snow, I thought for sure I had received my "Get Out of Jail Free" card....Not so lucky, mid afternoon it had changed to heavy rain and wind....So by dark we were heading south to Victoria.

We have lived on the Island a long time and honestly I have never seen it rain so hard....we're talking rhinoceroses and gale force winds. We never broke 85 km/hr (52 miles). It was crazy but we made it safely and the Superman only has slight claw marks that shouldn't scar :)

By morning the weather had improved slightly....And thankfully didn't hinder the shopping odyssey (yeah)...

I had asked Superman if there was anything other than Grad dresses he wanted to do while we were down Island...."See the brand-new Wal Mart in Uptown" Sigh,  Really?!? Haven't had enough of your own store honey?!?...So between dress shops, I got to tour yet another Wally World....Did you know none of them are the same....No really... 

This Store has two floors....Oh no, how can I get my cart up or down the escalator (my first thought too?!?)
That's what a MO-VATER (sp) is for....{escalators are on either side}
Push your cart in and it even keeps the cart level on its journey....

Take a closer look at the warning on the left, Carts only, No children .....It was also flashing in neon green above the gate..... Now I'm no parent of the year but if you need that warning....parenthood might be a stretch for you.....maybe a house plant is a better option ...

Sorry, I almost forgot why we were in Victoria.....

First stop was "Shades of White" we ended up not finding a dress here but the shop and service were impressed with them.

Yup those are spring clamps on the back. They even say mastercraft on them. Who needs altering we'll just raid Dad's tool box...Apparently I am the only one with a sense of humour whilst dress shopping...

We joined up with my more fashion savvy Sister in Law for the second shop. Having a favourite Aunt there meant the world to Holly. Holly found the ONE after more than a dozen. Watching her face light up is a moment I will treasure. I promised not to post a picture until Grad....But will say, its classic, elegant, and beautiful. A true refection of our daughter. She picked well and paid for it entirely on her own.

Grad dress shopping was relatively painless....Which is a very good thing considering its one down, three to go :)

Spending time with family and hanging out with the best pug I have ever met, made for a perfect weekend.
They never left her sweet!

Friday, January 20, 2012

She`s Having A Baby!

My twin sister is having a baby and we could not be more excited for the Stilson clan. Few know what a triumph this is for them. More than a decade of infertility, multiple miscarriages, the blessings of adoption, birth and now the blessings of another baby....

I will never know the depth of their heartache....but I have shed tears of sorrow and cried for joy with them.

For me, now is the time for joy.....For our father its a time of deep fear, anxiety and confusion....

Kelli put off telling Dad for months....worried about his reaction. Less than two weeks ago and nearly half way through this pregnancy, she finally felt the moment was right. "Dad you're going to be a Grandpa again!" No reaction, none at all, she might as well been mentioning the weather....

Why can't he share in our joy?......

Days went by....Then the question "Are you still pregnant?" At least he remembered, I guess....He called me several times in two days...."Is Kelli going to lose this pregnancy??" "Is this pregnancy viable?"  Over and over I answered his questions and reassured him that this was a happy thing. Nothing but fear....

Over the last week his fear has turned to obsession....

Dad is phoning Kelli eight plus times a day...."Are you still pregnant?!?" always the first question.....If she doesn't answer the phone he will phone her work, her mother in law, me....demanding to know where she is....if she is still pregnant....

Dad phoned me four times yesterday afternoon/evening....Where is Kelli, is her pregnancy okay?? His voice full of fear and trepidation....Kelli lives two thousand miles away...but "I'd bet a million dollars that everything is just fine", I reassure him over and over and over and over.....

My heart breaks for Kelli that our Dad can't share in this joy. Its hard to know how to react with him....His behavior is inappropriate and ridiculous. {Exacerbated by his boxed wine obsession} We swing from sorrow for him to frustration and anger....Anger towards a parent seems so wrong... I guess its anger towards his choices, not him.

Joy, happy, ecstatic, excited....that's what every single Krazy Kramer here feels for our much anticipated new niece or nephew, the awesomest Aunt and Uncle and the soon to be big brother and big sister. Joy is our choice.

I cannot compensate for my Dad, but I want Kelli, Jason, Zach and Mya to know how excited we are for you. We love you. Thanks for sharing the joy!!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My {Almost} Snow Day

My {not-so angelic} SNOW ANGEL.....

Today was almost a snow day....My prayers were answered, the rug rats' were not. I would never snicker as my children walked out the door ;) It was -7 C with a windchill -15. pretty cold for us west coasters....

I didn't have to do anything today and took full advantage of the peace and quiet....Stayed in my jammies, cranked the tunes and fired-up the sewing machine....

Such a relaxing quiet biggest problem, running out of thread :)
I love my publicly educated rug rats and the 7 plus hours I am given daily by their dedicated teachers :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thank You Sister Dawkins.

I was sitting on the stand (front riser of our chapel) today. {I'm the ward chorister} When it was announced that Sister Dawkins had passed away...... the lasting effect this  beloved Sister has had in our Ward was evident on the faces of all who knew her....

Sister Dawkins made a lasting impression soon after we moved to Courtenay....

She was the elegant, graceful, women in the back row, who welcomed everyone with kind eyes and a warm smile...

|While serving in Relief Society I had the privilege of visiting her in her apartment at a Seniors home...As she welcomed us in I felt like I had entered the home of a wise and trusted friend. She talked of her love for her children and her departed sweet heart. She spoke of her love for the gospel and bore the most powerful testimony I have ever heard on tithing....We had come to share a message of love and hope with her. We left with our buckets over-flowing. 

She was an angel on earth. I will miss her. The sure knowledge that she is now back in the loving arms of her sweat heart brings nothing but happiness to my heart. Thank you Sister Dawkins.

A Little Craft Crazy....Why Yes

I'm not crazy..... crafting is cheaper than therapy and the sewing machine drowns out the sound of the rug rats bickering nicely :)
I've only been sewing for the last two months, so I pretty much suck at it, refuse to follow patterns (not just a sewing problem), and  love when I can make something from nothing.

I came across this idea to make kids bomber-style hats from their old t-shirts....seemed simple enough.

I made a pattern from some toques laying around and raided the bag of clothes slated for Sally Ann... 

Any knit fabric works...t-shirts, sweatshirts, fleece...

Knits are a little picky...and I found a double layer worked better than a single. And buy bias tape for the edges. Making your own is too time consuming.....

I then added patches, buttons, rick rack etc...Really fun to make but the rug rats have informed me they won't be wearing them....oh well. They were meant for cute kids anyways ;)

I've also started making bags....I don't use a pattern and just make it to whatever size fabric remnant I have and add whatever I feel like.
I think it's fun, my family thinks I'm even its a win-win :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cleaning Tip (Shocking, I Know)

It's no secret but I'm no cleaning genius...In fact the only thing I'm a genius at is avoiding cleaning. I came across a simple way to clean burner pans on pinterest
I have spent many hours cleaning these dumb things over the years.

You put each pan in a large zip loc with about 1/2 cup of sudsy ammonia in each bag and seal tight...
Let them sit for up to 24 hours...Mine sat for about 18 hours. Then using steel wool you scrub them off...

Worked like a hot damn dang...took me less than three minutes a pan to scrub clean. Honestly the best cleaning tip I've heard in a long time...I assume it would work for any baked on greasy thing you can fit in a bag. Just thought I'd share the love :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Missionary Now :)

Bailey painted this over a year ago in her Grade 10 Visual Arts Class (Bailey is one of four LDS students at her High School)....
A cubism using the Del Parson, 1988 rendition of the First Vision. We think she did an awesome job.....It now hangs proudly in my dining room.

Fast forward to last week.....
Our missionaries knocked on our door and said they just had the coolest thing happen....Super excited they shared the following....

They were tracting (knocking on doors) in our neighbourhood and meet a teenager...She listened to their short message and accepted the DVD The Restoration...

The girl looked at the DVD and said "I've seen that picture before, a girl at my school painted it!?" She then agreed to meet with the missionaries again.

Yup we think that's pretty cool, too and are glad the missionaries shared it with us.

Dental Disconnect

I have many friends in the dental profession and this is no way a reflection any of them. But I really do hate the dentist. I think its a phobia. And I have desperately tried not to pass on my feelings to my children. Fail. Last week's dental emergency with Madison made me realize I am not the only one with a {slight} phobia. Sorry Maddie.

Living in Canada we have the luxury of very few out of pocket medical thing that is not covered is dental.

Now, I'm no accountant but let me tell you, Dentists are EXPENSIVE!

We do have extended benefits through Superman's work that are pretty good {I thought}....So I wasn't worried when I took Maddie in for her second dental exam in a week....

After about an hour, I am summoned to the exam room to consult with the dentist, Maddie is still in the chair....One look at the chart and I realize this might take a while......Our dentist is very good at explaining what needs to be done and doesn't in the least make me feel incompetent or like a dumb parent, something I am grateful for....But then she mentions that ideally Maddie will need dental implants to replace the two molars that need to extracted by the dental surgeon....

My jaw hitting the floor must have been obvious by her next statement....

Why will this dental work be a stretch [financially] for your family?

My response "How much we talkn'"

The fillings she needs a couple thousand plus...(with insurance we should be ok?)

But the dental surgeon may or may not be covered and the implants are $5000 A TOOTH and will not be covered by insurance....

Good thing I had the door frame to hold me up....Say What??? Wow!

Alrighty then.....There isn't a family I know, that a $10-20 thousand dental bill wouldn't be a stretch for....just saying....

The next morning I get a call from the dental surgeon's office....They have booked Maddie for February. "We will need {nearly $1000} on the day of surgery" OUCH was all I could say...."We do take Visa and MC" like that's supposed to make me feel better....

I hang up not knowing weather to laugh or cry.....My only thought,  If you have to ask "Will this be a stretch for you ??" You suffer from dental disconnect.

I have done a little magic math {at the bank of parents} and research and think I have things covered....we will attack this in stages, dealing with the important things first, dental implants can and will wait, with insurance and spreading this out over the next 6 or so months, it shouldn't be too painful, here's hoping......I think I now have (self-diagnosed) dental financial phobia on top of my Dentophobia (its real I looked it up :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cry If You Want To :)

What a difference a week makes....In weather, in laundry :), in perspective.  Our plate is still rather full and nothing has magically disappeared...But things are lookin' up and I am rather relieved about that....

A friend, who knew we were having a rough time last week asked if I had heard Holly Cole (jazz singer) before? Nope, I hadn't. My friend said "well there's this song she sings"....... Its says exactly what I would  tell you...."It's okay to cry, I won't tell not to"

Cry (if you want to)
by: Holly Cole

Cry if you want
I wont tell you not to
I won’t try to cheer you up
Ill just be here if you want me

It’s no use in keeping a stiff upper lip
You can weep you can sleep you can loosen your grip
You can frown you can drown and go down with the ship
You cry if you want to
Don’t ever apologize venting your pain
Its something to me you don’t need to explain
I don’t need to know why
I don’t think it’s insane
You can cry if you want to

The windows are closed
The neighbors aren’t home
If it’s better with me than to do it alone
I'll draw all the curtains and unplug the phone
You can cry if you want

You can stare at the ceiling and tear at your hair
Swallow your feelings and stagger and swear
You could show things and throw things and I wouldn’t care
You can cry if you want to

I won’t make fun of you
I won’t tell any one
I won’t analyze what you do or you should have done
I won’t advise you to go and have fun
You can cry if you want to

Well it’s empty and ugly and terribly sad
I can’t feel what you feel but I no it feel bad
I know that its real and it makes you so mad
You could cry

Cry if you want to I won’t tell you not to
I won’t try and cheer you up
Ill just be here if you want me; to be
Near you

{My New Favourite Song}

I can be guilty has anyone, when someone comes to me with a worry, I automatically think "how can I fix it".....

Last week I didn't need anyone to fix it for me, or jump on the frustration band wagon with me. I just needed someone to listen with out criticism and understand without judgement. I just need that shoulder to cry until I  could remember how funny life really is.....

Our lives are truly blessed with the best kind of people....Thank you my friends. {All of you}

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mountains and Miracles

Last week was full of mountains. There were moments I was positive my whole world was falling apart. I could not see any way around, through, or over the mountains that stood in our way. Heavy laden was an understatement. I cried. A lot. I was hurting, my Superman was heartbroken. All I wanted to do was fix it. But I knew it wasn't my mountain and it never needed fixing. The climber, my Superman just needed a hand to pull him higher and hold on tight until he gained his footing again.

 All I could do was pray. Pray that that hand would some how come....

Please just give him the courage to hang on, was my constant prayer, as I held on to the only thing I still had, hope. There is always hope.

That hand did come. And many more. The out pouring of love, support and understanding, humbling.

Not just for Superman, but for me....We don't have to climb our mountains alone.

As I spoke to my dear friend about the mountains and miracles of this very trying week. She said "it's okay, I won't tell not to cry"...and we cried. I love our friends.

I end this week grateful for inspired priesthood leaders and friends. Kind words mend hearts and change lives. Because of them we will master another mountain.

Friday, January 6, 2012

How To Suck at Parenting

So its official I suck at parenting....
Madison came home from YW tonight and looked like she had a tennis ball in her cheek. She didn't look like that when she came home from school. She then mentions that her tooth has been bugging for a few days....

Grant and I have a quick discussion and I take her up to the er.....
A dental abscess.....iv antibiotics every 8 hours for the next 48 ASAP
I feel terrible, she never said anything....At least the resident and attending were super nice and understanding....I know I'm an idiot parent all on my own.

I guess I should find a good book, as I will now spend the weekend at the I know those parenting books are around here somewhere....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hold on to Hope (and Courage)


Life is a tough happy-sad-joyful-overwhelming HOPEFUL journey.

Mostly good and happy days, with a few bottom of the barrel days, thrown in, just to make sure you are paying attention.

Some of us are better than others at hiding our troubles, they've perfected their Sunday faces, I guess....I haven't

Some hurts and heart ache are easily seen and understood, While others are Invisible to the eye and only felt by the knowing heart....

A heart that has walked that invisible journey too.....

A tough and rough day, I lost my Sunday Face a long time ago, (ok I never really learned that face in the first place, I also suck at poker) .No none of this has to do with the Superman's and mine marriage, we are stronger than ever, my children are well (last time I counted 4, no 5) And my Superman is dealing with life,  the only way he knows how.....bravely and humbly healing his invisible heartache, one stitch at a time....And I am my always HOPEFUL self. Tomorrow is new and better day.

I end today with four for sure things (said in my best California girl twang)

Hope is everything

Sometimes things have to fall apart, before they can come together.

My life is blessed with wonderful people

and yes... the Kramers, even the Krazy ones are loved.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Promises for 2012

I will not yell at my rug rats between the hours of 3 and 4 am.

We will only have frozen pizza one night a week.

I will limit my self to 2 cans of Dr Pepper a week, unless I'm hormonal.

I will cheerfully make dinner at least once a week.(frozen pizza does not count)

I will not roll my eyes when asked to fill out permission slips or attend parent-teacher conferences.

I will ask my teenagers permission before I blog about them (unless it is really funny or stupid)

I will actually watch a Star Trek movie without mocking it vocally.

I will allow my Superman to buy what ever toilet paper his tushie desires.

I will walk in the laundry room once a day (to avoid denial).

I will only watch Dance Moms or Toddlers & Tierras when I feel like a bad parent.