Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Care Center Carols

I walked into a nursing home tonight ....the first time since  my final good byes with my Dad, 7 months ago...I hadn't really donned on me until I hit the front entrance, which is a good thing or I probably would not have even gone...Our Relief Society Christmas activity was singing at a local seniors care center... 

It was overwhelming at first, the sounds, the smells, the faces...I fought back tears and the urge to run. Such difficult memories, both parents lives ended in such facilities....Add the Christmas carols my parents loved and...I knew Christmas time would be hard this year, but I was even surprised at my early wave of emotion...Who the heck cries at Frosty the Snowman?!? (I remember my Dad playing that for us on the guitar)

But then I started noticing something...

A woman named Jodi (activity director, I'm guessing) who welcomed us to the facility and showed us into the room where the seniors were waiting...

For the entire hour, Jodi was so tender, so kind as she floated around the room singing along to our caroles and graciously adjusting a blanket, wiping a chin, hugging a shoulder, grabbing a tissue or exchanging a smile with each resident...This wasn't just a job for her but something she deeply, deeply loved, you could just tell. It wasn't for show, it was just who she was. She loved those residents and they loved her..My heart was so touched, it brings tears even as I type...

Maybe, it's that I carry a burden of guilt, that we could not care for our parents ourselves . Even though I know putting them in care was our only option, its still a choice I wish we never had to make...I'm sure most families feel that way...

So tonight I think I was so touched by Jodi's sincere and selfless actions because I was reminded that although my parents' care was not a choice I wanted, there were still loving people who tenderly watched over and cared for them, when I couldn't... Something I hadn't appreciated before.

Tonight was a beautiful reminder that we have a loving Heavenly Father who tenderly watches over us but meets our needs through those around us.

Thank you Jodi and all the "Jodi's" out there who lovingly adjust a blanket, wipe a tear, bring a smile....  Its really what Christmas is all about, isn't it?

 ....Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

I miss my Mom and Dad. This Christmas time will bring very tender feelings but, I am grateful for this time to reflect on how loved and blessed we Krazy Kramers are.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Alex and Kramer Family Antics :)

Our baby girl turned FOURTEEN yesterday...(no I am not old enough to have almost 5 teenagers). It was a Saturday and everybody had the day off....an oddity around here. So we gave Jo (Alex) her pick of what she wanted to do...Twilight and some shopping in Nanaimo...Superman was way more thrilled than me :)

Plus it was our maiden voyage in our new ride. Yes it fits everybody although they still fight over seats (sigh) and the DVD system keeps everyone silent entertained.

I can't remember the last time we were all out together, in public....We learned a few things...

*People are still shocked...yes they are all ours, yes we are too young to have this many teenagers, and yes it is like feeding an army :)

*If you sleep through the middle part of Twilight you still "get " the movie. (sorry my Twi-hards)

*Leggings/Tights ARE NOT pants people

*6 hours and 34 minutes...the point at which "family fun times" hits its terminal velocity and Grant and I aren't speaking and the kids are "looking at each other" (note above picture, Alex is the only one smiling at Boston Pizza

*My idea of choose one thing each in Old Navy and Superman's but I love my children more turned into a $300 difference

*Dallyn has some sick Spidey senses when fighting over mints with his sisters .

Kramer Family Togetherness at it's finest :)

Alex is now a make-up wearing, ipod sporting, attitude waving, true blue fourteen year old (heaven help me)

My favourite thing she does...Anytime superman is at the door or on the phone....Alex makes bird noises from the basement....Imagine, Just as the pizza guy hands Grant the pizza, there is a ear piercing "Ca CAAAA!!!" from down stairs....It. is AWESOME.

Alex you are a keeper. We love you!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!

Warning don't read this part.....

Dallyn gets in an argument with an un-named sister tonight....

"I think it's time to change your pad!?!" I hear Dallyn scream mid-match

DALLYN!!!! I yell, but can't stop laughing as I try my darndest to scold my disrespectful man child....

Mom!?! Who's side are you on!!!! (I don't know, who ever is funniest??)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Come on...We've Been Good?

Ever have one of those weeks when you are like...

Come On, Really?!?! Why now?... I've been good, dosen`t that count for anything??

I haven't been screaming at my kids (much).

I only swore once...Cutting a rosebush down in the wind is not just stupid, but painful ;)

I have literally dejunked and cleaned the entire house (minus my filing cabinet...4 years...it can wait...I can still close it)

Family Home Evening happened,well kinda, we were all in the same room for 17 minutes...

We even had family prayer (a couple of times, still counts doesn't it??)

But no matter how much we try. the fact is still the same, Our Superman's struggles sometimes...I can see it in his face, hear it in his voice, it breaks my heart. You see, even with all the understanding, all the patience, all the years of experience....there is still a little piece of both our hearts that hopes. Hopes the illness will just disappear. One day when we are good enough, faithful enough, it will be gone...But that is not how it works. This is something we will cope with for the rest of Superman's life. we have accepted that. No I do not feel picked upon. No it I'm not angry But it is still hard sometimes...

When these difficult weeks come, there are tears of disappointment and worry.

Superman's way better now at allowing people in to help, tender mercies...We have wonderful friends and doctors. The rough times are short lived. But my heart has ached and ached this week, I don't know why this tiny setback has hurt so much this time, but it has..

I didn't show up for parent teacher interviews today...I just couldn't add one more thing to my emotional plate.... (Let me guess Dallyn, talks too much and won't sit still...and another one of my scholars sucks at calculus...shocking)...I have ignored the phone...It's just my sucky coping strategy

I guess my biggest fear through all of this is not that we can't handle it.We can, because we have....It is that people will give up on Grant, lose their patience with him, judge his setback as a lack of faith or guilt or because he in their eyes, just hasn't tried hard enough...

But it's not up to me to make people understand or accept our family, now is it.

So just in case you didn't know the Krazy Kramer motto...

Be kind, loving and understanding or get the HECK out of our way (we're moving forward)...please and thank you :)

EXTRA Hugs and prayers kindly accepted this week...

and thank you to all those who continually love us , krazy and all.

Farewell Loser Cruiser

So after countless family drives, ferry trips, beach days, temple trips, youth dances, dump runs, Elder's Quorum moves, Costco shop outs and school events we have officially retired the Loser Cruiser this week....It was time. She still has tons of life left in her, but our family needed something more practical. So we are hoping to pass her on.
I was actually a little sad as we turned the licence plates in...There are tons of great memories tied to that van....

The fact that Dallyn could never stay awake in it.
The fact that our pre teens were horrified when we pulled it in the drive way the first time and made us drop them off a block away from school.
The fact that we participated in every youth function for the last 6 or 7 years.
The first time Grant drove it to work, and somebody said "What did you go and buy a big Mormon Van for??? "Because I is one!?!" Grant replied with a twinkle in his eye. To a suddenly sleepless co-worker sheepish co worker.
The fact that it never broke down, except once in our driveway.
So beyond reliable, we truly loved her.
But...It was time.
We now own this "yet to be named" Dodge Grand Caravan...Isn't she practically pretty?
Still a van, but I guess no more "Mormon Van" jokes. And Grant said NO, to putting the bumper sticker on the back that says "Condoms prevent mini-vans" Dang-it!
I guess...Superman doesn't share my sense of humour :)
So a fond farewell "Loser Cruiser" we will miss you! (maybe?)


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Awesome Parent=Awesome Kids

So I have come to realization that our "awesome" parenting is being completely lost on our "awesome" kids....

Last night, Grant and I walk in the door from HIS unsupervised car dealership expedition (next blog post)...

Mom its report card day, Dallyn announces as all his female siblings groan and give him death glares....

So a certain daughter chimes in "So like yeah, there was a problem with the printer at school and like yeah they can't print my report card for a few weeks..."

"Cough it up, now" Grant and I say in unison...

37% (pre- calculus) ... Did you even show up??? " I think you have to try to get that, don't you? Well... At least you don't suck in Foods!?! Was the only thing my genius brain had at the moment oh and a "trust me, there will consequences..."


10 minutes after that, while I'm on the phone catching up with my amazing SIL and my children are up stairs, rough housing, sounding like they are killing a herd of cats... Dallyn comes running down the stairs...as I try to shut the door before he bothers me I hear "Pretty sure, she will need stitches..." (referring to the genius that sucks at calculus) "Mom do you want to see it...No, Grant just take her in...I know I suck, but watching my kids bleed makes me sick and I hadn't talked to my SIL in forever :) Apparently the ER was dead and Superman and off spring sporting two stitches, were back in less than an hour...Minor for a Kramer...


So here is were my parental awesomeness comes in...

Trying to come up with suitable consequence for my calculus-sucking, stitched-up offspring..."aren't stitches enough, Mom" Nice try, but one had nothing to do with the other. Now if the stitches came from falling out of your desk, while studying for your Calculus exam?!? well maybe... But that is not the case.

I could take away her phone...

Screen time...

Social Life...


But in all my awesomeness and inability to decide which is most suitable...I did what all awesome parents do...

Said child now has 24 hours to come up with her consequence....

Honestly, they come up with way tougher things than I do...so we will see how she chooses to redeem her AWESOMENESS.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Was Not Sent Here To Fail...

My biggest fear in life ( minus upside down carnival rides and eating fish ) is one day waking up with realization that I have become my mother ... Maybe that is a dishonour to her life, but it's really something I fear...

Sure I can list hundreds of wonderful things about her ...gifted pianist and teacher...seamstress extraordinaire ...impeccable penmanship ... Traveller .... An eye for detail....

But some of the realities of her life can really haunt me.

Kelli and I have memories and experiences no one should...

We had popcorn for dinner, not because there wasn't money to buy food, but because my mom couldn't/ wouldn't handle being in a grocery store, the fact that there wasn't a clean dish or surface in our kitchen didn't really help either...

We had to pick through the mountain of dirty laundry in the garage often to find "suitable"  clothing for school. Yup, the smelly kids and the fact that we went to an affluent elementary school made the fact even more obvious.

We were the last ones picked up from daycare or left home alone unsupervised for hours and hours. As a very young child I remember praying my heart out that she would just be safe and come home.

We were over indulged in other ways.  we had every toy, game and activity imaginable, but when it came to basic necessities...affection, clean anything, meals.... Mom, just couldn't get off that damn brown love seat in the family room. There was something very very therapeutic about putting that couch in the dumpster last month.

It's been such a weird week for me. Full of blessings and answers to prayers... A final piece from Mom's life settled, nearly nine years after her death, a story for another day. But with that, memories long tucked away surfacing.... I hate how grief works....

A lingering question on repeat..."Will my life resemble hers?"

I have days when I am overwhelmed and struggle to put dinner on the table or can't find the energy to deal with my mountain of laundry. Days where dealing with teenagers or a husband's illness make me angry and bitter and I have to remind myself to hug my disgruntled teen or hurting husband...Am I losing my empathy, like she did??? Does that mean I'm sliding closer and closer to her level of destruction/dysfunction??

I hate to admit how much I have struggled since getting back from California...I can't lie...the last 4 weeks I have just gone through the motions (rather unsuccessful-like) of being that "perfect wife",  that "mother of the year", that "molly Mormon" ... `You`re just morphing into her` my mind tells me....

Then today..Oh Sunday's?!?  Sundays are a struggle...not always, but today? Well yes, Sundays can sometimes bring out the worst of grief, heartache, illness and trials....Not because of guilt or lack of testimony...But because are hearts are tender and  emotions run so close to the surface. I have to admit my heart was less than patient when the Superman struggled to get to bishopric this morning...But felt relief as he walked out the door...

Superman's heart is aching right now too...battling bipolar is a constant fight. His illness doesn't know vacation....

Sundays can be hard for him too..

The people that know the strength, the courage it takes my Superman to sit on the stand, fighting an illness that screams at him "you are worthless, nobody cares about you, you will never measure up. why even bother" show my Grant great compassion and understanding ... For that I am forever grateful.

I know some just don't know his struggle and therefore are unknowingly unkind or less than patient. When I see Grant struggle with those hurts, its hard for me to watch...especially when it took to make it in the building...

As we started Sacrament Meeting I was beyond overwhelmed, having a hard time keeping my weeks worth of emotions...which rather sucks when you are leading the music...Why did I even bother to come?"

We then sang the opening hymn I picked weeks ago...

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.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress
Those lyrics get me every. single. time. I really needed the reminder
Our Heavenly Father will not leave us alone in our hurt or heartache. Our heavenly father`s comfort has no time limit... Nine days or nine years his desire to comfort and bless never changes. He knows the strength and courage it takes to do what we do because he is the one who gave it to us. Trials are not a gauntlet to be survived...but the refirner`s fire...
My answers to why will probably not come in this lifetime. But I know this...I will not become my mother, unless I choose to. Those feelings of discouragement or worthlessness do not come from a loving Heavenly Father, but from someone who would love to see me fail...
 I was not sent here to fail.... my Superman was not sent here to fail and neither were you.
A good friend, who knows whereof he speaks, has observed of trials, ‘If it’s fair, it is not a true trial!’ That is, without the added presence of some inexplicableness and some irony and injustice, the experience may not stretch us or lift us sufficiently. .....”
—Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience (1980), 31
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”
—Orson F. Whitney, quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, in Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 98
“The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ—whether it removes our burdens or strengthens us to endure and live with them like the Apostle Paul—is available for every affliction in mortality.”
—Dallin H. Oaks, “He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 5–6

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Smart Man :)

Tonight the Superman comes home from work with the following....
Flowers , Chocolate and Tampons....
Oh how sweet honey...
"I figured, if you needed tampons, I'd better bring home flowers and chocolate, just to be SAFE :)" Super says with only a slight smirk.
He's a smarter man than I give him credit for.
Thanks for the flowers, oh wise one.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Retail Therapy

We now own a leaf blower and a Star Wars Lego "space ship" thing....and I was even supervising my Superhero at Costco.

If you think the leaf blower is for my Superman and the Lego is for the twelve year old, then you would be.... WRONG!

The Lego is for Grant, yes my almost 40 something husband bought Lego for himself.  And the leaf blower is apparently for the man child.

My cruel, cruel husband picks up Dallyn from Young Men's last night after his amazing Costco expedition....

Dallyn: Wow! Dad!!! you bought me Lego!?!

Superman: Nope...

Dallyn:You bought me a leaf blower?!?

Superman: Yup!

Dallyn: GrEaT!!!

Superman: It will be fun, not so much raking :)

Dallyn: AwEsOmE, Dad?!?

The leaf blower is bigger than the boy....lets hope the Superman at least shares the Lego???

I think we will be staying out of Costco for a while :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Welcome Home, My Friend

James came home !!!! It's been a long journey, but he did it! True triumph.
We have learned so much from James and his family over the last ten months....
The power of a family's love.
The patience of a loving mother.
The influence of the Holy Ghost to comfort and sustain.
The strength of the human spirit.
The miracles of modern medicine.
The power of fasting and prayer.
The joy of celebrating even the smallest of victories.
The learning and victories continue, but now at home, together....It's been a humbling privilege to witness this journey and we knew that James' homecoming was one to celebrate....
  So we did it in the only way us crazy Mormons now how to partay....ICE CREAM!!!  and Chocolate Cake!
Thank you to everyone who came out and partied on.
And most of all...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

Today our family remembers....
Grandpa Wendell
Grandpa Merrill served in World War One in the Medical Corps.
Uncle Bill (Dad's oldest brother)
 Uncle Bill served in World War Two, in the Air Corps
As a bombardier he flew missions over China
Uncle Pete (Dad's 2nd Brother)
 Uncle Pete was a Marine in World War Two, serving in the South Pacific and China
Dad and Uncle Bob.
All five of the Merrill Brothers would eventually serve their country...Something that had been instilled in them since childhood.
Christmas 1942 Logan  (L-R Bob, John, Pete, Les, Bill)
I am honoured and humbled by my Merrill legacy.
From my Grandma Beena's journal.....

“My five sons were all in the service of our country. Bill in the Air Force and flew many missions over China. Peter was in the Marines and served in the South Pacific. John in the Army and served in the far north, Hudson’s Bay. Les served in Germany, Bob served for three years, also in Germany. They were all spared and returned home safely another reason for my gratitude.”
Today I too add my gratitude for all those who serve and have served their countries...
We will remember.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Trusting Forgiveness

Death, illness, moving, job change, facing fears.....

With all that's happened in our lives this last year, some would be surprised to learn that my greatest hurt/heartache (the one that caused the most damage to my heart and soul) was none of those things....

The deepest hurt: someone choose a public manner to attack and humiliate my husband/ family...a complete over reaction to a minor misunderstanding. It devastated us and its timing couldn't have been worse as Grant was still not stabilized from his relapse. It was horrible.

No apologies, told to get a thicker skin and just move on....

I felt deserted and alone with the damage the hurt had caused .... Months and months I have worked on forgiveness, it has only been the last month or so I could see the person and not cry....I was finally at forgiveness.

Then, I was asked to participate in an activity, I was excited to do so...I then realized this activity would require extended direct interaction with the person.... I said no.

I was so mad at myself for not having more courage. Grow up! I was so, so hard on myself. Maybe I hadn't forgiven, like I thought I had.

Then the the thought " Forgiveness is NOT trust, Robin"

I had always thought forgiveness and trust were one in the same....Not true.

So here is what I have come to understand:

We are expected to forgive freely.

I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.D&C 64:10

In fact, if there are conditions attached to forgiveness, its not forgiveness.

But trust, Trust is not a requirement of forgiveness.

Trust is a valuable possession that is earned. Once broken it becomes of even greater value and is not always restored to its original state.

We can wish someone well, pray for them, and even want blessings in their lives. But from a far, without putting ourselves or our  in harms way.Coming to understand that difference has helped me be a little more patient with myself.

Grateful for the lesson.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Out Numbered!

My husband just left me. For the weekend. He's headed somewhere in Alberta to pick up bison with his (our) farmer friend. Well at least that's the story they've told the wives. ;).....It's been a long time since he's been able to do something like this and I'm glad to see him go (it's only 3 days) plus it means....

I don't have to (think about) cook(ing).

Kids? What kids??...There is this unspoken, deeply understood rule: You don't bug me, I don't bug (ask you to clean) you

Pajama pants and hoodies are perfectly fine to grocery shop in (it's Wal-Mart, Superman's coworkers wouldn't rat me out would they?)

All the pillows I want, no snoring and  no misunderstanding over my inability to share a comforter :)

I can watch all the Dance Moms and Honey Boo Boo I want without a lecture on the trash on tv , from the guy who watches(maybe) walking dead and family guy :)

I do have one little goal: I will not YELL at my kids the ENTIRE time super's gone.... my kids have little faith, they've already placed bets on how long I last....I'm good 'til like 5 today...But I'm betting on duct tape and ear plugs after that :) (them or me, doesn't matter )

Should be an awesome weekend, I'll keep ya'll posted :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fashion Freakout

Monday night, {totally instead of FHE ;) , NOT!!! } Superman and I attended the Grad fashion show at the kids high school. Bailey graduates this year. She had worked hard on the sets for the show and wanted to show off her efforts....The show was impressive from the sets to the staging to the choreography....But...Half way through the first act...My jaw dropped as a group of students came out modeling , what I would consider as burlesque. I couldn't even watch. I was horrified for these girls. Then I was saddened, angry and so disappointed....
So here is the letter I sent to the Principal, two vices and the superintendent....
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
 Dear JT, principal

SR vice principal

GF, vice principal

 SE, superintendent

As a parent of three current students and another daughter who is a Grad of {high school}, I feel compelled to voice my concerns after last night’s 2013 Grad Fashion Show.

The fashion choices modeled by your students from the retailer J***** Clothing, who sponsored that portion of the show, not only demeaned but sexualized the students who wore them and were completely inappropriate for a school sponsored event, even more so because children and families were present

Where are boundaries and guidelines to keep our youth dignified and safe??? If not in our public schools, where? Are we afraid to hold our youth to the higher standard they deserve???

For an event that was so well presented in every other aspect. Sets, staging, choreography, food vendors….Why was the ball dropped here? This is not an issue of censorship, but one of safety, one of dignity.

I am saddened and disappointed by this event and expect that my concerns will be addressed quickly.

Thank you,

Mrs Robin L Kramer
This is the response I received from the principal this morning....
Hello Robin, and thank-you for bringing your concern to me.
I did some research yesterday on the procedures we use for the fashion show. Specifically, I looked into:
· How are clothing vendors selected?
· Who decides what clothes are worn during the show?
· Who provides coaching in how to conduct the walk?
· What are the safeguards to ensure inappropriate behaviour doesn’t take place?
As a result of this research, I learned that there are safeguards in place to ensure students do not engage in undesirable behaviour, including two rehearsals. These are not dress rehearsals, however, as the stores want our students to spend a minimum amount of time in their clothing. As for the fashion choice, I learned that this is negotiated between the student and the store. For the most part, the student picks something they want to wear, and the store agrees or disagrees with the choice. I learned that in a few cases, students wore clothing they did* want to wear, but this was not the case with J#####.
In the rehearsals, the student performance was within our guidelines. During the actual show, we saw two instances of the unexpected, and some unscripted performances were stopped before they could get on stage.
I deeply regret that you were offended by the clothing worn by some of our students. It has gone into our planning notes, and we inspect our clothing with a closer eye to this in the future. As you can appreciate, it is not always easy to see how a garment will look on a student when we examine it on a hanger, but we will make a better effort for next year. We want a show that everyone can enjoy.
**** I believe it should read didn't, and have asked for a clarification.
Alrighty then...Pretty much the response I expected. I respectfully disagree that there are appropriate safeguards in place...There are not. The school could and should do more to protect its students ....No Dress Rehearsal?? It's a FASHION show!?! .... "It's not always easy to see how a garment will look on a student when examined on a hanger"? A satin and lace bustier and black leather pants with zippers, buckles and chains...call me a Molly Mormon...but pretty sure that looks just as inappropriate on the hanger as on the student (please)
Oh great I've turned into that SOAP BOX parent again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day, Merrills :)

As always, I will keep my political views to myself, but in honour of election day......
My Grandpa Wendell...The dentist and the Democrat...
I never knew my Grandpa Wendell (my Dad's father) he died a few years before I was born. But politics were everything to him and from all accounts he was quite the character about it....He served in the medical corps in WWI, His dental office was above the Zion's National Bank in downtown Logan. He was quite the oddity as a die-hard Democrat in Utah. He ran for mayor of Logan and for the State Legislature....but I know very little else about his dental/political career.
I found this card in my Dad's things (I'm guessing it's from the 1950"s)....
And from a google search,  a quote from him after an earthquake hit Logan.... 
From the Logan Herald Journal August 30, 1962.....
"Despite some damage in the Hotel, the Democratic headquarters (in a second-floor hotel room) remain unscathed and intact," Dr. W. W. Merrill informed us, with some humor and considerable satisfaction.(Dr. Merrill, as many citizens know, is one of the County's Demo party bellweathers.)
Thoughts And Things
By Ray Nelson
Miscellaneous observations during and after the earthquake,

which visited Cache Valley at 6:36 a.m., August 30, 1962 A.D.--}

I didn't know him but that's defiantly the Merrill humour shining through.:)

Might explain why my Dad was so politically minded and also a die hard democrat....I guess it was in his genes.... My mother was a stanch republican, which might explain why things couldn't work for them in this life time ;) Let's just say politics were a touchy subject growing up....but Politics and Country were always important...

He loved this shirt , especially when wearing it with pride in predominately red States :)

Regardless of who wins today....I can just imagine the discussion in heaven tomorrow with all those Merrills.....Happy Election Day, Dad!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bipolar Blessing

I hate to admit it ...Superman takes the win...shhh don't tell him I said that, kay? His "guest post" was the most viewed and commented on,  ever...Mostly by people we don't even know...Weird. Such an amazing outpouring of love for him and our family.

I'm not sure what prompted the willingness to share something so deeply personal to him and in a public manner, But it's something I've prayed for, for long time...it's a load one cannot carry alone

The diagnosis isn't new...it's something he/we have faced for more than a dozen years.  It's never been a secret or something we've hid or been ashamed of...Those close to us have always known.

It's not something I wake up every morning and remember...it's just part of our lives. We go to the psychiatrist like most go to the grocery store...just to pick up a few things we need :)

There have been dark and difficult times, when the illness was life-threatening and required hospitalizations,  but that is not now...

Bipolar is a blessing (no I am not going all "Pollyanna" on you either). I couldn't always say that, but I can now.

Superman's illness has strengthened our lives and taught us compassion and understanding in a way nothing else could have...

We enjoy and treasure the good times. We live in the now. When its more difficult we know that there is always, always hope and things will eventually get better.

We have learned the great power in a sincere "I'm Sorry"

We know that "In the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can't see" It's made us a kinder (most of the time) family

We have felt great support and love through sharing our story, the common thread of mental illness has fashioned dear and amazing friends (and for the few that don't understand there are100's who do.)

We have learned to rely greatly on our faith and have witnessed tender mercies all along our way.

So thank you for all the love and support (but not the Superman winning part ;) ) So now you know why we really are the  Krazy Kramer's

Nativity Puppets (Avoiding LOTR)

 With the Primary Presentation over its time to focus on CHRISTMAS MUSIC...I love Christmas music and teaching it to kids makes it even better. I picked my 3 favourites to start with....

The Nativity Song
Stars Were Gleaming
When Joseph Went To Bethlehem

I thought hand puppets would be a great way to teach/remember all the verses to the Nativity Song....
I couldn't find a pattern so I just made them up as I went...(Plus the rest of the fam damily was watching Lord of the Rings, last night, so I had to find something to do)

I think they turned out pretty cute, but my husband and children apparently don't appreciate my efforts as they did a great Monty Python skit with the 3 wise men (eye roll)....(I reminded Superman that crafting is way cheaper than therapy ;) )

Let's hope the primary kids aren't so cheeky....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nailed It

Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag... sorry that's a song, that I don't even like and has nothing to do with my post, but I do occassionally have dreams that are completely in song lyrics and  no I have never felt like a pastic bag, you?

Here is the actual question...Do you ever feel like you'll never fit in or measure up, no matter how hard you try??

You're just not cool enough...

Why do you even bother....

You are way too needy....

You'll never quite fit in...

Nobody really understands or cares, do you blame them....

I've never really struggled with feelings of self worth before...I have lazy eyes and drool when I am tired....you either find your own self worth or junior high will kill you....so I found it

But this last month or so..{maybe it's grief...maybe it's the sense of now what, as life slows down for us....maybe it's parenting teenagers, who have the ability to make you feel like the dumbest rocks on the planet...maybe it's missing family... maybe its the rain....}.I've struggled....I know I shouldn't,  but I have.

 I feel like one of those Pinterest nailed it pictures....

I know it's up to me to figure it out, keep trying and moving...I just wish that voice inside my head would.....Shut up.