Monday, June 30, 2014

Sister Kramer: Where you at?

 When I wake up Monday mornings, the first thing I check is our email for Bailey's weekly letter.... Bailey's email wouldn't download on my phone... slight panic attack...race down stairs to our main computer, waking up a child that wasn't supposed to be sleeping on the couch.... relieved it was just my phone and our computer picked it up just fine. :) First Crazy Mom moment, of the day, averted.

What was your best moment this week??
the best moment this week was yesterday we got a new interrogator it was really cool
Hardest moment?
hardest moment was i gave blood for the frist time because we volunteer at the blood clinic it bruised most of my arm
nothing really weird has happened
Tell me something unique about St Johns?
St. johns has the oldest paddle boat races in all of north america it is a huge celebration here
What is something funny they say in NFLD?
{Where you at} means how are you and {This is it} means im good
Favourite scripture or topic this week?
endure to the end 3nephi 15:9 
 Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.}
What's the best thing we can do to support the sisters in our ward here ?
the best thing you can do for the sisters is to be member missionaries, to go with them to lessons, have them in your home and to friendship all who they bring to church because the member last longer than the missionaries and new people in the gospel need that support longer than the missionaries stay.

Man we love and miss our missionary!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

We're Friends Now.

Its been years, but ever so often I am reminded of a lesson I learned, when my rug rats were still small, and I was only just beginning to navigate the pit falls of parenting...

For almost an entire school year we had a young boy spend many mornings and afternoons in our home, so his mother could support their family. He was rambunctious and smart, but struggled at times to control his behaviour especially with his peers at school. He had been through much in his young life and those circumstances were not something he could change.

He often came home with notices informing his mother of his misdeeds during the day...

I was horrified when one of those notices was for bullying a sweet, kind special needs boy in his class, completely unprovoked...

Severe consequences were needed and most definitely deserved.
 For a few days I wondered how, the situation would ultimately be handled....

When I saw my young charge again I quickly asked "What happened?"

"I had to apologize but we're are friends now." he said as if that was the expected answer

A little surprised at the drastic change...I eventually asked his mother, further

Instead of wanting restitution, our sweet boy and his mother decided, my charge, needed a friend more than a punishment and this sweet boy thought that a recess where he could share his prized, recently acquired Halloween candy, with my charge, would be an awesome way to make a friend.

Candy was shared.

And from that moment on, they were indeed friends.

I am still humbled by the lessons I learned from that very wise Mother, who saw a hurting boy, disguised as a nasty bully and then reacted in love.

Not all consequences need to be punishment.

Maddie Made It!

Our Maddie walked across the stage last night, our third in a back to back run of high school graduates.... and we  dripped beamed with pride, from the concrete bleachers of a sweltering rented hockey arena.
 {It was sad that a teacher's strike prevented them from using their school or sharing the evening with their teachers.}
The morning started with the traditional breakfast out and then the also traditional Kramer's are too cheep/lazy to hire an actual photographer, photo shoot.... at the Vance's Bison Farm (Island Bison), Maddie's other parents and second home. Love them! :)
 We found black Converse hi tops last minute and thought it was a little way to honour Grandpa Les. {He was an educator for 40 years and bought all my kids back to school supplies and clothes every single year, until he passed away and all he wore were Converse hi-tops}

Maddie took a bit to get over the awkwardness of a dress....but eventually found her inner princess....

The ceremony....Pomp and Circumstance gets me every single time, except they don't play that, the grads get to pick, {so its a lame song}...But watching the Grads parade in is an awesome MOM moment.... Hearing your kids name, also awesome...
We got this shot. :)
Class of 2014

Proud parents :)....
Token sibling shoot (we really miss Bailey)...
Way to go Maddie!!! So, so proud of you!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Evolution of the Grad Parent

If you still think us Kramers are these amazing parents and you want to keep thinking that....Don't read this post ;)....

Three High School Grads, in three EXCITING ;) (and exhausting and boring) !!!!

Holly graduated in 2012...

Our first...
there were several grad parent meetings and we attended them all, professional photos, relatives came, attended the car parade waiting for a glimpse of our pride and joy, sat through the ceremony in gleeful anticipation, snapped a thousand pictures, shed some tears, waited up all night for her to return from the after grad party....{awesome parents}

Bailey did the same 12 months later, 2013....

We skipped the parent meetings, took our own photos, invited no one, skipped all but 2% of the car parade, or was there even one?, brought charged iphones and lots of snacks for the eternally long ceremony, gave up on inside pictures,(they never turn out any way, and the school sends you one), made her get a ride home from the after grad party....{mediocre parents}

Madison, poor Madison....

Wait! What? Grad is THIS Wednesday?!?!

Do we have to go, to like all of it??? Can't you just text us when they get close to the K's??
{those parents, people write books about}

I did finish altering her dress today and she did finally find the perfect grad shoes (black VANS)...

But there is almost no worry or stress (that part of my brain finally broke) long as we show up with our iphones charged, for photos of course and snacks for will be those wonderful parents at yet another wonderful grad :)

Yes I am well aware that Madison gets the short end of the stick, yes I know that isn't fair, yes she will probably need therapy. The fact that we are actually getting this girl in a frilly dress{it's a Christmas miracle}is probably doing the greater damage to her psyche...

Grad is an awesome achievement...Really Maddie,...

Sorry you're #3... please accept our most sincere apologies...

We still love you!

Sister Kramer: We Got Pictures!

Bailey is a missionary of few words....
This weeks email in its entirety....
sorry but i only have a few minutes to email! how did alex get caught! i love you guys so much
Even with the largest font it's still tiny. :)
But a picture says a thousand words, so I guess, this weeks email is....
3,021 words ;) (her longest one yet)
She looks happy and that's all that matters.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Riding Out Rain

We left Nanaimo the other night on dry roads. It started sprinkling at the Parksville exit, at  the Qualicum Beach turn off (5 minutes later) we hit a wall of water, and discovered our van has this fancy feature that shuts off cruise control of the second you start hydroplaning... {thank heavens}
I've never seen it rain harder. (not even kidding)
Superman instantly slowed to a crawl, as the torrents came down and I tried to keep my pseudo-swearing to a minimum ;)
Then as quick as the monsoon came, it was over ...And we were scrambling to find sun glasses...

 Crazy Island weather...kinda matches our crazy life...
Unpredictable, never sure how long the rain or sun will last. Always trying to be prepared for both... I guess, as long as we manage to stay on the road home, it will all be alright...eventually. :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh Summer...

The kids suddenly started summer early (teacher's strike), sigh.

I wasn't planning on having them in my face for another week or so. But they are...and I am missing me time, already. I know, so selfish...whatever...

I've even let them sleep in til the crack of noon, just to buy myself a few extra hours of silence...

But this house ain't packing itself, so....

I opened #4 and then #5's door at 11:45am... Come on really Mom?!...Dallyn didn't even move as the dog growled at me ...awesome...

Thirty minutes later the two enter the living room looking like they had barely survived the zombie apocalypse...awesome.... 

Okay let's start in the storage room.

{tah}FINE, eye roll...

Oh my gosh!!! This is going to take FOREVER...


Within 7 maybe, 8 minutes...I had taken away phones, told them to stop it, Stop It, STOP IT and threatened to make them share a room in the new house and  not one thing had even landed in a box yet.


Letting you sleep in is the only privilege you two are going to get today!

Is it possible for two kids to fight more than five? Yes, yes it is...

Eventually,  after an hour of ungrateful shenanigans,  #4 and #5 decided to be helpful. 


I'm such a better Mom... When they're not really ;)


Monday, June 16, 2014

Sister Kramer: Icebergs!!!!

I love that there is a four and a half hour, time difference between us and Newfoundland... It means we wake up to Bailey's email. :)

How's St John's?

 St. Johns is really beautiful right now the sun is finally starting to come out and my companion and i went and saw some icebergs yesterday and talked to so many people
How much time do you spend knocking on doors in a day, week?
We don't do a lot of knocking we do bus contacting, chalk finding, lemonade stands, and a bunch more to find people we do about 10 to 15 hours a week of finding.
What's the best thing about being a missionary?
 the best thing of missionary work is getting to meet so many different people every day

Best thing you've had for dinner this week?
We pretty much just eat on the road cause we are so busy.
Biggest testimony builder this week? 
. the biggest testimony builder this week is pray, the Lord does answer! we have been really struggling for referrals so we started to pray and pray and the Lord answered us, within hours we got 13 referrals this week, it was amazing

P.S. Hey dad happy fathers day. not going to lying i totally forgot about it til yesterday at church. But i just wanted to say thank you so much for being my greatest example. thank you for all the you have done for my to help me strength my testimony. if it wasn't for you i don't think that i would have come on a mission but thank you so much for being my dad i miss you so much and love you
love bailey

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I've tried several times to write this post today... 
Dad was never conventional, so our relationship with him never was either.  He tried for years to get us to call him Les, not sure why he thought Dad, didn't suit him. But to Kelli and I he was always just Dad. Our Dad...

Converse high tops, crazy t-shirts, pink hospital or short tennis shorts...he was never proper or predictable...

His only worries, how horrible rap music was and how terrible who ever the republican president was, was....

He was a tennis player, a marching band director, a master percussionist and a cat lover.

My first memory of him, is conducting the pit orchestra for Peter Pan, I was three(I remember the red velvet theatre seats, Peter Pan flying and Dad's baton) ....he is the reason I love and understand music today...
He taught us to ski, even though my mom forbid it....
He taught me the fine art of sailor linguistics...
He taught me that being different was perfect.
He taught me that status or title meant nothing but being kind did.

Thanks, Les. 

Happy Father's Day! <3

Super Daddy

My kids won the lottery, when they got Superman as a Dad....

I struggled to find my footing as a mom. Superman was a natural from day one. He did diapers and 3 am and mastered the art of the ponytail on a squirming toddler...

He was thrilled each time we found out we were pregnant...again :) And says often that being a Dad is his greatest blessing. I love how he loves our children.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

We Believe in Meetings :)

I  almost didn't go...

We walked in the door from Nanaimo, minutes before the broadcast started and I didn't have the energy to change out of my jeans or grab anything for dinner...

Duty won out...

So I showed up donning denim, my phone and a handful of candy and slouched in the nearest pew...

"Man, Robin, you sure look tired..." "Yup"

There was a momentary issue with the technology...Then the feed from the Langley Chapel (Vancouver), was on the screen....

There was a member from General Relief Society presidency, General Primary presidency and General Young Women presidency visiting to provide local training and all woman were invited to attend the broadcast last night....

I was exhausted, but my heart was immediately touched as each of these women shared their testimonies...

There was such a strong spirit, throughout the entire broadcast...It surprised me some and I was so grateful to just sit and feel of that love. Exactly what my tired soul needed, a reminder of how much our Heavenly Father loves us...and knows exactly what I need...

My notes: (mostly for my benefit)
Sister Stevens:
When we know we are HIS daughters our lives change.
Put your hand in HIS
Sister Marriot:
(loved her and her southern accent!!! )
find a private place
kneel- when the body is humble, so is the mind
testify of HIM
pour out your sorry mess :)
there is strength in being heard and feeling beloved
Scripture Study-
every single day
consistency has power
D&C 6:36:  Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
every Sunday
Dead level best to stay focused on HIM :)
Repent of wrong doings and then ask...
Heavenly Father is there more???
ask Heavenly Father to put someone you can help in your path...
will bring you power
not easy, but it is right.
Sister Stephens:
each daughter will return, love them back into the gospel
perfection is pending :)
we know who wins in the end.
when we feel the pure love of Christ, we know what it feels like to be in His presence.
Elder Christensen
there will always be too much to do, and that is by divine design....our choices show who we are.
do not fear for your children, we have been promised they will returned

Just so glad I went to another broadcast. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Sad Relief.

For the last decade Kelli and I have jumped through countless hoops...First to unravel and settle mom's earthly affairs following her passing...and then Dad's affairs were added on top of that following his death two years ago....

The last decade has felt like a circus, the last two years, some crazy side show...Kelli mostly jumped, while I was more of a horrified audience member...

As soon as we thought we were almost finished...Act II would suddenly appear...then Act III...IV...V...each issue, problem or concern, even more odd or crazy than the one before. We stumped lawyers and accountants...needed documents and professionals in two countries...I'm still not sure how we managed to navigate the mess without losing our minds. The jury is probably still out on that.  The hardest part...

Realizing the true depth of our parents earthly struggles and accepting the sorrow in the unknown why.  The full understanding and answers won't come for us until heaven... Most days I've accepted that.

So now its finished, the last document received last week...Mom and Dad's earthly affairs are settled.

A sad relief.

I've tried all week to ignore the sadness, but today I am sad. Relieved that the mess is behind us, but the chaos was apart of who they were and so I oddly miss it too...because I miss them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Modesty Mishap

Um so yeah....
A usually compliant daughter of mine was caught " MINI-SKIRT-ED " at school a few days back...I'd consider said skirt more of a belt really...

Ahhh, the old bait and switch, leave the house "preppy collage kid", morph into " Centerstage rocker" at school...oldest trick in the book! Except when I did it, I didn't have sisters with cell phones :)

Modesty matters to me, it's a standard I expect my kids to abid by, while I am required to feed, shelter and clothe them. The rules have never changed. It's not about being strict, it's a about teaching them respect for themselves and others.

So sometimes you have to be a little creative when it comes to parenting...

They're creative and so am I....

Since you seem to be having a little trouble in the "choosing appropriate attire" department, I will choose for you...

The dress I was married in, happens to fit Alex perfectly. (circa 1993)

"But mom! It has shoulder pads!!!"

Ah yes, but it also has an appropriate hemline!!!

You have to wear it in public Alex... School or's your choice.

Once she realized I was dead serious...Church it is. For some reason, I'm now looking forward to Sunday. :)

Parenting is so FUN!


I came across this's a new favourite quote

Elder Jeffrey R Holland taught:

“I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighbourhoods... Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.”

Many ANGELS came to mind as I read blessed are lives are because of those dear angels. Grateful for the knowledge that we do not walk alone. :)

Sister Kramer: Worth the Wait

I was really sad when we didn't receive an email from Bailey yesterday....
But I guess she was in a Zone Conference with a General Authority, so I guess she gets a pass this time ;)
Just happy to hear from her today :)
Last week's questions:
What is St. John's like?

Is it a ward or branch?

How many members?

Are there many youth/ primary?

Did you see any icebergs?
Awesomest moment this week?

Hardest/ craziest/ weirdest moment this week?
This week's answers:
Hi! thank you for sending that stuff. i am glad to hear that madison graduated from seminary! Movers really? dont you have kids that can help you?
St. Johns is alot like Victoria with all the tight roads and uptown hippy feel. it feels like home here. the people are super friendly when you can understand them.
It is a Branch here we actually just got a new branch President Pres. J. we have about 70 to 80 members every Sunday
there are 5 youth that come, two deacons and 3 young woman (my companion and i are the YM leaders right now) and there are about 12 kids in primary
i have seen a few but only while driving we havent had the time to go and see them yet there has been tomuch fog.
yesterday Elder Snow of the Seventy came to our Zone conference and did some training with us it was really cool.
We go out and try to find the less actives because there are about 200 in our area but the weird thing is that we have not talk to a signal one of them but we knock on their neighbors door and most who have answered have been inerested.

i love you guys so much 
love Bailey 
So glad it feels like home :) 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Moving On.

So today we made the best investment EVER in our blissful, perfect, ummm "happy" marriage....
We hired MOVERS!!!
A few weeks ago, we actually bought a house, not too far from where we are now, on a street named after Superman...See we can be grown-ups. And even though our possession date isn't until the middle of Summer...I have realized rather quickly that it was probably worth the money to hire help.
 I actually want/ like to pack, because it forces me to de junk and organize all our crap stuff. But after 21 years Grant and I still can't rearrange the living room, without a heated discussion...So we are leaving the MOVING part to the professionals.
My neurotic self has already started packing...
Any time we move (this will be our 14th in 21 years) we clear out a bedroom (Bailey made this easy)... and put the boxes in there as they are packed...It keeps the house livable and makes it easy to see what still needs to be packed....
Its crazy, even with all the moves, how much stuff we have acquired! I'm finding this packing oddly therapeutic, happy to finally be putting roots somewhere after more than 10 years...
Today's task, tackling my fabric stash...

Its down to,12 big totes, plus a dresser full of scraps...(I turfed 2 huge bags)
{I am not a hoarder, I am not a hoarder, I am not a hoarder}
So its going to be a busy, busy Summer. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Seminary Grad :)

We sat in a chapel full of young people and listened to these spiritual giants teach us more in four, five minute talks, and a musical number, than I've learned in a very long time.  Loving service....Letting your light shine.... Humility in trials...Missionary work...

It was Seminary graduation, Saturday (Seminary early morning scripture class, every school day for grades 9-12) and the strength, courage and understanding of our youth, never ceases to amaze me. I love these kids.

Madison graduated Seminary and we are shocked so pleased.

What a wonderful day, thanks Maddie for teaching me that life is meant to be enjoyed and worth every hard moment.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sister Kramer: Safe and Sound

Feeling blessed this morning....
The missionaries in St. John's have a Facebook page and I love to see Bailey's smiling face.

We went to bed last night praying for those in Moncton, New Brunswick { 3 Mounties were killed and two more wounded, and the search for the gunman continues}...
Bailey is far away from Moncton, but Moncton is in the Canada Halifax Mission boundaries. 

When I checked our email this morning, there was this...

Emergency Letter

Dear Brother & Sister Kramer,

Just a quick note to let you know that there has been a number of shootings in one of the cities in our mission. It is in New Brunswick, a city named Moncton. A deranged man in comoflage carring a rifle has shot and killed three police officers and has wounded two others. Residents of the city of about 100,000 people have been asked to stay indoors until further notice.

We have been in contact with the six missionaires in that area and they are all safe and in thier apartments. The police feel that they have the area locked down where the person is located and are using all of their resources to locate him.

I will send you a note when more information is availabe and this matter is resolved.

This is a very rare and isolated incident and we are not concerned for other missionaries within the mission.

Best regards,

Mission PresidentCanada Halifax Mission

While we knew Bailey was unaffected by this incident, I wondered about and prayed for those missionaries serving in the area...grateful that they are safe

I am humbled by the those who take such good care of our missionaries in the field. Bailey's mission president and his wife are simply the best. Thank you.

Praying for Moncton. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sister Kramer: Iceberg Hunting

Monday mornings have gone from dreadful to awesome!!! I now wake up to an email from Bailey....
Bailey isn't really expressive with written language,  I think her dyslexia, is probably to blame, so I've realized that asking a ton of questions pulls more information out of her :)
Last weeks questions:
What address do I send the things you need to??? I have the box ready to send, just need the address.
How did you get from Halifax to St John's???
What is the best thing you've had for dinner so far??? Do the members feed you??
Tell me about your coolest teaching moment since you got there???
What's your companion like?? Where's she from??
What's the funniest/craziest thing that has happened this week???
This week's answers:
you can send it to the mission office in Halifax where you sent the other packages and they will get it to me. 
I took a plane from Halifax to St. Johns.
they feed us normal food up here and we get fed about 2-3 times a week
my coolest teaching moment was in the MTC we were teaching an older lady she really didnt know anything about the gospel so we taught her the plan of salvation and at the end of the lesson she said "I know this to be true because i can feel the changing in my heart!" it made me think that what i know to be gospel i take for granted and that if i amd meek and humble what i have know for years can change my heart.
my companion is great we get along really well she is from draper Utah.
nothing crazy has happened but i can barely understand people here they talk so funnny
im glad you guys have bought a house thats awesome!  
 im going ice breg hunting today :)
love you so much
She sounds awesome and man I'd love to go ICEBERG hunting too.
Bailey's mission home address is posted on the upper right hand corner of this blog's home page, she loves hand written letters!!!!