Sunday, August 31, 2014

Church is Exhausting.

What do you mean, you can't find your pants???

Pants-less child is the same one I yelled at, for the third time, to get out of bed....

Now he was standing in the middle of every article of clothing, he owns, his search required him to empty his dresser and closet...still NO pants.

Wear whatever!?!?! You are still going to church....

I walk away from the battle. We just need to get there today.

Dallyn goes to Church in jeans, shirt and tie...

Church is a struggle sometimes.

Superman often struggles to get there...sometimes its medication, sometimes its fear of having to interact with people he doesn't feel understand him, sometimes its heart ache....

"Did anyone ask where I was today???" Many Sundays I don't have an answer for him....

It had been 5 Sundays since Superman had found the courage to come with us and this morning we were both determined to get there, together.

The biggest battle is just getting there, sometimes. We won that battle today.

As we sat in the pew, exhausted....I wondered how many others around me felt exhausted too...

It can be a great act of courage to come to church....and that isn't just true for my family...

My heart struggled to focus today... I wish I felt safer at Church... I wish more understood our struggles and specific needs.... I wish people were kinder to each other, like actually thought "is this kind? Is this helpful?" BEFORE speaking and acting....

I wish Dallyn could find his pants.

Please don't report me ;) My testimony is still strong...I'm just exhausted today :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Camp: That Was Ummm....Awesome!

So when you get the feeling: I should bring my good camera to camp....Yeah you shouldn't ignore that. But that's what I did. :(
So I got what I could with my piddly cell phone....
Camp was an amazing spiritual feast, but the girls had a BLAST too...
Just a few of the activities I actually got pics of (there was more than a dozen to choose from, crafts, music, dance, water stuff, amazing race, hiking, sports etc.)
My girls aren't the crafty types...and the one craft they did do, they managed to ___________ {bad Madison}
There was a colour run....with the colour stuff and everything.....

Hatch Launch....this rope thing where the girls where flung, like 30 feet in the air...

And Madison actually did it, here's proof....(yes I realize it says lunch not launch, y'all know I can't spell :)

The UGLY shorts contest...

I came down a day early, to help with set up and I am now proficient in the amazing skill of military tent lacing...
It was amazing to see all the work that went into making this camp happen...from tents, to food, to programs, to performances, to people....everyone gave there all and you could tell...our youth are worth it.

This is what 500 girls looks like....

Closing Ceremonies...Well worth the watch!!!! (6:35 especially ;) )

BC Provincial YW Encampment was a gift of an experience. I know who I am and whose I am. It is a great blessing to be the mother of daughters. I have nothing but a heart full of gratitude to have shared this last week with my girls <3 p="">

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sister Kramer: Things are good now. :)

So I have to resort to stealing pics off facebook...But it looks like Bailey is still drawing and smiling, so this Momma is happy. :)

i am glad to hear that camp went so well not going to lie i am a little jealous that you had kenneth cope come to camp! what are some of the things you guys did at camp?
how is Dad doing?
things here are getting better it was alittle stressful trying to work out all the kinks with having three missionaries but things are good now.
the Branch here is amazing the are a great support to us a missionaries :)
i dont think i need anything at the moment but maybe if you come across some motab music you could send it my way :)
i will send pictures soon love you so much :)

Bailey also was "screeched in" this week....(became an honorary Newfie)  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Broken Things

Heavenly Father knew my heart needed healing and hope so he let me go to girls camp as a camp mom....

For five nights,  I climbed into my sleeping bag on a defective air mattress (the SS Deflating Row Boat) , and every night, I poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father, thanking Him for every minute of this last week.

It was the experience of a lifetime. as Alex, Madison and I attended the BC Young Women Provincial Encampment, with nearly 500 LDS YW from all over BC.

I knew the girls would have a blast and build their testimonies...but was unprepared for the healing that would come to my weary heart...I guess Camp isn't just for the girls. Words just don't do this week justice...but here are just a few of my spiritual highlights...
We ended every day with a fireside/concert....
{the scout camp amphitheatre had been turned into a true concert venue, the sound and lighting was amazing, allowing the talent and spirit of each performers to simply shine} 
First was our Area Seventy Elder Christensen, probably the most fun General Authority I have ever met.
Then Calee Reed, a singer/songwriter from Utah and had an instant connection with the girls....
 My favourite song....

Then came Kenneth Cope.  KENNETH COPE came to YW camp!
{I have a special place in my heart for this man. I was a fifteen year old, struggling to know I was loved. I attended an EFY fireside where Kenneth Cope walked on stage with his scriptures and guitar and taught of the love our Heavenly Father and brother Jesus Christ  has for each of us...And for the first time I believed in that love...}
Brother Cope did not disappoint....His testimony and spirit are timeless.
A private prayer was answered when he said:
It is best, through the broken, that the broken are administered too...
I have often wondered why Grant has continued to serve in leadership roles, even though his deep struggles continue  ...I don't wonder any more...  Grant's story and struggle give hope to many. God loves the broken...
Tears flowed freely as I more deeply understood the purpose in our family's heartache. 

Again Brother Cope delivered a message my wondering heart needed and I was reminded along with the girls of the love of our heavenly father. I am not alone.

The final night Sister Elaine S Dalton (former general YW president) came.

{The camp YW leaders had a special sunrise devotional with her..."The Lord takes us out of our comfort zone, so he can teach us of our eternal significance"...simply awesome }

She shared her love for them and it was a beautiful end to our wonderful week.

My girls were so excited to meet her and she took genuine interest in each one.

If I had just one sentence to express what I wanted for my would be, for them to know how much they are LOVED, not just by me, but by their heavenly father. They came away from camp this week with a deeper understanding of that love. And I am simply grateful.

Hearts healed. Friends made. Testimonies strengthened.

Thank you to all who made BC YW Encampment possible.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sister Kramer: Tri

Another short email :)
And she only answered one of my avalanche of questions :) This girl sure knows how to keep me guessing...
If you are too lazy to read the half dozen sentences...
MP called, 2nd companion and area, doesn't drive, mom, you'll survive camp. :)
Gees, I LOVE her and MISS her!!!!!
there have been so many changes happening in the last week and a half. We just had transfers so my companion and i were told that we were both staying in st. johns so we thought we were in the clear. but then we get a phone call from president leavitt and he never calls so we were a bit worried. he tells us that a few of the new missionaries were not coming anymore and so that the mission now had an odd number of sisters so now i have two companions and we are covering two areas now!.....
i dont drive yet once you become the senior companion then you drive.
i know that you will do amazing at girls camp! they love you (Alex says that she is happy that you are going)!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sister Kramer: Livin' in Light.

Bailey sent home a thank you note to our ward today....About a month ago they sent around a card for Bailey at church. Everybody had a chance to say hi and wish her well.....

Her reply....

Here's just a part of what she wrote:

In D&C 50:24 it reads:

 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Brothers and Sisters continue to live in the light of our Heavenly Father and be that example to many, in helping the missionaries, as they bring many in to the fold of God. Welcome them with open arms.
Sister Kramer

Who is this kid? Seriously... :)

Those ain't my genes ;)

The spiritual growth in her, humbles me. Missions change lives. And that's not just the lives of those they serve. 

Keep it up Sister Kramer, your Momma's learning some really awesome things :)

Dallyn: Marrige Counselor

The Superman and I were in the middle of a heated discussion last week....

{Yes... we fight, shocking, I know}

Dallyn saunters through the room and flicks on the tv, seemingly unaware of our bickering ...

Then with out even looking up from the tv, and after a long, audible sigh, Dallyn chimes...

(in a voice somewhere between, Elmer Fudd and Disney princess)

Ladies.. Ladies...
There's no need to fight here....
You're BOTH pretty!!!!

"Dallyn!!! Get out!" We say...laughing.

I think we have a budding marriage counselor/ comedian in our midst.

So if you're in need of counselling services we have a rather annoying child, who would love to hone his craft. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest Well, Robin.

This is kinda personal...

I LOVE stand-up, at times that love has bordered on obsession...Anything for a laugh. I would sneak out of bed to catch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and did the same thing for  A&E's Evening at the Improv...I wasn't even double digits yet...I swear my love of laughter must have started in the womb.

Robin Williams is my all-time favourite., and as a young child,  I thought I had been named after him....

He died yesterday, a suicide and I am simply sad.
Nobody talks about suicide.
And the mental illness, that in most circumstances, leads to such desperation is mostly glossed over with social media platitudes and a few awareness campaigns, that flutter by in between soup commercials....
That must change.
It is no secret that my family won the mental illness lottery....lucky ducks. My Mom, my Dad, my sweetheart, myself. Each of us has faced our own Everest, won, winning and lost.
I claim no expertise and only share from my heart.
While most of my life long experiences are too close, too personal to share.
I will risk the conversation.
My Mom was suicidal. So lost in illness and turmoil, death seemed the only reasonable relief from the constant torment for her. We saved her, from herself, and completely against her will, more times than I care to remember. Those experiences still haunt me and always will. Her, "Who the HELL let me live?!?! written on a whiteboard, while she was still intubated, devastated me. I knew at that moment that peace might never come in this world for her and it never did. She died a year later, in care, from a fall, the circumstances of which we will never fully know. That was a decade ago, but we had said our goodbyes years before that.
She was judged. We were judged. It was devastating.
Healing has come slowly.... Understanding and compassion have replace the anger and devastation.
Mom's actions were not about death, but a desperate desire for relief from the overwhelming sadness and madness that were her constant companions. It took years to understand that.
The conversations and struggle continue for our family....we experience more compassion and understanding than ever before...but still have moments of judgement, misunderstanding and isolation.
We need to talk about it. Education and understanding and support need to increase. The stigma needs to stop now.
" Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind."
-Jeffery R Holland
I think my love of laughter, is a compensating gift for many of the heartaches Heavenly Father knew I would pass through.
Thank you for all the laughter.... Rest well, Robin Williams 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sister Kramer: The Sweetest Thing

This week's email...short and sweet...Just like Bailey, except the short part, she's not, but her letters are. :)  She is happy and well and we couldn't be happier :)...
i am doing really well the work is hard and slow but things are good :)
facebook is really cool to use on your mission you can have lessons over facebook with people and find people that are less active and i helps the members get involved and on our facebooks there is facebook purity fire wall so it hides your news feed so you cant see anything friends post we only use it to post up lifting things and talk with investigators. by next year every missionary with have an ipad.
the best thing this week happened yesterday in church one of the primary kids came up to my companion and i and handed us a note that said she wanted us to help her so that she could invite one of her friends family to church it was the sweetest thing :)
love you :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Shed it.

 The day the movers threw our stuff into our house, true story. We knew  Dallyn needed a bedroom. the new shed couldn't wait. We have too much stuff.
 Moving always makes me feel like a hoarder, even though my professionals assure me I'm not :)
Costco had this beauty...Simple, slap together...yup, turns out the simple, is a misuse of the definition .....
Once we removed the old decrepit shed.... 
It became apparent that this was a slightly bigger job than hoped....
So we had to cut back the cedars and then Grant taught Dallyn how to build a deck because our yard ain't level, like anywhere...
Man child can be taught.  

Then the mighty Madison slowly put the "simple" shed together....
Holly and Tyler came today for dinner, so Tyler helped Maddie finish....

Not bad, not bad.....
 Tomorrow we will be loading this sucker up :) Yay!
Nobody seems to share my excitement. :).

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bytheway, That Was Awesome!

Last night we had the opportunity to take the rug rats to a John Bytheway fireside, down Island. 

Bishop Bytheway is a well known (in the LDS community) youth speaker and author. I remember him from my EFY days in ummm 1990????. But this was my kids first opportunity to hear him speak in person. 
The fireside was simply awesome...and the 7 hours on the road (we got stuck behind an accident) was worth every minute.

Sister Bytheway, shared her testimony first...and her favorite Ezra Taft Benson...

“Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us.”

I too love that quote and it's reminder that my Heavenly Father is not a stranger to me.

Bishop Bytheway then spoke on Come Unto Christ, the 2014 Mutual Theme...and for more than an hour i listened with my heart as my bucket was filled. Something I so needed.

Many things were shared but here's some of my clumsy notes...

come as you are, now...we don't make our selves perfect and then Come unto Christ...we come unto Christ, now. 

"Don't do that, that's what I do...we don't take pliers to our teeth and then go to the orthodontist...or stitch up a wound and then go to the ER...the doctor or orthodontist would say....don't do that, that's what I do....

Christ is there to fix us....we don't do it alone...don't do that, that's what I do...he says

He talked of speaking at a family home evening group,  for inmates at a prison. And how receptive they were to the help of our Heavenly Father... They were like...
Give me everything you've got, I need help....

It's not about distance, it's about direction..
It doesn't matter how far you have to come, it's about where you are headed.

Bring what you have, I will magnify it.

It was a wonderful evening. My kids loved it too. "He's so fun" Alex says ....and kinda looks like Bill Nye the Science Guy" ....says man child :)

Thank you Bishop and Sister Bytheway. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blog Tired.

What a week!!!!

Dallyn epically dropped a jug of Chocolate milk, instantly christening the new house,  the reach of the splatter so impressive, I didn't even yell and just stood there in utter awe at his giftedness.

But I was too tired to blog about it.

Our move was annoyingly crazy...

But I was too tired to blog about it.

Kelli sent me a blog post about how honest we are when people ask, How are you ? And how people often don't want an honest answer anyway. I could have written  volumes.... We are fine, is often a lie.

But I was too tired to find all the right words.

Superman's been super-d-duper...

But that tired thing again.

I saw another post on what made the difference in kids who didn't leave the church (religion in general, not LDS)...

I also saw that same day, a FB post, saying that having a wayward child, it the WORST trial  someone could think of...

I was like really? Both things felt misguided, even judgemental maybe? I am left wondering do you have a wayward child,  cause I am guessing if you do you are shouldering all the blame for their choices, and if you don't you are guessing.... But there is no blame to claim...Remember Laman and Lemuel (disobedient brothers in the Book of Mormon) had the same parents as Nephi (the obedient one)...they were goodly parents.

If we took away our children's choice to leave the gospel, we would in turn would NOT have our choice to stay...

The commandment is to teach and love them...not hog-tie them to religion....

Oh yeah, but I really am too tired to blog.

I guess I need to spend some time to fill my bucket, rather than empty it :) That and have a good nap, yeah I will probably just nap.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Sister Kramer: Newfie Lingo

I write a novel...she responds with a few sentences :)
I know this means she is happy and focused on being a missionary.

Just happy to hear she is picking up the lingo :)

i am glad to here that you are enjoying to new house. 

we have knocked alot of doors this week but people are nice so its not to bad but the heat sucks most days it is about 30!
nothing super funny this week
Stay where you at til i come round to. and me nerves are rubbed raw! haha  (newfie lingo???)
St. Johns reminds me alot of Victoria just that old down town feel.
i am now allowed to use my personal facebook you guys can like and share things but i cant comment back or message you sorry 
this week has been rocky our district leader.... is in the hospital.... he is doing well now.

love you 
sister kramer 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Home on Grant

We was a Herculian task and I haven't felt this tired since 1990-something...But sitting here tonight in my own home with the hard stuff of the last few months behind me, I feel beyond grateful for the challenges and blessings that got us here to something-something-eight Grant Ave.

We are old hats at this moving thing....but making the decision to buy, move and stay was a difficult thing in our circumstances ...All the stress and change, even for a positive thing was and is risky. And I accepted willingly that much of the doing would fall on my shoulders...

Everything eventually fell together, the blessings there, never lost on me...
But it still got really, really hard, superman really struggled and I really worried...
I needed help, but it was the kind of help, I couldn't find the words to ask for. 
This last week there were many nights I crawled in bed, sure I couldn't possibily figure out or manage all that needed doing the next day...I did the only thing I could do...I prayed...that I would either find added strength or added hands. Both came.

Friends ran to my rescue, each knowing what I needed, without me humbled that my prayers were  heard and answered. 

Tonight I feel loved and tonight I am home.

Weird, we found an old forgotten laundry's awesome and yes I plan on using it... But judging on the rug rats abilities to use hampers, it might take them a while to master the concept :)