Thursday, February 26, 2015

Water Wars

So as of this morning the shower was still leaking....
The trap under the kitchen sink, leaking...
And the sink in my laundry/sewing room dripping like some sort of water-torture

So while I'm waiting for coats of paint to dry, I hear him ripping down a wall in the bathroom, determined to find the leak once and for all....

He quickly discovers the real source of the water problem, the solder in the joint for the shower had  failed and was spewing water only when the shower was running....

"I can fix that!!!"
"Grant you are NOT a plumber!?!?"
"What?!?! You don't trust me?!?!?"
"As my husband YES! As a plumber NO!"

So after much debate ( someone may or may not have yelled), reminder about the dishwasher episode and assurance that this did not affect his manhood....

Superman called a plumber!!! (It's a Kramer miracle)

And while we waited superman fixed the trap on the kitchen sink. ( so Super is a kinda plumber, just not the kind that uses torches or solder or such ;))

It took the plumber 15 minutes to fix the shower and as to not waste the service call 20 minutes to fix the laundry sink :) 

And that my friends cost us A grand total of $97 ....

"ROBIN YOU WERE RIGHT, I'm glad we called a plumber."

I just nodded and walked away, so he couldnt see the smirk on my face.

The water wars are over, I hope and as soon as we finished the kitchen, I guess we're tackling the bathrooms, well unless open walls and ceilings are the new look. :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sister Kramer: They Let Them DRIVE???



this week was really good we traveled down to halifax to see the mission doctor because my companion has been really sick.... but she is okay and doing better :) but while we were in halifax we got to go to the temple it was the first time i have been able to go on my mission it was simply amazing to go you just feel peace there!
on the drive home we got stuck in amherst over night because the cops had closed the highway do to too many crashes because of bad weather so that was fun but we do have sisters there so we stayed with them :)  
but on the drive there we hit some white out for about 20minutes which was scary i almost hit a car because all i see are brake lights come on 15 feet infront of me so i have to pull in to the other lane to avoid it so fun you're lucky i have the companionship of the holy ghost :) 
also last week i bent the rim on one of my tires because this car ran me of the road so i went in to the snow bank and i hit the curb underneath just awesome :) dont worry it go fixed.
love you all :)
sister kramer 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

On That Sunday.

The phone rang long before dawn on that Sunday morning and I knew she was gone. I stood shaking in the hallway as Kelli explained the circumstances. A death we had long prepared for, was as sudden and tragic as if she had never been ill.

Grief our new Gethsemane, was a far more difficult journey than one we walked with the illness that ravaged her mind and body. So much left unsaid, unresolved and not forgiven. Would peace ever come again?

Exactly eleven years of Sundays now, and still grief and sorrow come sometimes. But mostly there is peace. The peace is in the acceptance that we will know the answers to why, someday....that one day we will know our Mom as our Savour does, free from the strife of this world. That that day we will know of her love as we know of our Savour's love now. That will be a beautiful day. 

You taught me compassion and courage.

Until we meet again, I love you Mom.

Hollywood Standards

We spent the weekend with the youth of our Stake. It's always a privilege to be with them. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious, so if that means I have to make French toast by the ton and wake up with the chickens to serve them for breakfast, I'll do it time and time again.

 It was their Standards activity. A weekend focusing on the FOR STRENGTH OF YOUTH booklet.

{ }

A Hollywood theme, complete with movie making, the red carpet, and black tie screening.

Each group got a standard( dating, friends, dress and appearance, service, mental and physical health etc.) and had 1 hour to film their movie on that standard. Their ideas where hilarious, insightful and powerful....

While the movies were edited by leaders. 

Social media responsibility. We all need to hear this.

It's black or white, their are no shades of grey. (Tackling the issues of pornography.) Dificult subject presented with honesty and love. 

They were just so well presented.

The red carpet led into the black tie screening...

The classic Star Wars a galaxiy to so far away, the youth of Nanaimo Stake...scroll lead into the the quote from first page of the FSOY booklet, from the First Presidency...( I love this !)....

OUR DEAR YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN, we have great confidence in you. You are beloved sons and daughters of God and He is mindful of you. You have come to earth at a time of great opportunities and also of great challenges. The standards in this booklet will help you with the important choices you are making now and will yet make in the future. We promise that as you keep the covenants you have made and these standards, you will be blessed with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, your faith and testimony will grow stronger, and you will enjoy increasing happiness.

The six movies followed, each was just AWESOME 

We set high standards for our youth and their willingness  and ability to rise to the call is amazing. It's humbling to witness. They are indeed beloved sons and daughters.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Normal Problems

Hey Mom, I need to show you something," Alex says rather nonchalantly. As I'm sitting in the middle of my torn apart kitchen painting the stupid cupboards .... 

"There's like a bubble thing in the ceiling, it's been there for awhile" 

That bubble was a rather large bulging balloon of water, leaking from the upstairs bathroom into the downstairs bathroom ...
Grant rips down the sagging, saturated drywall.....

He quickly discovers, it's not a plumbing issue, but this brilliant, architectural marvel, the window in our shower (there's also a gigantic mirror on the ceiling, but whatever ).....

That window is no longer, if ever it was, water tight.... 

"Oh, It's just a little drywall and we'll silicone the window for now" Grant says after surveying the mess downstairs.....
 A minute later Dallyn's sweeping up the mess and I'm back painting and Grant's fixing the window....

No big deal.

That's the one thing I'm actually grateful for, normal problems, the kind of problems that are more hassle, than heartache, the ones we can fix.

Perspective is a beautiful thing...

There are times, especially with my sweetheart's illness, that we long for normal problems, you know the kind everybody has and understands....

So thank you, normal problems, and thank you for having to reno my two hideous bathrooms, sooner than later ;)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Storm Watch

I was surprised when I saw the weather alerts PEI yesterday, for today (its the only creeping this missionary mom does, I promise)....

Blizzard Warning
Storm Surge Warning
50+ cm of Snow
-35 C Wind Chill
120 km/hr Wind Gusts

I laid awake last night, worried...
I checked my weather app, all day....

The storm continues to live up to the warnings.


{Courtenay this afternoon     Summerside this afternoon}

This is the first time since Bailey left, that I have actually worried about her safety....

"Hey Robin, there's an email there from Bailey's mission president, they are all safe and accounted for."

I burst into tears, surprising even me....I guess was more worried than I thought.

Don't get me wrong, I know they are in the Lord's hands as missionaries and a well watched over...

And even though I spend a lot of time making fun of my kids, I love them more than anything and there is something about just knowing they are safe....

We just love Bailey's mission president. He always keeps us in the loop and does an amazing job watching over his charge.

Dear Brother & Sister Kramer,

As you have probably heard there is a snow storm currently affecting most areas of our mission. It has been going on all day in various forms, with high winds, snow, rain and cold weather. All of our missionaries are accounted for and taken care of.

 We are not aware of any that are without power or otherwise affected by the weather. We will keep you informed as conditons improve.

 The safety and security of the missionaries is our highest priority.

Best regards,

President  L

It's such a good reminder that we are all watched over, through the storms in life.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Half Way.

This week marks the HALF-WAY point in Bailey's mission. 9 months down, 9 to go. I can't believe it has gone by so fast. I am actually a wee bit sad thinking that this experience will eventually come to an end. Watching God work miracles in her life and ours has been the best part.

It was so hard to let her go, even though I knew it was right thing, I was so afraid of the goodbye. I've had to say a lot of goodbyes in my life and I will never like them. That good bye was my hardest yet, but the grief of that day didn't last.

We miss her every day, but there is a peace knowing she is doing God's work, bringing others unto Christ. A gift well worth the sacrifice. She has grown more than we imagined. What a blessing it is to pray for her and her companion and watch miracles happen for them. What a blessing it is to see HF bless our lives here, so she can serve.

We are so blessed.

Thank you Bailey.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You have FIVE?!?!

It happened again....
Superman and I were at a gathering were we only knew a few. It was casual talk for more than an hour, then this...
"How many kids do you have??"
It went silent...then this.
FIVE?!?!? You have FIVE kids?!?!
Yes. 21, 20, 18, 16, 15...
{Pretty sure we would have had the same reaction if I said....
We have 57 cats or that I'm breastfeeding my puppy (I'm NOT) or we were nudists on Wednesdays (we're NOT) or that we are aliens on a short visit doing social experiments for our home planet (Maybe?) ....}
She was SHOCKED. In a "WOW you're pretty normal for having five kids" way. Not an "oh my gosh your depleting our planets recourses" way.
She was then fascinated with us....
Yes I gave birth to all of them,
Yes same Dad,
Yes we were young....
I find it funny when people are surprised by the number of our offspring.
Five isn't that many. We have friends and family with 8..9..10 and even 12. And they are even quite normal.
And if I have even one regret (although small) I wish we had, had more....
 I have never once regretted having a large family. OK well maybe the laundry, yes I have regretted the laundry.  ;)
Our kids, all five of them have made the climb easier, not harder as we have faced our Everests...
When they were tiny, they were a purpose to keep going and keep trying and not give up...
Now they are compassionate helpers, hilarious comedians and chore doers that keep our family moving forward and I can see why a wise heavenly father, sent us each of them quickly, before our greatest challenges came. 
 So yes,  FIVE, we are so blessed. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Very Good, Bad Day

It started the night before...
I text Superman, I was upstairs, he downstairs (yeah, I know, whatever)

You coming to bed? 
No watching TV.
Church in the morning??
Not going.
Bad Day.
I head down stairs (I'm a good wife, occasionally).
We try to talk.
JUST. LEAVE. ME. ALONE! (or something like that)
(Alrighty then)
I head back upstairs, scanning the day trying to figure out what went wrong, even though there usually never is a reason...
He seemed overly tired and easily frustrated, too much stress, maybe, but that's almost normal....
He had had an awesome day the day before...
But something had changed, the expression on his face, the tone of his voice, even his posture... 

Mental illness is so not fair. 
In years past I'd try to talk him out of it...point out how blessed we are, tell him all the thousands of reasons his mood made no sense. Thinking I could fix it. That was before.

Nearly an hour later I text...I love you, please come to bed...
Relieved when he crawls in next to me and finally  relaxes enough to fall asleep.
Morning comes and so does Church, I hate going to church without him, but I do...
It's hard when people ask where he is, but I'm glad when they do (not asking is worse) even if it's awkward and I fight tears and stumble over words...
Just a bad day.
"Well tell him we love him."

Thank you,  I will....

It's the unknown that make this illness so hard for us...

Is this the bad day that starts the fall? 

Or the good day that begins a flight?? 

We just never know and unknown can be a very heavy load carry...

Sometimes we are filled with courage able to stand tall with the load placed squarely on our shoulders...and other times I feel like an ant trying to drag an unwilling elephant. Sometimes I'm able to see the blessings and mercies in our lives and other times I'm telling God he must have forgotten us...

Tell him we love him.

That's the answer I always get when I pray for guidence in how to help my super hero.

So when I hear "tell him we love him" from others, I know they have prayed for him too.

It's good to know I don't pray alone.


Sister Kramer: Boys Shouldn't Drive

Oh my it's a novel!! ;)

the snow here is crazy im am so not a fan its cold and it sticks to everything and it is just tomuch white stuff  for one person to handle :P 

this week has been really good we had the opportunity to travel down to zone conference. it is only about a two hour drive so we drove with the elders...lets just say that you shouldn't let 19 year old boys drive on snowy highways!
So as we are getting close to the toll bridge..we are only about 50feet from the gate to pay  and the one elder sees this car paying at one of the gates  and guns it cause he dosent want to get stuck behind him on the bridge so he is speeding but sees that he is not going to beat this car so he slams on his breaks but the roads are icy so he dosent have enough traction so he slides and we see that he is going to hit the metal bar that comes down until you pay But i guess God was watching over us that day because at the last possible second the bar lift and misses the windshield and the roof of the car by 2inches!! dont worry we didnt get in trouble we had a makpass so we dont have to pay....but lets just say i drove home!  
but on a good note zone conference was great i went away with my cup full
so of the thinks i took away were...

to worry or to fear is to pray to the wrong god.

He has promised us that he will give us all that he has....and God has everything.

Some say a coincidence is the way God makes himself unknown but we know that a coincidence is the Way that God makes himself known unto us.

It is not possible to please God without faith--by faith all things should be done.

love you all 
sister kramer

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sympathy Vote

Alex wrote her Grade 10 provincial English exam this week. Here's hoping she does remarkably better than her mother did in 1991 B.I. (before internet). It's a pretty low bar to step over. As long as she put her name on her paper, I'm pretty sure she will sail past my 59%....

I actually remembered to ask her how the exam went, when she walked in the door that evening (good mom).

"Good, I think."

"What did you write the essay portion on??"

"Dad being bipolar."

"What? Really??"

"Yeah, I just talked about how much I respect him and how strong he is."

"Well that took some courage"

I am always surprised when my kids mention their Dad's mental illness, with understanding and insight . It's not like we've ever sat them down and had a "Dad's Bipolar" meeting, or that I've ever quizzed them on the DSM-5. Although either could make for a rather hilarious Family Home Evening. But Grant having bipolar disorder is just apart of our lives and something they have never been taught to be ashamed of.

It happened last year too...

Dallyn had a teacher that devoted several days teaching about mental illness in a very practical and positive light....Dallyn came home and told me he had shared with his class,  his dad's struggles with bipolar disorder and the teacher and students were very kind.

My conversation with Alex continued...

"Well my teacher said to write about something personal, and if its relatable, you usually get better marks"....

"And I was also going for the SYMPATHY VOTE, you know, whatever you have to do..." She says with an unbelievable smirk.


"Mom it was all truth, I promise."

Sympathy Vote or not I'm proud of her. I hope they never feel the stigma of mental illness and that we really are moving from the shadows into the light.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Good Grief Groundhog.

It's Monday and it's Groundhog Day. Joy.
Two days in one I wish I could skip.
I always try to convince myself, that this year, it won't bother me...and the more convincing I do, the more I just get sad and somewhat accept that grief on Groundhog Day, is just a given.....
Well its actually the movie about the day, where it all started...
{Bill Murray's life stuck on repeat...}
Our Dad's life was stuck on repeat for years...the same three questions over and over and over.
How are you?
How are the kids?
Does Grant still work at Walmart?
Our hearts ached for him and as we were powerless to change the progression of a disease we only understood, just days before he died.
On the many  really rough days, after his countless calls, Kelli and I would commiserate.
"Another Groundhog's Day, eh??"
I will never understand why the brain betrays it's self or why he lost so much or why goodbyes with Mom and Dad happened long before we lost them.
Good grief groundhog, you make me sad.
{long before I was born *  long after we said goodbye}

Sister Kramer: Only Stuck a Few Times

Looks like she made it to P.E.I......

summerside is great but there is so much snow here and i am the driver so thats fun i have only gotten stuck a few times :) but the elders came a shoveled us out. we also helped some one move in the blizzard which was fun! the branch here is great they are so willing to help out the missionaries here there are about 30 -40 members here the chapel is so tiny it is cute.
my new companion is sister H and she is from idaho she is great she is really down to earth we get along great :) she has only been out for 6 weeks now.