The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


What do you get with a Jedi, Scuba Diver & Princess?

October 31, 2008 - 9:39 PM

A Trio of Cramer Cuties!

jedi zeke

Jedi Anakin Skywalker - Zeke must be getting older as he did not want a really involved costume.  He still wore it with pride!  His may also get the most use as he likes to wear it as a morning robe, :)!

scuba max

Scuba Diver - Max went all out.  He really wants to go to the sea and if gas gets around a buck fifty, we're gonna take him.  I may have sewed this, but he did all the design... tightness, details, lengths, star fish, etc.  He did not last long walking in the flippers though, :)!

golden mimi

Golden Princess - All Miriam wanted was a golden princess dress and this is what $2 of fabric turned into.  She actually did wear it, which was very surprising to me! 

(BTW, this is for all our family who is not on Facebook... We love you all if you are on FB or not!)

The boy, grandma, translator and I

October 31, 2008 - 8:30 AM

I was able to have a conversation with the little boy who has been bullying our little girl.

We got to swim class just in time and I immediately saw the boy and an older woman standing near him.  I asked if she was his grandmother to which she said "no" and that she was just a family friend.  I asked her if he spoke English, to which she said "no" and asked if she could help and said his grandma was right here and she couldn't speak English either.

In as loving a fashion I could, I asked her if she could translate for me to the boy and his grandma the situation.  She said yes, however, as soon as she heard the things he had done to our Miriam, her voice got strong in her translations and the grandmother was talking in a loud strong voice and the boy just stood there with a face like, "What's wrong with what I did?"  Then his big brothers made some comments and the little boy started laughing and the translator and grandmother went on and on again. 

The grandmother did not say anything directly to me, as I was fearful would happen, because you could visibly see that she was incredibly embarassed by the situation.  For that I felt terrible, and wished I could've spoken Mandarin to let her know my true heart in bringing it up to them.

Thankfully, the boy must have learned a little something because for the most part, he kept his distance.  One time he did try to get in too close but thankfully Miriam shoved him away.

The sad part is he then started picking on this fragile little boy in the class.  This precious little boy is about the shyest, most inhibited little guy, who never interacts with anyone but his mom.  The bully must have realized that he couldn't go near our Miriam that halfway through class he starting doing the same terrible things to this other little boy and to top it off he kissed this boy.  Thankfully the mother came running over but so sad that this innocent boy now had to be caught in this mess.

My heart now aches even more about the whole situation.  There are two final swim classes next week, so I am praying for wisdom on what to do next.  I am also praying for the little boy, his grandma and his parents on how to appropriately help their son.  AND I am praying for the little fragile boy and his mom, that she can help him handle the situation. 

It's things like this that make me question if I was right to bring it up to the boy and family, though I tried as loving as I could but I fear, sadly, that something got lost in translation. 

Wounds as deep as the sea

October 30, 2008 - 9:38 AM

"The Lord has rejected His own altar, He despises His own sanctuary. He has given Jerusalem's palaces to her enemies. They shout in the Lord's temple as though it were a day of celebration.

The Lord was determined to destroy the walls of Jerusalem. He made careful plans for their destruction, then He went ahead and did it. Therefore, the ramparts and walls have fallen down before Him.

Jerusalem's gates have sunk into the ground. All their locks and bars are destroyed, for He has smashed them. Her kings and princes have been exiled to distant lands; the law is no more. Her prophets receive no more visions from the Lord.

The leaders of Jerusalem sit on the ground in silence, clothed in sackcloth. They throw dust on their heads in sorrow and despair. The young women of Jerusalem hang their heads in shame.

I have creid until the tears no longer come. My heart is broken, my spirit poured out, as I see what has happened to my people. Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets.

'Mama, we want food,' they cry, and they collapse in their mothers' arms. Their lives ebb away like the life of a warrior wounded in battle.

In all the world has there ever been such sorrow? O daughter of Jerusalem, to what can I compare your anguish? O virgin daughter of Zion, how can I comfort you? For your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?"

My friend calls this Truthful Thursday and I agree.  In my (self named) idiot bible (aka The One Year Bible) we started Lamentations yesterday and OH how I look forward to this book every year.  When I read it, I can't help but shout it alound... the pain, the anguish, the brokeness, the truthfulness.

"But I called on your name, Lord, deep within the well, and you heard me! You listened to my pleading; you heard my weeping! Yes, you came to my despairing cry and told me, 'Do not fear.'"

For me the whole book cuts deep to the heart... yes, to wounds as deep as the sea.

Introducing... the bully & the right hook

October 29, 2008 - 12:30 AM

We have had some real eye opener experiences with interactions with other kids this year, the latest of which has been "the bully."  Instead of running and hiding, we have pressed on to face these issues and get on a positive side of each of them.

The second to last one involved Zeke and a boy from his flag football team.  Thankfully, Josh and Zeke talked through the whole situation, prepared a plan for Zeke to calmly and kindly earn the bully's respect and ultimately friendship, and thankfully, by their last game, the bully had stopped and was really a nice kid in disguise.  (Praise God!)

The last one involves our little Miriam and a bully in her swim class.  Say what you will about people trying to make gender a non-issue, but we are treating these two situations completely different.  In regards to the bully in Miriam's class we are NOT using our quiet voices and verbal negotiations, though we are following a calm 3 step process...

We don't like Miriam to scream "no" while playing with friends in a selfish way, but she has permission to scream "NO!" at a bully.  We don't like Miriam to be a tattletale over and over again, but we told her to tell her teacher EVERY TIME it happens.  We don't like Miriam to push or shove her friends, but we taught her to shove forcefully when a bully is involved.

Did I mention Miriam is almost 4 and so is the bully? 

I went to the coordinator to discuss the situation and what I came to learn was both infuriating and sad at the same time... it turns out this boy picked on a little girl in his last swim session, but he was kissing this little girl and the little girl was so distraught she left swim lessons.  They spoke with his caregiver but they were not sure if the family understood. 

Now the boy is back in a new class and he is picking on OUR Miriam (though thankfully NOT kissing her) ...  AHHHH!!!  Over-protective side of me wants to take our little Miriam out of the class and never go back again.  Mama Bear side of me wants to hunt down the bully and his caregiver and do my best to strongly communicate the seriousness of the behavior of this little boy.  The compassionate side of me, wants to cry and pray for this little boy and his family... something has to be going on in his little world that is giving him all these crazy thoughts.

Now, just so you know - we are not purposely subjecting our daughter to this situation.  Thankfully the boy has been absent most classes (weird, huh?).  But, he did show up on Monday and Miriam using her 3 tools of shouting "NO!," telling the teacher, and shoving the bully if he got too close was able to get her point across and she was not scared in any way. 

Thankfully, Miriam is oblivious about the negative way this whole thing could go.  However, I AM going to seek out him and his caregiver on Wednesday (if they come) and do my best to communicate with them and I am praying that God will give me some insight how to love them and "help" in some way.

But even though I watch her like a hawk at her swim class we did give Miriam one more trick for her bag - a strong right hook, taught to her under strict rules, guidelines and direction from her father.  Heaven forbid, any bully ever tries something to touch our daughter, but Josh felt that [all girls] have the right to punch any threat when it comes to their body being violated, and I agreed, and so our 4 year old knows how to lay a punch. 

Don't worry about your children around our little girl though, she knows the rules really well and how the punch and the rules go hand in hand.    

I still don't know what to think about this though... at the age of almost 4, our self defense days are starting.

Do you blow your nose in the shower?

October 26, 2008 - 10:12 PM

I was speaking with my lil' sister the other day about politics and the issues.  I care about, and am passionate about, many different ideas and thoughts on politics (it is one of those fun things Josh and I love to discuss, agreeing and disagreeing, at length) but when it comes right down to it, I told her straight up, I will vote for x, and I said my "x" OUTLOUD (but then I got to thinking about it and it truly is x, y, and z).  I apologized for how closed-minded and narrow it may seem but when it comes right down to the nitty-gritty, those (3) stick out as deal makers or breakers.

She followed that up with this...

"There are two kinds of people... those who blow their nose in the shower and admit it and those who blow their nose in the shower and don't admit it."

Do you blow your nose in the shower? 

Some people honestly do go and vote based on party, or based on anger, or based on fear, or based on big issues or small issues.  The important thing is that they vote but honestly, we all do so with some "thing" in mind.

I do blow my nose in the shower and here are my issues. 

My "x" is something that I hold incredibly important yet neither candidate really holds on their platform, bummer!

My "y" is something I have only recently gotten more passionate about about have actually written more letters to my legislators this last year than I have in my entire life.  It is something that is threatened under Candidate Fred and not under Candidate Larry.

My "z" is something that could go either way under Candidate Fred and under Candidate Larry it is a non-issue from what I can tell.

I keep looking at ALL the issues though, going around and around and around and I always end up back at these 3 issues.  The end result leads me to Candidate Larry but that still leaves me with questions about ALL the other issues but then I always go back to my 3... but then I think about all the other issues and some of them do really matter to me, but then I go back to my 3 heavy hitters and around and around and around and around... I'm dizzy!

Once again, I was comforted...

Some may trust in elections, some may trust in candidates... but we will trust, in the Lord our God!

I keep reminding myself that God did not promise us easy times here on earth and that there are no promises on tomorrow and I am hoping for the best but also prepared for the worst - and that goes no matter who is elected president.

What really matters, gentle readers, is that you vote.  Every vote does matter and count.**


*A friend's tweet led me to this post by John Piper, something to talk amongst yourselves.

** Hoping that your county auditor is doing their job, even when people say he isn't though he says he is and you really hope he is and knowing that his job is on the line during this election, and hoping he is honest in counting those votes too as everyone "says" he always files our votes late and then they don't actually count afterall... Oh, for the love!

Oh, and this is the closest I have or will ever get to writing a political piece on my blog.  Yucky!  Never doing this again!

Seinfeld meets The Office

October 14, 2008 - 1:38 AM

As you know, I regularly find myself stuck in old (or should have been) Seinfeld episodes: driving a car out of gas for no reason, having doctors question this and that and then write things on my files, friends hitting a pothole with your car leaving it to make clicking noises, waiting it out for repair men, battling it out with the laundromat over ruined shirts, even bandaids in food (well, that was the episode that should've been).  However, I recently find myself in this situation that UGH, keeps me feeling like I am stuck in a Seinfeld episode but I realized, it is not Seinfeld, it is The Office.

Being our company's group administrator for our health insurance, I get to constantly deal with the little dogs.  I say little dogs NOT out of disrespect but because I honestly have to remind myself that the actual people I am talking with, arguing with, fighting against, grring over, are not the ones who came up with all the rules and fees and hoops.  They are the messengers, it is not their fault, the fault goes to the big dogs who wrote the obnoxious rules.

Though I generally find myself wanting to pull my hair out from the insanity I am hearing over the phone, I have now decided to take solace in imagining the people I am arguing as being real people, not mere puppets.  Taking on the form of The Office, I imagine them with break rooms and office romances and birthday cakes and protocols and maybe (if they are lucky) a boss who likes to write his own songs and poems for them.  They are the person with the policy binder and need to do exactly what the policy binder says for each exact situation and then go home.  (It is not so much as me being in the episode, as me watching an episode over the phone, so to speak.)

That, my friends, is when it dawned on me. 

I am sure you have been baffling it as well, but let me fill you in... it wasn't Jerry or Bill's fault the 2 Microsoft extended commercials were not all they should've been - it was the director and accidentally, The Office's fault.

I have only watched a handful of The Office but I have watched every single episode of Seinfeld, twice SO let me tell you, it wasn't Bill and Jerry's combo that was bad, it was their director who was out of the loop.  My guess is their director hadn't watched a Seinfeld episode or Jerry's stand up routine in a while and had fallen in love with The Office.  While The Office is absolutely beautiful with its dry sarcasm, it is not what Seinfeld episodes are made of and it lacks the quick humor, quick conversations, face paced action that is Seinfeld.  Yes, Seinfeld was a show about nothing, but that nothing came in a beautiful package.  Call me old fashioned, but I think most people were expecting a more developed Seinfeld-esque interaction.

I say, the Microsoft folks turn over the film to a new director, add and chop and slice and dice, and maybe film a couple more scenes and give 'er another shot.  The concepts for each of the videos are hilarious and have so much potential but in their current state they are incomplete!!  Double explanation point!!

Or, maybe like all things, it is time for Jerry to step down and pass the torch on to Steve Carell.  (Bill did an amazing job and it was wonderful to see him in a "natural" setting, so please keep him.)  Maybe it is time, like The Cosby Show, for now Seinfeld, to move over for the next guy / generation.

As for me, my life will continue as it's own episode of Seinfeld... where the nothing-ness of the everyday makes me giggle (and that is a hard thing to do).


OH!  And here are the videos from so you can be the judge:



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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
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   Travels in Czech & Poland


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