Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where has the time gone???

The idea of blogging was to be able to keep up on the in's and out's of our family....apparently we have not done so well over the summer.  So here is a quick wrap up of what our summer was like........


The End!!

Ok, so that is what it seemed like.  I swear every morning I woke up and it was time to turn the page on the calendar to the next month.  Britten and Kameron spent a lot of time just playing this summer.  Britten golfed every Wednesday through August in a Jr. Golf Association with his cousin and a friend from school.  This is the 4th year he has done so, and loves it.  Jason is very jealous, he has golfed a total of twice so far.  I also think he is afraid that Britten will be better then he is in a couple of years.  Britten also attended his last year of Cub Scout Day Camp.  He really enjoys scouts and loves the camp.  He came home with a new favorite thing...Archery.  When I was young, I took an archery class through the city.  I remember practicing in my back yard and being pretty good.  One day at my parents house, my dad got out my old bow and arrow.  It was fun to see Britten using it.  Of course, if Britten does something, Kameron has to do it too.  So he gave it a try.  He definitely is not strong enough, but he is one determined little boy.  The poor apple tree in the backyard ended up with some battle scars, but the boys had a great time.

July was very crazy at our house.  With Jason being in the Bishopric and over the youth in our ward, he spend a lot of time with them.  Every weekend there was some sort of activity he needed to attend.  Between Youth Conference, High Adventure Camp, and Girls Camp....those weekends were comprised of the boys and I trying to keep ourselves entertained.  However, I think Jason learned just how fun a bunch of teenage girls can be.  We have no girls so this was his taste of being submerged in pink, princess power.  I must say though, he came home with some great stories from each Camp and Conference and we now have a little more insight into what is coming in the not too distant future for Britten.

Britten and Jason went on the yearly trip to Island Park, ID towards the end of July.  It was the only weekend Jason did not have youth church duties to fulfill.  Britten looks forward to this trip every year.  They had a great time.  Between the fishing, eating, playing in dirt, eating, floating the river, eating, swimming, eating and spending time with the Krantz clan, it could not have been a better time.

August brought the "dog" days of summer....meaning my kids were about tired of each other come then.  They decided it was no longer fun to get along, they would rather fight like dogs...and cats.  I usually am ready for my kids to start school come August, however this year school for them did not start until after Labor Day in September.  I never thought the day would come.  We tried to do fun Back-To-School supply shopping and the fun only lasted for a day.  My kids take after their dad and don't much care for shopping at all.  In a way that is a blessing because they don't care what I buy for them to wear. 
Mom wins!!...for now.  Britten was pretty insistent on the pair of shoes he wanted this year.  Unfortunately, they did not come in his size the particular color he wanted, so he a had to take his second choice, Red.

Finally the first school day rolled around and after the traditional Back-To-School haircuts and blessings by Jason and my dad, the boys were ready to go!  Britten is always excited for school.  If I was as smart as he is, I would have been too.  Kameron was also ready for year two of Preschool with is new teacher Miss Kate.   I was asked to be the Membership Chair for Britten's school PTA.  It has been a fun and enlightening experience.  I now see more then ever the importance that we as parents play in our children's education.  While I may not agree with all the National PTA ideas, I am certainly happy to volunteer to help out a teacher anyway I can and help the school meet it's goals for educating not only my children, but for the others as well.

Jason and I are winding down our yearly house project and will be starting our next one pretty soon.  That is what occupies our weekends for the most part.  I must thank my dad, Jason's dad, Kevin(Jason's brother) and Dan(our brother-in-law) .  Without their help, we would still be holding sheet rock, paint brushes and trying to start our house on fire. 

The boys and I miss Jason on Sunday's but we also understand what important work he is doing for the members of our ward.  It is also fun to watch him "blossom" as his dad put it, into a more confident, caring, hardworking, selfless, and loving person.  He is my best friend and I am grateful everyday that I have the privledge to be married to such an amazing guy and dad.  

I know there is a ton of stuff I missed, but those are some of the highlights.  One thing I did not mention that is a definite highlight is that in August, we got a new niece and Kameron & Britten got a new cousin. Sweet Baby Jane was born to Jason's sister Karen and her husband Adam. 

Here's to a great school year...until next time.............

Monday, June 18, 2012

Birthday's, Running, and Home Work

Before I dive into June, I wanted to make mention of what a great Memorial Day Holiday we had.  We spend the afternoon having a BBQ with my family.  I always remember growing up that one of the first times we would pull out the grill was on Memorial Day.  We also got to take our kids to the cemetery in Farmington where my grandparents are buried.  It has been quite a while since I had been there.  It was nice to spend some time there with my parents and hear the stories of my grandparents, some of which I remember, most of them I don't.  I was only 3 1/2 when my grandma died and I only have one memory of her.  My grandpa has only been gone for 6 years (I think).  We did not spend much time with him but I do have several fond memories of the horses and chinchillas he raised.  It was nice to have my kids hear the stories from my parents.  I am grateful for those that have gone before me.  It is always so humbling to see the cemetery decorated with the beautiful flowers, and the roads proudly lined with the American flag.  It makes me so grateful for the place that I live, the freedoms I have, and the opportunity to share these experiences with so many family members and friends.

For our family,  June is the month of endless birthday fun.   Between Jason's side of the family and mine, we had 10 birthdays to celebrate, and several of them occurring on the same day.  Only one of those birthday's actually comes from our little family.  It is Jason!  He turned "old" this year, or so he says.  However, I have decided that if you consider yourself "old" you would never do something as crazy as running the 2012 Wasatch Back Ragnar Race...yep, he just did that.  I will let him share this experience.  But I will say a big THANK YOU to his brother Kevin for making him do it!!

Britten finished up with baseball and has altered his swing to that of a golf club.  He spends every Wednesday morning with a friend from school and his cousin hitting the links.  He LOVES golf!!  Not to mention he is not bad at it.  I love seeing him get so excited about golfing and then coming home and giving us play-by-play of the 9 holes.    Now if he would only get that excited about folding laundry and taking care of his household responsibilities.  (I will keep holding out hope for that!)

Kameron has spent June mostly hanging out with mom. Poor kid!!!  He has been able to spend the night at grandma and grandpa Sheriff's house a couple of times.  We go to the park every Wednesday and have started to go to the fun kid movie's every Tuesday.  So I guess he is not stuck with just mom all the time.  He has perfected his Angry Bird skills and discovered the bizarre world of Plants vs. Zombies.  Kameron loves to spend time hanging out with Britten, when Britten is home.

We are now on the tail end of the 5 weeks of cake and ice cream.  I think we have all gained 10 pounds, but it has been a happy 10.  Both Jason's dad and my dad have birthdays on the same day in the first week of July, then we have a break until September.   In the meantime, we have plenty of "home work" to do to work off those extra pounds we gained.

When we moved into our house, we had a swamp cooler that was on it's last legs.  Somehow, we managed to milk it for all it was worth...until it started to leak about a year ago.  It was time for it to go.  We finally got central air (aaahhhh) and have gotten around to removing the unsightly beast from atop our roof.  Jason, my dad and Kameron patched the roof. (yes, Kameron too.  He has no fear of being on the roof.)   Now we needed to patch the inside too.  With a couple of phone calls, we had lots of help and in a matter of 4 days, we had new sheet rock, lots of mud and dust, and now texture thanks to Jason's dad.  The only thing left is more sanding and some primer and paint.  Then we get to paint the rest of the house too.  Jason is so excited he can hardly stand it! :)

I will leave the rest of this post to my crazy runner of a husband.

So, I guess I am supposed to talk about Ragnar.  I think it has become such a large event that most people know what it is.  For those that don't, Ragnar is a 200 (approximately) mile relay race from Logan to Park City.  Well, perhaps I should retract that statement.  The Ragnar Wasatch Back race is a 200 mile relay from Logan to Park City.  There are now Ragnar races in many different places in the country, including So. California, Vegas, Colorado, and many others.  Kevin has run the Wasatch Back and So. Cal Ragnar events for the last 2 years, and was excited to create his own team this year.  It took some doing to get the team all put together, but at the end of the day there was Kevin, Kirstin, dad, Adam, myself, and a friend of my dad's named Nick that made up van #1.  The second van was made up of some ward members from dad's ward, some work associates of Kevin and Adam, and the guy who grows mom and dads cows.

Friday morning at 9:15 Kevin left the track at USU beginning our adventure.  I won't go through a step by step recall of our trip, but will say  I was very proud of all of us.  I watched Kirstin run farther than she ever has before, and that was just leg #1 (each of us ran 3 legs).  I watched Adam run like 12 miles without breathing (the dust was too thick, I'm sure he couldn't breathe.)  I watched my dad run up an 8 mile hill up East Canyon at midnight (or later).  I watched Kevin make the rest of us look old and out of shape.  I ran up a fairly large hill myself over by Jordanelle.  I heard stories of the cow man getting over 40 kills (that's what they call it when you pass someone) while running up guardsmans pass (which is about the equivalent of running up Mt. Olympus) smiling the whole way.  Perhaps it was because we ran 200 miles on about 3 hours of sleep, but it was surprisingly emotional to watch us all go.   It was a proud moment when our final runner appeared at Park City High School's track, and together we all ran across the finish line.  Good work Ragnarwhals!!  You done me proud.

We did not make it to the finish line to see the Ragnarwhals end their epic run.  So my kids decided we would make our house the "real" finish line. With balloons, posters, and crepe paper later we had our own finish line at our house.  The kids were so happy to see dad come in the door and cross their finish line. 

And there you have it.  Doesn't it make you want to get up off the couch and start running?  Not me, I will be happy to be the cheerleader.  Until the fireworks fly....that's all folks.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Playing Ball!!!, April & May

   So yes, April and more then half of May has come and gone and I am just now getting to sit down and reminisce on the last months.  To say we have been a little busy around here is an understatement.  I love the months of April and May for many reasons.  Leaves finally begin to show on the trees, the ground doesn't look quite so dead and the rain makes everything smell so fresh, it begins to warm up and we break out the BBQ grill.  I also love April because my boys start playing baseball. My favorite thing to do is to sit at a ball diamond in hot or cold temperatures and watch a bunch of boys hone in on their inner Derek Jeter,  Josh Hamilton, Josh Weaver.  We spend 3 nights a week watching baseball.  Intermixed with scouts, homework, housework, and the like.  I do more laundry this time of year than any other, but I would not have it any other way.
   This year for baseball, Britten is one of the older kids on his team.  This has given him the opportunity to do more consistent pitching.  He and Jason spend a good part of the week in the back yard throwing baseballs. I will even find Britten wearing his mitt around the house, for really no reason at all.   Lately, Britten has spent a fair amount of time playing 1st base as well.  I must admit, he is darn good at it too.  Very rarely does he let a ball get by him.  It is amazing to see how much he has progressed in the last couple of years.  

   Kameron desperately wishes he could be out on the field with Britten.  Jason spends just  as much time pitching to Kameron while he hits home runs.  One night in our backyard they were playing, and Kameron hit the ball over our house and partially down the street.  I think he is going to give his brother a run for his money.  Kameron could start playing tee-ball in the spring, however, I am seriously considering skipping it, and going right to coach pitch.  The kid can hit balls coming out of the pitching machines at the batting cages with great timing.

   Shifting gears, I am struggling with school coming to an end this year.  I swear I say it every year, and I probably do, but this year is a little different.  We have had an amazing school year.  Britten's teacher is one of a kind.  I wish I could just have him move on and teach Britten until he graduates.  He has never loved school so much and has learned more than I could ever imagine.  His teacher has encouraged, challenged, and taught him some "life experiences" along the way.  

   Kameron too has had a great preschool teacher.  It is a wonderful mom/teacher who lives in our neighborhood.  Every morning Kameron would run the calendar to see if it was a "preschool day".  He loves the friends he has made in his class and has learned and progressed a lot.  He is the only kid in his class who will not go to Kindergarten this coming fall, yet he is right there academically with all the others who will.  I do not know how I got such smart boys---they must get if from their dad!!!  I am grateful that they both love to learn and love school.  Hopefully they will continue to do so for many years to come.

   Jason has settled nicely into his Bishopric calling and new work schedule.  We have a pretty good routine going and the boys know when dad is coming and going for the most part.  It has been nice to see Jason get to know and spend some time with the other men in our ward. He has developed some great friendships, which working 7 on 7 off, he never really got the opportunity to do.  He is running RAGNAR in June with his brother, sister, brother-in-law, and dad.  He has been trying hard to get as much training in as he can.  Lately, he as been running at 10:00 at night with some of the guys in our ward.  He probably won't be in the exact shape he wants to be in for the race, but he is determined to do as much as he can to prepare.

  Jason loves this time of year because he can plant his garden.  This is something he talks about from the time we till in up in the fall, until the next Mother's Day when we can dig up the soil and plant the tomatoes.  This year we are once again trying corn.  It will be interesting to see how it comes out.  Along with that are 2 pumpkins, a watermelon, squash, zucchini, peppers, jalapenos, and loads of tomatoes, about 30 plants or so.  Yep, you guessed it, all for canning salsa in the fall. 

   As for me, I just try and keep the household running on all cylinders.  Food in their bellies, clean clothes on their backs, sun screened faces and well hydrated....some days are easier then others.  My boys keep me busy, so there is always something for me to do.

Monday, April 9, 2012

March Madness!!

March is suppose to come in like a lion or lamb and go out the opposite.  However, at the Krantz house it comes in like a hurricane and goes out like a tornado!  What a crazy, fun, educating, and destructive month it was. 

We have a family tradition of fill out NCAA Basketball brackets before the tournament begins picking who we think will hopefully fair well.  We knew that we were in big trouble this year.  Britten has been studying SportsCenter on ESPN for sometime and he was armed with far more college basketball knowledge than a 10 year old should.  We all chose our winners, and after the first couple rounds, were all ready to shred our brackets.  Jason and Britten did well until round 3 then they were done for.  Myself on the other hand missed most picks, except for the final 2 teams.  Yea for Kansas and Kentucky!  Way to save my bracket.  I picked Kentucky to win and they did.  Now, I have bragging rights for a whole year.

Britten and his fourth grade class have been working hard on writing short stories and working on their County reports.  Britten chose Utah County and has been doing research for about a month.  He did his report as a Powerpoint presentation.  Who knew that a fourth grader could out school both his parents when it came to Powerpoint.   His report turned out great.  We were able to take an afternoon and go to the school and all the fourth graders did a short presentation about Utah.  Britten was chosen to read part of the short story he had written, and then we went and walked around his classroom admiring all the hard work the students put in on their reports.  What creative kids (and parents, I'm sure)!!

Have I mentioned what an AWESOME teacher Britten has this year.  He has asked the kids to memorize classical poetry on their own time in order to earn the opportunity to visit Davis High School.  We attended a presentation of his class were they recited from memory 10 poetry classics such as: 
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, "Each in His Own Tongue" by William Carruth, and
 "Invictus" by William Earnest Henley.

Britten's class will be going to Davis High School to have lunch and present their short stores to the Advanced Creative Writing class and will also be working with the High School students as well.  I am so envious that we did not do something like this when I was in elementary.  It will be such a fun day for him, and I know he is super excited!

Wrapping up Britten, he finished basketball season and is quite the defensive monster.  He was always diving for loose balls, and tying up the opponent.  He scored quite a few points and has really loved playing this year.  Now on to baseball!  I love watching him play and grow as an athlete and a person. 

Kameron, Kameron, Kameron!!  Never a dull moment with this kid.  He wants so bad to be as big as his brother and do all the things a 10 year old does.  He had a friend over one day and was trying to explain how to play Guitar Hero on the Wii.  I was trying so hard not to laugh.  His poor friend had no idea what he was even saying.  Kam's vocabulary skills are very much at a 10 year old level.   His favorite phrases are: "I am having an issue." and "That is ridiculous." or "That is so random".

He as been attending preschool this year and is quite the counter.  He will proudly count to 100 at least and then follow it up with counting to 20 in Spanish.  He loves to tell us all about the number and letter he is working on each week and will insure that we are pronouncing the letter properly.  He has even started to read basic words.  He always wants to read what he calls "his words" when we read a book.  Just the other day he has really started to sound out words.  It is fun to see him learning and growing academically.  He is going to be one smart cookie!

Kameron loves to throw things and pretend it is a baseball, basketball or the like.  One afternoon while outside, he threw a large rock and with the perfect aim he has,  it went right through the passenger side window of my car.  Boy did he know he was in trouble because he came running into the house and tried to hide.  Needless to say, a decent chunk of change and a week and a half later, I had a new window.  To Kameron's dismay though, he was grounded from Angry Birds and the Wii for two whole weeks.  I think he learned his lesson and now happily says that we only throw rocks in the pond! He, like many others his age has taken to Angry Birds.  That is all he wants to do.  He has even resorted to creating his own Angry Bird game (because he was grounded) by piling books and balls on a small table and pretending to fly birds (disguised as balls) into his building creation in order to knock it down and expose the golden egg or golden pineapple!  Pretty funny to watch for sure!

Jason who?  Yea, that is about as much as we see him anymore.  He spends all day Sunday, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights fulfilling his Bishopric calling.  He has sure enjoyed getting to know the people in our ward.  He loves the men he works with they have a great time together.  He is looking forward to taking our boys on our ward Father & Sons camp out. The rest of his summer will be spent with the Young Women in our ward at Girl's Camp, then to High Adventurer Camp, and Scout Camp.  I don't know that he has done that much camping in one year in his life!  He likes his new job at work seems to finally be getting comfortable with all the changes.  I sure miss seeing him as much as I use too.

That wraps up  the Krantz comings and goings of how time flies!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You want me to do WHAT??

I did not think things around our house could get any crazier.  Christmas is suppose to be the most "stressful" time of the year as well as the most enjoyable, right?  I think we topped that in the last couple of weeks.   We have been looking forward to Jason starting his new job that comes with a new schedule.  Hurray!!  I finally get my husband and father every evening...and awake!  Many days he would come home from work and would sit on the couch or chair and be snoring in less then 2 minutes.  I had begun to formulate all the fun things we could do after the kids got home.  We could do a lot of reading with them, play, work on homework, go for walks, play basketball in the driveway, baseball in the get the idea.  I was truly looking forward to a "normal" schedule.

Dun, Dun, Dun.....

The phone rings...I answer....we meet with a member of our Stake Presidency and WhaaBammm Jason is called to be the first councilor in our Bishopric!!!  There goes all my great plans!!

 Now, don't get me wrong, I am super excited for him.  This will be a great experience for our family and mostly for him.  I had to remind myself that for the last 6 years, our family has had him all to ourselves.  We got him home every other week...all day, all night, for seven straight days!  I loved, loved, loved it!  And now, we are being asked to share.  I was never very good at that.   The crazy thing about all of this, is that up until one week ago, Jason would have never been able to serve effectively in a Bishopric with his previous schedule.  This past Sunday, Jason was set apart as a member of the Bishopric, and on Monday, he started his new job and new schedule.  Now some might say it is just a coincidence, I am absolutely, 100% sure, this was by divine design.

Now we are looking forward to enjoying dad when we can.  Granted, he won't be gone every night.  Between meetings, mutual, and Sunday's, that takes out a couple evenings a week and then Sunday.  I am sure we will adjust and find what works for us around his schedule.  I can't even imagine what the summer months are going to bring.  Girls Camp, Scout Camp, High Adventurer Camp, Youth Conference, ward activities, and the list goes on.  All of which he will be asked to spend time with....without us.

Sunday, February 12 -

Today was the first Sunday with Jason on the stand.  I must say, it is a little strange to see him up there.  Kameron kept asking if he could go sit with dad.  I know he just doesn't understand this whole transition.  To make it simple, I told Kameron that dad gets to help the all the people in our ward, and when he is sitting on the stand, his job is to move the microphone up and down.  He was very excited at that thought, and begged to go help.

So begins my sojourn flying solo on the comfy bench seats for the next 2 1/2 years, give or take.  Luckily, I have a great helper in Britten.  He is my gopher and he helps keep Kameron entertained.  I am glad he somewhat understands what his dad is doing.  I am not sure he understands the magnitude but he mostly gets it.

I am truly grateful for this opportunity.  I know Jason and our family will be blessed because of his choice to serve.  I now have to practice my patience.  Something I have NEVER been very good at.  Obviously I have a lot to learn from this experience too.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Braggin' about 4th Grade Fun!

This has been a very fun and interesting year for Britten in school.  He has a fabulous teacher who has really helped him deepen his love of learning.  I have had the opportunity to spend sometime in his class volunteering and I love to watch and listen to all the kids.  Britten's class is very boy heavy.  Lots of sports loving boys.  I hear all about which team won what game, and who went skiing and snowboarding.  Who is on who's basketball team and who scored more points.  It doesn't hurt that their teacher is a huge baseball fan and he facilitates a lot of competition among the class.  I must admit though, the girls in the class do hold their own.

This year, Britten has learned to do powerpoint presentations by the plenty.  He has become pretty proficient in animation and decoration when it comes to those slides.  He has researched and presented to the class info on the combustion engine, the evolution of trains, early Utah governor Simon Bamberger, and The father of Modern Genetics- Gregor Mendel.  He can recite and sing all the counties in the state and he even has Kameron singing along.  He has mad typing skills and is working at a 7th grade level in math and reading way beyond where he should be.  (Ya, even I cannot do the math that he is).  My little boy is growing up and learning so much so fast, I can hardly keep up with him.

This past couple of weeks, Britten had the chance to do his first Science project for the school Science fair.  The 4th graders had the option to do it, while the 5th and 6th graders were required to do it.  After much deliberation, he and Jason decided on trying to grow crystals.  I say Jason, because I do not do science any better then I do is all kind of fuzzy to me.  I volunteered to help decorate the display board, so I guess it was a team effort.  Thanks to the crystal growing kit Britten received for Christmas from his grandma and grandpa Sheriff, he and Jason had a great plan to work from.  After mixing solutions, watching them grow, and watching them freeze, his hypothesis was correct.  "Crystals grow better at a warmer temperature."

We went to the Science fair and saw all the experiements the kids did.  They were so creative and fun.  Everything from which position will make you go faster on a waterslide to what solution will peel an egg shell best.  We got to Britten's board and there displayed was a 3rd place ribbon.  He was pretty excited, and Jason and I were pretty proud.   The photos below are some of the crystals he grew, and him sitting in front of his award winning experiment. 

Now we just have to get through a large graphing art project, poetry memorization, and the infamous county report!!  Everything you could ever want to know about Utah County.

This brings us to half way through the 4th grade school year.  Where has the time gone??  I am not ready for this year to be so close to finished.  I still have so much to re-learn and Britten has so much to teach me.  If he only knew how much I learned from him everyday.  He is becoming a very smart, talented, independent, and very loving person.  Everyday is something new.  I am thankful everyday that I have the opportunity to be his mom, even on the days when I he gives me grief, and Jason gray hairs.
                       I LOVE MY BRITTEN!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year!!

How did we get to 2012 already? Good old 1976 is starting to seem farther and farther away. Well, Staci covered Christmas, and asked me to handle New Years. I'm sure that this post will be a lot smaller than Staci's, seeing how as she had about 1 month to cover, and I really only have 1 day. But I will give it my best shot.

I guess the first thing I would like to talk about actually happened before New Years, it even began before Christmas. I got a phone call the week of Christmas from my supervisor at work. I have known her longer than she has been a supervisor, and I would also consider her a friend. So I was a little surprised when she was upset with me, and accusing me of leaving her department. I was very confused at the time, but have come to find out she knew more than I did at the time. It turns out than a position at work that I had applied for, but not been offered, was once again available. I had interviewed for it just less than a month ago. The person they chose for the position was offered a job with another company, and had chosen to leave. This made for a somewhat uneasy Christmas, as I wondered what my future would hold. Long story short, it wasn't long after Christmas when I was offered the position as Instrument Specialist in the Automated Endocrinology Lab.

I will begin my new position on Feb. 6th. This change brings both relief, and a few tears, as it will be a more "normal" schedule. I will work Mon - Fri, 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The tears stem from the thought of only having 2 days off, in place of 7. It does bring paid time off, and paid Holidays off which I have not had before, so it should be a nice change. I will be responsible for maintaining the many different analyzers in our laboratory, as well as some housekeeping paperwork and such. Staci and I are excited about the changes and look forward to finding out what "normalcy" is like.

Okay, back to New Years. It is always an adventure when the Holiday falls on my week of work, which this year it did. My boss is kind enough to let me come in on New Years Day whenever I choose, so long as my work gets done. This freedom, combined with my insanity, make it the one day each year when I stay up and party with my family, and then go straight to work.

On New Years Eve my plan is usually to go to work, come home and nap, then head to the family party. This year, however, I had some extra cash in my flexible spending account that I had to use by the end of the year, or lose it. Therefore, right after work I had an eye exam for new contact lenses. I did manage to squeeze in a brief nap of , oh about 1 hour. Then it was time to party.

Our family New Years party was held at Kirstin's house this year. I'm not sure if Kirstin just loves having others destroy her home, or if there was some other motivation, but I was a great place to party, and I mean PARTY!! Okay, so most of the rest of the world may not consider what we do a party, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone brought some form of low calorie, fat free food, such as Papa Murphy's pizza (thanks mom, it was delicious), Kirstin made Little Smokies in bar-be-que sauce, Staci brought a block of cream cheese covered in cocktail sauce and little shrimps, Karen brought doughnuts, Marie brought beverages including slush (mmmmm), and Kevin brought fireworks. Okay, Kevin also brought some chips and M&M's. It's probably a good thing that I didn't sign up for our work's "Project Zero" where if you maintain or lose wight over the holidays, you get a prize.

It was a fun evening. The kids were entertained with the basketball hoops downstairs and the sweet race cars that were down there. Most of us adults just stayed by the food. We also played a fun game that Britten got for Christmas called the LOGO game. I'm sure everything was a bit more funny because I was so tired, but Kevin and Spencer had me in tears. The night culminated at midnight (obviously) when Kevin showed his expertise in pyrotechnics. He performed a very entertaining firework show for us all. Then it was home for a shower, and off to work.

As we begin a new year, one always tries to evaluate his / her life, and find ways to improve. The Krantz family has done this as well. We are excited for all that the new year will bring. We have just begun to read the Book of Mormon as a family, and hope to have it finished by the end of the year. We are truly blessed. I had to step back once or twice and look at my family over the Holidays. They are growing so fast. Britten really blows my mind with how smart he is, and Kameron wants to be just like his brother. Staci and I love our family and look forward to a Happy New Year with them. Here's to 2012. May the Martinelli's flow like wine.