Thursday, December 20, 2007

December Update

Hi All! Thanks for your patience as I'm so slow at updating. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment. The first two are a couple of big trees that we sold out of the yard this year. I'm glad I'm not involved with setting them up and decorating them!

And here's a shot of Patience taking a nap. Everyday I make her a nice "flat" bed on our couch with her fleece blanket, her bear comforter, her pillow, her night-night, and her babies. She usually sleeps flat. Today I came into the living room to find this:

I hope she doesn't wake up with a crook in her neck!

We've been busy getting Christmas shopping done. I've been out late shopping with Dylan one evening and Nathan last night. Some stores are open 24 hours which is crazy, but I have to admit, helpful too. Last night I officially finished my shopping. I know I'm done because I spent almost every cent that was in my wallet. Yep, right down to the dimes. I'm sure the cashier was not impressed, but at least my wallet was much lighter.

Now I'm wrapping things and putting them under our undecorated tree. For the past several years, I haven't decorated a tree with our own ornaments. I've always patiently waited for the farm to close and then I'd (meaning Don) bring in a tree that Waneta had already decorated for the yard. I just had to plug it in and we'd have instant Christmas. This year we wanted to use a tree that Don had grown himself down at Radnai's (our lease property). It's a beautiful, tall Noble fir. And it's a good thing it's beautiful, because we can't find our Christmas tree ornaments or lights! I'm sure they're around here somewhere, but until we find them, our tree is naked. With the exception of the snowman ornaments that the girls made last week.

I'm thinking of making it an activity for the kids to make up some sort of decorations, like stringing popcorn or cutting out snowflakes, or something!

Patience had her Christmas party at preschool today. It was cute and fun and there were lots of sibling babies there. Two sets of twins, including my friend's twin of which I got to hold : ). Now she's on Christmas break. The boys have to go to school tomorrow and then they're on Christmas break for two weeks.

Saturday my mom will be flying up to the PNW, but is staying with my sister until Christmas day. We're hoping my dad will be able to spend Christmas with us this year as well. It's been ages since we've been together at Christmas time...probably around 10!

More later!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You know you've waited too long to post when... almost forgot your password!

Okay, I'm short on time (as usual) so I'm just going to post a month's worth of pictures instead of writing a big newsy post, k?

Don and Nathan with matching (kind-of) beards...

Patience and Jordyn warning you that Christmas is coming right up!

The magnificent 5, a la Christmas card....

Patience and Madilyn, the cutest baby ever (since Jordyn)

Jordyn and Madilyn, with my dad, at Thanksgiving...

Tomorrow evening I'm co-hosting a bridal shower for my friend's daughter. Then on Friday Lee comes (thank the Lord) right in time for our all-hands-on-deck weekend. I'll try to post more next week when Lee's he tends to free up some time for me : )

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

I tried to actually write something to go along with the pictures, but Blogger wasn't letting me! So, here is a "back view" of the girls in action:

At the first house, Jordyn wanted nothing to do with these unknown people who answered the door. She turned around and buried her face in her daddy's chest. But when she heard the rustling of the candy wrappers, she peered around, and when she saw the bowl full of candy, she did a 180-degree turn around. Suddenly, she was extroverted and happy. And able to say "trick-or-treat" and "thank you!" Jordyn has a new favorite sport, and it is trick or treating!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Howza Bout a Little Update?

Sorry I haven't blogged in such a long time. I know I'm always a little annoyed when I visit someone's blog for, oh, the 50th time to find that they still haven't updated. So I thought I should get my rear and gear and let you know what's been going on around here. Maybe it'll be contagious and others (Heather) will do the same...

First major news in the Murphy household: Jordyn will definitely be the baby in our family. That's right, five is enough and we are now incapable of producing anymore Murphys. Which is unfortunate considering how cute and bright they all are. P.S. Don is fine, recovering quickly, just walks a little funny.

Now, onto less momentous news: the office is coming along nicely. It's all framed, wired, and sheetrocked. Don is currently doing the taping and mudding, which is a slow and dirty job. He did buy the primer for the next step and we're going to look at paint colours later this a.m.

Nathan is busy at school and cadets. His classes are keeping him busier than he'd prefer, as his teachers this term have these incredibly high standards for student work and are sometimes encouraging Nathan to do work over to get a higher mark. While Nathan feels this is unnecessary, Don and I encourage him to take advantage of the opportunity, if you know what I mean. This weekend he had range practice, next weekend he and Sean return to Quadra for a weekend of sail training. I hope they have good weather there. He is busy directing a one-act play and is getting frustrated at the lack of commitment from his actors. He might even can his leading man and take that part himself.

Dylan is at school 10 hours/day most days. Starting with jazz band or Senior Chamber Choir at 6:45, and ending with volleyball practice or games that sometimes end at 6:30. We see little of him, but we know where he is and what he's doing, so it's all good. He's also swimming on the school swim team this year. It's a short little season, but apparently they're going to have an incredible relay team so he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. He continues, somehow, to get straight A's in the very few hours he has left in the day. We're looking forward to his first band/choir concert of the year on Nov. 30.

Sean is getting hit with the reality of school. His teacher, Mrs. Cuthbert, is making it her personal responsibility to make sure all of her students are ready for Secondar School next year. So, Sean has homework every night, as opposed to...never. He's doing well, though, in all of his subjects. He's playing trombone in the elementary band and is on the Grade 7 volleyball team. That season ends soon, and then there's a short break until basketball starts up. Sean is still enjoying cadets and has joined the Guard, which means he marches around with guns on the parade square (real guns, not loaded). They practice Monday nights, and thankfully Nathan is willing to drive him there because Nathan has work that he can do at the Cadet Training Centre during that time. I'm going to really, really, really miss Nathan (and his car).

Patience is three and 1/2 now and is pretty much ready to take on the world. She loves preschool. She loves swimming lessons with Marianne. It's hard to believe that four sessions ago she spent most of her time sitting on the side of the pool (in timeout) crying, because now she's belle of the pool, showing all of the other kids how to do what Marianne wants them to do. She has her swim lesson on Tuesdays right after preschool, so when she gets home she's tired and starving. Last week she ate two entire peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before she even came up for air. Then she willingly had a nap. Tuesdays are good : )

Jordyn is now the age that Patience was when I had Jordyn. I cannot imagine having a newborn right now. She is starting to have more and more words, and of course she is very capable for such a little person. For example, she was able to open the gate we have at the top of our stairs. So we padlocked it. We didn't even try to get an easy-opening lock...she'd have that figured out in no time. (The combination is zero-Jeremy Roenick-Kyle MacLaren; guess whose lock it is?) Despite her hyper-busyness, she's doing really well and we all love her to pieces. Even certain older brothers who used to not have the time of day for her are coming around and calling her sweet nothings while carrying her around like a baby. She's getting under his skin, that's for sure.

I am busy. Among other things, I am trying to be deliberate about our food around here. It's the one area of our budget that I can control, so I'm putting more time and energy into the planning and procuring. I'm going to be posing about some great leftovers. I'm trying to eat out of the freezer as much as possible this month because we are getting a quarter beef in late November, early December and I need to make room for it.

We've had a ton of rain lately, but today dawned bright and sunny (still cold, but that's okay). We'll be able to go out and play today...the girls will really appreciate that.

The best news I received lately: Lee is coming back : ) I'm always pretty sure that he won't re-up because let's face it: December around here with all these kids and the farm is not a lot of fun, and it's a lot of work! But he thankfully comes back, year after year, to help and keep me sane. What a blessing he is in December and always.

Okay, that's about it, except for photos which I haven't taken in a long time.

Love and hugs,

Friday, October 19, 2007


I love when you hear something wonderful, something you really need to hear, in an unlikely place.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Nathan's and Dylan's teachers. Mr. Thompson, Nathan's English Literature teacher said this,

"Nathan and my son (also 18) are both character men. But my son is a character, while Nathan is a man of character."

Monday, October 15, 2007

What's Up...

Basically, nothing! Which is kind of nice, in a relaxed, boring sort of way...

Tonight we're having our 4-H awards presentation. Once that is over, my 4-H commitments will be officially over for this year (phew!).

We had a huge ham dinner on Saturday night, so now I'm using up leftovers. I'm trying to have a pretty clean fridge when we leave for Merritt for the weekend.

Tonight is sweet-and-sour ham sandwiches. I made up this recipe (remember, I'm trying to clean out the fridge) and so far it looks pretty iffy. Lucky for me, my boys are usually starving and not picky at all, so it'll get eaten up regardless.

Tomorrow I'm making turkey wraps, using up the rest of last week's turkey. Wednesday it'll be clean-out-your-fridge soup and then Thursday we'll leave for Don and Waneta's.

I am reading a new book from the library: Frugal Luxuries. So far so good, although I'm only on chapter 2.

Tomorrow Patience starts her new session of swim lessons with Marianne. Wish me luck...I'll get the challenge of keeping Miss Jordyn occupied during her lesson : )

All of the kids are doing well.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lights, Camera, Action!

Well, today is the big shoot. Warner Brothers is filming the Christmas special for their Supernatural series at our farm. They came out Thursday and Friday of last week to build the set, then had 24-hour security here over the 3-day weekend, and today this farm is busier than our busy weekends!

For those of you not familiar with Supernatural (like me), it's a series about a couple of hunky guys who are like ghostbusters...trying to figure out the good guys and the bad guys, the good spirits and the demons. In this episode, the hunks think that the Santa of Santa's Village (our farm) is a serial killer. You can see why this isn't exactly a family show...

The morning started early, with the first semi rolling into the farm across the street at 4:30. By 5:00 there was a traffic jam. Whey I finally poked my head up and looked out my bedroom window, I could see tents everywhere in my driveway and side yard. There is a huge tent for the extras to hang out, a nice concession stand (everything is free), a whole little city in my yard!

Across the street at Krause's, where there are at least 20 semis (good thing he enlarged his parking lot!), there is an incredible catering truck where we all had breakfast this morning (including Storm). Everyone is coming home for lunch today, and Sean is staying home this afternoon to watch the shooting. Nathan took Dylan to school and then came home to have breakfast and watch a little. It's an amazing undertaking for one day of shooting. They even have live reindeer here!

The nice thing is that they're paying really well to use our farm! In fact, Don's office renovations are courtesy of Warner Brothers!


Sunday, October 07, 2007


Most of you have been to our home and have seen Don's office. For those who haven't, Don currently works from home in a tiny little space that's hardly even a's just a large hallway going from our house to the laundry room and then down to his parents' suite.

Not only is the space not very usable, but it's difficult for Don to work (or have phone conversations) due to the consistent noise level of our house. Six people just cannot be quiet that often.

So, we are undergoing a major home renovation! Don is, as we speak, outside renovating an 11.5' x 14' foot room that used to hold a lot of crap stuff of Waneta's that is now either at the dump or at their new home in Merrit.

He's re-framing the walls to add power and networking wiring...lots of outlets, etc. He's building a large closet to hold all of his business stuff. He's putting in lighting fixtures and laying laminate flooring. He'll paint a beautiful eggplant color on the walls, with a white ceiling, doors, and trim. We'll get white office furniture from Ikea (love that place!) along with an area rug, some artwork, etc., and voila! A usable office space away from the happy chaos of the house.

I'm really looking forward to it. Oh, and as for the space that is Don's current office, we're turning it into the family computer room. Every computer in the house will now go in there, so we won't have computers in bedrooms, the kitchen, etc. Ahhhh....

Menu Planning Monday

Here is my menu plan for the week. I know you were dying to hear this...

Monday-Thanksgiving leftovers (yes, it is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so we had a turkey with all the trimmings tonight)

Tuesday-Catering Truck (Warner Bros is filming a Christmas special for one of their serials here and we are able to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the catering truck!)

Wednesday-Breakfast for Dinner (I'm thinking french toast and bacon)

Thursday-Wraps (using turkey, of course)



Sunday-Gourmet Ham Sandwiches

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Nathan celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday with a new Sharks cap and jersey. He can wear them to the game on Friday!
I attended my last Flippers executive meeting last night, handing over all of my files and information to my predecessor. It feels very good, even though I know I'll be getting calls this year to help her out.
We have 4-H club awards on Friday the 15th, and then my commitments there are done as well. What will I do with all this time on my hands? I'm thinking maybe getting involved in cadets somehow, as all three boys are there now. Will letcha know.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Our Grandparents Went to Hawaii...

...and all that we got were these (very cute) bathing suits!

Tonight after dinner Don said he was taking the girls swimming so I could have a break! He got them all suited up in their new bathing suits from Grandma and Grandpa and off they went....

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to take a good picture of both girls. When Jordyn can stop being in perpetual motion for more than 2 seconds it will get easier... you hear the silence? It really is golden!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Papa Loves Me, This I Know...

...for my t-shirt tells me so!

Guess who couldn't resist these t-shirs when he saw them at the art & wine festival?
And Jordyn and Patience love their papa, too!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What Does An 18-Year-Old Say...

When he receives 2 Opening Night Canucks vs. Sharks BOX SEAT tickets for his birthday?

Nothing! He's speechless!

Last night we gave Nathan his birthday present early, so he'd have plenty of time to choose who he would ask to go with him. This morning he said he'd "narrowed it down" to about 5 people!

He said, "This is probably the last time I'll be an opening night Canucks game, where they play against the Sharks, in these kind of seats..."


Thanks to my brilliant husband for procuring these tickets. It'll be a game Nathan never forgets.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Shopping Fiend Strikes Again!

Sean came home last night from his trip to Hawaii with my parents and he returned with an entire suitcase filled with his sisters' fall/winter wardrobe! Unbelievable! Here they are in their snuggy fleece outfits. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First Day of Preschool

This morning Jordyn and I took Patience to her very first day of preschool. It was just a "warming-up" session, lasting an hour, where they learned all the rules, etc. She loved it, as we knew she would. The weather has been so lovely here that Don and I took Jordyn in the double stroller, along with Storm, to pick Patience up. It's quite a workout pushing that stroller 3/4 of a mile, each direction!

When we got home I took advantage of the sunshine and and washed the van and the car. The girls "helped" me. After all their help, we took all their wet clothing and hung them on the line, gave them a quick bath, and then both girls went down for a rest. Patience doesn't "nap" during the day...but she will gladly "rest" on the couch with her pillow and blankets. I can hear her snoring right now...quite a rest!

Dylan is practicing everyday with the volleyball team. Since only 13 boys showed up for the team, there will be no cuts. Dylan says that the grade 9s on the 9/10 team are really good, and that this year's team is going to be hard-to-beat. His first tournament is on Friday and Saturday at a local school, so we'll see how they stack up.

Sean is playing the trombone in the grade 7 band. He has band on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so I can drop off his instrument when I drop off and pick up Patience from preschool (her school is at Sean's school). He's getting ready for his Hawaii trip with my parents, Jacob, and Hailey.

Nathan appears to really be enjoying his senior year. He's taking only classes he likes by teachers he loves. He's working across the street at the berry farm on weekends and is enthusiastic about cadets. He enjoys having his own wheels and has been a responsible driver, and a huge help (taking Dyland to school early, picking him up late, etc.). It's amazing to me that this is the home stretch of Nathan living with us. Nathan purchased Dylan's laptop computer, which wasn't getting much use, for $300. That money brings Dylan dangerously close to having his New York trip paid for. And now Nathan has a very decent computer to watch Shark highlights on, and play NHL 2007.

Don is working so hard on both the trees and with the computer consulting. Last night he didn't get home until after 2, and then had a meeting at 8 a.m. He's been taking advantage of the lovely Indian summer to finish up some trees at Radnai's. They're nearly done down there, and both Dylan and Nathan have been a huge help.

Jordyn gets her 18 month immunizations today. That will suck.

Okay, I think that about wraps it up!

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Coats and Haircuts...

Tomorrow is Patience's first day of preschool, so I thought today was a good one for haircuts and a new winter coat! It's still warm here, but fall weather will come out of nowhere, and I don't want to be caught unawares. Jordyn, although nervous, was very good and still for her "big girl" haircut.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Day of School!

Well, technically Sean did go to school yesterday, but only for 90 minutes so it hardly counted.

Here are Nathan and Dylan getting ready to drive off to their first day of Grade 12 and Grade 10, respectively.

And here is Sean leaving for Grade 7, where he is the "big man on campus."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fraser Valley Regional Championships 2007

Here are Dylan's first two gold medals. One for 200 IM (2:38) and the other is for his medly relay. Yesterday he also swam 50 free and did get best times in both prelims and finals but got 4th, so he didn't qualify for Provincials with that event. Oh well.
Today he swam 100 back (1:12) and got another gold. His freestyle relay came in second.
Sean swam 50 fly yesterday and came in 5th (:35.xx). His medly relay came in third.
Today, Sean swam 100 back (1:22) and came in 2nd! He qualified for Provincials in an individual event, which we were not sure would happen for him this year. Then, to make things even better, his freestyle relay also came in second, so his entire team qualified. Sean was the anchor man, and left the blocks several seconds after the team next to him. By the end of the 50 meters, Sean had passed him. It was a close race (too close for comfort) but those are so exciting to watch. Especially if your team wins in the end.
Tomorrow Sean will get the medals he earned today, as well as his Provincial Qualifier t-shirt, which you can see on Dylan in this picture. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.
I'm getting pretty tired. I'm very glad that Lee is here; he's such a great help and good company.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Jordyn's new favortie place... wherever Papa is!
Jordyn had about two minutes of "shy" yesterday when she woke up from her nap and Papa was here. But ever since then, she's been his shadow.
He played with her extensively at the play ground last night, helping her up to the "big slide." Last night after her bath, she sat with him for a long time, drinking her bottle.
This morning when Papa was putting in his contact lenses, little Jordyn stood outside the bathroom door like a puppy dog, waiting for his return. Don even tried to coax her away by offering hugs, playtime, anything, but she wouldn't leave her post. She is smitten...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cute things Jordyn says...

The other morning, Patience woke up and walked down the hallway. I snatched her up for a morning hug and was standing there, holding her, when Jordyn walked up, started smacking Patience's leg (the only part of her she can reach), and said her first sentence: That's MY mama!

A few nights ago, Jordyn for some strange reason had a hard time falling asleep. She was in there chattering and kicking her crib well past 10:00. Don and I were really ready to fall asleep so he went in there to lay down the law. This was their conversation:

Don (angrily, with authority): Jordyn, that's ENOUGH. Now go to sleep!

Jordyn (happily, with enthusiasm): Hi!


Well, we finally had enough of Jordyn and Patience fighting over Patience's bike. Patience has been asking for a bike for a while, so we went out this evening and got her this beauty, along with all of the safety equipment that goes with biking. She can even make it go all by herself. But when she's riding, she doesn't watch where she's going. I guess that comes later.
And Jordyn, bless her little heart, is now the proud owner of the little bike. All is well at the Murphy house tonight.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Patience Funny

Patience has the cutest little way of talking. She can't say the hard "C" sound. She says the "T" sound in its place. So, "okay," becomes "otay," etc.

My mom bought Patience adorable pajamas with little cats all over them. Imagine Don's horror when Patience sat in the pajamas, pointing to each of the cats on her top while counting, "One tittie, two titties, three titties, four titties..."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A perfect day...

We had a lovely day Saturday. After Don spent the morning limbing the trees and I went grocery shopping, the girls took a nap and Don went to work on our trees at Radnai's. I guess that doesn't sound too perfect, does it?
But after that, we went to our friends' home (the Duncombs) and had a lovely evening swimming, barbequeing, and walking/swimming in the river. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the company just doesn't get much better!
Oh, here's some entertaining information! Don got a call from Nathan last night, at about 10:30. Nathan told Don that he just found out that staff can call free from Quadra. He found this out yesterday, after using about $60 in phone cards in the past 4 weeks! So I bet we'll be getting even more calls from Nathan (he has been really good about calling every day or so). I suggested that he give his remaining phone card to a course cadet who doesn't have those "free call" priveleges.
We got awesome news yesterday! My step-dad, Lee, is jetting up on Thursday to watch the boys swim at Regionals! Bless his heart...he sure knows how to earn those Grandpa stripes! He'll fly home Tuesday, and then return on Friday with his wife for a weekend in Bellingham. It's soooo nice to have a retired dad with flight benefits : )

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Farmer's Work Is Never Done

Just when we think we're "ahead" with the work around here, a new project becomes very apparent.

This morning Don started a new project: limbing the huge Douglas Fir trees that sit on our north property line. This is a huge job...moving the ladder, cutting the limbs off (they're huge), dragging them to the trailer, taking them to the burn pile...and there are 8 trees. It's a job that really needs doing, though. Wind storms from the past 7 years have broken branches off, but they're just hanging on other branches. So, for safety's sake, they need to come down.

Strange that Don chose this weekend, when both of his big boys are gone, to start this job...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Wonderful Girlies

I'm so thankful that Don and I didn't do the logical thing and stop having children after the three boys were born. After all, we were maxed out in almost every aspect: space, finances, sanity, time...
We could have never had the girlies, and I would probably be 20 pounds lighter than I am now. My mom might have save thousands of dollars buying irresistible girl clothes and shoes. We would have extra room, extra time, and maybe even extra money because I would be able to work outside of the home. would be so easy.
But instead we had these two spirited lasses who fill our lives with laughter, cuddles, and so many other delights. They're the apple of our eyes, our sunshine, our hearts. I'm so glad we were illogical.

The 2007 Garden

This little tiny garden looks almost comical compared to some gargantuan ones I've had in the past. One year (my personal best) I grew all of the veggies for our family for an entire year. We had a smaller family then. Younger, too, without these "teen-age" appetites.
I stopped gardening a few years back because it was such a huge job, I was always "behind," and I would rather spend my time at swim meets, not weeding the garden. But I missed it. I really love gardening. Growing food. Going "shopping" in the back yard for the dinner salad.
I heard about this new concept (actually it's quite old) called square-foot gardening and I thought it'd provide a perfect compromise to having a garden vs. being a slave to it. And so far it's working well.
First Don and I cleared all of the shrubs and vines that covered this area. That was a big job. Then Don Sr. made me these cool planter boxes. They're 11x4, and there are three of them. Don went and purchased two truck loads of soil to fill them. Then Dylan and I measured off 12-inch marks, screwed screws in the marks, and then strung string around them to make 1-foot squares. There is a different crop in each square, planted densely to make the most of your space, and also to not have much room for weeds.
I got a late start this year. I don't think I planted these boxes until after July 1. Mind you, up until then it was pretty cool and wet, so maybe I didn't miss much growing season. In the planter boxes, I have squash, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce, rutabagas, carrots, onions, leeks, kolrabi, broccoli, and cauliflower.
So far this month I've spent about 15 minutes weeding. If this goes well I'll beg and plead for pop-in-law to make a couple more boxes, and we'll clear some more space for them. This is definitely the way to grow your veggies.


The blueberry bushes are laden with fat juicy berries. The girls can frequently be found out there feeding themselves a snack (very handy). It's amazing how competent Jordyn is; she's figured out very quickly to only pick the blue ones.
These are the three bushes that we moved from the "sold" property this spring. We were afraid they might take a year off to recover from being transplanted, but we were pleasantly surprised!
Sean, Dylan, and I (and the girls, too) went out this morning to the other three bushes and picked enough in 15 minutes to make 8 recipes worth of blueberry pancakes or muffins. Those will be much appreciated this winter.

The Mystery Flower

Way back in spring, during a week or so of lovely weather, I decided to take the frugal road to flowering my yard. I bought flower seeds in envelopes and planted them in seed beds. They grew, and I transplanted them into my front yard flower beds.
Here's the mystery: these were supposed to be Petunias! I bought two packets, one white and one pink. But they don't look like any Petunias I've ever seen. They're tall instead of sprawling. Their foliage isn't velvety like Petunias. The folliage almost looks like a geranium.
So, what is this flower? And why would it be in a Petunia seed packet?

Monday, July 23, 2007

The $5000 Smile...

Worth every penny! Now he just has to avoid all contact sports, because it would not make me happy if anything happened to these pearly whites...


This is how two brothers read the same Harry Potter book at the same time.

They started reading it Sunday at the swim meet, and finished it today after practice. At first they were trading off, but then they realized they could just read it at the same time and no one would have to wait!

Tomorrow I'm sending the book to Nathan, who called and lamented that everyone at camp has it and he's the only one not reading it right now...

Friday, July 20, 2007

My hunky son...

Here is Dylan (really, it's him!) doing the butterfly at the Langley meet. I just got this picture last week while Dylan was away at Youth Action. I put that really cool quote on it (not mine, but I wish it was!) and framed it for his room. Dylan has worked so hard this season...actually since January. His times are getting way down, his turns are improving dramatically, and he's the man to beat in Div 5 in our region.

Dylan's goal for the season, set in January 2007: four golds.

Outlook for the regional championship: four golds.

He's my goal-setter and my go-getter.

Accidental Butter...

That is what we got when I poured the whipping cream into my KitchenAid mixer, added a little vanilla, and then let it whip on high while I went outside and dilly-dallied. Oops! The good news: we now have homemade sweet butter, which will be delicious on toast or pancakes. The bad news: we had no whipped cream on our blueberry pie last night. Poor us...

All is well at the Murphy household. Dylan and Sean are swimming frequently. They are tan and lean. And now Dylan, in addition to being tan and lean, is braceless, adding to the handsome factor. Yes, he's a hottie and he knows it.

We've been hearing from Nathan 2 or 3 times a week. He sounds upbeat about his summer job, not homesick at all! Last Saturday he spent his whole day riding around in the Safety Boat, and he told me he was thinking, "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this!" Too bad this is only a summer job, I can see Nathan doing this kind of job for quite a while.

We have the Abbotsford swim meet this weekend. Unfortunately the weather doesn't look terribly's supposed to rain, and it's an outdoor pool. But, we have the trailer! And we have hot chocolate! So we're good to go. Two weeks from now is the Regional Championships, and then two weeks after that is the Provincial Championships. The summer is flying by.

Our 4-H club has their first fair this weekend, and I can't tell you how relieved I am to have no part in the planning or attending of this fair. I just know that not being a 4-H leader next year will really take a huge load off of my stress factor. Did I tell you that since Dylan attended Youth Action, a 1-week leadership conference for 14 and 15 year olds, he has decided that he DOES want to do 4-H again next year? It might have something to do with a new love interest that he met there. I told Don that he should take the boys to the club meetings/training sessions, as I will get roped in to something as soon as I show my face.

Okay, I am off to start my day now that I am fully caffeinated and my guilt (from not updating this blog) is somewhat assuaged. Now it's your turn, Mom!


Saturday, July 07, 2007

4-H Member Camp

Somehow this spring I was unanimously elected to run the Langley 4-H District Members' Camp. I think my qualifications were that I had a child in the correct age category and I wasn't smart enough to say, "no."
We went to a lovely lodge on Stave Lake, about an hour north of where we live. It was really a beautiful site, and were we ever spoiled weather-wise. Just last week it was rainy and cold, and when we went up on Wednesday afternoon it was clear and 75 degrees. Aaaahhhhhh....
Two other leaders and I went up on Wednesday at four to unload a mountain of groceries and supplies for the camp and basically get it ready for the arrival of our 18 campers and two parents who were staying. They arrived at 7-ish, unpacked and set up their stuff in the two dorm rooms, and then we played some really fun ice-breaker games.
We ate a late snack (pizza) and then played some capture-the-flag type games on the huge grassy field in front of the lodge. We practiced some skits and then walked down to the campfire site, right on the edge of the lake. Did I mention it was a gorgeous site? After skits, we had smores, and then we went on a flashlight hike. When we got back to the lodge, it was 11:30, so we told everyone that they had 30 minutes to do as they wished, and then it was lights out. They were free to talk quietly among themselves, but not keep others from sleeping. We may as well have been speaking Bangladeshi. Finally, around 2:30, after numerous threats and pleading, they finally shut up and went to sleep.
The leaders got up around 6:30 the next a.m. to have lots of coffee and get ready for the day. Sean's grade 6 teacher, Mr. Thomson, arrived around 7:30 as he was going to join us for breakfast and then take the kids fishing. At 8:00 all of the adults took pots, pans, and wooden spoons, banging them through the dorm rooms, singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" at the top of our lungs, trying very hard to sound as bad as possible. The campers were downright incensed!
By 9:00 they were readying their fishing rods. Then they fished, without as much as a bite, until 11 or so. They had lunch, and then broke into two groups: one went canoeing and the others did their tie-dye shirts, then they switched. After that was all done, the whole group played this fantastic survival game with carnivores, herbivores, a hunter, disease, food,'s a complicated game but SO MUCH FUN. The kids loved it, and played for about an hour.
They had a quick snack, and then went swimming when the lifeguard arrived.
Which brings us to supper time. We ate spaghetti, caesar salad, and rolls for dinner. After dinner we did an ice cream activity where you put the ice cream ingredients inside a small coffee can, and then put the small coffee can inside a large coffee can. The space between the two cans is then packed with crushed ice and road salt. All lids are duct-taped securely, and then the cans are kicked and rolled back and forth between the members for 25 minutes or so. They loved this, as you can imagine!
We had planned another camp fire for the night-time, but the kids just migrated towards the tables in the living area and started playing board and card games. They were having such a great time that we just let them play. We tried lights out again at midnight, but those rotten children were still up until the wee hours of the morning.
Friday morning everyone got up and packed up their personal belongings, and then took them outside to the lawn area. They had a breakfast of pancakes, sausages, ham, and OJ, and then they started cleaning the lodge according to a checklist. Kids are NOT very good cleaners.
They all left around 10 a.m. and Sean and I stayed behind to mop floors and check everything. It took quite awhile, and I was pretty dismayed at the things the kids didn't do. But, oh well. We finally left at noon and arrived home to find two ecstatic girls and one relieved husband!
It was a lot of work, but the kids had a great time so of course it was worth it. Will I do it again? No! No! No! Please remind me of that next spring when they're looking for another coordinator : )

Mothers to be...

It's so lovely to see Patience and Jordyn being nurturing!

Victoria Holiday

Let me start by apologizing about how long it's been since I've updated my blog. My very good friend Heather told me by email yesterday that "it must be about time to harvest" from my last blog entry, Gardening with Girlies, from so very long ago!

Now, onto our lovely Victoria holiday, which was such a wonderful time for all of us (except, maybe, those who stayed behind to take care of my many children!). The good news is that apparently Don and I have learned to NOT come back from a relaxing vacation expecting a new baby : ).

I brought my camera to Victoria but neglected to bring the charger. So, when my camera battery died the first day we arrived, Heather took over all picture-taking duties.

We had lovely meals out at restaurants that are not appropriate for small children. We toured Buchart Gardens. We had high tea at the Ellis House. We walked around Victoria in beautiful weather. We enjoyed ferry rides and car rides. And we stayed in an incredible two-room suite that was truly fit for royalty. It's almost a shame we never used the kitchen there!

The best part was catching up with my best friend from high school about what our lives have brought in the past twenty+ years. We have so much in common...we have two sons with such grand aspirations for their lives. Her Nolan will someday be the president of the US, and my Nathan will someday be a first-round draft pick in the NHL. We've decided that those two HAVE to meet.

Don and I came home to a very happy brood of kids, and very tired grandma and grandpa. Thanks to everyone who made it possible for us to get away for a long weekend. It was just what the doctor ordered.