Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Renovation continued...

Here's the t.v. wall with the little cubby that will hold the t.v. and its accoutrements. Don built the cable and a couple of outlets in there so it will (hopefully) look tidy. Two sconces will go in those two circles on either side of the t.v. The hanging lamp will be moved...

Here are the other two walls, just to give you an idea of the color of the room. It's a taupe-y color, definitely with a hint of pink. I think it looks great with the flooring, as well as the kitchen counters.

Don needs to trim the windows and the put the baseboards back in, and the room will at least be usable. There is still painting to do in that room, and then we'll work on furnishing it.

Our other project...

I know this will come as a shock to most people. In fact, no one could have been more shocked than Don or me, or the urologist who just did Don's vasectomy in October!

We knew we were expecting for awhile, but didn't know how far along I was until I had my ultrasound appointment this afternoon. I am around 7 1/2 weeks along, and due around October 11.

Don and I are slowly finding peace with our new reality, and we're firm in our faith that God is in control and knows what He is doing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scope Creep

If there's one thing that Don and I are really good at, it's scope creep. As in, you start with a minor, easy, inexpesive, short, simple construction project. Then, you slowly but surely improve your project until it's difficult, expensive, lengthy, and complicated! Oh, and better. Much better.

Now, to be honest, I am the one who is usual guilty of coming up with the brilliant ideas that add to the scope creep. Don, who wants nothing more than to make me happy, and who is capable of just about anything construction-wise, always manages to make my ideas actually happen.

This is our new living area, in the suite that Don and Waneta recently vacated. They had the windows replaced a year ago, but never finished the sheetrock because they didn't want to put up with the construction mess. Who could blame them?

So, Don and I started out with this list of what we had to do to finish this room: tape and mud the sheetrock, sand, prime, paint. Voila!

Until I decided that it would be cool to get a flat-screen tv and hang it on the wall, making this the boys' ultimate hang-out room. I asked Don to remove several windows on one wall and turn that into a real wall. It was Don's idea to build a little nook in the wall for the t.v. and components to sit in, so they wouldn't take up any space in the little room.

We decided to get a small big t.v. to keep the expenses down, etc. We decided 32 inch. The boys are used to a 27 inch t.v., so we figured that was plenty big. But there was scope creep there, too. Yesterday Don went into town around noon. At four, I started getting nervous and suspicious. Sure enough, he came home all sheepish with a 42-inch t.v. from Costco. Apparently a great deal, not that he would tell me the price, but I'm thinking it was considerably more than the 32-inch.

We'll be working on this house forever.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dinner with Madilyn Rae

Oh yeah, and all of her adoring public!

She was absolutely perfect last night. She slept soundly all through supper. We had to wake her up at the very end so that we could snuggle her up and take these photos. She's very cuddly. And wonderful. Ahhhhh....

Thursday, February 14, 2008


In case you didn't know, I'm in the middle of a "Biggest Loser" contest at an internet message board that I post at. Just like the t.v. program, the stakes are high. Everyone chipped in $20 at the beginning, bringing the pot to a whopping $300. Everyone sent in initial weights, and then we weigh in every Monday a.m. The person to lose the biggest percentage of their body weight by the end of the 12th week wins the pot.

I am currently in the lead at the end of the 6th week, but not by a wide margin! I have lost a little over 8.5%, and another woman is right behind me at almost 8%.

My strategy is simple. I eat according to the South Beach diet principles. And I don't cheat. Okay, I cheated one time in the past 6 weeks, so it's not even worth mentioning, right?

Here's what I eat: breakfast is always steel-cut oats cooked in water and skim milk, topped with splend, plus coffee with skim milk; lunch is a sandwich with cheddar cheese, avacado, tomato, lettuce, and peppers on either 1/2 bagel or 2 pieces of whole-grain bread, depending on what's for supper; supper is some sort of yummy protein (tonight is roast in the crock pot), a salad, a veggie, and a grain. I only eat the grain if it is brown rice, or whole-grain pasta. If I'm hungry in the afternoon, I'll eat a piece of whole-grain toast with peanut butter.

So, I'm basically limiting my grains to 2 or 3 servins/day, and avoiding all white flour. No potatoes, no white rice, and no grains alone. The idea behind SBD is that you want to keep your stomach busy digesting as long as possible. Adding a protein, like the peanut butter on the toast, slows down the digestion process considerably.

I'm eating lots of calories, and I'm not hungry. But I am losing weight...I've averaged 2 pounds/week during this contest. And I feel great. Cutting the refined sugars and flours helps you lose weight and feel better.

Wish me luck on the home stretch of my Biggest Loser contest! The money will come in very handy on this weekend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's Fun

This morning I took the girls to Storytime at the Library. They heard stories, sang songs, did some crafts (including making these glasses), and then all got stamps on their hands and a goody-bag of candy! If we go again, I think the girls are going to have pretty high expectations from that candy bag. Afterward, we played on the playground for just a few minutes because, even though the sun was out, it was freezing.

Don is out running errands with Jordyn. Dylan and Nathan are getting haircuts after school, and the rest of us are just hanging out here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Music to a Mom's Ears... wafting upstairs from the wee room that now houses the Foosball table. At the table, Nathan and Dylan are screaming and yelling, but not swearing, through a viscious Foosball battle. It's so nice that they're able to enjoy each other's company like this. We are fortunate.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our Magnificent Weekend of 2008

Remember our lovely Victoria weekend that we spent with Frank and Heather last year? Remember how it nearly killed our childcare providers? Remember how we (as in the 4 who were in Victoria) had so much fun we decided that we needed to spend another long weekend together in 2008?

Well, guess what Heather and I just did this evening?
Here's a hint:

That's right! We just booked a 3-day Carnival cruise to Mexico in May. Ahhhhh....I'm already starting to relax just knowing that in three short months we'll be living the good life off the shore of Baja California.
We're using airmiles to fly from Seattle to Los Angeles, so it really will be a whirl-wind trip. We leave Friday a.m. and get back Monday night.
More good news on the subject: my incredible, magnificent parents are returning to take care of the girls. Don and I were willing to just leave the girls with the boys, but Mom and Lee didn't feel comfortable with that. Now, I know that if we left the girls with the boys, no one would have a good weekend (except Don and me), and none of the kids would like each other by Monday night, and the house would be a disaster area, but really, I think the girls would be okay. Like, they wouldn't be needing medical attention or anything... But really and truly, everyone will be happier to have Grandma and Grandpa here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Whole foods at my fingertips...

Now, I know this won't be an interesting entry for many people, so feel free to skip it and go watch Jordyn's montage below : )

I used to store all of these foods in my pantry in Tupperware canisters, but I found it cumbersome to make several trips back and forth from the pantry to the counter. So when I got gift cards to Ikea for Christmas, I started a collection of these glass apothecary canisters and put my most-used ingredients in them. This morning Dylan and I went shopping at Canadian SuperStore and I bought some more for a great price.

With this setup, I can whip up pancakes, waffles, bread dough, and even lots of dinners without stepping away from the counter once. And, because I want my canisters and their beautiful contents to be the focal-point of my kitchen, it motivates me to keep the counters clean.

In addition to this little bit of organization and the grocery shopping, I covered my grey, chauffered Sean from a cadet activity to a birthday party, and dyed Nathan's comforter covers teal to help his room look more like a Shark Tank. And all this while Don puts in his second 10-hour day in a row. Tonight's supper: leftovers.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Guess who won...

...the Best New Entry award at the cadets semi-annual review last night?

OC Murphy! This award has been given out since 1961 and there are three names on the trophy from cadets who are now commanders in the Canadian Navy. It's very cool that Sean's name will be among them!

Monday, February 04, 2008


Last week was bittersweet in that Don and Waneta came back to Aldergrove to pack up the last of their stuff. It was sad to see them go and we will miss them very much. Patience went into their empty suite and said, "Where's Grandpa's chair?" There is NO furniture at all anywhere, and she asked about the chair that she sat in with her grandpa. I told her that all of their stuff was now in their big house, and she said, "I don't want them to move to their big house. I want them to stay in their little house down the hall." She always enjoyed visiting Waneta and having "tea," or sitting with Don and watching t.v.

We moved Dylan in during the week last week. He had no school Thursday or Friday due to semester break.

On Saturday, Don and Nathan went to Langley to pick up the double bed that Dorothy gave us for Sean's room. He was gone all day to a cadet self-defense workshop, so he came home to his room all ready to move into.

I did some shopping in Langley on Saturday to buy a birthday gift, and I ended up in Michael's in their art/frame section. They were having a 60% off sale on their large frames so I purchased quite a few. Now all the kids' posters and pictures are in proper frames instead of just being taped to the wall. Looks much better. I framed Dylan's trumpet picture and bought him two other prints and frames. They look fantastic in his moss-colored room. I bought Sean frames for his swimming and basketball frames and purchased him another gorgeous print and frame that match his teal-colored room perfectly. Framed artwork make their rooms look so much more put together.

Yesterday after church we had a "Murphy family work party" and made some changes to the basement that used to house all three boys.

The little room that used to be Sean's was empty. So we moved the Foosball table from the shop, where it had been stored for two years, into that room. And that's all that's in there! How funny going from practically stacking our children to now having a room dedicated to a Foosball table!

The room that Dylan and Nathan used to share is now Nathan's. He has two twin beds and two armoirs, so he has lots of room for his "stuff." We framed and hung his Sharks posters, hung up a coat rack for him, and just generally got him organized. It's a shame he has so little time to enjoy having his own space, but we're encouraging him to make the most of it during his last five months at home.

Renovations continue as quickly as Don can fit in the work, as he's already working full-time at the computer stuff. He's concentrating on finishing the living space of the suite right now. When we had the windows replaced two Christmases ago, the sheetrock never did get mudded and taped. So he'll do that and then we'll paint the rest of the suite and hallway. The bathroom down there (now the boys' bathroom) needs a bit of work. Then we'll move upstairs and do some work up here. More on that later.

Last night when we went to bed, I told Don that it felt so strange to have our family so spread out!