Wednesday, April 30, 2008


What do you get a 42-year-old pregnant woman for her birthday?

Whatever she wants!

And what I wanted more than anything was a flock of laying hens! Don was not too excited about the prospect, but he delivered the goods anyway! He has yet to build them a chicken condo; until he does, they'll be inside with us...

Nathan & Sean's Excellent Adventure

This weekend Nathan and Sean are going on a YAG cruise with Sea Cadets; they even get to miss a day of school, and the weather is supposed to be nice! This will likely be Nathan's last onboard with cadets before he ages out at the end of the school year. It's been a great ride...

That means that on Friday Don and I will have only 2 children! Imagine that...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Nathan's Senior Portraits!

Are now online at Yary's!
  1. Go to:
  2. Click on the Online Studio Sessions button.
  3. Click on Nathan Murphy in the list.
  4. Enjoy!

Let me know if you'd like to order any!


Several years ago I heard about this method for making vegetable broth but never tried it until now. The concept is simple: keep a plastic bag or some sort of container in your freezer and place all veggie scraps in there: carrot peelings, mushroom stems, green bean ends, asparagus tops, tomato tops, celery and lettuce bottoms...just stuff you'd normally toss out (or compost). When your bag is full, place it all in a stock pot with seasonings (I used onion powder, garlic powder, and peppercorns). Bring to a slow boil and then simmer for a few hours. Strain. Use in any recipe calling for stock, or make your own soup. I'm going to make a nice veggie and noodle soup, which will be lunch for a few days.

I figure that if I'm feeding my family enough veggies, I should be able to make stock every other week or so.

What are you doing to stretch your grocery dollar?

Girls in the tub...

Don gave the girls a bath last night. This picture shows how big they both are now. Bikini bottoms compliments of mom...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm gonna be a part of it...

New York, New York!

Dylan left this morning at 7 for his first professional music tour of New York.

Last night he asked me, "If a talent scout finds me and offers me 2 million a year to stay and play in New York, should I accept the offer?" To which I replied, "Absolutely! With your first paycheck you can buy us plane tickets to come out and visit you!" Dylan, as you can tell, is not lacking in the self confidence department. I hope he's not too disappointed if he comes back contractless...

I just found out (Dylan claims I once knew this...but I chose to forget it) that Dylan comes home Saturday morning at 3:00 a.m. Yes, that's 3:00 in the morning. I mean, in the middle of the night. We need only to pick him up at Poppy, which is light years better than Vancouver International airport, but still! I'm thinking of paying Nathan $20 to provide the chauffeur service : )

Don and Waneta are here again this weekend. Don & Don are installing fencing in the back yard. We did another ton of yard work yesterday. Don, Dylan, and Nathan worked in the trees at Radnai's yesterday morning (Don was ecstatic with the amount of work they completed in 5 short hours), and then we all worked another 4 hours on our own yard. I made a potato bed and planted about 40 seed potatoes. My other seeds are starting to germinate. It's fun to go out and see the daily progress. Yesterday I saw the beets and the peas are starting to sprout.

Not much is happening this week. At least not much is scheduled to happen! I'm trying to locate a very small flock of layers, like 4. I think I finally have Don all talked into it.

Take care! Have a wonderful week...

Friday, April 25, 2008

A very good day...

This morning I slept until 7 (that's great!)
I made French Toast for breakfast (that's yummy AND my whole family thinks I'm wonderful!)
Nathan and I made it to his photography session on time, without getting lost.
His senior portraits are going to be fantastic, and he had a wonderful time there. Being in the "eye" of the camera is a very comfortable place for him.
We had a delicious lunch at Red Robin (Nathan said it was the best burger he's had in his life!)
We stopped at Wal-Mart and I got some clothes and sandals to wear on our cruise (thank you Jim & Elmer!)
We had an ice cream cone at Edaleen Dairy on the way home.
The border waits were minimal in both directions.
The Sharks play the first game of Round 2 tonight against Dallas.
Yes, a very good day indeed!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


We all breathed a collective sigh of relief last night as the San Jose Sharks advanced to the Western Conference Semi-finals.

It was a great game and I love the fact that the 38-year-old Jeremy Roenick was the star player last night with two goals and two assists. The Sharks now go onto battle with the Dallas Stars and Nathan is happy to have more Shark hockey to watch!

Dylan leaves Sunday for New York, and we are busy with preparations for his trip. Yesterday I took him out of school (gasp!) to get his hair cut and his banking done. Thanks to very generous grandparents, he now has a respectable amount of US spending money to take with him. He'll be able to eat when his meals aren't provided for him, and he'll be able to bring home a souvenir or two. This evening after supper we're going shopping to get him some new dress shoes. He's been wearing Don's everytime he's had a band or choir performance, but we can't have him taking Don's shoes for an entire week! Hopefully Dylan's feet are done growing and he can wear the new shoes for quite some time. He also needs swim trunks and maybe some dress clothes.

Nathan is presenting his portfolio at school right now. It's his final graduation requirement. He got his hair cut yesterday as well in preparation for his senior portraits that we're having done this Friday. We're going to do some shopping in Bellingham while we're down there as Nathan thinks it's about time that he have a suit to wear to formal events. He's hoping that Kelsey will meet us and help him choose one.

Sean is still mad about paintball. It's nice that he has a hobby, and I really don't mind the whole paintball scene. He bought himself a gun, some paintballs, and some o-rings with his portion of the trailer money (each of the boys got a pay-out), so now he's raring to go to paintball battle.

Patience and Jordyn are both doing well. I'm letting their hair grow and so they've been sporting ponytails, pigtails, and french braids lately. It's fun!

Don did sell the trailer last weekend. He was so happy to see it go. We took the family out to Pizza Hut to celebrate and then took the kids shopping so they could spend their portion of the proceeds. Dylan chose to go to Michelle's house instead, since he was using his money for his New York trip.

We've been having cold, clear weather here the past few days so Don has taken advantage of it and gotten the spraying done on our trees. Just in the nick of time, as today it's raining again.

On Saturday I spent about 6 hours at cadets making lunch for 80 cadets plus officers. There were 4 of us in the morning, making soup, sandwiches, and veggie platters. After lunch, only two of us hung around to clean up. There were so many leftovers that we were able to make sack lunches for 24 cadets who ran in the Vancouver Sun Run the next day, and 10 more sack lunches for cadets who were going to the range. After those lunches were all made, the two of us split up the leftovers. I brought home so much food that we've not had to shop for anything except milk since!

Here are the kids after the Sun Run. Nathan's in the front row, and you can see Sean's head about 4 or 5 rows back:

While Don and Waneta were here last week, Don Sr. built me a new planter box for strawberries! Waneta bought us three different varieties of plants: two of June-bearing, and one everbearing, so we should be rich in strawberries this summer. Yeah!

I think that's about all the news and non-news from our neck of the woods.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Going, going, gone!

The trailer, that is.

It has served us well these past 5 years, but Don is in the process of selling it right now.
A handy-man bought it, which we are happy about, because a twenty-seven year old trailer is going to need ongoing maintenance and repairs. He brought us a $200 non-refundable deposit this morning, and will pick it up Friday or Saturday and pay the balance then. We have a few little things we want to do with the money, but the bulk of it is going in a term deposit to pay for a Carribean cruise for our 20th anniversary. Yes, that's not for two years, but you know how Don and I love to have something to look forward to!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gotta LOVE Freecycle!

Guess what someone gave us today, for free?
People two towns over owned their pool for two years but decided that last year they didn't use it nearly enough, so the husband said, "Get rid of it!" The wife offered it on Freecycle, and I was lucky enough to be the first one to respond.
We aren't going to set it up for awhile yet. It'll go in the backyard, and so far the backyard is nothing but piles of dirt that need spreading, tamping, and seeding.
But this summer we'll have a pool, even if it is only the above-ground variety. I'm sure in August we'll appreciate it a lot!
If you haven't heard of freecycle, it's a mailing list of people who subscribe. You can either offer the things you no longer want/need to people who would still find use for them, or you can ask for something, and give someone the chance to offload something they no longer want. It works out really well. For more information, go to and search for the city closest to you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Work Day at the Farm

We spent all day in this gorgeous weather doing outside work and projects. Dylan had "Annie" rehearsal at 11:30, so he was only here in the morning, but the rest of us (minus the girls) worked

When Jordyn took her nap, I took advantage of the time and planted seeds in my "square-foot-gardening" planter boxes. In this planter we have lettuce, carrots, beets, swiss chard, rutabagas, parsnips, bush beans, onions, leeks, and I think some other stuff that I can recall right now. Oh yeah, kohlrabi is in there, too.

Then I moved onto the second box and planted yellow bush beans, more lettuce, and more carrots. The rest of the squares are reserved for broccoli, cauliflower, and basil, which I'm staring indoors.

This planter box never got "sqare-footed" so I planted three rows of corn, lengthwise in it. I'm going to plant squash and cucumbers in between the rows.

This is the next bed that we got cleaned up and ready for planting. This is a Tulip tree with lovely lavendar flowers that will bloom soon. We'll plant flowers in this bed.

We spent the morning emptying our travel trailer, getting it ready for sale. Nathan washed the outside, and I put an ad on Craigslist. So far we have had 5 enquiries about it, with 2 people coming out tomorrow after church to look at it. Of course now Don is afraid that we under-priced it, but I would just as soon sell it quickly than make a few hundred more pesky dollars.

Here is another of Nathan's projects. He cleared away in front of the house and put in black rubber lawn edging, making me a nice bed to plant more flowers. Don did some work on the basement windows, which never have been properly framed after Don remodeled the basement two years ago.

Here is my little bed that I can see from my kitchen window. I planted petunias in it, and I'll also plant some taller flowers behind the petunias.

This bed is opposite the petunias. These are the blueberry bushes that Nathan transplanted a few weeks ago. Right around the corner from these two are three more. That's lots of blueberries!
After such a hard day working, we picked up Dylan at school and then we all went out to dinner in Langley. It was a nice break, but none of us were impressed with our meals. We should have just gone to Pizza Hut like Nathan requested; you can't go wrong with Pizza Hut!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Late-Breaking News!

A certain 2-year-old at our house just used the toilet for more than just pee! WooHoo! Life is getting pretty easy around here...


Yeah! It's Friday! Of course Friday's are decidedly less exciting when you're a stay-at-home-mom, since there really isn't a break in the routine...

Nathan took his Petty Officer 1st class boards (practical and written tests) last weekend. He figured he was wasting a day because he wasn't ready for them and would probably fail. But he didn't! Well, he did fail one area, but he can study up and then retake that portion of the test at his home corps.

I made Nathan's appointment to have his graduation portraits taken. We're going to Bellingham because that's apparently the family tradition and when I told him they scheduled him for an hour so he can do "costume changes" if he wanted, he surprised me by being excited about that. He's bringing his Sharks jersey and a hockey stick (I know you're shocked), his cadet uniform, his basketball uniform, and a cap and gown if he can borrow one from the school. It should be lots of fun.

Tonight Don and Nathan are going to Vancouver to watch a minor-league hockey game (Vancouver Giants). They are also in their playoff series just like the NHL. Go Sharks!

This weekend we thankfully have nothing on the agenda. Don and the boys are going to hopefully get some yard work done, as our backyard is pretty much a muddy shambles from when we redid the septic field. The weather is finally supposed to be nice on Saturday.

Everyone is happy, healthy, and keeping busy here.

We are now exactly 5 weeks away from setting sail with Frank and Heather to Mexico. That's a happy thought!

And I think that's all the news there is, folks. I'll try to post some pictures this weekend of our work party.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Absolutely hysterical video...

You've really got to watch this:

Saturday, April 5

This morning, both of my girls woke up at 7ish and headed downstairs to watch t.v. In other words, this could have been the beginning of a whole new world of sleeping in for Don and me. Except that we'll be having a new baby in a few months who probably won't sleep past 7 and then be content to watch television until mommy and daddy get up. Oh well, sleep is overrated.
Nathan left before 6 this morning to go to an all-day cadet test. He got promoted to Petty Officer 1st Class on Tuesday night and now he has to go take a practical exam to "get qualified." He'll be teaching classes and showing what he knows in all sorts of subject matter, because when you're a P.O., you're expected to do most of the teaching at the corps. Which is good. Nathan doesn't feel very confident about today, which is unusual for him, but I hope he is pleasantly surprised.
Sean and a group of friends went paintballing yesterday after school. Paintballing is Sean's new hobby and passion, after having been invited to a paintballing birthday party last weekend. He now owns Cody's old paintball gun.
Dylan had girlfriend Michelle over yesterday evening. Not much new to report there. She's still a really nice girl, and Dylan is still a very polite and agreeable child just so long as everything is going his way.
Don and his dad (and a couple of friends with an excavator) put in a new septic field for us last weekend out in the backyard. Now the area that used to be the parking lot is a big muddy field. Our plan is to actually have a lawn out there, so Don had 4 or 5 dump-truck loads (lots) of topsoil delivered yesterday. It came from the church property, where they're finally excavating for the church building. So, Don and the boys have a pretty big day of work ahead of them spreading out this topsoil, which is really in rough condition (rocks, roots). When it's pretty much spread out, our equipment friend will come back with a special tractor that's used to tamp down the soil. Then we'll seed it and (hopefully) have a lawn in a couple of months!
Dorothy called yesterday morning and asked if she could come visit, which prompted me to kick it into high gear and start doing some of the things on my list from yesterday! I should have visitors more often : )
Today I've got to plan my menu and then do some grocery shopping. And laundry (always). Fun times here in Aldergrove : )
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Things I SHOULD be doing right now...

instead of sitting at my computer:

switching the laundry
making my bed
loading the dishwasher
straightening up the girls' playroom

I could easily accomplish this all in the 30 minutes I have before I have to pick up Patience from school. Don took Jordyn to run some errands, so I wouldn't even have her "help." But I am apparently glued to this chair...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Baby News...

I had my first prenatal appointment for this baby today. Here in Canada, you go to your regular family doctor for the first 20-24 weeks unless you have a high-risk pregnancy, which I think is a great way of keeping medical expenses in check. Dr. Morgan did all the regular stuff: weight, blood pressure, blah, blah, blah. He found the heartbeat right away; it was 160 bpm. Then we started discussing who I wanted for an OB/GYN this time around. I told him that I wanted to go see any doctor who would be willing to give me a scheduled c-section. I was kind of expecting a little resistance to this plan, so I had my laundry list of great reasons to have a scheduled c-section all ready. But to my surprise, he said, "I think that's a very logical and reasonable request for your sixth baby, and I think any OB/GYN in the area would agree." So we chose the one who I thought is most amenable to high-intervention births, Dr. Dornan. He's a very nice, grandfatherly gentleman, who has the most lovely Irish accent! So, it looks like I'll be having this baby in late September (they always schedule c-sections for 38 weeks) and now I can start planning and preparing. It's really a huge relief to know that I won't be sitting around waiting for contractions, and that I won't be enduring another drug-free labor. Those suck.