Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The school year wraps up...

No new pictures to post...actually I took a hysterical series of Jordyn trying to diaper herself yesterday but I don't think it's appropriate for the internet.

The weather here has been lovely: dry, sunny or a little cloudy, not too warm. The girls and I spent most of yesterday outside playing, watching the chickens, and working in the gardens (okay, the girls didn't do much gardening).

I got my flower bed weeded and planted with the seedlings I started. I have several volunteer cosmos and bachelor buttons thanks to plants going to seed last year. To those I added Dahlias, Aster, and Lobelia. Oh, and I put a cherry tomato plant out there with the flowers because it gets lovely souther exposure and it's protected from the rain under the eaves. It's a Sweet 1,000,000 that Don and Waneta sent down with the chicken house. They started about a billion plants this year from seed...one of the benefits of being retired and living in a huge house with no children. I'm going to plant my basil in this bed, too. I found out yesterday that I get winded when I bend over from sitting on my garden scoot to pull weeds. I guess my lungs are already getting crowded. Time to switch to knee pads, I guess.

Sean came home yesterday with a sheaf of permission forms and notices for end-of-the-year field trips and programs. Since he's "graduating" there are even more than normal. He'll be going to the high school in a few weeks and taking the Grade 8 math final. If he does well on it he'll skip Math 8 and go straight to Math 9.

This weekend is the Annual Ceremonial Review for cadets. That takes place pretty much all Sunday, and then that evening is Dylan's final choir concert.

Nathan came home last night from drop-in hockey up at the church on the corner, all excited because he was invited to participate in a weekend-long ball hockey tournament in June. The winners apparently get to play a televised game in March. I didn't have the heart to remind him that he won't be here in March. So now I don't know if I should hope he wins or loses.

Dylan took a day-long Foodsafe course for his job at the berry farm across the street, which he begins June 14. He said it was all common sense, and that he could have taken the test at the beginning of the day and gotten a 90%, but after hearing lectures and watching videos all.day.long he actually got a 95%. He was surprised that many of the adults taking the class actually failed.

Sean still hasn't heard whether or not he will be going to summer camp this year. There were 5,000 applications for 1,500 spots so it doesn't look good statistically speaking. I don't know what he'll do with his summer if doesn't get in...he didn't register for summer swimming based on the fact that he'd be gone for three strategic weeks. Maybe I'll put him on Greyhound and let him visit all of his grandparents far and wide : ).

Patience's preschool class has a field trip today. They're walking to a local park (less than 1/4 mile). The weather is miraculously cooperating!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Hens...

Here is the hen house, all stained and lined with shavings and the hen pen. The pen is hardware cloth to keep bad things out and good things in. Tomorrow Don will put hardware cloth on the top, too. He ran out of steam today. : )

The chicks are almost fully feathered. They are Rhode Island Reds, I think.

There are two stumps in their pen which provide hours of fun!

Queen of the Mountain!

Don teaching the chicks how to go up the gang plank.

He put four in the house and left two on the ground, waiting to see what they would do. They were clearly distressed, but it took them a looooong time to figure out how to get reunited.

There is apparently one smart bird in the flock.
I love having the hens. They're so entertaining to watch...

Edible landscaping...

I'm trying to use every available centimeter for food production this year. Here are a few strategies for using edible plants in my landscaping...


...will grow nicely up this fence.

Pole beans...

...will climb up my front porch and porch railing. They will need some support for climbing the cement (on Don's "honey-do" list).

Winter squash...

...will grow along the border of this bed, out onto the cement area. Yes, it will block the path to the front door, but we rarely use that door anyway.

Chicken Coop

Don Sr. built me this chicken coop for my birthday. Don picked it up yesterday in Hope and today he's putting the finishing touches on it along with fencing a chicken yard! I'm very excited to get these hens outside where livestock belongs (stinky!).

Garden Progress

As you can see, the garden progress is s-l-o-w because of the wet and cool weather we've been having. Aside from a few warm days, it's felt like March since, well, March...

Happy strawberries

1 of my square-foot gardening bed. These beds have the disadvantage of having Storm tromp through them when something interesting is on the other side of the fence.
This was supposed to be my corn bed, but only about six corn plants germinated. They must have gotten eaten up by the crows or squirrels. So I planted my squash plants in there instead: pumpkins, cukes, and winter squash.

Happy potatoes.

Another Day Brightener...

Day Brighteners...

...for those who need them ((((hugs)))).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I don't want to jinx myself...

...but I haven't changed a poopy diaper in three days!

We knew he was good...

...but his music teachers apparently think he's "outstanding!"

Last night Sean and I attended Dylan's end-of-the-year band concert and at the end they presented awards. Dylan, along with Tia Anderlini and James MacMillan (who left before I was able to snap a picture) are the three Outstanding Undergraduate Musicians. Dylan feels like he is in great company as he really admires Tia and James' musical talent.

Dylan has three more concerts, including a talent show on June 8 where he will sing a duet (And Then There Was Music) with Cassie Marno. The fun never ends...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hola! Estamos en casa...

What a grand and glorious holiday we had with our good friends Frank and Heather Smith. It may have been just a tad bit too short, but that's really the only thing I can think to complain about! We spent hours eating and playing games, which is the ideal way to spend time on a vacation according to the Murphys and Smiths : ) Other than the eating and playing games, we did a little shopping in Ensenada and took in some shows on the ship. Here are our favorite holiday pics, in chronological order:

Frank and Heather about to board the ship.

Here are Don and me about to board the ship. The Queen Mary is in the background.
I love this picture of Heather and me...I just wish I could Photoshop our hair! This is the top deck of the ship on the first evening.
Frank, Heather, and me ashore at Ensenada. We spent the morning shopping here. You can clearly see the baby in this picture!

This was a huge Mexican flag flying in the coastal fog. Someone with a really nice camera would have had a hayday with it!
Wild and crazy Heather after one too many margaritas!
: )
This was actually a mask that they bought for their son, Nolan, who did a great job of holding down the fort while they were gone.

Going back to the ship in Ensenada.

We're just finishing breakfast in the dining room on Sunday morning.

Heather and I learning how to make animals out of towels...yet another skill we now possess!
Cribbage on the deck, with food and drink a mere few steps away. Life was pretty sweet...

Monday, May 12, 2008

18 weeks plus a couple of days...

I can't even imagine what 38 weeks will look like!
Everything is going well pregnancy-wise. I have my OB/GYN appointment a week from Wednesday and my ultrasound is June 12. I'm hoping to find out the gender at that appointment.
Oh yeah...the baby is moving around a lot now, and I'm getting Braxton-Hicks contractions frequently.

Patience Sleeping...

with her ever-growing entourage...

P.S. When I took these pictures I noticed that Patience sleeps with her eyes open (a little) just like Dylan! It's the freakiest thing when they're asleep but staring right at you...it must be a genetic defect...

Photography By Patience

Let me know if you'd like to book a photo shoot with her...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy Birthday Patience!

This morning Patience slept peacefully until 7:30, while the rest of the family willed her awake to enjoy her birthday surprises. When she finally woke up, she was thrilled with her decorations.

Big brother Sean helped her see and enjoy each of her treasures!

Here is Patience with her American Girl doll, Alice, who is wearing her doggie costume.

Here is Patience holding her Backyardigan friends: Pablo, Tasha, Austin, Tyrone, and Uniqua.

And finally, here is the beloved scooter. Jordyn also likes the scooter. A lot. I have a feeling this will become the bone of contention until Jordyn gets her own scooter. For now Patience is being very kind in taking turns with Jordyn.

Happy birthday, Sweetheart! You've blessed our lives for 4 wonderful years and we continue to thank the Lord for you!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Preparing for Patience's Birthday

Tonight after Patience went to bed Sean, Dylan, and I assembled her scooter and decorated for her birthday. She got an American Girl doll with clothes from Grandma and Papa Lee, a scooter from Don and me, and a Backyardigan stuffie from each of her five siblings. Oh, and there's candy, too.
I can't wait to see the look on her face tomorrow morning.

Mother's Day Tea

Patience's preschool had a Mother's Day Tea this morning. Don watched Jordyn so I was able to go and enjoy myself without the benefit of a pre-preschooler. Here are the kids singing us their songs.

After our musical entertainment, the kids served us Strawberry Shortcake. Here is Patience with her best friend, Danica.

After our refreshment, each of the kids presented his/her mom with a flower in a hand-decorated pot.

Here is my friend, Pam, who is Danica's mom.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Nathan is going on a drama trip that leaves tomorrow. It's in Summerland, several hours away, and he's there through the weekend with his drama teacher (Nathan's favorite) and several other students. One of the activities for the drama festival is a costume banquet. All of the guys decided they'd go as superheros, and all the girls are going to be leading ladies. Nathan rented this costume today...

Here is a damsel that doesn't want rescuing...

Here is a more willing damsel (lighter, too!).