Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Last Sunday

Since yesterday, we've been having "lasts." The last Saturday with Nathan. Today is the last Sunday with Nathan. The last church with Nathan. Oh sure, he'll be here again on Saturdays and Sundays, but not as our child living at home with our adult child who is visiting on his leaves.

Today at church Doug called Nathan up to the front and interviewed him. He asked Nathan why he had chosen the USCG, a little bit about rescue swimming, and then how he would like people to pray for him while he's in boot camp and afterwards. We are so proud of him, but I find I vacillate between being so proud and happy for him (not to mention being so thankful that he found his calling, and is acting on it, before his 19th birthday) and being so sad to see him go. We're going to miss him so badly, and I'm afraid there will be less laughter around here. Maybe his new little brother will fill Nathan's shoes in the entertainment department.

Nathan has definitely made the most of his last two weeks at home. He's been out socially everyday except yesterday, when he went to work with Don at Radnai's. He ran the shearing machine, and according to Don did a great job considering it was his first time running the machine. The shearing machine is like an 8-foot chainsaw blade that you wear at an angle on your back. You walk around the tree and the chainsaw shears the trees quickly. Most people, when they first run the machine, just wreck trees and then you have to let them grow another year before you can sell them, so Don was really happy to see Nathan doing such a good job. Don got results on Friday of his x-rays that he had taken because his neck has been hurting so badly and for so long. He apparently has degenerative disk disease, where the disks in his neck are disintegrating. He also has some sort of arthritis. He's on Advil 4x a day, and is having to curtail his farm work considerably. Right when things are getting really busy as far as getting his trees ready for sale. He and Sean are at Radnai's right now for a few hours. He's hoping Nathan and Dylan can work with him tomorrow and Tuesday, but then Dylan starts school Wednesday.

Anyway, on a brighter note, here is Jordyn today when we got home from church. She's absolutely adorable, in my humble opinion:

It is getting more and more difficult to take a good picture of her, as she holds still for 1/2 a second, and then runs over to "see the picture."

Another piece of good news: Don and I upgraded our couch in the new family room. We had a very cheap black futon couch/bed in front of the t.v., but it went from being uncomfortable to downright unusable after Nathan had a movie night and 5 teens were sitting on it. We went to the Brick yesterday and bought a black leather sofa for a great price. Don went and picked it up at the warehouse last night, and we watched The Best of Will Farrell (I'd hate to see the worst) on it last night. Oh, and we got another new piece of furniture yesterday, too: my friend Pam gave us the rocker/glider she had when her twin boys were born. I'm sure it'll come in so handy when the baby is born. Right now the girls just take turns rocking in it.

I am now officially ready for the baby. We have a crib (thanks Mom & Lee!), we have clothes for the first 6 months or so (thanks Pam!), we have diapers (finally), and I even have a hospital bag packed with diapers, clothes, etc. I feel extremely organized.

Today Nathan is at lunch with a friend from church who wasn't able to make it to his Launch Party last weekend. When he gets home I'm afraid it's time to start packing the Boot Camp Bag.

And tomorrow will be the last Monday...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Cactus Cuties Sing the National Anthem

Prepare yourself for goosebumps, chills, and maybe even tears. I tried to ask Dylan a music-related question about this after we watched it together and I had a huge lump in my throat...

The National Anthem the way Francis Scott Key wanted it sung

Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome Home, Nathan!

On Friday morning Lee and Tiffany went to the airport to pick up Nathan. Mom and I spent the time doing last-minute shopping for the party.

They arrived home to warm sunny weather and Don took us all to Krause's Berry Farm for refreshments. Yummy!

These photos were taken by Lee and Mom at Krause's (and a couple here at the house) and you can see how happy Nathan is to be home and how happy we all are to have him back!

Welcome Home, Nathan!

Nathan's Launch Party

Yesterday we threw Nathan a Bon Voyage party before he leaves for his Coast Guard career. Despite rainy weather (in August, for crying out loud!) we had a great time and Nathan was able to say goodbye to more than 80 of his closest friends and relatives!

Rather than try to post a gazillion pictures, I created another photo montage for your viewing pleasure. Thank you, Lee, for being our resident photographer. You and Mom are much appreciated for all your hard work and cheery attitudes this week!

Nathan's Launch Party photos

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

T minus 5 days and counting...

Nathan's party is in 5 days. We've received RSVPs from around 75 people, and many more I haven't heard from but they might show up! That equates to a lot of food, and a lot of work.

Thankfully, Don is taking the two girls along with Dylan to Merritt to visit his parents for the next two days. I can accomplish about 20 times the amount of work without the girls around. Thankfully, also, Mom and Lee are flying in tomorrow (at least that's the plan...they're flying stand-by) and they are always ready and willing to help in whatever way they're needed. And thankfully, Waneta is coming Friday so she'll be here for all of the food prep, which is really her area of expertise!

I'm hoping the weather cooperates for Sunday. Right now they're predicting showers. Can you believe that? Showers in August? It rained all night long last night and you can see how happy all of the plants, bushes, and lawns are.

Today my goal is to get sheets washed and rooms ready for people to occupy when they arrive. And to pack for the girls' 2-day holiday.

Nathan comes home Friday morning. It'll be great to have him back. I told him last night on the phone that he could rest and relax all he wanted after Sunday, but that there would be some work for him to do on Friday and Saturday. His reply: "I have an idea. Why don't you do all the work before I get home?" That's when I handed the phone to Tiffany, who has been very helpful in entertaining Nathan when he calls a million several times a day. Friday night he called and talked for an hour and 40 minutes. He is done. And to add insult to injury, all of the other staff cadets from his corps get to leave today, while Nathan stays 3 more days to scrape barnacles off of the bottom of piers. He'll be so happy to be home.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bathroom Renovation Progress...

In 90-degree heat, Don has painted and replaced the linoleum in the small bathroom. In the process of replacing the floor, he discovered that the old toilet probably leaked, which is most likely why the old lino was so stained right around the toilet. So, at 7:30 last night, he ran off to Home Depot to get a new toilet. I won't mention that when we were there Thursday night I suggested that we get a new toilet because there were low-flow ones on sale for $99. Nope. It wasn't a good idea on Thursday night.

Anyway, Don gets the new toilet home and starts installing it. And then one of the two bolts that secures the toilet to the flange falls down the pipe. I kid you not. Back to Home Depot to buy a bolt for the second side of the toilet. Those two unplanned trips to Home Depot really raised the stress level around here as you can imagine.

But as of this morning, we now have two working toilets again (very important since two little girls don't "plan ahead" about using the goes from "I don't have to go" to "It's an emergency" within a 30-second span. So having a second toilet is not only handy, but necessary.
Most of the baseboard trim is down. The window trim is cut and ready for hanging.

But the most exciting portion of our day starts at 1:00...when Tom Bennett, Nathan's friend from cadets and school (who graduated a few years ago and is now a tile layer) comes over to install tile! We've had water condensation problems on the sheetrock above the shower surround so we're tiling that entire area. I mean Tom is. Tiffany and I went to Home Depot yesterday and picked up very plain, very white tile. Tom is supplying everything else...the glue, the grout, the tile cutter, and his experience and charging us an hourly rate so low that we probably spent more money just getting to and from Home Depot yesterday (three times) than we will pay him for his labours. Don't worry. We'll make sure he feels like it was worth his time coming here. We'll ply him with Krause's milkshakes and short cakes, there will be beautiful girls (Tiffany) and willing helpers (Sean).

Again, this room is so small that it's difficult to take pictures of what the room looks like now. So if you'd like to see it, please come visit us!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let the Renovations Begin....Again

Two more renovations are underway at the Murphy home: both bathrooms, but not concurrently!

Don and I took the girls to Home Depot last night and picked up primer, bathroom paint, ceiling paint, door & trim paint, sheetrock, a new light fixture, and vinyl flooring adhesive to the tune of $300.00. That's not too bad for both bathrooms!

Don sprayed at Radnai's yesterday so he won't want to work in the trees until Monday at the earliest, so it looks like this weekend he'll try to get the downstairs bathroom done. Then if he ever gets another break in his "paid" work he can tackle the upstairs one.

It's certainly never boring around here!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seven Weeks

In seven short weeks, I will be home from the hospital, recuperating from my c-section and getting to know this baby. That just doesn't seem possible.

That means I have six weeks to get ready. We are now one step closer to being ready as my parents graciously bought us this crib and all we need to do is head down to Langley with the truck and pick it up!

Time is just flying by though. Sure, the days are long. But the weeks are short.

Meet Tiffany....

I've sang the praises of Sea Cadets for four years now, ecstatic with the unique opportunities it has provided to Nathan and hopefully, to Sean. In addition to camp and summer jobs, cadets meet other cadets from all over Canada and internationally. Last year Nathan met Tiffany, who also worked in the Boatshed. Working hard with a small group of cadets for 8 weeks forges a strong bond, and Nathan still keeps in touch with several of those people.

Tiffany is going to UVic starting this fall, taking Marine Biology courses. She's one smart cookie! Her temporary roommate situation in Victoria turned very sour so she's now staying with us for the remainder of the summer. In late August she'll return to Victoria and move into the dorms.

It's been so nice having an older teen (read "driver") around again! Yesterday she took Dylan shopping for school shoes. He wasn't able to find any at our "pathetic" mall...he needs to go into MetroTown to find acceptable shoes. But Tiffany was able to find a few things during the trip! She's also taken up Storm as her personal responsibility. He now gets lots of pats, and even a walk last night!

Nathan is beside himself that now we're all here, and he's stuck at Quadra. He told me last night that he's officially done, but staying there just for the money at this point. Today all of the course cadets graduate. They'll be shipped home tonight and tomorrow, and a large majority of the staff cadets will leave this weekend. The staff cadets who remain at Quadra are the worker bees...boatshed, maintenance, etc. They'll do the hard work scraping barnacles off of the bottom of the pier. No wonder Nathan wishes he could be at home instead.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last week in a nutshell...

was wonderful! Almost retreat-like with the time Heather and I had to catch up, visit, share, and crochet! She just wrote a lovely blog post complete with great pictures (she has a really nice camera) so I'm just going to linky-dink you to it and you can see what I've been up to.
I'm planning on being back to reality tomorrow, and that would include blogging : )