Thursday, May 21, 2009

Boatswain's Mate "A" School

Nathan just found out this morning that a spot opened up for the June 8 convening of BM "A" School and he was next on the he's going to Virginia next week! I can't believe it. He was on the list for the August convening, but since the course is 12 weeks long, he wouldn't be graduating until late October. He wanted to take the course all through the summer...kind of repeating his cadet summer training experience, and now he gets to!

Of course this changes all sorts of plans. Namely, at this point in time Nathan will be driving across country by himself instead of with Grandpa Lee. But I contacted a good friend from cadets, Tom Bennett, and asked if he was interested in driving with Nathan. He thought it sounded like a great time, and is in the process right now of trying to get a week off of work. I will feel so much better knowing that Nathan will be able to share the driving, plus it will be such a great experience for him to spend a week with a good buddy.

It's amazing when I look back at the past two weeks, how everything has fallen into place for Nathan. You can see the Lord's hand directing and making things work out. God knew when Nathan was leaving for A school, and He made sure that Nathan had his truck by then, got it registered, paved the way for his replacing his side-view mirrors so that he could carry the canopy, which he will need for that trip! Nathan does have a lot of loose ends to tie up in the next week, but the major things are already taken care of.

God is good. All the time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Grandma Long

I just received news this morning that my grandmother, Margery Long, of Montana passed away early this morning. She had been in the hospital in a coma for a few days so it is sad but not surprising. I remember when I was in high school in the early 80's and Grandma had a health scare...the doctors were worried that she wouldn't make it through the weekend. She obviously did pull through, and pulled through again and again through the years. She had a long life of 86 (I think) years, full of family and friends, hours of card games, always enjoying the memories she created in her life.

She used to take my sister, Valarie, and me to the farm in Oregon during our summer holidays. For some reason, which I thought I would understand when I was an adult but I still don't, she prefered to drive through the middle of the night. We'd leave about bed time and in the morning we would be there! I was probably about 8 or so and it was my turn to sit in the passenger seat. It was reclined because I was sleeping (remember it was in the middle of the night) and I heard in my subconscious the singing of angels. Okay, of one angel. As I woke further I realized it was Grandma. She sang to stay awake. She had a beautiful voice and she was singing Indian Love Song. I remember having a warm cozy feeling, dozing and listening to that song. I'm not sure why, but that was such a profound memory from my childhood.

We always had a great time with Grandma. When we'd visit her in Cloverdale, we'd pile into the car, go to the local burger joint, and order lunch and milkshakes! and then we'd drive out to Grandpa's chainsaw shop where we'd have lunch together in their travel trailer. I loved Grandpa's shop, except for the brief time in my childhood where I was terrified of lawn mowers. He fixed those, too.

Grandma's hearty laugh and lovely song will fill my memories of her for the rest of my life. She rests in peace now and is joyfully singing with the angels. I bet they're happy to have her!

I love you, Grandma.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Patience funny

Tonight Patience came upstairs frustrated and whining about her water bottle. She had unscrewed the lid to fill it up in the downstairs bathroom but couldn't put it back together. She complained, "I tried to righty-tighty it but it just won't work!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We thought it would be, um, handy if Nick would take formula while I was in the hospital. We've tried dozens of times to get him to take a bottle but you'd think we were trying to poison him by the faces he makes and the way he gags.

So we tried it in a sippy cup. He said no. So we tried it in a regular drinking glass and he thought it was an interesting enough activity that he could take a sip or two.

It looks like Don and Nick will be visiting me frequently in the hospital...

Ready for a walk

I have made a friend! Yep, a real live person who lives right around the corner from me! It's amazing, really.

Her son attends the girls' preschool so I've met her throughout the school year for drop off and pick up. We were both at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and realized that we live very near each other. At the preschool Mother's Day Tea I got up my courage and asked her if she was interested in walking in the evenings. She said yes and we've been going strong since Monday evening!

I bundle Nick up and either put him in the stroller or in the back pack (the back pack is a much harder workout!) and away we go for about 1.5 miles. Or maybe it's just 1.25. At least it's something...

I let Nick take any toy he wants for the stroller ride, and what does he pick? His crib mobile remote controller. For heaven's sake...

What does a mom have to do to get some rest around here?

Well, apparently this mom has to go to the hospital and have some surgery! Yes indeed, on Monday the 25th I'll be going into the beautiful Langley Memorial Hospital Resort for a hysterectomy and staying there for a relaxing three days.

Don't feel sorry for me...feel sorry for Don : ) He, along with my wonderful mother-in-law, will be holding down the fort. That's no easy feat. I have a feeling they'll both be exhausted by the week's end.

I'll post more later...just wanted to fill everyone in on the latest news.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fun with balloons!

Nick is having a great time playing with Patience's birthday balloon....

...until he lets go of the string and wonders why the balloon is on the ceiling!

Eye candy

What an absolutely delicious baby! How can I help but ply him with kisses 24/7?

Nathan's truck

Saturday, May 9 was definitely a red-letter day in the Murphy household! We started the day with crepes, had Patience's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's, and then drove to Monroe, Washington so Nathan could purchase this truck:

It's a cute little Chevy S-10 that he purchased for a very reasonable price from his supervisor in Seattle. It does have a manual transmission, so the first order of the day (or evening) was to teach Nathan how to make it go! Thanks, Uncle Dave, for Nathan's driving lesson! Better you than me! : )
He can indeed drive it around now...he drove it from the US/Canadian border to our house last night, and then drove Sean to cadets this morning at 0630, only stalling the engine twice! He still has to practice a lot today and tomorrow before he can safely drive it to Seattle tomorrow night.

Chuck E. Cheese's party

I admit it: this was Patience's first birthday party that included people who weren't family. That's right, I actually let her choose a location and a guest list for a party! Surprise, surprise, she chose Chuck E. Cheese's which actually turned into a pretty good thing because as the parents, you have to do absolutely nothing except show up. Decorations...done. Pizza....done. Cake...done. Entertainment...done. Clean up....DONE! Yep, I love me some Chuck E. Cheese.
Patience had a blast at her party. Here are some highlights:

Patience turns 5!

Patience and Lucille.
Patience and Nathan.

Jordyn and Nathan, her personal supervisor and bodyguard throughout the party (thank you, Nathan).

Patience during Chuck E. Cheese's birthday parade and dance (right up her alley!).

Everyone singing Happy Birthday to You!

Very yummy chocolate cake!
Sleepy Nick.

Aurora Barbie!

Dora doll!
Patience's guests: Jordyn, Danica, Morgan, and Scotty!
Happy birthday, Baby!

Birthday bikes!

Patience didn't get to open her presents first thing in the morning...that's the price you pay for having a birthday party! But we did give her the bike from Mom and Lee, since we didn't want to cart it back and forth to Chuck E. Cheese's. As you can see, she loved it. And of course Patience's new bike spiked Jordyn's interest in the bike she got for her birthday.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Welcome back, Lucille!

For some reason she thrives in this loud, chaotic, busy household! Maybe it has something to do with my handsome sons...

Lucille helped me wrap presents and pack goodie bags late into the night. It's been such a pleasure sharing an exchange student!

Nathan returns!

Nathan came home on the bus yesterday afternoon so he wouldn't miss Patience's birthday party! After all, who in their right mind would miss a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's? Don drove to Bellingham to pick him up, and then picked up Miss Lucille at the mall and brought them both home. So now all our family members, honorary or otherwise, are here to help Patience have a happy 5th birthday.

Happy children all around:

Nathan holding close to 90 pounds of little sister.

Nathan and his "last hope" for a brother who will be in the NHL. Nathan assures us he'll pay for all of Nick's hockey stuff and that he will become a fan of whichever team Nick gets drafted to, even the Ducks.

Friday, May 08, 2009


three kids in the tub!

Our morning unfolds...

First up is Nick, who happily plays with his toys for a long time. He's not hungry because he's nursed, oh, about 14 times during the night!

Next up is Patience, who happily crawls over and plants a kiss on Nick's forehead...

And finally we get Jordyn, who wants her sippy cup of milk before anything else! It's like her morning coffee so I can totally relate!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

No forward gears...

Nick can go backwards, but not forward, so he frequently gets himself stuck and screams asks nicely for help. The funny thing about this shot is that he started out on the carpet in front of the t.v., so you can see that he can really get around!

Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of turning 43! Fortunately, Don follows suit in just a couple short weeks so I won't be lonely here...

Our morning was fairly routine, with Don working offsite and me cleaning bathrooms and such. On his way home, Don picked up Dylan from school (he had 2 spares) and brought him home to watch Nick. We took the girls to preschool and then went out to lunch at this new fantastic restaurant in Langley. Coza, along with the nail place, will be a must-do for our out-of-town guests. It was really nice to have a meal without children.

We came home and while Don worked in his office, I took Dylan (and my boyfriend) to get a haircut. I'll have to post pics of Dylan's new fauxhawk...

I dropped Dylan off at school for choir and picked up Sean and took him for a haircut. Then I finished dinner and we ate a lovely meal of steaks from the crock pot, steamed veggies, perogies, and garlic bread. The fruit flan that you see here was dessert and boy was it good!

The evening finished off with Sean going to cadets and Dylan taking his 2nd driving lesson.

All in all it was a great day with many happy birthday phone calls, messages, and cards which I truly appreciate. So far, 43 is looking pretty grand.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

More Nick tricks!

Reads his favorite book!

Getting ready to crawl! Yikes!

How to...

...gently nudge your husband to fill the propane tanks on the barbeque:

Cook his steaks in the crock pot!

Because nagging just isn't nice : )

Monday, May 04, 2009


The girls got Disney princess tatoos in their goodie bags yesterday. Of course they wanted them on their faces!

Birthday party

The girls had quite a busy day yesterday. Don took them to Sunday school, then they went to church, then they went to a school friend's birthday party, and then to the Sunday school swim party! They were both pretty worn out...Jordyn was downright exhausted!

The birthday party had a pirate theme so I wore Nathan's Captain Jack Sparrow hat:

The party was at a local park. Here are the girls on the playground:

Goals for April...reporting in

1. Stick to budget. Almost perfectly! I didn't budget for some of our expenses, like my pictures and application for my Permanent Resident card, and other miscellaneous things. We used savings for those things.

2. Lose 5 pounds. Not even one. : ( Starting again in May with zeal.

3. Use 1/2 of the food in my deep-freeze. I did pretty well here. The freezer did get refilled a little when Don hit the jackpot at the bread store, but I think I'll be able to use up the rest in May.

4. Use 1/2 of the food in my pantry. Did pretty well here, too.

5. Move my square-foot garden frames into the back yard. We decided to keep them where they are.

6. Plan garden, including getting new soil and seeds. No progress here. Darn.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Lazy Saturday morning photos

Hmmmmm....I just realized that Nick is in all these photos! I'm not really sure how that happened...
Nick trying to steal Patience's milk...
Patience stealing a kiss in return...

Restaurant-style taco salad

The best part about taco salads that you order in a restaurant is, in my opinion, the wonderful edible taco shell bowl. Last night I was making taco salad for dinner, and decided to do something a little more special as Lucille would be here. So, I took my normal flour tortilla recipe and made bowls out of them! It took a while, but it was easy enough and it definitely added to the festivity of the meal.

Step 1: drape the uncooked tortilla over an overturned oven-safe bowl.

Step 2: bake at 375 for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet. I realized halfway through that I could cook 2 at a time, thereby reducing my time commitment considerably.
Take the tortilla "bowl" off the outside of the bowl and move it to the inside. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Let cool inside the bowl to retain shape.

Step 4: Serve your favorite taco salad to adorable girls. This step is optional.
Step 5: Serve "taco salad in a bowl" to your favorite French girl and your favorite husband. This step is also optional.
Bon Appetit!