Sunday, January 31, 2010

And January is gone...

1/12 of 2010 is done already. Amazing.

In less than 4 weeks we will be picking up Nathan for his 16-day leave. Of course, he's going to be spending a good portion of that time in California, but I can't deny him his beloved Sharks, not to mention visiting grandparents and good friends.

Last week Dylan and Sean finished semester 1. Dylan took 3 provincial exams in Physics, English, and History. If he was able to get A's on all of them, the BC government will happily give him $1,000 for his university expenses. Fingers crossed. Sean, luckily, didn't have any provincial exams...only finals for English, Socials, and Math.

In this upcoming semester, Dylan has only Math 12, band, and his outside-of-timetable music courses. This means that he'll have lots of spare time during the school day, which will be handy for all of the scholarships he'll be appyling for : ) Not to mention the music theory he needs to teach himself before his audition in March, and finishing up his portfolio (a grad requirement).

Nick has become Daddy's Little Boy. He is Don's constant companion whenever he can be, and let's us know he's unhappy when he can't be.

Jordyn has two more ice skating lessons before this session ends. She's doing much better than the first lesson, with hardly any falling. When ice skating is done we'll be moving onto swimming lessons with Marianne! We're really looking forward to that...especially Patience : )

And who can imagine that Jordyn will be 4 in one week? Don and I have some birthday shopping to do! Although she wrote, okay, dictated, a very complete birthday wishlist so it shouldn't be too difficult.

Nathan called me today from his ship and told me that he'll be underway for 3 of the next 4 weeks! He's going to Valdez tomorrow, and then on a trip to Kodiak. Lucky kid. BTW, if you haven't checked out his blog lately you should go visit it...he posted some beautiful pictures.

Okay, I think you're all caught up now. I'll post more as news unfolds.


Car trip, anyone?

Nathan is looking forward to having his truck in Alaska. The problem is that it is currently located in Bellingham, WA (long story). Is there anyone who is interested in driving a 2-person, manual transmission truck from it's current location to Cordova, AK? Nathan would pay for gas and for your return airfare from Cordova. According to Google driving directions, the trip is no less than 48 hours, and much of it is on a "highway" that's not necessarily paved. But I'm pretty sure there is beautiful scenery between here and Cordova : )

Now, let's not all jump at once!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Patience's diplomacy skills

Tonight Don asked Patience: Would you rather go to Danica's birthday party tomorrow morning, or stay here and play with your daddy?

Patience, after thinking for a few seconds: Daddy, do you want to go, too?

Soup for dinner

Last night I made cauliflower soup for dinner, along with homemade multigrain rolls. There were no complaints. Tonight, I made broccoli soup. Don said it was his new favorite soup right after clam chowder!

I thought I'd share the super easy recipes in case you want to add a nutritious, inexpensive meal to your arsenal. Keep in mind that these recipes fed a family of 7 with some people going back for seconds! So you might need to halve the recipe, although I don't see why you couldn't freeze leftovers.

Creamy Broccoli or Cauliflower soup

In a large stainless steel soup pot, saute 1 medium chopped onion and a heaping teaspoon of chopped garlic in some olive oil until onion is translucent.

Add to pot:
1 large head cauliflower, rinsed and cut into chunks OR 1 huge or 2 medium stalks of broccoli, including stem

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

Add water to just cover the vegetables. Don't add to much, or your soup won't end up creamy.

Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for at least an hour, or until the vegetables are really tender.

Use the immersion blender that your wonderful in-laws gave you for Christmas to blend the soup completely. There won't be any chunks, just creamy goodness.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. You could thin with milk if it's too thick, but then don't try to freeze any leftovers.

Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Accept all compliments graciously.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Olympics 2010

Just a couple of weeks away! Of course Don and I won't be at any events, but I did find out that the movie theater in Langley is showing some events at their we could go there! It would be almost as good as being there live : )

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dylan and Haley (photoshoot #6773)

My personal favorite : )

Another awesome shot. But it's kinda hard to take a bad one : )

Dylan obviously has the easy job here.

Paintball party!

This morning 3 of Sean's friends came over around 9:30 for a paintball party. It started with Don's famous crepes complete with vanilla ice cream and cherries from our tree. One of the boys had never had crepes but he sure liked them!

Right now they're outside pelting each other with 4,000 paintballs. They'll come in midday for a CO2 run and some pizza, and then they'll be out there again until nightfall (4:30 around here). Justin is spending the night and studying with Sean for their exams next week, but the other boys will be going home. This is pretty much Sean's idea of a perfect day, minus the studying : )

Happy 15th birthday, Sean!

On Wednesday evening we celebrated Sean's birthday with a spaghetti feed and then chocolate cake for dessert.
Here are all the kids : ). See Dylan trying to get Nick to look at the camera : )
Everyone basically looking good, and at the camera. Heather, notice Jordyn is still wearing her apron!
The birthday boy with his Webkinz, Twitch. This is the beauty of having younger siblings. You can get kids' toys when you want to and blame it on them : )
I'm looking forward to the time when Sean smiles willingly and cheerfully.


Patience was sick for the first time in a long, long time last week. After a course of antibiotics she is back to her bubbly self. But while she was unnaturally calm and quiet, I was able to snap this shot.

Duplo heaven

As Nick gets older he is able to spend more and more time playing independently.

Relieved sigh...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Patience's personality and other stuff

I just found this picture on my old camera card and realized how perfectly I caught Patience's personality in this shot. What do they call it? Joie de vivre?

So, I haven't been blogging lately and I'll tell you why. It's not my fault, just so you know. It's my daughters' fault. You see, they received Webkinz stuffed animals from their very generous brother Nathan at Christmas and these plushies have online lives at a special website. And you have to go to the website daily (or more frequently) and feed the pet, dress the pet, play with the pet, take it to the doctor, etc. And to do all this stuff you need Kinz cash. And to get Kinz cash you have to play arcade-style games. So guess who's playing the games to get the Kinz cash for the girls? That's right. Me. And Sean. And even Haley. It's like all of a sudden I have a new chore. Sure it's more fun than cleaning bathrooms, but it does take a good chunk of time. So, blogging had to go. What was I to do? Let the poor animals starve?

Now, if you're the type of person who loves arcade games, let me know! I'll send you the girls' user names and passwords and you can earn some Kinz cash for them : )

Growing girlies

This morning as we were heading out the door to school I realized how quickly the gap is closing between Patience and Jordyn heightwise. They can even wear the same shirts, although they definitely fit each girl differently. I'm so thankful to have my two girls together in the lineup!

Jordyn's ice skating lesson

Jordyn had her first ice skating lesson on Wednesday morning while Patience was in school. She went with her best friend, Megan, pictured with her. I wish I could say that Jordyn was a natural, but the truth is that she spent a lot of time on her bum and I think all the falling took a toll on her. She cried at one point, but stayed out on the ice and worked through it! She has 4 more lessons, and I hope she makes great improvement. She did get to go to Megan's for a 4-hour playdate afterward, so I think she remembers it as a good day : )

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Funness... what Don and I had tonight : )
First we ate the BEST pizza I've ever made. I'm not kidding. It was better than Pizza Hut.
Then we went and saw Blind Side at a theater with our good friends, Steve and Lois.
Then we went to Steve and Lois' house and played cards until midnight.
And the girls won every game : )
Dylan and Haley babysat the Littles, and did a fine job!
It was the perfect evening.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Michael Pollan's food rules

Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.

1. Eat food.
2. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
3. Avoid food products containing ingredients that no normal human would keep in the pantry.
4. Avoid food products that contain high fructose corn syrup.
5. Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top 3 ingredients. 6. Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
7. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
8. Avoid food products that make health claims.
9. Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names.
10. Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not.
11. Avoid foods you see advertised on television.
12. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
13. Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
14. Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
15. Get out of the supermarket whenever you can.
16. Buy your snacks at the farmers’ market.
17. Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.
18. Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.
19. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
20. It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.
21. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. (Think: Big Mac, Cheetos)
22. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
23. Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food.
24. “Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl) which is better than eating what sands on 4 legs (cows, pigs, and other mammals.)
25. Eat your colors.
26. Drink the spinach water.
27. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
28. If you have the space, buy a freezer.
29. Eat like an omnivore.
30. Eat well-grown food from healthy soil. (“Eat organic” or “beyond organic.”)
31. Eat wild foods when you can.
32. Don’t overlook the oily little fishes.
33. Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi.
34. Sweeten and salt your food yourself.
35. Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature.
36. Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of your milk.
37. “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.”
38. Favor the kinds of grains and oils that have been traditionally stone-ground.
39. Eat all the “junk” you want as long as you cook it yourself.
40. Be the kind of person who take supplements—then skip the supplements.
41. Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
42. Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism.
43. Have a glass of wine with dinner.
44. Pay more, eat less.
45. Eat Less.
46. Stop eating before you’re full.
47. Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
48. Consult your gut.
49. Eat slowly.
50. “The banquet is in the first bite.”
51. Spend as much time enjoying the food as it took to prepare it.
52. Buy smaller plates and glasses.
53. Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds.
54. “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.”
55. Eat meals.
56. Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods.
57. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
58. Do all of your eating at a table.
59. Try not to eat alone.
60. Treat treats as treats.
61. Leave something on your plate.
62. Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don’t.
63. Cook.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Patience in pictures

Jordyn in pictures

I think Jordyn will be an always-willing model : )
I'm not sure where she gets that. Hmmmm....

Nick in pictures

Extreme cuteness.

Lately Nick has had a fascination with Haley. Every time she's over he follows her around, immediately putting his arms up to her to be picked up if she ever stands still for a nanosecond. She's very accomodating. Dylan, on the other hand...

More extreme cuteness...

Today while Nick was in eating a snack I made a quick phone call. When I got off the phone I looked at Nick and saw that he was mimicking me with his (broken) phone. It was amazing and so funny : )

Then he tried to figure out how to make a call...

Yep, I'm going to be having fun with this camera. And Nick may or may not learn to run and hide every time he sees it...

Ice Skating!

Miss Jordyn is going to be taking ice skating lessons! I originally tried to get the girls in a lesson together in the afternoon but all of the spots for their level were already filled. There was "preschool" lessons available on Wednesday mornings, so I signed her up for 5 30-minute lessons that start on the 13th. This is Jordyn's first "activity," and I hope she likes it! I am going to sign up both girls for lessons starting in May. So, Nathan, your dreams might be coming true after all...

I'll be posting pictures. They're sure to be entertaining...

Bad dog!

Nick was sleeping beautifully in his crib at the foot of our bed last night. Don and I were enjoying a bed for two instead of a bed for two and a half until Nick accidentally nudged his pal, Scout. I heard a very loud, "Hi Nick! Wanna play?" which, of course, woke up Nick, who, of course, wanted to get in bed with us, and then had trouble getting back to sleep...

Scout is no longer a crib toy.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

17th Coast Guard District

I just found that someone in the Coast Guard keeps up a blog and there are posts about the USCGC Sycamore and their trip to Japan/Russia/Adak! Just click on CGC Cutter in the sidebar...

17th Coast Guard District

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year's from the Murphys

Today is a very low-key day. Don and Sean are outside doing yard cleanup. Dylan is doing a take-home history test. The girls are enjoying Reader Rabbit on their fixed laptop. Nick is napping. Turkey soup is simmering on the stovetop. And I am doing what I always do! Happy New Years from all of us!


Here is Nick, so very happy with himself, playing with Patience's new laptop that she got from the Jadischkes for Christmas! He can't believe his good fortune!

Belated Christmas pictures

Here we are fooling around with my new camera : )

As you can see, Mom and Lee are looking better than ever, and Don and I are beginning to show our years (44 in May!).