Saturday, June 26, 2010

International students

I have been diagnosed by close friends and family that I am definitely insane for deciding to take international students this summer, and let me just say that I really hope I don't agree with them come the middle of July : )

As it stands right now, we will have two boys staying with us for three weeks starting July 4. They leave on the same day that three other boys arrive. They will be with us another three weeks.

They are in an ESL summer school program, so I will be transporting them to school each morning and picking them up in the late afternoon. Part of their school involves fun activities each afternoon so I'm thinking that by the time they get home and have dinner they will be satisfied with low-key activities in the evening. We'll try to think of something fun to do on the weekends. I'm wondering if they'd enjoy going with Don to work on the Christmas trees ; )

It also looks like we won't be getting an international student for the school year. There just aren't many students who want to attend Sean's school, and the ones we will be attending there have requested to live in more populated areas like Walnut Grove or Murrayville. So this is our opportunity to host international students and we're going to take it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Full ride

Dylan, at work, just got off the phone with a very nice lady in the Student Awards office of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She let him know that he is the recipient of a Merit Award, which is the equivalent of a full ride scholarship for his first year. It's so amazing to me how God has ordered Dylan's steps and has heaped blessings upon blessings on him. We are so fortunate. And so thankful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Patience's last soccer game

Tonight was Patience's final soccer game. Because the weather was okay, we threw caution to the wind and took all the Littles. We had so much fun chasing Nick around, dragging him off the fields, etc. After the game, the kids all got medals from their coaches.

Coach Taylor and the Dangerous Dragons.

Justin Sumners.


Nathan is enroute to the Gulf of Mexico to help with the oil spill. He'll be there for up to 6 months. His mail will get rerouted to his ship, so if you would like to send him a letter or any type of correspondence here is his address:

BM3 Nathan Murphy
P.O. Box 585
Cordova, Alaska 99574

I'm sure he will appreciate hearing from friends and family...he's likely to get very homesick down there.

I'd appreciate your prayers for his safety, well-being, and safe return to Alaska when his tour is over.

My child model

This girl loves to take a picture! Not sure where she gets that from : )

Nathan and the Littles

I'm pretty sure there isn't another young man alive who loves his little siblings more than Nathan does.

Day one: Miami

On Sunday, after flying all night from Seattle, Don and I took a cab to the hotel that Frank and Heather had reserved. Frank travels a lot for business so they were able to get these fabulous 2-room suites as award reservations. So we got to the hotel at 8:30, and even though check-in time wasn't until 4:00, they kindly gave us a room right away! So Don and I took a lovely nap while Frank and Heather drove down from Sarasota, where they were visiting Frank's cousin.

When they arrived, we launched into a rousing game of Shoot the Moon, a trick and trump-based domino game that they taught us a couple of years ago. We took a drive over to WalMart and all bought shade hats, some pop for the cruise, and some incidentals that we had forgotten to pack.

That night we drove to Benihana's for dinner. It was a lovely restaurant overlooking the water and we had a great time. After dinner we found a beach and took a little walk, getting our feet wet in warm ocean water, a small taste of what was to come!

Benihana's. Delicious as usual!

Frank and Heather on the beach.
Us on the beach.

Self portrait : )

The navigator. See the GPS?

The pilot. Heather and I got to sit in the back and fool around like small children. We couldn't help it...we were giddy with anticipation of what was to come : )

Day two: Underway

On Monday morning we leisurely got ready to leave for the cruise ship. The night before we had a very nice cab driver so we asked if he would be willing to take us from the hotel to the cruise ship and he said he only worked nights, but that he'd send his son, who worked days.

When you arrive at the cruise terminal a porter takes your bags from you and gets them onto the cruise ship. Then they are delivered to your stateroom later that day. As we were making our way up the gangplank we noticed a bunch of people gathered at water's edge. Then we realized that they were looking at, and trying to retrieve, a pallet full of luggage that had tipped over and fallen in the water! They were able to pull out a lot of it, but there was some that was floating away, and we heard that others had sunk. We started talking about how the cruise line would compensate someone for that, and Frank said, "Ladies, I want you to start practicing now, 'my diamonds! my diamonds!'"

Our staterooms were very small. We've never had such a small room on a cruise before. But they were nice and right next-door to each other. It took us no time at all to find lunch and a place to play games!

At the cruise terminal, ready to be checked in.

Madly trying to retrieve floating luggage.

Leaving the port of Miami!

Armed Coast Guard boats escorted us out of port. We thought this might be a good duty station for Nathan : )

So happy to be here!

Happy anniversary, Honey!

As we were leaving a storm was brewing over Miami.

Our first game-playing location.

Day three: Freeport

On Tuesday, the first full day of our cruise, we were in Freeport. The cruise terminal was far away from the real town of Freeport, but the heat was so oppressive that we opted not to venture out and see what there was to see. We did a little shopping at the market set up at the cruise terminal, and then we headed back to the ship and played Shoot the Moom and Canasta for hours : )

That evening we enjoyed eating at the Italian restaurant on board. Our travel agent had given us shipboard credits to offset the cover charge that they levy for the fancy restaurants, so the meal was free with the exception of the tip! It was delicious and we all had a great time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day four: Nassau

On Wednesday we got to spend the day in Nassau. Although the heat was unbearable (even the locals were complaining) it was a wonderful day and I could easily take a week's vacation there...maybe even longer!

In the morning we got off the ship early, presumably to beat the heat, and did some shopping at the straw market. Don and Frank decided to visit an old fort, and Heather and I opted to sit in the air-conditioned Starbucks and meet them when they were done!

The last of the pictures were taken as we were leaving port that evening.

Frank and Heather taking a wee siesta in Starbucks.