Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nick's morning

sippy cup of milk
snuggly blanket
Elmo and bunny to cuddle
Diego (Gogo) on t.v.

The pool saga continues...

Yesterday afternoon the little pool got down to it's last few centimeters, so I dumped the remaining water down the hole of a certain mole that just won't go away. And then I remembered this pool. Don and I started setting it up and filling it around 5:00 and although it looked huge we thought it would be a great solution to our pool-less summer. Then we noticed that the air-filled ring at the top, which basically holds the pool up, had a leak. Not a slow leak, either. Then we noticed the pin-hole on the side of the pool where a tiny stream of water was spraying out. Okay, I can take a hint. Or two. This is not the summer to have a big pool.

On the upside, when we got out all that pool stuff, we found a patch kit for the little pool! So, I'm letting it dry today on the trampoline and then I'll patch it and put it back into service. And we've decided that we're definitely in the market for another pool, but maybe something a little smaller than 18'x48"...12'x36" would probably be perfect.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Portraits of summer

Hungry? Go pick your own snack! (even Nick is a proficient blueberry picker...)

Happy hens

Volunteer flower garden

Children enjoying the last few inches of their pool.

Dylan's dorm room

We wanted to give Dylan as much of that "going away to university" experience that we could, so we moved him into a dorm-room-sized bedroom. It's small, but at least it's his own! And, no, it's not generally this tidy. The maid had just done the cleaning, so I thought it was a good time to take some pics.

Hypothetical question...

Let's say an energetic 6-year-old, clearly lacking adult supervision, long-jumps from the trampoline into this pool. Of course she lands where there is a tiny which under normal use would not be a problem, but under this hypothetical impact creates a dime-sized hole in the bottom of the pool. How long does it take for the 600 gallons to drain?

About 4 days...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Change of plans

Our two Korean students, James and Ricky, go home today. Well, not really home. They go from here to their agent's home in Maple Ridge along with 7 other students. They are staying there until Monday and then they all fly back together. I'm thinking you couldn't pay me enough to be an agent : )

We were scheduled to get two more students tomorrow from China, but as of today those students still don't have their visas, and the embassy isn't being informative as to why they aren't issuing them. So, they might come a little late, or they might not come at all. In the meantime, I will take a break from having 8 people to cook, clean, and launder for.

Dylan and Haley, absolutely giddy with excitement, leave Monday morning early for their California vacation. They'll be with my parents for 10 days. Dylan, bless his heart, has been working his behind off at Thunderbird during the week and then for Don on the weekends. I'm thinking he will appreciate this vacation like he's never appreciated a vacation before! Yesterday he worked almost 12 hours, and this morning he left before 7 to go to Radnai's. Tonight he and Haley have a babysitting gig, and then tomorrow is absolutely blank so they can do some shopping and packing before they leave.

I've been talking with Nathan by phone lately. His ship is moored up in Pensacola so he can call from the ship when he's on duty. This is his mailing address if you want to send him a note. He'll be in Pensacola for the forseeable future...he's heard that he might not get back to Cordova until March.


The post office there is really picky. They want ALL CAPS, not hand-written, left justified, no punctuation, just basically exactly as you see it above. But if you wanted to drop him a line I'm sure he would be very appreciative.

Because he'll be deployed until March, he's going to try to get some leave in the next few weeks. We're actually planning a road trip to California to visit friends, relatives, and Micky Mouse, if you know what I mean. But of course it all starts with him getting leave approved. He thinks he'll know by Monday.

We've heard from Sean twice now. He's still having a good time and enjoying camp. He'll be in Victoria next weekend for the Ceremony of the Flags. Part of me wants to go over there and watch it as I hear it's really impressive, but then the logical part of me thinks what it would be like to get to the island on a long weekend and I chicken out : )

Don is working like a madman too. Yesterday he worked onsite in Richmond for 8 hours and then went to another client's where he's doing a server migration and worked another 8 hours. He's still sleeping, but he is planning on joining Dylan for tree work today.

I'll keep you posted on international students, Dylan and Haley's holiday, Nathan's leave, etc.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July rolls along...

Sorry for the absence. I could plead insane busy-ness, but that would be a lie : )

On Sunday, July 5, Don and I went to the Vancouver airport to pick up our first two international students. Their English names are James and Ricky. We didn't know about these names when they first came and we tried hard to learn their Korean names. Apparently our pronunciation was funny because we got lots of laughter each time we tried to call them by their names. The boys are very nice but speak very.little.english. They have a great school program...we drop them off at 9, and they have ESL in the mornings and then some very fun activity in the afternoons. We pick them up sometime between 3 and 6, depending on that afternoon's activity. Tomorrow their whole group is going to Victoria, so they'll be gone from 7:00 in the morning until 9:30 at night. So it's not a huge workload to have them here. They get along well with the other children and are pretty good at amusing themselves.

On Saturday the 10th, I took Sean to the Vancouver airport for his third trek to Quadra. This year he is in Gunnery Trade Group 3, basically the "big men on campus." Among other highlights, he gets to compete in a competition called "Iron Gunz," where the TG3ers can strut their stuff in front of the whole camp. It's apparently very impressive. If you want to drop Sean a note, here is his address:

PO2 Murphy S
Gunnery TG3
HMCS Quadra
Comox, BC V9M 8A1

That very same day, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from the airport and got a very big picnic lunch. Don, back at the ranch, took James, Ricky, and the Littles to Krause's to pick strawberries, and then came home and started loading up the van and car. Dylan picked up Haley and brought her home, and from there we all loaded up and went to spend the day at Cultus Lake! It was a hoot. The kids swam, played on the playground, ate, sunbathed (Dylan and Haley anyway), and napped (Nick). The weather was perfect...warm but not uncomfortably so. We got home around 7:00, had waffles for dinner, and called it a day.

Dylan has been working 40 hours/week at Thunderbird, and now has an awesome tan from being outdoors all day long. Unfortunately once he takes off his t-shirt the tan isn't nearly's hard to beat a summer swimmer's tan, that's for sure. He is working for Don down at Radnai's on the weekends, in an attempt to earn enough money to purchase an expensive new cell phone.

Nathan is now in Pensacola, Florida. His ship just reached shore this morning. They are on land for 1.5 days, and then they'll be heading out again to start their fight against oil. He did hear rumors that they wouldn't be back in Cordova until March! I feel so badly for the families that are up there, having to go through the winter without their husbands and daddies. I think the guys will get some leave so there will be visits, but it's still going to be a long winter up there.

On a sad note, Naylene broke up with Nathan. I'm sure you can read volumes in the words I'm not saying. This is a diplomacy technique I've learned...

Don is busy as ever with the computers and the trees. He has a new contract in Richmond, which is quite the drive, one or two days/week. He's worked both days this weekend at Radnai's starting the spring work. He hired Justin Furse to work on tops, and so far he's quite pleased with Justin's work. This is a real help because with Sean gone most of the summer and Dylan working full-time at Thunderbird, Don was in a bit of a bind in the employee department.

This Saturday I will take James and Ricky to their agent's place in Maple Ridge. The agent, who is Korean but a permanent resident here in Canada, will fly with 9 Korean students back to Korea and deliver them to their parents. Then I will come home and "flip" the house to have it ready for the 2 students that we'll pick up on Sunday. They'll be here until August 14, and then Sean will return August 21. And summer will be winding down. Patience will be in Grade 1 (all day!), Sean will go into Grade 10, and Dylan will have his first year at University. I think it'll be quite an exciting year.

The Littles are all doing well. Nick is getting more mobile, more verbal, more independent, and more cute if that's at all possible. He is definitely a little ray of sunshine around here.

And there you have it...the happenings at the Murphy's so far this July.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Panama Canal

Nathan, along with his ship, is scheduled to be going through the Miraflores locks on Saturday around 8:00. This is the webcam so if you want to keep an eye out for him you might see him!

This is hysterical

Please read this. I promise you'll love it.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Nathan news

I just received email from Nathan, who is near the Panama Canal but not through it yet. He says he was not feeling well from the heat (85 degrees + humidity) but he's doing better now. They had a swim call which was a blast. And he bought a "no-shave" chit, which means that for $5, Nathan doesn't have to shave the entire time they're underway, which was since last Tuesday until they reach their port in Pensacola. He says he has a pretty respectable beard growing : )

So, he's doing well. Feel free to email him at as he's able to read his email at least once per day. He's moved from the deck to the bridge so he has better access to the ship's few computers.

I'll write more later after we pick up our international students this afternoon!