Sunday, December 04, 2011

Jordyn's surprise

Don took the Littles to the mall this afternoon and Jordyn came home with modifications! Let's hope this round of earrings goes better than the last round...

Here's a little Nick cuteness!

Our 2011 Christmas tree

This is Tony's first time of having a Christmas tree!

Tony's helping Nick reach higher.

Nick and the tree.

More of the same : )

Patience and Nick.

Patience and Nick.

Daddy and the Littles.

Meet Chip!

This year we have started a new tradition. We now have our very own elf, Chip, who came on December 1. He shows up in a new place each morning, and at night, when the kids are sleeping, Chip flies home to the North Pole to report to Santa what he has seen and heard at the Murphy household. Santa uses this information to write his "Naughty" and "Nice" lists. I'm reading the story book that explains to the kids how this all works, and explains the rules like "no one can touch elves or they lose their magic," etc.

The kids bound out of bed to find where Chip is perched for the day. This morning he was in our Christmas tree!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Putting away Halloween

This Halloween was actually the most enjoyable one I can remember for a very long time. I stayed and watched the parade at the girls' school with Nick, and it was great. Lead by their principal, all the kids through every grade paraded through the school hallways, with parents and siblings enjoying from the sidelines. They played music over the PA system like Monster Mash and other appropriate songs, and the kids all had a very good time. I realize that I'll be watching those for another 10 years : )

Then Bailey and Sean took the Littles trick-or-treating! So instead of freezing and chasing children, Don and I stayed inside enjoying a glass of wine and an opportunity to Skype with my parents who are visiting Nathan. Yessiree, I could get used to that type of Halloween!

But in the middle of the night, Nick woke up with a croupy cough and a fever : (  We gave him some motrin and some water and brought him back to bed with us to keep a sleepy eye on him. That worked fine until 2:45 when Jordyn decided that she couldn't possibly sleep alone and managed to wake up me, Don, and Patience in her quest to find a sleeping buddy. Keep in mind that Don has been waking up at 4:00 for work and this is his first opportunity to "sleep in." Grrrr.

After taking the Bigs and the girls to school, I came home and commenced cleaning up Halloween. Costumes (mangled as they are) are now hanging in the closet, trick or treat bags stored for next year, candy sorted and all Reece's peanut butter cups removed for me safety's sake, and the jack o'lanterns are now happily cooking down on the stovetop waiting to become pies and breads.

Tony's and Patience's jack-o-lanterns. Jordyn chose to just draw on hers : )

Sick baby sleeping the day away.
Happy November!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Introducing Tony Vu

Tony is our international student from Viet Nam! He is here primarily to become a fluent English speaker. Right now his reading and writing skills are very high, but his pronunciation is low. He's getting better everyday! He's in grade 9 at Poppy, and plans on attending there for another 4 years. Tony is a friendly teen who gets along well with the whole family. He plans on playing basketball at Poppy, which starts pretty soon (I think). Tony's taking advantage of the international student activities...he's already attended a 4-day trip to the north end of Vancouver Island, and he's going to EUROPE (!) with the school during spring break. I'm sure you'll see lots of Tony on my blog, as he'll probably be here for the next 4 years : )

Tony arrives at our house September 1, 2011

Tony with his mom and his Canadian mom.

Tony's mom spent a month in Canada...3 weeks in August and then another week after settling Tony in with us. She speaks no English...we spoke through a translator.

Introducing Lucas Motta

On August 26 we went to the airport to get our very first long-term international student, Lucas. He's from Brazil and he'll be staying with us for the first semester, which ends at the end of January. Lucas is 16 and is in grade 11 at Poppy along with Sean. He speaks excellent English, along with some Spanish and of course Portugese. He loves soccer and is on Poppy's undefeated soccer team. He's a social butterfly, with more friends in Canada than me, and he's been to Vancouver at least 20 times in the 2 months he's been here. We are enjoying hosting him, and we'll miss him very much when he returns to Brazil.

Some cute pics of Nick

Nick got dressed up all by himself!

Happy birthday, Nick!

Nick turned 3 years old amid very little pomp and circumstance. : ) He did, however, get a cake! And he was thrilled with it!

First day of school for the girls

Jordyn starts kindergarten, and Patience is in grade 2. They both have wonderful teachers...and they both love school!

Happy birthday Haley and Tony!

In the middle of October we were able to celebrate Haley's 18th birthday and Tony's 14th birthday since their birthdays are just a few days apart. We celebrated in true Murphy's fashion...with a DQ ice cream cake! Neither Tony nor Lucas had ever had an ice cream cake, and they both appreciated it! In fact Lucas mentioned opening up a Dairy Queen in Brazil...he could become a millionaire : )

Haley got a cribbage kit (board, cards, pegs) and a restaurant gift card. No sensible underwear this year : )

Ice cream cake! We couldn't decide on a theme, so we went with Cars because we knew that at least Nick would appreciate it...

Our complete family except for Nathan and Don, who took the picture. No, we don't fit around this table.

Tony received an iTunes giftcard and an Xbox controller from us, and a complete skateboard set-up from his parents. He's wanted a skateboard forever, but there was no place to ride on where he lived in Viet Nam...

Introducing Miss Bailey Quinn

This year I told Sean that he was limited to 2 extra-curricular activities (not including cadets). He chose volleyball and jazz band. Until September 16, when he decided that jazz band wasn't nearly as entertaining or interesting as having a girlfriend! Bailey is also a grade 11 student at Poppy, and also has big plans for her future and is getting the grades and is involved in the activities to make those plans happen.

Halloween 2011

This year Patience and Jordyn are both dressed up as witches and Nick is wearing the lion costume that is now on its 6th or 7th wearing! Old Navy costumes are adorable and they will last, unlike the costumes that we've purchased recently for the girls, made out of lining instead of fabric, tearing into shreds at the least provocation.

Last night Don and I took the girls and Nick to our church's Halloween carnival, "Bucaneer's Bash." The had a great time, of course.

Today at school they wore their costumes for the Halloween parade and then wore them all day long and enjoyed Halloween parties in their class rooms. This year their school has thankfully toned down the Halloween festivities. I remember last year they nearly did me in with some contest or commitment every day of the week!

Tonight they will go trick-or-treating with Sean and Bailey in our neighborhood. Don and I will sit in a quiet, empty house drinking red wine and enjoying the unbusyness of the moment.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Welcome back to my blog! Here is the very latest picture from the Murphy household...of Thanksgiving dinner 2011. On the left is Tony, our international student from Viet Nam, and next to him is Lucas, from Brazil. Sean was invited to eat dinner at his new girlfriend's home, so he isn't in this picture. I do plan on doing some very condensed catching up. I obviously will not be able to recreate all of August and September for you but I will try to at least list the highlights.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Preparing for the cruise

The girls and I avoided spa treatments expenses by getting beautiful at home! I hauled out my foot bath and filled it up with yummy smelling salts and oils. After some soaking and polishing, our feet were ready for cruising!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Please help rescue Lilliana

Dear family and friends, can you spare $5, or $10 to help rescue this child? Truly, every dollar helps...I've seen before how hundreds of $5 donations work together to equal the ransome for a desparate child in an orphange.

Please share this story on your social networks. Thank you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The downside of baking sans recipes...

I try to bake something for breakfast every evening so that in the morning my early risers (Dylan & Don) can take their breakfast with them. My usual fare is muffins and coffee cakes of various flavors and types. I don't use recipes. I just throw ingredients into my KitchenAid mixer until the batter looks the right consistency and then bake it up, hoping for the best. Breakfast is usually very edible. But today's coffee cake...was heavenly. I'm not sure what I did differently, but it didn't rise up like a cake, it was more dense like a brownie. And the streusel topping was perfect. If I was able to duplicate this recipe, I'm pretty sure I could sell it to Starbuck's or other hoity toity coffee is just that good!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Here is Haley slicing 10 pounds of strawberries that we purchased from Krause's. We enjoyed them on shortcake with whipped cream topping. So yummy!

Sand play at Krause's

My parents took Jordyn and Nick for their first Krause's sand box visit of the year. When they came home my mom said the kids did really well except that Nick needed to learn some "sand box etiquette." : )