Saturday, June 25, 2011

The convenience of having readers

Luckily for Nick, anyone in the family can read him a story! Here are my early risers one morning this week, reading stories while waiting for the day to start and Jordyn to wake up...

Princess party

This week the girls went to Megan Sumner's princess birthday party. Patience, bless her heart, doesn't fit in the princess costumes anymore, so I let her wear her "ball" gown that we bought for her to wear on the cruise. They both looked lovely, as you can see.

Dollies and stuffies

Kit says, "Hi!" and the poor Bee pillow pet is getting squashed.

Cars 2!

Tonight the entire Murphy clan (except for Nathan, who was unable/unwilling to fly up for the evening) went to Colossus in Langley to watch Cars 2. We knew Nick would love it since he watches the original Cars movie every day, but we weren't sure how he would do in a movie theater environment. He did...okay. Not the greatest. He told Don he had to go to the bathroom about 10 times during the first half of the show. Then I stood up with him in the foyer and he watched the rest of the movie from there, happy as a lark. On the way there, I said we should bring his carseat in and strap him in...I still think that would have worked! In the end, Don and I decided that while it wasn't a disaster by any means, next year will be the perfect age to take Nick to the movies and have everyone enjoy themselves.

Kudos to my great husband who went to Langley to buy the movie tickets at Costco so we could all get drinks and popcorn, and then went out to Colossus to get the tickets for the show we wanted. We didn't have to stand in any lines : )

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

This is a banner day for Don if I do say so myself! This morning he woke up to heart-shaped pancakes, lots of hugs and kisses from the Littles, and the full entourage heading to church with him.

When we came home Don, Dylan, and Sean brought the Foosball table in from the shop. We just bought replacement balls from Ebay and they were all anxious to get the table going again.

We ate a quick lunch of deli sandwiches and finished off the ice cream cake, which had morphed from a "Happy Birthday/Congratulations on your Graduation" to a "Happy Father's Day" cake! Then Don opened this very cool gift from the kids:

And now he's downstairs walloping Dylan in a rousing game of Foosball!

Happy Father's Day, Honey, you're a great dad!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Step one of getting our house ready for international students

We are opening a new chapter in our lives: hosting international students! We have hosted them before for a short stay, but this year it looks like we're getting a teen-aged boy, 2 months younger than Sean, also in Grade 11 at Poppy. He's from Brazil, and his name is Lucas. There is a possibility that we will host a second boy, from Viet Nam, who is 14 and who will also attend Poppy.

The first step in getting ready for these boys is to move all the Littles upstairs to the room next to ours, where we can keep an eye on them : )

Today Don bought this great bunk bed from a couple who had posted it on Craigslist. Then we found a brand new double mattress for the bottom bunk, also advertised on Craigslist. We spent the better part of today getting their room together, including moving furnitre from other parts of the house into their room.

Here are some pictures:

Yes, it's about 4:00 in the afternoon here, but as soon as we got the bed all put together the kids got right in! The girls had their teeth brushed and jammies on by 7:00 tonight, they were so excited to sleep in their new beds...

I think I'm going to move the doll cribs...somewhere...they're too crammed in there.

Don moved the "home theater system" in so they could watch Cars while they laid in bed. It has since been removed. The armoir holds the girls clothes, their extra (millions of) blankets, and their school stuff.

This container holds Nick's clothes and diapers (which he wears only at night now!), books, and other special stuff.

Their doll wardrobe!
When we put the bed together we left the ladder down, because Patience can climb onto the top bunk without it and we figured (hoped) that without the ladder Nick would not be able to get up there. Yeah, right.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Celebrations and trampoline fun

Tonight we had the rare occurence of Dylan and Haley both being here for the evening! Haley is usually either working or playing softball, and therefore Dylan is either watching Haley play ball or is here solo. So we decided to celebrate Haley's highschool graduation and Dylan's 19th birthday tonight. We had Haley's favorite dinner (spaghetti and meatballs) and then we had a Dairy Queen ice cream cake....because that's how the Murphys celebrate! Don and I gave them each a pass to Playland in Vancouver so now they have a fun day to look forward to...outside of the cruise of course.

The first ice cream of the season

On Wednesday night the weather was nice and the border lineup was non-existent, probably due to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. So the girls and I headed to Edaleen to stock up on dairy and of course had an ice cream cone while we were there!

Morning snuggles

Nick enjoys his first cup of milk while snuggling with us in the morning. This particular morning Don wasn't quite awake yet. After Nick finished drinking his milk, he set it on Don's head!

Napping Nick

Nick's gotten into a new napping pattern. He'll fall asleep on my bed while watching Cars on Don's laptop, which is set up on the dresser at the end of our bed.  I sure am going to miss naptime when Nick gives them up!

Nintendo DS

Nathan gave Patience a Nintendo DS for her birthday and she loves it. So does Jordyn. So does Nick.

Keeping up with Ma Ingalls

Not that that's even possible. But since the girls and I have been reading the Little House books they've gotten lots of ideas about how I can be more like Ma. For example, instead of making boring round pancakes, I can make pancake people like Ma did on Christmas morning. I tried. Maybe next time my pancake person will be prettier. Actually it looks more like a lop-eared bunny than a person : )

Go Bananas!

This week Jordyn's preschool class had their end-of-the-year party at one of those indoor playplaces. Usually when there's something on the calendar that I'd rather not attend (like a field trip to the firehall that she's already been two twice) I just don't tell her about it. But now that she can read I can't hide anything from her. She knew from the first day of June that "Go Bananas!" was on the calendar and she asked me everyday to tell her how many more days until the party. So, on Wednesday I took Jordyn, Nick, and Patience to the newly expanded place and they had a blast. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was anticipating. The noise level was manageable because the preschool had rented the entire place for the party. Here are some pics:

The most amazing part of the entire morning is that Nick didn't have a single accident! He came to use the toilet twice while we were there. He starts preschool in the fall, so I guess we'll be going back to Go Bananas! next year.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The delicious way to not waste food

In my new-found effort to not waste food, especially produce, I have recently been baking the most delicious cakes. OnTuesday I saved a couple dozen carrots from the chicken coop by peeling and grating them up. I made an amazing carrot cake and still have enough left over to make some carrot muffins later.  Then today I used up six apples which were covered with "bad spots" and made this Apple Dapple cake, complete with the delicious glaze. I didn't bake mine in a bundt pan...I used a 9x13 instead. And I replaced 1 cup white flour with whole wheat flour just to raise the nutrition factor a bit. These past-their-prime fruits and veggies make for some excellent desserts!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Little House

I've waited a looooong time to read this series to my daughters! I tried to start it last year but they were too young and it didn't quite hold their attention. Tonight we read the first chapter of Little House in the Big Woods and they both did great. As you can see, Patience and Jordyn have their American Girl dolls with them for storytime...

Dinner on a budget

It helps the grocery budget when you have a couple of really frugal meals in your repertoire. Tonight we had this:

It's spicy black beans and rice...what half the world considers "food." I cooked about 2 pounds of black beans along with sauteed onions, garlic, celery, carrots, fresh ginger, and hot pepper. Served alongside white rice, the entire meal for 7 people cost about $3.50, but we only ate half of the beans tonight. The rest will go into the freezer for another night. Oh, and it's delicious.

Monday, June 06, 2011


That's I went "un"shopping in the girls' room. It's a difficult time of year here in the PNW. It's been nice...shorts and shirt weather lately, but you just can't trust that it's going to stick. So right now the girls have all their clothes...summer and winter...stuffed into their designated clothes spot. It just wasn't working. Even I had a difficult time choosing a shirt and either pants or shorts for them to wear.  So today, after washing and folding every last article of clothing in the laundry room, I wen't "un"shopping. I took all their clothes, separated them into shorts, pants, short-sleeved, and long-sleeved shirts. And then I made outfits. Around 10 each. And I put the rest away in the furnace room, should I ever need to go "shopping" for more or different outfits.

I should have taken before and after shots...their clothes went from chaotic to user-friendly in less than 15 minutes!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Annual Ceremonial Review 2011

Sean and the Guard marching onto the parade square.

Sean and the Guard "At Ease."

Proud parents. It was a beautiful day. I got one heck of a sunburn...but my nose is fine!

Sean receiving the Best Dressed Cadet award.

Sean receiving the Echo Alpha Leadership award.

Prom 2011