Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Christmas Letter-just in case...

Murphy’s Top 10 for 2010

1. Teaching the boys the value of a dollar by raising chickens and selling their eggs. If they don’t watch it we’ll start bagging chickenure and sell it too……

2. The miracle and blessing of modern medicine…last year at this time we were concerned a dear friend would never be whole again (he had the whipple procedure, as seen on Grey’s Anatomy, and a fistula, also as seen on Grey’s Anatomy) and this year we are celebrating the news they are having twins!

3. We all appreciate Mychel’s new camera and her talents in using it. She was especially generous by being our family photographer while we were in Utah for almost a month.

4. Spring break in FL with the Clarks, wave runners, concerts on the beach, delicious food, grilling at sunset overlooking the bay, great friends.

5. Labor Day was awesome because we got to have Mychel home for a 4 day visit. It was a last minute bonus and that made it all the more fun.

6. Gary, Will and Zac attend Boy Scout summer camp and had a great time. Gary did some training while the boys earned merit badges. Will and Zac earned their star rank and Gary began his Wood Badge journey. Shelice enjoyed some quiet weekends alones (only downside was having to take care of all animals herself 1 dog, 1 cat, 26 chickens.)

7. Summer in Utah visiting family and celebrating the 4th of July with them, attending the temple, Nephi Pageant, time with friends, a quick trip to Rexburg and wonderful week at Bear Lake. Bear Lake included; wake boarding, tubing, chocolate covered raspberries, shakes and time with family.

8. Mychel sang an a capella solo of If the Savior Stood Beside Me at a LDSBC devotional and thanks to her new iPhone we got to hear it. Then she sang at a CES fireside, broadcast to the whole world, and thanks to the internet we got to see and hear her.

9. Gary’s still employed and now also has full time volunteer job…Scoutmaster extraordinaire. He loves BSA so much he found a way to get Shelice involved too. She’s a Unit Commissioner.

10. Amazing, generous, patient, thoughtful friends and family who enrich our lives and make us better people. We love you all dearly!  Yes, we mean you……..I know.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


If you need Christmas spirit this is not the place to find it. If you have extra, please feel free to share.

Obviously I didn't learn something from last Christmas. See here and here if you'd a review.  We started off pretty good. We got Mychel here early to surprise her dad for his birthday.  December 15th is a rough day to have a birthday...early in our marriage it was finals, there is often a Christmas party on it, it just easily gets lost in all the other holiday happenings. I'm at less than 50% for making it a special day. This year since it fell on a Wednesday, ie scout night, Mychel and I hatched a plan to throw a surprise party at church.  Then we found our Gary's parents should be arriving on his birthday...Perfect! or so we thought.

Within hours of arriving Bea (Gar's mom) was in the emergency room. A few hours later she was admitted. Friday morning they tell us they think she's had a heart attack. Now we're waiting for a heart cath on Monday. Not the warm, cozy, relaxed family filled Christmas I'd been dreaming of. Now our days revolve around waiting for news and driving back and forth to the hospital. The good news is that she is looking a little better each day and we are so grateful that we can visit many times a day and help Bea rest a little easier knowing we're looking after Bill (Gar's dad).

Christmas baking may become New Year's baking. Christmas cards will hopefully be sent out before the New Year. Maybe we'll go with Russian New Year for our Christmas presents. I know in the scheme of things none of that really matters. It's just that since our first Christmas without Nathan, Christmas has become a time filled with emotional landmines for us. Gratefully, each year it's gotten a little better. I was ready to really feel Christmas again, to give my children the traditions we've only had hit and miss over the last six years, and to live in this moment and feel joy.

Obviously Heavenly Father has other plans, so I will trust we will have the Christmas we need. Even if it's not the one I was dreaming of...

Monday, December 6, 2010

What's up you ask?

Chickens and children, that's been covered.
BSA, noted.
I've been MIA, ya no good excuses come to mind.

That just leaves me with the reality that.....
It's Christmas letter time....
serious love/hate relationship happenin' there.

I feel let down when I get a Christmas card with no note and/or no picture so I feel compelled to include at lease one or the other, most times both. Last year I chose guilt over the stress and didn't do anything. I tried to tell myself, absence makes the heart grow fonder...but since the reality is that absence makes us forget, I have a two year limit on not making contact.

Soooo like it or not, it's that time again! I have made the executive decision that there we will no picture, at least not a recent one. We can't have a picture without our Miss M and she won't be here for awhile yet. There will be a little surprise, though. Since the only people who will ever read this will be people who will get a card I won't spoil it. 

Hey, bonus for me, it just dawned on me that because I've been MIA our note won't just be a blog recap...ya that's what I was planning all along! I love it when a plan comes together.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Forward or Backward...that is the question!

As I watch three babies run around my house and spy our chickens in the front yard I have to ask myself...Is my life going backward instead of forward? I mean 10 plus years ago when I was going happily crazy with my three boys running around all day, at least I didn't have chicken poop on my front walk!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I've been abducted by the BSA!

It's been a little too quiet. I should have known...

So, the first memory I have of scouting is attending my brother's Eagle court of honor. As time went on I followed in what I perceive were my dad's footsteps....scouting is a great program from a distance. I supported it as long as I don't really have to do anything with it. Then Heavenly Father gave us 3 sons.

Never fear, I had a plan....their father! I mean what are men for anyway...go Gar, go! I'll support you from the couch, was my cheer.  Then wouldn't you know it!  When they became cub scouts and Gar was called as a den leader,  his job required him to travel 7 to 8 months of the year. So who do you think became the den leader? You can't tell me Heavenly Father doesn't have a sense of humor and he's sly. I must confess I did come to appreciate and often enjoy my time in cub scouts. The closer they came to their 11th birthdays though, the brighter the light became. I was done. I'd served my time. Thank you wise leaders for making 11 yrs boy scouts. Shut that door, I was done. See ya NEVER!

Then a little over a year ago I was called into the stake primary presidency. Can you guess what I was put in charge of.....ding, ding, ding you got it...cub scouts! I didn't even moan. I was grateful for my experience and wanted to help other mom's out there not be so scared and overwhelmed at the mere mention of the words, cub and scout. Once again, Heavenly has shown not only his wisdom but his stealth. It all started so innocently. Attend a training session to set a good example, attend a round table because your husband was going anyway and it would, again, set a good example and BAM! the next thing you know you're going to be a commissioner.

All I can say is Heaven help us all!

Oh and this better get me a free get out of jail card for something I've done, or will do.

PS Just for the record I'll wear the shirt but I WILL NOT EVER attend wood badge. THAT is what Gary is for!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life is good wish you were here.,

I apologize for the extended disappearing act. Life is normal busy, boys have started 8th...yes 8th grade. I'm still adjusting to being the parent of 8th graders. Gar is full emersed in scout master training and I'm just loving life. More soon or stop by for a chat!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Even in pain we have faith!

Like I said in the previous post we don't always understand the timing. After more than 20 years there are is still huge hole in our hearts. We still wish Heavenly Father's plan for our family could have been different, but we have faith He knows the beginning from the end. We have faith He loves us and knows us better than we know ourselves and each other. We have faith He can use all things for good. We have faith he's there with our angel and they are busy waiting together, for the rest of us!
To all who are remembering those who have gone on ahead of us we send our love. We are so grateful for this country and all those who have preserved our freedoms. All those who have and now fight from God, Freedom and Family we honor and pray for you and your families!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Faith.....and timing

"Faith in God
includes faith in 
His timing"
Elder Neal A. Maxwell

When I read this quote today I thought of some dear friends. One is hoping her first biological baby doesn't arrive while her husband is out of town. Another is still waiting for their home to sell. Our ward is waiting for some major callings to be filled. We've been waiting for guidance on family matter for a looonnnnggg time.

I wouldn't say I'm a patient person but my 40+ years have taught me that 
even things I think are urgent and imperative can wait...
if that is what the Lord wants.
I think 6 years of faithfully and not so faithfully 
pleading, begging, praying, fasting, bargaining, listening, demanding, waiting, pondering, pouting, etc with the Lord for guidance about children for our family...infertility, adoption, etc tutored me.
Getting the answer to 
1. Go to Russia
2. Adopt 3 boys ages 2, 2.5 and 3
3. Going from decision to home with boys in 6 months and 3 days
Changes you!

No matter what else comes 
and those who know us, know much has come since that time
I can never deny God's timing.
I can never deny He knows best.
I can never deny that when necessary He can and will move mountain...and governements.
There is much we don't understand.
There are times I strongly disagree with His timing
But that is where faith comes in.
Those are the time when I hold tight to the memory of 
  the hand of God
placing three trusting hands in ours.
It reminds me to be faithful,
so that when it matters
I will be able to be where He needs me to be
and do what He needs me to do.

We continue to pray for those who are waiting.
It's a long, lonely journey.
We pray for peace, for hope, for patience
but most of all faith and strength
because sometimes the answer is more work than you were ready for
but BOY will it be worth it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't ya love it!

I chose the background but then I was stuck getting it all to switch over. 
Gratefully my techno-savy awesome daughter was home and fixed it for me. 
We're gonna miss her something fierce! 
It's not getting any easier to have her leave...parenthood is painful sometime!
Thanks for a wonderful visit, angel!
Pictures are coming if she finds time to download them from her camera before she leaves.
Fingers crossed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mychel's home

We're making memories.
Be back soon!
Love, All of us

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Choosing to Live

It's easy to get distracted.
To forget why we're here and what really matters.
Stephanie literally got to choose to live.
Each day we get to choose too. 
 We choose to love, to feel, to accept. 
We choose to trust a loving Heavenly Father. 
We choose faith. We choose hope. 
We choose to really LIVE!
I needed this reminder.

click above to see video on youtube

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Righteous Examples Matter

Everyone makes mistakes
Everyone suffers, at least some level of, injustice
Today, I say a personal thank you to the 
for living what they believe and giving our family the opportunity to have a dinner table discussion that applies all of Elder Bednar's suggestions from conference. matters!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Will...the artist...who knew?

One of the really cool upsides to being a parent
is finding out your child has a talent you didn't know about...

My Will created this!
He was awarded 2nd place in his school!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pardon me while I...

tell you about...
ok, BRAG about the dinner I made tonight.

First, a bit of back ground. I had homemade refried beans, left over roast and some cheese I needed to use up. I wasn't really hungry, therefore nothing sounded good. It's Monday.

So as I sat waiting for my last munchkin to be picked up I was trying desperately to figure out what to do for dinner before Big G arrived and uttered the phrase we that is worse than nails on chalk board for me.... We'd already had left over roast, soft tacos with it and no one wanted quesadillas. Somehow my brain came up with a casserole. Before I tell you about it I need you to just be proud of me. I don't care it you've made something like it before that was much better, more creative, healthier and ecofriendly. This was big for me.

Here goes:
Spray whatever size oven pan you're going to use with non stick spray.
Spread thick layer of refried beans in bottom
Next scatter a layer of your chosen already cooked meat.
Drizzle a thin layer of salsa
Top with lots of cheese.
Heat until cheese melts.
For those of you who only have a few crumbs left in the bottom of the corn chip bag...
sprinkle those on top.
Otherwise I'd have served it with them to be eaten like a dip
One son chose to put the hot, gooey, yumminess in a tortilla and eat it that way.
The rest of us used spoons.

Now if your Big G you'll be deeply offended at the corn chip on top.
and repeatedly announce chicken would have been a better meat choice.
 (I've learned to just nod and think he missed his calling as a restaurant critic)

Sorry, no pictures...I had no idea it would be worth "sharing"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I need a baby...

so I can have a reason for my sister to make me one of these adorable hats...

I guess it would also help if we lived somewhere it got really cold for
more than...a minute. 

To see more hats go here.
To see more of this adorable baby boy go here
I've very blessed to be the sister of these two talented
and very beautiful (inside and out) women.

To clarify...I don't really want a baby of our own,
been there, done with that!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just what I needed...

I was blog jogging this morning and came upon this Words to live by
It was just what I needed to "hear".

Gotta love Google and Green

Sunday, March 7, 2010

-1=14+15=i think my boys are crazy...

Let me preface this by saying: "My boys are rockin' the egg business. So much so I had to BUY, yes, buy eggs at the store. See, we've reached a point were demand it about to our pace our supply. We started last June with 25 chickens. As of Friday we were down to 15. We're not doing so great on the keepin' them on earth business.


We arrived home from a day in Atlanta and found that one of our chickens had died.

That means we're now down to =14

So Gar called a local feed store and found two weeks old Rhode Island Reds for sale. The boys paid for part of them and we covered the rest.

That means we are now the proud caretakers of 29 chickens. We'll see how long it takes for us to share some with heaven, again.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm proud to announce...

that this ruggedly handsome man
is the new scout master for the Flat Rock Ward.
Feel free to call him with advice, ideas, condolences ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Счастливый 13th день рождения Zac

This little boy

Isn't so little anymore...

Happy 13th Birthday Zac!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Compliments Matter

I've reached a new high.
My middle son, of few words, asked for my help today
on a logic puzzle/game
I hate those.
I'd skip them on tests.
My brain goes in circles.
I happened to remember the solution to this one.
After I told him, he did it
and it worked he said
"You're pretty smart, actually"
Well thank you son!
Would you mind signing this paper and repeating that for the video camera?
I might need to remind you of this moment in the future.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I want one...

Some people watch the opening ceremonies for the show, the music, the culture.
That's good and all, but I enjoy the fashion show...
who needs fashion week?
Love at first sight.
Anyone going to Slovenia?
Anyone know a Slovenian Olympian about my size
that wants to give me theirs?
Ya, that's what I thought...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Holy PoTAtoE Batman!

I have a few loves in my life:
chocolate milk
shrimp dip
cookie dough, cake batter, brownie batter etc
So when someone sent me a link about potatoes I had to check it out.
Seriously...this is awesome!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Счастливый 14-ый день рождения Натан

Happy 14th Birthday Nathan!We Miss You!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I got nothin'...

Over the past week or so
I've come to our family blog
and stared.
I want to update.
I have time to update.
I have nothing to say.
I blame it on the death of my iPhone.
I could say I'm in mourning.
I could say I'm totally annoyed and frustrated.
The truth is I'm lonely.
We'd become friends.
"i" was always there for me with weather updates,
TMZ updates,
dings when I had mail,
beeps to alert me of a text,
my calendar for my ohhh so busy life and highly in demand time (irony alert)
fox news, usa today news, deseret news,
oh the apps I've's devastating.
Now all I got is laundry, dishes, and life...
dang it!
Impersonal interactions...I miss you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

14 baby!

Just in case anyone was high yesterday.
Our girls gave us 14 eggs.

The boys are working on their advertising and marketing plan.
Scout Camp, Summer Trip to UT, Stuff they want...
all very motivating to get to selling.
Feel free to contact them if you want some farm fresh eggs
from happy chickens !
(get it..happy cows...cheese...commerical? I knew ya did)

Free bonus: if you'd like to bring your kids to gather your order of eggs
I know Will and Zac would be willing to take them.
It's a really cool thing.
Our Mr. C begs to go get eggs.
I don't know if it's the eggs or chickens he likes more.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January...let the fun begin

Where to begin...
So far this year I've had a shocking revelation -
This boy
and I have the same size feet!He's 13. I have a confession to make. Since we don't know anything about our boys genetics I used to worry that I could end up with short boys. Please don't hate me. Don't leave me rude comments.
My dad was tall, my brothers are's my world, ok.
Anyway, Zac's only a shoe size behind so I guess I can check that off my list.

While we're on Zac he finally discontinued the diet he'd had our chickens on...
you know "the teenage boy I don't want to do my chores so I'll just say I gave them food and
water today" diet. Now they have the proper nutrition our chickens have finally come around. Today we got 8 eggs! We're getting there girls... 17 hens, 1 rooster.
It will be a real party when we get a dozen a day. Now if they can just start paying for their feed I'll be a happy mom.

It is really cool to have my boys, relatives, friends etc come in with an egg they've found.
The smiles are priceless. Gary's older brother Billy was the best.


I've been spoiled by Cully. He's sweet, easy, little (as in 2yrs and 23ish pounds), and his parents are the best. Today we entered a new phase...
about 2 and a half hours after he went down for a nap I turned around and found him standing behind me in the kitchen. He's known how to climb out of his pack and play for months, but never done it when he was with me (I told you...spoiled)
I guess all good things must come to an end.


Speaking of Cully...his dad, Stephen was able to come to sacrament meeting Sunday. At last count I think he'd lost 30 pounds since his surgery.
He looks so fragile to me, but he's here and that's all that matters right now. He says he's feeling stronger everyday. He still can't take anything by mouth...can you imagine. We're getting close to a month since he's had anything to eat or drink besides taking some pain meds.
He says he dreams of fruit.


Since I brought food up...our freezer has a fresh supply of deer meat thanks to my super hunter, manly man husband who got a deer this week and processed it himself. Did I mention we're having record lows here?
It was a chilly experience for all involved. I was warm and toasty in the house. I did google, "How to tan a deer hide." so I did my part.I'm not even asking...I just relay the info. (PS this picture makes my heart smile...I hope my dad is smiling from heaven. I know my grandpa Hyde is...he taught Gary how to butcher a dear...many, many years ago. Another generation of hunters!)
Oh, don't even ask about the hat...I have no idea.

So how's 2010 goin' for ya'll so far?

Friday, January 1, 2010 we go again!

I know my Heavenly Father loves me.
Thankfully He is also very patient.
Now if He could just help me get over the heart wrenching pain of good-byes...

I didn't mind saying good-bye to 2009.
I did ok, saying good-bye to Gary's big brother Billy.It's such a joy to have him in our home. We will all miss him!
Gary and I had our first date of 2010...we drove him to the Atlanta airport today.
We had a great talk, up and back. It was heaven.

Tonight, though, we gathered together and set some family goals and
had our last whole family counsel until who knows when.
My heart hurts.
We had our last whole family prayer, for awhile.
I cried.
Mychel-Anne flies back to Utah tomorrow and it's killing me.
I know it's right. I know it's good.
That doesn't make it least not tonight.