Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prayers for Justin S please.

And for all the Urban Ed and Summer Scholars Students and staff at WSC, including my son.
Justin was found dead in his dorm the day before the program ends.
Article here

Monday, July 28, 2008

We met 30 years ago and still love to date!

So first of all, thank you for the ideas for dates and the well wishes. There is still time to add your vote to the poll.
On to our actual date plan...

We were still discussing what we might do late Friday but did decide that 'something' outdoors on such a nice day was a must. If we were up to it afterwards we might try a dinner and movie. My only 'mum' request was that we spend some quality time with the kids cleaning- 2 weeks of VBS left us with a mess.
After an hour I was at my wits end and he was back from an oil change so I gladly passed the baton. He had them help clean the car while I went for groceries. I managed to pick fun treats for them, everything on my list And a picnic lunch for us. He realized I was absolutely right about them being wired but a head count proved they were all still alive. (And my van has never been cleaner.)
Groceries half away and cooler packed we took off to buy ice and leave--- when I realized I had forgotten plates, forks, napkins etc. (Hey its been a long time!) Home we went.

Getting lost.....

Now you must understand that we have lived in Massachusetts our whole lives and have rarely been outside the state, but we have not been on an 'outdoors' date in a long time. We toyed with the idea of driving to Vermont like we did as teens but the memory of finding a Walmart at one of our old haunts, under 'our' mountain was too much. Garmin to the rescue!
If you plug in park you get lots of parking lots but then we saw Nonotuck Park in Easthampton which sounded perfect. Of course we were already on I91 nearly in Northampton so it required going backwards. I almost let it get to me when I recognized the road we were on (and a fellow bloggers home) and he didn't.


The place was perfect. The man at the booth saw us wanting a date and let us drive around a pick a spot and we picked the one farthest from the playground and crowds. I set up while he went back to pay and poured us some happy hour. The grill lit fast and we enjoyed giant burgers grilled zuccini, marinated tortelini , feta cheese and olives.

The woods....

I really love the woods and the sense of being all alone there was, it turned out, what we needed. We walked, hidden, and enjoyed the beauty of where the stream and marsh meet the pond. For hours. We dosed on towels but never went swimming. We talked for hours- something always very necessary for our relationship. Gone was the sense I'd had of being the old fuddy-duddy, party-pooper sister/mom/houskeeper. Back was the sense of being half of a very intense, romantic and destined relationship.


When we did leave we bought 2nd hand movies, including Enchanted, and went home to give the kids ice cream cones and snuggle them through a movie. We were actually ready for them. And that I think is the most important part of a date, to be ready to enjoy the everyday again knowing the romance will be there when you take a moment. Ready to look at each with knowing, loving eyes other across the room over pj'd kids with chocolate smiles.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Date ideas needed

I need date night ideas because my husband and I really need a fun night together. Yes the wedding was fun but suffice it to say, we need a different night out.
The problem is I'm torn about what that should involve and I'm fairly sure some of what I need in a night is not what he needs. The evening to rejuvenate both of us and this week that's a pretty tall order.
We started dating at 13. Before our parents had considered how they wanted to handle the situation, we ran ahead full steam. We were always broke and without transportation and yet they didn't want us to replace 2 hours out together with a hour on the phone sighing. (Can't imagine why?!!!?)
So we tried to be very prepared for our children. Group events are fine but actual 1 couple alone dating was not going to happen before they turned 16. We also had rules about behaviour on a date and read with the first 2 Steve Woods' How to Find a Good Husband/Wife. It led to some interesting moments. 1 teen misheard and thought we said, done being 16 and hid his dates--- not our intent. The other fought tooth and nail for a few months. ( Bet you can't guess which kid did which...)
The crux of the discussions was that to truly honor your spouse requires respecting the heart and body you will someday give to that person. If you let your heart become battered and cynical, if your body is used, bored, compromised by disease at any qualitative level you are not giving your best to a person you have decided deserves your best. Or, worse, you may settle for someone who you do not believes deserves more.
For them we hoped dating would be closer to courtship: not hiding in a dark movie theater but talking over a class or at a service project; not dancing too close and necking in a parked car but meeting family and joining their weekly softball game. That said we did not ask them to just have courtship which typically is limited to the time after getting your education once you can support a family. The reality is many of those families have teens hide their dating and many go overboard while away at college. (and picking a good school is not enough protection.) I wanted to be present and meet the people they liked even when (especially when) that choice seemed inconsistent with the teen I knew.
Well after 8 years of talking about this with my kids, few times alone with my husband, unaware of what happens on weekends after 6PM, and growing older I have no good ideas for my DH. He not only has few ideas but at this point is nervous about suggesting the wrong thing and that is my fault, or at least estrogen's' fault.

Just us or with another couple? I'm sure just us sounds romantic but it increases the likelihood we'll only discuss the kids or old hurts.

Movie? Same as with the teens - we need to have some time talking about something not just sit in the dark together. (that said, I haven't seen Will Smith, Prince Caspian, Bucket List, or a single Oscar winner in years)

Dinner and Dancing? I wouldn't know where. Don't think I want the disappointment of not recognizing a single song or friend or sister in the crowd. I guess its become only a wedding activity that I can't picture without them.

I do hear the weather will be good. Doing something active would be good for us but when was 'good for us' a date?

Oh and it can't be in Holyoke because we have never had a great date that didn't involve being lost. Weird I know but its has become tradition. So respond, and quickly! Got to get my Dear Husband a Fun Wife and soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Goodbuy from the Murphy8

How do you truly embarass a baby sister? #7 of 7 girls? ( The only boy even had an ordination we helped with, instead of marrying a girl who would have wanted to plan her own wedding!)
First you take a song from a musical and change the words.....


Then your mother explains
B.O.O. the Benevolent Order of Outlaws
(who stole her daughter's hearts)

Introduces the membership: my DH being the founding OutLaw

and inducts the newest Son in-law, being sure he gets a bandana and a membership card with the motto:
I love my Mother -in -law."


The Final Wedding

He loves my sister!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cramming-- not Procrastinating though

Tonight I will be on equal footing with my teen/adult son. Tonight I take my first college exam in USHistory 132 at West. State as he sits next to me. When I announced to the kids that dad and I had decided the time had come and I was going back to school they were very excited. Once the college was chosen, my son told me which class to take this summer that would allow us to go together.
So tonight an impartial Professor will decide which of us understands the material better- the one who has been studying for others for 13 years or the one who has been making others study. I'm nervous but determined.
My one regret is that it does not make financial sense for me to go to the Elms or to major in Parish Ministry. By the time I'm done I need to make enough money to make up for our years raising a large family. I don't mind poor but I don't want to have nothing to retire on either.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


still glad i helped adria

but whew

and yes i am having a beer

to update the rest of you:

we are 3 days into vacation bible school goes to narnia
our parish hall was a mess
our maintenance man who did little was finally fired (5 years too late)
i have my Marie and Zoe back!
2 friends had babies
tomorrow is my first college exam in 20 + years
Friday is TFW ( the last Murphy girl gets married so The Final Wedding, we pray)

BTW way I studied in my son's dorm Tuesday night then he walked my to my car-- I still feel like I won Mommy of the Year when I'm around that boy!

Note to Self: When you perchance enter the family chilli cook off by having your husband make His famous Pulled Pork chilli and he puts you in chanrge of it for a while, you are not off the hook when he transfers it himself to the crockpot. The stock pot will need to be washed even though you slelpt all of Sunday after the picnic, even though monday you cleaned the rotten milk at the parish hall and organized the stuff left there. You kitchen still exists and will be Jealous of the time you spent clewaning somewhere else. You may even find your potatoes have gone bad.
You may need to cook something and play the kitchen CD player while singing Christian Rock to soothe it back to normal.

I know -- after The Final Wedding

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Warning: Rant

I put this rant on my Facebook and debated moving it here. After cooling off: Yes, you should read this. Please note I have read Alice Walker's The Color Purple and could appreciate the characters need to grow beyond the abused child/woman she was expected to be all of her life. I had hoped it was use of fiction to change the future and not an excuse to continue distructive, distrust of all relationships.

HT: Danielle

Go here and read. And let me publicly say I LOVE being a mom. I love every detour its put me on. I love every time I was 'forced' (reminded ) to be home with my family and that this work is great work. I love every tear, wrinkle and gray hair. I love my giant scar and my little ones, vericose veins and extra pounds. Because my children have let me be present at all their good and bad times, they have let me Mother them. ( Mother: a VERB not a noun) Know that I will be there for you my children and nephews and nieces and friends we've adopted. And know that most parents really want to be very different from this feminist who turned in her parent card. Give your parent a chance to show you how strong they are, how loving and creative they can be in searching out solutions. And if you just can't trust them know there really is a Father in Heaven who has given you a Brother in Christ who has given you a Mother you can trust! Please

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Here was our Fourth

Every 2

minutes:"We need a dog."

Ready to go!

Kelley's Pond in background:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We'll be at my in laws lovely beach house.

Happy Independence Day