Thursday, May 19, 2016


Normal = complex. And that is a good thing. 

Three years ago we asked for your prayers as Pieter was diagnosed with epilepsy, and we embarked on a detour we did not plan. Compared to many, ours has not been a terrible journey. Just sudden, unplanned, exhausting and at times nerve-wrecking... yes wrecking... holding your convulsing child through a seizure is no fun. But we found a "new normal" - a ridiculously confusing term, really, for what in the world does "normal" look like?

But today he had his 4th and final EEG, which confirmed 100% normal brainwaves. We are so thankful for the Lord's strength which has been made perfect in our weakness. We are thankful for each of you who prayed for us, asked about Pieter, embraced the complexities of his diet, offered encouragement and wisdom from experience, sat with me, cried with me, affirmed the tears as normal, and treated Pieter as a normal kid... 

Today as I watched the EEG map Pieter's brainwaves into a mass of pretty chaotic amplitudes and frequencies, I asked the technician a question:
"So that's normal?
"Perfectly normal," she replied. 
I smiled with relief as understanding dawned. The massive multitude of variables confirmed what I have suspected for a long time - normal is clearly a very complex concept.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

comfortably weird


adjectiveweirder, weirdest.
involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny:
a weird sound; weird lights; weird family
fantastic; bizarre:
a weird getup.
Archaic. concerned with or controlling fate or destiny.

a word that has often been used in reference to the Murphy family -
admittedly with good reason:

 6 boys? All yours? Really? Do you not know what causes this?

 No TV? Really? What do you do with your time...?

 Necrotic lymph nodes? Whaaaat?
If you missed that chapter, fear not - 
I'll save you the gory details
and that'll save me from having to relive the trauma of that week. 
While we are VERY grateful that the surgery was not complicated 
and the pathology report indicated ...
(thankfully but strangely)
we are still a bit baffled by this bizarre phenomenon, 
and pondering the question with our friend Shannon: 
“But Scott... why are your insides rotting???”

However, recovery from that "weird" was more or less smooth 
and not worth pictures. 
Believe you me.

However, here is a "weird" worth a picture (or two):
Think Little Jack Horner. 
Only we are not talking thumb and pie. 
We're talking big toe and lawnmower.
(Should you dislike toes that resemble plump prunes,
Look no further.
For I am going to show you one.)
Big toe.
Bigger scare.
Biggest ouch.
Thank goodness for good shoes. 
Go get a pair for all your grass cutting stunts. 
I can even recommend a store. 
Full disclosure: I receive no benefit or proceeds from this promotion. 
Except for the benefit that the big chief still has his big toe 
(compliments of said shoes.)
And that matters more than you can imagine. 
He "only" has 
one crushed bone
that will more-or-less heal 
nerve damage
that will likely heal
soft tissue damage
that will somewhat heal.
And lots of pain.
And GREAT friends who have walked with him literally every step of the way. 
You know who you are.

In the midst of this episode, 
it was revealed that
we have 
engaged in a not-so-weird activity. 
We have heard multiple stories in the last 2 weeks about lawnmower-toe collisions.
Everybody knows somebody who has had a similar injury – 
often with much greater consequences. 
(They did not get the Vasque memo.) 
But who knew how weird an incident it would take 
to become non-weird
All it takes is a 
lawnmower blade
a sacrificial big toe.
Methinks there is 
peculiar comfort 
in sticking to the
weird side of life... 
Here's to the weird!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I don't know what happened to the Parmesan... 
Do you know what happened to the Parmesan...?
The spoon in my hand?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

to love... or not to love...that is the question.

  1. (in the Christian religion) an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches
Today was Ash Wednesday.

Although our church does not formally observe the day (yet does observe the season in preparation for Easter) it seems that our offspring has fully embraced the day and season by fasting from...
love for one another...
exactly what a parent would hope for them to gain from this tradition, of course. 
This [tr]ashy day alone has seen physical brotherly violence, sibling verbal abuse, astonishing selfish assertions and prideful justifications of atrocities too absurd to mention.
I am on my third glass of whine (sic) for the evening. Just say'in. 
May the fullness of the grace of the cross be ours... 
now and forever more...
and more...

and more!!!!
Should they look angelic to the untrained eye... be ye not fooled.
They are NOT!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Cosmic Conversation

"In my mind’s ear I can hear God saying to God, 

Can I do it?
Do I love them that much? 
Can I leave my galaxies, 
my solar systems,
 can I leave the hydrogen clouds 
and the birthing stars 
and the journeyings of comets, 
can I leave all that I have made, 
give it all up, 
                                                     and become a tiny
unknowing seed 
                                                           in the belly of a young girl?
 Do I love them that much? 
Do I have to do that in order 
to show them what it is to be human?


The answer on our part is a grateful Alleluia! 

God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…" 

-Penguins and Golden Calves, Madeleine L’Engle
(emphasis added)

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Year of The Fritz

 Found in L.A., CA
 Sent to us from Europe
 Unmistakable "signs" that 2014 must be inscribed in the Murphy Chronicles as 
The Year of The Fritz. 

Quotes to prove it: 

 “Oh dear, my pants are wet. It's OK, though. It is just because I stored an icicle in my pocket so I can eat it later.”

"Why did Jesus make burps 
but parents don't want you to use them?"

image credit:

"We're going to get gas AGAIN? 
We just keep putting gas in the car, and putting more gas in the car... 
but where does it all go?"

"Oh look! Chickens made that wine. I thought chickens make eggs!"

A toast to The Fritz!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

when the queen's away... things happen

SO exactly 
w h a t
when a mother flies the coop
for 4 days to go have a blast 7 hours away with 10 other women?

Murphy Boy Camp

and it's  aftermath.
That's what.

 Said camp involved hammers...
(uhmm... looks like Hammering 101 got a little out of hand?)

(of course! which boy-camp would not(???))

(don't like the look of this...)

 (not bad! now this part I can get used to.)

 ...the essential who-knows-how-acquired prize...
(don't. ask. normal. boy. life. no. comment.)

 ...and interesting art.
Oh wait, that 's not art!
That's an 84 year old wall being knocked out!

And now it's gone.
And there is 
Result of BOY Camp.
And an absent mother.
(the absent wall, that is...I hope...)
Big Chief scored big points with this.
I'm presently pondering the potential for renovations enabling Big Chief's points to amass
by humbly offering a 
queenly exit 
more often...;-)

Saturday, December 21, 2013


This is overdue and long, so if you do not want to read it all, here is the short version: 
Merry Christmas and an Invaded New year!

NO, that is not a typo. I said INVADED.  
Want to know why? 
Read on!
It has been a while...because aliens invaded our household. Though I'm the one bearing the title of Resident Alien on my legal documents, let me just be clear here: I'm not it. The US government has not seen the likes of this. They will change my title promptly should they investigate. Here's part of the proof: Pieter attempting extraterrestrial communication. 
(Warning: do not try this at home. Seizures may occur. Or worse: aliens may respond!)  
Apparently totally unrelated to (but suspiciously concurrent with) the incident above, every dormant alien quality possessed by Adam's offspring have been amplified in the occupants of planet Murph. Hence Eve's silence in blogland. Alien antics are keeping her quite occupied.

And as if simply living with aliens is not enough, we acquired a resident (alien) President as well. 
After a backyard election (which included all the appropriate lobbying, promises and corruption),  Neels was sworn in as the first ever Planet Murph president, complete with oath, speech  and... an assassination attempt a mere 30 minutes into his presidency. Whether it was his abscessed tooth that pushed Martin to consider such measures or whether it was the unfulfillable, rashly made promises of the president elect that annoyed him greatly, we knowest not. The press still finds it (not) hard to believe that such a dimpled smile can have such vicious ambitions.

 But never fear when a first-born police man is near. Devan saved the day by discovering, dismantling, disassembling, and dissolving the person... ahhh....the plot. This swift action left the assassinator even more disgruntled than before, but he must have had some change of heart (or maybe it was the change of tooth?)  for our president and self appointed head-of-police are still both alive and well... 

I have nothing to tell you about The Fritz. Bless his heart. Apart from NEVER putting his shoes away, and NEVER knowing where they are when we need them most, and ALWAYS getting them on the wrong feet, (I mean really, two feet, two shoes - you would think statistically he could get them on the correct foot at least 50% of the time, right? WRONG!) he does not make waves - except for the waves on his head, but we like those.  However, his (not so) loving roommates are making some wild accusations about him being central to much of the trouble and annoyance in the Presidential Saga.

ON a more peaceful note: Leif made it into the manger. 

He was chosen to be Baby Jesus not because he is holier than any of the other little boys his age (quite the contrary - he seems to be particularly unholy at 02:17 am) but he just happened to be immobile, small enough yet not too small, AND comes with 5 angelic brothers - which boosted numbers for the angel choir during our church's annual Living Nativity. 

(May I just confidentially share that exactly ONE of these angels actually sang. The rest excelled in perfecting their frowns... except for that darkly hooded angel who lurked in the shadows and swung on the rails. He managed to thoroughly enjoy himself notwithstanding his un-angelic non-participation.)

But despite (or maybe because of) local presidential drama and alien invasions, we pause to reflect and celebrate a very real and welcome invasion of a different sort. The Invasion that C.S. Lewis describes in Mere Christianity:
(Ok, I know this is the umpteenth time I share this... but it is good, so go ahead, read it again:-)

       artist: sadao watanabe(1913-1996)

“.. the story of how the rightful king has landed, 
you might say landed in disguise
and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” 

Indeed a sabotage of status quo leading to 

"We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies... 
shalom means 
universal flourishing, 
wholeness and delight- 
a rich state of affairs 
A state of affairs that inspires 
joyful wonder 
as its Creator and Savior opens doors and 
welcomes the creatures in whom he delights
Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be." 
           ~Cornelius Plantinga, Not The Way Its Supposed To Be

That's why we wish you
Merry Christmas
and an
invaded New Year!

Monday, June 24, 2013

because we need more boys, of course!

No proper, loving, nurturing parent wants a child's pets to die, of course, even when they are snails. But sometimes the same proper, loving, nurturing parent may not particularly care whether the pets in question live or not.  There is a difference. 

So maybe we can forgive this proper? loving? nurturing? parent (though she has never consciously claimed any of those adjectives) that she has not lately inquired about the health and happiness of The Snails, and that she has actually secretly assumed them either deceased or fortunate escapees from their salad-container home. 
Big was this parent's surprise to learn that the snails have somehow miraculously survived their contained existence. Furthermore, the discovery was made that we will soon have the privilege of receiving into our fold cute little BABY snails!:-O

You got to be kidding. Those little white objects are surely pebbles. Neels, you did decorate their home with pebbles, didn't you?

On closer examination (during which uno unfortunate embryo gave his life in order to prove his existence) it was confirmed: thirty-something baby gastropods are just waiting to hatch and meet their beaming owner. "I am so proud of them!" he chortled in his joy. "I did not know I could make them do this!

The proper, loving, nurturing parent did not burst his bubble by telling him that he indeed did not make them do this. She just smiled an outward smile and freaked out inwardly as she envisioned the future with thirty more snails to keep out of the house to love on. That would be thirty baby BOY snails, for that is what their proud owner emphatically   insists they are. :-0 Big proper, lovingnurturing parental sigh...

Update: I apparently had it all wrong. "Not all boy snails," he corrected me, "there is at least one girl in there - so that they can keep making more and more and more baby snails, you know!"

Oh of course!  Just what we need.:-/