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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

An Abundant Life

Oh, it's a slippery slope for me.  Not writing every day, then not writing every other day, then skipping more than a week--it's downright treacherous!  I have been consciously trying not to be busy just for the sake of being busy, but life has been full, abundant.  This past week had several highlights, including a fund-raising dinner for Child Evangelism Fellowship.  This is the organization that sponsors and provides volunteers for the Good News Clubs, which thankfully are currently allowed in public schools after regular school hours.  Many children do not have the opportunity to attend church, and this fun activity introduces them to the love of Christ.   The evening's special guest was the president of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly.  He was an excellent speaker with a moving and powerful story about his early years, which were far from storybook. If you are interested, please go to to have a look at Mr. Daly's most recent book, Finding Home.

As a side note, Mr. T&C attended a neighborhood Good News Club as a youngster, admittedly initially motivated by the candy but drawn to stay by the kind volunteer who presented a Bible story on a flannel board each week.  To this day, Mr. T&C loves to see a story told using a flannel board. And, yes, he wore a coat and tie to this event. He looked sharp, but I digress.

Other events of the week were an Open House for each of the children's schools.  Little's was a pretty typical elementary school open house.  Her desk is messy, but her work is neat.  According to her "All About Me" page, her hero is Tim Tebow, her favorite show is "Hannah Montana," and her favorite food is Chinese dumplings!  Middle's open house was a bit more enlightening.  His math teacher, who he described as "horrible and tricky" is probably all of 26.  She looks like she stepped off a magazine cover, lovely.  In addition, she offers extra credit for every test; a tidbit Middle neglected to tell us.  Middle's grade has risen by two points since Open House!  Last was the Open House for Big.  Parents of seniors met in the media center before the event for a crash course on college applications, the services offered by the school, scholarship information, and so on.  In a great blessing, Big has already received provisional acceptance to Clemson, his first choice, but there are still some loose ends to tie up.  Two of his classes, AP Calculus and AP Physics, are quite intimidating to me.  I am more at ease in the AP English Lit and Honors Government courses.  Leaving the high school, I felt a little wistful.  The passage of time is unrelenting, especially when it comes to children.  It seems like it was only last fall that all the open houses I attended smelled of playdough and tempera paint rather than formaldehyde and gym sweat. 

Enjoy the photo of our playroom, when Little was tiny, and Middle was toddling, and Big was little. If you look carefully on the righthand wall, you'll see the alphabet cards from St. Edward's Episcopal Nursery School, where "A Seed is a Promise."  I'm thinking that saplings are pretty remarkable, too.


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