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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

It’s complicated

No, not the movie, although I do hope to see it.  It’s processing our trip to Peru that’s got my brain and my heart all twisted.  Peru is the sixth poorest country in the world.  The city where we stayed and worked is the poorest city in the country. IMG_0708 - Copy
Chimbote.  It’s about seven hours north of Lima on the Pacific coast.    The city is about 400,000 people in the middle of the San Luis desert.  The wind—and the dust—are relentless.  The people are beautiful beyond words.  Simply, we went to serve the poor in Jesus’ name.  Nothing is solved or resolved; the scope of the poverty is enormous, and we are only one drop of relief, one brief moment of eased suffering, of hope.
Days One, Two, and Three were primarily devoted to construction and re-building existing “houses.” IMG_0721Before, home of Manuel y Isabel, Luz, Anna, y Manuel Jesus
IMG_0793The old house has been torn down, and the new estera house is near completion.
IMG_0790Anna in her new room with her toys—all of them.
Our medical team worked all day everyday in the indigent care hospital and in a free clinic they set up each afternoon.
IMG_0724Our helpers, las architectas, Sayudi y Brenda
I was blessed to be able to take these two 16-year-old girls shopping for school supplies.  When I invited them to pick out something “fun” for themselves, they asked if they could get rice for their families  instead.
I guess it’s not so complicated after all.


  1. It is amazing how a visit to a 3rd world country can totally change how we see our own lives!

  2. What a life changing experience you had. We all could use a reality check once in awhile of what is really important.

  3. This is so eye opening. Bless you and Mr. T&C for taking the time to share yourselves and do this. I'm sure you are only aware of a fraction of how you have helped this community. :) xoxo

  4. I completely understand how it's complicated. I have been on mission trips - not to foreign countries - but to the inner-cities of our own major metropolitan cities. We leave the poverty of those areas and come back to our own "mansions" and insane wealth. My heart has been twisted and stretched. It IS complicated.

  5. Wow. Good for you for making a difference. I was so awestruck by the scope of poverty when I went on a Mission Trip to Brazil. They really lived by the verse, "Give us this day our daily bread" and I have never forgotten it. THANK YOU for being there to give some relief and to love these sweet people.

  6. Oh! And thanks so much for my Sunshine Award! It made my day sunny and Golden!

  7. Don't know whether or not my THANK YOU posted last night! You make my day just that much more sunny too!

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such kind comments! Cheers to you for your mission trip - I have great respect for those who are involved in such ministries. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  9. i am in awe of people who make mission trips. three
    of our children have been on many, i have supported
    innumerable people who have been...i'm just too

    it makes me ashamed.

    my shame, however, will not keep me from visiting
    here, again, though. way to go for your bravery.

    i knew i would like your blog, because we like all
    the same authors. i'm a jan karon groupie...


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