Friday, May 30, 2008

Counter tops DONE!

Woo hoo! They're done and they're wonderful!

Yes, we still have more work to do before the kitchen is actually functional, but this really is a major piece of progress for the kitchen re-do. Our updated Web Album can be viewed by clicking here. Looking at the pictures of the stretch along the window, you can see the new dishwasher and the new trash compactor. What you can't see is the new garbage disposal (since it's under the sink, silly).

Now it's on to the tile back splash (which Tim will do while I'm out of town next week), some trim around the window, some more electrical work, some under cabinet lighting.... etc., etc., etc.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

At last!

The workman are upstairs in the kitchen as I write this -- at long last, the countertops will be finished! Still need the tile backsplash (Tim's job), the door handles, some electrical work and under cabinet lighting, and other finishing touches, but this is a GIANT leap forward. Pics coming soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I have been musing the last couple of days about adoption.

Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman lost his youngest daughter, age 5, three days ago in a tragic accident at the family home (if you Google or go to, you can find out the details). Maria Sue was adopted from China by the Chapman family when she was just a baby, much like my own daughter, Abbi, was adopted from Korea by my first husband and myself when she was three months old.

Adoption isn't a makeshift or substitute relationship for the 'real thing.' It is the real thing, as solid as any biological relationship and running just as deep. The choice to make a family with a child who has already suffered the loss of his/her biological family is not taken lightly. And the bond created in that choice is permanent, whatever the outcome of the child's own subsequent life choices. Believe me. I know. And so do all the other 'adoptive' parents out there. Adoption is the very relationship we enjoy with our Creator. He chose us to be His. The bond is permanent, no matter our subsequent choices.

My Abbi turns 24 tomorrow -- a birthday little Maria Sue Chapman will never see. The loss for the Chapman family is horrible to contemplate. Scripture says that our days are appointed by God. Maria Sue had 5 years and 10 days here -- a good life, I'm sure. She's home with Jesus now, of that I'm also sure.

The Chapmans had a mission when it came to adoption, establishing a special foundation that gives grants to parents in need of funds to cover the adoption fees -- so that even if money is tight, they, too, can bring home a child. Why? Because every child deserves a home -- a 'forever family' is how we put it. The exact same privilege that we enjoy spiritually with our God.

If you wish, you may contribute to Shaohannah's Hope and help others bring children home to their very own forever families, too.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I am personally appalled at how much homework young children are given these days. Since when is it appropriate for a 6 year old to spend an additional hour on work after school is over for the day? Wouldn't that hour be better spent (developmentally speaking) in free play or family interaction? The human brain needs time to just 'be' -- our kids aren't getting that benefit any longer because homework starts at such an early grade level.

During my school years, we didn't have our first homework assignment until the 4th grade, and even that might be stretching it a bit. At least we were old enough at that point to be responsible on our own for the work that had to be done -- our parents didn't have to sit us down to do the homework with us, as most have to now. I don't think my mother checked a single homework assignment that I ever did. School was my responsibility, not hers.

Studies show that homework in the elementary years does not contribute to children's learning. It might help them regurgitate facts better in the short-term, but that is not an indicator of actual learning. What homework does do is significantly raise the stress level of today's parents and, consequently, the entire family, robbing families of time that could be better spent. That's a tragedy for the family and for child development.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Health Care

My recent poll on health care was somewhat inconclusive, friends. Okay, no one wanted government to be paying for all the health care. But 33% wanted tax credits, 22% wanted the current system of employer-provided insurance, and 44% want "something other than" the choices that I offered in the poll. I've no idea where our health care system will end up, and I don't really know what is the best solution -- but it seems to me it can't keep going on as it is. When senior citizens have to go without much-needed prescription drugs, when going to the hospital can bankrupt your finances, and when health care is categorized as an 'industry,' something is very, very wrong.

Maybe when the Baby Boomers are in full retirement things will change? What do you think?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Praise God Now!

Getting back to some serious thoughts here....

We join in a very ancient cry when we sing or say the word “Hallelujah.” Interestingly, it appears in Scripture in this form -- i.e. as the actual word “Hallelujah” -- only in the book of Revelation (chapter 19). The literal translation is: Praise JAH -- JAH being the Hebrew for He that Is. This is in contrast with the Psalms, where we find Praise Jehovah – which means Praise He who will be, is, and was. In Revelation, with the use of “Hallelu JAH” we have reached the time when there is no more need of thinking about God as He was or will be – we are then in the present with the living Lord. That gets a “Hallelujah!” out of me when I think about how wonderful that day will be!

So, does our use of the word “Hallelujah” in the present age mean that we are living in what is known as the “end times?” Are we getting ahead of ourselves by using the term? I confess I don’t know the answer to questions such as those, and I am not really trying to address that here (although you’re welcome to think about it).

Hallelujah is not the equivalent of the present day “Woohoo!” or “Ye-es!” that we all use when we’re excited about something. Hallelujah! is an ancient form of reverent worship and praise to our living God. What is interesting is that singing or saying “Hallelujah” means we are praising the God who is right now, with no need to think about the past or the future. Seems to me that’s how we are to be living anyway in these days. Scripture exhorts us not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34); it also tells us that God does not remember our past sins (Psalm 103:12). We get to live in the present with our magnificent and mighty God – what a relief! Hallelujah!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thank you for your support!

My fellow Americans and Canine-Americans, I'd like to extend to you my sincerest gratitude for electing me to the office of President of the United States, and I assure you that no dog dish will go empty during my administration. This country is faced with a desperate health care crisis that I intend to solve by creating a universal health care system offering free rabies and distemper shots for all. It is my heartfelt belief that free distemper shots may serve to cure the general incivility (i.e. the "distemper") of our current culture, and to ensure that this legislation is successful, I will inflict the 'wounded puppy' look on members of the Congress if necessary.

Staying true to my core beliefs and the laws of the land, I pledge to serve all species during my administration while adhering to my universal theme: Playtime for Everyone. To that end, every family and pet in America will be issued one case of frisbees, chew toys and balls each year, and an Annual National Day of Play will be declared and established.

My fellow Americans (Canine and otherwise), this is a new day in our history, with the first Mixed Breed Canis Familiaris elected to the highest office in the land. I promise to walk sedately on my leash and lick only those faces that are close enough to be reached without jumping up with my muddy paws.

Thank you. I will not betray the great trust that has been given me in this election. And if anyone has a red super-hero cape that they don't need, would you please send it to me? Apparently I can't use taxpayer dollars to purchase one.

- President Hank, The Wonder Pup

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lost in America

That’s where our counter tops are – lost in America. We were given the bad news yesterday by the cabinet installers.

How can a honking great package of counter top material get lost in the system of the revered United Parcel Service????

Sooooo…. Kitchen re-do has come to a screeching halt for the time being.

I’m bummed.

PS – vote for Hank the Wonder Pup – he needs the work.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

And now.... a floor!

See our updated Kitchen Re-do Photo album for more pics. We're getting there! Tim tiled the floor last night. The cabinets have doors and drawer fronts. The countertops are promised for next week!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Progress, Slightly Less Dust

Today I'm being "serenaded" by the sounds of power drills at work. The frames of the new cabinets have been installed, as well as some of the cabinet doors, and you can really see the kitchen taking shape!

You can see the progress in these two pics -- the left pic is the old kitchen and the right pic is the same view of the new one as its being constructed.