Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grace to You Television Show

This past Sunday, Rich and I were featured on John MacArthur's Grace to You television show. The subject was "Why does evil dominate the world" and they paralleled our story about Brady with John talking about that subject.

Drew has put it on You Tube so you can view it by clicking below. It begins with John preaching and our segment is in the last 7-8 minutes of the show.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What a difference 12 days make...


...and after!I know the song is "What a difference a DAY makes" but humor me a little. In 12 days, a crew transformed my kitchen, so I am singing that happy tune. As you can see in the photos my kitchen cabinetry was a bland white washed oak - quite nice if you like the 1980's, but last I checked it was 2007. When we moved in about 10 years ago, it wasn't my favorite, but it was all new, so I couldn't quite justify re-doing it (nor did I have a dime after moving in anyways). The kitchen in this house was actually a little smaller than my old house, and since there was no built in microwave like I had before, we got a small countertop one. It hogged much counterspace for 10 years, and as it was breaking down, I began to scheme.

First, a little bit about that countertop microwave. It's funny how you think nothing about buying lots of things but can never quite bring yourself to get a new $75 microwave in 10 years. Actually, the first week we had the microwave, I accidentally chipped a side of the glass tray inside, which turns your food around. That little chip somehow stopped that tray from turning around (go figure?). So, for 10 years I have been heating up food for 20 seconds, then opening up the microwave and repositioning the food so it won't incinerate on one side. You think nothing of it. 20 seconds- turn. Repeat. Do for 10 years. But you never think once about replacing the microwave (or order a new tray)! Then, a couple of months ago, as I was cooking one of those little veggies in the bag from Trader Joe's, I heard a very loud CRACK inside. The glass tray had now officially broken in two perfect halves. We were done. Push had now turned to shove, and I had to do something about that microwave.

So, I began to appeal to Rich to put an over the stove microwave in, to free up counter space and move us into the 21st century. This was easier said than done. The cabinets above our stove were too long, so they would have to be redone. New cabinets meant matching the stain to the existing cabinets. Matching the stain of the existing cabinets seemed impossible since they were now yellowing pretty good now. Not to mention chipping and showing a lot of wear. So, of course, the only solution to getting a new microwave was refinishing ALL the cabinets. Totally logical, right? So, after one phone call to a contractor friend, I had my guy, Brendan. Brendan and his crew came in the very next day and stripped, sanded, and restained the existing cabinets. WOW! It's like a whole new kitchen. Emma suggested a nice celery color for the kitchen walls and Brenden nabbed it on the Dunn Edwards color palette in one try. In 12 days, Brenden and his crew accomplished it all, very reasonably I might add, and it looks beautiful. I truly love the newfound counterspace where the microwave used to be!

I now feel like we went on one of those Home & Garden T.V. shows, showing how you can transform a kitchen not using a lot of money or time. We kept our existing floors, sink, stove, fridge, and countertops. We refinished the cabinetry, added a microwave, a new stainless dishwasher, and got a coat of paint. What a difference 12 days makes. I am one happy Mama in the kitchen now!

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Treat of a Retreat

This weekend we had the privilege of "chaperoning" our kids' bible study retreat. Nate and Bethany Williams, the bible study leaders, thought they might need a hand with 25 high schoolers, so they asked us to come along. We traveled to Kingsburg, about 3 hours north, to camp on Andy and Becky Muxlow's property. They have endless acres right on the Kings River. They have set aside a particular area on their property for church youth groups to have retreats. There was plenty of room for tents (and for RV's for us old OR pregnant folks- not OLD and PREGNANT!), picnic tables, a large fire pit with seating, and an indoor kitchen and bathroom. They also allowed us the use of their lakeside outside kitchen/barbecue area, which was sweet! I have never cooked in a more picturesque location. The Williams kept thanking us for cooking, but for Rich and I it was the ultimate pleasure to cook outdoors, under the oaks, with state of the art equipment combined with exquisite design.

We all arrived late Friday afternoon, ate dinner, and had campfire time. The next day, after breakfast and a great devotion led by Nate regarding our speech, we all enjoyed free time down near the river. The rest of the day was filled with barbecued hamburgers, fishing, exploring, napping (for some), and warm chocolate chip cookies! After dinner, Nate again led us and then provided a great game of cops and robbers in the DARK. Then, we were all awakened at 2:00 a.m. to unknown persons setting off fireworks in the open area behind us! My brave husband scared them off and that was that! On Sunday morning, we got to attend the Muxlow's church. Adam Bailie, a recent Master's Seminary grad, became their new pastor a month ago. Adam gave us a great message about the prophecies that proclaim Jesus as Messiah from Matthew 2. After that, we headed back for a barbecue lunch before heading home.

Rich and I felt blessed to be a part of this great weekend. We are so thankful for the high school ministry at our church, and all that it means to our kids. The Lord is so good! Below are some more pictures from the weekend.