31 December 2007

Change of Direction

After about 14 years of white walls and a pink and blue stencil, we decided to paint our kitchen/dining room.

This past week, we've been painting different patches of wall in different shades of yellow in different combinations using sponging on, ragging off, and dry brushing to test the looks of these various paints in faux finishes. We've narrowed it down to a pale lemon sorbet and a brighter buttery yellow and are happy with our choices.

We also wanted to add a tile backsplash between the countertop and the bottom of the cupboards. With that in mind, we headed down to the tile store today. We began browsing and then things took an unexpected turn.

You see, our counters are a medium blue. We'd like to change them, but the countertops we've looked at in the past are far, far out of our budget, so we were going to change other things and continue to save until we could replace the countertops. However, at the tile store, we began to see possibilities we hadn't thought about in terms of tile countertops. I've seen tile countertops at others' homes and haven't really liked them, but the counter at the store was finished in large tiles and they were butt jointed (very little grout between them). The salesman said that porcelain is five times harder than granite, so we started browsing for porcelain counter tiles. We have a few samples here at the house, along with some samples of tiles and decorative strips for the backsplash. Painting is now on the back burner as we want to do the counters first. We'll also tile the island and desk, and lower the snackbar so it's the same height as the counter to open up the whole room. I'll try to post before and after pictures as we work. (I'm having trouble getting any pictures to upload, so I can't promise anything.)


30 December 2007

Sign of the Times?

While watching PBS's Jane Eyre tonight, I was surprised at the end to hear the ad for the DVD's. One could purchase the mini-series on disc, or (insert picture of the novel by Charlotte Brontë) the 'companion book to the series'. My daughter and I almost fell over laughing.

29 December 2007

Dinner Guests

We've been meaning to have a couple of the single guys from church over for a home-cooked dinner for about nine months now, and we finally followed through on Thursday evening.

They arrived at about 6:30 and we put them right to work helping in the kitchen. With the two guys, plus the eleven of us, it was a tight but cozy fit. My Honey planned the menu (tarragon orange chicken, bread for dipping into olive oil, sweet balsamic vinegar and herbs, veggies, one bottle white wine, and one of a sweet blush wine that tasted berry, berry good) while I took care of the dessert (a simple marble cake from a boxed mix, served warm with ice cream and melting frosting).

We had a delightful time getting to know the guys, the things that keep them busy and their plans for the future. It was such an encouragement to hear how the Lord has been working in their lives, their love for the Saviour and his church, and their gratitude to our amazing pastors.

This was probably our most successful dinner and we hope to do it often in the future. A few things we did to help things along: we let them know that we wanted them to work with us in cooking the meal, and we provided aprons for everyone (installed a small rack in the kitchen to hang them and bought three 3-packs of aprons in different colors from Sam's that afternoon). Clothes don't make the cook, but they help to get into the appropriate mood!

I read somewhere years ago that hospitality isn't so much dropping everything when you have guests, but rather inviting your guests to take part in the life of your family. This is the first time we've actually done this and it's definitely something we want to repeat.


26 December 2007

New Home

Well, iWeb has been running fairly slowly on my laptop, which is over three years old and, even though it works great for most of what I use it for, the iWeb file is just too big. I thought I'd try Blogger. If it's easier to post (meaning typing itself goes faster) then maybe I'll post more often.

Quick update from the last six weeks:

Oldest son got his license.

Three oldest sons finished their film for the upcoming Student Film Festival. They made the deadline by just a few hours. It turned out great! The learning curve was pretty steep - after writing the script, they had to learn about planning a shoot, lighting, sound, and editing. It was a great blessing to watch the boys work together. They recognized each other's strengths and deferred to one another respectfully.

Our Christmas was wonderful. We enjoyed a quiet day of opening presents, playing games, good food, and listening to old record albums with my father and step-mother.