Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Cynthia

Yesterday began a whole new era in our family life. We are now parents of a teenager! Cynthia arrived at 7:30 PM Sunday and joins our family for the year through Private School Exchange. Cynthia's hometown is Shenzhen, China. She will be in 11th grade at York Country Day School, where Asa teaches. Anyone who has done an Asia to east coast flight knows that it is a brutal 20 hours, so we thought Cynthia was in pretty good spirits when she arrived!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The NFL Meritocracy

Is the NFL the "ultimate meritocracy," as  Roger Goodell recently claimed? The commissioners comments, reported here on ESPN, were accompanied by a 1 million dollar donation to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation in Washington D.C.

Dr. King's legacy is certainly one to honor, but is the NFL in a position to really do so? Is there a particular hypocrisy being put on display, or has the NFL truly been a friend to the hopes and ideals the MLK gave his life for?

I must admit that I am not a friend of the NFL, although I do enjoy watching football on television. Pofessional football, as with all professional sports in the U.S., has a spotted history in regards to race. But I get the feeling that the NFL prides itself in somehow being above the fray, at least compared to baseball and basketball.

Statistics about the number of young men of all races who squander their minds and talents chasing the fools gold of an NFL career are grim. Statistics about the number of injuries and disappointments among those lucky enough to make it to the NFL at all are grim as well. Is that a meritocracy? Or is the kind of "meritocracy" that Dr. King worked for something a bit different than what Goodell had in mind with his foolish comparison?

I think of my classmate from Northwestern, Jason Wright. A talented football player who, though undrafted, played for nearly a decade in the NFL by espousing hard work, leadership, and right living. The NFL served him well it would seem. But he also did things the right way, not sacrificing NFL dreams for a stellar education. The reality is, and Jason would wholeheartedly agree, is that he was simply blessed. That's not true for everyone of his teamates. For some, the NFL may be yet one more crushing example of why we still need today to embrace the lessons that Dr. King preached when he was still with us.

    RB Jason Wright

Friday, August 19, 2011

Jericho Swims the Chesapeake!

Our amazing 7 month year old justified the overnight shipping on her infant lifejacket a hundred times over by embracing the bay experience fully! She sailed with us from Crab Alley Creek (Kent Island, MD) north to Chesapeake City, MD last week. Go Jericho.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Primer and More

So, as much as it pains me to admit, we definitely bit off more than we could chew giving ourselves just 4.5 days to scrape, patch, and prime three bedrooms, a long hallway, and a large living room. We worked long days, slowing as we got tired, and missing little Jericho very much.

Thankfully, God provided a handful of wonderful friends to help us along the way. Thank you to Dave and Cyndi Kalinoski, Ben and Bekah Murray, Chris Drinkut, and the Anderson family!
Where was Jericho during all of this madness? With mother Church of course! Thanks mom.

We finished priming 2 of the bedrooms and the hallway, AND the living room is now in full color. Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Demolition Update: Before and Now...and after?

Demolition Day got us off to a great start with the remodeling of our 1912 Arts and Crafts house in York, PA. But so much has happened since then!

The kitchen walls have gone from yellow faux-brick wall board, to the mounting lathe beneath it, to bare plaster.

We've pealed back the walls around the back stairs in preparation for their removal and expansion of our kitchen.

 (These are the basement stairs, in their place will
be the fridge, stove, and countertop.)

The dining room closet is ready to be converted to the new basement stairs.

 (We're hoping to recycle the wood flooring we
carefully pulled up in the closet by using it to repair
flooring in a second floor bedroom!)

And most recently, and perhaps most exciting: the kitchen floor has gone from three layers of linoleum (one for every three decades I suppose) to bare wood. Thank to Jon Allen for his assistance in getting the floors to this point!

(While we sanded a lot of lines, stains, and old adhesive off the floors,
another mystery line appeared. It appears to be some sort of cut made when
installing previous flooring but even more interestingly, it seems to have dyed the
wood around it!)

We can't wait for the final product. Then we'll have true before and after photos!

The "Scream" Shower

An update on the progress at Madison Avenue is long overdue! It's hard to imagine that we've only been in our new house for three weeks... or that we'll ever have a real kitchen. This weekend we made a huge stride forward with the successful sanding of the kitchen floor. More on that in a bit.

First, in the week after "demo" day, I tackled the scary basement apartment shower room. When we first opened the door, the pervading odor of mold was sickening. We assumed moisture over time, a leaky shower head, and the general dampness of the basement had led to the mold. Once I removed the linoleum flooring, it became obvious that the wall board was completely rotten on the bottom. There was also a nasty patch of black mold behind the radiator.

 As scary as it looks, we haven't ripped out the actual shower, made of cinderblock and tile. We think it might be useful in the future at some point.

But only with some more standard plumbing change (yes, the scary little hole in the side of shower wall is the drain into an open basement floor drain on the other side of the wall!).