Archive for February, 2009

Free Stuff for Fun Living

Posted: February 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Free Food:

Smitten Kitchen and Epicurious are my very favorites and the most aggressive distraction of my day.  Please note, Epicurious has a new menu and shopping list every week so that’s like free time as well!  Remember way back in the day when we had to buy cookbooks?

Kashi is offering a new frozen entre for the great price of FREE.  Sign up here and you’ll get a coupon for one by good old fashioned US Mail which means we’re keeping those guys in business as well.

Free Faith:

I love Timothy Keller’s book, The Reason for God, and feel it’s one of the great apologetics resources out there.  If, however, you don’t want to spend $25 and don’t have time to read a big and intellectually weighty tome, you can listen to a couple of his messages on his web site. My favorite is called Exlusivity.  Seriously, if you or someone you know has doubts about faith in Jesus, this is a fantastic – and free – resource.

Also, I’m a little late to the Beth Moore fan club, but I have definitely arrived.  And I especially love that her web site has a quick 2-minute teaching every day.  It’s a good way to start the morning.

Actual free stuff:

Freecycle is a nonprofit organization that enables communities to set up networks where they can give and get good stuff that people are no longer using.  Navigating the site is tricky business, but I’ve heard good things about the results.

Free Music:

I’m really enjoying Deezer. It’s a lot like Pandora, but it lets you pick your whole playlist instead of just making a radio station.  For some, that takes the mystery out of the whole game, for me it’s a lot less annoying.

Oh, goodness…this song and this little video makes me super happy. A) Love Brandi Carlile’s voice because can you say passion? B) Are those guys twins? C) Gotta love a happy audience. D) “Because even when I was flat broke, you made me feel like a million bucks”…nice.

Okay, Tori’s home for the weekend and I’m taking all my daughters to a not-very-free (but priceless!) breakfast in Sunriver.  Except for Tess because she has a volleyball tournament and pretty much ruined the “all the daughters” concept, but that’s a story for another day.

Happy Saturday,




Posted: February 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Late and unedited,  but in honor of Valentine’s Day and my one and only true love:

Why I love Steve.

  1. He would give me the very last of anything he had…even if he really wanted it.  Even if he had worked and saved and hoped and dreamed for it, he would give it to me if I asked.  I know this about him, and try not to take advantage of it.
  2. His name.  Two St’s at the beginning…very cool.  Two one-syllable names, also cool.   A last name that’s a real word that means something kind of tough…totally LOVE it.   And loving his name makes me love my name too.
  3. He is good at lots of sports and card games and these things are a marvel to me.  I am good at neither.
  4. When I’m sick he will go to the store at any time for anything.
  5. He has seen the worst of me and never once – not even for the smallest moment – disappeared.  Of all the things I can say about Steve Stern, one of the biggest is this:  he stays.
  6. He can’t cook a thing.  This gives me lots of chances to be a hero.
  7. People at church sometimes call him Bo, and he doesn’t get mad at them or me.  I don’t know that many husbands who wouldn’t harbor a little ill will over that situation but Steve is way more man than that.
  8. He is one of the most loyal friends anyone could ever know.
  9. When our first baby was born, he stayed up nearly all night holding her so she wouldn’t be alone.
  10. When our second baby was born, she stopped breathing and they had to keep her in the NICU.  He went back and forth between her side and mine…speaking softly to her, singing softly to me, so that neither of us would be afraid to be alone.
  11. When we fight – and we do – Steve is always really careful with his words and his tone and he tries valiantly to not hurt my feelings or take cheap shots.  That’s pretty rare and wonderful if you ask me.
  12. He has spent MANY hours at MANY jobs he hated because he loves his family and cares about what we need.
  13. He is a man of faith.  He believes when things seem cloudy.   He believes when they pour rain.  He believes when it seems the boat will go under.  He believes that God is, God can and God cares.  He just believes and that is so good for me and for our family.
  14. He is the definition of the word gentleman.
  15. He loves nature and never fails to mention the beauty around him. Our kids have inherited this appreciation from him.
  16. When I say, “Do you think I look fat?”  he has exactly the right answer.  I’m not telling you what it is, but it’s exactly right.

That’s all I have.  Well it’s not, but it’s all I’m saying.

I love you, Steve Stern.  More everyday.


My Life Verse (this week)

Posted: February 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

And there shall be shall be stability in your times, and abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;  the reverent fear and worship of the Lord is your treasure and His.  Isaiah 33:6

Wow.  I looked at this verse last week and I had to dare myself to believe it.  There will be stability in our times if we fear and worship the Lord.   Truly reverencing Him and His presence in my life and in my “times” is a powerful secret of success.  The word “treasure” in that verse means “depository, armory, storehouse, cellar or treasure house.”  Our reverence or fear of Him is where He stores the power for our lives.  It’s the weapons room.

My problem is that I fear too many other things.  I have to get my allegiance all bundled up and invested in Him so that He can invest more in me – which means I’ll have to go get it from the other places it tends to  drift:  fear of man, fear of failure, of death, of the future; all my reverence needs to be placed at His feet so that I will know true stability.  Yep, that’s a fat verse right there!

What’s your life verse this week?



Posted: February 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

Um, hi. Do you remember way back in the good old days when TV was free and phones were connected to the wall and I used to write a blog?  Yeah, me neither.

I don’t really have  a good explanation for why I’ve been so missing lately.  I think I’ve just been kind of…you know…busy.  I hate that word, but it applies right now.  In fact, the busy has so overtaken my life that my husband and I celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 20th.  So, I was out of town for a youth retreat and I’ve also been working hard on the details of a really exciting project that I’ll tell you about in a few days.  Until then, please enjoy this little list and check in next week for actual substance.  Because – even if it kills me – there shall be substance.

Things I Fear are Becoming an Addiction:

  • Tabasco.  I don’t know where this passion came from, but I’m getting concerned about my love for this stuff.  I’ve recently been making eggs every morning just so I can put Tabasco on them.
  • The phrase, “Come on!”  I noticed as I was speaking last weekend that I am way outside the borders of restraint when it comes to yelling this at people in a tone of disbelief.  And yet I cannot stop myself.
  • My Novafoam pillow.  Just seeing the words makes me sleepy.
  • Egg McMuffins.  1)  They’re yummy.  2)  They’re cheap.  3) They’re not as unhealthy as most food items with Mc in front of them.  4) They’re delicious with Tabasco.
  • Buying clothes for Josiah.  Specifically, shirts.  More specifically, shirts with guitars on them.  Please send help.
  • Top Chef.  Two words: rerun marathons.

And guess what?  A bonus list, that’s what!

Things I Wish Would Become an Addiction:

  • Starbucks oatmeal.  I’ve tried to love it, but the texture still makes me queasy.
  • Cleaning out closets and email inboxes.
  • Connecting with my treadmill in a meaningful way.
  • The phrase, “Far out, man!” because it’s time for that guy to make a triumphant return.  On the same topic: I have been hearing the word “deece” recently and I have a vivid recollection of saying that word no less than seven hundred times during one softball game in 6th grade.  I think it’s time for all catch phrase designers everywhere to get busy and make us something new to say because – come on! – these are all for squares!

So that’s my Saturday list(s).  I’d love to see your list of budding addictions.

Have a great weekend,


Field Trip!

Posted: February 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

Wanna go on an adventure with me? It’s a fun one, but you have to be okay with heights.

Last week I bumped into this very cool Old Testament word. It’s the Hebrew word misgab and it means “a cliff (or other lofty inaccessible place); abstractly altitude – figuratively a refuge; Misgab – a place in Moab: defense, high fort, tower, refuge

Now, given my recent discoveries about the altitude of God’s thoughts and mine, I thought this word was just about the coolest thing ever. SO, I decided to do a little study on it and it’s just been amazing in light of the current circumstances in our country (described well in Psalm 46 as “the tottering of kingdoms”.) This morning it occurred to me that maybe some of you might feeling a little “tottery” as well and you would be encouraged by having a deeper understanding of this wonderful misgab refuge that God has provided.

I’ve broken this down into a week-long study and if you have time for it, I think you’ll love it. It’s not a whole lot of reading (think quality, not quantity – and use lots of time to absorb and apply) and the passages are a pretty great antidepressant.

  • Day 1: 2 Samuel 22; Psalm 9 (Key verses: 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 9:9)
  • Day 2: Psalm 46 & Psalm 58 (note: the word “refuge” in Psalm 46:1 is not the same as the word “refuge” in verses 7 & 11…why do you think that is?)
  • Day 3: Psalm 62 & Psalm 94
  • Day 4: Psalm 144 & Isaiah 25 (this is a little different take on the word because it deals with how God brings the refuge of the wicked DOWN. Uh oh!)
  • Day 5: Isaiah 33 (key verse: 16)

Race you to Misgab,


Well, goodness…that was a fun little break from reality!  Steve and I had a fantastic time away from Bend and – as usual – were totally excited to get back again.  Thanks for your wonderful wishes and I would like to say that I am just blessed beyond belief to be married to Steve.  He’s a great one, I tell you!

Okay – but that’s not what I’m here for today.  Today, I was thinking about all the recent lists I’ve gotten on facebook.  You know, the 25 Random Things About Me lists?  I get LOTS of them every day and here’s my confession:  I read every one.  I just love to know things about people and in every list, I find something of myself.  I read and say, “Oy.  I totally GET that thing about the lima beans.”  And it makes the world feel just a little more harmonic.  So, I was thinking today:  I think I have – in 1,943,093 blog posts –  revealed quite enough about myself.  Still, I love lists…so what kind of list could I make that would be helpful, entertaining and would add to the big group hug feel of the 25 Things movement.  Well, with Valentine’s Day approaching like a freight train in a wind tunnel and my anniversary just recently in the rear view mirror, I feel like the most wonderful thing I could do for humanity is to write the 25 Random Things to Know About Me Love list.

Actually, I’ll guarantee 20…then I’ll probably leave the last five or so up to the rest of you experts.

  1. Hormones are powerful.  Very, very powerful.  This makes them good for our survival as a race, but not that great for cognitive reasoning.
  2. Because of #1, every guy who thinks he’s found the perfect girl, really ought to get a second opinion.
  3. Girls are just as subject to the power of hormones as are men and should not – under any circumstances – make radical changes in hair color or style while under their influence.
  4. If a guy OR gal has to acquire NEW friends in order to get someone – anyone – to sign off on the idea of dating Mr/Ms. Right, then trouble’s brewing.
  5. I’m a big believer  in being friends first, but I think there MUST – for goodness sake – come a moment when the boy has to belly up to the bar and make an actual date happen.  Fancy food, flowers, manners – all these things should be involved.  I don’t like it when friends just sort of roll into a dating relationship without any sort of pursuit.  Men need to chase, women need to know that they were worth the chase…it’s the stuff of life and the stories you tell your kids down the road.
  6. Soccer skills, awesome spaghetti sauce, witty repartee, excellent spelling aptitude: these are all wonderful things to admire in a young lady, yes.  But when the day is done, a girl wants to know that a man thinks she’s beautiful.  And she will know if she is told.
  7. No amount of telling a woman she’s beautiful will compensate for flirting with the waitress during dinner (or – as is the horror story of a friend of mine – openly drooling over the maid of honor at their own wedding.  That marriage didn’t last long.)
  8. Relationships fall into two categories:  A.  Right right now and B.  Wrong right now.   There aren’t many good, healthy in-between’s.
  9. In my experience, people who suspect they’re in category B do not say their relationship is “wrong” or “a bad idea” or “lousy timing”.  They say it’s “complicated.”
  10. I have learned to hate that word “complicated”.  Because it usually means someone is about to get tricked.
  11. Some of the best marriages I know are the ones where the husband and/or wife was not initially attracted to their future spouse, but was willing to work through some “appearance expectations”  because he/she found the other person so compelling in so many other, deeper, more lasting ways.  Beautiful.
  12. I have been young and now I am old (heh), and I have never yet seen a guy/girl pull off the platonic “best friends” relationship without one of them secretly wishing for something more.
  13. Guys – in general – do not like girls to tell them how to drive or roll their eyes at their jokes.
  14. Girls – in general – do not like to be compared unfavorably to his mom, ex girlfriends, Jessica Simpson…anyone, really.  It’s almost never motivating.
  15. A guy without accountability is like a car without break fluid.
  16. A girl without accountability is – wow…where’d all her friends go?  Be wary of a girl with no girlfriends.
  17. Beware these men:  one with a quick temper, one recently out of a relationship, one who forgets to call you back.
  18. RUN from these men:  one who is violent, one who is enslaved to anything but Jesus and one who cannot stay away from other women.  Run, I say, RUN!
  19. Most dating relationships would be improved by each party working to improve his/her own relationship with Jesus by about 15 degrees.  How much is fifteen degrees?   You’ll know when your relationship improves.
  20. I would love for every single woman to learn to cook one great meal, learn to serve a cause greater than herself,  and become the proud owner of a healthy self-esteem.  The world needs more women like that.
  21. I would love for every single man to become a protector of  the women around him – even if it meant he had to endure some awkward conversations.  The world needs more men like that.

Okay…I’m counting on you to finish my list!

Loving love and anniversary trips and Steve,


Beautiful Day

Posted: February 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

Bo confession #2,349: I LOVE Superbowl Sunday.  I’m thankful for a dad who plunked me and my two sisters in front of NFL football on Sundays.  Given that he had no sons, I think he wanted the company – but I suspsect his real reason was so that we would not ask future boyfriends (he’s a man of faith) stupid questions about touchbacks and tight ends and such.

The byproduct of these afternoons with my dad was that I became a rabid Dallas Cowboys fan at an early age.  I knew defensive plays and passing stats and I could sit down and write every player’s name and jersey number – even the bench sitters – in about three minutes flat.  While I think most men are impressed with a woman who possesses a modicum of football knowledge and enthusiasm, please trust me when I say: middle school boys do not wish to be corrected by a 12-year-old girl should they on occasion misstate Roger Stabach’s percentage of touchdown conversions in the red zone, you know?

The joy of my life was the year that Dallas played Denver in  Superbowl XII (me and the Superbowl are the same age – that’s also why we’re friends) and my wonderful Dad let me order an official Superbowl program (if you have a kid and they like football – this is an awesome thing to do)  It cost me ten U.S. dollars and bought my parents about a thousand hours of peace and quiet.   So, I have no idea what happened to that program of mine, but look what I found on ebay:


It’s selling for WAY more than I paid for it, but just seeing the cover made my little heart thump wildly.  Ah, nostalgia…how I love thee.

All that to say:  though I’m no longer terribly attached to NFL football, and I feel strongly that the Cardinals ought to be from St. Louis and not Arizona, I still love the Superbowl…both for the memories and for the copious amounts of food that go along with it.  I’ve chosen this beautiful guy to be the star of the show today:



One other note:  tomorrow is my 24th anniversary!  Coincidentally, it’s also Steve’s 24th anniversary and so we’re gonna take a road trip.  We’ll be gone til Wednesday so please keep  looking at this burger until I get back and post something more inspirational (though seriously?  this burger inspires me in about a million ways).

Have  a Super Day,