Thursday, July 31, 2008

20 Years Wordle

Wordle is addicting. I'm just saying.

I made a 20 Years Wordle for my sidebar. This took a long time because Steve isn't home and he's the technical person around here. I'm pretty proud of myself. Have fun...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Now comes the part where we throw our heads back and laugh. Ready?

Do you know where that line comes from?

I need a good laugh today. I miss Steve and Mo because they are away at Camp Tel Hai. I'm stressed about some things. I need a good laugh.

I find all of these things funny. Maybe you will laugh too. I hope so.

These dumpsters are all over the place around here. These are brand new ones, so they don't hold the charm and visual impact that the more seasoned variety holds. Did you know that dumpsters are called 'tips' in South Africa? That makes me smile, but Vile Dumpsters ALWAYS make me laugh.

My friend Cam, I am is not a big fan of 'Northern Biscuits'. We call them bagels. She told me why she didn't like them the other day. Maybe she will leave a comment and tell you what she thinks of them. It's funny. I laughed.

Here are some quotes from our family. All of them made me laugh. Enjoy.

Mo and Steve were watching men's lacrosse one day. She used to play lacrosse. It's the only place I've ever seen a competitive side to her...
Mo: What was the call?
Steve: Check to the head.
Mo: Those hurt. I know, I've given a few.

Proof that my tax dollars are giving my child a top notch education, or maybe that other middle school students are negating it, or that this quote has nothing to do with knowledge...
El, a few weeks ago:
What's cervical cancer? Cuz some kid did his report on Napoleon Bonaparte, and he said that Napoleon died from cervical cancer. Everyone laughed. Why is that funny?

In the car, on the way to the book store...
El: I really want a rat.
Me: You can have one when you move out.
El: WhYYYYYYYYYyyyyyyy?
Steve: You don’t have to, you know.

El: I meant why do I have to wait til I move out?

Proof that teenagers can turn ANYTHING into an insult...
El: Wow, Dad, that pickle smells. I never noticed how much pickles smell
Mo: You smell.

Sometimes, I even make myself laugh...
If you're going to exaggerate, at least be accurate ~ Me to Steve.

I've often thought that we should write a marriage blog together, and call it Exaggerating Accurately, or something like that. Those two words sum up what being married is all about. Two people who see the same things differently trying to make sense of...everything.

Our 20th Anniversary is August 20th. I'm planning to share 20 things in honor of 20 years beginning Friday, which happens to be the 1st of August in case you needed an accurate ending. Actually I needed it.

Here's the answer to the question:

[they all throw their heads back and laugh]

Monday, July 28, 2008

Can I say anything meaningful in 4 minutes and 1 second?

Kat is hosting Music Monday. My answer: lyrics. I wanted to write this anyway.

I am giving myself 4 minutes and 1 second to say this:

Start here

On the right, click

instead of a show

We've been enjoying Jon Foreman's solo works. They are powerful, introspective, interesting...


Yesterday I listened to this song several times. Yeah, I cried because that's what I do lately.

Whose blood is on my hands? Why do I turn my back on the homeless? What religion games am I playing?

Ok, so it took me 15 minutes to say that. Maybe you should click the links, skip all my words and read the following.

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Isaiah 1:11-17
Amos 5:18-21

Saturday, July 26, 2008

RELAX, Relax, relaaaaaaxxzzzzzz

Some friends took us boating yesterday.

It's been so hot around here lately. It was cooler on the river.

The wind in my hair was fabulous.

No responsibilities, no deadlines, no phone calls.

Laughter, food, conversation, speed, splashing, dozing....

loooong exhale.

Our friends use their boat as a ministry. They take friends and missionaries, friends of missionaries, and about once a year they take us.

They also have a friend living with them again this summer Not only is their boat a ministry, their lives are as well. Check out A.B.R.O. to find out if there is a program near you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Our friends are fine. I got a forwarded e-mail from their missions organization. Keep praying!

We have a new Compassion child. He is named Jithin and he is in India. We didn't receive the packet yet, but we were able to see his picture and information because Compassion has updated their sponsor site. It's awesome. He's awesome.

I still have too much stuff. But at least I don't have a car full of stuff like I did last Friday. Cam, I am and I packed my CRV with $869 worth of food and supplies for the missions trip. According to MOTOR TREND my car can hold 72 cu ft of cargo with the seats down. I think we had more than that.

Let me know if you want me to take out the picture, Cam, I am. You fared better than I did. Maybe it was the jewelry...
This is what two hours of shopping and three Flatbed Shopping Vehicles of Death does to me.

I didn't smell real good either.

I gave my blog a color treatment. What do you think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Silly me!

All this time I thought that when someone made a comment on my blog, I could reply to them by simply hitting the ‘Reply’ button on the comment notification e-mail that I received from Gmail.

Silly me!

Did I ever bother to look at the To: box in my reply?

No I did not.

Well, I should have.

If I had, I would have known that you,, have been intercepting my comment replies.

So would you please pass on the following:

To ayumills: I really do love your blog.

To steph: That's ok, that's how we can tell if someone is talking about you or me!

To Morgan from the Cornelia Marie: Thanks Morgan!

You should have identified yourself so that all my 4 readers could know who commented. Thanks for visiting...

I really do want to see Captain Phil's tattoos.

Maybe I should have said I want a Cornelia Marie hoodie too??

Your blog and website are lots of fun. Good job!

To everyone else I couldn’t track down in my sent mail folder. Sorry! Don't let my silence give you the impression that I don't want to hear from you.

By the way,, don't bother to reply. You won’t be hearing from me again.

I hope.


update 08/10/08:

Carissa and Angie have great explanations why I could not reply directly to comments. Check your profile settings to make sure that someone will be able to reply to your comments.

update 4/24/09:

Carissa has a second tutorial that's even better than the one above. Go read it now! She has a link to her other bloggy tutorials at the bottom of the post that's worth a good browse. Go read it now!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Keys? Uh, no.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Project Black

Stumbled into Anna Carson's photography blog the other day and remembered that I had these pics of Dad's 1949 Oldsmobile.

Don't you just love words like Futuramic and Hydro-Matic? How many pages does your car's owner's manual have? The 1949 Oldsmobile had about 20 pages, and it was futuramic!

Yes, I did photoshop the license plate numbers and my dad's phone number out of the pictures.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Who needs the dictionary definition of optimism when you can see it in action?

Click here.


Repeat. (Click THE GREATEST)


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Deadliest ratings boosters

One of my guilty pleasures is on Tuesday nights at 9. I admit it. I love to watch the Deadliest Catch. I cannot believe the crazy stuff they do to make a living. It’s fascinating. I guess that’s what keeps me watching. I am a bit worried about its chance to be a long running show though. I just don’t know how many more story lines they will be able to come up with without endangering someone’s life further.

I’ve noticed that the Disney Channel does a really good job at keeping viewers and getting new ones. They get the star of one show to appear on another show, and then that show gets double ratings. Raven appears on Zach and Cody. So does Hannah Montana. This is not new. Urkel inspired Stephanie to wear her glasses for one full episode of Full House. And who can forget all those guest stars on Scooby Doo?

Well, here’s my plan. Just work in some *bleeps* wherever you choose.

I think Supernanny should make a little visit to the Cornelia Marie and give some parenting tips to Captain Phil. You can tell that he really loves those boys, and it was clearly upsetting to them when Phil was coughing up blood (thanks for showing it!) from a punctured lung that turned out to be a blood clot. Phil, she could really help you deal with those tough parenting moments. I’m thinking maybe a little thing called The Naughty Chair might need to be implemented to prevent them from stealing your credit card again.

Stacy from What Not to Wear could raise the fashion bar a bit on those boats. Those slickers could be a bit more flattering at the waist. Darts? Pleats? She’d know, and that New York girl wouldn’t be afraid to get *bleeped* at. I do wish she would work in a little bit of sweetly phrased advice about Captain Phil never appearing on tv without a shirt again.


Even if the old lung gets a bit punctured. I must say that I wouldn’t mind getting a wee bit closer look at Phil’s tattoos, though. While he’s wearing a tank top (that meets Stacy’s approval) or something.

Monk could be an undercover greenhorn and investigate the mysterious disappearance of Squawky. He would really LOL out loud at the antics of that zany Hillstrand Clan. He could also really sympathize with Captain Keith, who couldn’t leave Dutch without his Cup o Noodles spittoon. If things don’t work out on the Time Bandit, that would be ok because I’d also like to see Monk working bait bags at the Cookie Monster. Maybe he could fall harmlessly into the tank with the Opilio crab catch, and figure out just what happened to Squawky on that blustery day. Squawky, come back!

C. Everett Koop could come motivate the whole fleet to quit smoking. Kind of like the biggest winner for smokers. The biggest lung capacity wins? Captain Phil did get a head start though, due to the punctured lung that was really a blood clot.

Why not representation from the sports world? It is an Olympic year after all. The flying Hamm brothers, Paul and Morgan, could come and get lessons from Edgar on how to climb a crane or whatever that thing is called, do a repair and get down safely while your brother is *bleeping* at the wheel. They could teach him a thing or two about sticking a landing, but I’d like to see them do a Gienger when their high bar is covered with ice.

I’m out of ideas. Do you have any?

I have to make a confession now. I don’t care what Stacy says about my fashion sense(lessness). I really want a Time Bandit jacket! And maybe a tattoo.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dear Albertina...

We joined Compassion in sponsoring Albertina around nine years ago. She lives in Bolivia. We all love her, even though we’ve never met in person. It’s been fun to see her learn to draw and write, and to watch her grow up. I was proud to learn that she was teaching Sunday School last year. We laughed when something got lost in translation. Once, I signed a letter:

Stefanie, for Steve and the girls

The next letter from Albertina began:

Dear Sponsor Stefanie and Forsteve

When I write to her, besides sending family news or pictures, I include a passage of scripture to encourage her. I think it’s awesome that she has sent verses to me too, and I know that she prays for us because she has said so.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a letter that made me cry. A couple of weeks before that letter, I got a different letter that made me cry. I thought it was from Albertina, but it was from her tutor, Esau. Albertina has moved to another neighborhood, and is no longer attending her student center. I was heartsick! It was so sudden.

I was supposed to call Compassion to make arrangements to sponsor another child, but I just couldn’t call. After about a week I forced myself to call. A while back we got a mailing about older kids. It’s harder to find sponsors for the older ones. I called with the intention to sponsor one of them. I wish I could remember the name of the lady I talked to. She could hear that I was upset, and she told me that the same thing had just happened to her.

She said, “You’ve done a great job writing to her.”

Part of why I was feeling so bad is that I was convicted a while back that I didn’t write to Albertina enough. I started using e-mail because I hardly ever have stamps around here so I forget to send things. Then I felt guilty because I didn’t send pictures recently. To have her tell me that my measly two letters this year was a great job…that was too much.

Would I have written more often had I known our time was short? I hope so.

A packet with a new child was already in the mail. It arrived last weekend. Noemy is a sweet almost 7 year old, but we all agreed that we want to transfer our sponsorship to an older child. So….will one of you sponsor Noemy?

I’ve almost finished one last letter to Albertina. The teachers or children still at the center often have contact with former students. Sometimes the children come back to visit family in the neighborhood. I will gladly sponsor her again if she’s ever near a Compassion center, but I will pray for her the rest of my life. I have a feeling that she will do the same.

I am finally getting excited to meet our new friend in Bolivia

Monday, July 7, 2008

You are most welcome

~I wrote this Friday, but waited til today to share it.~

I cried when I read the letter today. I just read it again. I cried again.

When Steve was a student at Denver Seminary we lived in campus housing. Our apartment was small. We called it ‘The Fishbowl’ because everyone looked into the extra large window and waved as they walked by. I did it too. You couldn’t help it because those windows were huge and fish…umm…people were behind them. Somehow, we made it past the fishbowl and made lifelong friends.

One friend had trouble expressing herself in English. She seemed shy and quiet, but I vividly remember a couple of things she said. In her village, if you wanted to see a friend you just showed up. Any time of day, any day of the week, you might get a visit from a friend. You are always welcome to visit a friend. If you go to visit a friend and she is doing laundry or cooking, you join her. If your friend visits you and you are cleaning, she joins you. You work together and you enjoy each other. Americans don’t do that enough. We often just walk by and wave.

One day I decided to show up at her door. When she answered, I told her that I remembered what she had said. I just came to visit. I was rewarded with her beautiful smile and a great afternoon.

Another thing that I remember is that whenever I said, “Thank you,” she humbly answered,

“You are most welcome.”

It was most powerful.

The letter said that we shouldn’t try to contact my friend and her family. These are dangerous times. The letter asked that we pray for their safety and for provisions.

I am reminded of Psalm 91, so tonight I am using it as a guide to pray for them.

Will you pray for them too? My friend may thank you some day.

You can answer, “You are most welcome.”

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Baked Oatmeal Recipe (with bonus pre-breakfast conversation)

This is one of our favorites.

Baked Oatmeal (I double it – just the ingredients, not the temperature, silly!)

Preheat oven to 350.
A single recipe is perfect in the Pampered Chef Oval Baker or a medium casserole dish
A doubled recipe fills the Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker, a large casserole dish or a 9x13 pan.
If you use a casserole dish or a metal baking pan, you will need to grease the pan.

Add ingredients in order. Stir every time you add a new ingredient.

½ Cup vegetable oil (Substitute applesauce in a pinch or in a health crazed moment)
¾ Cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Cup milk
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Cups quick cooking oats (or the regular ones)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ Cup raisins (optional)

Pour mixture into pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until done. If it is turning golden brown on the edges and doesn't look soupy in the middle, it's done.

Serve hot.

Top with milk, syrup, butter or eat it my favorite way – plain.


So there it is, one of our favorite breakfasts (with enough left over for later snacking).

I made it this morning. Notice the time.

El had just stumbled downstairs. She smelled baked oatmeal. Did you see the time in the picture? She is my early riser. When she was little, she would be up around 6:00 most days. I would have never thought she would sleep until 9:03

Me: It’s all red around your mouth. It looks chapped or something. You been kissing someone???

El: Well, last night when we were making the movie, it was the prom and someone needed to be the guy. I got a mustache and a really cool soul patch.


El: We couldn’t get it off though, even though it was a washable marker.

It's only half gone. Come on over!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

things we leave behind

I have felt a bit guilty lately. A few months ago I started working on purging my stuff. I haven't done anything about getting rid of stuff lately, but I have not brought in more stuff. There is a small victory in the Stuff War at least.

Steve is taking the week 'off'. He needs a break, and even though he is still working a lot, he isn't keeping the usual hours. He said the other day that he needed to figure out what he was going to get done. My automatic reaction was,
I hope he doesn't get rid of my stuff!

This morning I recalled when we were preparing to leave our friends, our church and our cute house in Utah for a small apartment, a new church, and new friends while Steve went to Denver Seminary. The whole time that we were preparing, getting rid of stuff, I kept listening to this song. It made it so much easier to let things go. Things are just stuff!

So here's Michael Card singing Things We Leave Behind. I'm glad for this reminder, and I hope that it will help you find freedom from the things you leave behind too.