Saturday, June 30, 2007

SB Saturdays: Take a Swim!

What a Saturday! This morning Kevin let me sleep in (so awesome). He and Brody played and read books till 9:45AM when they woke me up (yesss!). Then we went to the Wicks' to GO SWIMMING! Now, not a lot of people have swimming pools in Santa Barbara but the Wicks actually have a community pool in their neighborhood that is awesome!

Then I went to Costco to prepare for The Sturm Family visit next week while the boys went to "Eatty Donalds" (McDonalds) for chicken nuggets and burgers.

Then, during nap time Kevin made a run to Ace Hardware and worked in the yard while I started putting together a my wedding albums!! Maybe I'll finish in time for our 5 year wedding anniversary! Brody - the little champ - slept for 2 hours (thank you, Mr. Swimming Pool).

After nap we played, worked in the yard, watched some of the new movie that I picked up at Costco, we started to go on a bike ride but someone decided that playing with the fire truck was more interesting, K dug up some dead shrubs in side-yard, we ate dinner (lettuce wraps and mac-n-cheese) on our awesome little patio, took bath, pee-peed on the potty and bedtime for Brody was insanely late (how did it become 9pm so quickly!?). While I was putting B down, Kevin was scrubbing BOTH of our bathtubs! I finished my (2) albums, ordered (2) more and started this blog while Kevin decided that he had to go to Scolari's for ice cream. He crazy. But he brought be back three magazines!!

If you don't have access to a private pool, check out one of SB's community pools. Or you could always crash at a hotel pool. Is that wrong? But do NOT forget the should see K&B's shoulders. One word: OUCH.

Santa Barbra Swimming pool facilities include the newly renovated, 50-meter Los Baños del Mar Pool, Ortega Park instructional pool, and the West Beach and Oak Park wading pools.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Today's message was extraordinary - in the true sense of the word. As usual, the message was interesting and thought-provoking and totally inspired and powerful. I don't mean to imply that our church or my pastor is better than the others of the world. I simply mean to say that what God gave Britt to speak on this morning (from Joshua 10:28-43)) was...well, extra. The topic was Israel - the Israel of the Bible, the Israel of the past and the present and the future. The Israel that God loves and promises to defend against her enemies. Please take an hour to listen to today's message either via the computer or ipod (if you can't access either, let me know and I'll send you a CD):

For more on this topic, check out this message from last January:

These are radical times.

PooPoo In The Potty!

We sing a little song in the Sturm household and it goes something like this (to a salsa-Mexican-hat-dance like tune) "Bubba pee-pees in the potty, Bubba pee-pees in the potty!". Well, tonight folks we had something new to celebrate. Brody poo-pooed in the potty! There was lots of hooting and hollering around these parts, my friends. Lots of shouting and dancing indeed. "Bubba poo-pooed in the potty! Bubba poo-pooed in the potty!". And we have pictures of the evidence....but I'll spare you all that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brain Wrinkle: Asia

My girlfriend Rachael is very proud of her working knowledge of Asia and it's people. After our Lita Weekend in May I decided maybe I should study up on the continent of Asia and I decided to start with the basic GEOGRAPHY. I'm embarrassed to say that I had NO idea of some of the coutries in Asia.

Russia (what?!)
Israel !!!!!

You'd think that if I somehow missed that Isreal was in Asia during 9th grade Geography class I might have picked it up somewhere along the way in church. But no. It had to be during independent study - thanks to my girl, Rita - that I learn something this important!

You can think I'm a dork but I don't think I'm alone in this geographical ignorance. Now that we all agree on this, can we talk about the fact that Jesus was Asian!? ;)

Strawberry Pankcake Muffins

And she bakes too, people! If I were any more domestic my name would be June Cleaver. The recipe called for Bisquick but I only had pancake mix...they're the same, right?

I love to bake with Brody. He's so good at pouring and mixing and making a gigantic mess. And I get to enjoy baking!...and cleaning up giganitc messes. I don't even really like baking but I seem to find a recipe a week that begs to be made. You should have tasted the amazing brownies we made last week. I had to give away large portions lest they make their way into my belly as you know I have to self-control (I'm working on it!).

Kevie - we'll try to save a few for you. :)
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Monday, June 18, 2007

My Little Paradise

Oh my gosh....I just love this town. Tonight I sat on our little patio listening to a podcast and drinking a glass of vino just looking out at the Riviera and the sky changing colors as the sun set for the day. No mosquitos. Ocean air. Mexican music playing somewhere within a 2 mile radius. Smell of jasmine. 60 degrees. Watching little cars wind up APS. What a life.

If ever I have to leave Santa Barbara it will most definitely be with a sad heart.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

In Search of A Chocolate Covered Banana

When a two-year old reeeeeallllly wants a "Kaket Nana"!!!
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AMEX (Red)

Check out what Amex is doing in the UK:

The principle of the card is that every time money is spent with it, at least 1% of the amount is sent to a fund called Global Fund, created in 2002 to fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. And check out their very cool ad which I saw in Eve Magazine [which is a really great mag, by the way!].

Happy Father's Day

We celebrated Father's Day on Saturday. When Brody woke up at about 7:45am I went to get him (Saturday's are usually Kevin's) and we brought Daddy breakfast in bed: a bagel egg sandwich with cheese and extra Miracle Whip and fresh cut strawberries and a glass of orange juice. We had to rush b/c Kevin's gift was a full body massage at 9am!

The rest of the morning was spent playing around. We went to one of our favorite parks in town and enjoyed being one of only a couple of families there. I fall deeper in love with Kevin every time I witness him playing with B. Kevin is such an amazing father. When he and Brody are playing it is full throttle (which why there are often times where B ends up wailing because he feel down, bonked his head, scraped his knee, etc.). Even still, I am so thankful that Brody has these times with his dad. When Daddy gets home it's 'run-around-wrestle-play-ball-chase-flip-upside-down' time mixed in with a lot of hugs and kisses. Brody and I look forward to Daddy getting home all day! You should see the excited sparkle in B's eyes when he hears the garage door go up. So precious.

For dinner we rode our bikes to a local beach-side restaurant and I was watching Kevin and Brody run around on sand I realized once again how blessed my life is and how I absolutely do not deserve this man, child, life. God expects more from me and I owe it to my family to raise my standard for myself. There is so much to do. So much to offer. My husband inspires me to be a better parent and partner. My son inspires me to be a better mother. My God inspires me to be a better human. "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

Happy Father's Day, my love. What an amazing father you are. Thank you for all that you do to provide for and lead our family. I love you so much.
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Friday, June 15, 2007


I was so excited to spot this very special bag highlighted on Daily Candy! The UN World Food Program feeds a child for an entire school year off of the proceeds of this bag (designed by Lauren Bush). To find out more about WFP go here. And to purchase this bag and read about Lauren's involvement with WFP check go here.

I recieved my bag a few weeks ago (it took about 3 weeks to arrive) and LOVE IT! I intended for it to be an occasional bag (beach, groceries, travel, etc.) but I've actually been carrying it as my every day Purse Etc. Bag! It's huge. It's reversible. It's organic. It's fabulous and it supports an amazing organization. Order one today!!!! Or I'll kill you. [What if I really said that? Wouldn't that have been weird?]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wireless Amber Alerts

My dear (pretend) friend Elisabeth Hasselback turned me onto this site today:

It's a free service and you will not be charged by your cell provider. When signing up for the service you enter upto 5 zip codes. When a child is missing from any of these areas a text message will be sent to subscribers. Studies show that the first 36 hours are the most crucial in finding a missing child. The more people reached, the better the chances of recovering the child!!

The Brodynator!

I'LL BE BAAAHHHKKK. Can you stand how freaking cute this baby is?! He is SERIOUSLY cool.
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Bubba's Busted Lip

Last week Brody fell down at daycare and split his bottom lip wide open. WIDE open. Poor little guy. He's been such a champ about it. You can barely make it out in this pic but it's the part of his lower lip that he's sticking out to the camera. All poofy and crusted over. Oh my goodness! Little sweetie pie!
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Friday, June 08, 2007


Hello, Pit, my old I smile when I think about you. Warm, Mexican nights. Shouting at the top of our lungs, "TWWWOOOOO!!! TWOOOOOO!!!". Good times. Happy times. Great memories.

I found my new Pit at a Thrift Store for $2 and I can't be more excited! So excited that I'm actually blogging about it! Hope to get into a rousing game of Pit in the very near future. Stay tuned...
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Vanity Fair Covers

I'm blown away! I know that charity is the 'in' thing these days but I just love the upcoming Special Africa Issue issue. There are 20 covers showing various celebries engaging in a 'visual chain letter' photographed by Annie Lebowitz. Check out the covers plus brief bio and list of charities supported at Vanity Fair's website.
Cover subjects include Oprah Winfrey, George W. Bush, Chris Rock, Maya Angelou, Condolezzie Rice, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Goerge Clooney, Iman, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Brad Pitt. I'm so excited to read this issue which is stock full Africa articles!!
On an important side note, my pastor recently informed us that Africa is actually sending Christian missionaries to the US to evangelize!! It's exciting and depressing at the same time. God is moving in a HUGE way in Africa - how rad! With Christianity growing so rapidly in Africa, missionaries are coming to share faith with Americans! According to oh, gosh...a lot of websites Islam is allegedly the fastest growing religion in the world and somewhere among the top 5 fast growing in the US. Praise God that other countries are burdened for the salvation of Americans! And what an awesome inspiration for us to concentrate on our neighbors hearts and lives.


I'm watching the Republican Presidental Debate...and that's it. Just wanted to let you all know just how civic-minded I am. Yea me!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Interesting Blogs

I love reading other people's blogs. It's so fun to see and read about what inspires people to blog. And it's sometimes inspiring to see what others are blogging!

This one makes me smile:
This one makes me think:
These makes me want to create:;
This one impresses me again and again:
This one encourages me:

These are just a few that I frequent often. The Lowercase L blog I just found today but you can bet I'm going to be on the look-out for these spelling enigmas! I also frequent my friend's blogs frequently and usually miander thru the blogs of their friends as well. It's all so very fun.

What blogs have caught any of your attention recently?! I'd love to check them out!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I love when B asks to go "Home?". We'll be riding bikes, or running errands, or doing something fun (zoo, beach, park, etc.) and at some point he'll look at us and say, "Home?". I love that he views home as a fun place. His toys are there. His movies ("Sit on couch? Watch DVD?") are there. His family is there. Unlike most of my friend's children back home, B doesn't have many toys. He has a small collection of outside toys (none of which are slides, motor cars, sand boxes, or jungle gyms) and he has a small collection of toys in his room (most of which fit in one nice cube system in his closet) and he has a small collection of toys in the living room (contained in baskets within our console table. And that's it. Oh, and a few in the garage. When we were in Texas last November he was in PIG HEAVEN! Every one of my girlfriends have an entire room dedicated to toys. Oh my gosh, he hardly knew what to do with himself!

I love our little home too. It's never as clean as it should be. It's not as big as I sometime wish it were. There is always a project that needs to be done. And it's certainly not in the best neighborhood in all of Santa Barbara. But it's perfect for us. My family lives here in our happy little home!
[By the way, I made this cool mosaic here! I also used that site to make my very sweet blogger header. So cool. ]

Friday, June 01, 2007

And futhermore...

I read an article today in Family Circle Magazine about ways to be a better parent or something like that and one of the points was to Take Finances Seriously. It went on to say "plenty of parents make it a point to never discuss money in front of the kids, believe they need to be shielded. A recent survey by USAA found that 79% of all high school grads heading off to college have never had a budget conversation with their parents." This is my story, for sure. Not only did we never discuss finances or budgets but because of my parents lack of openness about money, I thought we were rich! I always had nice clothes, I got a car at 16, we went out to eat often, we had a pool (the very epitome of wealth in Texas), received tons and tons of gifts not only at Christmas but at just about every holiday. I received everything I ever asked for, quite frankly. Little did I know that my parents were slowly drowning in debt because of these luxuries. And because it's all legacy - since they never had financial guidance...they weren't equipped to pass on sound financial guidance.

Cut to Kevin's family. At the ripe age of 5, the Sturm kids earned allowances by completing basic household chores. By 16 they all had checking accounts and before they set off to college they had a credit card that they were responsible for paying off monthly. OK?! Is it any wonder that i came into this marriage in debt and my husband with a substantial savings? I've asked the Parents Sturm how they had the wisdom to talk about money with their kids from such an early age. They said they read a lot. I total appreciate that! They aggressively worked toward teaching their children about responsible money management and those efforts have paid off. Literally. Ha.

So the next time the convo of money comes up and you feel the urge to beat around the perverbial money bush try something new and actually announce how much money you're actually talking about! You might find that it's downright liberating. Ok, enough about monies for today.

Suze Orman has no secrets

I've seen Suze Orman twice on The View (yes, I watch it daily) and have learned just too much about the woman. But yesterday she made two statements that I'd like to touch on here - today.

(1) She thinks people shouldn't be so private about how much money they make. I am a fan of this idea! I think that the secrecy about income is absurd. Unless you are direct coworkers [obviously an uncomfortable situation], I don't see any reason to keep this info el secrado. Maybe that's because I'm proud to make $25/hr doing what I do? Or maybe it's because I'm extremely proud of my husband's income and how brilliant he is [I wont reveal his income b/c he's one of the one's who is not down for full-disclosure and it's not my place to 'out' others]? Or maybe it's because I live in a town that very few people can really afford to live in so the matters of money become almost as conversational as the weather. "It's supposed to be really hot this week. By the way, how much of a raise did you get with your promotion?". Certainly, we have no problem discussing the prices of our homes. Or the cost of preschools, cars, gym memberships, toys, etc. WHY then do we have to keep our finances so secret?! Who freaking cares? Am I wrong? And aren't we all curious? If we'd just talk about how rich/poor we are then it would save all the trouble of guesstimating with our spouses as to how much we suspect others make. Oh, you do it too! Don't pretend.

Last year, a group of our friends tried to start a financial study. We were following the Crown Ministries Biblical Financial Study. We decided early on to be very open with each other. I found this to be a really fun experience. I wasn't making any money at the time so I had little to expose. Kevin was visibly uncomfortable with the exercise as he made the most money. The two of us represented the poorest and richest of the group!

I just think that the secrecy about income makes money this really powerful, mysterious force that it doesn't need to be. If you live in this country you make more than 99% of the world so let's just drop the facade, people. We're all richer than somebody and more poor (poorer?) than someone else.

On a Christian side note, did you know that there are more than 2,350 verses on how to handle money in the bible. There are about 500 verses on prayer. According to the Crown Ministries study, Jesus said more about money than any other subject! They go on to give reasons why but ultimately it's because the world revolves around money and teaching about money was applicable to everyone.

(2) The second point she wanted to make is that women should have their own bank account period! Her point is that anything could happen and women should be smart about their money. She blatantly proclaims that women should 'stash' money into a secret account that is only theirs. How fatalistic is this? Personally, I do have my own bank account but it is absolutely NOT in order to keep my money separate from Kevin's or by any means to build up a secret stash in case I have to leave him or buy something that I don't want him to know about. This is sad to me. If a woman is in a place where she has to have a secret nest egg, I think there are some bigger issues at hand.

Agree with her or not, Suze Orman is a financial wizard and there's no debating that. Oh, and she makes $3-5 million a year "hopefully 10". This is sort of like me telling you that Kevin makes $50 - $250 thousand a year...hopefully $1 million! I'm sure even Kevin could handle this type of honesty! :)