College Students – Rent Your Textbooks?

Ok, since a good portion of our readership consists of college students, I wanted to share this very interesting site I discovered today. It is called Chegg.

Rent Your Textbooks and Save 55-65%!

Apparently this company rents college textbooks. The cost to rent for a semester is about 55-65% off the list price. Also, I found that if you use the code: Rent4Spring you can get a 5% discount. This is an interesting concept… I’m not sure if I like it or not… College students, care to weigh in with an opinion?

Oh, and as you might notice in the ad, they’ll plant a tree for every book you rent… so that is always nice.

Pavlov’s Kids

A little trick that I am sure I picked up from some “smarter than me” momma (I don’t remember who…sorry), in regards to potty training: There are certain times that I require Asher to sit on the potty even if he insists he does not need to go. For instance, we’re about to leave the house for a few hours & he has not yet gone that morning. Usually he sits (& goes) with no problem, but occasionally he gets a little stubborn & just doesn’t want to. So to help distract him from the on-coming tantrum, the deal is: He sits on the potty & we sing the ABC’s one time through. He does not actually have to GO potty, but he has to sit for the duration of the song. He’s never really protested this. In fact, 95% of the time halfway through the song he relaxes & sure enough, goes potty.

Recently I’ve decided that when Grace starts to go through this stage I will perhaps use a different song….one more obscure. Over thanksgiving I asked Asher to sing a song for Oma & Opa. He sang the ABC’s. Immediately after, somewhat urgently he said, “I have to go potty!”. Lol…I think it’s become somewhat of a Pavlovian response…..this could have irritating consequences in Kindergarten.

I like words

I’m a word guy… that doesn’t mean that I’m a talker (as my wife and friends will attest) but rather that I think words are really important. This holds especially true when talking about God. I’ve had more than my fair share of conversations with people in regards to the words we choose and their implications on what is trying to be communicated. My arguments often concludes with, “I understand that we mean the same thing, but our words do not.”

Words are important.

That is why I absolutely LOVED Dr. Mouw’s post regarding the importance of is. If you love words or if think that words aren’t that important, please read his post. It is so amazing. I’m sure I’ll reference it for years to come in my continual battle for right (uh… correct?) words.

happy Turkey day

We were out for a few days… myrtle beach with Jenn’s folks.

Back now; house showing tomorrow (Please let this be the one!).

Raking leaves (even when you have a leaf blower) is annoying.

I got new glasses:



Well, for those of you wondering what ever happened with my application to be Tim Keller’s personal assistant… well, I received my answer today:

Dear W. Ryan Burns,

Thank you for submitting your recent letter and resume concerning the executive assistant position at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

You have an interesting work history and background. However, we feel your qualifications and experience do not match the needs of the position.

Thank you again for your interest in Redeemer and for taking the time to send us your resume.


Bruce W. Terrell
Executive Director

So, there you have it. I guess it is just going to seminary for me…

Ryan Ferguson performs Hebrews 9 and 10

This is a great performance of Hebrews 9 and 10. If you ever have trouble reading the bible, keep reading until you can hear the passion of the writer. Ryan really catches the writer of Hebrews’ passion. It is 11 minutes long, but really encouraging.

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.” Romans 10:17

Oh, and I found this at the ESV Blog.

Marine Corps Marathon Results:

A few weeks ago my dad & I ran the Marine Corps Marathon…(10k)… It was a good time. I have to say, it definitely did not have that “fun run” feeling the monument ave 10k has (can I give that one more plug? seriously even if you walk it, richmonders need to participate in that…it’s super fun!). It had more of a competitive vibe…not to mention it was colder, there were a couple hills (the last one really hurt but that’s b/c it was the last 1/3 of a mile of the race) & we were running INTO the wind (did i mention it was windy?) just about the entire time. They also did not have the “corral” starts, so we got stuck behind slow folks & walkers for the first mile & 1/2…so our first mile was 11min, i think the second was just over 10…not a good start when you’re trying to finish under an hour. Anyhow, regardless of all that complaining, we did improve our time from the last race. I finished in 1:02:08. I’m not going to give you details….but I know I could’ve finished a few min. faster, really thinking I could have gotten under an hour were it not for unforeseen circumstances.

One thing that was really cool was on our way to the car we stopped and watched the marathoners as they crossed I think the 20mi. marker (maybe it was 16…I forget). That was incredibly inspiring & it really looked like all shapes & sizes of folks were running. I always have in my head a picture of tall skinny people being marathoners.

So I officially have the “bug”. I fully intend to continue running random races…but the newest obsession has to do with moving to the Orlando area. I’m contemplating running the Disney Marathon in 2009. I figured originally I would do the half…but I have over a year for training (most people I’ve talked to & websites I’ve read say it takes 6mo to train)…& I WANT to do the full marathon….so… I have been spending a little too much time staring at this training schedule trying to decide if I will do it.

Things that will help me make a decision:

  • Ryan has to be on board….I will do the short runs in the mornings before the kids get up (or at a gym if we can afford that…), but the long weekend runs & once I hit 7+ miles during a weekday (unless my speed improves from 8.5min/mile) he may have to help get the kids up &/or fed on some mornings (I can’t get up at 5:00 to run…sorry..). I think I had a green light for the half…but the verdict is out on the full (no pressure..)
  • It would be great to have a partner. They don’t have to live nearby, we can train together virtually. But it may seal the deal if someone comes down to run it with me.

Regardless, I will at least do the half (remember…2009). Who’s in?

Design Simple gets a facelift

For those who care about this sort of thing… which is likely none of you… I have given my company’s website a clean new look. My goals on the redesign were:

  1. Utilize wordpress as the site’s platform
  2. Create a clean and simple site
  3. Be minimalistic without being boring
  4. Add a blog

Well, I think I covered all that. If you are so inclined, please take a look ( and let me know what you think.


Jenn’s Lessons learned from our 7 year anniversary trip

I was writing this as a comment to ryan’s but it was getting long, so decided it should be it’s own post….

  • The best pizza in Baltimore has better CRUST than Piccola’s, but not taste

  • I think ryan’s gun was broken, but regardless it felt good to win
  • I am TERRIBLE at driving motorcycles
  • Paper-thin Tuna Carpaccio is my favorite appetizer
  • Modern art makes me scratch my head
  • Ryan’s favorite Modern piece makes me roll my eyes (a solid grey parallelogram? sigh..)
  • I forgot that I had been to an art museum before. Ryan thought it was funny.
  • I can sleep until 9 a.m. too

Along with all that, I am almost finished my sewing projects. Ahh…Thanks Mom & Dad Jones…..(oh & ryan!)

Coffee shop blogging

So, Jenn is getting a haircut and then we’re off to piccola’s for some pizza. While I wait, I’m sitting in a coffee shop downtown, sipping some coffee, and blogging about my journey toward seminary. It’s been a while since I’ve done this… Basically since I stopped working for the church… Man, I miss this. Coffee shops, free wifi, interesting people, cool tattoos, time to think… very refreshing change of pace.