Oct 31, 2007


Also, Happy Birthday to one of Jason's best friends, Jordan! Jordan and Jason were college roommates and have been friends ever since. We love Jordan, and hope the Halloween birthday boy has a great day!

Oct 27, 2007

Fall Festival

Friday night our church hosted a Fall Festival for the community. We had such a great time there! The church really outdid themselves and had so many things to do. There were inflatables, a train ride for the kids, a hayride, a hot air balloon tether ride, pony rides, cotton candy, sno cones (which I thoroughly enjoyed!), a hot dog supper, carnival-type games, a dunking booth, and a praise and worship band concert afterwards. Camryn was really overwhelmed by all of the people and just stood looking around a lot of the time. She had a really good time playing games like the beanbag toss and duck pond. She wanted to do them over and over. She liked looking at the ponies from a distance but didn't want to get too close. She told me once that she wanted to ride but as soon as I placed her in the saddle, she started crying. Oh well, maybe next year! Here are some pictures from our fun evening.

Oct 25, 2007

18 Month Pictures

I am a little late getting these posted since Camryn is almost 20 months old now, but here are her 18-month pictures. I was so pleased with how they turned out! They are really some of the best we have had taken.

Oct 23, 2007

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

I realized I haven't posted a recipe in a while, so I thought I would share one of my very favorites - my mom's spaghetti sauce. I don't think I ever remember a jar of Prego or Ragu darkening the door of our home when I was young. If we ever had spaghetti, Mom always made this sauce. It is so good and so versatile. Whenever I make it for guests, I make one pot according to the recipe and another one omitting the onions, peppers, and mushrooms for anyone who doesn't like those. There are a few ingredients that you add "to taste" and I know that will annoy some people because it's not exact. Just start with a little (esp. with the mustard - too much can ruin it) and add until it's the way you like it.

Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. hamburger
1 cup ketchup
1 can tomato sauce (not the small can - soup can size)
1 can tomato soup
1 sm. onion diced (more or less depending on your taste)
1 bell pepper diced
1 can mushrooms, drained
mustard (to taste - start with a tsp. then add more if needed)
chili powder (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
salt, pepper (to taste)
bay leaves

Brown hamburger. Add garlic powder and onion as you brown the hamburger. When hamburger has browned, drain, and transfer to crockpot. Add other ingredients to the crockpot - ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato soup, bell pepper, mushrooms, mustard, chili powder, a little more garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Remember not to add too much mustard as it will overpower. Stir to blend all ingredients. Lay two bay leaves on top and simmer for 30 - 45 on high. Stir from time to time so as not to burn. Serve over your favorite pasta! Don't forget to take the bay leaves out!

Oct 15, 2007

Zoo Trip

On Saturday we took a trip to the zoo with Jason's sister Alison, her husband Isaac, and our nephew Caleb. We had such a great time! The weather was great, and the zoo wasn't too crowded because everyone was at the Fall for Greenville festivities. Camryn has been to the zoo twice before, but this is the first time she's been old enough to really pay attention to the animals. She loved seeing the elephant, the giraffes, and the leopard (which she kept calling a cheetah). We had so much fun, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures from the day!

Oct 12, 2007

October is Clergy Appreciation Month. Whether it is your senior pastor, music minister, youth minister, singles minister, associate pastor, etc., your ministers have an awesome responsibility, and your encouragement means the world to them! Today’s Friday Five is five ways to encourage your minister during Clergy Appreciation Month!

1) Tell them!
There is nothing that means more to Jason than for someone to come up to him after a service and tell him that the choir sounded great, a song really ministered to them, or they were able to worship through the music. Tell your pastor or other minister what a good job they are doing.

2) Cards or notes
Positive, affirming words are so important to a minister! Jason (and many other ministers I know) has a file where he keeps encouraging cards or notes so he can look back at them when he needs to be uplifted. Your words mean a great deal!

3) Food
You know food speaks to any good Baptist! Seriously, whether you are inviting the minister and his family for a meal, baking a plate of cookies or a cake for him, or giving him a gift card to his favorite restaurant, this is a really thoughtful gesture. Recently Jason helped a choir member practice a solo she planned to sing in a wedding. He loves being able to do things like that, but she gave him a Ruby Tuesdays gift card as a thank you for his help, and it really just made his day. It let him know he had really helped and made a difference!

4) Support his ministry!
Whether it’s joining the choir, volunteering to chaperone a youth trip, helping teach a Sunday School, or simply just showing up for church so the pastor sees your face, it is such an encouragement for ministers to know you support and are behind what they are doing.

5) Pray
There is probably nothing more important than this. PRAY for your ministers – specifically for their ministry, their relationship with God, their relationship with the congregation and church leaders, their family, and that they would clearly know God’s will personally and professionally.

Oct 10, 2007

God is Good!

Can I just tell you how sorry I have felt for myself today? Camryn has something going on where she has had diarrhea for the past month, and we can’t figure out what is causing it. On top of that she is going through a fussy/whiny phase that is very trying. Jason and I both have stresses at work right now that are bringing us down. I have a staph infection I’ve been fighting since June that I just can’t seem to shake. Plus, I had a late meeting today which put me getting home much later than usual, and I just hate for extra time to be taken away from my family like that. I told a friend that I just feel like we have this dark cloud over our house right now. So, the last thing I felt like doing tonight was going to choir practice. But, I missed last week because Camryn wasn’t feeling 100%, and when your husband is the music minister, missing two weeks in a row is a sin!

We got started and the first song we sang had these verses: And I’ll say of the Lord, You are my Shield, my Strength, my Fortress, Deliverer, My Shelter, Strong Tower, My Very Present Help in time of need. Man! As I sang those words, I thought to myself, “All of the bad things I have going on are nothing that God can’t handle! He is my Shield, Strength, Strong Tower, Very Present Help.” Then we moved on to the next song which said this: There is a Fountain, who is a King, Victorious Warrior, and Lord of Everything. My Rock, my Shelter, my Very Own, Blessed Redeemer, who reigns upon the throne. By this time, I had tears in my eyes and just had to close my eyes and worship as I sang. I have a Lord of Everything who knows all about Cam’s crazy poopy diapers, knows why they’re happening, and will take care of her. My Strength, Strong Tower, Very Present Help knows all about our work stresses and is willing to help us handle them all. My Rock and my Shelter knows about all my other worries and spoke to me through those songs to let me know He is always there and will always supply everything we need. God is so good!

Oct 8, 2007

Bad Service

I hate it when I get bad service! A few Fridays ago, Jason, Camryn, and I went to Olive Garden because we love it when they have the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl special. We get to try lots of different kinds of sauces and always have plenty to take home. We’ve been two or three other times when they’ve had this special going on and have never had any trouble taking home our leftovers. This past time, we each ordered our first bowl. I ate about half of it and asked for a box. The server gave me a look and said, “Ok, but that’s the only one you can take home.” So, I got the box and ordered a different kind. Jason really liked the first one he got and ate the whole thing. When he ordered his next one he only ate about half and asked for a box. The server informed him that he couldn’t take that one home because you were only allowed to take home leftovers from your first bowl. He was annoyed, but we just gave each other a “whatever!” look and said OK. When the bill came, Jason looked at it and noticed she had charged us for a for a kid’s soft drink even though we had ordered Camryn a kids water. He was told that that’s just how they do it. If we had ordered food for Camryn, the drink would have been free. But, because we only ordered her a drink, even though it was water, we had to pay for a soft drink. I had already gone out to the car because Cam had a really bad diaper that needed to be changed. Jason is much nicer than I am and was just ready to get out of there because he was so mad and paid for it. I ranted the whole way home about how ridiculous that was and then got on the OG website once we got home to complain. I’ve since received a gift card, have been informed you can take home ANY leftovers you have, and had a manager tell me that Olive Garden isn’t hurting for money so badly that they have to charge for a kids water!

Oct 5, 2007

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you are so very thankful for the people God has placed in your life? This has been one of those weeks for me! I have TONS of wonderful friends and family who support me, and this is in no way a comprehensive list of the special people in my life. But for today's Friday Five, I decided to list five people I've been especially thankful for this week who make me smile!

Kelli is my best friend, and I love her with all my heart! I think people at church truly believe we are attached at the hip and are incapable of acting or making decisions independent of each other. She is my shopping buddy, my gossip buddy, my math-impaired buddy (seriously, we have issues trying to figure out percentages off during sales!), my mommy buddy, and so many other things. She makes my days brighter.

Beth is my true heart friend and is such a Godly example for me! We "get" each other and can talk about anything! We really believe at times our husbands were separated at birth, so that gives us lots of things to laugh about. I go to her for advice and know she will always tell me things that are God-centered and just what I need to hear (even if it's not what I WANT to hear)!

3) My sister, Lindsay
I love my sister and wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. I call her all the time just to rant, complain, laugh, fuss, bounce ideas off of, etc. She always listens and always make me feel better. She is the greatest!

4) Sarah Ellen
SE was my sister's college roommate. I just love it that she and her husband joined our church and now have become some of our very good friends. She is just such a fun person to be around and is such a dedicated person.

5) Stephanie
Stephanie and her husband recently joined our church and are quickly becoming some of our favorite people. She has one of the sweetest spirits and just makes me smile with her kindness and enthusiasm. Plus, the girl can sing, and I love to hear her!

Oct 4, 2007

Was there ever any doubt how this would turn out? From time to time we hear comments from people that they see a little bit of Jason in Camryn. But, by far, the majority of people think she looks just like me!

Oct 2, 2007

Camryn's Halloween Costume

I had so much fun dressing Camryn up for Hallowee last year! We bought one of the Tom Arma costumes, which I think are just precious. He does mostly animal costumes, and they are so fuzzy and cuddly! Camryn was a koala and won the costume contest for her age group at our church’s Trunk-or-Treat. I seriously considered getting another Tom Arma outfit for this year, but at the age she is now, I really think she would protest such a hot, heavy costume. My sister and I were in Party City in early September and saw a precious Little Red Riding Hood outfit. We bought it for her but agreed it needed a few modifications. The red sparkly sash that comes with it looks more like a WWF championship belt, and we hated it. It’s tacked onto the costume pretty loosely, so I am going to take it off and replace it with an apron instead. Doesn’t it make more sense for Little Red Riding Hood to have an apron instead of a WWF belt? My mom found a little half apron on one of my dolls at home and is going to send it to me. I hope it works! If not, where can I find one? I’ve tried looking on the internet and even on Ebay but I can’t find anything small enough for her. Any suggestions? Once we get the apron, I’ll have to get her a small basket to carry and some red ribbons for her hair, and she’ll be set!

Last year's costume

Does Anyone Else Find This Funny?

So after my dear sister left a comment yesterday and called me out on my age ("You're not 27 anymore, missy!"), I decided to update my profile. After I changed the age, I clicked "View Profile", and it said my Industry was "Accounting" and my Location was "Afghanistan." I laughed out loud when I saw that! It also said my profile had 97 views but nobody has bothered to tell me! Does anybody else besides me find this funny?

Oct 1, 2007

Randomness from the Weekend

1. We finally had a quiet weekend, just the three of us, with nowhere to be. I actually heard Jason say he was bored, which he NEVER says!

2. I finished the 4th Harry Potter book, and it made me sad. Lord Voldemort is back and nothing will ever be the same again (can you tell I'm just a little too into these books?)! I'm already well into the 5th one, which Jason says was his favorite.

3. I found out this weekend that a very dear couple we know is having marital problems. It truly broke my heart. Please pray for them!

4. Whenever I hear Chris Tomlin's "How Can I Keep From Singing" on the radio, I can't help but sing along!!!

5. Camryn was a cutie-pie Sunday morning in her new outfit. Here's a picture:

6. I feel like the biggest loser in the world because I missed my 10th high school reunion this weekend. I couldn't go because I've had to take so much time off of work for doctor's appointments for a staph infection I got over the summer (more on that in another post), and I would have had to take more time off to make the trip home this weekend worthwhile. Excuses, I know ...

7. Camryn is turning into such a little priss! She's really into pocketbooks right now, and this is a picture of the Tinkerbell pocketbook we found in the $1 section at Target this weekend. Oh yeah ... and the fireman's hat she got from Firehouse Subs!

8. I had to make a cake for lunch at work today and forgot all about it until last night right before we were leaving for church. I had to run to Wal-Mart afterwards and try to make a cake as I was trying to get Camryn in bed. I was so aggravated!

9. Carolina won this weekend!!! And, Clemson lost!!! It is so much fun to watch Camryn watch the game and yell, "COCKY!!" every time the Carolina logo pops up! I thought she was going to pop when they showed Cocky and the girl Cocky at the same time on the screen. By the way ... what is her name?