Jan 31, 2008

Anita's Soup

It has been a long time since I've posted a recipe! Here is a really good one. I have a new boss this year named Anita. During her first or second week here, she brought this soup in for everyone in my office. We all wanted the recipe afterwards, because it was so yummy! I've made it a few times at home, and Jason loves it, too. All of the cans you buy for this recipe are just the "regular" size cans. The can of tomatoes is the only one that is bigger. I wrote down the specific can size just in case. So, here is Anita's soup. And, no, she doesn't read this blog, so I am not brown-nosing! :)

Anita's Soup
1 lb. ground beef (lean meat works well in this, too)
11 oz. can of Mexicorn
15.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz. Rotel with chiles
15 oz. can Texas style beans (I found them at Ingles)
29 oz. crushed tomatoes
Bag of Fritos

Brown ground beef. Drain and transfer to crock pot. Add all other ingredients, making sure to drain and rinse the kidney beans. You can add the entire can of tomatoes or add a little less depending on how soupy or thick you want this to be. Cook on high until bubbling. Place a large handful of Fritos in a bowl and spoon soup on top. Recipe can be doubled.

Jan 29, 2008

My New Book

I am so excited about my new book I ordered, The Mommy Journal. I ordered it before Christmas and because it was backordered I just got it this past Saturday. I saw it in a magazine, and it is intended to be a journal to write letters and thoughts to your child. I may do some of that, but Jason and I plan to use it primarily to record all of the funny and cute things Camryn is saying right now (see post below for a perfect example!). We just want to remember all of the sweet things she is saying and thought this would be a great way to remember them all. She says things and Jason always asks me, "Are you writing this down somewhere?" This journal is great because it's full of blank sections where we can write everything down with the date. I already have a list of things I have to enter in. I think this is a perfect gift, too, for new mommies!

Jan 27, 2008

Sweet Prayers

I'm sure God must smile - and possibly even try not to laugh like me - when He hears sweet prayers like the one Camryn prayed last night before bed. When I asked her what she wanted to tell Jesus thank you for, this is what she said:

"Thomas and Stephanie and Jeff and Sarah Ellen and the TV and Moose and Zee (characters on Noggin) and Little Bear and my bandaid and the circle and the triangle."

Jan 25, 2008

Update and Lack of Creativity

The quick rundown on Camryn is this: double ear infection, stronger antibiotic since Amoxicillian obviously isn't cutting it anymore, 2 days home with daddy, 2 days of way too much Noggin, allergy testing yesterday which was the worst EVER because the nurse couldn't get the needle into her little vein so she had to fish around for it which made Camryn and Mommy cry (but it's amazing what a Dora sticker can cure!), an allergy medication, continued breathing treatments, and 2 nights of quiet sleep! We'll find out about allergy testing results in two weeks.

My creative juices are at a standstill right now. I was trying to think of a good Friday Five topic last night and couldn't come up with anything. I asked Jason what I should blog about, and he said, "How about 5 things I'm going to do for my husband since he was cooped up for 2 days with the kid?" All I could think of was 1) Say thank you and then that topic fizzled. Then we tried to think of 5 cute things Camryn has said this week because she's said A LOT - it's been great to have her home for so many days this week because we hear every cute thing that comes out of her mouth. But, all we could remember was that she called the Count on Sesame Street Count Chocula, and that was it. We're great parents, huh? Well, we also remembered that she called Mr. Noodle from Elmo's world "Mr. Doodle" but we doubted anyone besides us would find that humorous. So, no Friday Five today. Somebody give me some good ideas, and maybe I'll try for next week!

Jan 23, 2008

I Forgot What It Was Like

I forgot what it was like to be up at all hours of the night with a baby ... until last night. Camryn slept sometimes 30 mintues, sometimes a couple of hours last night because her cough is back worse than ever, and she has an ear infection - I know because she told me twice her ears hurt last night and every time she cried she was pulling at them. Oh, and a fever on top of that. So, I was up all night alternating cough medicine and Tylenol and bringing her water because I know her throat must have been killing her. Nights like last night are good birth control. Off to the doctor we will go again today. I feel so bad because I can't stay home with her today - I have a slammed day at work that I may blog about later. At least Cammy has a sweet daddy to stay home with her who I know will take care of her and love on her. It's days like this I just wish I were a stay-at-home mommy . . .

Jan 18, 2008


So, here I sit at 8:15 in the morning in the cold little special services portable all by my lonesome because I did not realize our district was on a two hour delay today. Who would have thought??? We're all clear in Anderson! Guess I need to start checking the news since I do work in a different district than where I live. Oh well ... guess I'm getting an early start to my Friday. Poor me.

Jan 17, 2008

Snow, Snow Everywhere!

We had the prettiest snowfall last night. It was really perfect - big, huge flakes that were just showering down and making everything look so beautiful. It's the first snow that Camryn has actually been old enough to enjoy, and she was just in love with it. We walked outside after church, and the snow was pouring down. I told her, "Look, baby, it's snow!" She looked up and grinned the biggest grin. Then she looked back at me and saw it in my hair and said, "Mommy, you's got bubbles in your hair?" She went to bed late last night because she just had to stand by the door and watch. She kept telling us, "It's coming down!" We had planned to play in it for a while this afternoon, but the rain came and made everything kind of slushy. So, no cute pictures of Cam in the snow, but I did get one shot of her while she was watching it ... even though you can't actually see the snow! We have loooovveeed being able to just bum around and relax during our snow day!

Jan 16, 2008


Poor Camryn. She just can't seem to go any stretch of time without this respiratory mess coming back. We were back at the doctor on Monday because she has been coughing so much lately. We're doing 5 medications again - a steroid (which made her so cranky yesterday!), an antibiotic because she also has an ear infection, 2 medicines during her breathing treatment, and a cough medicine for nighttime. If this keeps up, we'll have to visit an allergist to see if that's causing any of her problems. Unfortunately, I think she has just inherited my problems. I had bronchitis every year as a child and have allergies as well. She looks like me - guess she may as well have all my issues, too!

I have to say, I am loving my new doctor. I recently changed from the original one we chose because she is on an extended medical leave. That traumatized me because I LOVED her, and she caught on really quickly to what a crazy I can be because I worry about and diagnose my child with everything, and she would just laugh at me for it. Anyway, our new doctor is very efficient - we sat down in the waiting room, and I didn't even have time to finish combing Camryn's hair before we were called back. She literally had us in and out of there in about 20 minutes, and I had all my questions answered and felt like she spent enough time with us. Anyway ... hopefully Cam will start getting better so she's not sick again for her birthday like she was last year! That was really yucky!

Jan 14, 2008

Good Deal!

Old Navy started their clearance sale this weekend - a total of 75% off of their sale items! Woo Hoo! Of course, if you're reading this, everything is probably mostly cleared out by now.

Everyone always comments on the amount of clothes that are in Camryn's closet. What can I say? I love to dress her up! Sales like the Old Navy one are how I do it! I buy for the next season and stock up on the really cheap stuff for daycare and just hanging out. That way I'm able to splurge a little more on cute outfits for church, going out, special occasions, etc. I was really proud of my purchases over the weekend - long sleeve t-shirts for $3.75 - perfect for daycare, a cute pink sweater for $3 or $4 dollars, a winter coat for $6, socks for 49 cents (they hardly ever have Cam's size, and I actually found 4 or 5 pair!), and some other odds and ends. Then we went to Target and there was a Christmas zip up sweater on the 75% off rack - it was only $2.09! I also got a couple of Christmas presents for Christmas '08. I know that is crazy, but I've already bought 3 presents for next Christmas just because I have found some awesome sales!

Jan 11, 2008

5 Random Things About My Week

1) We finally got the last of the Christmas decorations stored on Wednesday. This is probably the slackest we have ever been in getting everything put away, and I have no other excuse for this than just plain laziness. The Christmas lights literally just covered the dining room floor for about a week and a half, and we didn't open the blinds in the front room of the house because the naked Christmas tree was still hanging out in there until Tuesday. This kind of disorderliness is not typical Jason and Heather style. I don't know what got into us!

2) High speed internet has changed my life. Well, not really, but it was exciting for me to place a Pottery Barn Kids internet order and have it done within a few minutes instead of it taking me the better part of an hour !

3) Cheraw is getting a Fatz Cafe!!! WHAT!?!?! If any of you know anything about my little hometown, you know that is a BIG deal. First a Super Wal-Mart, now an actual chain restaurant. I'm telling you ... Cheraw is going places!

4) I'm well on my way to having everything ordered and planned out for Camryn's birthday party. Sure it's not taking place until March 1, but I have to have something to obsess about. Christmas is over, so this is what I've moved on to. We're going with a Sesame Street theme. Sunny days ....

5) Two words: Cadbury Eggs. They are my all time favorite. And CVS already has them out. Yes, already. In January.

Jan 10, 2008


There are some days I am so touched by the people I meet through my job (school psychologist). Yesterday was one of those days. I met the sweetest couple who, 5 years ago, adopted a 2 year old Ukrainian boy. He was recently diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, stemming from living in a neglectful orphanage in the Ukraine before he was adopted. I sat and listened to these parents talk about their struggles with this little boy - his dishonesty, his lack of empathy and conscience, the power struggles they have with him, the conflicts they have encountered with family members because of his difficulties, etc. Surprisingly, this little boy is not a behavior problem at school - something about the competitive nature of the school setting and his desire to fit in keep him motivated at school. But, the parents said they dread going home each night because of what they know is in store for them. While they are certainly thankful they do not have to deal with school behavior problems, how hard it must have been to hear that he defies the people who love him most, yet is a good boy at school. It was obvious in talking to these parents that they are Christian people who love this little boy and are doing everything they can to work with him. His mother even drives two hours (one way) every week to take him to counseling in a different town because that is the only therapist they have found certified to deal with RAD. When I left the meeting and got in my car, I just felt compelled to pray for this family. How thankful I am for my own child and the couples who are willing to open their homes to children who need parents to love them. The guidance counselor even asked the mother one time in the past if they ever thought about sending him back. Her response was to smile and say, "No. I can't give up on him."

Jan 7, 2008

The Christmas Recap

So, yes, I am a slightly behind in getting our Christmas information posted, but here it is! Here are the details of our Christmas, in no particular order!

After the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad back injury (my mother-in-law, if no one else, will appreciate that!) I was a little worried about how our holidays would pan out. However, the medicine helped, using ice worked wonders, and having time to rest and relax was just what I needed. My husband was a CHAMP and never once complained about having to do everything because I could barely move!

Cheraw was our first stop for Christmas. Camryn had 14 presents to open at my mom's house, and she didn't know what to do with herself. She would open one and then say, "Gotta open 'nother one." Highlights from that trip: celebrating Aunt Lindsay's birthday, Camryn's first trip to see Santa (she cried when she thought we were going to make her sit in his lap - which we did NOT ... I hate it when parents do that! -, but otherwise, really enjoyed seeing him), my new, awesome Kate Landry pocketbook from my sister, Camryn's baby doll, her Elmo purse, and her new tricycle.

Next stop - Columbia. Camryn got to have Christmas with her cousin, Caleb, and they always have so much fun playing together! Plus, after two failed attempts, we finally got to take a family trip to see The Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo. It was way crowded, but lots of fun! Jason took the Sunday before Christmas off, so it was nice to get to worship at his old church. We also were able to spend time with both sets of Jason's grandparents, which is always very special to us. Other highlights: Camryn's dollhouse from Grandma & Grandpa, Grandma's broccoli soup, Camryn's Elmo medical kit, meeting Jason's cousin's new daughter, Carolyn, and having almost all of the Burley side of the family under one roof for the first time in a while - although I spent most of that visit in pain because it was my first day without the painkillers. Ouch!

Christmas Eve we came home, and Camryn and I decorated Christmas cookies together. SO much fun!!! She loved shaking the sprinkles onto the cookies. I think that will be our new Christmas Eve tradition. We also went to the Christmas Eve service at our church and then came back home to watch White Christmas. I really meant to do a whole post about how special that movie is to me, but I just never got around to it. We watched White Christmas every Christmas Eve as a family when I was growing up. I have the sweetest memories of my family sitting around with the lights out, the Christmas tree lit, with a plate of Tollhouse cookies, and watching Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen sing and dance. A few years ago, I was walking through Belk's and heard White Christmas playing and got tears in my eyes. I thought I was a wacko until I called my sister to tell her I was tearing up just from hearing the song, and she said she does the same thing, too!

Christmas morning was a blast. Camryn got her new kitchen and food set from Santa and also got a few new books, puzzles, and DVD's. Jason got me a foot pleaser foot massager, and I don't think a day has gone by that I haven't used it! LOVE IT! The Burleys came by for a little while that day, and we all three enjoyed showing off our loot. My dad came to spend a few days with us on the 26th. Camryn was in love with the drawing table he gave her. She scribbled something on a piece of paper the other day, and showed Jason. He said, "Oh, that's great! Is that abstract art?" She said, "Mmm Hmmm. I go draw another ark."

So, now on to the pictures ...

Click to play Christmas+2007
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Jan 5, 2008

Welcome, Ethan Graham!

On Decemeber 25, my sweet friend from Winthrop, Amanda, and her husband, Chris, welcomed Ethan Graham into the world. What a wonderful Christmas blessing! I can't wait to meet this little guy. He is such a cutie! Congratulations, Chris and Amanda!

Jan 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

After time off because of the back and an extended Christmas break, the Burley family is finally back in action. Jason and I are both back at work today, and Camryn is back at daycare. We have treasured the time we had together as a family these past two weeks. I will update later with Christmas pictures and stories, but I thought I would post these lyrics as a way to start off the new year. I usually really dislike sappy, cliched, "message" songs, but I really love this one! Happy New Year, everyone! I hope we all live in 2008 like this:

How You Live (Turn Up The Music) - Point Of Grace

Wake up to the sunlight
With your windows open
Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress
Use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
Have what you want
But want what you have
And don’t spend your life looking back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won’t regret it
Looking back from where you have been
Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

So go to the ballgames
And go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children
Dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don’t run from the truth
‘Cause you can’t get away
Just face it and you’ll be ok

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won’t regret it
Lookin’ back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

Oh wherever you are and wherever you’ve been
Now is the time to begin

So give to the needy
And pray for the grieving
E’en when you don’t think that you can
‘Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
‘Cause in the end there’s nobody else

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
‘Cause you won’t regret it
Lookin’ back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live