Oct 30, 2008

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

My office buddy, Joslin, made this for our Boss's Day Luncheon. Oh my goodness, it was so good none of us could get enough of it. We literally begged for the recipe, and I have some sitting in my fridge right now. It makes a ton!

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

2 cans corn
2 cans black beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 jar pimento slices

* Drain & rinse the above ingredients before putting them in the bowl*

1 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup pepper rings, finely chopped (use mild or hot)

Heat 1 cup cider vinegar and 1 cup sugar on the stove. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 cup olive oil.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill overnight. Drain well before serving. Serve with chips.

Even if you think you won't like this because of the onion, celery, or any other ingredients, you should still give it a try! If you do it correctly, things are so finely chopped, you don't even realize they're in there! Raw celery makes me GAG, and I had no idea it was even part of the salsa until Joslin gave us the recipe. Plus, it sits overnight and sucks in all those yummy juices, so it's not like eating raw, crunchy vegetables!

Oct 28, 2008

Fall Carnival

This afternoon Jason and I both left work a little early to join Camryn at her school for their Fall Carnival. The school did a really great job and had lots of cute little games, tons of candy, and some goodies for the mommies and daddies! We had not bought Camryn a costume this year, because Jason and I have plans for Halloween night and I didn't think we would have a need for a costume. However, someone passed a ladybug costume along to Jason's dad out of the blue just in case we could use it, and I'm glad we were able to put it to good use! We had a lot of fun! Here are a few pictures of our cute little bug!

Oct 22, 2008

Camryn and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Camryn has had the worst day. It all started 24 hours ago when I put her down for bed last night. It took her FOREVER to get situated and took 4 trips to her crib before she finally quieted down. Then she started crying she had to poop, which after 10 minutes of sitting on the potty never happened. (Side note - as she sat on the potty for 10 minutes, and it was getting further and further past her bedtime, I got exasperated and asked her why it was taking so long. She said, "My bottom is just taking such a long time!" Had to laugh.) Then at 2:47 am, I heard her crying that she had pooped and pee peed. Sure enough, she had, and I was changing a diaper at 2:49 in the morning. I can't remember the last time she did this. I had to be at work earlier this morning, so because she heard me up and about, she woke up earlier. We were totally off our schedule, and I had to leave while she was eating breakfast, and Jason was getting ready. I went to tell Jason goodbye with intentions of heading to the kitchen to tell her next. While I was with Jason, I heard her crying and went to check on her. She somehow thought I wasn't planning to tell her goodbye, and, with tears just rolling down her cheeks, she said, "Mommy, you forgot me." Pitiful! She got lots of extra hugs and kisses before I left.

When I got home from work she met me in the kitchen to report she pooped in her pull up at school (again - can't even remember the last time this happened), and that she had to sit in time out for not listening to her teacher. On to church where she had an accident and fell on a tile floor and hurt her arm. We really are not sure how bad this might be because her wrist looks slightly swollen (although it's really hard to tell because she just has chunky little arms and fingers!), and she has cried on and off all night about how badly it hurts. She went to the nursery while I was at choir practice and when I went to pick her up, she was crying again because she had tripped and fallen once more. She didn't even fight me when I put her straight to bed tonight without watching Backyardigans. I feel so sorry for her! She may have to stay home and have a mommy day tomorrow . . .

Oct 19, 2008

That's Daddy's Girl!

Camryn is a child after her Daddy's own heart! Tonight she and I were playing with her Fridge DJ, which has two volume settings - one that is soft and one that is loud. Whenever you're playing with the Fridge DJ with her she always asks if you want it loud or quiet. Tonight we were singing quietly. I started to teach her one of the songs, and apparently I was singing too loud. She said, "No! No, Mommy. We have to sing my songs, and we have to sing them pianissimo!" I laughed at her and said, "Camryn, what does pianissimo mean?" She whispered and said, "Quiet." Unfortunately, we can't take credit for teaching her this. We owe this knowledge to Little Einsteins. I was so impressed with what she said I immediately called Jason. Can I just tell you how proud my music minister husband was? At this rate, maybe they will be having conversations about music theory by her 3rd birthday!

Oct 17, 2008

October is Clergy Appreciation Month. While gifts and cards are great and always appreciated, there is nothing more important you can do for your ministers than to pray for them! So, here are 5 practical and important ways to pray for your ministers!

1) Pray for his personal relationship with God.

First and foremost, pray for faithfulness to his time with God. Time spent in prayer and study of God's word is essential to an effective ministry, so pray that your minister's time with God would be guarded and made a priority. Pray also for his spiritual growth and maturity, for wisdom, and for him to be sensitive to God's leading.

2) Pray for his personal time.

Pray that his personal time is guarded - that he actually makes time for personal time! Some weeks are so demanding, it is hard for ministers to find personal time. Most ministers have a specific day off each week, and the most effective ministers guard this time and use it! Pray for opportunities for rest and relaxation. Pray for effective and meaningful family time - building deeper relationships with his wife and children. Pray for Godly friendships that are encouraging and uplifting.

3) Protection from Satan's attacks.

It is a sad and disappointing thing for any Christian to fall prey to Satan's attacks, but it is especially detrimental when a minister falls. As I recently read, ministers have too much at stake ... they live their lives with so many people watching, and it is not only detrimental to their own testimony and their own families but also potentially detrimental to the faith and testimony of others. I also recently read and agree with a website that said one of the most important things you can pray for is "strong character and uncompromising integrity." There are so many things - email, internet, media, etc. - that make it so easy for any of us to waiver, and minsters are no exception. Pastor TD Jakes says, "New levels bring new devils" and as God increases a pastor's ministry and influence, there seem to be more and more "devils" that take aim at him and his ministry.

4) His area of ministry

Whether it's the senior pastor, the associate pastor, the music minister, student minister, children's minister, etc., pray most importantly that he would follow God's leading and accomplish everything God wants him to do in his particular area of ministry. Pray for that ministry's effectiveness and that it would reach others. Pray for the ministry's success, the minster's boldness and courageousness (because it's sometimes scary to change things or deviate from the norm!), and for participation or volunteer workers for the ministry.

5) Pray that your minister would be encouraged!

I have seen Jason's entire demeanor, his day, even his week get turned around by a word or note of encouragement from someone unexpected. So pray that others would take the time to lift your minsters up in encouraging ways ... pray for others to do so and then do it yourself! Pray that he would be encouraged by the things he sees around him - others benefiting from his ministry, participation in his ministry, etc. This also includes squelching gossip or nonconstructive criticism. A minister can't be encouraged if he's being brought down by negative/cruel/untruthful things people sometimes choose to say. We all thrive on encouragement, but it especially means the world to your ministers!

Oct 12, 2008

The SC State Fair

On Friday, we took a Burley family trip to the fair. How fun! We were so excited to take Camryn for her first trip! We were also excited to get a Pronto Pup, Fiske Fries, and an elephant ear -yum! Camryn had a great time seeing all of the animals and especially enjoyed her first ride on the carousel. She giggled the whole time and then told everyone she rode the roller coaster ... maybe next year!

Oct 7, 2008

It's That Time of Year Again!

It's that time of year when I'm starting to feel the panic rise over Christmas gifts! Yes, Christmas gifts! By October I usually like to have made a significant dent in my Christmas list. But, with the move and everything else that has gone on in the past three months or so, I feel like I'm only about halfway to where I should be at this point. I have lots of ideas of things I want to buy people, I just need to get out and actually do the shopping! This is one disadvantage to where we live now ... in Anderson, you pretty much had any store at your disposal. Here, you have to drive somewhere else in order to get to any decent stores.

I'm also feeling stressed because family members are starting to ask for "the list." Lately, I've had requests from three family members of, "Can you give us a list of some gift suggestions we can get for you and Jason and Camryn?" Why does this cause me stress? First, when "the list" requests start coming in, I'm suddenly bugging Jason for his list. Although, I have to admit, he's pretty easy to please ... books, electronics, and clothes, and he's a pretty happy guy! Then there's the list for Camryn - trying to figure out what she really needs or what would be a useful gift versus a junk/get-something-just-to-have-it-kind-of gift. Also, the dilemma with her (and all of us, really) is making sure we ask for things that won't break people's budgets. I know you're wondering what in the world we put on these lists we're giving people! But, you never know what someone's budget is, and I'm always so nervous they will look at our lists and think, "Good grief! This will have to last them for the next three Christmases!"

I am patting myself on the back a bit for making my life a little easier this year when it comes to the Heather section of "the list." For the past few years, whenever anyone has asked what I would like for Christmas, my mind has gone blank! I could never think of anything I really wanted, until December 26 when I would suddenly remember, "Oh! I should have asked for that, or that, or that!" So, beginning this past January, I started writing down my wish list. I kept my list in a basket in our kitchen, and anytime I had a "wish" all year long, I wrote it down. I'm pretty proud of myself for that one!

I think another reason I may be stressed is because I am trying to do some of my shopping through Ebay. And, no, I am not buying people used things. Ebay is stressing me because I am bidding on some pretty popular items. Now, I have been pretty good at sniping in the past, but with the things I am looking at, I am putting in my maximum bid early and then walking away so I don't get too caught up in just wanting to win in the last minutes. I know what I am willing to spend, and that's that. Therefore, I am having to exercise patience and just wait for the right thing to come along where I don't get outbid. I know I could probably reduce my stress just a bit by giving up the Ebay and just going out and buying the darn gift, but I want the deal! :)

Oct 3, 2008

Mommy Rewards

I will never work a 5-day workweek again. This morning after building with the blocks and coloring for quite an extended period of time, Camryn leaned over, laid her head on my shoulder, and said, "Mommy, I love playing and coloring with you." Yes, it brought tears to my eyes!

Oct 2, 2008

Random Thoughts for Thursday

1. I've really had nothing to blog about lately. Nothing extremely exciting has been going on with us, and I figured you'd be pretty bored reading about Jason's car repair, our lazy weekend, or what we watch on TV.

2. Of course, the new house is super exciting to us! I wish I could post more pictures so everyone could see the progress, but as it begins to look more and more like a house, I'd rather not put pictures of the front of our home out on the world wide web. We're at the point now where the outside is pretty much done, and all the work is beginning to take place on the inside. That makes it hard to see the progress, but we still drive by almost every day and stare. Even if they've just moved a pile of dirt from one side of the yard to the other, we throw a small party in the car!

3. Lindsay and Justin are coming this Friday to have dinner with us and take a tour of the house thus far. Yay! Our first house guests!

4. I have been searching for new bedding for Camryn. We plan to convert her bed to a big girl bed when we move in. I have looked everywhere for something I like, and, of course, the only thing I have fallen in love with is something from Pottery Barn Kids that is way pricey and more than I'm willing to spend. Ok, ok ... more than Jason will let me spend, cause I'd probably buy it anyway!

5. Camryn did math this morning! On the way to daycare, she told me about the babies she saw in the nursery last night, Claire and Gracie. Then she started talking about her favorite babies, Eli and Jay. I told her she sure knew a lot of babies! I asked her, "How many babies do you know who are girls?" She said, "Claire and Gracie .... 2!" Then I asked, "How many babies do you know who are boys?" She said, "Eli and Jay ... 2!" Then I asked, "So how many babies do you know all together?" She put her little fingers up and said, "4!" I was so proud of her and said, "Baby, you just added!" She grinned so big and said, "I did added!" I called Jason to tell him about it, and he said, "You realize your 2 1/2 year old just did better mental math than you can." I started to argue with him but then stopped. He's right.

6. Camryn also made me laugh when I was getting her ready for school on Wednesday morning. She told me, "I like to go to school today." I said, "That's right! You can go to school and see all your good friends!" She said, "And I'll see the bad ones, too?"

7. I've added a few new blogs to my blogroll: The Devescovis, Three Football Boys and a Girl, and Living Beyond Ourselves. These are some really fun girls I met at good ol' AC, and I've really enjoyed reading about their families. Plus, they're good at keeping their blogs updated! :)

8. Does anybody else go through breakfast food phases like me? I'll eat one particular thing for several months at a time, then get tired of it, and move on to something else. For the past 6-7 months, it's been peanut butter waffles every morning. My new breakfast obsession is blueberry bagels with cream cheese. YUM!

9. We are just loving our new church! There is always so much going on, and, I swear, I don't know how I ever lived my life without Wednesday night suppers! Next week we are having soup and grilled cheese sandwiches ... does it get any better than that?? I am really excited about the choir, though. It has already grown just in the short time we have been at the church, and Wednesday night practices are just fun. I can't wait to see what God has in store for the music ministry 6 months, 1 year, 2 years down the road!

10. My new job is kicking my tail, but I can't complain because I am in love with my weekly schedule. I love having my Fridays off so I can have Camryn home with me, we have extra time to spend as a family, and Jason and I have weekly lunch dates now! It also makes weekend traveling a little easier since we always have to be back in town on Sunday. It's like having the best of both worlds - being a working mommy and a stay-at-home mommy!

11. If you ever have the chance to work with the youth at your church, DO IT! At both of our churches, we have gotten to know some of the greatest teenagers! Last Sunday night, we went out to eat with some of the youth, and they had me laughing the whole time. This Saturday we are taking a few of them to Carowinds for Christian Music Day. We know we'll have a blast!

12. When we moved, we switched cell phone companies and got new plans. We decided before we went to the store which plan we would get, and I was disappointed that I wasn't able to get a Blackberry with the particular plan we chose. Jason and I both ended up with a Scoop, which we have liked so far. At dinner with the youth Sunday night, I looked around the table and about 5 of them had our same phone! Does that mean I'm cool now???