Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Family Fun

My family loves spending time together doing whatever we can - shopping, cooking, eating around the table together and then sitting for 30 more minutes just talking, playing games, playing cards, or watching movies to name just a few of things we enjoy.

This past weekend while we were there, while I loved doing all of the aforementioned things with them, I think my favorite times were around the table and playing games. We ate really well (thanks to the wonderful cooks in the family!) and we also played some really fun games.

Corn hole - my dad actually made these boards! They're red and blue with the Palmetto and Moon on them. 

Scrabble! My mom and I played a game over breakfast before I had to leave Wednesday morning. It was a  lot of fun, and we had a great board!

This was our new game for the weekend - Hanna introduced us to Settlers of Catan. It's an interesting game, with a lot of instructions, but very fun! We played twice, and I think I finally got it by the end of the 2nd game. 

Of course we played cards. I don't think my family can get together without playing one game of cards - we grew up playing Hearts, Wizard (Oh Heck), Nerntz, sometimes poker, and other games. Saturday night we played Wizard, which is always a good one!

I love playing games. It's a good opportunity to sit with family and enjoy each other - to talk, to compete, to help, to interact, and to have fun. 

God Bless!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Manning Family Christmas

This has been a wonderful Christmas for my family. We were all able to come to Charleston to be together and celebrate together. And it's been wonderful.
The stockings were hung by the chimny with care.

Mom's beautiful Christmas Dinner table.

Must have holiday treats from my God-mother, Bev - Aunt Sis eggnog and white trash

Edens Mess - my mom's new favorite dessert!

Henry under the tree with the presents.

What Christmas wouldn't be complete with a friendly game of Cornhol - in our pajamas of course. We got better with each game!

My dad and Hanna cheering us on.

Paul and Henry - two very handsome guys.

My amazing family!
Paul, me, David, Meredith, Hanna, Mom, Dad

Merry Christmas from the Reids!

God Bless

Christmas Video

I love this holiday.

I love that we are celebrating our Lord's birth.

I love the time spent with family.

I love giving gifts.

I love the meals and the fellowship.

This video was shown at our church at the Christmas Eve service. It's priceless. It's told and acted by some kids in New Zealand, and is just precious.

Merry Christmas.

God Bless

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


They don't call it the windy city for nothing...but it's an amazing city, and this past weekend, Paul and I went with his family to Chicago. It was a "just for fun family trip"!!

Here's a little of what we did and saw...

We stayed at the Conrad Hotel, which was on Michigan Avenue and walking distance to so much shopping! It was a gorgeous hotel, and in the heart of the city, which was wonderful. 

Shopping downtown! That's an Anthropology bag in my hands - of course!

We went to the top of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). It was really pretty to see the city lights all across the city. 

My next career move - The French Pastry School! 

Breakfast one morning for Paul- a cinnamon role with icing - only while on vacation is that ok.

Sunday we took the bus to Navy Pier and walked around. 

This is the view from Navy Pier looking back at the city - it's so pretty. 

Leah, Kevin, Anna, Scott, Holly, Paul, Me, and George

Hmm...where should we go from here? I'm thinking St. Thomas - it's only 2,116 miles from Chicago.

This place was recommended by a local bus driver as the best hot dog place in Chicago - Portillo's Hot Dogs. While I forgo the hot dogs, everyone else said they were really good. 

We of course stopped by the American Dental Association. It wasn't open, but Paul was still able to get a picture! Do you see him?

Sunday afternoon, we went to the Chicago Theater and saw "A Christmas Story, the Musical". It was very well done, and had many of lines from the movie. Still one of my favorite Christmas movies - I grew up watching the 24 hour replays on TBS.

We then went to The Walnut Room Restaurant at Macy's. Evidently, it is THE place to have a holiday dinner. Our wait time was almost 4 hours to be seated. 

 A HUGE Thank You to Leah and George for such a wonderful family trip. We made some sweet memories, and will always remember this time we had together.

God Bless

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Enjoying fall

Yesterday Paul and I got up real early to go hiking. Some friends had recommended Ruffner Mountain for hiking, so we decided to check it out. It was a beautiful, crisp, clear, cold, fall morning, perfect for hiking/walking along a trail. Vance tagged along and had a blast!

Our "hunting dog" at work! 

Hopefully we can go again soon before it gets too cold. I love being outside and especially in the mountains.

God Bless

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Change for a Dollar

My mom shared this video with me, and I wanted to pass it along. It's a touching video about "paying it forward". Watch all the way to the end.

Pay it forward today.

God Bless

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Weekend

This past weekend, Paul and I (and Vance) went to Greenville to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with his family. We've arranged a "schedule" with our families so that we spend Thanksgiving with one family, and Christmas with the other. This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving with the Reids, and since the whole family was together, we went on ahead and celebrated Christmas too!

Thanksgiving Day, Paul, his parents, and I went to Spartanburg First Baptist Church to help with "Feed the Community". We worked on an assembly line to help box turkey lunches. We probably boxed close to 200 boxes in just our line. The entire operation boxed close to 10,000 lunches!!

Then for our Thanksgiving lunch, we went to Mimi's Cafe with his grandparents and enjoyed a full turkey lunch.

Friday, Scott, Holly, Anna, and Kevin came home, and we were able to hang out for awhile. That evening we went to the Clemson-Furman men's basketball game with Paul's other grandparents. Furman actually started out leading the game, but Clemson won in the end, 59-49. I wore my purple scarf with a white shirt, so I could cheer for both teams!

Saturday, was our "Christmas Day". Mr. Reid and Anna cooked a wonderful breakfast and then we exchanged gifts. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful, thoughtful family.

 Opening presents is tiring and hard work!

Later that afternoon, it was a sunny, nice, fall day, so we were able to walk along a new trail that runs from North Greenville all the way into downtown Greenville. I think in total, it's a little over 13 miles. I'm thinking good training grounds for my next half marathon! 

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend spent with family. Paul and I have been together for over 7 years now, and the Reid's have all become so special to me. They are just as much my family as my anyone. And, we are so excited to have Holly (Scott's girlfriend) now with us! She is a great addition to our lively bunch! 

Happy Holidays!

God Bless

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bean Stew with Cottage Dumplings

Today was a dreary day. It was raining, cloudy, and just yucky outside all day. I wanted to go for a run this morning, but once I got out there, I just couldn't. I enjoy running and all, but I'm not a die-hard-run-no-matter-what-the-weather girl. I guess you could say I'm a fair weather runner.
I did babysit for a couple of hours today as well, and had a great time building a tent! I used to make tents with my neighborhood friends all the time growing up - we built some really big tents with multiple rooms and everything. This morning, the kids loved it and had an absolute ball playing in it. However, I wasn't allowed inside! Something's wrong with that picture. I'm going back tomorrow, so I'll take my camera and take pictures. :)

Anyway, since it was such a yucky day, I made a really good pot of bean stew with cottage dumplings for dinner. Something warm and comfy sounded just right!

Bean Stew with Cottage Dumplings

1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce (I only had an 8 oz can, so I used that plus a can of diced tomatoes)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2/3 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/3 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 egg whites

Heat all stew ingredients in a 3 QT saucepan to boiling; reduce heat.
Mix all dumpling ingredients together. Form into 12 small balls. Gently slide them into stew.
Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and cook about 10 more minutes or until dumplings are firm.

Serve warm and enjoy!

So I'm still not good at my food picture taking yet. I'm practicing and learning and trying at least to use my own photos. Believe me, it tastes really good although the pictures aren't that good.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a lazy Sunday and brownies

I think I have spent the majority of the day on the couch reading! I started The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, and have finished the first book, and am now onto the second. I CANNOT put it down!

The first time I read these, I only read the first two, but this time I'm anxious to read the 3rd. I would highly recommend this trilogy to anyone and everyone!

This will be a pretty normal week for Paul and me. I'm working a lot, filling in extra hours for one of the families I babysit for. Paul will be done with being on call tomorrow. He actually just got called in for a consult. Hopefully it won't be too long.

This weekend we had a fourth year MUSC dental student come and stay with us for a couple of days while he interviewed at the hospital for next year's class of residents. We were glad to open our home to a fellow MUSC dental student, and wish him well! Since we had company, I though I would make some brownies from scratch for him and Paul. If I'm ever trying a new recipe, especially one like this where most people are used to a boxed version, I usually try it first before passing it out just to make sure its ok...and these brownies were very good, I will say! and super easy to make!

Homemade Brownies

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
2/3 flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Heat oven to 350 and grease an 8x8x2 square pan
2. Mix sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl
3. Stir in remaining ingredients
4. Spread into pan (I found the batter to be really thick, but like I said, they turned out fine!)
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes (toothpick test)
6. Allow to cool a little, but best served warm

God Bless

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

10 fun things...

Here's a quick update on what's been going on around the Reid house!

1. It's FALL! The leaves are turning colors. The air has a chill in it and it's fabulous!

2. I went to Homewood's Open House last weekend - all of the stores stay open late, have snacks and wine to promote their business - and at one store I won this platter as a door prize! I got some great ideas for Christmas presents too! Now I just need to go back and actually start my Christmas shopping.

 3. I've started running again - ran 5 miles this morning. I had kinda stopped because 1. I've been busy and 2. when I did have time, I was being lazy and didn't go. But I pulled out my shoes, and since the weather has cooled off, it's been great to be outside and run!

4. The pastor of our church, Dr. David Platt, wrote this book, Radical, and I just started reading it. It's really good! I've also been listening to a lot of his previous sermons on Itunes, and have really enjoyed those. If you have a long car ride coming up, check out "The Church at Brookhills" on Itunes podcasts. 

5. This is that funky time when it's cool enough that you don't need the air on, but not cool enough to need the heat. So we've turned off the air and the heat, and opened the windows, which is great. However, in the evenings it can get a little chilly, so I've pulled out two of my favorite quilts. The first one, which I snuggle up with on the couch, was a high school graduation gift from my friend, her mom knitted it for me!! So warm! The second one, which is on our bed at nights, I bought in Bolivia when I spent a summer there with my college roommate. It's made with Alpaca fur, and in case you don't know anything about Alpaca fur - there is nothing warmer! Seriously - it keeps you REALLY warm!

6. I start each day with a hot cup of tea and my quiet time reading. These are my favorite teas right now!

7. My parents got me a Zero Water for my birthday - and I LOVE it! It's amazing! I still try to drink my eight glasses of water every day, and it's great to have fresh, cold water in my fridge. Add a slice of lemon and lime, a packet of Stevia, and voila - homemade lemon-limeade. And look at the cool spout on the back too!

8. If you haven't heard of Pinterest, or have heard of it and have yet to join - let me tell you something - it's addicting and will transform your life! LOVE IT! Here are some pictures of some recipes that I WILL be trying soon!!
eggs cooked in bell pepper slices - so pretty
chocolate and candy covered pretzels 
chubby hubby bars 
grilled veggie and hummus tart
pear galette with black berries

9. Our church's mission and goal is "We glorify God by making disciples of all nations". They place a big emphasis on missions and outreach, which I love and totally support. A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Platt showed a video from the International Justice Mission, which "is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression." After bring stunned by what I saw, I started looking into global outreach and church persecutions on our church's website. That led me to Open Doors, another organization that sends out missionaries to oppressed countries to stand along side the Christians that are there. On their website I learned about One With Them and the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church - which is November 13, 2011. While I now try to devout some time each day to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering persecution for their belief in Jesus Christ and our God, I invite you to join with me on the 13th to really spend time in prayer for them. God hears our prayers, and these brothers and sisters need them. 

10. Halloween pictures of my favorite kids!!
Aaron - my friend Jamie's little boy - he was a monkey!
Anna Kate and Caroline - my friend Patty's girls. AK was a fairy, and Caroline was a butterfly
Henry!! Isn't he just the cutest little cow you've ever seen!
I love this little guy so much!
I hope you are having a wonderful fall as well! 

God Bless