Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well ... it's our last night in Florida. I've already blogged today, however I will not be online for a few days as we make our way back to Virginia. I just thought I would let everyone know I will "miss" you and look forward to being back online to catch up soon. We've had a really great time during our visit. It's sad to say good-bye to our family and friends, but it's time to head home. Mike will be returning home in the wee-hours tomorrow morning, once rested we will head back on I-95 North. I must say ... I'm a tad excited ... guess where we are stopping on the way back home??? Savannah!!!! Okay ... I'm more than a tad excited ... I'm VERY excited!! We plan to go to Paula Deen's restaurant (The Lady & Sons) ... they offered recommendations online on how to get seated and not have to wait in the long line. Wish us luck that we can get seated and eat ... and maybe, just maybe we might get a glimpse of Miss Paula or one of her boys! Wouldn't that be just awesome?? Anyway ... I am beyond excited and I have the most terrific husband in the world for suggesting this.

I hope this isn't too morbib ... but I really wanted to post this.

As many of my blog visitors may know, we lost our dear sweet Wyatt back in August. For those that don't know who Wyatt is, he was our beloved 11 year old dalmatian. When he passed away his remains were creamated and placed in a beautiful ivory urn. We decided that we wanted his final resting place to be at home in Florida. We had a very lovely burial ceremony on Thanksgiving Sunday while all of those that loved him were here. I bought this sweet doggie angel statue years ago, never realizing it would one day mark our sweet Wyatt's grave.

May you rest in peace dear sweet boy. We love you.

Bett's Surprise 60th Birthday Party ...

First ... I would like to say thank you to Cassandra and Stacie for stopping by to say hi! It's so nice knowing who visits my blog!

Yesterday we celebrated my mother-in-law's (Bett) 60th birthday with a surprise party. Her best-friend Marybell and I had organized it over the past few months and it went off without a hitch. She was sooo surprised and delighted. We gathered about 20 of her closest friends for a Ladies Luncheon at Christy's Sundown Restaurant in Winter Haven.

This is Bett with the DELICIOUS carrott cake Marybell made ... it was the BEST cake I've ever tasted. Yum!! This is a picture of Bett, Marybell, Mary Jean and Linda

The Ladies admiring a handmade gift that Nadine had made

More gifts ...

The only "fella" at the party ...

I've said this before ... and I will say it over and over. My mother-in-law is the BEST! She is one special lady ... she's the strongest person I know, yet at the same time she has a huge heart. I feel very lucky to have you as a "Mom".

Monday, November 27, 2006


I'm the first to admit it ... I LOVE COMMENTS!! Alot of people visit my blog each day, yet only a few of my dear blogger friends leave comments!! I would love, love, triple love for my frequent visitors to leave a comment. It will put a big smile on my face if you do ... I promise I don't bite! I have to admit, I am DYING to know who visits from Los Angelos, CA!

Oranges Straight From The Tree ...

Yet another thing I forgot about ... oranges straight from the tree.

It's so nice to be able to walk outside and pick an orange or grapefruit straight from the tree. It's amazing what we forget about until we have the ability to once again do it.

Grandma & Griffin picking oranges

Griffin & Sara ... Grandma Bett's dog ... Bett is Mike's Mom, we stay at her house when we visit

Our little fruit picker ...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This is Florida ...

Okay ... I admit it ... I wish Griffin could grow up in Central Florida as Mike and I did. I really, really miss being here on days like this. It was absolutely beautiful outside. The sky was blue, it was in the mid-70s and the wind was blowing slightly. Don't get me wrong, I love Virginia ... we live in such a beautiful area, and it's as different from Winter Haven as possible. But, we have family here and being here reminds me just how much I love and miss it.

Isn't the sky beautiful? I tried cropping this image to remove my arm out of it, however it distorted the image too much ... so I left it as it is.

Griffin running through the tall grass behind Bett (Grandma) and Joe's (Grandpa) house picking wild flowers (weeds)

Uh Oh ... he discovered the moss in the trees ... that's something else I miss ... MOSS ... can you even believe that? It such a southern thing.

Growing up I was never allowed to touch moss. My Dad always said it was covered with red ants. Bett assured me it was fine he was touching and playing with it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pop & Nana's Gardens

Ray & Jeri (Mike's Dad & Step-Mother) live in a beautiful log home in Davenport. They have the most GORGEOUS garden! I thought I would share pictures of their lovely garden ... it's this gorgeous during the winter ... can you imagine what it looks like during the spring and summer?

Ray (Pop) walking along the side of the house

Jeri (Nana) enjoying her garden

They have collected rocks, jewels, marble, dishes, etc and created these adorable scenes along the walkway. This one looks a little like a heart ... it's actually a crab ... do you see it?

And this is a frog ... so cute!!

Do these flowers look familiar? We stood under these when we were trying to get pictures for our Christmas cards taken

Jeri & Mike

More beautiful flowers

One of the many walk-ways

The swing area ...

Griffin taking a stroll in Pop & Nana's Garden ...

Yard Sales & Thrift Stores

I really want to go yard saling and to thrift stores today. It's 7:15 am and Griffin is still sleeping. I'm thinking we might have fun doing this together. We are going to North Lakeland shopping and to dinner tonight with Bett and Joe ... but I'm really getting cabin fever already this morning. Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Andi, Uncle Santa & The Festival Of Trees

As you may know we are currently in Florida on vacation.

My friend ANDI, Griffin and I met today for lunch at Olive Garden ... it was so nice to catch up and chat. The food was delicious but the company was even better. It was soooo nice to see Andi.

After lunch we headed over to an annual event they have every year in Winter Haven. It's called "The Festival of Trees" and it's so lovely. Trees are decorated in many different themes and they have many things for children to do.

For me, the highlight of the event every year is seeing Santa Claus. This is a very, very special Santa. Santa is actually my brother Jerome. He plays Santa during the holiday season at many different events. So it's nice to be able to go and visit with "Uncle Santa". Griffin walked right up to Santa, he wasn't scared at all. That made "Uncle Santa" very, very happy I think. The picture above is of Santa, Andi and Griffin. The picture below is Santa, Griffin and Me.

This is a look at several of the different Christmas Trees

And even more trees ...

This year they also had a Gingerbread House contest ... it was fabulous!
Here you will see my favorite three Gingerbread Houses

This is a McDonald's Restaurant Gingerbread House

This is a Log Cabin Gingerbread Church

And finally ... my favorite I think ... The Orange Dome Gingerbread House. Anyone from Winter Haven knows about the Orange Dome ... it's a staple around here. It houses the "Florida Citrus Showcase" ... they have the Orange Festival on the grounds here every year. At one point they painted it like a big baseball because the Cleveland Indians spring train here in Winter Haven, however they have painted it back to look like and orange ... the way it's SUPPOSED to be.

Wow ... coming home makes me miss it even more. What a GREAT day!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Happy, Happy, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Mike, Griffin and I are on vacation in Florida ... no ... we are not at Disney World. We are "home" in Winter Haven. We are actually from Central Florida (about 45 minutes from Disney). We only moved to Virginia three years ago, and we still consider Winter Haven home because this is where most of our family is.

We arrived late on Saturday night ... only 13 and a half hours in the car instead of 16. Griffin did really well, we were quite proud of him.

My mother-in-law had her Thanksgiving get-together on Sunday. It was nice to see lots of family and friends. Monday we just hung out around the house and relaxed. Tuesday we went to town, had lunch at Nell's (yummy right Andi??)and then spent some time with Mike's Dad Ray and Step-Mom Jeri. Wednesday we visited friends of ours in Kissimmee, went to Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World in Orlando and had dinner.

Mike flew out this morning for a hunting trip to Texas with his friend Fred. Griffin and I will be staying here in Winter Haven until Mike returns in a few days. It's nice to have a little extra time here. Today we had a very untraditional Thanksgiving meal ... spaghetti ... but it was GOOOOOOOD!! We had lots of Thanksgiving left-overs in the refrigerator but we were tired of turkey.

We do not have alot going on ... and I'm loving it.

I've taken lots of pictures while we have been here, so I will be sharing some of those in my next post. This picture of the three of us was taken Tuesday at Mike's Dad's and Step-Mom's house. They have absolutely BEAUTIFUL gardens. I'm actually considering using this for our Christmas cards. What do you think??

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quicky Update ...

We are on vacation and I'm just taking a quick moment to say hi ... I will post more later! Missy

Friday, November 17, 2006

Uniquely Michael ...

My sweet husband Mike is unique in alot of ways ... but really ... this has to be one of the most unique ways to rake leaves.

Just get on the lawn mower and blow the leaves into the woods ...


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just A Little Fun ...

Isn't this fun?

You can visit snapshirts.com and create your own word cloud for your blog. It's really neat ... you enter your blog name and then they scan your blog and create a word cloud for you. If you see words on your created piece that you prefer not to have you can go in and change them.

Give it a try ...

Another Garth Lover ...

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of Garth Brooks. Wellll .... we have another Garth fan on our hands ...

The other day Garth Brooks was on Sesame Street. Griffin stopped what he was doing and started dancing and clapping while Garth and the monsters were singing.

Here's proof ...

I just have to share this. I have Griffin's monitor on upstairs and he's just waking up from his nap. We have the radio on in his room when he's sleeping. Anyway ... guess the song that is playing RIGHT now? He's waking up to Garth Brook's "If Tomorrow Never Comes". That was our wedding song. I just thought this was a pretty cool thing since I had just blogged about us loving Garth. TTFN

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Friendship ... and stuff

Today was gym day ... much to my dismay I woke up with my sick period headache. Since I didn't get a headache last Thursday (as I usually do) I thought I would be "headache free" this month. No such luck. I was sick, very sick. Of course Griffin woke up early, so when we came downstairs I layed down on the couch. I must have dozed off because when I realized that I had fallen asleep I woke up to find my baby sitting on my feet stroking my leg. He was taking care of me ... my dear sweet angel. I decided to go ahead and go to the gym because G really needed some play time with other kids and I'm really glad I went because I felt much, much better by the time we left the gym. I guess what they say is true ... laughter really is the best medicine.

Since I wasn't feeling good this morning (I didn't even have coffee) I didn't sign on the computer until late afternoon. When I went to check my email I had several emails from my girlfriends asking me where my blog was and checking to make sure I was okay. Apparently something happened with Blogger and my Blog completely disappeared. I don't know what happened ... but it's back now.

I have to tell you ... after getting the emails from my girlfriends wondering if I was okay ... I realized just how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends. I'll be very honest ... it made me feel very special and cared about. When you are alone as much as I am you, it's sometimes nice to know there are people out there that care about you. Don't get me wrong, I know my husband loves me and when he is away from home we talk many times a day ... but it's just really nice to know that my girlfriends cared enough about me to find out what was going on. THANK YOU. You all know who you are and I'm sending you a great big cyber hug and some sweet Griffy kisses too.

So ... let me tell you about this great experience I had ordering from amazon.com. I've never ordered anything from them before. The other day I decided to do a little online Christmas shopping. I ordered on November 10th and they offered free shipping if I chose their "Super Saver Shipping Option". Which basically meant it would ship in 10 days or less. Since Christmas is more than a month away it didn't really need to get here any faster than that. Well, I got an email on November 14th that it had shipped and guess what???? It arrived today!! Oh my goodness I was soooooo happy. If you order from amazon.com and the Super Saver Shipping Option is available on the item you are purchasing I definately recommend it. I give it an A+!

Me ... Oh My ... What could be in this big box from amazon.com????

Why it's a Sesame Street Tool Bench ... now all we have to do is find the drill set!

So let me tell you about our Arby's Restaurant ... it's not just a normal run-of-the-mill Arby's. It's a beautiful huge, lodge looking building. Not only can you get the regular Arby's menu ... you can also get these delicious burritos ...

Not very appetizing you say ?????

How about THIS???? They are delicious ... better than any Mexican restaurant I've ever been to. I'm not sure why or how they sell these (they also offer burrito bowls too). I'm just glad they do. One of these and a small jamocha shake for dinner and I am set!

Now that my headache is gone, I've had a terrific play time with my son, my girlfriends checked up on me, I had a delicious dinner ... AND ... Emmit and Cheryl WON Dancing with the Star! I can go to bed with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. Love to you all ... good night.

Woo Hoo Hoo Hoo ....

Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss ....
Emmitt and Cheryl Won ... so glad to see the nice guy win!

Test Blog

Testing ... Testing ... Testing

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dancing With The Stars ... The Final Dance

Please vote for Emmitt and Cheryl tonight.
Pretty Please ...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Crunching, Throwing, & Loving Leaves

Outside time is so much fun right now. We really have to take advantage of the warmer days God blesses us with. The other day we went for ... you guessed it ... a walk.

Griffin loves walking through the dried leaves ... crunching them as he goes.

Since it is "leaf" season we've recently started bringing the stroller with us when we go for a walk. The reason you might ask? Griffin LOVES picking up leaves ... and he's constantly changing his mind about which one he wants. If we want to get any exercise we have to put him in the stroller once we get to the main road ... it's safer that way anyway.

After our walk the boys ran to the back yard

I was trying to get some up-close pictures of Griffin in the leaves ... but he was NOT cooperating ... he was having waaaaay too much fun.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Mike was away on a business trip for almost a week ... he was in Canada. He finally returned home last night and we couldn't be happier. It's really very hard being alone sometimes. Griffin misses Daddy and I miss my husband. Mike brought this darling Canadian Mounty Moose home to Griffin ... isn't it cute?

Of course Mike was excited to give it to him, Griffin took it and then promptly threw it on the ground. I hope Mike's feelings weren't too hurt. It was a very sweet, kind, thoughtful thing for him to do.

The other day I was sitting on the couch and Griffin came over to the arm of the couch ... he put his little head down on it while looking at me and said "Da Dee" ... oh my goodness my heart just broke. He was missing his Daddy. Of course I gathered him up in a huge hug, gave him a kiss and told him his Daddy was missing him too. Oh boy ... he's beginning to understand when Daddy isn't home now.

Okay ... I just have to say it ... I am soooo happy that Britney finally came to her senses. I know I don't know her, and all we see is what the media presents to us ... but I truly believe Britney will be MUCH better off without Kevin. I just had to get that little bit of information off my chest ... whew ... I feel better.

I hope everyone has a very nice weekend!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mike, Griffin & The Tractor

A couple of weekends ago Mike had to winterize the tractor. He decided he needed to crank it up and take it for a ride. Of course Griffin wanted to go with him. They looked so cute all snuggled together on Daddy's tractor. Griffin laughed and giggled and had the best time.

They took a pretty long ride down the road and had a great time together. I just know Griffin is going to be an "outside" boy just like his Daddy. Mike loves working outside, getting his hands dirty. Gosh ... I love my two boys!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday Update ...

Since I ranted in my last post I thought I would catch up a little since it's been a couple of days since I've last posted.

Yep ... I voted yesterday. There's something about this picture that just appeals to me ... of course I had to give G my "I Voted" sticker. After I voted yesterday Griffin and I went to the Children's Museum in Richmond. After playing in the water area at the Museum the sticker became cemented to his hand. This is a picture after I washed his hands for like the 6th time and it still wouldn't come off. I finally used vegetable oil and it came right off.

Upon arriving home I found a USPS box on my front porch. Oh my goodness ... it was from my very dear friend ANDI ... it was a gift. She sent me this very cute "Paula Deen's Tour" Bag that included two different seasoning salts. She also sent a very sweet HANDMADE Thanksgiving card and a darling card that plays "Rockin' Robin" when you open it. This gift touched my heart. She knows just how much I loooove Paula Deen and she remembered that "Rockin' Robin" is the song I sing to Griffin that makes him stop crying. Thank you so, so, so much Andi!!!

Standing Up For A Friend

Today a friend and I, and our children went out to lunch to a restaurant that we all visit quite frequently in our small town. We were having a nice time together, just starting to eat when our waitress accidentally knocked over a full glass of Coca-Cola on my friends children. Her boys were sitting in their stroller eating and the Coke not only covered them but their entire stroller, including all of the toys she keeps underneath. It was not a pleasant situation. My friend decided it was time to go even though they had barely started to eat their meal. Griffin and I stayed at the table so she could handle the situation and get out of there, as her children were dripping wet with Coke. As she started to leave she said to me ... can you believe no discount or anything ... she paid for the entire meal ... INCLUDING the Coke that was spilled all over her children.

Let me ask you what you would have done??

This is what I did ... and I am sooooooo STEAMED right now!

I went up to pay my check and asked the lady that owns the place if she was aware of what just happened to my friend. She looked at me with a confused look on her face and said no. I explained to her that our waitress had accidentally spilled an entire drink all over my friend's children and they barely touched their meal because they had to leave because they were soaked ... and the boys were very upset crying. She's like "Oh" ... I said, at the very least you could have discounted her meal or perhaps even given it to her for free because they barely touched it. I do realize it WAS an accident and accidents do happen ... but c'mon handle the situation with a little more grace. Anyway ... the owner then said to me ... well I always make exceptions for you and her. Exceptions?? What exceptions?? I have no idea what she is referring to. We never order anything that isn't on the menu. When you have three kids starving you order the quickest thing possible ... believe me. I said I can't believe long term customers are being treated this way. She then said to me ... her words ... "If the boy is hurt send me the hospital bill" .... WHAT???????????? Is there some sort of language barrier here? Where did she get the boy is hurt from your waitress spilled Coke on the kids? Oh my GAWD!! I was steamed. I said, please just let me pay my check so I can get out of here ... and I will never, ever come back.

Okay ... now ... I would like your input ... how would you have handled this?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Making Hand Turkeys ...

Do you remember making hand turkeys when you were a child? It's something I completely forgot about until the other day when I was watching a friend's little boy. I thought it would be fun for Griffin and Grayson to do an art project and when I went to take the paper and crayons out, it occurred to me we should make hand turkeys, after all Thanksgiving is just right around the corner.

Griffin and Grayson creating their masterpieces

Hand Turkey Masterpieces
(Image is a little blurry you can click to see better)