Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Picking Pumpkins

Sunday the kids and I went out in search of a pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkins. In past years we have always gotten our pumpkins fr0m Target or Wal*Mart. Sadly, those are two of the best places in Central Florida to find pumpkins. This year I was hoping to find a more traditional pumpkin patch with a little Fall flavor from which to choose our pumpkins. Luckily, as I was out driving around last week I saw a few signs for a local pumpkin patch. I had no idea where it was, or what they would have, but we went anyway.

We ended up in a small town about 15 miles west of our town. When we arrived at the location we were happy to find that the pumpkin patch was a fundraiser for a local Cub Scout pack. They had a very nice set up and good prices.

In the center of the pumpkin patch the Cub Scouts had set up a nice photo spot with hay bales, mums, scarecrows, and lots of pumpkins. Caitlyn and CJ chose their pumpkins right away, Caley took a little bit longer.

After looking and looking, she finally decided to get a tiny little pumpkin. It is about the size of a softball, but really cute.

On the way home from the pumpkin patch we stopped by a house that we love to drive by every Halloween. This house is located about 1 mile from our house. The house is on a quiet two lane road that is lined with big moss covered oak trees. It is perfect for a spooky Halloween scene. The people who live in it go CRAZY with decorating every year, and every year it is a little bit different. When we stopped to take a look, there were about 6 other car loads of people doing the same. The home owners have posted signs inviting people to walk through their yard and take a look at all of the decorations. In the day light it was spooky, but not too bad. When we drive by at night it is all lite up and very scary. Walking through in the daylight is good enough for us.
Now that we have our pumpkins we are one step closer to being ready for Halloween.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Go Orange!!!

The WGLL Minors Orange team got another win on Thursday night. This was the second meeting of the season for the Gray and Orange teams. The Gray team was a bit weak on pitching, which made this a pretty easy win for Orange.

Final score ~ Orange 10, Gray 0
Way to go Orange!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ Pumpkin Patch

A memorable Fall from our past
for more WW go here and here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last Friday we had to say "Good-Bye" to the sweetest dog that I could ever hope to own. Shelby was a part of our lives for 13 years. She was a part of everything that we did. She traveled with us on our vacations. She was part of every milestone that we celebrated. It has been a very difficult 4 days trying to get used to the fact that she is no longer here. I never realized how much one little dog could fill up a house. I didn't realize how quiet the house would seem when she was gone. I didn't know how lonely I would feel when she wasn't there to follow me to bed each night. I took for granted how nice it was to have her meet me at the door with her happy face. I have been thinking about all of the happy times and I wanted to write about it in this blog so that I never will forget...

Shelby was born on April 22, 1996. She was one of a litter of 6 puppies. A friend of mine from work was trying to go into the Sheltie breeding business. My friend soon found out that she got too attached to the puppies to be in that business. Still, she couldn't keep all six, so I asked if I could buy one from her. She said yes, and I bought Shelby from her for $50.00. Shelby was kind of a gift to Chris, who I was dating at the time.

I was working the night that I got Shelby. My friend brought her and her 3 remaining brothers and sisters to work, for me to choose from. I as actually kind of interested in one of the other puppies, but Shelby choose me. She came up to me and wouldn't leave until I picked her up. She hooked me in at that moment with her sweet smiling face and her soft gentle eyes.

As soon as Shelby moved into Chris's apartment she made herself at home. She was a very easy puppy. She didn't cause too much damage. Her biggest faults were that she liked to chew on the edges of carpet, which later turned into throw rugs when she was afraid of thunder, and she had a small stuffed bear that she chewed the face off of. Pretty good, considering some to the damage that I hear other dogs cause.

When Chris and I got engaged, Shelby was there. When we moved to Buffalo and bought our first house, Shelby was there. When we had our first baby, Shelby welcomed him into the family and watched over him like he was her own puppy.

Shelby was a great dog to photograph. All we ever had to do was set up the shot, back up, and say "puppy treats?" Shelby would look straight at the camera, perk up her ears and cock her head a little to the side. It was a perfect shot every time.
We were always coming up with different crazy ideas for dressing Shelby up for holidays and special occasions. One Halloween she was a tacky tourist, another year she was a pumpkin, and the best was the year that she was dressed as a Fireman and CJ was dressed as a Dalmatian. Shelby liked her costume a lot more that CJ did that year. He was only 16 months old and not really into Halloween yet.

It wasn't just Halloween costumes that she wore either. Every year for Christmas she wore Santa Hats and Reindeer Antlers. She never complained or got mad at us for it. She always just sat there with a look on her face as if to say "do you really have to do this to me?" And, yes of course we did. She was so cute and she put up with it so well, that who could resist dressing her up and getting that perfect Holiday shot.

As Shelby got older she began to have a few health problems. The biggest of which was lympho-sarcoma. She was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2004. At the time we had the choice of putting her down within two weeks or treating her with chemotherapy. We choose the chemotherapy. After 5 chemo treatments and a very tough summer, the vet told us that Shelby was in remission. At that time we were hoping to have another 2 years with her. To our surprise and joy Shelby stayed in remission for 4 plus years. Actually, even at the time that she died, she never had any signs or symptoms of cancer. This is nothing short of a miracle.

The condition that finally took our sweet friend from us was degenerative myelopathy, a degenerative condition of the spinal cord. We tried to work through the condition, but in the end Shelby let us know that she was ready to go. She was paralyzed from the center of her spine back and could not walk. Our wonderful active dog could not go outside to chase birds or run to the fence to bark at the neighbors dogs anymore. After two weeks of living this way Shelby told us it was time for her to go. She stopped eating and just laid calmly on the floor all day long.

Making the decision to have Shelby put to sleep was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. We knew it was the right thing to do, but it did not make it easier to do. I know that she is happy now and can finally run and bark like she did when she was young. I just wish she was still running and barking in our backyard.

Shelby was the sweetest most trust worthy dog I have ever known. It will be hard to find another dog like her. We will always miss her. We will always remember all of the great things about her and we will always be grateful that we got to have her as part of our lives for 13 years.

Good-bye sweet girl, I will never forget you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

That is What I Like to See

That is the best news I've had all week!
I sure hope they are right. We could use a cool weekend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Wondering...

Why do kids always get sick in the middle of the night? By sick I mean, why do kids alway wake you up at 2:00 am or 4:00 am vomiting? Why don't they ever do it at 2:00 pm when you are wide awake and equipted to deal with it? Just Wondering...?

Monday, October 12, 2009

It Must be the New Bat!

Last Saturday at baseball practice CJ went up to take his first at bat and oopse, the end of his bat fell off. It just fell off in his hand, I couldn't believe my eyes. So OK, he borrowed another players bat for the rest of the practice. The next day Chris took him to Sports Authority to buy a new bat. They came home with a bat the was a little bit longer and 4 ounces heavier than the old bat.

Last Wednesday CJ took the new bat to practice for the first time. He went up to take his first at bat and WACK, he hit the ball deep into center field! I could not believe my eyes. Next pitch...Wack another ball into the outfield. I was amazed...he was hitting balls all over the outfield. Before getting the new bat he was having a hard time getting the ball out of the infield.

The next night, Thursday, WGLL Orange had a game against WGLL Green. Orange was the visiting team, so we had the first at bat. CJ was batting 5th. CJ got up to take his first at bat of the game. The first pitch comes, it was a little high but he reaches up for it, swings, and WACK...he hits the ball deep into center field for a double! A DOUBLE!!! This was first double that CJ hit since he started playing Little League last fall. In his second and third at bats CJ hit two singles. He also got a couple of RBI's and scored 3 runs. What a night! It must have been the NEW BAT!

Final score ~ Orange 14, Green 2

Sunday, October 11, 2009

If It Won't Come to Us...We Will Go to It

Last night the kids and I made the short drive to Celebration, Fl in search of a taste of fall. Every year the town of Celebration hosts a Fall Festival and Oktoberfest. It was another hot night but with all of the fall decorations, fall themed foods, and good music, we at least had the feeling that fall was in the air.

Every Friday and Saturday night through the month of October, the town organizes a "Leaf Drop." What is a "Leaf Drop?" Well, since we do not have many leaves that change color and fall to the ground in Central Florida, we have to simulate falling leaves. In Celebration they do this by dropping/blowing small tissue paper leaves from the top of the street lights every hour from 6pm to 9pm. The merchants in town hand out small paper bags to all of the kids so that they can collect the leaves.

Whoo Hoo! The 7pm leaf drop. My kids hadn't been to the Fall Festival for a few years, so they didn't really remember doing this before. Once the leaves started falling they knew exactly what to do and they really got into it. We have 3 full bags of tissue paper leaves in our house now.

Picking up the leaves after they had all blown to the ground. After the first leaf drop we headed down by the lake to look for some pumpkins to decorate.

The pumpkin decorating area was really busy and a little crowded, but for $3.00 each all three kids got to choose a small pumpkin and decorate it with markers, glitter, tissue, googley eyes, and foam shapes. There were tons of kids there last night and all of them seemed to be having a good time. I saw a lot of very creative pumpkins.

CJ covered his pumpkin with NY Yankees logos and stats. Uggg...he is obsessed! Why does it have to be the Yankees?
After the pumpkin decorating we walked around to look at the food and stuff in all of the tents. We had a few goodies, looked in a couple of cute stores (I love going to Celebration because it has a bunch of cute little shops with stuff that you don't find in other stores), and listened to some music. We also managed to make it to the 8 and 9pm "Leaf Drops" before heading home for the night.
We had a really good time and we are already talking about going back to Celebration in December to see the "Snow Fall."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Eggs!

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Give Us a Break!!!

Ok, my calendar says October 9th. We are well into Fall. Sixteen days into Fall by my calculations. So...when is it going to feel like Fall? We live in Central Florida so it isn't like I am asking for 45 degree nights and 60 degree days. I would just like to see the thermometer stop at say...85 degrees. And could we please get a break from the oppressive, lung crushing, steam bath humidity? Ughhh...when will it end? I feel this way every year at this time. After 5+ months of 90+ degree days I am ready for a break already! It can't get here soon enough. WE MISS YOU FALL, PLEASE COME BACK SOON!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cruising to the Bahamas!

Last weekend Chris and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. We sailed on Royal Caribbeans Monarch of the Seas. We went with 3 other couples and had a great time.
We left Port Canaveral on Friday afternoon. The weather was perfect and we had a great spot on the top deck of the ship to say "good-bye" to Florida.

Chris standing on the top deck of the ship as we pulled out of Port Canaveral. The "sail away" party is one of the best parts of the cruise. There is music, drinks, and lots of people on the shore waving good-bye as the ship starts to sail.

Good-bye Florida! We'll see you in 3 days, after we have visited paradise!

Our first stop on Saturday morning was Nassau in the Bahamas. We got off the ship for a few hours of site seeing.

We took a crazy walk to get to "The Queen's Staircase." I am sure there was a faster, more direct way to get there, but hey... then we wouldn't have had a chance to take in some of the more interesting sites in Nassau. Let's just say it was an adventure, and I am glad I was with a group and not by myself.

Crazy co-workers pose for a picture at the bottom of "the Queen's Staircase."

We started up the staircase. At the top a very nice Bahamian man in a cut off t-shirt told us the whole history of the staircase. Of course he wanted a tip at the end of his performance. Only in the Bahamas.

At the top of the staircase there is an old fort. It is very cool, you can see all around the island from up there. The water is beautiful. There really is no way to describe all of the different colors of blue in the water in the Caribbean. You just have to see it!

After a day in Nassau, we headed back to the ship to get ready for our formal dining night. Everyone looked great and we had a nice dinner. This 4 day 3 night cruise really is the perfect adult weekend get away.

After a night of good food, music, and fun, we returned to our room to find this towel animal. The staff on the ship works really hard to make sure that everyone has a great time. It is soooo great. I can't wait to go on the next cruise.

On Sunday morning we woke up to find our ship anchored off of Coco Cay, Royal Caribbeans private island in the Bahamas. We had breakfast and headed over to the beach. It is so cool, you go down to the bottom of the ship and get on a tender that takes you over to the island. It is the coolest think to look back and see your cruise ship anchored in the middle of the water!

This is the "Straw Market" on Coco Cay. They island has a little of everything on it. There are all kinds of water activities to do, a buffet is set up for lunch, and of course you can do a little bit of shopping in the market.

A view of our ship as we headed back on the tender. It was a perfect beach day. We had lots of sun, a cool breeze, swam in the nice warm Atlantic water, saw some fish, rays, and other critters, ate a good lunch, and just relaxed!!! Can I go back now?
The next morning we woke up in Florida. A 4 day cruise is way too short, but lots of fun. We are already working on plans for our next cruise. Next time I want to take the kids. They would love it!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Grandma G!

Hope you have a great day!

Chris, Julie, CJ, Caley & Caitlyn