Friday, October 30, 2009

This Little Piggy....

**I'm linking this to Kelly's Korner, Show us your life, this week since it has Annabelle's Halloween Costume on it... (which happens to be the same costume as Kelly's Harper! How cute!)

Our "little piggy" had a very big day yesterday.... You see,

This Little Piggy went to meet some friends in Jacksonville...

And this Little Piggy
danced, clapped and had a big time at the "Shanna-Banana Spooktacular Sing-a-long" hosted by Pottery Barn Kids.... (no pictures because Little Piggy's Momma broke their camera right after arriving... OH NO! Not to worry, it wasn't as bad as the shattered glass looked... a quick trip to Ritz Camera and a new lens filter later, we were back in business! Whew...)

And this Little Piggy
got some lunch after the sing-a-long and camera-fixing, with said friends at The Cheesecake Factory....

And this Little Piggy
went back to PBK after lunch and picked out a few things she loved...(note to Santa)

Loving the tiny, real-working, pink polka dot phone!

The Piggy in Pottery Barn pink play kitchen paradise!
Piggy's BFF's Mom & I think that Piggy & Allie Claire may need these next Christmas!

SOOOOO excited to see big-girl, "Abby"... AB's favorite toy is her mini-Abby doll that Santa brought her last year, so seeing big Abby was SO exciting! She cried when we put her back. If Grammy had been with us, I have no doubt Annabelle would have been the new owner of a big Abby doll yesterday! Ha...

So sweet!!!!

And this Little Piggy
slept all the way home....

But when she woke up, it was time for more fun!
Because, this little piggy
went to Williston's Homecoming Parade.
With a quick change of her clothes, she was sporting the school's colors and
ready to watch her first parade!
She had a big time watching the parade with Daddy.
Cousin Willie was there to experience his first parade, too! And we were all excited to see Michael!
We waved at AB's favorite Aunt Kels, who was on the sophomore float.
And our favorite WHS Cheerleader (one of Kelsey's BFFs), stopped by to give AB a ball...

What a big day for such a "little piggy"!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Making a Deal...

I mentioned that we went "shopping" while on our "leaf looking" trip.

My in-laws have had a "family" vehicle for several years now, so that as many of us that can fit, can ride together sometimes.... we take it to Gator games, family trips, and basically any time we all want something big enough to ride together in. Our family is pretty big and for the past couple years it's been evident that we've outgrown the Tahoe.... Honestly, there isn't any vehicle that would have room for ALL of us, but we definitely needed something bigger, if we were going to keep trying to fit in one car. Back before I was part of the family, they had a Suburban that was used for this purpose, and the boys (and girls) have been hinting to my father-in-law that it was time to get another one! He must have agreed, because for the past few weeks, we've been searching high and low for one that met all the "requirements" that we needed... DW found one in Roswell (outside of Atlanta) and both his Dad and him had called and talked to the salesman about it. The boys all made their plan and Pappy gave us the "go-ahead" to go check it out.

Devin, me, Belle, Adam & Lauren set out for the outskirts of Atlanta on Friday morning. After a quick lunch, we found ourselves at Carl Black GMC.

When we pulled in, it was still drizzling rain and we circled the lot looking for the black Suburban that we'd called about. We didn't see it, at first. As we made one last loop around the parking lot, Adam saw the top of a black suburban parked on the side of the building. We drove around back to see if that was the one we'd come to check out. It was. Problem was, that it had a big red sign hanging from the mirror that said, "SOLD"... At first, our hearts sank...we'd driven an hour and they sold it before we could get there...then we got to thinking that perhaps the boys down at Carl Black might have put their "horse before their carriage" and ASSUMED (you know what assuming does....) we were buying it.

We decided we'd go find Bob, the salesman who was expecting us. Of course, Bob was with another customer. We got Keffrey. Yes, that's "Jeffrey with a "K"..." DW told Kef that we were there to look at the black suburban that he'd seen on-line and called about, but that there was a "SOLD" sign in the window. To which Keffrey replied, "well, that car's sold, sold to Mr. W.... are you Mr. W.??" We were taken back for a minute thinking that maybe my F-I-L had already called and made the deal over the phone...then Keffrey kind of laughed, and said he'd go pull it around. Adam didn't say much, and Lauren and I said NOT ONE WORD... We'd already been warned not to act like we liked it. We're lucky we even got to tag along--- DW's Daddy had already told the boys not to let us girls go in there and act like we had to have it or we wouldn't ever be able to get a good deal...ha! Let me just say it wasn't US that kept that from happening.

As we checked it out, Kef took DW's information and got us ready to take it for a drive. We drove it and it was great... it was exactly what we were looking for, but the sticker price was a little higher than we thought was a fair price... And when I say "we", ya'll know I mean the men because I don't know anything about any of it... Totally not my department... Now when they started asking what color we wanted and if we wanted leather seats and this and that, well, that's more of the department where I can contribute!

After our test drive, we got out and DW was like Monty Hall... he was ready to make a deal....

I felt good about the whole deal and saw it as a good sign that on the Carl Black business cards and license plates there was a big cow head and on one side of the dealership Carl actually had horse trailers for sale.... I mean come on, if you can't count on a cow-man to give you a good deal, WHO can you count on?!?!

If you know DW, you know he's all about a deal. He is for sure a saver, not a spender. That's why we complement each other so well... you know what they say, opposites attract... ha...Don't get me wrong, he will throw down some money in a heartbeat if it's something that he feels is worth it. (Only after doing some research on the "item" and seeing where he could get the best price, of course!).... But don't go trying to get him to pay more for something than it's worth. It's just not going to happen....especially when he's making the deal with someone else's money...

When we got back, Keffrey met us girls at the back and targeted us... He knew all the tricks... ask the wives, then they'll talk the husbands into it! Poor guy, he didn't stand a chance when it came to our crew. He didn't know who he was dealing with...He immediately asked Lauren if she liked it... she acted like she didn't hear him. I'm telling yall, we'd been warned to keep quiet! Ha...

We went inside to let them get down to business. Lauren, Adam, Annabelle, and I watched from the sidelines as DW played the game on his own. The conversation looked friendly at first, and I was worried he was being "too nice"... Adam kept saying, "we gotta have walk away power"... and he assured us that Devin wasn't being too nice and that he certainly isn't one to back down easily... ANYWAY... After what felt like 2 hours, and 3 different "managers" later, the deal still hadn't been made. It wasn't long and Devin got up, came over to us, and told us we were leaving. Yep, we'd pulled out the walk-away power....

We walked outside and got in the car... As we were getting in, Keffrey comes out to see what he could do to make the "deal happen"... Devin told him he'd have to waive some fee and then that would only be a starting point...

He went inside to talk to his peeps and we sat outside talking amongst ourselves. That's when DW said that they weren't budging on price, but that they had offered to give him a free hat. Um, okay. Seriously? What a joke. Keffrey returned to the car to tell us that they could come down $100.00 on the price. We felt like laughing in his face. $100?!?!? As Adam said, we spent that in gas driving over to see the thing!" Kef explained that it was an "Internet price and they just couldn't go any lower than that." To which Devin rebuttals, "NOBODY comes into a car dealership and is okay with paying the price that's on the sticker... everyone wants to feel like they're getting a good deal..." they go back and forth for a few minutes and that's when Devin throws down the hammer on ole Keffrey and yall, I promise, this is what he said: (and I am writing this out, because it made me laugh so hard that I don't ever want to forget it....)

"Keffrey, I might pay sticker price for paper towels and toilet paper, but you just don't pay that for a car and the fact that yall aren't even willing to come down on this price and even make a good faith effort is insulting.... so you go back in there and tell your bossman good luck at the auction when he has to take that Suburban to sell it there, and you tell him he better pack some snacks, because he's going to be a while if he's waiting on that price."

OH. MY. GOSH. "Sticker price for toilet paper and paper towels"?!?!? And then "take some snacks cause you're gonna be there a while"?!?! I have no idea where that came from, but we after we'd left, we laughed so hard about it and it was the coined phrase for the rest of the weekend... Needless to say, we didn't get a Suburban in Georgia.

The salesman did call my Father-in-law that afternoon though, to tell him that he wouldn't find a deal better than that anywhere. Well, we sure did!!!! And that's NO BULL, Carl Black!

I guess we all learned a lesson... ours was don't trust that somebody's going to give you a good, fair deal if they have a horse trailer for sale and a cow head on thier sign... And I think the boys at Carl Black learned a lesson, too.... not to be "counting their chickens before they hatch" and not to put "SOLD" stickers on cars that aren't yet sold! And now I realize how redneck all of this sounds... That makes me laugh...

When we got home, the guys had a couple others they'd been calling on and checking out on line. Devin's Dad called about one that sounded good and so Monday afternoon we took a little trip to check it out. It wasn't the color we'd wanted, but it was everything else, so it was worth looking at... DW wanted some of us women to go so that we could help make the call about the color. He said he knew they'd never hear the end of it, if just him and his Daddy came home with it without some input from the girls. Ha...

We weren't really sure what color it was when we first saw it. It was just getting dark when we got to the dealership and it looked kind of blue, but as you walked around it, it turned kind of green. Sort of like a bass boat, or a custom chamelon paint job. Nah, I'm only kidding... it wasn't that different...but it was a little out of our comfort zone... especially since we'd had our minds set on a black one.

We debated and debated and decided that it had everything else on the list of "must haves" and that the price was right, so we could learn to love the color. On Tuesday we thought we'd get to see the true color in the sunlight... only the sun didn't come out all day. So we're still not really sure what color it is... ha... The factory name of it is, "Bermuda Blue".... and the best way to describe it is blue-green.

We drove it home on Monday night, so it has already been christened by our driveway, and the "Bermuda Blue" is more of a "BerMOOda Blue" (emphasis on the MOO)...

I got out the gator magnets to see how they look against the color, and I think it works...
We've all decided that the color is different and now we really like of all, we've got something with a lot more room and that's super exciting! Our first family outing will be this weekend to Jacksonville for the FL-GA game.

We're counting on as many fun times in the "Blue Moo" as we had in the Tahoe... and we're also not wanting to spend any more time at a car dealership for a LONG time!!!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaf Looking 2009

We packed up last Wednesday and headed North for a few days in Ellijay, Georgia.

We arrived at the cabin owned by some family friends around 1:30 a.m. The house is just beautiful, and I didn't take any pictures of it! What was I thinking?!?! I did take this off the porch of the creek:
Thursday morning, it was nice and cool! We all got to wear long sleeves and sweaters...what a nice change for us, Floridians!
We had lunch at a little cafe in town, went to buy some groceries, and rested up at the house for a couple of hours. Late that afternoon, we headed over to the pumpkin patch. On our way, we stopped by Aaron's Apple House to buy some apples...
After taking the "scenic" route, we finally arrived at Burt's Pumpkin Patch.
We've been going to Burt's for several years now and loved getting to take Annabelle this year. Cooper LOVED the Pumpkin Patch when we took him, and there are definitely sweet memories there. We are so thankful to get to include his baby sister in some new ones, too!

After the Pumpkin Patch, we drove into Dahlonega. It's a pretty little town with sweet brick sidewalks, beautiful trees, and lots of window shops... It was late in the afternoon when we got there, so most of the shops were closed, but the Fudge Shop wasn't! We made our way over to the Smith Housewhere we were meeting up with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. The Smith House was like a smaller Dillard House... The food was very southern (stew, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, white gravy, cream corn, etc...) and it was served at the table, family style. It was good to sit around the table like a family and enjoy a meal with Beau, Kristy & Garrett. Annabelle thought so, too!

The Smith House was actually built on top of an abandoned gold mine and in 2006 (I think), they were doing some remodeling when they discovered the mine shaft. They made that part of the restaurant a "look-out" where you can go to see the old mine. The food was really good and the history of the house was neat...
After dinner, we parted ways... Mom rode back with Beau & Kristy to their house to spend the night, because the next morning she and my Aunt Kay were headed to Charlotte, NC to a cousin's wedding.

This group headed back to Ellijay.
On Friday, it rained. That afternoon, we headed into town to do some "shopping"... that deserves a post of it's own... While we were out and about, we drove past this house. It's shaped like a castle, had a mote around it and everything, and had garden gnomes on the columns by the gate. Interesting..... When we got home that evening, my in-laws & little sister-in-law had made it over. (They'd spent a few days in Franklin, and then drove to spend the last day with us)... That night, we made chili, grilled hotdogs, and dipped caramel apples.
Saturday, we got up with plans to visit Blue Ridge. I'd seen the Blue Ridge Expressway in my Southern Lady last month, and wanted to check it out. We missed the 10:00 ride, and when we went in to ask about the other departure times for the day, they were completely sold out. Oh well, maybe next time. We did make it to town in time for "Paws in the Park"... the parade was going on when we got there... yes, a dog parade.....that included llamas and alpacas. AB watching the parade

We had to watch where we stepped for sure. There were dogs everywhere. Big dogs and little dogs. Dogs wearing clothes, dogs wearing uniforms, dogs even wearing costumes. There were even puppies for sale. This little guy called to me. I think it was the tiny sweater that did me in. Or it could have been the fact that his Daddy looked just like "Uncle Charlie" (my Granny's dachshund, "Charlie" that died a few years ago). Whatever it was, I wanted him. Annabelle loved him, too. I told DW we may need to buy him. That's when my sister in law, Lauren, reminded me that I don't even like dogs. Oh, yeah. (DW was quick to tell her to keep it down, we weren't wanting to cause some kind of dog-lover riot at the dog day). I gave the mini-Uncle Charlie look alike back and we kept going, not to stop again, until we saw THESE....

Hello, "Get a Llama in your Life"... I told Devin I felt like we needed to get a llama in our life, and I thought we'd made wonderful foster parents of a llama. He didn't. They're so funny looking, but you can't look at one and not smile. They just scream, "personality" to me... and I would SO have some headbands for our llama, if we had one.
Lauren, "Llama", & Me

After that, we strolled around the shops. We went into one store that sold all kinds of bird things. Bird feeders, bird houses, bird baths, bird seed... anything bird, they had it. Annabelle is smiling here, because she saw this and thought Pop & Grammy needed it, since the squirrels eat all the bird seed in their bird feeders..... It's called the "Yankee Flipper" and they even had a DVD playing showing how it works. It keeps the squirrels from eating your birdseed. You should see this thing sling the squirrels off. It was hilarious. We watched it over and over and over... we were hoping they sold the DVD, but they didn't. The price tag on the Yankee Flipper, was $119.95, so we left empty handed. Sorry, Dad.

After all that walking around, we worked up an appetite, and decided to make some lunch plans. We had seen a sign for the "Nifty '50s Cafe" and when we put it in the Nuvi, it was only 6 miles away, so we tried that. It sat right on the river that divides Georgia and Tennessee.
We headed back to the cabin for some rest. That afternoon, we decided to take a walk. We walked up the driveway and I was ready for some more resting. Walking uphill is beyond difficult. I am so glad we live on flat land! Of course I might be a couple sizes smaller if we didn't. Ha...

We walked to the other house that the owners of the house we stayed at own. It sits just up the road from the other, but it felt a lot farther than that! We went down this driveway... Can you see all those curves?!?! Last year, this was the house we stayed at, and we had to drive down that driveway at 1:00 in the morning when we got there! Ahhhh! Scary.... And when I say "we had to drive", I mean DW or Adam drove and I sat in the back with my eyes covered.
We stopped long enough to rest by the creek... We decided to take a different way back. We walked along the creek and took the low road. It was so much easier and the canopy of trees was just beautiful.

That night, we grilled steaks and got ready for the Gator game. By game time, Annabelle had already had enough football for the afternoon and she and I hung out in our room downstairs. We watched a movie, and then when she went to sleep, I watched the 2nd half of the game.

The next morning, we got packed up and headed home. We stopped in Atlanta at Bass Pro, to meet Beau & Momma. Beau had met Aunt Kay & Mom and brought her on down to Atlanta to meet us. We ate lunch and then headed for Florida!

It seemed like a lot of driving and going, but it was a good time. If you really want to test your relationship with your family, you should travel together. Ha. We're home and everybody still loves each other, so that's a good thing!