Friday, December 29, 2006

On my way to the west coast

I'm doing what I can to truly enjoy the holidays, so I'm off to Arizona to see Kelly and also visit San Diego for the New Year. I'll be sure to post some good pictures soon. Until then, enjoy my photo about the Gulf of Mexico as my plane prepared to land in Houston. What a crazy week for me. One week four different time zones and temperatures!

Holidays with the Family

Me and the family

My sister's dog Georgia
I was just in Florida visiting the family for Christmas. It's always good to see the family. Good times and good food!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! Thank you to everyone who sent me cards for the holidays. I especially like my velvet Santa card.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Crazy House

I was driving home from the movie theater and I saw the house above from the highway. I had to take a picture. I wasn't the only person taking photos. I'd love to see the electric bill for the house!

Rocky Balboa

My friends Tony and Amber are two of the biggest Rocky fans I know. When they found out there was going to be a new Rocky movie released in December of 2006, they started planning a night out. Tony and Amber were going to have a "date" to see Rocky, but it soon turned into a group outing and we all went out to see the movie tonight. It was a good time getting friends together before Christmas and movie was decent with flashbacks to previous Rocky movies. The crowd was great! Here are some pictures from tonights outing!

Tony and Amber...check out Matt in the background!

Super Fan Tony!

Frank and Rob! They were chanting for "Rocky 7"

Two of my best friends...Teresa and Amber

Little Miss Sunshine

Tuesday night I went to see one of the best movies I've seen all year. Little Miss Sunshine. I usually don't recommend movies as "Must See's," but if you get a chance to see this movie do it. The movie was funny and the crowd watching the movie in the theater was funnier. The movie is about a very disfunctional family taking a trip from New Mexico to California to attend a junior beauty pageant. Everything than can possibly go wrong does! There are definitely some funny scenes. For more information, click on the title for this blog entry.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Frank's Sweet Potato Pie

One of my favorite desserts is Sweet Potato Pie. My mom and grandmother would make it for me as a kid. We would always have it as a dessert during the holidays. I could never find anyone to make it the way grandma did, so I asked her for her recipe. Over the years, I've made a few adjustments to the recipe to make it mine.

Over the years I've brought pies into work to share with my co-workers and now the ask me to make some every year around the holidays. I always talk to people about making gifts special and unique to the person you give the gift too. Since my co-workers and friends like my pies so much, I started baking last night. I ended up making six pies. I wrapped the pies up this morning and attached a card with the recipe and a Christmas/Holiday card. I'm sure I'll still get requests to make the pies, but now my friends have the chance to make the pies themselves. For my family in Florida, I'll be there in a few days to make your pies!

I can't make pies for everyone, so below is a copy of my recipe. If you have any questions, leave me a comment. Happy Holidays to Everyone! I hope you enjoy your gift below.

Frank's Sweet Potato Pie

4 large Yams or 6 medium/small yams
2 Deep pie shells or 3 shallow pie shells
2 Eggs
1 Stick of butter
1 Cup of sugar
1 Can of sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg

- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Peel and boil yams
- When yams are soft, drain and mash to a fine consistency
- Melt butter
- Mix butter, mashed yams and remaining ingredients together to an even consistency.
- Add mixture for pie shells
•- Bake for 1 hour or until pie crust and top of pie are brown.
- Eat warm or chilled

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Golf in December?

Early this morning I received a phone call from my best friend Scott. He had two questions for me:
#1 "Are you awake?"
#2 "Would you like to play golf?"

We're having a rare "heat wave" here in Ohio and today's high was 65 degrees. Scott informed me of the weather forecast and I answered "yes" to both of his questions. The Painseville Country Club had a special for a one dollar a hole, so we golfed nine holes. I had a very "six-sesful" day. My final score was close to the temperature. I shot a six on almost every hole. I hit at least six trees. I "released" six golf balls back to their native environment after I saved them this summer. The orphaned golf balls were released in the woods, a bush or two and one disappeared in the mud near some geese. My score could have been better, but it was a fun to hangout with Scott, share a few laughs, and enjoy playing golf in Ohio in December!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Coleman Productions

About a year and a half ago, I was asked to work for the Coleman Productions. The Agency represents speakers and entertainers who mostly work in the college market. This weekend the staff and talent were invited to Cincinnati for a planning retreat. It was a lot of work, but we had a great time. The retreat covered company goals, employee training, mission statements, marketing and too much stuff to type about in this blog. There were a ton of laughs this weekend. When you place 8 entertainers and their agent in one room, the stories are priceless!

The group was introduced to Skyline Chili. The restaurant is famous world wide from what were told. Their specialty is the chili/spaghetti. The "chili" is made by putting spaghetti noodles on a plate and covering the noodles with chili and your choice of beans, onion and cheese. Good food! Be sure to click HERE for more information.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

All of the Coleman Speakers and our "Super" Agent Brooke

Everyone enjoying Skyline Chili

Me and my Skyline Bib. "Nice noodle!"

"Someone named a road after me!"

Sunday, December 10, 2006


On Wednesday, Lakeland held a program to celebrate Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.

I was asked to assist with the program and I agreed. 5 minutes before the program I was handed a speech. I was asked to lead “libation.” Libation is a time to honor our ancestors or famous African-Americans.

The program had dancers, drummers and informational speakers. The program was a lot of fun and the food was even better.

Here are the seven principles of Kwanzaa and some pictures from the program. Click on the title above for more information on Kwanzaa.

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Woo Hoo!

Kelly came to visit me this weekend. She flew into Columbus. She landed as I was finishing up my speech. The ride back from Columbus is a little over 2 hours, so it was nice to have a co-pilot. This was Kelly's first visit to Ohio, and if might be her last after seeing the weather. Friday was cold, windy and rainy. The rest of the weekend was cold, windy, then snowy. Great way for me to welcome someone from Arizona.

When Kelly gets excited she says "Woo hoo!" Thats the way I felf having her in town. She was only able to visit Friday to Monday, but we had a great time. We hung out with my Best friend Scott, watched some movies, put up my Christmas tree, and she even brought me an ornament from Arizona to add to my tree. I'm hoping this will be the first of many ornaments we'll be getting for each other for Christmas.

While having a great weekend. The first big snow of the year showed up the morning Kelly was supposed to leave. A 30 minute drive to the airport turned into a hour and half trip and Kelly missed her flight. Awww, I got more time with her.

It was sad to see Kelly go, but we'll be together again in 3 weeks to celebrate the holidays (New Years). Going to visit San Diego for New Years, so I'll be sure to get some great photos up on the blog.

My Ornament from Kelly

The drive after the snowstorm. Nice job cleaning up the streets!

Me, Kelly and the Christmas Tree

Columbus Speech

I was in Columbus, Ohio last Friday to speak to a group of about 150 at the Ohio Farm Bureau Conference. The group was a lot of fun to talk too. They ranged in ages 11 to 17. There were some parents there too. I know they got a little squimish when I started talking about "first kisses!" I talked about "Making Relationships Matter." The lecture was about making good relationships with friends, family, co-workers and loved ones. Lots of laughs and lots of great questions. I have to say "hello" to the "Group in the middle of the room" and everyone who stayed after the program to talk to me and ask questions about my trip to Australia. For everyone who's asked to be my friends on Myspace...."Thank for being the Big Penguin!"

My 2006 speaking tour is over. I definately had a great time at all the places I visited. My schedule for 2006 is starting to fill up. I'll be sure to post my calendar on my Myspace page -

Here are some pictures from Columbus -

Picture of a someones first kiss! Do you remember your first kiss?

My room at the Columbus Hyatt...Thank you Farmers Burueau

Me and some of the students I spoke too. I feel short in this group!

Downtown Columbus from my hotel room. It was rainy and foggy.

Super Busy

A lot of people tell me I'm one of the busiest people they know. I've lived up to those words the last 10+ days!

I'm going to do what I can to catch all of you up. Be on the look out for several new blogs with stories and pictures or my adventures.

Adventure #1

Last Wednesday, my friends Rachel and Becca (sisters) invited me to the Cavaliers versus the Knicks. The Cavaliers lost, but we had a really good time. Rachel was house sitting and the home owner gave her tickets to the game as part of her payment. Club Seats. It was fun sitting with the "Rich People!" It would have been more fun to sit in the louge behind us. I always take my camera with me, so here are a few pictures from the game.

Rebecca (Becca) and I being silly..the game was exciting at this point!

The Scoreboard at Quicken Loans Arena. There is a stat on the board called "The Diff." It's for people who can figure out who is winning. A fan requested the team ad this to the scoreboard last year. Most people laugh at it!