This giveaway is now closed but please scroll down and enjoy the post! Thank you to everyone who entered and shared it! Here are the winner’s names:
(When only a first name is given, I have included a partial email to help identify)
From the bonus entries who entered here and also shared on Facebook:
Okay folks, I’m not prone to being starstruck. I view people as people. I’ve spent the day cooking with Paula Deen in her kitchen, I’ve made fried Pies with Al Roker and Ann Curry on the Today Show, I’ve gotten to hang out with David Venable on QVC and eat cake with the crew of The 700 Club. I’ve filmed with the editor of Southern Living who then took me to a cafe to try his very favorite chicken salad (it sure was good), and they’ve all been wonderfully kind people and I had a lot of fun (it was an honor to meet each one!) - but not once was I intimidated or starstruck. Not once did I have any fear of embarrassing myself for fear of fawning or gushing too much - until I had the opportunity to visit Big Idea Inc and meet one of the founders of Veggie Tales, who just so happens to be the voice of one of my all time favorite characters ever created, Larry The Cucumber.
You have no idea what a VeggieTales fan I am.
I know just about every silly song and I sing them c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y, seriously, just ask my family
~Ricky chimes in~ “Oh believe me, she does”
Sometimes when I talk about Veggie Tales people will say “Oh we don’t have little kids so we’ve never watched them” and I look at them in wonder, always finding it funny that they think I buy veggie tales for my kids! HA! I buy them for myself, but I am nice enough to let my kids watch them too.
So after telling you all of this, you can only imagine what a thrill it was for me to get to go visit Big Idea and meet the staff behind Veggie Tales. Most especially one of the founder and the voice of the character I more closely identify with than any human being on this planet, Mike Nawrocki.
Ricky and I were so looking forward to this day. We were invited to visit Big Idea, take a tour, meet the folks, and then go out to lunch with Mike and Shannon. Mike is one of the founders (AKA Larry the Cucumber) and Shannon is head of their marketing (and sweet as the day is long).
Folks have asked how our kids enjoyed it and you know what? We didn’t take them! We were so excited and hey, we take them to Disney World and everything else we can, but this day was for me and Ricky. Plus, we wanted to be able to talk to them, ask questions, and actually listen to them when they answered.
Our kids talk even more than we do so we called up the world’s most amazing babysitter in the world and said “Kids, we’re going to go visit Veggie Tales and you get to stay here all day long with Kate the Great!” There were cheers all around
So come with me, on a wee bit of a grown up tour that kids of all ages will enjoy and lets go visit Big Idea!
Okay, here we go! This is the front door to Big Idea!
Look inside and see that basket in the chair? Well that is a basket of cookies I brought. I made two pans of cookies the night before and covered them to cool and cut into bars in the morning. Well lo and behold, in the morning I tasted them and decided they weren’t good enough. They were good, but they weren’t ooey, gooey, buttery, and oh-my-word good and hey, this is VEGGIE TALES so I had to do my best. So I cut those up for the kids and at 5:30 A.M. set about making more cookie bars. Only by the time we had to leave they were still too warm to cut so I covered them in foil and put them in the back of the car.
We arrived an hour and a half later and I wish I had of taken a picture of me and Ricky standing over the trunk and me cutting cookies while he wrapped them to put in that basket. It took about ten minutes or so to get them all done and I was just DYING because I was standing outside of Big Idea and I really just wanted to be inside! But, the cookies were ooey and gooey and buttery like I had wanted so all was well.
One only gets so many chances in their life to feed talking vegetables so one must make the most of every opportunity.
Now when it comes to Veggie Tales, I had the bar set kind of high. Having been a huge fan for over a decade, I was hoping so badly I wouldn’t get there and find they weren’t as sweet or kind or filled with integrity as I had thought. You know what I mean, you have this superstar in your head say…Elvis..and you want to meet him and you look up to him and then if the day came when you met him (you know, at the Burger King in Hawaii on that island he reportedly lives on) and he snubbed you, you would be heartbroken. Well, imagine Elvis times ten and that is about what is going on here for me.
~heaves a huge sigh of relief~
No one at Big Idea disappointed me. Walking into that office there is an instant feel of family, kindness, optimism, and excitement. Everyone is so friendly and they truly have a heart for what they are doing along with a fun spirit. I could have stayed there for months – happily humming Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps all day long.
Oh who are we kidding? Why hum when you can full on sing?
Anyway, check out this office. All of the offices are decorated with fun Veggie memorabilia.
(Oh, the office is the pic before you got to the video. I’m a little excited today so I’m getting ahead of myself)
And then you turn a corner an walk into the room where they keep the copy machine and find…umm..is that a Dove award? Or, a few Dove awards? And some other…umm…huge deal awards? On top of that shelf thingiemawhosit that holds office supplies…..in the copy room.
They put awards in their proper place. I’m sure they’re most grateful when they receive them but you can’t help but feel that awards are not what they are aspiring to here.
That’s not what they’re here for and that is part of what makes them so awesome.
and in the middle of all of this fun, I get a text message photo from the babysitter that brings me back down to earth and reminds me of what I’m here for…
Okay, I missed her, too, but hey….this was Larry the Cucumber.
I texted her back a smiling picture of me waving and then tucked my phone away again.
This is me with my husband and Mike Nawrocki.
Please note that Ricky and I are like…normal people height, and Mike is like…ten or eleven feet tall. Or something like that.
As you can clearly see, I wasn’t excited or anything ~smirk~
I kept telling my husband “Don’t let me gush. Especially if he does the Larry voice, just don’t let me gush.”
We both failed miserably.
How cool is this hand carved, solid oak Barbara Manatee?
Mike received it as a gift from Jeremy Vickery, an animator who used to work at Big Idea. His father carved it and Jeremy had his dad make it for Mike when he left to go work at Pixar (I won’t even get into what big Pixar fans we are but Veggie Tales still wins out!). Mike says this is one of his most prized possessions.
I’ll be derned if I don’t want one too now! To any of you not familiar with Barbara Manatee, here is one more video intermission…
This is us having lunch at Puckett’s in downtown Franklin. Where has this place been all of my life? I’d never heard of it and the food was phenomenal. We had a great time talking over our families, childhoods, and the excitement of not knowing where we’re headed to next. It’s so nice not to be in charge of your life
All in all, it was a wonderful day for both of us. We got to meet folks we’ve always admired and found that they were even more impressive in person. We got to see some top secret footage of upcoming Veggie Tales, too, and we left with happy hearts and even more excitement over the great things to come for Big Idea.
We also had a few new silly songs under our belt. Oh you know we need one more intermission, right?
I’ll keep this one small This is me and Ricky signing a Veggie Tales about a year or so ago on a loooong drive home.
It is sideways…I have no idea why but let’s just say it is because you might need to stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck. OH, there is a GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post with TEN winners so be sure and scroll down when your neck is stretched enough. Click play on the video to find out what I’m talking about
G I V E A W A Y T I M E
So a while back, Veggie Tales asked on their wall “If you could come up with an idea for a silly song, what would it be?” and I got to thinking that a fun silly song would be one about a person who can never remember names or always gets them wrong when they think they remember them. That is kinda based on me ~winks~.
Then, after I’d already come up with my veggie tales silly song, I was on a roll and went on to wondering what kind of Veggie Tales character I’d be if I could. I immediately decided that the perfect veggie tales character for me would be a green tomato! How cute would that be? A green tomato with a Southern accent!
Mama said she’d be Okra or a Sweet Potato but then went back to Okra because she’d be skinnier :).
So today, in honor of my thought that we really need a Southern Green Tomato Veggie Tales character, the folks at Veggie Tales and I are teaming up to give ten lucky members of the Southern Plate Family a copy of one of the very early Veggie Tales videos, God Wants Me To Forgive Them!?!, that contains the fun little band of Clampett family like characters known as the Grapes of Wrath. They’re cranky grapes who treat Junior very badly (but eventually it all ends well!).
I believe this the only Veggie Tales Video that has Southern characters in it so that is why I chose this one. We gotta promote more Southern vegetables ya know! Okay, in this case they’re grapes but still…
**ENTERING IS EASY**
**Just leave a comment below**
Tell me what kind of vegetable (or fruit) you’d be if you were a Veggie Tales character –
Or just say “Hi”.
Whatever cranks yer tractor. I’ll chose EIGHT winners at random Monday morning and notify them by email. I’ll also post their names on this post and on Facebook. Contest closes at midnight Sunday September 18th, 2011.
For another chance to win
share this giveaway on your Facebook wall
and then let me know on my Facebook that you did!
I’ll pick two ADDITIONAL winners from the Facebook comments.
That’s TEN winners in all!
“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
– Dalai Lama XIV
Submitted by Jenny. Submit your quote by clicking here.
Disclaimer: I’ve not been financially compensated for this post. I was also not bribed with vegetable trays, steamed veggies, pureed veggies, vegetable soup, vegetable juice, or vegetable themed sports cars. I just love Veggie tales – I mean, why on earth wouldn’t I? However, I did get to hear Mike Nawrocki do the Larry voice a few times and that was ultra cool. Although, in the interest of full disclosure I have to say that spelling Mike’s last name is intensely difficult for me, and I absolutely cannot pronounce it, even though it is extremely simple to pronounce. I think I ever got over the spelling-it hump the pronouncing-it hump would soon follow. My daughter saw a video of him and she said “Hey, that guy can do a voice that sounds like Larry!”. ~snickers~ Oh and last week when my daughter asked if the chicken we were eating was the kind that was ever alive, I might have said no…but I don’t exactly recall to be 100% sure. I am pretty sure it had lived a full life though. All done disclaiming now, have a great day!