End of National Surveyors Week

We have reached the last day of this week of celebration, though Todd has petitioned for an extra week extension. We have so enjoyed coming up with fun surprises for Todd and he certainly has appreciated being the recipient. Todd's last surprise was a special cake and ice cream and a photo for his office.  The photo is of Todd, working with his Total Station as he surveyed a piece of property. Beside his picture we wrote an acrostic for SURVEYOR. We chose a word for each letter which described Todd as a man, father, husband, and surveyor. Here is what we wrote:
                       Yoke fellow

I am so thankful to God for giving me such a wise, faithful, wonderful man as husband and father of our children.

National Surveyors Week- Day 4

Thursday was day four of Todd's special week as a surveyor. We are so blessed by him, his work and his place of employment.  God provided a position for Todd as the County Surveyor/Director of the Survey Department in January of 2007.  It was absolutely the hand of God!  He opened and closed doors right in front of our eyes and gave us an amazing peace about this job and of staying here in Florida. What an awesome God we serve!

Todd's fourth day surprise wasn't really a surprise. On Thursday evening, he and Meagan were asked to volunteer at a Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio concert with guest Irish band, Rend Collective. Todd and Meagan were asked to take photos of the crowds of people waiting in line. The photos were for the JoyFM facebook page. They also were excited to meet in person the JoyFM Radio hosts; Dave, Bill and Carmen.  What an exciting evening for them!! Thanks to Jim Bird for sharing this opportunity and to Shanna Bird for getting them great seats for the concert.
 Todd, Meagan, and Bill from the JoyFM.
Meagan, Todd, Shanna Bird, Jim Bird and Abbey Bird at the concert.

Collin, Kaitlyn, and I stayed home to work on tomorrow's surprise for Todd!!
Blessings, Diona


National Surveyors Week, Day 3

Yesterday was day three of National Surveyors Week.  Todd's surprise for the day was a certificate good for dinner and a night out with me!!  We enjoyed a wonderful evening- just the two of us.
We are so blessed to have children who enjoy spending time together.  They were up until 1:00AM watching movies, snacking, playing games..  They had such a good time they encouraged us to do this again soon!  We just may take them up on that offer! 

Tomorrow I'll share today's surprise!
Blessings, Diona


Day 2 of National Surveyor's Week

So as I said before, the children and I have decided that every day this week we'll have a special surprise for Todd in celebration of National Surveyor's Week. 

Last night during dinner, Collin brought out Todd's Tuesday surprise... a Glenn Mango tree.  We used to have one in the side yard before the cold winter of 2009 killed it.  This one will be planted in a container so that we can bring it inside during the winter to protect it from the cold. 

Tomorrow I'll write about tonight's surprise...
Happy Surveyor's Week!!


Fun-Fest Fun and More...

Wow, what a busy couple of weeks we've had lately!

Since bringing Dave home to live with us, we've been busy working with him. He is a smart little guy with lots of sassy-ness and spunk!  He has learned to sit at the doors before the door is opened, to sit and wait until he has been given permission to eat his food (we use the phrase 'take a break' and he waits in wiggly anticipation to hear those words), he has also learned to jump in and out of the car by himself, and once or twice he has run to the door to alert us that he needs to go out.  Pretty good for a pup of only 12 weeks of age!  Dave has had a couple of exciting weeks and outings...

Dave attended the Manatee Arts Festival on Saturday the 12th, then went with our family on Sunday to the outdoor market in Tampa with Jeff and Lea Levines and their golden retriever, Freeport. We enjoyed a yummy lunch on the Levines' porch with plenty of playtime for Freeport and Dave.

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Over the week of the 14th, some friends of ours went on vacation and we surprised their daughter with a bedroom make-over.  It was so much fun!  We removed her twin bed and replaced it with a loft bed/desk combo, we painted two walls bright green, put up a new one-of-a-kind border to cover up the old border, painted her bookshelf and decorated.  We were so excited for them to return home so she could discover her surprise!
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On Friday, the 18th the kids took Dave to prepare strawberries for strawberry shortcake. They washed, cut and processed 20 flats which were mixed with a little sugar and a secret ingredient... it took them about 4 hours.  They all came back smelling very sweet!!
 Later that same evening, we had a special evening with the Mendez kids. They stayed the night and we enjoyed pizza and popcorn and brownies and cookies and movies and games and lots of fun!!!
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Saturday the 19th, was the Fun Fest!  We worked with a few other puppy-raisers selling strawberry shortcake to raise money for Southeastern Guide Dogs. The weather was perfect, the strawberry shortcake was delicious and we were kept busy with all the customers!  Collin did a great job as cashier, Diona sliced the biscuits and Kaitlyn added the whipped cream with flair!

Meagan sat in the 'dog booth' to keep an eye on Dave, participate in obedience demonstrations, and answer many questions about raising a guide-dog pup.

We thank Bob Evans for their donation of biscuits and whipped cream, and Alice Boose for putting this event together this year!  Awesome job everyone!!!
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This week, March 21st through 25th, is National Surveyors Week.  The children and I are planning something special every day to show our appreciation to Todd, our very own surveyor!!  Today, we cleaned out the shed and organized all his tools out there. Now when he wants to work on a project he won't have to keep running from shed to garage looking for a tool.  It was a lot of work and we were so excited for him to come home to see it!! We are happy to say that he was pleasantly surprised.  Thanks Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn, for all your help!!

Happy Surveyor's Week, Honey!!
Love, Diona


Wow, what a fun weekend!!

Saturday, March 5th, was the much-anticipated annual walk-a-thon for Southeastern Guide Dogs.  Our family, along with over 2000 walkers from all over the U.S. and more than 700 dogs of all breeds, enjoyed a beautiful walk along the Manatee River at the Rossi Waterfront Park in perfect weather. It was a gorgeous day!

On Sunday, Todd and Collin found a very small box turtle in turtle-unfriendly territory, so they brought it home. We fixed up a comfy abode for it and decided to research keeping it as a pet. Collin named it Rockbottom, after a turtle in a book by Brian Jacques.

We decided that Rockbottom would fair better in a wild natural habitat so he was released to live out his life in a safe turtle-friendly environment.  It is better this way- box turtles can live up too 100 years and I'm not sure I have the energy for that long of a commitment!
Later in the evening we enjoyed dinner with our house-fellowship; delicious ribs from the grill, crock-pot mac-n-cheese, corn casserole, cole slaw, pineapple and peanut butter cookies! MMMmm... Food and fellowship! What could be better??

On Monday, The Boyle family excitedly welcomed our new guide-dog pup, DAVE. Dave is named in honor and memory of the former area coordinator for the South Shore Puppy Raiser Group.

DAVE joined our family Monday at 11:30am. He weighs 17.5 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes, and measures 33 inches from the tip of his tiny black nose to the end of his constantly-wagging tail.  He's a wiggly, bouncing, happy little bundle of fuzzy fur who LOVES to eat!
DAVE accompanied Meagan to the grocery store yesterday afternoon and enjoyed riding in the shopping cart taking in all the sites and smells.
In the evening, DAVE went along with Todd and Diona to Home Depot. He had no intention of riding in the shopping cart there though. He wanted to be in the middle of things... and seemed to enjoy all the attention he was getting.
His first night went very well. Collin and Kaitlyn helped keep him entertained until bedtime at ten o'clock, and he slept until 11:30, then was up again at 12:30, then again at 6.  No accidents in the house or crate yet and he seems to be fitting right in!!

Be sure to check back often as we post many pictures of our growing 'little man', and be sure to check out his blog here.

Blessings to you and yours,

No longer the Mom-Taxi!!

 Recently, Meagan passed her test for her driver's license. She has had her learning permit for three years now and she thought it was about time to get the 'real thing'.  After signing in with the stack of necessary paperwork, we took a seat and waited for our number to be called. We were number 647, the number being served at that moment...423.  For the next hour and forty-five minutes we chatted with the people around us, watched the news being replayed over and over on the tv screen, listened to crying babies needing a nap, heard mommies fussing at the crying babies and daddies griping at the slow workers behind the counter... oh what fun!!
 Finally our number was called. We were so excited- Meagan was going to test for her license. But- not that day! The nice lady behind the counter informed us that they don't do the driver's license testing there! We would have to go to the big city. UGH!!! But, thankfully we were able to make an appointment at the DMV in the big city. So, the next week Meagan was able to take her test and she passed!

When the driving instructor gave me the good news, I had to fight the tears. Yes, I am proud of Meagan and happy for her, but where did my little girl go?  Where is that little 'Shirley Temple look-alike' with bouncing curls and chubby cheeks? She has grown into a beautiful young woman and I am SO proud of her!  I know God has awesome plans for her and one day when she's the mom and her little girl is driving away in the car for the first time alone- she'll understand that pride and pain in my heart!
Signing off... the momma