Mother's Day

Mother's Day!
 I am so thankful for my sweet family who love to spoil me!  My special day started with breakfast in bed (a Napoleon and fruit) and this adorable gift bag full of special surprises to start my day...

gift bag that reads "So NOT a Macaroni Necklace"!!  Too cute!!!
After breakfast, to take advantage of the beautiful weather,  the bikes were loaded into the truck for a day of biking at Robinson Preserve, a beautiful park about 30 minutes south of us with very nice trails winding along the water, over bridges, and under the mangroves.   

Here you can see all of us on our bikes.. Todd and I are lagging behind on the tandem bike at the end,
Part of the wooden path under the mangroves.

We enjoyed all sorts of nature sites... snakes, pink spoonbills, jumping fish, cranes and gulls of all kinds!
Oh and monkeys too...
Meagan, Collin, and Kaitlyn acting like monkeys under the trees.

Here is the whole family resting on a pier over the water.

After our outing we came home for a nap. I was told to "just relax.. supper will be taken care of"!  How nice!!!  Todd grilled steaks and the kids added pasta, sauteed veggies, and fresh tomatoes!  Then the family surprised me with a gift certificate to a salon,  two new rose bushes and three new Jasmine vines!!  Two of my favorite flowering plants.

Later in the evening we played games and had snacks around the table. Then as a special honor, Kaitlyn let me pull one of her loose teeth!!!  How blessed am I!!!!!
Kaitlyn laying on the table, mouth wide open, so I could pull her tooth using Todd's Leatherman Squirt!

As the children grow and mature they take more pleasure in planning the celebrations and surprises. What fun they are!!!!
Hunsader Farms had their annual u-pick 25lbs of tomatoes for $1! So Meagan, Collin, Kaitlyn and their friend Matthew went one morning and picked 100lbs.

The boys picking in the tomato field... the fields are huge, much bigger than this picture shows!
Kaitlyn found many ripe ones!

We found an old birds nest in one of the tomato plants.
The fruits of our labor! A table full of tomatoes!

Sadie had to get in on the fun... she got a new hair do!

Sadie... with her really long flowing hair
Sadie's shaved! REALLY short!

Love-bug season was here. You can always tell by how black and bug covered all the cars are. We could hardly see out of the front window. Love-bugs are hard to get off of your vehicles... softener sheets work really well, but it still took Meagan about 1 1/2 hours to get them all off.

The car's before and after picture... from gutty, to shiny!

We attended the Southeastern Guide Dog open house on the 12th. Southeastern was celebrating their 30th anniversary! We had just started raising puppies when they had a huge cookout on campus for their 25th anniversary. Time flies when your having fun!

Southeastern Guide Dog cake... complete with a map of the campus, a puppy-in-training and a harness made out of fondant!

We were able to see Ellie with her person! She was so happy to see us... she is such a sweetheart!

Ellie standing right beside... okay, leaning, on her person... so proud of her!

We also met some trainers that have worked with our puppies!

Meagan with two Southeastern trainers, one was Clarke's trainer, the other was Ellie and Dave's!
And just because we thought it was funny.. apparently a puppy found this road blockade and thought it was a chew toy!

Road blockade with a few puppy teeth marks in it!

Now, mom's turn to do some typing...


This month...

Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn have enjoyed going to the stable to help Roxane with the horses. They even went on a trotting trail ride one day. Soon they will load up the horses in a trailer and go to Alafia Park to ride the trail and have a picnic lunch. They are very excited!


With childcare licensing,  we have a surprise inspection every 4 months. After a year of perfect records, we will change to every 6 months. April was inspection month. It's funny. We have nothing to hide from the inspector, and we keep our house clean anyways, but or some reason we seem to make an extra effort making sure the house is SPOTLESS during this month.
There are several other home daycares in our area and we would get a call from them saying "Inspector's out!" every time we thought she would come, she didn't.
We finally saw the inspector's car pull in our driveway on the 19th. The inspection lasted all of 30 minutes and we passed. Whew.


Meagan's friend Ashlyn talked Meagan into signing up for the Irongirl 5K in Clearwater on April 22nd. Since the beginning of the year, she has been running to build up her stamina.
Meagan spent the night prior to the race with the Wilson's, who were also running the 5K in order to be in Clearwater by 6:15 the next morning.

The starting line. It's still pitch black outside.
Meagan used a tree to stretch her legs.

Meagan and the group of some of the girls she ran with (or rather followed :)
Ashlyn and Meagan with their finishers medals
Meagan had a good time and is looking forward to a fun family run in December called "The Color Run". The requirement? Wear all white. At each 1K, you get sprayed with a different color paint!


Todd has been working hard on building a new chicken coop. The one we had was great, but we had to let out and lock up the chickens every morning and evening. Now with the new coop, They can come and go as they please without the worry of any cats getting them at night.

Our A-frame coop
Our Rhode Island Red hen sitting on her nest.
The Millet family will be getting our old chicken coop and 4 young chickens who have just started laying eggs! We think the Millets will really enjoy the chickens.

We were excited to get an email from someone who was selling their blueberry farm. The man had 1500, 6 ft tall blueberry bushes in pots for $13 each! We put in a call to him saying we were going to pick up a few... 6 actually. Todd and Collin followed the Mendez family in Todd's truck. The Mendez' rented a Lowe's truck so they could bring a truck load of bushes home!

Our 6 blueberry bushes... they stand about 6 feet tall


In the beginning of Meagan's back issue (4 years ago), she couldn't sleep more then 2 hours at a time without waking up because of a back spasm. She took about 8-12 tylenol a day and was pretty cranky because of her lack of sleep.
Now, she can finally sleep at least 6 hours a night without waking and takes about 1/2-3 tylenol a day for pain, max! She goes to PRP every three months and has deep tissue massages and chiropractic adjustments once a month.

Meagan holding the syringe full of  her own plasma.
Something else that has been an issue, we found out a year ago, Meagan has colitis. We think it's probably from all the pain killers she took because of her back problem. So instead of taking several medications to cut down on the colitis symptoms, she has begun taking Colloidal Silver. No more problems!

Next up, May!



During the month of March...

We had a sweet house guest named Gunner... Gunner is a puppy-in-training with Southeastern Guide Dogs. Gunner's best non-program trick is to "smile" on command... yes, he does it every time!
Gunner in a stand stay while looking at the camera
Attended the Southeastern Guide Dog's 26th Walk-A-Thon. It was a blast as usual... so many dogs and people.
We were able to meet Paul and Ellie! This picture is Paul with Ellie and Meagan with Sadie
Ellie looking as gorgeous as ever with her blue working coat and American flag print bandana!

Meagan (and soon to be Kaitlyn's!) Orthodontist donated water for all the walkers. This is a picture of Meagan and puppy Burke who is being raised by friends in the Carolinas!
After the walk-a-thon, we saw some people para-sailing near the Skyway bridge. We stopped to get some pictures...
Two men para-sailing... they go so fast!
The sails the men weren't using were laying on the beach.
 Got a picture of our handsome College boy! Dave is in training for the Veteran's Assistant program!

Dave's picture in harness is currently on the fridge along with a picture of him running in the yards at Southeastern
Had some excitement one Sunday afternoon... Meagan can no longer eat raspberries or it's an ambulance ride for her!

Meagan sitting in the dining room... still full of Benadryl.
Had a cook out at the park with good friends!
Hamburger, corn on the cob, and tomato salad!
Helped out at the fun fest! We sold out of strawberries this year!
Collin and his friend Matthew with all the strawberry boxes... we processed a total of 30 flats this year!
Kaitlyn won a house at the fun fest... a doll house that is! The older gentlemen that live in Sun City have a wood working shop and built and donated the house and furniture for the raffle. Kaitlyn is currently making curtains, bedding, plans on painting and wants to "electrify" the house!
Kaitlyn and her house, which stands about 3 feet tall. It is a three bedroom, one bath doll house.
Strawberry picking and shish-kabob making...
Yummy strawberries
Meagan, Todd, Collin and Kaitlyn working on the shish-kabobs
 Attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert...

Andrew Patterson, Steven Curtis Chapman and Josh Wilson... beautiful music!
Meagan and Todd with friends Tracee and Jared... all fans of SCC.
Meagan met  three time Olympian. Muriel Grossfield. Muriel conducted a 2 hour clinic with about 25 girls from the gym where Meagan teaches. Muriel is very strict!
Coach Bruce, Meagan and Muriel.

Now, on to an April post...