The Thankful Project… Day 28 (2013)

Well… this is it.  The final post for The Thankful Project that I learned about through Jodi over at www.touchingyourheart.net (my sister blog) and started by Kenzie over at www.thechasinghappyblog.com

Thanks to both Kenzie and Jodi for making this an amazing November for me.  I slowed myself down on the Cool Whip (aka Facebook) and took the time I had leftover to do my blog posts and to work on my house and my messy life a bit… not enough but some.

So on to my final prompt and a look into what is on my ‘to do list’ next…

11/28 Prompt: free write

For this prompt we are able to write about anything we want.  And I choose…

The Tivey Family

Years ago, I was a young girl playing anti-i-over at “The Farm”… the one in Gascoyne where my grandparents lived.  I have a foggy recollection of Mike and Jodi being there and I am not sure why.  I may be making this up in my mind.  I really don’t know.  I just have some memory of meeting Jodi when I was young and I was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the farm.

I knew they were a part of our family but it didn’t make sense to me why.  As it turns out… we aren’t really related… here’s the true family tree of how we are connected… My Aunt Nita is married to Tom Braun.  Tom Braun is a brother to Ken Braun.  Ken Braun is Mike’s step-dad.  And there you have it… our family tree.

Anyway… Over the years Mike and Jodi were involved in family events with us and then for awhile they sort of faded away.  Not sure where they went, but what matters now… is they are just across the street… ALWAYS!

Jodi has become a major supporter of mine and by my side through some pretty rough times in my world.  She referred to us as neighbor/family/friend for quite some time and now she is my boss too.  She makes sure I take my meds (most of the time), she tries to encourage me no matter what excuse I give her, she is there to listen when I need a friend.  She even went out chasing a lightning storm so I could try to get a picture (and it was way past her bedtime).

Mike is someone that is a tough read… but somewhere along the way I have come to understand him more (I think) and I know he would do most anything for me… all I have to do is ask.  He will tell me to do it myself but in the end, if I need his help… he would be there in a heart beat.  Don’t tell him I said this… but I don’t know what I would do without him across the street.

And Amanda… quite simply… an amazing young lady who has grown to be my friend.  In reality we are so much alike and I am old enough to be her mom so she is also my soul-daughter. Trevor asked awhile back why I refer to her as ‘my neighbor’ when in reality she is one of my best friends.  Yep… I have a 25 year old BFF!  I look forward to watching her get married in June and start her own life and family but it breaks my heart thinking I will have to let her go.  I have joked for years with Jodi about the day Amanda moves out for the final time… and in reality I think it will be harder on me than it will be on Jodi and Mike.  They have been preparing for years… I have only had the last few years with her as my daughter-friend. 

So… Tivey Family… know that you are a vital part of my life and I could not and do not have any intention of ever letting you fade out of my life again.  Love you!

Tivey 2007 (10)

And… I was planning to share with you my next blog challenge or journey but when I went to retrieve it and link to it… it vanished.  Guess I better find something else. 

The Thankful Project… Day 28 (2013)

Well… this is it.  The final post for The Thankful Project that I learned about through Jodi over at www.touchingyourheart.net (my sister blog) and started by Kenzie over at www.thechasinghappyblog.com

Thanks to both Kenzie and Jodi for making this an amazing November for me.  I slowed myself down on the Cool Whip (aka Facebook) and took the time I had leftover to do my blog posts and to work on my house and my messy life a bit… not enough but some.

So on to my final prompt and a look into what is on my ‘to do list’ next…

11/28 Prompt: free write

For this prompt we are able to write about anything we want.  And I choose…

The Tivey Family

Years ago, I was a young girl playing anti-i-over at “The Farm”… the one in Gascoyne where my grandparents lived.  I have a foggy recollection of Mike and Jodi being there and I am not sure why.  I may be making this up in my mind.  I really don’t know.  I just have some memory of meeting Jodi when I was young and I was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the farm.

I knew they were a part of our family but it didn’t make sense to me why.  As it turns out… we aren’t really related… here’s the true family tree of how we are connected… My Aunt Nita is married to Tom Braun.  Tom Braun is a brother to Ken Braun.  Ken Braun is Mike’s step-dad.  And there you have it… our family tree.

Anyway… Over the years Mike and Jodi were involved in family events with us and then for awhile they sort of faded away.  Not sure where they went, but what matters now… is they are just across the street… ALWAYS!

Jodi has become a major supporter of mine and by my side through some pretty rough times in my world.  She referred to us as neighbor/family/friend for quite some time and now she is my boss too.  She makes sure I take my meds (most of the time), she tries to encourage me no matter what excuse I give her, she is there to listen when I need a friend.  She even went out chasing a lightning storm so I could try to get a picture (and it was way past her bedtime).

Mike is someone that is a tough read… but somewhere along the way I have come to understand him more (I think) and I know he would do most anything for me… all I have to do is ask.  He will tell me to do it myself but in the end, if I need his help… he would be there in a heart beat.  Don’t tell him I said this… but I don’t know what I would do without him across the street.

And Amanda… quite simply… an amazing young lady who has grown to be my friend.  In reality we are so much alike and I am old enough to be her mom so she is also my soul-daughter. Trevor asked awhile back why I refer to her as ‘my neighbor’ when in reality she is one of my best friends.  Yep… I have a 25 year old BFF!  I look forward to watching her get married in June and start her own life and family but it breaks my heart thinking I will have to let her go.  I have joked for years with Jodi about the day Amanda moves out for the final time… and in reality I think it will be harder on me than it will be on Jodi and Mike.  They have been preparing for years… I have only had the last few years with her as my daughter-friend. 

So… Tivey Family… know that you are a vital part of my life and I could not and do not have any intention of ever letting you fade out of my life again.  Love you!

Tivey 2007 (10)

And… I was planning to share with you my next blog challenge or journey but when I went to retrieve it and link to it… it vanished.  Guess I better find something else. 

The Thankful Project… Day 27 (2013)

Well, two more prompts from the Thankful Project and I will be finished and can say I completed a blogging challenge.  I was not always caught up and on time… but I did each and every post.  Go Me!!!

11/27 Prompt: a simple pleasure

At this very moment I am sitting in my simplest of pleasures… silence.  As much as I love music and in days gone by some form of music would have been playing in the background… and as much as I love my children… I do enjoy the peace and calm and quiet that comes from everyone being asleep or gone.  And at this moment… that is how I sit.

Now… to make this simple pleasure even better… add a bowl of ice cream and I would have it made!

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah. 

Random photo of the day…

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The Thankful Project… Day 27 (2013)

Well, two more prompts from the Thankful Project and I will be finished and can say I completed a blogging challenge.  I was not always caught up and on time… but I did each and every post.  Go Me!!!

11/27 Prompt: a simple pleasure

At this very moment I am sitting in my simplest of pleasures… silence.  As much as I love music and in days gone by some form of music would have been playing in the background… and as much as I love my children… I do enjoy the peace and calm and quiet that comes from everyone being asleep or gone.  And at this moment… that is how I sit.

Now… to make this simple pleasure even better… add a bowl of ice cream and I would have it made!

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah. 

Random photo of the day…

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The Thankful Project… Day 26 (2013)

Nearly finished with this project and let me just say… there have been some tough ones to figure out just the right thing to write.  Today is no different.

11/26 Prompt: a criticism

When I was in high school, I was dating a really great guy.  Funny, loved to dance, cute, caring, and did I mention funny.  Anyway, he and I were talking one day during a bit of a family crisis at our house.  One of my grandparents was terminally ill with cancer and as such we had some pretty serious talks that winter.

One of the things we talked about was how my family functioned.  It was amazing how we could all pull together and live in strange conditions to help care for my grandpa.  But, Jay noticed something about our communication style and an overall dynamic of our family.  We were quick to blame and slow to take responsibility for being wrong.  In other words, we like to be right.  Who doesn’t, really? 

I think part of it is human nature to want to be right, but the part that I didn’t realize was how quick we all were to find blame someplace else in a sticky situation.

As a result of that conversation all those years ago, I still think about the idea of looking for blame and the innate need to be right.  I work hard to try and adjust my behavior but it does not make it any easier nor do it very well everyday.  I find myself blaming and needing to be right more often than not.  So… I am thankful for the chat Jay and I had all those years ago and the reminder that that little criticism about my family is something I can learn and grow from.

Random pic of the day… Miss Olivia fell asleep at a ball game.  I was on the floor taking pictures as usual and she needed a rest.  So tired she even fell asleep with her sucker in hand.

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The Thankful Project… Day 26 (2013)

Nearly finished with this project and let me just say… there have been some tough ones to figure out just the right thing to write.  Today is no different.

11/26 Prompt: a criticism

When I was in high school, I was dating a really great guy.  Funny, loved to dance, cute, caring, and did I mention funny.  Anyway, he and I were talking one day during a bit of a family crisis at our house.  One of my grandparents was terminally ill with cancer and as such we had some pretty serious talks that winter.

One of the things we talked about was how my family functioned.  It was amazing how we could all pull together and live in strange conditions to help care for my grandpa.  But, Jay noticed something about our communication style and an overall dynamic of our family.  We were quick to blame and slow to take responsibility for being wrong.  In other words, we like to be right.  Who doesn’t, really? 

I think part of it is human nature to want to be right, but the part that I didn’t realize was how quick we all were to find blame someplace else in a sticky situation.

As a result of that conversation all those years ago, I still think about the idea of looking for blame and the innate need to be right.  I work hard to try and adjust my behavior but it does not make it any easier nor do it very well everyday.  I find myself blaming and needing to be right more often than not.  So… I am thankful for the chat Jay and I had all those years ago and the reminder that that little criticism about my family is something I can learn and grow from.

Random pic of the day… Miss Olivia fell asleep at a ball game.  I was on the floor taking pictures as usual and she needed a rest.  So tired she even fell asleep with her sucker in hand.

IMG_1095

The Thankful Project… Day 25 (2013)

11/25 Prompt: something I know

Uffda… I am nearly caught up.

And let me just start by saying… this isn’t an easy one either… because I KNOW A LOT… Just ask me!

Ha ha…

Well, something I know and am grateful for because as the saying goes…

The best way to make change is to admit there is a problem.  So…

I have too much stuff!

I know I do.

It is a fact.

So… now what?

I shall make the change.  I have talked about it over and over and over.  But each time… I realize more and more how the ‘stuff’ in my life is causing me pain.  It is causing me to live a life I don’t want to live.  Or shall I say, live my life in a way I don’t care to live it.

So…

With that I shall go do something about it.

I have started making progress, but progress is quite often messy and for whatever reason I never finish.

Pray for me to find some sort of peace with it all and to help me finish.  I know having people pray for me will offer me a bit of extra strength to get through it and begin living the life I want to live.  Living a life doing things with my family without saying… yes, but first we need to get the living room picked up. 

Random pic of the day… from our visit to the pumpkin patch in Billings…

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Read tomorrow’s post to find the answer!

The Thankful Project… Day 25 (2013)

11/25 Prompt: something I know

Uffda… I am nearly caught up.

And let me just start by saying… this isn’t an easy one either… because I KNOW A LOT… Just ask me!

Ha ha…

Well, something I know and am grateful for because as the saying goes…

The best way to make change is to admit there is a problem.  So…

I have too much stuff!

I know I do.

It is a fact.

So… now what?

I shall make the change.  I have talked about it over and over and over.  But each time… I realize more and more how the ‘stuff’ in my life is causing me pain.  It is causing me to live a life I don’t want to live.  Or shall I say, live my life in a way I don’t care to live it.

So…

With that I shall go do something about it.

I have started making progress, but progress is quite often messy and for whatever reason I never finish.

Pray for me to find some sort of peace with it all and to help me finish.  I know having people pray for me will offer me a bit of extra strength to get through it and begin living the life I want to live.  Living a life doing things with my family without saying… yes, but first we need to get the living room picked up. 

Random pic of the day… from our visit to the pumpkin patch in Billings…

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Read tomorrow’s post to find the answer!

The Thankful Project… Day 22 (2013)

11/22 Prompt: an expectation

Each and every year, my favorite day rolls around.

And… as much as I love MY birthday, that is not the day I am referring to.

My favorite day of the year rolls around in November and has been rolling around each and every year since before I was born.  The School of Promise celebrated its 40th year in 2012.  Each year, our community holds an auction.  Not a silent auction… the real deal.  A live auction of goods (new and old), services (gift certificates) and crafts/foods (yum yum) is held following a roast beef, salad and pie feast. 

Over the years, as I was growing up, we would go to the sale each and every year.  My dad is one of the auctioneers and one of our family friends was a founder of the school and a major supporter of the auction and lunch.  When I was little, I would help hold the items in the air as the auctioneers took bids from the many people who return to the sale year after year in support of the amazing School of Promise.  A free program for children with special needs in our community.  The school is funded primarily using the donations from the auction and others that come throughout the year.  Some special services are paid for through the federal laws that help with education but the main source of funding is the hearts of our community.

I am 40 years old and I moved away for a few years to attend college and live life ‘away’ from the area but I can still count on my two hands the number of auctions I missed over the years (I think… they don’t have an attendance record but it is pretty close). 

My favorite thing about the auction is the outpouring of support that is given and seeing the faces of the ‘regulars’ each year.  New traditions, old traditions, funny stories of husbands out-bidding wives.  Small children bidding for items and parents nodding in the background to say yes or quickly pulling their hand down and shaking their head no. 

My family continues to be ‘regulars’ at the event.  My girls and I talk about it and they wonder when it will be happening again. 

Last year, the girls started a new tradition.  They ‘made’ something that they could take to the auction.  Last year the two older girls each painted a picture. We framed and sold them separately (thus fetching a higher price for the pair – sold to Grandma Wanda and Papa Chuck).  This year, they painted ornaments and decorated a “Tree of Many Colors” and sold the tree as an original piece of art by the Welch Girls.  The girls and I had a great time making the decorations.  They were quite proud of the project and stood tall when it was sold to the highest bidder… (Papa and Nana).

I have come to expect so much from the day and have even warned members of my family that if they cause any wrinkles in my day by fighting or any other discourse I would be very disappointed and sad. 

Celebrating the best day of the year with my family is the kickoff to the holiday season for me and I expect it will be for many years to come.  I hope to teach my girls how important it is for us to do something bigger than ourselves for the School of Promise because while it is a big red building on the outside… what it does for so many kids in our community year after year on the inside is what really counts. 

Scenes from this years auction.

 

High School students volunteer each year to help with the meal and with larger items during the auction. IMG_3614

Daughter of a member of the School of Promise Board.  She LOVED helping throughout the day.

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One of the generous supporters and her family.

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My dad… doing what he does best.

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The Tree of Many Colors… Emma and her friend Ellie on stage as it is sold by one of the voluneers.  Chad helps each year as a bid caller.  He does a great job… even though it is on a Sunday and usually a HUGE football day.

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Pie anyone?  There are usually a few pies left at the end and are sold at auction.  We were fortunate enough to get a key lime pie and Sophia and Olivia had to dig in before we got home.

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And one of our friends as she holds up and displays a smile to get a bigger bid!

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The Thankful Project… Day 23 (2013)

11/23 Prompt: something you’ve seen

I just thought of something that could be both something I have seen and something easily taken for granted… depending on where you live.

Say what?

Well, I am so glad to grow up near Mount Rushmore and am glad I have had the opportunity to see it on more than one occasion.  What strikes me as odd in this world, is that, quite often, people who live near something do not take the time to go see it.

I am thrilled to have made the loop in Yellowstone National Park as well.  I saw Old Faithful with my own eyes and fed the little gophers that you aren’t supposed to feed. 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is my backyard and I don’t know if I appreciated it as much as a young person as I do now.  The beauty of The Badlands is something that is an awesome wonder and it is just an hour away.  Lucky me!

Another place I have seen and am so glad is Washington, DC.  I went to DC when I was in high school and have every intention of going again.  Trevor went on his own, but I want him, me and Chad to go sometime.  And again with the girls when they are older.  I saw it, I am glad I had the chance, but I want to see it again.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Washington Monument
Jefferson Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Wall

All places I saw and hope to see again.  The history of the city and surrounding areas is incredible. 

This summer, we did the tourist trip to Medora.

We rode the ‘trail ride’ with the girls. 

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Olivia and her horse… that she held on tight to while he had a little moment of discontent.  She was scared but she did not fall off!

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This is just a small piece of The Badlands.  Come to ND and visit and I will take you to see ALL of the beauty.

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And of course… Mini Golf!

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Taken by one of the girls.  A wild mustang in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

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The photographer…

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The real deal… Buffalo in the park. 

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And… The Pitchfork Fondue.  HUNDREDS of ribeye steak placed on pitchforks and placed in the vat of boiling oil in the background.  You can see two handles sticking out of the vat as the steaks cook.

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Mmmmm…. Yummy!

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And cooked to perfection!

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Take the time to go see what you can right in your backyard.  You won’t regret it!