Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fun with Family

I loved the shocked look on my friend's face on the 4th of July when upon asking, "So did just your dad come down for the 4th?" And I told her, "my parents live in Bismarck now." In March of this year, my dad officially retired from the oilfield after 35 years, most of those years spent driving an 18-wheeler.

Shortly after his retirement, they officially became residents of Bismarck. In fact, their home is just down the road from my younger brother's place. They still have their land and their home in Watford City though so whenever my dad starts missing home, he can always go back to visit! They were blessed to have met some great people to rent their home out to who moved here from California to work in the Bakken.
Welcome to my parent's new place! (I made that sign when I was a freshman in high school!)
My youngest sister, dad and me on Father's Day.
Besides my parents moving here, my youngest sister also moved here from New Town. So now with the exception of an older brother in Montana and a sister in Nebraska, my whole family lives in Bismarck!

This past week, my sister came up from Lincoln, NE and my sister-in-law came out from Baker, Montana. My parents had a family get-together at their home this past weekend where I had a great time visiting with siblings, in-laws and aunts. I didn't see too much of the kids as the youngest four spent most of the time outside and the older ones hung out in the basement.
Family time
Our sister-only evening - supper at the Walrus!
Unfortunately, Faith wasn't up to seeing everyone at once so she and daddy stayed home from the get-together. I found it worked better to just have people come over to our place in smaller groups and to visit with Faith as we sat downstairs on the patio of our apartment complex.

This is our new nightly summer tradition - I come home, we have supper, we watch Wheel of Fortune then gather all of our stuff to spend the rest of the evening outside on the patio. It is practically dark outside before she wants to come back inside! I love this new tradition as it is so relaxing for me after a stressful day at work.
Faith with her cousins from Montana, Sydnee and Kenzie and auntie Amber
Faith with her funny cousins from Nebraska, Donnie and Preston
All in all Faith is having a great summer and we look forward to spending more time with family now that most of them live so close by! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

It Almost Rained on Our Parade

Every year I am disappointed because neither Faith nor Rob wants to go to the 4th of July Parade in Mandan with me so I end up not going at all. This year was going to be different though. This year I would have a parade date - my dad! Also, I was going to be meeting up with my friend Kristi and her family who sit in the same spot every year. I was so excited to go to the parade!

The night before the big event, Rob and I asked Faith if she wanted to go too. She has only gone to the parade twice and didn't seem to really enjoy it either time. So I was totally expecting her to not want to go again this year. But then she said she did want to go and started asking all sorts of questions about what we were going to see at the parade. Even though she seemed excited, I didn't get my hopes up too high. Sometimes she acts excited about something but when it comes down to actually going through with it, she changes her mind.

Whether she went or not, I was still happy to be going with my dad. Imagine my huge disappointment when this morning while getting ready, I heard what sounded like fireworks outside. It wasn't fireworks though, it was thunder accompanied by lightning and rain. When Faith got up, she had determined she was going to the parade with us but we showed her it was raining outside and told her she probably wouldn't be able to go.

My dad got here around 9:30 and shortly after his arrival, there was a sudden downpour. Me and my dad decided to still chance it but we decided to leave Faith home with her dad. She was very disappointed but at least she could still watch it on TV. As I got ready to say goodbye to her, she looked at me with the saddest face ever and said, "But I want to go too, please mommy." My heart started breaking into a million little pieces and me and Rob decided rain or shine, she was going to the parade.

We quickly got Faith changed into her red, white and blue apparel, gathered our stuff including sweatshirts and an umbrella and hurried down the hallway to the elevator. Then we stepped outside and the clouds miraculously parted and the sun came out. It wasn't going to rain on our parade after all!
Parade goers
My favorite part of the parade - all the pretty horses
Yay for Canada!
What a great message!

One of my favorite floats!
We had so much fun sitting with my friend, Kristi and her family!
Both Grandpa and Faith loved this Kenworth!
Rodeo Clown - The PRCA rodeo is another great event in Mandan over the 4th!

Famous actor James Drury from "The Virginian" waves to the crowd
It wouldn't be a true North Dakota parade without tractors and other farm equipment
Thousands of people lined the streets for the Mandan Parade - a tradition since 1881
 I am so glad Faith came with me and Grandpa to the parade. It was really truly amazing how well she did in the midst of all the noise and people. She only startled when the firetrucks sounded their sirens but then she would laugh and relax again. For some reason she loved the big Kenworth truck - every time it  honked she would scream with excitement at the top of her lungs. She actually seemed disappointed when it ended nearly two hours later. When we got home, she asked, "Can we go to another parade tomorrow?"