Tag Archives: Beaver County Metal Detecting Club

Treasure Week 2020

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The third week of June always presents a unique challenge as we strive to celebrate Toby’s trifecta of holidays in the grand way he deserves. During that week he is celebrated for being a father, a husband, and a son, with Father’s Day, our anniversary and his birthday landing within days of each other on the calendar. We work hard to celebrate each of those special days fully and individually. This year I was looking for something extra special for his Father’s Day gift. It has been a bummer of a year, with a lot of unforeseen changes and a lot of challenging detours. Trips have been canceled, kids have launched, and some of those that are still at home have put us through the ringer. I knew this Father’s Day was going to be extra challenging for Toby without Molly and Grace at home to temper the tone in our home with their sunshine. It has been a hard, hard few months at home. I knew that Toby was not going to receive the show of love, gratitude and appreciation he deserves as a father, so I felt compelled to come up with something extra special. With Rusty’s help we pulled off an amazing Father’s Day surprise for a man that deserves the world!

One of Toby’s favorite hobbies is metal detecting. It is a hobby he took up as a kid with his father. Eight years ago he joined the Beaver County Metal Detecting Club and since then has enjoyed his monthly meetings and frequent hunts with friends that share a common passion. For Toby, this hobby combines his love for treasure hunting with coin collecting.

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As I was searching for local hunts that could serve as his Father’s Day gift from the kids and I, I stumbled across Treasure Week. This week-long hunt was being held an hour away at Fox Den Campground in New Stanton. As soon as I stumbled across the registration form online, I knew it would be a perfect gift for Toby. Each day offered 3- 4 seeded hunts with a different theme each day. In between hunts there were opportunities to socialize, activities for the kids, and family fun each evening.

We decided to secretly register Toby and then turn that week of camping into our summer vacation. I booked a campsite at the campground where the hunt was being held and on Father’s Day we surprised him with his gift.

Last Friday we packed up the car and headed to the hunt. Braden declined to join the family on our camping trip and left to spend another week at his Pap’s house, so it was just Tyler and Rusty with us for the week.

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We arrived and began setting up camp. We finished getting the tent set up and the car unloaded, just before the first thunderstorm of the weekend hit.

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The downpour outside altered our dinner plans. Our foil packet dinners were postponed for the following night as we enjoyed a meal of Sheetz-to-Go while playing board games in the relative comfort of the tent.

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The following day was the start of Treasure Week. Toby received a schedule for the week, with the themes of each day’s hunts laid out. The only day that had to be switched up was “Canada Day” on day one, as our coin hunters from the north continue to remain trapped behind a border that is closed.

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The hunts were offered each day at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00, with some specialty hunts thrown in between.

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There were about 50 participants at Treasure Week, with ages ranging from teens to 80+. Most, however were retirees. Toby was a youngin’ in this crowd. Because of the median age of participants, most remained diligent in the use of masks and social distancing, making this a fun (and safe) week of vacationing.

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Luckily, metal detecting is a pastime that lends itself well to social distancing…

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As perfectly expressed by this t-shirt we bought Toby:

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After each hunt Toby would lay out his treasure finds and count up his “booty.” Silver dimes are one of the most common finds in seeded hunts, and one of the coins Toby enjoys collecting most, as each pre-1965 dime has a current worth of $1.50.

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Tuesday’s  theme was the Civil War. These hunts were run by the relic hunters from Virginia and Texas who focus their efforts on historic relics rather than coins. For the Civil War relic hunt, the ground was seeded with historic relics instead of silver. This resulted in an especially cool hunting experience for those like Toby who typically hunt coins. Toby walked away from that hunt with 19 Civil War bullets, one uniform button and a J hook.

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Treasure week also offered free hunts for amateurs, kids and teens. These hunts were geared toward beginners. Tyler didn’t want to participate, but Rusty chose to sign up for the amateur hunt.

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Each amateur hunter was allowed a “coach” on the field to help them. Toby was Rusty’s treasure hunting coach.

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He had great success. He found a handful of coins and some tokens, which won him a collection bag, a shovel, and a coin pricing book.

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In between hunts we kept busy with the fun the campground offered.

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Tyler spent most of his time at the lake that sat across the road from our tent. He spent hours and hours fishing for bluegills and bass.

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In the hot afternoons we would head over to the pool to cool off. The week offered high temperatures in the 90’s, making the campground pool a lifesaver!

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And, as is always the case when camping, a large portion of my day was spent preparing, serving and cleaning up meals cooked outside.

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In the evenings after dinner we would head over to the large pavilion that served as home base for Treasure Week. There we would enjoy the family activities scheduled for each evening. Some of the activities offered included bingo, a Civil War relic presentation, a Chinese auction and A  Night at the Races, with the proceeds of these events going to fund future hunts.

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Our nights would end with time spent around the fire as everyone enjoyed one last s’more or hobo pie before heading to bed.

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It was a good week away. It was healing to get away from the house and challenges of everyday life, and just escaping into nature for a bit. Toby had a wonderful week doing what he loves: digging in the dirt for dimes, and we enjoyed watching him have fun.

After a week of hunts Toby had quite the impressive haul of coins and prizes:

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This week away was a small token of the love and appreciation I feel for this giant among men. His countenance is humble and he asks for so little, but he is one who gives and gives some more. On a daily basis he sacrifices his own wants and own dreams to make life better for everyone he loves. He has taken on challenges others shy away from, for the sake of bettering the lives of those hurt by the cruelty and lack of care by men who don’t deserve the title of “father.” He forgives and forgives again the hurtful choices made by the hurt people in his life, knowing that the only way to break the cycle of abuse is to offer an example of unconditional love in the face of behaviors intended to test the love that is offered.

If anyone deserves to be celebrated as a father, it is Toby. In his quiet, unassuming, selfless way he is showing our sons what a real man looks like, and how a real father behaves.

It isn’t a lesson fully appreciated by all his kiddos at this point in their lives, but he continues to plug away, doing right, even when his efforts seem to be in vain.

As I watch Toby hunt a field for treasure, his method is strikingly similar to how he parents. It is calm, thoughtful, thorough, and patient.

While others hurry across the field, he calmly remains steady in his pace.

While others hunt those easily accessible coins just below the surface, he willingly invests time and effort seeking the treasure hidden deeper in the ground.

When the crowds start exiting the field, believing there is nothing left to find, Toby circle around once more looking for treasures missed by others.

He seeks to find the worth in what the world dismisses as trash, and patiently digs for the good stuff…the stuff that is buried deep.

He is a treasure finder, both in hobby and in life.

He has been blessed with the ability to find the intrinsic worth of a soul, even when it is buried deep beneath hurt, anger, trauma, and testing.

He doesn’t walk off the field when the hunt seems fruitless.

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He stays.

He hunts.

He hopes.

He digs….

Never, ever giving up.

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A Monthly Update

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ordinary life

Often in my focus to report on the “big” events of life I procure a pile of photographs documenting the smaller moments that add up to life here on Patchwork Farm. This blog is dedicated to that collection of captured moments. Here’s to the moments that make up our ordinary, extraordinary life!

Searching for Buried Treasure

Toby is a member of a local metal detecting club. The Beaver County Metal Detecting Club is comprised of 20+ men and women who gather monthly to compare notes and swap stories of their best treasure finds over the last month, as well as organize formal hunts a few times a year.

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A few Saturdays ago was the annual fall hunt with the club…something Toby always looks forward to. The hunt keeps him out of the house all day as club members participate in a series of hunts, searching out buried treasure hidden by members of the club earlier in the day. Toby always returns home a bit sore from all the up and down movement that comes with an all day hunt, but with a smile on his face, eager to show off his haul.

Tyler is always first in line to help Daddy sort and count his loot.

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Great Blessings

We would just like to thank you all for the outpouring of love and support you have shown our family and Ozzie during this hard season of life. We have felt the sustaining and strengthening power of many prayers and are happy to report Ozzie is doing better than we ever imagined. He is thriving. The results of the therapeutic support he is receiving is nothing short of miraculous and we are so proud of him and the hard work he is doing to heal. He will be starting EMDR therapy this week with a licensed EMDR therapist and I firmly believe this therapy, used with patients suffering from PTSD, will be the answer we have been seeking to unlock the memories of abuse at the hands of Ozzie’s birth mother and birth father, and open the door to begin healing from that trauma.

Family-Based Rocks!

Because Ozzie will be away for a few months, our Family-Based services are coming to a close. Family-Based is another layer of therapeutic support we implemented in hopes of helping Ozzie stabilize and heal at home. That was not God’s plan for Ozzie and our time working with Family-Based was short lived, but it served a purpose. I can now look back and see why God opened a door that closed so quickly after entering it. Our time with Lisa and Valerie was short but they provided support and resources that were key in helping our family heal…particularly in meeting the needs of the older kids who were dealing with their own trauma…trauma that comes as a result of adopting a child who had been abused and suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder. It was Valerie that introduced my older kids to the Ready Yourself Youth Ranch that they now volunteer at two mornings a week, helping with horses and learning the skills they need to become mentors at the ranch.

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Last week was our last home visit from our Family-Based team. They brought cupcakes to celebrate and a craft project for the kids to do while they talked and helped the kids process the muddy mix of emotions everyone is struggling with since Ozzie left.

They painted river rocks together. In our area there is a fun movement taking place that involves painting rocks, tagging them with #beavercountyrocks, sealing them and then hiding them around the county. Once found you can follow the travels of your rocks on Facebook as seekers take photos of your rock, post it, and then hide it in a new location.

The kids had fun painting their river rocks to get into the #beavercountyrocks game.

The results were fun and creative!

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Now, where to hide our rocks?!

Ukulele Adventures

For Molly’s birthday she received a ukulele from my parents. She has been toting it back and forth to co-op each week where her friend, Caleigh, has been giving her lessons. With all the toting back and forth Molly decided a case was in order. She found one online and used some of her hard earned money to purchase this charming panda themed case. Molly is thrilled!

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PSATs…BLAH!

Last Wednesday Molly and Rusty had their PSAT test. This test…preparation for next year’s SAT test, is just a sad testament to how old my babies are getting. I look at Rusty and Molly and can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we are creeping closer to college searches. Neither were particularly thrilled with taking the PSAT but were excited that they were able to test at our school’s new Pittsburgh location and see their Pittsburgh based teachers.

Tatum and Annaliese, two of Molly co-op friends, were also signed up for testing, so we volunteered to load up Big Bessie and take everyone down on Wednesday morning. Rather than have everyone drop off kids off at 6:30 in the morning, we just had the girls spend the night. It worked out well. They managed to take something they were all dreading and make it fun.

Earlier in the day Molly prepped the bus for their sleepover. She thought it would be fun to camp out in the bus, and I was thrilled to see the bus getting used after a summer of sitting dormant. Molly made the beds, carried out movies they could watch on the TV, and filled the fridge with snacks and drinks.

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I think the girls had fun,

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And everyone survived testing, although I think they would all say they are glad it is done and over with!

Rusty on the Road

Rusty is slowly and hesitantly embracing his role as a new driver. Being the third child I have taught to drive, I find it interesting how personalities shine forth in each child’s driving style. Rusty, who has always been extremely careful and conscientious, is a slow and steady driver. There is no speeding, law bending, or bone breaking moves with him behind the wheel.

Tyler must disagree, as he has taken to wearing safety gear when Rusty is behind the wheel. 🙂

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I fear the day it is Tyler’s turn to get behind the wheel. I think I may have to borrow that helmet!!

My Mini-Me

Grace is now a red head and I think she plans to stay that way. After years of bemoaning the fact that I ended up with three blondies, I finally have a redhead… thanks to L’Oreal!

I don’t know if it is the red hair or if the genetic connection has become more pronounced but I feel as though I now have a younger (and much cuter)  mini-me!

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My Buddy

Tyler is now my buddy. With Ozzie away and the older kids engaged in school, social activities, and work, it feels as though it is often just Tyler and I hanging out. Between therapy and tutoring appointments 5 days a week, we spend a lot of time on the road together or at the table together doing school. After a decade of juggling the teaching of 3-5 children their lessons every day, it is bizarre to have hours to spend working with just one. The older kids are so independent now that they only come to me when they need clarification or help with a question, which frees me up to work with Tyler all day…

and I must admit I’ve loved.

We have had a lot of fun delving deeper into subjects that interest him, seeking out fun science experiments and art projects to enhance his online school lessons, and having the time for weekly trips to the library. Here are some of his recent projects:

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The Monster Under the Bed

All of the one-on-one attention has been a blessing in other ways too. Tyler is struggling with monster sized fears, fears we are working to address in therapy. These fears are driven by the abuse he suffered as a small child and while he struggles to express the thoughts consuming him in his head I have been able to piece together the fact that they are trauma driven simply by where and when they are most prevalent. His PTSD seems to rear its ugly head after the sun goes down. Nighttime is scary time and his bedroom and the bathroom are the places he fears most. From his child profile I know that dark, closed places and the family bathroom are where most of the abuse took place, so it make sense that those are the places he fears most.

Miss Tina, our therapist, has been working with Tyler to help counteract the negative emotions connected to those locations with positive ones. We do this by making happy, light, funny memories in those locations. We play family board games on his bedroom floor, we have shaving cream battles in the bathroom….whatever we can think of to bring light and peace and laughter to a place that is dark and scary in Tyler’s mind.

One way we have done this is with the use of bathtub crayons in the shower. Bathtime is a nightmare with Tyler. He is terrified to shower or bathe. And knowing what was done to him in his birth family’s bathroom, I understand that. But we have to help him overcome that fear, so we bought some bath crayons, and enlisting the help of the other kids our shower wall has now become a message board for the kids. Tyler’s curiosity of what funny photos, messages and game boards have been drawn on the shower wall since his last bath has surpassed the fear of bathing (as long as we do daytime showers.) And I have LOVED reading the dialog back and forth. What an awesome way to battle a fear, encourage writing, and strengthen bonds between siblings, all in one swoop!

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Healing bonds via Snail Mail

Strengthening bonds has been a focus in all our family’s relationships this past month. We have all felt the polarizing affects of RAD and trauma after the last 8 months of being in crisis mode. This ongoing, escalated state has a huge effect on relationships and the family dynamic. Now that everyone is stable we are trying to begin healing the damage. One way we are facilitating that healing is through weekly letters between Ozzie and the other kids. Every Sunday they write him a letter which are then mailed out through the week. Ozzie then can write back and the kids can begin reconnecting again.

This week we did something different. We each did a handprint on paper using paint. When our handprints had dried we flipped them over and everyone wrote something they love or admire about Ozzie, using the line, “A high five for…”

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I then laminated our handprints and connected them with a metal ring as a special momento for Ozzie, allowing him to reach out and touch our hands whenever he feels lonely.

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Well, there you go…

A small snapshot of our ordinary, extraordinary life.

God is good!

 

Metal Detecting Christmas Party

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I am married to a treasure hunter.

Toby has a special gift of seeing treasure and value in places most people would walk by. He loves the hunt. Whether we are in an antique store, in a junk yard, or driving around town he is always on the lookout for the treasure hidden among the trash.

It is a gift, really. He sees the potential in what others would toss aside, often exclaiming, “We could do something with that.”

He has that same gift with people. He sees potential and worth where others see waste. He recognizes that there is worth in all things and that sometimes it just takes an investment of time and attention to make that object or person’s value shine forth.

He is a treasure hunter.

This drive for the hunt was further nurtured as a boy when his dad got him into metal detecting. It was a hobby they began together. Rich was also a treasure hunter, seeing the value and worth in things and people that others would toss aside. Toby inherited this beautiful trait from his father.

As a teen he and his father took this love of treasure hunting into the world of metal detecting. They both loved the sport and enjoyed collecting old coins. They signed up for competitive metal detecting hunts in addition to hunting for fun in their spare time.

In the early years of our marriage I have sweet memories of traveling out to Ohio to watch Rich and Toby compete in these hunts. The kids and I would sit on the sidelines with Joy and watch as the boys competed against other treasure hunters in hopes of finding the greatest treasures.

After Rich’s passing Toby stumbled across a club in our area of other treasure hunters. It was the Beaver County Metal Detecting Club. He joined and discovered a group of people much like his dad and himself…other metal detecting enthusiasts.

Toby is significantly younger than the other members in the club, but he enjoys camaraderie with this group. I think this this group of men remind him of his dad. He often expresses his wish that they had discovered this group when his dad was alive because Rich would have loved it.

They meet monthly at Kings restaurant where they eat dinner together, talk about their best treasure finds of the last month, share potential detecting sites, and plan their big competitive hunts of the year.

Then every December they have a club Christmas party.

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Thursday night was Toby’s annual Christmas Party for the Beaver County Metal Detecting Club…

and he invited me as his date. 🙂

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It was a lot of fun. We had a wonderful dinner and I had the chance to get to know some of his metal detecting buddies a bit better. It was a lot of fun to get out of the house without kids and enjoy a date night with my husband.

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After dinner they raffled off some coins and then had the gift exchange. Everyone was to bring a wrapped gift valued at $15.00. Everyone drew a number which then determined which gift was yours. Most of the gifts were coins or metal detecting themed.

This year Toby lucked out with an especially nice gift: A complete proof set of uncirculated coins from 2009. It was beautiful!

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It was a lovely night. We enjoyed our first Christmas party of the season.

I am grateful to be married to a treasure hunter,

and I’m especially grateful that 17 years ago he hunted me. 😉

It’s been a wonderful journey!