Thursday, July 31, 2008
I have absolutely LOVED living in Iowa. Maybe it's because I've moved so much in my life, but I never counted days till we could leave, I soaked up every bit of Iowa life that I could. I think Midwest life is great.
The past week I've been thinking about all the things I've loved about living here and I've complied a short list. Laugh now, because you will think this is not short. I know as soon as I click on the publish post button below I will think of 50 more items to add to my list.
Things I love about Iowa, in total RANDOM order:
1. Corn fields – one literally across the street from our house.
2. Big city, small town feel
3. Cheaper middle grade gas
4. Gage learned to identify the difference between an early stage corn field and soy bean field before the age of two
6. Downtown Farmer’s Market
7. Valley Junction Farmer’s Market
8. Adel Sweet Corn Festival (got to love free sweet corn!)
9. Indianola Hot Air Balloon Festival
10.State Fair – the largest in the whole country, I’ve never seen so much deep fried food before in my life!
11.Deep fried Oreo’s
13.Mall play places
14.Bridges of Madison County
15.Clark Tower – Winterset City Park
16.Birthplace of John Wayne
17.Field of Dreams – we never made it there, but wish we would have – it’s right here in Iowa!
18.Waukee Library, they know my name and my kids’ names!
19.West Des Moines Library
20.The cool sand box excavator at Centennial Park in Waukee, Iowa.
21.How green the state is – not talking the cool “environmental” type of green, but it’s that too – but how literally the state turns the color green each spring and summer
23.Raccoon River Park
25.“Warm” rain. The kind you can play in outside in
26.Storms that come and go so fast that literally one minute you can be soaked and the next minute they are gone and the sidewalk and pavement are already dry.
27.Free weather alert radios given away by Channel 13 at Hy-Vee. It only happens once a year, the other times they are (insert YAWN) sold
28.Hy-Vee grocery store – nice clerks, produce that rocks, and a great deli
29.Hy-Vee Chinese food
30.Drive up offered at grocery stores – your grocery cart has a number, they write that on your receipt and take your food to an outside door. You go to your car and “drive-up” and they load your car for you! Genius idea during bad weather or when you have little ones!
31.The fact that Noah was born here
32.Methodist Labor & Delivery all you can eat buffet. Yummy food, unlimited fountain drinks and Wade’s favorite part – all the store bought chocolate milk he could have!
33.State Capital building – pretty fun place to go walk around, see and talk to your kids about. Gage has walked every step outside and sat inside a statue of a cannon.
34.Botanical Center, I know most people will laugh when they read this and tell me I sound like a 80 year old Grandma but I think the place is really pretty and has a peaceful vibe. Totally reminds me of walking on temple grounds.
35.Jordan Creek Town Center. I swear we live only 5 minutes from the best mall in the entire state. They have fireworks, family fun nights, kid festivals, and all kinds of events.
36.Insurance, taxes and registration on our cars is WAY cheaper here
37.Traffic. I smile each time they have “traffic reports” and say there is slower traffic. Watch out, you might have a “GASP” 5 or 10 minute delay. They have no idea what “slower traffic” is apparently.
38.City programs, from scrapbook or gardening classes to Gage’s soccer class they all rock!
39.Ledge’s State Park
40.Shopping Outlets at Williamsburg, Iowa
41.El Monterrey Restaurant
44.The Learning Post, teacher supply store
45.Stores are never crowded M-F during school hours – most families have both parents working so don’t go after 5, but before 4 is GREAT shopping!
46.Christian rock radio stations, there are so many and they play great music!
47.Des Moines is central to just about anything: North 3 hours, Minneapolis, South 3 hours, Kansas City, South East 3 hours, Nauvoo, East 5 hours Chicago, West 2 hours, Omaha
48.Blank Park Zoo
49.Science Center of Des Moines
50.Living History Farms
52.Just about 15 minutes gets you anywhere in the city
53.Garage sales – you can find anything – and it’s good stuff, not junk!
55.Des Moines University
56.SAA – the significant other club at DMU
57.Water towers. Gage loves pointing them out and spelling the words on them.
58.Old farm houses – there was one that I loved to see right off busy Jordan Creek Parkway and it was so sad to me the day that it was put up for sale for commercial property
60.Christmas Lights at Waterworks Park, downtown
61.Downtown sky walks
62.Ice storms that make really cool ice formations outside
63.Appreciation I’ve developed for people who settled Iowa during the bitty cold winter months. Some of these people lived in sod huts and survived winters that I complain about from my nice heated house.
64.Books by Bess Streeter Aldrich (a Nebraska native, born in Iowa, who wrote about pioneering Midwesterners.) I totally recommend them, they make me love Iowa!
65.Crazy winds. I only thought Wyoming was that windy!
66.Cheap rent. The housing costs here are really so low compared to lots of other places around the nation.
67.The growth of the church. We’ve been here for 3 years and been in 3 different wards (congregations) all because of all the growth! I think it’s awesome!
68.Lunch bunch – every Wednesday play group for the past 3 years, Gage (and myself) will really miss it!
69.Ragbri – Iowa’s own little Tour De France. Fun to hear about and it was fun to watch the year it came through Des Moines
70.Christmas tree lighting at Jordan Creek Town Center
72.Fishing and sledding at the Pence’s
75.Free cookies at Homemakers Furniture, they aren’t hidden in the back corner of the store either, like stores in Utah – there are yummy, warm fresh backed Otis Spunkmeyer cookies right inside the front door.
76.Church history sites. Did you know there is a monument in Iowa at the spot that “Come, Come Ye Saints” was wrote? There are tons of stories from early Saints as they came through Iowa. I have a whole book of places to see and stories.
77.5 cents back for recycling cans. Gage loves helping me up cans in the machines and getting money for his piggy bank.
78.New Wal-Mart super center that doesn’t make you feel ghetto like the old one.
79.Our house. Largest and nicest apartment we’ve ever had – despite all it’s faults, it’s home to us and we love it.
81.No lines at the airport – even when there are lines, they are small – got to love small airports!
82.Christmas and Easter train at Valley West Mall. You can’t beat a ride on a train for a dollar to make your little boys day!
83.Streets that change name – it cracks me up I can be traveling on one road and go through an intersection and be on a whole different street name. (EP True Parkway turns into Railroad).
84.Young Women. I served in the youth group for our church for 2 ½ years while here. I love those girls!
85.The Heart of Iowa store – if you need a creative, unique gift, check out this store in Valley Junction!
86.Memorial and Labor Day BBQ’s with friends
87.General Conference on public TV. I love the fact that I can stay at home and watch the conference our church holds every 6 months. I never imagined I would be able to get it on public access TV while in Iowa. It’s great!
88.All the different golf courses – it’s almost like there is one on every corner
89.Our pediatrician. We weren’t sold on her at first but grew to love her. She made us feel so much better each time we had to see her after Noah’s seizures. After one of his seizures we even tracked her down to a different clinic she was working at on a Saturday. She was so helpful and glad to see us.
90.Pregnancy/New Mom parking. You can get a front row spot – it’s such a good idea!
91.15 minutes can get Wade downtown to school, 15 minutes can also get us outside town in the country to the perfect place we like to go to throw rocks in the river
92.Iowa Caucuses – so fun to be part of history!
93.Established families that we’ve met here. Not just student families, but the ones that live here. They’ve been family to us, great examples and we are going to miss them so much!
94.Humidity – love/hate relationship with this – at least it doesn’t leave your skin dry
95.Bank on every corner. If there is a church building on every corner in Utah, there is a bank on every corner in Iowa. Still haven’t figured it out, but it’s funny.
96.Happy Joe’s Pizza
97.DMU Winter Gala
98.Free wading pool at Valley Junction
99.Kite Flying (see #65)
100. Families we've met and friends we’ve made here. We’ll miss you all – and if you are around see you next May when we come back for GRADUATION!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
"I found a Dancing Long Legs! I found a Dancing Long Legs!"
I think this new name for Daddy Long Legs might go down in history right next to the Beaver comment from last summer. (click for story)
Monday, July 28, 2008
When we moved here Gage was 18 months old. He is now a big 4 1/2 years old and I can't believe it! Each night when I go check on them before bed I am amazed that he fills the twin bed we bought him at age 2, I still remember when he couldn't even fill the crib.
Late August 2005 (18 months) he was 30.5 inches tall
March 2006 (2 yrs) he was 32.5 inches tall
March 2007 (3yrs) he was 35.5 inches tall
March 2008 (4 yrs) he was 39.5 inches tall
Today (July 28, 2008) he measures 40 inches tall
Our lives were blessed with Noah our second year here. He was such a happy calm baby. He is still easy going and such a fun boy. He wakes up happy and talking to us each morning. Just Saturday he woke up saying "Daddy awake, Daddy awake." I can't believe how fast he has started to talk and use words, he even tells us that he is a "big boy" each day. He will turn 21 months the day after we leave the state.
November 3 2006 (birth-day!) he added 19 inches to our little family.
November 3 2007 (1 yr old) he was 27 inches tall
February 2008 (15 months) he was 28.5 inches tall
Today (July 28, 2008) he measures 32 inches tall
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I've been busy packing all day, but I've been busy thinking about my ancestors that were part of this movement. The people who sacrificed so much so I could have what I have now. I know this is a long, wordy post, but it's for my journal and for my mom, who of course, already knows these stories, but I thought it might make her day to see them posted on my blog.
My mom is a wonderful historian, she is the only living person in her immediate family left and does a wonderful job passing information on to us so we won't forget her heritage. In February she sent us all emails from a cousin of hers that had wrote some family histories. They included great stories and I wish I could post them all. (If you want to read more, I would love to send anyone these great stories!)
Since it's Pioneer Day I thought I would post some short excerpts about my Grandmother Jensen's mother, Ann Allan Paton Low. She was the mother of TEN children, the tenth being my grandmother.
Ann Allan Paton Low
1842 - 1905
Ann Alan Paton Low, daughter of James Paton and Jacobina Wills Osborne, was born October 19, 1842, in Dalkeith, which is a few miles southeast of Edinburgh, in Scotland. She was the second child of eight.
Her father was a clock maker by trade and soon after Ann was born the family moved to Kilmornock, Scotland.
Her parents embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1843 and began preparations to come to America..
Annie, as Ann was called, did her part in helping with the family expenses. At the age of 5 she worked in a factory stirring the dye pots. She had to walk some distance and often had to leave home before it was light. Older girls and women would take the little one by the hand and help her along as she would be scarcely awake.
Before the Paton family could have their dream fulfilled in coming to Utah, James Paton, the husband and father, died in the year of 1853 of what was then called the “white plague” ; a disease which had already taken 6 of the children of this family.
With the money gone to pay for burial expenses, the wife again set out to work and save and prepare to emigrate, but through a dishonest act of an Elder the money was used for other purposes. With her “scotch” determination, Jacobina, again set out to reach her goal of bringing herself and two children to Zion.
On April 22, 1855, Ann, her mother Jacobina, and her brother James, with other saints, sailed from Liverpool on the sailing vessel Samuel Curling, landing in New York one month later. Israel Barlow was the leader of this Company with 58l souls on board. It was on this same ship that Sylvester Low sailed and thus began the acquaintance which culminated in marriage. From New York. they traveled to Pittsburgh by rail, thence by steamboat to St. Louis, Missouri. At Atchison, Kansas they were outfitted for the trek across the plains.
Ann, a girl of not yet thirteen, walked the entire distance of over one thousand miles. The hardships of the journey were vividly implanted in her mind. She saw the herds of buffalo that stampeded their cattle, was aware of the births and deaths in camp; was hungry, thirsty, many days her feet were blistered and her bones ached with weariness. Yet, they reached the Valley safely, October 24, 1855. The company was in charge of Milo Andrus.
After arriving in Salt Lake City, Ann, went to live in bountiful with some saints, there she worked for her board and shelter. When her mother would occasionally walk out to see her, Ann, would cry and beg pitifully, “Tak me hame Mither, tak me hame to Scotland.”
After her mother, Jacobina, married Bishop Christopher Williams, Ann, went to live with them. She remembered well the supper she had the first night she was home. It was thistles thickened with bran. There was plenty of it but best of all it was eaten at home.
Food was scarce then because of the “grasshoppers”, and many came to Bishop Williams (3rd Ward) for relief. It was Annie’s proud duty to take the small feather duster and dust round the bin and in the corners for a bit more flour. She often bore her testimony though she had given it all before—yet, there was always a little more for the next person. She grew into a winsome young woman and had many suitors from youths to gray haired men, but her mother had told the young, man who had befriended. them, Sylvester Low, while on their ocean voyage, that he could have Annie for his wife.
On the 28th of February in 1858, Sylvester Low and Ann Allan Paton were married by Pres. Brigham Young, Milo Andrus acting as witness. Ann's wedding dress was a brown print, the material for the dress cost seventy-five cent a yard. She had two bed pillows which she had earned by doing house work. This was her trousseau.
She had little chance for a formal education, yet, her intellectual interest made her a seeker of knowledge. She was very fond of reading and urged her children to obtain knowledge. She did not speak with a Scotch accent. She knew the Bible.
She was a very modest woman, of a quiet retiring nature. She believed that “actions speak louder than word”. She was a very religious character and lived honestly up to her belief and often bore a strong testimony of her knowledge of the Gospel and the Goodness of God. She was a strict observer of the Sabbath day, and believed styles and fashions (extreme) were ungodly.
On Saturday the house was cleaned, food prepared, baths were taken, clothes checked, shoes polished and all things made ready for the Sabbath. And Sunday morning all went to Sunday School. One neighbor said, “S[iste]r. Low, I don’t know how you do it, you have a bigger family than I do, yet you have your work all done for I went and peaked in your window to see, and your dinner was cooking on the stove. How do you dit it?”
She died on December 13, 1905 after an illness which covered a period of ten years. Five of these years she was bedridden. Her patience and fortitude during this time was exceedingly remarkable. All of her life she has been an example worthy for her posterity to follow and all should be proud to carry on what she so nobly lived.
[This history was written in 1936]
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
I had moved my scrapbook cart into the living room so I could clean it and get it ready to be packed. The boys were playing with odds and ends that I would let them have when all of the sudden I looked up and saw Noah covered, and painting his whole body and the carpeted floor in red scrapbook paint.
Now, I know you are wondering, why would I let him have scrapbook paint in the first place? Well, he found it, and I didn't really think that he could get the lid open. Now I know.
I placed the paint splattered Noah in the kitchen sink and put Gage in charge of watching him. Gage thought it was gross that everything Noah touched turned red. I cleaned the carpet. Then moved to Noah. He was so sad that I had to wash off all his fun. It was everywhere on his body. This was probably the highlight of his day.
I do not think he is ready for finger paints.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
That being said, I do have to share an observation - or maybe I should say an "educational" experience I had this morning. (hope you catch my sarcasm)
Our door frames have problems. Have since day one. If you call maintenance every season they will come and replace weather stripping. Sometimes if I"m lucky, Wade will just fix it for us. Because of this problem we get water in our doors during storms. While I was packing this week I noticed some mold on the baseboards by our doors. I have tried cleaning it before and it always comes back, so this time I put in a maintenance request to see if they had any other options. The guy came today and replaced my door weather stripping. He then went and got some paint primer and sprayed the moldy baseboards.
Wow - I didn't know you could get rid of mold - kill mold, and not have mold come back by spraying it with paint primer. He looked at it and said, "Doesn't it look better? Now you won't have any more problems with it."
(it does look better, but you have got to be kidding me! I am super paranoid about mold after hearing about my sister in law's niece)
"Really?" I asked. "That will take away the mold?"
Who knew paint primer could do that, let's just be glad that I only have 14 more days in this apartment and if anyone happens to met the people that move in here, please let them know that they have mold growing on the baseboards, covered by some paint primer.
Now, I find myself heading to Washington State - land of the mold. I will take my trusty bottle of bleach water with me - the only thing I've known to kill mold in apartments. But...if I ever do find myself in a bind, perhaps I will call up the trusty friendly maintenance men back at Maple Grove and have them send a bottle of paint primer my way.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Dental Floss ..... free from dentist
Assorted Magnets ..... found around the house and in tool box
Monday, July 14, 2008
Totally worth checking out.
Friday, July 11, 2008
So - what do people mean when they say "Looks like you got your hands full." Do they think that my kids are acting like a bunch of crazies? I got this comment at least four times today at the store and the boys were on good behavior. No screaming, no spitting, no fighting. They were good.
Do they say that because they think I have a lot of kids? I only have 2. They aren't even that close in age - they are 3 years apart. Sometimes I want to borrow 8 more kids and go to the store with 10 kids in toe, just to hear comments. Really, 2 boys in the cart isn't that many.
Favorite part of the shopping trip today? Conversation at the check out:
Checker to boys: "How are you two doing today?"
Gage: "Our daddy left us."
Oh My Gosh! I turned bright red and was so embarrassed. I had to explain that my husband has been out of town this week but will be coming home tonight. I wanted to die!
As for a vacation I would like to take right now, I wish that Wade were with us and we could go camping as a family. I know it's nothing exotic, but it sounds relaxing to be by ourselves for a week - with no tv/traffic/noise and just let the boys run and play in the dirt, play some card games and eat some yummy camp food.
Ok - I usually don't tag people, but I want people to play (although half the people I know are living with family or on vacation right now!) I really want everyone to play though - so play, even if I didn't tag you! I tag: Dena, Amber N., Juliann, Sarah R. and Maury.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
1. The boys when they learn something new - Gage when he learns something hard and finally gets it, or memorizes something hard that he has been working on. And Noah -it seems like he learns something new every day. Each day he says new words right now, Sunday it was "yea" for yes (SO cute!) and yesterday he said "ketchup" over and over during dinner!
2. Hearing and seeing Wade get excited about what he is doing. It's so fun to hear him when he calls each night and is excited to tell me what he has been doing every day at the hospital.
3. Reading a good book - finishing a good book makes me a little sad, but I love being in the middle of one.
1. Being alone, but I'm working on this one. In fact, seeing a movie by myself is something I would have never wanted to do a year ago, but right now sounds just about right!
2. Something happening to Wade so I would have to support our family - I know I could provide a good living financially for our family if I had to go back to work, but I would be so sad every day leaving my kids. I have been so blessed to be able to stay at home with them and I hope I never have to willingly give that up.
3. Something happening to my kids. I would be so sad without my crazy boys in my life. As much work as it is to be a stay at home mom, the past 4 1/2 years have been the most rewarding. I am so sad that Gage is getting closer and closer to school age!
1. Get back on track with my Book of Mormon reading. It's true it only takes a few days to break a habit but at least 30 days to form one. I'm working...
2. Be patient - especially with Gage. He is having such a hard time with Wade gone and the upcoming move.
3. Scrapbook, finish a quilt, update My Reading Spot, read some books, pack my house, do it all in the next 3 weeks.
3 Current Obsessions
1. I'm really into these scrapbook page kits I found in Utah. I found them all over there - I wish we had stores like that here in Iowa. I hope they have some good stores in Washington.
2. Digital scrapbooking - love the idea, but I don't want to ever fully convert. I want someone to teach me how to make easy scrapbook pages with PhotoShop Elements - any takers?
3. naps. Since I've been back in Iowa I take one every day when the boys do. I don't get as much done every day, but it helps me get to the boys bedtime with more patience.
3 Random Surprising Facts About Yourself
What do you not already know about me? This is hard. I'm not feeling creative today.
1. I play 3 musical instruments - the piano, trumpet and baritone. One of my goals is that by this time next year I will finally be able to buy a piano, because we'll have a job - and hopefully a house!
2. I became an Aunt for the first time when I was 10 years old.
3. I like going to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. I just went yesterday. As long as there is no major work going on, I love the feeling right after your teeth are clean. So nice - I always schedule it, every 6 months.
I tag anyone who wants to play or that needs something to blog about - it's fun, play along!
Monday, July 07, 2008
He talked about missionaries and how he can prepare to be one. One great missionary that he thought of was Samuel. If you don't know about Samuel you can read the story by clicking here.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Introducing my new nephew, Daniel Jacob! I am so excited. Daniel was born on Monday at 7:22 am. He weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and is 22 inches long. We all waited and waited all week, but last night my sister and her husband were able to sign the adoption papers and bring him home.
I am so excited for my sister Jenny. I can't wait to see the little guy in person and squeeze those cute chubby cheeks of his! I know they will be great parents. Congratulations guys!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I got this from a friend Kelly's blog. I thought it would be fun! I hope you will play along. Here are the directions:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Hope everyone is having a great week!