Thursday, 29 September 2011

Life in Grant Iowa

I should take a closer photo of my house, but this is all I have that's decent looking. This is from the front yard, with my grass 'sea'. Our house was built in 1917, & was a typical 4 Square style - 4 rooms up, 4 rooms down. It was remodeled some in the 70's. We bought it 2 years ago as a foreclosure for $19,000. We have 3 lots. The yard is huge, & we also have a 2 bay shop, with doors large enough to pull a semi into. We are the block. We have neighbors across the street, but it's on the yard side & the yard is huge, so they're not close. To the east of us is a grassy pasture lot & to the north & west of us is fields. When we first looked at the property it was so overgrown with weeds & trees you could barely see the house. The grassy 'sea' used to be a house years & years ago I'm told. There's still cement down in the ground, so we just let the grass grow there for now. We have to re dig our septic some time soon, & it has to go on that side of the house, so the yard will be getting torn into at that point. The house really needs the exterior done. The floors are not the greatest, but we tore out all the carpets & they are still the original hard wood. I really want to carpet the stairway & the upstairs at least. We have a wondeful fireplace in the living room, with bookshelves on each side. The folks that lived here from the 60's - 90's built them & my kitchen cupboards with hand hewn (is that the right word?) walnut, I believe from this property.

------------------> Our "Main" street. The post office is the first building on left with car in front of. It's on the list of potentially being shut down due to budget cuts. It's the only building on Main street that functions as anything. The building next to it, as well as the white building on the right are both 1910 buildings & are empty. Not sure what the brick building ever was. We only have one paved road, & that's the old highway that runs down the middle of town.

-------------->This is The Hayloft, our restaurant/bar owned by our 67 yr old mayor, Zelda. She's usually the only one working the place, but does have a couple employees for the weekends. The four of us can eat there for about $20 any day or night. Every other Sat. night she does her homemade fried chicken & fish buffett. The place is usually packed those nights. The inside is like some antique/taxidermy/flea market type place. Everywhere you look is something unusual.

So yeah..that's my town..seriously. There are more old empty buildings. We do have a Methodist church. It could probably seat 100 people max. Years & years ago the town had a school, car dealership, gas station, meat market, grocery store, hardware, implement dealer, vet, etc. Our population now is 102 & I think I counted 32 homes on our last walk. The town is 4 blocks x 4 blocks! We're 15 minutes from a small town grocery, 25 minutes to a Walmart. Which isn't too bad, but it can suck in Iowa winters. Grant sort of reminds me of Radiator Springs in Cars. The new highway didn't go through town, so the town dried up. Old highway 71 was a small, 2 lane with 'curbs' on the edges, & it goes right thru the middle of town. In the 60's when they widened the highway, they couldn't thru here since the properties were right up the the road. So, they curved out & around town. They only curved out of town by 2 blocks, but it still reminds me of Cars...but then, most small Iowa towns are drying up like ours anyway. I happen to live smack dab in the middle between the old & new highway. Right now I can't see the (new) highway traffic because we have a field of corn in between us & it, but once they harvest it, we can see the traffic. And then the deer will really be coming out of the timber just across the highway. Last year we had deer in our yard lots of mornings. They like to graze the newly harvested corn field, then bed down in our grassy 'sea'.

That's all for today, not too exciting around here.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I'm sitting here in the house alone with just Conlan...& he's sleeping. I find myself thinking about what life would be like with just him & it would be sooo quiet & maybe boring? Clay will be 13 in a month & I can hardly remember it just being him & I home alone. Dh worked pretty long hours at the mall, so it usually was just us most days (& lots of evenings alone too). I can see the difference in Conlan's personalilty compared to Clay's at this age. Conlan is so outgoing & adventuresome & talkative, happy, & I attribute that to having his older siblings around. Clay was pretty quiet at this age..& definately not as adventuresome! Then Jocelyn came & she was a sweetheart little girl & loved all girlie things! What a difference there is between boys & girls from the moment they're born! I get a kick out of new parents that say they'll never buy their baby boy a toy gun or sword. I just think to myself "great plan...but when they're old enough, they'll just make one out of a branch, wooden spoon, etc...whatever they find!" And it's funny how little girls are so drawn to dolls, soft stuffed animals, etc.

Today's my baby sister's birthday..she's 25. Her daughter will be 11 after Christmas & has planned a surprise party for her Friday evening. :) Pretty sweet for an 11 year old! I think back to what a small town scandal it was when Sarah got pregnant...but I can't imagine life without my neice! She's Jocelyn's best friend.

Sarah, Naudia, & I in April

Sarah & Conlan last month.

Our middle sis, Laura. She's 31 & a vet tech. She's the sis that is due with boy/girl twins Nov. 14. So..she's pretty big now & I don't have any photos of her preggo. Might try to take one Friday night at Sarah's surprise party.

Laura & my Dad at Yellowstone 2 summers ago

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Game Day!

------>Conlan wonders what sissy is


Game Day!

Pretty quiet day for us. I still need to put photos of the town & my house on here. We did our usual home school schedule, the kids work around our dining room table. Jocelyn is always first & does her 4th grade work, then Clay does his 7th grade stuff. Our everyday subjects are math, reading, Bible. The kids & I go to a Community Bible Study on Thursday mornings. I teach a group of 2-3 year olds, & the kids go to an elementary class. Clay is also in confirmation this year at our church & goes every Weds. after football. Once or twice per week we all sit & read Science - this year we're alternating between learning about Oceans & Anatomy/Physiology. Weird to combine the two I know. But, Oceans/Sea Life is dd's favorite, so we read from that once in awhile instead of learning about our bodies. History we're learning in sort of an 'unschooling' way...we're watching a historical documentary once or twice a week, then going off of it & studying more of whatever it was about. I really need to get a better structured history curriculum, but right now this works for the kids' interests. We do standardized testing every year, & they've always scored high in everything, so I think what we're doing is working so far. Jocelyn does go to public school every Wedsnesday morning 9:45-10:45 for 4th grade Art. She loves arts & crafts. Clay goes to school everyday at 2:30 for 7th grade football. He rides the bus home. We had a game tonight at a town 45 minutes away. They lost by 4 touchdowns. They haven't won a game yet. :( But..he's having fun, so that's the main thing.

I really suck at getting the photos where I want them. Anway..this is Clay! ----->

This is also our homecoming week, so the kids are looking forward to going to the game Friday night.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Read this only when you have time or are already bored :)

Hi ladies!

Let me take you on the brief journey of tidbits of my back a galaxy far, far away...oh wait, I grew up only 15 minutes from where I live. Nevermind. Cue the Little House on the Prairie music...that's maybe more like it. That was my mom's favorite show of all time. Exactly why my sister is named Laura. I'm the oldest of 3 girls. I was 6 when Laura was born, 12 when Sarah was born. (there's 12 years in between my boys as well) Mom stayed home, cloth diapered us, packed me around in a back pack carrier, but didn't nurse any of us. Dad worked for a local grain elevator driving semi. We lived 2 miles from town, had horses, goats, chickens, etc & my hometown only has pop. 1000. So it was pretty quiet as most small towns in Iowa are. The farthest I've lived from home is a year in college in Des Moines, 90 miles from home.

Mike & I started dating in Spring 1990, my junior year. Gads that makes me feel old. Cue the old lady music. He was a freshman, I needed a date for jr. prom, he was a friend of my cousin's..I thought we'd go to prom & that would be it. Yeah..we stuck together for whatever reason & were married in June 1994. Insert wedding march music. My mom had died from cancer in April of that year. Looking back I can't believe how selfish I was actually going ahead & getting married so soon. My sisters were 8 & 14 - they went from losing mom & me moving out within 2 months. My dad has never remarried. My sister Laura is due Nov. 14 with boy/girl twins, & baby sis Sarah has 2 kids, Naudia was born when she was 15..that was a scandal in our small town, oyvey! And Tyson is 5. Laura & Sarah live right across the alley from one another in town. Sarah actually lives in my Grammie's house & will be Laura's sitter when she goes back to work after having the twins. My dad lives on the farm directly across the road from where I grew up.

I feel like I should cue some epic movie type music cuz this is turning out long. is everything to me. Dh's fam all live around here too. He's the middle of 3 boys. His mom & dad live on their family farm just outside of town & have the produce business. His mom's a nurse too. Younger bro Bob & his wife have a 3 yr old girl & a 9 month old boy, so the two little Amos cousins are soo cute together! Older bro Jeff & his wife are the parents of Kayleen, who we lost last month, & also 11, 14, 16 yr old girls & live just 3 miles from us. I could go on & on with backstory, but I will save some for later this week.

Dh Mike with the Amos boys. Conlan (11/17/10) on right & nephew Gunner 12/14/10) on right. We both call our little guys it's funny when we get together :)

More on the journey tomorrow..maybe some exciting photos from our metropolis of a town!

Monday, 5 September 2011

70* weather, yes please!!

We decided since it was soooo freaking nice out to have a picnic at the park! We went to a park with swings too (the ones near our house don't have swings and Brayden is deprived) It was cool out and we wore jeans.......I love fall and hope these temps stick around. Clara watchin brother swing

Dad being a monkey

I love this pic of them

Clara swinging for the 1st time=)

Bray pushing his sister

Clara on the playground

Bray on the toddler alligator

Be still my heart

My cute guys

And my cute girl

At the castle

This used to be a natural spring well house, but they replaced that ugly thing with a whimsical castle that is full of art!



carved bridge and bray investigating the creepy crawlies

up high

Full view of the castle and the back of bray

That gate is where the spring is....locked tight

And when we got home the boys washed daddy's car

Such a good helper

I wanted to be in a pic with the boys and this was the best way

So it was a busy day, but a good family day. Clara took her nap in the carseat and I laid down for a few minutes too. Now I have to do some grocery shopping and then later go on a low humidity run!!! Yea. After seeing all these pics of myself Im pretty disgusted at my body.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

READ ME YO: University of Arkansas

Back story:

My dad was in the air force and always wanted to retire in Arkansas because his best friend lived in Little Rock. Well, he decided to follow a woman (post divorce) to Florida and thats where he stayed (not with that woman) Anyway, I chose the UofA because I thought he was moving to AR. I visited, auditioned for a music scholarship, got said scholarship and viola, UofA student. So the month before school started he accepts a job with MacDill AFB in Tampa and I packed my whole room into boxes....some labeled AR and some labeled FL.

I was in band, played clarinet and was a music major (for a whole year) Stayed in marching band bc it was soooo much fun. Alot of work, but soo fun!! I pledged Alpha Delta Pi that spring of my freshman year and live there the next 3 years. Everyday on my way to class I passed by the horticulure display gardens and this lovely Bike Bike Canoe Rack. We always joked about jumping in the canoe and paddling to class. No idea why.....really, but its hilarious!

On the beginning of our adventure. We invited Dammaw and Bobop (aka bryan's parents) along.

Greek Theatre

Pep rallys are held here and there were a few ppl studying here today. They show movies here too.

Just one of many inscriptions

Bray found a noise maker left over from the pep rally Saturday and was performing the Cookie Song by Laurie Berkner for everyone.

This used to be my favorite tree.....until the ice storm of 2009=(

It's pitiful now, poor cypress.

Bray on the branch

On the steps of Old Main, the first building associated with the U of A when it was a land grant university back in 1876.

It's big

The Family

My fat rolls and the kids (cuz that's all I see) I thought I looked okay today and then I saw this picture=(

Hence the reason I'm now jogging 3x a week.

Long sidewalk to the front steps of Old Main

The north clocktower

Legend has it that it is taller because the builder wanted the south to be reminded of who won the war. It house a bell that chimes on the hour and at noon plays the Alma Mater.

Carnal Hall Inn

Was the first girl's dormatory that was a scary building when I went to school there, but they redid that bad boy and now it's a 5 star restaurant and hotel. Had my bridal portraits there. Here's me and Bray!

Kids on the porch

Me and the girl

Fulbright Peace Fountain

My first senior walk engraving! It is my

maiden name and I was married a week later!!

BSA Horticulture 2004

My second engraving. I went back to get a masters in teaching, married of course.

Masters in the Art of Teaching, 2006

Here's Bryan's

BA in Accounting/Finance 2007

I have this presh video of Bray saying daddy's name as he's dragging his finger over Bryan's name he says, "Daaaaaaaady"......but Flipshare is being dumb so I'll have to mess with it tomorrow=(

Here's Bray and I in front of the ADPi house and yard signs. Miss thise days........

The End

for now........