July 07, 2008

Goodbye Hawkeye

For those of you who are not aware, Iowa is the hawkeye state. Iowa City is especially steeped in the black and gold spirit since it's the home of the U of I Hawkeyes. I recall as students when we lived here 10 years ago being shocked by the amount of hawkeyes you see everywhere. Everyone seems to be a fan. I mean everyone! What a sense of community that brings. And on game days the streets are completely void of traffic during game time. If you walk your dog around the block and there's a touch down or some other exciting play, cheers can be heard from inside all the homes at one time. If you should choose to go anywhere near the Kinnick stadium on a game day- good luck getting back. Iowans are true to their team. I will miss the feeling of going about my non-hawkeye business on a game day. There's just a lot of excitement in the air and me- likey!

There is just something about the people here that is enchanting. They are unassuming, relaxed, easy-going, chatty folks. Many of them are obese, although more and more I see them in good shape as well. I will state for the record that I felt overweight in Korea, but here I feel skinny a lot of the time. That's another reason to like Iowa in my book. The flooding here and how folks have reacted and helped one another out is a real testimony of their good hearted nature. No looting, no letting this thing lick them, they are getting back to work and helping each other out.

Troy and I have been blessed to have been here 2 times. Troy had someone at church today come up to him and say "so when will we be seeing you here the next time?" If it weren't for the horrible weather we'd be back as soon as the army would let us out. But this was one of the worst winters on record, and the spring storms have made 500 year history- so we'll just be saying our good byes now. You can't beat the people though. They will be missed. Good bye Hawkeyes!

July 04, 2008

Tables Turned

Well recently had a visit from my parents. They stopped by on their motor-home tour of many sites. I will admit that I was somewhat worried how my kids would behave in front of them since our last experience visiting them in Utah ended up with me in tears. Let's just say that my relationship with my step mom can sometimes be strained, and I always feel like she is silent-note taking about how wrong I am doing everything. On occasion my Dad will also tell me where he sees room for improvement. Not that some of that isn't okay, but tactfulness isn't a strong point with my Dad, and there have been many meals at their home where I dread how my Dad will react when the kids won't eat their food. I still have scars from my childhood memories of sitting at the table all night because I refused to eat something on my plate.

But one thing I found delightful about the visit (aside from having my father around for a few days-which was in fact nice), was that the picky eater(s) at the table were not my kids, but my Dad instead. No room to be critical when a certain 79 year old at the table wouldn't touch his grilled vegetables at one dinner and at another meal he totally shelled the stuffed pepper out and ate only the meat inside. I was bold enough to suggest that he can never agian tell me my kids are picky if he won't eat vegetables at my dinner table. Mission accomplished.

So, enjoy (if you can-it's kinda awful) this video of Dad and JoAnn singing an old time family favorite song that eventually made Big Girl cry. So much for not feeling judged by my child's strong willed behavior.

It's a good thing T's parents are always telling me how great I am at everything to balance it out.

July 03, 2008

Winding down ramble...

Well, our time in Iowa is winding down. Our movers are coming on the 7th, 8th and 9th. We officially are now closing in on the 2nd, so it's time to start eating all the frozen goods in the freezer (I had my share of frozen mint chocolate chips today- too lazy to bake cookies with them and it was also way too humid today). Speaking of humidity- there was a tornado warning in the area today. That's what a sudden surge of humid air will do, combined with other things I am sure. We heard the sirens and went to the basement without much enthusiasm. It's hard to get too worked up anymore. Natural disasters seem to be common place around these parts. I still haven't posted photos of the flood-sorry. As the water recedes and the roads open up to traffic you can see the damage caused by the flooding to places you used to go. I can see the faces in my mind of people who work at these places and it breaks my heart. I was tearing up today trying to take pictures while driving when I came back from the Amana Colonies.

On a totally different subject, the real estate company called and wanted to do a showing today. It's the 3rd in 4 days. Today I had other plans frankly. Trying to get ready for our move causes all kinds of chaos in the house that doesn't gel well with having strangers come through and peek at my house while I am away. It also doesn't do much for my overall mood towards my mess-making children. Especially when they do silly things like bring in greenery from outside and just randomly rip it up all over the place in the stairway going downstairs. Can you guess that it was the same child who ripped up his popsicle stick and left it on my bedroom end table? When I made him go throw it away, he decided the bathroom sink was the appropriate spot. "Calgon-take me away!"

Another son did finish his basket for a merit badge in 'basketry' which makes perfect sense. I was proud. It's the small things that can turn you around on a day like today.