|Just had to throw this one in because it was so cute.|
Besides being so far from family (which is a big one) the things that have been the biggest adjustments have been:
1. No Mountains. I didn't realize how accustomed I was to them until we moved out here. It is really disorienting to be without them. In Utah you always know which way is East because you can see the mountains wherever you are. Out here everything is flat and full of corn and so it is so easy to get turned around. The first week we were here I got lost on the interstate and ended up driving in exactly the wrong direction for almost an hour before I realized that I didn't recognize any of the town names. It took me nearly three hours to get home because I couldn't figure out which direction I needed to be going! I am getting better at navigating without mountains, but I do miss them.
2. High utilities. I have been shocked at how much our water and our electricity bill are here. The electricity I can almost understand because we have been running our air conditioner often, but the water bill is crazy. This month our water and sewer bill was $150. We don't water our lawn here and so that is just for household water! I thought that there had to be something wrong, that maybe we had a leak or something, but our neighbor said that her bill is usually around $200 a month for water and sewer. It is just so ironic to me that out here where water is much more plentiful it costs SO MUCH more than when we lived in the desert. From what I can gather the reason that water is so much more is because it costs so much to treat it. I guess that all the fertilizer that runs off of the farmer's fields pollutes the ground water and rivers and makes clean water harder to come by than out west. And according to the guys at Jon's work the farmer lobby is so strong here that it would take a lot of people complaining to get things changed. Maybe I should start complaining.
3. Lots of bugs. As I was spraying myself down with bug spray the other afternoon I joked to Jon that it was "Iowa perfume." There are lots of bugs, mosquitoes, flies, gnats, more flies, and more mosquitoes. It is a bit annoying. But I guess the flip side to that is that there are also fireflies. Which are just about pure magic.
|Totally enthralled with the fireflies|
Speaking of bugs and magic. Our trees are full of cicadas. Cicadas hibernate for 11- 12 year stretches and this year is suppose to be the year when they hatch out. I haven't actually seen one yet but every five minutes or so our yard buzzes with a strange metallic sound coming from the tree tops.
It is really the most amazing sound I have ever heard. If you don't know what I am talking about you can watch this video, it sounds just like our backyard.
The sound just doesn't even seem natural. Almost like there are aliens invading our backyard or something. It is bizarre!
Sometimes living here feels like we have moved to a whole different country.
I think we might have a bit of a chicken obsession going on at our house. My kids spend at least one or two hours a day outside playing with them. They take them on walks, push them in the swing, tell them stories, sing them songs, and chase them over and over and over again.
|Asher our "chicken whisper"|
The other day we pulled up to our house after being away for a few hours and discovered that our yard was COVERED in chickens. In addition to our nine chickens there were about 15 new chickens running around. I guess that Jon had told a friend we would take a few of their extra chickens and they just dropped them off in our yard while we were gone. It was crazy chicken chaos.
And Asher was in heaven. He jumped out of the car and immediately spied a small black chicken with feathers on its feet. "OH, OH, OH," he screamed, "It's just so, so.... CUTE!" And off he went chasing it around the yard. I'm afraid it hasn't been left alone since.
Our homeschool is still going strong. The kids have really been loving the "Sing, Spell, Read, Write" curriculum and I am so impressed with how well they are learning their letters. Asher especially has been doing great. He didn't show any interest in letters or reading before we started a few weeks ago and now I find him trying to sound out words and sounds all the time! It is really kind of exciting.
We also did a "Me on the Map" activity that Asher loved. He really got into drawing maps of where we live. They also learned our address so, as Asher said, "If we ever get picked up by a police man we won't be lost."
Jon's summer work party was at the Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University. They have the most wonderful butterfly house (and lots of good butterfly activities and resources on their website). We had been to the gardens before (when we first moved here) but the kids loved it just as much the second time. I was impressed at how much they remembered about butterflies. It was also sweet to see them walking around with their magnifying glasses.
I think she's getting the basic idea, right?
We also just finished reading "Charlotte's Web" and it happened to coincide with our county fair. The kids were excited to go and see if they could find Wilbur, Charlotte and Templeton.
They didn't, but they did see the pigs get a bath which was fun.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
I think we are off to the pool tomorrow to try to see if we can get this baby inside of me to flip around. She is breech right now, and has been for a few weeks. I've heard that breech babies sometimes turn if you do handstands in the water. I figure it can't hurt!