First Food

Red letter day - we fed Angelina her first solid food today - mashed banana. She ate it up like a pro! :)




Me and the girls....





Just a cute shot of Angelina :)



Be praying for us - the plan is to demo the kitchen tomorrow.



 Pigtails!



Well, you work with what you have!



 Newton's out, Des Moines's back in

Well, after narrowing down the playing field of houses and comparing our top choices in Des Moines and Newton, we have made the decision to not look at houses in Newton. One of the reasons we were drawn there (besides the small town lifestyle) is because there were so many houses that were cheaper than Des Moines. However, the two cities are in two different counties, and apparently there are higher property taxes in Newton. Unless we buy on the lower end of the Newton housing market, we won't actually be saving money over Des Moines b/c of the higher tax rate. And if we buy on the lower end, we get less house and the commute to Des Moines to save roughly $50 a week. Not worth it.

Goodbye Newton - Hello Des Moines!


 Our Little Helper

Trinity has a new passion - it's washing dishes. The only problem with this is she gets very upset when there are no more dishes to wash!








 The pieces just keep falling in place...

It sure seems like God is orchestrating things for us with this move. We found out Saturday night from David's parents that his mom's salon is probably going to be shutting its doors to business this June. It was funny because Friday night David was talking to me about how he wondered if his mom might want to buy his business. Then Saturday we find out she's most likely going to be out of a job in June - what a coincidence.

David talked to his mom this morning about it and she is very much interested in taking over his business. They talked about having her start coming in on her days off in May so he can introduce her to the clients and start preparing for the transition. It's also a coincidence that monetarily this is a good time for them too - they are in the process of getting a home equity loan, so they would have the funds readily available to buy the business.

So far the only thing that has been a bummer is we found out that just this morning an offer was made on that beautiful boarding house we were already falling in love with. Just a little reminder to remain flexible as we go through this process. :) There are plenty of other charming homes in Newton and I am sure that we will find just the right one.

That's the latest and greatest.


 Snow!

Well, Mary Jeanette sent us this nice little link to give us a taste of what we can expect if we make the transition to Iowa. Brrrrrrr.... just looking makes me cold! ;)


Here are some pictures of one of the houses we are going to look at in Newton. David and I are pretty partial to it already. It was built in 1920 and it used to be a boarding house. It is 2256 sq ft, 4br, 3ba, a corner lot that is almost 1/4 acre, central air, a basement and a third floor that is unfinished. It's listed at $72,ooo. I like that it still has doors to the different rooms so in winter you can just shut off rooms and live in a smaller space without having to heat the whole house.


front of house

stairway

lvingroom1



livingroom2



diningroom

kitchen



 "Is this heaven?" "No, it's Iowa"

That is a quote from the movie Field of Dreams. David and I are going to go find out for ourselves if Iowa can be a little piece of heaven for us. We are looking at moving to a small town 30 minutes east of Des Moines. Housing is cheaper, cost of living is lower, but wages are reportedly above average for the country in Des Moines.

Newton is the name of the town that we are interested in specifically. It seems like a nice place, with a Walmart - couldn't live without them! Costco is in West Des Moines, a 45 minute drive away. The library offers story time for the kids and has DVDs for checkout just like we are used to here in Arizona. It just seems like a great place to raise our girls.

To add to all of that, I went on craigslist to find someone listing from Newton to potentially ask for some local info. I found an ad from a woman looking to sell her 2 chair salon business for $15k which she said you will make $50k easily the first year. This was exciting for two reasons.

1. The most obvious is that David could buy her business and have an immediate clientele and be working right in town rather than commuting to Des Moines.
2. It made us realize that David has a commodity in his salon that he can sell as well.

So, we can sell David's clientele for $15k, buy the Newton salon for $15k, and make the move rather easily. We are planning on driving out to Newton on March 26th and come back the31st. There are quite a few homes we will be looking at while we are there ranging in price from $57k-$110k, which fit our criteria of 3br, 2ba, minimum 1500 sq. ft. We will also be meeting with the owner of the salon for sale and seeing how that looks.


This will also be the second time we have been away overnight from Trinity and the first away from Angelina. I know it will be hard, but we will have so much to see and do and decisions to make that I think I will manage.


Well, that's what is happening with us right now. I am spending my time cleaning out the closets, paring down our belongings by selling on craigslist and donating to Goodwill, and trying to keep Trinity entertained while I accomplish it all! We have quite a few home projects to get done before we can list our home, the largest one being the kitchen remodel. (gasp!) Please keep us and all the decisions ahead of us in your prayers!