The great Midwest has embraced the Downin three into its abundance of adventure, soft grass, and promise of opportunity! God blessed us with safe travels up to our new hometown and with our family who are housing us as we search for a place that we can call home. The adjustment phase to living in Iowa has been a pleasant one.
Diesel has jumped in head first and now has a new buddy to play with. Our friends, the Schreiers, adopted a sweet puppy named Marvin who Diesel loves to play with! It hasn’t been easy finding a dog that could match Diesels endless energy, but Marvin definitely gives Diesel a run for his money. They had their first play date recently and ran each other ragged!
When Diesel isn’t busy draining his energy with Marvin, you can find him running around the yard with our darling nice Jade who has taken the biggest liking to her furriest new house guest. It has been so wonderful watching how much Jade has grown up. My heart glows with warmth just thinking about the amazing woman she will become and the specific plan God has for her. For now, it’s just fun watching her deeply enjoy childhood and live carefree.
As for my amazing parents in law, I have been enjoying every minute I get to spend with them and my other Iowan family members. Its been so helpful to have their support during our transition back to Iowa. With my mother in law’s help , I’ve been learning all the good shopping places for clothes, groceries, and home décor. She also drove me all the way to my interview and waited in the car for an hour and a half till it was over. I’m so grateful that she did because after that interview I needed some extra emotional support!
If you’re wondering readers, the interview with Des Moines Christian School was pretty intense. Good, but super nerve-wracking. Everyone at the school was just wonderful! They made me feel at ease as soon as I came in. The anxiety from the interview came from being asked questions in front of a panel. All the teachers and specialists I met were so kind and even prayed for me before we began the questioning process, but I stumbled to find the words I was looking for and paused frequently. As a perfectionists , this was clearly not okay with me and I was determined to show them I was capable of teaching through the mini-lesson in math they asked me to come up with. I set up for my math mini-lesson in the same conference room that I just had my interview in. I decided to do a lesson on parts of a whole for a third grade position in the school. I had a word problem up on the board that read, “Mrs. Downin wants to share her Hershey bar with all of her students. What fraction of the Hershey bar will each student receive?” On each section of the conference table where the students sat, I put a bag filled with a cup of play dough, an unwrapped Hershey bar, and a toothpick. As five selected third graders made their way into the room, one of the boys remarked, “This doesn’t look like a math lesson.” I was very happy to hear that because I like to incorporate different modes of learning and manipulatives into all the subject areas. As I went through the word problem with them I had them take out their candy bar and use it as a manipulative to solve the problem. However, the pace at which the students understood was through the roof because in only two short days they would be out for the summer and therefore have learned every concept. I struggled until the activity section where the students rolled a fraction dice and whatever fraction the dice landed on was what they needed to show me by rolling out their play dough into a pancake shape and cutting into it by using a toothpick. All I know is that it’s in the Lord’s hands. Whatever the outcome, God is still faithful.Speaking of, Thomas has been doing exceptionally well in his new position at Bankers Trust and is continually encouraged in his day to day training and absorption of new employee material. The Mr. is one hard working man and I know that if I were to walk into a bank I’d want hubby as my teller. God is using his jovial spirit and dedicated work ethic to bring glory to His name. We are so grateful for the position that he’s been placed in. In terms of being “placed”, Thomas and I have fallen in love with an Ankeny Ranch House and are in the process of trying to make an offer on it.Not only is this ranch house of our dreams located to all of our loved ones in Ankeny, but it’s also close to Thomas’ workplace and several surrounding elementary schools! We believe we could live in this home for years and years and grow into it as we establish a family. It is a three bedroom three bathroom home with a beautifully open floor plan.Right from the moment you walk in through the entry way, you can see straight to the backyard past the kitchen and living room with a cozy fireplace (Diesels favorite Midwest napping spot). The high ceilings and beautiful wood flooring add a charm and sophistication that we greatly enjoy.
Then there’s the kitchen. Beautifully hung white cabinetry adorn the walls with updated appliances and a sturdy granite countertop. Kohler faucets and sinks come standard throughout the home and have actually gotten me excited to do the dishes! However, our friends gave us some pretty good advice about becoming too attached before making an offer. It’s not uncommon to have a house snatched beneath your feet in this market. It was very hard to hear, but needed to keep things in perspective. For now, we pray that the Lord will continue helping us get our foot in the door, but if the outcome turns out to be something different we will live in a place all the better for us according to the Lord’s plan. In other news, our Downin family of three was recently reunited with the Downs family in a surprise visit to announce our permanent stay in the state of Iowa! For those of you who don’t know the Downs family, Pastor Jon, the father of this family, married Thomas and I and two of my sisters in law when they were married! Tyler, the second oldest son, has been Thomas’ friend since they were wee little twerpy boys and was in our bridal party at our wedding. They are basically our second family and we love them all so dearly. After introducing our furbaby, Diesel became the focal point of all the Downs children’s affections and as you can tell from the picture above Diesel is being completely neglected 😉Hours of playing ensued. Diesel had a blast fetching multiple frisbees thrown into the tall Alfalfa grass and hopping around trying to find his way out. Not only did Diesel make friends with the Downs children, but he also made friends on the Downs’ farm.The cows are Diesel’s new favorite animal to play with. He would run around the fence that they were enclosed in and try to get them to chase him. One of the cows understood this and pranced around following Diesel wherever he dashed along the fence. Another favorite new friend Diesel made was Gunner, one of two farm dogs on the property.Gunner is a Hungarian breed of dog and one of the biggest sweethearts I have ever met! It was fun to see these two play around. It got me thinking how well Diesel would do with the other farm dog juggernaut. After seeing the immense size of this dog, we all agreed that Diesel would probably be a bite sized snack for Juggernaut and it would be safer not to introduce them.
After an emotionally draining week (In the best way possible), it was so refreshing to get out with the family and enjoy the beautiful Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines! The Guzmans were also able to join us and it was so much fun watching my nieces and nephew feed goats and llamas rediscover their favorite animals. Anyways, it’s been quite a journey so far and we look forward to updating you all on the developments with the house situation and outcome of the interview in the near future! In the meantime, please continue to keep us in your prayers. Till next time!
~The Mrs.& The Mr. & Diesel