Wednesday, July 27, 2011

movin' right along

last Sunday night we moved.  we moved into our quaint 1895 duplex. we love it it is starting to feel like home.  we are roughly 70% done with unpacking which feels amazing.  Tucker is slowly adjusting to his new "home."  We bought this little duplex in 2007, within the first two minutes of our first showing I feel in love with it. Each side is completely different (which later we found out via the abstract this property was two different houses they made into one in 1952. Interesting, huh?)  Although it is small, it has more than enough room for our family, which we are grateful for.  Last summer I read this book called the simple life and spoke of how in the 1950's the average household size was 4.5 kids with 950 square feet of living space.  Nowadays the average household is 2.3 kids and over 1,600 square feet.  So our families are getting smaller, but the houses are getting bigger?  I found that completely fascinating.  You can find Ryan's home office in the basement next to the washer & dryer. :-) 
As much as we've moved, we really despise it. We've moved 7 times in SEVEN years! We often joke if this item makes it to the next move we're tossing it, so I guess you can't call us pack rats! :-) The question we get asked most frequently these days is how long you plan on living here? And the answer? We honestly don't know, which is so unlike us, but we're loving that kind of freedom right now. We know we're not done buying property yet, so who knows! Thought I'd share some cool fun houck facts about our new place:
-two house put together into 1
-bought this place by someone overhearing us saying we wanted to buy a duplex. Is that God's ears or what?1
-its right across from cy-ride which makes this a hot ticket property when renting
-its ten minutes from anywhere in ames
-my hubby's office in the basement
-we have lots of wild bunnies around & Tucker loves them all
-we have lived in both sides of the property to make improvements to the separate units
-I feel in love with this place in the first two minutes

so, this is where we are now!

cheap movie tickets!

                                                            SOLD OUT!
today the national groupon site is havig a HUGE sale on movie tickets through fandango.  Ryan & I have used this MANY times going to the "expensive" theather on the cheap! We're able to see blockbusters for $4 bucks! 
Click here to check out this offer.  we have never had to pay the fandango convience fee with this offer either.  it has always been waived. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

pizza lovin.

our happy little guy eating our first supper in our new place. 
this is T-man's third home in less than two years!  Last week was  a little rough with him adjusting to the move, but this week has been MUCH better.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We're getting ready to move {like tomorrow}
and Sunday evening Ryan & I went over to paint our  family room.
after we just finished I proclaimed:  "I hate it. The whole time I was trying to convince myself I would like it better."  
Being the amazing husband he IS, laughed & said lets go pick out a new color tomorrow. which we did and repainted the room last night. 
Much better.

I got a good one I'm tellin' ya!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Farmer's Market Strawberry Smoothie

T-man after taking a sip of his first strawberry smoothie.
He loved it.
Between being on dog lookout and smoothie sipping' he was in seventh heaven!

Friday, July 8, 2011

a old huhn tradition, now a houck tradition

{mouth watering}
Christmas Morning Rolls:
growing up my mom made these rolls on special occasions.
holidays, after sleepovers, birthdays etc.
They are amazing and ohhhh, so simple to make.
So naturally, these have become a  Houck tradition as well. 
Ryan always requests these on his birthday, fathers day or any holiday for that matter!

Click here to view this 5 star recipe!!


  • 24 frozen dinner rolls
  • 1 (3 3/4 ounce) package butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Total Time: 40 mins
    1. 1 Arrange rolls in greased fluted tube pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over rolls.
    2. 2 Cook butter and remaining ingredients over a low heat until sugar dissolves and mixtures bubbles; pour over rolls.
    3. 3 Cover tightly with foil and let stand on counter over night.
    4. 4 Next morning, remove foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, then invert carefully onto serving dish.


Goodbye Grandma Rhoads

This week has been extremely tough.  This week we buried my Grandma Rhoads.  You go through so many emotions through the whole funeral process.  We had alot of good family time, which was great.  Yesterday I had a baby appointment for 'baby h'  and when the nurse asked if anything in my family history had changed I started crying & told them to put my grandma Rhoads as deceased.  Its really weird when it'll hit ya.  We have been SO thankful for the outpouring of love, cards, food & calls.  We were FLOORED when there were over 660 people at visitation alone.  It was so neat to know how special that lady was to not only our family, but so many others.  This week I've found myself wishing somethings.

  I wished my husband could of gotten to know the real grandma Rhoads & heard her infectious laugh. I wished she could of gotten to meet my son & give me advice as a new mom.  I wish we could of played another game of scrabble after a family event, even though most of my words are 'at, soon, etc.'  However, as much as I've wished in the past few weeks, I've been so thankful.  I am so thankful she made me eat the crust off my toast.  I am so thankful for her wanting us to come visit her every summer for a couple of days. I am so thankful for the times she'd ride bikes, or take us to the pool.  I am so thankful she set an amazing example of what a mom should be, that is why I think my mom was such an amazing mom. I am so thankful for all the sporting events she was able to make it to.  I am so thankful for making holidays so special at their house.  I am so thankful for the sixteen years I got to know her before the disease took over.  Thank you Grandma & we love you, more than you'll ever know!  

Below is three news articles recently printed.

Mary Rhoads (1933 - 2011)

Mary Rhoads, 78, of Ankeny passed away on July 1, 2011 at home with her family by her side following a long 13 year battle with Alzheimer's. Mary was born on February 11, 1933 in Clinton, Iowa to Robert and Leona Swanson. She was a lifelong resident of Iowa and participated in scouting, church choir, teaching, college registration and 18 years as a secretary in the House of Representatives. She was a resourceful, fun loving wife and mother, caring deeply about her family and friends.

Left to cherish her memories are her husband of 57 years Cecil; three daughters, Marce (Keith) Huhn of Nevada, Sandy (Mike) Macklin of Ankeny, Susan (Tim) Jennings of Ankeny; two sons, Tony (Jana) Rhoads of Ankeny and Paul (Vickie) Rhoads of Ames, 13 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a sister, Gloria Izard of Vine Grove, Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother, Robert Swanson.

The family would like to thank SouthernCare Hospice for their loving care.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, July 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. Both will be at the Ankeny First United Methodist Church, 206 SW Walnut St., Ankeny, Iowa 50023. Burial will be in Ankeny Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer's Association , SouthernCare Hospice or Ankeny First United Methodist Church.


Iowa State football: Coach Rhoads' mother dies at age 78

Mary Rhoads, the mother of Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads, died Friday after a 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

She was 78.

Mary and her husband, Cecil, were married 57 years and had five children, 13 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Her struggle with Alzheimer’s inspired coach Rhoads to help organize "A Ride To Remember," an annual event in which participants rode motorcycles through Ames in order to raise awareness of the disease.

When Paul Rhoads took over the Cyclone program in December 2008, Cecil Rhoads talked about the bond between his wife and son.

"They were so close," Cecil Rhoads said. "When he'd go uptown or something, he'd give his mother a kiss.

"It didn't matter if he was in front of his buddies, he still gave her a kiss."

The Rhoads family lived in Ankeny.

A visitation will be held Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Ankeny First United Methodist Church. A celebration of life will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Instead of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, Southern Care Hospice, or Ankeny First United Methodist Church.


Overflow crowd attends funeral for Mary Rhoads

It’s pretty clear that Mary Rhoads touched the lives of many people.

An overflow crowd packed the Ankeny First United Methodist Church on Wednesday for the funeral of Rhoads, the mother of Iowa State head football coach Paul Rhoads. Several hundred guests attended the visitation on Tuesday night.

Rhoads passed away on July 1 at the age of 78.

“Mary didn’t have an agenda,” said Keith Huhn, Rhoads’ son-in-law. “Her agenda was your agenda.”

Both Huhn and Tony Rhoads, one of Mary and Cecil’s five children, spoke at the funeral. Tony praised his father for being Mary’s primary caregiver during her 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

Tony also told the crowd that he knew how proud Mary would have been to know that Paul had become the Cyclones’ head coach. He mentioned how much it bothered Paul that his mother was unable to attend a game during his first two seasons in Ames.

“But she’ll have the best seat in the house for the 12 games this fall,” said Tony. “No, let’s make that 13 games.”

*Articles courtesy of the Des Moines Register.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Jam

About two weeks ago my mom & I made a WHOLE bunch of strawberry jam.  We went to the Berry Patch Farm outside Nevada & picked 30 pounds of strawberries!  
{the strawberries cost $1.85/lb}
The next afternoon we got to work making them into jam. 
The whole process went really quick! 
...and it tastes AMAZING!  

We made over 60 jars & plan on giving them out around Christmas!

Later on this month...freezing sweet corn!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grandma Rhoads

Yesterday {July 1st 2011} we lost one amazing lady, my grandma.  She was a fun-loving, outgoing, amazing woman who will be missed dearly.  
Grandma, we love you. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Cake

I'll be honest, I don't know if I'd have the patience to make this cake, but isn't it awesome!? Not hard, just lots of steps.
  If you're interested in making it, click HERE!

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