Take a Trip Tuesday: Meet Jennifer (DeBoef) Grove

Hi and welcome back to Take a Trip Tuesday!

Each Tuesday, we take a trip.  Go meet someone and do what I do best.  Ask them TONS of questions.  We’ll find out about this person and perhaps some great places about where they live…just in case you want to go and visit their town…so come with me on a little road trip.

Today, I’d like for us to travel to south eastern Iowa to meet a friend I’ve known since the summer before our 10th grade year.

We’re heading to South English, Iowa to meet this dear friend who I met back in 1988, in the days of detassling corn…and ever since, she’s been one of my best friends.  (Even though I questioned her judgement of wearing big earrings while detassling.  She had these pink pearlized earrings with hearts dangling from them to match her pink knit buttoned-down top.)  (Then, again.  That may be what drove me to want to get to know her…a girly girl climbing aboard a hot, stinky school bus to go detassle corn in the heat of an Iowan summer.  I might have gotten up at the crack of dawn, just to shower, curl my hair, and put on make-up to go detassle corn…Yes, we were two peas in a pod sticking out like sore thumbs, all dolled up to spend a day picking tassels in a cornfield.)

Today, I’d like to introduce to you ~ Jennifer Grove A.K.A. JD.  (Who was Jennifer DeBoef, back in our high school days.)

Jen Grove

Jennifer Grove and her family

So, JD, tell us about your name… Everyone has a nickname in a small town.  I received mine when a math teacher grew weary of mixing up the two Jens in his class.  To simplify things he started calling us by our initials.  Jen De Boef was my maiden name sooo…JD stuck and it stuck around for a while.

What is your current job title?  Office Manager & Mom.  I manage two dental offices for my brother—a Dentist; and I help my husband run a family and farm.

Share with us about your family.  I am married to an awesome man and we have 4 young sons.  We have also hosted exchange students during the school year.  In fact, we just watched one of our exchange “sons” graduate from high school.  I might or might not be crying right now.  Man, you can really get attached to these kids.

You are living in rural South English which is a town only in the technical sense of the word.  There are most certainly more livestock than humans. Where are three places everyone should go if they come to visit your town? 1) Our house and farm! Seriously, there is no such thing as a stranger around here.  2) Our high school for a school event—like a football game or music swing show.  3) Our church potluck.  You may not find anything in our town on your map (you may not even find our town on your map), but these three things will make you smile.

What is something you love about your home?  I feel at peace here.

Share with us what your favorite meal is.  Pizza—homemade.

Tell us about an amazing place you have visited.  That is tough because I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot.  One place that I have never been able to stop thinking about is Argentina.  The climate is perfect, the people are beautiful…There’s a reason Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote such an amazing musical about this inspiring place.

What is currently on your DVR?  Whatever my kids have programmed, I watch no television except for the occasional House Hunters International and that’s just so I can gain a glimpse into the life of people living in another country.  Remember, I host exchange students and love to travel…are you getting the drift?

Your favorite books of all time?  A simple one: “Heaven is For Real” because…chills!


Share with us a funny memory from long ago. This could pertain to elementary school, high school, or last week… I remember disliking my 1st grade teacher so much I actually tried to run away from school.  I escaped out the front doors and ran towards the playground; then I saw a huge bumble bee.  I was so scared of the bee I ran back into the school, slipped back into the classroom and no one even noticed I’d disappeared.  This is a secret I have kept to myself until now.

Okay, give it to us straight up. What are your top five go-to snacks?  Hershey’s with almonds and a diet Pepsi, monster cookies, cereal (preferably Special K), peppermint patties…I’ll round it out with some healthier choices…any kind of fruit and any kind of nut.

If you had to live somewhere else in the world, where would it be and why? The only requirement I would have is that people speak English there.  Otherwise, I’m pretty much game for anything.  I really hope to retire somewhere warm so let’s just say…South America.

Three things you’d take if stranded on a deserted island… My glasses (it’s really hard to see without them), clothes (I refuse to be naked and afraid), and my cat because she kills everything so she would give me some food and if she didn’t get any food I could eat her in a pinch.  Obviously, I would not last long on a deserted island.

What are four items that are always in your refrigerator? How about your pantry?…share three things in there.  Milk, meat, cheese, & eggs (I have 4 boys, remember).  Pantry is full of cereal, mac ‘n cheese, & granola bars.

What is your favorite thing to cook, grill, or bake?  My favorite thing to make is lasagna or any pasta and meat dish.

What are you really good at?  I think I am really good at re-inventing myself.

Favorite sport?  To play…um, does talking count as a sport?  I love to watch football.

What is your favorite season and why?  Spring because it’s the season we are in right now.  I love all seasons except for the end of winter.

What are your favorite reads?  Your blog…kiss, kiss!

Your top three favorite songs of all time?  I think my top favorite songs all come from Les Miserables.  How people in this world do not go absolutely crazy over musicals–especially ones based on books– is beyond me.  I am a Broadway junkie.

What is a memory you have of me (us)?  “Connie” there are so many memories… but perhaps the best ones happened while we were cruising around in either the Blue Barron or the Orange Pumpkin listening to Madonna or Bruce Springsteen…Then again, I was reminded of a time when I stayed overnight at your home and your mom had made a beautiful cake for Easter.  It was a white cake and on top, coconut was arranged into the shape of a nest and she put a couple of candy eggs in the center.  Well, we were not the only ones salivating over the cake; one of your cats dived in and went after the eggs.  The two of us spent the better part of the next day trying to imagine what was going through the cat’s mind and we reenacted the event for your mother several times.  Whenever I see a candy egg, I think of you, your mom, and that cake.

Well, that wraps up our interview.  JD, thank you so much for sharing about YOU!  You are an amazing friend and I love all of our memories that we share!  Thank you for being my first guest on this blog!  Next week, we’ll look forward to meeting another person!

Remember, be thinking of how you’d answer all of these questions because I’ll probably be asking to interview YOU sometime soon!  Finding out the little details about people…that’s what makes life so beautiful and interesting!!


  • Michelle
    May 20, 2014

    <3! Especially the 1st grade runaway story. Sounds like something I would do–muster up the courage only to turn around to go back and face consequences that never happened. 🙂

  • Melanie
    June 3, 2014

    Loved reading your answers! That run-away story was funny….. but I think the cat story “takes the cake”! LOL 🙂

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