Grant Kittle, age 8, moved to Mitchell for his dad's job six months ago with his mom, Ashley, and dad Dr. Dan Kittle. Mitchell is exceeding Grant's expectations. Grant stated, "There was nothing hard about moving to Mitchell, it was easy peasy."
Mom and dad revealed to Grant via a special prairie dog and Dakota Wesleyan University Tiger cake that they were moving to Mitchell. His enthusiastic response, "I get to move to South Dakota!" The problem was he wanted to move immediately, but there were a few months of preparation.
How did Grant know that moving to Mitchell would be so good? A few summers ago, the family took "Winnie," their Winnebago, on a trip through South Dakota, stopping at the Corn Palace, visiting the South Dakota sites, and then on to another of his favorites, Zions National Park. Grant stated that his favorite of all the places they visited – Prairie Dog Palace. “Prairie dogs are my favorite animal,” stated Grant. Hence, the prairie dog South Dakota-shaped moving reveal cake. A DWU tiger was also on the cake because that is where dad would be working as the university president at Dakota Wesleyan.
In thinking about what might be the only improvement needed in Mitchell, Grant said, "We need to get a real tiger for my dad's office at DWU." Dr. Kittle joked, "Maybe we could put him in the vault." "You better mention that to Emily." Emily George is administrative assistant in the president’s office.
Grant is not the only one in the Kittle family to think that Mitchell is just the best place. Ashley, Grant's mom, said that if she had to think of the best way to describe Mitchell, "In one word it would be welcoming." The Kittle family has been overwhelmed with the inclusiveness of Mitchell people with many events hosted in their honor, and the embrace of the DWU community has made them feel – welcomed.
Grant added, "I had two new friends just two hours after moving to Mitchell." Jordy and Ky are now his best friends. Grant explained, "We are now complete friends." Grant added, "I used to be more of a play outside by myself kind of guy." "Now that I have Ky and Jordy, I've changed a lot." One of the best nights he has had to date is when dad joined them all in a football game." They played until dark. Dr. Kittle mused, "That really was a fun night." Grant says, "I'm 99.9% sure we will be building a snow fort when winter comes."
When asked what mom did for work, Grant stated, "She does chores, you know, mom stuff." "She mows the grass, takes care of me, makes dinner, and does email." Ashley's previous position was working with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Department. Grant added, "She helps the farmers make the soil be better."
Ashley's work now is with DWU, the community of Mitchell, her family, and in the future, her church. In response to Grant, she said, "Well, after my chores are done, I also like to hike and bird."
Ashley says her favorite event has been DWU Cares Day. "I liked seeing everyone together as a DWU community serving in different ways in the Mitchell community." Ashley enjoys running and just competed in the 5th Annual Palace City Kiwanis Half-Marathon, 10K, and 5K. Ashley ran the 10K.
The Kittle family is a family that does things together. Many of the things they do together are DWU events. They cherish family time. Grant explained the dinner time rules, "No book reading, no watching T.V., and no cell phones and devices." Dinnertime is High-Low Thankful time. Each shares the high and the low of the day and what they are thankful for. Grant said, "I don't have lows 95% of the time."
What's next for the Kittles? A new golden doddle puppy will join the family in a few weeks. If you see Grant out and about, you can ask him what name they decided for the new pup.