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Old 06-30-2011, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Santa Maria, CA
110 posts, read 160,389 times
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I have been reading a lot of the posts here and am really enjoying the plethera of information. My husband may be relocating due to a job promotion. I am a stay at home mom with very young kids (5 under the age of 7) and had a couple of questions.

First off, I am aware that the winters are rough... I have never lived in such extreme conditions and am a bit worried about the severity of the elements. (I have lived in So Cal, Houston and currently Portland OR) So as you can see no snow (or very little) experience. My question is, is there ever a time when people do go out and enjoy the winters or are we stuck inside the entire 7 months or so? My kids will love the snow for sure, but will they be able to play outside?

My second question is, do any of you homeschool your children? I would like info on local homeschooling organizations etc.

Last question, I have been looking at rental homes and I see there are a lot available in Moorhead. Can you give me some insight on where a good place would be to live? I would like to live in NW Fargo near my husband's job. I don't really want to live in a "party area" near the college, so that is a concern.
Thanks for all the wonderful info and I am looking forward to moving to ND
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
418 posts, read 1,186,771 times
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First of all--there is a North Dakota Home School Association that can fill you in on the regulations regarding homeschooling in ND as well as provide leads on the local groups. At least a couple of the local groups are specifically affiliated with certain congregations, but I'm pretty sure that there are other ones that are more open as well.

Yes, kids play outside during the 6 months from November through March. You might want to follow the guidelines of the local school and when the wind chill is below -10 degrees, the kids stay inside during recess. Sledding, ice skating, hockey, building snow forts--all of it can happen outside. There is a Norwegian saying "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing," and that pretty much holds true. If you're prepared, you can handle the cold. Good boots are a must. There may be a 3-4 week period when the kids are bouncing off the walls because it's too cold to be outside much, but it doesn't last for 3-4 months. Just for large motor/gym activities you may want to consider something like a Y membership which would also provide exercise for kids and a chance to expend some energy.

Since you're homeschooling, school attendance areas are not as much of a concern. But for North Fargo, neighborhoods are defined by the elementary school attendance areas. For NW Fargo, you might want to concentrate on the McKinley Elementary attendance area or perhaps the Longfellow area, which is farther NE. The area right around Roosevelt school is much more college-student populated and the Madison neighborhood is jammed in between industrial sectors. For rentals, there tend to be more duplexes or townhouses available in Fargo than single family homes--and that may be an issue for you with family size. But in comparison w/ Houston, even a "commute" from Moorhead will be negligible.

Hope this helps, and let us know what other questions you might have--
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,095,424 times
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I will chime in about the weather. It isnt quite so extreme for that long. i live about 70 miles north of Fargo.

Yes though the young kids will tend to get a bit stir crazy inside....we move the cars out and let them play in the garage and move a basketball hoop and some toys inside there. We do have a heated garage though.

But much below about 10 degrees we dont let our todder age kids out...and often the snow and drifts are too deep for the young kids to play in the back or front yards. If possible get the kids involved in some ice skating lessons as many folks do go out to the local parks where the park district make ice ponds for outdoor skating and also there is open skating at indoor rinks...when not being used by hockey (but that is quite rare as youth hockey is quite big).

We take our young kids to our local mall play area and the West Acres Mall has one too. The Y is a great idea as well.

The worst temperature times are mid Dec to mid Feb. But even some days we can get into the 20s which feels quite warm. But we do have our days with wind and blowing snow and temps around zero.

I know in both Grand Forks and in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo rental single family homes are not in a great supply as most buy homes but rent apartments. My advice is to check craiglist - Fargo for info and contact property mangement companies...you can google that for a listing.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:43 PM
 
16 posts, read 37,930 times
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First of all, I would like to Welcome you to North Dakota. I am new to North Dakota myself in a way because I've only been living here for about eight months. I didn't relocate here from the Northwest, but I know a lot about the Pacific Northwest because I lived in Seattle, Washington. Also, I have been to visit Portland, OR a few times. There aren't many mtns here in ND and hilly areas like the Pacific NW, the land is all flat. The winters can be really cold, but if you add a few layers of clothing you will be fine. Also, if you are going to rent a home you may want to make sure that plowing will be available, but you can take the option to pay for yourself. Some people say you may need a block heater during the winter, but I never used one, myself and husband kept our car in the garage and the cars started up fine each AM.

Also, I would recommend you to visit the area you would like to move too before you relocate. I think that all the areas are good and many of the schools in North Dakota are great. I actually don't know anyone currently that home school but you can probably contact the local school district to find out more information about it at Fargo School District No. 1 - Welcome, or West Fargo Public Schools - West Fargo, North Dakota. Due to schools not being so good in the state that I relocated from, I was going to homeschool my child, but when I made a visit to North Dakota and spoke with the staff members my thoughts changed about homeschoolin. Also, I read the forum and other reviews on the internet. Many of the comments were great, and now since my child is a student I can tell you that the schools are great. Also, I was wondering a month ago were the schools great in Fargo, because I am thinking about relocating from a city that's about an hour away because my husband took a position at a company in Fargo; and I know the drive could be rough during the winter because the HWY can be closed sometimes to travel on to get to Fargo. Therefore, I spoke with some of the teacher's at my child school and everyone told me that the schools will be just as good and may better once I move there.

Next, in the winters you can still can do alot, the snow doesn't stop the children from having fun. I know with my child school they will still go outside to play sometimes if the temp. is a certain degrees with snow boats, snow pants and other gear to keep warm. Also, there are recreations at the YMCA (they can swim, play in the inside gym, play sports and much more, Chuck E Cheese is located in Fargo, Movie theater, ice skating/skating, Red river Zoo (we went this fall to learn all about birds, they have different activites each week), Children Museum The Children's Museum At Yunker Farm (great place for family fun), also you can go to inside water parks such as Canad Inns Canad Inns Destination Center - Grand Forks (myself and family go here on some weekends it's a great indoor park for families, also some of the hotels in Fargo have indoor waterparks, and you go to the Mall of America in Bloomington (great theme parks) Mall of America | Attractions.


I really don't know alot about the fargo area, but I have been to West Fargo alot and most of the area are great. Also, I know someone that's relocating to the Moorhead area and they told me that there are a lot of nice townhomes. [Mod cut] You probably should plan a trip if you can to take a look at the location before renting to make sure it's the design that you would like, right location for schools of you decide, all of the neighborhoods are usually good.

I hoped some of this information helped you!

Last edited by ElkHunter; 07-04-2011 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: DM the person so you are not advertising on the forum.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:18 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,095,424 times
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Nice to hear someone who moved here and enjoys it! I am not a native of the area either and moved here back in 1998....so by now I am close to being considered a native

But I came up for a job promotion in the weather field and always wanted the colder weather so I like it. I also visited Grand Forks-East Grand Forks before I moved up.

About homeschooling....

I recalled there was a thread on homeschooling in ND a few years ago. Here it is...

How is homeschooling in ND?

I know someone at work who homeschools their kids, but have others have said it is extremely common as public schools are good no matter
where.

-- if you have a garage and will be parked frequently overnight outside or for long times outside without using, you dont need a plug in. Those remote starters though come in handy. Our family has a mini-van and it works well for driving in the winter....though it is always nice to have one family vehicle with some clearance underneath and that sits up a bit high to see over the snowbanks at the corners. But you dont have to get any special vehicle for the winters hear.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,095,424 times
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I forgot to mention.... I have been chatting through private messaging...a couple from the Portland area (dont know exactly where) who is moving to Grand Forks in August. She will teach social work at UND. So quite a few from the west coast coming in. Always good.

Dan
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Santa Maria, CA
110 posts, read 160,389 times
Reputation: 102
Thank you so much for all your information. I suspect that folks from the NW might want to consider moving someplace else where their money will take them a bit further. I have to say I do love it here in Oregon. I have made so many friends in just the 5 yrs I have been here... but I find it easy to communicate with others so I am hoping I will find friends in ND too.
Although people here complain about the grey I find it not to be a problem at all. I love the 4 seasons... (which I didn't get when I lived in So Cal almost all my life!!!! I will hopefully never have to live there again)
The thing I am looking forward to is a bit of variety when it comes to the weather. I mean here in Portland area it rains... but rarely to we get a massive storm that dumps rain. Our rain accumulates slowly... sprinkles here drizzles there...etc. I think I have heard 2 claps of thunder since I have lived here. Speaking of which I have not read too much mention of Spring and summer weather. Do you all get thunderstorms as such?

And thanks for the info on homeschooling guys. I am sure the schools are good there. They are excellent in Hillsboro too, but my desire is to homeschool as God has placed that on my heart. So I will continue to do so as long as possible. It is hard being a one income family and that is another reason why we are relocating. It is not as expensive in Oregon as California... but we get taxed like crazy. Sure we have no sales tax here, but the income and state tax is out of this world.

I guess I will be buying a lot winter type clothing. Maybe someone can clue me in as to what I will be needing to buy. I heard we were having a La Nina year this past winter and typically that means a lot of cold and wet winters in the NW so I went out and bought snow suits for the kids. Well the mountains got a lot of snow, but here in Hillsboro, we got 2 inches on one day. That same day, it melted. Maybe now I can get my money's worth out of those snow suits!!

And thanks for that awesome list of places to go and things to do with little ones! It sounds like fun....My girls are going to be thrilled to learn to ice skate.

PS My husband is looking for any excuse to buy a truck and he thinks you have to have one if you live in Fargo!!!
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:18 AM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,095,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh-Happy-Day View Post
Thank you so much for all your information. I suspect that folks from the NW might want to consider moving someplace else where their money will take them a bit further. I have to say I do love it here in Oregon. I have made so many friends in just the 5 yrs I have been here... but I find it easy to communicate with others so I am hoping I will find friends in ND too.
Although people here complain about the grey I find it not to be a problem at all. I love the 4 seasons... (which I didn't get when I lived in So Cal almost all my life!!!! I will hopefully never have to live there again)
The thing I am looking forward to is a bit of variety when it comes to the weather. I mean here in Portland area it rains... but rarely to we get a massive storm that dumps rain. Our rain accumulates slowly... sprinkles here drizzles there...etc. I think I have heard 2 claps of thunder since I have lived here. Speaking of which I have not read too much mention of Spring and summer weather. Do you all get thunderstorms as such?

And thanks for the info on homeschooling guys. I am sure the schools are good there. They are excellent in Hillsboro too, but my desire is to homeschool as God has placed that on my heart. So I will continue to do so as long as possible. It is hard being a one income family and that is another reason why we are relocating. It is not as expensive in Oregon as California... but we get taxed like crazy. Sure we have no sales tax here, but the income and state tax is out of this world.

I guess I will be buying a lot winter type clothing. Maybe someone can clue me in as to what I will be needing to buy. I heard we were having a La Nina year this past winter and typically that means a lot of cold and wet winters in the NW so I went out and bought snow suits for the kids. Well the mountains got a lot of snow, but here in Hillsboro, we got 2 inches on one day. That same day, it melted. Maybe now I can get my money's worth out of those snow suits!!

And thanks for that awesome list of places to go and things to do with little ones! It sounds like fun....My girls are going to be thrilled to learn to ice skate.

PS My husband is looking for any excuse to buy a truck and he thinks you have to have one if you live in Fargo!!!
Hi there

The couple who is moving to Grand Forks is from Portland area she said about 45 minutes across the river from Hillsboro.

I am the local weatherman on the board, I am a meteorologist at National Weather Service in Grand Forks. So I can answer about storms.

Our weather is quite varied from one season to the next, unlike your area which doesnt see the extremes. Our springs are very quick usually and lately have been cooler and wetter than usual. Fargo as you have read has had 3 battles with river flooding each spring. This is due to snowmelt. There is a push to get a diversion done, but as you will find out there is a lot of politics involved and it is quite a controversy. See, our area is very flat so water tends to spread out versus roll down a hill. But in Fargo, they have improved flood protection greatly in the last 3 years. Most of the city is well protected and there is often a long time to prepare. Anywhere but right along the river and in Rose Creek on the south end is ok from flooding.

The Red River flows north from South Dakota/Minnesota border northward into Winnipeg then to Hudson Bay. The rivers will freeze over in our area usually early to mid December...can vary.....and usually start breaking up mid to late March. We have had so many above average years with rain and snowfall higher than usual that the ground is saturated and river flows are very high....so doesnt take much above normal snowfall in the winter to get the river levels high. We dodged a bullet last spring as there were no major rainstorms at the time of the melt. Our spring is in April to mid May though weather in that time is quite varied....from snow/ice some years into mid April to 60s and 70s in mid April in others. Most years will see greenup by late April/early May. Summers can be hot and humid occasionally....Today Thursday it was 98 in Fargo and very humid....but our hot weather doesnt late too long. Most summer days see highs 80 to 85 and lows around 60. It can be a bit humid in the summer.

Thunderstorms are frequent in the summer....and we are prone to occasional bouts of severe weather, high wind, hail and isolated tornadoes. Fargo was hit by a F5 Tornado in 1957, which is one of the first tornadoes ever caught on film and documented by scientists. From this tornado and others at the time the Fujita scale used today was generated.

Most years of recent our snowfall has varied from 60 to 80 inches.... Our snow is dry most of the time due to the cold and luckily freezing rain doesnt occur often, but it can. The big difference here is that once you come about Thanksgiving there is almost always constant snow cover until mid March. It blows around and drifts around and accumulates so you can have high drifts in some wind prone areas. Wind is a constant factor in the red river valley....almost always blowing....


I like our falls as it is usually the driest and often sunniest time of year....but like our springs our falls are short.....mid Sept to mid to late Oct. Our first freeze is often early October (varies of course). Halloween can be chilly...I have seen in in the 40s at 6 pm, a few years 10 to 20 degrees.

As for clothing,,,wait til you arrive. Scheels is a sporting goods store and it has a great one in Fargo with an indoor ferris wheel. That is where we go for kids winter clothing. There are other stores of course.....Gander Mountain, and your normal retail centers. Our son is now 6 and his common attire going to school in the winter for outside play is snow boots, hats, gloves, snow pants (the bib kind -- suspenders) and a decent heavy coat. Dont go overboard with too heavy of a coat, it is best to dress in layers. Good snow boots are a must, but dont have to be expensive either.

Dan
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:42 AM
 
433 posts, read 962,971 times
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I don't know about kids' clothes, but here's what worked for me: Before I moved from Northern California to ND, I bought a "650 fill power" down parka with a hood with a removable faux fur ruff that was on sale at Lands' End. This jacket worked perfectly for me even on the coldest days and the fur ruff made it even cozier. I see Lands' End still carries it, so I'll post a link so you can see what I'm talking about.

LE - Women's Sidney Down Parka from Lands' End (http://www.landsend.com/pp/SidneyDownParka~220939_59.html - broken link)
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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South Moorhead has many newer homes, renting in Moorhead to start is a good option, but be aware that you'll mostly find college students in the apartments as its a bit of a "college town" (I'm currently at MSUM, the university in Moorhead). It's great for the schools though. I do quite a bit of outreach at the local elementary and middle schools, the planetarium and observatory in town, etc, so I know there's a fair amount of benefit to having universities in the area. Overall, nice area for a family. Winters can be tough, but sign up for the YMCA for the kids and let them play in the pool and blow some energy off.
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