[Transcript of interview with Tami Tyler, recorded as part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District's 2010 Big Read. For more information contact the Library at 417-883-5366 or visit us on the web.]

John: "My name is John Rutherford, and I am the host of the Recollections and Connections recording project for the Springfield Library. Today we are at the Library Center. On Friday, March Fifth of 2010 and today we are taking with to ladies, Tami Tyler and Clair Rutherford. Clair will be asking questions and Tami will be responding to the questions. So I will turn it over to you."

Clair: "Okay, this is Clair Rutherford and I wanted to ask my friend Tami a couple of questions about her life. I know that you are from Texas, so how did you and your husband decide to move up here?"

Tami: "Okay, I'm Tami Tyler. I'm thirty six years old. I was born and raised in Texas, in Houston. When I was seven I moved to San Antonio. We met in high school. Then ten years later we got back together, we had broke up. We had four kids and we'd never been around his parents, his dad and his step mom. And we decided we were going to come up here and visit them and meet them and we did. That was in 05', September 05'. And we fell in love with the area. It was very beautiful and the mountains were beautiful and all the trees. It was just awesome. In Texas we had been going threw a dry spell and every thing was brown and crispy. So we had a great visit. It was about a week we stayed here. We went home all the way, the twelve hour drive, talking about how we wished we didn't have to go home and we wanted to come back some day. So about three years we talked about it and hashed it over, argued about it, talked about it some more. And decided we were going to move up here. So that's what we did. We moved up here almost two years ago. Let's see we got here June seventh. It was right after the Labor Day week. That's saying in Texas for. Not Labor Day, the Fourth of July we got to se the last celebration. It was July seventh not June seventh. I'm all confused. And so we.."

C: "Well with four kids."

T: "… lived here for almost two years. Yeah, every child…"

C: "I know your kids."

T: "… sucks my brains out. My kids are awesome."

C: "Well, have they had much trouble adjusting to being up here as apposed to being in Texas? Cause, I know that we have something called snow here."

T: "Mhm."

C: "That they are probably not real familiar with."

T: "The first time it snowed it was awesome. We went out and played in it and had a great time. But we couldn't build a snowman because it wasn't sticking together. So we were bummed about that but we did play and have a lot of fun. That was like the first time that any of us had seen any amount of snow. So we were all excited and my husband was not cause his job requires him to shovel snow. He's tired of all the snow. This last time is snowed we got to make a snowman. So we made her and put an apron around her and little fuzzy plants for hair, just had fun. We loved it. We miss our family. We're not really close to his dad and stepmom. His sister is here in Ozark and her daughter but we're not really close so it didn't really work out. But we made friends, we made lots of friends, but we still miss our family. That's about the jist of it."

C: "I know that you home school and I was curious about why. Why do you do that?"

T: "Well it's been a very weird decision. I always wanted to home school. When my oldest was little I always thought that I would home school. He always had great teachers. When he was little he did have a lot of behavioral problems. They said he had ADHD and I didn't believe in putting him on medication. One day he had a big fight at school and it kind of freaked me out so I got him on meds. We tried three different meds and none of them worked. So I thought you know what I'll just take him home. In about fourth grade I had been thinking about it and praying about it. After he finished the fourth grade I just didn't let him go back to school. We just stayed and home schooled him. I also, you know, just I don't like all of the thing that they learned outside of the teachers outside of the classrooms. You know, the teachers can't control everything, you know, they are at lunch."

C: "What they are learning from their peers."

T: "Yeah, you know. I do have so objections to the curriculum that they teach them. But they know where I stand. Like now my oldest is in public school he's in middle school, the eighth grade, and I haven't had any problem. I look over his work and things are good. I have communicated with his teachers and the have all been great. I had some fear that he was going to be behind but he wasn't. All his teachers told mw that I did a great job. Which made me…"

C: "That must have been a relief."

T: "Yes, it was."

C: "Cause you believe that you are doing a good job but it's a comparative thing so."

T: "Sometimes you wonder. It's kind of a trade of cause there are stuff that they learn at home that they don't get to learn in school. But there are stuff at school that they don't learn at home.  It's just kind of a trade of so it all depends. He was not behind, thank God for that."

C: "Well it must be hard for them to play dodge ball with so few of them?"

T: "Yeah, I know. We have our own baseball team."

C: "Two throws and it is over with."

T: "Yeah, the babies don't really get it. So yeah, I think about putting my daughter in school. You know Taren is going to be nine next month and I think about putting her in next year. You know, we just have to pray about it, see what to do. It's a scary thing for me, her, cause she is my baby girl. I've just heard all kinds of stories from my friends back in Texas and things that have happened with them. The kids learn things and other kids doing things. It's just scary. I'm a freak."

C: "I wouldn't say that. So when you do thing with them, as like part of their schooling stuff. Cause I know that we have gone to Sequiota Park and I know that you guys must go, we went to the Nature Center. So I know that you must go other places in town that you use as sort of a teaching resource. So what other places do you find really interesting for them?"

T: "We love the Discovery Center. We go there a lot, it's just fabulous. We've never seen anything like it. In fact the whole city before we got up here we researched. I was on the home school yahoo group. I was researching what's here and I am just amazed at all the free stuff, all the nature/conservation that the state has. It's amazing, I mean Texas is prideful and we had a lot of stuff like that but it's not the same. It really is not. We don't have things like the Nature Center. I would take them to BassPro Shops, that's free. It's, you know, got lots of stuff they can learn there. It's just amazing. We went to the Laura Engels Wilder museum and homestead. That was fun. We were going to go to the George Washington Carver place but that got canceled on us so we well have to wait and see if that comes up again."

C: "That's a bit of a drive."

T: "Yeah, it was a car issue. We couldn't make it. They're thing that we have tried to do for them. We love that Discovery Center. They have things at ten o'clock that for the kids, free activity science projects and stuff that they get to see happen. Some of them are interactive and some aren't. They change their displays and stuff. So when we go there it's not all the same all the time."

C: "Now how old are the babies, cause you mentioned the babies? But neither of them are tiny babies."

T: "No, We have the kids who are fourteen and nine next month and then we have the babies, whom are almost four and two and a half. So those are the babies. We are never going to call them the big kids so they will always be the babies. Like my husband. He is the oldest of seven kids and all of the kids in his family are called the kids. They are all grown, the youngest is twenty two fixing to have her own baby, but they are all the kids."

C: "It's just the words that stick."

T: "Yeah."

C: "So for yourself, since I know the kids are with you all the time, what do you do for yourself? What kinds of things can you do? Because I know that you have got to make sure that either you can take them with you, and it's a kid friendly environment, or that someone can watch them while you do things for yourself. Because everybody needs some time to do things for themselves. So what kinds of things do you do?"

T: "Right now I go to the Crochet Club meetings. That is one of the favorites, Ozark Crochet. Pretty much hang out, you know go to a friends house for a movie or what eve, that's all. I go shopping for fabric and yarn; get to leave the babies home. I also work, I work for Integrity Home Healthcare and that's kind of my escape. It's not really a job to me because I take care of this old man and his wife. It's not really hard at all. It's just waiting for them to need me. So I get to sit there and crochet. It's kind of cool because I get to relax, it's calm and quiet at there house. It's not really hard so it's kind of an escape every weekend. It's pretty much all I do. I don't really have a life, my kids right now."

C: "But you have a cat, the cats important."

T: "Yes, I have a cat and a dog and my mom's dog. It's a zoo at my house. Four kids, a husband, three animals, yeah it's pretty crazy."

C: "So on the whole; are you glad you moved up here?"

T: "Yeah, I am. It wasn't what we thought it was going to be. Which at first was a little disheartening but we still like the area. We still think we did the right thing. My husband was able to go to school and finish, which he wouldn't have been able to do where we were living. We lived like in the hill country and it was an hour away from any major city. So he just wouldn't have been able to afford the commute. It's cheaper out here to live. I hate to say that but it is. You know, so I'm glad we did it. We made a lot of good friends and you know it's going to be sad when we decide to move back to Texas."

C: "Well I'm glad you moved up here too."

T: "Thank you."

[Transcript of interview with Tami Tyler, recorded as part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District's 2010 Big Read. For more information contact the Library at 417-883-5366 or visit us on the web.]