by: Chase Allgood, After seven months, Valerie, Jacob and Joe Colvin  — and their Shih Tsu, Elliot — feel right at home in Forest Grove.

Moving to Forest Grove last June was a dream come true for Joe and Valerie Colvin.

Married for 11 years, the Colvins were anxious to put down roots in a rural city with good schools and

opportunities for service.

'I do a lot of volunteering,' said Valerie, 37, who stays at home with the couple's seven-year-old son, Jacob, a first-grader at Gales Creek Elementary School.

After living in Hillsboro for a while and buying their first home in Cornelius, the Colvins feel like they've hit the lifestyle jackpot in Forest Grove. Both Valerie and Joe were happy to answer a few questions about how they rate their new life on Nichols Lane near Forest Grove High School.

When friends ask 'What's Forest Grove like?' what's your one-sentence response?

'I consider it a little hidden treasure out in the country,' Valerie said.

If you had to choose one, would it be an upscale Thai restaurant downtown or a new Applebee's next to Ace Hardware?

The Colvins had a split reaction. Joe wanted the Applebee's, while Valerie preferred a Thai restaurant downtown.

The housing market has slowed but everyone expects Forest Grove to grow. If you could chose, would you expand onto farm and forestland or fill into the neighborhoods?

'I'd fill in the neighborhoods first,' said Joe. 'I wouldn't start chewing up forest and farmland, because that's one of the things Forest Grove has going for it.'

If you're still around here in 20 years, what do you hope to say when people ask 'What's Forest Grove like?'

'I hope to say that it's picturesque out here,' said Valerie.

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