Our little trailer on the prairie...

We are grateful that we found somewhere to live! We are living in a little 3 bedroom trailer on 18 acres. It has nice windows and has been recently painted. Before the kids and I got here Ivan repainted the office and the kids room more to our taste. The rest of the house is pretty neutral so it works well. We have a beautiful view of our "ocean of dirt" as I call it. I'm sure it will be really pretty this summer when something starts to grow. We are also looking forward to our lawn that our landlord promised us and are considering growing a garden. We are really going to need to get some sort of playground equipment soon to entertain Emma. She has been pretty bored hanging out in the house. She will be starting preschool in the fall which will be great. There is also a really cute park in Ray which is only 5 minutes away. We went there today and she had a blast. I promised her we could go for a picnic tomorrow and meet daddy. It has been nice to have Ivan so close to home. He doesn't have to leave real early and is home right after five. He also gets to come home for lunch everyday and has an hour. It has been a very nice new change to have him around so much....especially after being apart for so long. What else?...I don't really love the carpet in the trailer...it is blue and seems pretty worn. I did buy a new carpet cleaner though and am hoping to have all the carpets cleaned by the end of the week. When I get that finished we do have lots of rugs from our old house that are nice. I also plan on cleaning the furniture. Everything in our house seems really dusty. I know a lot of it was from the move...but when you live in an "ocean of dirt," and the wind blows constantly you have to plan on some dust. I have been dusting everyday...but it just seems to keep coming back! Crazy how that works. Our water...When we were on our way here from Utah I asked Ivan about the water situation. I knew we had a well...which we had in Idaho...but I was concerned about it for some reason. It might just be that we have kids now and your perspective seems to change when you become a parent. Anyway, Ivan assured me that the water was fine. When we got here I decided to give Emma a bath after our LONG drive before I put her to bed. I started the tub and went into the other room. When I came back Emma informed me that the water was yellow. YELLOW! I am so not okay with that. We called our landlord the next day and he came out to get a sample and had it tested. All of the levels are within the guidelines...but I still hate that my water is colored and has a smell. I think I will just have to get used to it as there is not much we can do about it. We shower in it and use it to clean but we are NOT drinking it. We have purified water in the fridge and are going through lots of bottled water. I think the water is really the only complaint that I have. I don't mind being in the middle of nowhere...and the people here are very friendly. Our ward is great and I see us making many fast friends. I am continuing to run Snapbandz and am excited to have the time to do what I want with it. With that, having two little kids at home, and Ivan still being in school, we are keeping just busy enough. Life is good and I couldn't be happier!


About my new job ..

Since I am sure everyone is wondering about this job that motivated us to move up here, I will elaborate. Officially my title is “assistant facility manager”, and because they have never had one of these before, the job description is a work in progress. I basically am trying to learn as much as I can about the mill, the crop, the growers, the pulse markets, Viterra’s corporate ‘system’, and the staff. My boss has been operating this elevator since the early 80’s and has worked under several different companies. The elevator has handled many different commodities during those years; wheat, durum, barley, sunflower, safflower, canola, mustard, lentils, dry peas, and dry beans. Today the pulse industry in North Dakota has grown to the point where we can focus entirely on lentils and dry peas (mostly lentils). We now process 20,000 bushels of lentils per week. Once they are delivered we clean them, using screen cleaners and gravity tables. We then package them in either 2000 lb totes, 100 lb bags, or load them into hopper railcars. It seems to be a simple and straightforward process, but there are a lot of factors that complicate things such as picky customers, equipment break-downs, unreliable rail service, ever-changing shipping schedules, slow grading service, osha regulations, corporate red tape, etc. We also have a fair amount of competition in both selling lentils and contracting acreage. Here in Williams County more lentils are grown than any other county in the US which means we have a great base of growers to work with, also our elevator was also one of the first to work with pulse crops in North Dakota, which means our growers are experienced and know how to produce quality lentils. The lentils are grown in a dryland rotation with either durum or spring wheat and has proven to be a great rotation for the farmers, due to their ability to utilize atmospheric nitrogen. This means that after growing lentils (or other legumes) for a year the soil will have better structure and nutrients than if it was rested. Wheat grown following pulses generally yields better and has higher protein with less need of commercial fertilizer. We ship most of our product overseas to places like Peru, Cuba, India, Turkey, France, and Mexico, but also sell some to domestic buyers for canning. The industry has seen dramatic growth in recent years and 2010 looks to be another year of record acreage in the US. I am excited about the challenges I will be facing and the people I will be working with. It is also humbling that I will eventually be responsible for a business which has been an important part of the community.

About the Williston ward....

Church is at 10:00 here but we still have to get up pretty early due to the 40 minute drive into Williston, but we are always glad we go. It really feels like home already, and although we don’t fully understand why, we feel that the Lord wants us to be here at this time. The ward is growing very fast, due to the oil boom, there are several new members in the ward each week; some eventually bring their families while others are only here for awhile. This means there are lots of new young families and a primary that is growing every week. On Sunday I was called to teach the 10 and 11 yr old boys and be the assistant scoutmaster...oh boy! Mandy is still awaiting a calling but I'm sure it is coming soon. I really am grateful to live in a place where we feel that we are needed.

Things Emalee has learned in North Dakota so far…..

1. When the windmill is turning that means it is a perfect day to fly a kite. (which is pretty much all the time)
2. When the coyotes start howling that means it is time to get ready for bed.
3. When you go to the bishop’s office he gives you kisses (the chocolate kind of course).

About Moving...

Well it looks like it is my turn to post about our changes. On Easter weekend I was finally able to go home and bring back Mandy and the kids. It was strange but nice to suddenly have TWO children. Both of the kids were very well behaved during the fifteen hour drive up here, Levi slept most of the way and Emma watched her cartoons. When we finally crossed the border into North Dakota, Emma said “but NOW can we go to grandma Marjie’s house?” She apparanetely has no sense of time, but boy was she excited when we first arrived at the house that night she was running all around the house, she was especially glad that all of the stuff in her new house looked just like the stuff in her old one. She was quite brave and was sleeping in her new room by herself after only two nights. Emalee has had a lot to adjust to, but she is doing an amazing job of it. When it comes to her new baby brother, she couldn’t be prouder and loves to be helpful. When it comes to living in the new house she doesn’t seem to mind at all. I think the biggest challenge for her is being cooped up in the house all day. When I come home she always wants me to go outside and play with her. We don’t have a yard with grass or anything yet (The landlord says they are going to plant some) so for now we just play in the “farmyard” having foot races from the granaries to the house and back and of course she loves to fly her kite in the field by the house. Having our friends the Millers living in our ward up here has also helped her to adjust, their kids are close enough in age for Emma to have fun playing with them, and their oldest girl Lexie always makes sure to hold Emma’s hand and make her feel at home, she is really sweet. Emma is having a difficult time going to her primary class, she pitches a fit when we try to leave her there, but is always happy by the time it is over. Tonight she started singing “the wise man built his house upon a rock.” When I asked her if she learned it in class she said. “I don’t sing in class cuz I’m too shy, but I did talk a little bit during snack time.”



Levi Joseph Mills

Levi was born March 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 am. He weighed in at 7 lbs 4 oz and was 19.5 inches long. Labor was not a fun experience and I don't plan on being induced again any time soon. It was worth it to have Ivan here though. It took them 6 tries to get my epidural in. That was misery! And after all that fun it quit working. They came in a couple of times to fix it which would only work for about 45 minutes. By time I delivered it was long gone and I was just itchy! REALLY REALLY itchy! I'm not sure what that was all about but it was terrible. They also had lots of trouble taking blood and putting in my iv. I had lots of bruises for a while there. My mom was able to be there for the delivery and I am so grateful that she was. I think she may have been the only thing that kept Ivan alive. haha After delivery the doctor looked at me and said "wow, you turned into a different person there for a minute!" Little does he know that that is the REAL me...tee hee. Levi is a cute little guy! He has lots of crazy hair and is the noisiest baby I have ever met! My mom said that she had never seen a baby that noisy in the delivery room. He wasn't crying or anything...he was just looking all over the place and making noises. Now he grunts when he stretches and is soooo noisy when he eats. My friend Mandy said it's like he takes two swallows and then has to tell you about it. It's pretty embarrassing at church! He is such a good baby. He has slept through most of the night...he usually wakes up just once to eat and then goes back to sleep. There has been the occasional exception to this rule though. Emma is soooo happy to be a big sister! She is a lot of help with Levi and is constantly letting me know what he needs. She likes to help change diapers..always knows where to find a burp cloth...and is sure that Levi is always starving! Coincidentally Levi thinks he is always starving also. He weighed 8 lbs at his two week appointment and is growing quickly. His two month appointment is coming up quickly and I am anxious to see how much he has grown. I guess we better hurry up and find him a doctor. Ivan was able to be here for Levi's birth and the few days after. He was here to get our house all moved to North Dakota. Then he was off to North Dakota for the next month! It was so hard when he left this time. I don't know if it was because I now knew how long a month without him really was...the fact that I now had two children...or that I was really really hormonal! Must have been a combination of them all. The night before he left my parents house he was packing up some of his things into his car and I totally lost it. It was one of those wonderful moments where I was laughing because I was that hysterical and knew that I was being ridiculous. It was hard to leave our house in Corinne. We have put a lot of work into it and never had the chance to finish what we started. We have a lot of great memories there and are really happy that Ivan's cousin KC is renting from us and is going to buy it. It will be great to keep the house in the family since Ivan's grandpa built it.

Rambling about changes....

Okay....I think we are finally settled...sort of. So much has happened since my last post that I don't know where to begin. We had our baby boy on March 2nd...he is fabulous! Had my gallbladder out 9 days later...feeling much better now! Emma turned four on April 3rd...she seems so grown up! We moved to North Dakota on April 5th. April 6th I caught fifth's disease....misery for several days...never want a fever and rash like that again! Attended ward conference on Saturday and Sunday. I thought it was strange to have an adult session for ward conference but it was really good. Our ward is so friendly and I already feel more at home with them than I did in Corinne. I told Ivan that it doesn't really matter where in the world we live as long as we have the church and a Walmart near by. Both make me feel at home! This week has been crazy...we are still trying to get unpacked and figure out what stays here and what should go to the storage unit. Getting caught up on Snapbandz has been a chore. Hopefully my customers are really as patient as they seem to be. TAXES! Don't worry he should have them done today...seeing how it is tax day and all. That boy makes me crazy! We really haven't had the time with the move and everything to get them done and it is A LOT more work when you have a home business. They decided to re-roof our house after I moved in. It was four days of pounding! I am really enjoying the peace and quiet now that they are finished! I told Ivan that it is strange how we can move to the middle of nowhere in a little trailer and be all alone and still feel completely at home! It is almost strange how normal it feels. This is how I know that we have made the right decision. I am just happy that we are all together again! It was a REALLY long couple of months apart! Now that I have caught everyone up I will elaborate on all our happenings...
Thanks for stopping by!