A few more things we did over the summer...

In June, Emma and I went to the rodeo with Ashley, Nikki and Trevor. We LOVE the Strawberry Days rodeo!

Miss Emma

Me and Ash.

Emma and Trevor had a good time. She just giggled and giggled.
Emma and Ashley.

Nikki and Steve

Emma sat next to Nikki for a while and held on to her arm tight. I think she was afraid she was going to fall.

I also took the kids and went to the Corinne pageant to see Grandma and Grandpa Mills perform. We hung out with my friend Chrissy and had a good time. The kids thought it was fun to see Grandma and Grandpa up on stage. Levi was a little afraid when they came to see us after the show...he wasn't sure who Grandma was.

Emma took swimming lessons again this year with Hailey and Caden. She was much braver this year and did a great job even when it was freezing in the morning.

Aunt Trisha brought toys so the little kids could play in the water too.

Brayden the little dare devil!

Abby is such a good little mommy. She made sure Levi had enough snacks...as if he wasn't on top of that already...and would scream "LEVI" if he even thought about going near the pool.

Hailey and Caden trying to get warm after lessons.

We had a great 4th at my parents house this year. It is so fun to watch all the little cousins play together. We kept it low key this year and just did fireworks at the house. Levi HATED the sound and just cried. Ivan flew to Utah for the fourth and to drive us home, he was a good sport and stayed inside with Levi. Little Skylar was so cute in her tutu I made her. :) Family is good and we are all so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy!

I did Emma's hair so that it looked like a star. It turned out pretty cute!

My mom has lots of little tutu's in her dress-up collection. She has a big red tutu and a little one. Levi loves to wear tutus and twirl! It was so funny to watch him put on the little red tutu and twirl around and around. Daddy and Grandpa didn't think it was too funny.

The best thing that happened was a neighbor's dog came by and played with us. Brayden was in heaven!

Cute baby Skylar in her fourth of july outfit.

Grandma and Grandpa Workman came to watch fireworks with us too. My mom had surgery on her shoulder when we first came to visit. I am amazed at how tough she is. She really didn't need anybody's help.

When we got back to North Dakota we finally got our garden planted. We just did tomatoes and peppers as well as a couple cucumber and cantaloupe plants. It was so fun to work in the garden with Ivan and the kids. Levi loved the dirt and thought it was pretty tasty too! Since we planted so late we ended up pulling the plants up and bringing them in the house to ripen up when the frost came. We enjoyed fresh tomatoes for a few weeks and then ended up bottling tomatoes on the day we moved to Washington. I was pretty determined to enjoy the fruits of our labor!
We also had a ton of raspberries on our plants and had fun picking them and making yummy treats. Our house in Washington has raspberry plants too and they produce HUGE berries! We are excited to pick them this year....hopefully before the moose get them!

We also enjoyed playing at the park and watching the sun set over the prairie.


It has been months and MUCH has changed!

It's really sad when you log onto your blog and realize it has been months since your last post...again! So...I suppose we are in need for a serious update.

Although we loved North Dakota, we came to the realization that it was no longer a place we wanted to raise our children. The oil field is getting super crazy there. There are tons of men everywhere and we all know how most boys clean up after themselves. :) The town is really growing and it is going to take a while to catch up with the growth. Everything was getting really expensive. Housing was ridiculous! When I tell people this they don't understand why groceries and everything would be so much more. Well, when you have to pay $16.00 an hour for grocery clerk and more for stockers that cost has to go somewhere. The shelves at Walmart are empty a lot of the time and there are lots of pallets of boxes in the aisles. It is hard for the stores to compete with oil field wages and most wives stay at home because their husbands make good money and are gone long hours. Williston has been on the news a lot. They have talked about everything from the housing crisis to the fact that strippers can make several thousand dollars a night working in Williston. Long story short....we prayed....made the decision to look for a new job for Ike....two weeks later we were in Rosalia, Washington for an interview. A few weeks later we moved to the beautiful area of Washington we now call home. Everything worked out so smoothly and we were finding that we had just what we needed when we needed it. We knew this was the right thing for our family. One of the best things abou it is that we have family near by! Ivan's brother Dave and his family live in Kennewick which is only 2 hours from our house. They came the weekend we moved and helped us with some unpacking. Emma was so excited to play with cousins. We are excited to go and visit their house sometime soon as well. My dad's brother Rick and his wife, Capri, live in Coeur d'alene and are only about 40 minutes from us. His sister Debbie and her husband, Gregg, live in Lewiston, Idaho which is about an hour from us. We were so happy to find out that my cousin Jennifer lives in Spokane! I see a Barlow reunion of sorts in the near future.

We found a really nice house to rent for now and we are loving it. We live just outside of Cheney, Washington in a really wooded area. We are only about 20 minutes from Spokane. I love that we live out in the country and are secluded but have everything we need close by. The house we are in is on 33 acres. It is gorgeous here. This is the road we live on.

And this is our driveway.

Here are some pictures of the kids walking down the driveway. Levi and I walk down to meet Emma on the bus when it is nice outside. We collected pine cones for our Christmas tree. We dipped them in glitter and tied twine to the top. It was fun for Emma and they look really pretty!

The kids were so excited to find a swing and a tire swing hanging from the trees on the side of our house. They are super fun!

Here are a few of our "backyard."

Did I mention we have wild turkeys, deer and moose in our yard? Pretty cool. I had never seen a wild turkey before and they are HUGE!

Emalee started school in Washington and it has been a BIG change. They do part time kindegarten here and she has been used to going full time. I thought it might be half day kindergarten but they actually go every other day, all day. It is really weird. She goes to school Tuesdays, Wednesdays and every other Friday. She also has a boy teacher now. His name is Mr. Audet and she really likes him. She seems to be liking school but will NEVER tell me what she did while she was there....amazing how she can forget everyday.
Emalee gets to ride the bus now and it is the best thing that has ever happened to her. She gets on the bus at 7:15 and the bus drops her off after school at 3:35. She rides the bus for almost an hour each way. I let her decide if she wanted to ride the bus or have me drive her to school and she definitely wanted to ride the bus. I think I have been way more nervous about it than she is! She just jumps right on the bus and goes. Her bus driver told me that she is having way too much fun! She rides with kids who are much older than her and I think she likes that. She is silly and has a great time with them. On the first day when she rode the bus home they put a label on her shirt so she wouldn't get lost and everyone would know who she was and where she was supposed to go. Ivan and I got a good laugh out of it. We told Emma that they shipped her home to us.

Our ward here in Washington seems to have a lot of young couples. There is an air force base here and well as Eastern Washington University. I just turned 30 on Thanksgiving and am feeling super old all of the sudden. :) There are older people in our ward as well and everyone seems to be very friendly. We haven't really made any friends yet but I am sure that we will.
Levi seems to like it here and is his usually naughty self...times two! He must sense that he is getting close to 2 or something because he has been a holy terror! He decided last week that he was DONE with his crib and could just "flip" right out of it. We got him a big boy bed the next day. I was irritated that we had to rearrange the kids' room...but it will be nice when it's all done. We found a bed on craigslist for $50, which was probably too much, but it is the style I wanted for him and is solid wood and is sturdy. We also found a mattress and boxspring from criaglist for $35 at a mattress store. It had fallen off of one of their trucks and got dirty from the road...but is brand new. The mattress is really comfy and is much taller than Emma's mattress so we let her switch with Levi. Emma's bed is much taller than Levi's and it fits it perfectly. I feel like we did very good for $85.00.
So far Levi has been a major stinker about staying in his bed...which is exactly what we expected. We had someone suggest that we put up a baby gate so he can't get out of the room. We gave that a try and he plowed right through it! So...I have been laying in bed with him until he falls asleep and then I sneak out of the room. A couple nights he has gotten out of bed over and over, but most of the time he will stay in his bed all night. We hope it gets better. Naps are non-existant at this point. I did lay down with him in my bed the other day and he slept for 2 hours. He will also fall asleep if we are in the car, but wants nothing to do with his new "big boy" bed.
Levi has also become a VERY good climber. He can take a chair or stool and get on top of anything he wants. The other day I heard him yelling MOM! over and over and I went in the kitchen where he was up on the counter where the snack jar is and had two handfuls of candy! He is also not very nice to his sister. He likes to pull hair and will scream until she gives him whatever it is she has that he wants. Somedays we feel like we won't survive El Diablo in our home. It's a good thing he is dang cute and has sweet side that he shows us once in a while. :) Here he is in the middle of a HUGE mess he made climbing on top of Emma's desk. He also likes to sit on the second floor of the doll house. Weirdo.
Thanks for stopping by!