Sugar bugs...

We have the best dentist in the world! My cousin Christie's husband, Keith, is our dentist. We like to go to him not only because he is a great dentist, but because he is amazing and so funny and we wouldn't get to see him often enough otherwise. I mean seriously, what other dentist do you know that sings to you the entire time? Really...this guy is so funny! He has been a part of the Barlow family for most of my life. I rememeber the first time we met. He picked me up and swung me around and sang "Mandy" to me. Can't forget a first impression like that. :)
My mom was concerned because Levi has broken his front teeth. Go figure. The kid is a mess! Keith says his teeth should be fine...they just don't look that great. He attempted to file them down a little but Levi didn't want anything to do with it. We will try again when he gets a little older. Emma got a check up too! She had 2 cavities...dang it! Keith calls them sugar bugs. They were able to squeeze us in the next week to get those taken care of. Emma did so good. I think it is because Keith is so good with kids and makes it much more fun than you would think a trip to the dentist could be. His assistant is way fun too. They were finding all different colors of sugar bugs in Emma's mouth.
When we got back from the first check up Emma told my mom that she was sick. I looked at her and said, "you didn't tell me that you were sick!" She said, "remember...the doctor told me?" I said, "oh yeah, she has 2 cavities." What a funny girl. When she got her fillings they gave her nitrous and she was soooo loopy! She even spit out the thing that was supposed to hold her jaw open and bit Keith's finger. hehe Thanks Keith for a fun trip to the dentist! We will try to do better about keeping the sugar bugs away. :)

General Conference

I can't believe I almost forgot to mention conference. Jake, Jamie and I were blessed to get to attend the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference. This was on Emma's birthday! Our Bishop had announced a couple weeks earlier that anyone interested in tickets for conference should talk to him after church. I was surprised that our Stake got any tickets. I knew I wanted tickets because I was going to be in Utah anyway. He got me 3 tickets and mailed them to my moms house because I was already there. We have such a wonderful Bishop and I am grateful that he does what he says he will do. He is a great man!
It was such a great experience. We had really good seats and they were super comfortable too! I was so impressed when President Monson walked into the room. There was a hush of silence and the spirit was so strong. Jamie and I couldn't hold back the tears. I have never been to a meeting in my life where someone had walked into the room and without warning or notice that many people were brought to silence. It was an incredible feeling. That feeling continued throughout the entire meeting. I enjoy conference and like to record it so that I can go back and watch it again later. I enjoy being able to kick back at home in my jammies to watch conference. But nothing compared to the reverence and spirit that is felt when you are there in person. I am so grateful for the experience and am happy that I was able to share it with Jake and Jamie. I hope one day Ivan and I will be able to go together.

Baby Shower for Jamie

Jamie is having a baby girl! We are soooooo excited for Jamie and Jake. They are going to be the cutest little parents ever. They have the nursery decorated so cute and seem so ready for this little angel to join their family. She is due June 12th. Of course I have to head back to Utah then to meet this little one who I am hoping will have RED CURLY HAIR! Jamie hopes she has dark hair, but of course she is going to be adorable either way. Haven't met a Barlow kid yet that isn't!
I was excited to throw Jamie a shower while I was here. Her mom came up from Richfield and of course the Workman girls came, Jacky and Trisha, Grandma Workman and Alene. We played a few games...guess which candy bar is in the "messy diaper" (Grandma had never heard of this game, note the picture below), baby animal names and a memory game using a tray full of baby items. We had a fun time and my mom made lots of amazing food as usual. She insisted that we have more than just snack food so she also did chicken salad croissants, pasta salad, fruit and veggie trays, brownies and cream puffs with pink and brown frosting. My mom also bought some beautiful flowers for me to arrange for Jamie. This baby is going to be SPOILED! She already has a closet of seriously cute clothes. I can't wait to meet her!

Sleepover in Corinne

Kate was heading home to Washington on Thursday and planned to stop in Corinne, so we decided it would be a good time to go see Grandma Marjie and Grandpa Butch. We met Kate at her parents around 1:30 but Colty was very sick so they decided to hang out there a while longer. We headed up to Corinne anyway. Luckily Colty got feeling better so they were to Corinne by dinner time. The roads were terrible between P.G. and Corinne and we were grateful that we all showed up safe and sound. It was raining sheets of water for my drive and Kate also got some hail and snow thrown in there.
We were happy that their plans got changed because we got to have a sleepover! Emma was so excited to spend some more time with her cousins. We were also pleasantly surprised when Uncle Russell showed up from Nebraska and heard that KaDee was spending the night also. It was really random that we were all there on the same night but it was fun. We had a nice dinner and Grandma made popcorn and we also got to try out their soda machine. It was a fun night and we were happy to get to visit for a while. Emma was also excited to open her birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa Mills since they didn't make it to the party. She loves the Leapfrog DVD they got her about school.

A picnic with some familiar faces...

Kate decided that it would be fun to get together with some of her old roommates from college while we were in town. They lived just a few doors down from me and we were all in the same ward, so I knew them all also. We met at a park in Lindon and had a picnic. There were some horses behind a fence there that the kids were so excited about. Kate also brought some bubbles and Emma and Tanner played so cute together with them. It's sad that we don't get to see our cousins very often.

Levi was tired and pretty grumpy the whole time. He has decided that he does NOT like grass and didn't want to walk around with the other kids. After we were there a while a couple of the kids need to go potty and the restrooms were locked. Eliza's parents live close to the park so we headed to their house. They had ducks, baby geese, bunnies, chickens and a playground! I wondered why we ever bothered to go to the park! The kids had so much fun! Levi loved the baby geese. Brooke's little girl Sadie is hilarious. When we were at the park she had practically her whole arm in the horses mouth to feed them, then at Eliza's parents house she was chasing the ducks...all this while wearing a skirt and tights. That's my kind of girl!
It's so fun to see our old friends and catch up a little.

Emma turned 5!

We got to Utah on Wednesday and had a birthday party at my mom's house for Emma on Saturday. Levi's favorite part was the balloons. 2 1/2 weeks later we still have a couple! Next time we will buy less awesome balloons. :) We were so happy that Aunt Kate was in town and came to the party with cousins Tanner, Colton and Braden!

We had a Strawberry Shortcake party. We planned to start the party outside with some little games, but Emma went outside...saw a BEE...and then came back inside. SHE WOULD NOT GO BACK OUTSIDE! Maryn's now husband, Jared, was there and helped me talk her into going back outside. She was still terrified of the bee outside so Aunt Trisha saved the day and took her inside to spray on some "bee spray."
Here is a picture of her pouting...hehe

Emma and Aunt Trisha...

The kids played for a few minutes then we decided to do the pinata that Grandpa had bought for Emma. It was a strawberry shortcake pinata! Thanks Grandpa! It was a different kind of pinata. Each kid got to pull and string and only one string was the one that opened the door to the candy. We thought we might have to do the party inside because of the weather and that that kid of pinata would be better for indoors. I was amazed that each kid got to pull a string and it was the very last string that did the trick. We weren't sure it was going to work at all for a minute. :) When all the candy came falling out the kids huddled together...all except for Emma who stood back and cried because she couldn't get any candy. We helped her put some in her bag and her cousins were nice to share with her. She really just doesn't do well when there are a lot of people around. Next year I think I will just give her a cupcake. :) We finished up the pinata just as it started to storm so we headed inside.

Grandpa made us hotdogs for dinner and we had lots of other good food too including strawberry soda.

After we had dinner we sang Happy Birthday and had some strawberry cupcakes and strawberry icecream. Levi likes to lead the music...

Emma was spoiled rotten and loved opening all her presents.

Aunt Kate and the boys got her an awesome alphabet train puzzle. She was excited about this cause it's the same one they did at gearing up for Kindergarten. Grandma got her several Strawberry Shortcake DVD's so we watched one while we ate. She got a travel glow station from Josh and Trisha and the kids. Emma was soooo excited about that! Hailey and Caden got them for Christmas and Emma was sad that Santa didn't bring her one. If only Santa had known they existed. Jacky and the kids got her an awesome Strawberry Shortcake toy which she loves. The Workman's got her one of those terrifying little zhu zhu pet baby buggy things. Thanks Ash! ;) Daddy got Emma the Baby Alive doll that she had asked for and let her open it before we left North Dakota. I got her a remote control my little pony airplane that does not fly. Yes it is as weird as it sounds...and it plays the theme song from my little pony. She asked for that also. Like I said, the kid is spoiled rotten. We were so happy that everyone was able to come and that we could share this birthday with our family. Next year Emma will be in school and we probably won't be here for her birthday.
I still just can't believe that she is FIVE! I am so grateful for my sweet little girl...even when she chooses to be sour!

Sooooo much to blog about!

So I have been in Utah for 3 weeks today! We have had so many fun adventures since we got here but I think I better finish up blogging about my North Dakota adventures first.
I was able to attend our Stake Relief Society Activity that had been postponed just a few days before we headed to Utah. It was such a last minute thing to go (I decided around 1pm to go and we left at 3pm) but I am so happy that I did! And I am VERY grateful for my wonderful husband that supports me when I make random last minute decisions like this.
There was a lady in our ward, Christine, who had planned on going to the activity with a friend. Her friend ended up leaving town at the last minute to go to a funeral so she had no ride. This was the last of many things that happened that made me finally decide to go. I picked her up at 3 and we headed to Bismarck. Can I just say that I LOVE getting to know new people? Christine's husband is our Young Men's President so Ivan gets to work with him at church. Christine teaches primary though so I don't get the chance to see her much. She is so fun! We talked and talked the entire 4 hours! When we got to the Stake Center they were playing some fun getting to know you games. Our Stake Relief Society Presidency is amazing and had thought of everything! The focus was mostly on how no matter what our age or different factors, each of us can relate to eachother in some way or another. One game we played was called have you ever? They had the chairs around the outside edge of the gym and had us run to the center of the floor and high five the other people in the group if they mentioned something that applied to you such as have you ever been bungy jumping? I got to run to the center for that one! Other's included things like attended college, graduated college, lived in a different country, have a birthday in January and so on. It was so fun to get to know so many different people so quickly and get to know more about the friends I have already made. I even met a girl there from Pleasant Grove! She looked so familiar and it wasn't until the next day that we figured out that she was friends in High School with my best friend Brandy! Small world.
That night they also had a wonderful video presentation focusing on humanitarian work and hygiene kits. They had requested that each ward collect items to assemble hygiene kits that night. The lady in the video is from Africa. She told her story of growing up with practically nothing, being run out of her home, losing her family, being kidnapped and being threatened to have her legs cut off. Through all of this she relied on God, prayed and by some miracle was saved. Sometime during all of her struggles she was given a hygiene kit. She CHERISHED this hygiene kit. She met members of the LDS church and was taught the gospel. She joined the church and had a desire to serve a mission. She was called to serve at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Just before she was to leave for her mission she got word that her little neice and nephew had been found. She was their only relative and felt that she needed to stay home and take care of them. The wonderful LDS family that she had become so close to said that she needed to serve her mission and that they would take care of the children while she was away.
She took her hygiene kit with her and headed to Utah. She was told that she did not need to take it with her because she was going to the land of everything. This was her only posession and she treasured it. She spoke of each item in the kit with gratitude and told of how she shared each item except for one toothbrush that she was selfish with. :)
While serving her mission she met a couple that were looking to adopt a baby from Africa and asked her if she knew of anyone. She showed them the picture that she carried with her of her neice and baby nephew. The family ended up adopting both children. When her mission ended, this family requested that she stay in Utah and not return home to Africa. They showed a picture of her neice who is now grown and was recently married in the temple. The nephew is around 8 years old and was in the picture also. She now travels and speaks at Time Out for Women.
She had such an amazing story and I couldn't help but think that she is just one woman. One woman who had been blessed to receive a hygiene kit. One woman who shared that hygiene kit to bless the lives of many others. One woman who has learned and knows the truths of the gospel and loves to share it with anyone who will listen. What a great example she is.
We were able to put together MANY boxes of hygiene kits that went to bless the lives of people in need in our community. This was such a great lesson and one that I hope I will not soon forget.
That night Christine and I were able to share a room with our Bishop's wife, Karen, who also happens to be our Stake Relief Society President. She also had staying with her my good friend Shawna and another lady from our ward named Rozanne. We had such a fun time together! When Christine and I got to the hotel they were doing facials. Karen had this amazing dead sea scrub that you take off with a magnet. I need to find me some of that! My face felt amazing afterward. We stayed up late sharing stories with eachother and just being silly. I learned lots about our Bishop. :) When we (I) finally settled down and it got quiet, Karen decided to sneak across the room to my bed and tickle my feet. These ladies are CRAZY!...just the way I like them. And here are a couple really scary picture of us with scrub on our faces...sometimes I think it's time for a funny face when it's not.) lol

The next day we had a very nice lunch at the church and watched a funny and well done play on visiting teaching. These ladies just amaze me. The lead girl who also sang a lot in the play was not able to be there because the activity was rescheduled, so they had another girl fill in and she did so good. I actually really love visiting teaching but of course understand how it can be a real struggle to get it done. We also attended 3 different workshops on visiting teaching. I loved all the stories the sisters shared about ways that visiting teaching has blessed their lives and the unexpected friendships they had made. I am so grateful to be a member of the church. I have so many friends in the gospel and know that I am never alone. I am so glad that I followed the MANY small whispers of the spirit that told me I needed to go to this activity.
Thanks for stopping by!