A cold welcome home...

When I got back to North Dakota from Utah the weather was terrible! I got home late on Thursday night and decided to take it easy at home all day friday...afterall I had driven 16 hours in the car alone with two kids! Friday was REALLY rainy and cold. When Ike got home from work he told me that there was a winter storm warning. Whatev. There is ALWAYS a winter storm warning in North Dakota. Well...with winds of 50+ miles an hour Williston ended up without out power...for days! There were tons of HUGE trees down in the middle of roads, on top of cars and a few houses. There were also lots of downed power lines. We were lucky enough to have a power company that got their power up and running quickly. We were only without power for 24 hours or so. We also lucked out with a gas stove that kept us nice and toasty. We also have a gas water heater, so we had hot water most of that day, until the water in the basement got high enough to hit the pilot light. Our basement started flooding the first of April. When the power went out and the pumps weren't running it got up to two feet down there. It is an unfinished basement but our furnace has been out since then because the pilot light is under water. We have a heater on the wall in our bedroom and the upstairs, the kids rooms, is heated with a space heater anyway. There are no heat vents to the upstairs...gotta love little old houses. :)
A few of our friends had no heat and Tonya's family had no heat or water. So it became a party at our house! Did I mention the snow? Yep. Lots of snow. So much for Spring. Tiffany, her husband and 4 kids came and hung out. Mandy, her husband and 3 kids also came. As well as Tonya, her husband and 3 kids. Yes there were 12 kids in my tiny house all weekend! We had a good time though. Most of the kids slept here and kept warm. The adults went home and toughed it out. Mandy and Logan did stay one night at our house though. We never really roughed it. We had the laptop to watch movies on that we were able to charge in the car. This was a good thing when it got dark but the kids were still wound up.

We had practically no groceries since I had been out of town for a month. We have food storage in the basement but it was tough to get to because of the 2 feet of water down there. Everyone brought food from their houses and we made lots of yummy treats. I called my mom for her brownie recipe and she suggested that we might consider making something like bread. haha The brownies were delicious and we made bread too. We also had no bake cookies. Nobody was going hungry around here.

The kids had a blast playing and destroying my house. I only had a bit of a panic attack over it. :) Mandy's little boy Tyson came up with the genius idea of sledding down our roof. I said we better hurry and take pictures before we needed to head to the hospital. It was actually a beautiful day after the storm had passed.

Luckily no one was hurt. They made the "slide" close enough to the house so they didn't fall off the roof. Alli did get fiberglass slivers in her hand when they decided to try again later after the snow was all gone. Crazy kids. I told Emma she could watch but not slide down the roof. Not that she would even consider it!
Church was cancelled on Sunday so we all just hung out. On Monday I went to work to process flowers for Mother's Day. They still had no power at the shop but did have a generator so we worked away to lamp light. The power was restored to Williston on Monday night but there were lots of people outside of town that were without for a week. I worked that entire week at the shop and also did a craft show on Saturday. I also worked the following Monday. That day was extra crazy. They had opened the shop on Sunday for cash and carry only. They sold every single thing out of the cooler. It was completely empty! We worked hard all day to get the daily orders out and attempt to restock the cooler. You would be amazed at how many people order flowers AFTER the holiday. I love working at the shop but it has been a nice break not to work the past couple weeks.


Easter Pictures

I took these pictures of the kids in their Easter outfits while we were in Utah. It was a really cold and rainy day, but I think we got a couple good ones. :)


We were so happy to spend Easter at Grandma and Grandpa Barlow's this year. We had our annual BBQ and egg hunt at Grandma Workman's house and it was FREEZING! We all huddled in the carport and visited. This will probably be our last year having Easter there since Emma will be in school next year.
Levi was really happy about picking up eggs. I love this age when they are discovering new things every day. Emma and Levi both got a lot of eggs. It was so fun to play with all our cousins. The kids also got spoiled by the Easter bunny. I think my favorite part about this Easter was Emma telling my mom and I the story of the resurrection. She had the most concerned look on her face and gave lots of details. I am amazed at the things that she remembers. My Mom's next door neighbor, Gina, is her primary teacher in my Mom's ward. She was my teacher MANY times growing up as well as a Young Women's leader for years and years. She is so good with the kids and teaches in a way that they really understand. It is fun to see Emma go to her class.


Quinn's Birthday

We got to have a fun cousin birthday for Quinn while we were in Utah. I can't believe he is already 7! We went bowling at the new lanes in Lehi and had pizza for dinner. Grandma showed us all up at bowling and hasn't quit reminding us about it since. It was a really fun day.
Here's the group...

Uncle Jakie and Emma...

Eating pizza...

Brayden really wanted the cupcakes...

Quinn is such a good kid. He got 2 transformers for his birthday...one blue and one red. His favorite color is blue and Colin's is red. When Colin asked Quinn if he could have the red one he happily said yes and handed it over. I was pretty impressed. What a good bunch of Barlow kids we have!


Kangaroo Zoo

We also got to go to Kangaroo Zoo when we were in Utah. We met Ashley, Nikki, Kasen, Megan and Talan there. Emma and Talan had a fun time jumping and going down the slides. I was surprised with how brave Emma was. She just climbed right to the top of the big slides and went right down! Talan wasn't convinced that the big slides were too fun...but he had lots of fun jumping! Levi had a good time just running around. Baby Kasen just snoozed through the fun.
When we left we got to go to the Pizza Factory and have lunch with the best waitress EVER! Maryn was home from their honeymoon to Vegas. It was fun to have her sit at our table and be our waitress. Good food too!

Maryn & Jared Hunter

The number one reason for my trip to Utah this last time was that my sister in law, Maryn, was getting married. She got married on April 16th to an amazing guy named Jared. We all REALLY like Jared. He knows that he is now part of our family and I think he is ok with that.
It was such a beautiful day at the Salt Lake City temple. Maryn was gorgeous and everything was perfect. I'm not going to lie though...being in that sealing room was one of the hardest things I have ever done. There was a flood of emotions. We are so happy for Maryn and Jared and know that they made the right decision. We were also sad for us. For those of you who don't know, Maryn was married to my brother Joey who passed away December of 2007. We are so happy that Maryn has met someone to share her life with and who is a good man. I just have to have faith that everything will be sorted out when this life is over. This spirit was so strong in the sealing room, and I think we all felt of the comfort.
After the sealing Ashley, Nikki and I were able to follow the photographer around and take pictures. This was a blast. Maryn and Jared are so funny and we really did have such a good time. The photographer was amazing and was giving Ashley and I all kinds of tips and sat down and talked with us a little at the reception too. Here are a few of the pictures that I took.
I love these pictures in front of the fountain...

Warning: These are a little on the sensual side. :)

This picture is so funny because Jared was being crazy and posing for us and Maryn had no idea. hehe

These are some of my favorites...

Here are a couple of Levi.

It took lots of people to keep track of Levi this day...I love the one of my Dad and Levi walking...

Nikki and Ashley...gotta love these two!

Josh and Trisha's cute family...

Hailey and Caden were ready to take pictures when Maryn and Jared came out of the temple...I love the rest of the family in the reflection in this pic...

Grandpa and Abby going for a walk...

Here's a picture of the bouquet. I was able to do the flowers for the wedding and was so happy to do it. Did I mention the reception looked amazing? It was like a sea of blue. The long tables had runners on them so it looked like stripes. They also had chocolate fountains and lots of yummy things to dip in them. They did a really good job. Ashley made the wedding video with pics of them as kids clear up to the wedding day and it was super amazing also.

And Emma looked super cute too as usual. She just didn't hold still most of the day for me to get many pics...

Matt and Jacky's family was there at the reception too but I didn't have my camera when they were there. The photographer got lots of family pics though. Jamie must have been hiding from me that day too. :)
Congratulations Maryn and Jared! We love you guys!
Thanks for stopping by!