Friday, November 14, 2014

Wondering Why It's Called...Rancho 25??

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Wondering why it's called Rancho 25??
If you were...it's a pretty good question.
 Last December The Farmer and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
 We were together for about 3 years before we married so we have been together for a
good amount of time...and it has been an adventure. For the most part it has been a good one...
but we have also had our share of sadness and struggle.
 That's life, right?

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So as December neared, The Farmer asked me how I would like to celebrate
 this milestone of ours. I told him that I just wanted a wedding ring. 
 Last Summer as we were traveling home from a wonderful family vacation, 
our car was broken into while we stopped for dinner and most everything was stolen. 
 My wedding rings were stolen.
 It was heartbreaking. 
 So when I told The Farmer that all I wanted was a wedding ring...he totally understood. 
Now The Farmer isn't really a jewelry kind of guy. 
 Me on the other hand... I love a pretty adornment;) Don't all women??! 
 So, went went to dinner, he had researched rings, found a few that he thought
I might like and even had some photos to show me. 
 Now...this isn't like The Farmer so it was a very tender and emotional thing for me. 
 I just couldn't believe that he was so committed to the idea of a new wedding ring.

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 Well, a couple of weeks passed and one afternoon The Farmer came home very excited.
 With a big smile on his face he told he that he had just bought a piece of land and 
he was soooo happy with it! He said it was going to be great and then he 
went on to tell me ALL the plans he had for that land. The more he talked 
the more my heart sank...and when he could see that I wasn't feeling
 his same joy...he asked me what was wrong. I said..."what about my ring???" 
and then he said..."the ring...oooohhhhhh....the ring....ooooohhhhh...." 
And then he got it! He remembered. 
 It was pretty funny actually...but it made me sad too;) 
 So he invited me to go on a ride to see this new piece of land...he was really sure 
that I would fall in love with it right away and I would most likely decide 
that this was a much better purchase than the ring.

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So off we went. 
We arrived...I know the area well. We actually own another piece of land close by, 
so I began to understand why this purchase thrilled The Farmer so.
 As we drove, The Farmer said things like..."this is way better than a ring...don't you think?"
 hoping I would agree I am sure. He must have said it 10 times.
 He told me about all the plans he had for this spot and how it 
was going to be a great addition to our life;)

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 The previous owners had great plans to use it as a little retreat and so they built 
a small house on it. They even dug a large hole in front of the house preparing
 it for a swimming hole. There were some corrals for cows and a beautiful 
view of our area...it's on a little hill. While we drove around the property I told 
The Farmer that I had the perfect name for it and excitedly 
he asked me what it was...hoping I had caught his vision and he 
was forgiven for forgetting about my ring. I announced..
."we will call it Rancho 25...
since this is how were are celebrating 25 years of sheer wedded bliss!" 
 And it stuck.

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And thus it is. Rancho 25 (Viente Cinco) 
Everyone knows the story...our workers think it is really funny... 
and within the last year the 25 has become a sweet place for us.
 It is our project at the moment. Many changes have been made in the last few months...
great changes. One of which was we changed the names on the title. 
 When we went to the Notary to make the change we noticed something pretty special.
 The previous owners had never changed the name from the original owner...
it simply cost too much money to do so, so they had left it as they had purchased it.
 The Farmer decided that he would put the property in the name of the Aggie Boy...
and so when he was in town we went to sign the papers. 
 As he signed The Farmer noticed that the 25 was in the name of his father. 
It was a sweet moment. So the ownership of the land transferred from
 Grandfather to Grandson of which they share a name. It thrilled the Aggie Boy...
and made The Farmer all that much happier with his purchase.
 And I might add...my heart softened a bit too;)

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Now it is the winter home of our horses...who could care less if we visit them;)
 They are so happy there!

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It is also the home of our dear Violet the Longhorn...
who runs to The Farmer's truck when we visit the ranch. 
 She also stands by the gate hoping we will take her home to her pasture
 close to our house.
 I don't think she is liking the 25 so much! ;)

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 These guys LOVE a trip to the 25! 
They even smile when we take them...;) 
So there it is...the story of why we call it Ranch 25. 
We love it! It is fun! I am glad we have it.... 
But, I am still hoping for a wedding ring.... 
Sigh....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What's Left Behind...

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It is bean harvest in our area right now. 
 Historically, we should have had the first freeze of the season about two weeks ago.
 As we have "late" beans, we are grateful that the freeze has been late.
 On our way to Rancho 25 today we passed a farm where the bean
 harvest is complete...at least according to the farmer who owns the farm. 
 For others the harvest is just beginning.

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This is what a professional Gleaner looks like. 
 He along with several other people come to the farms that have been mechanically
 harvested and glean what has been left behind by the large equipment.
 It was really fun to see how he was going about his harvest. 
 He walked through the "harvested" field finding bunches of beans that had 
been overlooked. He then made a pile of the dried plants. He had laid out a 
small tarp, he then placed the dried bean plants on top of the tarp. 
 With a large, well used stick he began beating the 
dried plants to loosen the beans from their pods.

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Once the plants had been sufficiently beaten...he lifted the dried plants to find beans. 
 We stopped to talk to him...I asked if I might take his picture. He agreed,
 and as I did I asked him questions about his life and how he harvested 
and what other things he harvested. He explained that he had made a life
 from what had been left behind. Some of what he had gleaned he would used 
to feed his family, and the rest he would sell. It was a pretty great thing to watch.
 As The Farmer and I drove away I said something like...
these kind of people are becoming scarce. That in another 8-10 years there probably
 wouldn't be anyone left that would be willing to work this hard to make a living.
 The Farmer agreed but also added...that if things really got bad enough in the world...
we would all be willing to beat a few bean plants to have something to eat.
 I think he is probably right.
 For now, it was a lesson to me that if you look really close...
you might just find something of great value...if you are willing to work for it!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Little Stud Colt....

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Born this morning around 5 am... a little stud colt!
 Mama and baby are just great!
 Muneca is a wonderful Mom and is taking great care of her little colt.
The Aggie Boy could not be more happy!!
It's a good day on The Farm!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Missionary Monday...

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 The Farmer wanted to know where Sis. Precious was living...
so he Google Mapped it!
 He did the same when the Aggie Boy was serving in London...
It's fun to see where our missionaries are living...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sis. Precious is 20!

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 Happy Birthday to our dear Sis. Precious last Saturday!!! ]
Oh my goodness we miss this beauty... She bring so much life to wherever she goes! 
I was telling her through a letter last week, that I couldn't believe that she was 20...and she replied that she felt old and that when she returns from her mission, she will be the ripe old age of 21!
 And then I reminded her that when I served a mission for our church...
the age requirement was 21 and when I returned home I was 23. 
 Then she didn't feel that old anymore!

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The week before her birthday a Stake Conference was held in her area and the visiting 
General Authority was Elder Daniel Johnson and his wife Leann. They are from our area,
 and Elder Johnson spent years as the Area President of Mexico, working very closely with
 The Farmer. He is a friend and a relative...so when Sis. Precious heard he would
 be attending she was thrilled. We are grateful that he was able to
 take a moment to tell her hello...and snap a quick picture.

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 I got a quick note from her mission mom on Saturday where she let us know 
that Sis. Precious has been released back to regular missionary work and is 
recovering beautifully from her car accident. She still has things to take care of...but she 
is on the mend. Sis. Jardine also said that she and Pres. Jardine had called Sis. Precious 
early Sat. morning to sing Happy Birthday to her! 
 I thought that was amazing! 
 We are beyond grateful for this beautiful daughter. 
 She blesses us as parents in so many ways! 
 We are especially grateful for her missionary service. 
We think she is pretty special!!! 
We love our Sis. Precious!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Good-Byes Are Very Hard...

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Skinner, Charles AllenCharles Allen Skinner passed away peacefully in his home on October 1, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. 

Charles was born, the second son of Earnest and Mabel Peterson Skinner, October 16, 1942, in Farmington, Utah. The family lived predominantly on the Skinner family ranch located in Nounan, Bear Lake County, Idaho where they ranched and farmed until 1958. Life on the ranch was highly formative on Charles and his siblings. There he learned the meaning of hard work, a love for his family, and a love for basketball. 
In 1958, at the age of 15, the family moved to Mesa, Arizona, though they retained and returned each summer to the ranch in Nounan, Idaho. Charles' immediate family grew to include a total of six brothers and one sister. Earnest and Mabel were devoted parents who instilled a devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ in their children. 

After moving to Mesa, Charles first met the love of his life, Vicki Osborn. Charles attended Mesa High School, where he played basketball for the school team and dated Vicki, graduating in 1961. Charles served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Peru, Andes Mission serving between November 1961 and May 1964 where he learned to speak Spanish fluently. 
Charles courtship of Vicki was ultimately successful and they were married in the Mesa, Arizona Temple October 24, 1964. Charles played basketball for and pursued his education at Mesa Community College and Utah State University finally achieving a masters degree from Arizona State University. His education led to his certification as a teacher. He returned to Mesa High School where he taught biology, physical education, human anatomy and coached basketball. He was a skilled coach and an exceptionally gifted teacher who loved the sciences and loved sharing the wonders of the natural world with more than forty years of high school students. He was a man of science and man of God and believed passionately that the two were not incompatible. 

Charles and Vicki were blessed with eight children, two daughters and six sons (one son died at birth). Charles loved and served in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints all of his life. He genuinely loved people, both the thousands of students he taught (and coached) as well as the many who he met and served through his church responsibilities. He was fun-loving, energetic and compassionate. He touched deeply and influenced greatly the lives of many. Charles was an unashamed disciple of Jesus Christ. He leaves a legacy of love, faithfulness, service, devotion and honor.

Through the faith, prayers and skillful care of many doctors, Charles' life was miraculously extended despite being diagnosed with a terminal blood cancer in 1987. Charles and Vicki were serving as full-time missionaries in Wisconsin when he was diagnosed with lymphoma requiring their return home for treatment.
Charles is preceded in death by his parents Earnest and Mabel Skinner, son Jonathan Skinner, grandson Colton Jones and granddaughter Gracie Jones.

He is survived by his wife and sweetheart of fifty years Vicki Osborn Skinner and his children Rachelle Jones (Kelly), Matthew (Kim), Nathan (Jennifer), Benjamin (Amy), A. Heath (Cedar), Stuart, Bethany Woodruff (Colton) and twenty grandchildren (with one additional granddaughter due soon). Charles is also survived by his siblings Morgan, Steve, Joel, David, Shauna Clark and Daniel.

A viewing will be held Friday, October 10, 2014, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at 2334 E. Pueblo Ave, Mesa, AZ 85204.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10:00 am (viewing from 9:00 am to 9:45 am) at 2334 E. Pueblo Ave, Mesa, AZ 85204.
Interment will occur immediately following the funeral services at approximately 12:00 pm at the Mesa, Arizona Cemetery 1212 N. Center Street, Mesa, Arizona 85201 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today

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