April 30, 2010

A rainy afternoon
cousins home early from school

cousins covered in mud.
Cousin Loly came up with the idea......
she asked....then begged.....then pleaded.....and the other two girl cousins were
the only takers. The rest of the cousins said "no way!"
They had a great time....and in the end.....we decided that....
they all have beautiful teeth!
(thanks for the pictures Cousin Loly)
p.s. congatulations to these three cousins who made varsity cheer at the JSA !!

A Weekend In Review....

April 28, 2010

Who knew that so much could be packed into one weekend!
Friday found us in Thatcher, Az for the
Gila Valley Temple, open house. It began as a family trip and ended up with just The Rooster and I in the car.
The Farmer had church responsibilities to attend to.....
Preshie had cheer try-outs....
And ...The Boy....was in St. George attending prom.
On Saturday morning, a group of family members arrived from Mesa, so that we could all attend the open house togther. Grandpa and Grandma S. were kind enough to organize a perfectly wonderful day. The temple is amazing! What really struck me was the fantastic artwork that was found all through. Our cousins has the great opportunity to install the glass, which made it extra special for us. I am always amazed who a community comes together for an experience like this. The youth of the area were involved in service, people came from many miles away to serve, and everyone had a big smile on their face. It was a beautiful experience.

I have lived in the desert my entire life. I have never seen it as beautiful as it was this past weekend. Flowers were blooming everywhere, the colors were vibrant and just plain breath-taking. I must have said a million The Rooster....that I could not believe how beautiful the deseret was. In Isaiah 38, there is a scripture that says that the "......deseret will bloom like a rose in celebration....." I was talking to The Farmer about the beauty and he remebered, how around the time of the dedication of the temple here in our area....that it was exceptionally beautiful. The grass was tall and everything seemed to in a mode of "celebration." I had forgotten about that.....but appreciated his reminder.

I love this picture....the interaction between everyone!
It was amazing to have this special experience, with a family I love with all my heart!

And this is the reason that we love our temples so very much.....

The Boy had the opportunity to attend prom in St. George with a dear dear friend Saturday.
Chelsea is really like a sister, and daughter......we love her!
He spent time getting to know her life in St. George, meeting her friends.....and just having a darn good time at the dance......
I hear through the grapevine....that he really enjoyed dinner;)

He had a fantastic time!
This weekend also brough the passing of a dear member of our community....Chelsea's grandma. Her loss will be felt.....Her family is amazing! .....and what a treat it has been to have them all in town to celebrate her life. Sister Rinda has been an example of everything good. While I laid in bed, pregnant with The Rooster....she came and sat with me day after day, keeping me company and sharing her wisdom. Something I won't forget.
It was a full weekend.....and a very special weekend!


April 22, 2010

Dirt 1
This is how it begins....every year. Just plain dirt!
And it turns into a beautiful garden.
I grew up in a family that valued a garden. There isn't a time that I can remember, that we did not have a garden. Not only was it a was a perfectly kept garden. A weed would not dare show it's face there! As busy as my Dad was, he always made sure that the garden was in perfect shape, and very often the children helped too. To this day he has a a few....very beautiful.....weedless.....square foot gardens. His yard is never unkept.....EVER!
Perfectly manicured, always. My Mother has always had house plants....and flowers...and has been blessed with a very green thumb. So you can imagine, between the both of them, they have a fantastic yard and fantastic gardens.
Our first Ohio...we didn't have a yard....we had a deck.
We purchased large pots and filled them with flowers and tomatoes. Oh how we loved those tomatoes! I think they were the best we have eaten.
When we moved to our current home, the planting began. The Farmer wasn't so interested this time because he had his own farm to take care of....and my little farm seemd like alot of extra work. But the need to garden was strong. And so I found a little piece of land, next to our house and began to prepare it. The Farmer would often say that it was easier for him to farm hundereds of acres, than it was for him to help me with my garden. But when it came time to eat the produce....he was the first in line! (Is this sounding like the story of the Little Red Hen???)
And so for several years I was blessed to garden in the same spot. The garden would always be filled with tomaotes, squash, sunflowers....always sunflowers....okra, beets, green beans, onions....and flowers mixed in. Often The Farmer's uncles would pass by while I was out in the garden, and comment that I probably was gowing the most expensive vegetables in the state....and likely the country. And they may have been right....but gardening, for me, is about much more. It is about my sanity.
When the day has been too long, or sad or discouraging, I find my peace in the garden.
Everything seems better after some time in the garden. When The Darlings we babies, they were in the garden with me. I can remember setting the baby swing along side of the garden while I was working. And having a toddler beside me, wanting to pick everything they saw. Or other times babies sitting and just digging in the dirt while I worked in the garden. Such fond memories for me. I hope The Darlings will grow to love gardens, as I do. I must say that The Boy does a great lawn! I mean great! He leaves no detail unfinished.
Across the street from this garden lives the greatest gardener in our community. Often I would look at his garden and wonder why he didn't have weeds and I did!;) He would spend hours in his garden making sure it was perfect. Not only did it look great....but he produced the best tomatoes, and lots of greens beans...among other vegetables. His presence....across the street....provided motivation for keep up the "neighborhood" standard.
I appreciate his example. Although my garden has again been moved....and I cannot see my neighbors fantastic garden....I do drive by it daily....and the standard still remains....

The Farmer's Mother, has also been a great inspiration to me. She has always kept a beautiful yard....full of flowers and fruit trees. All through the years, she too has kept a wonderful garden and served yummy meals from the vegetables grown there. My yard is full of plants that have a "story" and some that have been passed through generations. She even gave me a garden owl one scare off sacred off more than that and became a great conversation piece.
Everything is perfectly beautiful this year, I am not sure it is that we missed Spring's beauty more than usual this past Winter....or if it really is extra beautiful this year.
These are all pictures taken in our yard and garden.

My creation

The Farmer planted a few new trees for us this year. We are trying citrus....who knows if it will work...but we are trying. We planted grapefruit, lemon and orange trees. We also added a new peach tree...our favorite variety, and a Golden Supreme apple tree.
The tomatoes have blossoms, the aritchokes look perfect and every couple of days we are able to pick a bowl full of fresh strawberries. Perfection!

And slowly, but surely....they emerge....
the new plants, from the seeds recently placed carefully in the ground.
I can't wait for a fresh bowl of green beans!!!
Thank you to the gardens, that through the years have helped me remain sane;)
And thank you (gardens) for the joy and satisfaction that you have so generously given me!

The Perfect Barn...

April 21, 2010

On a lovely piece of property....not far from our home....
we had dreamed and planned to build a home. Not that the dream is dead....but it is
on hold for awhile, and that's okay with me (for now).
The land is dreamy.....the trees are planted....and parts of it remain a working farm.
Along with the house, barn plans were also made. I mean really, everyone needs a barn!
A barn....everyone should have a barn!
I do have another motive.....don't tell The Darlings.....
but how great would it be to host a wedding in a big red barn??? I already have a total visual
on this one! I know...I have time....I don't need to be worrying about this right now,
after all, The Darlings aren't anywhere near marriage......

But my thought is....why not get started now?! I have been looking for just the right barn are some pretty great barns out there.

Kim Barn
This just might be it!
This photo was taken by my sister-in-law Kim.....she visited this very special place...
(not just the barn) and I am so glad she took this picture.
To see more of her work go HERE. She is fantastic!
So, back to the barn....I would love for ours to be something like this one.
It is what a barn "should" look like!

Meet Harvey....

April 19, 2010

Ahhhhhhhh, Harvey.....
A year or so ago....Uncle Pingo showed up with the most darling mini horse. Quickly his little girls named her Valentine. And they led her around like a dog and she loved it!
They rode her almost everyday. She was, and continues to be, a lovely little mini horse.
Well, a little time passed and Valentine started to get a little chubby....and then it was obvious...she was pregnant. Oh you can only imagine the excitement! Another darling little mini for each of Uncle Pingo's little ladies. Valentine got bigger and bigger....each day the family wondered if that would be the day the new little mini horse would be born.
And finally the day came.....
It didn't quite turn out the way we all thought it would.
It didn't look quite right......hummmm.....
Instead of a darling little mini horse....a DONKEY......was born. DONKEY!
After great disappointment, and some interesting name ideas.....(Honkey....and a few others...)
Harvey was named. Harvey doesn't know what he is. He was raised with dogs...and so he thinks he is part dog. No one told him that he is a mini donkey....He thinks he is a full size stud horse. He is pretty darn Macho...and not afraid to show it. He loves people.....he loves to bite people....especially the kids and he makes a noise like a donkey and a horse and a dog combined.
It is a very interesting noise.
My creation
The kids love to play with Harvey....and he likes them too....until he gets tired of them...
and then he bites them.
And then they run away screaming and then Harvey feels sad.
For a minute anyway,
and then the whole process begins again. Saturday while we were doing a little cotton burning....Harvey noticed that we were in front of his pasture and came running as fast as he could to get a little attention. He made his signature "noise," then The Darlings thought it would be the perfect time for a ride. First, PreShie climbed on and rode around for a little while. When she was done, she carefully climbed off Harvey....and then Harvey started to chase her...she ran and ran....screaming to the top of her lungs....fearing the dreaded Harvey bite! Luckily she made it to safety without a problem. Next, Cousin Joe approached Harvey, and Harvey quickly turned on him and chased Cousin Joe to the top of a nearby fence. Then Cousin Loly gave it a shot....the bottom right photo is of her nearly getting bit.
My creation
Then The Boy took over. He began to chase Harvey and Harvey was running for dear life! Next, he thought a little "bull/Harvey" fighting would be in order. Harvey played along for a few minutes and then he was board with that. Then The Boy got a great idea.....why not do a little they do in the rodeos....with cows. Why not with Harvey.
And so the games began.
Harvey vs. The Boy
My creation
It went on for several minutes....all the while a bit of a crowd gathered at the fence to see who would prevail. Harvey was growing tired. I think he just finally gaveup so The Boy would go away. And The Boy....well....he wasn't about to be beaten by Harvey, after all his pride was at stake. Dust flew, and the sutbborn little mini donkey ended up on the ground....with The Boy sitting on top of him. Can I just say....I have not laughed so hard in many years....
In fact I am laughing now just thinking about it again~
I often thank The Darlings for providing me with such great entertainment......
after is the least they could do for room and board....
don't you think?

The Traditional "Burn"

April 17, 2010

Our streets are lined with the most beautiful cottonwood trees.
Planted by those who came before us, more than 100 years ago. Some trees were possibly planted by our very relatives. Just the thought of that touches my heart. I imagine how it must have been for them....settling a new....very rough.....untamed.....piece of land.

The stories I have heard...and read....are sometimes sad, they knew loss all too well, and

very often stories are shared, of how hard they had to work, both the women and the men. Even though it was hard, they carefully layed out our streets, and planted cottonwood trees along the ditches. I wonder if they could have ever understood how large and majestic these trees would become.

In the Fall we watch their leaves change colors and drop to the ground.

In the Spring we welcome the green leaves.....

and the COTTON.
The COTTON falls from the trees...almost like a snow storm, and it gathers along the streets, like small snow drifts. 041
When The Darlings were little....and I do mean little....toddlers....
The Farmer's Mother taught them how fun it was to burn cotton. It has become and "event" in our family. When the COTTON begins to fall, the plans to burn are set into motion.
When The Darlings were small, The Farmer's Mother would walk with them up and down
the streets dropping matches and watching the cotton burn. Sometimes...if you were lucky, you would find a cattle guard filled with cotton and dropping a single match into it, would create quite a large fire. That was always fun!
So today we decided that it wouldbe a great day to burn.
The Farmer's Mother met us in the street...prepared with her own box of matches.
We began with a short class on fire safety;) Followed by a story of a COTTON burn gone wrong...and a fire that took a full week to burn out. So she suggested caution.
Next.....some instruction on finding right place to burn.....
somewhere that is loaded with cotton. She also admitted to doing a little buring on her own....
infact just yesterday afternoon. She likes a great burn!

Next....a demonstration!
How to burn successfully.

049 Look can see a small flame....almost as quickly as you drop the match...the flame goes out. It spreads very rapidly. I am not sure what is going on with PreShie in this pictures...a headache??? Who knows....and I especially love the expression on The Boy's face. He was sincerely having a great time! He is a bit of a "pyro."
The Farmer has tender memories of "burning" when he was a youngster...
and now The Darlings have been taught.....
Will it be something that they will teach their children????
Who knows, but I do hope so! or maybe The Farmer will have the great honor of passing
the burning ritual on to the next generation.....


Photo Walls

April 14, 2010

Lately I have wanted everything in my home to have some "meaning."
Each wall displaying something that makes us feel good. That makes us want to be better.
That makes us feel loved. That reminds us who we are, and what is most important to us.
Some of the walls have paintings done by The Farmer. Those are extra special to me.
Sometimes I hear The Darlings discuss which of The Farmer's paintings they love the most, and which one they hope to hang in their home someday.
That makes me happy.
Other walls display painting of the Savior, temples, and phrases that "speak" to us.
One wall in our family extra large wall, is beginning to fill with pictures
of The Darlings. They ask for more and more pictures. Now for balance....
How much is too much???
Or can you really have too many pictures of your family and children?
In searching for ideas, for the perfect photo wall, I came across a few ideas....
This wall is beautifully done....not quantity....quality!
I loved this one too. The door almost seems like another frame.....
framing the scenery outside. I love the use of black frames.

I like the idea of using shelves to add dimension.
Photos on canvas are so beautiful too! You can focus on just the photo....
not what it is framed in.

Up the stairs......
I love the thought of The Darlings baby pictures leading up the stairs....
This is something I have wanted to do for a long time....

Beautiful balance....
Grandma Vicki recently made a display of family pictures on the walls of her dining room....
It is so nice! The best part of the display, is watching each grandchild...and the adults too.....
search for the pictures that apply to them. Without fail, discussions begin and special moments are remembered. Seeing all of the pictures of the family together inspires a feeling of belonging.
A reminder of who they are, and how much they are loved.

Dear Boy.......

April 11, 2010


A Letter To Me

(By Brad Paisley)
If I could write a letter to me and send it back in time to myself at 17
First I'd prove it's me by saying look under your bed
There's a 22 rilfle and shotgun shells no one else would know you hid
And then I'd say I know it's tough when you break up after seven months
And yeah, I know you really liked her, and it just don't seem fair
All I can say is pain like that is fast, and it's rare.

And oh, you got so much going for you, going right
But I know at 17, it's hard to see past Friday night
She wasn't right for you
And still you feel like there's a knife sticking out of your back
And you're wondering if you'll survive*but*
You'll make it through this and you'll see
You're still around to write this letter to me.

At the stop sign at Abraham and Eighth
Always stop completely
Don't just tap your brakes
And when you get into the car,
Make sure your seat belt is on
Another thought remember,
To keep your helmet on

Each and every time you have a fight
Just assume you're wrong and dad is right
And you should really thank Mrs. Gabby
She spent so much extra time
It's like *she sees* the diamond underneath
And she's polishing you 'til you shine.

And oh, you got so much going for you, going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
Tonight's the bonfire rally but you're staying home instead
Because if you fail algebra, mom and dad will kill you dead *but*
Trust me you'll squeak by and get a C
And you're still around to write this letter to me.

You've got so much *up* ahead
You'll make new friends, you should see your kids and wife
And I'd end by saying have no fear
These are nowhere near the best years of your life.

I guess I'll see you in the mirror
When you're a grown man
P.S. go hug Aunt Marilyn every chance you can.

And oh, you got so much going for you, going right
But I know at 17, it's hard to see past Friday night
I wish you'd study Spanish
I wish you'd take a typing class
I wish you wouldn't worry, let it be
I'd say have a little faith, and you'll see


Who knew that 17 would come so fast!

Just a few things we love about you.....

We love your fierce loyalty to your family.....

(you can get mad at them...but no one else can....)

I love how you talk to me....(Mom)

We love your honesty, even though it is sometimes a little painful...

We love how funny you are....

We love that your family and friends confide in you....that you are trustworthy....

We love everything about you!!!

Life has been an adventure with you from the moment you came into this family,

and we have a feeling that the real adventure is just beginning,

You have shown great courage....

You have not been a perfect child.....but then again who has???

We are proud of you nonetheless...

My Boy....we have "known" you from the moment we layed eyes on are a familiar soul,

I loved it when Pres. Magadan said that he sees your Father in you....

He has known your Dad for a long, long time.....he would know.

I see him in you too!(Mom)

The time is coming soon, when you will leave us....I am not ready for that,

Marco says he thinks I will cry alot when mission time comes.....

what he doesn't know, is that I cry now just thinking about it.(Mom)

Dad and I love you more than we could ever express to you....You have been a joy and a blessing in our lives.....We thank Heavenly Father daily for sparing you life on more than one occasion,

*especially today as we remember Alexis and your accident 2 years ago*

Here's to the past....your extreemly active childhood...

to the present....your very very exciting;) youth....

and most of all to your future.....and all that is to come!

We Love You!!!

Happy Birthday!


Dad and Mom

Spring Break....And A Sad Chicken Accident....

April 11, 2010

Semana Santa (Spring Break) found us in Mesa to spend a little time with Grandpa and Grandma S. and the rest of the family!
Mesa is my all time favorite place during Easter, and this is why...

The Easter Pagent with Ned's Krazy Sub's (a must)

The smell of orange blossoms,

Fanstastic weather


I did say Ned's Krazy Sub....right??;)

Just a few of the many reasons.......

We were so sad to leave The Farmer behind...(he left for Conference a few days after us)

We were really happy when he joined us on his way home from Utah.

My creation While in Mesa we.....

"Rode the rail" to Phoenix

Had lunch at the Spaghetti Factory...(an institution)
You can see...The Rooster was just thrilled!

We had all of the "grand-girls" and a couple of the "grand-boys" with us,

Grandma Vicki hosts a great party!

My creation There was a sleep over....

The Easter Bunny found The Darlings....

Some people wore their Easter Baskets on their head....

We colored Easter Eggs...

We shopped...

Saw movies....

Some of us spent ALOT of time with a "dear friend";)

Others spent some quality time at Deseret Book.....shhhhhhh....don't tell!

An incredible photo shoot with Aunt Kim...

All in all...a complete success of a trip!

My creation On the way home we decided to make a stop in Thatcher, AZ.

The Boy wanted to take his BFF cousin...the darling lunch for her birthday,

So while he was doing that, we went on a search for chickens.....

This is the thing....

We had a very tragic chicken accident at our house a couple of weeks ago.
No need to re-hash the whole thing again, but the chickens are gone.

Except for one....the poor thing.

We are now the proud owners of 20 new chicks, of all varities.

We were lucky enough to find them at a feed store in Safford....where in case you have

a free moment while you are getting some chickens, you can go next door for a tattoo.

How about that?!!

We purchased the chicks....packed them in a box.....

put them into the to The Rooster...who cared for them so tenderly
until we arrived home.

Once we arrived home, he promptly made them the best little nest in town where they would

be warm, where they will live until they are bigger.

So Fun!!!!

We also ran onto one of our most favorite missionaries in the whole world....

Hermana Sandra Hernandez

She is beautiful as always and having a fantastic mission!

007 We also caught a glimpse of the Gila Valley Temple,

Open House coming very soon.

It is beautiful!


Today (Sunday) ends Semana Santa,

The Darlings will return to school and life will become full of schedules again...

Sleeping in late...

Afternoon fishing trips....

A house FULL of teenagers....

Movie night at Aunt S.'s house....

will all become but a memory of a wonderful 2 weeks!

"A Well Oiled Machine"

April 10, 2010

Months and months of planning have gone into this moment.....
the planting of the potatoes.
The day was warm. Under a bright blue sky, the tractors moved like a
"well oiled machine."
(that is a direct quote from Unlce Pingo)
The last several days have been full of problems with equipment not working correctly,
hot days,
planting all night long....
but finally it all came together.
As the planter moved up and down the rows, the men.... who were making sure the
seed potatoes didn't get caught in planter......
sang a few songs....very loudly;) That made the planting a little more enjoyable.
For me anyway!
Uncle Pingo told me that one of the workers had performed a special ritual on the field.
Something that had to do with breaking glass and an egg???
Anyway, it will insure a plentiful crop this year, without major problems.
He assured that all of the "witches had been worked out."
I thought that was pretty great....and I am wondering if he can stop by and do the same thing for The Darlings....

The "seed" potatoes aren't too pretty. They are certainly not something that you would want to eat. They have been sitting for months in temperature controlled rooms, preparing to be planted. Each potato falls into a little slot in the planter, and is carried down a conveyor until it is dropped into the ground and then covered with dirt.

152 This picture makes me smile;) (above)
That Farmer of mine....he said this post should be titled "king of the world"
(remember Titanic...the movie???)
or of the potato world....anyway....I love it when he is happy about farming, and when there are no bugs, or sick plants....or everything else hard that goes with farming. This is the best time of the year for a farmer....nothing majorly bad has happened yet.....
and so he is happy and most of all hopeful! I love that!
When the planting is finished, the watering begins....

Spring is fantastic this year.....
The light is beautiful, the flowers seem to be blooming better than usual....
Things are blooming that have not produced a flower.....for years.....
I am not sure if Winter seemed extra long this year....
or if Spring is just extra beautiful this year!
*When I arrived home from the farm today I found a note on the counter that said...
"Dear Mom,
I went spear fishing with Cousin Ben,
and Andre....
Be back soon!
The Boy"
Just another day in the life of The Boy!
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