It's The Day I've Been Dreading....

August 30, 2010

The day I have been dreading....for the past 17 years has arrived.
It was the first day of school for the Senior Boy.
That means...the countdown has begun! I am doing my best not to burst into tears as I type.
I used to make The Darlings promise me.....when they were small....that they wouldn't leave me.
I know what you are I am!
Don't get me wrong...there ARE moments that I wouldn't feel too bad if The Boy were to move on....but they are few. Mostly I find myself thinking the days he was darling and small. And he needed The Farmer and me. I have been recounting stories that begin like this....
"remember when you were six....."
"remember that time that you rode your big wheel to The Farmer's office...."
and each story is followed by a sigh.......
How did it happen so dang fast??? I guess I thought it would last a little longer. Not too much "family planning" went into The Darlings...they pretty much arrived when they wanted too. What that means that they will also leave as quickly as they came....and all together.
It would be so great to have a little more time...but I can tell....he is ready.
He is ready to begin the life journey that will be will begin with a mission for our church,
that will last for two years. Right now....we are soaking up every moment...and I do mean every moment! Every football game.....every basketball get the idea.
And in quiet moments.....I cry.



PreShie is headed for a wonderful year! She has set some great goals....she is participating in cheer.....she is full of excitement and hope for a super year.
And....she is darn cute!!! (I can say that cuz I am the Mom!!!)
I like that PreShie alot!!


The Rooster feels....about school....just like he looks in this picture!
Not at all excited about "school" but very excited about his friends/cousins, that he rides
the bus with everyday. He is off to a great start as an 8th grader....after one week of school....
his backpack is still clean and organized!!! Horray!!!
He is playing football.....but is really looking forward to being on the golf team which will
begin in the Spring. In his free moments...he is riding his horse and dreaming of a new set of golf clubs....and new spurs!!! That Rooster is the BEST!!!
He is very close to earning his Eagle Scout award....and hoping that he will be getting a new IPod once his scouting duties are complete!
He is a gentle and kind...and the thing he hates the the taking
care of the chickens! But...those chickens do love him!!

The begining of the end......
(atleast the end of high school!)
Sigh.................tears...................more tears...........

The Lord's Peaches...

August 26, 2010

(The Harvest - Part #2)
Yesterday afternoon, I entered the house...was greeted by The the door
"If you are going to get some great pictures of the peaches....we have got to go now!" he said.
I grabbed my camera and we jumped in the truck, headed to Uncle Gordon's orchard. On the way, The Farmer explained that the peaches were nearly the size of a softball and they were beautiful. "You won't be disappointed...I promise" he said.

We arrived at the isn't too far from our home and that Farmer knew what he was talking about! The peaches were huge and beautiful!
Uncle Gordon is a dearly family friend. His orchards are some that his father owned years and years ago. He has kept them as sort of a tribute to his father. The Farmer has cared for Uncle Gordon's orchards for years and they never really produced too well. It seemed it was always one problem or another. That is until two years ago. Uncle Gordon decided that he would give all the proceedes from one of the orchards, to our church, to support missionaries serving full time missions. And at the moment....very literally....the orchards began to produce.
We began to call the peaches...."The Lord's Peaches"..... and miracles started to happen.
An orchard that for years had suffered with problem after problem, was now producing some of the most beautiful peaches we have ever seen....and LOTS of them!
When the Lord has purposes to be fulilled....He will provide the way.



The trees are soooo loaded with fruit, that several branches have broken
under the weight of the peaches.


"The Lord's Peaches"
Prettiest peaches in town!!

The Harvest......part #1

August 25, 2010

The harvesting began last week.
It hasn't been a year without fact....The Farmer said, that about everything that could possibly go wrong....went wrong. Water shortage....broken equipment you name it. Often
"farming karma" doesn't bless you two years in a row, and that was the case this year. But we are grateful that there are SOME potatoes to harvest...
........we had just hoped that there would be a few more;)

The days have been long and hot.....and HUMID!

It is hard work to gather the potatoes as they are pulled out of the ground by the tractors....

The Farmer purchased a consession trailer while we were in Utah and turned it into a mobile
potato lab. He REALLY likes that potato lab! As the potatoes are harvested they are tested for starch levels, viruses, and checked for damage or any type of rot. In order to test, the
potatoes have to be fried. So fresh chips are made in the fields all day long. The Farmer his truck....salt, lemon and Valentina chile, so that he too can make sure the potatoes are in good condition! It makes a trip to the fields a little more enjoyable.


Every evening the clouds gather, and are beautiful!
The contrast of the blue sky and the fluffy white clouds is amazing!
We have enjoyed evening thunderstoms the last several weeks, it has been a treat.
It is such a beautiful time of year, we are enjoying the "fruits" of the harvest literally.
Our meals are loaded with peaches....apples...and anything else that may be growing at the moment! I do love summer!

A side note.....
Very close to one of the potato The "Lake" Ranch.
It belonged to The Farmer's Father.
It now belongs to one of The Farmer's brothers, and a times he is kind enough to allow
The Boy keep his horses there. It is a pretty ranch....especially at this time of year!

Dinner And A Show....

August 21, 2010

(This one is for you...Auntie)
During our recent trip to Utah we ate out way too much! (Just thought I should admit that.)
Anyway...we had so many great friends and family to connect up with, and it was usually done around food.
And can I just say....I loved every bite!!
One lovely Provo evening, Uncle Tom and Aunt Charli invited us to meet at
"the best kept secret in Provo Utah".....that is what they called it. It was off the beaten path a bit.....
easy to fact the directions to get there involved the local Maverick gas get my point. It was Chinese food, and if you know The know that Chinese food speaks to his soul. Friends and cousins gathered, several tables were combined so that we could all sit at one end....women at the other....(just the way we like it!)
...and Uncle Tom ordered the food, after all.....he said he had basically eaten everything on the menu atleast once, so he would know what to order. The restuarant was not fancy...but was obviously owned and operated by three generations of a sweet Chinese family. They had sectioned off one part of the dining room for their family area. Just as our food began to arrive, they too began their evening ritual of the family dinner, including small children, parents, uncles, and grandparents. It was a delight to watch. One young member of the family was about 6-7 years old. A sweet, chubby little boy who had just had his evening bath and was wearing his PJ's.....shorts and a matching t-shirt.....about 3 sizes too small as evidenced by the inevitable wedgie;) His Mother was spoon feeding him so lovingly when he stood up from the table and began his martial arts routine. He executed every move with precision! Chopping motions into the air....karate' kicks.....the works.
Every once in a while as he would pass his Mother....doing his karate' moves....she would spoon his dinner quickly into his mouth as he continued the routine.
As we were enjoying this moment from across the room,
Auntie leaned over to me and said...."WOW, it's dinner AND .....a show!"
We laughed and laughed and laughed! That Auntie has a pretty great sense of humor.
So, this one is for you Auntie....dinner AND a show....Mexico Style....


I don't know about your kids....but The Darlings become hungry the moment we set out on the road for a trip. Even if they had just eaten before we left the house. Especially The Rooster.
There is a little stop along the road to El Paso, that The Farmer and The Rooster really enjoy in a place called "Entronque". It is a place that sells burritos and gorditas. In fact, the entire little town sells gorditas --the entire main road is lined with vendors carrying ice chests full of burritos and gorditas (by the way they fling the ice chests in front of your car to get your attention you would think they were selling ice chests). The Farmer has eaten at most of the little stores and on the street but he still swears that "The Guero" is the best.
(they have clean restrooms which is always a plus....and a rarity in Mexico).
This little man, above, is always there, and The Farmer always orders the same thing.
Two things you can always count on.
The little man will play you a tune on his guitar...which I might add is terribly out of tune...he can produce a trumpet sound with his lips and sing(?) and he has also taped a clock on the front of his guitar so that any given moment...may check to see the time. He also carries a small that you can "show your appreciation" when he is done with his song. He also takes requests!
I am sure that you can imagine his delight when The Farmer invited him outside so that we could take his picture in front of his place of work! The Farmer gave him a little extra "thank you" for allowing us to photograh him;) We all returned to the car, each with their own "favorite" morsel and we continued on our way....a few minutes passed and The Farmer said...
Our singing friend....his guitar....and can...

The Farmer's favorite of all time burrito.... the Mole' Burrito.
He also loves the...Rajas con Queso...(green chile strips and cheese).
Just as small tip....if you plan to eat the Rajas con Queso...while you are will need to keep a plastic bag over the bottom end of the is quite juicy! Eating a burrito while diving is an art! Just ask The Farmer....the bag is a must! (either that or bring an extra shirt to change into when you are done eating).
The tortillas for the burritos are made fresh while you wait,
(extra yum!)

The Rooster's favorite is....Papa's con Queso...(potatoes with cheese...and a little chile)
He has been known to eat a time, (That is alot for The Rooster!)

Dinner....AND.....a Show......Mexico Style!


August 19, 2010

The Rooster doesn't like very many different types of could say that he is a "picky"
eater. The other two Darlings will eat anything and everything, so this has been pretty hard for The Rooster's Mom. We are a vegetable lovin', vegetable growin' family and The Rooster will rarely eat veggies. He is a little better with fruit...I am guessing it is because most fruits are sweet...and The Rooster has a SWEET tooth!!
Before we left for Utah....we planted a lovely garden. I knew that we wouldn't get to enjoy
too much from the garden this summer, because we would be gone. Anyway, it just didn't seem right, not to plant the garden and so we did. We came home to yummy squash, and lots of okra, which we love! The tomatoes and green beans had passed. Oh well....
One afternoon, while helping me in the garden, The Rooster discovered a vine that was growing in the corner of the garden. I am not a fan of a vine and typically don't plant them inside the garden because they usually take over, growing all over the other plants and making a mess. After carefully inspecting the vine, The Rooster announced that it was in fact a watermelon, and there were two baby watermelons attached, so would I please leave the vines so they could grow. I agreed, and honestly forgot about the watermelon.....Until Sunday afternoon. The Rooster
was looking for somthing to keep him busy....after church and lunch....I was preparing for my
beloved Sunday afternoon nap ;)......when he entered the house carring the watermelon. It was the perfect size and it was beautiful. Now, watermelon is something that The Rooster LOVES!
He immediately wanted to cut it and taste it. I sugggested that he give it a chance to cool off and that we would cut it after "nap" time;) And so I retreated to my bedroom.


When I awoke this is what I found.....The Rooster's idea of cooling off the watermelon.


On the other side board....everything ready for the first slice...
Salt....Lemon....Tajin chile...a Knife.....a Plate.......
He was ready to go!

And so we cut it.
It made the perfect cracking noise when the knife when in, and juice spilled out all
over the counters. You can just imagine his excitement..
..until.....he tasted it.
It was bitter, it was white was terrible!
And The Rooster burst into tears! Everything he had hoped and dreamed about had just
ended....and not in a good way. The poor guy!

158 And so we sliced up that nasty watermelon, put it into the "chicken/compost" bowl and carried
it out to the chickens.....

They were thrilled....and ate every piece of that watermelon up!
A happy ending to a not so happy story....
I am guessing that last we were composting with the chickens...a watermelson seed
went deep into the soil and grew to be a large plant this year.
That is why the watermelon was pretty nasty...

A Perfect Summer Evening....

August 14, 2010

It is a place full of memories for more than one generation of The Farmer's family..
The Farmer spent much of his childhood at The Escondida Ranch.
Some of that time he was working....mending fences....gathering cattle to be branded...
Some of that time he was enjoying a family picnic or camping trip.
Other times, the family Christmas tree was carefully chosen...
and then there are the "man" trips, on 4-wheelers, held each year at the same time.
It is a lovely place, and so filled with wonderful memories.
When I was expecting The Boy, we made trips to the Escondida...
when The Boy was a little boy....he decided to give the Vacas....(cows).....
his....BaBa...(bottle), because The Farmer told him that they were really hungry,
and thus ended The Boy's BaBa days. He never really felt too bad about his gift
to the Vacas....he has has been a "cowboy" Boy since birth.
The Darlings have all spent a great amount of time at The fact during our recent trip to Utah, they longed for our summer trips to the ranch. The Darlings grew up in the streams that run only in the summer months....playing, swimming and fishing...when they were older, they enjoyed a little cliff jumping at the Dam. I asked The Boy, if he too would share this great treasure with his children...and his response was "for sure!!!"
Oh how we love a summer picinc at The Escondida Ranch.

046 '
Our most recent trip was a bit unusal. There were no Darlings with us.
Some had football, and another was sick. But that did not stop The Farmer, myself, and The Farmer's Mother....from joining other family members for a late afternoon journey to
The Escondida. The afternoon was warm....there was just enough water.....and after
a great attempt at building a small dam was made, by The Farmer and his brothers.....
there was just enough water for the little nieces and nephews to enjoy a swim. Truthfully
I think that the grown men enjoyed the process of building the dam, as much as the children
enjoyed swimming in the collected water;)

The recent rains have left The Escondida beautifully green.
The local wildlife were a bit disturbed for a few hours while the children collected
tadpoles, and anything else that they could find to play with. Always, The Farmer's Mother,
who has spent years on this ranch....was heard in the background saying...."don't hurt the
tadpoles....snakes....(or whatever they were playing with).....they would like to go back to their families...." or "be gentle...son't squeeze the little fish too hard..." I asked her about the years and years that she has spent on the ranch....and she said it was one of The Farmer's Father's favorite places to be. She rode with him on horseback...on the back of mules...on the back
of a 4-wheeler....or sometimes in the truck....all over the mountains of that ranch.
And she loved it!


122 The traditional stir-fry was was quite yummy!
onion....bell pepper....
all served on warm tortillas, topped with avocado...

And when we were preparing to leave the ranch....this is what we saw.....
It was a perfect ending to a perfect summer evening picnic at
The Escondida Ranch.

Boy Scout Camp

August 3, 2010

Scout Camp....Dublan Style....began last week at the Thorn Ranch.
After several days there, the young scouts came home and
continued working on the merit badges that their leaders had planned out.

Cooking....Citizenship in the Nation....Astronomy....
(or a few have called it!)
All Finished at the end of a busy week!
Horray to the their leaders who kept them moving.....
And made great progress this week.

The most entertaining was the 400 mt. swim, using 4 different strokes...
In Uncle Ron's preson...
(large reservoir)
It really wore them out.
But they got it done.

The Scouts....
all cousins....except one...
(and two Uncles, who are their leaders...)

No matter how tired a young scout is....
There is always enough energy to do a few tricks.
The Rooster had a great time!


August 1, 2010

We hadn't really planned to go to Yellowstone, but that is where we ended up.
And that my friends, is traveling with The Farmer.
While at The Ranch, in Idaho, The Farmer announced that we were going to head to
Yellowstone Park, and why not.....we were pretty close by. So we left Idaho, drove
for several hours and arrived in Jackson Hole a little late, but in time for The Boy to
see some friends of his who are working there for the summer.
We found a hotel....quite possibly the last one in town....and settled down
for the night. The next morning, we headed for Yellowstone. We passed through the
Grand Teton National Park, which was amazing. The weather was great!
We along with a few thousand other folks....arrived at Yellowstone mid-morning and we
must have stopped 10 or 15 times to admire the scenery until we realized that
around every corner it was equally as beautiful. Even though the evidence of the terrible
forest fire, from a few years back, is present, you would hardly notice it through the
amazing re-growth that is taking place.

We headed to Old Faithful, and were lucky enough to see it work it's magic, twice.
The second time, we were sitting in front of the Beehive Geyser, just a few hundred yards
away from Old Faithful.....Just as old Faithful ended.....the Beehive began. To be right next
to it was amazing!

We discovered, the next day, that The Farmer's brother Uncle J. and his family were watching
Old Faithful, right at the same time we were, just a few hundered yards away, and we
didn't even know that each other was there.


Much to The Darlings delight....(not really).....we hiked to a location called Fairy Falls.
It ended up being a little longer of a hike than we anticipated......
The day was hot.....we all got a little sunburned....and thirsty.
When we finally arrived....(along with a few other hikers).....The Rooster yelled out....
"This is it??????......we hiked all that way to see THIS?????"
"There is nothing extra-ordinary about this!!!!"
And then he proceeded to climb the side of a mountain and sit and wait for us to finish
admiring the beautiful falls.
And then we headed back.....5 miles up.....5 miles back.

On the way out of Yellowstone the same evening, we had commented to each other,
that we had really missed seeing wildlife. I had expected bears to come to the car and Moose
to be wandering amongst the tourists....
Luckily we were able to see a few Elk on our way out. Another interesting converstation heard
in the car while we were exiting the park.....
The Farmer...."that has got to be the biggest squirrel I have ever seen!....I mean really it is must be fed well by the!"
The Boy....."Dad..(with a bit of disgust in his voice..)...that was a beaver...."


Another fun thing about Yellowstone, was watching the people enjoy the beautiful park,
and the animals. Traffic jams were common in the evening...people actually left their running
cars to capture a picture of the beautiful wildlife. There was joy in the faces of the
adults and children who were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the
fantastic animals. It was a lovely day in Yellowstone Park!

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