September 29, 2010

I am here....Chicago.
We missed our anual trip this year because business was so crazy....but we postponed our tickets, with a promise from The Farmer that we would make the trip before it got cold.
Well....we are here....and it has gotten nippy in this lovely city.
Our trip began yesterday at 4:00 am when we left our home. We finally arrived in Chicago around 2:00 pm. We ate at a favorite spot....and I asked The Farmer....
"why does food taste better in Chicago???" he just laughed.
We are staying in a lovely little hotel....more on that later........ I have already laid
out my day. A little shopping.....and dinner with friends.
The Darlings sent their requests...tomorrow a show....more yummy food.
Ahhhhhhhhh.....I do love this place!
****p.s. A big thanks to the Grandparents S. who are in charge while we are away...I don't worry when they are in charge...they run a tight ship! and a big Happy Birthday, to my Darling Brother Ben...the well adjusted middle child! I love that guy!
Make it a ZTejas Birthday my Brother Ben!!!

To Convivir.....

September 27, 2010

The teenager cousins taught me a lesson late Friday night....around a large fire that they
had set down at the Solecito....this is what they said....
them:"why do our parents always want us to be at home watching a movie??"
me: "because they can SEE you and know that you are safe."
them: "well, we don't want to watch a movie...we want to convivir."
And then I got on the 4-wheeler and went home...leaving them to just enjoy being together....
that is what it means to CONVIVIR. As I left the cousin teenagers, I asked only one thing...
"please don't burn up the orchards or the beautiful cottonwood trees that line the river....PLEASE!" and they promised they wouldn't.
JSA Football games are a perfect example of what it means to convivir.
Friday afternoon we all met....parents, uncles, aunts, community members...and anyone
else who wanted to be there.....at the JSA football field for another home football game. It feels like we are on the road most weekends....following our boys...it is nice to enjoy a home game now and then. Both the JV and Varsity played...and both teams won. Although it was a hot day....
the stands were filled with loyal fans...cheering....visiting...and eating;)

The games were fun to watch.

Cousin moments were observed. The younger cousin played a great JV game.

And things were seen that have not been seen before.

Everyone had a wonderful afternoon.
The Rooster set up his pumpkin stand, and was blessed with a little success. He was
counting his change all the way home....He was a happy boy!
Our home was filled with teenagers Friday night...several stayed the night....
Early Saturday morning the group climbed on the 4-wheelers and headed for the Escondida Ranch. They spent the day eating steaks, swimming at the dam, and just being together.

Satudrday morning The Farmer and The Rooster headed to the Farm, and when they returned
the had a load of pumpkins...and a huge bag of potato chips that had just been made.
Oh wow! were they ever good. Along with the mobile lab...aka The Confession Trailer....we have another lab at the Farm where they potatoes are tested when they are harvested. This is one of the tests that is required....making potato chips!

Once home...The Rooster got busy and made his toppings for the chips....soy sauce, Valentina...and lime and shared with anyone who stopped by. What I do know for sure is that
by Saturday night....the huge bag of chips was gone!
It was a weekend full of Convivir-ing.....
(I am pretty sure that is not a word......but you get what I mean.)
*Tomorrow I am on the road again....to one of my MOST favorite places ever! I can't wait!

Memories Made....

September 25, 2010

(Caution....Photo Overload!)
The 16th of September is the Independence Day for Mexico....this year Mexico celebrated
200 years of freedom. The Darlings enjoyed 3 days out of school, and the celebrations in Mexico were very big. Fireworks....gun shots....parades....more gun shots....parties into the night and the days to follow. We decided that a trip into the mountains would be way we would celebrate. We planned.....the family gathered....and only two hours past our departure goal....we left for the mountains. A new highway is being built that makes getting into the mountain communities much easier. It is not yet complete, but even the part that is complete, makes a big difference in travel time.

With just our immediate family....we had four very loaded trucks....a load of children...a load of teenagers...a dog....and more extended family joined us a little later in the day.


The view was amazing....the gun shots on the sign???......normal.

We were able to see the grooves in the rocks that were made from pioneer wagons entering the area...a hundred years ago. It is really a humbling sight to see.


You have the chance to see things, in the mountains....that you would not see anymore. The corn that is strung and hung to dry on this barn, was also grown in ground that was plowed by a horse and watered with rain. They do not have irrigation...they depend upon the rain to water their crops.
I love this barn....our dear friend Art calls it "the barn of my dreams."
Again, a remnant of the early pioneers that established this mountain colony.


The teenagers didn't think they would have a fun day...in fact they tried really hard to get out of going on the trip. Thanks to some very determined parents....these teenager cousins had
a great time! Everyone in the picture is a cousin except for one young man.


Our family and extended family...sharing a very yummy lunch!


The little children cousins played and played in the stream.

I really like him!!!

PreShie, spent most of the trip taking pictures....


The men prepared stir-fry for lunch. There was quite a discussion on how exactly the stir-fry should be prepared....the men told the women to step aside and they would take care of the stir-fry. The women retreated and the food was wonderful!!


Some people....The Rooster....who do not eat vegetables...constructed their own "burritos"
for lunch. Can you say Yum??


We ate alot of garden fresh tomatoes....passing the salt shaker along with the tomatoes.

This dog smiled all day long!


Our family and extended family.
It was great to have Uncle Merriner and Aunt Winnie with us...along with Uncle Rick, Aunt Lynnette, and also Uncle Tony's family. It was a wonderful day and a treat to
spend a little time in Colonia Pacheco.
I hope that when The Darlings are adults, they will remember this day with fondness. That they will remember how blessed they are to be a part of a strong family, who loves them.
I hope that they will remember the sacrifice that was made by those who came before us.

A Pony Named "Princess"

September 21, 2010

Her name is Corona...."Crown".....I call her Princess.
She is The Boy's new horse.
I like to call her princess because the thought of The Boy calling out the name "Princess"
while he is roping....just puts a smile on my face;) She is a young palomino....and he has
BIG plans for her! He purchased "Princess" from a dear friend....they have been friends since they were born. They are the same kind of young man....and so they understand each other.
The Boy's friend raises and trains horses and then sells them....to help with his family's expenses. His father is very ill and cannot work. That young man is an exceptional young man! I am grateful he and The Boy are such dear friends.
The Boy has always felt the absence of his Grandpa Max. That man was everything "cowboy" and then some. The Boy loves all the same things his Grandpa loved.....ranches....horses....boots....a good steak....cowboy hats...and roping.
The Boy often tells me that if his Grandpa Max were around....he would be will equipped with the cowboy items that he feels he is lacking;) ....more boots.....more hats....more horses...you get the idea. Grandpa Max actually gave The Boy his first horse ride...when he was 18 months old...and it happend to be the night before he died. Grandpa Max is missed around here. I think he would really like The Boy's new horse.

Okay...back to "Princess".....The Boy pleaded....The Farmer agreed and the horse was
purchased. Who knew that something so simple could make The Boy so giddy!
He was grinning from ear to ear for days.......
We drove to the nearby town to see the horse. She is a beauty!
She is still being trained....so it will be awhile until she comes home. The Farmer told
The Boy that owning a horse is just about like owning a car....a title should come along
with her. And so The Dear Friend....presented The Boy with his "title" of ownership
of the horse called Corona....or Princess...whatever works in the moment!


One giddy Boy!!!....and his Dear Friend.

new pics 082

The Farm is full of these at the moment....There is something really special about a pumpkin...I am not sure why but theyare really fun to have around. This year...there are small pumpkins and medium pumpkins...there are not two alike! Maybe we love the pumpkins so much, because they are sort of a symbol of the changing seasons. Our house is filling up with pumpkins....all shapes and sizes. The Darlings each have their own collections....

We do love a pumpkin around here!!!

new pics 083

A Confession Trailer???

September 20, 2010


*Over heard in The Farmer's truck...on a drive to the mountains.....
"Dad".....(aka. The Farmer....).....
"How is your CONFESSION trailer working out for you???"
Thanks for the laughs Preshie!;)

Varsity Football and The Boy....

September 17, 2010


Wow....Am I ever behind on bloggin! Life is busy these days...a good busy....but BUSY!
So....part 2 of the first away game of the season...Reserve NM.
The Varsity played very well....and WON their game! This was a very sweet win because,
1. Reserve has not been the best in the area of sportmanship.
*Last year their coach was a real piece of work....and the team played very dirty.
2. It was their Homecoming game!
*guess they invited us because they thought we would be an easy win...not the case!
3. The game was played on their own field.
*Last year we met half way in Silver City, NM.

The Varsity team is loaded with talented young men this year! Several of them played
and exceptional game. No major injuries to speak of....only Rancho...which turned out to be a charly horse...which we later determined...he was just really tired and needed a rest....and so he took it on the field;) Tempers did get a little heated at moments....The Boy
lost his temper for a moment after beling clipped from behind while recieving a pass.....
which.. p.s. the ref. chose not to notice the event....anyway.....
Aside from a little drama, the game was excellent and the team played well!

PreShie was showing support to #83...who will remain nameless;) He is a sweet young man who thinks Preshie is pretty great!

As a Mom, I am finding so much joy in watching my children have great experiences!
It is a complete pleasure for me to follow them...no matter how far....to see them participate in
sports, cheer...or whatever it may be. I really appreciate that they allow me to share in these experience with them.
I not only love them....I really LIKE them!

I am still not sure what happened to the ref. something about his knees....I felt kind of bad to take a picture....but it was one of those moments that needed to be photographed. By the way...he got right up and finished the game with any problem. The Boy felt a little bad because he said...."that guy was the nice one." We spent from 12:00 noon until 5:30 pm in the sun...watching football and cheerleaders. We left sunburned, but happy!
Late that night we got the news that my niece had been in a very serious 4 wheeler accident in Northern Arizona. Her injuries were so serious, I didn't sleep much that night, fearing we would get another terrible phone call.
Thankfully she is doing so well, and will fully recover from her injuries.
The last several days have been full of learning experiences. I have learned that honesty is rare.
DisHonesty seems to be the norm these days. It seems to be ever present and accepted.
Secret Combinations....still exist.....it is difficult to find people who are willing to stand for what is right.
Having said that....no one is perfect...we all have room to improve, including myself.
Another random note....I have watched two young men prepare to leave on missions this past week, one actually reported to the MTC yesterday. That particular young man is the son of a dear friend of mine named Jen...you can find her HERE......I watched her boy make some tough decisions last year...decisions where he had to choose between friends he loved, and doing what was right. He chose well! I gained a deep respect for that young man, and his friends love him dearly and respect him for being strong when they chose not to be. He will be an amazing missionary! I had the chance to visit with him the night before he left....I could see in his eyes that he was prepared to embark on this next phase of his life. He was ready! He is a great tribute to a wonderful Mother who taugh him well. She has taught him by example. The second young man will leave next week. He too is changing right before our eyes....maturing. Last night, during a cookout at our house, he came into the kitchen and asked if he could do anything to help me clean up....it isn't something he would have done a few weeks ago....but last night I saw in his eyes a tenderness I have not seen before. He too is ready! Last week at the football games, after their win...the Varsity kneeled together on the football field, to sing "The Army of Heleman" it is always a touching moment to witness....I caught a glimpse of that same young man....sheding tears as his friends sang....he knew that it was his turn to serve and this is the moment that he had been preparing for, for most of his life. At that moment...he knew....he was ready!
Again....a wonderful week of learning and always through hard experience the Lord blesses us with sweet experiences. We are blessed!!

JV Football And The Rooster....

September 14, 2010

Last Thursday we began our journey....and journey it was.....to the first away game of the football season. Reserve New Mexico was the destination. The Darlings each boarded a bus,
the cheerleaders and the JV team rode together, and the Varsity team took another bus.
The night before, The Darlings made a visit to the community store, "La Manzana Verde" to equip themselves with what they call a "lunch." What it looked like to me, was a bunch of junk!
With the "lunch" purchased, bags packed...football gear washed... they began the drive.
Reserve, New Mexico, is in the middle of no-where, located about 5 hours from where we live.
Thursday, the teams made it to Silver City, NM. They checked into the hotel, had a little dinner,
made a visit to the local Walmart and settled down for the night.....sort of.
The next morning....Friday...after a tasty breakfast at the hotel....they headed to Reserve,
another 1 1/2 hours away. I followed along with the buses and enjoyed the scenery!
It is a beautiful drive.
I found myself stopped along the side of the road....many times....taking pictures;)

The JV played first.....and scored a touch down on the first play.
It was a great game! They won.....they were happy!

The Varsity Cheerleaders even did a few cheers for the JV. Afterall, 4 of the cousins were on the team....and 3 of the cheerleaders were their sisters!
It was the least they could do....don't ya think???

Cousins Jackson....Max...The Rooster....and David....
with Uncle Dan as one of their coaches.

The winning Lobos!

The Rooster has now had his first away game....been tackled by a boy 3-4 times his size....
and lived to tell! It is going to be a great football season!
Way to go Rooster!!

*Just one of the pictures that were taken along the side of the road....
The sunflowers were beautiful!!!

"These Are Some Good Times..."

September 7, 2010

"You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast,
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now,
But you're gonna miss this
You're gonna miss this,.........You're gonna miss this....."
(Trace Adkins)

The first Pep Rally of the season was last Friday......(my birthday....hehe),
anyway, The Boy is playing Varsity Football....PreShie is a Varsity Cheerleader...and
The Rooster is playing JV Football.
The Cheerleaders did a wonderful job getting the crowd excited!


The Senior class...The Boy's class....is a great group of teenagers. They are all
great friends and really enjoy each other. They are full of spirit and....I think.....
they are adding a great energy to the school. They like to have fun....They made the
Pep Rally extra special because they participated so well.

Lots of yelling.....
Lots of cheering.....

The Boy was really getting into it!!!

PreShie and The Rooster sharing a little "sibling love" after the Rally.

And here we have....a little...."cousin love." The three girl cousins cheering.....
The 1 boy cousin playing Varsity Football....
and the 4 "young buck" cousins....playing JV Football.
And...how fun that they all really love each other too!!!


Man....those are some cute cousins!!


There he is.....The Senior Boy.....
(he changed his number last night....oh well....)
Someday he really will miss the care-free life of a teenager.
For now....we soak it up.....every minute!!!
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