November 19, 2010

When we brought PreShie home from the hospital after she was born...
The Boy...who was only 18 months old, held her on his little lap and
patted her so tenderly while saying ...
He called he that for a long long time.
He loved her from the moment he held her...and she has adored him, wanting to be where he was, and do what he was doing...she has been has biggest fan. Skip ahead a few years...and
many sibling moments where The Mother has wondered if they would ever like each other again...but always when times were difficult or really great...they have been each others
greatest supporter. This year has been a little different. She knows his mission is coming up soon....he too knows that before long, he won't be around for the teasing moments. Now I hear them talk about their challenges with each other...I hear her ask him about her outfits and if she looks cute. And I hear him kindly encouraging her or complimenting her.
Yesterday she came from school and told me of an experience she had had with The Boy at lunchtime. He had defended her, quite publicly, for something she had not done.
He stood up. He stood up for her.
I can't begin to explain the look I saw in her eyes as she told me what her Big Brother had done for her. It was pure love, it was adoration. It was how I had always hoped it would be.
The Boy didn't mention the experience...but when I asked...he recounted the moment and said
he had most likely lost a few friends...but that was okay with him.
And I said..." stood for the right today and I am proud of you...but most of all
you stood for your sister today...and that means everything to me...and to her."
On the way home from an activity last night..PreShie and I were alone in the car....she said..
"Mother dear I love you so.....(not really but I can pretend right???)
what am I going to do when the Boy isn't around to help me....I am a little afraid."
And I said..."You don't need to be afraid PreShie everything will be just fine...but you will
now need to take care of The Rooster like The Boy has taken care of both of you.
It will be your job to care for him." And she agreed.
Here's to The Darlings.....they know what family is all about!


A Great Give-Away!

November 11, 2010

My good friend PEDALING is hosting a great give-away.
Go HERE to check out the great prizes and how you can enter!
p.s. you will love, love, love her blog!!

A Fairytale Princess...

November 11, 2010

The Boy spent his day as a Tinkerbell yesterday.
The Rooster said....he seemed to really enjoy it;)
The Sadie Hawkins Dance is coming up very soon....and a group of The Boy's friends
were asked to the dance, by a group of young ladies with a great sense of humor.
At the begining of the day, the boys all dressed as Disney Princesses and were led from
classroom to classroom looking for clues.
It was the talk of the school.....the boys were great sports....and they had alot of fun.
The parents of The Boy could not be more proud of their darling Tinkerbell!
He sure made a cute one!

The Fairytale Princesses!

It's Not Unusual....

November 9, 2010

A few days ago....early in the morning....The Farmer and I set out on a little trip.
Mornings, on the highway leaving our an interesting place to be in the morning.
It is in the morning that ranchers who own small herds of animals are leading those herds to
locations that they can graze for the day. Very often you will encounter herds of milk cows, herds of goats and sometimes sheep, literally on the highway while the ranchers are working
hard to manage the animals to a secure and "fattening" location. Traffic stops, giving
those hard working men a chance to do what they need to do. No one gets mad, no one
honks their horns, everyone just sits and waits....patiently. The mornings are crisp and cold now. The ranchers are bundled in coats, and you can see the breath of the men and animals,
as they head out for the day. It is a moment worth watching.
It is one of my most favorite scenes of the day.
I am afraid that in 10 years we won't see things like this anymore. Ten years ago it was not unusual to see wagons pulled by horses drive along the road in the center of town.
Now it is a rare sight.
While on that same we passed the river, I watched a man, manage a large stump of wood, balancing it on his bicycle, while he walked along side holding tight to the stump. It was much to heavy for him to carry, yet he found a way to transport it.
He was taking it to his home to cut for firewood, to heat his possibly cook with.
It was impressive to me that conditions were not easy nor ideal .....but he made it work,
I thought about the wood on my porch...that I did not cut myself....that was delivered and stacked so that...heaven forbid...I not get cold;) And I gained a greater appreciation for what I have. My heart pained for the man who had so little and then The Farmer said...
"I would be willing to bet that, that little man is a happy man....that he finds joy in his day...and that he feels accomplished because he has done something hard today.
I would be willing to bet that, that man is happier than most people we will see today."
I love living in a place where there is still need.
Where opportunities to serve are not hard to find. Where contentment is found in very small things like a small herd of animals, and a stump of wood. I love that my children see it everyday
of their lives. I love that they ask...when it gets cold...which of our employees children need
coats, so that we can make sure they have one. That The Darlings spend a vacation day from school, chopping wood for the those in our area who need wood for warmth.
They are blessed children to see need....and to offer service!
Just reason number 1,000,000 of why I love where I live!

Home....More Gratitide...and Sadie's

November 7, 2010

kim kids 2
This time last year we were preparing to leave our home.
It was was necessary.....and even though it was a must, we were luckily enough to
share this experience with family. It brought stability in a very unstable time. This evening
the family gathered....we talked alot about last year. My first thought was back to a family gathering....where a plan was put in place...where a family became very unified. It was unlike most family was a sober time....everyone shared their concerns, and everyone was committed to the same Looking back, it was a tribute to a wonderful family who loves each other. It is what families are meant to be...It was just how a family should function. We spent the following several weeks together....on the road....trying to make the best out of a stressful time.
I am grateful for a stong family who is committed to each other.
This year we are home....I am beyond grateful for that!
The holidays are an extra special time in a home....we missed a bit of that last year....we arrived back home (last year) just a few days before Christmas...and spent nearly every moment trying to "catch up" with the traditions that we love so much. This year...the plan is to soak up every moment of just being home. A fire in the fireplace....the smells of the holidays...baking....decorating...just soaking it all up!!
In this special season of gratitude.....I am so grateful to be in my home with my family.
And I am grateful to be a member of a strong family who love and support each other.


On another note....It is Sadie Hawkins season in our area...and PreShie spent the week
asking her "friend" to the dance. She really made it fun for him, with and
suprises. He was such a great sport through it all...
I think he secretly loved every minute of the attention;)


Cousin Loly came over to help out with the final part of the weeks event....
The Reveal....
PreShie and Cousins Loly hooked up three air poppers....popped a ton of popcorn...

Filled a very large garbage bag....with popcorn and a bunch of little letters...
that her "friend" had to spell her name with. Our house smelled great!

It was just plain fun! PreShie carried her big bag onto the bus the following morning....
and made her delivery a lunchtime. It was a hit!
The "friend" enlisted a group of friends to help him sort through the bag and find all of
the letters, (he really already knew) and he spelled her name!

So now she waits....for his reply!
*a special congrats to PreShie who earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award today.
She has worked very hard...and accomplished many goals...
We are proud of you PreShie!!

Dia De Los Muertos...

November 5, 2010

Just a few years ago, Halloween was totally different than how we celebrate it today.
It used to be that huge groups of people would come from all areas of the city to
Trick or Treat in our community. Everyone one in our community was generous and handed
out bags and bags of candy each year. Instead of saying "trick or treat" the very simply
costumed children, (and not so "children" children) would chant the words "Halloween."
Costumes were never elaborate, in fact most of the time faces were painted and that was it.
The streets would fill with children....and not so small children....seeking candy.
The event would begin before the sun went down and end late into the night with a
few teenagers in the streets. Very often the streets would be so full with trick or treaters,
that it was impossible for cars to drive on the streets.
Things are different now....much quieter. Because of the safety issues, the school now
hosts a Halloween event, to allow the children to "trunk or treat," instead of being on the streets.
Our church also plans a Fall Festival, again for the children and families to celebrate in safety.
Our Fall Festival was so nice this year. Trunk or treating was a success and the children
left with more candy than they needed;) We ate some yummy soup and rolls,
and the children enjoyed a "Haunted Hayride" in the orchard. It was a perfect evening!

The following Monday and Tuesday we celebrated Dia de Los Muertos.
Traditionally, in Mexico, displays are made to honor those who have passed. This year
The Farmer's office staff, wanted to do something kind for him, and so they made a display for The Farmer's Father, who passed away several years ago. Everything that is a part of the display has meaning. They even arrived early to work,
to make Grandpa M's favorite foods,(steak, avocado,coke, and apples.)
They really went to alot of work. Many family members stopped by the office
to admire the display. The Farmer's Mother was very touched.


Special sweet breads are made to celebrate this day....these have bones accross the top...
The Darlings thought they were pretty tasty!

In the afternoon, the family met at the cemetary. It was filled with many families cleaning
their family plots and placing flowers on their loved ones graves.

Uncle Merriner joined us. He is the one who makes sure that our family plot is cleaned
and in order. He has set a great example for all of us. He is a wonderful man.
It is so fantastic that The Darlings are being raised by different generations of family.
Uncle Merriner has played a great role in their lives...he has always been interested in them, and kind to them. We love our Tio! It was a wonderful day, it was great to pay tribute
to those who have gone before us!

Gratitude...FHE....And Soup....

November 2, 2010

Last night we celebrated the begining of Fall.
The mornings are cold....the evenings are too....the days are still warm.
The leaves on the trees are yellow and falling....there is just a special feeling in the air.
I love it!
We officially welcomed Fall last night with the first leaves of our Gratitude Tree, being placed.
During the month of November, we fill our tree with things that we are grateful for. It is a great reminder of how blessed we really are. A few notes of gratitude that I found interesting last night were....The XBox (The Rooster), this is siginificant because The Rooster "lost" it a few weeks ago because he hadn't completed some assignments at school....he finally earned it back just a few days ago. Another....Peanut Butter (PreShie) she has always LOVED peanut butter, but just recently found out that it is high in fat....what a let down. Another....School (The Boy), okay...that was a mockery I am pretty sure...although he is quite enjoying the "social" aspect of his life at the moment and soaking up his Senior year. And finally....Wife (The Farmer) and although he loves his wife....I am pretty sure this was a political move...had he put something else could have caused a small problem for him...I am just saying....
Cousin Loly came by....she added her said...My Missionary. And for me.....
I am beyond grateful for moments with my children....around our dinner table...talking about the events of the day....laughing together....just being together. I am grateful for that!

The Farmer has taken to drawing on the leaves this year....that makes it extra fun.
The tree will soon fill up with gratitude leaves.

Another yearly event is Dinner In A Pumpkin. I have used the same recipe for years but
this year I tried a new version. It was super YUMMY!
We will make this our new "Fall Dinner."
Fall Soup In A Pumpkin
5 small baking pumpkins
2 t. sugar and Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a small knife carefully cut a circle around the stem
of the pumpkin. Remove the lid, and clean out the inside of the pumpkin. Sprinkle 1/2 each salt,
and sugar inside of the pumkin, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30
minutes, or until tender. For me, it was more like 40 minutes.
Meanwile make the soup.
3 T. butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
Kosher salt
1 t. thyme
1 t. sugar
1 can evaporated milk
10 c. chicken broth
1 med. butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large saucepan, add onion and 1 t. salt. Add thyme and cook until onion is soft. Add squash and sugar, then add chicken stock and cook until squash is soft. Once the squash is soft, use and immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add evaporated milk, season with salt and pepper and ladle into the cooked pumpkins.
Add toppings such as;
crutons, finely chopped green onion, crispy bacon, rice, Durkee onions,
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and a little chopped parsley.
It is the perfect a perfect Fall season!
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