Only 360 Days To Go.....

December 31, 2010


It seems that before Christmas ends....I am thinking and planning for the next Christmas.
I do love every moment of the Christmas Season. I set up the trees before we
left to Mesa for Thanksgiving. I decorated them when we came home. I discovered that
The Rooster doesn't forget a thing and is the greatest assistant EVER on decorating the tree.
He loves Christmas just like I do!
Our "Santa"tree is in the family room, where we spend a great part of our time. It is full of red
and gold balls, and all things "Santa."
It also holds large letters representing each of our children.

This (above) is my ALL TIME favorite ornament! If anything ever happened to this ornament
I think my heart would break in two. I am pretty sure The Darlings understand this
very well....when this ornament comes out...they guard it carefully.
It is the literal hand print of our Angel Colton. It is a little part of him that is present with us
each year during the holidays.

My camera quit working!
After trouble shooting with the was decided that it needed to be retired.
I could have cried. I was left with a camera that I do not love and I have not taken
the time to learn how to use. So...the pictures of The Boy's last Christmas at home....before
his mission are blury......Really???? Why now??
I did order/upgrade to another should be arriving soon,
The Boy was gifted with luggage and a camera for his upcoming mission. It seemed kind of
rude to give those things to him for Christmas...but The Farmer assured me that these
were the perfect gifts for him at this time of his life. On Christmas morning The Boy,
looked over his gifts and said...."This is really sad." And I burst into tears.....
The Rooster ran to get tissues and PreShie rolled her eyes.....
The Farmer looked confused and carried on with Christmas morning. Speaking of The Boy,
he is recovering...very slowly....from having his wisdom teeth pulled. He ended up
with a bad case of "dry sockets" and visits our dentist every three days for treatment. After
some very very painful nights and days....he seems to be doing better.
The Rooster was very pleased with his Christmas. He is spending his vacation days riding
his horse...Bronze....which he has learned to saddle on his own, (that is a big thing!)
I love to see how The Darlings care for their pets, especially the horses...with such care
and love. I love to watch the horses respond so well to them.
PreShie too enjoyed her Christmas. I will write about her a little more in depth later.
Her gift requires a bit of construction, which will being on Monday.

What exactly do you gift The Farmer that he hasn't already purchased at the latest auction??
So I thought he would enjoy a photo book on the potato season. Turns out it was a great gift
for him. The Boy also received a photo book on his years of football at the JSA.
His book took nearly a year to make, and I am certain that although fun how, there will be a
day that it will be a great treasure to him. I also made a photo book for Grandpa S. about
The Ranch, in southern Idaho, where he grew up. We made a trip there this past Summer.
I left it for him at Thanksgiving, wishing that I could be with him when he opened it up.
early Christmas morning, he called....very tell me how much he loved the book!
How thrilled I was that it pleased him so much. Photo books are the best!!

The Rooster made this sweet tree for me in his welding class at school.
He loves to weld.....he even asked if we could get him his very own welding mask to
take to school. The darling tree sits on the hearth of our fireplace so I can see it at all
times. He is a very thoughtful little man!


When The Farmer was a little guy, a lovely chandlier hung over the dining room table
in his home. As time passed and styles changed...The Farmer's Mother took it down
and stored it away. I asked her one day if she had plans for it and if not could The Farmer and I
take it to our home....I had plans for it. I carefully removed each crystal and they have become
ornaments on the Santa tree. They are a piece of his childhood...which I love....and they are
beautiful on the tree....catching the lights of the tree. Another of my favorites!


Finally....The Family tree. It is set up in our dining room....I can see it from the kitchen...
where I spend the majority of my time;)
This tree is filled with ornaments that have been collected by and for The Darlings,
through the years. We find them on trips...or just to represent what their interests and
experiences have been during the past year. This year we added hot air balloons, blown glass,
that represent our many trips to Albuquerque. Also blown glass footballs, and a "golfing" santa,
were added this year. I tell The Farmer that someday I will gift The Darlings with
their ornaments when they are in a place to really appreciate them....The Farmer doesn't
think that I will ever part with each of the special ornaments....we will see;)
The Farmer and I celebrated 22 years of wedded bliss on the 17th.
We took a little trip to Albuquerque..... It gave us the chance to combine work with pleasure.
On the 17th we awoke to 6-8 inches of snow on the ground, which was a great suprise
and made the trip that much more enjoyable. It was fun to spend time talking about
the events of the last 22 years....and what the future holds for us. We have had some pretty
interesting experiences ...The Farmer and I......but I often say....all is manageable if you
love and trust your spouse. We have stood together in some very joyful moments, and we
have held each other up during moments that seemed to difficult to endure. I have
never doubted that I was meant to have this experience called "life" with him.
He has been a complete joy to be married to;)

Gingerbread Frenzy....

December 30, 2010


Every year I totally drop the "blogging" ball around the first part of December.....
I swore that it wouldn't happen this year, and it did....Ughhhh....
So now I am going to do my best to capture the last few weeks....
While spending Thanksgiving in Mesa, I came across the most darling of all cake
pans....a gingerbread house. It is a bundt pan, and the hole on the bundt forms the
most perfect chimney on the little house. I thought it would
be great fun to invite all of the nieces and nephews over... shifts of that they could each decorate their
own little houses. Well, this is the thing about the darling children in this family....
they are SUGAR CHALLENGED. An opportunity to work with unlimited candy, is
just a dream come true for them. We began with the older girl cousins...
the cheer squad....I baked the cakes...The Lovlies arrived and the decorating began.

The next group were the "middle" cousins. They are pictured above...and they were the most
creative with loading as much candy as physically possible on each of their little houses.
Some even loaded the chimney full of be enjoyed at a later time;)

One of the Lovely older girl cousins left this tender note in front of her gingerbread house,
that had already been partially dismantled, by other small couisns who could
not pass by with out a little taste. My favorite part is how she began the note with PLEASE,
before she called them bratts. Oh, she is a keeper!


In the midst of the gingerbread frenzy, PreShie decided that she would like to construct
a very large house, of her own design. I had to leave town for a few days, and when I returned,
She had built this "model" of what she would like to build. We went to one of the local
bakery's that is owned by some friends of ours, and PreShie did her best to explain how she
wanted it made. Since gingerbread houses are not common in our part of the was
a bit of work to help the friends understand. But finally everyone understood, and sheets of
dough, used to make the beloved "Marrano" or pig cookie that is a part of the culture here
in Mexico. It is a molasses type cookie and is a very hard cookie so the dough was perfect
for this type of project.


It stands around 18 inches high, and 12 inches wide. The house has been build, and the
decorating has begun. I love projects like will keep her busy for the rest of the
holiday vacation....HORRAY!

This sweet gingerbread house has been a part of our holiday decorations since
The Darlings were very little. The Farmer purchased it for me at a time when it was a sacrifice
to spend the money on something that seemed so un-necessary. It has become
the heart of our holidays. All of our children are represented, even the ones that are not with
us right now (the little gingerbread people). It lights up and plays the song,
Away In The Manger. Oh how we love that gingerbread house!

After The First Step....Expect Swelling...

December 15, 2010

He took the first step, on Monday to be exact, on his "missionary path."
And that first step HURT!
The Boy and 25 of his dear friends, in his school class, will leave on their missions next year,
some as early as June. Since there are so many preparing for their missions at the same time,
The Farmer called a dear friend of our comunity, who is an oral surgeon. The Farmer told
him about these fine young men and how they all needed their wisdom teeth removed.
The Dr. quickly agreed to come to Mexico and spend 5 days treating these future
missionaries. What an amazing man that Dr. is! He not ony drove all the way from Utah
to serve these boys, he charged almost nothing for the surgery of each boy.
The Boy found himself in the dental chair on Monday morning.
He said he wasn't scared. He got mad at his Dear Mother, for asking;)
He was more stressed about not eating for awhile, than he was about getting his teeth out.
Well, his Dear Mother knew what was ahead...and he did not...and so she smiled when
he said things like..."it isn't that big of a deal..."

When we arrived at the clinic. The Boy was all smiles!


When we went inside, The Boy found his dear friend Andre...who was...not quite himself;)
We had some laughs, and The Boy made sure that Andre was safely placed in the car,
so his Mom could get him home..... after a few more laughs of course,

After the Dr. reviewed The Boy's x-ray, he suggested that all four wisdom teeth be removed.
He also mentioned that it was going to be a little rough, and he would have to work
pretty hard to get the bottom teeth out. The Boy problem...and off he went to sleep.
The two top teeth were easily removed, and just as the Dr. was to begin working
on the lower teeth, the lights went out! Yes they did!!!
And this is where we shout...
The Farmer was called...the electriction was sent to the clinic, and luckily
another man from our community happened to be there, and the lights were restored.
While this was all going on...The Boy had awakened from his deep sleep,
the waiting room had filled with people...the next appointments for the good Dr.
which happened to be friends of The Boy....and The Boy insisted on joining the group
in the waiting room. Let's just say...he was very heavily medicated...but he felt great,
and he wanted to socialize. I told him....very clearly that he should probably not talk,
afterall, who knew what would come out of his mouth! Well, he didn't take my advice,
and he just chatted and chatted with everyone in the room. His mouth was filled with gauze
so his speech was muffled...but he felt great! He mentioned several times that he felt so
good, he was going to get his horse and go for a ride. Next he planned a hunting trip,
with one of the friends in the room....who was not medicated....that was pretty good fun!
Luckily, the lights came back on...the Dr. escorted The Boy, back to "the chair" and the event
continued. A little while later, The Boy emerged from the room...asked for the keys to the car,
because he wanted to drive home, and handed me the teeth that had been pulled.
He also mentioned that he had plans to make a necklace with the teeth that I now
held in my hand. And he wasn't kidding!

We stopped on the way home to get some pain medication.
And once home....he positioned himself in the recliner, with ice packs....his Ipod....
the computer and all the remotes he could find. It was a rough afternoon, but by
evening he ate a little and checked his horses. It was about then that the vet. stopped by,
to check one of the horses that has had an ear infection. What he discovered was a little more
than we had expected. The Boy's beloved "Caballero" has a tumor growing in his ear canal.
The Vet. took a sample of the tumor to send for testing, but did not offer too much hope.
It was alot for The Boy to handle, especially when he wasn't feeling too good.
We will know more in a week, but just the thought of his dear horse suffering is making
The Boy very sad.

When The Boy awoke the following morning....Tuesday....the swelling had set in.
Today, it is even a little more swollen than yesterday. He is hurting but he has
said, several times, that it is all worth it. He has taken the first step on a path that
will most certainly change his life! We are excited for our Boy!!

A Farmer Has Dreams Too....

December 9, 2010

And this is what they look like......
The planets aligned for The Farmer this past weekend.
While traveling to watch The Boy play a little basketball...we happened to drive through a little
town and there just happened to be large lot filled with many interesting and unusual
items...but mostly it was filled with farm equipment.
Oh....The Farmer immediately got a little twinkle in his eye....lets say a pretty big twinkle...
And sighed/spoke the words....Auction.....
Just so you can really understand how elated he was....think back to the time
you tasted something really, really, I mean really yummy....and you, for just a moment were
a bit overcome....and your eyes may have rolled to the back of your head...just for a moment...
It was just like that for The Farmer when he realized that the auction was going to be
that very weekend....and by dang he was going to be there!


If you have ever been to a farm acution....and yes...I have been to know that all of
the equipment to be sold is lined up in rows so that the people attening can see ahead of time
what is for sale and begin making their wish lists of the things that they will bid on.
So....we VERY SLOWLY drove up and down the aisles....looking at each item that would be sold.
And I would hear things like this....
The Farmer: "Oh wow...I could really use one of those...."
The Wife: "What for???"
The Farmer: "Oh I don't know....but look how cool it is...."
The Farmer: " you see anything you would like....(and he was serious...)"
The Wife: "Uhhhhmmm....NO..."
The Farmer: "Wow...there is lots of great stuff here!"
And we continued to drive...up and down each aisle....oh was that Farmer excited!


He registered to participate in the auction, and we went on our way to the next little town
where The Boy would be playing ball. All along the way...The Farmer was hoping and dreaming and calculating and thinking....and calling friends and family that...he felt....would really
want to know about this fantastic event. And he began making his list......his wish list.
Oh how The Farmer loves a good auction.
It really was all he could think about for most of the weekend....unless The Boy was on
the basketball court...and then momentarily his focus would shift.

Early Saturday morning....and it was early....we left The Boy...and headed to the auction.
The closer we got...the heavier the traffic got and The Farmer began to get nervous.
And to top it off...he was 19 minutes late. I mean.... alot can happen in 19 minutes,
what if he had missed something really great????
We finally arrived...truck and trailers lined both sides of the highway...there were ALOT, of
other "Farmers" there too. The all had their wish lists...and they were all giddy,
just like The Farmer.... a giddy that's a sight!
The Farmer jumped from the car to assume his place with the other "Farmer's" and
I headed for the local Walmart...which is all the shopping that the town had to offer.
Yes....I circled that Walmart around 72 times...
handled nearly every item in the store....drank and refreshing beverage....
and when I couldn't take it a moment longer...I called The Farmer...
In the backgound I could hear the voice of the Auctioneer....calling each item...
and I said..."Can we please go now???"
The Farmer: "Now??? really?? it is just getting good!"
The Wife: "well, I am done...I am ready to me when you are ready."
The Farmer: " won't be too much longer."

I knew better than to believe him...but I did....
My Mistake.
Several hours later...he still had not called...and that is when I said....
"I want to go home" and he said....."there is just one more thing, and I really NEED it."
"Come on over will have alot of fun."
Did he seriously say that I would have fun there??? Yes he did.
But since I had been to every store in that little town...washed my car...had a little lunch....
prepared some Christmas cards to mail....talked on the phone....had another
refreshing beverage....what was left to do but go to the auction.
I arrived just in time to see The Farmer win the item that he had been waiting for all day long....

Isn't she a beauty???
He is the proud owner of this lovely tank...among several other items...that he
He left happy. He left fulfilled. And we went home.
Sunday morning, at church, The Farmer's brother....
Uncle Penguin...wanted to hear all about that auction,
what was know.....all the regular questions that follow an auction.
He seemed pretty excited about a few of the items that The Farmer purchased.
Okay...I'll confess.....
it was pretty fun to walk around the auction and take some pictures....
I did really enjoy that!!

Life.....and....Silver City...

December 7, 2010

I hear the song..."On The Road Again"....playing in my head over and over.
It seems to be where I spend the majority of my life lately. It is all for great causes,
things I would never think of missing...but darn...that we have to drive so
far to do what we need to do!
Thanksgiving found us in Mesa with the family. It was so great to be there...all of us together.
Auntie came from was so great to see her and spend some time together.
"The Brothers" are all in Mesa....and that always makes for alot of laughs, eating way too much,
and some great conversation! I think they are all some pretty amazing people!
Although quite cold....Mesa was a much needed break in our lives.
It was so nice to just be together in one place.
Just a few days after returing home, we hit the road again for a basketball tournament
in Silver City, NM. We like Siver City!

The Boy, who is sporting number 45, this playing with a great group of young men.
They had the opportunity to play in a tournament in a small town called Cliff (28 miles from Silver City).
They played very well, they showed great sportsmanship, and the people in that small
town were such nice people. It was a fun trip.


These boys learned...very well...what "fast break" means...

*I got a new lens....I am still learning to work with it....
I swear I am going to master the indoor "sports" shot!
But it is making me a little crazy at the moment.


Here are a few little tidbits that I learned while in Silver City....
*It is not a good sign when you open your hotel room door and find an exterminator...
*It is not a good thing when The Farmer has to kick the heater, in the hotel
three times to get it to come on...
*No matter what Dairy Queen you go to....anywhere in the will wait for
your vanilla cone...for a very long time!
*live music....homemade pesto....freshly baked bread, all combined make a wonderful evening.
*Duck Fat Fries....taste just like....French Fries.
(even though they are promoted to be something VERY special....I have to say I
felt very special while I was eating them)

*A Digerido.... makes a very intersting noise....and it costs around $2 bucks to hear the noise;)
And if you pay $5 will get a compelte explaination of how it was made by this gentleman, and how he carved it from an Agave plant.
He was a happy man!

*I just really liked this is very old.
Below the sign there really was a "Buffalo Bar" we didn't go inside...but there were some
interesting folks outside....
It is a darling city.....fantastic food was everywhere,
great galleries full of unique art, and fun shops to explore, it was a fun few days!
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