Seminary Graduation

May 30, 2011


Last night...The Boy graduated from Seminary....6 years of Seminary.
The Seminary program is not an optional program at the JSA....if you are a student at
the high must attend Seminary.
The Farmer always like to tell The Darlings...that 6 years of Seminary is NOTHING....
he began attending Seminary when he was in grade school......from what I hear...
he spent more time in the hedge outside of the church...than in the actual class....

The Farmer was the speaker....
He delivered some great advice and counsel...

68 students in the class of 2011....each graduated from Seminary

The Farmer presented The Boy with his diploma....and a big hug!

Grandma C. was also there...and offered The Boy a big hug

Last night Aunt Cathy said..."this is the first step, of many more big steps that will happen
for The Boy over the next several weeks...."  She is right!  Many doors are closing...and others
are is a very exciting time for The Boy...and his parents;)

"THE" Turkey.....

May 24, 2011


For the sake of family history....The Farmer says things like his MUST,
be documented....So here ya go...
The Rooster shot his first Turkey last Saturday....When The Farmer recounted the
moment....he said t was like none other.....a whole group of hens and a trophy male,
The Rooster nearly lost his marbles in all of the excitement....made a little too much noise
and startled the group...which sent them running...luckily The Rooster was able
to make a shot or too...and landed himself a beauty!
Luck for me...I was out of town and didn't have to see the mess that followed.
The Farmer has carefully saved the meat for Turkey Mole'.
I am not a fan of hunting...but The Farmer says it is just something that boys do...
Congratulations to The Rooster!


The Best Rooster In The Whole World!!

May 23, 2011


Happy 14th Birthday Dear Rooster!!!
Yesterday was a special day for our family....Our Rooster Turned 14 years old!!
He compelted his Deacon years of Duty to God and was ordained a Teacher!
The Boy...The Farmer and our Uncle Bishop Robinson ordained The was very special!
The Rooster requested for his birthday dinner....Chicken Fried Steak...salad...roasted potatoes, peas
and a Tres Leches cake....yum!

The Boy also was recognized for completing his Duty To God program, and was
given a beautiful medallion.

The cousins all arrived in the evening for cupcakes and popcorn.
The house was full of both little people and big people....The Rooster is loved by all ages;)



The celebration continued today....with the traditional "lunch from home" on each birthday.
For lunch The Rooster requested....Chicken and Brocoli Casserole, rice, garlic bread, caesar salad,
and some tasty chocolate cupcakes.


Today was the final "lunch from home" meal for The Boy.....After 6 years of birthday lunches...
And if I am completely honest...I shed a few tears on my way home from the
school today thinking about it. 

A few things I thought Rooster would enjoy knowing about himself at the age of 14.
*He is always in bed by 8:30 at night....he needs a TON of sleep,
*He is an extreemly picky eater....ugh!
*There is nothing he hates more than taking care of the chickens
*He has a twinkle in his eye...and darling dimple in his chin
*He inherited his Mom's curly hair, and his Grandma C. always wants him to grow it long
*He is tender and thoughtful, he remembers birthdays and always wants to find just the right gift
*He loves animals...especially the horses
*He loves his family...his cousins are his best friends
*He can be very STUBBORN....
*He always seems to convince other to do his work for him.
it usually involves and sweet smile and that twinkle in is eye.....
*He is the first to help his Mom with anything and everything
*He isn't a fan of school...
*He loves Balsamic Vinegar....on everything...
*He loves to golf....and is getting pretty good!
*He just shot his first Turkey...this past weekend!
*He is a good friend to everyone...people love him!

The Rooster is a blessing to our family....we love him soooo much!
Happy Birthday to our Rooster!!

"Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?.....

May 20, 2011

(Photo by Kim Skinner)

I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Till Landslide brought me down

Oh mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm mmm I don’t know
Mmm mmm
Mmm mmm

Well I’ve been afraid of changing ‘cause I
Built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older, I’m getting older too

Soo (Interlude)
I’ve been afraid of changing ‘cause I
I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder, children get older
I’m getting older too
I’m getting older too

Soo take this love, take it down
Ohh if you climb a mountain and you turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down, down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills,
Well maybe, the landslide will bring it down
Well well the landslide with bring it down
(Stevie Nicks)

I heard that Stevie Nicks song a few days ago....I haven't heard it for years.  I have always liked the song
but this time it spoke to me.  I guess it is a little of how I am feeling right now.  Life is so good....
I wouldn't have it any other way....but it is changing...and I have really wondered how I will adapt
to the "changing ocean tides" in my life.  I really never have liked change.  I really enjoy the predictable,
knowing what to expect.  The Farmer in the otherhand likes the unexpected.  He has taught me to
embrace that in my life.  I love him for that.  But I don't think either of us is looking forward to this next
stage of our lives and the changes it will bring for us. 
 We have LOVED having our kids around us!  We have tried to soak up every
moment with The Darlings.  Some days have been easier than others...
......some days have been happier than others..
but the bottom line is they fill us with joy...and we love them more than they will ever underand.

Lately our days are so full...activities most every night...projects for responsibilities....
The days seem like they are passing faster than usual....and we find ourselves holding a little tighter
to each other....choosing to be home, and together when there is a choice.  Soaking it all up!

The Darlings are finishing up school assignments....preparing for tests.....The Boy's thoughts are on
graduation right now....and the lovely dinner that will follow.  Yesterday the last Missionary meeting,
at the high school...was held.  The lunch was so tasty...the messages were inspiring...lots of
"final advice" was given to this group of missionaries that will be leaving right after graduation.
And, the young men seemed to linger after the meeting was over, knowing that another door
is closing.  Many of them have recieved their mission calls, and many are in the mail. 
Two more will open their calls tonight.
It really is such a wonderful time.....

We have started gathering family information for The Boy to take into his mission with him.  Stories
of faithful ancestors who prepared the way for us.  He will be in the very area of so many
of our ancestors.  I makes me wonder what great experiences are meant for him. 
He is so interested in each story and feels a great sense of belonging already.  We talk alot.....The Boy is
fun to visit with.  We talk about white shirts.....great he will need to take his own salsas with
him to we are all hoping a praying for an amazing first companion, who is most likely
in the mission field waiting for him.  We talk about his dream of having a barn built while his is gone, so
when he returns he can work with his beloved horses.....
.....we talk about alot of things these days...and I love it!

So, although everything is changing...we adapt....we redefine...and move ahead, excited for
all the future holds for our family!


May 18, 2011


Things are changing very fast around here.
Just a few weeks until graduation.....then a Summer filled with activities...
and then The Boy is off to England.  It sounds easy enough, but when you actually take a look a our calendar...that already is full....more activities keep popping up. It will be a busy time for us.
Sunday evening the family gathered again...this time to support The Boy in his new Priesthood assignment.
He was ordained an Elder.

Surrounded by his Grandfather, many of his Uncles...and a couple of dear friends who are like
brothers to him...The Farmer gave The Boy a beautiful blessing with promises,
words of encouragement and counsel.


The cousins were there to support The Boy...he is currently the Head Cousin...but that will
soon change and another will take his place;)
(We need a Head Cousin to help keep the Cousin Mob headed in the right direction)

The Boy was blessed to have both of his Grandmother's there with him.


Three dear friends....future will go to Equador...another to Mexico,
and The Boy to England.  They are sharing this experience together.
Although things are changing so fast, we are thrilled for the future and the experiences
that are ahead for The Boy!

Why Shopping At The Beach Is A GREAT Thing......

May 10, 2011


I started collecting Talavera (painted mexican pottery) several years ago.  I love it!
It is bright and cheery and it just makes you feel like having a party.
My first pieces of Talavera were purchased in the city that actually makes the pottery....Puebla.
The Farmer had the unfortunate experience of being assulted and shot in Mexico City,
and we ended up staying there for a couple of weeks while he healed.  The day before
we were to leave, some friends offered to take us to Puebla to see the beautiful pottery,
and so The Farmer's Mother and I took them up on their offer.  She also purchased several
pieces of the Talavera, which we have used for many dinners.


We enjoyed our little shopping trip....everyone came home with  "treat" or two.

Interesting artwork found along the shopping path....
It really was quite fun to look at!


Fish Tacos and Mangos....

May 9, 2011


We have had so much going on around our house, during the last week, I didn't have the chance
to finish our beach here we go!
The Boy did a little fishing while at the beach....and then he kindly treated us
to some of the best fish tacos we have ever eaten!  After tasting the fish taco himself...The Boy
announced..."Hey, I think I should have a cooking show!..These are GOOD!"
And yes they were!  Although I am not so sure about the cooking show;)

For me....the most impressive part of the Fish Tacos was that The Boy cleaned
the kitchen of our condo after he was done cooking....Wow!  Now that isn't something you
see too often....and he did a wonderful job.


Mangos became the treat of choice each afternoon on the beach.  The mango vendor would walk
down the beach with a cart, hauling a load of mangos in an ice chest.  He also was equipped with
a shaker full of chile powder and a bottle of Chamoy.  He made a lovely little sculpture
out of each looked like a flower on a stick.

Next he would sprinkle it heavily with chile powder and then pour the Chamoy over
the mango.  It made for a big mess....but was loved by all who ate them.


The Rooster enjoyed himself a mango...or two....or three....I think we actually lost
track of the number he ate.

While in our condo late one phone was The Farmer, who was out
on the beach.  He asked me to come to the balcony so I could see a "suprise" that he had
made for me.  And this is what I saw! It was a lovely "suprise."
Off to the side stood all of the children....I am pretty sure they helped him carve out his
message.....I do like that Farmer.....he is a great guy!

The Herd + One........

May 5, 2011


Our "Herd" has grown!
Yesterday, the little Longhorn calf was born.  He is a little bull calf and his name is
We had hoped to get them moved from the Thorn Ranch to our home before the little
calf was born and we were about one week away.....
Uncle Dave said that when he realized "Chencho" had been born, he went into the pasture to
check him you can see from the above picture...the Daddy bull was not happy and chased him
around a bit.  He said he wasn't sure if  "Nacho" the bull was teasing him or if he really wanted to
poke him with those big horns on his head.  Whatever his intentions were...Uncle Dave didn't hang
around to find out.  He moved quickly....after he took these great pictures of the new member
of our "herd."  It was a fun night in our house last night...The Boy said that this week just couldn't
get any better!  It really feels like Heavenly Father is giving The Boy some really special experiences
with these animals that he loves so much....before he leaves on is mission.
The Mom is really grateful for these tender mercies, that make The Boy so happy!


I am pretty sure I never planned to own Longhorns....or horses....or chickens....or farms.....this isn't
really how I saw my life when I was a teenager....but I do love everything about my life and am
grateful daily to live where I live...... and do what we do.
***Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!***
We will be celebrating .....mas tarde!

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

May 3, 2011

Yesterday morning 5 missionary calls arrived at our home.
After being gone for several days, we knew we would come home to The Boy's call, but
we had no idea that several other calls would also arrive.  On my dining room table sat the
unopened calls....all together....the futures of some fine young men.
A few calls were made.  We organized our family for the opening of The Boy's call, and I went to work.
My stomach was in knots all day long....The Boy was traveling home from Safford, after attending Prom
with a sweet friend, and around 7:00 our home began to fill with family and friends.  The Boy arrived around
7:20.  A little earlier one of the young men stopped by to pick up his call.....Alejandro Hinojos, who has
been with The Boy since Kindergarten....he called a short while later to let us know he had been called
to the Dominican Republic!  Another young man arrived a little after Alex, Aaron Guiterrez, it was his
18th birthday and his entire family had gathered to celebrate....he called a little later and announced that he
had been called to the Dominican Republic too!  One will go to the East mission and the other to the West mission.  Pretty incredible!  Once the entire family had gathered.....and many friends arrived.....


.....The Boy opened his call....with his Aunt Shauna standing over his shoulder....
she actually read his assignment before he did and looked directly at me when she realized where he would be going....with look that at the moment...I didn't understand, but when he read...
London, England South....I understood.  He was in shock....we were in shock...everyone was in
shock.  No one in our area has been called to England!  He will report August 26, 2011 and
he will be speaking English.  He will also be reporting to the MTC in England.

The Farmer was the first to grab him and give him a big father's hug.....and The Boy
hugged back really hard.  The group that had gathered cheered...the Mom cired...and that is why the above
picture is blurry..;)....Everyone was a very special experience.

The Boy was on one phone with the Grandparents Skinner and on another phone
with The Farmer's Mother who is out of town at the moment.

Cousins hugged tight....they have spent their entire lives is going to be very
hard for them to be apart.

The future missionaries....


The whole gang.  Once The Boy opened his call....we all climbed into our cars and headed to the home
of Mi Hijo (Jonathan) he could open his call.  He was assigned to Ecquador...he was thrilled
his Mom was a little sad.  We returned to our cars and returned to our home for cake and visiting.
It was a wonderful moment for our family, both immediate and extended!  Like Aunt S. said..."this
day will rank up with the greatest days of your life....your marriage....the birth of your children...and
the opening of the mission call."   and she is right!!

Thanks to Aunt Kim for such great missionary pictures of The Boy. 
She knows how to capture the personality of The Boy.  I guess only an Aunt could do that.
We love you Aunt Kim!
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