Cutting The Alfalfa.....

April 28, 2012

Out of pure necessity....we became "farmer's of alfalfa...." pure necessity!
It started when The Boy announced that he "needed" a horse...and then it became two...
and then another came along...who when we purchased her...was already pregnant...
which came as a great surprise...
And when The Farmer thought it would be fun to own a Longhorn cow...which became two...and
again another great surprise....little Chencho was born...and now that make three!
(This morning we noticed that Carne looks a little like she might be expecting again...who knows!)
The Farmer resisted the animals a first...he said that they would be very expensive to feed.
I said..."how much could a bail of hay really cost...???"
and he said...."if it were one bail of hay there wouldn't be any problem!!"
So here is a small calculation just for fun!  If we were to feed the horses and cows just
with hay, it would require 4-5 bails a day.  Currently hay is $100 pesos per bail, today that
would be $8.00 dollars per bail.  So to feed the beloved animals, it would be $40 dollars per day.
Now, if that was all they ate year would coast $14,600 dollars to keep them
fat and happy!  Holy Cow!!  That is alot of money!!
And...because they are pets...we don't see any return on our investment....any time soon...
actually EVER.  I asked The Farmer one day about two of the horses that are getting older,
they don't enjoy being ridden too much, they are kind of grouchy...and one has some health
problems that require the Vet. checks on him semi-regularly....
"so what do we do with them now....??"  I asked The Farmer....
and he said "you keep feeding them and caring for them until they die...and that
could be quite a while."  And truly, it is fine with me...I actually like those animals;) back to the feeding plan....
Before we began growing the alfalfa, we decided to plant two pastures, two so that we could rotate
the animals from one to the other, during watering.  It also gives the pasture to grow back once
it has been eaten down.  Planting the pastures required a special seed mix, so that the animals
would have good nutrition, so I headed to El Paso and loaded the back of my car with special seed
to plant a great pasture.  The seed is good for 5 years and then you need to re-plant again...and
so this year it was time to replant!  Thank goodness for the pasture!
Somewhere, along the way, The Farmer decided that we should plant alfalfa, so that during the
Winter months, we wouldn't have to buy feed.  Growing alfalfa, means that you also need special
equipment to harvest it when it is time.  You need tractors...(we already had those)....we need a
planter...(we had that too) need a special rake...(we didn't have that, but soon acquired one)...and you will need a bailer,
 (again, we didn't have one, but now we do!) 
Now we are set!
The first cutting took place about a week ago.  I happened to be with The Farmer when he
 decided to stop by the Solecito
 to see how the cutting was going.  I can't say that I have taken
the time to watch the process of cutting, raking and bailing the alfalfa until that day.
It was fun to watch and alot of fun to photograph.  The men who were working, seemed
to like having their pictures taken too;)
There will be 4-5 more cuttings that will happen during the next several months....and
then we will be all loaded up with feed for Winter!
So out of pure necessity, we are Alfalfa Farmers....and I am sure glad we are!

The Lone Survivor......

April 24, 2012

This is my new little apple tree, planted last year.
When all else had forzen, I assumed it had frozen as well.... of today....I have one apple on my tree!
How's that for survival???

A Missionary Birthday!

April 21, 2012

The Missionary Boy Turned 19!!
The Farmer said that you don't really have birthday's in the mission field...
but happily that wasn't the case for The Missionary Boy!  The members took great care of him...
and after a good day of working hard...he celebrated with cake and some thoughtful gifts from the
members in his area.  In the picture above, The Missionary Boy is wearing a tie that
The Farmer used throughout his mission!  The Missionary Boy asked if The Farmer had
a special tie, that he could take with him into the mission field...and this was the one
he gave to him!  The Missionary Boy says he wears it on special occasions;)
We had a little birthday party to celebrate The Missionary Boy's birth,
complete with Earthquake Cake (his favorite...) and cupcakes for the little cousins.
The Farmer led the Happy Birthday song....with a fork...and everyone sang
like The Missionary Boy could hear them;)
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Some people spent the day on the was therapy he said...
The layers of dirt looked like a spray tan gone bad!;)
It was a really fun little celebration of The Missionary Boy....
even though he wasn't with us.

A Missionary Update....

April 21, 2012

I haven't done a very good job at updating what is going on with The Missionary
Boy...on this blog...or on his blog...and the reason for that is that I have two huge binders
filled with letters, pictures and anything else that applies to The Missionary Boy...and those
I go keep very updated.  Side dilemma is how to best organize his mission experience
for him, so that when he returns will be basically done.  My personal experience
with my own mission, was that I thought I would never forget a face, or an experience, so
aside from a well kept journal....I didn't keep my letters organized, or my pictures...and
now...the memories just sit in a box.  I don't want to repeat this for The Missionary Boy...
but there are too many options!!!  A blog book????....a binder scrapbook???...or does
it really matter as long as it is organized???  Anyway,  so there it dilemma!
So, a quick update on The Missionary Boy.  He is great!  He recently left his very beloved
area of Reading, England and was assigned to the area of Trowbridge, England.  The area
had had some problems with previous missionaries, and so he did what they call a
"whitewash,"  where they basically start over with completely new missionaries.  He was so sad
to leave Reading.  He had really grown to love the members there and they were soooo good to him
too!  He had also really become close to his companion Elder Fawson.  So the move was
sad...but he was ready for a new challenge.
(Reading, England)
Also with the new move, came a training assignment.  He was asked to train a new missionary
from Switzerland, Elder Von Allmen.  A sweet sister from the Reading area called and left
us, (we weren't home), and left a message telling us that he was going to move and that
he was going to train.  She said that when he stopped by to say good-bye, he felt excited
and overwhelmed at the same time!  He said in a later letter that Reading had been his
beginning place for his journey as a missionary, and that it would always be very special to him.
(Reading, England)
He and his companion (who was also called as a trainer) headed to the mission home, which
is located next to the London Temple to meet the new missionaries.  Pres. and Sis. Shamo, who
will be finishing their mission in June....first introduced the Elder who would be training and then
introduced the new missionary.
I LOVE this picture soooo much!!
I can see in The Missionary Boy's face, genuine excitement and love for his new
companion!  The new group of missionaries was on the small side, I think there were
8 new Elders and Sisters.  They all spent the night in the mission home and headed to their
new areas the next morning.  The Missionary Boy wrote in his letter, that the English
countryside was "breathtaking!"....interestingly enough, he is in an area where PreShie toured
the Summer he left.  She knew the area, and that seemed to thrill them both!
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The Missionary Boy's companion is an exceptional young man.  He has an amazing family!
I have been blessed to be in touch with his Mother in Switzerland.  It has been great to know
a little about them;)  These two Elders are growing together....learning together....and I hope
that they will forever be "brothers" and keep in touch throughout their lives!
A few weeks after settling into the new area....The Missionary Boy was called to be
the District Leader in his area!  He is humble and excited all at the same time....
I was visiting with a brother-in-law a few days ago...he was asking about The Missionary
Boy, and how he was doing.  I told him that I thought I had been exposed to missionary
work on several different a missionary, as a teacher at the MTC in Provo, and
that I though I understood pretty well, the experience of a mission.  What I didn't know until now
what what it means to be a parent of a missionary...and wow...I wasn't completely
prepared for all the emotions that go along with that!  The miracle of the mission really is
in the conversion of the missionary....the baptisms are a beautiful bi-product of a life that
had been given completely to Heavenly Father.  What an incredible experience it has been
for us to watch on the "sidelines" as missionary parents!

Easter Break....Easter Sunday....

April 20, 2012

I love Easter!
The very moment I could justify it...I hung our Easter garland...
"Names By Which He Is Known...."
It stretches from one end of our living the other.  I don't ever get tired
of reading each name the Savior goes by in the scriptures.  It really sets the tone for
Easter in our home.  Cousin Trisha had the names translated into Spanish....and sent me a copy,
I am thinking of doing one in Spanish...maybe for Christmas time.
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Easter baskets are still a favorite even though The Darlings are teenagers....
I love that they still plan and think about the items that might show up in their
baskets.  The Rooster really "needed" a fishing pole...The Farmer helped him select
one and also some lures to go along with it.  He really did need a new tie and
Sunday shirt...which is a tradition for us on Sunday clothes.

Preshie found a darling Easter dress and shoes and asked for some
Play-Dough....that was pretty funny! 
We spent Easter Sunday at a missionary homecoming of a dear family friend,
After church PreShie left Mesa and headed to El Paso, to leave on a trip to New York
early the next morning.  She, along with a group of kids from the JSA enjoyed a
week in Washington DC and New York, thanks to a great teacher who organized
the trip.  Sunday afternoon we had a tasty Easter Dinner at Grandma Vicki's house, along
with lots of family.  The food was fantastic as usual....and the company was even better. 
Later that evening...we drove to the new Gilbert Arizona Temple building site.  It was really
amazing to see.  I couldn't believe how large it is!  It is going to be beautiful when it
is complete.  We arrived a little too late to go into the small visitor's center that is
there...but we really enjoyed seeing the temple itself.
It was a great Easter Break in Mesa...during the week we also got to see
the Easter Pageant, complete with a sandwich from Ned's Krazy Sub....which by
the way...I think should be the official sandwich of the Easter Pageant!
We really enjoyed spending time with family...lunch and dinners with The Brotherhood
is always a GREAT time!  It was a wonderful week!

Easter Break...A Trip To The Pottery Store....

April 18, 2012

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We LOVE getting The Farmer out of town for a few days....because he is pretty much
game for anything;)  After taking The Darlings to a movie...he walked by a little
pottery shop...where you can paint pieces of pottery and the store fires them into lovely dishes for
you to take home.  The Farmer looked through the window...the store was just closing...and
announced that we would be back to paint pottery early the next morning!
What you may not know about The that he is VERY artistic.  We have
several lovely paintings in our home that he created...he is always looking for new ways
to express his creativity...and I love it!!!  A few years back I was looking for the ideal
Christmas gift for The Farmer....I knew he secretly wanted a Potter's as a
very secretly I ordered the Wheel and some clay...and had it shipped to El Paso.  Someday...we
will get him a Kiln....and then put him to work to make us some fantastic dishes;)
Back to the pottery store....we ended up spending more than one day there...
We all made cereal bowls...I don't profess to be The Farmer was
kind enough to draw a pattern for me to paint.  I do know how to color within the lines;)
Preshie and The Rooster expressed alot more creativity than I did...
That is for sure!!
This is The Farmer's new cereal bowl....
Alot of people in the store really enjoyed his bowl....
PreShie's was a modern art type....
A Sunflower field...I think it is beautiful and was selected at "The Favorite"
by Grandma Vicki!
The Rooster's Bowl was a tribute to the Chicago Cubs...
whose baseball game we had gone to the day before.
He did a great job!!
006 I mentioned I am good at "coloring"...The Farmer drew the
design for me...patterned after a serving bowl we saw in the store.
I do love the bowl!
And on a return trip...I told The Farmer I wanted to make a serving plate with the
Union Jack flag on use for The Missionary Boy's birthday cake, which I would be
making the next week.  The Farmer mapped out the design...and I painted and painted...
and it turned out just like I had hoped!!!
And...the following week I used it as a cake platter for The Missionary Boy's
birthday celebration! was perfect!!
(more on the celebration later)
The pottery store was great fun for us all....The Farmer is already planning for
his next trip to the store...and the items that he will make then!

General Conference Weekend...

April 17, 2012

General Conference weekend is a favorite of mine.  I love being home...listening to prophets and
apostles...enjoying family and yummy food!  It is an extra special weekend for us.
This year...I searched for ways to help The Darlings get the most they could out of
conference, without them knowing they were soaking it all up...sneaky right?  I combined
several ideas I found...and made a "conference box" for them.  It was filled with Bingo games...
worksheets....tasty treats, colored pencils and pens.  It looked like so much fun, when it was
done, I decided to make a box for each of the families....(in our family)....for The Cousins to
enjoy.  On Saturday morning...before conference began, the Conference Boxes...along with a
pan of Overnight Blueberry French Toast, was delivered to each family.

The perfect way to begin Conference Weekend....
That was some very yummy French Toast!!
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Our favorite General Conference activity was the Conference Wall.
I actually just took it down this morning.  Key words and phrases were written down, from each
speaker.  Each person in the family had a different color of post-it notes.  Some of "us" used the same words for each speaker...they were words like....Jesus....Love....Faith....Forgiveness....he was
pretty sure that one of those words would cover about any talk given....and guess what....
he was right!!  It was a fun activity and a great reminder for several days after.
Sometimes The Darlings looked like this....mostly on Saturday morning...
Priesthood was enjoyed by the men of the family and....they also enjoyed a dinner
together after it was over. The women in the family had a great time at a new
restaurant in the area...Girls Night always a good time!;)

Easter Break....A Cubs Game....

April 16, 2012

Semana Santa...or Easter break lasts for two weeks in the country of Mexico.
It is always the week before and the week after Easter.
We decided that we would spend the first week in Mesa, with family, to celebrate Easter, and
then return home so that The Rooster could do a little fishing.
The Rooster is really loving Baseball right now, and so we thought we would take in a
Spring Training game while in Mesa.  The weather was was The Rooster's first
"pro" baseball was alot of fun!!
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The event was complete when we all stood and sang...
"Take Me Out To The Ballgame..." the 7th inning stretch;)
Oh my goodness...I love that part of Baseball...LOVE IT!!!
The hot dogs were delish...
The vendors were a little crazy...
The people watching was EXCELLENT....;)
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The Cubs won!
It was their last Spring Training game of the season....
The Rooster got his Baseball signed....
he was pretty happy about that;)
It was a great afternoon...and The Farmer announced that....
"We should do this more often....;)"
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