A Changing Of The Guards.....

June 29, 2012


We have been traveling...again...we arrived at our final destination late last night..very tired and ready for a much needed "breather" from life. But as life goes...along the way...many things came up, both good and challenging. Sometimes just a new location can be a rest, and we are ready to soak it up. This morning...early...I heard my phone making alot of noise...the noise of emails coming in, I grabbed it to see what had arrived, and to my surprise The Missionary Boy had been able to write because of transfers yesterday. It is always a complete joy to hear from him.
 Today he sent a few pictures! DSCN0109 (1)

The missionary he finished training, before his transfer to Crawley...was called as a trainer, and he arrived to the mission home to pick up his new missionary. The Missionary Boy sure loves Elder von Allmen...I think they will be dear friends..."brothers"....forever. Elder von Allmen will be an amazing trainer...and the Missionary Boy is thrilled that his "posterity" is growing;) DSCN0108 (1)

Today there will be a literal changing of the guards in the England London South Mission...
Pres. and Sis. Shamo will leave for home...and Pres. and Sis. Millar, will begin their service to that great mission. The Missionary Boy is both sad and thrilled. Sad to see the mission president that he loves so much, leave...and thrilled for the new experiences
that are ahead of him with a new mission president.

Last Week....

June 25, 2012


Last week was filled with.... Cheerleaders! PreShie and the JSA Cheerleaders headed to a NCA Cheer camp in El Paso. They were very unsure about the whole experience....they are are new team, and haven't worked together too much...but they went. Day one...they were quiet, and took it all in...

Day two...they came home with a spirit stick...and were very excited about all the things they had learned that day... That evening, they did a little shopping, which they enjoyed very much! 250887_4304326445655_57188066_n

The last day of camp was filled with competitions...and nominations...and they were thrilled with the awards they came home with. PreShie was nominated for All-American as well as one other girl on Varsity Cheer. It was a great camp... they learned alot, and now they are all talking about the next
camp/competition...they could attend!

The Rooster came on El Paso on Friday. He wasn't too thrilled about hanging out with a bunch of cheerleaders...but he made the most of it;) He enjoyed doing a little "flying" at the mall...and some shopping to get ready for EFY. 553276_10150969373839484_949458943_n

Sunday morning, The Rooster and PreShie boarded a plane and flew to St. Louis, where they met a shuttle and traveled to Nauvoo to attend EFY. Rooster was pretty stressed about the whole idea...and well...PreShie consideres herself a world traveler, so a trip to St. Louis was "nothing." They arrived safely...along with Cousin Preston...and have settled in for a wonderful week in Nauvoo! It is pretty quiet around our house...sadly quiet...but I am thrilled that The Darlings are walking the streets of Nauvoo...feeling the beautiful spirit that is there;)

JSA Graduation....

June 19, 2012

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Graduation was extra special for our family...It is always full of school tradition,and some great family traditions.... The Farmer was able to personally congratulate the graduates...and give his nieces, and Cousin Tyler a big hug, as they accepted their diplomas;)
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We sure missed The Missionary Boy...these cousins are his "BFF" cousins...so The Farmer thought a balloon might help us feel like he was with us... It was a great day...with the exception of some wind...the clouds in the sky offered a little bit of shelter from the heat. Beautiful Day!

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A Family Celebrates....

June 16, 2012


Our family parties are always a good time! It usually involves some tasty food and alot of laughs...and if you are lucky, some Indian chanting;) 054

Last Monday was no different. We had a great reason to celebrate...graduation week was beginning and as a family we wanted to show some "family love" to our graduates! Family gatherings usually
involve some great story telling.  This time Uncle Penguin gifted us with a story/experience
that will not soon be forgotten or topped;)  It had to do with a cockroach and a man who has an
aversion to germs....it brought some good laughs!

Swimming was a big part of this particular party...
Many tricks and flips were preformed for the crowd's enjoyment.


Very yummy food was in abundance...


The Graduates...


It would not be a family party without an injury or two...
Poor Liv ended up with a bloody nose...


Lots of visiting....
Discussion of crops...how they are progressing...or not progressing...
And every other topic you can imagine...


More tricks by The Rooster and Cousins...


And finally...
The opening of family gifts to the graduates!
Our tradition is, ties for the young men who are graduating, to help with their missions...
and this year we began a new tradition for our "Lovelies"....
a sweet ring with a tender message engraved on it...
from the whole family.
They seemed pleased;)


It was a very fun evening...there is never a dull moment when the whole
family is together....It is one of the great blessing of belonging to a large...
and very loud family!  We are sure proud of the graduates!!

Roots Before Branches...

June 13, 2012

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(Roots Before Branches...)

I gotta have roots before branches... To know who I am,
Before I know Who I wanna be... And faith To take chances
To live like I see, A place in this world For me
Whatever comes I know how to take it...Learn to be strong
I won't have to fake it... Oh, you're understandin'
The wind can come And do its best Blow me North, and South,East and West
But I'll still, Be standing,I'll be standing
If I have roots before branches... To know who I am... Before I know Who I'm gonna be
And faith To take chances... To live like I see A place in this world for me....

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Sunday began graduation week and all the celebrations that go along with it. These communities are steeped deep in tradition, which develops great "roots." Sunday evening was Seminary graduation, and because the JSA is a Latter-Day Saint school, EVERYONE attends Seminary...for 6 years...and they ALL graduate from Seminary. Isn't that fantastic!! This year our family will celebrate the graduation of three of The Lovelies... and a special cousin T.

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I love this time of year, it is a bitter sweet to let "our" kids go. The Cousins have spent their entire lives together...so as they begin to leave us, we will all feel their absence. The family now has, two missionaries in the field...two Lovelies headed to college and Cousin T. with a mission call in his very hands...and will leave before the Summer is over. Doors are closing...others are opening. The Cousins are blessed kids! They are surrounded and supported by a very loving family! A family who has gotten alot of joy from watching them grow and develop into some pretty great people. I love them just like they were my own...those Cousins...I guess I feel like they are part mine;) The Cousins have the "roots" they need to now spread their branches. They are ready for the adventures ahead of them...and we their family are ready to watch them fly!

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Seminary graduation brought a great surprise. PreShie's on again...off again..."friend" was asked to speak. Upon finishing his talk...which was well done...he was asked to remain at the pulpit. A member of the Stake Presidency presented him with his mission call...which had arrived at The Farmer's office on Friday. His parents and sister then joined him on the stage...and with the cheers of his school class encouraging him on...he opened his mission call. He was called to the Indianapolis, Indiana, Spanish speaking mission. It was a fantastic moment for everyone! What we found out later, was that he had really hoped he could open his call just the way he did!....at Seminary graduation. He had no idea it had arrived...none at all. We are so happy for him!
A great beginning to a very special week!


June 12, 2012


"Not all who WANDER...are LOST..."

Messages From The Chalkboard...

June 11, 2012


It started with a question...
The Farmer responded with an answer...
Another request was made...
And so he complied...

A Round-Up For One...The Final Installment...

June 5, 2012


Before I get started on the "final installment" of the round-up...I will apologize for the graphic nature of a couple of the pictures....it is life on The Farm for us...we have seen it and experienced it many times...but I will say that the first round-up I was present at...was a little overwhelming. But now...It doesn't bother me too much. Back to the story... Chencho was finally roped and because he is pretty big. The ropes remained on him...and the horses in place while the branding happened. When they are smaller...they can often be restrained without all the ropes.


This is when the seasoned cowboy...Chato...does what he came to do. Chato worked for The Farmer's Father for many years...he is very experienced. He now works for one of The Farmer's brothers taking care of his ranch. There wasn't anyone more perfect for this delicate;) job than Chato.
  He seemed happy to help! 130

The brand that had been heated in the fire..which was close by...was ready for use. I learned through this experience that brand placement is important...who knew???...Now that our herd is growing...I guess it will be important for me to know;) The cowboy who actually did the branding..seemed to have some technique...he did this rolling thing with the brand, which made sure Chencho has a very clear brand on his side. 134

The brand...Bar, Keyhole, Bar...belongs to Uncle Penguin's ranch. He was nice enough to let us use it. Chencho was very cooperative, I wondered what he was thinking about everything that was happening to him. Hopefully he wasn't thinking to much!


Once the branding was done...the most important part of the process began. Chato the cowboy worked quickly, thankfully he had done this for many years...and so exercised great skill. It was quick...and the whole cowboy crew stood by watching.


The results of the event...(above..)
Not sure what more there is to say about that...


The men removed the ropes from Chencho...the cowboy crew stepped away...and like nothing at all had happened...Chencho jumped up...and started to walk away.


...Relieved to finally be let go...I wonder what Chencho was thinking now...
"what in the heck just happened to me...??"


He made it back to his Dad...Nacho...and Nacho checked him out...licked him a few times...and then they walked off together and started doing, what they do best...eating.  I wonder if the father and son had a conversation.  If they did, I think it would go like this...."He Dad...", "yes, son...", "what in the heck just happened to me..?", "I really have no idea...I am just glad it wasn't me..." The Cowboy Crew gathered their things...they stood around to discuss the events of the branding.
  They had a few laughs...they shook their heads...and...


They ended the whole round-up event...like all round-up's in Mexico...with a little "lunch"! No part was wasted...and I do mean no part!!...I decided I should go, before someone offered me some "lunch" too...

Missionary Monday....Here's Your Sign...

June 4, 2012

Dirty shoes 

On Saturday night we attended a missionary activity at the church. The local missionaries had worked really hard, and put together a really nice presentation about Family History. I thought it was really sweet, and felt an extra need to support The Elders, hoping that my Missionary Boy, would be supported in his efforts. During the activity...I looked down at the Elders shoes...nudged The Farmer so he would look too. He said..."do you think The Missionary Boy's shoes get that dirty, walking the streets of London??" My heart felt really tender for these young men, who walk for miles and miles...searching for those who want to know The Lord. Those shoes are the sign of very hard working missionaries! They are badges of honor!

A Round-Up For 1...(the next installment)...

June 1, 2012


...The fire is lit...the seasoned cowboy's are prepared for the upcoming event...I mean they
have worked hundreds possibly thousands of calves in their careers...how hard could this be...really?
They have arrived this Saturday morning not having any idea what is ahead of them


Now...before you can begin a round-up...the men need a chance to greet each other...
they need to discuss the "plan" and how it is all going to go down.
They need to discuss the weather...they other cows that they are attending to that same day...
and most of all...they need to decide who is actually going to get dirty!


At this moment...there is still alot of crying and yelling going on between Reina and Chencho...
and the other animals have now joined in.  The time has arrived!
The "matching" brothers mount the horses and enter the pasture...which I might add, really isn't too
big.  Those Longhorns knew something was up...and they took off running.  The cowboy's
took off after them...all the while swinging their ropes preparing for the catch...


It was in that very moment...when the cowboy threw his rope...ready to catch Chencho, that The Muneca decided....she wasn't having any part of this whole event and she threw that
cowboy right off her back....(check the picture closely...)...a gasp could be heard from the
onlookers...they started to run to the cowboy, who was not flat on the ground...then they
paused...was he going to get up???   And then he got up...laughing.  I am pretty
sure the only injury he sustained was to his pride...especially because I caught it all in photos!!!
He was really mad at the Muneca...I think it was a good thing I was there;)


He mounted the Muneca again...adjusted the saddle...and took off ...


By now the fire has nearly burned out.
The Cowboy's weren't watching the fire...there were much more entertaining things to watch.
When they realized...more wood was added and the fire took off again.


The whole event began again...cowboys chasing the Longhorns..throwing their ropes...missing
the Longhorns...doing it all again....THEN...Nacho..the daddy Longhorn got mad.  He had had
enough!  He was being very protective of Chencho...which I found interesting...and he had
had enough of those cowboys and horses....and so he shifted and turned...and headed
directly for The Muneca...with his horns down...ready to charge...he was MAD!!!
Well, you can imagine the cowboy's reaction to that...he took The Muneca
on a full run...trying to escape Nacho's furry!
Again...a gasp from the group of onlookers....


While everyone was distracted with Nacho..the Dad....Chencho...
headed straight for the fence....and went straight through the fence at full speed.
More gasps from the onlookers...
I thought this was supposed to be easy...and these guys knew what they were doing????
At this point I start texting The Farmer...telling him he should get to the Sol
as quickly as possible...this was getting good!
He didn't come...he stayed at church like a good Farmer!
Well, now Chencho has broken out of the pasture...he is on the run...right into the alfalfa fields
that are surrounding the pastures....this brought the remaining workers out of the orchards...
chasing Chencho...fearing that they might have a really big problem if Chencho starts
to eat the green alfalfa.....(possible bloating and death)...
They men successfully chased him...back into the pasture.  Everyone is laughing...disbelief has set in...
The cowboys can't believe this is all happening!  And frankly...neither can I!!


So...here we go once again....at this point...Nacho is just trying to get out of the way...
he is really hoping that it is not him they are after;)


And then it happens...Chencho is roped!  An audible sign of relief is heard from the group of onlookers...
and now those seasoned cowboys can do, what they came to do!

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