October 30, 2012
He left us 2 years ago...our Missionary Nephew Ben...to serve the people of Argentina. Today he returned home having completed an honorable mission. Posters and banners were made...we all headed to El Paso...and we waited for his arrival. We found a little corner in the airport and gathered as a family. We talked about how the time had passed so fast...(some days!)...and all that had changed since he left. Would he recognize his siblings??? Would he recognize the the little cousins???...all the while his father was tracking his flight as it headed toward El Paso. And then the plane landed...we watched through a large picture window. The family gathered the banners, signs, and balloons and we waited for him to appear..."our missionary son...brother...nephew and friend."
And this is what it looked like....
This was the most tender moment I watched today...after the Elder arrived and was hugged by everyone...his younger brother sat apart from the crowd...weeping. Watching him brought me to tears too...and as I hugged him I said..."you are so happy he is home aren't you?" The young brother couldn't talk but nodded his head yes. What a sweet moment that was!
It was a wonderful afternoon for our family! Welcome Home Elder Ben!!!
October 23, 2012
Puebla....ahhhhhh...just this morning I was suggesting to The Farmer that we return to this fantastic city..."just for fun..." (Nacho Libre) My first visit to this city was close to 12 years ago. I had heard all about it, and was anxious to see it for myself. A dear friend who was living in Mexico City at the time, took The Farmer's Mother, and myself to this city he knew that we would fall in love with. Ever since that first visit, I have been planning my return! And here I am...having just left beautiful Puebla...
and I am planning my return again!! It is a special place.
October 22, 2012
Street food in Mexico is amazing! There are food stands on every corner, with most any kind of food you may want. The moment we left the airport in Mexico City, the smell of those street food stands took over! The Farmer began his search of the yummy street tacos, that he has such fond memories of. I too gained a love for those tacos...and learned that if I would soak them in fresh lime juice...and drink a Coke along with...I would never get sick from eating the street food. And can I say...that has been true for me. I haven't gotten sick once, eating on the streets of Mexico. I am not saying it is fool proof...just saying it has worked for me;) Sadly, The Farmer didn't find the amazing tacos this trip...he was pretty sad about that. We began our journey early one morning to the town of Puebla, it was about a 2 hour drive from Mexico City. As we left, The Farmer assured me that we would find some great food along the way for our breakfast. Sure enough, as we climbed into the nearby mountains, we came to a little roadside stop, that was full of little stands...each begging us to enjoy breakfast with them. The Farmer selected the little stand...and as we exited the car, we realized that it had become very cold. The people who owned the stand offered us a table next to a cozy fire they had going. It was perfect!
The wood burning stove/grill, was loaded with food that was being prepared for the day.
All the ingredients were made from scratch and fresh.
The Farmer placed our breakfast order...and we waited as fresh tortillas were made and a Flor de Calabaza quesidilla was prepared. The salsas were the best! Freshly made just as we sat down to eat. Next came a regular quesidilla, made from fresh cheese, fresh tortillas and again amazing salsa. YUM!!
The culture in Southern Mexico is incredible! Because I haven't been too far South in a long time...I had forgotten how beautiful the culture is...and how much I enjoy it!
These are freshly roasted Poblano peppers...just off the grill, and being peeled for a Poblano Relleno.
The altar inside the roadside stand...
My feet...warming by the fire next to our table...
October 18, 2012
You are 18!!! How did that happen???
It seems just like yesterday,that Dad and I found out that we were going to have a little girl...wow, time just passes tooooo fast! When your brother held you in his arms for the first time...he patted you so softly and announced..."Babe"...and you have been our "Babe" ever sense.
I love that you are fiercely loyal to your family and those you love. You are an amazing sister and friend to your brothers. They know that you will do just about anything for them. I think that you know that about them too! I love that you can tease your brothers, or get mad at them...but if someone else does...you are the first to champion their cause. Together you are a great team...just like Grandma Vicki has always called you..."the three little foxes." You have a great sense of family and your dearest friends are your family...that is an extra special gift you have. I love that!
I love that you are a great friend. That you listen to and support your friends in whatever their happy or sad times might be. I love that they trust you and share their greatest fears and their greatest joys with you. I love that you support your friends and help them to achieve their goals.
I love your strength. You have been amazingly strong since you were a little girl. You have always had strong ideas and big plans, and you have an amazing way of making them happen. You are not afraid, you are willing to do whatever is necessary to see your goals achieved. You are driven! That is a great characteristic.
I love how creative you are. You paint beautifully....you take amazing photographs...your writing ability something very special...whatever you do, you do it beautifully! You inherited that creativity from you Dad...he sees that in you and it makes him happy;)
I love your commitment and belief in the Gospel...and that when the age limit for missions was announced...you screamed because you were so happy that serving a mission would come sooner than you thought it would. You will be a wonderful missionary!
I love your kindness and love for little children...especially those who may have special needs. They touch your heart and you love them unconditionally. They love you too!
They can sense your love for them.
I love that the beauty of the world thrills you! I love that you notice clouds in the sky...and the moon on a very dark night. That you notice beautiful flowers, and leaves changing. I love that you share what you observe with me!
PreShie...thanks for choosing to be our daughter...Dad and I love you more than you will ever know...you are an amazing young woman, beautiful on the inside and on the out...you have been a complete joy to us, your parents! Here's to the future and the wonderful things that are yet to come!!!
I love you with all my heart
October 17, 2012
The Farmer and I spent last weekend in Mexico City. The purpose of the trip???....a training for the Especially For Youth program that is beginning in our area. The Farmer will oversee the next two years of EFY...and he needed some training so he would know exactly what to do! I was just lucky he took me along for the "ride." When he invited me to go along...I began remembering the things that I really enjoyed in Mexico City...and the surrounding areas...and started making a list of
things I hoped we could do, in a very short amount of time;)
Mexico City is the third largest city in the world. It seems that there are people everywhere! Driving is an adventure...and that is an understatement! Our GPS couldn't even help us most of the time...it was confused too! The day we flew into the city...was very clear, which is unusual. We had great views from the airplane. While landing...The Farmer and I began discussing some great...and not so great...memories in this city. It is the city where we spent our honeymoon...It is the city The Farmer served his LDS mission...It is the city we lived in during an internship, during our college days...It is a city full of beautiful places, great culture, and fun shopping! I enjoy a trip to Mexico City and hadn't been there in a very long time...so I was very excited to be there. The Farmer on the other hand, feels a bit of anxiety when he is in the city...after he and his brother were assaulted a few years back...the city taught him that it could not only be full of beauty and fun, it was also filled with danger. As the plane was landing, we remembered a trip we had made to Mexico City....years ago...when the then president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas, invited people from the "Mormon Colonies" to a dinner with him at Mexico's "White House"...called Los Pinos. The Farmer and I along with Uncle D. and Aunt M. had the chance to participate in the great trip. We had a wonderful time in Mexico City! We saw the sights, went to the special dinner at Los Pinos, and just had a great time. When it was time to go home, we boarded the airplane. It was a full flight. It was nighttime, and had been raining. As the plane began to taxi down the runway, and pick up speed, we suddenly heard a VERY loud BOOM!!!...keep in mind that both The Farmer and Uncle D. were trained pilots...(The Farmer hadn't completed his training, but he knew enough to know that we had a problem). The plane continued down the runway but was not getting the speed necessary to lift the plane into the air. The passengers were visibly confused and worried and what had been a happy light feeling on the plane as we boarded, turned to worry. After what seemed to be a lifetime...the pilot realized he couldn't get the plane up into the air and began breaking to slow the airplane. Somewhere during the experience, The Farmer remembered that there was a cement wall at the end
of the runway, and a very busy freeway past that wall, which added to our fear.
Thankfully the plane came to a stop...without hitting the wall;)...and we returned to the gate.
As we prepared to get ourselves off of that plane...an announcement came over the speaker...it was the Captain...in a VERY shaky voice...assuring us that the plane we fine, that we had hit a large puddle of water which had gone into one of the engines and that was the reason for the loud sound and inability to get the plane off the ground. But, there was no need to worry and that we would soon attempt to take off again and head to our final destination. Well, lets just say that the passengers on that plane were not happy about staying there...they wanted off!!! So then a very visibly shaken and disheveled Captain came into the cabin of the plane to address the passengers. Before he began his speech the stewardess handed him some kind of alcoholic beverage...which he threw back very quickly...and then he announced...."everything is OK!" His hands were shaking very badly,and it was hard for him to hold his drink! Again, he said that not one would be leaving the plane and that we would be taking off again in a few minutes. Which we did. Just before the plane took off...we held a camera above us and snapped a few pictures...just in case the plane went down...and the camera was somehow found!!;) Well, a few hours later, we landed in the city we were destined for...safe and sound...and the moment the plane touched the ground...the passengers burst into loud cheers and clapping! Just a fun memory from our travels to Mexico City!
And trust me...we have alot more very similar to that one!!;)
We arrived in the city on Thursday evening...had a lovely dinner in the Zona Rosa...a beautiful area in the heart of Mexico City. I was reminded of how I love this country and it's beautiful culture. Friday morning we headed to the city of Puebla...and were completely taken with the scenery along the way! This is a view of Mexico City from the nearby mountains...
This is the volcano...Popocatepetl...which is still active. It had a little eruption this past April, where smoke and ash were spewed, but no one was hurt. Another interesting side note...leading to another Mexico City story...I saw this volcano from our hospital window, everyday...for a few weeks...due to another "adventure" that we had in Mexico City a few years back;) Another story for another day! The scenery of our Thursday morning drive was stunning! The weather was perfect!