He Is Found!!!

January 31, 2013


Well...not that he was really lost...but he was transferred and we hadn't heard from him to know where he would be living and working now...


His home is now in Peckham...yes...that is the location of the London Riots in 2011! Yep!!
He will be just fine! In fact he is so thrilled to be working with the two Spanish speaking missionaries in his Zone...as well as the Spanish ward that is in his area! A dream come true for our Missionary Boy!! He says the area is a little rough...but isn't worried one bit! His new companion is from France..and he loves him too!

Saying good-bye was hard...lots of tears were shed. But he ready for a new adventure!

When Your Day Begins With Enchiladas...

January 31, 2013

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You know it is going to be a good day...when enchiladas are involved!!
Last Saturday was the funeral of our neighbor Don Chato. My day began with enchiladas
 as they needed to be made for the family dinner that would immediately
follow the funeral service. The problem with enchiladas in my house...
is they get eaten as fast as you can make them!
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We had them for breakfast...for lunch...and for dinner;)...And why not?!!
Oh my goodness they were good!!
The service was really nice. Those kind of events turn into wonderful family reunions.
He family are great people and are a tribute to their parents.
Life is great at the moment...just really busy.
Pres. Timothy & Sis. Judy Jones with us at M.O.
The Missionary Grandparents are doing just great!
 It is so fun to hear about their missionary life, and the great experiences they are having.
 I think they are nearly freezing to death with temperatures at -8 degrees some days.
 It is a great blessing to our family to have them serving!
The Missionary Boy is fantastic! He will be home in August and I am already "nesting"!!
He has been transferred this week, and we are still waiting to hear from him to know where he is. What an incredible experience it has been for our family to have serve!
He has grown so much!! It will be really fun to get to know
him all over again when he returns.
Tuesday night a very big announcement was made for Mexico. The Benemerito, which is the church school...the sister school to the JSA...will be converted into a MTC for Mexico. They anticipate it will be the second largest in the world, receiving and training 1500 missionaries every two weeks. Elder Holland and Elder Nelson came to Mexico to make the announcement. Like someone sweetly said..."our beloved Benemerito has been called on a mission!" I thought that was a very special way to look at it. This decision will displace nearly 2000 students who had planned to be educated there. It will mostly likely effect our school here in the Colonies as well. What a thrill for the church in Mexico! Along with Elder Holland and Elder Nelson, 8 other general authorities were here for this announcement, some say that it was a historic moment for Mexico having that many general authorities here at one time has not happened before. The missionaries here in our mission tell us that their mission will be growing significantly in the next few months.
The Missionary Boy tells us the same about his mission.
 It is incredible to watch the growth of the missionary force...
it is incredible to see the desire of the youth to serve!
On January 23, the MTC in Provo received the first round of young missionaries.
 Since the announcement last October conference of the age change for missionary service. The response has challenged every system of the church.
 Last week it began for the MTC.
  I think this picture is incredible!! Missionaries ready to serve...
and parents laying their offering on the "altar"...their children. It is a thrill to watch!!
The weather has been strange lately...some days really really cold, and other days very Spring like. The orchards are being pruned, and hope is in the air for a successful farming year.
Many big changes have happened for us in the last few weeks regarding our businesses...
all good changes, and we definitely have seen the hand of the Lord guiding the process.
 We are full of gratitude for Tender Mercies... great partners whom we also call dear friends...
and positive resolutions to difficult problems.
We look forward to a great year of growth and progress.
I finished my blog book for 2012...it is in the mail...I should pick it up in the next few days. It is the largest book I have done so far and I can't wait to get my hands on it!! I am currently working on a book for The Missionary Boy, of his letters home during his mission.
We will have to work on the picture book after he gets home...I am going to need his help!
The Darlings are great! PreShie is getting closer to graduation...which is really hard to think about. The Rooster will be 16 in May....WHAT????
 I am not sure I am ready for that!
 We have a few fun trips ahead of us...tons of activities already in place for the Summer...
and the anticipation of getting our Missionary Boy home from his mission.
 PreShie has been accepted to several universities. She is leaning toward Utah State.
  The Missionary Boy also has been accepted there, so we have a fun Fall ahead of us too!!
Go Aggies!!!
I am grateful that along with life's challenges come great moments of joy...
and like the Missionary Boy said not too long ago...
"that is what the good is for...to balance out the difficult times."
  And I agree!

Missionary Monday...

January 28, 2013


Holy Smokes...I love it when pictures come from the Missionary Boy!!!
England has recently had a few snow days...


A recent visit with a man The Missionary Boy baptized...
who has cancer and may not live much longer...


I love that he sees the beauty of the place he is serving.
Sometimes I can't believe that my Missionary Boy would think to take such beautiful pictures...
The Farmer says it is because his heart is soft...;)


A New Chapel...

January 23, 2013

One of the great blessings of living where I live...is that things don't come easy. I really am grateful for that...it helps keep things in perspective and helps me appreciate everything that we are blessed with. Right down to the chapel we meet in. In a nearby town, their church meeting are held in a home. It isn't a beautiful home...furnished with lovely things...it is just an empty cement home. The "chapel" is the living room, Primary...Priesthood and Sunday School are held in small bedrooms. The parking lot is dirt. And, that little branch is grateful for what they have.
Over the last few years I have visited that little Branch with The Farmer. There were times when we visited that only a few members of the Branch were there... other times the little humble house was literally packed. Every time I was there, there were wonderful missionaries...working hard to help those members qualify for a building of their own.
Every time I returned home from one of those visits...I found myself full of gratitude for the circumstances under which we meet to worship. Blessed...that is what we are!! When The Farmer began his church assignment a few years ago...he made a promise to the people in that little Branch. He promised them that if they would do the things that were expected of them...consistently...he would make sure that they would have a new chapel to meet in. That little Branch got to work. They did what needed to be done, they were sooo faithful.
When The Farmer happily reported the progress of this Branch, he was so proud of them. It gave him such joy. Only...he didn't get the result he was expecting... that they were expecting. And then it was back to the drawing board. A few more requirement...a few more things to do.
And again, the answer wasn't what they all hoped for.
My creation
Finally The Farmer took his plea to someone who listened. Listened to the stories of sacrifice and committment...and then it happened. Approval was given...land was purchased and plans were drawn up!! And the members rejoiced!!
My acreation
Saturday was the ground breaking ceremony. It was fantastic! The previous Branch Presidents throughout the years were there...all 10 of them...the Branch Choir has prepared special musical numbers. White chalk lines marked the outline of the building to come, and heartfelt talks were given. The Farmer shared a little of the history of the church in that area and praised those sweet members for their faithfulness and committment.
  It was a very happy day for everyone!
 It was a day of gratitude and a day full of hope!!
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Don Chato...

January 22, 2013

Last Saturday morning...The Farmer and I drove to a neighboring town...45 minutes away for a very special event. This little town had qualified for a new chapel! There was going to be a special ceremony and ground breaking. As I was getting ready to go, I began to think about my neighbors...an older couple...who we have lived next too for nearly twenty years. They were a "fixture" in this community. They left during the holidays  to be with their kids...and because of health issues...they have not come home. So Saturday morning...I was wishing that they would come back...I was thinking about how I missed them. We drove to the little town...and as the group of people began to gather...a man came to me and put his arm around me and told me that his father had just passed away...just a couple of hours before this event was to begin...his father...was my neighbor. It caught me so off guard that I burst into tears! I knew his health was bad...I knew that he was miserable...and I knew that he now needed the help of his children to care for himself...and he didn't like that...he was a proud man. But...how I wished he could come home for just one more visit.
He wasn't always an easy man...in fact he had the reputation of being quite a difficult man. When I told the Missionary Boy that he had passed away...he said that he wished he had more good memories of our neighbor. But he did remember one. A few years ago The Missionary Boy's horses were pretty sick and he was very worried about them. He wanted the horses close by so he could watch them closely. The neighbor had a barn and horse stalls right next to our house...that he hadn't used for years. So The Missionary Boy gathered all the courage he had and approached the neighbor, asking if he might use the stalls while his horses were getting better. Without hesitation the neighbor said yes! The Missionary Boy couldn't believe it!! And oh how grateful he was for this favor. Some afternoons when The Missionary Boy was caring for the horses...the neighbor would visit him in the horse stalls and tell him that his horses were nice...and try to make conversation. I think it was his way of letting The Missionary Boy know that he felt bad for the years he hadn't been so nice.
 And I think that The Missionary Boy understood.
The past few years...The Farmer and I have tried to take a little more time for the neighbors. Seeing that they needed a little extra help...we began sending meals to them...which gave The Darlings more opportunity to interact with them. And that has been a really good thing. Some evenings, when we took dinner in, we stayed and visited about anything and everything. One thing he did say just before he left to be with his family...was that he really wanted to return to the mountains...Colonia Pacheco. It was a place he loved.  When he left for the holidays...The Farmer
said..."that is the last time you will see Don Chato...."  and he was right. 
  Although some of our years as neighbors were a little tough...the last few have been very sweet. I am grateful for that. I am pretty sure that he was in the neighborhood last Saturday morning for one last visit...before he went on to greater things. I think that was why he was on my mind. I will miss that neighbor of mine...I will miss watching him drive into our shared driveway...pause...and as my dogs would chase and bark at him...he would get them as close as possible to his truck and then he would quickly open his door to hit them;) I watched it every morning for many years!
 Those dogs knew better than to mess with him!!
That little memory makes me smile!


January 16, 2013


The Missionary Boy sent this on Monday...
I thought it was fun...
The one on the right was taken as he entered the Mission
The one on the left was taken in the last couple of weeks...
Lot of change in a short amount of time...
I love it!!

Missionary Tuesday...;)

January 15, 2013

I usually get my missionary letters very early on Monday mornings...with a 7 hour time difference...a letter is most often waiting for me when I wake-up. I have been known to wake up extra early...just to read the letter;) Anyway, later in the afternoon, yesterday...The Missionary Boy was able to send a few pictures from a Zone activity they had...a trip to Oxford University. A couple of pictures of The Missionary Boy...MAKE MY DAY!!! Oxford University looks like a pretty incredible place!!!
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In Search of Snow...

January 14, 2013


In search for a little more snow to play in...and to celebrate the end of Christmas Break...the "family" headed to the nearby mountains in search of a little more snow to play in.
The kids were all bundled up ready for a big adventure.
(There were two more cars along with these...)


Lunches were packed...sleds were packed and off we went!
We found a spot...made a fire and warmed...YUM!!....burritos warmed over
a fire are the best!!!

My favorite barn in Pacheco...it doesn't matter what the season it...
I love that barn!!!


Aunt Shauna discovered the these two treats combined
are pretty yummy!!


When you see the picture that follows...you will understand
the looks on every one's faces...


That by the way is our dear Uncle J.


PreShie and Cousin Niko had a small sledding wipe out with
one of the younger cousins...everyone was just fine...


PreShie took this picture when we were heading home after a long
and very fun day of sledding in the mountains.
She loved the pink hue that was in the sky as the sun was going down.
Nobody does it better than the cousins....it was a great day!!
(some of the pictures were taken by PreShie..some by Aunt Shauna...and some by me!)

Changed Forever....

January 9, 2013

Today is his 12th birthday...
The day he was born changed me forever...
He would have been ordained a Deacon this week...
I often find myself looking for children that are about his age,
so that I can see what he would be like today.
Not a day passes that I don't think about him and miss him.
My heart won't be complete until he is with us again.
Happy Birthday to our Angel Boy!

More Snow...(Last Week!!)

January 8, 2013

The Darlings' wildest dreams came true last week with a couple of days of falling snow! Snow doesn't happen all the time in these parts... but when it does it is greatly appreciated! The Farmer and The Rooster had planned to go hunting to the Escondida...(Uncle Dan's ranch), but when the day began with snow...The Farmer changed his mind...but The Rooster did not.
  The Rooster and Cousin Jacko headed to the ranch anyway!
After a long day at the ranch...the young cousins returned not having any luck getting a deer.
And that was ok with me;)
We made a roaring fire in the fireplace...and ate yummy warm soup!
The perfect snow day!
Boss The Dog seemed to enjoy the snow too!
It was a very fun day!

Missionary Monday...On Tuesday...;)

January 8, 2013

An English sunset...
A happy son....
A beautiful baptism...
We have often wondered why a Spanish speaking Missionary Boy
would be called to serve in England...this man would be just one of the reasons why;)
A bit belated....but successful Christmas.... Monday's are always VERY good days at our house!
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