On The Streets Of Mexico City...

October 31, 2013

A little over a month ago, our recently returned Missionary Boy and his "adopted" brother,
 left for Mexico City to attend a very special business school, The Academy For Creating Enterprise. These two young men had never been to this great city before so they weren't sure what to expect. Even though both have been raised in Mexico,
the culture of the south is VERY different than that of the North.
The Farmer served his LDS Mission in the heart of Mexico City, we have traveled
there many times and even lived there for a few months.
 It has become somewhat familiar to us.
Our Boys have spent days in classrooms,
 they have spent days working and maintaining the campus of this school.
 They have spent day in and day out literally selling items on the streets of Mexico City.
 They have attended Institute classes, so that not only were their business skills being strengthened, their spirituality was also strengthened. It has been a fantastic experience for Our Boys!!
 It has been a fantastic experience for us as parents to see more positive
growth from two pretty great sons!
This program was outlined by successful Entrepreneurs with the purpose to strength
 the LDS members financially as well as prepare them for church service,
whatever that may be. The Farmer says that it will change the LDS Church in Mexico completely.
 It teaches self-sufficiency, service and personal responsibility.
 It is an amazing program.
Our Boys say that this is the best decision they have made next to serving their missions.
They say that they are forever changed.
Along with great learning, they have had the chance to see some of the great
 historical landmarks of Mexico. I am so grateful that they are taking this
 experience and really getting the most out of it.
 I am a proud Moma!
The Farmer left this morning for Mexico City.
He is the keynote speaker for Our Boys graduation ceremony.
 He is also going to show those Boys a good time in that fun city!
Tonight, a very proud Dad is eating tacos, on the streets of Mexico City,
with two Sons who are thrilled he is there!  Tomorrow he will speak at
the graduation ceremony and then it is off to explore the City.
I am so grateful for this program for so many reasons...mostly because
it is another set in the transition of Our Boys, becoming men!

Precious Is 19!!

October 26, 2013

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 Last week Our Precious celebrated her 19th birthday! I was traveling and wasn't able to post on her very special day. Today I was looking through her Senior pictures to find a few for this post,
and shed some tears because I miss her!

DSC_8745 copy I talk to her a little everyday...we text alot...but it isn't the same not having her home with us.
She brought so much energy to our home!
There were always friends coming and going...lots of laughing and a
good amount of teasing...mostly with The Rooster.
I miss her...we all miss her!

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Things I love about Our Precious..
*She is feisty!!
*She is goal oriented and driven
*She lives life to the fullest
*She is involved and soaking up her college experience to the max!!
 *She is a great friend
 *She is a gifted writer
 *She is a fantastic photographer
*She loves the process of learning

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 *She is very funny! We are always laughing when she is around
*She is fiercely loyal...especially to her family! (That is one of my favorite things about her!)
*She is beautiful...both inside and out and now...
*She is an Aggie!!!

 DSC_8781 copy This girl has her Dad totally wrapped around her little finger...
 I love to watch her work her magic on him! He is putty in her hands!!;)
It thrills me to see how she loves him and how he is smitten with her.
Of course he claims that he is responsible for every good quality that she posses!
She has blessed us with some pretty great experiences as parents!
Some have left us with great stories to tell! She is a blessing to us in soooo many ways.
 Oh how I love my PreShie Girl! I am so blessed to be her Mom!!
Feliz Cumpleanos Mi Hijita!
 I love you!!

Kindness Along The Palangana River...

October 14, 2013

Not too long ago, The Farmer and I took a drive.
We came upon some of the most beautiful scenery that we have ever seen in our area.
  In fact, The Farmer repeated several times during our drive...
"how could I have grown up in this area, and not known that this place was here!!??"
It wasn't too far away,
yet it seemed so untouched by the world and people that surrounds it.
Several years ago, a small open sided train ran from the city near us, up into the nearby mountains. There were not roads at that time, to help those who lived in the mountain towns,
 get to the local towns. Those people used the small train. They would ride it into town,
purchase necessities, pack them up, load the train and return to their mountain homes.
  It all worked well for many years, until the small train had a couple of accidents.
  The final accident took the lives of a few, and so the train ride ended.
  The train tracks were removed and a road was built, where the train once ran.
  When The Darlings were little, we took the train into the mountains for a picnic,
 spent the day along a lovely river and returned home in the evening.
 It is a very fun memory.
I have to say...I don't remember it being as beautiful as it was a few weeks ago!
  The Farmer also said a few times this Summer, that he hadn't seen it so green in our area since
The Rooster was a baby... that was a long time ago!;)
We drove and drove. Until...The Farmer announced that we had a flat tire!
Now...keep in mind, we have been driving for at least an hour, maybe more...
and we have not seen one person, or one vehicle. The Farmer is pretty handy, so I wasn't too worried. Until, The Farmer announced that the lug wrench for the car, was the wrong size.
So removing the tire was just not going to happen...and so his creativity kicked in...
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He searched through the car...came up with some silicone, one half of a can of Fix A Flat...
a hammer, some pliers and a small chunk of wood.
 He carefully shaped that piece of wood into a plug,
covered it with silicone and hammered it into the whole in the tire. After it sat for a few minutes,
 he emptied the can of Fix A Flat into the flat tire. I think I am making this sound
much simpler than it actually was...it took quite a bit of time;)
 While he worked, I hiked up hills and into a small
canyon where the river was running.
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When all that could be done, was done, we began our slow journey back to the nearest town,
which was over an hour away. Luckily, after seeing no one for the entire ride,
 a well equipped truck came up behind us. Within just a few minutes they had
 kindly changed our tire and had us on our way.
 When The Farmer offered to pay them for their time and kindness the
 sweet wife of the man who help us quickly said..."we will not accept pay,
one day we will need your help." We all loaded up, and were once
again on our way! It was a great lesson of kindness!
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And just in case you are not familiar with a very large whole in the road...
The locals have kindly marked it for you!
  They wouldn't want you to hurt yourself,
 or anyone else!
Another lesson in kindness along The Palangana River!

England...Sacred Ground...

October 9, 2013

The Missionary Boy has been home for about 6 weeks now. I have thought many times I would sit and write about what it has been like to have him come home. Our life has been a whirlwind since the moment he arrived. Actually that would be true of his actual birth! He has taken us on quite a parental ride...That Boy! There are days that when I think if his mission, it seems like such a blur. There are other days that I feel the feelings again...those of a Missionary Mother.
  They are feelings that won't soon be forgotten.
(Pres. and Sis. Millar)
When he left for his mission, a very wise man told us that... "we would mourn the loss of the boy... and we would celebrate the man that returns to us." And he was right. He isn't our "boy" anymore. He is now a man. He is very physically different, he has a very different view of the world now. He is concerned for others...he feels the pain and sadness of others...he loves more deeply...he loves sacred things...he is quick to help...he loves his family...very simply...he is grown up!
I am sure that leaving England was bittersweet for our "boy" turned man.
That place will always represent beautiful change and growth for him. It will be sacred ground for him, as it will be for us, his parents. It will be a place that he remembers with love for the great learning that took place there...even though sometimes it was very hard.
As a mother of a missionary, England will always hold a very special place in my heart,
as the home of my son when he was away from me. Had he been sent to Mexico, I would have had some point of reference to understand the experiences that he was having,
the food he was eating...the weather he was enjoying. I did not have that for England.
 To imagine what the people, the food and the weather were like was very difficult for me.
  It was foreign for him and it was foreign for us.
  Now that culture has become comfortable and familiar to him.
  Now Mexico seems a little different.
And so he said good-bye, not only to England, but to a time of life that happens only once.
A time he will never revisit. He climbed aboard a plane and headed to a land that was familiar but now different. It is different because he is different...in a very good and blessed way. Although he is happy to be home, he longs for his England, and the life of a missionary that he knew there. He is learning how to be this new man in his old world. It has been so exciting for him to begin to plan his future, but it has also been very sad for him, to see that some things and some people have not changed and probably never will and yet so much has changed and how will he fit into it all again. Returning from a mission is a hard thing. It is a time of great transition.
Strangely, I feel the same. I am a missionary mother who is adjusting too. I loved every moment of having a missionary in the mission field. I could have never anticipated the joy and great blessings that would be ours as a family during this special time. It was a sacred time for sure. I still find myself drawn to "all things England"
 and maybe I will always be.
 It is a place that I will always have a deep affection for...and maybe..
.if I am lucky...one day I will walk on the very soil that "raised" my son into the
 "new man" that we are getting to know all over again.
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