Our "Giving Thanks" Party!

November 29, 2013

This past Tuesday, the women of our family gathered for a "Giving Thanks" party.
The idea was for us to have a chance to be together...just the girls... and write Thank You notes to people that we have been touched by for some reason or another. It was such a fun evening! We had "Walking Tacos"...a Hot Chocolate Bar, and after we wrote our notes, we made Carmel Apples.
 It was so fun to see the women, both young and young at heart...talking,
 laughing, telling stories...and just loving being together.
 We have good women in this family, and I am grateful for them!
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"Fall" Therapy...

November 26, 2013

A day at the Escondida Ranch is never a bad thing!
No matter the time of year...there is beauty to be found!
The Boy/Man hadn't been to The Ranch since he returned home, and with
dear friends visiting from England, it seemed like the perfect adventure.
The Summer rains, left their mark on the already very rocky roads...if at all
possible...the roads were much more bouncy than usual! I am sure the England Folk,
hadn't really ever seen roads like that, and most likely won't see them again...that is...
until their next visit! ;) It was a great day!  A little fishing...some delicious steaks
"Ranch Style" courtesy of The Farmer...and time to just relax and visit.
That place is filled with memories.  The Farmer spent a good part of his youth on
that Ranch and he has great stories to share.  The Darlings too have been lucky enough
to enjoy The Ranch too! For me, this particular trip was filled with thoughts of trips
with The Farmer's Father, to The Ranch, when The Darlings were just babies. 
Those were some great times.  The Farmers father loved Ranching, and he loved his family,
and when he could combine the two...it was a very good day.  The Ranch is now owned
by one of The Farmer's brothers.  He is doing a great job caring for it and he is always
kind and generous to those of us who appreciate a trip to The Ranch.
The Ranch is a blessing to this big family...in so many ways!

Some Things You Just Don't Forget....

November 20, 2013

For some, "horses" are simply a part of who you are.
That is The Boy/Man. He loves them, and they love him!
After not riding for two years...he is back at it, and it is like he never missed a day!
I love to watch him ride, it is a beautiful thing, mostly because it calms his very soul.
Mother and daughter!
Riding his colt, Reina, for the first time
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On The Farm Today....

November 6, 2013


p.s. We do not have a cemetery on The Farm...it is on a hill across the
street, and offers a fantastic view of The Farm...just in case you were wondering!

Tender Reunion...

November 2, 2013

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The city of Cholula. Also, known as the city that is home to more than 350 churches.
 That is where this picture was taken today.
Our Boys, are getting to know Mexico City through the eyes of The Farmer.
 What a treat!! I am so grateful that they are having this time together!
From the moment Those Boys left, I told The Farmer he needed to go and
spend some time with them, showing him a little piece of the experiences he has had there.
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One of the most life altering experiences for The Farmer was his LDS mission.
  It was served on the streets and in the small towns of Mexico City. Like most young men, it was a time of great purification for him...a time of great growth. One of the sweetest memories for him, lies behind this door, in a town called Texcoco. He returned there for the first time since his mission, while we were on our honeymoon. He wanted me to know the Alvarez Family, and love them, like he did. It was a moment I won't ever forget. Although I had spent some time in Mexico before we married. I hadn't really seen poverty like what this sweet family lived, day in and day out. And yet, they fed The Missionary Farmer, almost every day while he served in their town. Oh how they loved The Missionary Farmer. As we drove through the streets of Texcoco, The Farmer looked and looked for their home. The streets had changed a bit, and it took a little time for him to get his bearings in a city he hadn't been to in many years. But when he saw this door...he knew it was "the door" that belonged to this beloved family. It wasn't in a "neighborhood." it was literally just a door, facing a busy street. If you were to notice the door, you would never assume that someone actually lived behind that door. We parked our car, and The Farmer went to the door and gave a hard knock. And then he waited. No one came right away, in fact we almost returned to the car to leave. After another firm knock to the door, it opened slowly. Hermana Alvarez took one look at The Farmer and began to cry. Cry only like a mother who hasn't seen a child for years, and the child has returned home. Hermana Alvarez hugged The Farmer, and he hugged her back and they both had a sweet cry together. Thrilled to have The Farmer in their home once again, she invited us to sit in their very humble living room, on two chairs that seemed that they might break at any moment. She sat across from us, and the children sat on the floor near us. As I looked around their home, a bit overwhelmed with how little they actually had, I noticed that our wedding announcement had been placed in a simple frame and hung in a prominent place where anyone who came into the house, could see it. The visit was beautiful. I was a by-stander watching a very special reunion take place. At that time I couldn't understand or speak any Spanish and I relied on The Farmer to keep me in the communication loop. He would stop now and then to explain why he loved this special family so much, and he would tell me about all of the wonderful things they would do for him while he served in Texcoco as a missionary. But it was much more than that. This was the kind of connection that doesn't happen often in a lifetime. Once we had been there awhile, Hermana Alvarez suggested that we must be hungry and that she would be so happy if we would eat with them. The Farmer then lovingly informed me that I would need to eat whatever was served, even if it might be difficult. She then gathered a few coins, handed them to one of the children and asked them to go to the nearby bread store, and purchase only two pieces of bread. One for me and one for The Farmer. It wasn't long when the child returned with the sweet breads in a brown paper bag. The Hermana (sister), then reached to the top of a cabinet that was close to the table and brought down another brown paper bag that had been carefully hidden. Inside the bag was a small piece of cheese. She placed the sweet breads and the small piece of cheese onto a plate and set it in front of us. And The Farmer said..."eat."
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I wanted to cry. Not because I was afraid to eat, but because I knew that I was eating the food that would have been theirs. I knew that those little children wouldn't have cheese again anytime soon. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I guess that it why this experience is burned into my memory. We stayed most of the afternoon with that sweet family. We even joined them for dinner which was chicken soup, that included ALL of the parts of the chicken, because they couldn't afford to waste anything. In my bowl of soup, was the chicken food. A special treat for a special visitor!;) As we left their home that day, almost 25 years ago, The Farmer emptied his wallet of every bit of money he had, and left it with that dear family. He didn't have much, after all we were students. But all he had was theirs. As we have gone back to Mexico City through the years, we have always checked in on La Familia Alvarez. Sometimes we have found them, and sometimes we have not. Each time we are in Texcoco he revisits the memories of a very special time of life. he opened that area as a missionary. It had not had missionaries until he and his companion arrived. Now there is a beautiful LDS church building and two wards that meet there.
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Today, along with Our Boys, The Farmer visited Texcoco. These pictures made me cry.
 I know that garden, I have stood there. It is behind the blue door.
 Today he found Hermano Alvarez. I can see the delight in his eyes.
 What a gift to be able to share this with Our Boys.
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The very first meetings of the LDS church in Texcoco were held in this very spot where they are standing. It was the front room of the Alvarez Family
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I am sure it was a very very special day for The Farmer. I can see it in his face, in these picture that The Boy sent me this afternoon. These are the kind of experiences that a Mother prays her child will have. And it really was my prayer that The Boy and The Farmer could share this together, that The Boy could know what his Dad was like as a missionary. What a blessing for them both! Knowing The Farmer, I am sure he again emptied his wallet, hoping to repay some small part of the incredible sacrifices that were made by this family, for him.
This Mother's heart is full of gratitude tonight!
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