The Best Things About AZ...

January 31, 2014

You know...there are just some "tastes" that cannot be found anywhere else but in AZ.
Rosas, and their Green Corn Tamale is one of those things.
When we arrived in was one of the first things on my mind...
next to family of course;) And, boy did it taste good.
The walls and tables are covered with my favorite tile...Talavera.
The Rooster ordered his "regular" the Fajitas... again,
beautiful and delicious.
temple1 (2)
I love this picture! There is a lot happening here.
 The Mom' lovely sister-in-laws...were photographing all the girls,
while all the young boys played in the water around us, and The Farmer captured it all.
 So much fun to be with family!
And to top off a wonderful afternoon with family...a little cousin love!!!
Cousins are THE BEST!!!

Delicious Arizona...

January 28, 2014


Last weekend The Farmer and I packed up The Rooster and headed to the
"home land"...Arizona. Certainly we don't need too much of a reason to
travel to AZ...visiting The Grandparents and The Brotherhood, is worth the drive.
But this trip we made plans to participate in the Open House of the new
Gilbert Arizona LDS Temple. It was an incredible experience that we
were blessed to share with our family.
I will write in more detail about that soon.
Now...I live where citrus is not available. If you happen to find an orange,
it surely isn't a navel and it doesn't look too pretty. This country could not survive
without the Lime...and there are plenty of those to go around!
The Farmer is a huge fan of all citrus, but his all time favorite would be the Grapefruit.
The Grandparents have spoiled him rotten through the years,
by making sure that he is supplied with all the Grapefruit that he can eat,
from their very own trees. SPOILED!!! Yes he is!
Citrus orchard are becoming few and far between these days... They were very
common when I was growing up in The Valley, not so much anymore.
So, once we arrived in AZ a plan was put into place to make sure
 The Farmer got all the citrus that he could eat. We made a trip to a cute
roadside store on the edge of an orange orchard and packing shed.
It kind of made me feel like I was in the country..
.but yet on the edge of a very large and very busy city.
The Farmer was in heaven!!! Now that we are home...
he begins each day with a healthy dose of grapefruit.
 It is a treat!
The best part of the trip was checking in on The Grandparents.
The Grandpa is doing much better...cancer free, but dealing now with some back
issues. He is getting his strength back and looks wonderful.
An answer to many many prayers...

The Last Few Days...

January 22, 2014

She wasn’t where she had been.
She wasn’t where she was going…
but she was on her way.
And on her way she no longer looked for the answers,
but held close the two things she knew for sure:
One, if a day carried strength in the morning,
peace in the evening,
and a little joy in between,
it was a good one.
And two, you can live completely
without complete understanding.
-Jodi Hills
I found this today on a blog that I read...and love.
It sums up how I am feeling right now.  Mostly the part that says
"you can live completely...without complete understanding."
I think you just have to get to that place of faith in order to have peace.
Some days I feel that peace more than others.
I guess that is the journey.
I feel like I have been feeding the 5 Thousand for  quite awhile now...
It's okay with me...I really do enjoy it, there have been many opportunities to cook lately;)
This past weekend we had visitors from the church, from Mexico City,
and some from Cd. Juarez...12 men, all together.
I made breakfast Saturday morning and then they all came to our home for
Carne Asada.
It was great!
photo (5)
One of the visitors actually requested the meal.
Grilled Steak, fresh tortillas, and all the fixings!
photo (4)
The food was delicious...and the company was great!
I have the opportunity to prepare food, for church events, and I really enjoy it.
 One of the great highlights of my week are Monday mornings when the Missionaries
are in our home for breakfast. I feel like preparing meals is my
 "offering" to those who give of themselves so willingly to the Lord in service.
 It makes me happy to serve those who are serving.
There is a lot of this going on in Northern Utah right now!
Cousins and dear friends snowboarding together.
I am glad that The "Aggie" Darlings are making the most of their time in the snow;)
 The Boy was just called to teach the Missionary Prep. classes in Sunday School.
 I think he will be great! I sure miss those kids...but I am glad they are so happy
and enjoying their time as students. I am glad they are together.
Today I attended a special meeting for young men and women who
 are preparing to be full time missionaries once they graduate from high school.
 The meeting happens once a month. 
A nice lunch is served and then inspirational messages are delivered.
 Today the group numbered around 26, with an additional 10 adults who are either teachers
or church leaders. It was a nice group. The youth were all dressed in Sunday attire,
and they looked great! The messages today were extraordinary! They were inspired.
They were delivered just as Heavenly Father wanted them delivered.
I am sure of this.
It was a blessing for me to just be there. It strengthens me to see the love that God
 has for these great kids. It was amazing to see His hand outstretched to each
of them...through their committed leaders. I am better for being there today.
You really can "live completely...without complete understanding..."

Uncles...Why They Are Important...

January 20, 2014

The Rooster FINALLY did it! He shot his first deer... (hopefully his last too!)
It's kind of a "thing" around here... The Farmer says that a boy "needs" to shoot
 a deer at least once and then he is complete. The Farmer did a bit of hunting when
 he was The Rooster's age, but as he got older, his heart softened,
and he doesn't hunt anymore. The same happened with The Boy. Around this same age,
he too loved to hunt, and he hunted alot. But as he grew his heart softened too.
He doesn't hunt anymore. So now it is The Rooster's turn.
He has tried and tried for the past year or so, to get himself a deer.
One of The Farmer's brothers has a ranch nearby and The Rooster made trip after trip,
 each time hoping that he would get himself a deer. A few months ago, a couple of
 The Uncles took a few kids to The Ranch to hunt.
At that time he was diagnosed...The Rooster had...Buck Fever!
 Riley Deer2
So, a couple of weeks ago, The Rooster and two of The Uncles set out for The Ranch.
The Uncles decided that this was it...they were going to cure Roostie of his
 terrible ailment, and off they went. Once they arrived they decided to have a little lunch,
 and so they "set up camp." Very quickly they noticed that a deer was lingering nearby.
The Uncles got The Rooster in place...he aimed his gun and The Uncles said..."shoot"...but
 The Rooster didn't. This went on and on...finally with the guidance of his dear Uncles...
 The Rooster got the courage to shoot...and he got his deer!
 The Uncles took a bit of video footage and after watching it The Farmer said...
"Let's face it Roost...that deer offered himself to you so you could get over your Buck Fever."
And so it was...for whatever reason, that deer was patient, while
The Young Rooster overcame his ailment! He proudly brought his "kill" home and
hung it in the garage. It was fun for him to share the meat and tell his story.
I am personally not a fan of hunting although I can respect that it is somewhat
of a rite of passage. What I am a great fan of is great Uncles who will take
 the time to help, love and teach their nephews. I really do appreciate that!
This one will go down in history as a great memory!
Just one reason that Uncles are really important...
especially in a young boy's life.

On My Mind...

January 14, 2014


 I find myself in quiet thought a lot these days. There is so much on my mind.
Mostly it is my children. They are all in such great times of their lives.
One is in the winding up of High School...two beginning or continuing college life...
one returning from a mission...two preparing for a missions with one leaving
later this year and the second next year.
All good things.
 I wonder...ALOT...if I did enough for them, teaching them.
 Do they have the moral strength to make hard decisions,
 and will they do it when tough moments come.
 Have I lived my own life in such a way that they will know, for a certainty,
what I stand for and what I believe with all my heart. I think about the issues that we all face today, especially this very moment, the great attack that it taking place on the family.
 Did I teach those children of mine to stand for what is right but at the same time
 exercising great empathy and charity to those around them?
I so appreciate those who have the courage to publicly stand in defense of the Gospel and it's principles. I am grateful for those who do not take their questions or discontent into public forums, but have the wisdom to work it out privately with those who can help guide them through inspiration and prayer. I don't understand why a person would fight against something
 that is fundamentally not within their belief system.
Why fight?
Quietly walk away rather than fight on public forums. Simple.
I don't blog to become involved in debates and arguments about fundamental beliefs of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I gladly follow our prophet,
Thomas S. Monson, and the other leaders who have been called of God to lead His church.
 I blog to record the lives of our family. But I will "Stand True" to what I know to be truth,
 without passing judgment or criticism on those who choose to believe differently than I do.


Last week one of The Darlings was faced with a moral dilemma.
Without much help from the parents...this child took action to correct a pretty major
problem that they had been exposed to. It wasn't an easy process,
and truthfully it could have really created some significant repercussions.
But regardless that child was willing to stand for correct principles. During the process of this experience, a person who was also involved in trying to correct the situation,
commented to one of The Darlings, that they had an exceptional Moral Compass.
That they understood clearly between right and wrong.
That is a happy parenting moment for a Mother.
 I am grateful that the Moral Compass of this child led them through
a very hard situation,which, thankfully resolved well.
Do I believe that The Darlings will never make a mistake...
No, I do not.
Do I believe that they have never made mistakes...
Oh...I know better than that!
Typically parents don't need the opinions and analysis of everyone around them,
when it comes to their kids.  It is a rare case that the parents actually don't know
what is happening with their kids.  They know.
But what I do know for sure,and what saddens me, is that we are surrounded by people
who wait for mistakes to happen so they can gossip, criticize, and demoralize...
which can weaken when the next challenge comes along. And often does.
Have I too been guilty of this in my own life...yes I have.
But, the more I live, the more compassion I feel for those who have momentarily lost their way,
or who have made a mis-step. I see all too often the pain that is carried by those who
 make mistakes. And even more often I see the sadness that is carried by parents
who suffer when their children are suffering.
I don't want to add to their pain.
I guess you have to live a little and raise a few kids to learn that lesson.
Most often it seems to be people who haven't yet raised their children who are
the most critical.  Those who have "been there...and done that" are kind and gentle.
 I do wish our communities would exercise a bit more kindness,
 and alot less judgment when people are struggling.


Last night The Farmer taught our Family Home Evening.
He taught The Rooster and I about Standing In Holy Places.
 He teaches us, very often, through the experiences he has. It was a great lesson.
 I hope that The Rooster will remember the words of The Farmer.
 The Farmer also taught him about how the power of the Priesthood is directly related to the worthiness of the Priesthood holder. The two messages went hand in hand,
 and made for a great night of spiritual learning in our home.
 I am grateful for that.

I am Smitten!!!

January 9, 2014


An impromptu photo shoot rendered some pretty great photos of The Darlings!
What I love most is you can see the personalities of each one!
You can see that some one is really does NOT like to take pictures...
and one REALLY likes to take pictures! I love them all, and the combo made for some
 great laughs and some even greater pictures that I love!!
*all pictures were taken with PreShie's cel. phone ...can you believe it??!!


The Party Follows Them...Seriously!!

January 6, 2014

It seems that I do this each and every year...I get behind on my blogging during the holidays!
Now, catching up is going to be a challenge...but it must be done!
Wrapping up a year is an interesting experience. It has left me full of so many emotions.
What blessed year it was in so many ways, and yet we have faced many challenges that
we probably wouldn't have chosen on our own.
  I hope we are better for every experience that was ours in 2013.
 Certainly a major highlight of our year was welcoming home our Missionary Son,
and after two years we were all together for a very special holiday season. It was wonderful!
 The Darlings have a great energy, each one individually, BUT...when they are together...
it is an extraordinary energy!
That's a good WOW!! by the way;)
Like Auntie said a few nights ago, as The Darlings arrived at her home to spend the night...
"The party follows these kids, wherever they go!!"
That was the case in our home throughout the holidays. Friendships were re-kindled...
cousins were reunited...many steaks were eaten...the pool table got some great use...
our home was filled with laughing and lots of chatter!
I loved it!!
It's quiet now.
 Two of The Darlings have headed to school...
The third Darling is still on his Christmas vacation from school.
 Life is getting back to "normal" whatever that is...
and I miss that really loud yet sacred time that was ours when we were all together.
  It was the closest thing to perfection that I know!
Now, as I look forward a bit, into 2014 we are again headed for an eventful year.
 Some events we are aware of...and I a sure we are bound for many that
we are perfectly unaware of...and that's OK.
We will move ahead no matter what our experiences will be.
 One thing we do know, is that our Precious is headed toward a beautiful year!
  An extraordinary year!
She has made some great choices that will lead her to some life changing experiences...
and she is ready!
 I love her drive, I love her passion for life, and I love her commitment to her values!
We had a special New Year's Dinner...
just our little family...
which I will blog about in the next few days. Part of our dinner included Fortune Cookies...
and this was PreShie's fortune...
funny that a little Fortune Cookie could be filled with so much truth!
Blessed was our 2013...
Looking forward to 2014...
It's going to be a good one!!

Messages From The Chalkboard...Happy New Year!!

January 6, 2014

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