Author Archives: Skipping Stars Productions LLC

About Skipping Stars Productions LLC

Skipping Stars Productions LLC is an activities, educational, events and fundraising organization serving communities, neighborhoods and individuals in and around Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek, AZ.

Old Fashioned Fruit Crisps, Cobblers and Crumbles

Source: Foodnetwork –

Categories: nectarine, Old Fashioned Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Footsteps Through Time: A History of Gilbert Arizona

Town of Gilbert, Arizona

Dale Hallock is 78 years old. He never thought he would one day become a volunteer at the Gilbert Historical Museum, his original elementary school.

“It’s quite flabbergasting,” he said as he walked on the original wood floors. “That’s why it’s so interesting to me that the floors sound the same.”
Hallock is a Gilbert historian who has spent the majority of his life as a town resident.

Through his life experiences, Hallock talks about education, agriculture, transportation and the population growth of Gilbert, Arizona.

“I think when you get interested in history, it just kind of takes a hold of you,” he said.

View original post

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EV ranch provides guidance to young men, brings Gilbert Days back home – East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

As the bleachers next to the arena are raised at Welcome Home Ranch, it signals the beginning of not only a new era for the farm at Val Vista …

via EV ranch provides guidance to young men, brings Gilbert Days back home – East Valley Tribune: Gilbert.

Welcome Home Ranch







[Tim Hacker/ Tribune]

Welcome Home Ranch’s Mike Catanzaro,left, and Gavin Wharton feed a goat Monday, June 10, 2013.

[Tim Hacker/ Tribune]

Welcome Home Ranch photos




Gilbert Days 2013

Events: Pony Express Ride — Nov. 15-16;

Gilbert Days Rodeo/Lil Dudes Rodeo — Nov. 22-24;

Gilbert Days Parade — Nov. 23;

Rodeo Dance — Nov. 23

Location: Rodeo will take place at Welcome Home Ranch, 26601 S. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert


Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 5:12 am

By Stacie Spring, Tribune | 0 comments

As the bleachers next to the arena are raised at Welcome Home Ranch, it signals the beginning of not only a new era for the farm at Val Vista Drive and Hunt Highway, but a new beginning for the long-standing East Valley tradition that is Gilbert Days.

Fittingly, the move to Welcome Home Ranch does just that — welcoming the popular rodeo portion of Gilbert days back into Gilbert itself.

The announcement in spring this ranch would be the event’s new home also coincides with a renewal for the ranch, too. The facility was sold via short sale in June 2012 to the John Volken Foundation.

The ranch, formerly known as Marley Farms, still houses an equestrian boarding facility and on-site feed store.

While the petting zoo is gone, the arenas in place are prime for equestrian events and need little adaptation for other gatherings — like the upcoming November Gilbert Days rodeo.

“We’re thrilled to see Gilbert Days come back to Gilbert,” said Nicole Bonilla, a Welcome Home Ranch board member. “Gilbert Days brings families and neighbors together and serves the community.”

The large community event ties perfectly into Welcome Home’s new purpose — to be a positive force the community while also teaching life skills to young men, many of whom are recovering addicts, she said.

“They’re not called clients or patients,” said Carson Brown, Welcome Home Ranch vice chairman. “They are a family and they call each other brother.”

Brown is referring to students enrolled in the ranch’s “Welcome Home Life Skills Academy.” The mission of the new academy is more than a rehabilitation facility — and definitely not a detox facility or a halfway house, Brown said, emphasizing the “life skills” portion of the Academy’s mission.

Welcome Home boasts a no-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol and uses a peer-to-peer counseling format.

“They learn how to work, how to live, and, for the first time for many of them, how to solve problems in life,” Brown said.

The farm houses about 100 horses and two llamas. The students also take care of the two Berkshire pigs, the two goats with six kids, 150 chickens and four turkeys.

All of the young men will become both a caretaker and an expert on their assigned animal, including milking the goats and collecting the chicken and turkey eggs.

“We use ‘each one, teach one’,” said Gavin Wharton, 23, a student in the program. “We get on-the-job training for life. It’s a hybrid between a men’s finishing school and a military camp.”

As more young men arrive at the ranch, they’ll learn from a “brother” who came there before them. But the young men learn more than tangible skills, they also learn the value of hard work, responsibility and patience, Wharton said.

“Everything we do we do with a purpose,” Wharton said, who has been part of the program for 19 months.

A stay at the ranch requires a two-year commitment, something that addicts often commit to if they’re not ready for it, said program director Josh Smith, 22.

“You don’t come in if you don’t stay for a minimum of two years or until you graduate from the program,” explained Welcome Home Ranch board chairman Don Stapley.

“As an addict, you can’t even think more than one day at a time,” Smith said. “It takes a lot to commit to two years.”

If you don’t want to recover, it’s easy to know what to say to a counselor, Smith added. But with peer mentors and counseling, students are met head-on by others who know and have used the same tactics.

“I know what to say, but with another addict, you can’t ‘con a con,’” Smith said.

It also reminds them of where they’ve come from and how far they’ve come.

“You’re always moving forward,” he said. “As time goes on and new guys come in, it reminds you of where you where you were or worse.”

Since the farm’s purchase, they’ve completely remodeled the house that used to shelter the dogs, all the way down to the studs; neighbors have helped fix the irrigation system and plant the fields; and the men have built the “Taj Majal” of chicken coops.

But that’s just the beginning of the plans for the farm. Eventually, they hope to have about 30 students at the facility, learning and teaching one another.

Perhaps one of Welcome Home’s best success stories comes from its young program director.

“I came from a regular family,” Smith said.

In high school he started to smoke marijuana, like many young people.

“I took some business classes in high school and I realized that if I sold weed, I could smoke for free,” he said.

Eventually, it led to selling more than pot — including cocaine and ecstasy.

“Crime is just a part of the life,” he said. “Then I started using heroin, injecting it intravenously. And then I started losing everything, my money and my relationships.”

It was after the deaths of a couple friends to overdose, and after another close friend went to prison, that Smith realized that he needed to change his life, .

Smith first ended up in rehab on Feb. 28, 2010.

After moving in with his grandparents following a 45-day rehab program, he found himself slipping back into his old ways.

His grandmother’s best friend since childhood is Brown’s mother and she suggested the Welcome Home program.

“I knew I needed to be there,” he said of Welcome Home. “Two years? I said that’s not long enough, give me three.”

After successfully completing the program, he moved back to Utah.

“He started setting sales records at Kohl’s,” Stapley said. “He was hand-picked by John (Volken) to lead the program here.”

The John Volken Foundation, a non-profit, which operates the ranch, has two established similar programs in Seattle and Vancouver. It was founded by the Canadian entrepreneur, John Volken, a German immigrant who created his wealth from a chain of furniture stores in the Pacific Northwest.

An orphan himself in Germany as a child, after selling his business, he put nearly all his fortune into the foundation which also supports a large number of orphanages in Africa, as well as the Welcome Home program.

For more information about the program, visit

Categories: Gilbert, History | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Peach Festival


Categories: Peach Festival, Peaches, Schnepf Farms, The Farm at Agritopia | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

100 Year Old Recipes You Can Still Make Today: HOMEMADE CANDIES


This book contains home-made candy recipes which are 100 or more years old, but can still be made today. The recipes date from 1885-1908, and include recipes from the author’s great-grandmother in addition to archival recipes from books and newspapers. The author has an MA Degree in History and includes candy history, trivia and cooking tips with regards to candy throughout the book. Unusual recipe details include things like the recommendations of melting grated chocolate for dipping over a teakettle, dipping nuts into chocolate with a thin knitting needle and testing candy on snow. Discussion of the lack of modern refrigeration during this time period is also included. These recipes hark of an older day, but read like a health food cookbook nowadays, due to the lack of artificial ingredients and use of wholesome, pure foods to make old-fashioned candy. “For homemade candies, use pure materials and good fruit. Enough…

View original post 167 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

They only showed us the serious side | The funny side was never printed

See for yourself…

Too bad!

Categories: Photos, Victorian | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Gilbert History – Clement’s Garage

Categories: AZ, Clement's Garage, Gilbert, History | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Former Hay Capital of the World – Ranked #28 in U.S. – Gilbert, Arizona

 CNN Money Magazine, August 2008, ranked Gilbert Arizona the 28th Best Place to Live in the United States.
28. Gilbert, AZ


Top 100 rank: 28

Population: 191,500

In the early 1900s, Gilbert was known  as the Hay Capital of the World. Today it is a bustling small city and  the fastest-growing town in Arizona in the last decade.

New  development projects include the Freestone Recreation Center, a new  regional mall called SanTan Village, and a planned Mormon temple.

Retaining  the charm of the old days, the town’s Heritage District remains a  quaint and historic heart of the community. And the schools are top  notch.


Under my leadership, we were able to achieve an unbelievable explosion of growth and prosperity.  I believe that Gilbert has the potential to be on the verge of a second explosion.  As Mayor again, I will provide strong, pragmatic leadership to restore Gilbert to its rightful place as a municipal leader in the great State of Arizona.

Categories: AZ, Gilbert, Hay Captial of the World | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turning 6: Mercy Gilbert growing up – East Valley Tribune: Health

It used to be said that you couldn’t be born or buried in Gilbert.

via Turning 6: Mercy Gilbert growing up – East Valley Tribune: Health.

Categories: Healthcare, Hospitals, Mercy Gilbert Hospital, New Fangled Stuff | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

March 13 – Chicken Noodle Soup Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

National Chicken Noodle Soup Day

Five Food Finds about Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Campbell’s first introduces ‘Chicken with Noodles’ soup in 1934
  • During a radio program on “Amos ‘n Andy”  Amos misread his script and said “Chicken Noodle Soup”.  Within a few weeks, Campbell’s changed the name.
  • Research has shown that each can of soup contains around 216 noodles measuring 32 to 34 feet of noodles.
  • Campbell’s create over a million miles of noodles for soup per year. Enough to go around the Earth 40 times.
  • According to the ingredients on the can, only 8% of the soup is chicken.
Extra Fact:In 1889 Campbell’s Soup labels adopted the crimson & white color scheme 
in honor of the Cornell University Football Team.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1764 Charles Grey, 2nd Earl, was born. Earl Grey was supposedly given the recipe for Earl Grey Tea by a Chinese mandarin with…

View original post 161 more words

Categories: Food | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: