Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Caprece Rememberal

Hi, everyone! Thanks for visiting and sharing memories and thoughts of Caprece with her family. The children especially are going to love reading what you share. Thanks to Cayr I was able to post some very recent pictures of her children. Thanks again for sharing with us! Karmen

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morn

Opening the christmas gifts this year was fun because Joaquin kinda gets it now. He loved everything he was given and couldn't wait to try it all out! See for yourself in our little slide show. The boys received gifts from Grandmommie Jacqi, Abuelos and family friends. We are grateful to each and everyone for helping to make christmas a memorable one. Muchisimas Gracias!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


It is the chilean tradition to celebrate Christmas on the Eve of Christmas. The feast, present opening, and other festivites are all part of La Nochebuena. A few years ago Rodrigo, my Mom, and I added our own little spin to the tradition. We decided to add a little fun to our Christmas eve Dinner. Partly to relieve the cook - moi - from having to do all of the cooking. Our Christmas eve dinner consists of us researching and planning a menu with foods we love but prepared in a way that we have never tried before. So as usual in preparations for Christmas eve, Rodrigo and I sat down Sunday and planned our menu. So here is a sampling of our christmas creation :) (Of course you can afford tenderloin and shrimp when you are only buying enough to feed two...I wonder what our dinners will be like when we have to feed 5? Horseradish crusted hotdogs and basil lemon cucumbers? :) Anyway, the food was DELICOSO. It turned out better than we even imagined.

Joaquin and Ezekiel fell asleep unusually early which turned out to be a nice treat for Rodrigo and myself. We had a wonderful dinner just the two of us and we talked and laughed and then we watched a movie together. It was so peaceful and relaxing with the candles and the christmas tree lights. Around 10 Rodrigo gave me my stocking. Inside were some sports socks and a warm cozy pair of slippers. He opened his stocking as well and in it found a dark choclate orange (he loves dark chocolate). We got ready for bed and watched the Christmas broadcast (I think this will become part of our christmas eve festivites in the future as well.) and then we started watching "It's a Wonderful Life" - one of my all time favorite movies! I say started because as you can guess...we fell asleep.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dinosaurs,Little Boys and Beginnings

One of my greatest dreams since the birth of my Joaquin has been for him to be close (in physical proximity and in spirit) to my sister's children especially her boys, Abraham and Elijah. The Lord has recently seen fit to grant me this husband and I moved to Saratoga Springs, UT the first of December and my Joaquin just can't seem to get enough of "the guys". This is his term for his beloved cousins. I regularly am questioned by him, "Mommy, when are we going to see the guys?" or "Mommy, I want to see the guys".

Just about two weeks ago I took Joaquin and Abraham on a play date to the Dinosaur park. Next to the superheros Dinosaurs are Joaquin's favorite thing in the world. What joy filled my heart when we stepped into Matt and Cayr's home to hear Abraham shouting "Joaquin! Joaquin! Joaquin!" We, Cayr and I had a quick lunch, Joaquin was a bit too excited to eat. Elijah went down for a desperately needed nap. Then I loaded the boys up and headed north to the park. Cayr had given me some bottles of water to take along and I had distributed them accordingly to Joaquin and Abraham. Ezekiel had his own bottle:) As we were driving Abe's bottle slipped from his hands and fell spilling to the floor. "Oh no!" Abe exclaimed. I told him it was just water and not to worry that we could clean it up when we got to the park. He answered with a tone of sweet relief, "I thought you were going to be mad at me" How could he know that there was so very little in this world that could or would ever make me mad at him? I nearly burst into tears at the thought (yeah, I am a super intense gal). We finally found the park...I got a little lost :) Imagine that? As we entered the museum portion of the park both boys exlaimed "WOWWWWWWW!" and Abe added...Can we leave this place?" I think the huge skeletal remains were a bit overwhelming however, he adjusted and they both were fascinated. We continued through the park with the boys playing and laughing together. I was perfectly content watching them discover the park and each other. Joaquin speaks daily of "The Dinosaur Park and Abraham" They have since made other memories together...Making sugar cookies and playing in the snow. Joaquin's first time ever.

This, is just the beginning!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas trees, Stars, and Baby Jesus

As I sit here today looking at our beautiful Christmas tree decorated with white lights, topped with a star, and trimmed by tiny hands I feel grateful for the strong traditions that surround this magical time of year. Through my windows I can see the world outside. It is brown and leafless covered with snow but here in the warmth of my home is a large beautiful perfectly shaped green tree. It fills the room with its evergreen life warming me from within reminding me of my own eternal nature. And then there is the star lovingly and with ceremony placed on top. Brighter than all the other lights pulling my eyes heavenward each time I look at the tree. Making me pause and remember His birth and His life.

This week as I prepared for another of my favorite traditions – making Christmas cutout cookies with my nieces/nephews – I was listening to Christmas music and for the first time I really heard the hymn “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.” I think it had something to do with telling the story to my Joaquin for the first time during Family Home Evening this week. It was very tender for me as I talked about the Savior’s birth and the star that shone in the heavens that night to proclaim it to the world. We sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and we let Joaquin hold the star then we placed it atop our bare but beautiful evergreen tree and plugged it in. We talked to him of the Baby Jesus and how he is our Savior and Redeemer. So, when I heard the sweet music and words….

O, little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie. Above the deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by; yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary and gathered all above. While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love. O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth, And praises sing to God the King, And peace to men on earth.

How Silently, How silently the wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven. No ear may hear his coming; But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

As I listened the third verse was most poingnant…Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in. I never noticed the punctuation before. The comma is before the word still not after meaning just as His birth long ago still today He enters in. I love that!

This month two years ago my sweet sister, my “Precie” passed on to the other side of the veil. Christmas is bitter sweet for me. Bitter in that I wish she were here to share these thoughts and reflections with. We always loved sharing new gospel insights. Sweet because at this time of year more than any I can feel the depth and power of her testimony of this Jesus Christ of whom we seek and celebrate. Precie was my earthly “lode star” steady and sure pressing forward with a true steadfastness in Christ. Hoping somehow she will hear me now I want to close with my testimony of Him. I do know that Jesus is the Christ, my Savior, my Redeemer. Because of Him and through him I will gain my fondest dream... eternal life, even exaltation to be joined with my loved ones never to be separated again. I hope to waste my life away in His service so that I may truly know Him and be like Him. In His wonderful sacred name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"If you can't say something nice...Don't say anything at all"

During Sacrament meeting this Sunday a young man of 14 gave a talk on gratitude. As he spoke he mentioned the importance of our voice in expressing gratitude. At this moment simple truth and light began to pour into my mind. Truth about the power of my voice...The words I speak, the way in which I speak them, and how I could create a voice of love, peace, compassion, a voice that encourages and lifts those around me, a voice like my Savior's. Recently a wonderful new friend of mine, sympathetic to my nearly 2000 mile journey from Conway, SC to Saratoga Springs Utah, gave me 5 CD's by John Lund to listen to along my way. He said something very profound for me that, like a puzzle piece fell right into place as I was pondering the voice I wanted to create. He said we are addicted to criticism and challenged his listeners to go 24 hours (that is waking hours...can't count sleeping) without criticizing anyone or anything. He defined criticism as that which tears down. I completely understand this principle and for a time in my life I had adopted the philosophy of "If what I want to say does not edify then it does not need to be said." Pretty much what my wise Grandmother repeated time and again as I was growing up, "If you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all." However, we are so bombarded by criticism and negativity in our daily lives that if we aren't on our guard and watching our words and our thoughts we are swept up in it. That is what has happened to me...I stopped watching and praying about my words. So, I decided to take up his challenge and to go criticism free for 24 hours. Monday morning I used my scripture study time pondering D&C 136: 23-24 and D&C 88: 124

23. Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another.
24. ...and let your words tend to edifying one another.

124. ...cease to find fault one with another;...

I felt completely inspired and ready for victory however, it wasn't an hour later that critical words fell from my lips and I had to start over. I have started over and over and over. But, I am learning that it isn't the making it the 24 hours criticism free but the fact that I am watching my words and not only seeking to refrain from criticism but to fill my voice with words of encouragement, forbearance, compassion, appreciation, kindness, and love. The Savior commanded us in 3 Nephi 18:18

18. Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

It requires a constant effort but what joy and peace it is bringing..this edifying voice I am creating.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mission: Mortal Karmen

"The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you. ~ Elder Uchtdorf"

Since the death of my Sister...I have struggled with my identity...not the eternal one...I know that I am a Child of God...but in my mortal ministerial one. What is my mortal mission? Am I accomplishing it? Listening to Elder Uchtdorf's talk my mind and heart began a journey to the answer... This blog is a record of my journey - a journey to me, Karmen...a Creator. My goal is to apply his counsel and to learn to completely trust and rely on the Spirit to improve the world around me and within me, one creation at a time.
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