Our precious "buds"

Our precious "buds"
We love our boys! And our little Princess!!!

Beautiful Fall! Cooler weather, bright colors! Pumpkins and Spices!

"All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Dinner

June 17, 2011

We are in Utah for Manny and Tiffany's wedding. Tonight we hosted the family dinner. It was such a nice experience to get to know Tiffany's extended family and so good to see friends that are as close as blood relatives to us: Kirk and Michelle Brown, David Rusk, Diego and Luis Ortiz....

I am so thankful for the instant friends and helpers we made. There were members of Tiffany's family who I felt as if I knew already. The visiting teachers of Tiffany's mom volunteer to help us in the kitchen, they were amazing! I am so grateful for all their help and the sweet spirit around them.

Manuel sang a song to Tiffany! It was beautiful!

We had posters of Danny and Ben (Tiffany's brother) who are serving full time mission for the church in California and Argentina. It was fun to see how popular these posters were! Tiffany's mom had the great idea to make the posters and they were a hit!

EFY Miami


We had a session of EFY here in South Florida last week. We called it EFY Miami, but it was for youth who live from West Palm Beach, all the way south to Key West, and that is four Stakes of the Church! EFY stands for "Especially for Youth" and is a program for young men and young women 14-18 years old. The youth are assigned into a small group, usually ten girls or ten boys, they have a counselor who stays with them the whole time, and they have a full week of games, classes, dances, and other fun activities. But mainly, it is a program designed to strengthen them spiritually. I learned about it when my oldest son was 15 years old and we inmediately recognized the value of it. Needless to say, all our children attended EFY as many times as they were allowed to participate. The positive impact it had on every one of my children was very obvious and I highly recomend it to all parents and parents to be.

Our "Miami Session" started with very small number of youth registered from our stake - only 21! Our goal was to have 100 youth participate, so we got to work and we ended up with 95 participants!! We fed them breakfast every morning, then sent them on a bus to the building where they met with the other three stakes and the EFY counselors. Every night they came back to us and we sent them in small groups to wonderful families who hosted them for the night. There were more than 300 youth all together from the four stakes! I visited a few times the building where they were meeting and it was impresive to see all those young men and young women having such a great time.

Once again, and now as a stake youth leader, I witnessed the powerful positive impact EFY had on the youth. Thanks EFY!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wedding Celebrations

I am looking forward to getting together with friends and dear ones to celebrate Manny's wedding. We have been busy for weeks trying to make it an enjoyable time for everybody.

Tiffany's parents are having a reception at their home, and we'll have another here in our church building. I love to see our family and friends. We have lived far away from our families all the time, and so many of our friends have become like family to us. It is always so good to get together for happy reasons!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Oscar was in Brazil last week. Wednesday night he called me to tell me he had been in a car crash! I did not have good telephone reception, so I rushed out of the store to try to talk to him, but I was not able to communicate with him until next morning!! I did not have a good night, thinking he must have been hurt and in the hospital....Finally we were able to talk around ten a.m.! Since he was with three other business associates on this trip, every time they took a taxi he rode in the front. But when they went for dinner, two of the guys decided not to go, so he sat in the back - luckily! As they cross an intersection, the driver of another car did not stop as she should have and hit the taxi on the passenger side. The driver was hurt, the other guy sustained a minor injury to his leg. But Oscar did not receive even a scratch! How grateful I am for a protecting hand! I then realized how blessed we have been: 23+ years of international travel, and this is the very first (and I pray the last) incident/accident Oscar has been involved.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tiffany's Temple Day

Today Tiffany Winkel will go to the Temple to receive her endowments. I am so happy to know that our son Manuel will be bless to marry her next week. The theme for the young women in the church says: "...we believe as we come to accept and act upon these values (faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue) we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation." Your Temple Day has arrived Tiffany! We are so glad and thankful you were prepared!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jorge Fuentes

I am heartbroken with the premature death of our friend Jorge Fuentes! He was only 18 years old! We need to be kinder to each other. We need to show our love everyday to our dear ones. We just never know when they or us, will be call to go back "home". Jorge was a very good friend to our dear Jenny Lagiglia. Jenny was of course devastated, and it was very interesting to see how much all the youth from the stake liked him!

Jorge was very close to his parents. Brother and Sister Fuentes were blessed with strenght and peace, and they were actually comforting the rest of us. Brother Fuentes gave a magnificent talk during the funeral. The gospel of Jesus Christ gives so much hope and perspective to death. As my son Danny wrote to me when I told him about the death of Jorge: "We live to die, and we die to become inmortal....he is now Elder Fuentes on the other side of the veil".

I love this picture! It is obvious Jorge loved his mother! One of Jorge's sister had a baby the day of the funeral service! They named him Jorge. I wonder if they met before Jorge went on to eternity, and little Jorge came to earth.....
Good bye our friend! Till we meet again!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Happy Month of May

Nick, Titi, Reggie and Leah came to stay with us for a month! How fast that month went by! Little Reggie cried every time Oscar or I needed to leave the house. He was always asking us "up please!" ('pick me up please'), telling us "bless you" when we sneezed, or "thank you abita", when I gave him Popsicles for breakfast (the popsicles were 100% fruit juice!Good breakfast choice). He calls me Abita, short for Abuelita, and Oscar made sure to teach them to call him Oscar!

Reggie loves us during the day, but when is time to retire for the evening, he sends us away from his bed and calls his mom!

Then Leah, oh Leah! She is a doll! She took her very first steps here at home with us, and she was only eight months old! She is always very aware of what is going on around her. She was of course so very happy when we included her in whatever we did with Reggie!

What a wonderful thing it is to have our children become parents and bless us with grandchildren!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trip to the South - Next Stop: Chile

Oscar called a doctor and I was given some medicine to help make me feel better. I did feel better enough to take the trip to Chile. We arrive in Chile and I went right back to bed, feeling very sick. I almost called a friend of mine who is a general authority serving in Chile, since he and his wife were the only people I knew in that country. But I felt I shouldn't bother them and I decided that maybe a little walk in the sun would help me feel better. We walk to a shopping center located next to the hotel and I saw what I thought it was frozen lemonade in a small coffee shop, so I asked the lady and she explained that it wasn't lemonade, but she asked if I was sick. When we answered that yes, I was sick, she invited me to sit at one of her tables, made me a cinnamon tea and sent Oscar to a drugstore with instructions to buy something and bring it back to her. Oscar did so and when he came back the lady prepared it. It was some kind of drinking "IV" that tasted not so good but made me feel so much better right away. What an angel the lady was!! Next day feeling a lot better I went back looking for her to thank her, but sadly, she wasn't working.

We then were able to take a taxi and we visited many interesting places. I was so sad I lost so much time being sick in bed! I hope I get to go again to South America!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Princess Taegan Arrived!

The birth of our fifth grandbaby (second granddaughter) was highly anticipated by Oscar and I. I am so thankful I was able to travel to Utah to "pretend" to help! It is so much fun to see how our grandchildren are growing and learning. Taegan was born on March 23rd. 2011. She is beautiful!

Big brother Diego adores her. I enjoy hearing him ask for "hermana" as he is calling her! And I am always so impressed by Tito and Karsen's parenting skills! They are wonderful!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Next Stop: Argentina

We flew to Argentina and arrived early Saturday morning. We were so happy to meet with the Flinders - the parents of Karsen, our beloved daughter in law . They are serving a mission in a city a few hours from Buenos Aires. We had lunch (bife the chorizo)

After lunch, we walked the "Florida" - a nice shopping street. Oscar and Ann had fun sitting with the pirates!

We then went to our respective hotels to rest for a little while so we could be ready for our "triple date" night. Another couple - The Calevosos - joined us and we went to watch a Tango Show. They had the history of tango interpreted by a live band and a group of dancer. It was very interesting. We enjoyed the show, but we the company of our friends was even more enjoyable!

Sunday morning we found a church building close to the hotel and attended all meetings. It was wonderful to hear the familiar message of the gospel. All the teachers were well prepared. We heard beautiful talks by missionaries. Everybody welcomed us and made us feel at home with them. I am always so grateful and amazed to realized that no matter what part of the world we are, the message of the restored gospel is the same.

We were trying not to buy anything to keep the Sabbath, so we just enjoyed a few 'çomplimentary' bites from the lobby. Sadly, I ended up with food poisoning, and my next two days in Argentina were spent in a hotel room, so sick that I thought I wasn't going to leave the country alive! But I survived! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trip to the South - Next Stop: Sao Paolo, Brazil

We arrived in Sao Paolo at noon. We of course didn't realize it was that late in the day, because we were sleeping! Sao Paolo is three hours ahead of Lima. We stayed in a hotel with an European "feeling". I went out to the "United Nations" plaza right accross from the Hotel. There were small stores and lots of people there. After Oscar had his meetings, his business partner took us to the "tallest building in Latin America" it is called "Plaza Italia". We went to the very top of the building. The view was breathtaking! I had not imagined how big the city really is. Fourteen million people live there! Once again I realized: the higher you go, the better you see! This is only one side of the view, but as I turned around, I had the same view all around me!

After business meetings, etc. Oscar was able to go to the Sao Paolo Temple with me. We called the temple and we were told the Temple was about ten minutes from our Hotel. We left the Hotel over an hour before the session just to have enough time, but it took us one hour and fifteen minutes to get there! Traffic was bad, and it didn't help that our taxi driver took the busiest route. We were dissapointed that we could not do anything at the temple, because they were having a meeting with all the workers that were not at the 6:00 oçlock session that we missed!

There was a stake center next to the Temple, and they were getting ready for a youth dance. We went and talk to the leaders, and they invited us to stay, but we politely declined! But it was so fun to see their decoration, announcements, etc. They were all very familiar to us! I am always amazed of how the church, church programs, etc. are the same anywhere we go! We left the building and started walking and what did we see? A Walmart! Can you believe it? Only I can find Walmarts wherever we go! Haha!

Our flight next morning was early, so we left with extra time. But this time we were able to actually take an earlier flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trip to the South - First Stop - Lima, Peru

I was lucky to be able to go to South America with Oscar! He is working and I am his traveling companion. We flew from Miami Airport to Lima Peru. We arrived very late in the night. I was nervous to just get in a taxi to take us to the hotel. But Oscar has been doing this same thing long enough to know what is the safest way to do things. I am grateful for all the protection Oscar has received during the 25 years he has been traveling for business almost every other week. We stayed in a hotel by the ocean. Across the street from the hotel was a very modern shopping center, built right by the sea. It was really nice.

Before we left home I did some research about the temples in the countries we would visit. I got the addresses, telephone numbers, and all the other information I thought I could need.

I took a taxi to the Lima Peru Temple while Oscar was having some business meetings. The temple is really small. The session I participated was full - 25 people total!!

We invited my friends, Rosy and Andres Ramos, to have dinner with us in the plaza accross from the hotel. I was friends with them in Guatemala, before any of us was married. It was so fun to reconnect with them. Andrés works as Director of Temporal Affairs for the church, so he is responsible for the physical condition of chapels and temples, right now in some three or four countries in South America. I was so excited to see them and for Oscar to meet them, I forgot to take a picture with them!! :( But here is a picture of Oscar and I at top level of the shopping center.

After dinner we said good bye to our friends and quickly went to the airport, only to find out our flight to Sao Paolo, Brazil was delayed four hours!!