Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deck the Halls

It's so exciting to pull out those boxes that have been in storage for the last 11 months and recover old treasures of past memories. It's even more fun when you get to share the evening recovering these treasures with wonderful roommates. For Family Home Evening we got together as roommates to Deck the Halls of our home with Christmas Spirits. Nativities from all over the world (as we are all world travelers) were uncovered sharing stories of places we have been. Real nut crackers from Germany were displayed, Santa Claus found his place along with the snowmen thatdon't have complainions come outside yet thanks to the 60 degree weather we are experiencing on the East Coast. With treasures uncovered and christmas music playing in the background we decked the halls of our home bringing much love and joy that filled our hearts with the Christmas Spirit.

I feel so completely blessed this holiday season for the amazing roommates I have. Thanks so much Michelle and AnnaLisa for the help, contributions to making our house a home.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day of Thanks

After 15 hours in a car I finally made it to Missouri to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Time with the family enjoying long time holiday traditions is the best way to start off a holiday season. All the cousins joined us as well so there was a house full of kids and teenagers. A wild game of Apples to Apples was played while we waited for the turkey to finish cooking. According to my wins, I am sensitive and shy.

So how much food can I stuff on my plate? There was plenty of room for turkey, mashed potatoes, funeral potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, Rolls, and all the pies you can eat. Oh how I love to indulge in the great foods of Thanksgiving. But with all the adults in the house, I was seated at the under 30 table. You know there was more fun there anyway.

Of course, after plates are emptied and our bellies are full it's time to shop. All the women head out to Michael's to get our craft on and then it's off to participate in the rush of shopping at WalMart. I get such a rush being around so many people and all the excitement of getting that great deal in my cart before there all gone. This is the time of the year when I restock my movie collection. I think this year was a success with almost 40 new movie purchases. That should be more than enough to get us home.

All in all a great day was spent with the girls shopping and the family eating. I love being home and knowing that some things never really change.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

National Bible Week

 Today's adventure was a trip to the D.C. Temple Visitor's Center for a National Bible Association musical presentation. The National Bible Association was created in 1940 by a group of business and professional people in New York City. Their purpose was to find hope for America while war raged in Europe. By 1941 these leaders agreed that the Bible, a proven source of hope and encouragement throughout history, should be the focus of their efforts.

The concert featured a group from a Baptist church in Baltimore of a young children's choir called the Singing Sensation. They were so completely cute. With all that God has done for me how can I not worship Him, were the words that sang. How true those words are.

The second group to perform was a Jewish group who sang in Hebrew. The tenor in the front did a phenomenal job. Because they sang in Hebrew it was difficult to understand what they were saying but I guess that's the beauty of music; it speaks the same language and stirs the same emotions no matter if you can understand the words or not.

 The final performance was Jenny Oaks Baker on the violin and Brad Oaks on the piano. They did an amazing job. Started with Beautiful Savior, than How Great Though Art followed by a fabulous performance by her 3 daughters on the piano, violin and cello reminding us that I Am A Child of God. Brad did a solo on the piano of Nearer My God to Thee and they finished off the evening with a duet again of Amazing Grace. While I have not always liked this song I very much enjoy when Jenny Oaks Baker performs it.

I love how music of praise to our Lord can unite people of any faith together in a common agreement of faith in God. D&C 25:12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart: yea the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. Music truly is a way to express what is in your heart and raise praise to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Remembrance Day

Today marks the 148th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. And where else would I spend it but with my yearly trek to Gettysburg. Those words have gone down in history as a remarkable address given by Abraham Lincoln when we took a train to Gettysburg and dedicated hallowed ground for our soldiers who gave their lives for the freedoms and rights we have today.

As Stan McGee said as he gave his address to his unit a top Little Round top today, "It is is our responsibility to preserve history and to keep it's spirit and memory alive today."

So with that I will leave this post with Lincoln's infamous Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.    - Abraham Lincoln, November 19th, 1863. Gettysburg, PA.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Falling for Autumn

I don't think I can say enough about how much I love Fall. My senses are overwhelmed by the season. Between the beauty of the earth, the aura's that enfold you, the tastes that excite you and the coziness of sweaters and scarves I can't get enough of this season. Here is a list of my favorite things about Fall.

  1. The leaves. I love the colors of the leaves. The vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and browns are astounding. Raking up a huge pile of leaves and jumping in it creates all kids of childhood delight and the aroma of the leaves is amazing. My favorite trees are the ones that look like caramel apples (they are green underneath and red on the top).
  2. The mums. While not my favorite flower when I was younger, I have come to appreciate the full blossoms of mums and the rich colors they add to the yard.
  3. Pumpkin everything! I mean really, you can eat them and smell them. Favorite thing to make is pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Pumpkins cookies are also up there along with pumpkin pie. And let's not forget the scent of punpkin. Glade makes a great pumpkin spray and candle to keep the house smell punpkinly fresh. And let's face it, who doesn't enjoy carving into a pumpkin and gutting the seeds to make a delicious snack while creating a carving masterpiece?
  4. Apples. Much like pumpkins apples are a great treat to enjoy this time of year. I love caramel apples in all their creative dippings and toppings. The smell of apples is such a joy.
  5. Wardrobe change. Time to pull out those soft cashmere scarves that you picked up in NYC for $5. They are the greatest accessories to any outfit and so nice to cuddle up in to keep you warm. and with so many ways to wear a sweater you never have to wear the same look twice. Sweaters are pulled out of storage to keep you nice and warm and fully fashionable. And what better way to slim up your legs than to wear boots which have also become a great fashion statement.
  6. Soup Nazi! I love making soup and fall is the perfect time of year to make a warm put of some of my favorite soup recipes. Chili, cheddar broccoli, ham potato, corn chowder ah the list goes on and I love it all!
  7. Hot Chocolate is in! It is totally acceptable to order a cup of peppermint hot chocolate from Starbuck's to help warm you up. And if you know me at all you know how much I like peppermint and chocolate.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

She Did It

So I have had many people tell me that I need to blog about my life as I do so many amazing things. I don't think they are amazing necessarily as just great times that make life worth living. I believe in seizing the day and making every day an adventure. While it's true my social calendar gets filled up quickly (I don't have a free Saturday until the new year), I do enjoy the simple things in life. This blog is a way to share the adventures I have and the many great things that fill my life with infinite joy. 2 Nephi 2:25 "men are that they might have joy."

Kaleidoscopic Kara comes from my days when I was a faculty advisor for NYLC. We used to play the adjective game when learning everyone's names and there aren't to many K words out there. Kaleidoscopic kind of fits though. So many different images, shapes, and colors that all together create a unique picture. This is how I see my life. A variation of different interests, hobbies, experiences, etc that are shaping together to create a beautiful picture that is every changing. What a great way to live life.