This'n That ... Chez Ilona

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis a Time to Be Thankful

It isn't a thing to celebrate Thanksgiving in Brazil, although we do have the day in the calendar!  But after living in the States for a long time, this is a holiday I've learned to appreciate.  Especially because there isn't the pressure of gifts or shopping around.  It is almost more Christmasy then Christmas itself.  It is a time for family and gathering, for being thankful for all that we have been blessed with!  And we all have something to be thankful for!...
I'm thankful for family and friends, the atonement of Jesus Christ, for freedom and the liberty we can enjoy in this part of the world, for the abundance of sun and rain, for the abundance of resources we all blessed with, for the beauty of nature I can enjoy around me... all the lush vegetation and beautiful flowers in the midst of which I can feel closer to heaven and feel the loving hand of God!

I don't know how many of you celebrate Thanksgiving, and certainly many are not  even Christians... but I am also thankful for diversity and wish you a good thanksgiving as well... to whatever you might be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

and work is still going on

Doing things, innovating and creating are all things I love doing, but sometimes I wish I could have the strength of men on order to be able to do it all myself... but I think this is a universal thing... construction workers are all in a class of itself; they work whatever way they want... and we depend on them.  Something that was supposed to last 3 weeks is going on 3 almost months now!  My house is a mess, Christmas is around the corner, and we are not finished!  Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the month!
















Having a bigger kitchen and living area altogether in one environment is worth it though!

Soon after it's finished comes the painting and cleaning up ... then we can think of Christmas...

I will take some more pictures today, after the men leave... windows are being put...and the roof has been all aligned...we should be covered tomorrow... with raining season arriving this is a must #1 priority!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

as life goes!

This last month has been stressful, this year has been very stressful, so much has happened and there has been a lot of pain and disappointment!  Bur I am trying to develop the resilience quality of not letting these challenges to overcome and take over my strength and mark me for life...it will take awhile to be over it all, but with faith and hope I keep treading on and it will bring experience!

Therefore, many things didn't go as well as I had anticipated, but as the new year approaches I am planing to be more organized and not let myself be so affected by such things again!  Blogging world is wonderful and it has helped me in putting things into perspective.  It hasn't been but nearly 6 months and I have been everywhere and visited so many of you being truly enchanted with the wealth of creativity and beauty all around, people, places and things.

As Thanksgiving approaches I am reminded of the many things I am obliged to be thankful for!  I stand amazed for all the blessings poured down from heaven, for the comfort and love bestowed from up above.  Everyone  I have encountered along the way, even those who caused some grievances have contributed to my growth as I've pondered and prayed about these challenges.

As we prepare for celebrating my favorite season of the year, Christmas, It is my wish that we may all find the peace and happiness that we can enjoy in the service of our fellowmen, thus rendering reverence and adoring Our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's celebrate life, families, friends, opportunities to learn and grow, serve and help one another!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

25 de março Bon Marche

 
We have here in São Paulo city the best shopping experience in this one street called 
 25 de março-- March 25th--- 
it was the downtown business area established in the turn of the century in the 1900 by immigrants who took up the trading business after they arrived in Brazil-- Lebanese, Turcs, Jews, Syrians.... 
all very good in the textile, notions, and the likes!
 The business is now well established, and it is the stage of daily journeys for people from all over Brazil.  Everybody buys there and take the products to be sold in their local businesses.    Well... I am not immune to it at all... I go bonkers when I am there, I want to buy everything !!!!!

Last week I was there and here are some of the things I acquired for preparing for the coming holidays!






I am sorry I forgot to take my camera; it is such a peculiar, active and vibrant place with lots of people in the streets... you can barely walk in the streets, the stores are always full; and if you want to have an enjoyable shopping experience it is necessary to arrive very early before the crowds fall in! And let me tell you in the summer it is an excruciating  experience... the stores get very hot... no cooling system is enough in full crowded stores.... You can find anything you want!!







house remodeling

the roof is being layed out a bit higher than the veranda's
 old windows and doors found to fit just right were we needed them--still need some prepping!
 doors frames to be used as window frames and railway ties as colunms
 I found these glass blocks that weren't even used up...will make a perfect light wall in the kitchen

 old windows that will be used in the kitchen as well
 the kitchen will have a bay window to make better use of day light as well

 closing up the veranda with a sliding door and glass in the top part, also to have better lighting
I m really hoping this will be done and finished in 2 weeks... we need to be finished and be ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Portuguese in England

This is a beautiful site and a beautiful blogger... very creative and charming...I truly enjoy her blog...pay her a visit!

chez moi


I have sweet memories of childhood traditions and family gatherings and gifts shared! 
Life sometimes hands us some hard deals and painful moments! And this year this is it for me!
I haven't had my mind free to work on the typical things os the season,
and so haven't blogged much, but this shall too pass.
I have so many projects I am working on... set aside for now... but tomorrow is a new day and I hope for new strength and courage, as I have always hoped and celebrated a new day as a chance for a new beginning!
I read this article in my church magazine, it is about forgiveness! I would like to share it with you because I think it it may help others in similar situation...someone posted on facebook yesterday...resentment is like a poison you take hoping the other would die... and also a
 deep hurt made by someone you love... you don't hold resentment, but a deep hurt for injustice made, may also poison our soul just as well!
So as I read this article I was reminded of the injustice made to our Savior! and nevertheless He was able to forgive!
As you and I prepare for this wonderful season may we be reminded of the reason we celebrate it.. The birth of Him who is Our Lord and Savior, by whom all things are made possible and peace can be in our heart!
This is a long post, by I hope you enjoy the reading...This is to me is a way to purge the pain in my heart, but sure as I know the sun will come up tomorrow I am sure that He can take away my pain and give me peace and wisdom as I deal with a great loss!

By Bishop Keith B. McMullin
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
May 2010 
Our Path of Duty

Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous.
This is a troubled world. Discord and disaster are everywhere. It sometimes feels as though mankind itself may be hanging in the balance.
Foreshadowing our day, the Lord said, “The heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve.”1 We should take great comfort in this promise.
Though disasters completely disrupt “the even tenor of [our ways],”2 they do not have to leave our lives for- ever shattered. They can “stir [us] up in remembrance,”3 “awaken [us] to a sense of [our] duty to God,”4 and keep us “in the path of [our] duty.”5


In Holland during World War II, the Casper ten Boom family used their home as a hiding place for those hunted by the Nazis. This was their way of living out their Christian faith. Four members of the family lost their lives for providing this refuge. Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie spent horrific months in the infamous Ravensbrück concentration camp. Betsie died there—Corrie survived.
In Ravensbrück, Corrie and Betsie learned that God helps us to forgive. Following the war, Corrie was determined to share this message. On one occasion, she had just spoken to a group of people in Germany suffering from the ravages of war. Her message was “God forgives.” It was then that Corrie ten Boom’s faithfulness brought forth its blessing.
A man approached her. She recognized him as one of the cruelest guards in the camp. “You mentioned Ravensbrück in your talk,” he said. “I was a guard there. . . . But since that time, . . . I have become a Christian.”   He explained that he had sought God’s forgiveness for the cruel things he had done. He extended his hand and asked, “Will you forgive me?”
Corrie ten Boom then said: “It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.
“. . . The message that God forgives has a . . . condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. . . .
“. . . ‘Help me!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’
“. . . Woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. As I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.
“ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart.’
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then.”6









For those who eschew evil and live good lives, who strive for a brighter day and keep the commandments of God, things can get better and better even in the face of tragedy. The Savior showed us the way. From Gethsemane, the cross, and the tomb, He rose triumphant, bringing life and hope to us all. He bids us, “Come, follow me.”7

President Thomas S. Monson has counseled:
“If we are to walk with head held high, we must make our contribution to life. If we are to fulfill our destiny and return to live with our Father in Heaven, we must keep His commandments and pattern our lives after the Savior. By so doing, we will not only achieve our goal of eternal life, but we will also leave the world richer and better than it would have been had we not lived and performed our duties.”8


In the Holy Bible are these inspired words: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”9

What Is This Thing Called Duty?

The duty of which I speak is what
we are expected to do and to be. It is a moral imperative summoning forth from individuals and communities that which is right, true, and honorable. Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous. It is not reserved to the mighty or high in station but instead rests on a foundation of personal responsibility, integrity, and courage. Doing one’s duty is a manifestation of one’s faith.
President Monson said of it: “I love and cherish the noble word duty.”10
For members of the Church of Jesus Christ, our path of duty is keeping our covenants in daily life.

To Whom and to What Are We Duty Bound?

First, our path of duty is to God, our Eternal Father. He is the author of the plan of salvation, “the framer of heaven and earth,” the creator of Adam and Eve.11 He is the fountain of truth,12 the embodiment of love,13 and the reason there is redemption through Christ.14
Said President Joseph F. Smith: “All that we have comes from [God]. . . . In and of ourselves we are but a lifeless lump of clay. Life, intelligence, wisdom, judgment, power to reason, all are the gifts of God to the children of men. He gives us our physical strength as well as our mental powers. . . . We should honor God with our intelligence, with our strength, with our understanding, with our wisdom, and with all the power that we possess. We should seek to do good in the world. This is our duty.”15
One cannot do his or her duty to God the Father without doing likewise
to the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. To revere one requires reverence for the other, for the Father has appointed that it is only in and through the name of Christ that one can completely fulfill this dutiful charge.16 He is our Exemplar, our Redeemer, and our King.
As men and women and boys and girls do their duty to God, they feel impelled to do their duty to one another, to their family, to their church and nation, to all things entrusted to their care. They are duty bound to magnify their talents and to be a law-abiding, good people. They become humble, submissive, and easily entreated. Temperance conquers indulgence; obedience guides their diligence. Peace distills upon them. Citizens become loyal, communities become benevolent, and neighbors become friends. The God of heaven is pleased, the earth is pacified, and this world becomes a better place.17

How Do We Know Our Path of Duty in the Midst of Crisis?

We pray! It is everyone’s sure way to know; it is everyone’s lifeline to heaven. Said the Apostle Peter, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righ- teous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.”18
Humble, sincere, inspired prayer makes available to each of us the divine guidance we so desperately need. Brigham Young counseled, “At times, men are perplexed and full of care and trouble . . . ; yet our judgment teaches us that it is our duty to pray.”19
Jesus taught:
“Ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; . . .
“Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; . . .
“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.”20
For prayers to be efficacious, they must be in harmony with the plan of heaven.
The prayer of faith bears fruit when such harmony exists, and this harmony exists when prayers are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit manifests what our petitions should be.21
Absent this inspired guidance, we are inclined to “ask amiss,”22 to seek only our will and not “Thy will.”23
It is as important to be guided by the Holy Spirit while praying as it is to be enlightened by that same Spirit while receiving an answer to prayer. Such prayer brings forth the blessings of heaven because our Father “knoweth what things [we] have need of, before [we] ask him,”24 and He answers every sincere prayer. Ultimately, it is the Father and the Son who promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”25
I bear my witness that our path of duty is clearly marked by an undivided faith and belief in God, the
Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of prayer. This path is to be traveled by all of God’s children who love Him and desire to keep His commandments.

For the young, it leads to personal achievement and preparation; 
for adults, it leads to renewed faith and resolve; 
for the older generation, it leads to perspective and endurance in righteousness to the end. 

It equips every faithful traveler with the strength of the Lord, protects him from the evils of the day, and endows him with the knowledge that “the conclusion of the whole matter [is to] Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”26 In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. ■


NOTES
1. Moses 7:61; emphasis added. 2. Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed.
(1939), 156. 3. Mosiah 1:17. 4. Alma 7:22. 5. Helaman 15:5. 6. Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord
(1974), 54–55. 7. Luke 18:22. 8. Thomas S. Monson, used with permission. 9. Ecclesiastes 12:13; emphasis added.
10. Thomas S. Monson, “Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996, 43.
11. See Doctrine and Covenants 20:17–19. 12. See Doctrine and Covenants 93:36. 13. See 1 John 4:8. 14. See John 3:16; Helaman 5:10–11.
15. Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1899, 70; emphasis added.
16. See Moroni 10:32–33; Doctrine and Covenants 59:5.
17. See Alma 7:23, 27. 18. 1 Peter 3:12. 19. Teachings of Presidents of the Church:
Brigham Young (1997), 45; emphasis
added. 20. 3 Nephi 18:18–19, 21. 21. See Doctrine and Covenants 50:29–30. 22. James 4:3. 23. Matthew 6:10. 24. Matthew 6:8. 25. Matthew 7:7; see also Joseph Smith
Translation, Matthew 7:12–13, in Bible
appendix. 26. Ecclesiastes 12:13; emphasis added.

The markings are mine, as these were things that really moved me to be more determined in doing my duty!

I wish you all to abound in the love of Him whom can truly make us free!   Merry Christmas to all!










couldn't catch it well from the distance, but he is our constant visitor, Mr Woodpecker, at his best pecking!


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