Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saturday #42-December 26, 2009

Happy Boxing Day friends! I hope your Christmas celebrations were festive and blessed. My Christmas Day was perfect-I'm in Arizona on vacation and spent the holiday with Angela, Tim, Athena, and Tim's family. The food? Yummy (prime rib and cinnamon pears). The visit with family and friends? Fun and entertaining (I love Angela's in-laws! They are a very warm and welcoming bunch!) And the gift opening? Thankfully not too early (7:00 a.m.) and surprising (I gave Angela money to buy me some presents so I'd be surprised when I opened them!).

I love Arizona in the sky, sunshine and warm! See....

So, I explained to my brother-in-law, Tim, that we needed to do something fun on Saturday so I could blog about it. He was skeptical about my blog readership and my ability to entertain you with our activities on this particular Saturday. So, if you're not entertained...all six of you who read this blog...I'm blaming Tim!

Really, a lot of the day was spent lounging around doing a whole lot of NOTHING! Perfect for vacation. But we made up for it by going out to dinner and having Thai. I love Thai food, don't you? And after an all day food fest on Christmas day, it was nice to eat something a little bit on the "light" side. While we waited for our food, we counted the visible elephants in the restaurant. Want to take a guess at how many we found?


That's right in a place with just 12 little tables, there were 628 visible elephants for us to count. I'm sure the kid working the counter with curious as to why I was wandering around the restaurant pointing and counting to myself.

For dessert we stopped of for some "Arizona Snow"...snow cones at Bahama Buck's. YUM! I figure we can go three more times during my vacation here and we can fill up my punch card. Angela, Athena and I tried normal flavors. Tim experimented with
"Pickle Juice."

We ended the evening enjoying the new patio Angela and Tim had installed in their side yard. Time surprised Angela with a new set of patio furniture and a fire pit (something I seriously thinking I need to add to my back yard). So, we had a fire and roasted marshmallows as our concluding activity for Saturday.

It was a perfectly relaxing vacation Saturday!

Next Saturday? It's a new year...2010...and an updated look for the blog! Only 11 more blog postings until the first 52 Fun Saturdays are done.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Saturday #41-December 19, 2009

A year ago I was in The Philippines!

Wow! Was it really a year ago?
I'm so glad my friend Terri was able to go with me. We've been reminiscing about the fun adventures we had on our trip. So, what was I doing a year ago for a Saturday of Fun? The link below takes you to the blog Terri and I had from our trip.

Last year was definitely more fun than this year's Saturday. Two hours shopping at Target is not really blog worthy, even if there was a women being hauled out on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.

By the way, if you have been watching the news lately, you've probably heard about the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines which is threatening to erupt. Last year I stood on that very volcano. In fact here's a picture I took last year and one my parents just sent. There's always steam raising from the crater. But in the picture they sent you can see some of the ash and smoke. At night the volcano glows red with lava flow. WOW! And as of yesterday, all the missionaries and members are safe. Please keep them in your prayers.

Next Saturday is Boxing Day and I'll be in Arizona with Angela and her family. I don't know what the plans are, but I'm absolutely sure I'll have something fun to blog about...even if it's the 70 degree temperatures!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And thanks for following our 52 Fun Saturdays blog!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday #40-December 12, 2009

Happy Hanukkah Everyone!
Saturday was the beginning of Hanukkah...also known as the Festival of Lights. It is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash (Hebrew: "guard" or "servant") is also lit each night for the purpose of lighting the others, and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest.

I've never really celebrated Hanukkah, but think it's a beautiful tradition. Maybe next year I will light eight candles in honor of this Jewish festival.

On a different note (but still related to light) Saturday night was the adult meeting for Stake Conference. For those of you who might not know, a "stake" is a large congregation of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a specific geographical area. Twice a year these large congregations meet for spiritual instruction from church leaders. On Saturday night the adult members of the stake met with Bishop Keith B. McMullin, one of the presiding Bishops of the LDS church. It was one of the best meetings I have ever been to. I learned the importance of inspiration and revelation as Bishop McMullin called members out of the congregation to teach doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I sat in the meeting I felt the Holy Ghost witness to me through peaceful feelings in my heart the truth of what was said. I am grateful I went to the meeting prepared to learn and that my prayers were answered.

I know Bishop McMulllin is a man called of God and his witness of Jesus Christ reaffirmed my own belief in Him as Savior of the World. I'm grateful for the holiday season when we can remember His birth, exemplify His life, and honor His redeeming sacrifice for each one of us!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday #39-December 5, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! Yup, this is the theme for my 39th Saturday of Fun!

It's become a Christmas tradition to attend the Festival of Trees in support of Primary Children's Hospital. Trees are decorated and donated to the festival, usually in honor or in memory of someone who's life has been touched by PCH. Sometimes there are stories written up about the person in whose honor the tree is donated...and usually they are tear-jerkers! So, the Festival of Trees is the best way to spend $4.00 and a couple hours on a Saturday to really get in the holiday spirit.

There are trees decorated in every style, size and theme...

I thought of Madeline when I saw the frog tree...

And Tonya when I saw the ME Tree...

This star reminded me of something you might see in the Philippines...made out of the plastic holders from a 6 pack of soda...

The Very Hungry Caterpillar tree made me think of Athena...

And the Star Wars trees looked like something Joseph and his boys would make if they had all the Star Wars toys...

The Fairies Tree reminded me of Amy M. and Miss Emmie...

Like I said, trees are auctioned off and the money is donated to Primary Children's Hospital. I was seriously thinking about buying one in support of a good cause. But almost all of them were sold and the few not sold had a pretty hefty price tag...a little out of my "good cause" budget.

Being in tree mode, I set out on a quest to get my own Christmas tree. I've always purchased a real tree for Christmas and I was all set to buy another one this year. I even went so far as to buy a new tree stand, which is something I vow to do every year!

But then I found myself drawn to the concept of a PRE-LIT tree! I hate, really HATE stringing lights on a Christmas tree. It's boring, tedious, and time consuming. Two years ago, I basically just threw a few strings of lights and called it good! And then spent the holidays ignoring the fact the lights were all gobbed on one side of the tree.

So, despite my love of hunting through the tree lot for the perfect tree and despite the fun of tying the tree to the top of my car and driving it home, and despite the smell of fresh pine in my living room and despite the weird satisfaction I get from vacuuming up pine needles for the next three months, I bought myself a FAKE, pre-lit tree.

I got it home, took it out of the box, put it together...and nearly burst into tears with disappointment! It looked small and pathetic, smelled like plastic, and I still had to string lights on the blasted thing!

Watching and singing along to my all-time favorite Christmas movie "White Christmas" helped ease some of the tree disappointment while I decorated it. And in the end my pathetic fake tree didn't turn out half bad.

(Coming Soon...a picture of my tree...)

But, next year, I think I'll donate my little tree to a good cause and go back to the tradition of a real tree for Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday #38-November 28, 2009

So, Jen and I had a little Red vs. Blue rivalry wager going on this weekend. And since BYU won the football game on Saturday, I've modified the blog background accordingly!

Here's a little collage of photos from the game. Let me tell was FUN!!!

Before the game started, I had lunch with some of my favorite people. Max & Brityn were in town for Thanksgiving, so they stopped in at Brian & Janelle's house for lunch. It was fun to visit and play with the girl's. I love my nieces! Lauren and Madeline are so much FUN!

Before lunch, I did something I've wanted to do for a long time--a mini Triathlon! Terri joined me for a 3 mile run on treadmills, a 10 mile ride on stationary bikes, and 1/2 a mile swim (36 laps) in the pool. We did all three activities in about 2.5 hours. It was a great way to burn off some of the calories from Thanksgiving. And even though I finished feeling tired and sore, I felt accomplished. I'd definitely count it as FUN!

So, there you go, from finish to start, my Saturday of FUN!
(Hey wait, how did all those red U's get in my posting? Jen?)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday #37 Addendum

Okay, so I didn't see New Moon on Saturday. I saw it at on Thursday night thanks to my friend Tricia who hosted a client appreciation event at Thanksgiving Point. So technically, I can't blog about it on my Fun Saturday Blog.

But as my friend Samantha pointed out, I THOUGHT about it on Saturday!

My question..."How could you not think about this?"

Saturday #37-November 21, 2009

RATS!!! I totally forgot to take my camera with me on Saturday, so I have no photo documentation of the fun! Sorry!!!

Saturday was the BYU vs. Air Force football game and I've been looking forward to this game all season for one very specific reason--the FLYOVER! Since our seats are in the North end zone, it's the perfect place to be when the jets fly from South to North over the stadium. And this year was perfect! Four jets (sorry, missed the announcement of what kind of jets) flew low over the stadium. First you see them, and then you hear them. "The sound of freedom" according to Terri. I totally agree!

Insert mental picture of jets flying over the stadium...

Okay, so if the flyover was the best part, the second best thing about the game was the game itself. BYU won 38 to 21! Thanks to Terri for going with me to "Rise and Shout" the cougars on to victory. I really wish I had a picture of the two of us bundled up against the cold. Luckily it didn't snow!

Insert mental picture of Terri and I bundled up in hats, gloves, coats, blankets, etc...

The third best thing about the game? Our excellent parking spot!!! Terri's sister Laura has a parking pass for Lot #1...the parking lot at the stadium, at the South end. Since she wasn't going to the game, she let us borrow the parking pass. Seriously, we couldn't have had a better place to park and I was more than tempted to "borrow" the pass for next week's game too.

Insert mental picture of my Rav 4 parked right by the South entrance to the stadium...

Brian called during the first quarter to tell me he saw us on TV! I went to his house after the game to check it out, and this is what he saw.
Can you see Terri and I? It's like "Where's Waldo?"! And unless you know our seats are just West of the band, right below the section II entrance, you'd have no clue were to look for us.

I had Brian freeze the next frame and then took a picture of the TV with my camera. Even with his High Def big screen TV, you can barely tell there are two little heads in the red circle. Yup, that's us! Our big TV debut.

While I was at it, I grabbed a quick snapshot of two of my favorite people...Brian and Lauren. Hmmm...I think there is a definite lack of BYU blue in this photo. At least Lauren got it right!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saturday #36-November 14, 2009

I love Christmas! It's one of my favorite holidays. With that being said, however, I am one of those people who believes that Christmas celebrations should not start until after Thanksgiving!

Ba! Humbug! To Christmas music, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and Christmas shopping until AFTER watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, overeating turkey, mom's stuffing, and 7 layer Jello, and a few hours of post-dinner football. The Friday after Thanksgiving is when I think it's okay to start putting up the tree and lights and turning on the Christmas tunes.

So, I will admit I had a hard time getting into the spirit of things when I went to the Gingerbread Festival at Thanksgiving Point on Saturday.

The Gingerbread Festival is an event hosted by the BSA in support of art education and the PTA and showcases gingerbread houses decorated by boy scout troops and elementary school classes from all over the valley. There were some pretty creative decorating going on! It was fun to see how candy can be used to create rooftops and chimneys and fires and pathways and wreaths and windows and doors and fenses...

And there were some pretty amazing "professional" gingerbread houses...

Decorating and eating my own gingerbread cookie and sipping hot chocolate helped jump start the holiday spirit.

But, just so you all know, despite having fun at the Gingerbread Festival, I didn't run home and start up the Christmas music while I hung Christmas light. Oh no, no, no! My fall leaves and Autumn Harvest decor is staying up until the day after Thanksgiving. We still have still almost two weeks until the Christmas celebrations can official begin!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saturday #35-November 7, 2009

After sleeping in (always one of my favorite fun things to do!)...
And after getting a text message from a friend with a reminder not to sleep the day away...
And after having fun helping Brian and Janelle move...
And after having fun decorating Lauren's new Curious George room...
And after having fun cheering BYU's victory over Wyoming with Terri...
And after having fun washing my car...
And after having fun cleaning my kitchen (even behind the fridge and under the stove)...
And after having fun watching BBC's Lilies (episodes 1-3)...
And after having fun doing my laundry...
And after having fun preparing my lesson for Young Women's on Sunday...
That's when I read all the suggestions my FaceBook friends made for my Saturday O' Fun!

Amy E. Smith I need something fun to do tomorrow for my 52funsaturdays blog. Any suggestions? November 6 at 3:38pm
Brian S. Smith You could help me move! November 6 at 4:16pm
Samantha Harris How about a nice hike somewhere like to Cascade Springs or go horseback riding... November 6 at 4:22pm
John McCord Come over and help me and Samantha decorate, rewire and fit out our kitchen? I'll make the food! Spaghetti Bolognese or chicken fajitas tomorrow? November 6 at 4:36pm
Janelle Jeffrey Smith I agree with Brian. We're fun! November 6 at 4:42pm
Angela Lorenzen Use your standby ticket and come visit me! November 6 at 5:06pm
Matthew Campbell Fly a kite in Autumn. November 6 at 6:47pm
Teresa Smith Royce The PAJAMA party at 9AM at Jordan Commons for the movie Christmas Carol 3D in the IMAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! November 6 at 8:36pm
James Williams Go up to Snowbird and take a free ride up the tram. Walk down a little and catch the ski lift down. A little cold but way fun. I'll go with if you want! November 6 at 9:39pm
Teresa Smith Royce I just heard about Snowbird thing. You could go there AFTER my pajama party. Come on, how often can you wear your pajamas to a movie theatre? I have some new cuddly zebra print I plan to style. You can bring James too. I will throw in the popcorn November 6 at 10:26pm
Samantha Harris Oh you should definitely do the Snowbird idea! Sat at 12:03am
Samantha Harris With all these great choices...what did you do??? Sun at 10:16am
Teresa Smith Royce not the pajama party :((( Sun at 12:01pm
Amy E. Smith Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Man! I wish I would have checked FB on Saturday morning. Flying a kite or hiking up Snowbird would have been great fun! Sorry Teresa, even a PJ party wouldn't tempt me to see Christmas Carol. Give me a few days and I'll post Saturday of fun activities on my blog for all of you to read about! Monday at 9:49am

Lesson learned? My friends are a lot more fun than I am! I should listen to them all more often.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saturday #34-October 31, 2009

What happens in Vegas...
stays in Vegas...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Saturday #33-October 24, 2009

Ode to My Bed

Oh how I love thee, my comfortable, warm bed.
Your pillows stacked high...
Your clean, crisp white sheets...

Invite me to lay,
Upon your firm mattress
At the end of the day.

Oh how I love thee, my lovely, nice bed.
In a room painted blue...
With a frame all in yellow...
You're my favorite place
To settle down for slumber
With a smile on my face.

Oh how I love thee, my favorite, soft bed.
On a Saturday morning...
With nothing to do...
But snuggle down deeper,
the covers pulled higher.
To be a lazy late sleeper!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Saturday # 32 - October 17 BBC, We Love Thee

I had the "great pleasure" of seeing this new BBC movie as part of my Saturday O' Fun. Bright Star is about the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Apparently most of the story line is based on their love letters. How would it be, receiving a love letter from John Keats!

Did you know John Keats died at age 25? Tragic, I say! No wonder Fanny spent several years roaming through the woods at night, after his death in a black frock. I love everything about this movie- the costumes, scenery, & acting are beautifully done... and the poetry readings, exquisite! The best thing about this movie.. it's very clean and a true romance. It's absolutely beautiful. Go see Bright Star. (Ops, was I not suppose to tell you he dies?) Go see it anyway.


by: John Keats (1795-1821)

BRIGHT Star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priest-like task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday #32-October 17, 2009

Tonya, I'm giving fair warning...this posting will probably make you homesick...

First off, the weather on Saturday was pretty much perfect! 70 degrees with clear, blue skies is almost unbelievable in the middle of October. I'm so glad I spent a few minutes outside enjoying the beauty of the day...and the fountains at The Gateway.

I find it amazing how friendship works! Eight years ago I moved to a new city and made some new friends. We started a book club, and for the first couple of years we faithfully met once a month to talk about books, church callings, husbands and children (theirs not mine, obviously) and life in general. Sometimes, it was less about the book, and more about the visit!

And then we all went our separate--some went further North, some further West, some further South and one went way, way, way further East. The book club dissolved somewhere along the way, but our friendships are still strong. And on Saturday four of us got together for lunch and a good visit!

So, to Kim and Melinda and Betsy (and Tonya & Sarah who weren't there), let me just tell you how much you all mean to me! You are all incredible women and valued friends. You inspire and amaze me! And I want to be like all of you when I grow up (never mind that I'm the oldest one in the group).

After lunch we roamed around The Gateway, just visiting. Apparently we've lost "the shopper" in our group, 'cause none of us were all that interested in going into the stores. There was more to see outside anyway. The people watching at The Gateway is highly entertaining! And I will have you all know, it was not this "Amy" who left her mark on the sidewalk...but thanks to the "Amy" who did, because it was a photo opportunity!

Here's a close-up...of the name, not me!

And finally, I'd like to end this posting with this bit of advice....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday # 31 - October 10

Every summer for the past 3 years I have a family tradition.. "Aunt Jenny's Annual Sleep Over." However, since my nieces and nephews are growing in number (and somehow my place is getting smaller), this year I decided to turn it into a one-nighter. It's now officially called "Aunt Jenny's Annual Oktoberfest." Because this special event will now be held in October, unfortunately (or fortunately) these kids will probably not be able to play red-rover or hide-in-sneak outside at odd hours.

Needless to say, we didn't really do the "traditional things" done at Oktoberfest in Europe.. (if so, these kids wouldn't be allowed at Aunt Jenny's). We simply had a very fun time together watching movies (Mall Cop & Home Alone), eating pizza, drinking homemade orange julius, snacking on candy, chocolate donuts, popcorn, etc. (sorry to my two brothers and sister for filling your kids with sugar).

This year I had 10 kids at my house (ages 2-11). This event actually took place on Friday night, however, since it dipped into Saturday, with me spending the next day cleaning up, I'm counting this as a Saturday o Fun activity.

They are all fantastic and so much fun!

These pictures basically tell the story.
My bunny slippers were popular to try on... and all these pictures are bound to appear later in their lives, more likely around mission, college, and marriage time. ;)