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.