I love surprises…… don’t you?  Especially when you are the giver of the surprise.

Tonight I got to participate in a fun surprise for my old Ward.  (For those who don’t know what a Ward is….. it’s the people I attended church with in the area I used to live).  One of my friends that still lives in that area was in charge of the entertainment for the Adult Ward Christmas Party.  She had already lined up a wonderful Bell Choir to come perform, but decided she wanted to add a little element of surprise.  So she called me and asked me if I would come sing Santa Baby in the middle of the Bell Choir’s performance.

We came early to set up a small sound system to try and avoid running into a lot of people before they came to the party.  Unfortunately, we did run into a few, so it wasn’t a complete surprise to everyone…. but I still think we had most of them stumped.  We stayed out of sight for most of the time, so that helped.

We set it up so that the Bell Choir would introduce a special number, and act like it was a number they were doing, and then I would come around the corner singing Santa Baby instead!

It worked out great.  The director of the Bell Choir played it very well.  She even had her choir members turn their bells so they wouldn’t make noise and act like they were starting a new song and instead my music came on from the back of the room and in I walked with my feather boa and cordless mic and headed straight for the Bishop.  He was one that had seen me there earlier and was probably suspicious that something was up…. I just don’t think he knew what!

My husband told me that as I started the song….. a few of the other men at the Bishop’s table got up and moved away from the table.  Ha ha ha……  it didn’t really matter, because my goal was to make it around the room as much as possible and play to as many men as I could in one song!

It was so much fun singing… and embarrassing for a moment….  some of my old friends and neighbors!  Too bad I couldn’t get to more of them!  If it hadn’t been such a big secret about me singing…. I could have scoped the room out before hand and seen where people were sitting that I knew.   There were a couple of people that I would have for sure gone to had I seen them!  But I still had a great time.  PLUS…. we got to eat the delicious dinner that was being served!  Now that’s a perk!

I’m grateful Denise gave me the opportunity to have fun with my old Ward tonight.  It’s so great to see people that you were neighbors with for over 20 years!  I adore and miss that ward and the people in it.  It’s always good to see them.  There are so many other neighbors in the area I would love to visit with again.  I was very blessed to have been able to raise my family during their most critical years in such a wonderful area.  I hope those that were there tonight enjoyed my surprise!

I am Grateful!  How are You?



There’s nothing better than a nice ripe juicy cold watermelon!

I just happened to pick a good one this time!  I wish I could say the same with helping my son pick out some last week for his HS reunion….. but unfortunately, I blew that one!  This one, however, is perfect!  I love eating a good piece of cold melon!  They are so much better when they are cold.

Can you see how there are 6 areas with pockets of seeds? Those are the areas you scoop out with a spoon to create a Watermelon Wagon Wheel. The trick is leaving enough space between the scoop outs to create the spokes!

Eating watermelon always brings back lots of fond memories for me.  The first being camping trips we took as kids .  We used to use the creek as our refrigerator for the melons.  My Dad would just set them far enough in the water that the cold water would keep the melon cool.  Very often, we would save the melon for our trip home from camping.  I have some great memories of pulling off to the side of the road with our camper right at Rock Port Dam.  My Aunt and Uncle and cousins were usually right behind us.  We’d pull off that road and cut up the watermelon and eat it right there.  That was part of the fun of the trip home!

I don’t think I went camping with my parents much past the age of 13 or so.  After the camping trips were over, it then became the thing to use our back yard as the place to eat melons.  Usually, at some family gathering.  We would make sure the melons were good and cold and then take them out back and cut them up.  Everyone would sit around eating melons and spitting the pits in a bucket.  Good times.

I remember as a little girl my Dad teaching me to make a wagon wheel out of a piece of watermelon.  You cut a good piece off the melon so it’s still in its circular form.  Then you take a spoon and make a circular cut at each point where there is a pocket of watermelon seeds.  You’ll see there are about 6 areas around the outer edge of the watermelon piece that when cut away with a spoon, forms a wagon wheel with the rest of the watermelon piece.  My Dad and I used to see who could make the best wagon wheel out of the watermelon.  Of course, once you cut away those pieces eating them as you go, and then took time to admire your handiwork…. you were left with the very best part of the melon still to eat!  I’d make my way to the center heart of that melon piece by eating everything else around it first.  Then I’d savor that watermelon heart!  Hmmm Hmmmm……  Great memories!

I’ve seen some pretty interesting pictures of things carved out of a whole watermelon….. but I had more fun making a basic wagon wheel out of one piece of watermelon than you can even imagine!  My husband thought I was crazy the first time I did it!  He’d never seen it and thought it was pretty silly.  After all… you were just going to eat it anyway, why not cut it up and eat it?  What’s all the fuss about?  Ah….. but the time it took to try and make that wagon wheel look good was as much fun as eating it!

I do love watermelon.  Especially when its juicy, cold , sweet and not over ripe!  I’m grateful for watermelon!  I’m grateful to my Dad for teaching me how to make a wagon wheel from a piece of watermelon…. but more importantly for taking the time to do it together!  Watermelon holds lots of memories for me!

What do you associate eating watermelon with?

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Self Serve Yogurt

My first experience with self serve yogurt was about a year and a half ago when some friends of ours took us to a place called KRAVE in St. George.  We were down there for the Senior Games and went over to spend some time with our friends that live in St. George.  After spending a few hours at their house playing some competitive card games and a little Mexican Train Dominos…. we decided to end the evening with a treat and that’s when we were introduced to the concept of self serve yogurt.

It’s a dangerous thing to get hooked on!  I do love the fact that you can build your own yogurt by choosing your flavor and then adding all the toppings you want.  The danger comes in approaching the cash register and weighing your creation in order to calculate how much you owe for this concoction!  You think you are doing so well by choosing only fresh fruit and nuts (ok…. a few yogurt chips too…) and then you get to the counter and place it on the scale and whamo!  That $.38 an oz doesn’t sound so good any more!  We spent about $5.00 each for our creations.  I guess it’s good thing that we didn’t pick the ‘heavy ‘ toppings!  Actually, when you think about it…. I guess it’s really not anymore expensive than those specialty ice cream shops like Cold Stone or Baskin Robbins.  At least at Krave they have a ‘punch’ card you can fill up and get a free one after you buy 10!  I’m not aware of those other places doing that!

One of the best parts of visiting Krave tonight was seeing our picture flash on the TV screen behind the cash register!  When we were down here last Oct. for the Senior Games…. we brought a bunch of the softball team members with us to get some yogurt and they asked if they could take our picture.  They do that quite often.  They take random pictures of their customers and then they put them in their computer and it randomly plays a slide show of all the pictures they’ve taken.  And I mean random.  We saw our picture as we went up to the cash register to pay and then sat down and watched the screen for another 20 minutes or so as we ate our yogurt and it never came on again!!  Several other pictures that had been up came on again…. but not ours!  How weird is that that we happened to approach the counter just as our picture came on and then never again?  Weird, huh?

Krave is a fun place to visit ….. with great yogurt and toppings and a family friendly wall of ‘acrylic’ that becomes a giant chaulk board for its customers!  You should try it sometime!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Sweet Potato Fries

Hmmm …. hmmmm.  I’m a fan of Sweet potato fries.  I remember the first time I tasted them.  I was with my Mom and had stopped to get dinner at Rumbi.  We ordered their mixed fries that had both regular fries and sweet potato fries.  I liked the sweet potato fries much better than the regular fries.  I thought…. what a novel idea?  Who would have thought to turn sweet potatoes into fries!

Several years later I found a bag of sweet potato fries in the freezer section at Costco and got pretty excited!  Now I can make them on my own!  But, honestly….. they are not quite as good as the ones from the restaurants.  Probably because I bake them rather than fry them!  But they are still good.  ( I would love hints on how to get them crisper when baking….)

My very favorite sweet potato fries???  Smashburger Smashfries!  I love the olive oil and rosemary that they toss them with!  They are so good!  That’s one of the reasons I like to eat there.  Tonight we stopped at Smashburger for dinner and, of course, ordered Sweet Potato Smashfries.  When they came to our table and I began to dig in… I knew something was wrong.  I asked my husband if he had ordered the Smashfries wondering if maybe they had an option for regular fries with out the oil and rosemary.  When I went back and looked at the menu…. it appeared that the Smashfries way was the only way they came.  So I asked one of the employees about it and he came to our table and said, “Those don’t look right”…. so he took them back and ordered us a fresh new batch.  Funny thing is, when he ordered them I heard him say to the cooks, “Do you know how to make these?” I thought it was kind of funny.  So, not only did we get a new batch of yummy Sweet Potato Smashfries tossed in delicious olive oil and rosemary…. but we got a coupon for a free Smashburger for our next trip!  I love it when they make it right with you when they make a boo boo.  I’ve had that happen at other restaurants too and they go out of their way to fix it and make it better.  That’s good customer service!  Looks like I’ll be heading back to Smashburger soon!

I am Grateful!  How are you?


Ok…. I know I’m going to get a lot of flack on this one….. particularly on a day like today!!!  But….. today I’m grateful for Snow!!  Though I would have preferred, like most of you, to have had a White Christmas…….  I am still grateful for the snow today!  Some of you may disagree…. but I like to have it bright inside my house.  When I lived in Murray…. we had huge windows in our front room that let in a LOT of light…. and I loved it!!  (Besides…it saves energy… you don’t need to turn on the lights!!)  But, here in my Riverton condo….. its not so bright.  At least not very bright in the entry way area.  

But today!!!  AWESOME!!  The daylight reflecting off the snow into my house makes it bright…. and I love it!  One of the other reasons I’m grateful for snow is the obvious reason that it brings moisture to the ground, which you’ve got to admit… that come July or August…. you’ll be grateful for too!!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you were SO excited when it snowed!  In my day….. long before we had street plows that kept EVERY street clean….. we could sled down the streets in our neighborhood!  So much fun.  Building snowmen….. making snow angels….. snow ball fights….. you know!  All that stuff that comes with playing in the snow!!!  So how come I’m not out there right now playing in it???  Well…… first of all….. I’m not a kid and I don’t have anyone to play in the snow with me…. and secondly……. I’m going to refer back to Tuesdays’ post…….  I prefer to stay warm!  BUT….. I still love the snow!  So…. no more complaining….. let’s be grateful that it’s here to give Mother Earth what she will need in the coming months!

And I have to add that I’m grateful that I don’t have to go out in it unless I want to ….. I know some of you aren’t so lucky!  So….. be safe… but be grateful!  Let’s play the Pollyanna ‘glad’ game!  You can find a reason to be ‘glad’ about the snow….. even if you are out there shoveling it!

I am grateful!  How are you?