Monday, August 31, 2009

Warm River

You know that old song form the 20s? "Moon River, wider than a mile. I'm crossing you in style some day." I sang that song all weekend long. But to "Warm River." I love those old-fashioned romantic songs.

We have our ward camp out at Warm River. I'll admit, at first the idea of a camp out with the ward seemed really strange. Like, are you sure we're supposed to have all the girls and all the boys sleeping in the same camp area? Seems... strange.
When Ken and I got off work on Friday we had a bit of a lover's tiff. I was supposed to get sleeping bags and have everything ready to go on the sleeping end. My sleeping bag source was unreachable and Ken (bless his over-reactive heart) said we weren't going. We went back and forth for a while. And after 45 minutes of kind, warm-hearted bickering we decided to camp in the back of the Trailblazer. I'm not huge on tents. Rephrase. I'm not huge on animals. Animals close to my tent. So Trailblazer it was. We put a bunch of cushions back there and filled it with pillows and blankets and off we went. Late. Around 8.
It was a blast. We stayed up late on Friday. I know I'm 25... but I still get a kick out of staying up late. We were up until 1:30 or 2:00 talking with some of the YW. The regular debate. HP vs. TW. (The winner will always be Harry Potter, Ms. Luckau.) I didn't mind staying up that late because I figured I could sleep in on Saturday. I forgot the whole being outside and when the sun comes up... you get up. SO... bright and early Saturday I was up. Ken was already working on making breakfast I decided to start fishing. I got my fly rod. And cast in a few times. Sooner than I knew I had a gathering of kids around me and I laid up my rod to help them get a couple little guppies on their lines.

I loved helping the kiddos out. I hated getting hooked. Over. And. Over. Again. So, I convinced them to come eat some breakfast. Let me mention that the food was fantastic. Really good. Always hot. And there was always something out to eat! Which I love. Because I am classified as a snacker.

After breakfast Ken decided to fish with Jared and Janniel. We've only got one flyrod between the two of us so I took pictures and tending Isaac (Jared and Janniel's kiddo ma griddo.)

Anytime I'd take a picture of Isaac he'd say "Let me look." So I'd show it to him. He'd say, "Oh! He's cute!"

After watching other people have fun for an hour or so I got pro-active and rounded up troops for the river float!

The river is probably 5 feet deep in it's absolute DEEPEST spot. Most of the time your butt is scraping bottom if you have a big-butt like mine. But, wow, this was fun. The Hansen's made it all the more fun. Diane referred to it as "the celestial kingdom." I figured celestial kingdom on a cold winter's day. The water was maybe 40? 50? Cold. Cold enough to make me a little blue. But you get used to it. Or you get numb to it. Hard to say. I didn't even care though. I had so much fun. I probably floated 10 times. I'd have gone longer if I could have. I loved it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Pat-A-Pult

The week of my birth-dee I went to Lagoon. Have you ever been there? It's so much fun. I has really craving Kennywood and wouldn't you know it Lagoon was the perfect fix. Sure the rides were smaller and slower and shorter. But as nostalgic as I was feeling it hit the spot. Sheri and I decided upon arrival that we were going to ride every ride and not get sick. Neither of which happened. We missed "Wicked" and I got sick. We started with TerrorHouse which lives up to it's name. I'll admit I had my eyes closed and was leaning pretty heavy into Ken. (For you Pittsburghers think "Gold Rush.") We hit The Wild Mouse, Intergallactic Screamer, The Colossus, The Swings, Music Waverider, Cliffhanger... all were a breeze. I loved them. I had my hands up in the air screaming and laughing. Then we rode the Tidal Wave (KW: Pirate Ship) and I went green in the gills. I've never yelled to stop the ride until that day and I yelled it at my fullest lung capacity. I was sick. Weak in the knees, couldn't walk strait, didn't want to open my mouth in fear of spewing all over. I put the vote up for a lunch break and it was unanimous in the agree-ance. I sadly missed out on all the corn dogs, funnel cakes, and greasy amusement park food because I thought it would only make matters worse. I had a Subway (dream job!). From where we were sitting you could look around and occasionally you would see this huge red ball get shot into the air. If you looked closer you realized there were two screaming idiots in that red ball. It literally looked like it was just shot out of the trees. Me and Sheri looked at each other and said "I'll pass." But gash darn it.... the longer Sheri looked at that ride the more her eyes were sparkling. Wasn't looking good for me. She started throwing around phrases like, "You only live once" and "No one has died as long as we've been watching" and "they all come off laughing." We went over to the platform and watched for about half hour. Sheri asked if I felt better yet. No. Uh-uh. Not yet. So we did the Jet Star and the Bumper Cars and my fun gave it away that I was feeling better and before I knew it Sher and me were in line for what they named The Catapult. I still can't believe people get an inkling to get on with a name like that. Can I tell you that waiting in line is the hardest part? There were two groups in front of us and it took for-ev-ver (sandlot) and the whole time Sheri and I kept looking at each other and telling the other how sick we felt. Literally nauseated. After an eternity (in real time maybe 10 minutes) we were up. We had to completely empty our pockets and I had to take my flip flops off. Didn't want to catapult them into oblivion just myself. We get into the ball and they strap you in good. I mean to the point where you can just barely breathe. Not that you really are.
(I atleast gave a pretty face for the camera... Sheri looks.... scared witless?)
They give you a speech about if you put your feet up higher on the bar you'll spin more (I tucked mine in as close as I could while staying in proper launching position), they say the ball is going to tip backwards, and then you'll go. So the ball tips back and I hear all this clicking and winding and my heart beating. There is no count down- there is no green light. It's just bam. one minute safely locked onto the Earth and the next flying. 55 mph 250 feet in the air. Awesome. I totally lost my orientation of what is up, down, sideways, diagonal- it was pure exhilaration. I was laughing and screaming and Sheri was going "Let me down! Oh, Mommy let me down!!!" Which only made me laugh harder. It was incredible. Do it! go to Lagoon and do it! Turns out Sheri really liked it because as soon as we landed and were safely locked in she asked how much it would be to do it again. Another $10 a person and her and I were flying high again. The second time she laughed a lot more and had her eyes open.

I want one in my backyard.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Square Root of 625

25. Two. Five. Quarter of a century. I'm a whiz at this life thing. First 25 years have been easy. Considering for 17 of those years I had doting parents looking after me. I suppose I've only been on my own for 8 years. And speaking for those 8 I think I've done pretty well. I was reminiscing as birthday-ees so often do about birthdays past. Last year I had a black toe from hiking Table Rock the day before. (This was pre-summit, pre-black toe... I had no idea what I was in for. And I was already sweating like a little piggy.)5 years ago I was in Germany. (I did date a fellow in Germany. This is not him. This is a driver.)7 years ago I celebrated it during my first semester of college. (Don't I look educated?)10 years ago I was about to start my sophomore year of high school. (Not taken in August... but I think taken around the same age???)

Eeeks! I'm glad I am where I am.
I had an awesome birthday. It started with my birthday kick-off last Saturday. I had a bb-cutie and invited some of my nearest and dearest. When we were growing up on or birthdays we could invite Grandma and one friend. This was really my first time branching out and invited more than one friend. I felt so loved. We had gourmet burgers made by my hunka-hunka-burning love, Kenner. We sang "Happy Birthday" lead by Kar and I blew out an imaginary candle. (We forgot to pack the candles.) Dylan set off little Alkaseltzer time bombs which I thought we very festive. Some of us played Bocce boys v. girls. Girls whipped them. I'm on a winning streak! The girls had a secret Bocce Victory Dance that I think played an intense role in our success. Bob/Dad embraced his childlike energy and spent time on the playground with the little tikes.
A good time was had by all. Monday night Ken said that Saturday was my birthday celebration so we probably wouldn't be doing a whole lot on Tuesday, my actual birthday.
Sorry? Come again?
I already had my birthday?
Would it be too much to ask for you to even say, "Happy Birthday" tomorrow or did you already say it on Saturday?

He got the point. I worked until noon and then went to Rigby Lake with Kar, her mom, Lexi, and Kar's kids. That water was fa-rEEEzing! But, oh being in that sun. Love being in the sun. Kar will post some pics and then I can steal them and improve this post.
Ken made me strawberry French Toast per my request with Cool Whip... which is way better than whipped cream in my opinion. We took Rusty down to the canal and let him swim for a while and then we watched Australia. That movie is fantastic. I cried for like the last half hour at least. Very powerful. Highly recommend it.
It was a great birthday. Being 25 is fun! And birthday week is not over! Tomorrow we take off with Bob and Sheri down to Salt Lake. They are taking me on my first trip to Lagoon! I hope every day of 25 is this eventful. I hope. I hope. I hope.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Each year the Rotarians of Idaho Falls do the duck race. You may have heard of it. You can buy a rubber ducky for $5 and they drop all these thousands of ducks into the river and the first one across the finish line wins an outstanding prize. All the proceeds go to helping develop our lovely greenbelt. Well... before the normal citizens get a go at it the Rotary gets the big dogs entered in a race.
The Executive Duck Race.
We're called the Quacker Backers. The ducks run a hefty penny more than $5 but the prizes are HUGE and there are more. This year on the table up for grabs there was a 10 day cruise, a trip to Vegas, a guided float trip, and $750 to Sams. All donated! Isn't that incredible? So you pay your money and they give you a duck decoy. Not a rubber duck. You can choose if you want to be entered in the duck decorating contest. Where you dress up your decoy. Dad (in-law) asked me if I wanted to decorate ours. There were prizes so, of course, I said yes. After Dad had me committed he told me what a big deal it was. It's more that just putting a dress on your duck. You need a theme. You need a set-up. A duck diorama. A Duckarama! Coming up with my theme was hard. I had a little help from Andi with the logo and I think we nailed it.

Obviously with a theme like like I was looking at decorating 10 duckies not one. Man, I love biting off more than I can chew. It's in my blood. I decided to go big. To bring pride to Jensen Poulsen and Company. To go... all out.
All out was a lot. A lot longer than I thought. I didn't keep a time card but I think I had well over 75 hours into this thing. I hand-glued each and everyone of those sequins. I thinks Kate/Swans hair is my pride and joy. Can't you almost hear her nagging her poor husband. I gave him a receding hairline but you can't really see it in these pictures. These aren't the greatest pictures out there. I took them right before we left and I was oh so nervous. I wanted to put this really hot scantily clad duck off to the side and have Jon/Drake (<- which is a male duck) goggling at her... but I didn't have the time and the cardboard stand-up I made didn't look right.

Can you see one of the little ducks has glasses? I'm so clever.
We won. People's Choice Award. Season tickets for 2 to the Idaho Falls Arts Council. Booya.

Rigby Lake

Somewhere along the line Rigby Lake got a bad rep. Too many people. Too dirty. Garbage in the water. Bad sand. I am here to say NO MORE! They're cleaning it up kids. It has become a fave summer spot for me and Ms. Andi. (Others are always welcome. We go Staurdays around 3.) They've planted and extended new grass making it easier for moms to stay close to the kids. It also has limited my feet burning experiences. They've brought in all new sand and ripped out a bunch of the dead trees and weeds. There's a Sno-Shak in there and a place to buy swimmies and intertubes. They've also re-done the bathrooms! No more pee-pee smell! You have to pay 5 buckies a car to get in but I am all for that. Not only it is OBVIOUS that my money is going to good use... it limits the riff raff. Our first Saturday we had it all wrong. We laid out in the intolerable heat (ate Pringles and Fritos till it hurt) and read magazines until there was sweat on our brow and then would go for a swim. I didn't want to get out of the water. Week #2 we invested in some tubes from Kings. ($3!) That's the way to do it. My legs got sufficiently more tan. So now they are pale not ghostly. A step up. I love it. Andi loves it. Any new comers?