Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fair Rats Unite!

Our booth at the fair. We love it. It is awesome!

Today is the first day of the Eastern Idaho State Fair. I am having some mixed feelings about the fact that I am here, writing this blog rather than in Blackfoot making sweet and sour sauce. As you are well aware, I am having a baby in T minus 10 days. Or sooner depending on what happens. Technically I could go any time. So this year when mom was making the schedule I opted out. I am officially not working at all. Didn't look for one babysitter or anything. I was fine with it. Have been all along. But his morning when I said good-bye to Ryan as he drove off to Blackfoot for the offical first day, I admit I was a little jealous. I chopped green onions all day yesterday in preparation for the Ham Fried Rice. My fingernails have a bit of a green tint to them. So I have already started on the stained hands that come with the fair.

My Ryan and Scott Payne (brother in law) showing off some fun carny memories.

The fair? Really? you may find yourself wondering. I know. So here is the story. Ever since I was 9 we have been working in this booth at the fair. It is called Yan Kee Kan Kook and we serve Ham Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Chicken and Philly Steak Sandwiches. Our ward had it as a fund raiser to start with, then the budget thing changed and they no longer needed it. So my dad and his partner Brian bought it and our families ran the booth. I was 14. A few years later, my dad decided to buy out his partner, so now my parents are the sole owners. Good thing they have 7 children to help run it. Now for the past 19 years we have worked at the booth. It is always the week of Labor Day and we have a ton of fun running the booth. All of our spouses have become part of our Fair Rat clan and we all love to hate the fair and working in the booth. It is a huge part of our family.

This is my dad cleaning out the grease trap in the Twinkie/candy bar fryer. Yes you read that right and yes they are good!

The Fair Rat part came from Carson. As the youngest of 7, he was just a little kid when we started and he would roam the fair with our friends who also have a family booth. He was only 5 when he started "living"at the fair. Occasionally he would come in and make pops for us, but we mostly only saw him when he was hungry or stealing money out of the cash drawer. I don't think he thought of it as stealing and we laugh about it. He was smart though. He would take our food to the carny's and trade it for rides down on the mid way. There was even a time when he was a few years older that he got a job in the Tee Pee Toy booth so he could earn a blow dart gun.

Carson, on the left, the Original Fair Rat with one of our many "helpers" who have also become addicted to working at the booth. This guy was actually a missionary in our mission and came back to work at the booth when he got home...for 3 years in a row.

Lately, he has been referred too as the Gorilla Boy because he does all the grunt work with my dad setting up the booth. He is also the only one not married and without children to chase. But speaking of children to chase, we are starting to have kids old enough to be the next generation of fair rat. Ryan made a special shirt for them. We probably won't have time to print them until next year because, well the fair started today and nothing else gets done until it is over. But they are still cute enough to share.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Make your own Mosaic

I love this idea. It took a few minutes but it was well worth the time. Thank you Shelley!
1. lisha kill preserve, 2. el pastor, 3. pocatello! greyhound station - dog runnin', 4. Awrad ( Flowers ), 5. +[ Johnny Depp: drop dead gorgeous ]+, 6. sunkist, 7. my private island, 8. cheesecake, 9. mom n baby, 10. Sunset on the family farm..., 11. Bell(AHHHH)gio, 12. Halle's Intense Stare

So now your job is to go make your own! Here are the directions to do just that.
Here's how it works:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.
Choose 3 columns with 4 rows.
The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Favorite animal?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Waiting for Baby...counting down the days!

For all of you who are curious, I went to the baby doctor yesterday and I am officially dilated, to a 1. I know exciting isn't it? Not really. But the news is this. My next appointment is on Thursday Sept 4th and "depending on how things look," I may be induced that day. His words not mine. I am just happy I was able to make it to the doctor yesterday at all.

Ok so here is the story of the past week of my life. Not only did we have to take the green geo (yes I still own it) in for a battery replacement--still under warranty thank you--our van started doing some strange things. Such as the speedometer stopped working, the car stalled out every time we came to a stop, and the normal ticking noise went away. You know there is something strange going on when the familiar noises that should not really be there but you tolerate them suddenly disappear.

My father used to work here in Idaho Falls and recommended a repair shop he was familiar with. They got us in quick and even gave us a welcome yet unnecessary discount on a super quick yet thorough overhaul of everything "wrong"with our car. It was daunting I have to say. The estimates were much worse than we thought and a lot more expensive than we could afford. So we took the van home and worried all night about what we could afford to fix and what could go for a few more weeks/months. Remember I am due in 3 weeks and my doctor is an hour away. We have to have a running vehicle.

We then found out that there is a mechanic in our ward! Who knew? He came over and gave the list a look and then checked out the car. It turns out that there is one very small but very crucial piece of equipment that was not working, but it was having a ripple effect and causing lots of other things to not work right. Computer problem. Long story short we took it to the shop he used to work for and they got it fixed super quick and for about 1/4 of what was quoted us before. PHEW....I feel so much better.

The drama came with the driving around in the still unregistered geo with the missing tail light. Trying to buy all the school supplies that the girls needed to start school on Monday and not being able to find everything. I still need some crayola watercolors. And to top it all off, we realized Sunday night that we forgot to buy them any new shoes. Who does that? So my children are wearing flip flops and crocs to school this week. That would be fine except it was only 59 degrees when Ally left for school today and it is going to be just as cold as it was yesterday. Maybe 75 if we are lucky. Oh and since school started that means my husband also went back to work full time. One more thing...

Back to my week...So the day the van broke was the day before I was supposed to go to Pocatello (45 minutes away) for my weekly appointment. I did not make that one. I did reschedule for yesterday hoping some miracle would occur, but recruiting my sister to drive me down as a Plan B just in case. Normally it would not be a huge deal, but I go through labor at lightening speed and because I want to have a VBAC this time, I need to be in Pocatello before the real stuff starts.

We found out Monday afternoon that the van would be done first thing Tuesday morning, by 10. AWESOME! Perfect time for me to pick it up and make the drive for my appointment. I wish. We waited all morning for them to call. 10 comes and goes and still no phone call. I could not get a hold of Ryan because he was in class but I didn't have the number and didn't even know who it was to look it up to try to call them. By 10:15 I had called my Plan B and she was on her way to pick me up. Even though she has a major event to get ready for tomorrow, but she is still taking the time to drive me an hour away for a 20 minute appointment. Thanks Gertie! Best sister ever!

For some reason though, the stress hit me hard and I could not handle the uncertainty. I think I lost it for a few minutes that morning. Then for some reason I realized that I had not figured out what to do with Emma for 45 minutes while she waited for school to start. Luckily a super sweet neighbor was home and willing to let her come over and take her to school.

So here it the best part. While we are in Pocatello I get a text from Ryan. The van is done! Of course now it is. When he went in to pick it up this is what they say. "You know your van was done this morning right?" Ryan replies, "No we were waiting for a phone call and when I checked on the progress no one seemed to know what was going on. " Turns out the secretary is taking classes now so the "new girl" was there and is basically clueless. SERIOUSLY! Like I need one more stress in my life right now.

But we have the van. It works great. We drove to Blackfoot last night to help start cleaning out the booth to get ready for the fair and it ran great. Aahhh the fair. That is another story for another day. I will say though that how dare I get pregnant and be due during the fair? Not just me, my sister is due the week after me as well. Oh and my other sister just had twins!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

Today was back to the grind for Ryan, but exciting and fun for Emma and Ally. Here they are in the "first day " outfits complete with backpack.

Kindergarten was fun for Em, but when I picked her up she was disappointed because at snack time they did not eat the crackers she had brought. I think I heard the word boring somewhere in there too. NOT GOOD. When I left her after the parent meeting she was smiley and happy. I think the crackers did it.

Ally is in 2nd grade and she loves school. Her best friend is in her class so that was a plus. When I asked her what she did all she told me was that Monday is library and PE. Other than that she "couldn't remember."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Smith Family Reunion 08

Our fun family reunion at Big Springs Campground, outside of Lava Hot Springs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bear Lake is AWESOME!

Hansen Family Reunion '08

Summer is the time for family reunions. We had a Hansen Family Reunion last week and we got to meet cousins I have never met before. Specifically Ryan's Uncle Corey and his family. The reunion was for his Grandma Hansen and her children. There were 4 there, plus we represented a fifth. It was fun to spend time with them and with others we already know. I hope the next time we do it, more people can come. But it was a perfect amount of fun for the short time we had together.

The condo we stayed in was awesome! It had 6 bedrooms on 3 different floors. There was room for 24 people in it and I think one night we had it maxed out. But still there was plenty of room. There was also a full kitchen, 2 flat screen TV's and of course a HOT TUB! One night someone had turned it down really low so I was able to get in even though I am super pregnant. It was only 94 degrees, like a big tub. It was nice!
Bear Lake is a super fun place to play. I can't remember the last time I was there although I know I have been. The kids loved the lake. It is super shallow for a long way so we got to go out really far. Even Luke walked about 100 yards from the shore without going under the water. He is a fish. Here is a video of him looking for the Frisbee with Ryan's cousin Seth.

The girls love the water as well. They were so far out playing, I had to walk out with the camera over my head so I could get close enough to them to get any pictures. Here is a fun one with dad.

The view from the condo was really nice. You can see Bear Lake in the background. We had a great time and hope to go back again soon. Maybe another family reunion will be there someday!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tautphaus Park Zoo

Today we had a fun cousins day at our local zoo. Brittany and Alex met us there. Grace is here for dance camp from Salt Lake and Tanner is also here from Twin Falls so we all decided to go. Here are some fun pics from our fun day.

Right as we walked in we got together for this picture. Alex and Tanner are both too little to be out of the stroller, especially this early on! Lots of animals are waiting!

Luke is a natural around animals. He got to brush the goats in the petting zoo. Everyone else wanted to feed them, but to do that you have to be on the other side of the fence. He would not leave the animals so he stayed to take care of them.

The Tigers were the last thing we saw before we had lunch. Luke was super hungry and therefore grouchy so he did not want to be in this picture. So funny. Maybe that makes me a bad mom to laugh at my children, but my feeling is that if I don't I will just be sad too and that would be a downer all the time.

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