Kaloni Jensen is owner and event planner of Cherry Creek Events. She also teaches Family Life Education Workshops through her blog Forever Chalae. Kaloni received a BS from BYU-Idaho in Marriage and Family Relations, and certificate in International Event and Wedding Planning from QC Event School. She is an aspiring author with her first book, Holding On to Forbidden Fruit, being release in 2016. Kaloni serves on the Street Team for Fight the New Drug and volunteers for Operation Underground Railroad, Days for Girls, and the Launfal Foundation.
Kaloni was born and raised on a farm on the outskirts of Emmet, ID, where she learned to love the Lord, love her family, value hard work, value her community, and cherish her identity as a woman. Kaloni teaches social dance and clogging at an award-winning dance studio, and received a college scholarship for vocal performance. She loves riding horses, 4 wheeling, driving a tractor, and eating ice cream. When she’s not outside, you may find her indoors reading a book, sewing/quilting, baking (especially chocolate treats), or playing with her nieces and nephews. Kaloni believes that, through trials, we make decisions that mold our destinies and find healing and purpose. Big Ocean Women helped Kaloni to find joy in her identity by instilling the values so eloquently captured in the Big Ocean Tenets.
“We work hard, we play hard, and we do it all together.”
Kaloni Jensen grew up in a small town in Idaho, where she worked and played hard with her family. About her idyllic small town upbringing she said, “I love my country girl life and am passionate about the family farm.” This dedication to family and the values she grew up with became one of the things that led her to Big Ocean Women. She said, “I am enthusiastic about home and family advocacy. And although I am not a mother I can embrace motherhood, and serve others, befriend the lonely, and comfort those with a weary heart.” But this rock solid commitment to advocating for Faith, Family, and Motherhood has been hard won.
A little over a year ago, Kaloni was a college senior who was struggling with the emotional and physical aftermath of an abusive relationship that had left her shaken and doubting herself in every way. She recalled, “I had lost my faith and my identity,” and there was even a time when she thought she may lose her life. It was in this time of emotional turmoil that she found Big Ocean Women, or, as she put it, “the wave found me.”
“Working and serving with Big Ocean, Women for Faith, Family, and Motherhood gave me purpose and I started to form an identity of myself,” she asserted; she formed an identity that was separate from the pain and trauma of her former relationship and the destructive ways in which she had had begun to think while she was involved in that abusive situation. With Big Ocean, Kaloni found a place where she could begin to see once more her worth as a woman, and help others to do the same by working and advocating for women and the family. “Without this organization, I fear I would still be lost and hurting.”
The fifth of seven children, Kaloni works hard to build close relationships with her siblings. Her oldest three siblings are half siblings, but despite the complications that come from being part of a blended family, she says that those challenges have become a blessing. It has forced them to work hard to nurture family ties that will bring them closer to one another. “My sisters and I are especially close. They are my best friends and I cannot imagine what life would be like without the laughter I share with them.” Recently, Kaloni and her sisters drove almost 4 hours and hiked 3.5 miles to Big Rock near Deadwood Reservoir to have a picnic celebrating her sister Kayla’s birthday. They even hauled a birthday cake to the top so that she could blow out the candles as they celebrated together.
Somehow, amidst teaching focus intervention to fifth and sixth graders and seventh and eighth grade skills lab, Kaloni has found time to exercise her creativity as the owner of Cherry Creek Events wedding and event planning and decorating. She loves to create floral arrangements for Cherry Creek as an outlet for stress, and she also teaches private dance lessons and family life education workshops there. She loves music, especially piano, violin, and vocal performance. She has also found the time to write a book, which came out of her experiences with abuse and her desire to help others by relating the journey of healing and peace that has helped her to overcome those challenges. She is no stranger to writing, having won prizes as early as eighth grade for poetry, but did not expect to write a book until she started a blog where she wrote letters to herself during a university writing assignment. Friends and family started asking her to write letters about her experiences and the longest of those letters eventually turned into the basis of her book, Holding on to Forbidden Fruit.
Kaloni’s experiences have required her to develop a deeper faith, and she says that she came to understand that she had never been abandoned by her brother, Jesus Christ. “I love the Lord, God, my Father. I know he knows me and loves me too. I love Jesus Christ. He truly is the best big brother I could have ever asked for. He watches over me, protects me when he can, and helps me endure trials when there are lessons for me to learn.” Through this faith Kaloni has come to be even more dedicated to advocating for the home and family.
When she is not working on one of her jobs, Kaloni loves to be at home working on the family farm where she has horses, cows, pigs, and cats. Occasionally, she says, they have a barn owl. “I hope my cats are eating all the mice, and often we have wild game in our fields. One time I got up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water and noticed yellow, beady eyes staring at me through the window. My heart started beating really fast, but then the porch light flickered on and I realized it was just a little deer.”
It is a focus on hard work and family that has become the center of Kaloni’s life. Even when she is working hard she still finds time to have fun. She says, “ I like to play rotten vegetable baseball with my siblings and cousins every harvest season as we clean up the garden area. I enjoy when we play “Name that Movie” as we dig corrugates in the fields each spring. I love when we take the horses and pack in hunting camp in the snowy backwood mountains.”
From the time Kaloni was a young woman she has loved rocks, and spent time with her family looking at precious stones. They enjoy sapphire and emerald hunting as a family, even when they don’t find anything, and she remembers hunting in Northern Idaho, “where the creeks run purple with beautiful garnets.”
Kaloni heard her favorite quote while watching the BBC Robin Hood. It is a quote from the Koran, which states, “For every man there is a purpose which he sets his life; let yours be the doing of all good deeds.” In Big Ocean, Kaloni has found a place where she hopes to inspire others and do some of those good deeds. “Being with Big Ocean has been a positive influence in my life, an influence that will have positive eternal consequences. Once I was lost, alone, and I felt like I didn’t belong. This organization has given me hope, has inspired my future goals in life, and more than that, Big Ocean is where I belong.”
Written by ShelliRae Spotts