Sunday, December 18, 2005

December 18, 2005

(Eric) A few weeks ago Dad sent me some pictures of their trip to Alaska this summer. I decided to post this one of Dad on his hunting trip. He just looked so happy. He reminded me of a little kid on a dream vacation. I was going to use it for the moment of ZEN but I decided to post if front and center. I never asked him if it was ok to post it here. Dad, I hope it’s ok….of course if it isn’t it’s to late now.

For me this Christmas season has been a difficult one. I listen to talk radio when I work, and I’ve heard debate after debate on why anything having to do with religion should be taken out of the celebrating, so we don’t offend anyone. TV and news paper adds bombard you with messages stating that if you don’t by XYZ product your kids will be depressed or your spouse won’t think you love them enough to get ABC And news reports seem to focus on financial numbers – how spending trends compare with years past. It’s probably been this way my entire life, but for some reason it got to me this year. I was feeling pretty ‘Scroogeish” until the Cub Scouts did a service project for the Denver 1st ward.

Denver 1st is a Latino ward with ties to a few members in our ward. The ward is located near downtown and contains many needy families. Our six Cub Scouts were asked to help collect clothing and toys for this ward. We assigned each boy different members of the ward to collect from. They were also encouraged to go door to door in their neighborhood. The response was fantastic. We filled up my car, and the bed of a full size truck (it was over flowing). When we arrived at the church they unloaded and organized everything. They had to be reminded to stay on task a few times, but all in all they did a great job. I was extremely proud of them. Afterwards the Bishop spoke to the boys about the benefits of service. He said that for most of the families in that ward, those donated items would be the only Christmas presents they could give their children. It was a wonderful experience.

The service project was Tuesday. Wednesday night our ward activity director called and asked if I would be Santa for the ward Christmas breakfast. I said yes, but wasn’t looking forward to it. I told Hannah, and the first thing she said was, “Santa??? You don’t have the eye brows to play Santa….I’m going have to glue on cotton balls.” Luckily she never followed up on that, but I will say after viewing the pictures. I don’t have the eyebrows to be Santa.

The activity was really fun. When the kids would sit on my lap, I would ask them if they had been good that year. They all said that they had been good so I asked them to tell me one good thing that they had done. The responses were priceless. Towards the end of the event I let some of the bigger children sit on my lap. You may recognize the two in the photos. I am happy to report that they were both very good.

Both experiences brought me out of my funk and I’m again happy for the season.

(Hannah) Well, I think Eric has summed up our week. He did forget to mention a few important details so here they are: It has been so cold here that we have had numerous days below 0. (I have forgotten how it feels to walk around in -18 degree weather); Yesterday we made plates of cookies and vats of fudge and managed to eat a huge tub of cookie dough in a week; My new ipod was stolen at the gym and I have been moping around ever since. (It contained my secret stash of Destiny’s Child); Eric’s back is feeling better after a little fender bender; We had dinner with Joe and Wendy Harrison and got them hooked on LOST, our favorite TV show; And Reggie, my beloved cat, is too fat to jump up on the counter (which he shouldn’t be on anyway). He thinks he is still skinny and therefore puts forth the same amount of jumping velocity and falls short every time. I don’t know how many times I have seen him smack into the counter and fall back on his back and run away scared, like someone did something mean to him. (Eric) He really is getting fat. The other day he was standing on my desk with his front legs about an inch apart and I noticed that he had cleavage. I’ve tried to put less food in his bowl, but he just mows and mows. I finally give in and give him more.

(Hannah) Eric was a great Santa by the way. People only knew it was him because I was taking so many pictures of him.

And now your moment of ZEN......

We Love you all,

Hannah and Eric

Monday, November 28, 2005

November 28, 2005

Where to begin? I’ve procrastinated this entry, and a lot has happened, so I have to “work” on thanksgiving.

About two years ago, I went through a small pre-mid-life crisis. I felt like I had lost some of those things that defined me as a person. I was working at Novell, buying my cloths at the Gap, and hadn’t been doing hobbies that I loved doing - ie snowboarding, skating, rock climbing, ect. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I felt I was loosing part of the person I had once been, and becoming someone that I didn’t wanted to be. I felt that I looked, talked, and acted like everyone else I came in contact with. Whether it was true or not it was difficult for me. So, what was my solution? I bought a skateboard. After my purchase, I found an empty parking lot and started to relive days long past. About fifteen minutes into it, I attempted to perform an “ollie to curb grind” (popping the board in the air landing on a parking curb, and sliding the trucks / axles of the skateboard on the concrete surface). Well I didn’t have enough speed to slide, and my trucks planted firmly on the curb, while the momentum propelled my overweight body forward. I planted my forward foot, twisted my knee, hit the ground, and rolled twice. Bruised, battered, and humiliated I got back in the car and went home. When I told Hannah about the experience, she said “well at leased that’s out of your system.” We both laughed and thought it was pretty funny.

Shortly after moving to Colorado, I was placed in the Cub Scout program. One of the other leaders, Travis, is my age, and still skates. He’s a surfer from San Diego, and still try’s to keep up with all the board sports (skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding). Anyway, he told me that we should go to a skate park that’s close by. Wanting to go, but feeling a little apprehensive, I agreed on the condition that we go early in the morning on a school day so no one would see the 32 year old bald guy flailing around. On the selected date, Travis who is in real estate, had to cancel because of an appointment, so my friend Tim and I went alone. When we arrived there was only one other kid there. He was about sixteen (skipping school) and quite good. I swallowed my ego, and attempted the terrain. It was slow going, but I finally started to get my balance back, and ended up having a great time. The pictures aren’t’ very good, because the timing is off, but at lease you can see what the park looks like. I’ve been back once since then, and look forward to many more trips.

Last week I took my first work trip to Nebraska. I set up three appointments with smaller hospitals, and ended up visiting three more. The visits were really fun. I even enjoyed the driving. I did about six hundred miles in two days. As I write it down it doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider that I was doing visits through out the whole thing it made for long days. When I arrived in North Platte I had about 45 minutes before my next appointment, so I drove to nearest “hill” and snapped a few shots. It was neat to see the plains, but I’m glad I don’t live there.

The best part of the driving was that I was able to listen to CD’s that I haven’t listened to in a long time. On the way out I had a Jazz-a-thon. I started out with Hank Crawford’s “Wilde Flower” album and ended with John Coltrane’s “The Gentle Side of Coltrane.”

On the way back I rediscovered an old favorite – Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder. Years ago when I worked at the record store, I went through a Ry Cooder faze. He’s a blues guitarist, and I started collecting everything that he’d put out. When I came across this collaboration album that he did with Ali Farka Toure I was blown away. Ali is an African musician, and has several albums out, but most of them aren’t really my thing. This one however is great. No one interment stands out front and center. It all mixes together, and while it seems simple and at times a bit repetitive, if you really stop to listen they are doing some wonderfully creative things. It’s perfect to listen to when you’re driving or working at the computer…….enough with the endorsements. I’m just trying to spice up the Blog a bit, and tell you a little more then what we do from day to day : )

During my second to last Hospital visit, I had an interesting experience. I was meeting with the head of the Bio Medical department. For those of you that don’t know the Bio Med department fixes the medical equipment, and what they can’t fix the send out to be repaired which is were I come in. The guy was a bit crusty at first saying things like “I can do that for $20 and you’re going to charge me $180,” and “I don’t like sending my flex scopes to 3rd parties because the quality stinks.” He wasn’t being mean, he was expressing his concerns, and had a coarse way of doing it.

A few weeks before my trip, I had read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I had heard about the book many times before but always stayed away because is sounded like a book that focused on manipulation – which I didn’t want anything to do with. As it turns out the book is about human behavior, and how to understand that behavior to build relationships. It’s a great book and has applications in a business and personal settings, probably more personal than business.

One of the things that book talks about is becoming genuinely interested in other people. You’ll develop a stronger relationship with a person by getting them to talk about them selves rather then telling them about you, or in my case the service I can provide.

Feeling that the meeting needed a bit of help I looked around the room and saw that he had several model air plains hanging from the ceiling. I asked him about them, and he started telling me all about the models, his time in the Air Force, and doing intelligence work during the Gulf War. It was all very interesting, and the feeling in the meeting changed from confrontational to one of mutual respect. He even gave me two repairs and promised more if everything works out. The whole experience was kind of neat.

Today Hannah and I went to my cousins Joe and Wendy’s for Thanksgiving. My aunt and uncle, Katherine and Parley, were also there as well as a sister from their mission and her family. We had a great time. There was ton’s of food. We played games, watched football, ate pie, and relaxed. Joe spent 10 bucks on special holiday batch of “Jones Soda.” The festive flavors included such things as turkey with gravy, herb mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts with butter. Joe wanted to share, but Parley told him that because he had spent so much money, he should save it for him self.

The hardest part of growing up in Alaska was that it was hard to visit family. I’m really glad that we have the opportunity to do so know. Even though we haven’t spent that much time together, there is a bond. I found a whole group of people that have my Mom’s sense of humor. We’re defiantly family and it’s great.

The older I get, the more I appreciate Thanksgiving. It’s everything that a holiday should be. There’s ton’s of food, you get some time off work, hang out with friends and family, and spend the day being grateful. The other night I was listening to a talk radio program, and the host was asking people to call in and tell him about what they were grateful for. I thought it was a good question, so I asked it of my self and came up with several answers: my bike, our jobs, mountains, ect. But two things stuck out: My parents and Hannah. I have thought about this many times. I’m not sure exactly what my parents did, but I was raised understanding what and who to respect and why, the difference between right and wrong, how to judge between right and wrong, how to work hard, and a sense of what is important in life. Every good thing that has come into my life has come because of correct choices I’ve made with the knowledge my parents instilled in me. They’re wonderful, and I love them deeply. And then there’s Hannah. She is the crescendo of all the good choices I’ve ever made, both conscious and unconscious. She motivates me to be a better person, so that I can be with her. She’s beautiful, funny, and deeply thoughtful and spiritual. I love her with all of my heart, and would be so lonely with out her.

I hope you’re all doing well. Be grateful!

Love Eric and Hannah

And now your moment(s) of ZEN……

Sunday, November 06, 2005

November 6, 2005

(Hannah) Well, I turned 29 and I am a little sad about it. Eric said that he didn’t have any sympathy for me because I was still in my twenties. Eric made me dinner for my birthday. He also bought me the book “Puss in Boots” and read it to me that night. I caught a cold for my birthday so Eric reading me cat stories in bed is just what I wanted. (Eric) Hannah wanted me to let you know that the reason she looks so puffy in this photo is because she's waring 7 layers of clothing.

Primary is going well. I love interacting with the kids and teaching in sharing time. I enjoy working with the senior primary the most. They are older and I relate with them better. The junior primary still confuses me sometimes. When the sunbeams flop around on the floor or cry it is difficult for me to reason with them. The primary program is next week and I have volunteered to help lead the music. I have a hard time keeping a straight face when I lead the primary songs. The kids look at me so earnestly. I know they are trying to read my lips so they can sing the right words. I exaggerate my mouth movements which cause me to laugh and then I make the kids laugh and it’s hard for me to get back on track. The children are so wonderful. I have never like kids so much in my life as I do now. I also love working with the other women in the Primary Presidency. Lori Lambert, our president is wonderful, patient and inspired. She is my hero.

Eric and I have been called to sing in the ward choir. I am very excited about the invitation because I miss singing in an organized group. Eric is a little hesitant; he has never sung in a choir before and in the past has always refused to go with me. I admire him. He was called by the choir director to come and because he believes in accepting all callings he is coming. I think that he will learn to love it and that this could be a blessing for him. He has a beautiful voice and never sings off key. He just needs to be taught how to read music and pick out the tenor part.

Eric and I sold our new Xterra and our Toyota Avalon in an attempt to save money. Eric was sad to sell his “dream truck” which we owned outright. It was hard to see it go, but we bought two other great cars, lowered our car payment and put some money in the bank. I bought a silver Passat which is a great car and provides me with heated seats and Eric got a Subaru Outback which he loves.

Yesterday Eric and I took a day trip to Boulder and Eldorado Canyon to check out the rock climbing. We were stuck in traffic for most of the time which allowed for great conversation. We were also birthday shopping for Jenny. I saw a maternity store and went to check it out but was scared off by the window display. Look close and you'll see why. Each one of what ever they are has something printed on them.

Thank you everybody for remembering my Birthday. Phyllis, you letter was wonderful.

Eric bore his testimony today in fast and testimony meeting. He said that he was grateful for our trials that we have had since we have moved to Colorado because it has brought us closer together as a couple and closer to our Heavenly Father. He was right. Life is good and hard sometimes but we are happy.

(Eric) Yesterday morning I woke up early and went for a walk up the Dutch Fred trail in the Pike national forest. It had snowed the night before and was absolutely beautiful. I hiked for about an hour and then spent another hour bouldering. I snapped this photo for Stoney’s photo contest. For those of you who don't know, Stony suggested a photo contest. It's not really a contest, but that's what I'm calling it. He picks a color and a theme and we all take pictures around the criteria. This month he picked brown, and something we're thankful for. My picture is of brown granite rocks. I thought it looked pretty, and you all know how much I love big rocks.

And now your moment of ZEN.....

We miss you all very, very, much and hope to see you all soon.


Eric and Hannah

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Oct 9-16

(Eric) I had an interesting thought this past week. As Hannah and I were singing the sacrament hymn him in church, a mother and her daughter sat in the bench in front of us. The girl is probably about four years old, and was dressed in a black shawl and was caring a purse. She was dressed just like her mother and was obviously feeling very grown up. She looked like she was having fun and was very cute.

This poor girl has some health problems that require her to take medication that causes her face and arms to swell up. I had seen her at different church functions and at a birthday party we attended a few weeks ago. I was impressed with how intelligent, thoughtful and kind she was as she interacted with the other children of the ward.

As I watched her take the sacrament, my hart ached with the thought of a life of hardship from illness. I was further saddened as I remembered that children can say and do cruel things with out the full understanding impact that it has. No sooner had I thought these thoughts that I remembered something that Elder Batemen said in conference (I’m going to paraphrase. For the full talk click on this link.) He basically said that at one time he thought of Christ’s experience in the garden as one where a “large mass of sin was heaped upon him,” but he now believes that it was a much more personal experience. In other words he felt every sin (infirmities) from every person. He also quotes Alma 7:12 which states: “He will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”

I had read that passage in Alma a few days before I had listened to the talk, and it stuck with me. Then I heard Elder Batemen speak. When I saw the young girl it all came together – what it really meant. I had such a feeling of peace and gratitude. That Christ not only paid the price for us, but he has an intament and personal understanding of how we feel not only when we sin, but our sicknesses, our losses, our worries, our pains, and everything else that we feel. I’d heard it before, I’d even bore testimony of it on my mission, but this time I felt it stronger then ever before. What a wonderful blessing the gospel is.

I didn't want to give you a sermon. I just felt like sharing : )

Last week was pretty good for Hannah and I. Both of us finally made some sales, and things are starting to pick up. Hannah landed a large account and I received two good repairs, and sent out quotes for several refurbished scopes. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we feel better about our situation.

Yesterday we went for a bike ride up Indian creek. When we got there we were surprised to find about four inches of snow on the trail. There were patches of dirt, and we thought we still might be able to ride, so we rode for about 5 minutes, but as you can see from the picture the not only was there snow, but the early storm had done a lot of damage and there was broken limbs and debris all over the trail. (Dad, I told Eric to take this picture of me because you love me and moss!!)

Since it was a beautiful day, and the main road was clear, we decided to ride on the pavement. It was wonderful. One of my favorite things about Colorado are the brown granite boulders with pine trees growing around them. As we road, we passed several cabins. It was kind of cold, so the cabins were burning their stoves, and the whole area smelled like fall, and wood smoke…..wonderful.

After the ride Hannah and I went over to our friends house, Aaron and Kristen Hassle, and had dutch oven desert, and played Lord of the Rings risk. I love strategy games, but have a hard time finding people to play with me because they take so long. This time was no exception…we left their house at 2:30am. I had a great time, and couldn’t go to sleep because I was playing everything out in my mind. We had a really good time.

And now your moment of ZEN.....Sleepy Reg in a basket on top of our kitchen cabinets.

We love everyone and hope your doing well.


Eric and Hannah

Sunday, October 09, 2005

October 3 -9

Greetings from rainy Colorado. How is everyone?

(Hannah) It has been raining all day. Eric is wearing 2 jackets and his robe. We are expecting snow tomorrow. Reggie is sad to be inside so we let him out and he came back with sever mud paw.

Eric and I have been working hard and took a trip an hour south to Colorado Springs to look at some cars. We are selling our Xterra and trading in our new Toyota Avalon, all in attempt to save a little money.

Inside the city limits of Colorado Springs, (which is the Provo of Colorado) is the Garden of the Gods. The garden is a piece of land donated to the public years ago by a local family. And is now maintained by the city and open to the public. It consists of some strange red rock formations right in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The hikes are more like strolls and camping or picnics are not allowed, but it makes for a great Saturday day trip. It’s a mini Zion’s. I am defiantly not a photographer like Dad, but I did get a cool picture of Eric’s shadow scrambling up a ridge.

And now your moment of ZEN....... This picture was taken right after we got up. the bed was still warm, and the cats jumped on it right away.

We love you all and miss you. Thank you for your prayers and concerns. Hope to talk with you all soon.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

September 18 - October 2

(Eric) Well it’s been awhile since we’ve posted. No excuses really except that not much has been happening, so we didn’t have much to put up.

As you all know conference was yesterday and today. It’s not broadcast on TV here unless you have satellite, which we don’t, so we had to listen to it on the internet. At first it seem kind of inconvenient only being able to hear the audio, and not see the video, but then I remembered being a kid and having to see conference at the chapel, and realized that we have it pretty good. As always the talks were great, and they seemed to be just what I needed. I love the gospel, and I’m grateful to have a testimony. I would be unhappy with out it.

(Hannah) Maya Gibson had her 3rd Birthday yesterday, I was asked to make yet another special Hannah Piñata. This one was supposed to be a lady bug. When I took a look at the final product I had to quote Eric by exclaiming “scare ball”. I have never known what he means by that but it fit the occasion. Actually the piñata turned out better than I thought it would. Eric helped me make it the night before and then we left the wet piñata in the office with the window open. Well it was cold that night and the balloon shrunk and the piñata caved in on its self and was still mushy. Eric wanted to put it in the oven and I consented because I was busy getting ready for work. Well ten minutes later I hear Eric yelling and a few minutes after that he presented me in the bathroom with a steaming mass of newspaper. The balloon had swollen due to the sudden heat and then exploded leaving a huge cravas (sp?) with steam poring out of it

(Eric) When we moved to Colorado we were told that the area we live in is not suited for cats. There are too many foxes, coyotes, and turkey vultures. We heard horror stories about people’s cats disappearing, so we decided that our cats could only be out during the day time. This works out fine for Reggie. He is very sociable, and loves to be out side. We have to trick him to come in at night, but for the most part it’s not a problem. Sally on the other hand is scared of everything, so she hates to go outside during the day. Because she can’t go out night, she’s inside 24/7. It wasn’t a problem until recently when we noticed that she had started to scratch on the stairs. She is bored, so she scratches. We have a post for her, but it just wasn’t enough. Reggie, who is really just a follower, figured that if Sally could do it so could he.

We tried everything we could think of, and still they scratched. Finely I read an article on line about scratching. It said that one of the reasons cats scratch is to mark territory. If you spray some kind of citrus spray (which they hate) on the area they won’t be as likely to scratch there…if they have an alternative. Since we’re poor, I didn’t want to buy another scratching post, so I made one. Only cost me six bucks. I didn’t want to pay anything for it, but I couldn’t find any scraps.

After it was built, we started playing with Reggie around the post. As soon as he realized that he could scratch it, he started going crazy. He was clawing at it with all four paws, ripping into one room and then running full blast back to the post and jumping at it with all fours again. He was playing so hard that he started panting. We had to quit playing with him because our bellies hurt from laughing.

(Hannah) Well, you can tell that we have been busy working if the highlight of our week is the new scratching post.

Last Saturday Tsaile Gibson was baptized (she is the daughter of our friends Tim and Holly from Alaska who live by us now). She asked me to give a talk on baptism. There were two other girls their getting baptized, one was Sierra Wolfe. Eric is her home teacher so she asked him the give the talk on the Holy Ghost. So Eric and I were the two speakers for the baptism. It was wonderful to remember the day that I was baptized. Eric gave a great talk and used a rock spray painted gold as the Liahona.

Varenka Beesley Harman, her little boy Cedros and her parents, Colleen and Wayne Beesley came to visit us. It was so nice to see them. Varenka has always been a genuine friend. We went to the Molly Brown house, which is the preserved house of Margaret Brown. If you have seen The Unsinkable Molly Brown you know who I am talking about. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. Those Beesleys know how to pick the winners. The home was amazing. What was more amazing is that Cedros (2) sat in his stroller through the entire tour. The tour guide even found Varenka afterwards to tell her what a good mom she is.

Varenka and Colleen drove out here but Wayne took the train from Salt Lake after flying in from Mexico. He had just finished a Book of Mormon tour in Mexico and Guatemala. Wayne rocks!! He was so excited about the Book of Mormon tour that he yelled out in the middle of Union Station “It was like freakin’ Sunday school the whole time”!!!! Eric was highly entertained by his enthusiasm. Later he showed us videos of the ruins which convinced Eric and me to work harder so we can afford to go too.

Colleen, Varenka and I also went to a thrift store that they knew about. It was defiantly not a Utah DI. Everything was new or in good shape and not picked through. Colleen stocked up on dress up accessories for her grandkids. She is a wonderful, patient grandmother. The Beesleys are wonderful people who were extremely welcoming when we were teenagers and still are.

Eric has lost 20 lbs and looks great. We just baked banana bread together and are going to take some to the Bishop. Eric promised him some bread for his help with a job referral. We have attempted to make him bread twice before but one batch was nasty and the other batch Eric ate.

And now your moment of ZEN....

We love you,

Eric and Hannah

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sept 5th - 10th

So that everyone can tell who is speaking we will state our names before our paragraphs.

ERIC - I hope everyone is doing well. Saturday morning Hannah had to attend the leadership conference, so I decide to go on a ride by my self. I choose my nemesis – Deer Creek Canyon. I rode it before, but never made it to the top. As you can see from the pictures the beginning is rather technical, and the whole trail is steep. The pictures don’t do the steepness justices. Anyway, I made it to the top and was rewarded with spectacular views of the hog back that separates Denver from the foot hills.

HANNAH: Well, I am working hard and unfortunately getting more and more busy. I took Eric on a date last night to the dollar movies. I made him watch ‘Sky High’. It is a pre-teen movie about teenage super heroes. Eric was hesitant because of the PG rating, but I reminded him that ‘The Parent Trap’ is rated PG and it is one of his favorite movies. He can watch those troublesome twins for hours.

Reggie and Sally are bad kitties. Sally has started scratching the carpet on the stairs and Eric told me today that he liked the carpet more than the cat, so she would have to go if it continued. I think we will just clip her nails tonight. Reggie and I bond every morning and night when I am getting ready for bed. I let him lay in my bathroom sink and then I turn the water on. He doesn’t mind the water at all. His fat little belly even clogs up the drain and he creates a little bath for himself. This is fun for both of us, but it does leave a lot of hair in and around the sink. Eric has moved all of his stuff into the guest bathroom because apparently Reggie and I are “filthy animals”. ERIC – I never called anyone a “filthy animal.” However I did move bath rooms because I was tired of cleaning hair out of my sink.

Eric and I are still working hard. We are both in sales and starting new positions and consequently have still not made any money. Colorado is an expensive place to live and the lack in incoming money is a little stressful. We are paying our tithing and working hard and hope for the best. We both agree that this is probably a good experience for us. Living in Utah was easy for us. Colorado has made us stretch and grow and realize how much more we need to rely on our Heavenly Father and listen to the Still Small Voice. I have already felt the blessing of the Holy Ghost in my job and calling.

And now your moment of ZEN.....

We love you all,

Eric and Hannah

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Aug 29 - Sept 3

Hey everyone!! I hope you’re all doing well. Hannah and I don’t watch much TV, so we didn’t know Hurricane Katrina was as bad as it was until we watched the news on Thursday. The interesting thing is Hannah watched a documentary six months ago about what would happen to New Orleans if it was ever hit by a bad hurricane. Unfortunately every thing predicted happened. If anyone is interested in more pictures, click the link: Hurricane Katrina. After we found out how bad it was, we called David and Wren. David said that they were ok, and that the hurricane actually brought better than normal weather to Tampa….crazy how things work out.

Hannah likes her job a little bit better. She’s starting to make some sales, and thinks there might be some potential if she can hold out. Last Friday she went to a bid for the Denver Airport. At the bid she met the sales manager of a competing company, Initial Tropical Plants. She had interviewed with them before she accepted the job with Bristol. The lady recognized her, and wants to talk to her about working for them. The position would be in the future….2112 to be exact….sorry I’m a dork. What I meant was that they don’t have any current openings, but they want her to consider them in the future. I should have deleted the previous statement, but I thought it sounded kind of funny so I added the 2112 part…I digress. The bottom line is that Hannah has other options. The only problem is that Bristol wants her to sign a “non-compete” and it’s pretty broad. She read it to me and the way I understand it is that she wouldn’t be able to work in the tropical plant industry for two years after she left Bristol. She’s thinking about having one of our friends, who is a lawyer, read it and see exactly what she will and won’t be able to do if she signs.

Thursday we went back to Indian Creek. So far it’s my favorite bike ride. There’s never anyone there, and the trail is loads of fun. I had Hannah take a picture of me coming down a steep drop, but there wasn’t enough light and it didn’t turn out very well. Let just imagine that I looked spectacular : ) Next time Stoney comes, we’re definitely taking him on this one. He will think it’s a “sucker pit” because you ride downhill first and then have to ride uphill to get back to the car. Stoney calls these downhill-first rides “sucker pits” because you get tricked into going further than you planed.

Friday we went on a hike with our friends Aaron and Kirsten. The destination was to Devils Head Fire Look Out, one of the last manned forest fire look outs in the country. The hike was easy except for the 148 steep steps to get to the top. It didn’t look bad, but at 140 my legs were burning. Once on top the views were wonderful. As you would expect, we had 360 degree view of pine trees and granite out cropings….my favorite combination. We watched the sun set, and on the way back down it was dark. We passed the time talking about bear and cougar attacks which is a very bad topic of conversation while walking through the dark woods of Colorado. Personally I’m much more afraid of the cougars. They don’t give you much of a chance, and there aren’t a lot of survivors….at least that I’ve heard about.

Reggie is fat and faithful. Sally has bad breath and is still silky. Eric is still losing weight and I have gained back 1 pound. We miss everyone terribly but we are learning tough lessons, reading the Book of Mormon and loving our lives.

And now your moment of ZEN..........

Well that’s all from us. We love you all.


Eric and Hannah

P.S. Hannah and I both wrote this, so the voice may seem a little strange.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Augest 14-27 2005

Two Saturday’s ago Hannah and our friend Tim went on a bike ride at Buffalo Creek. I had wanted to explore the area south of us, so I choose a ride just off CO 85. It wasn’t until we were loaded up and on the road that Hannah realized that the road we needed to take was in fact CO 285……big difference. It’s not South it’s west, and a ways off. After informing me that I’m always missing little details like that, we drove to CO 285 and began the hour and a half drive to the trail head. The beginning of the tail was flat and extremely muddy. As we started to climb it dried out and was quite fun. On one section of the climb there is a dead fall tree that has fallen over the trail, and you have to duck to get under it…..Hannah didn’t duck enough and bonked her head. It was yet another experience confirming that helmets are a good thing.

We went on two other rides last week, but didn’t take many pictures. The one we went on last Thursday, Indian Creek, had the best down hill that I’ve found since I’ve been here. It’s single track, with steep hills and tight turns. The only problem is that you start out and the top. I always like to get the reward after the work out. The good time is diminished a little knowing that you still have to come back up.

Yesterday I went to a Bio Med conference at Pine Hills golf course. There was a best ball tournament in the morning followed by a trade show. This was the first event like this that we had done, and it turned out quite well. We met lots of people, and we were the only ones that repair the kinds of instruments that we repair. No competition is always good in those kinds of situations.

I’ve been golfing for about three years, and not very good. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but as it turned out, I carried the team…that’s not good. I’m not sure were we placed, but I didn’t talk to anyone that had a higher score than us. My boss’ team on the other hand had the best score, and I didn’t hear the end of it. I think that experience with give him enough ammunition to fire at me for quite some time.

I got to the course before my boss, so I walked around the grounds for a while. I noticed a squirrel playing around some trees, so I stopped and watched him for a while. All of a sudden he made a mad dash for something on the ground. He was moving so fast that when he got to the object he had to skid to a stop. He picked up what looked like a stick and started going crazy. I looked closer and noticed that it was a rib bone with a little bit of meat still on it…I had discovered a vicious meat eating squirrel….crazy. He was really going down on that thing.
Unfortunately you can't see the squirrel very well in the picture...but I swear he was gnawing on a bone with meat on it.

Today I was asked to sub for the seven year olds in primary. I don’t think that the lesson went well, but they seemed to have a good time. The best part of the hour was the activity, which was a puzzle that said “love one another.” When they were done they were extremely proud, as you can see from the picture.

(Hannah now…) I started my new job as the Sales Manager for Bristol Botanics. They are the second largest interior plant company in the Denver area. I am getting to know the other employees and will present my first presentation tomorrow. But to be honest with everyone, I really do not like the job. I have never quit a job because I was unhappy, so this may be a first. It has been a long hard two weeks. I realize how blessed I have been in the past, and hopefully will have more gratitude in the future. Other than that life is good.

Primary is going well and I will be singing in a special music program in Relief Society in a week or so. I have stopped eating candy and have lost 2 pounds. This may not sound like much, but it is a miracle that I have abstained from sugar this long. They even have a big basket of candy bars in our office that tempt me every time I walk by. The candy cut off almost killed me the first week, but I am feeling better than ever. I still let myself have a big dessert on Sunday’s. Eric is cutting out sugar as well and is eating better. He has lost about 10 lbs. I am very proud of him. He looks better and can ride his bike faster. He still can’t keep up with me on the uphill but beats me every time on the down hill.

And now your moment of ZEN....

We love and miss you all.


Eric and Hannah

Sunday, August 14, 2005

August 7 – 13

It’s Sunday evening and Hannah is at the “It’s great to be eight” fireside. She is giving a talk that she titled “The age of account ability.” She didn’t tell me all that was going to be in it, but she did mention that she planed to tell them about her baptism. I know that she will do great. Some of her best testimonies have been about her baptism. I find this interesting that it is still so strong a memory for her. I believe that she was truly converted by that time if not before – which is wonderful.

This past week was the last week that we will be having cub scouts at our house…..hallelujah! They’re great kids, but tend to be a little rowdy. Not too surprising, but we will be glad to meet at the elementary school from now on. For those of you that don’t know, I’m over the bear cubs. I’ve never been a Den leader before, and I’m really enjoying it. Our activity was “Sports, Sports, Sports.” We started off by talking about the benefits to physical fitness, and then did sever activities: push-ups, sit-ups, standing long jump and a 30 yard sprint. It was fun to see the act tough and show off to each other. One boy was particularly proud that he could do one handed push-ups and wanted to show me. He assumed the position, and proceeded to move his body up and down, but his arm never bent. When he got up his face was beat red. I held my tongue and told him that he did a great job : )

Saturday morning Hannah and I took our friend Tim on a bike ride up Waterton canyon. I got up at 6 am, looked out side, and was disappointed to see it raining. Luckily the rain stopped and we were able to go. The cool overcast weather made for a great ride. Unfortunately the battery on my camera died, so I only got the one picture. The trail goes up through the trees along a series of switch backs. On the way down, I got a little excited and didn’t make one of the switch back, and took a header off the trail into the brush. I’m not sure exactly what happened but I banged up my shoulder, and hit my head. It was good that I was wearing my helmet. I have to admit that I haven’t’ always wore a helmet. I don’t like them, but I can assure that from now on I will always have one on. Stoney if your reading this…….

After our bike ride we went over to Tim and Holly’s house for their son Farris’ 5th birthday party. Hannah made his piñata, which as you can see is a fish (Farris’ nick name) and she was quite proud of her self. One of the activities at the birthday party was all the kids got to through whip cream at Tim. Because I found this highly amusing they gave me a shot.

For a present Hannah and I got Farris his first skate board. When he opened it up, all the other kids said that their parents wouldn’t let them have one. At first we felt bad, but then we justified our actions by telling our selves that it’s good for kids to have scraped knees and elbows….just make sure he wares a helmet, and don’t call me if he has to go to the emergency room. We told Tim and Holly we were sorry if they didn’t want him to have one yet, but Holly said that Tim had been trying to get him one for a long time…..whew!...we didn’t want to be the only bad influences in Farris’ life.

In closing......your moment of zen (It's a daily show thing)

That’s all for now. We hope your all well.


Eric and Hannah