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