Monday, April 30, 2007

We finally gave Eric his graduation gift after his graduation on Friday (a Nikon D80 camera and several accessories). That day just couldn't come soon enough for me. I was certain he suspected, so sure I couldn't possibly have kept this secret for almost three months without him getting any ideas.

Well, I did it! And those who contributed and knew about the secret -- we ALL did it! He truly had NO idea. And couple of days before graduation, I really could tell he had no clue. I hinted at that time that he was getting a BYU Ring, like we'd talked about months ago. He was awed that family would pitch in to buy that because of the cost and so excited! He had no clue just how much his loved ones would pitch in to buy him this gift of congratulations.

We (Mom & Dad Hanson & me) really wanted to give him one piece of the package at a time between his recital and graduation, but we knew that he'd be so frustrated -- it just wouldn't be fun! So we came up with another plan. We did a scavenger hunt for the gifts, ending with the camera itself. Mom Hanson and I made clues to guide him from one gift to the next.

First, we wrapped the memory card into a jewelry box (to keep up the RING idea) and then put that inside of a HUGE box. The jewelry box was the perfect touch to keep up our ruse to the last minute.

Here he is so excited but also in shock, and not quite sure if he should trust what he thinks this means -- a memory card in a huge box...

Here are the notes he had to riddle out, starting with the one found with the memory card:
#1: Your next surprise can be found inside a place that's used as a case...think suits.

#1 Answer -- SUITCASE, contents - a hard case/briefcase for his camera & equipment

#2: Surprise number two
is just for you
but you might have to crawl
and please don't bawl
(or whine...)

#2 Answer -- CRAWLSPACE, contents - a smaller and softer case to carry the camera

#3: Number three gives support.
Look for it with the same sort.

#3 Answer -- DANCE BELT (same thing as a jockstrap really), contents - Tabletop Tripod

#4: I'm bigger than the last
and you better find me fast
Cuz I'm hiding in a place
Where your littlest likes to pace.

#4 Answer -- EXERSAUCER, contents - Large Tripod

#5: Bathrooms aren't fun to clean
But with this, objects can be better seen.

#5 Answer -- BATHROOM CLEANING SUPPLIES BUCKET (sounds long and complicated, but he knew exactly what we were hinting at, especially since it's his job to clean the bathrooms)
Contents - Lens Cleaning Kit

#6: I've set up my hide-away
with things that help you play,
you need them for TV
but they're useless without me.
(this one is my favorite, I think it's pretty clever and more "riddle-like" than the rest)

Contents - Battery

#7: My capabilities are really neat
You'll find me in your favorite seat.

#7 Answer -- Plush Office Chair
Contents, Memory Card Reader

#8: Nothing is clear without these three
So we've put them with others that help you see.

#8 Answer -- CONTACT CASE
Not contents, but sitting next to the case were - three camera lenses

#9: Look at some art
To find this last part

We love to you boot!
Get ready, set, SHOOT
(pictures, that is...)

He's getting emotional now, but trying not to...

Contents, D80 Camera, of Course :)

Yesterday he created a photo-blog for anyone who wants to
keep up with the pictures he's taken and will continue to take.
We went for a walk on the BYU campus yesterday and
got some absolutely BEAUTIFUL pictures.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Eric graduated from BYU yesterday! August marks eleven years since he entered BYU as a freshman. Yesterday, many of the graduates were in fifth grade when Eric started school at BYU! But we know the Lord's hand has been guiding us and that we've been blessed in countless ways. Some of the blessings I can count:

  • a two-year church mission in Torreon, Mexico
  • getting married
  • Autumn was born in 2001
  • we were blessed to live with Mom & Dad Hanson in Germany for six months
  • Eric composed and conducted the music for an independent film, Handcart
  • Eric worked full-time as a debt counselor
  • We went back to school full-time after a two-year break
  • Heidi was born in 2003
  • Eric's major changed for a third and final time and he officially became a Music Performance student, accepted into the program with a half-tuition scholarship
  • Esther was born in 2006
  • Eric spent his last semester at BYU keeping up with classes while traveling to audition for SIX different graduate schools
During the convocation address yesterday, the Dean said that 14% of the graduates had one child. And although the Dean did not continue with two, and three children -- we know that of the students who graduated in Eric's School of Music yesterday, he is the ONLY one with THREE children! Thank you to EVERYONE who helped us get there! We couldn't have done it without you!

Monday, April 23, 2007

So here we go. We're now counting down for our move, or trying to! There are so many factors involved that even the dates are not set in stone yet! Growing up in an army family we always joked that their motto should be, "Hurry up and wait!" It didn't take long after leaving home to realize that this applies to MUCH more than the army. I am very actively in moving mode, making phone calls, gathering information, making lists (the lists never seem to end...), and beginning to pack (only 7 [or 8...] weeks until ABF will pick up our stuff to drive it to Tallahassee). But despite being in moving mode, there are still so many unknowns! That's where the "hurry up and wait" comes in I guess...

We are currently WAITING for our passports to come in before getting plane tickets to Japan, waiting for the AIMS/Graz Travel Agency to get their Lufthansa contract before we get plane tickets to Austria, and waiting & searching for a place to live in Tallahassee.

But despite all the unknowns and all the questions and to-do's that are floating around in my head 24/7, I'm really excited and am feeling like things are slowly coming together....slowly. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I sat upon the fallen log,
deep down in the muddy bog.
I was thinking about my true love,
who'd given me a cruddy glove.

It was my birthday,
Some time in May,
when this lovely incident occurred,
I love you; she had purred.

For you see we were merely kittens,
and that glove was sort-of a mitten,
inside that glove there had been three mice,
oh isn't that so purr-fectly nice.

I wanted to eat those three little mice,
but one had the most horrible lice,
so I went down to my love's house,
and asked what she had done to that mouse.

Why I dyed specks of the mouse's hair,
to see if you would dare,
eat some mice,
with fake lice.

Now that I know what you've done,
let's go have dinner, hon,
So we ate those three mice,
Now ain't that so nice?!


written at age 13

Monday, April 16, 2007

We're going to Tallahassee Florida to go to Florida State University!

AND, we're leaving soon -- moving thoughts are beginning to permeate every waking moment....

Eric is going to Graz, Austria for six weeks to study music and we will move before he goes. Actually, our stuff will move and wait for us in a storage unit.

AND, while Eric's in Austria, I'm going to fly with all three girls (yes, really) to Japan to spend some time with my mom and dad and sister and then when I return to the States I'll spend some time with Eric's mom & dad before meeting up with him to finally drive to Tallahassee to move into a new apartment or house.


It looks like he'll drive a moving truck with his dad June 23rd and then be in London June 28th for a few days before going to Graz from July 3rd to August 13th. The girls and I will spend 4-5 weeks in Japan and 2 weeks in Fredericksburg, Virginia. What a summer this is shaping up to be!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

We've had some beautiful weather recently. Autumn & Heidi are so happy to be able to play outside. Esther is just happy to be.