Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Final Bit on Brendon, Jacob and the Grizzlies.

Not long after that last post, my family and I were sitting in a Chinese restaurant having dinner. As we were winding down, an elderly couple that had been sitting near us came over to our table and asked my sons, ?Are you the boys that were on the news the other night??

It was fun to watch my boys light up with excitement and bask in their moment of fame. The couple talked about how the clip had touched them and how nice it was to see them be so close. Of course, the clip never showed them fighting or arguing (which they do, but not really all that much).

Then at church on Sunday, people kept coming up to us and sharing how much they enjoyed that show. My boss texted me when he saw it.

I've gotten a lot of other responses through the emails as well. Here are some cool excerpts:

"Mark the video on your boys was wonderful. It brought me to tears. Your sons are so awesome and I feel blessed to have met them a few times." That was from a musical friend who?s helped us with our annual LDS music fest. My wife always brings the boys out for the evening show each year.

A really great lady, who owns Modest By Design, said, "Mark, I am sitting in my office bawling my eyes out. That was amazing! You can tell that you and Jodi have done an amazing job raising two wonderful kids, and that they are just huge spirits. What a cool thing for them to get to experience! Thank you for sharing that, I really needed it this morning."

Kathy Aiken, who produced and narrated the spot, has been corresponding with Jodi. She told us that she was touched by them as brothers and so decided to focus the story on that aspect of their lives. "so good to hear from you...and I'm sorry to hear about Brendon. I think it's hard to make all of them feel special but we can only do the best we can! Obviously you have a unique situation, but Jacob adores Brendon and I hope tonight's story will make him feel special. I'll be sure to wish him Happy Birthday and I can't wait to share it with the audience! And as far as being in tune, there are some stories I do that when it's all done I know they weren't my words. I've had several of those experiences where I've been prompted to write things that aren't in my usual vocabulary and I'm so grateful to have those times. I only hope that these 4 stories will bring some type of happiness to the children because they have so much difficulty in life. I hope to hear your reaction and give the boys a hug for me!"

And this from Adrian Denny, one of the Grizzlies players: "Hi Jodi, just wanted to say hello and hope that all is well. I really enjoyed the story last night and wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to meet you and your great boys! Please stay in touch and let me know anytime you guys would like to come to a game or just stop by the rink! The two Scott's and Travis are still talking about how much fun they had that day!"

So, it's been very exciting to hear back from so many people and see that Brendon and Jacob made so many people smile for a minute or two. Thanks to all that responded!

Mark Hansen

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jacob and Brendon Are Stars (Thanks to the Utah Grizzlies and KSL)

A lot of our friends already know that Brendon and Jacob had been meeting with Kathy Aiken of KSL, interviewing and shooting a piece with the Utah Grizzlies. The boys got to go meet the team, go into the locker room, and even out on the ice. Then a few of the team took Jodi and the boys to lunch. They really went out of their way to make Jacob and Brendon feel special. They came home with new friends and lots of swag (most of it autographed).

Here's the clip that aired last Sunday (Brendon's Birthday). It really captures how close these two boys are. A note: After the piece on the boys, there's some remaining parts of the SportsBeat Sunday newscast.

I'm a very lucky dad.

Mark Hansen

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jacob, Brendon, and the Grizzlies on KSL

There might be some of you arriving here after searching for info on Jacob and Brendon after seeing the report on Sports Beat Sunday on Utah's KSL-TV. Hopefully, they'll post the spot on their website, and when they do, I'll put the link here. It was a very touching piece, and Jodi and I want to thank the Grizzlies team for treating my kids like kings, and to Kathy Aiken and Make-a-Wish for setting it all up.

Mark Hansen

Is it a Sin to Enjoy Church?

OK, I know I'm going to rot for eternity in the fiery abyss. I know it. And what happened today was just proof.

See, today was the first day in a very long time that I actually enjoyed going to church. I even looked forward to it. I was excited about it.

Last week, My wife and I were released from primary.

That meant that today, for the first time in almost a year (Pretty much since we moved into this ward), I got to attend Priesthood meeting. I got to sit with adults! I got to speak of grown-up things.

Then, I actually made a new grown-up friend. After that, I met my wife and we sat down in the grown-up Sunday School class, where we discussed grown-up topics in a lesson I didn't have to prepare. with people who didn't need treats to behave.

Look, the kids in my class were cute. And frankly, they were mostly well-behaved. They were even fun most of the time.

But for once, it was nice to not be supervising someone. It felt great to just be a part of the discussion. It felt great to think about the things that were being taught.

I know that there is no greater call than to teach the children of Zion. I know they are our future. I know I should find joy in serving wherever the Lord calls me.

But at least for today, I'm thankful we were released.

So, for that, at least... I know I'm goin' ta hell...

Mark Hansen

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thank You, All!

OK, in the past, I’ve been pretty open about my opposition to the war in Iraq. Still, I've been very impressed by the committment and dedication shown by the soldiers I've known who have fought there.

A good friend of mine recently pointed me to a website that details the stories of the many soldiers (over 3,000 so far) who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. These are soldiers that really go over the top and serve their country above and beyond the call. The description of the award includes things like “total disregard for personal safety”, etc…

As I read the stories, I was inspired. These are truly courageous people. These are people who fully give of themselves for the safety and security of others. Because of the nature of the award, it is often given posthumously.

The website is at: I strongly recommend you click into the stories. That’s where the interesting reading really is.

As I read them, I was reminded of the verse, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 13

So, on this Veteran’s Day, I must give a special thanks to many people I know who have served in the military, serving their country. My father, his father. Both of my fathers-in-law. Vic, Matt, John, Justin, Barry... These are just a few. Thank you all.

Mark Hansen

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Elections, Part II

Well, I can’t start a story and then not finish it, now can I? The unofficial votes for Eagle Mountian are in.

The guy who admitted to Real Estate fraud lost by a big margin to the lady who’s supposedly “in bed with” the developers. We’ll see how she governs, but I’m actually pretty optimistic.

One thing that’s interesting about it all. There were no claims of “party affiliations” in this election. Nobody was Democrat or Republican. However, there were a band of three of these candidates, one for mayor and two for council that called themselves “Keepers of the Promise,” indicative of their fight against the evil developers. All of them ended up polling at the bottom of the lists. One, of course, was the mayoral candidate that admitted the fraud. Another was a lady (candidate for city council) who failed to report a “personal loan” given to her by one of the developers. I kinda felt bad for the third guy. I think he got dragged down by the other two. Still, when you hitch your wagon to a star that’s falling, that’s kind of a bad choice.

Another thing I found interesting is how low the numbers were. The winning mayoral candidate got 1500 votes or so. The loser, only 500. That means that only about 2000 people voted. Our city has a rather bizarre demographic. The total population is about 20k, and the average age is 13. There are a LOT of young families with little kids. Our primary has three classes for the 5 year-olds, and there aren’t enough 12-year-old boys to field a full team of deacons to pass the sacrament. I think this is the only ward I’ve been in where the youth program presidencies and advisors actually outnumber the youth. My point is that I’m not sure exactly how many of the population of our town were eligible to vote. Add to that the fact that many people are recent move-ins, and so they would have had to re-registered.

But still, only 2000 people voted? That’s sad.

Anyway. Like I said before, it’s all done now, and we get to see just how well anyone lives up to their rhetoric.

Mark Hansen

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


One thing you can always say about elections. You know that at some point, the turbulence, the debates, the commercials, and the mudslinging and arguing will be done. At some point, the votes will all be in, they will be counted (and yes, sometimes recounted), and then we will all move on.

So it will be in my small town of Eagle Mountain. I voted today. I think I voted pretty intelligently. I don’t mean to imply by that statement that my vote was the only intelligent choice. What I mean is that I did take some time to study the issues, the candidates, and then made a choice based on what I learned. Time will tell, really, how intelligent the choices really were.

I’m always a little bit smug and proud of myself when I vote. In some ways, I shouldn’t be, but in other ways, I like wearing the little “I Voted” sticker they gave me. I like being part of the process. And I liked being a part of the small-town process. Back when I lived in West Jordan, I almost never voted in civic elections. In fact, once, I decided I was going to, and then spent an hour or so searching for the polling place. I never found it.

I guess that now that I live in a new city, and I really feel like I can make a difference, I want to be involved. I want to be a part of it.

Mark Hansen

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ah, small-town politics…

As I mentioned a while back in my blog (sort of as it was happening), I moved out to Eagle Mountain almost exactly a year ago. By and large, I’ve loved it out here. Our new house is great, and getting better. I’ve found some good friends, and my boys have friends by the ton over at our house every day.

Tuesday is our election day. We’re voting for a new mayor and some city council members. And it’s been an interesting fall, too be sure.

Let me set this up for you: No mayor, in the ten-year history of this small developer’s town in the countryside of Utah, has ever served a full term. Not one.

The current sitting mayor was really an interim. He was appointed by the city council to take over after the former mayor faced charges of mishandling city funds. Our current mayor is actually a pretty nice guy. I wish he was running. But he took over with the understanding that he only wanted to be an interim mayor. He would do all he could, but he would not run for election. He made that very clear, primarily by not running.

So, now we have two choices. And one of them is following in a long-standing tradition of crookery. About two weeks ago, it was revealed that he was being investigated for real-estate fraud. Of course all along he was pointing the finger at his competition for being “in the pockets of the developers” and not keeping the interests of the city at heart.

About a week ago, he actually admitted to the charges, and was fined some $40,000 by some real estate board, and lost his real estate license. There was a news report interviewing some of those that were the victims of his fraud, now left with destroyed credit ratings and mortgages they can’t pay. One of them, surprisingly, was the family of his own daughter and son-in-law!

And yet, for some reason, he still seems to think he can continue to run for the seat! I have never seen a politician with chutzpah like this, I have to admit.

Meanwhile, there is still all kinds of mudslinging going on between him and his opponent. His response to the publicity has been that it has all been politically driven. I guess it was his opponent that made him cheat on the documents and artificially inflate the prices of the properties they forced his son-in-law to pretend to buy for him. But his opponent is supposedly owned by the developers that own Eagle Mountain, and if she's elected we can say goodbye to city parks and open spaces.

Then someone else (we're not sure who just yet, both sides blame each other) took out an ad in our town newspaper pointing out which candidates for mayor and council were happily married and which ones had been divorced. Because, that, of course, indicates how well they would run our city, right?

Don’t these people realize that this is a small town? After this is all done, we all still have to live together. We’re all still going to be neighbors, after all. Crazy…

Mark Hansen

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thanks, Alex…

I was listening to the “Cricket and Seagull Fireside Chat” for this week, hosted over at Meridian Magazine. The guest is Alex Boye.

This guy constantly amazes me. I love listening to him tell about growing up in England, joining the church, singing in the boy band, and then coming to America and singing solo here. Now, he’s a married man and singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And he just put out another CD. Pretty good stuff, from what I’ve heard of it.

One of the things he said in the podcast, though, struck me pretty hard. He talked about how he started to get famous in England in the boy band, and how that was getting more and more worldly, leading him away from God and the Church. And how he wasn’t sure what to do after he quit, but that he’d put it all in God’s hands. He said, when he’d tried to run his own life, he’d made a mess of it, and so he turned it over to God, and it became much easier.

So, I’m wondering how to do that?

I’d imagine that if I want to do what God wants me to do, I’d have to pray a lot. Otherwise I’d not have any idea what it is God wants me to do in the first place. I’d have to do the things I already know God wants me to do, like love my family and my neighbors, keep the commandments, and all that.

I keep wondering what would come next? Maybe if I do that stuff, the other things I worry about on a constant basis wouldn’t be quite so worrisome. Like whether or not I’ll have a job next week, or whether or not my current salary is gonna be enough. Or whether or not anyone’s downloading my songs, or when I’m actually gonna finish a new one.


Mark Hansen


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