Monday, December 22, 2008

We Have Company!

Nicia, Joe, and Alyssa arrived Saturday morning around 2:15 a.m. We have beene enjoying every minute we can spend with them. Saturday afternoon I got to babysit Alyssa - we had a good time!

She let me rock her to sleep that day and tonight I was able to get her asleep again. (nice to know I haven't lost the touch)

Dave has been teaching her how to use electronic gadgets:

Look Alyssa, you can draw on my treo!
He thought it was fun till she ran off with his stylus and didn't want to give it back.
It's been such a joy to have all of them here. After Christmas they'll leave and go to Wyoming where they'll make their new home. We're so happy that they'll be quite a bit closer - only 7 hours away instead of 12!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


One of our long-standing Christmas traditions is making and decorating gingerbread houses. We have such a good time, and it's one tradition that even though most the children are grown, none of us are ready to give up. This year, Jordan was home and helped me cut out patterns, cut the dough and bake, and put the houses together. It was so much more fun to have someone helping me!

All the houses are gingerbread except for one, which Nicia made out of graham crackers when she got here. It's in the back center. Here are the houses, ready to be decorated:

A work in progress:

Andrew & friend, Starry
I keep everyone supplied with frosting, while we have the Christmas music playing in the background, chatting going on, and everyone snitching their favorite candy while they decorate.
The finished products: (couldn't get one of Jordan)

I was thinking of just getting kits next year, but I have kids volunteering to help me make the houses so we can still have homemade ones (nothing like the smell of fresh gingerbread baking). I guess I have a year to think about it! I do love this tradition, though. Thank you to the Van Tassel family in Lewiston, New York, for helping me get this tradition started 25 years ago! It's been something the children look forward to every year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008



I'm can't locate one of my Christmas boxes that has the garland in it, so, we're garlandless this year. I'm still missing not having a real tree, so just might have to break down and get one next year! (we've been without for 3 years now) I'm grateful for a tree, each ornament, and decoration, and the beautiful symbolism of them all.


Before and after decorating the tree, we sang lots of Christmas carols. I love both the music and stories and am so grateful that we can enjoy both all season long!

'TIS THE SEASON......for SNOWSTORMS (in Utah anyway!)

Although it's cold and awful to drive in, I'm grateful for the snow, since for us it means having enough water in the summer.


Like brother, like sister.....since Jordan was small, he has gone out and shoveled snow without being asked. Really a bonus for me! THANK YOU, JORDAN! And this year, Emily is right out there with him. It's cold in this picture, about 25 degrees. Please notice all the winter gear they are wearing.....really none. I guess Emily DOES have boots on, but that's about it! Both JoJo and Emmy are the "It's not cold", "wear shorts all year" kind of people....just for the record, they didn't get it from me! I'm grateful for children who shovel my driveway for me! (Gotta mention that Dave was out there last night shoveling too.)


Sometimes Emily DOES get bundled up if she's going to actually PLAY in the snow for a length of time. I'm thankful for a daughter who shows such joy and enthusiasm for big and little things.


taking a break from the snow and "chilling out" (or warming up) with a friend

I'm grateful for friends and family to share special and ordinary times with.


Dave's extended family had their Bascom Family Christmas Party last night. We tied fleece blankets to give to a homeless shelter, had a yummy dinner, a beautiful Christmas story, and the nativity. We are fortunate to still have lots of younger children to carry out the tradition of acting out the nativity. Sorry about the right corner of the picture. I was kind of in charge of the nativity so didn't get to see much of it, but the children were darling. We sang silent night when they were through, and it was a perfect way to end the beautiful evening.

I'm so thankful we have family who live close enough to make these special memories with us. I'm especially grateful for this time of year when we can take more time to focus on the One whose birth we celebrate and all it means for us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Giving - The Best Gift of All

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with Emily about what she might like for Christmas. She thought a minute and named a few things. Then a couple of days ago Emily started to write a Christmas list - I thought she was writing her list to Santa, but she said, "No Mom! This is my Giving List!" She then proceeded to write each person's name and with my help, wrote next to each name what she would like to give them for Christmas. She was so excited about her giving list!!

Then last night Dave & I were asking her if she was going to write a letter to Santa Claus to let him know what she would like for Christmas. She found a stenopad right away and started writing her letter. When she was done, she showed it to me, and I read:

Nothing? I've never known a child to want "nothing" for Christmas! As my eyes were filling with tears, I gave Emily a great big hug and told her how special her letter was. She looked up at me with a sweet, peaceful look, and we shared a tender moment. She is learning at a young age where true joy comes from, which will be a blessing all her life. She is already grasping what took me much longer to learn: that receiving isn't really that important, but the true spirit of Christmas is found in giving, even as Christ gave his life for us. How I love my little girl and all she teaches me.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jordan - Happy Thanksgiving!

Jordan was lucky enough (or maybe not so lucky) to turn 19 right on Thanksgiving Day this year! Happy Belated Birthday! Here's a quick look back over the years at this handsome guy:

We had traveled to Grandma & Grandpa Danes' home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving Eve we went to the local Mexican restaurant where G&G Danes treated us to a birthday dinner for Jordan. Thanks so much Mom & Dad!

We went back to G&G's home and had dessert with Bill & Karen who had just arrived.
It just doesn't seem possible that another one of my babies is grown and ready to leave the nest! Jordan keeps a happy spark with frequent joking around our home, and we're going to miss him terribly when he leaves! I couldn't be a prouder mom, though! Love you, Bud!
Muffin had just delivered her puppies the day we arrived:

For Emily it was love at first sight with the little pups!

We spent Thanksgiving Day at my brother, Jim's, home. There were about 40 people there - lots of good food and company.

At this time of year, I truly have so many blessings to be thankful for. Good health, the freedoms of our country, the gospel, and family to name a few. As I grow older, "stuff" means so much less to me, and family means so much more. I know my mom & dad's time is growing short, and it was a treasure to spend time with them for several days.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekly Happenings

First I need to apologize - I'm having trouble getting paragraph breaks to work in this post. I don't know why everything is running together. It makes it harder to read, but I can't seem to fix it.
Tuesday: Friends, frosting, and fun.
Emily and her friend, Alicia, had been working on improving their reverence in Primary. Their reward was baking cookies together, so here they are:
The only kind of cookie cutters I have are Christmas, so it was Christmas a little early! :) They had a lot of fun though, and the next day Alicia and her sister Katie both wrote thank-you notes to Emily and me. Emily promptly wrote a note to them and ran it over to their house. It's really nice that Alicia just lives around the corner from us. She's been a good playmate for Emily.
Wednesday: Dave's parents, Mom & Dad Bascom, had us over for a birthday dinner for Dave, delicious pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and salad, with apple crisp and ice cream for dessert. After being sick for a week, it was so nice that I didn't have to cook that night! Thank you, Mom Bascom!! We had forgotten our camera, so Mom Bascom has the only pictures taken that night. Only downer was that I broke a new bottle of Lighthouse Blue Cheese dressing right before we walked out the door. Darn!
Thursday: I finally cleaned off the bar and mopped my kitchen floor after about 3 months. It was badly needed! I should have taken a picture of the before and after...............So nice to be able to walk on the floor without sticking to it!
Friday: Dave & I went out to Red Robin for lunch to redeem his free burger and fries. We both tried something new that came with his burger: garlic parmesan fries. YUM! If you've never tried them, you need to!
Saturday: Flag Football. Our stake got together with a Provo stake for a men's flag football tournament. It's being held right here in our park, so I went out to watch Jordan for awhile. Here he is on the run: (one in front with white shirt and dark blue shorts)
Jordan absolutely loves any kind of sport, and it really is fun watching him. Plus Emily played in the park with Chipper while we were out there; it was a beautiful fall morning!
With being gone to California, catching up after the trip, and getting sick, I hadn't gotten any of the fall yard cleanup done yet. So I decided Saturday would be the day to tackle it. I repaired our broken leaf rake and got some leaves raked up.

(notice the "not so white" white socks)

Emily's annual fun in the leaves - we missed Caitlin for this!

Dave came out and tried to help, but the rake broke again, and we were out of bags. The BYU football game was starting soon, so I knew that was it for yard work that day. We did get three bags filled though. During the game I went and bought a new rake and more bags. Guess what we're doing for an early family night tomorrow????

After the game Jordan went with friends, and Dave, Emily, and I headed to Salt Lake to do some shopping at Linens 'n Things. We had gifts cards to use up, since their store is closing. We bought new drinking glasses, and some needed kitchen utensils. Then we met Bill and Karen (my sister) for dinner at Gecko's Mexican Restaurant for Dave's birthday, where they treated us (thank you Bill & Karen!) It's so nice that they live close enough we can get together once in awhile!

Sunday: I came in the kitchen and here's what I saw:

Chef Emily. She had put on Dave's cooking apron and was ready to make him breakfast in bed.

Emily made the toast, and I made an eggs, sausage, hashbrowns skillet thing - I think the scouts call it rabbit guts, so it doesn't look like much, but it tasted good!

Later, after probably a decade, I tried my hand at making homemade lasagna. It turned out really well. While I was at Nicia's she showed me how to make lasagna without cooking the noodles. So slick! Anway, homemade lasagna and homemade garlic breadsticks, and Dave was in heaven with another family birthday dinner. (with more family who wasn't with us on Wed.) I think Emily took this shot of us at the table..........

Opening presents: I love this next picture, so sweet.
Emily, her Daddy, and the coupon book she made for him.
I have so much to be grateful for, but I'm especially thankful for my family. I'm so blessed to be able to share the joys in their lives.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Today is my sweetie's birthday, so in honor of his special day, I thought I'd post a few pictures of his earlier days till now:

Love the smile, love the pose!

"Peace" (from our hippie party)

June 16, 2000, a very special day for us!

Peaceful dreams for a Daddy and his precious Emily

Happy Birthday, sweetheart! I love you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

California pictures......finally!

As I wrote about last week - we went to California to see Nicia & Joe over the school's fall break. The entire week was really a treasure for us. At 16 months, Alyssa was just so cute! Here she had put her pajama shorts on her head:

Time for prayer!
On one of our first days there, Dave had a meeting in Cambria, an hour north of Santa Maria. We all went with him and headed to a beautiful beach while Dave got to have fun giving his presentation. :) Nicia and Emily had a blast in the water, going in a little bit, then running away from the water as it came in. Nicia was such a great sister, getting in and actually playing with Emily. She loved it!

Emily finally got totally soaked:
Holding what she called her "cheese"
Dave came after his presentation and spent more time on the beach with us.

Here's a cute picture of Nicia & Joe that day:

Saturday we went to Avila Farm where they had all kinds of things for fall, pumpkins, petting zoo, hay maze, hay ride (we skipped since we'd already been on one), and yummy fudge.

We took lots of pictures here, but they all had shadows. Sorry!

I love Alyssa's face here....

Of course we had to go geocaching while we were there. There were some we never found, but there was one we had to kind of go on a little hike to get. We found it, and it even had a California geocoin in it, which apparently, is kind of rare!

While looking for one of the geocaches in a wooded area, we came across this really cool labyrinth, which if I remember right, was a replica of one in Europe. It was huge! We had a lot of fun finding our way to the middle - very cool.

Alyssa was the smart one - she just climbed over the rocks to get to the center

"Hey Grandma, what's taking you so long? Just climb over the rocks!"

Another day we got up early and went to a beach that was known for its sand dollars. We were only able to find a few small ones, but we had a great morning there, playing in the water and sand, and Dave was able to do a lot of metal detecting too:

Notice the car in the background of the picture above. This was a really cool beach - they let us drive right down on the sand, not far from the water's edge!

As I said in my previous post, we were able to see Dave's Dad and Marion on our way home. Emily had a great time playing with her Grandpa:

Here are some pictures of Aunt Emily and Alyssa. Emily was such a good aunt - she played with Alyssa a lot and was so cute looking after her:

Reading Alyssa's new book
Toot! Toot! Here we come!
Just hangin' out on the sand together - precious

Family: Life's Greatest Blessing