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.