Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Morning 2012

Christmas morning was so fun this year! It was the first year both Jane and Grant were excited and knew, for the most part, what was going on. Earlier in the month, we had written our letters to Santa. It was Jane's first year doing it all by herself! She even wrote one for me!
On Christmas Eve we read our Christmas stories, opened new p.j.s, and left out milk, cookies, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. We also sprinkled Magic Deer food outside so the deer would know where to go. Then the kids went to bed and mom and dad stayed up until after 11 putting together toys.

Santa delivered. Grant got a cool car ramp for his cars, Jane got her little dolls, and mom and dad got new pillows. We had fun opening presents and were happy to have Grandpa and Grandma come watch and join us for breakfast.
Since it was Sunday, we had to go to church. Grandpa and Grandma Larsen were participating in their ward Christmas program (and their church wasn't until 11 am as opposed to our 9 am) so we went up to Kaysville and enjoyed listening to their choir's performance. The rest of Christmas day was spent at their house with my side of the family. We had fun opening presents, playing games, and eating ourselves silly. It was truly a very Merry Christmas. We are so blessed!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.The stockings were hung by the piano bench with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.And mamma in her jammies, and I in my chaps,
Had just settled down for our long winter naps.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a skittle,
Tore open the curtains and threw up, a little.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than Fed-Ex his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Through the window St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyeshow they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,And filled all the stockings; then turned like a jerk.
And laying his finger inside of his nose,
And giving a nod, out the window he goes!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good-Night!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas

In my family we have started a tradition at Christmas of looking beyond ourselves and seeking out those in need. For our little family project, we were able to get things for the Road Home in SLC. As we were heading out the door to go buy things for our project, Jane said that she wanted to get things for "the poor kids". I explained that we were going to as a family but she had something else in mind. She wanted to spend her own money. We went up to her room and counted out $2 from her piggy bank (which is a lot to a kid that only get's paid a penny a chore). When we were at the store she carefully picked out two things that she wanted to get and then insisted on paying for them separate and on her own. Seeing this brought so much love to my heart. And I was so proud of my daughter. I know we're not supposed to be proud or boast of the service we do, but I don't want to ever forget what Jane did and the beautiful example she set of the true meaning of Christmas. (so I'm recording it here, seeing as how I don't keep a journal).
We went as a family to drop off the stuff. We were so happy with what we had purchased--we were able to get great deals and therefore get more than we thought we could. Our trunk was full to capacity as we drove to the overflow shelter. When we got there we were humbled beyond words. The shelter was a long brick building out by the railroad yards. The road there wasn't really maintained and the outside of the building was sad to look at with nothing but a flimsy chain-link fence to mark off a "playground" (patch of dirt). As we started loading things inside, we noticed that all it was was a big room with 2nd hand mattresses and a small kitchenette off to the side. This is where numerous families, most with young children, stayed to keep out of the cold. As we drove away I was overwhelmed and just kept thinking, "It's not enough! It's not enough!" Here I thought we'd really brought in a haul and we left feeling like we'd barely made a dent. It made all the hub-bub of Christmas seem so superfical and unneccessary. Here we were sad that we weren't going to be able to get an i-Pad or big expensive gifts for our kids or the latest electronics and there were people--right in our midst--that had literally nothing. People with kids our age. It broke my heart and made me feel so grateful for the blessings in my life and realize that I need to be more giving with what I have been given.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bassett Family Christmas

We had our annual Bassett Family Christmas Party this weekend. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins, stuffing their faces, and getting a visit from Santa. This year Grant was fascinated with Santa. He couldn't get enough! As the other cousins sat on his lap, Grant stayed close by sometimes feeling Santa's coat or getting a closer look at the man. It was so funny! Chad and Terral's family gave us an instant Popsicle maker and Chad made two little rocking chairs for Jane and Grant. They absolutely love them!!! It was a great party and so wonderful to have the whole family together.

The little Drummer Boy

Friday, November 25, 2011

So Much to be Thankful For

This year I borrowed an idea from one of my very creative friends (thanks Erin!) and made a "Thankful Tree". The kids were able to write down (or tell me and I'd write down) what they were thankful for and then we'd put that leaf on the tree. They had so much fun doing it and it was a beautiful reminder all month of the blessings in our lives.
Here are what the leaves said:
*clean running water
*Playing and sharing
*Artwork/being able to draw and color
*the zoo
*vitamins and medicines
*healthy bodies
*Heavenly Father
*The Book of Mormon
*the Farm
*a warm heater in our house
*Grandma and Grandpa Bassett
*Grandma and Grandpa Larsen
*warm socks and shoes
*Lamby (Grant's favorite stuffed animal)
*peaches and pears
*cars and trucks
*building blocks
*tree stars
*a dishwasher
*Anna and Sophia (our goldfish)
*Daddy's job

This year the kids made table decorations for our Thanksgiving dinner. They colored Teepee place cards, colored turkey napkin rings, and painted little pumpkins to go on the table. They turned way cute!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude is a verb

A group of friends and I make monthly goals around a certain theme and work on them throughout the month. This month we have been focusing on gratitude. These extraordinary women each made wonderful goals: one decided to offer only prayers of gratitude; another blogged each day about one thing she is grateful for; and another is writing down three things each day that she is grateful for. I've also noticed that several people post daily on facebook what they are thankful for that day. As for me, it's been a crazy month with school so I decided to do a 'gratitude journal' where I'd write down 5 things each day that I am thankful for. That lasted for like 2 days (I'm a bit scatterbrained and forgot to do it) and it didn't feel as sincere as I thought it would. So then I made a goal to try the 'gratitude-only-prayers'. Those were nice but it still felt like I was missing something. Then I figured out what it was: action. I thank God for my blessings but do I show that I'm grateful? I can write a list a mile long of the blessings in my life, but do I act in a way that shows I am grateful? For the most part, probably not. So this month I have decided to not only focus on the things I am grateful for, but also show my gratitude in varying ways.

1. I am grateful for my children. But how do I treat them? Upon some close personal examination I have noticed that I often put them off for things I want to do (i.e. "Jane I can't color with you, I'm reading.") or I lose my temper easily over stupid things. So, to show that I'm grateful for my children, I have made the goal to make time for them. To watch my temper and not get so frustrated. To see things from their perspective and treat them with kindness.

2. I am grateful for my husband. I seriously won the lottery with this guy! He is the kindest, most thoughtful person and he puts up with me (which says a lot!). But I've noticed that I don't treat him with the love and tenderness that I should. I need to be kinder, more understanding of him and cut him a break. He works hard at work and at school to give our family a good life and yet I complain that he leaves dirty tubberware in his lunch pail or doesn't leave his dirty clothes right where I want him to. In short, I take him for granted and that needs to stop. Every day I need to acknowledge how blessed I am to have him in my life and show him with little acts of love.

3. I am grateful for my health. I have been very blessed in my life to have good health. I wasn't born with any physical or mental handicaps. I don't have any major illnesses or deformities. But how do I treat my body and the health that I enjoy? Pretty much I take it for granted and it's taking its toll. So I've made the goal to be consistently physically active to do my part in keeping my health. For the last 4 weeks, I have stuck to a regular workout schedule and it feels great!

4. I am grateful for food to eat. I have never had to go hungry and that is truly a blessing. Even with Trent and I in school and a very limited income, there is still food on our table, in our bellies, and on our shelves when I know that so many go without. So I've decided to show my gratitude by not over indulging. I think sometimes we eat just because we can, but in a world were so many go without and food is a limited resource, I feel that I can do my part by only eating what I need to. This has also helped with my health the past few weeks so win-win.

5. I am grateful for clean, running water. Once again I have never had to go without this (minus a few camping trips). And although it is in abundance in this country, it is a limited resource that so many don't have. So just like food, my goal is to limit consumption/use. Long hot showers are my favorite but should probably be an exception instead of a rule.

6. I am grateful to live in a safe place. I don't have to worry so much about shootings or drugs or gangs where we live. But to show my gratitude I've decided I need to do my part to keep our neighborhood a nice place to live. My goal is to contribute to my community. Be a safe place for the kids of the neighborhood to go. Give back to my neighbors when they are in need. Maybe even attend city council meetings.

7. I am grateful for a warm house safe from the elements. I am not a particular fan of cold weather and every night I get to snuggle up in a warm, soft bed and sleep without having to worry about freezing. So many don't have that luxury. If I counted, I'm sure we would have over 30 different blankets in our house, when there are people who have fallen on hard times that have nothing to shield them from the elements except for someone else's discarded newspaper. So I've decided to go through our mass quantity of blankets and warm clothes and give them to others who need them more than we do. I can show my gratitude by giving some of what I have been so blessed with to others.

8. I am grateful for the kindness of others. I have so many wonderful people in my life that do little things that bring me so much happiness. Whether it's a call or a note or a text or even a little act of kindness, it goes a long way with me and I am so grateful for the wonderful friends that I have. That said, I feel I need to be a better friend to others. I like to write thank-you cards a lot to tell people how much they mean to me, but wouldn't it be more effective if I showed them? I need to indulge more in little acts of kindness.

9. I am grateful for education. My parents and grandparents sacrificed so much to see to it that I could have an education and I got one--heck I got a 4 year degree. But I don't remember much of what I learned. I crammed for tests and skimmed by just for the grade and four years later I didn't have much to show for myself other than a degree. Luckily I have a second chance. I was able to go back to school this semester to get my EMT certification. I don't want to skim by. I don't want to pass by the skin of my teeth. I want to learn. I need to show that I am grateful for the opportunity to learn by actually learning and spending time studying and caring about what I am going to school for. (which is actually pretty hard for a scatter-brain like myself, but I am trying!)

10. I am grateful for my family. Growing up I wanted to be apart of a different family--one who played sports and was normal. Now I realize just how cool my family is. My dad is a very unique person and I am proud to be his daughter. My mother is a strong woman and I would be happy to turn out like her as a mother and a wife and a person. My brothers are good men with wacky senses of humor. My Aunt Charlene is my guardian angle. My Grandma Larsen was the coolest lady I've known--so strong and independent and giving. My Great Grandma Sundstrom taught me the importance of 'being a lady'. My Grandpa McGary taught me to find joy in nature. I am surrounded by these wonderful people and yet I don't' tell them often enough that I love them and that I am grateful for them. I need to be able to express my love for my family members and let them know what wonderful people they are and how they have shaped my life.

I know in the dictionary the word 'gratitude' is listed as a noun, but this year (and hopefully for years to come) I'd like to think of it as a verb--an action word. It's one thing to silently reflect on what I'm grateful for, but it's a step further to actually show gratitude for those things with which I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween, 2011

We had a fantastic Halloween this year. It has been a month of parties, Halloween shows, dressing up, decorating, pumpkins, and make-believe. Grant started to get it this year. He still doesn't speak English all that well but he learned "Trick-or-Treat" pretty darn fast. He also came up with "scary fingers"--he'd wiggle them at you and go "wooooo! ooooooo!" Jane was extatic about everything Halloween. She had a lot of festivities between school and friends and church and was constantly bringing the Halloween spirit to our home.
Saturday we carved our pumpkins. Jane jumped right in tearing out the 'pumpkin guts' but Grant was totally freaked out by them! The kid who eats anything and is into everything wouldn't put his hand inside the pumpkin. It was hilarious!On Halloween, I had to go to class all night so I tried to make the most of the hours I did have with the kids. We made 'Witch's Brew' (aka homemade Root Beer) and the kids loved it!!! They fought over who got to stir and they kept waving thier hands over the dry ice fog in a sinister-witchy sort of way. We also got a Jack-O-Lantern pizza from Papa Murphy's and Jane thought it was the best thing ever. I wanted to take the kids trick-or-treating before class so we went out around 4:30 pm and hit 4 houses before we had to head in and eat dinner so I could leave. I was so sad I almost cried driving to school. Trent took them trick-or-treating around the rest of our neighborhood and then went down to his parent's house in Lehi and took them around their neighborhood. He kept waiting for them to get tired out, but those little Energizer Bunnies just kept going. They took home quite the loot! (Trent had to keep emptying their buckets into a bag so they could keep going). I can't wait for next year. . .

Pumpkins. . . . . . . . . . . . $6
'Witch's Brew'. . . . . . . . . . . $4
Costumes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $40
Jack-O-Lanturn Pizza. . . . . . .$9
The Magic of Halloween. . . . . . . . . . PRICELESS!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Little Haunts

This morning the kids and I went to This is The Place park with my sis-in-law Jenn and her kids. It was such a blast! I haven't been to the park since I was really little and I didn't realize how many cool things they had going on there. We went for "Little Haunts"--their Halloween activities for kids. Jane and Grant loved it! They rode horses, pet goats and pigs, trick-or-treated at Pioneer homes, panned for gold, helped a "pioneer" wash clothes, rode a train, and did some crafts. Grant's favorite part was the horses. He kept saying "Horse please" so he got to ride twice. Jane just loved being there with her cousins. I loved the old fashioned Halloween feel there. It made me as excited as a child for Halloween!!! Thanks again Jenn for inviting us!

"Repunzel" on "Maximus"
"Buzz" on "Bullseye"
Coloring on wooden snakes

Monday, October 3, 2011

Little Miss Bubba

This is what happens when you have an older sister who likes to dress up:(Yeah, Grant is going to kill me someday for posting this on the internet. . .sorry, dude. Couldn't resist.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Rejuvenating Weekend

By Friday morning this week, I was spent. I was down, I was tired, and I was cranky. But, as luck would have it, a wonderful weekend was in the cards! Here are just a few of the things that lifted my spirits and made this weekend fun and refreshing :
This weekend, we got to see our dear friends. Although we all used to live within walking distance of each other, we are now spread out across 2 states and only get to see each other 2-4 times a year. Just seeing these guys for a couple of hours made all the difference.Playing Barbies
I haven't played with Barbies in years (maybe even decades) but this weekend we set up the tent in the backyard and Jane and I played Barbies. It was so much fun! I love to watch her imagination just go.
A Trip to see the Leaves
Today we drove up the Alpine Loop and looked at the changing leaves. It was BEAUTIFUL up there! So many bright and happy colors! Jane wanted to pick every leaf on that mountain so we were lucky to leave with only 1/2 a backpack full. Grant enjoyed picking up random things, admiring them with an "ooooooo", then chucking whatever it was as far as he could.
General Conference
My spirituality has been at rock bottom for a couple of years now, so I wasn't expecting much from Conference. We had it on in the car and at home and, much to my surprise, it made me feel good to listen to it. That hasn't happened in a very long time.
We have been so busy lately with school and other things that I haven't really had time to do one of my favorite past times: crafting. This week I made cards and yesterday I got to work on a couple of projects for friends. It was such a blast playing with the Cricut again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And now for something completely different. . .

A few weeks ago, Trent started up his Master's program. I'm excited for him to do it and know that it will be challenging for him but that it payoff in the end. He likes his classes so far and having a set schedule has been so nice for both of us. He only has one class a day (except for Monday, he has 2) so he has plenty of time to study--he'll go in to school early, study, go to class, and come home. PERFECT!!!

I also am going back to school this semester (say what?!). I have felt for a while like my mind is atrophying and that I need to better myself in an academic way but I couldn't find something that was do-able with kids and a husband in a Master's program, and that interested me. I found it! I am taking a course to certify as an EMT-B.This is very strange for me. If you know me you know that I avoid medical things/fields because 1)I don't like science 2) even the mention of blood/needles makes me wozzy 3) people in discomfort make me uncomfortable/even sick and 4)it's a field I thought I'd never really be that good at (mainly because of the previously mentioned aversions). But I had some experiences this year that really changed my thinking. The first was the illness and passing of my grandfather. The days leading up to his passing, I was able to be at his bedside caring for him. I didn't get wozzy or uncomfortable--in fact it was an honor to help him. I felt like I was doing some good even if it was only rearranging him so that he'd be more comfortable or clearing his airway so he could breath a little easier.
The second experience was on our way to Idaho this summer. We stopped at a rollover accident before EMS had arrived. Trent jumped right in stabilizing the woman, assessing her injuries. and working with an off-duty paramedic that had also stopped. I held a blanket over them as they worked so that they wouldn't be in direct sunlight. What amazed me was that there was blood--a significant amount--and I didn't get wozzy, in fact, I barely gave it a moment's thought. I had an overwhelming urge to help. Now I didn't really do anything that important, but I wanted to be down there talking with her, assessing her injuries, keeping her calm and conscious until the ambulance arrived. After, when we were driving away, I was on such a high I can't even explain. I had just thrown myself into a situation I would normally avoid like the plague because of my fears. I realized then that the medical field could actually be something I could do and it was time to overcome my fears and grow.

This is my third week in school. I absolutely LOVE it!!!! Not just that fact that I get to be around adults (and away from the kids) learning for 4 hours a day, 3 days a week--but I love what I'm learning. (I have even teared up twice now because I was so excited and happy to be there. I'm a nerd, don't worry). It feels good to be working my brain in a new way. I am excited about what I'm learning and it's great to come home and discuss it with Trent. It's given me a new level of confidence that I haven't had in a very long time. I am excited to see this through, hopefully pass my certifications, and be able to work in the field. Hopefully when Trent is done with his program I can go back and get my paramedic license, but one thing at a time. . .

My training badge.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Rain, Rain, came todayThere was so much we had to play!

It's raining, it's pouring, this storm is not so boring!We went outside and couldn't hideWe won't have to water in the morning!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What is there to do in Twin Falls?

Play with friends!!!! This weekend we got to go up to Twin Falls, ID and have an awesome weekend with our dear friends the Kinghorns and the DePolas. On our drive up, we passed an overturned vehicle with some people trying to pull a woman from the car. We flipped around and Trent helped several other men attend to the driver (who was unconscious for about 3-5 minutes and who might have had some internal bleeding) until emergency crews showed up. I felt helpless so I held up a blanket to keep the sun off the woman and those helping her. It was such a scary feeling being there but such a relief that all 4 people in that car survived and only one was in need of immediate attention. We drove a bit slower after that.
Friday night the girls left the kids with the guys and had a fun GNO. Saturday the boys got thier turn and went golfing. When they got back we packed up and headed out to Wilson lake. Jake's dad had brought out his boat and we got to play. We all tried boat surfing (so fun! and I actually got up!), the kids swam, Trent, Mike, and Corie did some wake boarding, and we took the kids out one-at-a-time on the tube. We had food and sand and sun and rain and water and so much fun!
That night when the kids were sawing logs, we played pinochle---and for once the girls won!!!!! Go us!!! We all ate too much crap (aka candy, pop, and wings) that we felt sick but it was worth it! Thanks again Jake and Jenni for hosting!!!

The kids helping Jenni with breakfastSwimmingTrent boat surfingMe boat surfing (don't laugh)Chillin' on the boatGrant enjoying the watermelonTrent catching some air on the wake boardJane and me on the tubeGrant and Trent on the tubeThe mini 3 Stooges playing in the car. TROUBLE!!!The crew