A Family Calendar

I wanted to share a little gift idea that I made for my mother this past Christmas. Many people have seen the calendars you can have printed at Walmart or Walgreens, which have photos of your family on them. I put a little twist on this idea by staging photos to match the month. My kids, husband, and I all had a great time coming up with ideas for my mom’s calendar. Believe it or not, it was some work getting twelve photos (plus the cover and the back) planned, shot, edited, and uploaded. Then, I crossed my fingers hoping that they would print nicely. We decided to devote the month of each of the kids’ birthdays to a photo of that child, or children, as in the case of August (Lauren and Mitchell). I also threw in my birthday month for fun. We were very pleased at how it turned out.

Here’s how it looked:

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Cover (It says “Basham Family Calendar 2017 for Nana We Love You!”)

january

January

february

February
march

March
april

April

may

May (Leslie)
june3

June
july2

July (Matthew)

august

August (Lauren and Mitchell)

september

September

october

October  (Guess who?!)

november

November

december

December (Laci)

It was an extra special gift because each of us were involved in the making of it. We all worked to keep it a secret, and we were all holding our breath as she opened it, anticipating her reaction. She shed happy tears, so we knew we had accomplished our mission.

Each year, the giving of gifts, and this one in particular, is the true joy of Christmas. That moment was definitely the highlight of my Christmas Day.

With love,

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Merry Christmas {2016}

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Christmas again! It’s been a very busy and exciting year. The Lord has brought us through some trials and granted us a multitude of blessings, many of which I have written about here. Thank you for sharing them with me, for reading and for commenting.

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Merry Christmas from Oklahoma!

With love,

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Merry Christmas!

I hope you and your family are enjoying this festive season. Here’s a Christmas treat for our friends and family far away.

In case you couldn’t understand him very well, he was quoting a poem for Christmas called “What Can I Give Him?” by Christina Rossetti. Here are the words:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part.
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.

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Merry Christmas, from our home to yours!

With love,

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Christmas Break Has Begun

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Wow. What a week! We began last Monday with a funeral of a dear lady in our church. God gave her 97 years to live and love and serve. My husband preached a wonderful Gospel message.

On Tuesday, I began feeling ill. I soon realized I needed to see a doctor. We had planned to go out to the Wildlife Refuge and take our family Christmas photo using a tripod, but my doctor’s appointment and subsequent pharmacy trip made that impossible. Leslie and Mitchell had piano lessons, but my husband was able to take them for me. Lauren had her Christmas band concert that night also, but I was able to go even though I felt terrible.

Wednesday, we snapped a family photo in front of our fireplace for our Christmas card. It wasn’t as nice as an outdoor photo, but I think it turned out okay. After that, we went to church, which was a huge blessing. In the midst of shopping, teaching, cleaning, decorating, wrapping, and sickness, I needed to hear the great preaching. I was also able to get some church work done before services, which saved me a trip back later in the week.

Thursday was a break. Well, we still had school, but there was nothing that evening. I went to bed early and slept well.

Friday, we finished school! My husband took me out to eat at Outback Steakhouse, where I bumped into some dirty dishes on a table, broke a glass and cut my finger. (Thankfully, no one was seated there at the time.) The staff quickly got a band-aid for me and asked me over and over if I was okay. I was humiliated, but there was nothing they could do about that! My finger throbbed for a while but soon settled down. No stitches were needed. From there we went shopping for Christmas gifts. Thankfully, I didn’t break anything else or hurt myself again. *insert sigh of relief*

Now, I get to focus on mailing Christmas cards, finishing my shopping and wrapping, and doing the normal housework thing. I am finally feeling much better and I hope next week is a little less exciting. 😉

I hope you are having a relaxing holiday season, wherever you may be.

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Three Little Things

In an effort to write more in 2015, I’m starting a theme (meme?) called “Three Little Things”. I figure that even I can squeeze three tiny, minuscule thoughts out of my addled brain each day. Not that they will be worth reading, but hey, maybe I’ll accidentally strike gold? They might be three blessings, three devotional thoughts, three verses, three complaints, three ideas, three potions – just kidding on that one. Just seeing if you were paying attention. Anyway, I think you get the idea. It will just be three little things. On days when I have a legitimate idea to share, I’ll forego the the three little things.

Three Little Things about Christmas Break

#1. We are taking an extra week off school because, frankly, the two weeks of Christmas break were exhausting. Shopping, decorating, baking, cooking, cleaning, laundry, wrapping, planning, organizing, thinking, caring for three sick kids – it was all too much. I have slept in, eaten out, read books and been online this week. I did get all the Christmas stuff put away, but after that, I basically have done nothing profitable. Nothing.

#2. The guilt of taking an extra week off school is killing me. Since I’ve been online more than usual, I have seen all of my diligent friends hard at work, reading, learning, growing – while I veg out. I tell myself that this extra break is necessary. I mean, what kind of a teacher would I be if I were insane? Then I think, but I’m kind of already insane. So, the guilt returns.

#3. While I do struggle with some guilt, the truth is, I don’t let it get me down. Every family, every mother, is unique. A lot of homeschooling moms are emotionally, physically and mentally able to jump right back into school after a taxing Christmas vacation. I’m not one of them. While I do love socializing and I’ve even been known to “talk at a rate of 70 m.p.h., with gusts up to 90” (or 110), I also enjoy quiet time. I see you shaking your heads! Really! I do. Terry took the kids hiking a few weeks ago, while I stayed home to get some work done. The silence for those three hours was deafening – and I loved it. I soaked it in. When they all came home, I felt refreshed and ready for the noise. The same thing has happened this week. The rest, the reading, the relaxing as helped me clear my brain and to focus. It’s helped me to be more patient and loving.

My conclusion? Take a break. You’ll be glad you did.

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Merry Christmas!

Life has been so busy around this time of year, as I know you all can relate. I’m slow, but I’m finally sharing the videos of the kids’ Christmas recital pieces. They played at the local Mall on December 14. It was Lauren’s trumpet debut and Leslie’s piano debut. They both have been playing for six months. Mitchell also got to play, but was unfamiliar with the keyboard, so his piece wasn’t as beautiful as it was at home. Lauren and Leslie were really nervous. I hope our loved ones enjoy hearing them.

I was especially thrilled with Lauren’s trumpet performance, not only because she did a good job, but also because it was the first time my dad’s trumpet has been played publicly since his death. It meant a lot to me.

When it came time to get Christmas cards ready, I realized the best photo of our family was taken at Mt. Rushmore! So, we still live in Oklahoma, but our family photo was taken in Keystone, South Dakota. I appreciate the kind British lady who offered to snap it. (I hope the one I took for her turned out okay, but I doubt I’ll ever know.)

We are enjoying getting to spend Christmas with my mother this year. Lord willing, my in-laws with be with us for New Year’s! We are very blessed indeed.

I have just finished revising my “31 Days of Proverbs 31” Bible study for publication by our church’s printing ministry, the Watchman Press. I hope it will be available soon. It’s not written from the perspective of one who has all the answers, but from a heart searching to be like that great lady of Proverbs. I pray that God can use it for His glory. Because of the hustle and bustle of activity, I have been away from the blog. I hope to be more faithful to write in the New Year. Thank you so much for being here.

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From our home to yours,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With love,

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Let’s See…Where Was I?

I feel like I’ve been sharing bits and pieces of my life with you and somehow got stopped mid-story. Where was I in all of my catching-up? I *think* I was about to share a few photos of my mom’s visit with us at…ahem…Christmas. Yes, (gulp) I know I’m behind. In my defense, life has been exceedingly hectic. As opposed to just normal hectic. Visitors, missions conference, school, Sunday school, outreach and more has dominated my life in recent days. I’m enjoying spending time cuddling with my kids and sipping coffee whenever I have a free minute.  I will never regret falling behind on my blog, but I will regret missing tender moments with my kiddos – who lately seemed to have gulped down some Miracle Grow! 😉

Without further ado, here are some photos of my mom’s visit back in December and early January. She was here for only a few days, but we valued each minute. She got to see our home and church for the first time, and of course the kids dominated much of her time. She enjoyed reading Flat Stanley to them all and decorating some gingerbread houses with them.

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A sweet lady in our church gave us some gingerbread men decorating kits, as well as some gingerbread houses! Grandma Kathy decorated the gingerbread men with the kids when she was here, and my mom made the houses. They had a great time.

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The girls were very proud!

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Mitchell used some of his Christmas money to buy a house to decorate on his own. He got it on clearance and had a lot of fun with it.

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I really liked the little flower pots he put by the front door!

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And his icicles! We have the real thing hanging from the eves right now! Brrr! (I love it!)

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We took a few photos by the tree before she left.

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I am so grateful for the opportunity to see my mom. She my hero and my favorite lady in the world! I miss her.

I apologize for being AWOL lately. When I don’t have time to update here, I do try to still post on my Facebook page. I am hoping I can post more regularly in the future. Thank you so much for reading!

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