Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the Bass Family

We hope the holiday season finds you well! I know I skimped on the Christmas letter last year . . . sorry! There has been much to reflect on this year and so I am glad to sit down and try to recapture it. First of all, I have to say the theme of this year would have to be God’s grace. We have seen FIRSTHAND that it is sufficient each day, each hour, and even each minute. 2010 has been difficult but God was still good in spite of the hard times. And there were definitely some wonderful times as well. 
Very early in the year, we found out that my dad had prostate cancer. And while we all knew that it was one of the better cancers to have, that didn’t really take away from the stress and sadness and fear that we experienced. (FYI, the kids were just told that Papa was sick, not that he had cancer because that is an even scarier word for little people.) The Lord was so good to my dad and our family.  Based on the initial tests, it looked small and contained and not as aggressive as it could have been. Through much prayer and much research, my dad decided to go ahead and have a prostatectomy in March. This allowed more treatment options to be available for him in the future if needed. God’s hand was obviously in that decision because once the prostate was removed they found not only was it more aggressive than originally believed, it was also in all four quadrants and outside of the prostate. He recovered well from surgery and has had an amazing attitude throughout the entire process. He kept saying he just didn’t want to miss God and what He had for him during this experience. We were all touched by the way people reached out to us and by God’s grace throughout the time. His most recent lab’s indicate that he is cancer free!
No sooner had we all began breathing regularly again from that, my Granny died. Granny was an amazing grandmother, but she was an even more amazing friend and woman. My kids adored her and she them.  I miss her daily and feel at times I am still reeling from the sudden loss. She was the most independent woman I have ever known and the Lord was kind to her and allowed her to go fast. She had a massive heart attack on May 2nd (poor Josh’s birthday)and never recovered. Mom and Dad and I were able to be with her as she passed and it is a memory I will cherish forever. To be able to hold her hand and thank her for her life and love as she entered the presence of Jesus was precious. So much of who I am is because of her. I cannot wait to see her in heaven. How blessed we are to have hope that there is more than just this life. It has been hard and painfully wonderful to see my mom handle her death and her estate with grace and tears and honor. We have been able to share some sweet times laughing and crying together.
That week could also be called one of the least favorite weeks of Josh’s life. He and Granny had a special bond and to lose her was very hard for him, too. He came back from the funeral and within 2 days found out that he no longer had a job. Pharmaceuticals is a great job, but there is NO loyalty. I won’t pretend that it was easy. I was (probably safe to say we were) almost afraid to ask what else could happen. Granny and Josh’s job in one week so soon after Dad’s cancer sounded like too much, but again, God’s grace was all over us and we were able to tearfully, prayerfully, and tentatively put one foot in front of the other. We saw how He had already provided for us and chose to believe He would keep His word of not giving us more than we could handle and never leaving or forsaking us. Earlier this year, Josh and a friend, Marty, had decided to start a side business selling ice houses (similar to the ones we own in Pine Bluff). Because of that decision and Josh’s faithfulness towards saving, we were able to have income while he looked for steady work. It was our manna, and the unusual ice house sales rush ended about the same time Josh began working as a physician recruiter for UAMS. 
There are blessings to being unemployed/self-employed . . . we were able to travel over the summer without worrying about vacation days! We went to Disney World with my parents and had a blast. The kids were AMAZING and we were able to have a time of laughter after a very tearful season. We got to spend a week at the beach with Josh’s family and made a lot of memories playing games and laughing. We took a little road trip to Kansas City to see the Clarks and loved every minute with them.
I don’t recount these experiences for you all so you can feel sorry for us or to complain. Rather, I do it because God has been so good to us in a year that felt so awful. 2010 was a year where we had to cling to Him for daily sustenance. Those kinds of years, while not fun, are always precious. 
Here are some quick individual updates . . . 
Caroline is 8 and still a sweet, sweet girl. She is in 3rd grade and loves her class! Caroline is dancing with a Musical Theatre Dance Team and starts competitions in January. She loves it and seems to be somewhat of a natural at performing! When she isn’t dancing, she is reading! (I LOVE that!)
Tru is 6 and in 1st grade. Tru also loves to read . . . he has been particularly interested in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Captain Underpants series. He has a great belly laugh and those books really crack him up. Tru played football again this year. I am fairly certain he will not be in the NFL, but he had a great time pretending to be a bobble head on the field and eating snacks after the games!
Bo is 4. Bo is fun and sweet, but he can be hard. He is 100% committed to whatever he is doing . . . if it is cuddling, no one can cuddle better . . . if it is throwing a fit, no one can do that better either! Bo had several months of speech therapy due to a physical issue in his palate. He loved it and tested out 6 months earlier than expected! Bo really loved having something that was just his and did not like anyone but me going in to therapy or talking to his Miss Yauren (Lauren). She, of course, adored him, too!
Sascha Jane. Oh my. She is 2 and BOY IS SHE 2! And fun. And sweet. And the current focus of most everyone’s attention! Sascha has a great sense of humor and great comic timing. She loves to talk and color on ANYTHING (including the walls and herself). We all adore her and are enjoying watching her become her own little person!! (Oh, and I LOVE that she is still a mommy’s girl!)
Josh is doing a great job as a physician recruiter. He is selling ice houses with Marty. He is teaching some 3rd grade boys Sunday School and was Tru’s football coach this year. He still loves to run.
I am teaching some 3rd grade girls Sunday School and trying to be involved in the kids’ school. I am involved in the most amazing, life changing Bible Study I have ever done and am eternally grateful to our babysitter, Abby, for my weekly “Rachel-time”! If there is time after all of that, I still like to run too!
We truly do wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for being in our lives!

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