Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sometimes it takes a baby . . .

So, this year my Christmas letter is by blog only. I lost my address list and have been running a week behind all month . . . so this is the best I can do. I managed to send out some cards, but am at least 25 short of what I usually send out (by what my poor brain can recall) . . . some years you hit a homerun and some years you are just happy to be on the team. This year it's the latter for me.

2012 has been full. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that fullness has felt heavy. One commitment that I made as our family grew was that I would be intentional about making sure each child felt as important as if they were the only one we had--programs, activities, birthdays, etc. Somedays I do better than others, but the older they get, the more complex this commitment gets. But even when it's hard, it's always a privilege to fall into bed exhausted each day trying to accomplish it.

Without further ado, here is a quick summary of why we are so blessed and so tired:

Caroline - 10 (still going on 20) - Caroline is still dancing, dancing, dancing. She is up to 5 days a week now and loving it. We are about to launch into our 3rd competitive season and she is really excited because this year she has added a duet and a solo to her list. Caroline started middle school this year at Pulaski Academy (my alma mater). One would think that middle school plus a new school might cause stress and be traumatic, but Caroline has jumped in with such excitement and loved every single second of it! She has made some amazing friends, cheered for the 5th grade football team and mastered changing classes and having a locker. It's crazy to think that I have middle schooler. As parents, we could NOT be more thrilled with her teachers and the administration and school. It's one thing to love a school as a student, but to be back as a parent and realized it IS as wonderful as I remembered is really special.

Tru - 8 - I guess about this time last year, we were really just starting the eye saga. Our sweet Tru Bud has been diagnosed with a couple of eye conditions/diseases that I never spell or pronounce correctly, but basically mean he has to wear hard contacts everyday. Oh the pain and tears shed trying to get the contacts in and out and train his eyes to tolerate them. But, trooper that he is, Tru has persevered and now prefers them most days because he can see better! In more fun news, Tru is taking Karate and has moved up to a Green Belt. He loves for us to drop him off and tell him to kick bootie. (Because he literally gets to and what kid doesn't giggle at that word?!) My favorite thing that Tru has done this year is discover his love for movie making. Using his iPod touch, he plans out a "story line" and then uses his Legos and an app to make short movies. They are surprisingly entertaining and usually come with a belly laugh from him.

Bo - 6 - Bo started kindergarten this year. It still makes my heart ache to type that. I miss his hugs every day. He has done well--better than we imagined he would given some of his sensory issues. He has an amazing teacher who has fallen in love with him and (thankfully) is a hugger (or at least doesn't mind that he needs a lot of them). One day I will do a post that explains more about the way Bo was fearfully and wonderfully made, but he is doing so well. Bo played soccer in the spring and was way more interested in chasing shadows and grasshoppers than the ball, but he had a great time doing it and loved his soccer uniform! This fall, his activities are school and occupational and speech therapies. He loves his therapists so much that he sees going as a treat for him, not hard work (although he does work hard). We are so proud of his perseverance and so proud of his love for and success at reading. I get such a thrill hearing him read not just books, but also sound out street signs and billboards as we drive.

Sascha - 4 - Well. Where to start with Sassy. She is . . . unique, fun, challenging, sweet, spirited. She is 100% her and I would not recommend crossing her :) Sascha is also dancing and this year we are letting her compete in a mini-company that will do a couple of local competitions. She LOVES dance and begs to go everyday. I canNOT wait to see those little bits on stage--she will do one lyrical (sweet and angelic dance) and one hip hop wearing sunglasses, a bomber jacket and combat boots. Tell me you are not also DYING to see that! We are working on channeling her, um, stubbornness towards good. We know that God created her just the way she is and we know that He has big plans for her. Somedays I wish I was more like her, to be honest. :)

Josh - Josh is still selling drugs (that's how Tru describes his job). He is really, really good at it too. This year, he has received several accolades from his VP, placed top 5 in a national contest over the summer, and became a field trainer. Josh's boss is very into physical fitness and that has launched Josh's love of running and exercising to a new level. Last month, his precious grandfather, Babe, died and we had the privilege of celebrating his life and legacy with Josh's family and their hometown.

Rachel - I am trying to set a record for how many miles I can put on the Suburban each week. (Total, our hunk of junk has 170,000). I have started working again, doing a few contract things from home, but in January I fo real go back to work doing marketing for Chick Fil A. Have cow, will travel is my new motto. I am excited and nervous at the same time . . . I am happy to use my brain and talk to adults and I think that I will be pretty good at this, but adding something else to my very full plate is a bit overwhelming. I know that God dropped this opportunity in my lap though, so I know that He will give me everything I need to accomplish it all.

And really, isn't that true for everything? He gives us all we need for this life. And He knows what we need . . . not just because He's God (although that is definitely enough), but also because He was man. He lived here for 33 (or so) years and KNOWS what we go through. He was tempted and hurt just like us. God could have delivered us however He wanted to. He could have sent Jesus as a man and allowed Him to have a brief ministry and then save us. He could have chosen NOT to save us. But in His infinite wisdom, He chose to send a baby. Because there is something about a baby that softens even the hardest of hearts and most cynical of cynics. There is something about a baby that heals wounds and starts the mending of relationships. The newness of life. The promise of a future. The innocence and wash of love. There is just something about a baby. Glory to the newborn king. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.

Merry Christmas to all of you! We hope that you have a wonderful 2013!

Lots of love,
The Bass Family

Sascha, Bo, Tru, (cousin) Davis, and Caroline

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