What I've Been Wearing

Just a quick post, we are headed out for another family Christmas celebration. I wanted to share some of the Christmas themed outfits I've been wearing these past couple weeks though. I think it so much fun putting together festive looks. I posted some other outfits this month with a little bit of Christmas flair, you can see them here and here.

I also had to include a picture of my handsome hubby. I love his style and when he's holding one of our babies...be still my heart. 

Baby Z is One.

Earlier in the month Baby Z turned one. To celebrate we had a couple close friends over for lunch and birthday cake. It was a simple fare but special because we were surrounded by people who also love our little baby boy. 

I've always heard that motherhood get easier with each baby; you know what to expect and thus you are more relaxed. It been the opposite with Baby Z. Even though he is my fourth, it's with him, that I have been the most anxious. He keeps throwing me curve balls and seems to have me constantly on my toes. During my pregnancy he wasn't as active as my first three and I was continually praying for his safety and for peace of mind. All my deliveries were different but his was the most unique. During his first month he had trouble gaining weight and words cannot describe the helplessness and anguish I felt. Even now he's throwing something new my way. He's got a bacterial infection and his poor little body is covered in a rash that keeps disappearing and reappearing. Ten plus years in childcare and three other babies and this little man has me feeling like a beginner. 

Maybe it's because we are pretty sure he's our last and therefore, 'my baby' but I can't seem to help fretting over him. I KNOW that children are resilient but he just seems too fragile...too precious. 

He seems to know he's 'my baby' too and is the most mommy centered of all my kiddos. He loves his Daddy and his siblings but other than that he seems to have only eyes for me. My arms are his happy place and it's where he prefers to spend most of his day.

He has great balance but refuses to even try to walk. Thankfully, he sleeps through the night in his room but hates naps. If I get more than an hour nap out of him a day it's a cause for celebration. He's determined and after two-plus-hours we decided 'crying-it-out' just wasn't going to work. He's also persistent and despite being moved to another room and given a new toy he'll head straight back to whatever 'hands-off' item caught his interest. He loves to cuddle and gives the best hugs. It melts my heart when he gently twirls my hair or pats my back. He makes the funniest faces and his smile lights up a room. His laugh is contagious and he enjoys being funny. When he does something that makes you chuckle he'll do it over and over again. He has lots and lots to say. I'm starting to understand some of his babbles and can't wait until I can make sense out of all of them. 

He makes our home a brighter place. It's only been a year and he has already stretched me and taught me so much. It's such a blessing to be his momma. 

What I've Been Wearing

Only one outfit this week; we've been crazy busy getting ready for Christmas. We just celebrated with my family in Iowa this weekend. We brought my "baby" sister Angel back home with us and we are all super excited that we get to keep her for ten days!

Last week, I told you about some $.25 skirts I picked up at a rummage sale this is another one. It's hard to tell in this pictures but there is some red outlines around some the squares - I felt very festive! 

If you are looking for more outfit inspiration please check out these link parties: Watch What I'm WearingMonday MingleStyle SessionsTrend SpinPleated Poppy and A Labour of Life

Three Gifts

Gifts is totally my love language and when it comes to birthdays and Christmas it's tempting for me to overdo it. I want my children to feel loved and blessed but not to become spoiled. This can be a tricky line to walk. In order to give ourselves, well me, some boundaries and to keep the focus on Christ we limit our children's gifts to three items. We base it off of the gifts the Wise Men brought Jesus: frankincense, myrrh, and gold

Frankincense is a resin obtained from Boswellia trees. The fragrant sap was often burned as incense during worhip services. In Exodus and Leviticus THE LORD commands the Israelites to burn Frankincense when they make certain offerings. Frankincense is also known for it's healing properties and THE LORD is the the ultimate healer.
      "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." -2 Chronicles 7:14-
Therefore, our frankincense gift is something that will help our children love and know THE LORD more. Bibles are the obvious choice and both Mini Man and Little Lady are getting new ones this year. For young children I like the NIrV edition because it's a full text Bible but easier to read and understand. Some other frankincense gifts we've given: Adventures in Odyssey Bible Eyewitness, Light Keepers Ten Boys, ESV Action Bible, Little Lights Biographies, devotional His Mighty Warrior, and the devotional God...Should I be Baptisted

Myrrh is also a resin, obtained from Commiphora trees, and is known for it's healing properties. In biblcial times myrrh was used for purifcation and during the emblaming process. This gift from the Wise Men could have been a symbol of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus would someday make. Since myrrh was used for purification, I've heard of some families giving toiletry items as their myrrh gifts: new towels, perfume, bubble bath, etc. We instead focus on the sacrifice Jesus made - that his life was not his own. 

This is hard concept for young children to grasp and we try to demonstrate it by giving them a gift to share - that even their presents are not theirs alone. In previous years our myrrh gifts have been magna tile blocks, board games, and family memberships to zoos or museums. This year, they will pick out a Compassion child to sponsor. Now that our children are older we will transition from gifts that they can share with each other to giving to those less-fortunate outside the home.

Gold is pretty simple, it is a metal of great worth. So our gold gift is a highly priced toy or item. This is the big item that they have been eyeing for awhile. Large legos sets have been a staple gold for Big Buddy the last couple of years. A couple years back we got Mini Man the Bluetrack and it's still one of his favorite toys. This year Little Lady is getting an American Girl doll.

Do you have any gift giving traditions? 

*The above photo is via kaboompics.
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