Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Activities

Here is a little peak at what we are doing this Christmas season:

We live in Texas, so of course it makes sense that we would go to a hunting/sporting goods store to experience some Christmas cheer! Indoor carousel with wintry animals, talking reindeer, duck shooting games, and of course a peak at Santa Clause. This store also has a large fish tank the kids love, and lots of wreaths, lights, and ornaments suspended around hunting gear and camouflaged everything. A perfect Texas Christmas outing. 

Above - Rufflebum is standing next to the "talking" reindeer. Obviously amused.

Below - Rufflebum gets her first ever look at "Santa". We had no expectations going to the store - we just wanted her to take the lead so we let her see him, and it was pretty clear she didn't want to get any closer - so we did other things instead.

Things like admire Christmas trees made out of antlers.

Burrow is pulling herself up and becoming more independent every day. It is so fun to watch the girls play together. They adore each other. They light up when they haven't seen each other all day. And boy can they make each other laugh.

Here is Burrow showing her independence with her cup.

We have had cookie baking days with both grandmas. I rarely remember to take out my phone when I'm at other people's houses - so there are way too few pictures of the girls with their grandparents. But here they are with their Mimi reading Christmas books.

And here they are with their Yaya enjoying the wonderful Texas winter!

One of our traditions is to cut down our tree. It is fun to look back at the previous year's pictures and see our family growing each year.

And by growing - I mean in number and in size. Here Rufflebum is measuring just under the 3' mark. :)

We've also gone out to look at Christmas lights, watched a couple of Christmas movies, helped fill and deliver boxes of food for people in our community. We've stepped in to help friends in need. We've listened to Christmas music. We've played with our nativity. We've talked about Jesus and the gift that God gave to us. We've bought presents for people and have anticipated receiving presents ourselves. We've put up lights. We've gone to parties.

And I believe, that in all of this God can be glorified. If we just invite Him in.

But isn't that what Christmas is really about?

The Pampered Bird

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Good Gifts

This morning I was reading in Ephesians 2 about how we were dead in our sin - but are now alive in Christ. I love meditating on that truth. Especially after a week when I felt like I couldn't overcome my laziness, anger, and impatience. Hallelujah that Jesus came! He came to free us. Free us from our slavery to sin. Free us from death. Free us from destruction. And he didn't just free us to figure things out on our own. 

Ephesians 1 is all about the blessings he lavishes on us. Not like the blessings we talk about in our culture (health, wealth and happiness)... but things like this:

- adoption as his children (vs. 5)
- redemption (vs. 7)
- forgivenss (vs. 7)
- wisdom and insight (v. 8)
- an inheritance (v. 11)
- the Holy Spirit (v. 13)

... and the list goes on.

These are some of the gifts he gives to us when he frees us - so that we may have life and life abundantly (John 10:10). 

I'm so grateful that God loves to give good gifts to his children. 

Here are some of the gifts we've been giving to our children this season:

The gift of time together. Rufflebum and I have had a couple of mommy-daughter dates. And Mr. San Antonio has had some special time with her as well. Whether it's grabbing a muffin and a favorite local bakery, or wandering through the zoo, or just reading book after book after book... this girl loves having quality time with us.

The gift of learning: This one loves to bake with me. She likes to help me measure, and even has become really good at cracking the eggs. We use baking as a chance to talk about math concepts, work on fine motor skills, and learn responsibility (clean up after yourself, don't drop things that are fragile, etc.).

The gift of independence: This little one weaned herself overnight. Just woke up and decided she was done nursing, and also wanted to start moving around herself. It was much harder on mommy than on Burrow - but it's been a few weeks now and I'm loving watching her explore her world, and am appreciating that I can finally leave her for more than an hour at a time.

The gift of role modeling: This one loves to do everything I do... whether it's putting on make-up, cleaning the house, or taking care of babies, or getting some exercise. The city recently put in side walks on our street - and now she loves to take her baby for a walk, while I take Burrow for a walk. 

The gift of snuggles: Both girls were really sick over Thanksgiving week - and took turns "riding in my pocket" (Rufflebum's words). My girls love snuggles when they aren't feeling well - and although it is exhausting for me to carry them all day - I know that it helps them feel secure, loved, safe, and cared for. And I know it is temporary. It won't be long before I won't be able to carry them around, or that they won't want me to.

What a wonderful season to reflect on the gifts we have been given, and the gifts we can give to others!

The Pampered Bird


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