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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I'm Baaaack! (And a Gift Guide for the Kids)

Nashville, TN. 

I'm back, y'all! It's been quite a year, and I can't believe it's already December. Phew! Just when I started to feel like a human again after a summer of morning sickness, our fall tour started, and I haven't really had a chance to come up for air yet. We're in the middle of our Christmas tour now, and I'm taking my last day at home until the 21st to work on some *online* Christmas shopping. I thought it would be fun to do a little post on some of the things we might be getting our kids this year in case you're stumped.

Last year we adopted the "Want, Need, Wear, Read" philosophy of gift-giving for our kids, and it was such a success! We really want them to have a healthy view of Christmas, and part of that is not going overboard with gifts, and focusing on others. We are doing a toy purge when I get home from tour to give to some local charities, and each of the kids packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child this year for the first time. They LOVED it, and I loved seeing their eyes light up at the joy of giving. 

Here are ten gift ideas for the kiddos on your list this Christmas:

Bata & Batuta is Filipino for "cute little kid." How sweet is that? This husband and wife-run company has a mission to share the power of play with children in need. They focus on orphans, kids who are sick, and those living in poverty. So for every toy purchased, one is donated to a child in need. How sweet is that? I love the idea that my dollar is not just going toward bringing my child joy, but that it's also helping a child somewhere in the world who needs to feel loved. 

My son has been able to spell his name for a long time. He's convinced that "E" is his letter. So when I saw this brilliant personalized book, I knew it was the perfect gift for his "Read" present. Basically, you choose whether the book is for a boy or girl and then enter your child's name. A one of a kind book is instantly created for your child. The premise is that your child has lost his or her name and has to go on a magical adventure to find it, along the way meeting creatures who give them letters. At the very end of the book, they find their name. You can preview the whole thing before buying, and it's just pretty darn cute. I can't wait to read this with Eli this year! 

3) Wood Fox Rattle, $14

These organic, eco-friendly rattles would make sweet gifts for the babies in your life. With a nice smooth surface, soothing sound, and a fun shape perfect for teething, I think baby boy Goodwin is going to need one when he makes his appearance in March! Each rattle is made in Seattle by Manzanita Kids and is finished with a homemade organic jojoba oil/beeswax polish. 

I grew up listening to these on cassette, and they hold the most wonderful memories for me. I bought my kids the CD about God's Love last year, and they've memorized most of the Scripture songs. I will hear my 3-year-old walking around the house singing, "this is love, not that we loved God, but He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!" No sweeter way to get the Word of God into our kids hearts than through music. I plan to buy this whole set as a family gift under the tree this year. 

Eli is learning to read and has really taken an interest in sounding out words and rhyming.  I can't wait to see what he learns while playing with this wonderful little set! 

6) Wooden Tea Set, $47.50

We're not getting this for Audrey this year because she has plenty of tea set items, but she loves tea parties so much, and this is such a fantastic set for the little girl in your life! It's got so many great pieces and is made by a small etsy artisan. Perfect for pretend play and hours of tea parties!

You all know I love Wildly Co, so I couldn't leave them off the list for this Christmas! I love that this hoodie is cozy, neutral, and soft, and like all Wildly's clothes, it's ethically made in the USA. It also comes in navy and would look equally cute on a girl as a boy. Kids don't need a hoodie? How about this adorable Mint Swing Top or Charcoal Sport Pants

Waldorf dolls are a huge investment and one I'm not sure I'm ready to make yet for my 3-year-old, but with a new baby coming in March, it might be something we get her for her birthday in July. The beauty of the weighted doll is that its made with organic millet (a grain), lavender, and wool--all natural materials that are easy to care for and good for the environment. The concept of the weighted doll is that it feels life-like in your arms, and it teaches little ones how to correctly hold a baby. Pair that with scent of lavender mixed in with the millet and the soft velour outfit, and you've got yourself one cuddly baby doll that can also be passed down as an heirloom. Love it!

9) Wikki Stix, $22.15

These are addictively fun to play and craft with.  My kids love them and yours will too! There are smaller sets for less money if you don't want to commit to such huge box.

10) Alphabet Puzzle, $19.50 

I love this puzzle. It's all wooden and the colors are adorable. It's on Audrey's wish list this year!

Have a beautiful Christmas, and enjoy the season with the ones you love!

- Francesca


  1. Welcome back Fracesca❣
    God bless you & precious growing family ❤️Thank you for pouring Gods love out and helping us all grow in this journey of life and worshiping Our Father for all His gifts!
    Enjoy your family and thanks for being part of mine❤️🎄You're a gift

  2. We do the want/need/read/wear thing with our family as well! These are great ideas! Hoping to see you on your Christmas tour on the 20th!

  3. I'm so happy to hear from you again! I've been following your blog ever since you started it and love getting to hear from my favorite musician :) I was actually just singing one of your songs a moment ago and noticed that you had posted again! Thank you for writing such inspirational music. God has truly used you to bless my life. Seeing you at Night of Joy was one of the highlights of my year!

  4. Hey franny how are you inspire me and everyone and this might sound crazy on YouTube type in jhouse vlog this girl name Kendra looks just like you forreal I ask her do you know Francesca battstelli she said yes off klove I said yea so she said cool please go on YouTube love yal God bless you xo☺️

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