A few more random bits of life around here that I want to remember:
Lincoln completely took off with his reading a few months ago. He is now zooming through chapter books. He has been very bored this year and wishing for school lots (while my school kids are ironically begging for homeschool) but hopefully he is not too bored when he gets there too! It can be hard to keep this energetic boy busy. One of the best parts of teaching my kids to read happens when they start reading books to their younger siblings. All the heart eyes right here!
My sister made these fun flannel construction vehicles with building blocks years ago. They are still going strong! We pulled them out a while back and Maxwell and Lincoln were enamored with them.
I find that one of the best ways I connect with my kids is by going on outings with them. I struggle to keep everyone happily engaged in the same activity when we are at home. The baby tries to rip books apart when I read (and the kids are interested in different kinds/levels of books), cooking together gets tricky when you have 10 hands trying to participate, art projects can sometimes be fun but I have to be ready for a big mess, and game boards are quickly destroyed by two adorable little people we all love.
I remember my mom saying, before I even had kids, that when she left the house she was better able to focus on her kids because she left all the chores behind. I find that to be the case for me as well.
So we resort to outings.
But I've struggled to find many fun things to do here through the cold winter months. Our default zoo visits and bike rides become more challenging when it's frigidly cold outside and there aren't a lot of great options that I've found for indoor activities with the kids here.
I try to plan one "field trip" each week. On this day we went to the International Farmer's Market and I let Lincoln pick out some fruit he had never tasted before. He chose star fruit and lychees and he and Talmage were big fans of both!
Maxwell still has an amazing cheesy face.
There is a HUGE Baptist church not far from where we live. Like, Wikipedia says the membership is approximately 30,000. Earlier this year they opened their indoor playground and it is amazing! The pictures really don't do it justice, but it's kind of like a MASSIVE fast-food restaurant play place with slides, bridges, giant balls, punching bags, and obstacles throughout. There is a separate toddler play area as well, and they generously welcome the public to come play! We were super excited about it in light of my above comments about winter activities.
We took a trip to the fire station with some friends. Poor Lincoln...his friends are just about all in Kindergarten already so he is always the oldest one of the group when we get together with friends on school days. This picture cracks me up and does a good job of illustrating why he is so bored!
Thankfully Maxwell has finally gotten to be old enough to be somewhat of a playmate for Lincoln. This cute little delivery truck set-up they made had me smiling!