Focus of our days
Children need purpose and focus. I've been working extra hard lately to constantly channel their energy and efforts towards good things rather than picking at each other.
Above -- I asked the boys to watch the cinnamon roll dough as the bread machine kneaded it. A fun diversion!
One of my resolutions has been to take them outside every single day. Our apartment is certainly sufficient living quarters (900 sq.ft.) but for the children, being stuck indoors day after day just isn't healthy.
Thankfully, the winters here are compatible with lots of outdoor activities! I've been taking the children on long walks nearly every day for the past two weeks and it finally feels as though it's making a difference in their temperaments. :) (Side note: This online pedometer is a fun way to find out just how far we've walked!)
The cinnamon rolls I made from the dough, starting to rise.
My boys (ages 3 and almost-5) also help me around the house -- a lot. With my guidance, they do most of the laundry (except some folding) and picking up toys. They also help with dishes, vacuuming, trash, dusting, and cleaning windows. We always work together (never just by themselves), which cuts down on complaints. ;)
Other activities that fill our days include school work (reading practice, worksheets, coloring, math), reading books, and some free play time. The boys don't take naps, but Ruth (1) does take two naps, each about an hour long.
It makes for a very full day for me, but I find that our days go smoothest when I am giving the children 100% of my attention and am constantly instructing and directing them towards more important, "real life" activities that help us function as a family!