Family Game Night: Ticket to Ride

My 8-year-old received a Ticket to Ride board game over the holidays.  He loves it so much, we’ve played it almost daily since he received it.  Some days we’ve even played it more than once.

 

The game looks complicated at first.  It gives you several different things to think about and manage as you play. But once you’ve played through a game and see how it all comes together, it’s fairly straightforward.… Continue reading

Sharing Holiday Treats with the Animals, or a Use for Old Gingerbread Houses

The winter holidays have now passed.  My boys decorated gingerbread houses sometime in November, and since that time they’ve served as holiday decorations.  (You can read about all the reasons that making gingerbread houses are great learning fun HERE, and some things I learned as a parent HERE.)  At this point, the houses have sat around for a couple of months and we’re ready to let them go.… Continue reading

A Quiet Holiday at Home

A Quiet Holiday at Home
My boys with two of their cousins, all in front of my brother’s Christmas tree last year. We miss them already.

We were planning to take a road trip out to California to visit my family for Christmas.  But between snowstorms in the mountains, sick relatives in CA, and our own exhaustion at year’s end, we decided we would be better off taking the opportunity to rest and spend time together here at home.… Continue reading

Letting my Kids Watch me Struggle to Learn

My 4-year-old playing the didgeridoo.

Two weeks ago I decided to learn to play the didgeridoo.  It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done before, and it’s challenging to learn.  But I’m having fun, and really enjoying it.  The deep resonance of the sound is soothing.  And the complete concentration it requires forces me to focus on only the one thing before me, making it a wonderfully meditative act.… Continue reading

A Cat made of Love

Like all siblings, my boys sometimes squabble.  They pick and poke at each other.  They tease each other.  They argue.  But underlying all of those things, is a deep and abiding love.  And every once in a while, I get a glimpse of that love in a way that makes my heart burst with joy.

 

For instance, a couple weeks ago my 4-year-old was feeling scared at night. … Continue reading

Enjoying the Sleet; Enjoying the Moment

When my four-year-old began donning his rain boots to head out into the sleet, I asked him if he wanted help with his jacket.

 

“No,” he replied, “I just want to taste it.  I don’t need a jacket.”

 

I watched him walk out the back door onto our deck.  My husband snapped this picture of him tasting the rain/snow/sleet that was falling from the sky. … Continue reading

Things to Entertain my Boys at Great-Grandma’s House

We’re headed to California next week to take care of my grandmother as she recovers from back surgery.  Recovery and two young children don’t always go hand-in-hand.  That said, my two boys are so excited about going and helping and spending time with their Great-Grandmother, that I’m hoping it’ll be a wonderful experience for all of us.

 

In order to keep my boys entertained during times when my grandma needs quiet over the next couple weeks, I picked up a few activity books from our favorite local bookstore. … Continue reading

Family Game Night: Mole Rats in Space Cooperative Game

We like to play games in our family.  Board games, card games, outdoor games; we’ll play them all.  And now that my four-year-old is ready to join in the fun, it’s enabled us to take our games a step beyond Slips and Ladders and Candy Land.

 

Cooperative games have been a big hit in our house because, instead of competing with each other, we all work together to win or lose the game. … Continue reading