...make for much longer, at times more difficult evenings. We finished dinner at 5:30 tonight, only to glance out the window into pitch black. Dark already. Dang! Now what? How on earth do we fill 3 hours every evening from here to spring, without losing my mind completely? Good question, one I'm still working on figuring out. Wow, how I long for the days I'd just send them all out into the yard to play after dinner, or we'd walk to the pool or park. Now the kids scatter to the basement, or bedrooms looking for things to fill their time, often forgetting that we're indoors now, and play needs to be a bit different. The logic of 3 and 4 year olds is quite simple...no trees? we'll climb bunk beds. No swings to jump out of? we'll bounce off furniture. No wind to carry our tune for miles? we'll just sing loudly through a paper towel tube...YES, VERY LOUDLY!
We're working on remembering our "inside voices" again. We're pulling out puzzles, and coloring books, and matchbox cars, and Lincoln Logs, and Rescue Heroes. We're putting music on to dance to...just to burn off a little energy. Tonight, I filled the tub with water just so Charlie could swim for awhile. It was better than big time wrestling, and the soap didn't hurt either. As the kids get a little older, they want to spread out more so there's some kind of busy going on in nearly every room. On one patrol through the house, I spotted Frank and Rose "traveling" in the top bunk of the boys room with luggage and stuffed animals packed up for their journey. Charlie was swimming in the bath tub while Grace, Mary and Lucy held a dance party in the basement. Alice and Emma were spread out on my bed with their noses tucked in some good books. And Sam & John sprawled out on the living room floor catching a few minutes of Cartoon Network before it was "tv off" time. (I prefer tv to be a last resort for something to do.)
I'm curious how you all are filling your evening hours. Are you settling in okay, or feeling a little cabin-feverish already? Hopefully soon, we'll all have our creative juices flowing as we come up with wonderful ways to entertain our little ones, and maintain some sense of sanity along the way. Certainly can't say there's no time for starting up a family rosary again, or any family prayer time, I 'spose. Or maybe the older kids and I need to revisit the art of letter-writing. Perhaps learn a new craft or hobby. Scrapbooking is something we could all do...
Any suggestions anyone??