January - such a funny month that follows December.  It is like we go 1,000 mph and then January hits and we go 0.  I struggle with the transition and most years I sink into a funk (thankfully this year I have a little extra help to get me through).  This week, I saw some neighbors out and about, neighbors we chat with at the school playground and wave to riding bikes in the warmer months and it has me aching for that time of year again when I feel like a "better" mom because we can get out to the park, take walks, play in the front yard, and keeping busy is a little less taxing on the creative mom brain.  But this year I made an effort to find joy in January and everyday I have been recording something I am thankful for on our large chalkboard in our dining room.  It is amazing when you reflect on your day just how much there is to be thankful despite it falling in the month of dreary January.   I am giving this month a complex, I am afraid.  

One of the things we have found, quite by accident, is playing in the sink with all sorts of kitchen utensils, soap and water.  Vera frequently asks to play with "water and bubbles" and starts to scoot the stools over. 

Another way we are staying active this winter is with some activities.  Grandma and Grandpa graciously gave us some tumbling classes for Christmas.  Solon had fun at the parks and rec tumble tots program and so they thought the kiddos would enjoy burning some extra energy in a class at the local gymnastics gym AND the kiddos have loved it.  Vera beams that she can finally do something too and mommy does class with her.  It is so fun to watch their little personalities with other kiddos in a group setting.  Much like her brother, she is timid and obedient toward the teacher but warms up quickly with the activities!  Solon is the only boy is in his class which they said is unusual, luckily having a sister at home, he is not phased by it.  Last week they were working on cartwheels and he WAS frustrated the girls could do it better....so we have been working on it at home.  They do all the different things - beam, bars, trampoline, big pit with rope, etc.  Solon's favorites are the pit and trampoline.  Vera likes the big blue triangle wedge in the corner of the below picture..she climbs up and slides down.  

We have also been taking advantage of some gift cards and HS coupon cards we purchased to go on some family dates.  The kids are really starting to be good at eating out (finally).  Vera still struggles to sit but we found lunch to be a better time to do it!

...and Solon is back to swimming at the Y once a week.  He is in a higher level this time and the other kiddos are good so it is pushing him.  He is a tad competitive so this is spurring him on as he is not the fastest anymore!  They are working on swimming independently - by themselves which we hope he masters by summer when we are at the lake and the pool frequently.  Vera SO wishes she could swim too, but you have to be 3 to start classes.  We will probably wait until January of next year though as we started Solon right at 3 and it was a tad young.

So between taking the kids to tumbling, preschool Tuesday and THursday, swimming on Wednesday, bible study and MOPS we keep pretty busy.  We cherish our pajama days and no gym days.  We still try to get there 2 times a week with kiddos and 1 time early morning *AH!  We are enjoying having neighbors and friends over for dinner, doing playdates and getting a few fun house projects taken care of (more on that in another post).

We will be back as we do more but just know we are taking January in stride, making the most of it and excited for spring on the horizon.  We have a trip to MN to see Grandma and Grandpa in February and a trip to Branson with Scott's parents to see his brother and sister-in-law in March to look forward to as well!