Our everyday life is pretty normal. The older two kids attend the local elementary school, which is located just over a mile from our home. And while we have the option of letting our kids ride the school bus, we choose to drop them off and pick them up ourselves.
Kelly has the luxury of working from home and controlling her own work schedule, and so she is able to be with the kids full-time. Lane has also been able to arrange to work from home 3 out of the 5 days each week. So all of the kids have constant and easy access to both parents.
The kids are involved in a few activities after school during the week, like piano and dance. Our family is also active in our church and attend the services every Sunday.
We try to make sure that we sit down together as a family each evening for dinner. Each week we choose a different question, that we go around and have each person answer while we eat. Some example of these questions are: What is something you did nice for someone today? What is something nice someone did for you today? What do you like about yourself? What are you thankful for today? What do you like about [name of family member]? Having a themed question each week creates good dinner conversation for our family, as well as makes each member of the family more aware of the positive things that happen throughout their day or ways that they can serve or go out of their way to be kind to those around them.
We also try to make sure we do our bedtime for the kids together as a family. This usually consists of family scripture study, reading a story, singing a couple of songs, and then saying family prayer together before lights out. Once we disperse, the younger ones get a little more one-on-one attention from us with an extra story or lullaby just for them, while the oldest two are allowed some extra time to talk (they share a room) and then read a little before turning off the lights.
We like the idea of having our kids being involved in one thing musical and one thing active/physical. We don’t care what they choose to do. We just want it to be something they enjoy and that develops their talents and keeps them active and healthy.
Our two oldest are learning to play piano, and our 4 year-old is about to start. M and Kelly have been attending a local piano class for kids and parents each week since he was 4 ½ years old. They go together, and then Kelly helps him practice during the week. When S turned 4 ½, Kelly started to teach her piano using the books from M’s piano class. We intend to have an instructor start coming to our home weekly to continue with her lessons (Kelly doesn’t have a background in music and so can’t take her beyond the basics.)
S and B also attend a weekly dance class with their cousin, and then our oldest three kids and their cousin attend a tumbling class together right after. The kids have also participated in soccer each summer/fall.
Vacations and travel
Lane is from Southern California, and his mom and dad still live there. We try to visit there once or twice a year. Since the grandparents live about 40-60 minutes from Disneyland, our family has annual passes to the parks, and so we usually go to Disneyland for 2-3 days during each of our weeklong California stays.