November 23, 2015

Creating Memories

We instituted a weekly "family night" just over a year ago, and it's been a rousing success. The girls look forward to it each week, and not just because that's the night we have our weekly sweet treat. They're still at that age where they want to hang out with their parents. Even when we've been together all week, they still crave time and connection with Hubby and me, and they see more as more.

Family watching Lord of the Rings
From our Lord of the Rings Marathon Christmas 2013

I have a confession to make though. I've been getting lazy with planning our family nights. It's so easy to fall into a routine of popcorn and a movie. I only managed to participate in the first retro game night a time or two before the controller that worked with our Nintendo emulator got to where the rumble was a constant thing. That'd freeze my hands up inside five minutes, so we tried using our hand-me-down Wii, but then one of the controllers stopped working back in the summer. And our balance board died sometime last month, so video games are pretty much out. The girls have usually used up their focus for the day before Hubby gets home from work, so the board games and puzzles we have get frustrating for them late in the evening, relegating them to a weekend and holiday only thing. So, what's a mama to do?

Well, sometimes when it's getting late in the evening, and I'm winding down for bed; I scroll through Pinterest. About midweek last week, I came across a pin where you could access several fall themed adult coloring pages. My girls absolutely love to color, and NaNoWriMo's had me stretched a bit thin of late. So I thought it might be something easy, fun, and low key for us to do.

Sneak finished the number of novels she needed to earn a book party, so Friday morning I baked the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles she requested. Then while that was in the oven, I downloaded and printed several of the coloring sheets in the pin I found and made sure we had sufficient amounts of crayons and colored pencils for everyone.

We had a cold snap midweek, so that evening, we had big bowls of leftover chili instead of popcorn.  Boo Bear chose the movie since it was her turn, and we started family night as usual. After dinner and the cake that followed, I surprised the girls with the coloring pages.

Our partially finished pages. I didn't realize how intricate they were!

I knew they'd enjoy it, but I honestly didn't expect the level of excitement they showed at having Mama and Daddy color with them. We let the movie Boo Bear picked continue to play in the background as we all sat together and worked on our pages. By the time the girls bedtime rolled around, we'd all only partially finished one page, but that just means we have plenty of sheets left to do something similar in coming weeks.

I haven't colored in years, but I can see why adult coloring books have become a thing in recent years. It's one of those simple pleasures we see ourselves as outgrowing sometime in late childhood or the so called "tween" years. But it's amazing how therapeutic those same childhood pleasures can be as a means of stress relief in adulthood.

It's not bad as a means of connecting and sharing something with your children either.

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