Focus of our days

Children need purpose and focus. I've been working extra hard lately to constantly channel their energy and efforts towards good things rather than picking at each other.

Above -- I asked the boys to watch the cinnamon roll dough as the bread machine kneaded it. A fun diversion!

One of my resolutions has been to take them outside every single day. Our apartment is certainly sufficient living quarters (900 sq.ft.) but for the children, being stuck indoors day after day just isn't healthy.

Thankfully, the winters here are compatible with lots of outdoor activities! I've been taking the children on long walks nearly every day for the past two weeks and it finally feels as though it's making a difference in their temperaments. :) (Side note: This online pedometer is a fun way to find out just how far we've walked!)

The cinnamon rolls I made from the dough, starting to rise.

My boys (ages 3 and almost-5) also help me around the house -- a lot. With my guidance, they do most of the laundry (except some folding) and picking up toys. They also help with dishes, vacuuming, trash, dusting, and cleaning windows. We always work together (never just by themselves), which cuts down on complaints. ;)

Other activities that fill our days include school work (reading practice, worksheets, coloring, math), reading books, and some free play time. The boys don't take naps, but Ruth (1) does take two naps, each about an hour long.

It makes for a very full day for me, but I find that our days go smoothest when I am giving the children 100% of my attention and am constantly instructing and directing them towards more important, "real life" activities that help us function as a family!


Thanks for sharing this Tammy! I've linked to your post on my blog... just wanted to let you know.

I'd love some details on keeping your kids right with you throughout the day. I aim to do so, but when it fleshes out I struggle and get frustrated. My little ones are 2 and 11 1/2 months.

I'd love to know your schedule.

Thanks again!

Sorry, my blog is


I have found the same thing. :) Keeping my focus on them and not on what "I" want to do or get done. :) I think I'll make those cinnamon rolls today, they look yummy and I have been trying to think of something to make for our dessert tomorrow. I think I've just found it. :) Enjoy reading your blog as always... :) ~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

Now if I could only remember this every day! ; )

Your boys are the same ages as my girls. I don't think I realized that until today.

Ruth is still a cutie!

You are so right! I love that pic of your boys peering into the breadmaker, that could have been my house. :-) It's amazing how much more enjoyable and productive are days can be when we focus NOT on what needs to get done, but on our children.

Great reminder for me, thanks!

That is totally what I've found!! I think I'll link to this too if you don't mind and I too would like details. Not only is it fun to read about that but it also gives us ideas!! Thanks for coming by my blog!

I enjoyed this post! :o) I always took my little one outside everyday until it became so cold! Now I only take him out if it's not too windy, which it seems to be a lot.
Anyways, I was wondering what type of camera you have. I really like your pictures! My husband is getting me a new one for an anniversary/ new mom gift :o) and I have no idea what to get.
If you have time to reply that would be great.

Now you have me craving some homemade cinnamon I am going to go put some in my own bread maker! :o)

I love your blog!

You might enjoy reading this article here: Introducing Reb (third post down!)

thank you for replying! I checked out the blog. that looks good. you have a canon rebel then?

I have two boys and a 15 month old and I seem to be going crazy with the clutter, I would love for us to work together on each room and have things straight instead of nuts. Any advice would be most helpful. Thanks Angie

What a fun mommie you are!
Lettin' them lil' fellas watch the roll dough!

You are soooo right about keeping them busy!
They are blessed to have a smart mom like U!


A year old already?!?!?! I started reading your blog when she was born. I really don't belive it has been 1 year. She is getting big and I love to read when you writ about your family. You make it seem so easy. Thanks for opening up to us about you family day-to-day life.


You will not regret investing this time into your little one's lives. I promise you! My five children are now 23 to 13. Grown up so quickly. I'm so thankful I was able to be home with them all of their growing up years. What a blessing! I'm grateful for my husband working and supporting us all of these years so that I could be home.

I totally agree with you as far as keeping your kids busy, but if you do this ALL the time, when they get old enough to have to get things done on their own, they may have trouble figuring out how to do it because they have always had guidance. Its a good idea to let them be independent as well for a time each day so they can feel successful on their own. And also kids need free time to do what they want and be creative for a time each day. Since you have 2 children that are old enough to play together, being allowed to do what they want in their play, they learn how to problem solve and figure out how to get along with each other. My son who is now 9 lacks social skills with other children because his older siblings were 11 and 15 and they weren't around to play with him. He converses well with adults, but when it comes to playing with other children, there is always problems. I was an "overscheduler". I thought that was the best thing for him, now I know otherwise.

I have a question... I see your children lightly dressed.
It is no longer cold?
Or the houses are so warm, that you do not need jerseys or pull-overs?

Hi Tammy,
After reading your post about the bread machine and your boys, I had a similar experience with my grandson. I was making sweet dough in my machine and my grandson, whose one, was fascinated! All he wanted to do was stand on the counter and watch the dough go around. It was really cute!!!Next time I'm going to try your recipe for the sweet rolls.
I miss your daily posts :(


I know I can find yeast in the grocery store. But I've never seen gluten. Do you have a picture of it somewhere that I can at least see what I'd be looking for? We've only ever had the store bought cinnamon rolls. But there's NEVER enough frosting!

Awww I can't believe how big Ruth is now! The boys are just too cute looking in the bread machine.

Gluten flour/vital wheat gluten looks similar to unbleached all-purpose flour. It's sold in "bulk food" stores (or sections of regular stores that carry bulk items) and sometimes in the section with "Bob's Red Mill" products. It might be pricey there though!

I'll take a look next time I'm at the store.

Is there flour that would already have the gluten in it? Alho, I mainly use all purpose flour.

All-purpose flour does have some gluten. Bread flour has even more.


Is the gluten necessary? I don't know enough about gluten to know one way or another. Could they be made w/o the extra gluten?

Yes, some gluten is necessary for yeast breads, like these cinnamon rolls. Yes, you can still make them without adding the additional gluten. :)

I think I asked all my questions for now! Thanks so much!

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