Onemoreontheway, the photography books sound fun and educational. I only have one of those but I've seen them at the doctor's office.
It sounds like you have plenty of activities to keep your children occupied. That's great! If you don't mind my asking, at around what age do your children learn how to sew? I'm still learning but my oldest daughter was six when she started.
I can't stand markers because they tend to get all over hands and sometimes other things too, but we do crayons and I need to remember to get the colored pencils down sometime soon.
We have stuffed animals, too, and plenty of dolls. You know how adults like to ask children what their doll's names are? My children don't really name their dolls, which doesn't surprise me because I don't remember doing that, either. But my 2-year-old daughter carries her dolls around sometimes. Other than that they don't really play with the stuffed animals so I hope to give them away when my children are older.
I can understand about baking together being super frustrating. I do that rarely, and I do most or all of the cutting and measuring into the bowl.
glassesgirlnj, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate! It's wonderful that you have so much to walk to around you. We live about 15-20 minutes away from my in-laws and they are very good about taking us (I don't drive) - meaning my children, their grandchildren and I while my husband, their son works - to a park, or downtown in their town, or just inviting us over so we can explore their property. My toddlers (2 and 3) love it when I read to them to, and I try to do that every day. It's usually easy when we're at home and I don't have to compete with a TV! I play music for them, too, mostly classical and Gregorian. I hadn't heard of any of the artists you mentioned. Like you, we go to church at least once a week, and my husband takes over and takes one or both of our toddlers outside when they refuse to be quiet. Our 3-year-old loves to be loud and talk all the time, so he doesn't really like church yet. :) I hope your spouse will teach your daughter to cook, too. I'm not qualified to teach a few other things that I hope to either learn or politely delegate, sewing and driving included.
Momma2Maxwell, welcome to the group! (along with everyone else who just joined) I applaud you for making your son's food for him instead of buying the food at the store like my husband and I did. Hand drums sound fun.
One thing I like to do that my children don't necessarily (hopefully I can add a 'yet') is clean. Yesterday morning my 7-year-old daughter, my oldest, asked me for the lyrics of our favorite CD - Singing Nuns' "God Of Loveliness" - and I knew it was buried in the pile of papers under this laptop (it's lifted up so that it can be more at my eye level) so I gladly started recycling papers, putting papers away, and decluttering under the laptop until I found the lyrics. Anyway, enough about me. Thanks for contributing, everyone! I hope you and your families are all having a great day.