Kid Friendly Spring Cleaning

I am a firm believer in pride of ownership and its a habit I am passionate about passing down to the boys. They care for their things very well, sometimes with a little prodding from yours truly, but each prodding is a chance for a little life lesson in showing responsibility over what they have so they can be given responsibility over more in time (i.e. there is no way under the sun they are going to get the bigger, more powerful Nerf gun if they can't even keep track of the foam bullets for the one they already own.)
Over the past couple of weeks we've dove head first into spring cleaning. The boys are always eager to help and its so great to see Otto take on some chores of his own.

Here's a task the boys love...shoe cleaning. Even Otto was in on the action this year...although as you can see from the photo, I think he got a little distracted and started cleaning the picture frame...with the dirty shoe cleaning cloth. Two year olds sometimes have their own cleaning agenda.

These photos were taken over the course of a couple of weekends, I promise. I am not a slave driver. Although the boys are perfectly content to wipe down every surface a thousand times over if it means they can have their hands in buckets of soapy water.

Otto, when not helping his brothers, can usually be found in a pair of my shoes and stripped down to his diaper. In my Toms, its cute. In my new 3 inch black heels...not as adorable (ok, fine. Its still adorable...just more work to scrape the caked mud off the heels). And let me also add, these days when you see Otto, he has a hat on backwards. Its his thing. This North Face hat (a gift from my parents to Canaan) immediately became a backwards fixture on Otto's head. Even on Easter Sunday...with his Easter outfit church. Lovely.

Canaan got an upcycled bike this winter. He has yet to gain the confidence for a ten speed, but nonetheless (again, with pride of ownership) keeps the bike shining. (I can't get over how big Ezra is getting. Can you believe it? They are all growing up far too quickly for my liking. Slow it down, boys.)

Mike built this fence recently. He found the reclaimed horse farm boards for $.50 a piece so building it was inexpensive...although fairly backbreaking work. Our backyard is looking mighty lush and full this spring. Oh how I love it so.

And here's our sweet Otto. Much of the day I come outside and ask the boys, "where are Otto's clothes and shoes?" To which I get blank stares and alot of, "I don't know" responses. If you have kids, I don't need to explain this picture. Yes, he looks completely disheveled. Hanging diaper, dirty feet, tantrum in progress...yep, hello two year old. This tantrum was in an attempt to get him to come in for a diaper change (he's the stubborn one of the bunch...don't get me started on potty training). He is clinging to the fence for dear life.

Savoring each moment...even those with tantrums in progress.