This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. My kids had spring break last week. We took a big trip for their winter break, which feels like it was just two weeks ago. And unfortunately, that set the kids expectations up for a big trip for spring break as well. That’s the problem with doing fun things with kids . . . everything after is just a big disappointment. Like the one Tuesday I surprised the kids and took them to Disneyland after school. Before that, Tuesdays were just Tuesdays. After that . . . every Tuesday was just a crushing disappointment of NOT BEING AT DISNEY. We really did not have the time, energy, or budget to do a family vacation for the kids, which led to much whining and disappointment, so we tried to frame it as a “staycation.”  We would do fun things around town . . . but also, we wanted to give the kids some down-time where they just played at the house. Even thought this isn’t so exciting to them, I feel like free time at the house is when they seem the happiest. They put on costumes, they create elaborate games, they play pretend, and they bond. IMG_1256 This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds and we got a shipment from them at the beginning of the week. And I say this in all honesty . . . these almonds really were the official snack of our staycation. My kids LOVE them. The girls are partial to the sweet variety – honey roasted and blueberry flavors. My boys love the bold flavors like wasabi and salt & vinegar. Here they are tearing into a package: We planned some fun things around town. The girls and I went to see the DisneyNature Bears movie (so cute) and the boys went on a little day-trip to the desert. We went to our local science center, and we went to a play. But we also did a lot of playing around the house, in the front yard, and with the neighbors. Photo Apr 15, 4 15 04 PM We also checked out a few new local parks that we’ve never tried. IMG_1197 IMG_1199 IMG_1205 IMG_1216 One of the things I loved about this week was watching my kids with unstructured time. As they are getting older, they really are playing with each other more. Karis is no longer the little sister . . . she’s in the gang, and just as much a part of the play. I see each of them bending a bit to be flexible to what their siblings enjoy. It’s a lot of negotiation but it works.  IMG_1226 IMG_1252 I also loved eavesdropping on their conversations. Such fun seeing their personalities emerge and the easy rapport they have with each other. They seem eager to confide in one another and I hope that continues to the teen years. IMG_1264 I love our family trips together, but there was something kind of magical about this laid-back time together. IMG_1293 IMG_1308 While it wasn’t full of adventure per se, it was full of play and imagination, and sibling bonding. This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. image