Large families have unique dynamics, one of which is finding yourself with "sets" of children. You have "Olders", "Littles", and "the either-neithers" (the ones that are in the middle and, depending on the situation become one of the Olders or one of the Littles.)
It is challenging to have two simultaneous seasons of life, that of enjoying and encouraging our adult children in how their lives are unfolding, at the same time more direct parenting of toddlers and school aged kids.
What a blessing it is to find other families with these commonalities AND where the children are great friends.
When our Olders were younger, we did lots of field trips. Then life happened. I think by the time baby six came along, I was both tired and bit overwhelmed by the mere thought of field trips. Not to mention, that field trips for a crowd can get expensive quickly - at least ones that hold interest for all ages. That said, my Littles haven't gone on many field trips, but I'm beginning to feel a bit more up for the task.
What could make better memories than a chilly autumn day at the zoo with friends?
It was a perfectly rainy, cold, want to hold a hot cup of steamy apple cider kind of day
Leaves, in their kalidescope of colors, dangled on branches, or gusted past our feet.
and we had the necessity for jackets, beanie hats, and boots
And on an educational note we saw grazing zebras, smelly wart-hogs, an ostrich and its eggs, three lazy tigers, a sleeping lion, an aloof jaguar, a motionless Komodo dragon (seriously, we thought it might be dead), two wading hippos, various birds, bugs, and snakes, frisky otters (who were by the far the most active and fun to watch), squawking lemurs, pacing grizzly bears, lovable wolves, a moody porcupine who didn't want to show his face, a majestic elk, and an elusive red panda (which made Dan's day!)
The big bonus is that the zoo is the perfect place to bring God front and center. How can you not marvel at all the uniqueness in Creation?!
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20