Archives for December 2010

Rae Grant Interview and Books Giveaway

Author Rae Grant is one of the writers I feel lucky to work with as part of the wonderful team of contributors who volunteer their time here at Simple Kids.

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you!

Rae Grant also happens to be one of my nine year old daughter Jillian’s favorite authors.  We own her books Cooking Fun, Crafting Fun, and Homemade Fun and all three get lots of use at the Fleck house.  Rae’s buttermilk pancakes are a Sunday morning tradition and Jillian is currently going through a paper crafting phase, decorating our house for Christmas.  These books don’t spend much time on the bookshelf, to be sure!

I have two treats for you today.  The first is the interview Rae graciously gave to Jillian.  The second is that Rae is generously giving one Simple Kids reader a chance to win all three of her books!


[Read more…]

Rhythm of the Home: Plough Monday

I have been a huge fan of Rhythm of the Home since it started.  This season, it is an honor for me to be a part of the Winter issue.

Plough Monday is the first Monday after Epiphany and the day when, traditionally, the farmers return to their ploughs. The holiday celebrating and merry-making are over for now, it is time to go back to the fields.

What does this mean for the modern family? In some parts of the world, Plough Monday is known as “Clean Up Day” or “Lost Monday” as the holiday decorations are “lost” and put away for another year.

At our house, this date on the calendar always seems to hit at the just right time. By early January, our Christmas morning angels have morphed into children tired of being cooped up indoors on sub-zero days. The few remaining cookies in the jar are stale. Our toddler has redecorated and rearranged the ornaments on the lower branches of our tree so often it is starting to resemble our backyard during tornado season.

For today’s families, while we may not all be returning to literal ploughs and fields after the holidays, we are returning back to our daily grinds. It is time to pack up the trimmings and the tinsel and get back to work.

I will confess, however, that a part of me always leaves the holidays behind with some trepidation. The joy and happiness of the Christmas season, with its purpose so clear and its celebration so meaningful, can be hard to leave behind. It can be difficult to leave that magic behind for our children, too.

So, how can a parent make the transition from presents, decorations, and festivities to normal daily life as gentle for our children as possible?

[Read the rest at Rhythm of the Home …]

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the excellent Winter issue!

Weekend Links

We have the most beautiful layer of snow covering everything in central Indiana today.  Which, as my nine year old says, “Calls for cocoa for breakfast!” We’re going to try and build a snowman this afternoon and then take a drive around our neighborhood tonight to look at Christmas lights (our version of The MiniVan Express).

What are you up to with your kids today?