Introducing …

It is with great joy that I introduce you to …

Amelia Jean

“Mia”

Born August 1, 2011

20 inches long

8lbs. 7 oz

Beautiful!

Thank you all for your prayers, good vibes, and sweet thoughts.  We have felt them all and appreciate your kindness.  As I told the other Simple Living Media editors earlier this week, delirious is my favorite kind of happy and we are certainly deliriously happy to have Mia here!

And, now, back to that blogging break …

“I actually remember feeling delight, at two o’clock in the morning, when the baby woke for his feed, because I so longed to have another look at him.” – Margaret Drabble

Nature in Art: Nature Study and Georgia O'Keefe

I’m enjoying a break as my family welcomes our new baby. I’ve got some wonderful guest posts lined up to share with you.  Today, I am pleased to welcome my friend Sally Faulkner of With Eager Hands.  – Kara

Summer is a time of expansion, of that long-anticipated out-breath of life, don’t you think? The days are long and free, each sunrise bringing its promise of something fresh and new.  For many, gardening and food preservation are the hallmarks of summer. For others, it is travel and vacations with family and friends. Still others eagerly welcome and embrace the days of poolside respite and relaxation.

We are fairly big homebodies here, so taking a break from our lessons and appointments is what summer is all about.  While as homeschoolers we choose to stop the majority of formal studies, we like to keep the children engaged and learning.

Summer here lends itself to two wonderful learning opportunities: Nature Study and Artist Study. Both activities are kid-magnets, are easy to orchestrate, and best of all — summer months provide us all with a plethora of subjects to study!

The fact that Mom also loves these two studies and desires to make them a larger part of the family’s homeschool experience makes these activities winners all around.

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Putumayo's Animal Crackers: A Great Snack for your Ears!

The following review is by contributor Jennifer Brown.

In many places we’re hitting what they call the dog days of summer.  It’s hot and the fresh summer air may be starting to feel a little stale.  Summer days still stretch ahead of us, and if your family is like ours you may be in need of a little pick me up.

The other day I was searching for just that to boost our spirits, and I was reminded of how important it is to make music a part of our day.  I had gotten out of the habit of making music a part of our daily ritual since we moved way back in December.  A new set up in a new home somehow changed our family rhythm, and we needed to get that back!

Animal Playground

We jumped into it (literally) with a new favorite song “No More Monkeys” which can be found on . If you’re looking to escape those dog days of summer, this collection of animal inspired tunes is a terrific way for the whole family to laugh, sing and dance their hearts out.

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Ages and Stages: Newborns and the Postpartum Mom

Hello Simple Kids readers!  I’m taking a break from blogging while my family prepares to welcome our new baby.  (The photo above is my daughter Lucy, taken in 2008, just so there isn’t any confusion).  Before I “unplugged” from the computer, I worked on this series about Ages and Stages.  Today is the first installment, on newborns and the postpartum mom.  I hope you enjoy it!  Best Wishes – Kara

If someone were to ask me what I think the hardest transition in my life as a parent has been, without a doubt I would say that it was becoming a brand new mom.

Going from one child to two was a major change, of course, and every child changes our family, but becoming a mom for the first time was the most fundamentally life-changing transition for me.

As we prepare for our fourth child, I don’t know that I would necessarily say that I expect for life with a new baby to be less challenging the fourth time around, but I do find that I am able to face the postpartum period with more grace and less worry because I have been down this path before.

I know, to some extent, what I can expect.

People will tell you before you become a parent about the sleepless nights and the challenges.  They will also share with you the joys, the wonder, and the emotions.

However, I found that until I had actually gone through it, it didn’t matter what people said or what I read in the books, I just didn’t totally get it until I had experienced it – the highs or the lows.

It was one of the hardest times of my life, but also one of the most wonderful (which I know is one of those sentences that makes no sense until you live it).

That said, a question I get quite a bit as the editor of Simple Kids, is usually some variation on inquiries pertaining to what I would recommend for new parents.  So, because so many have asked, I’m sharing my thoughts today on newborns and parenting in those early days.

Of course, every family, and every baby, is different.  As I am fond of saying, one family’s simple might well be another family’s complicated.

But, here  are a few things that my personal experiences so far have taught me are valuable to keep in mind during the first weeks of parenthood.

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