The Friday Five and Anniversary Giveaway Winner

The Friday Five: SimpleKids.netFive random things for you on this snowy Friday.

1. First, I owe you all some giveaway news. The winner of a hat hand knit by me is Jocelyn. Congratulations!  Jocelyn writes at Unlabeled Mama. I’m looking forward to knitting for you, Jocelyn.

And thank you to all of you for your kind words. I didn’t intend that post to be a “why you love SK” post, but you all said some very kind things about me and the blog and it was wonderful to read. Thank you! You are wonderful!

Jocelyn, be on the lookout for an email from me and we’ll get all the details of your hat worked out, okay?

2. The blog has been silent and I apologize. We’ve had a round of illness go through which now appears to be morphing into strep (Noooooooo!). Between that and the winter that is never going to end, I think I’ve lost a bit of my blogging mojo. Thanks for your patience. (Drink coffee and surf Pinterest mojo I seem to have in spades, ha!)

[Read more…]

Kara’s Journal, Tuesday evening

Kara's Journal | SimpleKids.net

As we start the week … I’ve been fighting that “Monday on a Tuesday” feeling all day long. This feels like the true beginning of the week, this first day back to normal after the President’s day weekend. I love having Christopher home when he gets these extra days off, but it does throw the rhythm of the days off for me. Totally worth it for extra Daddy time for the kids, though.

I am thankful … for friends who are patient and understanding about life with kids. We were supposed to host a Valentine’s breakfast at our house over the weekend, but one of our kids fell ill. Our sweet friends Ashley and Jenny stopped by and brought breakfast to us instead! I love that we have folks in our lives who understand that things happen and they roll with it and turn them into positives and blessings. [Read more…]

Let Me Knit for You: Five Year Anniversary Giveaway

hat knitting | SimpleKids.netHave you glanced at the rows and rows of titles in the parenting section in your local bookstore or library lately?  Turned on the television to view a panel of experts debating the latest theories on ways to create a “perfect” childhood?  Walked down the aisles at the toy store and been overwhelmed by all of the choices, products, and systems?

Do you ever stop and wonder are we making this harder than it has to be?

That quote is from the about page for Simple Kids. This week marks the five year anniversary of me taking over as editor here.

Many things have changed since that first day. Simple Living Media is different. Simple Kids is different. And, it can be said without argument, that I am different.

For one thing, my family has grown and we’ve been through some personal ups and downs. The blog itself has been through some ups and downs as well. What once began as me, a team of 12 contributors and almost two dozen book reviewers eventually became just me sitting here at this keyboard telling your stories and sharing what simple living with kids means to me.

Here we are: five years. That’s almost a lifetime in blogging years.

To celebrate, I wanted to host a giveaway, but not just any giveaway, I wanted to do something special and personal.

So, I’m going to make you something.

Comments on this post are closed and the winner will be announced soon. Thanks!

[Read more…]

The Family Budget – February 2015

SimpleKids.net The Family Budget, February

After I shared our No Spend January some of you said you’d like to read more family budget type of posts. I write about our debt free journey for my quarterly Art of Simple posts, so I didn’t really think about exploring that topic here at SK.

However, the more I thought about it, the more a family budget series appealed to me, so I decided to test the waters with monthly updates as we do our budget.

Just promise me you’ll take anything I say here with a grain of salt, remembering that Christopher and I are digging our way out of some stupid large debt after years of really dumb financial decisions and that what I say and do applies to my personal life in a household of seven with the income and debt that we have (how’s that for a disclaimer?)

You know, your mileage may vary and all of that fine print.

SimpleKids.net The Family BudgetAs I said, January was a No Spend month for us, meaning we only spent money on essentials (bills, mortgage, food, etc.) and let me tell you, even after all of these years of living fairly frugally, that was a challenge.

[Read more…]

Kara’s Journal

Kara's Journal Feb. 5, 2015 | SimpleKids.netLong time no write, right? We pulled off the great bedroom switch of 2015 over the weekend (Christopher and I giving our master suite to the three girls, giving them more space, and then taking the little purple room for ourselves) and somehow in all of the chaos I managed to lose my laptop for a few days. Accidental blogging break, anyone?

(And who loses a laptop, anyway? Good grief.)

But I still wanted to get a journal written down for the week, so here are my mid-week thoughts.

I am thankful … for the ability to change and rearrange things in our home to make it meet our family’s growing needs. I am very aware that not everyone has this luxury, and it helps in all of the chaos and piles of belongings, to be able to view it as a luxury to have this space and these options.

[Read more…]