Turkey Cookies: our vintage cookie cutter collection and my mom’s simple butter cookie recipe

ASimpleAutumnSimpleKids

Some of you have been asking me about the cookies in our cover photo at the top of the SK faceboook page and my Simple Autumn collage on the blog, specifically about the source of the turkey cookie cutter.

I actually inherited this cookie cutter, and a lot of other really cool ones, from my Grandma Renie years ago. Most of the collection of cookie cutters that came from my Grandma’s house I don’t know the origin of. However, I do know and can share with you that this one is a red Tupperware turkey cutter circa the 1970s.

Turkey cookies: our vintage cookie cutter collection | SimpleKids.net [Read more…]

Kara’s Journal: Daybook 11.11.14

Kara's Journal: daybook 11.11.14Linking up to The Simple Woman’s Blog. Note: there may be affiliate links in this post.

Outside my window … the skies are dark and the only sounds are our neighbors’ car doors and engines turning over as they head out to work and school.  (the photo above is actually last night’s sunset)

I am thinking … that if it weren’t for these quiet early mornings where I can move slowly and ease into the day, I don’t think I could handle just how long the days have been lately. We’re going through lots of transitions plus a few of the kids have colds and it it taking a lot of energy for me to guide the kids gently through our days.

I am thankful … for an AMAZING thirteen year old daughter!  Also for hot coffee, warm blankets, and wool socks.

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The Ultimate Christian Living bundle 2014 (and why I made a promise to myself to read every day)

Faith makes all things possible, LOVE makes it easy | SimpleKids.net

Note: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Who among us doesn’t want to lead a life worth emulating? One of the things I find myself thinking about often is what kind of example I’m giving my children. What kind of life do they see me living?  What kind of attitude do they see me projecting? How do they see me taking care of them? Taking care of myself?

I want them to see a happy mom who loves her kids, has a close marriage, a fulfilling writing career, and a close, faith-filled walk with the Lord.

Beyond that, there are things I want for myself and my faith – true happiness, time to feed my soul, finding ways to be the best me that I can be.

And I don’t want those things to just be images that I project: I want those things to be true.

But, I struggle.

And I imagine some of you do, too.

I know that I don’t have to tell you that balancing life’s priorities is overwhelming at times. The pressures of work, the need for financial stability, the demands of parenting and the resulting strain on marriage can leave us weathered and weary – wondering what really works in life?

Words have always been a solace to me. Words are how I feel I best communicate and words are how I feel I best receive messages and meaning.

When I first started to crawl out from under the depression that I battled for far too long, one of the things I realized that had been missing from my self-care routine (which is a joke to even type as there wasn’t any kind of “self care” to speak of going on during that time) was that it had been a very long time since I had read a book. Me, the girl who has loved books since she was a child, hadn’t turned in a page in longer than she could remember.

This year I made a promise to myself to make more time to read. And while that has meant that sometimes my kindle and my bookshelves and my library bag has included some fluff and some mental “junk food”, it has also meant I’ve been making an effort to make time every day to read books that feed my soul.

This week I’m sharing some authors whose words might be a help, to you and to me, as we strive to find that balance of faith, love, and happiness.

The team at Ultimate-Bundles.com called in some best selling authors, leading experts and professionals to address the most common challenges faced by families and individuals today and created the Ultimate Christian Living bundle.

I’ll be purchasing my own copy of the bundle and I’m pleased to tell you about the sale today, too in case this is something that some of you have been looking for as well.

But friends? Whether or not you feel that this bundle offer is the right thing for you at the this time in your life, I hope that you’ll make time to read every day. Find words that feed your soul and give yourself the gift of a few stolen moments every day to take a time out from parenting and the world and lose yourself in words that lift you up.

You deserve that. You’ve earned that time.

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Kara’s Journal: Daybook 11.4.14

Halloween 2014: Anna, Spider-Man, the Little Mermaid, and Sophia the First | SimpleKids.netLinking up to The Simple Woman’s Blog. Note: there may be affiliate links in this post.

Outside my window … the skies are blue-gray and we are expecting rain later that should last most of the rest of the day.

I am thinking … that there are three more days before a teenager lives in this house. In my mind’s eye I can still see my oldest daughter as a newborn, all chubby baby cheeks and long slender fingers. And yet, as nostalgic as I am for those baby days, I’m really proud of the young lady Jillian is becoming and I’m excited to see what this next phase of her life brings.

I am thankful … for fresh starts. Yesterday was a long one and I didn’t parent as well as I could have or should have. Here’s to fresh starts and a brand new day.

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40+ Advent ideas: simple ways to count the days

Advent Ideas 2014 | simple ways to count the days | SimpleKids

Note:  there are affiliate links in this post. This list was updated in 2014.

Today I’m talking about Advent and some simple ways to count the days before Christmas.

It doesn’t take too many days of using an Advent calendar for even young kids to start to understand the idea of a count-down.  The simple, repeated act, be it opening a drawer on an heirloom calendar to reveal a surprise or tearing the next link on a paper chain every day, is a fun way for kids to mark the passage of time.

Are you looking for some ideas for observing Advent this year?  I’ve rounded up more than 40 of my favorite ideas for you to choose from. 

One reminder:  I know this list has grown from when I began it in 2012. There are now many more activities and Advent resources listed here, but I want to remind you to keep Advent simple. For me Advent is a time of quiet contemplation, anticipating the joy of Christmas day. It’s a season for reflection, introspection, and also preparation.

Advent isn’t meant to be busy or rushed. And it isn’t meant to be one more thing for your To Do list. For my family,  Advent is about simply enjoying the wait, anticipating the Christmas celebration, looking forward to what comes next.” – Kara, SimpleKids.net

Pick the single idea that speaks to you this year.  Maybe two if you promise me to keep it stress free, friends.  This is a time to let go of the excess and keep things sincere and focused, not overwhelming.

So this is me formally giving you permission not to do it all, okay?

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