About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

The Friday Five, when it isn’t simple

The Friday Five: spring is here and life sometimes isn't simple1. I turned in my Art of Simple post weeks ago, and wouldn’t you know it? This week started with our three year old crawling into bed at 3:30 am Monday morning and being ill (worst alarm clock ever), which led to us all falling ill one by one.

Add in me working through some big feelings and a medical situation with my husband (he’s going to be fine, just forgot he was 40 for a moment and has the knee injury to remind him).

So, not simple. Pretty chaotic. Lots of dinners of crackers and fruit, for those who even felt like eating.

In other words, when I write about what gets me through When It Isn’t So Simple, the words come from the heart. And, as if often the case, what I share with you is the gentle reminder I need.

2. The big feelings I mention that I’m trying to work through I wrote about on my personal blog: my mother’s mother, grief, and loving to the end of our days, however they are numbered.

illustratedfaith_mypage

3. Last weekend my journaling bible and I attended a day of workshops with Shanna Noel of Illustrated Faith. I’ve never been in a room full of people worshiping through art before and it was an amazing experience. I’m going to carry that day with me for a long time.  Heather Greenwood wrote a few words about the weekend here, if you’d like to read and take a look at some of her beautiful bible journaling artwork.

4. The week an email about Deliciously Slow landed in my inbox. I’m interested in the seven day e-course about healthy cooking with a slow cooker (and it’s more than just soups) and how to make it work for you and your family. Leah’s got all the information up about the course over on her site, so I encourage you to go check it out if  you’re interested.

5. The TEND magazine Spring 2015 issue is out! On their blog they’ve got a free project for you: growing wheatgrass for baskets and Easter decorations. Sweet!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! I’ll be around on Instagram, if you’d like to hang out there.

The Friday Five

Amelia on the swings | March 2015 | SimpleKids.netSpring! Actual, real warm weather! Hooray!

1. My grandmother passed away on February 28. She was 95 years old and we miss her very much. When I mentioned on social media that she had passed away, several of you shared some books that helped your children through the grieving process. I really appreciated this and I’m working on making a list of all of those books as well as a few recommendations of my own. If you have any recommendations that should be included in this list, leave me a note in the comments. Thanks!

2. It’s been “essentials only” around here the past week. And that’s okay. I’ve been remembering the 80/20 rule and giving myself grace.

3. In the midst of all of this, my son Max earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. Martial arts is something new to our family, as Max has only been taking classes for a few months, but I think it is safe to say that my son has found the thing that clicks with him. He loves it! Isn’t is a great feeling when you see your child in their element?

4. Speaking of being in their element, Max totally flipped for his most recent Tinker Crate on hydraulics. Note that I am an affiliate for Tinker Crate, so if you make a purchase through that link, SimpleKids earns a small amount (thanks!)

Here’s a quick video of the hydraulic assembly he and Lucy made this past week:

5. Last week we took the kids to Comic Con (because the family that geeks out together, stays together) and while we were there we met The Art of Charles Thurston who creates family friendly art for geeks!

Charles Thurston - family friendly art for the geek at heartCharles is a father of two who was looking for a way to share the stories he loves with his kids, but in a non-scary, family friendly way. He’s got some books he’s illustrated and written that are so cute and the artwork? Love. You can check out his work at his etsy shop.

art of Charles Thurston

And that’s the Friday Five for this week. Have a lovely weekend, friends!

The Family Budget – March 2015

cotton yarn to make washclothes

In this series I share our family budget, which includes the care and keeping for our household of seven (4 kids, 3 adults) as well as our debt free journey.

As I said last month, take anything I say here with a grain of salt, remembering that Christopher and I are digging our way out of 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.

February was a tight month for us budget-wise but we met our financial goals, including filing our taxes and shopping around for a good deal on a dishwasher. We also went through room by room and made a list of needs and wants, so we’ve got an idea of what money we should spend on our home this year for maintenance. It won’t be a lot, but we do have some things we need to take care of.

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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!)

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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…]