Hello again.

FleckfamilyHiltonHead2014SeptemberHave you ever noticed that sometimes life gives you what you need, even if it isn’t what you want? That’s how I’m choosing to view this unexpected, but evidently needed, extended break from Simple Kids.

The issues here on the blog gave me the gift of time, allowed me to search my heart and make 100% sure this was what I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to be doing it, and not being able to write here gave me the first true extended break I’ve had since I began editing here in February 2010.

I didn’t want it, but I needed it.

Some of you might have noticed that the blog has just not been herself for months now (understatement!). Thankfully, people much brighter than I am have been hard at work on the the problems here and not only is the blog back, but I think it is going to be better than ever! I’m so thankful to the Oxenreider family, who took care of things for me here that I couldn’t take care of myself. My heroes!

I didn’t want these issues to happen.

I didn’t ask for this break.

In fact, I really missed writing here and I missed interacting with all of you. It made me sad and some of the issues were so frustrating I thought at times that I might quit blogging.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things About My Life Right Now


Friends, this young year has been a big one for the Fleck family.  There have been changes and challenges and some success stories, too. Most of this has been behind-the-scenes of the blog. I love you internet, but not every story belongs “out there.”  Not every story is mine to tell.

Still, I think that some of you come to Simple Kids because of the things I share that I’ve learned in my own parenting journey. So, it seems proper to pull back the curtain a little bit further and tell you five things about my life right now:

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The Three Types of Friends that Every Parent Needs

Be brave, keep going | 3 friends every parent needs | SimpleKids.net

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Brene Brown’s opening keynote speech at a conference I attended.  The entire speech was good, but one thing that she said has really stuck with me over the years and that is  the idea that we all need “a friend who would move a body for us.”

Go over to Brene’s blog and read the story behind this phrase and then come back here.  It is a good one.  I’ll wait for you.

What we need is a friend who will stand by us and not pass any judgement or ask too many questions.  A friend who will just jump in and help us out when we need them.

I agree that friends like that are a rare treasure, and for me, I know that parenting has shown me that we need those treasured friends as part of our support system.

Okay, so we don’t need someone to move an actual body, but most of us do need someone to look past the sticky spots in our lives.  We need the kind of support and encouragement that doesn’t come with conditions because parenting, as you know, can be a messy business.

We need someone who can overlook the messes (literal and figurative) in our lives, someone who doesn’t pass judgement, and someone to whom we can turn to during vulnerable moments and vent without worrying that our emotional words will be thrown back in our faces.

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Help for children affected by the typhoon in the Philippines

As you are probably aware, Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines last week.  According to UNICEF 1.7 million children are believed to be living in the typhoon”s path and more than 10,000 men, women, and children are feared dead.  Thousands of children and families are displaced and need help.

Compassion is an important charity organization to me, as longtime readers of this blog know.  What you might not know is that one of our family”s Compassion children lives in the Philippines with her family.  It is funny how deeply a child”s simple crayon scribbled drawings and wobbly letters on a piece of paper can carve them right into your heart, isn”t it?

My family has been waiting anxiously for any news about Joanna and her family, which understandably will be slow to come as communications are down and there are more urgent needs and higher priorities, such as providing food, shelter, water, and medical care to those who need it.

I”m thankful that there are so many great organizations already in place in this part of the world, that there are those who answer the calls for help when needed.  However, as I pray from the comfort and safety of my home, for our Compassion child and her family, and for everyone in the Philippines affected by this devastating storm, it doesn”t seem like I”m doing enough.

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What we can learn from our kids about admiration


When Jillian and I were at Crafting Community last month, we were privileged to interview Todd Oldham of Kid Made Modern.  During the interview I remarked how one of the neat things about being there was observing how one child’s project would lead to another child’s project and how there was a chain of inspiration.

Todd replied, “Exactly.  You know, being a fan is one of the most important things we can be as humans, as well as being interested and really being able to be thrilled for someone else’s beautiful effort.  You know, we perhaps all have some moments of jealousy or wistfulness, but if you can really be a fan and honestly admire others, that’s a wonderful attribute.”

When was the last time you were really thrilled for someone else’s beautiful effort?

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