We tried it: Free Birds Hand Turkey (and a giveaway)


Note: this is a sponsored post brought to you by Relativity Media.

Last night, after the dinner dishes were done but before it was time for pajamas and stories, the kids and I were feeling a little crafty.  Sometimes you just have to make something, right?  But, before bedtime isn’t the best time for big messy crafts, so we needed something simple.

Fall is is one of our favorite seasons, in part because the cooler weather gives us more time at the craft table, and in part because of the holidays.  In fact, don’t tell the Free Birds, a movie we’re looking forward to seeing this weekend (it opens in theaters this Friday, November 1st) but one of the reasons we love this time of year is for Thanksgiving and the turkey.


The creators of Free Birds have a fun how-to video for drawing a Hand Turkey, which was the perfect project for our crafty mood.  You can watch the video, featuring Amy Poehler who voices Jenny in Free Birds, here:

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Summer Festivals Around the World {Little Passports}


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Yesterday I told you about the fun my family had at our local Bastille Day celebration and I imagine that many of my American readers celebrated the Fourth of July earlier this month.  But, France and the United States aren’t the only places with exciting Summertime festivals.

There are fascinating and fun festivals all over the globe!

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Indiana Bastille Day (local living and a lesson about community)


Bonjour! This past weekend, my family and I attended Indiana Bastille Day, an amazing free family event that was held right in our hometown.

We ate crepes, participated in the French Revolution (well, okay, the Fishers RenFaire actors participated and we watched on with appreciation), learned a bit about French culture and history, and got to know our neighbors, local police force, and firefighters.

In an inspiring mix of global and local cultures, we saw a marionette show, learned about the game petanque, and were impressed by the many talents of our area’s local artisans that were on display.  We discovered some new-to-us local businesses and we made some new friends.

What does a small town in Indiana have to do with the French Revolution, you ask?  Well, admittedly, not much at first glance.  But, here’s the most wonderful part about all of this:  Indiana Bastille Day is a lesson about what can happen when friends and neighbors come together.

You see, Indiana Bastille Day began just a few short years ago as a celebration in a local couple’s backyard. The wife is from France and the family held a Bastille Day event at their home to share French culture with their friends and neighbors.

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Frugal, Fun Summer Birthdays

happy birthday

This Summer, from time to time, I’ll be re-running some of my favorite Simple Kids posts.  This first Summer ReRun is a guest post from Elise Adams of Adam’s Organizing.  I think you’ll really enjoy her article on frugal, but fun, birthdays which originally appeared in July of 2011. – Kara

There are 6 kids in my happily-blended family—including a couple teenagers, two toddlers and a few in-between too! If you start counting aunts, uncles and cousins…the number of birthdays we need to celebrate every year is nearly incalculable!


1. Time vs. Stuff

One of the primary principles we live by in our nuclear family is that the best gift we can give each other is time together. We aren’t focused on accumulating the latest gadget or picking up the newest toy. This defined principle (we openly talk with our kids about this) really helps me focus on what is truly important—even during Birthday Season!

2. Nature vs. Electronics

We focus on attentively hearing each other, extravagantly playing together and deeply connecting to one another. Movies or amusement parks aren’t really our cup of tea—we’d prefer an outing to the river for a walk/run/bike ride or a drive to the mountains to pick wildflowers. These adventures allow us time to talk (the car is such a great place to get recalcitrant teenagers communicating again) and also work well when combining different age groups.

3. Collaboration vs. All-on-Mom’s-Shoulders

This is where having a big family is a BIG plus! Whether we’re getting together for an aunts/uncles/cousins birthday potluck or gathering for my babies 1st birthday, in our family we all contribute something. My husband is a great dish washer and my Mom (the kids Grandma) usually brings salad, bread and drinks. Even if it’s a last minute-thrown-together plan where we all pitch in I don’t end up feeling exhausted and worn out at the end of the day when we follow this principle!

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The Friday Five: Max’s Seventh Birthday

Max turns seven!

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Yesterday, my son Max celebrated his seventh trip around the sun.  So, I’d like to dedicate today’s Friday Five to my son Max, to seventh birthdays, and to celebrating the kids we love.

Today’s Friday Five is all about Max and his seventh birthday:


You are my one and only son and I love you so very much, wild thing.  I know that you put up with a lot being the only son in a house full of girls, but it is safe to say that you are totally adored by your sisters.  Well, most of the time.

Once upon a time you were the biggest baby in the NICU (at nine pounds, fifteen ounces) and sometimes when I think about how far we’ve come together, I feel both humbled and proud at the same time.  Being your mama is a pretty amazing thing and I’m so happy you picked me!

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