Creating Simple Elements for Backyard Fun: Our Wist List

a blank slate and our backyard 2015 wish list |

Once upon a time, Christopher, Jillian, and I moved here to our home and planted a little garden and a few trees. Not knowing exactly what we were doing, and perhaps too excited about our finally having our OWN place, instead of taking the time to slow down and research things, we just plunked things wherever we felt like it. A tree here, a garden there, a play area for our toddler over here.

Flash forward to 2015: our household of three is now a household of seven, including four kids ages 3 to 13 and a special needs adult, and we own a dog. Between the parents who would really love a thriving garden and a backyard oasis and the kiddos and doggie who would love a wonderful place to play, our backyard should be the place to be.

However, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way.  All these years later, and we still have a pretty blank canvas out there. And those plunked down trees grew just tall enough so that now our small garden is in the shade most of the day. The little play area that was perfect for one child long ago doesn’t really work as well for us now.

So, what is a family to do? Well, we’re getting back to our roots and I’m reminding myself of an older post from the archives about the simple elements of backyard fun and how to how them even when you don’t have a backyard.

We do have a backyard today, but do we have all of those elements at our home? No, we don’t. But they are certainly on our wish list.

So, how are we doing to make a 2011 blog post turn into a Summer 2015 reality?

One step at a time …

Note: this blog post is going to be a little different than the ones I usually write. I’m listing our goals here, the BEFORE, as of May 15, 2015 and then, in real time, I’ll be updating with our projects and the AFTER. I’ll be sure to let you know about each update as we work our way through completing our Backyard 2015 wish list with some simple elements for fun.

(Totally crossing my fingers that this is going to turn out as neat as I think it will, ha ha!)

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Knitting for kids: Bonbon Bunny, Tube Socks, and Wash Cloths

knitting for kids: tube socks |

It might be spring and the weather warmer, but this mama’s knitting needles are still busy and my works-in-progress basket is as full as ever, even if I’m not making mittens and hats and scarves for snowy days.

I don’t have any recently completed kid projects, but I’ve got a few works in progress to share with you.

BonBon Bunny

This little bunny was all over Instagram a few months ago and I purchased the yarn from Gnome Acres fully intending to make a bunny or two for my littlest girls for Easter. But, that didn’t happen (thanks for nothing, three week flu of March 2015).

However, this little bunny is SO cute and I know will be appreciated no matter when I finish knitting, so I cast it on this week and maybe, but not really pressuring myself to get it done, it will be part of Lucy’s seventh birthday gifts in a few weeks.

Bonbon was designed by Susan Claudino and the yarn I’m using is Squishy Gnome worsted in the Little Bunny Foo Foo colorway from Gnome Acres.

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Keepin’ it real: a tour of my home.

Keepin' It REAL Home Tour |

For those of you who are new to Simple Kids, welcome! I’m Kara and I live in a small town in central Indiana with my husband Christopher, my sister-in-law Angela (who is a special needs adult), four kids ages 3, 6, 8, and 13 and our Boston Terrier Nickey Disco Doggie.


You can learn more about me and my family here and more about Simple Kids here.

Keepin' It Real Home Tour |

So, why am I flinging my front door wide open to the internet today?

I have seasons where homemaking comes easier to me and I am on top of things and I also have many times, like now, where it seems like I’m 20 steps behind my To Do list and the laundry pile is towering and there’s six weeks of dust coating every surface.

I’ve learned to save the guilt for sin, as they say, and I don’t beat myself up if my home isn’t always tidy. As you know, I’m a believer in the 80/20 rule and I apply it to my homemaking, too.

However, sometimes it’s nice – very nice – to know I’m not alone. I’m not the only one whose home isn’t always sparkling. There’s beauty in the messes, too, if you look for it.

It’s life and life is seldom neat as a pin (a phrase which takes on new meaning in the post-Pinterest world, am I right?)

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