A Hot Apple Cider Recipe

hot apple cider recipe | SimpleKids.net

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In our neck of the woods, October has decided to start to show off.  Autumn so far has been gorgeous! Even the rainy days have had a certain coziness to them, as the rain adds a happy drip-drip-drop rhythm to our days.

My middle two kids, ages 6 and 8, seem to be especially impressed by the changing of the seasons this year and their enthusiasm is a nice reminder to slow down and take some time to observe this time of year through a child’s eyes.

As a family we’ve had a lot of fun going on nature walks, driving in the country, baking cookies, and doing activities like picking pumpkins from Grandpa’s pumpkin patch and we’ve gotten started making Halloween decorations together.

Springtime is magical, yes, but there’s something pretty special about Autumn, too.  If only all transitions could be as beautiful and smooth, right?  There’s a lot to learn from the way the natural world puts itself to bed this time of year and we have some favorite seasonal traditions.

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A Simple Autumn: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Fall

a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

Last week I mentioned I want my family  to experience this time of year, not just as dates on the calendar, but as an opportunity to use all of our senses to really savor the season.

I thought it would be fun to list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Autumn with our kids.

sunflowers | a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

What Does Autumn LOOK Like?

The hallmark of Autumn is the changing colors of the leaves, of course.  This provides opportunities to create leaf rubbings and other leaf related crafts. We can rake leaves together, which naturally leads to jumping in leaf piles!

Yesterday, we made a map of our backyard. The kids and I have been talking about the trees in our yard and what they look like now versus what they looked like a few short weeks ago.  We wonder what they will look like in the Winter time.

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Daybook, September 30

World's Fair Park | Knoxville, TN | SimpleKids.netWorld’s Fair Park, Knoxville, TN – September 2014

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

Outside my window … that the last time I wrote a daybook entry it ended up being the final post I as able to write for almost two months. Still, I’m committed to bringing back more simple blogging to this space, so I’m writing another daybook entry (and holding my breath it won’t be the last thing you see here for months).

I am thinking … that the summer passed to quickly, but for me that was a good thing. I’m ready for autumn and cozy and the slower pace that this season usually brings.

I am thankful … that my husband has a good job and for the sabbatical he was able to take this month. We all needed it after a very rocky year. I feel like this time renewed our family.

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5 Simple Ways to Invite More Rhythm to Your Days

5 Simple Ways to Invite Rhythm into Your Daily Life | SimpleKids.netReaders, I’m so happy to share this guest post with you today that was written by my friend Kathy Stowell.  I think you’ll love what she has to say about adding rhythm to your days. – Kara

Maybe it’s the half-Latina in me but, ay carumba, I love rhythm! But it wasn’t always this way.

I resisted rhythm at the beginning of my parenting journey because of my mom. A full-blooded Latina, she really pressed upon me the importance of a strong daily rhythm with a new-born babe in the house.

Unfortunately, at the time, she used the word ‘routine.’ Something about that word repelled me back then and I resisted. So I went about my happy, ‘no rhyme or reason’ ways. But, as it turns out, Mamisita was right. Embracing a strong rhythm to our family’s days offers a whole host of benefits.

Luckily, I noticed this in time for the welcoming of our second child four years later.

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Creating family friendly routines: stay flexible, stay sane.

dishes
This week I’m talking about keeping our sanity and our smiles by creating family friendly routines.  This is easier said than done in the face of play groups, extra curricular activities, sports, clubs, family events, church, school, and all of the other things that can be competing for a family’s squares on the calendar.

I am a mama who likes to have a general rhythm to her week  and her days, as I believe it helps both myself and the kids to have anchor points.  Planned activities break up the potential tedium of life with small children with something fun and it allows me to go on “auto pilot” each week. However, even a routine planned out with the best of intentions can cause problems if it is too rigid.

One of the key things I’ve learned about family rhythm and routines is to stay flexible and allow yourself to make changes if things aren’t working.  This one is tough for me sometimes because I can get so mentally married to my pretty schedule and color coded system that it is hard to let go of it, even when part (or all) of it just isn’t working.

Perhaps the day of the week you chose for crafting with your kids is creating stressful afternoons because there isn’t enough time to devote to a project between nap time and dinner preparations (not that I’ve totally made that mistake or anything).  Or maybe you’ve discovered that your regular library day coincides with preschool story time and the kid section is packed, which is a completely overwhelming situation for your toddler.

By staying flexible you can play around with your schedule until you find a day and a time that are a better fit.  Or, you might even find that dropping the activity altogether is the best thing for everyone.  It doesn’t mean you are saying no to that forever, it just means that right now you’re letting it go.

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