Kara’s Journal: Daybook 11.4.14

Halloween 2014: Anna, Spider-Man, the Little Mermaid, and Sophia the First | SimpleKids.netLinking up to The Simple Woman’s Blog. Note: there may be affiliate links in this post.

Outside my window … the skies are blue-gray and we are expecting rain later that should last most of the rest of the day.

I am thinking … that there are three more days before a teenager lives in this house. In my mind’s eye I can still see my oldest daughter as a newborn, all chubby baby cheeks and long slender fingers. And yet, as nostalgic as I am for those baby days, I’m really proud of the young lady Jillian is becoming and I’m excited to see what this next phase of her life brings.

I am thankful … for fresh starts. Yesterday was a long one and I didn’t parent as well as I could have or should have. Here’s to fresh starts and a brand new day.

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40+ Advent ideas: simple ways to count the days

Advent Ideas 2014 | simple ways to count the days | SimpleKids

Note:  there are affiliate links in this post. This list was updated in 2014.

Today I’m talking about Advent and some simple ways to count the days before Christmas.

It doesn’t take too many days of using an Advent calendar for even young kids to start to understand the idea of a count-down.  The simple, repeated act, be it opening a drawer on an heirloom calendar to reveal a surprise or tearing the next link on a paper chain every day, is a fun way for kids to mark the passage of time.

Are you looking for some ideas for observing Advent this year?  I’ve rounded up more than 40 of my favorite ideas for you to choose from. 

One reminder:  I know this list has grown from when I began it in 2012. There are now many more activities and Advent resources listed here, but I want to remind you to keep Advent simple. For me Advent is a time of quiet contemplation, anticipating the joy of Christmas day. It’s a season for reflection, introspection, and also preparation.

Advent isn’t meant to be busy or rushed. And it isn’t meant to be one more thing for your To Do list. For my family,  Advent is about simply enjoying the wait, anticipating the Christmas celebration, looking forward to what comes next.” – Kara, SimpleKids.net

Pick the single idea that speaks to you this year.  Maybe two if you promise me to keep it stress free, friends.  This is a time to let go of the excess and keep things sincere and focused, not overwhelming.

So this is me formally giving you permission not to do it all, okay?

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Kiddin’ Around 10.31.14

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Note: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Welcome to Kiddin’ Around, where I share different activities, games, crafts, and links the kids and I have loved each week as a way of sharing the fun with all of you but also to help me add these moments to our family memory bank.

Right now my kids are ages 3, 6, 8, and 12 or preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and seventh grade.

Here’s how we’ve been kiddin’ around:

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Daybook 10.27.14

Zoo Boo 2014 | Daybook entry | SimpleKids.netLinking up to The Simple Woman’s Blog. Note: there may be affiliate links in this post.

Outside my window … the skies are still dark as I type this, but the weatherman tells me that today and tomorrow are supposed to be really lovely and sunny. (And we’ll just pretend that the dire predictions for the rest of the week after that didn’t happen, okay?)

I am thinking … that there are now just 9 weekends left in 2014 and we have plans for 8 of them. They are good plans, fun plans, but that thought still leaves me a little bit shocked (and committed to enjoy the down time and quiet moments whenever I can).

I am thankful … for my sweet kids. When I told them that our local arts center had been vandalized (mums pulled up, pumpkins smashed) they were eager to help and to spend some time cleaning up and painting new pumpkins. Max even volunteered to go on a stake out to catch the bad guys, ha ha! I’m so thankful for their big hearts.

And, I’m also thankful for friends who see a need in our community and rise up to meet it and to Piney Acres Farm for donating the pumpkins.

There are some good people in this small town and I’m really glad we call it home.

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Fizz Pop Bang! Playful Science and Math activities

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I‘m so excited to announce a project that some friends and I wrote together. I think you and your kids are really going to enjoy it. Introducing Fizz! Pop! Bang! Playful Science and Math activities – 40 Projects for Ages 3 to 8.

It was a wonderful experience getting to work on this book alongside some of my favorite kid and parenting bloggers. The ebook is chock full of fun and I think if you’re looking for an ebook packed with learning opportunities in math and science, shared through art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach, well, then this is the ebook for you (if I do say so myself.)

Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities | a brand new ebook from some of your favorite kid bloggers!

We are homeschoolers, but I truly think this book would be great for homeschool, after school, school, weekends, summer, fall break, winter break, at-home days – any time you’re looking to bring some fun projects to your kids
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