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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Come follow, follow us to … the World’s Largest Roadside Attractions (South Eastern US)

Tea Cups | Walt Disney World | SimpleKids.net

The month of September was a month of travel for our family. We celebrated my husband’s 40th birthday at Walt Disney World (perfect for those eternally young, right?) While we were there, we took a dip (and a spin!) in our favorite large teacups. There’s a theme going on here, do you see it? That’s right, the Fleck family decided to GO BIG!

As we traveled to and from Orlando, Florida we thought it would be fun to make a field trip out of seeing some of the world’s largest roadside attractions. After all, we do live in the town that is home to the World’s Largest Pink Martini Drinking Elephant, so roadside attractions are kind of our favorite kitschy travel experience.

Bastille Day 2014 | Pinkky the Elephant | SimpleKids.netPinky, all dressed up and presiding over Indiana Bastille Day 2014

We used the Roadside America app and some tips from Simple Kids readers on the facebook page to help us navigate our BIG time adventures.

*Note: there were a few times when we could not locate the items the app directed us to (World’s Largest Rubber Duck and the Goldfish Cracker in Jacksonville, Florida, I’m looking at you) so just keep in mind that you may end up on a wild goose chase, but we have found that the journey is usually worth it, even if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for.

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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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