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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We #LoveBooks Summer 2014 Exchange: Thornton Burgess, red squirrels, and “Not Alvin”

LoveBooks2014insidebookNote: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Hooray, hooray, it’s Summer #LoveBook Exchange day! This is our second year participating and it is becoming one of our family’s favorite annual traditions.


This year we were matched up with the Tripp family from the amazing blog Teach Beside Me.  They sent us the book The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, which was fantastic because we are fans of author Thornton W. Burgess at our house, and this was a book we hadn’t read yet. I just love that it worked out that way, like we were simply meant to be matched up with them and this book was destined for our shelves.

(If you’d like to see what book we sent them, you can head to the Teach Beside Me blog and find out).

If you guys are Burgess fans like we are, you’ll definitely want to head to Teach Beside Me and check out her Burgess Animal Guide resource page.

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Tinkerlab blog tour and giveaway

tinkerlabcoverNote: I was given a review copy of this book and there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Friends, I think you’re going to love today’s post. I’m giving away a copy of my friend Rachelle Doorley’s incredible new book Tinkerlab to one lucky Simple Kids reader!

7.28.14 This giveaway is now closed and winners will be announced soon.  Thanks!

 

Tinkerlab

I know that many of you are familiar with Rachelle’s wonderful blog and with her creative challenges and prompts. I personally am a big fan of both. I have felt a connection to Rachelle and her work with kids and her artistic voice ever since I discovered her blog a few years ago. In the crowded world of kid blogging, Tinkerlab stands out and part of the reason is the very talented writer behind it.

So, I was really excited to learn last year that Rachelle was writing a book and I jumped at the chance to be a part of the Tinker-Circle group as she was writing and to help promote this incredible resource through the blog tour team.

The day our copy of Tinkerlab, a Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors: 55 Playful Experiments That Encourage Tinkering, Curiosity, & Creative Thinking arrived the kids and I were thrilled! This is a gorgeous book to look at, but more than inspiring pictures, there are so many projects and ideas and Rachelle encourages you and your kids to “tinker” – to create, explore, find that inner artist and just to play.

Hmmm, tinkering, creating, exploring, and curiosity.  Yes, that sounds perfect for the Fleck kids!

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Looking back at June 2014

HHFiberFestsmileKIDSIt was a lovely, laid back month of June for my family and hanging out here on the blog. We’ve settled into our Summer rhythm and the warm days are a welcome mix of rest, activity, and fun.

Just the way I like my Summers to be.

So, what did the month of June look like here on the Simple Kids blog?

Well, to recap the month, we ….

… shared a quick sneak peek at our Love Book exchange package that we sent. I’ll share what we received in a few days.

… got ready for a Summer of fun with Kiwi Crate and our annual Backyard Summer Nature Camp.

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