7 things I learned from being stranded in the airport with kids

7 things I learned from being stranded in the airport | simplykierste.com

Early last Wednesday morning I left for the airport with my three girls after spending a glorious week with my parents.  I had no idea that it would be a long two and a half days before we would finally get home. We happened to arrive at the Chicago airport just as a major storm was making its entrance, and due to a deadly tornado that was crossing the state, many flights needed to be delayed and cancelled. With no luggage, no way to get home, and three little girls counting on me, it was an experience I won't soon forget. I've flown many times before, but I'd never even come close to being stranded. Somehow everything had always been very uneventful, so I had no idea what was in store … [Read more...]

20+ best tips, tricks & ideas for flying with a toddler

20+ Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Flying with a Toddler | simplykierste.com

Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier! I recently took my newly-turned two year little girl on her first plane ride. She joined her sisters and me for a girls' trip out west, and none of us could wait to go!  I've flown plenty of times before, but it had been awhile since I had a toddler with me since now there are eight of us, we do most of our family traveling by car. I think toddlers are in general the hardest age to travel with, but especially flying.  Not that they aren't perfectly adorable in every way, but they are at a age where they want to be down, running, and moving, and a plane is probably the most limiting.  When you're in a … [Read more...]

Why our kids have chores + an age-appropriate chores guideline

Why our kids have chores + free printable chore guide | simplykierste.com

Ever since I posted my cleaning schedule and talked about my kids having their own chores, I've had a lot of comments, questions, and e-mails about our chores routine. It's been on my mind quite a bit lately too, because this year each of my six kids are turning ages where we can add a few more chores that they are able to do. We also moved from a larger home to a tiny apartment that we are living in while our new house is being built, and it's definitely required me to make a few changes, so I figured it was a good time to write out how our family handles chores for kids, and more importantly, why. We start chores young at our house--they are are one of the most vital parts of our family … [Read more...]

DIY Finances Ledger

DIY FInances Ledger | free printables | simplykierste.com

A couple of years ago I posted about the kitchen mini command center I made for our Texas home. One of the things that I mentioned was my bills and finances ledger. I've had so many e-mails and questions about it that I decided to give it its very own post!  Even though my command center has had to be modified since we moved to New York, that finances ledger has remained the same--I've had it for a long time. I use this ledger almost every day. I pay the bills and handle the finances for our family, so I use it to stay organized and keep track of all of our financial information. My husband is also able to look at it whenever he wants to, and see exactly where we're at and what's going … [Read more...]

5 minute snow ice cream

5 Minute snow ice cream | simplykierste.com

We live in upstate New York, and it's been a very cold and snowy winter.  With all the frigid temps and snowfall, we've had lots of time indoors, and today was one of those inbound days. I wanted to do something fun with the kids to break up the day, so I decided to make snow ice cream, and the kids absolutely loved it!  It's SO fast, and SO easy, and just a really fun winter activity...that you get to eat! After living in Texas for a couple of years, my little kids didn't remember snow ice cream, and they were absolutely fascinated by the whole thing.  They weren't sure how it was going to work when I told them what we were going to do, but it was sure an exciting process for them to … [Read more...]

Good behavior punch cards

Good behavior punch cards | free printable | simplykierste.com

I was so excited when I opened the door.  We were new to the area, and living in a brand new neighborhood, so when I saw a girl about my age holding a boy about my boys' age standing on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to meet her. She looked at me and asked " do you have two boys around four years old"? I answered, "yes, I do!" "They're on your roof." Excuse me for a minute, while MY. JAW. DROPS. TO. THE. FLOOR. I very politely thanked her (what else are you supposed to do in that situation??!!), and then ran as fast as I could up the stairs to our playroom.  Sure enough, my four year old boys were on the roof, zooming cars off of the edge.  Somehow, they had figured out how to … [Read more...]

From a mom of six: my must-have baby items

From this mom of six: my must-have baby items

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine. If you are expecting your first baby, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the products out there, and all the choices available.  It's true--we have so many options, but it's nice to know which direction to head in first, and the items that are tried and true.  If you're on baby #2 or more, you've probably started your own list of favorites, but if you're like me, you're always curious to see if there is something out there that might change your life for the better. :) After having six babies, and a lot of trial and error, I've definitely learned which baby items are my favorite, and some I wish I would have known … [Read more...]

Easy football paper sacks

Easy Football Paper Sacks | simplykierste.com

I know many of you are looking forward to this weekend's Super Bowl, and getting together with family and friends to watch the game, eat, and hang out.  However, I am looking forward to this weekend for a completely separate reason...my husband will be home from a two week international trip.  I think a massage is calling my name, and probably a pedicure too.  We are all so ready to have him home! That said, we are a football family, and love watching games together.  Of course snacks and food are involved, and I'm all about simple .  One of my kids' favorite snacks is popcorn, and it's a popular and fun thing to munch on during a game.  In my quest to come up with something cute for the … [Read more...]

14 days of valentines for your kids & spouse

14 Days of Valentines for your kids & spouse | simplykierste.com

It's been a tough couple of years for my kids, and our family.  We've lived in three states and moved cross country twice over that short period of time, and that's meant a lot of changes, including leaving the only place they've ever  really known.  We are starting to get settled here in upstate New York, and in the process of building a home, where we hope to live for a very long time.  I've felt like doing some extra-special things for my kids and my husband, to show them how much I love them, and give them a little extra joy, and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to do that.  I created a really fun 14 Days of Valentines, and I know they are all going to love it! I gathered cute … [Read more...]

14 favorite Valentine’s Day children’s books

14 Favorite Valentine's Day Children's Books | simplykierste.com

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure. Books are always a wonderful way to celebrate any holiday, and Valentine's Day is no exception.  If you're looking for a really fun and easy Valentine's Day tradition for your family, try a Valentine's Day Book Countdown...one book a day from the 1st through the 14th! Check out this list of Favorite Valentine's Day children's books! A Kiss for Little Bear , by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! , Laura Numeroff Queen of Hearts, by Mary Engelbreit Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George, N. Di … [Read more...]