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...]

14 fun Valentine’s Day movies for families

14 Fun Valentine's Day Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

We love family movie nights, and snuggling up together to watch our favorite movies. Valentine's Day is coming up in a few weeks, and a family movie night is a perfect way to celebrate together!  I'm sharing a list of our favorite Valentine's Day movies that are great for families. So...grab your cozy blankets, make some Pink Hot Chocolate, and get ready for an evening of Valentine's Day movie fun! Most of them are rated G, and a few are rated PG.   Common Sense Media is a resource that I've used to check movies for more rating information. The Love Bug , rated G The original version is definitely my favorite, and the one we watch.  I have loved it since I was little! The … [Read more...]

All about me: annual interview questions for kids

Annual Interview Questions for Kids | simplykierste.com

I take a lot of pictures of my kids. And I mean A LOT.  I always have a camera with me, and I was super happy when the smartphone came along, so then I had a phone AND a camera all-in-one!  My kids know that no matter the occasion, no matter we go, pictures are going to happen  It's just how it is.  But what I love just as much as photos are their little words--the funny things they say, what they think about, and how they view the world.  Years ago, I started doing an annual interview with my kids, and it's seriously my favorite thing EVER.  At first it was on paper only, but now I do video too.  We have a family blog that I update regularly and get printed every year, so I keep it in print … [Read more...]