September 17, 2014

Organized Dresser Drawers

Each of our children have their own dresser. In each dresser is an "underwear drawer." Of course, this provides a catch-all place to put underwear, socks, undershirts, bathing suits, and pajamas. Big Sister's drawer needed some significant help.

It seemed each day she couldn't find a pair of socks despite the fact that I bought her new socks this summer. Her drawer was in need of some simple organization.
We removed everything from the drawer. With Big Sister's help, we placed like items together.

September 15, 2014

Taco Soup Recipe

My mom has fibromyalgia. Last weekend she and my stepfather came to visit for the first time in a couple of years. During their visit, I wanted to provide gluten-free meals to show her it can be done, and tastily.  Knowing we'd be making applesauce during Saturday, I opted for taco soup for dinner as an easy slow cooker meal.

The taco soup was a huge hit (both with our children and with our company). This recipe comes from my friend, though not on her blog. She served this to our family when we were guests for dinner. I quickly asked for the recipe when all of us enjoyed it. I loved that the beans' flavor is disguised in it. Taco soup is the only recipe I make with beans. I should also mention Dorie calls this Santa Fe soup, but I need to keep it simple.

September 10, 2014


I am excited to share with my readers a new project.
 I've begun a new blog called Little House Companion.  Together, we'll be exploring the the pioneer world of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I will be sharing recipes, activities, and information related to the Little House books in addition to other resources like books and websites.
Please visit Little House Companion.  I will likely only post once or twice a week, so you may want to sign up for emails so you don't miss a post.  I also have a separate Facebook and Twitter account.  

Maybe you are wondering if This Simple Home will continue.  Let me assure my readers I will continue writing here.  However, my family needs to be my priority, so I will split my writing time between the two blogs.  Writing well takes time, so please be patient with me.  

If you are an adult fan of the Little House books, you might be interested to know that you can pre-order Laura Ingalls Wilder's annotated AUTObiography, called Pioneer Girl.  At the time of this writing, you can save 32% off the cover price.  I had the opportunity to read the typed manuscript a couple years ago of this, but I can't wait to read it in book form.  If you are interested in my initial (though clouded with baby-fog) thoughts, you can read my review.

Thanks for your support!

~ Annette
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September 9, 2014

Diaper Giveaway and Community Need

Every parent knows the cost of diapers add up quickly for a baby or toddler.  Huggies Every Little Bottom supports Diaper Need Awareness Week.  They tell me that 1 in 3 moms in the United States suffer from diaper need.
Last year, I dropped off a box of diapers at a local food/diaper bank.  In less than five minutes of time, I was able to make a difference for a family.  Huggies Every Little Bottom commits to fighting #diaperneed.  

Whether you are a parent or not, you can help others in your community.  Huggies will donate diapers to babies in need for every use of the hashtag #diaperneed.  Would you spread the word?  

Huggies is providing a giveaway.  You can win a one-month supply of diapers for your one little one AND they will also donate (and ship) a one-month supply of diapers to a diaper bank in your local community.

Please use the rafflecopter gadget to enter the diaper giveaway.  Go to the original post to enter if you are reading this in a blog feed or through email.  Thank you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post nor was I given any product to sample.  I'm just sharing a great giveaway with my readers while supporting a great cause.
~ Annette
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September 4, 2014


At the local park, this little guy was hopping around and running.  Clearly, he could not fly.
We found him on the playground.  With barriers (railroad ties, I believe) on all sides, he could not escape.

My husband used a piece of paper to scoop the little bird, and then placed him on the regular ground.  We hope his parents were near.

We allowed the children to watch and even get close to the baby bird, but asked they not touch him.  He was frightened enough as it was.

Life is full of surprises.  I like little surprises like a baby bird in our path.

Have you had a recent surprise?
~ Annette
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September 2, 2014

Stop Sibling Arguments Object Lesson

My two older kids fight. A lot. More than most siblings do, in my opinion. What's worse is when the two year old gets involved. They fight with words, pokes, shoves, and general meanness.

As we try to model and live our lives in the context of a biblical worldview, this is really difficult to see as parents.  I decided to demonstrate how to stop fighting.

As a little object lesson, the children and I went outside.

August 28, 2014

My Summer Reading Challenge

Early in June, I shared the Summer Reading Challenge with you all.  I challenged myself, and you, to finally make time to read that book you've been wanting to read.  I also thought it would be a good time to consider what I wanted to read with my children this summer.