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September 29, 2009

Reader's Appreciation Halloween Give-away!

It's never too early to start thinking about Halloween and to share my festive spirit,
I'm giving away two of my very own Halloween party hats!

If you'd like a chance to win your very own Kim K. creations, just leave me a comment. I'll draw 2 winners so that E and J can each pick a random  winner. 

Leave your comment by Saturday, October 3 at 11:59pm

Good luck and Happy Halloween from Kim K.

September 27, 2009

Culture, Carnival and Collecting

Friday = Culture

Friday night, we took the girls downtown to enjoy ArtPrize. For anyone living near the Grand Rapids area, the open art competition is a must-see event. We were so impressed with the artwork and the local support.

Saturday = Carnival

Emma's elementary school held their annual school carnival/fundraiser Saturday afternoon. Luckily the weather held off and most of the activities could be enjoyed outdoors.

Emma's favorite game made her the lucky recipient of 2 goldfish. I'm not exactly sure how I got suckered into buying a mini aquarium for these .19 cent feeder fish, but the girls are happy with their newest family members.

Josie's favorite part of the day was tasting her first blue/green snowcone. I think her shirt enjoyed it too!

Sunday = Collecting

My favorite part of the weekend was sneaking off with my mom to the Allegan Antique fair on Sunday. It was the last one for the season and I came home inspired with all kinds of Halloween decorating ideas.

I'm now the proud owner of several test tubes, a tiny microscope, a black umbrella with a jeweled handle, several old bottles, two moon-shaped cookie cutters, three story-book dolls, two miniature urns, a candle-shaped light, one wooden spool, a handful of scrabble letters, one miniature glass dome, and a bunch of other miscellaneous items that will be crafted into marvelous Halloween displays. I'm going miss my monthly Allegan Antique fix.

And last but not least, here's my latest Halloween creation (yes...that's a fish aquarium).

It's filled with one bag of black dried beans, two miniature skeletons (found at my local dollar store), some dried moss, two miniature pumpkins, a battery operated candle, and a few Halloween words placed strategically between the skeleton's toes...hee hee.

For those of you still praying for Mia, she's finally been moved out of PICU. Let's hope this is finally the week this sweet little girl and her mommy gets to go home.

Have a great week!

September 25, 2009

Hitting the Bottle(s)...

I thought that title might get your attention.

While antique shopping a month ago with my mom, I spotted several old bottles and immediately thought of my newly created spells/potions book sitting back home with my witchy ladies.

Of course, no spell book is complete without a few potions!! Here are a few ideas for attempting your own Halloween potion bottles.


Old bottles (I love scouring antique stores, but this could also be a good excuse to clean out the refrigerator or spice drawer)

Step 1: You could create your very own labels, but there are several different websites that feature printable potion labels that you can print off. I’m all about EASY!!

Step 2. After you've printed off your labels, cut them out and glue onto your bottles.

Step 3. Fill your bottles with colored sand, tiny candy, colored sugar, pretend insects, or any other fun little creepy item. I tucked a few battery operated votive candles behind my bottles. The candles cast a nice little shimmer.

Just like with any other medicine or poisonous object, keep your potion bottles out of reach of little ones.

On Sunday, I'm hitting the Allegan Antique fair with my Mom. Who knows what goodies and inspirations I'll find! Happy Crafting!!

September 24, 2009

Getting ready for Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival)

I wanted to extend a great big THANK YOU to everyone who subscribes to this site, left a comment, or sent me a personal email. Feel free to keep lurking. Don't get me wrong, I'd love some affirmation every now and then, it makes my blogging ventures worthwhile. I'm thinking a Halloween give-away definitely will be happening in the near future. I have all kinds of Halloween crafts that need good homes.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled Halloween, adoption, crafting and Kenward family blogging adventures...

Next Saturday, we're having five other Chinese adoptive families over to our house to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, also know as the Moon Festival For any adoptive family who is searching for the one book that explains the culture and history behind Chinese celebrations and traditions, I highly recommend Good Luck Life by Rosemary Gong. I've mentioned this book before and I'm still really enjoying it.

Because I'm not found of the taste of Moon cakes (a traditional food eaten during the festival), I've decided to make sugar cookies in the shapes of moons and let the kids decorate them with icing and sprinkles. I'm also planning on creating a bunch of paper lanterns for the kids to adorn with star stickers. Later, we'll all go to a local Chinese restaurant to continue our celebration over good food. I'm so looking forward to getting together with our new special friends and their amazing children. Be prepared for lots of pictures!!

Speaking of pictures, check out Josie modeling one of her Chinese outfits.

I can't believe how much different she looks from last year at this time.

Wishing you a happy "soon-to-be" Friday! I'm so ready for the weekend!!

September 23, 2009

Hello...anybody out there?

I miss you. I can see by my statistics that people are lurking looking at my blog, but I sure don’t hear from you very often anymore. I just can’t cave into the world of facebook. I’m already accused by my family that I’m on my computer too much (it doesn’t help that my career is Educational Technology and that my work tends to invade my home life), so adding one more social media tool, just isn’t fair. Call me old fashioned, I’d even take an email every now and then too. Can you tell, I’m missing my blogging friends…

September 21, 2009

This never gets old...

Normally, Chris does drop-off and pick-up from daycare. This was Josie's reaction when Emma and I surprised her at daycare.

I can't tell you how seeing their happiness melts all my daytime stress. It makes all those years of waiting and struggling to be a family of four, a far distant memory. 

September 20, 2009

Arty, Crafty Saturday!

After my Saturday morning teaching duties were done, I headed home and pulled out the craft and baking supplies.

I got my "fix", so I guess I'm ready for the next week. Have a great one!

September 17, 2009

Needing to find my happy place...

I've been burning the candles at both ends (working late nights and weekends at the University) and it's finally caught up with me. I've been witchy, cranky, resentful, and downright unhappy. My girls haven't seen me much (I've been getting home after J's in bed because of night classes) and I'm ready to just have a break from teaching students and faculty new software. Saturday morning is my last weekend work obligation and I can't wait. I'm ready to pull out the crafting supplies and have some quality time with my girls. I need to find my happy place again.

Here is a craft project that I did with the girls over Labor Day weekend. This pumpkin collage is easy enough for a toddler to do too.

(click collage to enlarge)

Orange construction paper
Black construction paper
Brown construction paper
Paper plates
Glue and brush for spreading glue

1. Rip up various sizes of orange, brown and black construction paper. E received a paper cutter from my mom and she was more than eager to test it out, so we didn't tear our paper. She cut up the brown and orange construction into square shapes. With scissors, we cut out eye, nose and mouth shapes with the black construction paper.

2. Cut a pumpkin shape out of a paper plate. Be sure to leave room for a stem.

3. E applied glue dots onto her paper plate, but I gave J a brush and she spread her glue around on her paper plate. She doesn't quite understand how to apply just a LITTLE bit of glue but loved using a brush for her glue.

4. Cover your paper plate with orange construction paper pieces. Cover the stem with brown construction paper and use your black construction paper to form the eyes, nose and mouth.

It's a quick craft. Super easy and both girls had fun. I can't wait to do more of those types of crafts Saturday afternoon when I'm back home from work.

Here's a sneak peek at my bedroom corner make-over for Halloween.

I found the storybook doll last month at Allegan Antiques and gave her a witch makeover with an orange sash, a miniature hat and a black scarf.

I want to get my hands on some more of those storybook dolls.

There was a vendor selling very used storybook dolls and I should have bought up his entire stash. You can bet I'll be running to his both next Sunday.

The Halloween party hats and decorated black cat and black crows are my creations. You can find my instructions for the party hats on this post. Instructions for embellishing your Halloween birds, can be found in this post. I'll be showing how to make that black feather wreath in a future post.

Have a great weekend and happy crafting!!

PS. Continue to keep Mia in your thoughts and prayers. This little one has been through so much with her various heart operations.

September 16, 2009

Showing Off...

Emma's sixth grade school pictures came home yesterday. Isn't she lovely? She just keeps looking older and older...sigh.

(click on collage to enlarge)

In other milestones, Josie has learned how to play her first board game!!! We had saved Emma's clue game (which is a variation of a candy land but with clue cards) and as long as we kept reminding her to move forward instead of backwards, she kept pace. Even the cat joined in by sleeping in the game box top.

My two girls continually amaze me. Can you tell I'm a proud Momma?

Please continue to keep Mia in your thoughts and prayers. She's been through so much over the last week and is undergoing additional surgery for a pace maker and to correct her diaphragm that was injured during her previous heart surgery.

September 13, 2009

A Witch and a Prayer

Over the weekend, Josie happily modeled her Halloween costume. Doesn't she make the cutest little witch!!

Big sister Emma has her costume, but a few of her special accessories haven't arrived yet from Costume Express and she's promised to let me do a photo shoot in the future when she's "ready".

You may have noticed that I added a link to Mia's blog at the top of my right column. This little sweetheart had her corrective surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot earlier last week and remains hospitalized.

When Josie had her heart surgery for the same condition, I treasured all well wishes and prayers that were left on our blog. Mia's Mommy (Melinda) would appreciate the same thing.

Have a wonderful week and hug your precious kiddos.

September 10, 2009

Meet my fine feathered friends!

(click on collage to enlarge)

This is Otto the Owl
And Theodore the Black Crow
And Sir Henry the Black Cat
And Cuthbert the Owl
And Madeline the Owl
And Winston the Black Crow
And Hugo the Owl

Emma and I have had fun thinking up bird names.

During the labor day weekend, I decided that my Halloween birds needed a little makeover for our upcoming party. I think their hats make them look rather festive now. I just added crepe paper ruffles, trim and other embellishments to their miniature hats. If anyone is interested in creating their own Halloween birds, Hobby Lobby has miniature witch hats with their Halloween supplies. Michael's Crafts has a great assortment of black birds and owls with their Halloween supplies.

Eventually, these birds are going to end up in our Halloween tree. A tradition every year for the last seven years, has been to bring a dead tree from our woods into the house and decorate it for the Halloween party. The dead tree is actually quite festive once it's all done and many of our Halloween guests pose for their Halloween pictures in front of the tree.

We fill it with lights, garland, bats, birds, ghosts, pumpkins, mini skeletons and paper lanterns. Josie got right into the mix of decorating the tree last year and I've captured some of the decorating festivities in the movie below.

With the lights on

With the lights off

Have a super weekend and happy crafting!!