It's Official!

Thank you for all your kind wishes! It was a wonderful day!

We arrived super early for our 8:30am court appearance. This is picture outside of the courtroom. We meant another wonderful family adopting a little boy the same age as Em.

Mommy & Em

Em & Lu

Emme walked around during the whole proceeding. Curious as usual! The Judge was so nice! He was quite taken with Em. Em on the other hand wasn't to sure about him!

In front of the Court House.

It is hard to believe we first contacted the adoption agency in October of 2006 to start up the adoption process. It has been an amazing journey and we feel so blessed to have Miss Emme in our lives. Being adopted myself, I know it is truly hard to know if your parents love you the "same" as if you were biologically theirs. I can say 110% YES! Emme was ours from the moment I held her in my arms.

I always find it funny when people say to me, "Oh I could never adopt...God Bless you for doing it! You never know what your going to get." First of all, that statement is wrong on so many levels. Do you ever know what your going to get? Ask any parent! Adopting a child doesn't make me a saint. I am not taking on a charity case or burden I am taking in a CHILD! A human! I get the privilege of raising another human being. Emme has brought so much joy into our lives! Finally and more importantly that statement implies -- I don't think I could love a child that wasn't biologically mine! That just blows my mind. The human heart is capable of so much love and does not have limits! Do not underestimate your capacity to love.

I know and understand adoption isn't for everyone. I apologize for standing on my soap box. But I feel it is important to say because someone might read this and consider adopting who never had before. Thank you for following us on our adoption journey! Mama King

Adoption Finalization Day!!!

It is finally here! Em will be legally ours today. *Big Sigh* Will post back with photos!

ABC and 123's Picnic Talk

Hello! 4CK's is participating in ABC and 123's Picnic Talk today. Welcome!

4 Crazy Kings features mainly kids craft projects with some Mommy made crafts and family photos thrown in. I am a former High School Art Teacher and am now a SAHM. I have two little bean sprouts Lu & Em and an amazing husband. Together we make up the 4 crazy Kings. I am pretty much the only one guilty of being crazy in the family but since they are along for the ride -- that makes them crazy by association! This blog chronicles all our creative and crazy adventures.

I have been a fan of ABC & 123 since the very beginning. I think pretty much anything the Katie's do is pretty amazing. Enjoy the picnic! Mama King

Crafty Picnic Idea: We are always on the look out for fun materials we can craft with. So we always bring a pail along for the girls to fill with their found treasures.
  • Rocks can be painted to look like lady bugs and bumble bees
  • Leaves can be used for rubbings
  • Pine cones are great for bird feeders (smear with peanut butter & roll in seeds) or paint and glue feathers to to make your own bird.
  • Sea shells and drift wood make a great mobile
  • Sticks, Rocks, Acorns & Leaves make great building materials for a fairy house your kids can build and leave at your picnic site.
So always keep your eyes open and happy hunting!

Napkins and Saran Wrap: Incredible Results

Little birdie Secrets has an easy tutorial on how to iron a napkin onto paper/card board. Also see Skip to My Lou for an incredible interpretation of the project. Why might you want to do this? Look at how cool my Tinkerbell napkin card came out! It was left over from Lu's 3rd birthday party. I usually have a stack of party napkins after a party -- there are usually never enough to actually use again so in the closet they go. Well no more!
**Remember to peel the napkin apart. Use only the top ply or layer.

The clothes pins are holding down the ribbon while the glue dries.

I added some glitter and glue for accent. You could use the left over napkins from a party to make thank you notes.

Straw Bead Necklace

Lu made this for her sis Em in honor of her adoption being finalized (this Friday!) We chose some patriotic colored straws and cut them up. A fun way to practice cutting (although be prepared for the little straw beads to fly!) I tied a bead to one end of an elastic string. You can use the elastic string that comes around gifts. I tied a child's plastic blunt end needle to the other end. Lu had fun lacing the beads on and making patterns. I included a foam heart we had for her to add on.

Simple, cheap and fun. Have fun crafting with your kiddos!

Another Easy Father's Day Card from Katie's Nesting Spot

Katie (Katie's Nesting Spot) has a simple tutorial here on her blog for a simple but beautiful way to send a photo or original artwork from your peanut. Last week I had some of my Moms Group friends over for wine and cheese...and a craft! The ladies loved how easy these were to make and how "professional" and "expensive" looking they came out. The only thing I don't show is -- cut your photo or artwork a bit smaller than your inside matte, slide on top of inside matte and under ribbon, center and glue down. The ribbon is only attached on the top back and inside bottom.

I assembled some masculine looking papers and ribbon from my collection since I had father's day in mind. The two I made will be sent to Lu & Em's Grandfathers. I cut everything to to size for the ladies. All they had to do was choose the combination and glue.

I provided clothes pins to hold down the ribbon while it dried. (The patterned paper was origami paper.) Thanks Katie for the idea!

The Green Mountains

We had a wonderful long weekend in Vermont. It was full of: time with Daddy, tractor rides, holding baby kittens & bunnies, feeding goats...

pony rides...

first time slumber party, secrets, giggles and whispering late into the night with our bff and cousin...

s'mores, freeze tag, looking for frogs, hunting dinosaurs, long walks, barbecuing...

time with Emme's favorite person on the entire planet...Uncle B. It was truly a fantastic time! The kids had a blast and the bonus...I got to to hang out with my baby sister :-)

I didn't have access to my computer (which is always a good thing!) Thank you for all the great comments I received over the weekend! I hope you all enjoyed your weekends!

Sunday Snapshot: Our Little Linus

Our little Em has three blankets that she LOVES. She sleeps with them and likes to drape them around her as she walks around the house. She will hand me a blanket and say ba ba (which translates not to blanket but to back, back. Meaning put this on my back.) I have tried like all naive parents do -- to do a blanket switcheroo (in the dark) -- while one is in the wash. No dice. She knows them by touch! Luckily I was smart enough not to ever let her leave the house with them! Even then we find ourselves on the blanket hunt right before bedtime or nap time.
This picture just makes me smile. She couldn't be happier or cozier.

Easy Father's Day Card

This is an easy card for little ones who like anything that involves glue. Papa King loves cars! He was taking a bunch of old magazines to the recycling center. We grabbed a couple. I cut out some cars and let Lu glue them down. As you can see I let Lu loose on the Mod Podge. After it dried I trimmed the edges.

Whatever interest the Dad in your life has - - why not have your little one make a collage of his favorite things. It is really fast and easy.

Maybe a little too much glue!

Fossils & Color Collages

I am finally getting around to trying some great projects I have found blogging. There are so many great ideas and projects out there! Here are two that Lu & I just completed recently: Coffee Ground Fossils from Kaboose and Color Collage from Red Bird Crafts.

Coffee Ground Fossils

I had to make a lot of coffee to get 1 cup of coffee grinds. Most people would plan ahead and save their coffee grinds...not me! I refrigerated all the coffee I made for iced coffee.

I made the dough -- which was way too wet from not properly draining my grinds. So I ended up adding a lot of extra flour and dusting the shells with flour before Lu pressed them into the dough. I shaped the bones and teeth while Lu made shell fossils (she gave them to her teachers and Daddy.) We are going to bury these in her sand table. We have been reading about Paleontologists. I will give her a paint brush and she can excavate some fossils.

Color Collages

The color collages were easy to make. I used one Land of Nod catalog. We made this for Em so she could learn her colors. I cut out the colors and Lu sorted them. I cut the circles using a circle punch. Lu put glue on the circles and together we placed the paper on the circles. I trimmed the circles after they were dry. Instead of hanging them up as garland I punched holes in them and put them on a key chain circle thing (its official name!) I plan on laminating them but haven't got around to it yet.

I wrote the color name on the back in the corresponding color.

Guest Blogger: Year End Teacher Gift

I asked my friend Laurie to be a guest blogger today. I've known Laurie since college. My bestest friend and former college roommate is her sister Krissy (also a crafty mama.) Laurie used to come to visit on weekends. Who knew we would be talking crafts 20 years later!

Laurie is a former nurse and a SAHM. She has two gorgeous boys! Laurie came up with a great end of the year teacher gift (even though she insists she is not crafty!) I think any teacher would love getting such a cute, personal and yummy gift!

Laurie: "I thought of you (Mama King) as we finished these up tonight. Tomorrow is Matthew's closing ceremony for Preschool 3. This is our gift to his teachers for tomorrow. We baked choc. chip cookies (from scratch!- Am I crazy?) and put them in specially decorated boxes. Matthew painted 3 panels on each box and then I adhered 3 candid shots of him and him with some of his classmates from different events throughout the school year. I hope his teachers enjoy them. We had fun making them."

Laurie had the same dilemma all of us moms pictures of us with the kids!
I asked Laurie a few questions about crafting and her kids.

Kiddos names & ages:
Matthew (Age 4), Ryan (Age 2)

What is a goto craft activity you do with your boys?
They are at different phases. Ryan, my youngest is happy just pasting stickers in a notebook for a stretch. Matthew enjoys anything with glue and glitter.

What do you personally enjoy creating / crafting?
I think I enjoy crafting for the holidays the most. I like themes. : )

Where do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas from sites like yours, through family-style magazines, other moms and we have 2 great community centers who put out some interesting craft projects.
What is your favorite thing you have made or your boys have made?
I enjoyed making Matthew's Halloween costume last year. He was a scarecrow. We made a great straw hat with a crow and dried leaves for embellishments. He was very excited. Ryan really liked making your Easter egg sun catchers and they turned out very sweet.

Why do you think it is important to do craft projects with your boys?
I think it is important to do crafts with my boys for a variety of reasons. Some reasons matter more depending on the day. Some top reasons- Helps with small motor development, helps them practice sharing/taking turns, in some cases it gives me quality alone time with just 1, great when they need a sensory stimulator and just want to get their hands into something.

Besides crafts what other activities do you like to do with your boys?
We also enjoy
cooking (baking), outdoor activities from sledding to hiking to splashing in puddles.

Do you have any tips (organization, cleanup, setup, storage...)
For any multi-step project, I try to plan it over a few crafting sessions. My guys don't do anything for too very long yet. We only do it while it's fun. If they start to get frustrated, I call it. I store most of our supplies in small (portable) totes in the basement where we have our kids' table and easel. I keep some go-to items like crayons, stickers and Crayola wonder markers right in the kitchen.
Egg cartons and Popsicle sticks are very handy for kids first using glue. I saved a couple trays from the "Kid-Cuisine style" microwave meals. They made great organizers when we did our Easter egg sun catchers. Great for sorting sequins, feather, tissue paper decorations, etc.

Thanks Laurie for being my first guest blogger!

Organizing Crafts

As you all know I love all things crafty. My house on the other hand does not. We are busting at the seams here in the King household. Paint, glue, markers, glue, clay, colored sand, play dough, markers, tissue paper, pom poms, googly eyes, card board, stamps and stamp pads...the list goes on and on. How can I possibly coral all of the girls craft materials plus mine? Baby steps! I am not at all an organized soul. I actually have to consciously battle my disorganization on a daily basis. I told my new friend Abbie over at Organizing-life that I must be missing the organization gene! I can relate more to the title of Sharon's blog, Mama's A Mess. (By the way: Sharon is hardly a mess!)

The first step was organizing the girls basics. I put together a basket of basic art supplies that we use daily. I had to store them in plain site due to a storage shortage. Plus they had to be high enough Em (my little wrecking ball) can't reach. That is why they are stored in the dining area in between the wine and the wine glasses. Not ideal but that is all I have to work with. The basket is nice because it hides the contents and is easy to take down for craft time and put pack up afterwards.

I placed little plastic baskets which I had and a few Solo cups in to separate the items. I can grab the basket of markers quickly. The square marker pencil holder in the center of the picture holds those annoying "I'm not a marker" markers. You know the random Magic Pen and Color Wonder markers. So annoying when you go to jot something down and you pick up one of those! So those definitely needed their own spot.

I also organized a shelf for the girls coloring, activity & work books. Plus I came up with a solution for organizing the paper. I am addicted to Korean Seasoned Seaweed. Why is that important? Well, the brand I like comes packaged in really nice heavy duty cardboard box. I have been saving them (because that is what we crazy craft addicts do) waiting for a project to pop into my head. Well, here you go...paper storage! I haven't had a chance to cover them in pretty paper yet but here you get the idea. I cut about 2 inches off the top only to make accessing the paper easier. The bottom box has construction paper, the middle white paper and the top activity pages for Lu taken out of the books for her to work on whenever she wants. If you have any great tips you can pass along please do! I can use all the help you can offer!

This is a work in progress. Next up will be the paints & painting supplies.

Rainsticks and Bookmarks

Flip Flops & Applesauce had a great tutorial on making a rain stick from a wrapping paper tube. We made a mini version from a heavy duty saran wrap tube. It was easy to do and we used up some more of our paintings to decorate it. I punched out stars from some of Lu's paintings we had. It came out very cool and sounds like the rain!

Valerie from Frugal Family Fun Blog made a comment on our What to Do With Your Child's Artwork post and said she makes bookmarks from her kiddos art work. I quickly made this one from some card stock, a star punch, glue and Lu's paintings. I think this would make a nice gift to send to Grandpa for fathers day. There is room on the back to write a sentiment.

Mother Nature Came Calling

OK, I know I have been guilty of complaining about the number of deer that congregate in our back yard...up to 20 at a time! But who can complain when the girls & I get to see three brand new baby fawns up close like this (literally 8 ft away from our house.) The mama gave birth what seemed like moments before. One of the fawns was still wet and the mama still had her birth sac attached (sorry if that was too much info!) The fawns were all wobbly and cute!

Sunday Snapshot

Em & Lu, there is no other word to describe what they are other than, SISTERS. Best buds, confidants, partners in crime and at times mortal enemies. Lucky for me that for these pictures they were adoring best buds!

Don't mess with my sis!

What to do with your childs artwork: Gift Tags

Sometimes it is just fun to smear paint around on paper. No purpose except fun and maybe sensory. Today was one of those days. We ended up with 6 of these colorful pieces of paper. What to do with them...

Card stock, a star shaped punch, glue and some ribbon...

Voila! Simple but cute gift tags.

On a different note...Thanks to Katie (Katie's Nesting Spot) for inspiring us to get out of our lunch rut. Yesterday was letter C day at her house and she made a cat snack for her daughter ER. I thought I would give it a try. You should have seen Lu's eyes grow wide and hear the squeals of delight when she saw her plate. Lu didn't want to eat it at first. She sat and talked about it for ten minutes. Finally I got her to eat an ear and then she was alright with it. She even ate the "crunchy carrots" (her term for them) which she doesn't normally like!


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