Sunday, December 6, 2015

Adoption Day

November 20 is the official Adoption Day in the United States. With over 400,000 children in foster care, just in the United States, and more going into foster care all the time, there is a great need for people to take these abused children in, give them homes, and hopefully a forever home.

I've been privileged to know Meemaw and Papa (that's what everyone, even adults, call them!) Haws for years now. We met about 8 years ago at a church we both attended. Meemaw is one of the sweetest, kindest, and sassiest people I've ever met, and we just clicked right away! Her no nonsense style about everything is just a breath of fresh air. She speaks her mind, no matter what, and honestly it's the thing I love most about her! Papa is a quiet man, but one of the most loving people you will ever meet. He loves children, and children love him. He's not afraid to get down on the floor and play wolf with them. Basically it's a game he plays where he's the wolf chasing children around the house.

Their story started back in 2012, and it's an amazing story of grace and G-d's perfect timing in their lives.

In 2012 they had finally finished getting their foster parents license. It was a (according to Meemaw) ridiculous procedure that took entirely too long, but looking back it was in G-d's hands the entire time. Within hours of getting their foster license they had a placement. Two little girls and a 6 month old baby boy. I remember well going over to her house, after she went from just having her grandchildren around, to suddenly having an overflowing house! Forget showering, forget cleaning, it was all she could do to just stay sane! I washed and braided the girls' hair, while she cleaned up, took care of the little one, and had a moments peace. Days turned into months, then into years. The girls had been placed into another family- a family that wanted to adopt them- and Meemaw and Papa found themselves with not just the one little boy, but his little brother that they had received when he was just days old.

For the longest time adoption was something that wasn't even in their minds. They were just following G-d's calling to be foster parents, and care for the fatherless, but very soon (as you can imagine) those little boys began to work their way into their hearts, and they started trying to get the courts to allow them to adopt. That was a process that took, seemingly, forever. Court date after court date, stalling from the biological parents, and misplaced paperwork meant that the process took even longer.

Without going into a lot of detail, and private information, termination of parental rights was finally coming up- three and a half years in the making. The biological parents did the right thing and signed over their rights in the end and signed them over voluntarily. Meemaw and Papa were finally going to get to adopt their little boys!

Honestly, the way G-d worked it all out is just amazing. Hours after getting the paperwork back, saying they were licensed foster care parents, they get children in need of a home. While the two little girls were moved into a different home, amazingly the children were moved a limited amount of times- the boys never moving homes. I have no doubt that G-d placed the desire for being a foster parent into their hearts just so they could adopt those sweet boys. The girls' adoption day is coming up on December 18th, and they too will have a forever family.

After offering my photography skills, getting the time and date set up, it was adoption day. On November 20, the official Adoption Day, I was so honored to be able to capture the emotion of this glorious day that two little boys finally got their forever home.





















The moment that the judge granted the adoption.


I think that C's face says it all!



Congratulations Meemaw, Papa, C, and S Haws! I'm so happy for you and blessed that I was able to be there for you in that beautiful moment!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Holiday Decor

This year I wanted to do something different then in the years past. Normally we would set up the huge tree, a small tree, and snowmen everywhere. It was a winter wonderland, and honestly I hated setting it up. It took all day to set it all up and then pack it all back up in a month. I really dreaded putting it all back up this year, so we didn't.

We decided to go minimal this year, choosing to decorate for the winter season (as I do for all the seasons anyway) and just include a few Hanukkah and Christmas decorations. The kids do love looking at the tree and helping set it up. And Mopsy said that the house looked "gorgeous" the way that it's decorated now. So here's what I did.

I googled snowflake patterns, and Star of David patterns to begin with.

I used a Red Heart pattern for the Star of David, and this adorable pattern from Anabelia for the 6 pointed snowflakes. 

Making these was really fast and simple. I was able to make over 80 of them in about 3 days time. The process that took the longest, and was really gross, was starching them so they would keep their shape.





I used Purex Sta-Flo, available at most stores like Wal-Mart. Most of the ladies I know simply spray it on, but I wanted these to not move at all! I poured the starch into a bowl, soaked the stars and flakes in the starch, and then by hand I wrung them out and laid them out- pinning them to keep their shape. It was, quite possibly, the nastiest thing I've ever done. That starch just felt wrong!

It took dunking two different batches, and about 6 days total drying time, for them all to be done, but man it was worth it! Here's how we decorated the house this year!

This was taken on Thanksgiving, while dinner cooked. Our Hanukkiah is on the high counter top, and everything looks festive and ready for winter!


I decided to make a new wreath, using the crocheted stars and snowflakes. 

I found these snowflake bowls at our local Dollar Tree, and they are perfect for holding my snowflake ornaments!

The only tree, and has all the children's ornaments.

The house is ready for old man winter to come!
This was much easier to put up- only taking me about an hour total- and most of it will stay up through out winter. The only thing that will be put up is the tree after Christmas. This was much easier on me, and the house still looks festive!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Friday, December 4, 2015

Adapted Mind

One of the many tools we use in our homeschool is a great math tool called Adapted Mind. This is a great took to help kids learn math skills, and get them to stick in a fun way.

We were looking at some math games, for Jackasaurus, back at the beginning of the year. He loves doing math, and had asked if there were any game he could play after his school work was done. After a long search, and checking things out, we settled on the Adapted Mind program.

The great thing about this program is that it not only helps them retain what they are learning, but if they are having a problem with a certain area it has a "explain" button and the kids can watch a video on how to do the problem. Jackasaurus was doing a division word problem, and got confused on what they were talking about. The "explain" button cleared it up fast, and he understood it!

There is a fee to this program, but it's minimal- $10.00 per month, but your first month is totally free to use. You can put up to 5 kids on your one account, so that you get the most out of your money. We ended up putting on some friends' kids, who also homeschool, on our account so that they could get some use out of it!

Also anytime the kids do the math games, you get a progress report in your email, so you know where they are having trouble, or where they excelling. It's really a great program, so I would encourage you to give it a try. You can try it free for one month, so you have the option to not keep it if it doesn't work for your children. Our children love it, so in our minds that cost is nothing.

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Gratitude

It has been awhile since I last blogged, but I had to take a minute and just write about a how     G-d has been working in our lives. G-d has been so amazing to us, and blessing us left and right. Most of our inner circle knows this, but it's too much of a miracle to just not share.

It all started at the beginning of November, when my husband's company decided to downsize- and that meant that my husband lost his job. He got an amazing severance package, but the company decided to go a different route and they let go of a lot of people. To say that I was scared was probably the biggest understatement ever. Fear grabbed my heart like never before. Sure, with his severance, we were going to be OK for about a month, but the what ifs started coming. What if he didn't get another job before that month was up? Yes, I'm admitting my own sin and telling you that I hadn't even thought to stop and trust in G-d, but just had a panic attack instead. I know better, but that doesn't change the fact.

The next day, after he was let go, my amazing husband put in over fifty applications, got his resume` updated, and had three interviews for some massive companies. Things were still scary, but there was a glimmer of hope that maybe this wouldn't be so bad.

That didn't stop the panic attacks though, and by the end of the week (even though my husband had half a dozen interviews lined up) I was just walking in terror. Finally I did the right thing and just laid it all at His feet- confessing my sin of doubt. And let me tell you that grace and peace just poured over me in that minute. I know that we had our congregation praying for us, during this time, as well as some ladies that I've met online that are Messianic as well. That day I felt the prayers of the saints like never before, and something bloomed bigger in me then ever before- faith.

From that moment on I knew that G-d was going to handle this. My husband had several interviews with some massive cooperate companies, and ones with government agencies, but still nothing happened. I guess with cooperate companies and government agencies this is nothing new, but I refused to be shaken. Adonai Eloheinu, the L-rd our G-d, would meet our every need- and He did in a huge way.

Finally a month later my husband heard back from the government job and a company that is one of the biggest financial companies in the world- and both of them wanted him! He had passed every background check, and they wanted his skills. On Thanksgiving night we were able to share the joy and provision of our G-d with my family and with my husband's family that he was going to take the job with the financial company. The thing is that this job came with a bigger salary then he was making before, at his old job, and way better hours!

I don't write this post to brag. Please know my heart here. I debated writing this post at all, knowing that there are several people that read my blog and wish us ill, but the thing I want you to see and understand is that G-d will meet all of your needs, if you just stop being afraid and repent of the fear. He wants to take care of His people, and if you will just repent of the fear and walk in faith He will take care of you.

It's not easy, please don't think it is, and it is a battle to choose to have faith, but it's well worth it. The panic attacks tried to come, from the enemy, but it got easier and easier to walk in faith. I know that I have a long way to go in this journey, and growing my faith in G-d daily, but as I continue to trust Him and watch as He supplies every need according to His riches and glory in Yeshua the Messiah, it gets easier to trust Him.

If you are going through a trial in your life be encouraged. If you are a child of the Most High and serve Him alone- loving Him with all your heart, soul, and mind and loving nothing else above Him, then you are His' and He will take care of His own.

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Monday, August 31, 2015

August's Squares

Normally I'm not fond of August in Kansas. It's too hot, normally, and there's nothing fun going on in the month! I mean no holidays and it's too hot to want to do much. This August has actually been rather mild here. Today's high is only going to get up to 75 degrees Fareinheit! As nice as is it, I was really trying to figure out a theme for the August squares. Normally I take a theme from the month- a holiday, special celebration, etc- and build from there. Since there are no holidays in August I was struggling to think of something fun and new to make!

Finally it hit me. What is better then swimming when it's hot? I really didn't want to do a swimming pool theme, but I love sea life and water, so I figured that would be perfect! These squares turned out so cute and were a blast to make!



 Angel Fish Square



I got the pattern for the angel fish and sea weed Here. I used a 5mm- H/8 hook on every piece, and just made a 6" granny square in Delft Blue Red Heart yarn. I sewed on the appliques I made, and I love the look! So fun and colorful! I do apologize for the photo quality of this one. The angel fish is made in a pale yellow, and just got washed out when photographed.


Goldfish and Jelly Fish Square



I got the goldfish pattern at the same link above. The jellyfish was found Here. Once again, I used a 5mm- H/8 hook on every piece, and made a 6" granny square in Paradise Red Heart yarn.

Anchor and Crab Square



I found the anchor pattern Here and the crab pattern Here. I used a 5mm- H/8 hook on all pieces and the square. I love that crab! He turned out so cute! The main square was done in the color Pool Red Heart yarn.

And, as always, I make two plain squares to go with the set and finish it off.


This square was done in Coral, by Red Heart, with a pale yellow trim.



Done in Delft Blue, by Red Heart, with a pale purple border.

These were so fun to make, and I'm already working on September's squares. I love Autumn, and can't wait to create something that shows how much I love that season!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Gift

My adopted mother in law was cleaning out her house, and decided to give us a truck full of antiques. Man, am I in heaven! I'm still working on recovering some antique chairs she gave us, but that's taking us awhile to do. One of the gifts she gave us we finally got put into its new home.

For years, my Cobalt dishes, which my mom gifted parts to me and other parts I collected myself, sat sitting in their wrapping, in storage containers waiting for to be taken out for a special dinner. I had always wanted something I could put them in that made it easier to get to them, and kept them safe. I love using my Cobalt dishes, but haven't used them as much as I wanted to simply because they were such a pain to get out.

My husband brought this piece up, from the basement where it had been sitting since my adopted mother in law gave it to us, and set it up in the breakfast nook.



It houses everything just perfectly and right where I can easily use it! Everything is protected, and secure from the bumps the kids give it. And how about that gorgeous grape and flower bowl? I'm pretty sure it belonged to my great aunt, but to be honest I don't remember where I got it- all I know is that I'm obsessed with it and so is Mopsy. I found it hidden in my antique hutch.



Here's a few pictures of the Cobalt dishes, set up for a Mother's Day banquet I decorated for a few years ago, and set up for Thanksgiving, last year. Now that I have my set within easy reach, I'll be using it a lot more often!




Thank you, Mama V, for this gift. It means so much and is in a loving home that appreciates it so much.

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Friday, August 14, 2015

Shrink Art Keychains

My kids have been having a blast with Shrinky Dinks. Honestly, they are a lot of fun. We had a sleep over, a few weeks ago, and one of the activities we did was make earrings out of the Shrinky Dinks. The kids thought it was so cool that they started out huge, but once they baked for a couple of minutes, they shrunk down to tiny little things! At my local Dollar Tree, they actually had some Shrink Art kits, and I thought they would be really cool for my kids to work with.

Not my own photo, but this is the exact kit I bought.
Now with the kits I've bought online, on Amazon, they were preprinted designs. I thought that the Dollar Store version would be the same, but it wasn't. It was a blank shrink page, that you could trace the designs onto. That got my imagination going. Alexsaur loves Batman- especially the Lego Batman movie. And I mean he loves it. Jackasaurus loves Lego Star Wars, and Mopsy loves My Little Pony. Since I bought two kits, one for girls and another that was sports themed for the boys, and both of them came with blank shrink paper, I thought I would make something special for each of them.

I got online and found free coloring pages of their favorite characters, and printed them off. Then I just traced them onto the shrink art paper, on the rough side.



The shrink art paper is clear, but kind of a milky clear. Meaning you can see just fine through it, but the shrink art paper isn't clear. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, as you can see the images traced beautifully. I wish I was that good of an artist to actually free hand these, but I'm not- I leave that to my talented sisters!

After all the pieces were colored, I took a single hole punch and punched a hole in the tops of their heads. I wanted to be able to put these on keychains for the kids.


I put a nickel beside it for comparison. As you can see, the objects are big, but they shrink up so small! I baked them in a 325 degree, Fahrenheit, oven for about 3 min. I think the Batman took a little bit longer as his middle wouldn't shrink down right.


Oh my goodness, they are so small and cute!

After they cooled, I took my Mod Podge and brushed it on the back side where I had used colored pencil. We've done the Shrinky Dinks in the past, and you can actually scratch off the pencil, after it's baked, with your fingers. I wanted to make sure that they were a little more protected.


After putting on two coats, I slipped on some mini keychains, that came with the boy's kit, and they were done. My kids were so excited and thankful when they got them!




These were really fun to make, especially trying to hide it from the kids while I made them. I wanted it to be a surprise, and they were so surprised that I made their favorite characters for them!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

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