Why The Long Silence?

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Today is a Thursday. We are still waiting for our dossier to be out of translation. It was scheduled to be finished on Sept. 8th, then moved to the 25, and now it’s October! It still has not arrived at the agency’s office, so we wait… When they receive the translated dossier, they will send it off to be authenticated (takes about a week). Once it is authenticated, THEN it will be sent to Haiti! We know the LORD is in control of ALL things, this is no different! We rejoice while we wait knowing that God “makes all things beautiful in his time.” – Ecc. 3:11.

You may have caught the title of this post. I’ll repeat it here, Why The Long Silence?

Since my last post on our adoption fundraiser, the Lord has opened my eyes to focus on two things that I have heavily influenced my momentary silence at MavisDavis.

The first is our family. Our adoption has been a huge area of growth in my life. I had no expectations going into this process, other than getting a little boy in my arms ASAP (as is still the goal). But on this journey, the Lord has been pressing on my heart to place emphasis on the 3 little people I have in my arms already.

Folding another child into our home will be a challenge and a blessing, but I do not want to build unrealistic expectations of what our life will be like when the Lord adds a new child to our family. I want the Lord to change my heart in this season, so that I will be able to respond to our new son in the next season! I am convinced that the Lord is using this process of adoption to make Spencer and I more like Jesus and better parents, not only for a new son, but also for the 3 children we have now.

I am realizing how important it is to invest in the ongoing bonding/attachment with Alani, Knox and Jed. This realization has been a huge encouragement in my mothering AND a step forward in sanctification! Our family prays for our new son all the time! Sometimes hearing how my children pray for him gets me super emotional. Waiting and being still is hard, but I am capable to enjoy “the waiting,” when I focus on the people I am able to hold in my arms right now!
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So much of my activity the past few months has been dedicated to home school, soccer, adventures, camp outs, feeding large groups of single folks (OLD SCHOOLERS), Bible studies, bonfires, making meals and telling Jed to stop growing up! (He’s bigger than Knox, now!) Please pray for our family in this busy season if the Lord brings us to your mind.

The second reason for the silence has to do with another new adventure.

Lots of you friends have been encouraged by MavisDavis and I’m thankful that the Lord has used my experiences, topics and thoughts to encourage you as my sisters in Christ. I started this blog 5 years ago thinking that my girls would not know how to be a wife and a mom unless I documented all that I did. I know many of you have supported my writing for years, so let’s be honest… for you folks who know me well, my heart is fit for discipleship – not necessarily “mommy blogging.” There are so many great women who do that well! I learn from them, I need that from THEM. However, the Lord has been drawing me into His PLANS for my writing and I am ready to be obedient.


I’ve started a new blog! It’s calledDRAWNBYGRACE.com! I write about singleness, relationships, Biblical community, serving the Body of Christ and inspire younger women to pursue Jesus well! {I’m 36 so that’s a broad demographic.}

I announced the name of my new blog on Monday, and it has really taken off.  I plan to do an official launch in a few weeks with giveaways, free downloads, and other fun stuff! I’ll be sure to post an announcement here when I get the details worked out!

DRAWN BY GRACE offers a fresh perspective on the pursuit of Christ for the single gal. The posts are strategic, organized and focused on community, unity, and growing in Christ as he draws us to himself by his grace! It features all sorts of my artwork and free original artwork each month, (if you sign up for my monthly newsletter, link here).

As I dive into this new adventure, I am not abandoning MavisDavis! No, ma’am! Many of you enjoy updates of our family and lots of people come here for news about our adoption. I will still share the updates on our adoption both here, and our facebook page! So, relax, I’m not officially shutting down MavisDavis, but as I follow Jesus on this new adventure, pray that I am wise and obedient to whatever the Lord shows ME to do!

This is your invite to check out the new blog! If you want to receive my monthly newsletter or read a few sample posts from the new blog, DRAWNBYGRACE.com, please stop by! Leave some encouraging comments and share it with #allthesingleladies!

You all are the best and I’m so thankful to have your support!

Fist pump it!
Love,

Amy

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The less than 24 hour period when Jed, age 3, wrote his name for the first time, rode a bike with out training wheels, and hit the practice target on his first time shooting his bow!!! – STOP THE WORLD’S TURNING!!! JED NEEDS TO QUIT GROWING UP!!

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Homeschool Morning Routine (Part 1)

Morning Routine Part 1:
(This is what I try to attain at the beginning of the school day)

We always begin with prayer and the pledge of allegiance.

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Next we move on to our Move and Groove section where I play a few songs and let the kido’s work out their wiggles before our Bible Time. I have many playlists on Youtube and we just work through the play list for about 7 or 8 min.

Jed Sings

After Move and Groove, we jump right into our Bible memorization or Bible story or Character building exercises for the week. Right now I am working on a curriculum on being SELF-LESS for our kids.

Next we focus on learning a skill or read 2 books. This week we are working on learning the names of our coins! We include Jed (2 years) if he wants to participate. He likes doing what the girls do.  FYI: Jed does not always participate in skill time. Sometimes he just plays and does his own thing.

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After our skill time or reading, we move over to our calendar and I do a small calendar group time with the younger two. Alani is old enough to find the day of the week on her own calendar. She writes out 3 things she is thankful for and practices spelling it out on her own (priceless… I will never ditch this calendar).

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Following the singing, dancing, praying and reviewing, we take a break! I set my trusty kitchen timer to 15 min. I use this time to switch over the laundry, use the bathroom, pull out the math and reading materials and tie up any loose ends. I may also grab a fresh hot drink, because I love them soooo much!

This is basically Part 1 our school day. If we get thru this part of our school day with no breakdowns, bathroom mishaps or unexpected visitors, everything I listed above happens. Some days I may skip the singing or calendar all together just to stay on message. My goal is that we STAY motivated for a good 30 – 40 minutes before the 15 minute break.

There are tons of interesting things you can do during this time, you just have to get creative. My kids love to sing, so I created our morning routine to allow for singing time. Other kids may enjoy a fun-fact of the day or a game instead of singing. The best thing about homeschool is that you know your kids, what they like and what they need to grow in. Make your morning routine centered around positive things they ENJOY and look forward to, and “school time” will be great fun for everyone!

Davis Nation School of Education

Knox and Alani - 2012 Just getting started with pre-school.

Knox and Alani – 2012 Just getting started with pre-school.

Jed - 2012 Figuring how to do pre-school with a little fella crawling and exploring the house...

Jed – 2012 Figuring out how to do pre-school with a little fella crawling and exploring the house…

I do not claim to be a preschool guru! In fact, as you may already know, I only officially baby sat once before I had my own little girl… (It was 1993. The little boy came at me with a butter knife, I called his mom to come home, and I never babysat again). Learning how to teach my children at home has been a great challenge for me! Sure, I am crafty and creative, but it takes a bit more than knowing the color wheel and the alphabet song to be a good preschool teacher, right?

A few years ago, I was super intimidated! I thought my friends had a special formula for homeschooling and I was just waiting for them to fill me in on their secrets. I also burned up the internet searching for weekly themes, sensory stimulation activities for toddlers, educational programming, age appropriate science experiments and information on what my child should be learning developmentally. It was a lot of work looking for that formula. Finally, I found it!

Knoxy - 2012

Knoxy – 2012

Knoxy - 2012  Oh, remember the bangs?

Knoxy – 2012
Oh, remember the bangs?

The secret to this formula is… THERE IS NO FORMULA, you just have to figure out what works best for your own family. That’s it! And no, it is not so easy. But, if you are on the search for what schooling at home with 3 small children looks like, I would love to help.

To inspire all you homeschool newbies, I am opening the window of our homeschooling room and sharing with you how I school our kids. Sometimes, when I read the experiences of others, I am inspired to do more on my own! So, this is exactly what I hope you gain from these posts…. INSPIRATION!

I am not claiming to have EVERYTHING about homeschooling my kids figured out, my kids are only 5,4 and 2 so, it is always a work in progress. However, I do think that we are at a point where I can share our experiences and help give some resources for your own journey!

So, ready to be inspired? Friday I will post the first part of our morning routine! Sign up to receive my posts by email, or subscribe to MavisDavis on the sidebar!

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My ONE WORD 365

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I am participating in the ONEWORD365.com challenge! ADVENTURE is my one word to focus on this year! According to a solid online resource, Wikipedia, an adventure is an exciting or unusual experience! I am planning a bunch for this year!

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1. Adopting a little boy! Please join our FB page for updates and info on our current status. Also, you can go here to donate to our adoption fund! We are over half way there:)

2. Rebranding my blog! What? Mavisdavis, where are you going? Well, I am not going anywhere! That’s the point. The name is a bit confusing for new readers who may think, “her name is Amy, why would she call herself Mavis?” So, I am skipping all the confusion and re-branding my blog. I will focus my writing on creativity, missions, motherhood and creative ways to connect the three. I will also be sharing my adventures in motherhood and life at SWO. Basically what I already blog about, but I need a new blog name! So, brainstorm and email me your suggestions. If you have the winning suggestion for my new blog name, I will send you a free piece of art!
*Also, there will be plenty of warning before I shut down MavisDavis.wordpress.com!

Alani with her guitar and me with the banjo on Christmas!

Alani with her guitar and me with the banjo on Christmas!

3. Songwriting! I got a new banjo for Christmas (thanks again, Mom and Steve)! So, I’m taking the leap back into songwriting. It has been about 3 years since I have written a new song.  It is good to feel Lord stirring my heart to write new tunes for our church services at RedOak!

4. Art! I have recently joined a few friends in a little adventure called Stillframe Studio. We are joining our forces in art to create some beautiful things to share! It is up and running, so check it out!

So, those are 4 of my personal ADVENTURES for the year! So, it is appropriate to give my 2014 the name ADVENTURE! You can name your year too! Check out the resolution revolution at ONEWORD365.com and find out what it is all about!

Feeding Zombies

They walk through the woods and up my driveway looking like zombies. I guess a day of river training leaves you feeling like a zombie! I wouldn’t know exactly…
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Fact: I am not swift water rescue certified. While I have guided my fair share of raft boats down the Nantahala River, I never ACTUALLY swam the “long swim”. I do not have my own personal testimony of how I battled the “strainer” successfully, or unsuccessfully. Both river training exercises were created/required after my hay day of SWO summer staff responsibilities! However, from all the years of welcoming my husband home after long hours of outdoor recreation training, I can tell you that the only thing needed to snap these riverhead-zombies back into life is some good food, hot coffee and a place to relax and laugh a bit!
Luckily for these OLD Schoolers, at the end of their short hike through the woods, they found just that at our house!
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stroganoff greenbeans

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I enjoy cooking for large groups of people, especially for the river section of OLD School. I look forward to it every year! Sure, it seems easy enough. Just throw 5lbs of pasta in a pot, open a giant can of tomato sauce and microwave some bags of steamed broccoli, right? But somehow the simple gets (ahem) complicated when cooking that much food and taking care of my children. There was more than one occasion when I made all the food during nap time and heated it up before the zombies arrived!

Nevertheless, I have this crazy idea that folding people, especially young people, into the routine of our home life, teaches them more about how the body of Christ should operate. By serving one another, cleaning up after one another, laughing, crying, and comforting one another we are acting like family. Simply showing these students how our family operates is small part of our joy in serving in full-time ministry at Snowbird/OLD School. We want these guys to feel like a part of our family.
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* FYI: Most of the “crying and comforting” refers to my own kids. They usually insist on showing off their new “tricks” to guests. It is normal for someone to get hurt, a bit.
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Several nights they held teaching sessions in our living room where our friend Zach shared about what it means to live in real community and how to relate to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. I am always humbled when we have opportunity to share Jesus like this in our home. Also, here’s a special shout out to Brooke and Katie for coming over to watch/play with our kids so I could sit in the session. You guys are great!

These night sessions and meals are some of the most precious times to me. I enjoy to opening my home and wrapping the walls around people needing to feel closer to family. I love being a SWOmama! We fully enjoyed the opportunity to make them a part of The Davis Nation for a few hours.

*You can see photos and keep up with more of the OLD School semester going on this fall by checking out the OLD School blog here.
*Recipes for these suppers were mostly made up as I went along. You can’t go wrong with adding cheese to any “casserole-ish” dish. I have a poor ability to quadruple recipes, so I just over did everything… there were NO leftovers!

ART GIVEAWAY!!

Last week we announced the thrilling journey of our upcoming adoption. I am blown away by the encouraging responses from so many of you! While most of the details can be found on our FB page, here, I wanted to share one way you could help us raise money to cover the cost of the adoption as well as win original Amy Davis Artwork!
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It is really easy! We need to sell 600 tickets for a minimum of $10 DONATION each. This will enter your name to win 1 of 31 original hand-lettered pieces of artwork being given away daily during the month of October! So, the more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win something. The tickets will be sold until September 30th. On October 1, I will post a photo of the artwork and the winner of the first give away here! I’ll make sure to post a photo of the giveaway each day!

I will be giving away original hand-lettered designs on canvases, framed prints of hand-lettered artwork, wood signs with burned hand-lettering, decorative coffee mugs and serving platers along with hand-drawn cards, murals from my home reproduced on canvases and more. Right now I am organizing an art calendar. I will post it next week so you can see what giveaways will be up for grabs! All prizes are valued between $20 to $150!
Here are just a few examples of what I am giving away in October.

Original Artwork Printed on Canvas. Size 8X10 and ready to hang!

Original Artwork Printed on Canvas. Size 8X10 and ready to hang!

We Hope for What We Can Not See Original Artwork printed on 8X8 canvas.

We Hope for What We Can Not See Original Artwork printed on 8X8 canvas.

A framed print of this original hand-lettered sign to be given away in the month of October 2013.

A framed print of this original hand-lettered sign to be given away in the month of October 2013.

I am a bit anxious about raising money and asking for help from others, to be honest. It is humbling to open up and share a need in this way. But I am so thankful to have such great support from our family and friends during this season of waiting. I know the Lord will provide all we need to bring a new little man into our home in HIS timing.

Thank you for reading MavisDavis and supporting my family as we pursue Jesus and follow his leading to adopt.

Let the Fundraising begin! Go here to enter today!

We Have An Announcement To Make…

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When the secret of having our third child was out in the open, folks started spouting out all kinds of advice to my husband and I on how to handle the transition from having 2 to 3 children. I remember smiling courteously at men who gave sports analogies and awkwardly laughing at women who patted my big belly. But, for my husband and I, the transition from having zero children to 1 child has been the most earthshaking and challenging part of growing a family thus far.

The first time I held my first little girl in my arms it was surreal. A tiny person had been growing and living in my body for months, and now, after a long awaited arrival, she was in my arms. At last, a little round face and squishy body was matched with the secret name we had picked!

I can remember feeling lost, intimidated, and scared. I felt like this new little person knew a secret about me that everyone else was about to find out. It was as if she was going to tell the world that I was a fake, selfish, insecure woman who knew nothing about being a mother. But as we spent more time together as a family, we found our groove. And soon after, God blessed us with another little girl!
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God has used my becoming a mother for my sanctification and to conform me into more of his likeness. My heart grows daily for my three children and I am eager to teach them the heart of Jesus and to show them how to serve others by the way I serve them. We genuinely enjoy one another. We spend time together and take time to play and laugh together. We feel very connected and are now ready to fold another child into our family.

For the past year, my husband and I have been praying through God’s leading for us to adopt. We have been praying with our children and waiting patiently for God to give us the green light in moving forward in the process. Well, that time has come and I wanted to give you readers the inside scoop on what we need to bring a new child into our home.

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Here’s the scoop:
We are trying to adopt from Jamaica.
$. The entire process predicts to be less than 10k (after plane tickets, visas, etc.)
1. A home study needs to take place. This is the bulk of our expense right now. We estimate the home study process to take upwards of $2500.
2. Approval of our home study and application process
3. Pairing with a child
4. Arrangements to bring our child home from Jamaica
5. A blog post thanking everyone for their support of our family!

I want to be clear from the start, I know some people LOVE details on adoption, and some people just want the hot topics. So, for that reason, we have created a FB page dedicated to those who want more information about the process and for quick updates about the journey. Click here if you wan to join, it is called Davis Nation Adoption.

We are preparing some fundraising artwork/projects/opportunities to help raise money for each step of the process. If you feel led to give or help support us in this adoption, please check out the fb page or contact me directly through email or fb message. I am excited to watch the Lord provide all that is required in uniting us with a new child.

Please pray for us as we set out into the unknown and trust the LORD with each step ahead!

Top 5 Reasons Why My Laundry Room Looks Like This…

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#5. Potty Training
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#. Berry Picking at Stoney Hollow
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#3. Creating “Mega-Desk” (expanding the island in our kitchen)
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#2. Celebrating Knoxy’s 4th Birthday
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#1. Swimming! Swimming! Swimming!
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The Lord has taught me so much this summer and I am eager to share! Please pray for my family this week as we finish strong this last week of SWO13 summer camp! Looking forward to getting back to focused writing soon!

The Minefield and Moat

We gather for lunch and sit perched up around our small island in the kitchen. My three sweet babes and me pray for our food. The prayer is interrupted by what sounded like water splashing on the floor. My oldest recognized the splash as fast as I did and said “Oh no, mama…”
All look at Jed.
“Uh-O,” says my handsome son looking down to his lap. I sighed and hesitated to walk around to his side of the island.
“Jed, peed,” squealed the middle one, laughing. “You peed, buddy,” stating the obvious, again.
I shake my head. Even though I did forget to replace the diaper he had previously destroyed, I thought for sure his timing was to spite me.

I pick him up at arms length and fly him to the hall bathroom, dripping urine across the hard wood floor. Midway, I remember the tuna melts in the oven. “Sit. Don’t move” I shout and plop him on the toilet. I quickly tip-toe to the oven and shout orders to my girls as if I have just discovered a minefield. “Stay on your stools, girls!”
I pull out the pan of tuna melts (not burnt), and as I close the oven door I faintly recognize the sound of a cup tumbling on the counter behind me. “Uh-o…Sorry, mama,” confesses the giggly one.
I sigh.
“Ugh,” I think, “how can she spills her drink every meal? I mean every meal!” The two girls are now marooned at the island with apple juice and urine pooling on the floor around their stools like a moat.
Then he calls. “Mama, ‘ont canny!” he yells loudly, making sure I hear him. He is convinced he needs a treat for peeing in the toilet (which he actually did not do). “Canny, mama.”
“Stay on the toilet, buddy. “ I holler back. I can tell he is getting impatient waiting on me to return.
The girls ask questions and make suggestions for the clean up process while I sop up the moat and spray down the minefield. I pick up the little man from off the toilet; lay him on his changing station in his room across the hall and clean him up, making sure to put a fresh diaper on him.
We return to the island in the kitchen. Frustrated, I prepare their plates. Twisting back and forth from the island to the stove for the tuna melts, I notice the magnet someone had sent me in a care package a few weeks ago. I had absent-mindedly place it on my microwave. It read: This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it – Psalm 118:24

This is the magnet on the microwave.

This is the magnet on the microwave.

I am taken back and a bit confused… When I slapped the magnet up on the microwave the other day I was more or less just trying to get it out of the way. I mean, I am sure I have read this verse like a million times. But in this moment, this verse is like fresh water to my soul!

This IS the day that The Lord has made! He has made it with circumstances that will push me to recognize Him, not me. He uses times like this to draw me closer to him. He uses these moments in my day, the ones he sees, to conform me to HIS IMAGE! Nothing catches God off guard or sets him back on his purpose for his glory. Somehow, he works them all for HIS GOOD and HIS purposes. Each day, and everything in it, is like a gift God gives to us…

So, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I do not want to live wound up tightly over small things, twist my face to be downcast and sad while spending my time counting the bad circumstances in my life. I need to look for the joy that surrounds each moment that The Lord has made.

Be encouraged today in whatever circumstances pop up and surprise you.
God has made today.
Rejoice and be glad in it!

More Projects to Share: Whitewater Sign

Walk Thru The WoodsMy children and I are privileged to walk a nice path to camp whenever we like. It is a fun little hike for my little troop and sometimes we make our hike to lunch in the metal building a bit more adventurous! We hike through the paintball field or take winding trails through the old archery course. But personally, my favorite place to explore is an area of camp we affectionately call, The Burn Pile.
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The Burn Pile, is basically exactly what it sounds like. It is a giant pile of things that can “go out in a blaze of glory!” Collected here are scraps from old building projects, broken desk parts, rotted signs and basically anything camp has no need of that can be burned. The great thing is that it takes a long time for the “great burn” to make it on the work priority list, so every once in a while I find a diamond in the rough!

Sketch of Artwork

Sketch of Artwork

I found this last fall and just got around to painting it.

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I chose to make it look as if it is part of a sign that fell down somewhere near a river company. Since 2001 my husband I have served at SWO and whitewater rafting has been a big part of that. The Lord continues to use whitewater training and rafting to extend the gospel to people who have never heard and this ‘sign’ helps to remind our family to pray for these opportunities.

I am looking for a few old wooden river paddles to go with my ideas for hanging the sign… I will post photos when I get it all hung.