Multi-tasking For The Soul

podcast_1These days, laundry lingers… In the summer months, different outside activities require different types of clothing (more or less) for ultimate play time. I hate laundry! But, having the right clothes on while you are working out, mowing, playing in the sprinkler or playing at the lake is unavoidable. However, a pile of clean clothes can stare at me for days at time and I’ll ignore it. I can’t make the time to just sit and fold clothes. I know that if I could just fold them right out of the dryer and put them away it’d be less on the stress and not such a chore…

But, as many times as I have tried to implement the “fold it right out of the dryer” plan, I fail and the pile grows and the laundry lingers, haunting me weekly.

This week, however, the Lord reminded me of a great tool, useful for tackling the piles of laundry that will inevitably pop up in my living room this summer… PODCASTS!
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This week I listened to a fantastic podcast by my friend Edie at lifeingraceblog.com and was actually encouraged as I sorted and folded the massive pile of clean clothes.
Can I just say, “multi-tasking for my soul!”

I need to surround myself with things that encourage me while I work on daily tasks, so that my brain can be focused on Jesus as I work. Finishing a project/chore I dislike is great. But, on this chore I am grumbling thru the work and rarely refreshed and prepped to jump back into mothering when I’m finished. This discovery has helped me stay focused and refreshed when the job is done! Here is a link to the podcast I listened to this week.

What podcasts would you recommend for laundry folding time?
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DIY: T Shirt Rug

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We have a large amount of old t shirts in my closet.  Every summer we try to sort thru the old SWO shirts that we love and make room for the newest round of SWO T’s.  I was happy when I found this tutorial on a DIY T Shirt rug because I could do a craft with Alani with supplies I already had on hand!
Old Tshirts – check
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Hula Hoop – check
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Sissors that will cut said T Shirts – went thru 3 pair, but yes found a pair that would work – check
5 year old who likes being an artist – check, check
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I cut the shirt into useable strips and then followed the directions here on this tutorial…

Changes and/or suggestions from trying this at home:  

  1. I cut enough strips to make 2 rugs actually. You do not need more than 3 or 4 shirts for a small rug.
  2. I used a smaller hula hoop (because my kids are small and we have not entered into the big size hula hoops quite yet), so the final rug is just big enough to put by their bed for them to step on when they get out of bed in the morning.
  3. I pulled the “spokes” too tight when I finished knotting the ends and it made the first rug “bow” or “pucker” in the middle. On the second, I did not pull anything tight and it laid flat better.

 

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Other than cutting the T shirts up, this took about an hour to weave… I started it and helped with keeping the pattern, but for the most part she did it herself. My 6 year old loved this idea and worked hard on her little rug. I am so proud of her!

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Today we are also trying to get the word out about our ADOPT AN ENVELOPE fund raiser for our adoption from Haiti! Share the link and help us get the word out!

DIY: Ice Chalk Paints

This summer we are in “GO” mode! Sharing in ministry at a summer youth camp (Snowbird) with 3 small children is a CRAZY lifestyle! I’m thankful for the calling the LORD has placed on our family to be a part of Snowbird, for sure… but the days can get pretty long when we spend so much time together. So, I’ve come up with a plan to keep our time at home enjoyable and entertaining.
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I started a pinterest board full of summer activities and crafts I plan to try out this summer.  The first one I tried out is an Ice Chalk Paint recipe found here. I was impressed with how easy it was to mix up the paint, pour it in ice trays and freeze it!
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Changes and/or suggestions:  
Wet the driveway or concrete before trying the ice paint. The wet surface helps them melt and mix together easier.
Using baking soda (which the recipe calls for) can make the paint fizz when you spray vinegar on the ice paint, but I wasn’t feeling the vinegar this day so we skipped it. Next time I’ll be sure to take a squeeze bottle and let them squirt the paint and watch it fizz, they would love that… but this was my trial run!
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So, this does work and it was a success.  I made two trays (because that is all I had in the kitchen).  It was a short activity, but I turned the water hose on for clean up and that stretched this activity in to a solid 45 min of summer fun!

 

 

Davis Nation Adoption Video

Hello everyone! As you know we are adopting from Haiti. This weekend we made a video about our adoption and how you can partner with us in giving a little boy a forever family. Check out our video about our adoption from Haiti and share the link with everyone you know!

 

Go here to read more info on Adopt An Envelope!

Women’s Retreat

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Last year, Snowbird hosted our first official Women’s Retreat! This was the first ever ALL ladies weekend designed to spur women on towards Christ. I wrote a few posts on this last year if you want to check it out, here.

This year, we are holding our 2nd annual Women’s Retreat, now called RESPOND. My dear friends Little Holloway and Joy Anisa will be teaching the main sessions. There will be breakout sessions on How To Study the Bible, Missions: How to Go and Send well, Hospitality and more. I have the privilege of leading in worship again with my gal band and teach a session on Marriage. I can’t believe it is only two weeks away!!!

There are still spots available. It is not too late to sign up and be a part of this fantastic women’s event! The cost is only $99 per person for the ENTIRE event! (this includes meals, lodging and SWO recreation)
The dates are Thursday, April 24 – Saturday, April 26, 2014.
Go here for more info and/or to register to come!

I you have been to SWO and are looking for an excuse to bring your gal pals this is the event! Think about it… no keeping up with students or talking thru middle school girl drama in your down time! Take advantage of this inexpensive Big Girl getaway to get refocused on Christ!
Looking forward to seeing you there.

Please, pray for us ladies as we prepare for this weekend!

Spring Time Mayhem

I guess I’ve had a bit of spring fever this month. While it may seem like I’ve been a bit quiet here, our days have been filled with learning cursive, lots of reading, hiking back and forth to camp, meals at home, and lots of playing outside. My days have been super full! Jed gave up his nap. Now, the 2 hour block of downtime I have cherished for the past 5 years, no longer exists in my house… So, now I’m exploring other blocks of time that will serve to fan the flames of inspiration and creativity!

The hardest block of time for me to stay “engaged” is the time after lunch. My new aim is to do at least 1 intentional crafty/experiment with my kids each afternoon. We do school stuff until lunch, so I have been looking for things that are just FUN… not too much of a mess, but something more than coloring with crayons.

I am excited about these links I have found to share with those of you who may be needing some inspiration for playing with your own littles.
Enjoy!

Watercolor over Crayons! Follow this link to find creative ways to keep watercolor interesting for littles.
Solar Smores: Follow this link to a Youtube video that explains how to make a solar oven. Bake smores while you play outside!

Solar Smores


Ice Chalk: This fun DIY experiment seems perfect for the littles who are at home ALL day! My kids love side walk chalk, so any variation of sidewalk chalk is a fun find for us!

Rope Bridge: Not sure WHERE we are going to try this at our home, but it will happen next week for reals! Our kids climb our little pine tree so much it’s branches are beginning to turn brown! (Yes, I think they are killing the tree by climbing it…) They love to climb and I think this is going to be perfect! Follow me on Instagram (mavisdavisblog) because there will be photos!

Rope Bridge Example

Dinner Guests

When my husband is out of town I take advantage of the time I have alone with 3 small children. We play hard all day and eat tons of spaghetti.  We have movie marathons and make forts in the living room.  We eat popcorn, find new playgrounds and skip naps.  But…  after a few days, everyone gets a bit tired of each other and we need an extra boost. Monday night was just one of those nights.

Xorbee Score for a few weeks! This was a staged photo:) They really love it!

Xorbee Score for a few weeks! This was a staged photo:) They really love it!

Thankfully I had invited a few friends over to make supper and hang out.
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I did not think much about my dinner party during the day.  The plan was thrown together via text messages and a short,drive-by conversation outside the metal building. It wasn’t until I was straightening up the house a bit that I actually decided what I should make for supper.  While I watched our guests arrive, nearly all at the same time, I was surprised by how emotional I became.  Watching these ladies park their cars, the Lord stirred my heart and reminded me…  

she recently returned from sharing The Gospel in Southeast Asia for 2 years…

she is preparing to leave for West Africa for a year to do the same and…

she leaves this summer to teach English in the Middle East. 

I just sat on my porch and tried to soak in the moment.  These three ladies are walking up my driveway with grocery bags of goodies to make supper with my family.

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My girls sat with these women and peeled potatoes, cut up broccoli and shared jokes while we made supper and enjoyed spending time together. We laughed at my kids and listened to interesting stories about the cultures they have visited and the ones they will be going to soon.
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dinner table

Everyone gathered around the table. We held hands. My little man led in prayer, giving thanks for the meal and our guests by name.  We ate supper. We drank chai. We played memory, laughed hard and spent the evening encouraging one another towards Christ. It was a beautiful night to share with my little ones.
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It is so important for my kids to really know people who are serving Jesus around the world. Their names need to be familiar to my children. My kids need to see (and one day understand) that being obedient to God is not a “weird” or “fanatical” thing to do. Being obedient to Christ is our basic responsibility as followers of Jesus!
I am so thankful for this evening and for how special it was to spend this time with these women. I pray that evenings like this will remain vibrant in the memories of my children.

The Calendar

CALENDAR

This is one of my own favorite parts of our school time. I created this calendar with some great ideas from this website. This mom has lots of creative ideas for calendar time.

At the beginning of the month we discuss the months of the year and find the right month for the top of our calendar (my girls learned this song from Youtube to help them memorize the months of the year).
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We begin our calendar time by counting the days already numbered on the calendar. When we reach the number missing (sometimes it’s more than one if it’s over the weekend or if we have skipped a day), my kids look for the right number to be placed on the calendar.

Next, we sing our “Days of the Week” song and identify the day of the week.

Then, we sing our “Date” song that includes the day of the week, the month, the day and the year.

There are lots of elements that can be included on the calendar. Early on I thought it would be great to teach yesterday, today and tomorrow to the girls. So I added a little space on our calendar to do so.
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This lil’ group time is a bit young for Alani, now. During our singing time she sits with her own calendar and writes out 3 things she is thankful for. She must sound out the words and try to spell them as best that she can. My goal for her is to have some independence during this time and to work on her handwriting.

After calendar time… we take a break!
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I set my timer for 15 minutes and prepare for the next part of our school day.

I hope you have enjoyed Part 1 of our homeschool routine.
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Skill Time

Skilltime
After move and groove, we sit down on our mats and begin our skills training. We have worked on various skills such as telling time, naming coins, shapes, colors, habitats, basic map reading skills, memorizing the 50 sates and more. I pull from lots of different websites, resources, games and youtube videos to keep our topic interesting. I try to keep this time fun for us to learn together as a family.
Money in Bin
Counting coins and learning about money is a life skill. My goal this past week was to teach our kids how to identify different coins. This is a bit of what I did for skills time last week.

MondayYoutube video called Coin Song (The one we used all week was recently taken off Youtube.com, but this one was fun too!)
– Pass out pieces of money and identify them as a group
Tuesday – Play youtube video again
– Memorize penny, nickel, dime, quarter over and over in a rhythm
– Point to the piece of money as you say the name of the coin
Wednesday – Play youtube video
– Ask if your kid would like to sing the song by themselves.
– Trace different coins on a piece of paper
– Let the child match the piece of money to the proper size circle
– Continue to show the differences between the coins
Thursday – Play the video
– Sing your “penny, nickel, dime, quarter” rhythm together
– Have them fill in the blanks to the song as you sing it
– Pass out a pile of coins
– Have everyone point to a coin as you call out the name

This specialized time usually takes about 7-10 minutes, depending on if we watch a video or not. Sometimes I cut it short if I can tell that they are ready to do something else.

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After my focused lesson, I read 2 books (their choice) or get out an educational game or puzzle that they can complete pretty easily. Learning a new skill can frustrate my kids if it does not come easily. I want my kids to feel accomplished before we move on.

After a fair amount of time working on a small puzzle or game, we move on to our calendar time.

Hope you are enjoying these little notes from our homeschool routine!
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Move and Groove

Continuing from my earlier post on the Prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance we move on to our Move and Groove portion of our morning routine.
I think you are going to learn a bit more about me than you bargained for in these posts (hee hee).
dancing
First, a confession: I do not like listening to recordings of children’s choirs, children’s music, children’s sing-a-long cd’s and all the rest of it. I will spare you my well thought out, justified, seemingly snobbish conclusions and leave it at that.

My goal for the Move and Groove time is to get my kid up and moving to get their wiggles out before our Bible time. At this point everyone is on his or her mats and I have our youtube playlist pulled up ready to jam out. Some of the songs on our playlist have hand motions, others are just text or a CD cover graphic. But, lucky for us Alani insists on making up new motions for the songs without motions already. The other two can join in or just dance it up!

When our internet is running slow (which is pretty common), we do a round of exercises or fast scavenger hunt.
Exercises:
We love to exercise so my kids already know the names of these exercises when I call them out. It could be fun to teach your kids a few new moves and teach them the names of easy exercises.
Super Hero Squats, Burpees, Stretches (up high and bending over to touch the ground or either leg), Jumping Jacks, run in place, high jumps, spin in circles, touch the ground… anything really. Just keep it fast paced so they don’t have time to think about if they want to participate or not.

Scavenger Hunt:
It’s your basic call out a color and your kids run to their toy box and bring something back matching the color you call out. You can also do “starts with” and say a letter of the alphabet. Also, try “rhymes with”. I always laugh at this one.

Keeping this time upbeat with low expectations is my goal! These 7 to 8 min is dedicated to working out the wiggles. I’m not trying to make them sing the right words, get the hand motions correct or even keep track of how many burpees they can do. It’s time to Move and Groove! Giving my kids a few minutes to “run wild” helps them to get out extra energy so they can focus on actual school work.

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