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!

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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.
jedhayle

makingpotatoes

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.

peel potatoes
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.
island
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.
chai
drinkingchai
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).
months

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.
yesterday
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!
15minutes

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.

patterns1

patterns2

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!
homeschoolseries

Meet Hayley Scott

HayleyLogo
Hayley is a great friend of mine preparing to go to South Sudan. I thought it would be great to share with you a bit about Hayley, her journey to South Sudan and to invite you to partner with us in supporting her through this Gospel-centered journey to East Africa. walkbycreek As Florida gal, born and raised, Hayley first came to know the Lord as a freshman in college at Florida State. Throughout college, the Lord used her jobs and apartment situations to prepare her heart for missions. “The Lord taught me to see those I interacted with as people who need Him and to let my thoughts and actions be sanctified from that Spirit,” says Hayley. journal1 After goggling “Christian Summer Camps” for a summer job option, Hayley found Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters, filled out the extensive application and has now served on summer staff since 2010. During her first summer, she was moved again for the nations to know Jesus and was encouraged to get involved with a local body of believers when she returned home to Tallahassee. “When I returned from Snowbird, I became a member at Four Oaks Community Church in North Tallahassee. I was immediately immersed in a locally and globally missional church,” says Hayley. “Returning to the real-world culture of college life after a summer of SWO was a struggle each fall, but it was highly alleviated by the solid teaching from the leadership at Four Oaks.” onlog This past fall Hayley signed up with Pioneers (a missions organization) and began her missions training for South Sudan. “Pioneers mobilizes teams to glorify God among unreached peoples,” says Hayley. “They do this by initiating church-planting movements in partnership with local churches.” Hayley shared with me that she is trying to be patient as the Lord leads her closer to South Sudan. She needs to raise about $18,000 of support before she can leave. Right now she is selling art prints created by the extremely talented Katie Collins as well as T shirts! She has raised about $7000 so far. walkingovercreek

“My heart yearns for the nations,” says Hayley. “The Lord has given me specific gifts in language and communication to go. He has affirmed those in my life through His Holy Spirit and through leadership. He is using my deep emotions and love for adaptability to reach the nations.”

I am so thankful for this opportunity to help send Hayley to South Sudan! As a stay-at-home mom, this is something I can participate in for The Gospel! Helping send bright, mature, Gospel-focused young women like this to the unreached people of the world is part of my responsibility to The Gospel too! Please join me in supporting Hayley as she goes overseas!

Financially Support Hayley: If you would like to help support Hayley financially and help her meet her required minimum support of $18,000:
– Visit pioneers.org/give.
– Click “Pioneers Missionary”
– Type in Hayley Scott or Account #111997. You will have the option of making a one-time gift or scheduling reoccurring gifts.
– You can also send checks to Pioneers with her Account #111997 and “Hayley Scott” to:
Pioneers
Attn: Finance
10123 William Carey Dr.
Orlando, FL 32832.

Trendy Items:
Check out these items for sale at Hayley’s Online Store! All the money will go towards her trip!

Buy this shirt and help send Hayley to South Sudan!

Buy this shirt and help send Hayley to South Sudan!

Prayerfully Support Hayley:
Hayley asks:
-Pray that my joy and confidence will be solely in the Lord; fed through the Holy Spirit, the body, and the Word of God.
-Pray that funds will not be a struggle, so that I may concentrate on better serving.
-Pray for the hearts of my family; ultimately for their salvation, but that they would see the sovereignty of the Lord in my life and in this season.

If you would like updates of Hayley’s journey to South Sudan, follow her on FB!

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.

homeschoolseries

From the Archive: I Am The Restored One

A Valentine’s Day treat from the archives! Original Post: January 2011
 

It’s quiet at the moment.
I am snuggled up in our bed trying to get some projects rolling. I look around our room and see bits of him and bits of me.

His hunting bow lies across the top of the Armoire he let me buy our first year of marriage. I sat outside on our porch that summer staining it dark brown while he slept off a long week of summer camp.

I count 6 candles and 2 firearms on top of the Armoire as well. I love candles, but never think to light them.

Two unloaded rifles lean in the corner where the armoire and grey wall touch. One hunting rifle rests unloaded in the corner of the room next to his desk. My jewelry box, lamp and papers scatter the top. I need to clear the clutter before his classes start on Monday.

My broken-in guitar hangs on the wall by my side of the bed. His alarm clock is unset and still blinking from when I tripped the breaker a few days ago.

There is a little of me and a little of him in this room. That’s what makes it ours. Not mine, not his… ours.

Genesis 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

We are always being melted together, one of us masculine, one of us feminine.
One of us iron, the other glass.
Somehow in God’s sovereignty and for His glory, He is making one glorious life out of two sinful, selfish people. The two “I’s” have become a “WE”. And “we” are learning how to share, prefer, preserve, lead, follow, give, take, serve, love, forgive and all the rest of it – daily!

Ephesians 5:23-2 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in EVERYTHING to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

My husband’s role and mandate is to reflect Christ, work hard and love me, even if I do not do my part. My role as wife, even if my man does not do his part, is to reflect the repentant church, His bride.

FOR I AM THE RESTORED ONE!
The one who follows.
The one who trusts.
The one who hopes.
The one who gets to obey with no pressure to lead.
I am the one given pleasure by giving to my husband through service and submission, as if I am submitting to Christ himself!

Go here read the rest of the series of “The ‘S’ Word”.

3 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day

alaniheart

We have entered the season of Love. Sitcoms air their Valentine’s special. Commercials promote diamonds and kissing. The entry way at Target is buzzing with heart prints and chocolate candy as you walk thru the doors. Pinterest is alive with party ideas, clever Valentine prints, DIY Valentine projects and thousands (if not millions) of photo inspiration boards of people kissing, holding hands and children holding up sweet sayings on homemade signs. For the single gal and married gal, this is an expectation-building week that can rob us of our focus on Jesus quickly!

I am not a hater! I am a big time lover of Valentine’s Day! The story of St. Valentine is great and should be challenging and inspiring to every believer. But, it can easily be blown out of proportion and we spend the whole season thinking of ourselves.

Here are 3 ways we can enjoy Valentine’s Day this year:
1. Read the story of St. Valentine and lets ask ourselves what we are prepared to do for The Gospel.


2. Put away the stero-typical Valentine’s Day expectations and cut your man some slack! Most men just don’t think about Valentine’s Day as being the one single day when the entire country stops to recognize February 14th as “Day of Love”. And… while I’m still trying to figure that one out, it’s ok! Babysitters get sick and cancel, dinner reservations fall thru, movies sell out and plans just don’t always come together. You are still loved whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with strawberry cheesecake or not.

heart latte

3. If you have a Valentine’s Day Date or not, don’t be sad! Enjoy the day! Go for the heart latte art in your white chocolate mocha and pick up some heart shaped cookies to celebrate with your friends and family. Wear those funky heart leggings and pass out the Hershey Kisses. Don’t hate! Enjoy the celebration and show others how much you love them!

Prayer and The Pledge Of Allegiance

photo from letchildrenplay.com

I can remember as far back as first grade when the principal would lead our class in the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom system. When we were finished our teacher would pray. Being raised in a Christian home, it never felt weird or awkward for a teacher to pray. I am not exactly sure when prayer was replaced by a moment of silence, or when we stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance before the school day began, but, over the course of my East Tennessee public education experience, all of those things were eliminated. Some were eliminated because of new laws, while other things just phased out as I passed from grade to grade.

Whatever the reasoning for removing the prayer, the pledge and the pause to each day from public schools, we want our children to learn, understand, and respect the many aspects of our freedoms. One way we can do this is to begin each school day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance and spending a few moments in prayer together .

americanflagSince this is one of the most controversial topics in public schools, we count it an honor to both pray and say the Pledge of Allegiance in our home.
This is how we do it:
I have a purple mat (I got this at Fred’s for $1 on clearance.) designated for all 3 kids to stand on together (FYI: when they get bigger, I won’t make them stand on the purple mat together).

pledgeWe place our hand over our hearts. The leader of the day has usually been decided by this time and he/she begins our pledge by saying:
I pledge allegiance
Then in unison we all say: To the flag
Of the United States of America
And To the Republic for which it stands
One nation, Under God, Indivisible
With liberty and Justice for all!

Next, everyone moves to his or her own mat for prayer time.
These mats are actually woven-placemats from WorldMarket! They were like $3.99 each on sale and worth the investment! I looked for smaller mats for children and could not find anything funky enough for my taste. Also, we are always on a budget for homeschool décor! Here is a link to something similar from Pier One.

During this prayer time I assign each kid something or someone to pray for. This is also the time when they pray specifically for God to help them focus and pay attention in school and that they would do their very best.

All 3 of our kids pray out loud asking God to help them focus as well as intercede for the requests I have assigned.
Finally, I pray.
I pray a short, short prayer, by this time they are ready to be moving again. While I do think it is extremely important that I show them HOW to pray by praying, I kep this prayer short and sweet! Our kids need to hear us pray and pour out our hearts before God, but they are usually not in the mood to sit still very long at this time in our day.

Tomorrow I will be sharing more on our morning routine. I hope you are enjoying these posts!