Art for Adoption: Face Painting #2

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This past Saturday I had the privilege of setting up my little face painting booth at the Heritage Festival in downtown Andrews, NC where we live.   As soon as I was set up to paint,  kids began lining up and before I knew it, I had been painting faces for 3 hours with no break! These kids were so excited to have their faces painted. When I was finished with each one, I would hand them a mirror so they could check out their transformation… it was my favorite part!  Some of the little ones actually squealed with excitement when they saw their faces painted! Shy little girl’s lit up in smiles when they saw themselves as a butterfly or kitten.  One little boy got his face painted like Spider Man, then after lunch, he came back to have his face re-painted like Spider Man again!

The people at the festival really enjoyed it, and so did I. I painted faces from 10am to 4:30pm and raised over $185! I am very thankful for such a fun and rewarding way to raise money to bring  our new son home from Haiti.

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So far, I have been able to raise $241 painting faces and I am scheduled to paint faces this Friday night (4th of July) for ArtWalk in Murphy! So, if you are in the area and would like to get your kid’s face painted, stop by. I will be set up outside the Murphy Art Guild.

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Check out our fundraising project and help us raise money to adopt from HAITI

Check out our fundraising project and help us raise money to adopt from HAITI

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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!

Low Budget Summer Porch Decor

frontporch3A friend of mine just sent me an amazing book by Myquillin Smith, aka TheNester! (Go here to order and get your own copy.) It is called The Nesting Place – It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful! I have been so encouraged and spurred on in my quest to make our home… OUR home sweet home.
I mean, she’s right. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful! I have thought about this a bunch over the past week as I’ve been spring cleaning and re-decorating outside.

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I’m not trying to put out the vibe that I’d rather have my own hand-made pallet furniture on my front porch than a bright new set from West Elm. But, it does make me happy when I can create something useful, pretty and cozy to make our home feel relaxed and inviting for only a few dollars!

– Pallet Benches: I purchased 6 pallets from a tractor supply place for $2 each last spring. After trying out my own design (which was a big fail), I followed this tutorial and made two benches for the corner of our porch.
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– Quilted Seating: For the quilted seating I actually cut up an old quilt and sewed together these cases and stuffed them. To make sure the quilt pattern was enough for the project, I used a brown sheet as the underneath side of one and an airplane blanket for the underneath of the other. Luckily, I had enough to make two pillow cases as well!
– Side tables: Recently I moved my poppy red side table from the porch to another part of the house. I am in love with stumps as side tables (which The Nester uses in her book as well). Walking to camp everyday we pass a huge pile of tree stumps. So, I piled some in my truck and gave them a new home!
These sell between $159 and $199 on West Elm’s website, so… score!
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– Christmas lights: I tied Christmas lights to the ceiling of our little corner to make it nice to visit once the little’s are in bed. It really is a cozy spot and I only spent about $15 total!
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One last little tip I wanted to share had to do with my entry way to our home. Last summer a group came to pressure wash and re-stain our porch. One gal asked if I wanted to keep the 5 gallon buckets they used to do something artsy with them one day. As it turned out, she was brilliant. I chalk painted them white and used them as flower pots for these hostas! Grouped with some fire wood, poppy’s and a hand-made wreath… I’m happy I went with the blue door… maybe I’ll do the backdoor this summer!
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There IS beauty in the imperfection. – Myquillin Smith

Myquillin’s perspective and insight on decorating our homes, is refreshing and enjoyable. I’m thankful for this reminder as my family opens our home for guests and visitors over the next 10 weeks.

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

The Calendar

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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

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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.
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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).
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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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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”.