DIY: Branch and Initial Wall Hanger

girls Room 3This DIY is from a photo I saw on a pinterest “rabbit trail” the other day! It was an instant challenge!
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I had all the supplies required and a few minutes of free time to work on a project! Since I took down the girls bunkbeds last month, I’ve been looking for ways to personalize their bed that was unique and not over the top! A wall hanger displaying the first initial of the girls names was a great idea! This little photo was just the inspiration I needed!
girls Room 2
This is what I did:
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Dead, dry branches = check
dead branches
Spray branches with gold paint = check
branches and gold paint
spray gold
Attach dry branch to the wall and hang decorated initial = check! check!
A closeup

(Daughter finds a roll of left over birthday streamers and insist you use them in “hers” = check!!)
girls Room 1
Easy as pie!
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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

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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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.
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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.
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.

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!

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.

pledge

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.

Money in Bin

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).

calendar

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!

homeschoolseries

Shoes Cut for SoleHope!

50 pairs of shoes and $500!

50 pairs of shoes and $500!

Group Pic

island cutting

A few months ago I met the gals from SoleHope at a conference and just knew I had to get involved! I bought a shoe-cutting party kit for only $10! Originally, I had determined to give the kit to a younger friend of mine so she could hold a small party for her friends. But, the longer I carried that little kit around in my backpack, the more I wanted to hold a party myself (read more here).

A few of my friends and I set to work organizing, promoting, tweeting and the like. We set our goal to cut 50 pairs of shoes and raise $500 to cover the cost of the shoes we cut! That first night, we were able to cut 30 pairs of shoes and raise about $230 bucks!

On Saturday, we held our 2nd party to finish up our project. I am so excited to report that we reached our goal! In two sessions, we have cut out 50 pairs of shoes and raised over $500 to cover the cost of each pair of shoes! Praise the Lord. Thanks to everyone who participated in helping us put shoes on the feet of children in Uganda!
pinning

patterns together

patterns and table

mebeccafrancisanna

meandshanna

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 10.15.32 AMThese past few months I have added Asher Collie (founder of Sole Hope) to my list of most inspiring women! By following her instagram I am able to see her live out the love of Christ to her family, her Ugandan community and all the children she interacts with daily. I am always encouraged by her posts and photos! You’ll be encouraged too! Follow her at: ashercollie on instagram. Hopetocarryon.com the blog and of course solehope.com.

For more information about SoleHope and how you can host your own shoe-cutting party, check out this link!
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(In)Design Creative Community Group

INdesign
I am excited to see how the Lord continues to open doors to serve others through this blog! For the next 10 weeks I will be teaming up with In Courage by co-leading an online community group for artists with my new friend Stef Morrell (for more information about other groups click here). I am so excited about this opportunity to strengthen fellow artist towards Christ!

What is (In)Couragers?
(in)Couragers is an online community of women, connecting across the globe to encourage women in their relationship with Christ! (In)Courage offers community groups on many topics and common interests in order to build community among believers!
I know. I know.
A community needs to be built where you are, face to face, with real people!

Praying for our friend Joy at her wedding shower this weekend. I am so blessed to live in great Biblical Community!

Praying for my friend Joy at her wedding shower this weekend. I am so blessed to live in real Biblical community!

Yes! (I agree 100%!)
I will also suggest that building relationships with women around the world who have similar interests, struggles and life experiences can be super encouraging and strength giving to the body of Christ! I think these groups can be a great way to do that!

So, how does it work?
Joining an (in)courage community group is easy! Click here. Register and your group leader will add you to a private FB page where the members of your group will meet up during the week.  It is important to register with (in)courage so everyone is legit and we have record of your participation.

Who can join?
These groups are for ladies only! You can check out all the FAQ’s and details for these community groups here.

When do they begin?
The 10 week session begins next Monday, February 3rd. If you want to participate in an online community group you have until next Monday to sign up!

That’s the fun news going on now with MavisDavis.  My group will be hosted on a private FB page, so you may not hear much more about this! However, if you want to check out the description of our group and see my little pic on a legit website, that’d be cool! Here’s the link!

Amy

15 Minute Drawing Challenge: Jeremiah 17:8

Today our inspiration and verse is:

Jeremiah 17:8  (ESV)

He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Set the timer…
GOtreewithverse treecloseup

Stop! PENCILS DOWN, everyone.
I am trying to work on my skills. 15 minutes is a super short amount of time to complete a nice painting or drawing. But, it’s a perfect amount of time to focus and be creative! This week I used an old set of watercolors from the kids craft drawer! (Confession: I painted at McDonalds while my kids played on the indoor playground). I hope you are enjoying this challenge as much as I am! Now, snap a shot with your smart phone or camera and leave your permalink in the comments! Can’t want to see all of them!

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15 Minute Drawing Challenge: Ephesians 3:14-19

15 Minute Drawing Challenge: Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)

If you are joining us this week, check out this post for how to participate!

Today our inspiration and verse is:

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Set the timer…
GO
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This week I added an illustration to keep things interesting and challenge myself! I am encouraged by Paul’s prayer today! I am thankful to know that I am strengthened with POWER through the Holy Spirit! 2014 is going to be full of adventure and change, challenges, hard times and beautiful blessings! I want to be strong to notice, experience and participate in my relationship with Christ! I am thankful for this passage!

Stop! PENCILS DOWN, everyone.
Now, snap a shot with your phone or camera and leave your permalink in the comments! Can’t want to see all of them! If you have small kids, invite them to join you or have a separate time for them to get creative!

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