Sunday, May 6, 2018

Westover South Family Camp...

This past weekend was Westover South's annual camping trip. We had to cancel Friday night due to the rain, so we all met up at one family's house for dinner and games. Then Saturday morning we headed to Camp of the Hills. It's a beautiful spot located in the hill country.
 
The adults relaxed, visited, and played games while the kids had way to much fun playing. So much fun that all the guys found a mud pit and went wild, haha!
 I LOVED seeing all of them caked in mud...that's a boys life!! All the kids loaded up and went for a swim down at the lake.
 As the day went on we played some more, ate, shared in worship, and hung out even longer. The guys stayed up late playing capture the flag and gaga ball.
 While the ladies decided to head in for the night and giggle in their cabin :). Zoe was thrilled that she got to have her first experience of sleeping in a cabin with all girls...no moms!!
{The moms were in the cabin directly across from them so we could pop in and check on them.} I'll say this over and over, I adore the village my children are being raised in. I adore that we have such strong family friends to live life with. That we have opportunities like camping where they can be wild and free without serious adult supervision. Kids need small amounts of freedom and independence...and that is precisely the joy of family camp!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Westover South...

A year ago, Daniel decided to transition from Young Adults Ministry into being a Campus Minister. We are still working with the same congregation, Westover...but we moved from their large north campus down south to their church plant, Westover South. In all honestly, I wasn't super excited or on board with the decision, but I trust my husband and God has always remained faithful to us. Within 3 months, I knew we were right where we should be. The Westover South community is hands down my favorite church that we have ever served with. If you were to assemble a dream team to plant a church with, no lie you would choose these people! Not only have Daniel and I fallen into a good stride of life and work down south, our kids are flourishing here. They can hardly wait for Sunday night for worship or Tuesday night for small group. They tell me spontaneously all the time how much they LOVE our church. And yes, it does this momma heart some good to hear that! When we moved last May, Daniel and I hit the ground running. I immediately began teaching and working with these awesome kiddos...
We are sharing a building with Travis Heights which works with marginalized. The building is a little rough and a bit of a challenge, but the kids' classes actually meet in a food pantry :).
That summer I put together a little VBS with the lego theme focusing on the Good Samaritan and how we can build relationships and connect with our neighbors by helping others. *If you didn't know, You Tube has bible stories told through legos...the kids love it!
After our big worship, we had stations the kids cycled through. Application where Ashley had them work through building bridges...
Charis' craft station had the kids create crafts to give to their neighbors.
The final station, Kayla did application working on team building activities focusing on communication and working together.
One momma made lego snacks for everyone!
It was a super fun morning worshipping and learning together. Even Max joined in on the fun!
I feel like this day was when my kids really started to get to know the other kids better and their sweet friendships began.
We also did a Mother/Daughter movie night and Father/Son Kickball night that summer. The Sunday before school started, Daniel put on a Back to School Blessing.
After worship, the kids rolled scripture into these little capsules to either wear or put on their backpacks for the year. The kids thought it was super cool and the parents loved them wearing scripture...
The same night, we also did a school supply drive and had all the kids help fill backpacks for families who needed them for school.
We ended the night with the best treat ever...Bahama Bucks snow cones!!

We have of course participated in several fun kid events throughout the year I have already blogged on, so I won't repeat. What I will repeat is how much joy these kids have living down south worshipping with this community!
These families live out God's love and provision in their lives in ways we talk about, but don't always see. The adults invest in every kid there. One night these sweet girls jumped up on stage to lead worship after service...
 and then Ryan grabbed his guitar and helped them :).
 It takes a village to raise a kid and I'm beyond thankful for ours. I love that these people are shepherding, loving, and pouring God's love into them. I also love that they are modeling what it means to live on mission in their communities and their hearts desire to serve. So yes, while I was hesitant to move down South it has turned out to be one of the greatest blessings for our little crew.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

March/April Homeschool...

Homeschool these last two months has been less formal than the rest of the year. It was not intended to be this way, but between spring fever, spring break, farm school, and me leading a women's retreat...we all had to be a bit more flexible. This is yet another incredible positive about homeschool, being able to work around your schedule. One day for example, I had loads of errands I needed to run for the retreat so we switched our day. After getting Max that afternoon, the kids and I did school outdoors for a couple hours before dinner...
Spring fever is a real thing whether in public school or home school. There have been a couple times where I grabbed a book to read and let the kids just play it out at a park...
We have had a few fun activities like when Kason suited up for surgery on non-fiction text...
We taught Zoe about the banking system and introduced her to how money works. Kason learned this early on (around 4) and has always loved saving up or earning money to buy items he wants. Zoe, not so much :). So when Kason was buying himself a couple items with birthday money...
Zoe was very interested. I started the process a month earlier when she bought herself a ballet leotard, but she has been wanting a bigger scooter. So I taught her how the value of each coin and how to add them up.
Then I taught both of them how to old school roll your coins...which they thought was way too much fun!
Kason shared most of his change with her and between the two she was able to get her new scooter...
Now she has her eye on ballet shoes and is working on extra jobs around the house and even sold a few items in our garage sale to save up for them :). Kason has been working so hard at school. Reading isn't his favorite subject, but he has to read silently everyday and when he finished yet another novel by himself, we celebrate with ice cream!
Zoe has also been working hard at school. She is learning to read and working on big girl math!
Kason is an awesome big brother! Not only will you find times where he is reading to Zoe...
but the other day I looked up and he was working on teaching her how to read...so precious!
 I think their favorite parts of the day are our breaks. They will get out math manipulatives or legos and just have fun creating...
Zoe had created a playground of some sort with linking cubes one day. I loved hearing all about it and seeing it from her perspective. For Easter we did a couple science experiments. We put regular raw eggs in vinegar for 24 hours and we ended up with a bouncing egg!
We also crystallized Easter eggs. It was a great lesson because I did it two different ways and one ended up being over crystallized while the other worked perfectly. I will confess that art isn't my thing, so I'm bad about always incorporating it. Kason on the other hand really enjoys it, so one day we got out dad's old pastels and let them loose!
It ended up being a super fun time for them! With May just around the corner, Kason and I decided to make our bucket list of things he wanted to do before Max joins us for the summer. One item was the Austin Zoo. We had visited the zoo not long after we moved here, but it had been awhile. So, we grabbed our sweet friend Zoe and headed that way!
The four of us had a great time together and I added in a few educational bits when we read about where the animals come from and about their habitats since we just finished a unit on biomes. As for Max, he is still rockin' his 1st grade year! I'm not kidding one bit when I say that he adores school. Even in his sleepy groggy state in the morning he immediately asks for the bus so he can go. They challenge him well...
 but also love on him well too...
including his sweet friends from class. Now dress up days are a whole other story...
 he isn't a fan of those, ha! Over the next few weeks, you can find Max finishing up his school year, while the other two and I are outdoors squeezing in a bit of work...
while also checking off our bucket list!