Frozen bday party ideas!

Ok, this blog is not Pintrest in the least!  But I (Beth) did get some cute ideas for Maddie’s bday party (some I wanted to do, but didn’t have time or resources) and wanted to share my inspirations!

We played a “Whack an Olaf!” pinata game and the kids loved that!  Any excuse for them to hit something w/ permission is always fun, right?  I just used watered down glue to put at least 3 layers of newspaper strips and then, after it dried, popped the balloon.  Then, I used strips of white printer paper and cut it to make the “flaky” effect and taped them on strip by strip.  Then, just added details to make him look like Olaf!  Here’s some detailed instructions if you need!  The candy doubled as a prize and favor – winning!
IMG_6713Then, came the favors…what to do?  We went for the cute Elsa crowns and Sven Antlers!  Made for a really cute pic of the kids, even though, I think the boys immediately took them off after the picture!  haha….

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We had cute Elsa & Anna, Kristoff & Sven, and all lovable Olaf coloring pages for the kiddo’s according to gender and age ;)  I like to be age appropriate (sometimes)!

So, we decorated minimally b/c there’s not a lot of ready made Frozen paraphernalia laying around ‘ol FLL.  So, improvise we did!  There were a lot of cute ideas for how to decorate your food table, but not too many decor ideas about any other part of the party.  So, we made due!

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First off, the blue-green “Ice” hard candy…looks really cute on this website’s cake, but I boiled mine for an extra 17 seconds and it burned a little…it was still edible though!
Secondly, the fun Jello “Ice” was fun!  I made Elsa colored ice and Anna colored ice “cubes”…the kids loved it!  And so did I, muhahaha….I just followed the jiggler recipe on the box, but here’s the fancy-schmansy one!
Thirdly, I saw a lot of cute other themed foods, but we we just explored the “Sven Snacks” (carrots), snowflake cookies, “Kristoff Chips”, and “Melted Snow” (water!)…there are plenty of ideas here and here for different foods and decor!

As far as decorations, on the food table, I found some snowy-ish silver glitter plants to use in my spaghetti jar w/ glass beads, I also found some fun silver swirl napkins, and we used some of the cute Frozen dolls that have been sweetly sent to us by our sweet parents!  To greet guests, I made 5 or 6 3D snowflakes and used those throughout the house and at the front door…

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stringed up cotton wool balls and these snowflake circles from the ceiling in the “Ice Palace” room (living room), cotton balls delicately distorted to look like snow, the infamous Star Wars snowflakes from here (how did those sneak in?)…

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…and a snowy scene of the lovable characters with some printer paper and pipe cleaner snowflakes!

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When we were all done eating, we went into the “Ice Palace” where we had the AC on 21, ate popcorn and watched the movie from our upstairs friends’ iTunes version!  The kids had a blast and the adults may have chuckled a time here and there too ;)

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After the party, we printed off the said cute picture of the kids w/ their crowns/antlers, wrote a note and we I made some cute snowflake ornaments from the melty beads to give as a thank you…whew, those things look cuter than they are to put together and finagle w/ the ‘ol iron!  Fo Sho!  Here is a pattern you could use…for some reason the site is in Swedish, but you get the idea!

All in all, we had a blast…Maddie loved playing w/ her friends, this was probably the lowest key party we’ve ever thrown, and we actually got to enjoy time w/ our friends here while putting it on!  So, enjoy!  Go and make your own ideas – store bought stuff is overrated anyways ;)

Happy 5th Birthday Madison!

It’s hard for us to believe that little Maddie Boo is already 5 years old!  I (Will) remember getting a call from Beth right before I was going in to take my Church History mid-term that she thought she was in labor.  AFTER completing the exam, I took off and met Beth at the Davis house where she was kicked back watching 24.  From there to the hospital, an epideral, and 6 hours of sleep later, little Maddie Boo was born at 6:19am (we think; we’ve slept since then)!  Check out these pictures over the years….

Just a few days after birth, already cheering for the best team in sports!

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Little Boo at her 1 year pictures

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2 year old birthday party

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3 years old! First bday in FLL

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Growing older at 4

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Happy 5th Birthday Maddie!

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Happy Wedding Sunil and Pinkey!

On Feb 24, we were able to go to our gardener’s (Sunil) wedding with some other American friends.  We had a great time!  As you might have seen on Facebook, I posted this picture (below) of Maddie’s picture for Sunil and his bride.  She was so excited :)  (*Note, the “IYF” is b/c I sometimes say “FYI” when I’m talking and she picked up on it!)

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From what we could understand, it was a very Biblically based hour and a half service, explaining the roles of man and woman in marriage.  It was encouraging to hear the man speaking about how the woman is a helpmate, not a slave (as women are most likely seen here).  Below are the girls amongst the crowd there for the wedding.

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We pray for Sunil and Pinkey that they would be a light among the non-believer marriages!

20140224_120622We were waiting to give them their gifts :)

20140224_141427Sweet practice senior picture pose for Bug!

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Homeschooling, what?!

Ok, so, I (Beth) went to Delhi last week and got to spend an amazing week w/ many other friends and coworkers that homeschool their kids at an 80′s themed homeschool conference (totally awesome, right?!).  I’ll be honest, when I was growing up, homeschooling wasn’t the “coolest” thing.  But as I’ve gotten older matured I realize that’s an unfair assumption.

It really humbled me to hear the hearts of these moms and their reasons for homeschooling their children.  Some of them don’t have a choice.  Some of them don’t want to put their kids in the national school (who would blame them?).  Some of them do it out of conviction from the Lord that they want to train their kiddos up in the way they should go, teaching them day and night and in the home.  We are praying through if this is the way we need to do it…as I bite my nails. 

It was neat to see everyone’s different personalities- moms’ and kids’.  It kind of overwhelms me to think about homeschooling Maddie and Mahaney, but on the other hand, I get all excited about it too.  Especially the new school supplies – what a nerd!  Maddie will finish up Kindergarten here in national preschool in March 2015.  Then, we’ll go back to the States for some time.  We hope to be able to put her in a great school down the street from my parents for the first half of 1st grade.  After that, our plan is to come back here to FLL and we are considering homeschooling.

Maddie loves the national preschool she goes to and has gone to for 2 years now.  Mahaney…well, she’s still warming up to it.  This school is great and albeit a little small and a little dirty, we enjoy sending our girls there.  These days our mornings are free to study language, meet w/ others, plan for speaking in our ghetto Hindi for trainings, etc, but it will only be for a short time and we are excited about what the Lord has for us.

The Homeschool Conference was such an encouragement and we even got to hear from Pam Tebow (Tim’s mom) each day about their journey in working overseas and homeschooling her 5 kiddos.  Man, a lot of conviction came in hearing how she trusted the Lord, had faith when things got tough, loved her children and saw them as gifts from Him, and taught them Scripture using simple tunes.  Also, a lot of information was thrown at us about curriculum, testing, supplemental things, “screen time”, processing disorders, how in the world to homeschool, etc.  It was so good and I’m looking forward to the possibility of hs’ing the girls.

Heck, I’ll even be able to use those teacher skills I went to school for ;)

10 Things I Think I Think

Alright, here we go with another 10 Things I Think I Think.  As always, thanks to Peter King at the MMBQ for the idea (always love reading his)…..

1.  I think driving in the FLL has given me a new appreciation for NASCAR.  I used to be amazed out how they drove so fast with so little room between them and other cars.  Now, yes they drive at must faster speeds….but lets see them try to drive in close space with dogs, cows, people walking, people riding bikes, motocycles, 3-wheelers, small cars, big cars, buses, and cargo trucks all running 3 wide on a 1 lane road.

2. I think Scripture memory is way under-rated.  I never really got into much (and if I did I sure don’t remember them now).  Actually, I probably know more verses in Hindi than I do in English!  However, I highly recommend the Fighter Verses app from Desiring God.  It’s on your phone; it gives you quizzes to practice.  It’s great!  I started it right before Christmas, and I love it.  Even on those days where life is crazy and a quiet time is non-existent, I can still “feed on the Word.”

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3. Here are a few things I think about our vacation in Thailand…
a) Thai fashion is off the charts weird.  No words to describe.
b) It was quite refreshing not to see people peeing on the side of the road.
c) I love some Indian food, but I really love beef!
d) Krispy Kreme is in Bangkok……(you see the “Hot Now” light)
e) There is also a Sizzler with an all you can eat salad bar!
f) I think it’s weird that I was excited about an all you can eat salad bar!
g) Bumrungrad hospital has got to be in the Top 5 best hospitals in the world.  Amazing!
h) I thought I had seen some nice malls in America.  In Bangkok, bigger and nicer malls exist on EVERY CORNER!
i) Also beware the night market…(eyes forward or straight down….just saying)
j) Forgot how much I really love thick chocolate milkshakes.

4. I think I wish I had written down more of what I think.  10 things is hard…

5. I think that it would be hard to go back to America and work an office job.  For 2 years, I have been working from home.  Beth and I are together most everyday.  I see my kids all the time.  When I do travel, I’m gone for 3-4 days; however, when I am home I am home.  I can’t imagine only seeing my kids for a few hours a day before bedtime, or not having Beth around all day to talk with.  While there are some downsides to the job we have, this isn’t one of them!

6. I also think that working from home is tough.  Having to go from a structured office job to working from home with no real schedule or routine was really hard.  But here we are 2 years in and I think we finally are understanding how it works.  There are no real office hours so sometimes work happens early, sometimes late, or sometimes all throughout the day.  Yet we love what we do so that is what matters!

7. Final thoughts about football…
a) I should have won the company fantasy fooball league.  There was a tie in the semi-finals, but espn rules say that the higher seed moves on…I wasn’t the higher seed.  I would have won had I been in the finals.
b) I should have won the CCBC fantasy football league.  I had 1 bad week in the quarterfinals; that’s all it takes.  I would have won both the semi-final game and the championship game.
c) I was right that the CCBC East division was the hardest.  Congrats Jeremy on the win!
d) The “should haves” are for our CCBC Commish, Mr. Miller.  He loves it when I trash talk in the past.  He says I learned it as a Duke fan.
e) Speaking of Duke, I got to watch Duke play in December….and it was a football game!  We should have beat A&M.  In other news, I can’t name 1 player on Duke’s team.

8. I think it is crazy that we will be heading back to America for our furlough in 18 months.  There is so much happening in 2014 that I know it will come quickly.  We are looking forward to the many volunteer teams coming to visit.  I am also super excited to release our 6 church planters to begin training others!  They have been so faithful these past 6 months in sharing the gospel and seeing new churches started in brand new areas!

20140105_1902539. I think it is so much fun having 2 daughters.  Maddie and Mahaney have been so much fun this past year.  It has been a joy seeing them grow and mature.  Maddie is learning so much in school, and Mahaney is really developing her own personality.  They love to play monster and hide-n-seek and spin around with daddy, and they also love to just cuddle while we watch their girly, kiddy cartoons.

10. I think know that I have a wonderful wife.  In December, we celebrated 8 years of marriage!  What has amazed me the most is that the learning process never stops.  I am still learning new things about her.  And not just new things, but we are also growing deeper in our relationship.  Working from home together has it challenges, but I cannot imagine working a job where she is not right there beside me.  I love the in-between task flirtations and small conversations.  I love the encouragement and support that she offers me as we work together!20140105_190437

New Look, New Feel, New Vision

So, what do you think?  Now that we are in a new year, we thought it was time for a bit of a make over to the blog!  We also have been super busy here in FLL, and the time to blog and update has always taken a back seat….

However, in this new year we are committing to publishing at least 2 new posts a month!  We may schedule in some repeats of favorites over the years just to keep it fresh!  So continue to join us in our journey here in FLL.  We look forward to sharing with you what God is doing around us!

Here’s a picture from our most recent trip to Thailand! Ahh the sun, the beach, the beef!!

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So, what’s been going on?

We took a trip to another part of India…via our own vehicle…the roads were psuedo ok, but the fellowship on the other end was worth all the potholes, swerving not to hit those driving on the wrong side, and the one air born bump.  The girls did a fabulous job of just sitting in the back of the car and watching tv and eating snacks.  Will did a tremendous job driving.  I couldn’t ask for a better hubby & driver :)  We had good talks, a costume party, and some late night Catan playing…it was a great time w/ our friends…

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Our little Sophia the First & Tinkerbell :)

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Will was Jake (from Jake & the Neverland Pirates), Sophia, Tink and I was Izzy (also from Jake)

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We wanted to get one of just us :)

Then, when we came home, we were greeted by the ever so lovely Durga Puja pandal they were making in the huge grassy area next to our house (lucky us, right?).  It was actually “less menacing” this year than last, as Will said.  I agree.  Fairly child friendly.  Unfortunately, the rains from Hurrican (Cyclone) Phailin shut the Puja chanting, songs, and concert down early (bummer, right?).

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So, during this time, we took it “easy” before Will’s busy travel schedule at the middle and end of the month.  We did language and some community time, but mostly rested and got some much needed fam time in.

Then, Will took a trip (back to the city we visited our friends in!) by train.  Here, Will was able to meet with 2 church planters who have seen nearly 350 new churches started in just the past 5-6 years.  How?!? you say.  Well, they each followed Jesus’ command in Luke 10 and each saw 6 new house churches started.  They then invested in the leaders of those churches to do the same! Seem simple? Well it mostly is.  So as each leader then invested in new leaders, the multiplication process expands until you see 350 new churches in 5-6 years!  As we mapped the churches on paper, we noticed that one particular church was the 12th generation church to be started! 

And as we ramp up for Mahaney’s up and coming 3rd birthday party, Will has another trip to visit the 6 4 guys he’s been investing in. Will will review and have some accountability time, give some fresh teaching, and then Will is going to spend time w/ one man in particular (the one to the far left in the pic below-sorry for the blur!).  This man, *James, has planted churches and is discipling and training up other believers to do the same thing!  So, Will gets the privilege to encourage and empower this man from God’s word and also to be encouraged by the work that James is doing!  He is sacrificing a lot to disciple, evangelize, and plant healthy, Biblical churches as well as care for his family and community!
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Tune in for some pics of Mahaney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates 3rd Birthday Party!

Wow…they’ve grown how much?!

So, in September of 2012, we decided we wanted to start tracking the girls’ growth.  At that time, I (Beth) didn’t have a lot of spare time (and still don’t!) to try looking for some cute height chart or to even make one.  So, we went w/ the ‘ol measure and use the black sharpie method.  Lame, I know.  They have grown so much and here is the picture from this September’s measure…and how much did they actually grow???

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Drum roll please…

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We’ve got Maddie coming in at 4 1/16″ and Mahaney in at 4 5/8″…crazy, right??  And, at this moment, Mahaney is at the age (almost 3) that Maddie was when we first came to S. Asia!  Man, these 21 months have flown by…

10 Things I Think I Think

One of my (Will) favorite things to do during football season is reading Peter King’s MMQB column on Mondays. I especially like to read his section called “10 things I think I think.” So in honor of the start of the NFL season (and fantasy football season), here are 10 Things I Think I Think…

1. I think that I have a Love/Hate (cheap FF ref) with the culture here. The slowness of the pace of life is great. The having to wait hours or even days to have something accomplished is not. The food is really good and flavorful. But a bite of the wrong chili and you won’t taste the food for 3 days. The friendliness and hospitality is refreshing. The constant freak-show staring is not.

2. I think that I have learned more about God, Christ, the Spirit, His church, and salvation than I have ever learned in my life while here in FLL. There is something about being stretched to your limit and beyond over and over that forces you to draw closer to the one who is stretching you.

3. I also think that I have had more deep lows while living here in FLL. It is really hard to just cruise while living on the edge of lostness.

4. I think that I have personally shared the gospel more times in 20 months than I have in 23 years as a follower of Christ. I am also learning that these 23 years of inactivity have left lots of rust on my ability to share and have confidence in what I am doing.

5. I think that Sovereign Grace Music is producing some of the best worship music out today. From Age to Age, Grace has Come, and Risen are just a few of the ones that I listen to regularly.

6. I think these are a few thing that I really miss from America:
a) Krispy Kreme
b) Propane grills. See below for more
c) Central heat and air
d) Interstates
e) Football, the American kind

7. I think that I thought I knew how to start a fire. A half hour after trying and failing, I had to ask our house helpers for help. Five minutes later, the fire was roaring nicely. Two days later, I started the fire in the brick grill, but I then realized I couldn’t keep it burning.

8. I think that living overseas causes one to have an identity crisis. There is no blending in. To some you are a rockstar; to others you are a circus freak show. Both stare and want to take your picture. Either way, it’s not always fun.

9. Five quick thoughts about football
a) I think that I am going to crush my company FF league. My draft was awesome.
b) I think that the auction draft format is the most fun and the most challenging.
c) I think that the CCBC East division is going to be ridiculous to win. Great players who all have great teams.
d) I think an SEC team will win the national title, though I hope that Louisville has a chance to play for it.
e) I think I have no idea who will win the Super Bowl. And really, I don’t care. I just want my fantasy players to score TD’s.

10. I think know that I have a great wife! Beth has been a great helper in this journey. She forgives my faults and lives with my preferences. She challenges my pride and accepts my weaknesses. She loves Jesus. She loves me. She loves our daughters. She desires to raise them according the Bible. And for all this, I love her!

Confessions of an overseas mom…Part 2

Ok, so, I wasn’t sure exactly what to write on this time (there’s so many options!) but hang with me…

In the past few months, we have asked the girls to help out here and there w/ things around the house. Having 2 sweet house helpers Mon-Fri has been SUCH a blessing and when I think about not having them, I feel nauseous. They sweep, mop, cook lunch, prepare stuff for dinners, make our beds, change our sheets, dishes, do our laundry, etc. EVERYDAY.  This allows us to be able to be free for ministry or language learning.  Without this we would be lost!

But I have had the thought about when the girls get older…Will they do things to help around the house if we always have someone we pay to do those things for us? So, we have instituted a “Chore Chart”. I got the really cute idea from Pinterest here and since then, the girls love doing their little chores and “flipping a flap”.

They both have basically the same chores, but Maddie has an extra “Do Homework”. We started this in conjunction w/ the “Nice/Kind Chart” and made the stipulation that the girls may not get a sticker for helping the other sister w/ chores on the chore chart.  IMG_5899

Pros:
-Great motivation,
-It teaches them to be responsible, and
-When they’re not sure what they should do, we can say, “Go look at the Chore Chart for what you need to do next.”

Cons:
-I think I should have taken “Make Your Bed” off Mahaney’s b/c it’s not quite age-appropriate,
-The Chart went through the “I’m bored w/ this” phase, but we were consistent with it and even now, they are still good about looking at it!

So, what chores did you give your kids at ages almost 3 and almost 5?