All scenic photos on this page were taken by Carlianne (Shelton) Pickett!
Homeschool Moms’ Oasis
Barb Shelton and Berdie Brennan
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Hello, Dear Ladies!
One of my dearest friends, Berdie Brennan, and myself ~ Barb Shelton ~ are delighted to be serving homeschool moms through our “Homeschool Moms Oasis” ministry, via our once-a-month meetings! These might also be aptly called “Moms Out-of-Service Days”!
What an absolute JOY bringing homeschooling moms together and ministering to them in this way has been for both of us!!! We have totally enjoyed connecting with all the moms the Lord has brought our way ~ Moms with children from tiny tots all the way through high school!!
With all that moms typically have on their plates during these kids-at-home growing-up years, it's easy to view something like this as yet another "To Do" on top an already-mile-high pile of "Too Much Stuff To Keep Up With"! Each of these meetings is lovingly designed only for your refreshment, fun, fellowship, and even food-enjoyment!
Plus we add in something that homeschool moms don’t usually get a lot of ~ the opportunity to create a beautiful a card that you can give away, (OR keep, if you can’t bear to give it away) which includes all the supplies AND instruction!
And now let me tell you what happens at these, and how they work!!!
~ are held at either Barb home.
~ include a yummy lunch - made by Barb, with some help from Berdie.
~ include teaching by Barb (and input from Berdie too), sharing, brainstorming, encouragement, and prayer with other homeschooling moms in similar “boats” (at least “age-of-children-wise”) as yours. (In a moment we'll share more about the content.)
~ cost $15 to $20! The base price is $20, but if you have purchased any of Barb's materials, you get a $5 discount!
~ last for about 6 hours. This is really a "Mom’s Out-of-service Day"! The “oasis” we are creating and providing is not accomplished in a quick 2 or 3 hour meeting! This is a “full meal deal”; not a “fast food” run!
~ are held on a Saturday from 10:30 or 11am to 4:30 or 5pm.
~ include a fun and easy stamped project(!) ~ which is usually a card, but Barb has been known to do something different!
~ are encouraging of the “real-life home educating” of our children, especially incorporating "Lifestyle of Learning" principles. This is not conducive to a “school at home” approach to homeschooling. Academics (such as via workbooks and textbooks, or whatever means you choose) do come into the picture, but info on that is widely available, and is not the focus of our ministry.
~ We ALWAYS welcome YOUR input on what to focus on at each meeting! In fact, we often base the content of the meeting on what we hear from you ladies! The Lord is always doing something in each of our lives, so we would much rather “come alongside Him” and respond to what HE is doing ~ and minister alongside Him ~ than just impose our own agenda. So the "squeaky wheel" definitely gets the grease at our meetings! So please feel free to let us know what you are struggling with and/or wanting ideas or encouragement in!
We operate on an “invite-each-time” basis. People can't make it every time anyway, due to health issues, weddings, family events, funerals, and emergencies. So we send out the invitational messages two or three weeks before the upcoming Oasis, and if you can come, great; if not, that’s fine. There's never any pressure to attend. However, please understand that, once you have signed up to attend an Oasis, we (and you need to) consider it a commitment. At that point I start planning for you ~ the food, cards, agenda, etc.
ORGANIZING EACH MEETING:
To organize each Oasis, I create a web page at www.PerfectPotluck.com for each one, which is a wonderful way to organize any group meal!!!!! If I have decided on the card we'll be making, there'll be a link to it somewhere on that page. But often I make those decisions at the last minute.
Please be sure to include your email address when signing up so that you'll be included in emails I send out to the gals who are coming ~ unless you're on Facebook. More on that in a moment!)
I always create a sign-up page for each Oasis that you need to sign up on. If you have trouble accessing it, just let me know and I'll sign you up. It'll be under "Attending." This is just so we know you're, well, (for lack of a better word!) attending! Don't sign up for anything up in this first section; just type in your name, email, and phone click "Sign up"!
A TRUE OASIS!!!!! Our desire is for this to truly be an OASIS for you dear moms!!! Stamping a beautiful card (without the "help" of little hands)... going for a walk in the country... a delicious meal... fellowship and sharing with other wonderful homeschool moms, including teaching and encouragement from Barb Shelton and Berdie Brennan, two moms who have walked this path for many years and are delighted to encourage you along your path... dessert mid-afternoon... Does it much better than that?!?!
ABOUT CELL PHONES: *KEEPING* IT OASIATIC
Please do NOT skip this
(or any) section as I want you to be emotionally prepared, and actually
prepared family-wise, too.
And I'm pretty good at multi-tasking.
I guarantee you can't do this any better than I can.
OK! ~ YOUR TURN!!!
Now we need to hear from YOU!!! If this sounds like something the Lord is leading you to, that you think you'd enjoy and you want to participate in, please email Barb and she will add you to our lists. One is done by email, and the other is a private group on Facebook (tell me the name you use on Facebook so I can friend and then add you to that group.) We will then send you the announcements for the upcoming Oases, and you respond to the one(s) you want to attend! Remember that coming one time doesn't commit you to continue coming! If, at any point, you want to be removed from our email list or Facebook group, just let Barb know!
Q's & A's
Q: So what IS the focus of your meetings, then?
A: Our focus centers on heart issues with our children; creative, fun ways to do academics as the Lord would lead and deem them necessary; relational matters with children (between children, and between parents and children); discipline issues; scheduling ideas; organizing home, chores, and stuff; notebooking, etc.
Q: What about inviting others?
A: If you know of any other homeschool moms who would be interested in any of these groups, please feel free to forward the link to this letter (that you're reading) on to them! The full link is here:
Now, note that this is just to get your friend onto the list to be notified. As for actually coming to an Oasis, please do not just bring a friend that day; sing them up (where you signed up) so that we can plan for them and make sure we have room.
Q: What about bringing babies?
A: Non-mobile, "fairly quiet" babies who are 4 months old and under are welcome at these meetings, so if you have children older than this, you will need to find child care for them. We know that not bringing babies/children is objectionable to some, so if you'd like me to send you the "whole picture" of our perspective on this, just ask. J In a nutshell, we recognize that there are other, differing-from-our way to view this "no-children-at-meetings" policy, and we totally understand if our way of doing this is objectionable to some. If that's the case, please don't be offended, but rather please consider that it's the hostess's prerogative to A) determine the purpose and focus of her meetings, and B) to determine how things will work at her meetings. J Our focus is on ministering to the moms and helping them better minister to their own children, so children are still the focus, just indirectly, via the moms. And focused ministry is much less able to happen with children present as our time more disjointed. We love our little ones, but they get you the rest of the month! J We do realize our guideline will mean that some will not be able to come, and we are deeply sorry if that's the case with anyone. Please know that our heart is not to offend, (and you need to choose to not be offended), but only to facilitate ministry and make the day as "oasiatic" as possible for all the moms in attendance. ... We do need to stay within these guidelines, and hope you understand, even if you don't agree. We have done much trial and error, and know what works within the context of how we feel led to lead.
Q: What if I don't want to make a card?
A: Whether you want to actually make a card or not, we still ask that you come at the beginning of the Oasis and sit at the table and chat with us anyway. This is always a time of connecting, catching up, and getting to know each other. We have found that gals who have skipped this come in later and basically start from scratch, which kind of negates the time that the rest of the group spent throughout the morning, or else they just kind of come in to the group "cold" without that initial connection and "ice breaking." We've been doing this for many years now, and have found this to be very true, and want our time and connection to be as oasiatic as possible for all. ... I will assume everyone wants to make a card and prepare accordingly
Q: What if I've never made cards before, or am not crafty?
A: If you are timid about stamping because you don't consider yourself "crafty," Barb will put that concern to rest!!! (as in KILL it!!) Barb prepares individual kits for these projects and gives directions AS we go, so she takes all the stress out of it for you!! So even if you don't consider yourself a crafty or creative person, Barb makes it fun, and you might just discover that you have more talent than you thought! At the very least, you'll go home with a lovely card to give away!! That's $3 to $6 less that you'll spend at a store on a store-bought card that isn't nearly as pretty and personal as one YOU have made!!!!
IN CLOSING, here are a few words from Berdie:
With love and a big hug,
(which we look forward to giving in PERSON!)
Barb & Berdie
Here are the dates for the upcoming Oases! (All dates are Saturdays except for the Christmas Oasis, which is a Sunday.) If you know NOW that you want to come to one, and are willing to commit to it (unexpected funerals and weddings aside, of course), then you are welcome to sign up way ahead, if you want.
All scenic photos on this page were taken by Carlianne (Shelton) Pickett!
I got the heart background from:
(Last updated 8-21-13)
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