Picnics in the Park for MOPS this Summer

We're doing Picnics in the Park this Summer. We will be starting our regular MOPS meetings on September 4th.

For the picnic - meet @ McKinley Park (Kemp Ave and Kampeska Blvd) on the 1st @ 3rd Thursdays in June and July from 11am-1pm.

Our dates for this summer are: 
-June 5th and June 19th
-July 3rd and July 17th

Bring a picnic lunch or grab drive-thru.

Hope you can make it out! :)


Moving picnic in doors to Cornerstone

Ladies -UPDATE on our picnic in the park - Due to the unseasonably cool weather we are having, we are moving our MOPS picnic indoors to Cornerstone Church in the Big Ark Room. Hope to see you there.


Picnic in McKinley Park this Thursday from 10am -12pm

Hello Ladies,

We'll be having a picnic in McKinley Park this Thursday from 10am -12pm, with lunch @ 11am. Instead of brunch, we're serving pork sandwiches and hot dogs and asking all group to bring something.

Bridget's group - Please bring drinks, juice boxes for the kids, and buns
Melanie's group - Sides such as chips or salads
April's group - Desserts

Hope you can make it out! 



Jody Roberts to speak + Easter Passion Activity @ MOPS this Thursday

We have MOPS this Thursday and it should be lots of fun. 

First off, we will be doing a special Passion Week activity since it's Easter. 

Secondly, we will be having Jody Roberts as a guest speaker and she will be speaking about her and her family's experience doing mission work in China. I hear from reliable sources (Amber R.) that it's going to give you goosebumps!! :) 

If that’s not enough to get you excited, we’ll also have door prizes. Hurray! 

Brunch - Brunch is on Bridget's groups this week. 

Can't wait to see you,


Meet Bridget - a fellow MOPS mom

Meet Bridget - she's a fellow MOPS mom who regularly attends our meetings, and has kindly offered to share her heart with us on the blog. Bridget writes:

I have a problem that I'm working on.  Well, I think about it.  I think about working on it.  I spend too much time on my iPad/iPod and now I have a smartphone.  If there is a lull in my day, I plop down and I bring up facebook or pinterest or bloglovin.  I scroll through ideas, pictures, updates, pins, blogs, quotes.  While I am tuned in to my screen, I'm tuned out of my life.  I think that's the point and the reason I am scrolling in the first place.  I need to escape. 

It's becoming clearer to me that these outlets annoy me.  I have always been appreciative of messy authenticity.  Leanard Cohen spoke to my heart when he said the thing about the crack letting the light in (Okay, googled it.... his name is spelled Leanord and the quote it "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.")  I adore that.  From a sociological perspective, adversity and the ways people rise above, has always fascinated me. 

 So, I get absorbed in all of the updates I see. My son graduated from A.P. physics with honors and thanked me in his speech.  I ran a marathon last week and am training for another with a better time.  My personal favorite: <3 <3 my boyfriend, he bought me a Dt. Pepsi when he went to the store (man of the year?).  They tend to read like a greatest hits album of that person's life.  But I want the B side.  I want to see updates like the ones above, paired with updates of the real stuff:  I fought with my husband last night for some reason I can't remember and he slept on the couch.  I cooked a meal from scratch (kind of) and the kids wouldn't eat it so I yelled at them and then felt guilty.  My boyfriend is a jerk and doesn't know what pop I drink so he bought me the kind he likes instead. 

 Then I switch to my pins, and see all of these pictures of perfectly organized, beautiful houses.  They are bound to be filled with expensively dressed moms doing paint chip crafts with adorable, slightly messy, appreciative kids.  These are such false images.  They need to have pictures of an almost perfectly organized house with mud tracks on the carpet.  A picture of the kid crying because the craft you were doing isn't turning out like he likes and his brother ripped it in half.  Or a picture of me after a long day, with my makeup worn off and hair uncurled, rosacea glowing, exhausted, sitting in the recliner.  Probably with my iPad in hand..........
 I think there would be so much value in people telling the whole truth about their lives.  The good should be next to the bad.  The slightly messy mudroom with mostly organized backpacks: that should be the new perfect.  Or the status update saying I ran a marathon, but had to get babysitters to train and my body ached for days.  Good for you, it was hard work and sacrifices were made for the result.  Or better yet, all unphotoshopped pictures of celebrities without extensions, false eyelashes and spray tans.  (I could write nine paragraphs about how these enhancements create such an artificial ideal.  And how that makes me mad.)   That's real.  And if we started seeing those images, reading those statuses, we would be more eager to see that it wasn't flawless, and that's okay.  That's better than okay.  The light is shining through the cracks.

 I read a book last summer that was impactful to me: Daring Greatly by Brenee Brown.  It was mostly about vulnerability and the willingness to be vulnerable.  People who are what she calls "Wholehearted" are the most resilient.  And these wholehearted people are comfortable with vulnerability.  So, in the interest of honest "journalism" (If I put this on a blog, I'm a journalist, right?)  here are some of the things I would like to say about myself that make me feel vulnerable:
My kids watch way too much tv or iPad.  I think about how to stop them all the time and follow through 20% of the time.

I eat more than I burn in calories.  This makes me overweight. No special explanation needed, it's that simple.

I hate the wrinkles I am getting in the corners of my eyes (I'm 32........I thought that was still supposed to be young).

I lie to my husband about how much things cost all the time.  I don't know why I think $5 makes something more affordable.  It just sounds better to me.

There are some redeeming qualities I could list here to counteract the less than desirable ones I just put out there.  But that's not the point.  I do all of those things, and I am still a person deserving of love and God's favor.  That's real.



MOPS on 4/3 - Featuring a guest couples panel

Hi Ladies,

MOPS is this Thursday! Hope you can make it as we will be discussion the topic of marriage and you will get to ask questions from our guest couples panel. Questions like…how do you resolve conflict? And do you have any tips for keeping your marriage strong and in working order? What’s your favorite thing about your marriage? Etc…you get the gist! It should be lots of fun.

brunch - Melanie's group is on for brunch this time around. For Moppet snacks - looks like we have enough. Thanks to everyone who brought those.

Lastly, we want to have a Mom's night out on April 5? Anyone interested? Let us know.


Christianne's Granola Recipe

Please welcome Christianne to the blog. She is a regular attender at our mops meetings and wanted to share this recipe with you:

Philosophically I’m a farmer’s market; financially I’m a big box store.  Maybe that’s why I love granola.  It’s wholesome and healthy, but doesn’t cost a lot to make.  Fiber in oats, the main ingredient in granola, provides a wide range of health benefits including stabilization of blood sugar, healthy digestive function, and a reduction of blood pressure. It has also been suggested that for nursing moms, oats can increase breast-milk supply. 

3 cups quick oats
¾-1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
½ cup syrup (maple or agave) or honey
1 cup dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix dry ingredients (first 6) in a large bowl.  Melt butter and warm syrup in saucepan.  Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread on greased baking sheet.  Bake 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  Allow to cool completely.  When cool, add fruit of choice.  Store in airtight container or Ziploc bag.   

Fruit/nut ideas:
Craving a taste of the tropics?  Add toasted coconut and dried pineapple or banana chips to cooled macadamia nut granola.
-Chopped walnuts, dried apples, pears, and craisins.
-Slivered almonds with a medley of dried berries.

Let your imagination run wild as you create endless flavor combinations! I especially enjoy my granola made into a parfait with yogurt and fresh fruit.