Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer is winding down and school is back in session and for us moms of preschoolers, that can mean only one thing...MOPS is about to kick off!  I hope you are as excited as I am.  There is nothing more soothing to me than to be back in MOPS with my people.  People who know me, who get me, who love me just like I am, where I am.

The theme for MOPS this year is A Fierce Flourishing and we are going to do just that! As moms we become more ourselves when we celebrate, rest, and notice goodness, and that looks a lot like flourishing.   We are going to celebrate, rest, and notice goodness as we dive deeper into this years theme with wonderful speakers, excellent discussion, and of course a hearty breakfast!

I am personally looking forward flourishing this year and seeing each of you flourish as well.

See you August 27th!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Recap, Recipes, Reflecting...OH MY!

Did your parents ever tell you how quickly time flies as you get older??
I'm starting to fully understand what they meant especially as I think how fast
this MOPS year began and ended. And what a GREAT year indeed!!!
How LUCKY we all are to be a part of such an incredible and encouraging ministry for mothers.
The last meeting of every year is always one of my favorites. You get time to reflect on the year as a whole and appreciate all of God's blessings received through MOPS. This year's theme, BE YOU BRAVELY, was awesome and there are many things I learned while in MOPS that I'll keep in my heart for a lifetime.
A few highlights of our last meeting together:
--Being treated to a delicious brunch provided by our Mentor Moms. Many ooohs and ahhhs were heard while partaking in the scrumptiousness. The recipes are below for those interested.

Hashbrown Crusted Brunch Casserole

3 c. shredded hashbrowns
1/3 c melted butter
salt & pepper to taste
1 c diced ham
¼ c green onions
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
½ c milk
½ c red pepper
·        Preheat oven to 425*
·        Mix melted butter, hashbrowns, salt & pepper

I use Simply Potatoes Shredded in refrigerated section.  (If you use frozen, thaw and pat dry.)  Press into greased 8x8 pan. 

Bake 20 minutes or until potatoes start to brown.
·        Remove from oven.  Reduce heat to 350*
·        Top with ham & veggies.  Top with shredded cheese.
·        Whisk eggs, milk, ½ t salt & ¼ t pepper.  Pour over everything.
Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes until top is golden.
Blueberry Crisp

4 cups blueberries or any fruit

Crisp topping:
1 c old fashioned oats
½ c pecans
½ c almond meal (health food section or put almonds in food processor until fine, but before they turn to almond butter)
¼ c maple syrup
¼ c melted butter
½ t salt

Pour 4 cups blueberries in 8x8 pan.  Spread crisp topping over the fruit.
Bake at 350* 35-40 minutes (longer if topping & fruit are frozen) until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is crisp and golden.

-- Lastly, we were humorously reminded of what this year's theme meant to Pool Party Patty, Sally the Snob and Frazzled Fran!

Have a Great Summer Friends!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BONUS ENTRY: Date Night Challenge

So many of you are rocking this #GECMOPSDateNightChallenge!

To increase your odds at winning, we're offering a BONUS ENTRY in addition to the required 3 Challenges.

Here it is --- HUSBAND'S CHOICE (G-Rated of course..hehehehe)

Looking forward to seeing what your hubby's come up with.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


If you've visited any local stores lately, you know the shelves are all stocked with Valentine's Day cards and goodies and everything is drowning in pink and red. Traditionally speaking, I think it's safe to assume this particular holiday is more adored by women than men and has become so commercialized that our men must feel so pressured to do something BIG on this ONE day every year. Well I personally don't know any woman (or man for that matter) who is perfectly fine with receiving love and attention for only one day. PUH-LEASE!
A great marriage takes hard work 365 days a year, not just on holidays! Our busy schedules and life circumstances often make it difficult to keep the romance alive especially as parents during the preschool years. This whole idea is what inspired the #GECMOPSDateNightChallenge. Our hope is that this challenge will be fun and creative and most of all, fan the flame of your marriage. So BE BRAVE and TAKE THE CHALLENGE!
Complete all 3 of our "challenges" by...
-taking a pic of you and your hubby doing the challenge
-post it to your social media account, hashtagged  #GECMOPSDateNightChallenge
Every couple that completes all 3 challenges before our Feb.26 meeting will be entered into a drawing for a dinner date out, complete with a babysitter (paid for by MOPS). 

The goal is to have fun, laugh together, and enjoy one another. Don't make this complicated and there is no need to involve money.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Why You Don't Have to Hold It Together During the Holidays

One week until Christmas! It brings different emotions for me depending on the hour of the day. At times I'm overjoyed like a child waiting for the Big Day and other times I'm overwhelmed with responsibilities and sadness. If you fall anywhere in that mix, you may enjoy this blog post I found that brought encouragement and relief during this busy season while reminding me of the true celebration this month and the One who allows me to be broken and holds everything together for me so that I may breathe and enjoy the many blessings He's provided beyond measure.

Merry Christmas friends!

From the blog (in)courage -- Written by Holley Gerth
here's a direct link

Okay to Be Broken by

I sit in the soft silence of a church service and draw a deep breath. “Get it together,” I tell myself, “It’s the holidays and you’re supposed to be happy.”

But the reality is . . . I’m hurting. I miss my grandpa who slipped home to Jesus last summer. Other holiday seasons have held similar struggles. I remember fighting back tears during our journey through infertility.

I’ve sighed from exhaustion after pushing through end-of-year projects. I’ve battled seasonal depression.

Rather than being a comfort, all of this makes me even more certain that this is the year I

But in the quiet dark it seems I hear a whisper deep within my heart, “Go ahead and be broken . . . I’ll hold you together.”

It turns out holding it together isn’t in my job description: “God holds all things together” {Colossians 1:17}.

We serve a Savior who knows Christmas is not just about rejoicingit’s also about the cross. He understands what it is to be human, to have tears slip down our cheeks and hope seep out our souls. He grasps what it’s like to be frustrated with the injustices and troubles of this world. He knows. 

It’s okay to have a hard day during the holidays.

It’s okay to cry . . . and laugh too.

It’s okay to be concerned about what the new year holds.

None of that is too big for God to wrap His arms around. He’s got you. He loves you. He is not telling you to “get over it.” Instead He is forever saying:
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. {Matthew 11:28}
Trying to be perfect is exhausting.

Ignoring our hurt only drives it deeper.

Pretending our pain isn’t real only makes it yell louder to get our attention.

Rest, friend, rest . . .

Because you are loved.

Because you are safe.

Because you are cherished beyond all you can imagine.

Yes, go ahead and be broken . . . God really will hold you together. 

Holley Gerth

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MOPS loves Operation Christmas Child!

Teach your kids about giving with Operation Christmas Child (OCC). MOPS loves OCC and now is the time to participate in this annual service opportunity and include your children in the process. Invite your kids to pack a shoebox of gifts for a hurting child overseas of their same age and gender. Toys, school supplies, and hygiene items packed into a shoebox can all express the love of Christ to a boy or girl in need.

What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out is eternal. Through the power of Christ, one shoebox gift can multiply disciples, plant new churches, and inspire children to share the Gospel with family and friends. Since 1993, over 113 million children in 150 countries have had the opportunities to hear the Gospel through shoeboxes packed by people like you for Operation Christmas Child.

It's simple really.
1. Pack a shoebox (choose gender and age). There are millions of ideas on Pinterest if you're not quite sure what to include.
2. Pay $7 per box for shipping. You can follow your box and get notified of its destination if you pay for shipping online. Click HERE.
3. Drop off your box(es) at the MOPS meeting on NOVEMBER 13.
4. Pray for the child who will receive your shoebox gift.

This video explains it all (and my 4 year old wanted to watch it over and over again). :) :) :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Just Be YOU

A new year of MOPS at Grace Evan is underway and it started with a bang! This year's theme, Be You Bravely, evokes so many different emotions in me. I'm very much looking forward to diving deeper into how I can bravely approach life and motherhood this year and grab ahold of who God designed me to be.

Our own Mentor Mom, Edie Fleming, presented a thought provoking message on Comparison-Free Mommying at last weeks meeting.

Here are some snippets:
Principle of the Day - Someone else's success is not my failure and someone else's failure is not my success.

Areas where moms tend to use comparison - Physical, Possessions, Productivity, & Performance.

Cures: Confidence, Commitment, & Contentment

I came across this article by a popular mommy blogger and it tied in so perfectly with this message. To read more by Susan Merrill, click here.

Once we start playing the comparison game, it’s hard to stop.

There’s my friend Marcie—the perfect mom with her counters always sparkling, her carpet clutter-free, and her kids smiling like little angels.

There’s my friend Laura—the peaceful mom with her endless patience and tenderness with her children.

Then there’s me—texting my kids to ask where they are, unsuccessfully attempting to cook a simple dinner, and hiding in the laundry room behind growing piles of dirty clothes.

Sometimes, we hear this little voice in the back of our minds telling us that our kids would be better off with another kind of mom—and we start to believe it.  We start doubting, and ask ourselves, “Why can’t I be more like Marcie or Laura??”

But the truth is that from the beginning of time, God has planned for you to be EXACTLY where you are.  God put your child in your care…and the mom you are is the mom God wanted your child to have.  We must come to understand that “I’m a mess.  But I’m a beautiful mess.  I’m His masterpiece, and that’s enough.”

-- Susan Merrill

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Discipline = Discipleship

Our MOPS Group at Grace Evan is sooooo blessed and privileged to include over 10 Mentor Moms who are precious to our group and so sweet to offer insight and advice based on their own parenting experiences. The March meeting focused on the topic of Discipline and the message came from a panel of our own mentors. 'Queen Mentor', Patty, led the way in shaping the young minds of our moms to think of disciplining our children in a new way. I found myself hanging on to every word and I thought the message was spot on. The excerpt below summarizes the message.

by: Patty A.
Discipline and Disciple clearly come from the same root word.
Disciple means (verb) 'to teach, to train, or bring up' and (noun) 'pupil, student, follower'.
Discipline means (verb) 'to bring a state of order, to train, to punish' and (noun) 'instruction given, teaching, learning, knowledge'.
To understand how to discipline effectively, we need to know how to disciple our kids.
Most of our daily discipline or teaching is actually behavior modification.  We need our kids to learn how to behave in a certain way.  This is very important.
However, because of the intensity of your day-to-day life, I fear we lose the big picture, and that is parenting with an eternal goal.  Discipling is a matter of the heart.  What kind of person do you want your child to become 30 years from now?  What kind of character do you want him/her to have? When you get a fix on that, then you can parent toward that end.  Keep in mind, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES!  The Bible is full of stories of GOOD parents raising bad kids and BAD parents raising good kids and vice-versa.
The good news is that Jesus' primary prayer, purpose and passion were to provide the way for us to BE THERE with Him in eternity.  In Dr. Dobson's book Life on the Edge, he relates what he told his son Ryan:  "When the time comes [to die], there is only one thought I want to leave with you . . . BE THERE [in Heaven].  Do not let anything deter you from keeping that appointment . . . This is the only thing of real significance in your life . . . above every other purpose and goal, the only thing that really matters is that you determine now to BE THERE!"
I pray this is your ultimate goal as you parent with an eye on eternity.  If you believe that Jesus died for you and you receive Him as your Savior, you will have eternal life in Heaven with Him.  Jesus is the Answer.
In His Love,
Recommended Book List (mentioned by Mentors):
Love & Respect in the family - Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Creative Correction - Lisa Whelchel
Focus on the Family App
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children - Jodie Berndt
Parenting By the Book- John Rosemond
FaithTraining by Joe White
A Place of Grace by Susan Hunt
Teaching your child how to pray by Rick Osborne
Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp
Jesus Calling for kids- Sarah Young
I Believe in Jesus- leading your child to Christ by John MacArthur
A Faith to Grow On by John MacArthur