Monday, November 16, 2015

Giving Thanks

Hello lovely ladies! As I was sick this past meeting, I wasn't able to give my testimony. I still wanted to share with you what I wanted to say and figured I would write it instead!

So as we just had Veterans day where we thank our men and women who have served and who continue to serve, and next week will be Thanksgiving, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to really give thanks to God for all that you have. I think this is the first times in my life I've really stopped and had a good think about this. I know I take for granted so many things that God has blessed me with in this life. And although I still have a long way to go in my journey with God, I have to say I couldn't be more thankful for what he has given me. Let me name a few things:

- Thank you God for blessing me with loving parents that raised me Catholic so that I could know you and your loving Word. It may have taken me many years to truly understand what a gift this is but I do cherish it.

- Thank you God for putting myself and my husband in the right place at the right time so that we could meet, fall in love, and start our wonderful family. When I'm in the moment, it's hard to remember that I'm so fortunate to have someone to share this journey with me. I have to keep that thought in my heart and head more.

- Thank you God for both of my babies. A few years before I had my oldest, I was told that I had polycystic ovaries and that it was going to be very hard for me to conceive. But God had other plans. We never had any problems conceiving (something I know many people struggle with). I am truly blessed that He felt that I should be entrusted with these two little lives. They amaze me and challenge me every day.

- Thank you God for my health. My uncle just passed away from cancer at the age of 52. It's something completely incomprehensible to me. I don't understand how a man so young could be taken so early in his life. But God has bigger plans for him, things that I cannot understand. I believe in God's plan. And I'm thankful that I can say I'm healthy, my kids are healthy, and my spouse is healthy. I may not always be able to say that so I'm very grateful I can say it now.

There's so many other things I'm thankful for: friends, MOPS just to name a few. But these were just the beginning of my evaluation of all the things I am blessed with. So I encourage you to take a few moments and really explore what you are thankful for. Ponder it, pray about it, and truly thank God for what He has given you!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October 29th Meeting Recap

What a great meeting! Thank you first of all to the Teal and Pink tables for providing breakfast this week. It was great! Orange and Silver tables, you're up for our November 12th meeting!

Thanks to all who donated to the food drive we held at this meeting. We were able to donated 104 lbs or 87 meals to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank! Great job ladies!

Tahirah Elliot was our Mini MOPS Market vendor this week with her Juice Plus demo. You can find a link to her website here.  Thank you Tahirah!

Jenny gave a review of up coming events. Our next meeting will be a toy swap! Get ready for early Christmas shopping next meeting. The following are the rules for the toy swap:

1.  Each participant may bring up to 15 items.
2.  Items eligible for the swap include: toys, board games, puzzles, ride-on toys, wooden toys, children's books, children's DVDs (rated G or PG only), or educational equipment.
3.  All items must be: in good condition, clean and must include batteries. ( In other words, would you want it?)
4.  We cannot accept: broken, cracked or items missing pieces; teething toys or feeding items, stuffed animals, or items that have a smoke smell.
5.  Items that are left over will be donated to charity on the day of the swap unless you take them back with you.
6.  Make sure that anything with pieces (puzzles, blocks, or other toys with multiple pieces) are placed in bags so wecan keep everything together. Don't tape pieces to the puzzle base.

**If the Steering Team doesn’t feel it's appropriate, for whatever reason, we have the right to not accept it.

Please either make arrangements to get your items to your table leaders before Wednesday, November 11 or drop them off Wednesday night between 7:30-8:00pm at the church as we will be arranging the items the night before so that we are ready to go Thursday morning. And again, you do not have to bring something to participate!

We will also be packing our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child at our next meeting. Your table leaders will be sending out a sign up to minimize duplicates in your boxes.

Jenn McArtor then gave a wonderful testimony on the power of friendship and how much her friends have meant to her in her lifetime.  Thank you for reminding us of those times that God has let us know that he is there for us and looking out for us. As Jenn referenced in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Sometimes we all need a reminder that God has bigger plans for us!

Finally, Melissa Walsh spoke about freezer meal prep and gave us awesome tips on how to get organized and get serious about doing it! From tips about flash freezing meatballs, tortilla shells, and buns before freezing them with an entire meal (so they're less likely to get mushed and mashed) to how we can use ordinary items like large plastic cups to hold freezer bags open so they don't spill all over (who knew?), it was a jammed packed discussion. Thank you so much Melissa!

And we have included the list of recipes here that we were given at the meeting, in case someone missed them. You can find them here.

See you at our next meeting!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Greenfield Farm= TONS OF FUN!

Last week some of us were able to visit Greenfield Farm and had a great time!  

There was so much to do and the kids (and I) had a blast playing on the big (HUGE!) slide, 

walking on top of the hay maze,
daring to try the spider web and checking out the goats and chickens. 


Of course, all kids love a hay ride and this one proved just how beautiful Virginia land is.  

So peaceful and pretty...Sigh...I need to make a point to drive out there just to see the hills and hay bales.  They make my heart happy.  

Lots of little boys running around this place!  We've got to find the little girls who are going to keep them in line.  

I hope everyone that went had as much fun as my boy did.  I think he ran his little heart out from one end of the farm to the other.  Looking forward to a great time next year!
Here are a few more pictures that capture the super fun day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hey ladies! Sorry for the delay on this post, it's been a pretty busy week. So I'll keep this post short and sweet.

First, we will get straight down to business with the most important topic...FOOD:) A HUGE thank you to the Silver and Yellow Tables for the breakfast. It was DELICIOUS! Pink and Teal, it's your turn this coming meeting, October 29!

Next thanks so much to our MOPS mentor mom, Darla Rose,  for not only giving her inspirational personal testimony, but also for sharing some of her personal photos to help us mamas learn through her experience. 

Darla Rose had a busy week as she also hosted our MOPS mini market with her products from Arbonne. If you didn't have a chance to check out her products and would like some information be sure catch up with her this coming week. 

Last but certainly not least, let's give a huge shout out to our mentor moms who did an awesome job answering some of our most challenging questions. There were so many excellent questions and answers that I don't know where to start, so instead you can just listen to the videos that I have a link to below (the files were too big to upload directly to the blog so I had to upload to YouTube):

MOPS Mentor Panel Part 1

MOPS Mentor Panel Part 2

"A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel" Proverbs 1:5


1. Don't forget to bring your canned food items for the food drive to this week's meeting, October 29.

2. If you are participating in Secret Sisters, be sure to bring your first gift for your secret sister to this upcoming meeting if you were unable to bring it to the last meeting. 

3. Have a wonderful week and we will see you on Thursday!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Meeting Recap October 1

Hello ladies! We had a great time at our last MOPS meeting, October 1, and here is a quick recap for those who missed it or just want to reminisce. First, wasn't that breakfast spectacular? Let's hear it for the Orange and Teal teams! Whoop whoop! 

And don't forget our MOPS Mini Market for the week, Rodan + Fields, presented by our fellow MOPS member, Jenn McArtor. If you missed her table, have questions, or would like to inquire about the Rodan + Fields products, you can email her at or check out her website at Thanks so much Jenn for presenting these products to us!

After breakfast, the meeting was underway with a few announcements, including those from Amy Vesser with a quick reminder about collecting Box Tops for Education (remember to clip those, ladies) and the coat drive. What great ways to help out the community! Here is some more information on the coat drive:

We also got to celebrate those ladies with October birthdays, and apparently October is a popular month! I believe there were 12 ladies celebrating. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH to each and every one of you :)

Then, Tahirah gave us a moving testimony about the meaning behind her name, "Pure." What a great encouragement and reminder for all of us. Thanks, Tahirah!

And for our main speaker, Amy Vesser's husband, Justin Vesser. He is a pharmacist who came to present us ladies with some information on the best medication for the Cold & Flu season. I don't know about you, but he can give a pretty convincing argument for the flu shot! He really did give a lot of great information on looking up symptoms, the best medication and so much more. Can we get a big round of applause for our awesome guest speaker? Thanks Justin!

That just about wrapped up our October 1st meeting! 

A few reminders: 

Don't forget, Silver and Yellow tables will be providing breakfast at our next meeting, October 15.

Also, make sure to mark your calendars for October 22 for our trip to Greenfield Farms Fall Fest.

There is also a meal train for Jackie Dyson as she welcomed her little one and our newest Moppet last Tuesday. Congrats Jackie! Here is a link to the meal train if you are interested in providing a meal:

Looking forward to our next meeting and all the exciting events coming up soon!

Friday, October 2, 2015

MomWise--> Discipline: Who Needs It?

Sweet ladies!  For those of you who missed it, I wanted to share our MomWise get together with you. Thursday night we had our first MomWise of the year which is where our lovely Mentor Moms host us at one of their homes and try to impart all the knowledge and wisdom they have to share in about 2 hours on whatever the topic may be.  Ruth Wagner, thanks for your lovely hospitality!  You have a beautiful home!

This week we discussed "Discipline- Who Needs It?"

Nancy led us in a great discussion pointing out scriptures and books that were relevant to raising obedient children.  The main book she used was from James Dobson's Dare to Discipline,

Dobson says, "Multiplying is more than producing children.  It's also producing faith in children."    

We want our kids to have faith, and to have their own faith, not the faith of their parents or grandparents.  This is a faith they must find for themselves.  

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 talks about the statutes and rules that God commanded us to teach our kids. 

 Verses 5-9 say, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might..You shall teach [these words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house...You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." 

These are words that we can't pass on unless we have them in our hearts ourselves.  How true that is!  I want my kids to have God's word hidden in their hearts so that when they are faced with trials or temptations or something they don't understand, they'll have scripture to turn to.  I can't depend on the church leaders to teach my kids everything because they're only at church a couple of hours a week.  I'm with them all day long.  I am the best teacher my kids have.  How am I going to to lead?  What am I going to teach them?  What do I want them to learn?  

Another key point Dobson makes is "Love and obedience are the closest of friends.  And God's design for parents is a loving obedient relationship with their children."  

John 14:15 says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  We want our kids to obey God.  This begins with us teaching discipline to our kids so they can know how to obey.  Then when it's time to obey God, they know how to do it.  

Proverbs 3: 11-12, "Do not despise the Lord's instruction, my son, and do not loathe His discipline; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, just as a father, the son he delights in." 

Discipline is such a hard thing sometimes.  I see myself being more laid back as a parent and at times I wonder if I'm being to lax with disciplining.  There are definite "no-no's" in the house and Jett is well aware of them.  But I think there are times when he wants to do something and it's really not going to hurt either way if he does or doesn't.  He's 3.5 years old.  He's exploring and learning everyday.  Time-out is enforced if certain lines are crossed.  A pop on the bottom may happen if it's to correct a behavior that may be harmful to him or his sister.   I'm still learning this "mom thing" too.  I'm looking to others and scripture to see what is best for my kids.  Advice comes in all forms.  We must learn what works best for our us and for our kids.  

Another thing Nancy shared was from Kay Arthur's book, A Marriage Without Regrets.  

Arthur says there are 4 Greatest Gifts that we can give our children.  

1. The gift of parents who love each other-(security, peace and joy).  Marriage and the home it creates is a secure haven where a boy and girl can grow and develop into a healthy, strong individual. A greenhouse of sorts.
2. The gift of access to our time and attention (available, reachable, touchable and accessible)-children need you to parent them! They need you there to: talk to; wrestle and snuggle and tickle and play and laugh with; turn to when the days seem dark and hopeless; test theories, wild ideas, and crazy dreams; have enough energy and focus to make each child feel loved, cherished and special; share not just body, but heart and soul; kiss away the hurts, bandage the cuts, and speak comfort to the broken heart.
3. The gift of time: both quantity and quality-a nonrenewable resource. How wise we need to be in how we spend it. A brief 18 years.
4. The gift of lavish love (touch them, hold them, caress them… even if you weren't brought up this way.) If you have never had this modeled in your own life, ask God to lead you to someone who can teach you (Titus 2). Ask Him to show you the importance of your touch, our presence, your physical care, and your attention.

How true these words are!  We have free gifts we can give our children all the time.  They are so hungry for us.  Mama! Mama! Mama!  Come see!  Come here!  Watch this!  Play with me!  It's constant and it tell us that our kids need these free gifts we can give them.  

I hope you're able to take away something from this post.  There are TONS of resources out there we can use to "better ourselves" as parents.  Nancy has lots of other books that I didn't even mention and would love to share titles with you if you're interested.  Also, remember that our Mentor Moms will be front and center at the next meeting, so if you have other questions for them.  Please let me or your table leader know so they can get the question to Michelle.