Thursday, January 7, 2016

Speed Friendshipping

It's 2016!! Wow, this past year has flown by for me. We've started this new year off to a bang at our humble little MOPS group. Thank you to the Orange and Pink tables for the delicious breakfast this morning!

Our meeting started off with welcoming a few new moms to the group, so glad you could join us! And if anyone would like to join Secret Sisters, please let Danielle know and we can get you set up. There is a talk coming up at the church entitled Understand and Answering Islam. If you are interested in attending, please sign up here. Also, First Baptist is beginning their registration for Preschool for next year. Please see Nancy if you are interested. And Vacation Bible School is coming up soon in the summer, July 11-15. Finally, Bible Study will begin again next Tuesday and childcare is provided! Please go here to sign up for any of the studies available.

Whitney Athayde was our MOPS mini market vendor this week. She is a birth instructor who uses the Bradley Method. You can see her website here or contact her at if you are interested. Thank you Whitney!

One of our moms Carin Sweeting who is due in March has been in and out of the hospital recently. We ask to lift this momma up in prayer! Carin's contact information is in the directory if you'd like to reach out to her.

Allison Kretlow gave a beautiful testimony regarding her battle with illness and how it lead her to the path of adoption. It was truly a moving and inspiring testimony and thank you so much for sharing it with us!

We ended our meeting with our speed friendshipping activity! It was a great way to meet others in our group that we may not have interacted with before and for the new ladies to get introduced quickly to a lot of new people! Glad we could reconnect everyone with the first meeting back.

Thanks to everyone for a great meeting! Our next meeting is on January 21st with our Yellow and Teal tables brining breakfast. See you then!

January/February Newsletter

The January/February newsletter is here!

Recap of November and December of 2015

Hi ladies! We just wanted to give a little recap of the last few meetings of the 2015 before moving onto 2016. In November, we created the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (thank you to everyone for that!), and we had our first toy swap which was a great success! Then in December, we had a wonderful demonstration from Britt Davis about gift wrapping and I hope many of  you were able to use some of her tips during your Christmas wrapping sessions! We also had our Christmas party with favorite Christmas item swap which was both hilarious and fun! AND we did a lovely craft where we planted a paper white flower or a succulent in a small tin can with we decorated with some burlap ribbon. Love mine! We've also had testimony from some of our moms including Nancy Ryalls, Michelle Cox, and Rachael Lachinet. It's been a busy first semester and we're happy to start the New Year!

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!