Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Playdating with MOPS!

Last Thursday was our first monthly MOTT of the year at Grace Episcopal's playground. It was one of the first days we've had that actually felt like fall... pretty much a perfect day for a playdate! My little chica was super-sad, unfortunately, so Rose & I didn't make it. But I'm told that good times were had by all... & if the pictures are any indication, it was truly a lovely Thursday morning!

Next month's MOTT is at Hardy Berry Farm on the morning of Thursday, Oct 25th... there will a hayride, corn maze, pumpkin patch, & all sorts of fun stuff. We'll be getting a great group rate, so be sure to put it on your calendar now!

Here are just a few pics of this month's playdate fun:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Trying new recipes is always fun & it's even better when someone else has already made sure it's good! So every Tuesday, we're going to share a new recipe from the kitchen of one of our MOPS mamas.

Please send your favorite recipes to me at or via facebook, & I'll put them in the line-up to be highlighted on "Tasty Tuesday"!

This week's recipe for Slow Cooker Taco Soup is from the kitchen of Emily. Looks super-yum for a chilly fall evening! 

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 2 cans of pinto beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomatoes & chiles
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing mix
  • 1 lb of ground beef or turkey (optional)
  • shredded cheese & sour cream for toppings

The Directions:

Brown meat. Drain fat & add meat to crockpot. Sprinkle taco & ranch seasoning packets on top of meat. Drain & rinse beans, then add to crockpot. Add UNDRAINED corn & tomatoes to crockpot. Stir.

Cover & cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5. The longer you cook it, the better it tastes, so opt for the "low for 8-10 hrs" if possible. Stir well & serve with shredded cheese & a dollop of sour cream. 

(click here for original source)

Monday, September 24, 2012

getting crafty: dry erase frames

The dry erase frames we made at September's MOPS meeting were a huge hit, thanks to Abbey, Crafter Extraordinaire... the moms seemed to love them & they are a great gift idea as well!

So here's the tutorial if you'd like to make your own & can't quite remember the details:

  1. Collect your materials:
    • picture frame (any size... Target has a ton on clearance right now, & Dollar Tree usually has cute ones as well)
    • cute scrapbook paper
    • optional: vinyl cut stickers to add words, scrapbook embellishments, paper with a prompt printed on it like "To Do List" or "Today I love you because..."
    • dry erase marker
  2. Take your picture frame apart & make sure the scrapbook paper is the right size. You may need to cut it to fit the frame.
  3. Add any extras like stickers, words, inserts, etc
  4. Put frame back together & you're done!
You'll find these little dry erase frames all over blogs & pinterest... there are so many uses for them! Here are just a few of my favs:

Weekly Menu Planner (click here for post):

Grocery list (click here for post):

Super-cute gift for kids, teenagers, college students, etc! (click here for post)

And my personal favorite! (yep, the one I made :))

Friday, September 21, 2012

only 3 weeks 'til our yard sale!

Ok, y'all, let's talk about our yard sale. It's going to be on Saturday, Oct 13th at New Covenant Church. That's only THREE WEEKS from now!! We're officially starting at 8am, but we'll be there at 7:30 to catch the early birds.

This is one of our major fundraisers for the year, so we really, REALLY need stuff to sell! Furniture, appliances (that work), knick-knacks, clothing, kitchen goodies -- we're taking it all. And please ask your friends too!  Talk to your families, coworkers, churches, facebook friends, book club, whoever... just about everyone has at least a few things that they'd like to get rid of.

Crystal has kindly offered her garage to store the items until the sale, so you have three options. Either:

  1. Bring your yard sale goodies to the MOPS meeting on Thurs, Oct 11th;
  2. Drop your stuff off at Crystal's house (I'm not putting Crystal's address on the blog for obvious reasons, but email/text/facebook-message a Steering Team member & we'll share). or
  3. Contact a ST member & we'll figure out how to collect it from you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picnic & play date tomorrow!

Tomorrow is our first MOTT of the year! MOTT, which stands for "MOPS on the town," is a chance for your children to play with other kids while you visit with other mamas... in other words, good times for everyone! :)

Please join us tomorrow at Grace Episcopal Church at 10:30 for a play date & picnic. Don't forget your picnicking supplies -- a blanket, maybe a couple of chairs, & of course, food!

If you don't know where Grace Episcopal is, here's the google map. Or if you're all nifty & have GPS, the address is 711 South McDuffie Street, Anderson SC 29624.

See y'all tomorrow!

Monday, September 17, 2012

having joy in the now

Meagan did a great devotional at our Sept 13th meeting & was kind enough to share her notes with me, which I will now share with you :) I really loved what she said about having "joy in the now"...

Wise words from Meagan: 
I was reading a mommy blog the other day and the woman made a list of all the things she does and asked her husband to order them according to what was most important to him. She listed things like cooking dinner, having a clean house, getting dressed and looking nice, etc. Her husband responded by saying, “All these things are great, but all I want is for you to have enough energy at the end of the day to be nice to me.” (Click here for entire post.)


How often am I so exhausted by the time my husband comes home that I just want him to take the kids and give me a few minutes to breath. Or how often do I list off the difficult things I had to deal with during the day….”so and so had a tantrum at target, then this one peed in her pants, then…” All he wants is for me to be NICE to him.

If I’m going to be nice to him, I need to change my perspective. I need to have faith and joy. But how?

James 1:2-3 says,
Consider it pure JOY my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your FAITH develops perseverance.
So I’m trying to do my best to not focus on all the little things going on in my house, but put my focus on Jesus. All the things that distract me are temporary. One day my kids will be grown and there will be no more potty training, temper tantrums, and cheerios all over the floor. It’s not easy but I’m trying to have joy in the now. Joy in these tiring preschool years. Joy that I can only get from faith in God.
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always. ~Psalm 10-5:3-4

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What a great first meeting!

We had our first meeting of the year this morning... it was wonderful! Had a record turnout of 50+ moms, with quite a few first-time moms. So excited to see so many new & not-so-new faces!

Margaret introduced our theme for the year, which is "Plunge: Love as if your life depended on it." This year is all about diving deeper into relationships -- with our husbands, our kids, friends, neighbors, church & most importantly, with God. 

A huge thanks to Britney Thames, who was our speaker this morning! She shared tons of wonderful ideas about how to instill a desire to serve others into your children, & even provided us with a hand-out of creative service project ideas. 

I'm already plotting to copy her "Fall Into Service" centerpiece that she had on display at the meeting. I unfortunately didn't take a picture, so I'm using an image of a similar tree (source). Britney suggests that we write service projects on paper leaves, then hang them from branches that you have collected from your yard or the park. Each night or week of the fall season, have your child choose one of the projects to do. Discuss at dinner how to complete the project & why the project helps you to "serve the Lord with gladness" (Psalm 100:2). 

Be sure to check out Britney's blog for more fabulous ideas & follow her on pinterest!

Ok, ladies, mark your calendars!

  • Thurs, Sept 20th @ 10:30am -- join us for a picnic & play date at Grace Episcopal Church
  • Thurs, Sept 27th @ 7:30pm -- Mom's Night Out at Galaxy Bakery for coffee & dessert
  • Sat, Oct 13th -- MOPS yard sale at New Covenant. We need your stuff! Crystal has very kindly volunteered her garage to store the goodies. If you'd like to bring them before the next meeting, please contact someone on Steering Team. Or you can bring your items to next month's meeting on Thurs, Oct 10th. Please, please, PLEASE clean out those attics, closets, & toy boxes to help raise money for MOPS!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Get to know your Steering Team: meet Rebecca!

My full name is Rebecca Hobbs.
I'm on the MOPS Hospitality team. 
I have three children -- Cailyn (8), Lydia (5) and Evan (3).
I'm originally from Indiana.
To relax, I enjoy watching movies, 
playing the piano & traveling.
If I could order from anywhere tonight instead of making dinner
I'd choose Sullivan's.
If I could do anything & get paid for it, I'd get paid to travel. 
I like salty, especially chips. 
My favorite book is The Hiding Place by Corrie Tim Boom. 
If my family had a theme song, it would be the
Barbie & the Diamond Castle 
If I had an extra room in my house, it would be a mud room 
with a shower. How cool would it be to hose the kids off before they come in the house?
My favorite thing about MOPS is the other moms! You all are awesome & I just love spending time with you! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Get to know your Steering Team: meet Pamela!

My full name is Pamela Leigh Smith Schult
I'm on the MOPS Outreach& Hospitality team. 
I have two children -- Abigail (15 months) and Baby #2 (due in January).  
I'm originally from Anderson, SC.
To relax, I enjoy readingscrapbookingbaking, running & napping.
If I could order from anywhere tonight instead of making dinner, I'd choose Outback Steakhouse! I haven't been since my birthday last September!
If I could do anything & get paid for it, I'd sit by a pool with a magazine & a cold drink! 
I like anything chocolate!
My favorite movie is The Notebook. Favorite book is The Help by Kathryn Stockett... was also a great movie. 
If my family had a soundtrack, it would be?... I don't really have a good answer for this. But I do like Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes.  
If I had an extra room in my house, it would be for crafts, scrapbooking & gift wrapping.
My favorite thing about MOPS is supporting & encouraging
each other through these "brutiful" toddler years!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Get to know your Steering Team: meet Sarah!

My full name is Sarah Weathers Rettew.
I'm on the MOPS Publicity team. 
I have one child -- Rose (almost 1).  
I'm originally from Townville, SC.
To relax, I enjoy being crafty, reading, & watching
brain-rot television.
If I could order from anywhere tonight instead of making dinner, I'd choose Summa Joe's. Yummmm... my favorite.
If I could do anything & get paid for it, I'd get paid per pin on Pinterest. I'd be a bazillionaire.
I like sweet & salty, although sweet has recently been taking the lead.
My favorite movies are Love Actually & Little Miss Sunshine. My favorite books are The Lovely Bones, The Help,  & a most recent fav read, MWF Seeking BFF.
If my family had a soundtrack, it would pretty much be
Little Miss Sunshine... kinda nostalgic, quirky, chaotic, dysfunctional, but very heartfelt.
If I had an extra room in my house, it would be a guest bedroom so we could actually have guests. Or a home office for my husband. But probably a guest bedroom.
My favorite thing about MOPS is the connections I'm making with some truly wonderful women.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Get to know your Steering Team: meet Melissa!

My full name is Melissa Christine Canney.
I'm the MOPS Treasurer. 
I have three children -- Addison Grace (5), Emerson Joy (3) and Ellody Hope (20 months).  
I'm originally from southern New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia.
To relax, I enjoy walking , getting massages & pedicures, reading blogs... & I love the beach! 
If I could order from anywhere tonight instead of making dinner, I'd choose... well, we're new to Anderson & have only tried a few places out! We went to Sullivan's for our anniversary & it was amazing... so maybe there?
If I could do anything & get paid for it, I'd sit on the beach with frosty beverages brought in one-hour increments! 
I like salty for sure... never met a chip I didn't love! 
My favorite movie is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Favorite book?... hmmm, too many to pick just one... 
If my family had a soundtrack, it would be Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
If I had an extra room in my house? Well, we're currently living in an apartment, so we need LOTS of extra rooms!!! In our next house, I want a nice BIG dining room for entertaining. 
My favorite thing about MOPS is having time to sit & talk to women who are in the same stage of life as me.