Sunday, August 31, 2014

ST Intros: meet Margaret!


I'm a member of the Anderson MOPS Craft Team this year! 
I've been on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team for several years...
I love serving MOPS mamas & I NEED the friendships & support of other ST members.
We're like a family!
I have three kiddos - Caleb (age 6), Cooper (age 4) & Lucas (age almost 1). 
The last book I read was "The Artist's Daughter" by Alexandra Kuykendall...
YES, I recommend it!
My favorite books are the Hunger Game & Twilight series &
anything by Nicholas Sparks.
My fav movies include "You've Got Mail," "Steel Magnolias" & "Tommy Boy."
My fav restaurant is California Dreaming! I get the house salad & potato soup with a croissant.
The last song I sang was "Let It Go."
Loudly, of course!
In the last week, I've learned that
God wants us to serve shoulder to shoulder as we face OUTWARD.
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I'd take a nap, watch Downton Abbey or read.
My favorite time of day is naptime & bedtime.
Do I need to explain why? :)
I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar.
Craziest thing I've ever done?
I climbed out of a moving vehicle to ride on the hood...
& by "moving," I mean 45 miles per hour!
My favorite dessert is salty & sweet combo, like peanut butter & chocolate.
My favorite thing about MOPS?
My husband is in ministry & MOPS gives me a circle of support
outside of our church where I can be myself & have my own "thing"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

ST Intros: meet Amanda!


I'm a member of the Anderson MOPS Hospitality Team this year! 
This is my 1st year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
last year was my first year attending MOPS & I fell in love.
Having awesome mom friends
who can share struggles, accomplishments & memories is the best!
I joined ST to become more involved in this wonderful organization!
I have two kiddos - Mattie Grace (age 2) & Mollie (age 1m). 
The last book I read was "12 Hours in 12 Weeks," a book about
getting your newborn to sleep.
Yes, I recommend it... although I have to be honest in saying
I'm not actually following it... :)
I love anything by Nicholas Sparks... LOVE the happy love stories!
I watch Frozen probably every other day & it's great... just maybe not every other day!
Romantic comedies are my favorite!
My fav restaurant is El Patron! I almost always get a beef burrito & cheese quesadilla. Oh, & definitely cheese dip or guacamole! YUM.
The last song I sang was "Jesus Loves Me." It's Mattie Grace's favorite to sing at bedtime... I sing it softly so I can hear her trying to sing it. SO sweet! 
In the last week, I've realized that I should just not even try to plan
because when it doesn't work out, I get stressed out...
take every day as it comes, especially when you have two young children.
My favorite childhood celebrity was Mariah Carey. Loved her!
I've been meaning to order my wedding pictures!! We have been married almost 4 years & I haven't even gotten my bridal portrait yet. Can we say slack?!? Ha.
My favorite time of day is 5:27pm! 
That's when the husband gets home from work. 
Weirdest thing I've ever done?
I once got on stage at a drag queen fashion show in NYC...
& no, I don't think I was supposed to :)
My favorite dessert is ice cream! I never feel bad eating a bowl of ice cream!
My fav song lyrics are:
don't worry 'bout a thing, 'cause every little thing is gonna be alright!
My favorite thing about MOPS?
the relationships for sure! You can't beat it! It's so great to have mom friends 
in the same place in their lives as you...

Friday, August 29, 2014

ST Intros: meet Crystal S!


I'm the Anderson MOPS KITCHEN MANAGER this year! 
This is my 3rd year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
I've enjoyed serving mamas in Anderson, so I'm back for another year
with these lovely ladies!
I have three kiddos - Sarah (age 11), Jackson (age 9) & Grayson (age 4).
I have two favorite movies... "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" & "50 First Dates"
I love comedies!
My favorite restaurant?
I love any food I don't have to cook! 
My least favorite chore in the world is laundry! It never ends...
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time? 
That's easy! I would be laid up in my bed with yummy snacks & some HGTV!
My celebrity childhood crush?
I have always loved George Clooney... & I'm still faithful to him :)
The last song I sang was "Jesus Loves Me"... I sang it
on the elevator VERY LOUDLY when all the kids were arguing at the beach this summer!
In the last week, I've realized that school is starting &
it's about to get REAL again!
I've enjoyed being with my children this summer... I'm sad to see it come to an end!
I've always wanted to learn to play the piano.
My favorite time of day is morning! I love my coffee &
it's a new beginning to a new day!
My fav snack is Bugles & french onion dip.
My favorite thing about MOPS?
You guys! 
I love to serve Anderson moms!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ST Intros: meet Katie!


I'm responsible for the Anderson MOPS Records & Registration this year! 
This is my 2nd year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
I joined ST to invest in the lives of other moms with little ones.
This stage of life is HARD & going through it alone isn't an option.
I'm thankful for this community of moms & look forward to serving them this year in any way that I can.
I have three kiddos - Avery (age 4), Landon (age 2) & Addilyn (age 6m).
I'm currently reading "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God"
by Lysa Terkeurst. I definitely recommend!
It's encouraging & challenging at the same time... she's a fantastic author!
My favorite restaurant is Chuy's....
it's a Mexican restaurant in Greenville. Super yum!
I like the enchiladas...
My least favorite chore in the world?
Bathrooms! especially with a newly potty-trained little boy! gross! ;)
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would definitely nap!
The worst place to be stuck waiting?
The doctor's office!... you usually have a sick child with you, or your well child is surrounded by sick ones...
My celebrity childhood crush?
Ben Affleck. 
One word... Armageddon!
In the last week, I've learned that it's way easier to let my 2-year-old son pee outside than to clean up the bathroom after him. See above comment about my most hated chore. HA!
My favorite time of day is between 1-3pm,
cause my babies are napping & I get some quiet time :) 
My fav dessert is Blue Bell ice cream. YUM!
My favorite thing about MOPS?
Walking through life with other moms with little ones! It's great to know that I'm not alone when I feel like I'm the only one who messes this up.
Anderson MOPS is a great source of encouragement for me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ST Intros: meet Megan!


I'm the Anderson MOPS MOPPETS Curriculum Manager this year! 
This is my 1st year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
I am super shy & decided to do something WAY out of my comfort zone. I've been coming to MOPS for about 4 years now,
so I thought that it was time to get more involved & get to know some moms a little better!
I have three kiddos - Caleb (age 7), Nathan (age 4) & Lily (age 1).
My favorite books are the Circle books by Ted Dekker.
My favorite movie of all time is "The Princess Bride."
I can quote every line!
My favorite restaurant is Olive Garden. And it's really just for the salad & breadsticks... yum!
The last song I sang was "If You're Happy & You Know It"... obnoxiously loud...
anything to keep a one-year-old happy.
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would read or do something crafty.
My celebrity childhood crush?
I was a closet Backstreet Boys fan
(all of my friends were into hard rock or country)...
In the last week, I've learned to watch out for ceiling fans when getting into a bunk bed!
My favorite time of day is 8:00 pm (kids bedtime).
Don't judge.
My fav dessert is ice cream. I'm addicted to ice cream.
Most random thing I've ever done? In high school, a friend & I camped out on a hotel balcony in Chamonix, France (a valley in the French Alps)
because our roommate was snoring very, VERY loudly. It was summer, but the temperatures were still near freezing!
My dad has influenced my life the most... 
he has struggled with his health since he was very young... has been through type 1 diabetes, heart surgeries, a kidney transplant, hospitalizations, & more health issues than I can list. Through everything he has experienced, he has always put his trust in God for healing
& never wavered in his faith. He just keeps on going & it always amazes me!
My favorite thing about MOPS?
I love the camaraderie with other moms & the feeling that we aren't alone
in this crazy time of life. I always look forward to meetings & hey, you can't complain about 2 hours of childcare!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

This recipe is from Megan, who writes, "... will never buy store-bought ever again. YUM!"

Megan used this sauce as a marinade for chicken, then made a stir fry with zucchini, broccoli & fried rice. You could also make a teriyaki burger or teriyaki chicken & noodles. Sounds so tasty!

The Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced (I only had ground, so I used a little less)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine. You can substitute sherry with a pinch of sugar, but I had neither... so I just added a touch of extra honey)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp cornstarch

The Directions:

Mix water & cornstarch. Heat all ingredients in saucepan to boiling, then reduce heat & simmer for 4 minutes.

Megan used this sauce as a marinade for chicken, then made a stir fry with zucchini, broccoli & fried rice. You could also make a teriyaki burger or teriyaki chicken & noodles. YUM!

ST Intros: meet Jayla!


I'm a Anderson MOPS MOPPETS Room Manager this year! 
This is my 1st year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
Last year was my first time joining MOPS
& I absolutely loved it! 
I really just loved every part from the yummy breakfast to the fun craft!
I could see that it was a lot of work to put these meetings on,
so I decided to join ST to bless other mamas as I was so blessed last year. 
I have two kiddos - Luke (age 2) & Micah (age 1). 
I recently read "The Damascus Countdown" by Joel C Rosenberg.
I would definitely recommend the whole series... very suspenseful with a sweet love story intertwined.
I'm also currently reading
"Don't Make Me Count to Three," which is really great!
My favorite movies are "While You Were Sleeping," "Bourne Identity Trilogy,"
& "What About Bob?"
I love old diners & if French Dip is on the menu, I always get it! 
The last song I sang was some Hebrew worship song... probably louder than my family would have liked :)
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would call my sister, play a game with my husband or take a bath.
My celebrity childhood crush?
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT)!!
I've been meaning to learn sign language.
My favorite time of day is the mornings... I'm most alert!
My fav dessert is chocolate anything!
Most random thing I've ever done? I lived in Kenya for a year when I was 19.
My favorite thing about MOPS?
I love being able to relate with other moms & to know that I'm not alone in this wonderful adventure of being a mama!

Monday, August 25, 2014

ST Intros: meet Crystal M!


I'm a Anderson MOPS MOPPETS Room Manager this year! 
This is my 1st year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
I felt led to step up & join & I'm happy I did! You all are such an amazing group of women... glad to be a part of it!
I have two kiddos - Kylie (age 3) & Isaiah (age 19m). 
My fav movie is "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken." Yes, I would recommend it!
My fav restaurant is Sullivan's! Love to go during lunch & order the Monte Cristo. YUM!
The last song I sang was "Our Great God" this morning with my kiddos...
Loudly, of course!
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would
play piano, draw/sketch, paint, sing, dance, exercise... but I probably can't do all that in 2 hours. lol
I guess I'll go with singing while playing the piano.
In the last week, I've learned that God is doing something new in me (Is. 43:19)
My celebrity childhood crush?  JC from N*Sync. Totally wanted to marry him!
I've been meaning to learn to quilt.  
My favorite time of day is during the afternoons when my kids are napping! Also love late night because I'm a night owl. 
My fav snacks are graham crackers with peanut butter, 
grapes with cheddar cheese,
& carrots dipped in fresh squeezed lemon juice. YUM!
Worst place to be stuck waiting? An elevator! I got stuck once & that did it for me... I now take the stairs everywhere I go!
My favorite thing about MOPS?
Meeting other moms, building friendships, having fun, learning from each other...
we can't do life alone!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

ST Intros: meet Emily!


I'm a Anderson MOPS MOPPETS Room Manager this year! 
This is my 3rd year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
I like being a part of "the making of" a MOPS meeting. It's very rewarding! 
I have two kiddos - Sydney (age almost 3) & Claire (age 18m). 
I recently read "Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy & Hard Times" by Jennifer Worth. Loved it & highly recommend it!
My fav movie is "Lord of the Rings." Yes, I would recommend it. Because I'm a nerd.
My fav restaurant is Sullivan's! I order shrimp & grits, followed by whatever dessert has the most densely packed chocolate per square inch. If I don't have enough room for both,
I'll skip dinner & go straight to dessert.
The last song I sang was the lady's part in "Someone That You Used to Know" loudly while cooking dinner!
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would run errands. 
Boring... but probably what I'd do.
In the last week, I've learned that there have 40 cases of Chimerism discovered in humans since 2003, but since there is rarely an outward indication that would prompt testing, there could be a significantly higher number. Yep.
I've been meaning to organize the girls' clothes. I wish I could just donate everything
& get a fresh start at the beginning of each season...
I really need to figure out a better system.
My favorite time of day is when the kids first wake up & we all cuddle in bed.
Happens way too early sometimes, but it's special. This narrowly beats out nap time,
because nap time is also (VERY) special. 
Weirdest thing I've ever done?
When I was 15, I ordered from Sonic in an Australian accent 
on a weekly basis for about 2 months. It was a dare, I think?
My favorite thing about MOPS?
I love developing relationships with other women who have recently gone through & are still going through the same stage of life as me...
it's SO wonderful to have that support!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

pay your dues ahead of time!

**After you enroll online:

Please mark your calendar for our first ever REGISTRATION EVENT! 

This will be a chance to pay your dues ahead of time, register for MOPS International, & get all those details out of the way so you can just breeze right into your first meeting on Sept 11th!

Click here for directions to Boulevard Baptist. Boulevard's Christian Activities Center is the brick fellowship hall behind the church.

ST Intros: meet Pamela!


I'm a Anderson MOPS MOPPETS Room Manager this year! 
This is my 3rd year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team... I enjoy it so much that I signed on for another year!
Love the friendships & serving with other moms!
I have two kiddos - Abby (age 3) & Benjamin (age 18m). 
I recently watched "007 Skyfall"... would recommend it!
My fav movies are "Titanic" & "The Notebook
My fav restaurant? I have a few!  Outback, J Peter's & my new favorite,
Tupelo Honey in Greenville. 
The last song I sang was "Let It Go!" from Frozen... It's a constant at our house! & we sing it LOUDLY. 
If I were one of the Seven Dwarfs, I would be Bashful.
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time & some extra cash, I would go shopping for some new clothes!
In the last week, I've learned that taking our children to a restaurant
 is a very bad idea. For awhile, at least. 
I've been meaning to make a wreath for my front door.
And make Benjamin's baby scrapbook.
My favorite time of day is after dinner when my husband is home & we can play with the kids for a while before bed.
Those random Facebook quizzes? Nope, I skip 'em.
Favorite dessert? Brownie a la mode. 
My favorite thing about MOPS?
the amazing moms I've gotten to know!

Friday, August 22, 2014

ST Intros: meet Sonia!


I'm the Anderson MOPS MOPPETS Coordinator this year! 
This is my 1st year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team...
I want to build deeper relationships & serve other moms!
I have three kiddos - Nolan (age 5), Isabella (age 3), & Samantha (age 1). 
I'm currently reading the Harry Potter series... they're great!
my fav is "The Fault in Our Stars." Definitely recommend!
I recently watched "P.S. I love you"...
very cute & I would recommend it for a good cry. :)
My fav movies? The older version of "Pride & Prejudice" & "Anne of Green Gables
My fav restaurant is anything South Indian! 
I order the medu vadas & masala dosa.
The last song I sang was "First Time in Forever" from Frozen... I sang it softly while putting Izzy & Sammy to bed.
My childhood celebrity? Paula Abdul!
I've been meaning to learn anything to do with computers, excel, pdfs, graphic design, web & blogs, etc...
My favorite time of day is dusk,
because the sun makes everything look beautiful on the way down. It also means more time with my hubby. 
Yes, I take those random Facebook quizzes...
I am Rose from "The Golden Girls." Spot on with the naivete.
Favorite dessert? Chocolate. 
Favorite snack? Classic Lays potato chips.
Most random thing I've ever done? It's not blog-appropriate. :)
My favorite thing about MOPS?
Getting to know other moms who are going through similar things...
love the social aspect!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014-15 Enrollment is open!

Our first Anderson MOPS meeting is Thurs, Sept 11th, & online enrollment for Anderson MOPS is now open!

Please click HERE to enroll yourself for the MOPS 2014-15 year.

Please click HERE to enroll your children in MOPPETS for this coming year.

ST Intros: meet Sara (without an H)!

SARA (without an H)

I'm on the Anderson MOPS Finance Team this year! 
This is my 1st year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team... I enjoyed MOPS so much during my first year that I wanted to do my part to make it enjoyable for other moms. 
I have one kiddo - Ava (age 2). 
I'm currently reading the "Game of Thrones" series. Would I recommend it? YES! But, beware, it's addictive.
My all-time favorite book is "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil."
Does "Maleficent" count as a grown-up movie? Yes, I would recommend it.
Angelina rocks as Maleficent! 
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time,  what would I do? Easy. Sleep.
My fav restaurant is J Peter's! I usually order the blackened mahi mahi & amazing collard greens. 
The last song I sang was "Let it go. Let it go!"
Several times a day.
My childhood crush? Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Random thing I learned this week: there's an awesome network of mamas
right here in my hometown.
I function best in the morning, 
but my favorite time of day is when my little finally goes to bed & I can relax.
Yes, I take those random Facebook quizzes... all the time!
My old lady name is Myrtle & I am the Queen of Hearts. I think my color is green.
Whatever that means. 
Favorite dessert? Peach cobbler & vanilla ice cream. YUM. 
Most random thing I've ever done:
drove with a friend to Charleston to rescue a pig & delivered it to
an animal sanctuary near Columbia.
Ever ridden in a hatchback with a 200-lb pig in the back?
My favorite thing about MOPS?
The other moms, of course. The crafts are pretty great too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ST Intros: meet Sarah (with an H)

SARAH (with an H)

I'm on the Anderson MOPS Finance Team this year! 
This is my 3rd year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team & I love it... 
can't imagine MOPS without it! 
I have one kiddo - Rose (age 2).
Also, Jennifer & I are sisters. No, we are not twins. 
Does the "Vampire Academy" trilogy count as a grown-up book?
It's complete brain-rot, requires no mental effort whatsoever, & is highly entertaining. Win.
My favorite movie is "Love Actually." I watch it by myself every Christmas with a box of tissues & laugh & sob by the light of my Christmas tree. 
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I SHOULD be productive & work on one of the countless uncompleted projects scattered around my house. But honestly?
I would probably take a nap.
My fav restaurant is Summa Joe's! Love the pear & arugula salad & the Italian Freschetta pizza with the fresh cracked egg. Sounds weird, but trust me, it's delish!
The last song I sang was "Gonna Be Alright" (Bob Marley's song, redone by Elizabeth Mitchell)... Rose & I sang it quite loudly while driving around town doing errands.
My childhood crush? Backstreet Boys. I'm still a fan. BSB for life. Yo.
My favorite time of day is at night after everyone goes to sleep... it's quiet & I can have a complete thought without being summoned to wipe someone's hiney.
Yes, I take those random Facebook quizzes... I may be a little bit addicted.
My Frozen character is Elsa. My old lady name is Myrtle. My Hogwarts house is Gryffindor.
& I'm 93% Southern.
My favorite quote: "progress, not perfection"... I have it written where I can read it every day.
My favorite thing about MOPS?
It's easy to say "the friendships"... but it's true. I've met some of my best friends through MOPS. I'm so grateful that I've had the chance to become involved in
this fabulous group of moms! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ST Intros: meet Jennifer!


I'm the Anderson MOPS Asst Coordinator this year!
This is my 3rd year on the Anderson MOPS Steering Team
& I have made some of the best friendships serving with my other ST members.
I'm so excited to see what this year brings!
I have three kiddos - Maggie (age 6), Sadie (age 4) & Miles (age 2 months)
Two favorite books are "The Glass Castle" & "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. Definitely recommend!
My favorite movie of all time is "Big Fish."
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would go to TJ Maxx & walk aimlessly. I would spend lots of time digging through the clearance aisle. May or may not actually buy anything, but that wouldn't even matter.
My current restaurant favs are Tokyo Bay's sushi or Carraba's calamari. YUM.
The last song I sang was most definitely the Frozen soundtrack
& LOUD is the only way you can sing it!
My childhood crush? BSB forever.
Oh wait, this is supposed to be when I was younger?!?
I want to learn to smock... eventually. First, though, I want to (re)teach myself to sew on my new sewing machine. It's on my "to do" list when the girls go back to school.
My favorite snack is potato chips. I have zero control against a bag of potato chips.
Yes, I take those random Facebook quizzes... I've learned that my old lady name is Gladys
(which was actually my great-grandmother's name)
& my ideal religion is Orthodox Quakerism. Wow.
My favorite thing about MOPS?
I love the friendships & always knowing that I have a group of women doing
this whole motherhood thing right beside me.
I'm not alone & there is always someone to ask or call if I need anything.

Tasty Tuesday: EASY-PEASY Lasagna

I don't know about y'all, but I'm a fan of anything with the words "easy-peasy" in the title!

This recipe is from Grace, who writes, "This is so quick & easy to make, & yet it's delicious! This is my go-to recipe every time we have people over for dinner, & everyone asks for the recipe. You can also assemble it 24 hours in advance, put it in the fridge, & then bake if you want to prepare ahead."

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, or my husband prefers Italian sausage)
  • 1 container sour cream
  • 2 cups mild cheddar, shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (you can pick what kind... I usually go for a mushroom or basil sauce)
  • 1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles

The Directions:

Brown meat in skillet, then add pasta sauce. Heat to a slow simmer, then turn off heat. In 9z13 dish, spread a little of the meat sauce to the bottom of the dish, then place noodles in a single layer across pan. Spoon dollops of sour cream all over the noodles. Sprinkle some of each cheese on top of sour cream. Then add 1 cup of meat sauce, noodles, sour cream, then cheese again. Repeat for 3 layers (or until you reach the top of the 9x13 dish) & finish with meat sauce.

Cover with foil & bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil & bake another 15 minutes. Serve with salad & garlic bread! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Steering Team Intros: meet Abbey!

Our Steering Team is simply fabulous this year, & I'm so excited to introduce them to you! First up, we have....

Abbey & the Ruggedly Handsome Jon Gropp


I'm the Anderson MOPS Coordinator this year!

I've been on Anderson MOPS Steering Team for an undisclosed number of years... 
I'm addicted & couldn't stop even if I wanted to.

I have four kiddos - Zeke (age 10), Eliza (age 7), Emelia (age 5) & Jed (age 3)

Last book I read was "The Giver"... which counts as a grown-up book, right? 
Most of my favorite reads of late have come from the young adult genre because clearly I'm in some kind of denial about my true age.
If I had 2 hours of unexpected free time, I would nap
Or eat nachos & watch episodes of Chuck on Netflix. 
Or maybe, if I'm feeling exceptionally motivated, I would go for a run
And then eat nachos & watch Netflix.
My fav restaurant is Papa's & Beer. I'll have diet coke (always better at Mexican restaurants) & flautitas with shredded beef. BAM.
The last song I sang was #4 on Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" CD... not sure of the name. It was a very LOUD duet with Zeke in the van. And neither of us really knew the words. I'm sure it was a real treat for the other passengers.
Recently, I learned how to make homemade chicken nuggets using sour cream & crushed Ritz crackers. 

And that although it's fantastically liberating to be closing in on 40 & no longer have to deal with personal insecurities that I struggled with when I was younger, it's very hard to shake mothering insecurities in this phase of life.

I'd really like to become fluent in another language. And be able to do a cartwheel.
My fav dessert is Chickfila's chocolate chunk cookies.
Yes, I take those random Facebook quizzes... I've learned that my vocation should be an astronaut, my character on Downton Abbey is the Dowager Countess, I attract "artsy" people, 
& my nickname should be "Toots." 

My favorite thing about MOPS? Camaraderie with other moms!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

a little more about our theme...

One of my favorite things about the "Be you, Bravely" theme is the feather.

Why, you ask?

Well, it's a great design, in my opinion...
Modern, but classic.
Fun, but fierce.

And then I read this explanation of the significance of the feather in the MOPS theme, & I was completely sold.

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken or Beef Fajitas

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Anita! Looks fantastic!

The Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast or beef strips, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced or mashed
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 limes (or lemons, but I prefer limes), squeezed for juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 large flour tortillas

The Directions:

Toss meat & all other ingredients (except tortillas) together & marinate for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better).

To cook, layer the meat & vegetable mixture on a broiler pan & place in broiler for a few minutes, or until meat is cooked through, then discard juices. Meat can also be grilled or pan-fried. If pan-frying, add all vegetables & juices to the pan with the meat.

Serve on tortillas & roll like a burrito. Can be served with garnishes such as sour cream, salsa, guacamole, chopped cilantro, lettuce &/or shredded cheese.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Introducing our 2014-15 theme...

"At MOPS we believe that you were meant to live deeply
and so we have created this year's theme to inspire you to choose the extraordinary."
MOPS Int'l)
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

At any moment in our lives, each of us has...

  • conversations we've been putting off.
  • reasonable risks we've been avoiding
  • goals we want to achieve.

Yet the more significant an action feels, the easier it is to put off. We get distracted from the big decisions by the immediate needs or the days. What all of us seem to have in common is that we need a nudge, a nudge to help us get out of our ruts & routines so that we can begin risking bravely.

"Be you, Bravely" is designed to help us become more ourselves. To remind us that courage is always worth it & that we are all in this together. Cheering each other on toward our futures is the gift of community at MOPS.

We are so excited to journey alongside you this year as we ask one another what it means to "Be you, Bravely"!

Click below for the MOPS theme launch video from MOPS Int'l:


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: No-Peek Beef Tips

This recipe is from Margaret.... I love that it has a slow cooker option as well!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 packages stew beef or beef tips, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 envelope dry beef gravy mix
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can water
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix (this was too strong for my family, so I season the meat with salt, pepper, onion powder & garlic powder to taste)

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season meat with dry onion soup mix or spices of your choice in a 9x13 or 8x8 baking dish (depending of how much you are making). Combine gravy mix, soup & water, then pour over meat, making sure all meat is covered Tightly cover pan with foil & bake in oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours (no peeking!). Meat will be tender & delicious served over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes!

This recipe can also be prepared in your slow cooker! Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.