Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Meeting

Each year, we try to make the meetings closest to Christmas and Mother's Day special.  These are special times of the year for us as mothers, so it makes sense to pamper ourselves at these meetings.

So, today we had a few special things.  First, during the beginning of the meeting, we had live piano music played by the husband of one of our moms.  It was such a blessing to have the live music that created a festive atmosphere.  Then, we had a crepe bar (plus a few other items) for our food.  With a mix of sweet and savory toppings, there was something for everyone.  And to wash down that elegant brunch, we had coffe, rich hot chocolate, and spiced apple cider.  Add the festive (paper) dishes, and it was almost like being at a fancy restaraunt!

After a little bit, we did our coffee mug exchange.  Each mom brought a mug (or used a donated one), and then placed it in a brown paper bag to mask the style.  Then our creative leader read a Christmas story with a twist.  Added into the story were the words "RIGHT" and "LEFT."  When one of these was read, we rotated the mugs around our table in that direction.  There were a few points where the tables were abuzz with movement!  Once the story was over, we got to open our bags and see the mug we got.

Then it was time for some table mix ups.  Our coordinator read of a question and four responses.  Each response corresponded to a table.  Once the question and responses were read, we moved to the "correct" table for a chance to talk with other moms.  We switched tables three times, using questions about morning needs, sports, and how early you go to bed.  It was a great chance to meet and talk with moms that aren't in your small group (or you haven't had a chance to sit with otherwise). 

We also had a special devotion delivered by the senior pastor of Grace Church.  Pastor Edwin shared about the Wise Men and how they came to Jesus.  First, they were welcomed by Mary and Joseph, even though they were foreigners.  Just like them, all are welcome to enter into the body of Christ, regardless of their past.  Matthew is a great example of a disciple that came from a sorid past (tax collector) and was still welcomed by Christ.  Second, they came with questions.  It is okay to doubt or question our faith.  We are to come with questions at times, because none of us know all of the answers.  Thomas is a great example of a disciple that often had questions, appropriately nicknamed "Doubting Thomas." 

Pastor Edwin also gave us a few important reminders as moms.  First, time goes fast.  So take the time to enjoy the moments when the kids are young.  Second, record the details!  Putting things like dates and names on pictures and ornaments will be helpful as you get older (you won't remember the details even if you think you will).  And finally, enjoy the season!

A few announcments for the rest of December (more information can be obtained by emailing us):
Craft Night on December 13 from 7-9pm
Cookie Exchange on December 17 from 9:30-12 (kids welcome)

Our first meeting of 2014 will be January 7!

Friday, November 8, 2013

First November Meeting

We had a great meeting to start off December.  We had a speaker from the Every Child Ready to Read program (and ABC Libraries) talk to us about what we can do to help our children be ready to start kindergarten.  The public libraries in the area have a ton of resources for us!  So, if you missed the talk, don't hisatate to go to one of the libraries and ask a librarian for ideas.

The devotion was on worry.  God tells us to givve it all over to Him AND not take it back.  The not taking it back is the hardest part for most of us.

Now on to the announcements in case you missed the meeting:
  • There is a special election on November 19th.  Early voting has already started, and most locations have no wait.  Here is more information about the election: http://www.cabq.gov/voting-elections/news/runoff-special-election-nov-19-2013
  • Our craft fair was a success!  We met our budget (if not exceeded it), which is great.  Thanks for all the help!
  • Moms' Night Out and Play Date information to be announced next week.  Moms' Night out will be the 15th at a restaurant with good desserts!  And the play date will be November 26.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Busy October!

We have had a busy October!  Our second October meeting was a fun one with a get-to-know-you game and a take home craft.  The craft was a little lamb made out of a wash cloth to help tell the story of Jesus as the Lamb of God.  There was also a bunch of time spent talking about the craft fair.

We also had two weeks of play dates.  On the 4th Tuesday, we went to the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch.  This is an awesome, free pumpkin patch located at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.  They sell pumpkins and other items to raise money for their agricultural programs for kids in the ABQ area.  They also have a Christmas Corral (with Christmas trees) that we will probably visit in December.
Then for the 5th Tuesday, we had small group playdates.  These were at a local park, the zoo, and botanical gardens.  They were a great time to get to chat with more of the moms while the kids had a blast.

And now we are busy with the craft fair, our annual fundraiser.  Moms are busy baking items of the bake sale.  This morning many of us were busy setting up everything up (or watching the kids for the other moms working hard).  And then tomorrow we will be there all day selling items and supporting the crafts.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Be Prepared and Stay Healthy!

We had our third meeting of the year yesterday.  We started out with some very yummy food and great fellowship.  Then we did our standard announcements, devotion, and mom of the day.  Then due to our speaker's schedule, we jumped to small group time.  During small group, the time was split between prayer requests (and praying) and talking about the upcoming craft fair.  The craft fair is our only fundraiser, so it takes as many hands on deck as possible to make it a success! 

Our speaker for the day was a nurse with First Choice .  She talked to us about the things we can do to help stay healthy even during the respiratory virus season that is upon us.  She also talked about nutrition and CPR for adults, children, and infants.  There was even time to try out CPR on dummies as well as look at a mini defibrillator system she brought. 

Key Announcments:
October Playdates - Tuesday the 22nd we will be going ot a pumpkin patch (Rio Grande, Wagner, or Galloping Grace).  Tuesday the 29th will be small group play dates.
Craft Fair - Set up on November 1, and the actual fair is November 2 from 9am-3pm.  See your small group leader or Michelle for more information.

And more about the devotion:
Rebecca shared with us about her mission trip to Central Asia just after college.  She shared who Satan was making her doubt her affectiveness there, making her feel like a failure to God, herself, and those that had supported her.  And then right near the end of the trip, she was able to share the Gospel with her only native friend and her sister.  These two had been praying for someone to come share Christ with them for years.  They remember a missionary couple having dinner with them once as children and the special relationship they seemed to have with God.  Her trip wasn't a failure; God was just waiting for His perfect timing.  We need to remember that was may look like a mess to us in the moment will look different later. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Take Those Pictures!

Today we were blessed to have professional photographer Mark Holm as our speaker.  He is a father of three grown children and worked many years as a newspaper photographer and photo editor.  Now he is a free-lance photographer.
While he showed us an amazing gallery of photos he took, primarily of his children, he shared some great tips for all of us:
  • Just take the pictures!  They tell a story, even if they aren't "perfect."
  • Don't "train" your kids to say "Cheese."  It is better to get the real-life stories and pictures most of the time.
  • Flash often takes away the real life aspect of the photo.  So, if possible, don't use it.  Instead, hold the camera still and use the natural light.
  • Don't be afraid to break the rules.  Some times you can get cool shots breaking rules like taking a photo into the sun.
  • Look at the lighting around you.  Look for warm and cool tones, and use those to your benefit.  If you need to, use the + and = keys on your camera to change the exposure to fully play up the natural lighting.
  • Once you have your pictures taken, keep them sorted in a method that makes sense to you. 
Thank you Mark for sharing your photography and advice with us!

The announcements for today were:
  • Small group play dates next week (September 24)
  • Craft Fair - We will need help setting up on Friday, November 1, tearing down Saturday, November 2, and with the bake sale.  Also, your small group will be working on a raffle basket, so see your discussion group leader for more information on that.
  • Moms' Night Out - September 27 from 7-9pm at Flying Star
  • Bible study Thursday mornings at Grace Church.
Our next meeting is October 1.  We will have a speaker on first aide and CPR!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Meeting a Success!

We had our first meeting of the 2013-2014 year today, and I think it was a success!  Although things didn't go exactly as scheduled, we pray all of the new moms had a great time of fellowship and are ready for our next meeting in two weeks.  Here is a review of what we did during our first meeting:

We started off with prayer, food, and fellowship.  Then we did the devotion.  The theme verse for the year is Ephesians 2:10.  We are all God's workmanship - a masterpiece in His eyes.  Although things aren't always neat and clean looking, we are God's artwork, and we need to remember this.

After the devotion, we did mom of the day (a cute necklace and book) and then introduced the steering team, mentor moms, and discussion group leaders. Next up was craft and more fellowship!  the craft was making shrinky-dink name tags for this year.  Here is sample:
We will have everything again next week for those moms that couldn't make it today.  After the name tags were done, we announced the small groups and spent a little bit of time getting to know the moms in our groups.  This year, the groups are split as best as possible based off of where everyone lives, making play dates easier to coordinate.

As for announcements, here are the important ones:
  1. The first play date will be Sept 24.  This will be a small group play date, so see your small group leader for more information.
  2. Save the Date!  November 1 is our craft fair set-up, and November 2 is our actual craft fair.  More information about what we need help with will be announced at the next meeting.
  3. We could use help with child care at our steering team meetings.  These are the second Tuesday of each month.  You can bring your own kids with you, and you will receive two free meeting for helping us!  And if you don't want to use those free meetings, you can donate them to another mom.
  4. Next meeting is September 17!  We will have a photographer coming to share information about taking photos as well as preparing for professional photos.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Registration and First Meeting!

We are still finalizing the registration packet for 2013.  But, we will post the forms to fill out (MOPS registration form and MOPPETS information) soon.  But, while you wait for those documents to be ready, you can fill out our short form to help us plan for the year.  Filling out the short form doesn't commit you to anything.  But, it helps us ensure we have enough workers and crafts for everyone!

Our first meeting will be September 3, 2013 from 9:00-11:30am at Grace Church.  If you have any questions, just email us at our new email addres - mopsatgraceabq_at_gmail.com!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

MOPS National Play Date!

We will be meeting at Loma del Norte Park from 9am-11:30am on Thursday, August 15.  Loma del Norte Park is right around the corner from Grace Church - between Lousiana and Wyoming.  From Louisiana, you can access the park by turning on Coulson.  From Wyoming, turn onto Loma del Norte.  We hope to see a lot of moms there!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ready for Summer?

Although our meetings are over for the 2012-2013 school year, we have lots of fun planned for the summer!  We have park play dates, filed trips to the zoo, botanical gardens, and Explora, and other fun events.  If you are interested in joining us for some of this fun, email us at mopsatgracechurch at yahoo.com.  We would be more than happy to email you out our schedule so we can meet you.

And how did we celebrate our last meeting of the year right before Mother's Day?  We had a wonderful spa day!  We had chair massages, facial and make up lessons, a do-it-yourself manicure and pedicure station, crafts, and wonderful food!  And for course there was fellowship with other moms, which can be so refreshing!

The steering team is already getting ready for the next year as well.  The MOPS theme is:
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
If you have any ideas for things our group can do next year, please comment here, in our Facebook group, or email them to us!
Have a great summer everyone!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Easter Meeting

On Tuesday, we had our "Easter" meeting.  The devotion was on the woman at the well, and how Christ pursued her, just as He pursues us today.  He wants all of us to follow and believe on Him, just as the Samaritan woman learned to do.

After the devotion, we had a few announcements:
  • Moms' Night Out on the fourth Friday of the month.
  • Group Activity/Play Date on the fourth Tuesday of the month.
  • Church library is full of things for MOPS moms, and we are all welcome to check books out from the library.  We can also donate books and videos that we think would be useful to other moms.
  • The steering team complied a list of fun Biblical Easter activities for the family.  It can be found in our Facebook group and here.
  • We are still looking for someone to volunteer to be the fundraising coordinator for next year. 
After that, we had some fun, tasty goodies and some great fellowship.  Then it was time for craft!  We created some cute bird's nest charms for necklaces.  I think we all enjoyed this craft, as it was easy to fix any mistakes!  If you missed it, there are a bunch of tutorials on the web - from videos to step-by-step written directions.  Here are a few pictures of the ones we created:

Our next meeting (4/2) we will have a dentist coming to answer all of the questions we have about caring for our kids' teeth and proper dental care. We hope to see everyone there!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Last Two Meetings - Two AMAZING Guest Speakers!

Our last two meetings we had two amazing speakers.  The first was on February 19.  We had Sarah Beckmand from Salt and Clay Ministries.  Her presentation was on SAFEguarding your marriage.  The big keys are to spend time with your husband and actually engaging in conversation!  Yes, our kids are very important, but our marriage needs time as well. 

Last week (March 5), we had Cory Ledford, and financial consultat, to speak to us on Growing Money-Smart Kids.  He was able to give us ideas for teaching our kids about money, saving, and wise spending from birth through the college years.  It is never to early to start showing and teaching our kids about money, providing them the financial literacy they will need to make wise decisions later in life.

Our next meeting (March 19) we will have a fun craft as well as so ideas for Easter activities to teach your kids the salvation message.

Also, we have a playdate scheduled for March 26 as well as a Moms' Night Out on March 22.  For more information on these, you can email us!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In Cased you Missed It (2/5 Meeting)

Yesterday we had a great first meeting of 2013!  Our first scheduled meeting got cancelled due to the winter weather, unfortunately, so it had been about two months since we had met.  Here is a quick rundown of everything that happened:

  1. Announcements
    • The play date for this month with be Gravity Park.
    • Moms' Night Out this month will be a craft night.
    • The Shepherding a Child's Heart Bible study started last week.  But it isn't too late to sign up if you are interested!  It is free (other than the book), and childcare is provided.
    • Mom of the Day gift included a cake mix, cake tester, and spreading spatula that went to one lucky mom in attendance.
    • Our winter service project is the CareNet Baby Bottle Campaign.  Fill the baby bottles with change, and bring back to our second meeting in March!
    • We could still use some volunteers for childcare at our steering team meetings.  Remember you can bring your own kids, and you get two meetings free for helping!
    • We will need at least four new moms for the steering team next year!  If you are interested, talk with any of the current steering team members.
  2. Devotion - How Do I Know When I Am Called?
    • Verse: Ephesians 2:10
      For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
    • Five Things to Do to Determine if You Are Called:
      • HUMBLE your heart before the Lord.
      • EXAMINE your life experiences and current circumstances.
      • APPLY your gifts, talents, and abilities.
      • READ, study, and pray God's Word.
      • TRUST in God's perfect timing and in His answers.
  3. Food!  There was a ton of tasty food - especially all of the sweets :)
  4. Craft!  We made decorative tiles using scrapbook paper and photographs.
  5. Small Group Time.
Our next meeting is February 19th!  We hope to see you there.