Thursday, January 30, 2014

Everyone Likes a Good Deal!

At our last meeting (January 21), the theme was Freebies and Great Deals.  First, one of our moms (Melissa) put together a page on ways to get a ton of things free.  She has been SUPER successful from getting things from travel0sized samples to jackets and big toys free using the ideas on her handout.  Then our coordinator (Wendy) had a handout prepared about the free preschools and many of the charter schools in the area.  The handout included a timeline for the lotteries/registration at the schools.  Finally, another mom (Stephanie) created a handout on some free and almost free resources for moms interested in homeschooling.
After these were handed out, we spent some time at our tables talking about other free or great deals.  And then we shared them with the big group.  Here are some of those ideas:
  • Free days at many of the museums and national parks in the area.  Check the websites for exact dates, but some of the museums do them monthly on Sundays.
  • Free story times at the public libraries, balloon museum, and Barnes and Noble.
  • Free activities at Chick-Fil-A most Tuesday nights (Family Nights).  Some times these include free meals for the kids.  This is at all three stand-alone Albuquerque locations.  Also at Chick-Fil-A, you can turn the toy in to the counter from a kid's meal and get an ice cream cone instead.
  • Season passes to Explora and the BioPark.  A note ont he BioPark: unless you have more than 6 people in your family or teenagers, the family pass is not the best deal.  Instead get an individual or couple and "Add-a-guest."  Only get the couple if you have more than 4 kids OR your husband would go to the zoo without you.

Friday, January 10, 2014

January 7th Meeting

Our first meeting of 2014 was last week.  Many of our moms were out either sick themselves or with sick little ones, so it was somewhat of a quiet meeting.  But winter seems to always have these quiet meetings with the cold weather and all of the illnesses that go around. 
We started out with announcements.  The biggest announcement was the new Parents' Day Out at Grace Church.  It will be Mondays and Wednesday from 9am-1pm.  They will allow drop ins if space allows.  If you want more information, you can email us or contact Grace Church directly.  We also passed out the Spring schedule with the basics - play dates, meetings, and steering team meetings. 
After announcements, we did Mom of the Day and then had brunch.  One of our new moms was the Mom of the Day winner!  While we ate, we watched a segment from about motherhood comparisons.  Shauna Niequist went into how we all tend to cry to compare ourselves with others.  But, if we focus on lifting someone else up and making them feel better, we will feel better too.  She also went into how we all have a purpose, but that purpose may only be for a season.  For her, her purpose recently has been to say "no" and focus on her kids.  Although things like packing the bag for school, making the perfect lunch, and keeping a clean house are "good" things, spending time with our kids should always be a focus.  Here is the link to her blog.
After the video, we moved on to craft.  Amanda had a fun trash-to-treasure project using empty wine and beer bottles.  We wrote on them with hot glue and then painted them to make fun works of art.  Here are some of the projects:

Since so many moms were missing, we skipped small group time, instead spending time as a big group just chatting after finishing the craft. 
The kids had fun learning about being thankful.  The story was about the 10 lepers Jesus healed (Luke 17:11-19).  Although all ten men were probably thankful for the healing, only one went back to tell Jesus himself.  We need to remember to thank God for everything He has given us and not take anything for granted.  So, the kids made thankful journals so they could write/draw the things they are thankful for.  Hopefully you can use this to help them to remember to be thankful for all things.
Our next meeting will be January 21.  We hope everyone is well by then and can join us!