Thursday, June 30, 2016

Easy Fourth of July Ideas

If you're looking for some last minute ideas to spruce up your Fourth of July plans, I have a quick little roundup of easy food-related ideas. Some of them even the kids may be able to help with!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Curl up with a Click, 11th edition

I have so many great articles to share with you! We don't always have time to dig into that novel like we want to, but it's nice to steal 5 minutes in the day to read something inspiring, encouraging, or practical. Hope you enjoy!

Stop Making Everything Perfect for your Kid - "Is cushiony perfection for our kids the new national obsession?"

What Slowing Down Teaches you that Rushing Never Will - "What if saying someone was 'slow' were the greatest compliment?"

An Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog from Go, Dog, Go - "And yet like so many cartoon female dogs, you only have eyes for some generic nobody who can't see how freaking fantastic you are."

How to Get your Kids to Talk at Dinner - The "negative assertion" strategy is my favorite!

What it's Like to Have Four Kids - Oh man.... number 4 and 6!

The best gift books from your kids are the ones they made themselves. Thanks Artkive - Have you heard of this App?

The perfect song for your next kitchen dance party!

If 70's Moms had Blogs - I can't even pick out the best quote from this one because it's ALL GOLD!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Father's Day from your kids

If you need some last minute ideas for Father's Day gifts your kids can make, I'm reposting a roundup I shared last year! As for us, we'll be painting some rocks for Daddy to use as paperweights for his office. We'll say something about how "my dad rocks" on the card!

Father's Day is quickly approaching. What can your little one make for him? Here's a roundup of some of the cutest ideas I could find:

All you need is some painter's tape, and some finger paint! The messier the better!

How fun! Especially if your husband has a sweet tooth!

Free printables included. Just stock up on dad's favorite snacks!

How cute is this golf tee porcupine?

What A Catch Father's Day Gift Idea with free print on { }
Customize this idea even further by having your child decorate the label!

This printable one has the cover that you can color, and then a mad lib on the inside!

I hope you were able to find some inspiration here. Happy crafting!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

MOPS Survey Responses

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses to our end of the year survey! I thought I'd share a brief summary of the responses with you.

Our top five favorite speakers were:

1. Nonie Levi, MFT, "Parenting on the same page"
2. Kristie Christie from Compassion Int'l "Eliminating entitlement and cultivating empathy"
3. Three way tie between:
A. Wendy Snyder, "Creating Cooperative Families"
B. Teresa Zucchet, "The Impact of our words on our kids"
C. Arlene Pellicane, "31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom"

I'll do my best to have them back for this upcoming year! And I was pleased to see that the vast majority of our speakers were highly rated.

All of you who responded were happy with the level of spiritual content, felt welcome in our group, and were happy with the quality of childcare. Yay!

Craft day: 62% of you said just one craft day in the spring is fine with you! So that's what we'll stick with ;)

Here's a peek at the next two questions:

Some thoughts about fundraising next year. My primary goal is to lower dues from $15 a meeting to $10. Although we try to pay our guest speakers well, our biggest costs are childcare workers! Fundraising money could also go to help cover the cost of special events like our Christmas party, our End of the Year Tea, and our Craft day. (Something we already do: I offer free advertising on the sidebar of this blog to local businesses who offer donations to our MOPS group!)

If we were to do a fundraiser, I wouldn't want it to be something that we have to sell (like cookbooks for example) mainly because I'm terrible at that! And I'd love for the money that we raise to come from the community or church members, as opposed to our own pockets. I'm thinking about an online auction with items donated from the community. I would just need some help from you all in setting that up!

Which leads me to the next question - I'm so happy so many of you are willing and able to help out! I'll be looking for people to help me with three types of roles: 

1. Greeter. I'd love for one or two of you mamas to help me at the check in table - to show new moms where childcare is and where our meeting room is! Also to just be a friendly and welcoming face! This would require you to be at the meetings at 9:15 (you could drop off your kiddos in childcare at that time).

2. Hospitality. It would be great if I could get a bit of help in tearing down the room and putting away coffee and table decor. This person would also help me shop for MOPS supplies (special coffee creamer and other miscellaneous stuff) - and of course you would be reimbursed for expenses! This person would also help set up meal trains for mommies that need them.

3. Public Relations. I would love more community involvement with our group. This person would help me hang flyers at the local library and set up brochures in maternity wings of hospitals, etc. This person would also be bold enough to ask local businesses for donations (either goods or monetary donation) in exchange for ad space on our blog.

Ideally I'd have one or two mamas help me with each category. If this sounds like something you would like to do, shoot me an email: But there's no pressure! Sometimes all we can muster is Showing Up and that's okay too!

Last thing: almost 94% of you said you would be interested in a MOPS book club! And 77% of you said that meeting on a weeknight would be best. I'm still working out the details of this, but it's going to be happening and I'm EXCITED! Look for a seperate blog post about the book club coming soon.

Well ladies, I know that we just ended our formal meetings last month, but I'm already so excited about next year! If you want to peek ahead at the list of dates, I already have them posted under the meetings tab.

In the meantime, Valerie is helping to organize our playground play dates while I'm in Michigan this summer. Have fun without me, I miss you already!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer Reading List

Even though I'm not a student any more (and not even a teacher!), I still look forward to summer as my prime reading time. Reading has always been a hobby of mine and I've still managed to keep it up despite having small children underfoot (the secret is ignoring the housework at naptime...)

I thought I'd share a list of books I've recently enjoyed, as well as share a list of titles I'm looking forward to reading in the next few months!

Here's what I've read and recommend:


Non Fiction:

And here's a list of books I want to read this summer:

What about you? Have you read anything good lately? Anything on your must-read list this summer? Do share!