Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Give Thanks" Burlap Panel Tutorial

This month at our meeting we made these totes adorbs burlap panels!

Each participant could choose to use stencils that said either "Give Thanks" or "Blessed" and could personalize their panel with paint and mini-banners.

Supplies needed:

We used 8x8 burlap panels from Hobby Lobby, 6 inches of twine, scrapbook paper triangles, acrylic paint, foam brushes and pre-cut stencils that said Give Thanks or Blessed.


  • Position stencil on your panel as desired and hold firmly while dabbing paint on it with color(s) of your choice.   
  • While waiting for paint to dry, create a mini banner by attaching scrapbook paper triangles to twine with hot glue.  
  • Once paint is dry, hot glue twine banner to panel.

The great thing about this craft is that you can paint anything on the burlap, with or without a stencil.  You can also get creative with the banner and add several strands, or embellish your burlap canvas in an entirely different way... with felt flowers or leaves, or ribbons/rafia, acorns, buttons, whatever!  And even though we created these burlap panels with Thanksgiving in mind, you could make a rustic treasure to enjoy for any season or all year long.

Here's a few ideas from Pinterest to get your creative juices flowing...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Cake

Okay, okay... I know Thanksgiving is this week and pumpkin pie is a tried & true part of this celebration, but let's be honest.  Not all of us like pumpkin pie.  Not even a little.  So here's an alternative Thanksgiving dessert that is!!!  Trust me on this one.  You won't be sorry!


  • 1 can (small) pumpkin
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

(optional) frosting ingredients: 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Mix sugar, oil, and eggs.  Sift dry ingredients together and add.  Add pumpkin and mix well.  Grease and flour a 10 x 13 x 1 pan.*  Bake @ 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Cool and ice.

(* I don't own the pan listed above so I bake it in a 9 x 13 for about 33 minutes, until the middle looks set.  I also think the pumpkin cake is delicious served with a dusting of powdered sugar on top instead of the cream cheese frosting, but you can't go wrong either way!)

Monday, November 23, 2015

November's Devotional

This month Kelly shared some insights from a study written by Priscilla Shirer on Gideon.  

Judges 6:11-12
Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon beating out wheat in the winepress in order to save it from the Midianites.   When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

God comes to us in many different ways.  We more than likely will not see him as an angel or have an audible conversation with him but He is always with us.  

In this instance God appeared as an angel sitting under a tree while Gideon was threshing wheat for his family.  He was doing this mundane activity secretly in a winepress so not to be seen by the Midianites.  God sat and watched him do his work.  We are not sure how long he sat there but it suggests that the angel presented himself, making himself visible to Gideon.  No lightning strike accompanied the angel's appearance.  This angel most likely had the look of an ordinary man who had come on an ordinary day.  

God often comes to us in our boring days veiled in the most ordinary circumstances.  Ordinary is often the disguise of the divine.  The mundane, the routine, the commonplace are often the context in which He will reveal himself to us.  

Imagine Gideon hunched over a stack of wheat dedicated to this task as a farmhand.  His task was mundane and necessary for him as washing the dishes might be for you.  Think about some of the ordinary tasks we do and how we can notice God's goodness and provision in them:  
  • Doing the dishes =  you have food to eat
  • Laundry = you have clothes to wear
  • Cleaning = you have a place to live
  • Making dinner = He gave you a good harvest
  • Homework = you're blessed with children & the ability to teach
Today's tasks, even the mundane of them, are often preparation for tomorrow's calling.  They carry clues to what He is leading us to learn and accomplish as we faithfully serve him.  

While it might seem comical to find spiritual principle in washing dishes or answering phones at work, God is teaching you faithfulness, diligence, and integrity through every task.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

MOTT @ Electric City Gymnastics

 November's MOPS On The Town

Today we took a bunch of our kiddos to the always fun Electric City Gymnastics!!!  There was lots of giggles and bouncing and cuteness!  And hopefully lots of littles napping well this afternoon. ;)

This is always a popular MOTT and Electric City Gymnastics is a great host!  (If you'd like more info on ECG, click here.) 

Enjoy the pics and we hope you'll join us on our next MOPS On The Town (MOTT) in January! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Stuffed Squash

Here's a great fall recipe courtesy of Steering Team member Pamela...

Butternut squash stuffed 

with sausage & apples

The ingredients

  • 2 butternut squash
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. sausage
  • 1 large granny smith apple (peeled, cored, & cubed)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • salt & pepper

The instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Oil a baking dish. Halve butternut squash lengthwise and remove seeds and strings from 2 butternut squash (for 4 people). Brush with vegetable oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Usually takes me at least 40 min. sometimes longer, depending on size of squash. Cook 8 oz. (1 cup) sausage in skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Without draining fat, add 1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes. Cook for several minutes until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. When the squash is cooked, let it cool slightly, then scoop out most of the flesh, leaving 3/8 inch thick shells. Lightly mix the squash mixture, breaking up the squash as little as possible. Mix in 2 tablespoons butter, softened, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/4 tsp ground sage and salt and pepper to taste. Pile the stuffing into the squash halves. Dot with: 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Bake uncovered until piping hot and brown and crusty on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving. 
Recipe from the Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rombauer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Kid friendly mini pizzas


 Easy Pizza Muffins

These cute mini pizzas are fun for your little ones to eat!  Plus they are simple enough that small hands and short attention spans can be a big help in preparing them.  It's a win-win! 

The Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (8 large biscuits like Pillsbury Grands)
  • pizza sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pizza toppings if desired (pepperoni, veggies, etc.)

The Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 16 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Split biscuits in half (horizontally) into 2 somewhat even layers. Press biscuits halves, one at a time, between hands to flatten. Place each flattened biscuit in a muffin cup; press into bottom and up sides of muffin cup. Set aside for biscuit to settle and slightly rise, about 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon pizza sauce into each biscuit; top each with mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice.  (Adjust amount of sauce & cheese to your family's preferences.)
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until biscuit is lightly browned and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove each pizza from tin and place on a cooling rack, about 5 minutes.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Breakfast fundraiser raffle - part 2

Not only do we have that snazzy grill to raffle off, we also have some pretty & unique fall decor!  These arrangements of "pine cone zinnias" will be our centerpieces for the breakfast fundraiser and you could be lucky enough to take one home with you!  Each centerpiece was lovingly (and painstakingly - don't try these at home kids!) hand-crafted by our MOPS Steering Team, and we will be raffling off 12 of them which increases your odds of winning!  They turned out beautifully and are each one of a kind! 

We will be selling separate raffle tickets for the centerpieces, so you can buy tickets to win the grill, a centerpiece, or both!!!  Raffle tickets will be sold as follows: $1 buys 1 ticket, $5 buys 6 tickets, $20 buys 25 tickets.  

Thanks for your support and hope to see you Saturday!