Monday, September 26, 2016

Mom Fail Monday, Vol. 2

What is Mom Fail Monday? It's one day out of the week to tell ourselves, "I might even be an above average mom, because where I fail, others do too." It's a way to smile once the weekend has ended, knowing that we are all in this crazy, messy life together. 

Jennifer and the Stolen Cup o' Joe

You walk away for two minutes, and suddenly your two-year-old is fully caffeinated. Now all you need to do is push nap time off for an extra four hours. And push all the furniture to the edges of the room to give him space to run. (She didn't really do that last part.) I certify this an OFFICIAL MOPS MOM FAIL!  Congratulations Jennifer!

Korrie and the Chalkdust Artist

When they're quiet for an extended period of time, something has got to be up. Or in this case, down, on the floor. And when he's discovered, he just gives you that look that says, "Oh don't mind, me, mom. Just using this chalk to color on the rug." I certify this an OFFICIAL MOPS MOM FAIL!  Congratulations Korrie!

Do you have a Mom Fail you'd like to share with MOPS? Email pictures to See you next Monday!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mom Fail Monday, Vol. 1

One of the best things about MOPS is that we are a group of real moms. Our children are real: they're messy, they're loud, they wipe their snot on our clothes and sometimes embarrass us. And when we do something embarrassing ourselves, we aren't too perfect to admit it. To promote continued honesty, openness, and- most importantly- humor in our group, we are inaugurating "Mom Fail Monday", a place to reveal our true, imperfect selves, to share, laugh off our mistakes, and promise that it will never, EVER happen again. Even though we know it will.

Katie and the No Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Cereal

Child is found eating cereal. Mom did not serve child cereal. Mom realizes that child has retrieved her sibling's cereal - from several hours ago - from the sink and is now eating soggy Cap'n Crunch. I certify this an OFFICIAL MOPS MOM FAIL!  Congratulations Katie!

Crystal and the Climber

Really, does anything else need to be said about this? The cutest babies are always the bad ones... they know they can get away with it. I certify this an OFFICIAL MOPS MOM FAIL!  Congratulations Crystal!

Do you have a Mom Fail you'd like to share with MOPS? Email pictures to See you next Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2016

September Devotional

Thank you to Sarah Rettew for sharing with us this month!

Two years ago, I stood here & gave the one other devotional of my life. Last year, I was coordinator. I’m here to tell you that, for me, the devotional is harder. There’s just something about putting your feelings out there…

But that’s why we’re here, right? To be vulnerable. To have real conversations & make real friends & to just be ourselves. That’s what I want so much for all of you…

If you look around the room, you see the words “we are the starry eyed.” What you don’t see as often is the second half of the tagline… “we are the starry eyed & we choose to see the light.”

My favorite word of that is CHOOSE. That’s not a passive word, or a word that just lets things happen to it. It’s a word that is intentional. To choose is to make a conscious decision. To evaluate the options & decide which one you want to go with. It applies to all three of the theme elements this year… choose kindness. Choose wonder. Choose hope.

Matt 5 says “let your light shine before others.” This year, how will you put your light out there? How will you shine before others? FOR others?

There are easy things & hard things for all of us. For me, I’m actually an introvert. Staying home with yoga pants & Netflix is kinda my jam. When it’s time for the Moms Night Out, there are SO many reasons that I shouldn’t go. You know the reasons, right? It’s raining, I’m too tired, I feel bad leaving the kid with my husband, I’m too busy, my hair needs to be washed, Jupiter isn’t aligned just right…

But this year, let’s shine… & I’m talking to myself too. Let’s put ourselves out there. We’ve all been the awkward girl. I know you may think you’re the only one, & you look around this room & everyone seems so put together & happy & like they have this mom thing all figured out. But I’m here to tell you that we don’t. We’ve all felt left out. We’ve all sat in a roomful of people & felt kinda alone.

This year, reach out to the person next to you or across the table from you. Sprinkle your kindness like glitter. Allow yourself to feel wonder. Remember that every day is an opportunity, & that is hope.
Last night, I was here at setup & feeling overwhelmed by the logistics… it was the first setup of the year, & the projector screen was missing. One of the Boulevard pastors & I were crawling around the floor & rummaging through closets to find this screen & I could feel the panic rising because OH MY GOSH, WE NEED THE SCREEN. Obviously, we found it… but when I left setup last night, I felt frazzled. I had the crazy eyes like a rabid squirrel. You know that feeling, right? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

So I’m running to publix & I’m running home & I’m racing around like a crazy person, & I click on my facebook app because FACEBOOK, & the first thing on my timeline, even though it was posted 5 hours earlier, is something that is EXACTLY what I needed.

Ashley Bailey (shout out, table 6) had posted a quote by Mother Teresa… “If you can’t feed 100 people, then just feed one.” And I stopped & remembered that ONE person is the only thing that matters. If just one of y’all are touched by this morning, then what an accomplishment! If just one of you connects to the moms at sitting at your table, then we’ve succeeded.

This year is going to be a great one. I just know it. I’m so happy you’re here. This year, let’s choose to do this MOPS & mom thing together. I can’t wait to get starry eyed with y’all!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September Meeting Recap

Whether you missed out on our September kick-off meeting or have just developed a case of mom-brain and can't remember every AMAZING minute, here's the lowdown on the first MOPS meeting of the year:

Introductions & Announcements

Anita led us in prayer and provided a warm welcome to all of the moms: "Our hope is that you leave this building feeling loved and encouraged."  Click here to watch the video - featuring members of the steering team - that explained a bit about this year's theme, "We are the Starry-Eyed".

Mentor Moms

Jan Gropp, Abbey Gropp's mother-in-law, comes to us by way of Chicago, IL, where her husband served as pastor to a church. This is her second year as a MOPS Mentor Mom. 

Mandy Smith is from Anderson. Married 46 years, she has two sons and four grandsons. She is a former teacher and a current member of Boulevard Baptist. 

We are so thankful to have these two experienced moms as a part of our group!

Discussion Group Leader (DGLs) 

                             Table 1: Brittany Kephart              Table 2: Samantha LeMonds 

            Table 3: Sonia Rose                           Table 4: Linda Jenke              Table 5: Heather Beasley
      Table 6: Ashley Bailey                     Table 7: Sarah Rettew

Moppets Procedure Reminders

  • Please be sure that each child is properly identified with a name tag, including a name tag on the front of the 3- and 4-year olds in Wild Things. All bags and sippy cups should also be labeled.
  • Sick policies: We hate for moms to miss a meeting due to a sick child, but if your child is visibly ill or has been ill in the past 24 hours, we want to keep the rest of our kiddos healthy.
  • A count at the meeting produced a grand total of 52 children in Moppets on Thursday. Our workers were busy making sure the little ones enjoyed the meeting as much as their mamas did!

Free-Cycle & Scholarships

  • Got stuff you think someone else might want? Bring it to our free-cycle table. Leftover clothes and toys will go to the consignment sale in the spring, but if you bring anything else and it is still there after the meeting, please take it with you :) 
  • If you would like to sponsor a MOPS membership for another mom, contact Katie Bell:

***Mark Your Calendars!***

  • Photo Fundraiser Saturday, October 15th with Margaret Berry. Great for Christmas card photos!
  • November 12th Waffle Breakfast fundraiser at Boulevard
  • September MOPS on the Town: Chick-Fil-A Backstage Tour, Tuesday 9/20 at 9 a.m.
  • September Moms Night Out: Yogurt Mountain, Tuesday 9/27 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Women's book study of Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst led by Abbey- meeting times TBA


Stay tuned for a separate post "devoted" to September's devotion from Sarah.


This month's craft was a "Today is Wonderful Because..." frame. Check out this lovely example:

"Becoming Familiar With Kindness" Video

This video, provided by MOPS International, featured author Leena Tankersley who, in a way that was both honest and hilarious, reminded us moms to be kinder to ourselves.  Why do we squeeze ourselves into pants that don't fit us? she asked. Why do we insist on making ourselves uncomfortable in order to appear like we have it all together, like we are the same women, with the same bodies, that we were before we had children? She referenced the "toxic voices" in our heads that tell us all the time that we aren't good enough, that we are failing. But we can talk back to those voices, she tells us. We can learn to receive kindness from others and to be kind to ourselves. 

Until next time, ladies!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

MOPS is Tomorrow - Invite a Friend!

Our first MOPS meeting of 2016-2017 may be tomorrow morning, but it isn't too late to invite a friend to join us! Make sure they know that childcare & breakfast are provided & her first meeting is FREE! Here are the details:

When We meet the second Thursday of each month during September through May. Check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. and meetings wrap up around 11.

Where We are located at Boulevard Baptist Church (700 Boulevard Anderson SC 29621). Click here for directions. MOPS meets in the Christian Activities Center (CAC), which is located behind Boulevard Baptist. Park in any space that isn't reserved & come in the front entrance of the CAC building.

How Much Is It? If you decide to join Anderson MOPS after your first free meeting (& we hope you do!), please click here for information on our 2016-17 annual dues. Scholarships & payment plans are also available (please see our Treasurer, Katie Bell, for an application).

Is There Anything I Need to Do Before Coming? At your first meeting, you'll be asked to fill out enrollment paperwork for you & your children. To avoid the hassle, please consider registering online ahead of time.

Click HERE to register yourself.
Click HERE to register your kiddos.

Where Do I Bring My Kids During the Meeting?  As you enter the foyer, there is a welcome desk to your right. Be sure to tell the ladies at the desk that this is your first meeting! If you haven't registered your children online (click HERE to register your kids), you'll be asked to fill out an enrollment form for MOPPETS. You'll sign your children into the age-appropriate classroom with any special instructions. Be sure to label all of your children's belongings.

After signing your children in, either take the elevator or stairs to the second floor for infants through age 2, or go into the gymnasium (through the double doors next to the welcome desk) for ages 3 and up. There will be MOPS ladies to assist with finding the correct classroom. Speak with the Room Leader of your child's classroom, being sure to share any special instructions. (If your child is eight weeks or younger, he or she may stay with you in the meeting).

Meeting Time After dropping your children off at MOPPETS, head back to the main hallway on the first floor where you'll see the large meeting room through the double doors. Sign yourself in at the registration table. If you haven't registered online (click HERE to register), you'll be asked to fill out registration paperwork. A friendly MOPS volunteer will help you find your seat, and you can now enjoy breakfast, coffee, and fellowship!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Steering Team Intros: The Final Chapter

Final Edition: Administrative Team

The first MOPS meeting of the season is just TWO DAYS AWAY, people! And do you know who is beyond excited? Our amazing administrative team! These ladies are the backbone of our group. They are the down and dirty details divas, and they have been working hard all summer to ensure that we are ready to have the best year ever. Introducing...

Anita Wood

Steering Team Responsibility: Coordinator, aka Our Fearless Leader
Ages of Children: Two girls ages 5 & 3
She could not survive being a mom without: Good friendships and a healthy balance of exercise and work.
Hobbies and Interests: She crochets and enjoys relaxing with a good magazine.
A quote that inspires her: Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

Abbey Gropp

Steering Team Responsibility: Assistant coordinator, aka Sidekick to Our Fearless Leader
Ages of Children: 12, 9, 7, & 5
She could not survive being a mom without: Her ruggedly handsome husband- and no, he did not fill in this answer. 
Hobbies and Interests: Staying up too late watching Netflix while folding laundry. 
A quote that inspires her: This too shall pass.

Katie Bell

Steering Team Responsibility: Director of finance and record-keeper
Ages of Children: 6, 4, 2, & one on the way
She could not survive being a mom without: Nap time. Amen, sister!
Hobbies and Interests: Grabbing her own nap time and making fun vinyl crafts with her silhouette machine.
A quote that inspires her: Choose joy.

Stasea Morris

Steering Team Responsibility: Fundraiser
Ages of Children: 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, & 17. Yes, you read that right. Are you thoroughly impressed?
She could not survive being a mom without: The Bible as her owners manual.
Hobbies and Interests: She loves to sing, and she has 8 back-up singers!
A quote that inspires her: Life's a garden; dig it!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Meet Our Steering Team: Moppets Squad!

Third Edition: Moppets Team

Our precious little babies are the reason we joined MOPS  in the first place, right? To come together with other moms, talk parenting, give ourselves a much-needed break and a time to recharge. Thanks to our Moppets team, we can breathe easy knowing that our children are well-cared for while we engage in our own self-care. Here are the hard-working ladies to thank for the excellent care our kiddos receive: 

Pamela Schult

Steering Team Responsibility: Moppets Coordinator
Ages of Children: Abby, 5 & Benjamin, 3
She could not survive being a mom without: Her mom friends
Hobbies and Interests: She is a lover of Grey's Anatomy, and also uses her spare time to clean out her purse, because you never know what surprises your kids have left for you in there... 
A quote that inspires her: Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Crystal Morris

Steering Team Responsibility: Moppets room manager
Ages of Children: 5, 3 & 1
She could not survive being a mom without: The support of her husband and mommy friends.
Hobbies and Interests: She crochets and plays the piano, but not at the same time.
A quote that inspires her: "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."- Pablo Picasso
"Life is short and there will always be dirty dishes, so let's dance."-James Howe
"God will give you strength for every battle, wisdom for every decision, peace that surpasses understanding."

Jenine Addison

Steering Team Responsibility: Moppets room manager
Ages of Children: Two children ages 3 & 6 months
She could not survive being a mom without: Having a village to help raise them.
Hobbies and Interests: She says she has no spare time, but that's only because she fills it up with a custom vinyl decal side business and other crafty endeavors. 
A quote that inspires her: Just keep swimming!

Jen Wells

Steering Team Responsibility: Wild Things curriculum coordinator
Ages of Children: Two boys ages 4 and 2.5
She could not survive being a mom without: Her mom and her smart phone- hopefully in that order ;)
Hobbies and Interests: She enjoys reading and crafting.
A quote that inspires her: "You are the hero of your own story.".

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Steering Team Intros, Part 2

Second Edition: Hospitality Team

Is there anything more important to MOPS than hospitality? We come to meetings and events because we need to find a space where we are welcomed by other women in the same stage of life. And because of the food. And the crafts. Let's just say what we mean: our hospitality team rocks. They are a huge part of who we are, and now you get to find out a little bit about who they are!

Margaret Berry

Steering Team Responsibility: Giveaways
Ages of Children: Three boys ages 3, 6, & 8
She could not survive being a mom without: Jesus!
Hobbies and Interests: Her "side jobs" include photography, cleaning houses, and sharing Plexus
A quote that inspires her: "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." And Margaret does all her things with excellence :)

Tamara Merriweather

Steering Team Responsibility: She's our resident all-around encourager
Ages of Children: 2, 3, 4, & 15. (And has survived to tell about it!)
She could not survive being a mom without: Prayer and the peace that follows.
Hobbies and Interests: She loves art and has recently taken up calligraphy.Perhaps our next blog should be hand-written?
A quote that inspires her: Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Jennifer Haren

Steering Team Responsibility: Director of creative activities
Ages of Children: 9, almost 7, & 2
She could not survive being a mom without: Good friends and coffee
Hobbies and Interests: She is a reader of books and piano music, which she plays. On the piano.
A quote that inspires her: "Spread kindness like confetti!"

Catherine (Kathi) Luplow

Steering Team Responsibility: Kitchen manager
Ages of Children: 10, 8, & 4
She could not survive being a mom without: Big kiddo hugs and wine
Hobbies and Interests: She's an avid reader and enjoys hanging out with her hubby. Can we get a collective, "Awwwwwww"?
A quote that inspires her: "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."- Audrey Hepburn

Korrie Bennett

Steering Team Responsibility: Kitchen assistant
Ages of Children: 13 & 3
She could not survive being a mom without: God
Hobbies and Interests: Hobbies? Interests? What are those? Just kidding- we have another book lover on our hands.
A quote that inspires her: Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Let go and let God!