Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Featured Article: One Mom's Trash Might Be Her Child's Treasure

One Mom's Trash Might Be Her Child's Treasure
by Sara K.

I am a big fan of forgiveness, I am human and make mistakes often, which require an apology. Every time my kids go anywhere they bring something back home with them. I never knew paper could be so suffocating.  Drawings from church, school, even kid's museums find their way on my counter.  It seems everywhere they go beautiful "masterpieces" are made from paper. That's what my kids call them, "masterpieces". Since they are all masterpieces, my children think they must be treasured forever. Multiply that by three and I have trees glaring at me every time I walk out the door.

They often show me these wonderful drawings and then leave them on the table when they move on to something else. I am left to figure out what to do with the latest masterpieces. I admit, more often than not I throw the papers away, I can't keep them all, even trying to keep one a month, makes to much clutter, requires storage I don't have. No harm done they don't remember it, and life goes on, right? Sometimes if they are especially attached to something that child will put it on the fridge or cork board in their room. With school finishing up, more "masterpieces" are being brought home as the teachers clean off their own bulletin boards. 

Last week my daughter brought me a picture of a flower garden drawn with markers, on notebook paper. I made my normal compliments and she went on to the next thing. When I needed the counter space to make dinner I'm sure it, along with so many of the days "masterpieces" went into the trash. Two days later, my daughter asked about that flower garden drawing, while I was talking on the phone and preparing dinner. Dread played across my face while she started shuffling through papers in the basket at the kitchen desk then looking through the trash, finding that day's masterpieces discarded. I quickly got off the phone, while listening to her grumble about a paper destroyed because it was wet from coffee grinds. I mentally started to prepare my confession and get myself ready for the scream scene that surely lay ahead. Watching big crocodile tears stream down her face, I cleared my throat and began to talk.

"Mckinley, I think mom threw that picture out." Knowing that's where it had to be, if she couldn't find it, as that was the destiny of most papers in my household. "What do you mean?" she replied her voice shaking, on the verge of a complete meltdown. "That was my best picture....ever! YOU even said how nice the flowers looked and how the clouds were big and puffy!" I love how children can make you feel like scum. I looked at her, took her hands out of the trash can and began talking. "I'm sorry. The picture's not there. The trash man came yesterday, the picture is gone. I made a mistake please forgive me." She replied through sobs before stomping to her room "I can't forgive you! You threw away my favorite picture...every!" Pleading and following her I asked if she could make another one like it, and got a big NO! I continued to apologize and asked what I could do to make it up to her. After some groveling she allowed me to help her on a new picture after dinner. We also agreed that I would try to take a picture of the masterpieces with my phone, so if they got thrown away we could still enjoy looking at them.

Sometimes it's important as moms to humble ourselves and confess mistakes to our kids. They mirror our actions, confessing that I might have thrown it away, and asking for forgiveness is something I would expect from them. I'm not perfect, nor do I want them to think I am, because no one is perfect all the time. I need to model when I make a mistake humble myself through confession and ask for forgiveness. I don't want them to try to be perfect all the time, it's impossible. I also learned that I don't own their feelings. I could have told her from my grown up perspective she was being ridiculous, that we can't keep everything. But to her, it was an important thing, just like my shopping list is and important thing for me. I had to allow her time and space to hurt, I had to take responsibility for the hurt she felt. She had a right to be upset about the picture, and with me. It was important to her and I discarded it without her knowledge, that doesn't make her wrong, just normal.

The following week she found her treasured drawing in a folder in her bookshelf, where she often places her masterpieces. I'm glad she found it, and we had a good time drawing and coloring our own flower garden picture.

Originally published in the Summer 2014 Indian Creek MOPS newsletter.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Favorite Things: Weeknight Meals

Want to try a new restaurant but not sure where to go?
Are you pregnant and not sure what baby products you really need?
Are you unsure of what to cook on a busy weeknight?

What better place to turn than your fellow MOPS moms for ideas?

Our new feature My Favorite Things - will give you some ideas of where to start.
Each month we will feature a different question and recommendations will be listed by other MOPS moms in the group.

This month's feature:
What is your favorite weeknight meal?

  • Fried rice - Melony S.
  • Tacos - Ashley C.
  • Hamburger Helper - Jessica F.
  • Egg Foo Young - Jane H.
  • Spaghetti - Stephanie H.
  • Tacos and Mexican rice - Emily H.
  • Spaghetti - Katie H.
  • Tacos - Heather J.
  • Tacos or Spaghetti - Alicia P.
  • Baked Spaghetti - Lindsay R.
  • Grilled steak or chicken, roasted vegetable - Amy S.
  • Tacos, turkey burgers - Raychel V.
  • Anything in the crockpot - Laura W.
  • Sandwiches or pizza - Kelly R
  • Papa John's pizza - Erin B.
  • Pizza - Karla T
  • Hen House premade meals! - Julie K.
  • Chicken and rice - Jennifer P.
  • Cheesy tuna casserole - Angela A.
  • Mac-n-cheese, frozen pizza - Sara B.
  • Tacos - Sara K.
  • Homemade pizza - Carrie M.
  • Tacos - Nicki F.
  • Fajitas or pasta primavera - Jessi C.
  • Spaghetti, tacos, homemade macaroni and cheese - Sarah L.
  • Tacos - Nicole P.
  • Shake and Bake - Lou Ann C.
  • Rice casserole - lots of variations- Rachael K.
Looks like the consensus is Tacos this time!

Want to contribute your ideas for our blog or newsletter? Check your MOPS folder for the My Favorite Things feature!

Friday, May 1, 2015

What is Your MOPPET Learning: May

While we are enjoying some time with other mothers, the kids are busy in their classes as well. 

Each month we will post a sneak peak at the MOPPETS curriculum for the 2012-13 year.  

This year the kids will be studying the Fruit of the Spirit curriculum which has been a favorite in the past.

All kids in the Otters, Lions, Ostrich, and Giraffe classes will participate in a Bible lesson, craft, game, music, play time, short video related to the Bible lesson, (such as VeggieTales) and snack.

Here is a peek at the curriculum for the month:

May- (2 themes) Mother's Day (1), Gentleness (2)
Song of the month- Favorite songs of your choice.
5/7-Lesson- Respect and bless your mother.
Story- Mother's Day
Verse-Proverbs 31:28a   Her children arise up and call her blessed.
5/21-Lesson-Jesus is gentle and wants us to be gentle too. (Singing at the end of the year brunch)
Story- Jesus and the little children
Verse- Mark 10:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me."

For a list of the entire MOPPETS Curriculum for the year please check out the "About MOPPETS" tab.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Featured Article: Embrace Your Beautiful Mess

Embrace Your Beautiful Mess
By Sara K.

Life is full of messes. Some last a day while others last a season or more. It's the messiness that makes of many of the memories. Whenever I find myself in a messy season, I am always reminded of this verse:

"For I know the plans I have for you, the plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV Jeremiah 29:11).

It may seem like you have a string of multiple messes, but God has a plan for you. I often find myself drawing on His strength. God gives us strength when we feel helpless, he helps us through "seasons of life" that seem unbearable. Throughout my marriage my husband frequently traveled for work, when my daughter was six weeks old he had an eighteen day business trip in London. During that time I had to return to work after maternity leave. My baby girl didn't transition well to a bottle. Needless to say I was stressed out. I wasn't sleeping because she would be up all night eating and boycotted the bottle during the day. Nothing I was doing helped. I was at the end of my rope when I received a call to come and get the kids from child care. My then two year old son, who was going through a biting phase, had broken skin on a little boy's nose, because the boy had a toy he wanted. I cried all the way home, and prayed to Him.

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." (NIV Jeremiah 31:25).

God helped me once I asked. 

"The LORD Is my stregth and my sheild; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me." (NIV Psalms 28:7)

I needed to rely on Him, on His strength to help me through this messy season in my lfe. I know everyone has a similar story, a messy season that is tucked in the back of their mind. By the time my hubsband got home, my dugher started to smile, my son was adjusting back to daycare, stopped biting other children. God is always there. Embrace your mess, and rely on him for strength for it is part of HIs beautiful plan for you.

Originally published in the October 2014 INdian Creek MOPS Newsletter.