Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Last meeting of 2018-2019

Our last meeting of the 2018-2019 MOPS year was a good one!

We watched a video on raising compassionate kids by Osheta Moore and had some good discussion time...



...worked on our nail art crafts....



...put together gift bags for Human Coalition...




...and said "Thank You!" to Kara McLendon who has been our fearless leader for several years and is stepping down as MOPS coordinator!



Don't forget to register for next year's MOPS! If you haven't signed up already, please join the waitlist here. We want you to be part of our group!

Please join us this summer for our twice-monthly playdates! Our first one will be May 24 at Cedar Hills Playground.


Have a great summer! 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Waitlist for 2019/2020 MOPS Year

We still have one more meeting scheduled for the current MOPS year next Tuesday, but due to an overwhelming response to our pre-registration for the upcoming 2019/2020 MOPS year we have already had to switch to a waitlist for next year!

If you have already registered and paid your MOPS International fee, then you are good to go for next year! If you haven't registered yet and are interested in joining us this fall, please fill out our waitlist form at https://forms.gle/giE9qTKvLKaVGy4z7 . We hope to open up additional space in childcare and will contact you as space becomes available.

Please note that this waitlist only applies to childcare. If you wish to join us and will NOT be utilizing our childcare, then please email our coordinator at CrossroadsRaleighMOPS@gmail.com for registration information.

We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we also see this as a blessing that our group is growing and many moms will be getting the support they need next year! Please pray that additional childcare workers become available so we can grow our children's program to accommodate more families! If you know of anyone who may be interested in serving twice a month in our children's program please contact us!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Craft meeting and MOPS swap!

Our April 24 meeting was a fun time of crafting, swapping clothes, and fellowshipping with each other.

Our amazing craft (thank you, Jackie!) was nail art made with colorful string. Everyone was so creative in their choice of colors and patterns for their art.












After our MOPS swap was over, we filled several large carts with clothing and other household goods to donate to the Missions Thrift store! 




Announcements: 

- Our last meeting of the year is May 14. We will be putting together spa bags for Human Coalition. If you have any items to donate, or gift bags to use, please bring them to our meeting! 


- Nicole, Torri, and Victoria's groups will be bringing brunch. Sign up here at Signup Genius. You can also check out the upcoming brunch schedule and info by clicking on the "Brunch" tab here on the blog.



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Molly Stillman: Mom on Purpose

Molly Stillman of Still Being Molly spoke to us at our April 9 meeting.




In 2018, God gave her the word "Focus" as her word of the year. She wasn't sure what it meant at the time. At the beginning of February 2018, she lost her baby, Elijah Timothy, at 16 weeks' pregnancy.  She got pregnant again just one month later. She felt like God was telling her to trust Him, even though she was terrified and was experiencing panic attacks and anxiety.   Unfortunately, she lost her baby Malachi Jude as well: two 2nd trimester losses in a span of 5 months. After this happened, she told Satan "You have no idea who you're dealing with." 

She felt that God was giving her Philippians 3 as a verse to hold onto.  In the book of Philippians, Paul is showing appreciation to the church at Philippi, despite him being on house arrest. His suffering became his pulpit. His boldness encouraged others. 



Our goal should be to run towards Jesus - to serve Him with everything we are, and bring glory to Him in everything we do.

How can I bring glory to God in the little things I do?

My suffering is an opportunity for me to grow and know God more deeply.

Molly shared how she got angry with God after her mom died when Molly was in high school (she had an autoimmune disease triggered from exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.)  Molly ran from God very hard until she finally surrendered.

When Molly experienced her suffering in 2018, she realized that she could run FROM God (as she had when her mom died), or she could run TO God, where God promises peace.


We need community, especially when we are suffering.


We are not of this world. Do we really believe that we are citizens of heaven?

We have to have a heavenly perspective when we feel like we just can't do it anymore.

What does this look like practically?
1. When you are in the deepest, darkest moment, Open up God's Word!
2. Find God in the little things. Molly calls them "Manna Moments". 

An example Molly shared of a manna moment was when a nurse gave her a card that had her baby's hand and footprints on it, which she did not ask for, but meant so much to her.

She realized at the end of 2018 that when God gave her the word "Focus", He meant "Focus on me" - "You have no idea what's in store for you, but if you focus on Me, it will be OK."

Real peace is not to live an easy life without hard times, but to have peace in the midst of the hard times.


Announcements

- Our April 23 meeting will be our MOPS Swap and craft meeting!  Bring your unwanted items from your home to swap with other moms. Unclaimed items will be donated to Missions Thrift!

- Jamie-Lee, Lacinda, and Rosemary's groups will be bringing brunch. Sign up here at Signup Genius. You can also check out the upcoming brunch schedule and info by clicking on the "Brunch" tab here on the blog.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Lynn Custer "My Grandmother Read to Me"

At our last meeting, Lynn Custer spoke to us about the importance of reading. She introduced us to many different childrens' books and gave away many of them!  

She reminded us that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. 


Here are some of the titles that Lynn shared with us: 


The Merchant and the Thief by Ravi Zacharias


Scarecrow Pete by Mark Molton


Noah's Ark by Peter Spier


Bunny's Noisy Book and Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown


The Very First Easter by Paul Maier


Tony and the Pizza Champions by Tony Gemignani

The Mandie Collection, Volume 1: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel/Mandie and the Cherokee Legend/Mandie and the Ghost Bandits/Mandie and the Forbidden Attic/Mandie and the Trunk's Secret (Mandie 1-5)
The Mandie Book series by Lois Gladys Leppard (for elementary school age)


Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham


The Raft by Jim LaMarche


The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle (and all his other books!)


Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney


James Herriot's Treasury for Children (and other books by James Herriot)



Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran

 
Harry the Dirty DogNo Roses for Harry, and Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion

All Aboard! New York: A City Primer
All Aboard! Series of board books


Follow My Leader by James Garfield


Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer


What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis


When reading aloud to your children, start with picture books. Read slowly. Involve them - ask questions. Choose a comfortable place. Keep reading aloud even when they can read on their own. 


She shared with us about a family who had a dollhouse, and every book they read, they would add a small item to the dollhouse - something that would remind them of the book.  What a great idea!

Lynn also told us how sometimes she would take photos of her own child and paste them inside a picture book to make it more personal. 

Thank you, Lynn, for sharing with us!  Head over to our Facebook group to see other MOPS members' favorite books! 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Kimberly Perry - We Stand Guard

At our March 12 meeting we heard from Kimberly Perry, who spoke to us about personal safety for kids.  Her ministry is called We Stand Guard, and on her site you can sign up for a free personal safety family plan.

She had a LOT of information for us. Here is a bit of what she shared:

What is Personal Safety?
- Personal safety is the prevention of child sexual abuse by teaching boundaries.

The Goal is PREVENTION by teaching personal safety both inside and outside the home.

Kimberly Perry's resources include 2 kids' books and a parent workbook.
Maisie the Monarch is specifically written for girls.
Daxton the Dolphin is geared toward boys.
The Parent Workbook gives specific instruction on how to approach teaching personal safety to your kids, and Kimberly's talk to us gave us an overview of some of the book's content.

The parent book includes a 3-Phase approach:
Phase 1 - Teach body awareness
Phase 2 - Explain boundaries (Internet, etc)
Phase 3 - Introduce personal safety

Phase 1 - General health, wellness, and body awareness lay the foundation for children to understand boundaries.
- Their body is wonderful.
- Learning self care
- Curiosity about their body is natural
- Affirm gender identity. Use real scientific words for body parts.

Explain private parts: Covered by swimsuit, private once you're not a baby, etc.
Take care of your body by keeping it clean, healthy, and safe.
Visits to a doctor include medical touches.

Safety includes safe touches: hugs, cuddles, etc. Safe touches make you feel safe and comfortable.

Empower kids:
1. Your body belongs to you
2. It's OK to say NO, not now.
3. Privacy is OK once you know how to bathe yourself, etc.

Phase 2 - Unique safety concepts - Boundaries regarding Internet/strangers/etc.
- Guard your eyes and ears
- Non-physical contact sexual abuse: exhibitionism, pornography, etc.
* Porn and drug use have a similar addictive nature. 
The book "Good Pictures, Bad Pictures" is a good resource. There is also a "Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, Jr." version for younger kids (ages 3-6)

Grooming - gradually drawing the victim into a sexual relationship
5 predatory phases:
- trust
- courtship
- seduction
- offending
- control

Identify and name safe people, safe caregivers, trusted grownups

An unsafe person can bey anyone. Sometimes someone they know and love can become unsafe by trying an unsafe touch.

Phase 3 - Personal Safety - introduce boundaries and personal safety

Boundaries and personal safety fortify safeguards for kids (safety measures for protection)

10 steps to Personal Safety:
1. Review Wellness - Hygiene, health, and safety
2. Review safe and unsafe touches, plus private parts
3. Bridge for communication
4. Check in rule
5. Dial 911
6. Personal safety family plan
7. List safe caregivers and safe grownups
8. Safe vs. unsafe people
9. Five action steps for questionable encounters
10. Slogans

Example slogans for kids during questionable encounters:
- Your body belongs to you!
- You decide who gives you safe touches
- Private parts need privacy and modesty
- Guard your eyes and ears from unsafe things about private parts
- Notice the "uh oh" feeling
- Say "NO!" to anyone trying unsafe touches with private parts!

5 Concepts of Boundaries and Personal Safety for kids:
1. Safe or good touch
2. Safe or good secret (birthday surprise)
3. Safe and trusted persons
4. Guard your eyes and ears, too
5. Notice the "uh oh" feeling (trust instincts or "funny feelings" in your body)

5 Concepts of saying "NO"
1. Saying "NO!" is a boundary or limit
2. Your job is to tell a trusted grownup right away
3. Telling is not tattling - you will not get in trouble
4. If this is happening to a friend, then TELL
5. It is never your fault!

Eight Preventative Life Skills
1. Privacy
2. Private moments
3. Guard your eyes
4. Guard your ears
5. Gifts vs. bribes
6. Safe secrets
7. Self care
8. Safe games.

Take the lead - Open and positive communication. Use positive statements, not fear-based ones.

Develop  a personal safety plan

There are 5 steps or things to remember, that can be said in kind of a sing-song rhyme kind of way: "Remember to say No, Get away if you can,
Tell someone and keep telling until it stops,
Take a stand"



Announcements: 

- Our next meeting is March 26. We will hear from Lynn Custer whose topic is "My Grandmother Read to Me".

Nicole, Torri, and Victoria's groups will be bringing brunch. Sign up here at Signup Genius. You can also check out the upcoming brunch schedule and info by clicking on the "Brunch" tab here on the blog.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Mentor Moms Panel Part 2

This week we were blessed to hear from our mentor moms for the second time this MOPS year. The mentor moms that participated this time are: Donna Roman, Linda Lindsey, MaryBurr Edwards, Dana Devane-Webster, Cynthia Sovich, and Cindy Orange.




Below is a summary of the questions that were asked of them, and some of their answers:

- Tips for balancing time with multiple children

  • Plan activities with all and make it special, but also do individual activities. Dana shared how sometimes they will do "communal nap time" after church.
  • Be intentional about picking meaningful activities to do individually - those will depend on the child's interests. 

- How do you get your husband to help more?

  • Tell your husband to ask. They can't read your mind even if they want to! And can't always see what we think is obvious regarding what needs to be done, what help you need, etc.
  • Husband needs to switch gears to understand that their work is not over when they come home from their job.
  • Get past the mindset that if they don't automatically figure it out, that they don't love you.
  • Give them an opportunity to appreciate what you do by leaving them alone with the kids!
  • Don't criticize the way he does things! 


- Advice regarding the college application process

  • Talk with your kids about their interests starting early in their life, so they're not going into college with no idea what they want to do.
  • Visit colleges at the end of their Junior year of high school so they have an idea of where they would like to apply.
  • Diversify their activities when they're young so that they have an opportunity to try lots of different kinds of things and see what they might be interested in.
  • Look at organizations in the area that might give out scholarships.
  • Take advantage of early application periods.


- Working while kids are little

  • Yes, you can do it. Yes, it is hard.
  • Set parameters for yourself, especially if you work from home, so you don't feel like you're working ALL the time.


- What are resources for age appropriate boundaries regarding bodies and sex education?

  • Name body parts with scientific names - no cutesy names.
  • Talk about where no one is allowed to touch (under swimsuit, etc)
  • If anything happens, TELL mom and dad
  • Make sure you know what they're asking, and answer their questions directly rather than going too much off topic (for example - kids asking "where did I come from?" and they want to know the city where they were born, not how were they conceived!)


- How do you get your kids (boys, especially!) to talk to you?

  • Talk to them in the car
  • Just go there! Ask the hard questions!


Remember - God wants your kids raised well and he's more concerned with that than with whether they're happy or not. Let them fail!

Below is a handout we received at the meeting:



Announcements: 

- Our next meeting is March 12. We will hear from Kimberly Perry of We Stand Guard about personal safety for kids.

Jamie-Lee, Lacinda, and Rosemary's groups will be bringing brunch. Sign up here at Signup Genius. You can also check out the upcoming brunch schedule and info by clicking on the "Brunch" tab here on the blog.