May 25, 2017

Summer Schedule

We had a fun final meeting for the year this week at MOPS at Redwood Chapel! We had lots of raffle baskets, as well as some good ideas for having fun with our kids.

I am looking forward to playdates this summer! Everyone is invited to join us at these times:

*Tuesday, June 13 at 10am at Greenridge Park
*Tuesday, July 11 at 10am at Schaefer Ranch Park
*Tuesday, August 8 at 10am at Greenridge Park

Bring a picnic lunch or snack and enjoy some time with friends! These parks are also great places to bring tricycles, scooters, or other ride-on toys.

Regular MOPS meetings will begin again on September 12. We typically meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. To be notified when registration opens in August, please add your name to the interest list at We have limited space for children ages 0-2, so if you are a mom of little ones get on our interest list ASAP so you will be first in line when registration opens. Moms who do not need childcare or who have children age 3+ should not have a waiting list, but go  ahead and get on the interest list so you will be notified when registration opens.

February 26, 2017

Spa & Shopping Day Feb. 28!

Mamas, are you ready for spa/shopping day on Tuesday?!?! I am!!! So much exciting stuff going on! I wanted to share with you the list of vendors that will be with us so you can get your shopping lists ready!

Usborne Books & More
Blue Gnome Gifts
Sweet Pea's Pastries
Pampered Chef
Christina's Skin Care
Thirty One Gifts

And remember that each of these vendors has donated a basket of goods for a silent auction that will also take place Tuesday morning. The silent auction raises money for our MOPS group so you will benefit from all proceeds! Bring your checkbooks!

Also, the amazing Audrey Kelly will be with us to offer two short makeup classes:
10:00-10:20 - Looking rested while feeling tired
10:30-10:50 - How to shape eyebrows
I feel like I need BOTH of these!! It will be great stuff!

OH, you'll want to be on time for this meeting! We'll start drawing names for free 8-minute massages with our visiting massage therapists right at 9:15 am!

See you all Tuesday morning!

January 6, 2017

Thoughts on Overwhelmed

About six months after the birth of my second child – I gave up.  Until that point, I was a from-scratch cook, I exercised often enough to run a half marathon, I did a decent job of keeping up with laundry and dishes (although that area has always been a struggle), and in general I felt like I had my head above water. But then some serious frustrations potty-training my older child (ask me about the 2 year training plan – I’m an expert!), combined with a strained marriage, plus the normal stress of a new baby crawling all over the place, and I was pretty fed up with trying to be the ideal housewife. I even thought average was more than I could manage. 

At the time, I imagined I would just take it easy for a few months – order takeout more often, let myself and my house go for a little while.  Trouble with that plan is then you always feel behind – it has not been the season of rest, and then back to normal, that I was hoping for. Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free book has been helpful, and I have certainly gotten rid of lots of stuff, but I have found it impossible for me to get and stay clutter free while I feel overwhelmed by a never ending “to do” list.

Many things I do are wonderful and fulfilling – dancing, leading MOPS, teaching Bible studies, reading to my children, baking, and more.  But then I have to stuff all the necessities of life in around the edges of my schedule – shopping, dishes, organizing kids' stuff, sorting papers and finances, etc. There is not enough time around the edges to fit all that in – it’s overwhelming! 

I am literally trying to do more than I can do, and have had a growing realization that something must change.  But I’ve been afraid of what a new pared down “to do“ list would look like.  Would I have to cut out everything I love doing?  Spend my days folding laundry and running errands?  Ugh. No thanks. I would rather be frustrated than bored!

So I jumped at the chance to hear what Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory had to share in their newest book.  I expected Overwhelmed to offer some reasons behind my tendency toward chaos, as well as some practical tips for getting out from under it.  Kathi and Cheri’s book delivered on both counts. The first chapter delves into some of the how and why of all the different varieties of overwhelmed, and more of that is sprinkled throughout. In the rest of the book, the authors share personal stories, describe different aspects of being overwhelmed, and offer suggestions for overcoming it. 

Some of these suggestions were simply reminders to do things I already know – like meal plan.  But there are other ideas that were new to me and I look forward to trying – such as creating a personal manifesto, and using a calendar to plan, as opposed to an endless “to do” list.  This gives me hope that I (or someone else) will indeed be able to accomplish the not-so-fun “must dos” of life while also prioritizing those things I find fulfilling and enjoyable.  For sure I will need to make some hard choices, but at least I will be the one in charge, instead of haphazardly dropping tasks from my list because I run out of time.

My particular kind of overwhelm stems from being a mother of small children, but Kathi and Cheri address many different kinds of overwhelm that impact women.  The chapters dealing with unhealthy relationship patterns are particularly insightful.  I think in the future I will see this book as a resource -- going back to re-read chapters as I reach different stages of life and struggle in different ways.  The book doesn’t address every area in depth (it can’t, or it would be textbook size), but each chapter gives good practical ideas for escaping the chaos and there are recommended reading lists throughout – so you can explore more in the areas most helpful to you.

Despite some heavy topics, this is a fun book to read because of the personal stories and encouraging tone.  I now have a plan to start the new year with a few small changes to lessen my current level of overwhelm, and I am hopeful these changes will be the beginning of many more.

I received an Advanced Reader Copy for free, but I like this so much I am buying the final version for myself as well. For more information, and to get your own copy, check out

November 30, 2016

Antiquities Photos

Castro Valley MOPS at Redwood Chapel is having a photo fundraiser this weekend, Dec. 2 & 3! We really appreciate your support as our fundraiser helps to fund activities and scholarships for our members with kids ages 0-6. Coupons for a portrait session are $10 and include your choice of an 8x10 featuring your child/ren with antique style clothing and props.
Dates: Dec. 2nd and 3rd (Fri-Sat)
Location: REDWOOD CHAPEL, 19300 Redwood Road Castro Valley
Please enter the Church Parking Lot via James Avenue. You can park near the worship center building. There is also street parking on Redwood Road. All picture sessions will take place in the HERITAGE ROOM. There will be signs on the patio directing you to this room.
If you would still like to purchase a coupon or need to change your assigned time, please contact Christy ASAP at
• Arrive 15 minutes EARLY to pick out/change into clothing and choose your props.
• What to wear: Antiquities style dress consists of bare feet, overalls, blue jeans, lace dresses, etc. similar to the children shown in the samples for the Antique Color style on Antiquities will provide props and clothing options for children up to a child's size 16. Bring your child in clothing that can be changed easily - blue jeans or khakis, overalls, and white t-shirts work well. Sample photos are representative only - no specific prop or costume can be guaranteed.
• Your child may also want to bring his/her favorite toy or a classic children’s book.
• Bring your calendars. We will have the schedule for the return viewing of your pictures available during your photo session. The viewing dates will be in mid-December. At that time, you will receive your 8x10 picture and will have the option of purchasing (and taking home) additional pictures in various poses and sizes (our fundraising is only based on your $10 coupon sale).

IMPORTANT REMINDER – A parent or guardian must be present on photography day and on portrait delivery day. A friend or other family member cannot bring your children to the photo session or pick up your portrait.
Thanks again for supporting our MOPS fundraiser!

August 22, 2016

Operation Christmas Child - Alina's Story

What will you pack in a shoebox gift this year? Now is a good time to start gathering items at back-to-school sales!

Click below to hear the story of Alina, who received a shoebox at age 12 while living in a Romanian orphanage.

July 15, 2016

Meeting Schedule 2016/17

Here is the meeting schedule for 2016/17! Because of holidays we are not meeting the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of November, December, and April, so check those dates carefully. All meetings are at Redwood Chapel from 9:15am to 11:30am. If you would like to learn more or sign up for our waiting list go to

April 27, 2016

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016

Does being a mom and homemaker ever feel a little too hard?
There’s no question that you love your family like crazy and you’d do anything for them, but we all know it can be an exhausting job.
If you’re anything like me, I bet you wish your home felt more put together and peaceful, you kept up with housework better, you were more consistent about serving healthy, homemade meals and you weren’t running ragged so much of the time.
Because these families of ours? They matter more than anything else. Our job is so important, and we really want to do it right. But so often, we end up feeling discouraged and even like we’re failing.

Well, I am hopeful that the news I have can give you more (and better) tools to help make life stress-less.
Right now there is a deal happening called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016.
It was created to give you a plethora of amazing, high-quality resources to take some of the stress, overwhelm and difficulty out of homemaking and mothering.
I have purchased the Bundle in past years, and have always been encouraged by the contents, and loved the bonuses I got too! Want to learn more about how you can get your hands on this package? Here's all the info:

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle includes 93 hand-picked eBooks, eCourses, and printables, on topics that matter to moms such as:
  • organization, routines & creating a cozy home
  • recipes, grocery shopping and meal planning
  • budgeting and saving money
  • motherhood (no matter what age your kids are)
  • cultivating a strong marriage
  • faith (for you & your kids)
  • and even self-care (like exercise, weight loss, life planning and coloring books)
  • and much more…
You have a full year to download the eBooks and printables and take the online eCourses, and everything you’ve downloaded becomes part of your permanent library, so you can go back to it whenever you need it.
Plus, it comes with these FREE bonus offers from companies who know what homemakers need and want. Some are 100% free; other are yours for the cost of shipping only. You’ll get:
  • FREE Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap, Mrs. Meyer’s Multi Surface Spray, Grove Collaborative Spray Bottle, Grove Collaborative Scrubber Sponges and FREE 60-day VIP trial with FREE shipping from Grove Collaborative ($30 value)
  • FREE Online Class from Craftsy ($29.99-$69.99 value)
  • FREE Kids Discovery Box from ($24.95 value)
  • $15 Gift Certificate to InkWELL Press ($15 value)
  • $15 Credit to Hope Ink Shop PLUS Two FREE 8×10 Art Prints with Any Purchase ($71)
  • FREE SPOT Treatment for Acne & Eczema OR a $15 Gift Certificate from Bloom Naturals ($15 value)
  • FREE 90-Day Pro Membership to ($30)
  • FREE 1-Year Membership ($29 value)
  • FREE Hand Massage Routine Videos from Melt Couples Massage ($24 value)
It’s available for just 6 days – from now until Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. That’s why the Ultimate Bundles team can offer so much, because they only have permission to sell it for such a short period of time.
The total value is an astonishing $1000+ (plus over $300 in bonuses), but you get it for just $29.97. That’s 97% off what it would cost to buy everything individually.
Learn more or get your bundle now!

If you think getting all those homemaking & mothering helps for less than $30 sounds like a steal, then make sure to go HERE to see exactly what it includes and grab yours before this deal ends!

*The links above are affiliate links and all purchases help cover the costs of leadership training for Castro Valley MOPS. Thank you!