September 26, 2011

I'll Bring the Chocolate!

At our next MOPS meeting, this Tuesday Sept. 27, we will have a guest speaker who is currently a New York Times Bestselling author!  How exciting is that?!  Susy Flory is currently #3 on the nonfiction list for a memoir she co-wrote with blind 9-11 survivor Michael Hingson, Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero . 

Susy loves to write big stories with happy endings that inspire and challenge readers to a life of passion, boldness, and adventure.  She will be sharing with us about the topic of friendship and how it relates to chocolate!  Yum!

She is the daughter of a Texas cowboy and grew up on the back of a quarter horse in Castro Valley. She took degrees from UCLA in English and psychology and has a background in journalism, education, and communications. She first started writing at the Newhall Signal with the legendary Scotty Newhall, an ex-editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and a one-legged cigar-smoking curmudgeon who ruled the newsroom from behind a dented metal desk where he pounded out stories on an Underwood Typewriter. She taught high school English and journalism, then quit in 2004 to write full time for publications such as Focus on the Family, Guideposts Books, In Touch, and Today’s Christian Woman.

Susy is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and a CLASS certified speaker. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Robert, and their two children.

September 19, 2011

Playdate


This Tuesday morning there is a MOPS playdate at Greenridge Park in Castro Valley.  We are meeting at 10am so come for an hour or as long as you can and let your little ones play while you get some mom hangout time too!  Bring a snack or lunch for your kids and yourself!  The directions are below if you haven't been to this park before.  It has a great view of the bay area!

Here are the directions to Greenridge Park:
- From Castro Valley Blvd head NE on Crow Canyon Rd for .9 miles
- Shortly after Crow Canyon bears to the right, you will see a signal for Greenridge Rd.
- Turn left on Greenridge Rd and head 1.6 miles straight up the curvy hillside
- Greenridge Rd will lead you straight into the park

September 14, 2011

Chalkboard Platter


For our MOPS meeting yesterday (the first of the new MOPS year), we made chalkboard platters. Even if you are not crafty, this is a simple one to do. It can be used for decor, or for the kids to draw on.

Materials

  • Silver platter (from Dollar Tree)
  • Con-Tact Chalkboard Paper (from discountschoolsupply.com $6.49 for 18”x6’)
  • Credit Card
  • Chalk

Directions
  1. Using Chalkboard Contact paper, cut a piece of chalkboard to fit the middle portion of the platter.
  2. Remove the paper backing off of the Contact paper and adhere to the platter.
  3. Use a credit card to remove the bubbles.
  4. If desired, add a ribbon by drilling holes in the platter and then loop a ribbon through the holes.
  5. To get your chalkboard ready to use, you need to use the side of a piece of chalk and rub it all over the chalkboard to make it a cloudy white.
  6. Use a dry cloth to wipe it off.
  7. Now your chalkboard is ready to write on! Place by your front door and write "Welcome!" or use to write a favorite verse or poem. Get creative!

BFBYKI – Best Friends Before You Know It


I can’t believe it! I just made a reservation to attend my…drum roll please, Thirty Fifth High School Reunion. Now before you gasp and think to yourself “wow, she’s old”, as if I graduated during the Great Depression, I want to challenge you to remember just how quickly time flies by. Trust me, if you blink a little too long your children will be all grown up and you’ll join me as I look in the mirror and wonder when it all happened. When did I become the older woman in the crowd?

But, I digress. Lets back up to the word “Reunion”. By definition a reunion is a gathering of people whose past includes a common interest. As I look back to my high school days I can recollect a number of common interests among my fellow students. Somehow education seemed secondary to relationships at this point in my life. It was all about friends and the boys we had terrible crushes on. It was about drama… not the kind on the stage, but the kind that can separate the BFF’s…forever. It was about popularity and insecurities, which were the winners and who the losers, as well as perceptions and reputations. Somehow in the mix of all that I did my homework, earned decent grades, graduated, and walked away from High School and 95% of the people life had revolved around.

So, with my reservation in place, I am about to reconnect with friends from the past. Hopefully we’re all a little wiser after 35 years of growing up. Hopefully our values have matured and past drama’s are long forgotten or at least forgiven and chalked up to teenaged hormones blended with a dose or two of stupidity.
While reconnecting and perhaps reestablishing friendships of the past might come of my high school reunion, the idea of it has done less to create in me a desire to reestablish old friendships. More so it has served to warm my heart to the friendships I have today and ignite in me a longing for new friendships for this era of my life. I’m thankful that my circle of friends is both, young and old and our interests while sometimes significantly common are also quite diverse.

This is the opportunity we have here at MOPS. Women of common interest (mothering and friendship at the top of the list), gathering to enjoy one another’s company, be encouraged, perhaps even challenged and, somewhere along the line develop friendships that can stand the test of time.

So welcome to MOPS all of my present and potential friends!! Here’s to the next few months of getting to know each other better and building a foundation to some lifelong treasured… BFBYKI – BEST FRIENDS BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!!

Leisa Tegner, Mentor Mom

Coordinator's Corner


Board games always seem to make it on my wish list for Christmas and birthdays.  A cabinet in the living room is dedicated to holding our game collection – some of the games are fun and loud, others require careful thought, the winner may be determined completely by chance, or skill may be needed to come out on top.  I have many memories of playing games with my family.  Most of these memories are happy ones - laughter and silliness, the satisfaction of winning, the joy of time spent with people that I love.  There are the not-so-happy memories as well - name-calling, a crushing loss, angrily tumping the board, or the boredom and tediousness of a never-ending game.

I have experienced many of those same emotions since becoming a mother – more laughter, satisfaction, joy, and love than I had ever dreamed; and my fair share of hurt feelings, anger, and the tediousness of never-ending diaper changes!  And like those board games, motherhood is also a mix of skill and chance, silliness and careful thought.  This year at MOPS we will be using this game analogy to help each of us learn and strategize ways to be the best mother we can be.  We call it Mom-opoly: Being Bold, Loving, and Sensible in the Game of Motherhood.

The “game” of motherhood is a classic, played by generations of women before us.  The trouble is you won’t find any rules in this box, and while our mentors and fellow teammates offer what has worked for them, we soon discover that each of us has received our own special edition of the game.  We need great advice, and then we need the wisdom to sift through that advice and come up with a strategy that adjusts to the unique needs of our children, our families, and our own personality and values.   This is the challenge that we’ll be tackling this year at MOPS!

As we play the game of Mom-opoly together we will learn about and discuss topics that impact how we live every day – our friendships, the challenge of toddler discipline, how to love your mate, tips for budgeting, conflict resolution and more.  We will cheer each other on, laugh at crazy mishaps, give a hug to the one that is hurting, and soothe those of us who are stressed (and who isn’t?).   So I hope you are as excited as I am to start this MOPS year.  Whether it’s your first year or your tenth, let’s all jump in, roll the dice, spin the spinner, deal the cards, and have fun playing the game together!

Christy Mast, Coordinator

September 9, 2011

Let's "Open the Box" at MOPS

The game of Mom-opoly begins next Tuesday, September 13 - will you join us as we "Open the Box" together?  Come at 9am to register and get your little ones settled in their Moppets classrooms.  Our meeting will be from 9:15am to 11:30am and includes brunch, an introduction to MOPS, Q&A time with our Mentor Moms, and a craft.  We will also have time for discussion at your table so you can get to know your discussion group leader and make a few new friends!

In order to streamline the registration process please come with your forms completed.  If you attend Redwood Chapel you can register in the lobby this Sunday, September 11 to save even more time!  Here are links to the two registration forms so you can print them if you did not receive them in the mail:

MOPS Emergency Form - Click here
MOPS Registration Form - Click here

And here is our brochure if you would like to pass it along to a friend:

2011-2012 CV MOPS brochure - Click here

Remember to enter the Redwood parking lot from James Avenue and park along the edge of the lot (the center area with orange cones is used by the school for recreation).  Follow the signs to Williams Chapel first to check in before taking your children to their Moppets classrooms.

For those of you who want a sneak peek of our craft - it will be a chalkboard platter, something like this:


We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!