Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 11th Newsletter

This Week's Guest Speaker
Kathy White
"Mary & Me:  Ordinary Moms"

Kathy White is a regular part of our MOPS Steering Team.  Her passion and talent has helped to make our program what it is.  Kathy is married to Tim and has two grown children and three grandchildren.  She is employed by Stonecroft Ministries, an organization that equips women to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  With extensive teaching experience, including women's retreats and other special events, Kathy has been dubbed a MOPS fan favorite.  Kathy finds much joy in seeing women learn, and she loves helping equip them for service and ministry wherever they are.

This Week's Reminders
  • Brunch is provided by Sassy Sailors.  Please be sure to email your recipes to to be included on our blog!
  • This week is our Christmas Celebration!  Don't forget to come as early as 9:15 to decorate your table!  Brunch will begin at 9:40a.m. this week.
Re: Think Christmas
Are you feeling the stress of Christmas?  Finding the perfect gifts to give each family member...finding the money to buy them with...hoping your gift will be received with as much joy as intended...  What if you were to rethink Christmas this year?  Maple Grove Evangelical Free Church is partnering with a couple of different ministries to help us rethink our priorities at Christmas:  Love.  Spending.  Giving.  Worship.  Check out for details.

Handy Tips
  • Right after Christmas, stock up on paper goods and non-perishables (crackers, stuffing mixes, etc.) for next year.  Many items are discounted 50% or more!
  • Reduce your holiday stress by giving yourself a day off.  Choose one day (or one day a week?) to spend with your family relaxing, and plan all your work and preparations around that day.  You'll be surprised what just one day will do to re-energize you.

Save the Dates
  • Tuesday, January 22nd--MOPS Spring Semester Begins
  • Tuesday, February 12th--DAY OF PAMPERING!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 27th Newsletter

This Week's Guest Speaker
Kristen Taraszewski
"Balancing Your Role as Wife and Mom"

Kristen started her career in 1989 as a flight control engineer at NASA working for the Space Shuttle Program.  She met her husband at work and after dating for many years, they married and had their first child (of three) one year later.  She believed in her calling to put her career temporarily aside and stay home with her children but was unprepared for the challenges that decision would bring.  While searching for a new purpose and identity, she felt God's hand leading her to start a ministry for women trying to find balance between work and parenting.  She founded a ministry called Right At Home, which has grown into a national organization leading women to the peace of Christ as they work through the joys and challenges of motherhood.  Kristen hopes to teach and model balance in health and faith to lead women to connect with God's ever-present peace and love and to become the women God created them to be.

This Week's Reminders

  • Brunch is provided by the Lighthouse Ladies.  Please be sure to email your recipes to to be included in our blog and contest.
  • Our Zumba instructor had a family emergency over the weekend, so we will NOT be doing Zumba at our meeting.  You are always welcome to dress comfortably anyway, but workout clothes will not be necessary.

Craft Night
You've marked your calendars, and now it's finally here!  Dust off your loom and come join us for a night of fun!  If you have something that you've been dying to work on away from the kiddos (sewing, Christmas gifts, scrapbooking, card making, knitting, crocheting, etc.), now's you're chance.  We will have a few fleece baby blankets to knot and pray over for Robbinsdale Women's Center if you don't have something to work on from home.  Or maybe you don't "craft" and would like to come and just socialize...this night is also for you!  If you plan to join us, please bring something "snackie" to share.  Also, please RSVP to as soon as possible.  See you there!

Just a reminder that when you contribute something to our brunches together, we greatly appreciate if you are willing to share the recipe!  Email your recipes to and we will post a picture of your dish with the recipe on our Mops Get Cooking blog.  This is a fun way to share our ideas via an online cookbook.  Also, please be stopping by the blog to comment under your favorite dishes.  Those with the most comments at the end of the year will be brought back as an encore for our final meeting!
**If you brought something for brunch in the past and forgot to send the recipe, it's not too late!  Send us an email!

Handy Tips

  • Bundle up and come to Maple Grove's "Sleigh Bells and Sparkle Parade" on Saturday, December 1st at 5:00p.m.!
  • Maple Grove's Arbor Lakes Shoppes are hosting a "Winter Wonderland Weekend" on December 8th and 9th.  Have breakfast with Santa at the California Pizza Kitchen ($10/adult, $5/child), visit Santa's reindeer in the central courtyard (free), and enjoy carolers throughout the weekend.

Save the Dates

Friday, November 30th @ 6:00-10:00p.m.--MOPS Craft Night at MGEFC

Tuesday, February 12th @ our regular meeting time -- Day of Pampering!  You don't want to miss this!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 13th Newsletter

This Week's Guest Speaker
Patti Brown
"Love and Respect"

A note from Patti:
"I love marriage and I love being married (well, usually).  Twenty-four years ago, I never thought I would have said that.  In fact, walking down the aisle twenty-three years ago, I wouldn't have thought I would say that.  What I've found over those 23 years is that marriage does change you and changes your spouse, and that change can be exciting or challenging, sometimes all within the course of the same day.  For the past 20 years, I've been the mom to two kids-an almost 20 year old girl and a newly 18 year old boy.  And I love being a mom, something else that I wasn't too sure about liking 23 years ago.  I'm a counselor in a private practice in Elk River, seeing mostly couples but some kids and adolescents as well.  Before that, I was a nurse in the Air Force and in civilian life.  My husband and I have taught marriage preparation at New Hope Church for 10 years or so and have appreciated that our marriage provides a wealth of new mistakes, I mean growth opportunities, for each class we teach."

This Week's Reminders

  • Brunch is provided by the Harbor Honeys.  Please be sure to email your recipe to to be included in our recipe blog & contest.

Event Updates

  • Thanks to everyone who came "out" for our Girls' Night "In"!  We had a snuggly, jammie-filled evening of popcorn, treats, and a movie.  Stay tuned for future events!
  • Our MOPS bake sale was a great success!  Thank you again to everyone who contributed baking and/or helped out.  Be listening during meeting announcements for a more detailed update.

Chicken Rub Recipe
By popular demand, we are finally posting the recipe for the dry chicken rub we made as our craft in early October.  Thanks, Denise!
Mix together:  2 T sugar, 2 T paprika, 1-1/2 T salt, 1/2 T ground pepper, 1/2 T garlic powder, 1/2 T onion powder, 1/2 T chili powder, 1/2 T cayenne pepper.
Store in a tightly sealed  container and refrigerate to maintain freshness for up to 4 months.

We are still in need of helpers in the nurseries at our Steering Team Meetings that take place on the first Tuesday of each month (especially for 2013).  If you are able to help out even one time, please click here (enter Security Code 5779) to sign up.

Handy Tips

  • Take your kids to the FREE Kids' Workshops at Home Depot (1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10:00a.m.) and Lowe's (2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10:00a.m.).  The stores provide a building kit and all the tools necessary for your child to make a simple project to take home or give as a gift this Christmas!
  • Before the snow starts to fall, help your kids collect pine cones to string up as tree ornaments!
  • Remove rust from household tools by adding salt to 1 tablespoon lemon juice until it forms a paste.  Apply the past to rusted area with a dry cloth and rub away the rust (

Save the Dates

Friday, November 30th @ 6:00-10:00p.m.--MOPS Craft Night at MGEFC.  Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Upcoming MOPS Bake Sale!

It's finally here...the time of year when we get to forget about everything else and focus on delectable goodies in the name of tradition and cheer!  Maple Grove MOPS is here to help give a jump start to all your holiday baking!

How, you say?

Our 1st Annual Bake Sale Fundraiser, of course!

When:  Saturday, November 10th, 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. AND Sunday between worship services
Where:  Maple Grove Evangelical Free Church lobby (8585 Rice Lake Road, Maple Grove, MN 55369)

Spread the word, and come check out our selection of baked goods, jams, candies, homemade noodles, and great gift-worthy items.  There is something for everyone!

**Please remember that all items are homemade and have not been inspected by the state.
**Proceeds will be used to grow our MOPS ministry at MGEFC and to help cover the cost of childcare for the program.
**Acceptable payment methods include cash, personal checks (up to $30), VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.  Please note that for credit card payments, you will be responsible for an additional 2.75% transaction fee.

For those of you who are contributing to the sale, please note the following:

  • Cookies, brownies, bars, candies, party mixes, and granola will be sold by weight and do NOT need to be packaged in anything specific as we will weigh and package them at the church.  Breads, cinnamon rolls, pies, and cakes DO need to be packaged in bags, plastic wrap, etc. (preferably not tin foil).
  • Please drop off your items at the church either Friday evening (6-8pm) or Saturday morning (8-9am).
  • Please include a list of the ingredients (not the recipe) for each of your items so we can help avoid any complications from allergies.
Thank you in advance to all of you who are graciously donating your time and talents to making this a success!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 23rd Newsletter

This Week's Guest Speaker
Dienna Goscha
"Getting to a Child's Heart:
Connecting Spiritually with Your Child"

Do you find it hard to make sense out of how to teach your child about spiritual concepts?  Deuteronomy carries the secret to getting to the heart of a child.  Learn practical and creative ways to impress spiritual truth on your child's heart.  Discover how to put into practice Deuteronomy 6:1-9 in your own home with your child.

Dienna is the author and founder of River's Edge Curriculum and shares many of her ideas on her blog.  She has many years of experience in leading and designing curriculum for children, as well as Bible studies for women and other family resources.  She speaks nationally at children's ministry events and women's events.  She is currently the Pastor of Innovations at Prairie Oak Community Church in Andover, MN.   Dienna has a passion to creatively connect children with Jesus.

This Weeks' Reminders
  • Brunch is provided by Chicks Ahoy!  Please remember to email your recipe to to be included on the blog for voting.
  • Be sure to arrive on time to be included in our door prize drawing!

Did You Miss Us?
Did you know that you can listen online to any MOPS sessions you missed?  Click on the "Media" tab at the top of our blog and follow the links!

Girls' Night "In"!
As ladies, we do a whole lot of dressing up and we think it's about time we got a break!  Put on your comfiest sweat pants, grab your snuggliest pillow/blanket and join us on Saturday, November 3rd at 7:00p.m. for our first Girl's Night Out IN!  We'll be meeting in the same room we use for our MOPS meetings and using the big projector to watch the movie Ever After, starring Drew Barrymore.  Popcorn will be plentiful, but we would love for you to bring your favorite snack to share (bars, candy, chips, pop, etc.).  We are so looking forward to this time together and hope you all can make it!

  • We need everyone to participate in our Bake Sale Fundraiser!  Be thinking of what you would like to bake to contribute, and when you would be available to volunteer.  Shifts will be Saturday, November 10th from 8-12 and 12-4, as well as Sunday between/after services.
  • We are still in need of volunteers to help in our MOPPETS program.  Please email your availability and any referrals to us at or sign up here (enter security code 5779) to help with our Steering Team Meetings.

Handy Tips
  • Use an over-the-door hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies!  Easy access for you...but not for the kids!
  • Between zipping up your kids' snow pants and doubling the time it will take to get them in and out of the car this winter, are you wondering how you're going to come up with a healthy dinner every day?  Check out these great freezer meal ideas!
  • Skip grocery shopping this week!  Use your favorite recipe website (or the ones Dawn Bauer mentioned last week!) to help you use up the stuff you have in your cupboard.  Avoid missing expiration dates, and clean out the pantry so you can start over with things you'll really be excited to cook with!

Save the Dates

Saturday, November 3rd--MOPS Girls' Night "In"!

Saturday, November 10th--MOPS Bake Sale Fundraiser at MGEFC

Friday, November 30th @ 6:00-10:00p.m.--MOPS Craft Night at MGEFC

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 9th Newsletter

This Week's Guest Speaker
Dawn Bauer
"Meal Planning"

Before helping others organize their homes and their lives, Dawn earned a Masters Degree from St. Cloud State and worked for over 20 years in the corporate world.  As a wife of 15 years and a mother of two children, Dawn brings an array of experiences and understanding of learning styles to her approach to organizing.

This Week's Reminders
  • If you have not already emailed your "go-to" recipes to, please do so by 3:00p.m. on Monday, October 8th.
  • An On-Time door prize will be drawn at our meeting promptly at 9:30a.m.
  • Brunch is provided by the Barnacle Babes.  Please email your recipe for the dish you are bringing to to be included on the blog for voting.

MOPS Get Cooking
Each week, we are asking those who provide food for brunch to email us your recipes for whatever you contribute.  We are compiling these recipes into an online cookbook for you all to view/use.  We are also using this to facilitate a contest!  If there is a dish you absolutely love one morning, stop by the recipe blog to leave a comment under your favorite entry.  At the end of the year, we will gather the recipes with the most comments and make sure your favorites make an encore appearance at our last meeting!
Check out the recipe blog at!

October Birthdays
October 20th--Denise Y.
Happy Birthday!!

Precious Bundles
We missed mentioning in our newsletter that Kelley H. welcomed Baby Isaac over the summer!  Congratulations, Kelley!

We are still in need of volunteers to help in our MOPPETS program.  We are currently paying the majority of our workers, and are looking for people who would be willing to give the gift of their time to help us lower our costs.  We also need workers for our Steering Team Meetings (first Tuesday of each month).  Please email your availability or any referrals to us at

Handy Tips
  • Disinfect your kitchen sponges in the dishwasher!  Just throw them in the silverware tray or on the top rack, and the heat of the dishwasher sanitizes them, killing 99% of bacteria.
  • Maple Grove's "Just Between Friends" Sale is November 14-18.  Registration to participate is currently open.  More information available here

Save the Dates

Saturday, November 3rd--MOPS Girls' Night "In"!

Saturday, November 10th--MOPS Bake Sale Fundraiser at MGEFC

Friday, November 30th @ 6:00-10:00p.m.--MOPS Craft Night at MGEFC

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 25th Newsletter

This Week's Guest Speaker
Becky Peterson
Love As If Your Life Depended On It

Becky is the Director of Care Ministries at Maple Grove Evangelical Free Church.  She is also on staff at Robbinsdale Women's Center.  Becky has a B.A. in Psychology / Christian Counseling from Northwestern College.  Becky and her family have been attending MGEFC for 27 years.  She and her husband Roger have 3 children who are all married, as well as 4 precious grandchildren.  Her greatest desire is to come alongside those who are hurting in order to point them to the only One who can bring hope and healing--the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is also her desire to help others grow deeper in their love for the Lord and to watch as that love overflows onto others.  This week, she will be focusing on our MOPS 2012-2013 theme, "Plunge...Love as if your life depended on it."

This Week's Reminders
  • A door prize will be given promptly at 9:30a.m...please be on time to make sure you're included!
  • Year/Fall Semester payments are due this week.
  • Brunch is provided by the MOPS Steering Team.

Praise the Lord!
God has provided enough workers in our MOPPETS program that we will not need you moms to take a turn each semester as we were expecting!  We are thrilled that each of you will be able to participate with us each time we are together.  We still appreciate your referrals to people willing to volunteer their time, as much of our budget is currently going to pay our nursery workers.  We are also looking for more people to help out in childcare for our Steering Team meetings on the first Tuesday of each month (for each meeting you help at, you will receive a free semester for one of your children enrolled in MOPPETS).  Please contact us if you are available to help!

Precious Bundles
Over the summer, many of our MOPS moms have welcomed new babies!  Congratulations to each of you and your families!
Jasper born to Jena A.
Dylan born to Heidi S.
Elijah born to Jill M.
Christian born to Crystal H.
Micah born to Summer J.
Katelyn born to Brooke P.

Connect With Other MOMS!
Do you have a blog that you'd like to share with the other moms in our group?  Send us an email with your URL and we'll share it on the sidebar of our main Maple Grove MOPS blog!
**Please remember that we only want to connect with blogs that are honoring to Jesus and to one another, and that will not be a stumbling block to anyone who "stumbles" upon our blog.

Handy Tips

  • Lay a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water to keep it from boiling over!
  • Get 50% off your kids' stuff at Goodwill on Toddler Thursdays, and 25% off at Unique Thrift Store every Tuesday (50% off on holidays that fall on a Monday).

Save the Dates

Saturday, November 10th--MOPS Bake Sale Fundraiser at MGEFC

Friday, November 30th @ 6:00-10:00p.m.--MOPS Craft Night at MGEFC

Monday, August 13, 2012

Culver's Fundraiser

Next time you're on the floor under your kitchen table, wiping up a jar of scorned baby food and thinking, "If only I were getting paid for this!"...think about volunteering for our next MOPS fundraiser!

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to work a couple of short shifts at Culver's in Plymouth.  In return, they donated 10% of their sales during that time to our MOPS program!  Cleaning up spills was never so much fun!

Thank you to everyone who worked a shift, handed out flyers, or bought lunch at Culver's to support us!

For those of you who couldn't make it, you missed out on a chance to wipe tables...

...wear super-duper classy paper hats...

...and stand deliciously close to juicy Butter Burgers and creamy dishes of frozen custard!

Stay tuned for more fun(d)raisers throughout the year.  And, THANKS AGAIN to everyone who helped out!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

MOPS Take on the Heat

Thanks to everyone who came to our play date at Elm Creek Park!  Talk about an awesome park, right?

So here's the thing.  We moms are full of good ideas and energy and enthusiasm at all times (right?  RIGHT??).  But sometimes we run out of ideas.  Or things don't go quite as planned.  For example, next time I take my kids to a gigantic playground, I am putting in an order for a nice cloud cover to keep us all cool and I'm dressing the kids in bright orange t-shirts so they can get in on a free Summer Camp lunch with the rest of the munchkins swarming the park.

In the meantime, I need a plan for the rest of the summer.  You too?  Good.  Here are some ideas I found and links to where I found them.

Tips for a Hot Playground:

*Bring along a spray bottle to spray the slides when they get hot!  Of course this will leave the kiddos with wet shorts, but if yours are like mine, they won't even bat an eye about it and the sun will dry them out before you have to pack them back into their car seats.

*Bring some books, bucket and shovel, or some other toys to take a break in the shade between trips across the monkey bars.

*Try dressing the kids in swim trunks and hats and head to the park in the rain, turning the slides into watercoasters and the scorching sand into the best splash park you never paid a penny for!

Tips for the Beach:

*To give your kids a break in the shade, use masking tape to make a tic-tac-toe board on a beach towel. Your kids can collect shells or rocks from the beach to use instead of X's and O's.

*Get that sticky, wet sand off your kids' feet with baby powder!  The powder dries up the sand so you can easily brush it off before putting those little feet back in their shoes.

Tips for Fun at Home:

*Make your own popsicles!  If you don't have a kit, just use an ice cube tray.  You can make mini popsicle sticks by wrapping waxed paper around a small strip of cardboard (a diaper box, perhaps?) and taping the handle end to hold it together.  Be creative with your popsicles...use anything from Jell-o to pureed carrots.  Kids will love anything frozen!

1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c cold water
6-8 drops of food coloring
Directions:  Mix cornstarch and cold water together in a small plastic bowl.  Add food coloring and stir.  Repeat this process to create different colors of paint that can be easily washed away with water!

Do you have a great summer idea you want to share with us?  Leave us a comment!  And don't forget to mark your calendar to join us at Camelot Park on July 24th!

...You're not on our email list and would like to connect with us...
...You are in a photo on this blog and would like it removed...
---You have ANY questions about ANYTHING...

And of course, feel free to leave a comment here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MOPS Take On The Zoo!


Reason #5:  You and your kids get out of the house to enjoy the sun, spend time together, and discover new activities you might not have been motivated to try otherwise...


Reason # 4-1/2:  Other moms are often willing to hold your kids for you
while you do super important take pictures...

Reason #4:  You can be silly and wave for a picture, and no one around you will think you're crazy...

See?  Sparky does it too!

Reason #3:  From pushing around double-wide strollers to wiping peanut butter out of your kids' eyebrows, you know you're not alone... 

Reason #2:  Whether you've been part of MOPS since the invention of the Swiffer or you're joining us for the very first time, there's no better way to build lasting friendships...

Reason #1:  It's so refreshing to let someone else jump through the hoops for once...

If you missed out on our play date at Como Zoo today, there are still plenty of chances to connect with us this summer!  'Like' us on Facebook so we can keep you in the loop for the following play dates...

July 10th - Elm Creek Park
July 24th - Camelot Park
August 14th - Elm Creek Swimming Pond
August 28th - Michelle Carlson's Home

...You're not on our email list and would like to connect with us...
...You are in a photo on this blog and would like it removed...
---You have ANY questions about ANYTHING...

And of course, feel free to leave a comment here!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We had our last meeting of the semester this past Tuesday.  This year has been such a wonderful time!  So many wonderful woman to support, encourage, and grow together in motherhood.  
I have enjoyed our mornings of brunch, fellowship, listening and learning from our speakers, and getting my creative juices flowing with our crafts.  
Wonderful friendships have been made.

Thank you ladies for a GREAT year at Maple Grove MOPS.  

We are looking forward to another fantastic year next year when we begin our meetings again in September.  
Don't forget to join us at our summer playdates.  Even if you aren't registered for our MOPS group yet, you can come along and meet some new moms.  More information about our playdates are in the post below.

If you haven't yet registered for our MOPS 2012-13 year, click on:

*If you send in your registration form by May 31st, you will receive our "Early Bird" rate of $21.95 for your MOPS fee.

If you have any questions, email us

Monday, May 7, 2012

Maple Grove MOPS Summer Play Dates

June 12th-Melanie Haddon’s Home
June 26th-Como Zoo
July 10th-Elm Creek Park
July 24th-Camelot Park
August 14th-Elm Creek Swimming Pond
August 28th-Michelle Carlson’s Home

*play dates are weather permitting

Don't forget to follow us on facebook for updates before each playdate. (including play date details and locations/directions).  Updates will also be given here, on our blog, as well.  

Can't wait for some fun summer play dates together!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hi ladies!  This is a short little article we wanted to share with you.  It's a nice addition to go with the wise words we heard from our speaker, Becky, last week on marriage.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MOPS Garage Sale Fundraiser

We're having a garage sale fundraiser to support our MOPS group.

The sale will include many items such as household, clothing (men, women, and children), toys, and much more!!

Sale Dates and Times:

Wednesday, May 23rd 4pm-8pm

Thursday, May 24th 8am-4pm

4800 Pineview Ln
Plymouth, MN 55442

Please, be sure to pass the sale info onto any friends you think may be interested.  This is a great opportunity to not only support a wonderful organization but also an opportunity to find wonderful, affordable items from other moms!  

Sounds like a deal to me!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day Of Pampering

We had a special day for our moms on February 28th called our "Day of Pampering".  The day really lived up to the name as it was a very relaxing morning spent hanging out with wonderful women, enjoying delicious food, and....getting pampered!

A BIG thank you to all of the above businesses!  
We had amazing businesses donate their time and talents to help make this day so incredibly special for all of us.
In addition to the businesses listed above, we also had Willow Salon, HealthSource Chiropractic, Etica Salon, and  Lovelo Beauty donate their time and talents in pampering us (let me tell you, it was heaven!).  We also had 3 Squares Restaurant and Cafe Donuts donate some delicious treats to add to our brunch spread.

Each of our mom's were able to leave our Day of Pampering with a special gift bag thanks to our wonderful donations.  There were some exciting goodies in those bags!  Leave a comment telling us what your favorite gift was!

Making homemade sugar scrub!

Painting nails and chatting with friends!

 Chair massages from Health Source Chiropractic

And...getting pretty and pampered!

Whew...What a great morning!  Our Day of Pampering was such a treat!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


We are very excited for our new blog as it's another way that we can stay connected as a group of moms.  It truly is our passion that each of our moms in our Maple Grove MOPS group feels like they are connected to others and is provided with opportunities to meet new friends and foster relationships with each other.

If you know of other moms in our community or have friends that you think might be interested in joining our MOPS group, please send them the link to our blog so they can get a little peek into our group!

You'll notice a link on the right of this page directing your to our Facebook group page.  Be sure to "like" us on there if you haven't already!

Check back very soon for some pictures of our special Day of Pampering we had this past February!